Kristen & Benton Brown

An Unexpected Start

An Unexpected Start
Parker Trimble Brown was born April 9, 2010.

I'm One Year Old

I'm One Year Old
Parker will be 14 months old on June 9th.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday's Laundry Room Re-do

Let me start by saying that there was nothing really wrong with my laundry room, except that it's the only room in the house that we haven't painted. It was a boring eggshell white color with a cheap tan rubbery mat from Target. I do like the mirror I have hanging over the sink, otherwise there were a couple of potted plants and crosses on one wall.

I don't have time to be as crafty as I would like and after a while I get in a creative funk that can only be cured with a project. I usually have to do projects like this when Benton is out of town because he lacks creative vision and doesn't trust me not to screw up the house.

Not that every project is a success - like the bathroom I painted in our old house when I was 9 months pregnant. Paint job was sub par, but it was the electric blue that sent Benton over the edge. He was as nice as he could be with his critique, but I had a hormonal meltdown anyway.

So here is today's project. Credit for the idea is from my mom - pre-Internet. She used liquid starch and fabric on our bathroom back in the early 1990's. I had been planning to find a hip chevron pattern to put on the backsplash of our laundry room. I figured this was a safe place for experimentation since almost no one sees it anyway.

Chevron must be cooler on blogs and Pinterest than in real life because it was hard to find a pattern. I wanted one color with white, not a Missoni multi-color, and the only one I found was a sunshine yellow with white.

So I switched to a tan and white print with Tiffany blue parrots. It's a great transitional print since the hallway is khaki and the bathroom and guest room next door are blue. It was regularly $17.99/ sq. ft. at Hancock Fabrics, but it was on sale for 40% off.

I bought 3 yards and began measuring out the fabric on my kitchen floor using the tile to help me cut straight lines. If you're going to try this - add half and inch to your vertical and horizontal measurements. If you know me, you know I'm mathematically challenged anyway and you'll want the room for shrinkage. Plus, if your measurements or cutting aren't perfect, you need extra to trim off, rather than a gap that's too short.

I tried to cut a hole for the outlet before putting the fabric up and my measurement was off. After that, I just put the fabric up and then cut holes where I needed them.

After the fabric is cut, put the first piece in a bucket and pour undiluted liquid starch on top of it and soak it until it's entirely wet. Squeeze it slightly into a ball so that it's really wet but not dripping. Stretch it out over the wall starting in a corner so you can get your lines as straight as possible.

You may be a really great measuerer/cutter, otherwise, pick one side to be your straight side and let the other side have your overhang you can fix later with a straightedge razor after it dries. Starting in your first corner, put push pins every 10 inches or so (you'll remove them after it dies). Smooth out the fabric and stretch it flat across the surface. That's it!

It was harder to make sure the pattern sort-of lined up, but a solid color would have been the same as paint and I wanted a wallpaper look and feel. I ended up doing more wall than I planned because I had fabric left over and I loved the way it looked. I went back and bought 3 more yards and another bottle of starch this evening.

Someone asked on Facebook how I did his with a toddler. I did the prep work while Parker was awake and he wasn't much help. He tried to walk on the fabric on the kitchen floor, stole the tape measure, and tried to hold the scissors. I did most of it during his 2.5 hour nap this afternoon, but I will say it was much easier to do this with Parker than painting or wallpapering - yikes!

Tomorrow's project is to paint a chevron pattern on a rug for the floor, so stay tuned!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Parker's Baptism

We had Parker baptized at First United Methodist in Coppell by Rev. Dennis Wilkinson this past Sunday (August 14, 2011). We had both sets of grandparents present, along with Julie & Brad Gossett who are also members at FUMC.  Parker wormed and squirmed through the first ten minutes of the service and then did fine during the baptism ceremony.  At one point he started pointing out to the congregation saying dada, dada, dada and Benton tried to hush him.  Dennis just said Parker was saying amen to what he was saying.  We don't have any pictures from church since cameras aren't allowed in the sanctuary, but here are a couple after our lunch at Joe T's.

It occurred to me that this was our first church ceremony to participate in as a family of three.  I felt grown up to have joined a new church (still love FCC where I grew up!) and to begin our lives in a new congregation.  We haven't started Sunday School or any other activities yet, but Parker will be starting preschool there one day per week in the fall.  I'm so glad we have finally found a church home.

Parker is 16 Months Old


I’m a bad mother and missed the 15 month update – actually, I was busy being a good mom and there wasn’t a great time to pause and type an update.  Parker is now napping and Benton is out of town, so this is a good time to catch up.

At 16 months, Parker is a hot mess – both literally and figuratively.  We’re breaking heat records with almost 50 days of over 100 degrees. Not that this is news to anyone, but I want to document it for posterity.  I was born in September of 1980 in Austin, Texas, and my mom always told me how the Summer of 1980 was the hottest on record.  Soooo glad that I’m not spending the Summer of 2011 pregnant, but its still been miserably hot.  So hot in fact, that its too hot to go to the pool, run errands, go to the park, walk with the stroller, etc….

Back to the hot mess. Benton asked me at 15 months if the “terrible twos” can hit early. I told him that I think its just going to get worse for the next 9 months.  Parker still climbs on tables, chairs, up cabinets, on ottomans, on beds, etc.  He has no fear about sliding off of any of these objects either.  No fear also applies to the swimming pool – he loves going down headfirst on the slide at the pool. 

We took two weeks of mommy and me swim lessons and I’ll admit that it was pretty worthless.  Don’t get me wrong, it was great bonding and I worked out from 9-10 each morning then we booked it downstairs for our group of 4 toddlers in the pool.  Parker did not like being told what to do and when to do it.  No splashing or kicking on command for this stinker.  However, he did love jumping off the lilly pads and the best part was eating a full brunch by the pool afterwards.  I did pick up some things to work with him on, but we won’t be taking another set of lessons for another six months or even until next summer!

Other developments at 16 months include an expanding vocabulary and a lovely high-pitched scream when he doesn’t have a word to express himself.  It may be a happy scream, scared scream, or mad scream, but they all sound like nails on a chalkboard.  His words now include momma, dada, Jack (says it constantly, normally without the ‘K’ sound), pops (as in barbeque pop chips or my dad), nana, wawa (water), aqua (his first Spanish word), da (down), uh (up, or uhhh figure out what I want you to do), ya (yes), and na (no), bleh (blueberry), waff (waffle).  When in doubt, he will point, whine, or grab your finger, or literally pull your legs where he wants you to go so he can tell you what he wants.

Playing with Olivia Gossett

Its been so fun to figure out that he really does observe so much around him.  He notices planes that fly overhead, he wants to see what is on top of counters, he watches lights and ceiling fans, and is curious about what is in closets, cabinets, under beds, etc.  Which basically means that he is into everything all the time = hot mess.