A Day in the Life

Well, I don’t know guys.  I’m going to write up my day, hour by measly hour, but I’m lying to myself and you if I tell you it’s happenin’ over here.  My life is a little on the crazy, busy, exhausting side with twins but it’s really not that fun to read about.  They’re not walking yet and we’ve child-proofed so there’s only so much complaining I can do about them getting into things because they don’t that much…yet.  They pee, poop…we cloth diaper so I spray all “solids” into the toilet with a handy-dandy nozzle.  That’s pretty notexciting.  I’ll spare you those details.  If you really wanna know what life is like with one or more children set free in one’s home, you’d find much better reading over at Grace’s blog, or Lauren’s, or Rosie’s, or Ana’s, or Maureen’s.

But alas, I’ll pound it out anyway.  Feel free to skip this one by.  It’s sure to be boring and oh-so-familiar for you moms (and dads) and possibly traumatizing to you who have yet to produce heirs…just don’t say I didn’t warn you.
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They’re usually pleasant.  Usually.  I’m not the mom who wakes up before my kids to get things done.  Ohhhh no.  Not me.  They wake me up.  Seraphia always, always, always wakes up smiling, giggling, and plays in her crib and sometimes Cecilia will follow suit however she typically starts the whine to get o-u-t.  You better believe that when they’re both chipper and happy playing in their side-by-side cages, I/we stay sleeping. 
Anthony is home a good amount of mornings to help me get their five ounces of cow goodness ready and change from overnight disposables into daytime cloth diapers.  (I willing hand over diaper changing duties as often as I can when he’s home and he’s very receptive…good man that guy.)
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There might be a trip (or two) to the silver toilet sprayer, there might not.  As you moms and dads know, you can either tell with your nose if there’s something besides liquid in that diaper or you get a nice little surprise after the velcro sounds…always welcomed in the morning hours to overpower the nice aroma of coffee you’ve got going.
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And then of course it’s off to the “tandem” bottle feeding sesh after which there’s always an “I want more!” whilst sucking the air and life out of the bottle but we daren’t ruin their breakfast, dare we?  If I’m lucky, my other set of hands is still home to help me, otherwise it looks a bit like this:
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[Except this pic was taken during an evening feeding sesh…I am never ever dressed before 10 unless there’s somewhere to be.]

So then the BFFs play with each other which I take full advantage of while picking up around the house (because no we don’t go to bed with a clean house, are you crazy?), figure out what project I want to get done, respond to (the few)comments or emails that might be awaiting me, or log in some blog reading for the day besides the important things like brush the night off my teeth and changing from pajamas into fancier pieces of comfy cotton lest the UPS man come or something.  Sometimes I even just sit on the couch and play that damned game Candy Crush…blast you people for inviting me to play it.  A hundred invites makes a curious cat even curiouser.  It’s addicting, don’t download it ever, ever, ever…photo (9) 
[Teepee from etsy shop, B.E. Little You and Me!  We (because all of us fit in it) LOVE it!]

A half hour or so later and this mom lays her work aside her  to make breakfast for the tots.  It’s usually some sort of combo of oatmeal and fruit, maybe a few Cheerios for good measure, maybe eggs, maybe french toast if I’m feeling particularly adventurous.  Then we all sit in a little triangle and I feed them, bite by bite by bite by bite, this one then that one then this one then that one… 
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I’m not crazy enough yet to let them loose with their own bowls and utensils.  It’s enough cleaning up the mess one makes, two would top my cleaning limits for the day.
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One more diaper change (x2 of course) and it’s nap time for them, play time for me (so for all you people that ask me “how do you do all you do with twins running crawling around?!”…naptime people, naptime.  There’s a good solid three hours of that that goes on around here every single day.)
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More of the same.  They wake up, they play/use me as a human obstacle course/, I feed them lunch whilst eating my own, they play some more, dot dot dot
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[Bothering Visiting Daddy-o at work is always thrilling.]

If we leave the house to do something funnish (browse Target clearance racks or hit up a play date), it’s usually sometime during the afternoon – after their morning nap before lunch or after lunch before the afternoon milking and nap.  Afternoon naps start around the 2 to 3 area, depending on what we’ve been doing.  They’re another fun time for mwah.  I usually work on whatever project is on my plate at the moment or, if I’m feeling especially lacking in the sleep dept., I take a nap too.
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The highlight of the afternoon (and whole day usually) is when babys’ daddy comes home.  The girls go all out and perk up at the sound of his voice coming through the side door and proceed to get their fastest crawl/push-toy walk on until they reach him.  It’s really so cute and they’ve totally got me beat in my “Hi Honey!” welcome home.  Chopped liver?  Right here (points to self).

For dinner, I usually let Baby Einstein via YouTube babysit whilst I cook something up)…something easy usually – wraps, leftovers from Daddy’s cooking the night before, chicken fingers, pasta (canned Bertolli sauce is zee best ever), whatever my limited imagination can come up with.  I tell ya, I’m pretty creative when it comes to paint and crafts but food, we’re running low on that tank o’ variety. 
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However, if the man of the house is home, we feast.  He’s a culinary genius.  Single ladies, if you don’t get along with the stove/oven combo, marry a man who does. 

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For some reason, the girls mistake the eve hours for the party hours.  I could sit on the living room floor and watch them for hours.  They chase each other around the house, alternating who’s chasing who, they play hide-and-seek with whatever piece of cloth they can find, they dance to whatever music is playing (did I mention we ALWAYS have music playing…thank you Pandora + the blue ray player), you know, crazy stuff every kid does.
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[Onesie snapping is SO overrated.]

Eventually bedtime rolls around so we whip out the 6 oz. bottles, they chug, and they get parked in their cribs until they decide to sleep.  That’s also when I have my daily bowl of cold vanilla with chocolate syrup, Anthony inhales his second dinner, and we either sit at our computers – he studying, me fiddling around – or hit up Amazon Prime for a movie.  Sometimes I’ll go paint or glue or construct something or finish cleaning the “room of the day” (a whole post on my cleaning schedule later).  Adult bedtime rolls around and the hay we hit…until…

Ohhhh nightime.  You didn’t think I’d skip this part of the day, did you?  When you have kids, “nighttime” becomes an actual part of your daily routine, am I right moms and dads everywhere?  It’s the most exciting and frustrating time all rolled into one little ball of no sleep.  Okay.  Maybe no sleep is stretching it but unless you have twins or two offspring so close in age that their teething coincides, than you have no idea what hell is like.  And maybe that’s a stretch too but, either way, no bueno.  no.bueno.at.alllllllll.  It usually goes something like dis.  Somebody cries.  I hear.  I stay in bed hoping, praying, begging she’ll stop and silence will resume.  She keeps crying.  Crying gets louder, and louder, and louder.  So loud she’ll probably wake up #2 if I don’t get my sorry butt out of bed.  I pry off the sheets, fumble around on my nightstand for my specs, and my feet hit the floor and pad 15 steps to the girls room.  I figure out who’s the offender, find her pacifier she just can’t sleep without.  Great.  It’s under her crib.  Not just under, way under.  I get my body down and do a drop and semi-roll, reaching my long arm as far as I can to reach that dang mouth device.  Got it.  Give it back.  Stand up and latch on to the railing lest the light-headedness I just got from that maneuver knock me under.  Hand the girl the teething ring she needs to hold onto to sleep.  Hit the sound machine button.  Pad 15 steps back into my bed.  Glasses back on the nightstand.  Head against the pillow.  I’m out.  And then half an hour later it’s the same thing.  All over again.  Different child.  Somewhere in there there’s some Tylenol administering and maybe a ride in the rocking chair but man, nights are killer.

Evening came and morning followed.  The next day.

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That’s how it rolls these days.  Had I written this post the months after they were born it’d go something like this:
We (all of us) wake up for the 40th time and last time because it’s 5:00 and allllmost morning.
I nurse the girls, one-at-a-time or together.
I change two diapers.
One occupies a bouncy seat, one my arms.
Catnap time.
I feed them…I nurse them…I hold one…They sleep…I feed them…I nurse them…I change them…I hold one…One cries…The other cries…We all cry.  Daddy comes home.  I feed them…I nurse them…Daddy changes them…We each hold one…They sleep………….  No redundancy at all.  I loved those days but I would never go back.  I have pictures for that.  My head was in a constant fog and I sat in a dazed stupor staring at two screaming babies at least once a day, wondering who the heck to comfort.  Those days were crazy.

