The Fogue Abode

Thursday, February 23, 2017

How I DIY with a Toddler

I often get asked the question, how do I get so many projects done with a toddler around?  This is a great question, and it's one I've not fully mastered.  Since Tuesday's post was all about Miss Aspen, let's just keep rolling and discuss how I DIY with a toddler.

Saturdays are my work days.  It's the one day a week I set aside to work on projects.  Being a working mom, it's often difficult to squeeze these Saturday tasks in.  Especially on the days where I just want to crash.  But here are just a few ways I am able to squeeze in some work time with a toddler around. 

Start with a Plan

The only way I can zip through my Saturday project is with a well thought out and organized plan.  I know exactly what I'm going to do, I know the supplies I will need and I know the plan of action.  Gathering all my supplies in my work place helps keep me in mommy's zone and out of Aspen's zone.  This usually prevents the "hold you" and "I wants" long enough for me to work.  I also attribute my successful DIY time to having a chill baby.  Aspen is great about playing or sitting and watching/talking to me. 

Centralize your Location

If I have a smaller project that is mobile, I usually barricade myself in our laundry room while Aspen plays in the family room, just like I did this past weekend while working on the time out chair.  This is the ideal spot as I can keep an eye on her while she plays.

Get them Involved

But sometimes, I have a more permanent fixture that requires attention, like when I white washed the fireplace.  I couldn't just scoot it over to my central work zone, and it was impossible to barricade off.  So I got Aspen involved.  She helped me take pictures while I worked.  I set up my camera and gave her the remote.  Aspen love's pushing buttons so it was a fun job for her.

Use those nap times as DIY time

Every afternoon after lunch, Aspen goes down for a nap.  If I can avoid getting all cuddled up with her, I can usually slip off for some DIY time alone.  This is ideal if I have a quick (and quiet) project.  Or if I'm working out in the garage on something larger.  I can just turn on our monitor and keep an eye on here while working.

Take advantage of a weekend with Grandma

And then, for those big, messy and time consuming projects like the weekend when I painted the master bedroom, I planned that around a weekend that Aspen spent at her grandparents. 

The key to successful DIYing with your tot, is all about planning.  And when our Saturday projects are done, we usually celebrate with a big ol' cup of ice cream. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

DIY Time Out Chair

It was just last month that we were celebrating Aspen's second birthday.  How can it be that we are already waist deep in the terrible two stage?

If you are a parent, you know how demanding this stage can be on a parent's patience.  I try very hard not to beg God for more patience in fear that this stage could get even worse.  But I do sit at night wondering what the best approach is to take with our unruly toddler.

Ok, ok.  I may be exaggerating just a bit on the unruly part.  She is great, and so much fun.  She is full of adventure.  I believe it is her sense of adventure that leads her to test my limits.  Wanting to know just how far she can push her parents.  Some evenings it is too much.  So, we sat down to devise a way to teach her right from wrong, a subject so many parents struggle with and each their own solution.

For our family, we decided to start with a time out.  When I came across this old worn out and paint splattered ladder-back chair in an old basement, I had not a clue how it would serve our family.  I brought it home anyways.  This weekend it hit me that we needed a spot to put our little timeoutee.  I gathered up my supplies and went to work on Aspen's time out chair.

After giving the chair a really good scrubbing, I grabbed a test can of Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black , flipped the chair over and began to paint just the legs on the underside. 

It's always wise, when painting a chair, to start with the underneath by flipping the chair over.  It becomes a hassle to get all the angles when it's right side up.

I chose to keep the seat the original color to give this chair a cute farmhouse look.  But I wanted to add in a little somethin-somethin for our time out chair.

I decided to give the ladder back's a spray with Rust-oleum Chalkboard Spray Paint.  Then, I took a chalkpaint pen and hand lettered "Aspen's Time Out ___ Mintues" on the back.  I wanted to help give Aspen a sense of time with her time out punishment, this way as she grows older we can up the amount of time.

As for right now, Aspen loves to draw on it with her chalk.  We shall see how the time out portion holds up. 

Do you have a sort of time out spot in your home?  I would love to hear feedback on how your children handle it.