Monday, November 4, 2013

Almost a the day.

It's been almost a year, to the day, since I've blogged. I've thought many times about blogging again, but then, I get distracted, and it never happens.

How can I sum up an entire year? Well, with four kids, hell, with any amount of children, that's almost impossible. So many wonderful days with some bleak ones thrown in there, too. The kids are growing up, faster than I would like. I dream about having another baby, but know that probably isn't the smartest thing. After four high risk pregnancies and a rough start for Callum, I'm afraid to do it again - lucky for Kevin, because I think he knows I'd be barking down his tree!

Kevin and I (married 8 years in September) are still living in Maine - he commutes to Virginia every Monday and for the last year, has been able to come home every Thursday. It works. It's definitely not an ideal situation, but still the best one for us in our current situation and definitely not indefinite. Our children are thriving here in Maine, and we have enjoyed being back here again. All three girls were on skis last year and we rocked it all winter long. Clara did amazing and even learned to ride a two wheeler this spring, too. We spent a lot of time at the beach this summer, took a vacation with friends on a lake house and have spent a lot of time with family and friends!

Kevin put in for an early transfer for 2014 and we are hoping for Hawaii, Maine (again), Boston or Providence. We want to be together again, so hopefully by the new year, we will know if we will continue this, or be moving.

I am still a running machine - I think running has taken over blogging. I am running about 20-25 miles/week. I have run three half marathons and my first 10K in 2013. I ran my last half marathon in 2:01:58 - 10 minutes faster than my fastest time before that (and 13 minutes faster than my first one a year ago)! It's been a great outlet for me since I am alone with the kids midweek. I never thought I would be so in love with running, but it really has done me good! And I love challenging myself!

Mairead (turned 7) continued half days last year at school, and thrived. It was the best thing we could have done. She was happy again. She had a great year last year, and did her first season of cross country. She loved it! This fall, she started 2nd grade, half days, but by the end of September, Kevin and I were wondering if public school was really what we wanted for our children. Not that our schools here in Maine are bad, because they aren't - it's just a lot - and we want our kids to be kids, and want to spend as much fun times with them as possible while they are little. So, on September 26th, we officially began homeschooling our children again. And so far. So good - but more on this later!

Lilah is Lilah (now almost 6). She is silly and a go-getter. She started Kindergarten this year, and had a great teacher, but like Mairead, we pulled her out and began homeschooling. Lilah practiced this fall with the cross country team and hopefully next spring they will open it up to Kindergarteners! She is beginning to read, which is pretty awesome. I am super excited that I will be able to teach her to read just like I was able to with Mairead. She's growing her hair out for locks of love...

Clara (just turned 4) is growing up and changing. She is still a bit more reserved and shy than her sisters, but we are seeing strides with her. She started preschool at Our School this year and has been loving it. We are so lucky to have such amazing teachers there who truly love our children. She is definitely grown up a lot in the last year.

Callum has changed the most out of all the kids. He is 2.5 years old now and an animal. He's a lot like Lilah - all or nothing. He's either super chill and happy or he's pissed and whacking the shit out of people. His speech is getting loads better and talks a ton. He is an active boy who loves the color pink, loves to dress up in tutus and slam his trucks into things. We are not so sure he knows he is a boy yet, but he definitely has testosterone!

All 3 girls are dancing again this year and we are just enjoying our days together. Clara is still doing preschool three days/week, so it is nice to have some quiet time with the big girls while she is there.

I hope to continue this blog and journal about our homeschool adventure!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Making a change...

I've written a lot about our troubles and frustrations with Mairead since she has started school. We've tried troubleshooting and trying to get in contact with Mairead's teacher, but things just weren't getting any better, and in actuality, they were getting worse.

We were watching our little girl, who absolutely loves to learn, stop loving to learn. Slowly withdrawing, giving us troubles about reading, not wanting to practice spelling words and asking daily to stay home. So very frustrating. As I had written before, Mairead was actually starting to have separation anxiety from us, which is a pretty significant personality change for her.

Since Kevin was home for the week last week we were able to meet with her teacher and with the principal of the elementary school, which is K-2. Both were very surprised to hear of our continued troubles, and claimed Mairead was very happy and appeared well adjusted while in school - but at home, it is a completely different story.

We told them we were close to pulling her out of school if things didn't improve, so thankfully they were willing to work with us, and thankfully Maine has pretty great homeschooling laws. Maireads teacher and principal said Mairead could try going to school half days, so she will get her specials (art, music, PE, etc), math, spelling, lunch and recess, then she will come home. We will work on science, social studies and math (which she is having a little trouble with???) at home. Mairead at first was not happy because she would miss her 2nd recess, but I think she will like her new schedule.

I am very happy to try this out and see what happens. I only hope this will lead to Mairead loving school, and loving and being excited to learn matter where that is.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The wall

Like I've said - we like excitement around here! I've talked in the past about trying to make a small(er) house functional with four small children. With three bedrooms and four children, we have our three girls share a room. We recently built the coolest hanging bed for Mairead, and it's great! It totally saves a ton of space and gives the girls plenty of room to play.

So, what about the downstairs? Well, it's a tiny bit more functional than the bedroom situation, but in all reality, it doesn't work very well. During one of my long runs, I thought about tearing down the wall between our eat-in kitchen and our family room/playroom/office. Kevin hates when I think during my runs because I come up with crazy ideas and thoughts - remember when I came up with the idea to pull the kids out of school after Kevin retires, buy a sailboat/yacht and sail the caribbean for a year? Yeah. 

Anyways, our dining room is really dysfunctional. It is small, and our dining room table only seats 6, which leaves seats for houseguests. Yeah, we could get a bigger table, but our dining room is on the small side, so a bigger table would really not be feasible. Our family room is also long and narrow, and a bit dysfunctional, too. Well, it has a lot of functions - it's our "office/computer room", our TV room and our playroom. Lately when the kids want to play on the computer, they get distracted by the TV or the others playing, or when Mairead has schoolwork to do, she has to do it at the eat-in kitchen table, which is also distracting. 
So, my idea is to take down the wall in between the eat-in kitchen and family room. Build a DIY farm table that would seat at least 10, and use the dining room as our school room/office/playroom. Our family room would become a real inviting family room with a sectional couch that would scream cozy! 
Thankfully my idea wasn't crazy enough for Kevin to laugh at me.....he tried, but as he thought about it, he realized it was a really good idea! He's so lucky to have a wife with such great ideas :)
And after 4 years of owning this house and gutting it with our own two hands, we've gotten smart and decided to hire someone to make the mess, do what we want and clean up after themselves! Can't wait to share the finish project with you! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My response to society...

I read this afternoon on the Frog & Turtles facebook page that a patron who was there Friday night said Callum was being annoying? Seriously, dude? Get a grip! He also mentioned I should have also brought him outside (in the cold, rain) or brought him into the bathroom - seriously? I bet he also thinks mothers should nurse their baby in the bathroom, too. So, here's my response to society as a whole. Frankly, this really pisses me off. I really hope he is speaking up because he's friends with the owner, and really doesn't think this, because this could be a pretty pathetic glimpse into society and what some people truly think about children. I wonder how high his expectations were for his 1 year old.....he claims he has "two children".....Poor kids.

I don't think enough people take their children out to dinner. Sure, it can
be expensive, or daunting, but I feel if more people brought their children
to "real" restaurants, society would be more accepting of children in
restaurants. We are thankful to have had only welcoming and positive
outcomes when it comes to eating out. Sure, when we walk in with our four
children, they look scared, but when they realize, they are well behaved,
they relax, and usually comment on how well behaved they have been. Of
course, there have been times when my husband and I look at each other and
wonder why we decided to go out, but that is not the norm. And I appreciate
those members of society who are accepting of families who choose to bring
their children out.

