Tuesday, May 24, 2011

DIY Bench Pad

I LOVE DIY projects. I never actually find the time to do them. But I have a few closets in this house cram packed with DIY ideas, and supplies. I think I may have two actual things that I've actually done. The lamps in my bedroom. And now this.

The hubs and I bought new bedroom furniture a while ago. We were rockin' out the furniture he had when he was a teen and still living with is parents. The furniture was great quality, but it was super dated. It was too 80's to pull vintage, and too newborn vintage to pull retro. So, into the garage is sleeps. Waiting. For someone. With a creative eye maybe. I'm not going to talk it down too much, one day I'll be selling it and one of you may want it, but change your mind after reading this.. Its unlikely BUT with my luck. Maybe so.

Anyway- So this isn't a DIY blog, otherwise you'd get an update twice a year. ANND I'm not good with measurements. When I make things, I eye ball them. Patterns are hard for me to follow. I did however, measure the top of my trunk to see what size wood I needed. Then off to Lowes to go find some thin plywood. I bought this piece for about $6.00 and they cut it to size for free.
The foam roll was about $19 at Hobby Lobby but I had a 40%off coupon. I found the pre-packaged roll to be cheaper than the stuff they cut for you. I didn't end up using all of it, so I do have some left over to take up more room in my closet to use for another project.

Being the safety conscious person that I am, I used my living room coffee table as my work table. If your wondering about my fabric choice- Before we bought our new furniture the colors in our room were brown and blue. I bought a brown comforter and blue curtains not too long ago so I hated the though of having to get rid of them and starting over. With the new stark white furniture I bought a bright red chair and ottoman for a pop of color. It's really nice. But it came together better in my head. So now I had to search for something to tie these all together. Impossible.. I think not!

I started by laying the wood on top of the padding. Then leaving about 5-6 inches of padding on each side. I stapled the padding to the wood. The staple size will vary depending on the thickness of your padding. If you'd like to know what size I used let me know and I'll find out. I do know that you want to make sure that the staple does not come out completely on the other side. Otherwise, it could make for some painful sittin'.

After the padding was good and stapled on (you'll probably have to trim around the corners so that it doesn't get too thick. I did the corners last.) I laid the board on top of the fabric being mindful of where i wanted the birds on the top of the cushion. I cut the fabric to the size I needed. I probably over-did it but I didn't want to end up falling short!
As with the padding, I stapled the fabric on leaving the corners for last. Once I got to the corners I pulled them pretty tight but not so tight that it cause too many ripples and stapled the life out of them. At this point I was glad that I left extra fabric because I could pull the fabric to the actual board and staple it on that way. It just got too thick to hold a staple around the padded corners. You could probably also switch out for a bigger staple but I only had the one size.

Pardon the mess, I had to do something to keep the kids busy. And on a side note, stapling into padding sounds a lot like what one might think gun shots sound like. Glad to know that after 20+ gunshots were fired.. No neighbors called to complain.. and/or alert the police.

Tah Dah!

Ben give it his "Comfy" seal of approval.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Its been a crazy long time since I've posted. I really need to get on doing better. I do think about blogging. Daily really. But I don't. By the time I have the time to blog, I don't have the brain to blog! Vicious circle.

There's been a lot of big things going on in my life. Things that I will definitely be sharing.... When the time is right. For now, we just have to make due with my random thoughts.

Despite all of my efforts my kids have defied me. Laney is walking, and Ben is completely potty trained and wearing 4-5t clothes. You know, speaking of the potty training. I have a lot of friends who have kids that refuse to use public restrooms. They only feel comfortable pottying at home. I envy these people. I will ask Ben a million times to go potty before we leave and he will either go a little or not at all. The second we get to the store he tells me he has to potty. Seriously? That kid, I kid you not, has pooped in EVERY public bathroom that's been available to him. He's also peed in many a parking lot bush. What? Don't judge me. Taking a kid potty with a walking toddler is not fun. Especially when I have a germ problem.

I currently use something like this. (when I remember, normally I forget and kill about a dozen trees in the rain forest by wrapping the toilet seat with toilet paper all while holding a wiggly kiddo and being rushed by a small boy who really, really needs to pee!) <-longest run on sentence ever! I like that its extra long so their pants don't rub on the toilet.

Or I could just rush in the stores restroom really quick and install one of these bad boys. That ought to make him only want to potty at home! Or never want to go on ANY potty ever again. I really need to sit down and caluclate the risks.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Getting Crafty

I have this innate desire to be crafty. I have purchased a TON of crafting materials, and have a million crafting blogs bookmarked as well as all these awesome ideas in my head of what I want to do. The problem? NO TIME! No time, and the simple fact that I am super crafty minded but not good at the physical act of crafting. I saw a listing on Etsy for this flower headband for babies and thought it was A-dorable. And also thought.. Hmm.. why pay $14.00 plus shipping when I can make this myself. So off to Hobby Lobby, and $50.00 later, I picked up some fake flowers and headed home. Being a hairstylist I already own a quarter of a zillion hair clips so I was set there. I also picked up some glue sticks which I later learned were too big for my glue gun that took me three weeks to locate. SO another trip to Hobby Lobby, a bigger glue gun (Yes I realize I could have gotten smaller sticks but that would be logical and go against every fiber of my shopping problem) and another $60.00 later, I had all the supplies needed. Then when Laney was napping and Ben was playing I decided to give the flower headband project a-go. Let me start by saying this flower headband that I saw had this big beautiful kinda over-sized flower that looked really cute on the model babies head. I am not a baby headband kinda girl either. So seriously, after an hour of pulling the flower apart to get that stump thing off and re-gluing it back together, I had finally finished. Only to find that the flower was huge, and floppy, and looked stupid. Which didn't make sense! In my head it was gorgeous, and the envy of all the moms. Sigh. I had also heard about needle felting and thought.. I can do that! So I purchased a ton of cookie cutters (to use as sort of a shape stencil) and all the needles and wool, and books and all the junk that goes with it. After attempting to felt a flower, I quickly realized that it doesn't have the "finished" look that I had hoped it would. I've since lost interest. And don't get me started on all the fabric I own but have never touched!
So I've decided to stick to the crafts I'm good at. The craft of getting my son to do things he doesn't want to do. My son is an incredibly picky eater. Which makes grocery shopping a breeze but its frustrating as a person who grew up eating all sorts of things with different flavors, and colors and textures. The other day I was trying to get Ben to eat a slice of ham that I fixed for him. Okay, I didn't "fix" him ham. I unzipped the ziplock bag and pulled it out. But its expensive organic ham! So I didn't want to waste it. One of the downsides to organic is that they don't have all the crap in them to preserve them for a hundred years like the other foods, so I really needed him to eat this ham! He proceeded to ask for foods that I didn't want him to have. Like the giant 5 gallon tub of cheese puffs my mother insists of bringing over every time the other one she left looks remotely low. Seriously mom. We don't need a lifetime supply of cheese puffs!
I know I hear you! Get to the point Angela! Okay- well to get Ben to eat stuff, sometimes you have to make it super fun for him. So finding the fun in random things like sliced meat isn't always easy. But, I'm crafty I tell you. So I told Ben that I wanted to make a Spider Man mask and needed him to eat holes for the eyes.. then the nose.. then the mouth. And soon, he wanted to nibble little holes through out the ham until it was gone. I do this for other things as well. Not the nibble holes thing but add creativity to his meals. My husband and I got him to eat these uber healthy waffles by buying a waffle maker that does them in the shape of animals. The kid loves it. I don't like to force Ben to eat things. Or force him to finish his food either. But I do try to insist he tries things a couple of times before he rules them out. I'll let you know when I come up with a crafty way for him to eat his veggies!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

