Monday, November 30, 2015

Baby Tree

I decided Lila needed a Christmas tree of her own. I have a little white tree that had been up in my office before Lila's room took over and it's also been up in my basement. Because it was just being stored I figured it'd be perfect. I also figured this could be our "teaching tree" about limits as far as grabbing the tree, garland, and ornaments. 

Once I got the tree in my head I had it up within 48 hours! I wanted to keep it simple and fun. I didn't want Christmas colors and wanted it to match her room. Here's how I did it-
-The Itsy Bitsies Animal Bucket was $4.99 at Joann Fabrics and I used a 50% off coupon.
-The eye hooks $1.99 and I used a 50% off coupon. 
-Fishing line was free because I already owned it
I used my smallest drill bit and drilled into the back of each animal 
Then I screwed my eye hook in as far as it would go
When I was done I had a mini zoo of impaled animals. I strung them with fishing line nice and tight and I had a dozen ornaments for $2.50!
Pom Pom Fringe- 1 package of yellow and one of pink. $3.99 each and I used two 50% coupons. Lila taste tested it and approved! 
So then I pull out the tree and discovered the pathetic thing turned brown in all of these patches. My googling revealed that white trees turning brown in storage is pretty common. I tried scrubbing it and bleaching it. Finally I hauled it out back and spray painted it! A few hours later it was dry and Lila was awake from her nap and the decorating began! 
I also bought:
Mulicolor plastic ornaments from Target $3.99
Yarn letters from Target $3.99 each in letters L R & C. 

I used the topper from my work baby shower cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes for the top of the tree. I originally had it on top of the bird cage next to her rocking chair. 

Lila loves it! I leave it on during her nap time so that she can lay and watch it. She is allowed to touch the ornaments and take them off but not allowed to touch the tree, lights, or garland. She is a really obedient girl and has done great with this "rule."
 I moved everything around for her decorations. She also got a Little People nativity scene from my mother in law. It's adorable and Lila loves rearranging and eating it. 
 Her elephant also moved from the corner to make way for the tree 
 Her bird cage moved to make room for the nativity scene to the dresser 
 Lila falls asleep staring at it during her naps. It's absolutely the reaction I was hoping for! 

 The cat has been the worst with the tree. He messes it up way more than Lila. See his tail peeking out? 

The total tree cost was $23.50

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Normal Craigslist Encounter & New Baby Gear

I had mentioned in my last baby gear post that I wasn't thrilled with the wheels on my Chicco Keyfit. I went from being not thrilled to positively outraged (I have lots of feelings!).

See the picture above? This is what the wheels did/do constantly. They were locking sideways all of the time pitching her and the stroller forward. When we were shopping we would bump into people and racks. It steers horribly 70% of the time. After a play date with several other moms I had enough. Lila started crying so I grabbed her and was carrying her while a friend pushed my stroller. She said "I don't know how you live with this thing. It would make me crazy." When I got home I started researching what stroller I wanted. 

I finally landed on the City Mini or City Select. I figured I would have more of a chance of finding an inexpensive Mini than a Select, but liked the idea of adding an extra seat on to the select. I figured with it being fall I could spend the winter and spring shopping Craigslist, eBay, Once Upon a Child, etc. My mom is a great bargain shopper so I sent her descriptions for both and prices I was willing to pay. I was hoping to spend $200 for a City Select and $125 for a City Mini. About 5 days after setting my standards I roamed over to Craigslist and saw this:

$50?!?!?! I was sure something was terribly wrong with it since that was far less (at least $50) than I saw any others selling for. I dropped an email to the seller to see what was wrong and she responded that the rubber on the handle was a little separated but otherwise it was in great shape. I set up a meeting with her for as fast as she would meet me so I wouldn't lose the deal at a gas station near her house.

When I do a meet up there are a few important points I like to follow:
-Meet during the day
-Meet in public
-Google the seller to get an idea of what to expect
-Put your cash for the transaction in a pocket or someplace else outside of your wallet. 