Last week, we met friends out with their children for our first try at the
Frog & Turtle...A Gastro Pub in Westbrook. We had heard fairly decent
reviews of the place, and since we were in Westbrook, we wanted to give it a
try. I wish we hadn't. We walked out of there without having dinner or even
appetizers because the patrons of the restaurant were complaining about our
18 month old. They say he was being "annoying" but he was not screaming, nor
crying. The other 5 children were behaving. Do some people forget they were
children? While I realize some people want a quiet night dinner, maybe
without their children, don't people realize that asking a mother to go
outside on a cold, wind-driven rain evening is just as ridiculous? If the
patrons of this restaurant do not want to hear any sounds of a child, then
maybe it is the wrong restaurant, or maybe the restaurant should change
their requirements? If the restaurant has highchairs, doesn't that generally
welcome the smaller aged children, and even infants? Those who sit in high
chairs are generally not at an age to know how to control their emotions,
behavior or feelings. How do they know how to be quiet? If the patrons only
knew I was trying to find our waitress to get us more bread to hold my son
over until our dinner came, maybe they would understand. I was being
attentive to my son. I was trying, but the patrons that night were singling
out a family because we had a large party, and 6 children. The 5 older
children, ranging from 3 to 8 were well behaved, coloring at the time, I
could see people being annoyed by the older children screaming or having
fits or running around as if they were at a zoo, but they were not. They
were all extremely well behaved.

Do people with older children forget what it was like to have a one year
old? If not, maybe they chose never to bring their children out into public,
but we do or maybe their children are perfect, I don't know. If you are
looking for a quiet dinner, maybes seek out a place that does not have high
chairs. I find this situation completely unfortunate and sad. We were all
young once. I feel bad for those people, not angry, because they must've had
miserable childhoods and must be miserable in general to prompt such a
negative response simply because a child is hungry. And if society expects
an 18 month old to sit quietly and still in a high chair, you are wrong. And
if you think a mother or father should bring their hungry 1 year old into a
dirty bathroom to play while waiting for dinner to be served is acceptable,
you are wrong. And if you think I am going to bring my young child outside
in the cold, wind-driven rain on a Friday night, you are also wrong. Our
family will continue to bring our children in and around Portland
restaurants, and forego leaving them at home. And when we do leave them at
home, and come into contact with a family who has a fussy infant, I don't
patronize, or complain, I sympathize. The owner who asked me to take my son
outside should have looked at the whole picture. Asked me if there was
anything we needed to help my son until dinner was served, instead, he asked
me to leave and go outside, or have my son "get it together".

Those in society that complain about an infant fussing need to get a grip.
We were all young once. And if you are looking for a night out without the
sounds of children, be sure they don't have highchairs, or else you may be
greatly disappointed.

** I can add that I did file a complaint with the BBB - but unfortunately, the restaurant is not a member, and not sure what they can do, if anything.

Friday, October 19, 2012

First - The Frog & Turtle: A Review....kinda

I have been a mom now for 6 years, 5 months and 9 days. I will never forget the first time Kevin and I took Mairead to a restaurant. She was maybe a week or two old, and I had to nurse her in public. It was a horrendous experience, but I didn't let that experience haunt me forever and from that moment on, we continued to bring our child to restaurants, and still do, quite frequently, in fact.

We have always been that family who walks into restaurants confidently with our crew, attracting attention from all over, because there is high probability for big problems - you know, temper tantrums, spills, accidents, whatever - but, most often, we walk out feeling great about our experiences especially after other customers will comment on the behavior of our children, but things quite didn't go like that this evening....

I had made plans with my girlfriend, Kate and her family for tonight. We were heading to watch her husband sing in a barbershop quartet then head to dinner. We had both wanted to try a local restaurant in Westbrook called The Frog & Turtle. We had both heard many good things about it, so we thought we'd head over since we were close by. Kate is like us, she has raised her children going to restaurants since they were newborns.