This and That

I'm not sure where I want to go with this blog. Do I want it to just be a review blog? Do I want it to be about my kids? What?! And why not both? You know why? Because of the pressure. There is a lot of pressure with blogging. Pressure to be entertaining. Even though I'm pretty sure I only have one or two readers. Thanks Shana, Thanks Alisha! I think I even lost a follower. I
could have sworn there was 20. Sure 18 of those were people following me from a "Follow Me Friday". Sure most of them probably have a blog following list of a zillion. But Man, it still hurts not being able to make the cut. I feel like the fat kid who was picked last. Or even worse.. The one who didn't make the team. A team that allows everyone one on. The kind of team that doesn't even have try outs. Okay, so I'm getting performance anxiety. Moving on... I posted on FB the other day about getting an email from a local theater telling me that Margaret Cho was coming to town. First of all, I should say. I've NEVER been to this theater. I've also never before gotten emails from them. So how do they know how to racially profile me? Does "big brother" really exist? Anyway- Allow me to explain. I hate Margaret Cho. Not because all of her jokes are the same every year. Not because she talks about her lady part (the down there one) waaay too much. And not because she used to have a ridiculously stupid "reality" show. But because EVERYONE.. seriously, EVERY-SINGLE-PERSON I know, has some how mentioned my similarity to her. Is it because you people think all Asians look alike? Or because she's an Asian comedian? I'm not gonna pull the racial card here, but COME ON! I can't even do the Asian accent. And thats pretty much all she does! There is a lot of capitalizations going on. Lots of exclamation marks. Now I'm starting to feel like Gilbert Gottfried. Dangit.. another Asian. My real point was that people always say how funny I am. The people who think I'm really funny and think I should be in a comedy show, are typically the people I am constantly making fun of. People love to be made fun of. I mean. Not in the ugly way. I don't walk around calling people Muffin Top, and.. Four Eyes.. I know- lame. But I'm trying to keep this g-rated. So then I realized.. MOST comedians make fun of other people. And I think, that it could be my dream job. Do you hear that? I just heard the music of a harp and saw the sun breaking through the clouds.

I don't even know what my point was. Maybe this blog is going to be a hodgpodge of my random, loony thoughts. A little of this and that.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Clocking Out

I cashed in on my birthday/anniversary/Mothers Day gift and had a "Me" day yesterday. I planned on spending the day shopping while not spending all my money on the kids. They have more than enough clothes, more than enough toys, and lots and lots of food. I had been looking forward to this day for soo long. Thought about it every single day. Planned it in my head. SAVED MONEY for it. Thats right folks. I Momma Parker saved money! And please note- it is not getting chilly outside. Hell has not remotely frozen over. I'm looked forward to doing what I do best. Shopping. I'm looked forward to listening to the radio and not one of Bens movies for the zillionth time. I'm looked forward to getting out of the car and not having to fully disinfect a cart, fit the car cover on, and strap on Laney. I'm looked forward to shopping and not hearing my lovely and adorable toddler tell me "No, this way mommy, this way", as he directs me towards the toy isle. My kid has built in toy isle sonar. Every now and then I like to go to the same store but at a different location, where they have a different layout, just to make it interesting. Never fails.. After about a minute of gathering his barrings. HE hones in on the mass produced-landfill filling plasticy toy isle.
And while it was fun, I spent waay to much money on crap. Seriously, I spent a lot of money and can't really say I have a lot to show for it. But I had fun. And really- you can't put a price on that. I spent the day with my sister and one of my favorite 14 year olds. Guys- I use to change this kids diaper. Now she's changing mine. No. Wait. Not my diaper. But my kids diapers. Okay, back on track. So we did a lot of shopping, and got our nails done at maybe the most awful place ever.. This place shook every one of my germaphobe nerves. And yet, I still sat there and allowed the mean lady to hack at my nails. I even tipped her. My sister even donated her eyebrows to the over zealous wax lady. Why do we do things we don't want to avoid being rude? Eh, I'll get into that on another post.

So, the day had been going exactly as planned. What I didn't plan on was the mom guilt.

Seriously, people warn you left and right about the lack of sleep you'll get. They warn you about the poop, the pee, the vomit, the tantrums- they'll even warn you about your post baby sex life. Or lack there of But NO ONE, not a single soul- not even in Jenny McCarthy warns about it in her books. THE WOMAN TALKS ABOUT SNAIL TRAILS FOR THE LOVE OF PETE!

So here I am folks. I am not warning you about the "Mom Guilt" now known as the MG (serious things always get abbreviations) I am TELLING you- there will be MG. There is no way around it. Unless your soul is dead to the world- you will experience mom guilt, every single day, multiple times a day.

