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The 4-6 Weeks Project (Week One)

I did this project the last time I was pregnant, too. The idea is to take a daily photo in the 4-6 weeks before the new baby comes, celebrating our time together as a family of four, and eventually I’ll turn the series into a keepsake book for Eleanor and August. Last time I started 4 weeks from my due date, thinking I might go to 42 weeks like I did with Eleanor, but then August came a few days early. This time I’ve started 6 weeks out, and hopefully baby number three won’t turn this into The 8 Weeks Project!

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August 15

Six weeks from your new little brother’s due date. Six or so weeks from becoming a family of five. Eleanor, you talk about the baby constantly, offering to share your bed & getting excited about how we’ll have so much to do because we’ll get to teach him everything. August, you mostly just like to bonk into mama’s big belly!

August 16

You both had fun making these paper kitties before bed tonight, & then you tried to have a sleepover in August’s room (as we have been doing a lot lately while working on the hallway). It ended in tears with Eleanor back in her room after August told her she was “fired from making paper cats EVER EVER AGAIN.”

August 17

Eleanor, you carried a rock with you to meet Sir Topham Hatt at our first “Day Out with Thomas” two years ago. This year, you made it into what must now be a tradition, and August, you got in on it too. You guys rock.

August 18

After a Thomas-filled day yesterday, you both had renewed interest in your toy trains. We made a huge track on the floor of the newly opened-up hallway, adding bridges and making everything connect. It was so cute to hear the stories you make up for the different engines! Pretty sure there was a wedding involved at one point.

August 19

We have a desk in the playroom, but you both gravitate toward spreading everything out on the floor instead. Mama’s happy to oblige, even if it is getting harder for her to sit down there with you as her tummy grows!

August 20

When mama started this photo project, she hoped to get at least a few pictures with both of you in them. She thought it might not be easy, but really, you two are together more often than not. Eleanor and August: siblings and best buddies. And soon you’ll have another pal to play with!

August 21

August, ever since you were little, you’ve been into cars and trucks — basically, anything with wheels. Monster trucks have been a big hit for a long time now, and your love for them doesn’t seem to be waning anytime soon. I wonder if your little brother will be the same way.

Another Day Out with Thomas

We first met up with Thomas, the cheeky blue engine, two years ago. We missed it last year because we spent the summer up in Wisconsin while we waited to move into our new house, but we went again this weekend. I don’t know if you know this, but carrying a big rock to meet Sir Topham Hatt? It’s a thing.

Meeting Sir Topham Hatt

Thomas travels around North America through the spring and summer, and the event is held near Chicago each year at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL. It’s a cool place, with an impressive collection of “rolling stock” (locomotives and cars). Eleanor and August are still afraid of the biggest engines, but the smaller, friendlier ones are much less imposing.

Horse-Drawn Railroad Car
Old Railway Signs
Checking Out the Old Trains
IL Railway Museum

The kids got temporary tattoos, played with train tables, and climbed on a giant sand mound. Not sure how that last one was train-related, but they enjoyed it.

Thomas Activities
Sandy Sand

And of course, there was the obligatory Thomas train ride.

Thomas Ride

The kids waved at him and thanked him for the ride every time we saw him puff by. My goofy little cuties.

Rockin' Out!

Three Easy Wallpaper Projects

I flew out to New York a couple of weeks ago to film a segment at the Meredith studio for Better TV. (I went to six cities over the course of a month while in my third trimester, so I’m glad to be done with traveling for a while!) I shared a few wallpaper project ideas for the video below — ways to use it besides on your walls — using the allen + roth line from Lowe’s.

Filming with Better TV

1

Decoupaged Letters

We spelled out “LOVE” to give the basic idea in the video above, but I think it’s the kind of project that would be great for personalizing a nursery or kid’s room (either with their name spelled out in full, or just their first initial).

Materials Needed: metallic brocade wallpaper • water and a small brush (to activate paste) • scissors • craft letters

Instructions: Place a letter face down on your wallpaper, trace the shape, cut it out, and set aside. Next, begin covering the sides of your letter — a little water will activate the glue on the paper’s backing. (If using paper that isn’t prepasted, Mod Podge works well for this project.) Long strips of paper are fine for straight sides, but smaller pieces work well for curves. After all of the sides have been covered, affix the top piece and smooth into place.

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2

Drawer Liners

Lined drawers are always a nice touch, right? You could use adhesive paper made for drawers of course, but wallpaper comes in so many more colors and patterns. Lined shelves, in a closet or otherwise, are another opportunity for customization. And if the wallpaper has a nonwoven backing like the allen + roth line does, it’s easy to remove if you ever want to change the style.

Materials Needed: striped wallpaper • water and a small brush (to activate paste) • scissors and/or razor blade • metal ruler or other straight edge • drawers or shelves

Instructions: (Pretty sure you can figure this one out without instructions, but here goes!) Cut a piece of wallpaper to the size of your drawer or shelf. Activate the paste on the back of your wallpaper by applying water with a brush, and place the paper in your drawer. Smooth, then trim edges with a razor.

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3

Bookcase Update

We used grasscloth to add texture and change the color of the back of a bookcase, but obviously you can use any style you like, depending on the look you’re going for. And that bookshelf? Truly a quick and easy project. We had actually started with a white bookshelf on set and the grasscloth looked great on the back of it, but it wasn’t reading well on camera. In a very quick, very last minute switcheroo, we swapped out the white bookshelf for a black one instead. I think it took all of 15 minutes from start to finish!

Materials Needed: grasscloth wallpaperwallpaper paste • razor blade • metal ruler or other straight edge • bookcase

Instructions: Remove the backing from your bookcase if possible. Trace it onto your wallpaper and cut out. If the back of your bookcase can not be removed, measure and cut a piece of wallpaper to size. Activate the paste on your wallpaper by applying water with a brush, and place the paper on the back of your bookcase. Smooth, then trim edges with a razor.

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Come Say Hello

Remember, I’ll be at my local Lowe’s this Saturday, offering one-on-one design consultations and doing another fun project with wallpaper that you can make and take with you! RSVP to PublicRelations@Lowes.com to make sure you’ve got a spot.

Style Saturday Invitation

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