Monthly Archives: April 2014

Making Room for Baby Griffin #4

Baby Griffin #4 is due in just two short months (July 2014). In our experience any projects that aren’t complete before a baby’s arrival will remain incomplete or take a serious six month hiatus before you see any more action on those projects (trust us we have moved every time we have been pregnant).

This time around we aren’t moving houses but a lot of movement will need to happen within our home to make room for our fourth. We have a four bedroom house. Three bedrooms down a long hallway (the guestroom, kids room and nursery) and a master bedroom in the back.The three rooms down the hallway will be the rooms undergoing transformation. Here is the game plan for the rooms…

THE GUESTROOM

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The Guestroom will by far under go the biggest change… it will become Eliann’s Girl Bedroom (as opposed to the shared girl/boy space she has been in with David for the last five years). This will be the first time she has had her own space again since her siblings came into the mix.

We will have to get rid of all the guestroom furniture and create the perfect space for a little lady from scratch. This will be a lot of fun but will also require the most vision because we want the room to grow with Eliann. What I mean is that the room can’t scream ‘baby’ girl but I am also in no hurry to get her into a ‘teen’ looking space either. We also have to consider the fact that she is already school aged so she has different needs then just a place to sleep and play like the boys.

Key Pieces That Will Make The Space:

  • New Furniture- twin bed,  mattress, bookshelf’s, dresser, etc.
  • The Color Scheme/Decor- a balance of not too baby and not too teen will be key.

THE KIDS ROOM (SHARED GIRL/BOY SPACE)

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The Kids Room will get the next biggest transformation. Although in theory I am not building a room from scratch like Eliann’s new bedroom, I don’t want to neglect the boys and just give them the left overs of where their big sister has been.

I want to rearrange and add subtle things to the room that make it feel like a brand new space for the boys. All of the pink will go and I will have the challenge of making it feel overall more masculine but still giving each of the boys a personality within the space.

Key Pieces That Will Make The Space:

  • New Furniture- The need for toy storage will be important with two little boys combining all their toys to help them stay as organized as possible.
  • New Artwork/ Decor- I can transform the room into a more masculine space with the right accent artwork and decor.

THE NURSERY

I don’t have a great shot of the nursery… this is once we converted the crib for Pierce so he could start training to sleep in the twin bunks.

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The nursery will be on hold for a bit. I plan to take some pieces out of the room to use as I transform the other bedrooms which will leave it feeling a little bare for the time being… but the baby will be here soon enough and then the sprucing of the nursery can begin. The sex of the baby will largely determine the overall feel of the room which is why we will have to wait.  This is a blessing in disguise because our time and resources can be focused on our older kids who need use of their bedrooms now, verses a baby who really wont need the space for the first six months of their life.

Key Pieces That Will Make The Space:

  • New Furniture-  A Wing-back Rocker.
  • Bedding and An Area Rug- which will depend on the sex of the baby.

THE BUDGET

When we received our return from our taxes this year, the first thing we did was to pay off the remainder of our student loans… whoo-hoo that felt good! Now our only debt is our mortgage. Thankfully we had some money left over to set aside in savings and a small budget of $660 was set aside for the purpose of transforming the Guestroom into Eliann’s Bedroom (since we knew that would require the most amount work to build a room from scratch).

We also knew we had to get rid of the guestroom furniture in order to make room for Eliann’s new space and we had hoped we would make some money from that to aid with the changes we’d be making to the bedrooms. Thankfully we were able to sell the entire guestroom as a set to a couple we know for $300.

$660 Budget for Eliann’s Bedroom (from tax return)
$300 Sale of Guest Room 
$960 Total Budget for Three Bedroom Transformation to Make Room for Baby Griffin #4

The Challenge: If at all possible, I would like to try to keep the total budget of the entire three bedroom transformation to the original $660 Budget we had set aside from our taxes (at least with all the purchases I can make before the baby is born).

Challenge Accepted! Wish me luck.

Don’t Waste Your Spring Break!

Hi Friends!

Today is the first official day of Spring Break for our family! Maybe it is for you too. But what does that really mean? Well for us it simply means no school for the kids… which is a horrible chore to have to wake myself up to take them to school… so I am already pumped up about it!

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Beyond the bonus of not having to wake up early, however, I want to give intentional thought to how I want to spend my so called “break.” We didn’t plan a getaway or vacation this year, so my fear is that our days would fly by with the other commitments that make up our schedule if I didn’t give it some thought. It’s two whole weeks that culminate on Easter Sunday with the resurrection of our Lord! I don’t want to look back and say, “Where did our Spring Break go?”

So this morning as I lay in bed contemplating what we would do with our time off, I thought to myself I need a plan… something to help alleviate the pressure of having to think of something awesome to do with my kids each day so I don’t feel like our time was wasted. Then it hit me! I could make “B… R… E… A… K…” stand for something… turn it into an acronym to help us plan the components of our day. Some of the letters were easier than others but after a little research (what words start with “K”) this is what I came up with:

IMG_6721gods-blessingA

solar-energy-light-trees exclusive-balloon-rides-indianapolis-in

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Each day of Spring Break (Monday-Friday) the kids and I will plan how we spend our time by considering these components daily:

(B) – How can we be a blessing to others today? Who will we bless and how?

(R) – How will we incorporate rest into our day today?

(E) – How will we educate ourselves today? What would it make sense to learn about?

(A)– How will we be active today?