Leading up to my moms day, I went back and fourth on whether or not I should take Delaney. I knew Ben would have a blast with his grandparents. He always does. So I wasn't as worried about him. (And of course I then felt guilty about not feeling guilty about leaving him with the inlaws.) But Laney is so little. And I'm breastfeeding so its a pain to have to pump and then I worried about being engorged all day. I started to rationalize bringing her. I would just put her in my wrap and she would sleep there happy all day. I had myself convinced. But I knew I should try to have a day to myself. But geez did that feel uber selfish. I hated/hate myself for even thinking I need a day to myself. Realistically- it would be a pain getting Laney in and out of the car, and stuffing her back in my wrap. It was hot outside and the girl hates being in her carseat and with all the driving there would be a lot of carseat time. So there would be a lot of in an out and not to mention all the dirty bathrooms I'd have to change her in. The germ argument won me over. My point being though- why is it I STILL feel guilty about wanting a little time to myself? Why do constantly feel like I need to be Donna Reed?

I feel like a failure daily because I can't get all the laundry done, I can't get all the dishes done. I can't get the floors mopped, the furniture dusted, and perfect well balanced food made every single day?! Who the hell put theses standards on me? I'm raising my hand right now guys. Because its me. I do this to myself. There is nothing out there that says I have to be a martyr. I don't have to be a slave for my family. I need to be a mom. And to be a good mom, I don't need to wait on everyone hand and foot. I don't need to have the house immaculate. I don't have to always say and do the right things. What I do need, is to love my family. Be there for them when they need me. Have fun with them. And most importantly- and by far the easiest. I just need to love them. Wholeheartedly.

But really, look at these two. How can one NOT feel guilty for not wanting to spend every waking, and for that matter, sleeping moment with them?!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Quick Post

Its 1:30 AM and I have to get up at 6am tomorrow for an early morning wedding.. But I wanted to share this awesome giveaway my friend Shana at Blaze N Crochet is doing.
One day I will do more giveaways. I really love talking about stuff I love.. Obviously!

Friday, May 21, 2010

My Baby is My Bling!

I wanted to share something that I am completely obsessed with. Baby wearing. I know I am one hairy armpit from living on my own farm and dancing around a fire naked and chanting at night. But bare with me.. You may find yourself inspired!
There are a million forms of baby wearing. There are slings, ring slings, structured carriers, and wraps. I'm sure there are more but those are all I can think of. Or at least own!
I've always been a little interested in baby-wearing, and tried to do it with Ben when he was little but I never got into it. He was born in August and Texas summers are so hot you can actually fry an egg on the sidewalk. I'm not kidding. Maybe I'll blog about it when it gets warmer. Anyway, before Ben was born I bought a really expensive sling. The fabric was really pretty and I could just imagine myself being the perfect stay at home mom. Wearing my peacefully sleeping baby while I cleaned and made dinner. So when Ben was born I tried putting him in the sling and immediately felt uncomfortable. I felt like he was all squished up. The pouch didn't have any give and I felt like it was going to cut off his circulation with his legs all crossed. This is not a review on pouch slings because a lot people really like them and when worn properly, they are great. Just not for me. *There has been a recent recall with pouch slings, those are the deeper ones made by Infanto and other various companies, and not listed on here. Below is a picture of a Hotslings sling.. which is not involved in a recall (that I know of). I am by no means anti-sling. I think they can be great when used properly. Except for the ones on the recall list. Those would be the slings from cooperate hell!

After the pouch was a fail for us, I eventually bought a Moby Wrap . These were a bit intimidating at first. I mean you get this package with nicely folded material. Looong material. And you have to figure out how to wrap it around your body and stick your little bundle of preciousness in there. And.. I'm lazy. Really lazy. Well, not as much now as I was then. I ended up using the Moby maybe a handful of times with Ben.
I dusted it off with Laney and have put many miles on it. The Moby does have a slight learning curve, but once you figure it out. It's actually pretty wonderful. With Laney I was able to hold her securely while she slept and make Ben breakfast and do things around the house. The Moby is a really stretchy jersey (I think) fabric. So I knew it would be super comfy for Delaney. The downside to the Moby is that it is super stretchy. I know- sounds like a contradiction. But once your baby gets heavy enough the Moby will stretch and need to be readjusted often. Which can be a major pain. And you also lose your sense of security as well. When you bend, your little one bends with you. The Moby also doesn't breath well, so its not great for summer. Okay. I'm going to stop typing The Moby now, before one of you starts some sort of drinking game with this post!

