From a Door to a Headboard

When I had my son at the end of 2009, I convinced my husband that we needed a new bed. The old one was 10 years old and I wanted to upgrade to a king this time around. The master bedroom in my house is huge, so we definitely had the space. The previous owners put a 500 square foot addition on our ranch that makes up our office and master bedroom. Our queen sleigh bed looked small in the large space.

The new king mattress fit nicely into our space, but my sleigh bed, which was made for a queen, was relegated to the attic to sit in storage. For the next 5 years, our bed was a big mattress set on a metal frame.

Enter my bff, Pinterest, and I figured out how I could pretty up my bed. Here’s a before shot. (When I snapped this photo, I was playing around with the idea of using my bureau as a footboard. I was also doing laundry. Let’s just pretend it’s not there.)

WP_20150208_10_31_59_ProI visited Habitat for Humanity’s Re-store with my friend Denise, and I came home with this door for only $25.

They called it the "Princess door."

The “Princess door.”

The princesses were a bitch to get off. I used nail polish to remove them, but that only took off the color. The dark outline of each princess was still clear as day. So, because I was wanting to move on, I just sanded it down and figured the first coat of paint would cover them up.

After the first coat of paint.

After the first coat of paint.

I chose a light teal color. First, because I liked it, and second, because I had some left over from when we painted the playroom walls the same color. I picked up a 7 foot piece of vinyl molding/trim from Home Depot for $7 and a big bottle of wood glue for $3. Using my husband’s circular saw (I have no idea what it’s proper name is) I cut the trim to the width of the door. I used the wood glue to attach the trim to the top of the door and added a second coat of paint.

Trim and second coat of paint? Check!

Trim and second coat of paint? Check!

Once the paint was dry, I had to figure out how I was going to mount this thing. I didn’t have any other wood to make “legs” to keep the headboard up off the floor, so I decided I would nail it directly to the wall. But the door was too heavy for me to both hold in place and nail to the wall at the same time.


It just so happens that one of my filing cabinets was the exact height that I wanted the bottom of the headboard to be off the floor! Yay for things working in my favor! My level told me everything was perfect.

Fitting flush underneath the window trim.

Fitting flush underneath the window trim.

This drives me completely crazy!

This drives me completely crazy!


Apparently, the builders of my master bedroom didn’t line up the bottom of the two windows exactly. What the heck people?! Aren’t you all anal retentive like me? Why can’t everything line up correctly? This tiny little snag was quite the conundrum for me. Do I hang the headboard according to the level, which makes the right corner cover the bottom corner of the window trim? Or do I move the right side of the headboard down a teeny tiny bit to fit flush underneath the window trim, leaving the headboard slightly tilted to the right? I chose the latter.

Nailed it!

Nailed it!

Side view.

Side view.

Not too bad for $35. Once my headboard was in place, I bought a new duvet cover to spruce things up.

And voila!

My coastal-colored bed. My husband hates the ruffles. I think they make it look romantic.

My coastal-colored bed. My husband hates the ruffles. I think they make it look romantic.



I’d like to think of myself as the CEO of my family of four. With all the planning and scheduling and housework, “mom” isn’t a good enough title. If I’m the CEO, then my husband is most definitely the CFO. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that we live on a budget. And we are able to live a comfortable life on one income because the CFO and his monthly spread sheet budget run a tight ship around here.

With all the added stress this past week, I’ve been a little naughty in regards to following the family budget. So, before Mike collects the week’s receipts and starts entering numbers, I think I’d better make a few adjustments to his spread sheet.

Here are the categories I need to add this month:
Guilt purchases: 34.68
Child bribes: 20.97
Retail therapy: 141.52

Under “medications”: Dunkin Donuts coffee purchases; Wendy’s frosties
Under “groceries”: Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in which I drowned my sorrows (hey, it’s food!)

I think it could have been worse. I unleashed the rest of my stress by rearranging furniture. And cleaning. In fact, I’ve been cleaning so much that I started moving furniture to clean underneath which then prompted me to completely rearrange all three bedrooms and the playroom. I also completed a diy project I’ve been working on during stolen moments of free time.

What do you do when you’re anxious or stressed? I need some new ideas!

Hell Week

This week has been rough. I’m not going to go into any detail because I’m trying to respect my daughter’s privacy, but I’d say that this week has been the most emotional for me since her birth.

Parents get a bad rap. We get blamed for pretty much everything. Kids are misbehaving? The parents must not be effective disaplinarians. Kids performing poorly in school? Parents must not value a good education. Kids are socially awkward? The parents must shelter those poor, poor kids. It almost feels like parents can never get it right. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Parenting decisions are the hardest I’ve ever had to make. Because those decisions are effecting someone else’s life. Not my life, not my husband’s, but the very lives of our children are directly effected by the choices we make for them. And sometimes it’s terrifying.

When I was a kid, I thought that when you grew up you would finally know all the answers. That choices would be easier once you were in complete control of your own life.

Oh God, how I wish I had been right.

Being a parent is like learning a language and each child’s personality is a different dialect. Much like English grammar, there seems to be an exception to every rule. It’s dizzying when you don’t know what to do next because it seems like there are always a million different choices, but you need to make the precise one in order to not screw up your kids.

Please, God, let me make those precise choices because I don’t want to make a mistake.


