Kitchen Fireplace – Part One –

Ever wish you had a fireplace in the kitchen? I do.

I would love a fireplace in every room of my home.

To me, a fireplace is a sign of comfort, family and home. It reminds me of happy days in my childhood arriving home in a snow storm and having my mom and dad together with a roaring fire all ready for us to sit beside. I guess you could say it is nostalgic for me.  So…

While shopping at our local thrift shop…I spotted in the corner a basic, white fireplace mantel. I ran over…ripped the sticker off the mantel…and rushed to the cash register. I purchased the mantel for $40.  I had no idea where I was going to place this mantel but you have to act first and think later (sometimes).  I had to make arrangements to leave the mantel at the store because I had walked there & could not possibly have carried it home with the triple stroller.

Some inspiration photos below…

faux fireplace

A faux fireplace transformation

The “bare” mantel placed in our kitchen…

I will have to move the mirror now because the scale is off. I am already planning a sunburst mirror that I would like to make to hang over the fireplace. I am ahead of myself. Step 1: design the fireplace!  Any suggestions on how to make this the mantel of my dreams?

Stay Tuned for the finished product!

Thanks for visiting.

S

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Feeding Three

I have Boy/Girl Twins.

Before they were born I was often asked would I breastfeed them.  I was puzzled by the question. Of course I would. I fed my Older Son. Why not the twins?  There would be obstacles and challenges but certainly it would be possible. Wouldn’t it?  There was the occasional flash of self-doubt but I would brush it off.

My twins are nine months old and are still exclusively breastfed (with the exception of baby solids – see baby food post).  I am not saying it is the only way or this way is better. But it is the better choice for us.

In the early days of Life with Three Under Three there are many challenges

  • Logistics – how do you hold two at a time? do you wake both babies to feed at the same time? Do they nurse on one side only?
  • Time – It is an immense time commitment to breastfeed two babies every hour on the hour
  • Physically Demanding – Just keep eating Just keep eating (I have to eat a lot of extra calories) and drinking (water that is…shhh don’t mention that glass of wine)!
  • Social Pressure to stop especially when M started to have food-related reactions
  • Lack of knowledge from the doctor – “surely you aren’t feeding them?”
  • Where do I feed them when I am out (a typical question for BF mothers)? I just take longer to complete the task.
  • No sleep (no difference if they were having bottles)!
  • Jealousy of the older sibling (it is hard to see mommy with two new babies)
  • Pressure to have the sole responsibility for feeding your babies
  • Painful (you can imagine if you have breastfed a baby before) at the start
  • Enough milk? As with feeding one you have to monitor the number of wet diapers & weight gain. There is no difference really.

There are also many advantages:

  • Wonderful opportunity to bond with each baby
  • Health benefits of breast milk
  • Tandem feeding – cut down on the time required to feed during those LONG, LONG nights at the beginning
  • Less expensive
  • No need to mix up THOUSANDS of bottles
  • Minimal planning (for example taking bottles when out of the house)
  • Personally satisfying
  • A license to EAT more 🙂 😛
The gear:
This is a double or twin breastfeeding pillow. It is HUGE. I am thankfully finished with it.  The amount of baby gear around our home is INSANE.

I feel my babies have adapted to sharing. They are quick feeders, efficient, content with one-side dining and do not usually require burping!  I feel very fortunate that I was/am able to feed my babies.  It was a good fit for us and our family.  Did I want to quit at times? Absolutely! Was I ever frustrated? Absolutely! Am I glad that I stuck with it? Absolutely!

Thank you for letting me share my experience of feeding three (five if you include preparing dinners)!

Sarah

Laundry Room Decor – DIY STYLE!

A month or two ago I purchased three, small circular mirrors from Dollarama with the intention of creating my own sunburst mirrors.

I have created two versions so far.

This one is a sunburst mirror that I created for our laundry room.

Supplies:

Mirror $1

Clothes Pins $0 (I already had them)

Glue Gun and Glue (I already had them)

Total Cost: $1

Finished Product (posing in the kitchen)!

