; World of Dennifer: 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I'm alive...

Haaaai! I just wanted to let y'all know that I'm alive & I know I'm a slacker blogger, but some good things have been happening for me at work that have meant less time online, but I hope to be back soon to at least update on some of our 2012 D&R progress & to share the deets on a shower I'm hosting in the next couple of weeks...and of course to continue posting my Project 365 photos! 'Till next time!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2012 D&R plans

Hey there! OMG my job is not easing up - it's like every time I clear one thing off my to do list, another thing appears, ugh. anyways - my usual apologies for begin absent. It's so hard being a working mom & full time blogger too! Something's gotta give I suppose, so I do apologize, but I'm sure all you other mamas out there understand? I am planning to eventually get back to blogging a bit more regularly, I just need to figure out a good schedule. So anywho, sorry! I started writing this post back in mid-March & am just now getting around to finishing it. So, without further adieu...

Naturally (sarcasm) since we are in the third fourth month of the year, I decided it's finally about time I posted our D&R plans for our house this year. There is a lot we'd like to do, but unfortunately some of it is expensive, so we are trying to spread out some of the work.
I always like to break up the work by level of the house, so here goes...

Main Level {living room, kitchen/dining room, half bath}

 {Living Room}

{Powder Room}

{Dining Room}


Please 'scuse the old, not good quality pics - not much has changed since these were taken, so I saw no need in taking new pics. Here is what we'd like to do on this level this year (items completed are crossed out):
  • Paint entire level one color
  • Paint ceilings bright white (they are off white now - looks dingy to me)
  • Add long, white/possibly dark brown Ikea (or similar) shelves over couches
  • Considering purchasing new side table(s) or getting rid of them altogether
  • Change out light fixture at top of stairs to lower level
  • Change out half bath brass hardware or spray paint it 
  • Paint or re-finish kitchen cabinets
  • New kitchen faucet & sink
  • New countertops if we can swing 'em financially (I want granite or quartz)
  • Add backsplash in kitchen
  • New light fixtures in kitchen
  • New window treatments for kitchen window (thinking about trying my hand at this DIY roman shade) & sliding glass door
  • New outdoor dining set for deck
Basement/Lower Level {finished living/entertaining area, unfinished laundry area, full bath w/shower only}

{living area}

{full bathroom}
  • Paint entire level one color
  • Paint ceilings bright white
  • Finish office space makeover project (link) {update coming soon}
  • Paint fireplace & decorate mantel
  • Toy storage unit/baskets
  • New decor for bathroom
  • Upper Level {master bed & bath, munchkin's bedroom}
  • (pics)
  • Paint hallway wall same color as the rest of the house
  • Paint ceilings bright white
  • New bookshelf for munchkin
  • New window treatments for munchkin & (possibly) our room
  • New spring/summer bedding for our room

And, on the main level, we just want to paint the ceilings. I think that's it for 2012 & that's a lot! I think it is doable though...minus a few things that may be subject to funding availability. And besides the painting, which my flipping AWESOME {professional painter} uncle is doing for us for F-R-E-E (woot!!!), the most time consuming (read: likely frustrating) thing is probably going to be the kitchen cabinets & backsplash.

We are starting on the main level sometime this month got started on the main level last month & 99.9% of the painting is done, squee! I'll be documenting our progress here as we go along - wish us luck, we're gonna need it! 'Till next time!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Project 365 - letter, lessons & laughter for my daughter - weeks 6-8

Hai! Checking in to catch up with my Project 365...more tutorials, DIY decor, house updates, etc. coming soon!

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

{Day 53: I decided to keep private - I did take one though, promise!}

Phew. One more week & I'll be completely caught up, woot! Oh & PS - I'll probably keep some photos private here & there throughout the year since this is a public blog & I don't want all my biznass out on the interwebz. And PPS - please 'scue my kiddo's cray cray hair in some of the pics - most of them are taken later in the day, after I get home from work & she's been at school all day. By the end of the day, her perfect little pretty curls are all messy, ugh! 'Till next time!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What I wanna buy Wednesday - 02.29.12

See - I'm trying to get back to posting regularly - at least a few times a week! It's late though, so I'll update more later, but for now...I'm here to bring you this week's installment of WIWBW!

1. A cool tunnel for the munchkin:

My little baby is growing up so fast! In fact, she's so big, she tells me "baby, baby, baby" & lays in my arms when she wants to be cuddled like a baby. :) So cute, but bittersweet of course since she's growing up too fast for this mama! Anywho, I have been eying this cute tunnel in my most recent One Step Ahead catalog because her latest & greatest is crawling through & under stuff - like our ottoman (it's a big one with an open bottom for extra storage), like under our legs, etc. Maybe the Easter bunny will bring this along for her?!

