DO | Surviving an IKEA kitchen remodel

We moved into a fixer-upper almost 4 years ago. We put in a lot of sweat equity during the first year. Every surface on the first floor was touched – flooring, paint, trim, doors, electrical, plumbing, you name it – except for the kitchen. You’d walk in the front door, see the updated living and dining rooms, turn down the hall to the baths and bedrooms and see all the bright clean rooms. But on your way back, you’d peer past the dining room into the kitchen and oooh-eee! It was a 70’s dream come true, and unfortunately not in a fun, disco sort of way.

The original builder kitchen, full of soffits and dark wood cabinets, was functional, but begging for an update. Since we’d spent a huge chunk of money on the rest of the first floor, we were waiting until we couldn’t stand it any longer. Or until the cabinets fell apart. Whichever came first.

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DO | Recycling Hard-To-Recycle Items

Before my daughter was born, I was tasked with turning our guest room into a baby’s room and turning my office into a guest room. That meant giving myself the difficult task of getting rid of close to 50% of what I had stored in my office – wedding invitations from years past, tons of pages of magazines, newspaper clippings from high school, and a whole bunch of stuff that looked great under the lid of a pretty box.

In addition to the paper items, which were easy to discard, I had a menagerie of other things, including a pile of electronics that no longer worked or were compatible with anything we currently used. Plus, I had a second generation IBM computer which I had asked the previous homeowners to leave with me because it reminded me of the one I grew up using. Once I tried to use it, however, I learned it didn’t get past the initial screen and I didn’t have a new boot disk. At that point it was simply a very heavy door stop.

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EAT | Did It Work? Reheating Pizza on the Stovetop

A few months ago I saw one of those “video recipes” on Facebook, but this one was a quick way to reheat pizza on the stovetop. “You’ll never use the oven again!” it claimed.

I made homemade pizza a few weeks ago and, the next day, decided to try this technique to see if it really was as quick and easy as the internet said it would be.

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BABY | Books We Love – Sign Language

Before my daughter was born I picked up a $1 copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Baby Sign Language from our  local Goodwill. I wasn’t sure if we were actually going to teach her sign language, but I had heard positive anecdotes about it and how it might be important for her development. I brought it home, gave it a quick once-over, and put it on the shelf.

Once she was born, it took me a few weeks to get back to the book. I was nervous about starting. I felt overwhelmed with simply being a parent – how could I fathom adding learning a brand new skill for both me and her to our already full plates?

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BABY | “W-Sitting” easy correction

A few months ago, while back in the Chicago area visiting my parents, I stopped by an old friend’s home to see her, her daughter, and her mom. We sat around talking for close to an hour, and during this time my daughter adopted the W-sitting position that comes naturally to most toddlers.

My friend’s mom, who had worked as a preschool teacher for decades (so I believe her when she tells me something about children), explained this position was detrimental to my daughter’s knees and back, and that although she may not currently understand me, I needed to start correcting it. She said it was as simple as saying “No W” and correcting the leg positioning.

I started making this change immediately. Every time I saw her sit this way I said “No W” and gently moved her legs into a straight-out position.

It’s only three months later and all I have to do is say “No W” and she will correct herself. It is simple and my daughter doesn’t fight it. She may move back to that position shortly after, but I give her another gentle reminder and move her legs again.

Easy peasy.

Here are some links to articles about W-sitting and more detail behind the importance of correcting it, and potential issues that may be at hand if your child sits this way.



BE | On Resolutions

It’s 9pm on New Year’s Day, and I must say I had “resolved” once or twice in my own head (never committed in writing or verbally) that I would write a post today, and perhaps write them more frequently. And yes, it’s still today, but it’s late. And I’m multi-tasking. But a post about resolutions doesn’t have the same meaning if it comes out on the second, does it?

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