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So anyway, now you know a little about what life is like with twins.  It’s a little crazy but I’m not running around with my head chopped off all the time trying to keep up with them and there won’t be any reality tv crews knocking on our door anytime soon because it’s not all that entertaining.  But, it’s an absolute blast as I see it.  For real.  I wouldn’t trade these two for the world.  Not them, not the time, not the energy (I don’t have), not anything.  And three?  Well, I’m sure he’ll add a good amount of good chaos to the mix.  You’ll be able to tell by either my blogging frequency or the quality of my english exactly how much chaos.  Cheers to then!   

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Your Bum Will Thank You

I’m baaack!  Fevers are gone (for now) but we’re heading to the doc anyway because Seraphia broke out into a rash (I think it’s a fever rash – roseola)…it’s never ending with kids I guess.  But, this cheers me up:dandc 016light
The desk and chair I’ve been working on for the past two weeks are DONE!  If you missed it, you can read all about the desk here.  For the chair, keep reading.  :)

The previous owner of our home left this old chair in the backyard shed.  It’s upholstered cushion was all nasty-nast and so, needing a chair for the desk in our guestroom, we dusted off the chair, took off the cushion, and sat it with the desk sans cushion thinking we’d put a new one on any day.  Well, that any day turned into almost four years.  I’ve literally had to tell every guest we’ve had, “Oh, and don’t sit on the desk chair.  There’s no seat.”  That’s because I was smart and put a pillow over the empty space to make it look like there was seat…perfect prank chair, not so perfect if you want happy, healthy, injury-free guests.  So anyway, free chair, moral of the story. 

It’s looking a ton different than the day we drug it out of the shed because we painted it and paired it with a brand new, upholstered seat.  If you’re looking to revive a chair yourself, read and learn.

First things first, prep.  If you’re planning on painting a chair but it has a slick coat of poly or any sort of sheen to it, you’ll probably have to sand it down first.  Depending on how glossy that baby is, you’ll have to sand less or more until all the shine is gone and you’ve got a good matte base to paint over.  Our little chair just had the slightest sheen to it, so I gave it a quick, light sanding with some medium-grit sandpaper (I used an electric sander because I was feeling especially impatient but a piece of sandpaper coupled with your hands would work just as well).  Then I primed it with white, Rustoleum spray primer (cheapest at Wal-Mart).  I used white primer because I was going to paint it white.  If you’re going for a darker color, it’d be better to use a darker primer like gray.

chair prep

After the primer was dry, I gave the chair a few thin and even coats of white spray paint (satin sheen, Valspar from Lowe’s).  After running out of spray paint and having to back burn this chair for a few days until I got more, I finally finished.  Moral here:  Always make sure you have enough spray paint for the project and even if you think you do, double check people!

Next up, the seat.  If your chair has no seat, like ours, you’ll have to cut one out.  If it does, like our dining room chairs, well, lucky you.  To make a new one, you’ll have to cut a piece of wood to size.  It’s as simple as making a quick template out of some printer paper and using that as a guide or doing like we did and tracing the outline of the old seat onto a piece of new wood.  Always set the new seat on your chair just to make sure it fits before you go to town on it.  You don’t want to go through all the work of upholstering only to find out it’s a tad big or too small…that’s kickyourself worthy.