My next purchase was a Ring Sling. After watching a zillion instructional videos on ring slings I was sold. I had to have one. So I ordered one of of Etsy.com. My favorite site ever. And my arch nemesis all in one. Damn you Etsy, and Damn you crafty people selling great stuff on Etsy! Okay, I'm back. So the ring sling I ordered on Etsy wasn't so great. It was kinda stiff and definitely confusing. I watched another video and just couldn't get it. I felt the same way about the pouch sling as I did the ring sling. So why did I order yet another ring sling? Because.. I have a problem. I'm starting to wonder if that should be the name of my blog. Anyway- I am glad I did though because the second one was great. After a while I realized that holding Laney in the side laying position just wasn't for me. I just didn't like it. So then I learned how to hold her a hold called "tummy to tummy". Like the picture listed below. This worked great! Laney wasn't old enough to hold her head up on her own for long periods so I was concerned at first but when you wear this correctly you can adjust the "rails" and fit them nice and snug next to you. Although I do prefer the wrap, the sling is fast, and easy and really comfortable. And Laney loves it too. She falls asleep shortly after popping her in.

Structured carrier: There are a quarter of a million structured carriers out there. Really. There are a ton! I'm not a fan of the Bjorn or Snugli or any of those "cooperate" carriers. They have bad reviews as far as extended wear comfort goes, and I've done some reading on how they're not great for the hips. But not all structured carriers are created equally. There are soft structured carriers like Maya Tie's which are an Asian style carrier as well as the BabyHawk. There are some called Ergos which are a bit more structured and similar to what I have. I have the Lillebaby EveryWhere carrier. The reason I chose the LilleBaby over the Ergo was because the Lillebaby allowed for forward facing. Even though the Ergo has excellent reviews among the baby wearing community, and looking at side by side pictures, there isn't much difference between the Ergo and Lillebaby. So the LilleBaby it is. So far its been a fun carrier. Its super easy to get on and really comfy to wear. This carrier is preferred by my husband. Its tan, its got straps and buckles.. its MANLY. I really like this carrier and think it would be cooler for the summer, but I still prefer my ring sling and wraps over this.

Okay, now for the final shebang. My favorite babywearing tool. The wrap. I currently own a slightly stretchy gauze wrap that I bought off of Etsy as well. Its really pretty and really lightweight. I keep this one in my car for when I need to run errands. Love this wrap. I also have an Ellaroo which is super pretty and just lovely. It's a not as thick as most woven wraps and has very little give. But enough to keep things comfy. I bought this wrap new so I'm still working on softening it up. And it's softening up nicely. The beauty part of woven wraps is that they are more secure because they don't have much if any stretch so you can do a ton of holds even for toddlers. One hold that I haven't tried yet, but will soon is the High Back Carry. That's where the baby is worn up high on the back so their little head can peek over. I am waiting on my new baby pictured below (but in red) the Kiora Vatanai Woven Wrap. These are one of the lightest wraps out there. Its great for summer and is super breathable. I cannot wait until this little puppy gets here. I have been waiting for months for it to come back in stock. When it comes in I promise to take a picture of me wearing my littlest in it.

I know a lot of you may have tried babywearing and found your little one just didn't like it. I encourage you to find a local babywearing resource near you and try on different carriers. I kick myself for not giving it a proper go with Ben. But am SUPER thankful that I did with Laney. I can honestly say that when I go and shop and run errands which I do several times a week just to get out of the house, I have never used the super heavy and bulky infant seat. I simply wrap up my little one and let Ben sit in the basket and do my thing. It has been a huge blessing and definitely kept me from becoming a recluse in my house. One of my biggest concerns when I was pregnant with my daughter was getting out of the house with two kids. Would Ben have to walk beside me? A two year old? Or if I had him in the basket would I have to put the car seat in the larger part of the basket? Oye the turmoil! I am sooo Thankful for finding out about this awesome way to bond with my child.