Kevin and I walked in with our kids first. It was a rainy, windy night. People kind of looked at us a bit weird with our crew, but nothing out of the usual. I didn't get the most welcoming vibe either. We were early for our reservation for 11 people, and the hostess didn't seem accommodating at all at first. Kate walked in with her family and assured me the person she had spoken with on the phone while making the reservation was seeming very accommodating with our larger party, and our party consisting of 6 children, ages 8 and under. Within a few minutes, they had a table ready for us and we all sat down. They even had a baby highchair all ready for Callum at the table.

It took several minutes to get a menu and even longer to get our drinks ordered. The kids ordered chocolate milks and shirley temples. The adults ordered beers. When the drinks arrived for the children, they were in small plastic cocktail cups.....yes, without lids. Callum was getting a bit ansy, so I had to request bread. It took several minutes at least for the bread to come, and for a party of 11, the bread arrived to table with about 8 slices. Barely enough for the kids, and definitely not enough for the entire party. Callum ate the bread as did the other children. Then, the waitress returned and finally took our food orders. We ordered from the childrens menu for the kids - macaroni & cheese and chicken fingers. Perfect, I thought. Callum continued to get a bit more fussy, and I pulled a fruit leather from our diaper bag. He sat quietly for a while eating it....until it was gone. I saw him get more ansy, and tried to look for our waitress to get her to bring more bread to the table to get us through dinner. Well, before I was able to talk to our waitress, the head chef (or a chef) came over to my right side, in between Callum and I, and said there had been "quite a few complaints" about Callum and that I would either need to take him outside (in the cold, rain) or "tell him to get it together" - WHAT!!!! For one, he's 18 months old.

For the first time since being a mother, I was being asked to leave a restaurant because my 18 month old son fussed (if you even want to call it that - I think he was just voicing his opinion, but not even in a loud manner). My face started to boil, and I was embarrassed. Kate and her family supported us and offered to get up and leave. I got up, and walked outside. I was fuming mad. I tried to pull myself together, but I had to walk back in. As the rest of our party was following us, I walked back in to talk to the Chef who spoke with us. I told him if children were not welcome, they should not have high chairs. They should not have a children's menu. And they should not have coloring materials for the children. At that time, I had no idea that he had told Kate that the restaurant was not a place for children or else I am pretty sure I would have really been blowing up. The Chef asked me not to make a scene - and I didn't - and wasn't trying to. I was just upset because I felt as though we were being punished for something that we didn't deserve.

After I got the last word in, we all walked out. All 11 of us, and they lost our business. We walked across the street to Portland Pie for Pizza where we were welcomed with smiles. A nice couple offered to move seats so we could all sit together and our waiter was so very nice to all of us - including our children. He even brought Callum chips to get him to settle down. You see, all the waitress had to do was recognize Callum was getting ansy - offer more bread? Could she get him anything to settle down? Hey! What about take the children's food order first while she was getting the drink order? If there were people complaining about our child, then they should have offered things to help settle Callum, not belittle us, and force us to leave or take our child out in the rain! You see, if they don't want to attract families with children, then don't have highchairs available. And don't have childrens menus or crayons. Make it absolutely miserable for these parents to bring their kids, and believe me, we won't.

Too many parents are afraid of taking their children out to dinner for fear of this very thing happening. As a somewhat experienced mamma to small children, I can totally see how this experience can ruin you. Taking an 18 month old out to dinner isn't always fun. They are work. They don't want to sit in a highchair. They want to run around. BUT, how else are they going to learn to behave in a restaurant, out in public, if they are never brought up going out?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A first

When Kevin and I made the decision to move our family back to Maine, we didn't think twice about putting our kids in public school. Not even for a second. Mairead was also adamant about going, she wanted to be with her friends and she wanted to experience real school. The thought of my kids being in school did excite me, though I love having them home with me, too. We figured when school started, we'd have two very tired kiddos. While Mairead was in preschool, she'd crash every night, and Lilah requires a lot of sleep. Well, since starting school, you've read about the adjustments we are all having to make like most families with kids starting school - you know, with our schedule, bedtimes, frazzled mornings,less flexibility, and just more structure to our day.