Laundry Room Mirror in the LAUNDRY ROOM :P!

Thanks for visiting!
S

Welcome to our nest…Entryway Chandelier (DIY)!

We have basic lighting in our house.  You know the kind…circle, flush to the ceiling, not too offensive, not too exciting.  I wanted something more but there is that thing called a BUDGET.  I am not embarrassed to say…my budget for home decor is not very big right now.  I/We have priorities.  What can you do? Buy a lottery ticket? Go back to statement #1. There is a thing called a budget and lottery tickets are not one of the approved expenditures as set out by the house manager (aka me or as Isaac once called me the house boss)!  He will make a good husband one day! :P!! [I think his daddy was coaching him]

This is the light in our entryway.

When I have a few minutes to myself (not too often) I like to run into a home consignment store in our town called Missing Pieces.  They sell used furniture on consignment for their owners.  It can be hit and miss like these stores usually are…The tags have an initial price then each month the item is reduced.  I found this brass chandelier.  I was planning on using it in our guest bedroom but I am not sure when we are going to paint/redecorate that room sooooo it is now an entryway chandelier.  It is brass (a little 80s).  It came with the five chandelier bulbs (bonus).  I like the scale of it. So I purchased it!

The BEFORE:

The INSPIRATION:

They sell a similar ones at Home Depot currently.

Home Depot (http://www.homedepot.ca/catalog/ceiling-lighting/169791). $87.96

Brushed Nickel 5-light Chandelier

Home Depot (Also available in brushed nickel in stores) $106

Americana Collection Antique Bronze 5-light Chandelier

DURING:

I decided to spray my “fancy” new chandelier a metallic stainless steel finish (no trees were harmed while painting…note the cardboard protection)!

The AFTER:

The actual installation of the light had a SMALL hiccup.  My husband must really love me.  He first says S **t and I know it is not good.  What? I ask (not really wanting to know).  But he hold me! The light hits the door!  We could have guessed.  I don’t know if I mentioned that everything we do in this house is RUSHED.  We had just put 2 of 3 kids to bed and our little girl was wailing beside us as we try and figure out how to hang the light! OMG.  I really wanted it up though.

I have learned in five years of marriage that when something doesn’t work he first says “it isn’t possible”. I leave him for awhile. And next thing I know he has figured it out.  I am getting to the point that I don’t even worry about it.  He always figures it out.  It may not look pretty.  It may not happen quickly.  But it happens (disregard the zip tie).

The BREAKDOWN:

Brass Chandelier $30

Metallic Spray Paint $6

Total: $36

*Significantly less than a brand new light from a big box store & I have the satisfaction of having updated it myself!

hang out to dry

to hang out to dry (third-person singular simple present hangs out to drypresent participle hanging out to drysimple past and past participle hung out to dry)

  1. (transitive) To attachwashing to a clothesline to dry.
  2. (transitiveidiomatic) To abandon someone who is in need or in danger, especially a colleague or one dependent (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hang_out_to_dry).

This post is thankfully about number 1.

A family of five has a lot of laundry.  I have stopped counting the number of loads per week.  We have officially started the dreaded: POTTY TRAINING (see previous post) stage and yes that adds more laundry!  I would hazard a guess that I wash ten-ish loads per week.

With the change of season we decided to hang a proper clothesline off our covered porch.  Last year, we used an umbrella-style clothesline at the back of the yard.  Logistically this would not work for me. I would have to carry laundry + 2 babies to the back of the yard + Isaac would be running around.  Or I would have to leave the 3 of them unattended in the house in order to hang the laundry. Nope it won’t work.

My husband is a great “task accomplisher”.  He promptly figured out what materials we would require to construct our clothesline.  And viola! We now have a clothesline.

I have many, many memories of hanging clothes on our clothesline at the back of our family home.  My mother would make my sister and I hang countless loads of laundry (or so it seemed) out to dry.  The crazy part is my mom would continue to hang clothes on the line when it was FREEZING outside.

