Built-in Storage Bench

In order to get Lucy's room ready, we have to be able to move everything out of there...all my hobby things, camping gear, musical instruments, years worth of things we've collected in the eleven years we were together pre-kids, back in the days when we each had our own room for hobbies. Things have changed!

So...Lucy's room needs a ceiling, a hole in the wall, and some storage built, but before that happens, we had to figure out where we would put all the things from what had essentially become a storage area next to our laundry room (in the midst of this chaos, we have two rooms that look like we are absolute hoarders).

Justin had the amazing idea to turn the open living room/dining area into one big living area, which I was super down with because we are practically on top of each other as it is and we already moved our little dining table to the kitchen.

This is the view looking in from the original living area. All this is recently added living room space. It's nice and big now. Double this and you have the whole room.

Ignore the pouting child on the sofa.

Justin suggested that we use the original living room area for additional seating, our musical instruments, and sort of a "living" family area, a place to play. He set up a place for me to put my sewing and craft things. Notice we are no longer sleeping in the living room. Thank you memory foam; thank you snoogle.

At first it seemed cool, but it started to feel like more clutter. It didn't seem to have a place in our living space next to our piano and other instruments.

That poor piano is going to get repainted very soon, by the way. I am so excited about the color that I want to shout it from the rooftops. But that will be a surprise...

Anyway, we had a terrific idea to turn the window area into an L-shaped storage bench. I am so lucky to have a handy guy.

The bench will be a seat but also is big enough to provide a bed for overnight guests or napping mommies.

I will post more pics when he's done. I plan to cover it with a padded surface and paint it.

This was my contribution. Hey, I'm pregnant! I chose the fabric and painted. That counts for something, right?

I love a man who knows how to handle a power tool.

He built two doors into the bench. The main part of the "L" was about 6.5 by 2 feet. He built the short section to be open underneath for toys and other items.

I chose oilcloth for the fabric because we have little kids. I went with a small aqua gingham, which I picked up from a local store called Tatermash. The woman who helped me was incredibly sweet and even assisted me with my disastrous algebra skills to ultimately save me a yard's worth of money. Surprisingly, two yards cost only $9, much less than what I'd expected to pay.

Because the oilcloth was 48" wide, we cut up the middle.

We used a staple gun to attach the fabric to the doors, which we removed to install the padding on.

The crazy winter storm that is keeping the rest of the country indoors hit here too, so instead of running to the fabric store for more batting (we had 1 package of Poly-fil from making felt plushies), hub went around the corner to Family Dollar and bought a two-for deal on cheap pillows, which I cut open to salvage the stuffing.

We stuffed...

And stuffed. We don't really know how to do this kind of thing, so we were winging it with a broomstick. Seems to have worked out all right.

At the end of day 2 in our free time, we managed to get this much completed. I will post a pic of the finished project tomorrow!

Block Party

Sunny Day Picnic

The weather was outstanding yesterday, but there was no time for the park with Justin's work shift starting at 4:30, so we took to the front yard with burgers from Brownie's. It's hard to believe we might be getting a foot of snow tomorrow. That's green country for you!

And there was delicious mochi for dessert...

Slap happy


Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?

Someone in our house is obsessed with a celebrity.


A Teddy Bear for Lunch

Arthur is spoiled. This is what his Daddo sends to school with him:

Isn't he lucky? My sandwiches never come like that.

There are tons more fun kid lunch ideas at Cute Food for Kids.

27 Weeks Pregnant

Still operating without our camera, but for phone pics they aren't terrible. Hard to believe my belly is so big already!

Disney World at Halloween Pictorial Part Seven: Downtown Disney

This is the end of the Disney photos. Thanks for checking them out!

Look over yonder behind the Mickey topiary. It's Basin, my favorite Disney World shop.

I'm pretty sure this one is my mom's favorite.

All in all, it was a great time. If everything goes well, we are headed back for #4 in four years, this time at Christmas again (I love Halloween, but I am a teacher...I was pushing it to go at Halloween this year).

If you are thinking about going to Disney World and it's a stretch to make the trip, here's our advice. Plan it out two years in advance, unless your kids are really little, then think, really think about the age that they would enjoy it the most. If you know you have the means to go back again, don't hesitate to take little kids, but if it's a once in a lifetime trip, make sure your kids will get the most out of it. Disney costs a lot--I mean a lot, of money, but it's a blast.

Arthur's best advice on what's fun at Disney: "Figment the dragon." (Figment at Journey into Imagination, EPCOT)

Justin's best advice: "If you are going to spend the day at EPCOT's Food and Wine Festival, have more than four dollars on you. Because there is a lot of nice-looking food there which you can not eat if you only have four dollars." 

Justin got burned on that one.

Check out the rest of our vacation:

Disney World at Halloween Part Six: Animal Kingdom

Cousin Noah on the Triceratops Twirl

See more of our Disney Halloween vacay:

Disney World at Halloween Pictorial Part Four: EPCOT

Unlike everyone else, who seem to prefer Hollywood, EPCOT is my favorite park. I remember visiting when I was a little girl in 1984 when it was practically brand new, which I find hard to believe when we ride through the outdated but kitchalicious Spaceship Earth.

As a mom, I really appreciate the abundance of characters for little ones to meet and greet on the way in.

It's too bad I lost our autograph book on Halloween (I shouldn't have been using it for freewriting). Arthur will appreciate it more next year, anyway.

I was thrilled beyond words to witness the Captain Eo revival firsthand and finally share it with my hubs. This 3D Michael Jackson wonder, complete with George Lucas Star Wars rejects, is a can't-miss.

Seriously. This stuff is golden. Makes me want to thrust my hips.

Innoventions is a cool place for little ones to play with hands-on learning activities. Arthur is counting money in these pics.

Can't resist taking a photo of the fiber-optic ground, which is much cooler in person.

This thing at Journey into Imagination is too awesome for words. The boys are conducting music and images with their hands.

See more of our Disney Halloween vacay: