Thursday, October 28, 2010

Laughs and giggles

There is just something special about a baby smile that immediately melts your heart.  There have been many times that I have been rushing along at the grocery store and look down to see my baby just grinning from ear to ear!! I immediately go into that high pitched baby talk and try to make him squirm with laughs.  He hasn't laughed out loud yet, but I am so looking forward to that day!!  I don't think I could ever get tired of seeing him smile at me. There is also a certain joy of seeing how happy it makes other people when he smiles.  I was in the grocery store and just talking away to Ethan like we do at home, when a lady passed by. I could feel that she had turned around to look at the baby in the carseat, and when she saw his big smile she started to laugh herself.  What an effect!! To be able to make others happy with a simple expression is quite a gift. Family members love making Ethan smile, and you almost feel a sense of accomplishment when you get him to.  I love to watch family members making the funniest faces at him trying to get that one little grin.  What is it about a baby that makes you not care what you look like for that moment?  I hear myself talking to him whenever we are out in public and think...wonder if this looks funny?  But I really dont care.  He is my world, and he likes to hear me talk to him so why would I care what that stranger thinks?

Since I have been home with him I have found that my stress level has decreased dramatically!  Of course, there is some stress when he is having a crying time that I can't seem to fix immediately, but overall I feel like a much more sane person.  I find myself being able to laugh so much easier these days! I will read a funny article and just laugh out loud!  Before I was always guarded with my emotions and would only let out a proper chuckle, but now I just feel free to let loose a good laugh!  I think baby smiles are the answer to lifes problems.  Wouldnt it be a better world if we all could innocently smile? I think of little Ethan and how he thinks this world is so funny.  I wish we all could look at the world through an infants eyes :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hiding life's unsightly truths

We have been trying to sell our home since our new addition has arrived. We have three bedrooms but still the house doesnt seem to have enough room to support all of us.  Before Ethan arrived we had "our bedroom," "my bedroom," and "Justin's bedroom." When I found out I was pregnant, we debated on who had to give up "their" room :)  My room was bigger, and I knew that little person was going to require a ton of stuff!  So we created the nursery in there. I was really happy with how it all turned out on the limited decorating budget.  We decided to go with beautiful conversion furniture that cost more up front but should last him until he leaves our nest.  His crib will convert into a full size bed and his dresser/changing table will become a storage place for all his goodies.  When we moved into this house, I began taking it one room at a time as far as decorating goes.  I was pretty happy with the kitchen, our room, bathrooms, and now nursery...but one bedroom remained. Our office was in shambles! It had collected all of the unsightly items thrown from the other rooms.  I would walk in there and think....ugh what do I do? 

We have limited furniture in the office. We have a desk that was given to us that I had painted.  We also have two black $15 bookcases that were starting to overflow with junk!  Yet, most of the junk we wanted to keep.  I have a bunch of art supplies that will come in handy for rainy days with a toddler, and Justin has all of his fishing equipment. The bookcases looked terrible so I decided to inexpensively give them a face lift. I have seen fabric organizational boxes at stores but you usually have to spend at least $10-$20 per box/basket.  I really didnt want to go out and drop $50-80 on baskets so I decided to make some!  I bought 3 yards of fabric for about $17..  I also bought a roll of iron on hem tape that was about $2 and 5 sheets of posterboard $3.  Now I decided to use poster board because I just needed a little bit of firmness for the sides of my boxes so they look pretty.  If you really want these to hold up to use, I would use cardboard.  If I would have had cardboard laying around, I probably would have used it! 

First I cut out my piece of posterboard. To get the size I needed I measured the space I wanted to
fit the box in. One of my spaces was 11x9. I measured the height...about 8".  So I made the middle piece 11x9 and the side pieces 8" high by either 11" or 9" all out of one piece of posterboard.

Next I laid out my fabric under the posterboard and pushed a pin down into the carpet to hold it while I cut around the posterboard.  On the small sides I cut right to the poster board except for a 1" allowance at the top of the soon to be side. I left about 2" all the way around the large sides for hemming with.

Now I ironed the fabric and assembled the box with simple painters tape/masking tape. As you can see my poster board wasnt big enough so I added a piece and taped it on as well. 

Now to add the fabric.  I placed the box down on in the middle of the fabric and brought up the fabric on the sides.  You cut a piece of hem tape the length of your box side and lay it on the inside rim of the box.  You bring your fabric up and fold it over the edge of the box on top of the hem tape. Now iron that in place. Repeat this step on each of the four sides.

Now to finish the four corners of the box.  I had cut extra fabric on the long sides of the box so you take that piece and fold it under to create a hemmed look.  Take another piece of hem tape and place that under the folded edge and iron it down to the end of the box.  Sorry my camera wouldnt take a very good picture of this. You can kind of see the edge of the fabric on this box corner. Repeat on all four corners and any loose fabric can be glued down with fabric glue. 

These boxes only took me about 15 minutes to make and they really enhanced our bookcase by hiding our clutter!!

Heres the before picture..

and heres after!! No more takle boxes!!!
With the 3 yards of fabric I was able to make 4 large boxes. I didnt take the time to line them but it would be easy to do!  

So here is my office makeover.  I will be sharing how to make the note board next time. Now how to cover those unsightly computer cords???  But for now Ethan needs me to come rescue him from the swing :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Its already beginning to look alot like Christmas!

I wanted to begin a blog just to share thoughts about life and ideas for the home that I come across with family and friends.  I am hoping that you find inspiration and maybe a smile or two from our experiences in the Gage home.  We brought little Ethan Wayne home in August and life has taken a very busy but wonderful turn.  I want him to have the most wonderful childhood that I can possibly give him.  He has already made our lives so full of meaning, and I want him to always know that he was number 1 on my priority list. For the last two months, I have only been away from him for all of maybe 3 hours.  During those hours, all I did was think about my little man.  I had left him with Daddy so I could go to a Dr appointment.  I saw all the women with their babies that never seemed to be around before I had my own child.  I am amazed at how many kids I see now!  I look at two year olds and wonder "is Ethan going to be that much of a handful?!"  He already is proving to be somewhat of a handful.  He is the most well tempered baby if you are holding him.  The minute I set him down he seems to know that Mommy isn't as close as he needs me to be :)  So usually I hold the little guy most of the day and the minute Daddy gets home he gives my shoulders and back a much needed break.  That is when I try and have a little creative time just for me....along with getting the house picked up and doing the laundry that looms (least favorite chore).

This week I have really been getting into the holiday mood.  I have been looking through cookbooks and planning new treats that I want to spoil my little family with.  Whenever we get out, I love to look down all the holiday isles that are bursting with  beautiful treasures.  We were a lowes and I found these beautiful spiral topiaries that I could just imagine on either side of our front door.  I flipped over the price tag and about flipped over myself!  $118 each!!!  Even if we were super rich, I cant imagine spending that kind of dough on a holiday decoration!!  I decided to make my own the shopping began.  I price compared everywhere and found the best garland at lowes for $10 each.  Then holiday ornaments at the dollar store amounted to $16.  The base is a flower pot I found on clearance for $5 each at Walmart and spray painted them for about $4. The stick in the middle required a family outing to Me Maw and Paw Pa's woods and Daddy even climbed up a dead cedar tree for just the right stick :) He is such a good husband.  I had the Christmas lights already so the total project cost about $55 for two topiaries...I can stand $27 a piece...much better!!!