2. A new sectional for my living room:

Ever since we purchased a sectional for the basement, I've been lusting after this one for our living room. One problem (besides the obvious cost issue) - I don't think we have room in our teeny living room. Sigh. Maybe in the next house. :o/

3. A pair of gray jeans:

Ahhh I actually have a pair of gray jeans, but ever since having the munchkin, these hips & booty will just not fit back into my size 7's. Ugh. So, I went to gap & tried these on - loved them, but wasn't loving the $70 price tag. So my awesome friend & neighbor bought these for me as a gift (she works for Gap & got 50% off, woo) - LOVE her to pieces! And I'm also loving my sweet new pair of gray jeans! Thanks Pam...xoxo!

4. A striped cardigan:

I saw this pinned on an outfit on Pinterest & just had to have it! Luckily, it's on sale at Abercrombie, so I got it in Navy because that's even cheaper & I like navy more than red. For some reason, I am loving stripes right now - it must be a new spring trend because I'm seeing them everywhere lately!

5. A new dog tag for the dog:

Having a blog, I sometimes get marketing emails from a variety of companies asking em to feature their products on my blog & this is one of the rare times I actually accepted because I'm really digging this product! It's a pet ID tag with GPS Notification Services by Pet Hub. I cannot tell you how many times my mom has had to put up signs for her lost cats (they are indoor/outdoor cats & wander off from time to time, which worries my mother sick!) & I always worry one day that our dog will get out or run out of the door & keep running. This tag provides peace of mind that both my mom & I will always be able to find our treasured fur babies. They run away, you can track them online or someone can scan the code on their tag with their smartphone & your information will come up! Such an awesome idea - and if you're intrigued, they have a Groupon running right now for a tag + a one-year subscription to their gold service for only $14. And...I may be offering a giveaway of one of the tags here on my blog soon - just trying to work out the deets!

And that's all I have for this week's WIWBW. 'Till next time!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Project 365 - letters, lessons & laughter for my daughter - weeks 4-5

Yeah, I've totally been slacking posting these - but I'm really trying hard to catch up. I feel like I have soooo much to share with y'all & so little time because of work mainly, but also the munchkin! I remember back in the day, I used to search for things to blog about - now I have lots, but no time! Ugh. Anywho, I have a couple exciting giveaways planned so stay tuned - one I'm previewing tomorrow for WIWBW...such a cool product for the pet lovers out there.

Anywho...in an attempt to catch up, here are weeks 4 & 5 of Project 365 photos. Later this week, I'll be posting the the last ::ahem:: several weeks of Project 365 photos in order to finish catching up. Thanks for being patient with me guys!

Week 4

{Day 27: I decided to keep private - I did take one though, promise!}

Week 5

Annnd now, I'm exhausted! More soon...'till next time!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How Ferber changed our lives!

*~*~I started this post about a month ago & never got around to posting it, but the topic is important & one I know moms all over want to read about, so I'm posting I finished the rest of what I wanted to say them & posting it now. PS - sorry for the LOOONG absence - things have been super hectic 'round these parts lately...anywho, more posts coming soon - promise!*~*~

So IDK if I've blogged about it much my kiddo's recent sleep issues. Before she turned 13 months, Amaya was sleeping thru the night pretty consistently with only occasional disturbances when she was getting sick or teething. And at 13 months - BAM. Just like that, she started waking up multiple times at night & not only that, but wanting to stay up for 1-2 hours at a time. At first, I thought this too shall pass, but after dealing with that craziness for over two months, both the hubbs & I were at our wits end...like shoot me now, I'm so tired I can't function end of our ropes. At worse, I got about 3 hours of sleep a night & she was up SIX times. Yah, no beuno.We were all miserable...I'm pretty sure including the dog!

I talked about it with a few mommy friends & everyone suggested different things - just wait it out, let her cry (which I never wanted to do), push back her bed time, etc. & I think I tried just about everything on that list & none of that worked. Then another mommy friend suggested I read Dr. Richard Ferber's highly acclaimed book, Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems & try his method, called progressive waiting. The basic premise behind his method is to break unhealthy sleep associations in your child, so that she can fall asleep (& back asleep) on their own, needing little to no adult intervention. You basically have to put your child down sleepy, but not asleep & let her fall asleep on her own (which normally involves some crying at first) & leave them for increasing amounts of time (with a cap on the third wait time each night). You basically do the same thing when/if the child wakes up in the middle of the night & you have to stay CONSISTENT. Well, I totally understood his concept, but I didn't buy that it would work as quickly as Dr. Ferber suggested it would - in about 4 days you are supposed to see a noticeable difference and by two weeks, there should be little to no crying at all.

Well, here's what I'm looking at right now...

