Monday, July 25, 2016

backyard progress | finished!

You may remember several posts last year about our big backyard project that included tearing down a rotting, ancient, deck; building a smaller deck; pouring a patio and building a utility shed. If you recall, it took us all Spring, Summer and Fall to complete the task last year and then that was it. It got cold; the grass stopped growing and the leaves started falling and every store was cleared out of new patio furniture. We went inside for the Winter and didn't have a chance to enjoy our new backyard last year.

Now, a year later, we have put the finishing touches on the patio and deck. This Spring the trees started blooming and the grass started growing and the stores started selling patio furniture again. And we have been able to enjoy our new backyard all Spring and Summer.

Let me just remind you what we started with:





And this is the finished back yard:



We really wanted to somehow cover up the "uglies" (air conditioner, electric meter, water meter, etc.) so this is what we ended up with:

You may notice one grass is bigger than the other because the one on the right didn't make it through the Winter so it was replaced this Spring. Hopefully it catches up to the other one.

We don't have to look at the "uglies" but the A/C and meters are still easily accessible.


 There's seating on the patio where we typically sit in the evening when the sun is down and there are a couple chairs on the deck in the shade. We found the chairs at Lowes and Dan built the table with some extra wood he had.


We are planning to put a fire pit in this large, empty circular area but we haven't quite decided what we want to do for a fire pit yet. I suppose you could say that's the next phase of the project.


And here is Dan's beloved utility shed. Also in the next phase we will probably put some sort of landscaping around the shed.


One last comparison for you:





Monday, July 11, 2016

jada's new room

As I mentioned in a previous post, Jada got a new bed. And because she got a new bed, it led to her getting a new room makeover. Only because I just love that kind of thing and I just couldn't help myself.

As I mentioned in the last post, we modified and painted an old headboard that we found for twenty bucks a few years ago. I found a super-cheap, simple bed set. We also switched Kaiden and Jada's dresser. Kaiden had an old dresser we were given before Jada was born and Jada was using a large wooden dresser that Dan made when Kaiden was born. Kaiden now has the nice, wooden dresser that Dan built and I repainted Kaiden's old dresser white, for Jada and spray painted the drawer pulls gold. The wall color remained the same and I reused the picture frames she already had on her wall. I just printed off some free printables from Pinterest and replaced the pictures in the frames. We used a small table Dan had built for a class in his college days for her night stand.
Dan used this rough-sawn wood he had lying around and turned this

into this:


Which is a desk for a little nook in the bedroom where we used to have a bookcase. He also made some bookshelves with the same material. And for the desk chair, we used a chair that I had bought at a flea market a few years ago and just put new fabric on the seat.

This is what it looked like before:


And this is what it looks like after:










Tuesday, July 5, 2016

palisades state park

A while back a friend of mine posted some photos on Facebook of her and her husband at Palisades State Park. At the time I had no idea where they were but it looked pretty sweet so when she informed me that this park wasn't far from where we live (only a little over an hour away) I knew I wanted to make sure we checked it out one of these days.

We finally had a chance to check it out this weekend. We packed a lunch and a few other things and headed out for the day to Garretson, SD.

The park was beautiful. We took in the sights; enjoyed a picnic lunch overlooking the river; hiked; climbed rocks and enjoyed God's beautiful creation.








We also happened to run into some friends and neighbors of ours and hiked a little with them as well.



Kaiden enjoyed hanging out with his buddy. Cuties.












Thursday, June 30, 2016

jada's big girl bed

It all started last fall. After a few years of going to bed without any problems, Jada decided she did not like to sleep in her room. She would cry and start melting down when she heard the words "time for bed". We all dreaded bedtime. At the time, she had been sleeping on a crib mattress in a crib converted to a daybed. We thought maybe it's because her bed just really isn't very comfortable. She is 3 1/2 and still sleeping on a crib mattress after all. So that whole situation led us to thinking we should try a big girl bed and see if that would help the situation.

We decided to go straight to a full size bed for little, bitty, Jada. The plan is that we would buy one mattress that should last her until she is out of the house. And other parents with older children we talked to wished they would have just gone straight for the full sized mattress instead of a twin size.

We found this old headboard when Jada was a baby and bought it for twenty bucks, thinking we just may use it down the road for this very reason.

This is the front of it. A little too ornate for my taste, so we actually ended up using the back of the headboard as the front.


This is the back of the headboard that we are using as the front. We also cut off the bottom of the legs.


Dan added a wood panel to the bottom to make the headboard tall enough; attached the frame and painted it white.



And here's Jada on her new bed. 


But this mama couldn't just stop here. I mean with a new mattress we had to find new bedding and once I started that, I just couldn't help but have some fun redoing her room. I'll show you her finished room in another post.

Friday, June 24, 2016

missing my happy girl

 Oh look at this happy girl. I haven't seen her this happy for over a week now. This was taken right before her tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.


It all started in March. She got strep throat. Then she got it again... and again... and again... and again. She had strep throat five times in less than four months. So Jada was referred to a specialist and it was recommended she have her tonsils and adenoids removed.

So here is Jada, hanging out before surgery. Before they gave her the loopy medication that would calm her down and help with the separation anxiety of her being taken to another room for surgery without mom and dad. She is super excited about her princess pillow case from the hospital that she would get to take home. It was chosen especially for Jada by one very special nurse.


I'm not sure if you can tell from the look in Jada's eyes, but this is her feeling a little loopy and relaxed thanks to the medication to help keep her calm. It was actually quite comical. I hate to say this, but imagine a little, drunk, three-year old. She mentioned that "daddy has four eyeballs" and seemed to get really enthralled in the tag/tracker thing clipped to her gown that included a button that she was obsessed with pushing. In a slow, slurred voice she would say "I love this button... I didn't know I was going to get a button..."


They soon wheeled her away, off to surgery once the medicine had really kicked in and she didn't even notice a bit.

When she came back to the room after surgery, however, it was a whole different story. She was waking up and coming off the anesthesia when they brought her back in to the room. She was very confused and out of it and cried a lot. She would reach her hands out and reach for you but at the same time it was like she didn't want you. She continually tried to rip her iv out of her hand and just had a hard time settling down - which I guess is common.

She finally settled down and fell asleep.


And when she woke up, she seemed to be feeling much better.


So much so, that she had two containers of ice cream.


And after half a day at the hospital, we were ready to go home.


But, I would say the day of surgery and the day after weren't so bad. It was by day three that things started to get worse and by day five things were pretty rough. She was hurting a lot and crying a lot. She obviously wasn't eating. Not even ice cream. She didn't like her pain medication and that was a battle to get her to take that. And she wasn't drinking, which was becoming a concern. Concern enough that the nurses suggested I do anything I could to get her to drink, even if it meant bribing her. We actually got to the point that I was paying her to drink. At one point the little stinker negotiated for five pennies instead of the four I offered her.
Once we got her to drink more, things seemed to turn around a little bit for the better and the next couple days were better. Today, day eight, I think she has finally turned a corner and things are getting much better. She still has another week left of eating soft foods, but I am hopeful we are out of the worst of it and we will see that happy girl again soon.