Problem 1: it hurt like H*LL to hang them up and…

Problem 2: it hurt like H*LL to take them off (and they were stiff and frozen from the cold air).  We would have to throw them in the drawer to unfreeze them!  I must admit I have no plans and no desire to continue hanging laundry in the colder months! Kudos to you mom!

Thanks for visiting.

S

Note: The garden shed is in the perfect spot! We really lucked out!

 

Diaper Fairy

 

We have entered into one of the most dreaded and worried about stages of early parenthood…POTTY TRAINING.

Last summer, we were doing pretty well and then 2 babies arrived to our home.  Our son reverted back to the NO POTTY mentality.  He would say things like I want you to change me.  I want my diaper. I am too little. I am a baby.  He was craving our attention.  We left it on the back burner and decided to not worry.  The trouble is he is a great communicator (about what he wants and does not want to do).  We felt he was ready.

My husband came up with the idea to explain to him that a diaper fairy (my husband also used a fairy to eliminate I’s “baba” or bottle) would arrive in the night to take away his diapers and in their place she would leave big boy underwear!  It is quite amazing!  She was even bright enough to leave night-time diapers for us to use ;).  He said: Oh okay.

The next morning we raced to the change table and sure enough there were underwear and night-time diapers left for our little, big boy.  He was amazed.  He was embarrassed about wearing underwear in front of his mommy at first (this surprised me considering he loves to streak around our house after bath).  A few minutes later… he was giving me a fashion show of his new undies!!

We have been potty training since last Saturday with a few accidents (unfortunately #2s).  We have even made tours of bathrooms around town.  I was impressed that he asked to use the washroom while we were away from home.

So far so good. We are on our way to having only 2 in diapers. Thank Goodness!  It is worth the endless bathroom visits, splashed washroom walls from aggressive hand washing sessions, balls of toilet paper in the toilet etc.

Proud Mama

As I was writing this post about our Diaper Fairy, I discovered another family who found potty training stressful and decided to appeal to the imagination of their three-year old son (http://www.maxandthediaperfairy.com/).  Maybe there is something to be said for just having a bit of fun and moving away from the textbooks!

Motherhood

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mothers!

Motherhood must be the most exhausting, never ending, 24 hour a day, 7 days a week job out there! My goodness it is a lot of work. When the end of the day arrives and you have time to “yourself”…you are so exhausted that you end up falling onto the couch or better yet into bed.

BUT MOTHERHOOD must be the most rewarding job out there as well.  When my Oldest Son looks at me and says “you look really beautiful” (and I haven’t showered in 2 days or combed my hair…and am wearing yoga pants) my heart skips a beat and I feel like the luckiest person to be the mom of my kids.  When one of my TWINS smiles or dances or laughs or sleeps in my arms or calls “mama” … I feel like the luckiest person.

Motherhood is full of extremes.

HAPPY-SAD

ORGANIZED-DISORGANIZED

IN CONTROL-OUT OF CONTROL

FULFILLED-FRUSTRATED

ENERGETIC-EXHAUSTED

I cannot explain it. It is an emotional roller coaster. It hurts to love three people so much and at times it can be difficult to be needed so much (and so often).  I hope that I can find the strength (and energy) to be the best mother that I can be to my children.

Motherhood is worth the sacrifices (think: time/hobbies/sleep/eating/physique (bathing suit season…CRAP)).

To my mom, thank you for being on the other end of the phone each day (1…2…3 times per day) & sharing in this exciting and trying time in my life.  We love you.

To my mum, thank you for being around the corner for those times when I need that extra set of hands and I need someone to call. We love you.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mother’s! We are so lucky to have the title of MOM.

S

 

 

“There are two”…2 what? 2 babies? Are you talking about me? “Yes, you are having TWINS”

December 24, 2010 – The day that changed my life, our lives, the dream of what I thought tomorrow would be.

