Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Projects Never End!

Nolan tells me I can't sit still, and I'm starting to believe him. Here's what I've been up to lately:

Scored a 1964 Magnavox Astro Sonic (even the name is awesome) record player on craigslist for $30. It may as well have been free! I originally bought it to flip, since these things sell in the $500 range, BUT ended up loving it so much that we kept it. Even Nolan was begging me not to sell it, and he usually doesn't get excited over my furniture finds, so I knew it was a keeper. Not only is it in perfect condition, it actually came with the original manual, warranty card, tags, etc. And through the wonders of technology Nolan managed to wire it to play music through our tablets/phones without damaging the piece at all. Hello Pandora!

I have been on the hunt for the perfect mid century dresser for Lola's bedroom, and about a month ago I landed on this-

Ew right? Who covers a perfectly good mid century dresser in awful black paint?
Enter Tracy.

After a lot paint stripping, and even more sanding I was finally able to get it down to bare naked wood, ready to stain.

I took a long break after finishing the frame... there's only so much sanding a girl can take! Last week I finally worked up the strength to finish the drawers, and whoola! Here's the finished project-

Ignore the terrible photo, it really doesnt do it justice. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out!!

And finally, on a much smaller scale, some artwork.

I love canvas photos, but never want to fork out the money for them. Here's how I made three 11"x14" canvas photos for under $20:

I purchased three canvases at Joann's at a 50% off sale. I also used a Michaels Coupon for 20% off my entire purchase (did you all know you can use Michaels coupons at Joanns?), making all three about $4!
I had prints made at Office Depot using a coupon code, making all three about $10.

To mount the prints to the canvas I mod podged the backs of them, sticking them to the canvas. Then I mod podged over the top of them, let them dry, and painted the edges of the canvas (and a little onto the photos) black. There you have it! 
I have to say, this was my first time working with mod podge. I'm not a fan.

Monday, July 22, 2013

There are women that become mothers without effort, without thought, without patience or loss, and though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be different.

I will be better not because of genetics, or money, or that I have read more books, but because I have struggled and toiled for this child.
I have sat in the NICU and waited.
I have cried and prayed.
I have endured.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.
I will notice everything about my child.
I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover.
I will marvel at my surviving miracle every day for the rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him and that I am not waking to an alarm going off, another round of meds or because I am crying tears for fear of the unknown.
I will be happy because my baby is alive and crying out for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see.

Whether I parent a preemie with physical challleges or a child with medical issues, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain.

I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body.
I have been tried by fire and hell that many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed.
I have succeeded.
I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.

I listen.

And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely. I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth when life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.

I have learned to appreciate life.

Yes, I will be a wonderful mother.

Author Unknown

Sunday, July 21, 2013


This morning I sat down to breakfast coffee with my beautiful family, and opened up Facebook. After sifting through a few of my friends posts I landed on the private support page for families affected by NAIT. There at the top of the page was devestating news from one of our members, who at 35 weeks pregnant had lost her baby. Just like me (and so many others) she was receiving weekly IVIG infusions and being monitored closely, but unlike me her treatments failed. She was days away from her delivery date, and her baby just stopped moving. Reading further down the thread I came across another NAIT momma who is having to consider terminating her pregnancy because her unborn child has hemmorhaged so badly in the brain that he will have almost no quality of life.

My heart is so broken for these mommas. The more I think about them, the more my heart aches, and frankly as the day has turned to night I have become, well... pissed. I am raging mad. While my three precious amazing miracles are sleeping peacefully in their beds mommas across the world are mourning their unborn babies, all because of one ruthless horrible disorder that remains under-researched, and un-screened for. This should not be happening. There has to be a better way. No parent should suffer through this, especially when prevention is as simple as a blood test.

Without the courage and support of my NAIT sisters, I never would have found the strength to brave one treated pregnancy after Jax was born, let alone two. Words cannot describe how amazing these women are. When one of us falls, we all feel it. We all cry. We all get mad. And we all help to bring that momma back to her feet. As we say every time a new member finds the group "we're so happy you have found us, but so sad that you had to find us."

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Our Little Diva

Is it okay that I am still in complete shock, and utterly giddy that we have a little girl? Because I am. She's so stinking adorable, ALL THE TIME. The outfits get cuter every day, her little hairy head gets harrier. And now she's getting to that super squishy fun phase where she can roll over, and laugh, and eat mushed up fruit. She's just young enough that she's easy to please, but not old enough to throw fits. She loves her momma and would be delighted to snuggle all day long. She is a diva, no doubt about it. She snaps out of a dead sleep and flashes her blue eyes and giant grin at anyone who stops to comment on her (which frankly is getting a little inconvenient when it comes to napping... we get stopped A LOT due to her crazy hair). She is amazing. Looking at her makes all of the madness of growing her inside of me and fighting for her life every day just fade away. Once in a while I hear a song that brings it all back to the forefront of my mind (see lyrics here), and I fight back tears a little when I think about that time. It already seems so long ago... Grateful doesn't even begin to describe what I feel when I look at her.

So before I go spend the day sanding, stripping (paint), and staining the little Diva's dresser, I will slather you all in her cuteness.

I assure you, she's laughing (even though she looks/sounds slightly terrified)

Trying rice cereal for the first time.

"Let me just feel this stuff a little..."

"Yup, I like it!"

Hanging out with big bro. She was so delighted (not that you can tell).

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kids. Can't Live With 'em, Can't Imagine Life Without 'em!

Sometimes my kids make me crazy. I'm not ashamed to admit it. The funny thing about children though, is that as soon as you feel like you want to post them in the "free" section on craigslist, they turn around and do or say something amazing.

Yesterday was one of those days. By the time Nolan got home I was desperately needing a break. Just as I was recounting the day to my adoring husband (who at this point was looking at me with pitty) Jax emerges from our bedroom (a room that they are not supposed to play in without supervision), with black marker all over his face. Nolan and I exchange a terrified look- if his face looked like that, what did our bedroom walls/bedding look like? Oh the horror...
Thankfully the disaster was contained to Jax's face. However, when asked where the pen that he used was, he pulled out one of my black Prisma markers. This is a huge no-no in our house. My Prisma's are my work pens, for sketching spaces and creating floor plans for clients. Not only are they my work pens, but they cost about $3 each. They are strictly off limits to everyone but me. Just as I am scolding Jax and reminding him of this he says
"But Mommy, I just wanted makeup so I can be bootiful like you!"
Yup, I melted.