So I googled away and found lots of information about the seller (I'm a creep) that made me feel like a yoga instructor with a 4 year old was probably safe. My husband and I met her and sure enough, the stroller needed a wipe down and a handle repair. Otherwise it was perfect! I can't believe how much easier it is to steer a good stroller! And I love that I can add a scooter onto the back if we had another baby for Lila to coast on, and attach my current carseat to it. 
She likes it too!
Here is a quick update on other baby stuff. 

The upstairs baby gate is awesome. It's held up really well and I trust it to be strong enough for Lila to lean against. I test it every time before I let her into the hallway. It did start to slip a few weeks ago, but after tightening in the sides it's good as new again. 
I spent $2.50 on this ugly, awesome Baby Einstein activity table. I knew Lila would need something to pull herself onto

Her Ergo is going strong. I finally used it for a back carry a few days ago and she thought it was super fun. She doesn't fall asleep easily in my arms anymore, but conks out quickly if I put the hood up while I'm walking around 
I got her this doorway jumper a few weeks ago from Babies R Us. She loves it for limited times. Now that she is mobile she wants freedom to roam. I wish I would've gotten this a few months ago! 
Another ugly toy… This shopping cart was $2. I wanted some walk behind toy and she loves putting her stuffed dog in it and strolling around. 
It was also time to graduate to a big girl seat. It's crazy how fast it's going. 
She loves her new big girl seat and I love not hauling the heavy thing everywhere. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Taking the Plunge- Our New Roof

We just made a very expensive purchase and replaced our roof. Yikes. Between the roof, paying off my old car, paying cash for a new car, the medical bills that come with having a baby, and the gear that comes with having a baby this has been a very expensive year! I wish we could've put it off for longer but our roof was falling apart/off. The bathroom ceiling started leaking when it would rain too. It was time. 

This was the house in the listing photo:
And it the day before we had it replaced. Very brown. It doesn't look so bad in this shot:
But here it is out of Lila's window. Now you see what I'm talking about!
I thought about DIYing this and my mom's friend offered to help me do it. But I couldn't risk breaking my back falling off! We got several estimates and ended up choosing a small company that had done my parents roof the year before. We also had the insurance company come out for wind and hail damage. They found that the previous roof was shingled with organic shingles that had been recalled due to them holding up very poorly and flaking. We were able to get about 1/2 of the new roof paid for and the bathroom ceiling 100%. So now it was time to pick a color. I wanted to eliminate all of the brown and wanted a black roof. But our attic isn't insulated well and our upstairs gets really hot in the summer. I ended up going with a dark grey called Pristine Pewter:
It was amazing to me to see a roof replacement. The whole thing took two days because a lot of the wood was damaged and needed repaired and replaced. The hardest thing was getting Lila to sleep in a playpen in the basement because of the noise. 

These guys were amazing. There wasn't one nail or staple in the grass after they left. They put down tarps and after picking up the trash they went around with a giant magnet to get up the small debris. I can confidently say it was worth every penny and that I will never DIY a roof after I saw everything they did: 
Excuse the grainy pictures through the screen. I was trying to stalk the poor guys without being seen! After they had ripped off the roof and repaired the wood they put this underlayment (I'm totally guessing) on. 
The wooden beam looking thing is what would hold them in place so they didn't fall off the roof when they walked across it. 
Here is the house with the roof half ripped off. Lila and I took a walk so I could stalk from afar. I'm seriously such a creep!
See the beam they walked along on? Yikes!
It was so odd playing on the floor with Lila with someone 8 feet away working

Remember the sad looking roof from before? Isn't it gorgeous? Who knew you could say that about a roof?
And here is the house in all of its grey glory. Oh I love it! It's so much better than the brown roof!
So then my brown doorstep had to go! Here is what it looked like when I sized it up
Out on a walk I spotted this person's front porch and was inspired
I got a gallon of porch and floor paint and used about a quart. My leftovers will be used on the screened porch floor in the spring. Here is the color:
It matches the roof perfectly but was a lot lighter than I expected somehow. I've lived with it for about month now and decided that I love it though. 

I plan on painting the railings white in the spring. They need to be sanded down really good and a new sander is on my Christmas list… 
What do you think? Do you like it? 
So that is officially the big home change we just completed!
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