Six weeks into the school year and we're still adjusting. It hasn't been easy. I am trying to be patient, but when I see the effects it has on Mairead, it makes me second guess what is best for her and our family. Mairead continues to ask almost daily if she can stay home from school. I try to reassure her that she is not missing anything at home, but she tells me she wants to stay home so she can have some mommy time. Kevin and I questioned this excuse and wondered if this was just her way of making us cave and let her stay home. The other night, she asked if she could stay up late with me to watch a movie - I had to say no. It was a school night and she has been coming home from school completely out of control....I'll explain later. She really needs her sleep, so I said no, even though, deep down inside, I wanted to let her. I really, really did. Because I miss her, too... 

Over the weekend, my parents babysat the kiddos while we went to a Scarborough Education fundraiser nearby. About an hour before we left, all of us went outside to play, but Mairead was missing. Kevin found her in her bedroom sobbing. At first he thought she was upset because we wouldn't let her wear her snowsuit in the dirt, but after talking to her, she sobbed saying she didn't want us to go out. She wanted us to stay and be with her. WHAT? My heart sank. All these times she asks about staying home and wanting mommy or daddy time is for real - she is craving it, and it's not her way of getting us to cave. This seriously broke my heart. I honestly cannot remember a time that Mairead has ever cried out when we were leaving to go out on a date.....we were just saying a few weeks ago how lucky we are to have kids who don't scream and cry when we walk out to door.

Not only did we experience her out of character behavior last night, we've also been noticing more crying, outbursts, and hyper behavior. She never gets in trouble at school, and does very well, but the minute she comes home, it is as if she cannot control her behavior anymore. She runs around like a chicken with her head cut off, screaming and just completely crazy. Trying to discipline her is very difficult - she actually told me one evening "You don't mean that. You'll just forget" when I told her she would not be having any play dates for the remainder of the week. She has been saying mean things to her siblings, for example, she told Lilah that next year when she's in school, she will not sit or play with her while in school. What???? I was so angry. She and Lilah are generally very close and it just breaks my heart to see talk to her sisters like this. Yeah, they certainly can be mean to each other, I expect that, but the things she is saying is just so out of the norm...When I pick Mairead up at school, she looks so unhappy to see me, while I see all the other children running with excitement and smiles to their parents. It makes me kind of sad. I wish she looked excited to see me at the end of the day. While I am so incredibly grateful that she is such a good student in school, I can't help but be a little frustrated that I get her sloppy leftovers - the child who cannot keep it in anymore, or thinks it's funny to be mean, or cannot listen or follow directions. Most mornings, we are still struggling with eating. It took her 42 minutes one morning to eat breakfast, and she didn't even eat a half yogurt. I was forced to send her to school without breakfast. She then came home with nothing drank all day and uneaten food. The kid is not eating enough. I know she's busy talking - but she has to eat, right???

We are unsure what to do and are trying to be so very patient. If things do not improve soon, I am thinking maybe a parent-teacher conference may help? I need reassurance that she is actually doing okay in school...the lack of eating, drinking and her behavioral changes at home really have us concerned!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

All or nothing

I've spoken before about how Lilah is an "All or Nothing" kind of kid. She has been like this ever since the day she was born. When she was an infant, she would either be sleeping heavily or screaming because she wanted to be fed yesterday. Anyone who knows Lilah, knows she doesn't fool around. She gives everything 200% and that includes her attitude, her temper and the bratty faces she makes. Most often, Lilah is so easy going, she is so happy and generally the one I have to worry least about when it comes to behavior - but when her behavior hits her threshold, watch out because she goes from 0-60 in about 5 seconds flat.  In the photo to the left, you see her throwing leaves. Look at her face, she is seriously putting any and all energy she has into throwing those leaves all over the place. Another word we use for her is dramatic  - wow! Is she ever....sometimes you just have to laugh because she really does exaggerate things to the max sometimes! 