“Yes, you are having TWINS”. Time slowed down. I could not hear. I could not think. So what did I do? I laughed. Not a quiet, gentle laugh. But a hysterical, gut-wrenching, cheek hurting laugh on the ultrasound table in a doctor’s office. I was alone.

The ultrasound tech said “Is there anyone here with you?”.

I said “Yes, my husband”.

She said ” Ok I will get him so you can tell him”.

I said “No way. You can tell him”. How do you tell your husband something like that? I could not hear anything or feel my body. I was beside myself.  I must admit it was not all happy thoughts in the first 5 minutes (or maybe even first few days). What would we do? How could we afford two more children? Where would they sleep? How big would my belly be? What would I be like after I gave birth? My body? Then the fear started to creep in…will they be okay? How do I keep them healthy? Oh my god. The pressure of it all….

Back to the doctor’s office. Andrew walks in. I can hardly look at him. He is not expecting anything. He looks so …unaware of the bombshell that just hit me.  I wish I could prepare him. My body is still shaking and I think I may be smiling.

The ultrasound tech says “here are the heartbeats”. Andrew looks at me. He looks at her.

I said “there are two babies”.

He said. Nothing. He walked over to a chair in the corner and sat down. He still said nothing. Andrew say something?! He said “How did this happen? What are we going to do?!”. My thoughts exactly!

As we leave the room we take our picture of our two, little babies. My hands are still shaking. I think I am still laughing as I walk into the waiting room.  Then the receptionist said we have to book your next ultrasound APPOINTMENTS since you have a high-risk pregnancy. This is the moment where I realize. I have no idea what I am in for…I am so oblivious at this point to what I am facing.  It is laughable (good thing I am still laughing).

The date is December 24, 2010. The day that will forever be emblazoned in my mind.  Both families were to arrive at our house the next morning to celebrate Christmas. We couldn’t possibly hide this news.

We did not speak as we made the short drive home from the office. We did not know what to say. We prepared lunch for our little baby Isaac (What will this be like for him? I was planning on spending my next mat leave with him? Will I have time to spend with him?). Ok mind. STOP TALKING. Have you ever had to tell yourself to be QUIET?

Our parents, our siblings all did not believe us at first. This must be a joke. No it is not April Fool’s Day. It is Christmas. Look at our faces! We are NOT making this up. We could not have even dreamed this one?

It is our reality now. We immediately start worrying…Andrew about renovating our kitchen to make space for our new children. And I, I worried about keeping them safe. I worried about my health. I just worried for the next 9 months.

The thing about news like this…once you know you have 2 babies. You want 2 babies. I instantly loved them. I would have done anything to make sure Baby A and Baby B were okay.

The next 9 months….STAY TUNED….

S

I am not perfect.

Remember how I was doing SOOOO great with my eating? I was up to 8-9 weeks of no cheating…no sugar…no wheat…no gluten. I must admit I was feeling proud of myself.

Easter arrived. I did not cheat. Easter passed. My husband was constantly (or so it seemed) eating frozen chocolate (who else loves frozen chocolate?!).  One evening, I politely (if not sternly demanded) asked for a piece of chocolate.  He did not question or even ask if I was sure (I took that as complete approval).

I was not thinking about anything but HOW GREAT that chocolate tasted! YUM! I have been missing out!

Then I tried to compose myself…I did not cheat again. The very next week I was making muffins for Older Son and my husband. I quickly ate one in the kitchen. Oh darn. The next day…I ate another…and then another. I ate 3 muffins last week. Younger Son did not break out. Hmmmmm I went down to visit my mom and there were cookies. I ate 1…2…3…Oh boy.

Younger Son. I love you. I am sorry. I am sorry for your new bout of eczema. I am not perfect. I ate 1 muffin (ok three) and a cookie (ok three). I will do better this week. Love Mommy xoxo

Thank you for visiting.

S

The fastest way to break the cycle of perfectionism and become a fearless mother is to give up the idea of doing it perfectly – indeed to embrace uncertainty and imperfection.
Arianna Huffington
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/imperfection.html#s7X8JP7daqxWw7OI.99