Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Car Seat Help

This may be premature, but assuming we'll pass our license, they keep talking about car seats and I want to get an idea of what I'll need.

I need to purchase a car seat that basically will last from birth to as far as possible.  I do not want just a car seat for newborns, it has to last at least until they are 2 years old, possibly further.  Also I only want a black or gray car seat, I know, I know, I just do.  I'm not ready for beige and army green, maybe one day.  It can't cost crazy money because I get reimbursed.

So, most of you guys are parents, if not, if shopping for baby stuff doesn't make you dizzy, help a future foster lady out.  Amazon or Target would be best for me.  I've really tried and I don't really know what I'm looking for or I start to get depressed because I find something I like and it's $300.  Maybe it's supposed to be $300.  I really don't know.  This is really hard.

Thanks so much!

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Crazy Week to Come and the Hunger Games Halloween Party

This may be the busiest week I'm going to have since the week before my wedding.  It might actually be moreso.

Sometime over the summer (because I'm weird like that) I decided to start planning for a Halloween Dinner party.  We've had 2 Halloween dinner parties and they are really great.  Especially for someone like me who LOVES Halloween and used to cry driving home from work seeing all the little kids going Trick-or-Treating it was a great distraction (I highly recommend distraction to counteract any infertility pain or sadness).  But then the class started happening and I thought oh, there's a lot going on, it would be nice to just sit at home and watch scary movies and wait for the 4 Trick-or-Treaters we'll have.  And that was the plan.  I shelved my party plans.

But then last week one of our closest friends called Brian and told him about her Halloween Costume and how it was a polar bear and therefore perfect for our Hunger Games party (someone has obviously not seen The Hunger Games).  I thought it was so sweet (and hilarious) that someone got a costume for my crazy themed party that I was like, ok, if you can get a gang of no more than 8 (including us) then we'll have the party.  There are now 10 people coming for dinner on Thursday.

The other thing is the class.  Everyone signed up for bringing dinner to a class and once the sheet went around I noticed there was a blank day.  Well, jeez, I love cooking for parties so I signed up twice.  But then a couple wanted to switch with us (this was before we decided to do the dinner party) so now I have group dinner for 18 people this Tuesday (remember party on Thursday) and then dinner again next Tuesday.  It's CRAZY!

Hunger Games Halloween Party

My explanation is going to make zero sense to you if you haven't seen Hunger Games or read the books.  But most of the people coming to the party haven't seen the movie or read the books so they are going to think it's as weird as you are about to. 

So, my idea was to have a Hunger Games party as if a member of the Capitol was throwing a party honoring the games.  So it's supposed to be skewed because members of the Capitol are a little naive and empty-headed and LOVE the Hunger Games so it's a celebration, Capitol Style.

When I think of the citizens of the Capital I think about over the top colors and glitter and crazy clothes and makeup.  So I was really going for bright colors and that's not usually associated with Halloween.  My bridge is supposed to be the pastel glitter pumpkins.  I'm in the process of trying to make the arrows.  The ones pictured are for a Valentines Party.  Mine will still be pink but my arrow will be a triangle.  And unfortunately I won't have the ombre napkins.  They are awesome but beyond what I have time for making.  I'm also making a "Tracker Jacker" nest from Paper Mache.  I have to do three layers in three days plus paint it so it's pretty tight.  I'm working on my second coat today.  I'm almost finished with my friendly looking tracker jackers made from Sculpty clay.

For food, I know I could go classic Hunger Games and recreate food from the books but I'm a very picky eater and I just decided to go another way.  I wanted to stick with my color theme and when I saw this brightly colored chicken dish I felt it was a good way to go.  The snail roll and the forest cake I thought would be reminders of the actual hunger games, like the arrow and the nest.  I hope the rolls turn out, it's looks a little too easy.  Same with the chocolate trees.  We'll just have to see how it goes.  I'll probably attempt the trees on Wednesday so I can form a backup plan if they don't work out.

If I have time I'll post my Capitol citizen costume later.  Brian's wearing a bright purple shirt and crazy tie we bought this weekend, I'm hoping to use the color hairspray for his hair in purple or pink. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Random Class Update, Further Room Decorating Ideas

We're half way through our classes so I thought I'd post a little update.

One thing I find interesting about the class is being around people like myself.  I post a lot about feeling like the odd duck sticking out in almost everything that I do.  But in our class there are four other couple just like us, around our age, around our socio-economic class, childless.  There's something comforting about that.  This whole group is just like me.

As you can imagine if you know anything about adoption there's this huge checklist of stuff we have to do and it's not like the list is difficult it's just different and time consuming.  Today we got our fingerprints done and it was just a matter of saying ok, let's just do this and doing it.  It's been sitting on my desk for weeks.  It's such a relief to have it done.  The other major things are the fire inspection and our physicals.

Brian had a physical recently but before we had our physical paperwork so I'll bring his with mine and see if we can fill it out that way or if Brian has to go back in.  (It's a small doctor's office.)