Then there was this evening. We were eating dinner, and I caught her playing & throwing her food. That's a no-no in this house. I spoke with her twice, and then the third time I told her she would not get a special treat after dinner. She went back to the table and started throwing food again, so I took her dinner away. She then went into her "All" attitude - started yelling at me, hitting, kicking and going crazy! I put her plate into the sink and she was attempting to climb the cabinets to get to her food. SHE.WAS.ANGRY! 

I picked her up, and brought her to her bedroom. Before I closed the door, I removed any dangerous objects she could throw and shut the door. For about 15 minutes, I heard books being thrown about the room. Once she stopped for a few minutes, I went upstairs, opened her door to give her the okay to come out. She came out and was happy as a clam.

That's Lilah. She throws a fit and she's done. She doesn't carry things on for hours and hours! 

This was Lilah's room when she was done with her fit. Mind you, I had this room all picked up beforehand, and what you cannot see are the books all to the left, and slid under the bedroom door, too! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Thinking of you all today

Thinking of all those in my life who are holding their Angels in their heart and to whose who read my blog looking for hope to one day have a baby to bring home....

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Small Town on a Saturday Night

On Saturday night, Kevin and I, along with some friends, attended The Scarborough Education Foundation 1st annual Harvest Festival. It was a blast! We met at a friends house where we consumed a few too many adult beverages, chatted over a warm fire and then headed over to the actual festival! The party was outside, but under a tent with heaters. It was a little chilly, but no problem, we just danced the night away! I don't think I have drank that much in a while! It was a lot of fun!

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And when we got home, this mamma needed a snack! So, I broke into the kids special cereal - lucky charms and broke open the bag a little too rough, and they spilled all over the place! Ooops! They sure did taste good though :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall is here! Fall is here!

Ah, the leaves are changing colors, the air is crisp the sun lowering and it is getting dark way too early! Add this all in with leave jumping, and you have fall in full swing here in Maine!

Last week we started decorating our house for Halloween and fall and the kids are choosing their halloween costumes. It looks as though I will be spared from any homemade costumes this year!
Kevin borrowed our neighbors gas leaf blower and made some leaf piles for the kids. They had a blast. While the girls talk about missing the beach, they sure are having fun enjoying the falling leaves!

 The girls enjoyed having a friend over while they all played in the yard together!

 Clara was in heaven! She was throwing leaves everywhere and enjoyed every second of it!
 And Lilah.....well, as I've said before - she's an all or nothing kind of gal, and as you can see, she is putting her "all" into throwing those leaves!

 And sweet Callum....he's having fun with all the pumpkinds, too!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My first half marathon

Never in a million years did I ever think I would run a half marathon. I think back to where I was 2.5 years ago, twenty pounds heavier, in horrible shape and struggling to run for 60 seconds straight. I thought I was going to die, but I kept going. 60 seconds turning into 90 seconds......and kept going and going and going until this past Sunday when I ran continuously for 2 hours and 14 minutes, finishing my very first half marathon.

The wonderfully supportive group of running mammas I trained with all summer!
I worked my ass off, anyone who knows me will tell you. I was committed to doing this. And I have to admit, I enjoyed every second of it. I loved the feeling of being able to do more. And More.....and even more. Pushing myself to places I never thought possible. Who knew I'd feel like this about running? Remember, me? The anti-runner.

My kiddos and their cousins having a carb dinner! Two of my cousins also ran the half marathon with me! 
For the last few weeks, I actually started to dread the race, and not because I was afraid of it but because I was afraid of no longer having any motivation to continue running. If I didn't have anything to work for, why would I want to go out and run 10 miles? What would make me want to push myself? A few of my running friends are heading to Jacksonville, Florida to run their first marathon in December........and, I am considering it. There's a lot involved, so I just can't say if I will be able to commit to such a feat, but, there's a half option, so I may do that, too!