It was the summer of 1988. I was 12 and had purchased the original Nintendo with money I earned on my paper route.

Every day that summer, I played The Legend of Zelda (again, the original one!) until my mother would stand in the kitchen doorway and throw a wooden spoon through the dining room and into the living room, yelling, “If I have to listen to that music for one more minute, I’m going to go crazy!” Then I would be forced outside to play with my brother and the neighborhood kids until dinner time.

I never understood why the music bothered her. I’d turn it down, but, hey, I needed the music to play. It was part of the whole experience.

My son is obsessed with Lego Batman the video game. I listen to the Batman theme song music over and over again all week long.

I wish I had a wooden spoon.

Restless in Writersland

It’s been months now that I’ve been plagued with restlessness. I still haven’t found something to quiet it. I have all these things I want to get done, yet no desire to actually do the physical work.

I love to cook, but right now I dread cooking.

I love to write, but right now I dread writing. I’m forcing myself to write this blog post because if I was writing every time I was thinking about writing, I’d have written 100 novels by now. I have to start somewhere and all of you get to come along for the ride.

I love to read and yet I haven’t felt the desire to pick up a book. I even stopped reading partway through a book by one of my favorite authors because I just couldn’t get into it. What?! I’d been waiting 4 years for the book to come out, have been reading the series since 2003, and I struggled for 3 weeks to read 160 pages. Then I gave up and returned it to the library.

I bought some new CDs with birthday money I’d been hoarding since October. I think it’s been more than a year since I bought a CD. The only time I’ve listened to them is when I’ve been in the car with the kids.

Art projects are lining themselves up on my craft table (which is just a folding table I’ve set up in my office so I have a surface where I can leave unfinished projects). Scrapbooking, sewing, jewelry. I’ve scribbled some notes about book ideas in my journal. I’ve pulled a bunch of clutter off my bookshelves and started boxing things up with the crazy idea that I’m going to refinish my bedroom furniture, shelves included. I even have plans to build my own bed with some unwanted wood a friend has in her backyard.

Not one project has been finished.

I’m contemplating ripping out the carpeting in my living room and attempting to lay down laminate wood floors. Someone, please talk me out of it!

Life’s a Beach

There’s this ebb and flow to parenting, hell, to life, really. Maybe I just notice it more now that I’m responsible for other human beings.

My life makes me think of the ocean. It’s ebb and flow. Some days I’m splashing around in low tide, surfing the waves, soaking up sunshine and joy. Some days I’m laying in the warm sand, sipping my iced coffee, reading a good book and letting the sound of the waves lull me into a sated sense of calm. Other days, I’m caught in the rip tide and I’m struggling to just keep my head above the water while I swim for shore. And then there are the days I feel like I’m drowning.

Right now, my kids are asleep. My house is quiet and I’m headed for that calm beach. It’s a much needed break, because the last 4 weeks have worn me out. I was drowning in the reality of my own life.

We adopted a rescue dog, Peanut, who has fit perfectly into our family. He is very much like a therapy dog for both me and my daughter. He’s 7 months old, so I’ve pretty much got a toddler on my hands. He’s super cute; I love him to pieces. And he’s a lot of extra work.

The day after we brought Peanut home, my 6 year old came home from school with lice. *silent scream of despair* I’ll be honest… I lost my shit. My daughter and I both have long hair. My daughter also has sensory issues and hates to even wash her hair, let alone comb through it strand by strand with a super fine tooth comb. She screams when you brush her hair gently, for crying out loud. The lice situation was a nightmare come true. It took over a week to get rid of the lice. And it took about 8 inches off of the length of Caylie’s hair. We both had allergic reactions to the medicated lice shampoo (which didn’t even kill the damn lice) and our scalps were burning and flaky dry for weeks.

I washed everything in my house at least twice. Then, after 5 days of combing out bugs and laundering bedding, jackets and all my hopes and dreams… My washing machine died. Oh yes. It was dead. The repair guy told me it would be cheaper to buy a new one than to fix it. So I went the rest of the week without a washing machine. When I was single, this would have been perfectly doable. I never had my own washing machine until after I got married. But after owning one for the last nine years and having to wash the clothing and bedding of 4 people…well, it got a little crazy.

With all the hubbaloo about the lice, the washing machine, etc., Peanut started having potty training issues. So I’m wearing my last pair of clean underwear while I wait for the new washer to be delivered, am combing through the hair of a screaming child, and my dog is shitting all over the carpet. Parent Teacher conferences are happening, regular doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, horseback riding lessons, meal planning, cooking, dishes… *gasp for air* my dog needs to go out to pee at 4 in the morning, the kids are fighting *doggie paddle, breathe, doggie paddle* a nighttime trip to the ER for a child’s mysterious rash, the tooth fairy forgot to come to the house, kids getting up in the night, a painful loose tooth, 6 phone calls in one day from the school nurse about emotional meltdowns and toothaches, *gasp, gasp* a trip to urgent care to make sure the tooth doesn’t have an abscess, and we need to adjust medications because someone had a growth spurt.

Whoooooosh. I rode the wave to dry land. Finally. I think I’ll sunbathe here for a bit. Because it’s snowing outside, I’m hosting Thanksgiving tomorrow, and my son was vomiting from both ends this morning.

Happy Thanksgiving! May your day be low tide and joyful.