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I made one little alteration in the name of character to our chair seat since the seat back sank back further than the sides - I had Anthony cut notches in the back of the seat so all sides of the upholstered seat touched all sides of the chair.  The arrows in the picture below show what the heck I’m talking about:
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The old seat cushion just went straight across from side to side, leaving a half-inch gap between the back sides of the seat and the upright part of the seat back.  With the notches cut in, the seat looks a lot more tailored.  See?
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I’m pretty sure the notches are my fave part.  I love the perfect fit.  :)

So, let’s back up.  After you’ve cut the wood for your seat, you’ll have to cut a piece of foam for cushioning.  I use the white, dense stuff…???…can’t think of what it’s real name is but I got mine at Hobby Lobby and I bought a three inch thick piece.  I use it instead of the light yellow or green foam because I think it’s cushier and my bum likes cushy.  :)

To cut the foam, trace your seat onto it…
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like so…
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and then cut it out.  The cushioning I use is really hard to cut and you can’t take your scissors to the whole thickness at once (for the three inch thick stuff anyway), so you’ll have to cut it in layers.  Just stick your open scissors into it and clamp down over and over and over… dandc 006
This is probably the worst part of the whole process.  Your hand will get dented and tired and little pieces of fuzz will be everywhere but it’s worth it, I promise.

Next, round off your corners and edges just by going along and cutting diagonally along them.  (In case you’re wondering, the sharpied “T” stands for top.  With the chair seat not being perfectly square and the notches, I wanted to make sure the foam matched up with the seat the way it was dry fit to.) dandc 008

This picture might explain what I mean by rounding the corners and edges a little better:
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See how the top corners are rounded?

Now grab your staple gun and the fabric you’re planning on using to cover your new cushion.  Smack your cushion and wood seat together on top of the fabric, which you’ve made sure is laying under your cushion STRAIGHT – so important!!!!  It’s not as big of a deal with a solid fabric or even a random patterned fabric but with geometric like mine, so, so important!  Starting with the middle of the sides and making sure your fabric is super tight (I knelt on the seat while stapling), start stapling towards the corners. dandc 009

I didn’t get a lot of pictures of this process, sorry.  Anthony was helping me (it’s a little easier with two people – one pulling fabric and one stapling/taking pictures) but the needlets stole him from me and I had to finish on my own…

So anyway, staple until you get to the corners and just pull the corners until they’re snug, twisting and tugging (but be careful not to pull too hard over the corner edge or you’ll rip them!).  Check to see what they look like from the top of the cushion and staple when you’re happy.  Don’t worry if the fabric looks like a total wreck underneath, it won’t be seen.  :)

Here’s a closer look at my finished corners:
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And here’s what the underside of my seat looked like after I was done pelting it: dandc 011

You may or may not want to cut off any excess fabric.  I did.  Here’s how it looked after that: dandc 012

Last, attach your seat to your chair.  Most chairs will have pre-drilled holes so it’s as simple as replacing the screws you took out to remove the old cushion (if there was one).  Ours didn’t.  Anthony attached it using a couple of L-brackets and that was that.

All done.  Have a seat and re{freaking}lax.

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And my favorite part about the whole shebang:
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The matching seat and drawer liners!  So cool, right? 

Now for the saddest part of the entire thing ---> We’re selling this set.  :(  We recently purchased a new desk because of a little scuffle with a Rugs USA groupon and so this one no longer has a place in this casa.  But, on top of that, I’m starting a new little furniture rehab endeavor to add a few drops to the account a la bank and this is the first of hopefully many pieces I’ll be sad to see go. 

But, I’ll get over it…eventually.

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Any seat cushion making going on out there?  What about chair painting?  Painting?  Cleaning?…that’s what I should be doing…or stopping S from chewing on the lamp electric plug (unplugged obviously)…priorities…

P.S.  It’s party time and it’s been awhile since I’ve linked up to one so I’m ending the drought and linking up with Not Just A Housewife, Ginger Snap Crafts, and Watch Out, Martha!

A Quick Reveal

Hey guys!  We’ve been battling twin fevers, teething, and little head colds over here and losing so my plan to get up a post on the finished desk chair will have to pick up a rain check good for a couple days.  For now though, I thought I’d give you a quick glimpse anyway.  I’m a sucker for sneak peeks and Instagram, so if you follow our Instalife, you got a peek last night.  It really turned out awesome!

What once looked like this:
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Now looks like this:
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Anyway, I’m off to shower with my allotted time of three seconds and muster up the energy to face those fevers again after nap time.  Here’s to hoping we don’t have to get the doc involved.  It’s so hard to know when to go to the doc, no?  I mean, I want to alert the proper authorities if something is really wrong and can be fixed but I also don’t want to pay $80 ($40 copay x 2) to be told it’s teething…  Ugh.  Wish me luck! 