My cousin Brooke (left - also her first half!) and Kelly (right)
So, about the half. It was amazing and even the rain didn't stop me. It was about 55 degrees and misting at the start. Perfect conditions, actually. Around halfway, the rain picked up for a while, and it was wet, but manageable! I was able to maintain a 9:45 pace for 10 miles until my IT band issues came back to haunt me with a vengeance. I was stopped dead in my tracks. My group pushed on ahead while I was left practically in tears wondering how I was going to do this and why this was happening today. I'd run, then have to stop because the pain was just so severe. I'd try to stretch, but couldn't release the tension. A paramedic on the course saw me and told me I should stop, but I told him no way! I refused to give up. I continued on trying and met up with another group of ladies from our running group. They supported me, and even offered to help me in any way, but I tried to continue with them. They inspired me to keep going. And I did...

Around mile 11.5 we encountered this house full of college aged guys. One came up running aside us offering us a beer. In good fun, I grabbed it, took a few swigs and yelled "Moms love beer, too!" - it was a great laugh, and a definite motivator! A few minutes later, I mentioned to my friends that I'd probably end up with herpes :) -- by then, my leg was feeling better enough to spring ahead and finish what I started. I thanked my ladies and went ahead. I finished my very first half marathon in 2:14. My original goal was under 2:15, but a few weeks back, I knew I could do it in under 2:10.....unfortunately, my body had other plans, and that's okay. I finished what I started.

It was so awesome seeing Kevin and the kiddos at mile 6 and at the finish line. It brought me to shed a few tears at mile 6 - there they were, standing in the rain, for me. I was just in awe of everything. I was actually proud of myself and I was so glad to see my sweet girls there watching their mamma set out to do something she worked so hard to do. At the end, I saw my family cheering me on and it was just awesome. I am so lucky to have a husband who supports me in these crazy things. When the girls saw my medal, they said "You won!!!? You got a medal!" - It was the perfect lesson for them...."No, mommy didn't win, I finished the race, and anyone who finishes, gets a medal" - it wasn't about winning. Winning isn't everything, I tell them. Even if I came in last, that is better than never finishing at all.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

THE Hanging Bed!

From the moment we made the decision to move back home to Maine, we started planning how we will fit four children into two bedrooms, one of which is fairly small. We decided it would be best to keep the three girls together and let Prince Callum have his own room. When we moved back, we had a crib, one full bed and two twin beds each with a trundle drawer. We went back and forth about how to successfully fit three girls into one room without sacrificing a lot of floor space and making the room feel cramped. Kevin and I came up with a lot of different ideas, including building a triple bunk, but after each different idea, we would come up with too many negatives.

I don't know about you, but I love pinterest. Sometimes I wish I had all the time, money, talent and resources in the world to do all the cool things on there! We came up with an idea for a "hanging bed" - and headed over to Ana-White Homemaker, a resource for building homemade furniture, etc. It is a great website! We found a family who built something very similar to what we wanted to do on this blog. We used these plans roughly, but will give you a pretty good idea of what you need to do. We also attached it to the wall a little differently, too.

The coolest thing about the bed - the cost! After paint & materials, the total cost was just around $100! Not too shabby! It took us about a weekend to build - the longest part was prepping the wood - sanding, priming, painting, etc.

First, Kevin built the frame. This was pretty easy! 

He screwed all the pieces together - with the help of Clara, of course! 

......and a little help from Callum, too! 

He was very intrigued! 

I used Bin for all of the knots in the wood, then used a Benjamin Moore Primer before sanding down the frame.
After it was all sanded, it was time for some Impervo White from Benjamin Moore.

I did the same to the planks as I did the frame. I used bin for the wood knots, then used the primer , sanded with a very fine piece of sand paper and then put two coats of paint on. 
Here is Mairead (top) and Lilah's (bottom) bed
Clara's bed 

Mairead's bedding from Garnet Hill 

The girls room 

So, we noticed some stretching of the rope, so Kevin placed a small cable to prevent any sagging of the bed, and then replaced the rope.

All in all, a very successful and fun project that looks uber cool!