We have a fire extinguisher but apparently it's not the one they want you to have so we have to get a new one.  When we have that, the goal is to get that inspection ASAP in case anything is wrong we can repair it and have another inspection.  Not that we expect to have anything wrong but it's just weird.  Not ALL our windows work, we only have one smoke detector but I think it's enough, I'm confused about the extension cord requirement, at first I thought you couldn't have extension cords, and that was MINDBLOWING to me but now I think you can you just can't have them running under rugs or hooked up to permanent items like a refrigerator.  I was initially counting all the extension cords we use and it's pretty much at least one in every room.  But 3 of those are surge protectors and I those aren't even mentioned.

Can you just imagine if every new parent had to get a physical, get their fingerprints done for a criminal check, write a life story, answer a billion questions over and over, and have a fire inspection? 

In other news, I gave up on my backordered desk from Pottery Barn Kids when I saw that the Target desk I wanted originally was back in stock.

So my desk should be coming next week and I'm saving myself about $150.  And, I can finally get this black monstrosity out of here.  Big fun will happen then when I have to figure out where all this office crap/arts and craft crap goes and I either paint a chalk wall or stencil a pattern.  I'm leaning chalk board wall because I recently bought a new rug and it's polka dotted and the sheers are swiss dots and I about to sew pom-pom trim on the curtains and my stencil was going to be polka-stars but I'm now thinking I might being going polka-overboard.  The downside to the chalkboard wall is, yes, it's sounds very sweet to have a giant wall that a kid can write all over but have you seen kid scribble?  It's not the prettiest thing in the world and will having one wall a kid CAN write on make them think you can write on any ole wall you want?  Maybe have a chalk wall that I decorate myself and the kid won't even know they have the ability to write on the wall?  Like a mural.  A secret mural.

What you think a chalkboard wall will look like:

What it actually will look like:

Photo Links: 1, 2, 3

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bogged Down in Classes

Brian and I was just discussing how to explain to people what these classes are like and we couldn't come up with a good analogy.  Between the two of us, you'd think we could, but it's just difficult.  It's a lot of information but given in a round about way.  So it's kind of frustrating and really draining.  I don't know how Brian is doing it, working all day and then going to class 2 times a week.

And I knew things were going to come up that would drive me crazy and they have started to happen.  Apparently my fire extinguisher isn't the one that they want so we have to get a new one. We also HAVE TO have a phone and we just went down to cell phones only like a year ago and love it.  Serendipitously, our cable company did some bundle deal with us and our phone was free even though we never plugged it in (or know the number, not sure what to do about that... update: I just called myself, problem solved).  So I bought a little Trimline and wrote in the emergency number: 911 and our 2 cell phone numbers.  So now if our 8 month old is home alone and there's a fire, he'll be all set.  Kidding!  It's just one of those things.

I also HAVE TO make a floor plan and map out the fire escape route.  It HAS TO be prominently displayed, whatever that means.  I am not a fan of this because it makes me feel like our house is a hotel room but it's just one of those things.  I didn't feel right free drawing it so I actually sat down with the world's most difficult program to do measurements and so fort and then I (illegally) screen captured it to Paint because this trial program wanted to use a watermark.  Then in Paint I erased some stuff and added words and then, yes, drew an exit path.

I thought I would share it with you guys.  I think I always thought our house was more square so it looks funny to me but I actually measured rooms so I'm pretty sure it's accurate.   

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Office - Designed and in Limbo

My Office

Well, I found a desk chair.  After all that searching for weeks and weeks somehow I came across an aqua desk chair for not a billion dollars.  I wasn't even looking for aqua, I didn't think it existed for not custom made.  Of course it's on back order too.  But I'm so excited!  I'm glad I waited until I found one that really rocked my socks off.

My desk lamp is white but it only showed as bronze on the website.  I kind of like the bronze.  I suppose I could spray paint mine (with special heat spray paint of course) if I want but other than that it's nice to have the office purchases done.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Peacock Wicker Headboard - Finished

Not that I'm the best picture taker but I don't have a real camera anymore so I'm stuck with my iphone which is cute for instagram but bad for house photos, so I apologize in advance.

I finished my headboard!  Last week it rained for most of the week.  I did manage to find time to prime the bed with spraypaint outside.  I only had 2 cans and I probably needed 3 or 4 but it started raining in the end anyway so I ran inside with the bed.  Luckily spray paint primer dries super fast.

So I was sitting around last week hoping the rain would let up so I could go back out and spray paint the bed with aqua spraypaint I got at Michaels but it became very obvious pretty soon that it wasn't going to happen.  I decided to hand paint the bed. 

I do not recommend this.  Wicker is so hard to paint by hand.  I was basically using an almost dry brush and stab painting it.  For hours.  For three days.  For something I could have spray painted in a half a day, most of that time spent waiting for paint to dry.

But I had some bright aqua paint on hand perfect for the job and it was eggshell finish and not gloss like the spray paint and personally I thought I'd like it better a little matte.  When I first started painting it I was certain I made a grave mistake.  My primer was very thin so the orange showed through and when I painted my aqua over it, well, it looked very awful.  But I kept going and I'm so glad I did.

One of the things I was going to buy at Anthropologie was a couple of Euro shams.  But I realized the first time I made the bed that pillows cover up the beautiful headboard and I didn't want to do that.  So I'm sticking low profile, pillows flat on the bed and just one throw.  I'm still considering buying 2 shams but my husband uses 3 pillows and I don't think we want to sleep on shams.  Also that throw pillow is from the front bedroom, I'm still on the look out for a pillow or fabric that I can make a pillow with.  But I wanted to get the look I was going for.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Shopping Spree Letdown

When you are an Anthropologie nerd like I am you sign up for an Anthro card and for your birthday month you get a coupon in the mail for 15% off.  The first 2 years I had it you actually got a little present for your birthday as well, but I'll just gloss over the sadness of now just getting a cardstock coupon.

So basically for the entire month of September I just want to go to Anthropologie.  The closest Anthropologie is 1.5 hours from here but we're more likely to find ourselves in the other Anthropologie because it's near family.  That one is a conservative 2.5 hours away.  Granted, if I were not a nutjob about the whole thing I could just shop online and use the 15% towards the shipping costs but sometimes, jeez, sometimes you just want a shopping spree.  You want to see all the things in 3D that you've seen on your computer for months and months.  You want to collect that stuff in your hands and bring it to a register and think to yourself, yes, my hair looks like crap but look at all this stuff I'm about to buy!

So I held out.  Weekend after weekend.  Soon it was becoming apparent that it was not meant to be to use my coupon.  We even threw out the obvious that driving 1.5 hours in gas would eat up that 15% savings any ole way.

But then we realized that we had a trip to the 2.5 hour area coming up (in October, of course) so I could just hold out until that.  Then we had a little boost to the cash flow.  It was all falling into place.  So on Friday I dropped Brian off to take a lawyer test and drove to the mall and got ready to get down to business.

I slowly made my way about the store, from right to left which scientists have determined means you are about to spend some money, and then I got to the end.  This is when I usually loop back around to figure out what I want.  Only I looped back around and finished the loop again and nothing.  What was happening!?!

It was only later that I really thought about it, where were the housewares?  There were no lamps, no lampshades, no toss pillows, no aprons, no tablecloths, few kitchen items, a shit ton of candles, and some journals and bullshit.  Where was everything?  I searched online regarding selling housewares in stores and I can't find anything so I can only assume that this ONE store decided just to sell clothes and candles (pretty much) and disappoint me to no end.  No. End.  I had money to burn in my pocket and it was literal cash and I cannot hold onto cash so it was ON and then, just as quickly it was OFF.

Bummer.  Later that day I went back and did buy some dish cloths (dish cloths, wtf) and a pretty bowl to put my nail polish in.  And then I was done.

Bad job, Anthro, bad job.

Even my husband was disappointed.  He was so excited for me and when I came back (mostly) empty handed he was heartbroken.  The next morning when we woke up he told me a fairytale about Anthropologie and how they started out with a brand that was very popular but then determined that they made more money from clothing so the housewares were slowly fading away.

I cannot confirm this online but jeez that will make me so sad.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Headboard - 70's Peacock Wicker Style

We bought a headboard today.  With all the other stuff going on you'd think a new headboard would be way down the list, and it is.  But I just happened to be on craigslist and thought, well, I'll just look and see if there are any headboards that I like.

I really like our current headboard, at least, I think I do.  I'm tired of the color, the aqua linen is too light and I feel like it should be tufted but I don't have any extra fabric to make tufting buttons even if I wanted to, which I don't.  Also, and more important, it has a function issue.  The depth of the headboard is so thick that Grayson will jump up there to hang out.  The problem is when he jumps down, he'll jump down anywhere, on your stomach or your face, and it gets in the way of sleeping.  Some would say there's some PTSD involved.  I wouldn't typically buy a new piece of furniture for a cat, but since I'm kind of over my headboard, it would be nice to not have that issue.

That said, a budget was in place and come on, who can find a lovely king size headboard for less than say $80.  And what am I really looking for anyway.

Well.  I happen to be a big fan of the show "New Girl" and a really big fan of Jess's bedroom, notably to only a weirdo like me, the simple yet effective headboard she has.  Take a simple headboard and paint it a shiny color and it TRANSFORMS it.  Plus, you can actually find this kind of headboard in my price range.  Not that I have, but you could.

So that essentially was what I was looking for.  But I wasn't having any luck and the ridiculousness of craigslist was getting to me.  But then I found an easier way to search.  I searched "king headboard" and selected the pic view, then when you move your mouse over the tiny picture a big picture pops up.  It makes it sooo easier than clicking on each individual post until you want to scream.

And then, way at the bottom, under the "local results," I about fell out of the chair.

It looks just like my very favorite bed photo of all time...

...except it's not aqua yet but it was only $35!  Thirty five dollars!  I emailed as fast as I could and today we drove 1 1/2 hours there and back to a very awesome beach home to pick it up.  I have a couple of little repairs and then I can prime and paint it aqua.  I cannot wait.  I'm so excited!