Guess What?

[ 20.5 weeks ]

Yep, bring in the blue…or the jade!  That’s what I’m already dreaming up for HIS room!  What I’m not dreaming about is how different it’s going to be raising a boy!  I can’t even wrap my head around it!  I’ve heard they’re easier (are they really?) but we’ll just see about that.  I guess after having twins everything and anything is easier though, right?  ;) 

I had this great idea on how to announce whichever sex we were baking and it involved the four of us sitting like ducks in a row and just getting one long photograph of our feet upon the bottoms of which would be written (there’s 8 feet fyi), “I t s a G I R L” or “I t s a B O Y !”, but Anthony Realist Tobin told me it wouldn’t work.  “You’re never going to get the girls to sit still for that.”  Maybe he was right but I told him to humor me and try it…well, we didn’t get that far so I whipped up the above little pictograph for you.  :)

So, that’s that.  It’s a boy folks.  I’m still a little shocked, so very excited, and just a tad nervous at the adventures he’ll bring.  :)

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P.S.  So how crazy is it that Camille (Life In Mod), Mary (Atelier), and I are all due within a month of each other with boys?!  Must be in the water…  Anyone else?

Five Favorites >DIY Web/Blog Design<

Join me in my first-timer excitement as I link up with Hallie at Moxie Wife with lots of others and share five favorites.  Five favorite what?  Well, pretty much anything you want.  I’ve been reading the posts linked to this little party for some time now and I’ve always found them really entertaining, fun to read, and sometimes really helpful.  I think it’s one of my favorite link-ups in the history of link-ups…such a great idea Hallie!

So, my faves this week (assuming I find time to list my five every week…here’s hoping) revolve around blog design.  I recently gave the blog here an overhaul and I did it all myself…read, free.  Everything was free.  I didn’t pay a cent to anyone to do anything.  And granted, it’s not the most high-tech, glamorous design in all of blogland, but I like it.

It took a lot of googling and a lot of html and CSS learning to stash away all the design knowledge I’ve packed in my noggin’; much of that said learning happening during the couch-sitting later months of the twin’s pregnancy.  So, without further ado, I give you my five favorite websites that give tips and tutorials on DIY web/blog design:

1.  Design It, Love it
image_3 Carolynn’s web design blog is my favorite favorite.  She’s all for helping you make your blog “pretty” and she also has another website devoted to finding and sharing free design tidbits along with free labels, printables, etc… – Fab 'n’ Free.

2.  Helplogger
Helplogger is where I find any technical information I might need like how to add social media icons and how to move certain aspects of your blog to a desired location.  They take the intimidating front of HTML and make it a piece of cake for people like me.  :)

3.  Freckles In April
Besides having a blog I get sucked into for nap times at a time, Kayla has a series on her blog, Freckles In April, called Blog Therapy where she gives hints and helps to a better blog.  She details process steps so well with pictures and explanations that she makes almost any web design tweak a walk in the park.  I’m about to head over and hit her up for her tutorial on making a customized navigation bar.  Should be fun…and up soon! 

4.  Something Swanky
Ashton blogs about dessert and design, two of my favorite things and what a happy pair they are.  She has a whole tab devoted to diy blog design.  I found her blog while searching for a tutorial on image-mapping.  Satiate your sweet tooth before you head over though or you’ll be wiping drool from your keyboard.

5.  xomisse 
I recently found Ellie’s blog after googling tutorials on how to move my date header and I found lots of great explanations and tutorials there.  On top of paid custom web design options, she has great freebie and downloads section I’m excited about.  I haven’t had much time to explore but I look forward to using her blog as a go-to when the design bug strikes.

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Just an FYI, I use the Blogger platform to run my blog but I know some of these websites have tutorials for WordPress as well, in case you’re looking to do some blog tweaking yourself.  :)

Do you have any others to add to the list?  Are you the sole-designer of your blog or would you rather hand the tech work off to someone else?  Or do you have any questions?  I love answering questions!  No secrets here!