(K)– What project will we kick start today? What do we need to do to make sure we complete project by the end of Spring Break?

These are really easy questions to consider and in this way our family, and yours, can be intentional about our time while incorporating themes we value into our daily routine.  I’ll document and share with you what we come up with and hopefully lots of people will be inspired to be intentional with their time off this Spring B… R… E… A…K!

How do you (did you) plan to make the most of your Spring Break?

The Medicine Cabinets

In case you aren’t familiar the phrase I coined “Domestic Duty Day,” they are days I spend mostly at home working on domestic duties: meal preparation, laundry, dishes, household projects, organization, etc. Not everyday is Domestic Duty Day, although everyday does involves some kind of domestic duty because I want to be a good steward of my home.

No, these are special days where I don’t have to work or run errands or go to activities that keep me away from my home for most of the day. They typically land on Mondays for me which is nice because it is a good day to work in the home and prep for the week.

Today I wanted to tackle my Medicine Cabinets (or the cabinets that have become my medicine cabinets). We kind of have one for the kids and one for the adults. Lets take a look at my home’s main bathroom (we have another in our master bedroom) to see where they are located (look up from the black arrows):

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Don’t they look great (with the doors closed)! Haha. Well last week my daughter was sick. She had a fever for a couple of days and a throwing up incident in the middle of the night. Thank God it was only one time but of course I assumed the worse and went into stomach flu mode- disinfecting everything, quarantining my child and plotting to kill whoever shared this with her and would now infect my whole house. You know the feeling!

So I peaked into my medicine cabinets just looking for some fever reducing medicine for kids and found this:

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… and the adult side was not really any better…

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I dug around and found no fever reducing medicine or electrolyte fluid for her. I made a bigger mess in the cabinet and still had to run out to the store to buy some medicine. I vowed to get organized with the mess and be more prepared for future illness or first aid type emergency… which is where we are today.

Step 1: Empty Out the Cabinets & Visually Organizing the Items You Pulled Out by Type

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Whoo-hoo! Well I put a little more effort into it than that… don’t assume I just threw all the items out onto the floor. As I pulled items out I organized them on the bathroom counter by type or whether it should go in the kids vs. adult cabinet.

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Step 2: Bring Out the Organizational Bins

Since my daughters illness was last week and I had been out to the store since then, I grabbed a couple of storage bins knowing I would eventually get to organizing the medicine cabinets. Knowing what types of bins you need before you shop would avoid buying the wrong product or needing to make returns, but I had a general feeling for what I needed when I dug around looking for the fever medicine before. Now that you can visualize what all needs to be contained because it is out on your counter, this would be the ideal time to run out and grab some bins (but not everyone has the time or capacity to press pause mid-project and go on a shopping trip… but if you do, more power to you because you’ll make smarter buys).

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Step 3: Fill the Organizational Bins Accordingly

I don’t know what all you have in your cabinets, so I can only share what worked for me with mine. Here is what I did:

Kids Medicine Cabinet

  • Used the 3 Drawer Tower to organize smaller tools I use for kids that easily get lost…Drawer 1: Baby Tools- dropper, thermometer, tweezers, bulb and brush.???????????????????????????????
    Drawer 2: Band-aids and Antiseptic Spray (I ditched the bulky band-aid boxes and put them in smaller see threw zip-locks for easy access).??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Drawer 3: Small Sewing Kit and First Aid Extras???????????????????????????????
  • Open Storage Bin to place all kids medicine together. I wanted a way to still use the depth of my cabinet but be able to pull out all the medicines at once to find what I need without toppling over or having to pull out all the bottles one at a time to find it.???????????????????????????????

Before and After of the Kids Medicine Cabinet

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As you can see larger bottles stayed out and to the side and they are still easy to see and pull out. The two storage bins are easy to pull out and still keep all the smaller items contained.

Adult Medicine Cabinet

The Adult Medicine Cabinet wasn’t actually too bad to begin with but I did want the two containers on that side to be a little better organized.

  • All boxed pills or lozenges went in the clear bin with a lid (harder for kids to get to and it is also in a higher cabinet). The fact that the bin is clear makes it easy for me to pull out and see what is in there from any angle.???????????????????????????????

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  • All plastic pill bottles and containers went in the Single Drawer Container.IMG_6494

Before and After of Adult Medicine Cabinet

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STEP 4: Take Out The Trash

In the process of clearing out your cabinets you’ll inevitably have expired medicines or packaging you don’t need so throw it away but then make sure to take out the trash completely from your bathroom so little ones don’t accidentally get to it.

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Step 5: Find A Home For Items That Didn’t Belong

While cleaning out the medicine cabinets I realized I had items in them that didn’t belong there because they would make more sense to have available somewhere else in my house. So the last step is to take those items to where they do belong in your home.

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DONE! 

Project Time: About an hour (not including shopping).

What did I do with my kids during this time: They were in the bathroom with me playing in the tub… so when I was done I washed them and put them down for a nap.

Now because I am having four kids, I purposely designed the bathroom to have four cabinets and four drawers because I want each of them to have their own space in the bathroom that can be concealed (since it also serves as our main bathroom for guests). So I know in the future these cabinets will not work as my medicine cabinets, but everything in them will be easy to relocate and I already assume the cabinet above the toilet is probably where they will be heading.

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Other Medicine Cabinet Resources

Happy Domestic Duty Day and Spring Cleaning!