{please 'scuse the quality of the pic - it's a photo of the monitor on my phone}

I kept a log of the first several nights we did of Ferber & as you can see, it worked pretty much like a charm after about 5 nights:

Night 1:
  • Put down: 9pm'ish (Ferber's books suggest starting out with a slightly later than normal bedtime on the first several nights to ensure your child is sleepy & the process will work a bit better)
    • 1 - 3 min. check; 1 - 5 min. check; 1 - 10 min. check.
    • Sleep: 9:27pm
  • Middle of the Night (MOTN) waking: 9:48pm
    • No check, fell back asleep within 2 min.
    • Sleep: 9:50pm
  • MOTN waking: 2:59am
    • 1 - 3 min. check; 1 - 5 min. check; 1 - 10 min check
    • Sleep: 3:41am
  • Up for day: 7:27am

Night 2:
  •  Put down: 8:27pm
    • 1 - 5 min. check
    • Sleep: 8:34pm
  • MOTN waking: 12:22am (sat up without crying; cried out a few times)
    • No checks!! 
    • Sleep: 12:26am
  • Up for day: 7:10am

Night 3: 
  • Put down: 8:40pm
    • 1 - 8 min check; 1 - 12 min. check
    •  Sleep: 9:12am; poor munchkin fell asleep standing up, so I went in to lay her down so she didn't fall & hurt herself at 9:14pm.
  • MOTN waking: 2:12am
    • 1 - 8 min. check (soaking wet thru clothes, so I had to do a jammies change)
    • Re-start checks @ 2:32am
    • 1 - 8 min. check
    • Sleep: 2:50am
  • Up for day: 7:20am

Night 4:
  • Put down: 8:29pm
    • 1 - 10 min. check
    • Sleep: 8:42pm
  • Up for day: 7:38am

Night 5: 
  • Put down: 8:29pm
    • No crying!! She played with her paci for a few min, then...
    • Sleep: 8:34pm
  • Up for day: 7:30am 

Night 6: 
  • Put down: 8:20pm
    • Cried 7 min.
    • Sleep: 8:30pm
  • MOTN waking: 4:14am
    • Cried 4 min; no check
    • Sleep: 4:20am
  • Up for day: {I forgot to write down the time - whoopsie} 

Night 7: 
  • Put down: 8:20pm
    • No crying!! She played with her paci for a few min, then...
    • Sleep: 8:28pm
  • MOTN waking: 11:04pm
    • Cried 4 min.
    • Sleep: 11:08pm
  • Up for day: 6:10am

 So, as you can see...it really just got better each night. There have been some regressions here & there, but overall she has done so well on Ferber's program! Now, she goes down without crying at all & normally doesn't wake up at all. When she does., I generally let her cry 10 min., watch the monitor to see if she looks uncomfortable & if so, I go in & do a check...normally she'll fall asleep on her own unless something's up (ie, she's soaking wet thru her clothes, she can't find her paci, etc.). Once she is better &/or I calm her down by patting her, then she normally falls right back asleep on her own. She now gets about 10-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, woot! Goooo Baby AJ!!

A few suggestions for anyone considering using Ferber's method on their child:
  1. **MOST IMPORTANT** - read the book, at least the first few chapters just so you truly understand the method. At first, I thought Ferber was the same as "cry it out" (CIO) & it's not at all - there is some crying involved, but his method allows you to reassure your baby/child that you're still around if s/he really needs you.
  2. BE CONSISTENT - it's very rough the first few nights, especially if hearing your little one cry bothers you ::raises hand::, but you MUST stick with it or it won't work.
  3. Keep a log - it helped me to notice a pattern & see noticeable results.
  4. The method doesn't necessarily work the same at different times of day/night. With Amaya, I tried Ferber for her weekend naps & it was an epic FAIL. The book says that the sleep associations during different times of day are normal & don't necessarily affect each other. Since the first attempt was an epic fail, I just decided it's not worth her {or my} stress to go down for naps without me, so I still rock her to sleep for naps on the weekends...I figure she won't take naps her whole life, but she will sleep at night her whole life, so that's more important to me.
  5. Having a good & well established bedtime routine helps - we had already had one - yaay! Ferber supports & encourages a very consistent routine around bedtime.
  6. You can adjust the plan to make it work for you or make you feel comfortable. For example, Ferber's first checks start at 3 min., but if you feel like that's too long, you can do a check at 1 or even 2 min. on the first night of Ferber. The most important thing is to stay consistent & don't make the checks too long. 
  7. Try to resist the urge to scoop up your baby/child during checks - Ferber says that the child should remain (or be returned to) their crib/bed during a check. With Amaya, we just rub or pat her back & shhh shhh her...calms her right down.

Whew, that was much longer than I expected! I hope this helps some mama out there...I know I always like reading about other people's parenting "hot topic" experiences, so hopefully mine will be useful to one & hopefully more of you out there! I'd love to hear your experiences with sleep training or issues, so just leave me a comment or email me at worldofdennifer{at}gmail{dot}com so we can talk more. 'Till next time!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Project 365 - letters, lessons & laughter for my daughter - week 3

Hi! Hope everyone had an awesome weekend! So much for my hopes of being able to blog more from class - yeah, my class def doesn't have any computer or internet...my phone doesn't even get a 3G signal! It's gonna be a looong 2 weeks, ugh!! Anywho, I'm exhausted so I'm going to stop talking now & just give you what you've been waiting on {at least I'd like to think so}...

More soon. 'Till next time!