Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kitty Proofing the Sandbox

When we moved into our house three years ago, one of the first things my dear husband did was build a big sandbox.  Fritter loved it and spent almost all of his outside time playing in it.

Can you believe he ever was so little?

Then we got a cat that spent some time outside as well.  And one of the first things she did was adopt the sandbox as her personal toilet.  So for awhile, every morning I would go outside and clean out the litterbox sandbox so Fritter could enjoy it.  We tried putting a tarp over it, and the next night a colony of ants moved in.  Off came the tarp and out moved the ants.  Here in Arizona, the grass of choice is bermuda grass.  When we laid the sand down originally, we put that black weed control stuff under it, but the bermuda grass couldn't resist the sand, and the black stuff was no real opponent to it.  It really just became a headache, between pulling out the grass, and cleaning out the...you know.

Eventually, we got a cheap playset on Craigslist, pulled down the boards of the sandbox and plopped the playset where the sand was.  I still had to clean out around the playset from the cat, but the kids didn't really dig there any more, since most of the sand had disappeared. 

And things remained sandbox free for sometime.  Unhappily so, I might add.  The kids would try to dig in unlikely places, like the flower pots, or the rocks around the swimming pool.  This Christmas, while looking for gifts, I came across the covered sandbox at Magic Cabin.  I also found another idea for a covered sandbox on Pinterest.  It didn't take much convincing before my engineer husband had laid out his own plans.

Is there anything more attractive than a man building something for his kids?

The little gecko that fell out of the tree branch we cut down.  Sorry we chopped down your home little gecko!

A closed sandbox.  Haha cat!  Try getting past these defenses!

The finished product with happy kids.  Bonus!  The roof acts as a shade to block the harsh Arizona sun.

I spy a Ladybug happily digging in the sand.
Yesterday, I sent Fritter out to play, and he spent all of his time in the sandbox.  I'll say that's a success!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Lined My Cabinets

...but didn't take pictures, because I didn't think you'd care to see. :) Why I didn't do that sooner, I'll never know. I just kept replacing the paper towels I had lined in there, and they just kept getting bunched up when things were moved around. Plus they did nothing for the aesthetic appearance of the inside of my cabinets. Not that you care about my cabinets; not that anyone visiting probably even notices my cabinets. But I notice them and it's been driving me crazy for months.

$5. That's it. That's all a roll of contact paper with a pretty design on it costs. That's all it took to ease some of the chaos of my home. $5. That's cheaper than a therapist! :) I LOVE easy projects like this. Have you done anything easy lately that gave you a profound sense of accomplishment?


Here's a cute face just because.
I'm linking up my blog to my facebook page again. Just a test to see if this is working.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bye-Bye Paci!

This morning Ladybug decided all by herself that she was done with her pacifier.  So we put it in an envelope and "mailed" it to her baby cousin in Louisiana.  And I just lay her down for her nap.  There have been a few tears, but I've reminded her of how generous she was to think of her cousin, and what a big girl she is becoming.  We'll see how this goes.  :)

The big girl riding her bike.

Being Craftsy

I want to show you my most recent (finished!) projects.  The first took a matter of two hours one evening, but has become super handy.

Ladybug is still in a crib (I know, bad mom, right?), which means Sunflower sleeps in the playpen.  But those playpen mattresses are hard.  It wouldn't be bad if she only slept in it once in a while, but she sleeps in it all.the.time. and I felt a little sorry for her.  I made a slide over sheet for it sometime ago, but it didn't provide much padding.  So I thought, and thought, and this is what I came up with.

I have many cozy baby blankets lying around, and I thought, why buy something when I could use what I have?  So, I picked two of the softer ones that I thought would be easiest to work with and lay them on top of the other.  That would be enough padding, but the second blanket was much smaller than the other, and if I left it at that, her head would inevitably always end up where the second blanket wasn't, you know?  So I found one of the smaller receiving blankets, folded it on itself, and it fit beautifully.

Stitching all these materials together wasn't easy, and the pink blanket especially was not easy to work with.  So it didn't turn out perfectly, but no one is going to see the inside (except, I guess for all of you :), and it provides the padding I wanted it to.

I wanted the blanket/pad to slide over the mattress just like the other one did, and so for the back part I used yet another baby blanket I had lying around.  I stitched it all around the top layer, leaving one side open.

Here you can see all three layers, top, padding, and bottom.

It fit just wonderfully, and is so cozy, I wish I could sleep in there.  I might eventually add snaps or Velcro or something to the top to keep it tucked just right, but it works for now.

Sunflower is especially thrilled and has been sleeping like a...baby.  :)

On to the next projects, my dear mother has kindly sent me pictures of the towels I embroidered for her for Christmas.  (Thanks Mom!)  I followed a pattern, so the idea wasn't all mine, but it was my first venture into the embroidering world.  So fun!

Monday, January 16, 2012


This morning Fritter was talking to me about his excitement to start "real" school in the fall.

Fritter:  ...and then I'm going to do homeschool, and you're going to be my teacher, and I'm going to go to Olive Garden!

Me:  Olive Garden?

Fritter:  Yes!  I start Olive Garden soon!

Me:  Oh!  You mean you start Kindergarten soon?

Fritter:  Yes!  Kindergarten!

To which we both broke into giggling fits.  Maybe we'll have breadsticks on our first day of school, just because.  :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Long Day

I'm not sure where today went, but I am sure that I can feel every moment of it in my body.  The kids aren't quite asleep yet, but soon.  And then shower, and blessed sleep for this tired mama.

I feel like Fritter when this picture was taken.  Like I could fall asleep on the hard floor.  :)

Feeling tired
By the fire
The long day is over

The wind is gone
Asleep at dawn
The embers burn on

With no reprise
The sun will rise
The long day is over
~Norah Jones

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


But first a picture of a very cute (very dirty) little boy.  The garbage truck broke down right in front of our house this morning.  Our garbage can was left dangling in the air for over an hour.  But then a Mr. Fixit truck came to the rescue and Fritter absorbed every ounce of truck drama he could.

In the picture above do you see the two pillows, one on either side of Fritter?  I have disliked the pattern and texture of the one on the left, and the one on the right is one I made and stuffed, but didn't stuff enough, obviously.  That has now been remedied.

Ta-da!  Each brown pillow is now covered by a case, finished this morning, and each green pillow is now fully stuffed and cozy.  I know it clashes with the southwest style couch (not my choice!).  But that is temporary.  It takes time to make a home right?  A home is a work in progress, or at least that's what I tell myself.  This year, we have put into the budget good covers (I'm looking at the Surefit ones) for both sofas.  Soon, these pillows will no longer clash, but fit perfectly.

I did finish one other project over our Christmas vacation.  My towel embroidery.  Finally!  BUT, I gave them to my mom for a Christmas present and forgot to take a picture of them.  She has been emailed and harassed, and I'm sure soon enough I'll have a picture for you.

Merry Christmas

Happy New Year and Happy (almost) Feast of the Epiphany!  We are home from the north and had a wonderful Christmas.  I hope yours was blessed as well!