So last year, Katie Wynn got the cutest little shopping cart for Christmas and with it came lots of food that she could fill it up with. Shortly after Christmas, my Dad and I built a tiny pantry for her to store all her groceries in so that they wouldn't be scattered all over my kitchen. When I found the plans for the pantry (here, from Ana-White.com), I saw that it had a coordinating kitchen set to go with it (here). I immediately told Dad that Katie Wynn would be getting the rest of the kitchen from Santa Claus the following year so we should do it when we had free time and not wait til the last minute.
Fast forward 11 months and I emailed him a link to the plans just before I left for Palm Springs. "We should probably build this soon..." I told him.
Well. Have I ever told you how awesome my Dad is? I was just going to make K-dub the stove to go with her pantry and maybe save the sink for a later occasion. And I had no idea when I was planning on doing it with Christmas just three short weeks away. But while we were living it up on vacation, my Dad built BOTH the sink and the stove for me (er, Katie Wynn). Isn't he amazing?! I had no idea he was doing it either. When we got home from Cali, he told me to come over and see what he had built. Such a weight lifted off my shoulders!
It's funny, before having kids, I would've been really sad if he had worked on a shop project without me. This time I was just so glad I didn't have to figure out when I was going to get it done!
I'd like to say that after he built it I took over and finished it up, but the truth is, this Santa gift would not have been possible if it weren't for him and my Mom. I think the only thing I did was prime and paint it white. Dad even did a touch-up coat of paint after that. Then he attached the oven door and all the cute little accessories. Mom shopped for hardware for me and sewed the tiny curtain. All I did was pop my head in occasionally to see how things were going. They are the best!
We moved it to our house the day after Christmas. (Santa brought it to Katie Wynn at my parents' house.) One day, when I trust my kiddos to go up and down the stairs by themselves without getting hurt, the play kitchen will move to our bonus room. But for now, we officially have a kitchen in our kitchen. It's actually great because Katie Wynn cooks while we do! (By "we" you know I mean "Matt.")
We had to do a little furniture shifting to have it all fit in one spot together, so I had to move some art around on the walls too. This big cake painting was done by my sister-in-law, Beth, and used to hang in our dining room. I LOVE it on the brown wall though and love that it goes so well with the color of the sink skirt. Hooray for coincidental matching!
One of Katie Wynn's favorite things about her kitchen is the dish rag that has her name on it. Go figure - that was a last minute addition that I whipped up on the morning of Christmas Eve! She loves telling everyone that it has her name on it and using it to "dry" her hands after "washing" them in the sink.
My mom and Aunt Kim were superstars when it came to shopping for hardware. I really wanted a cute little faucet for the sink but did NOT want to spend a lot of money on it. They found this perfectly sized silver one from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for just six bucks! And they bought the towel holder for one dollar! I was amazed. The sink basin was my Dad's idea (I think) and makes me so happy...it was the water bowl that their dog, Taylor, used. She was such a good dog; I'm glad that something of hers is living on in the kitchen!
For the stove top, Mom and Aunt Kim picked up some thin wooden circles from Michael's that I painted black. We had four of them to use but only two fit on top; I think that works just fine! I wanted to add a little kitchen timer up here too but could only find ones that had really long times - like an hour - on them. I don't think KW can wait that long for the ding! to go off. What I really need is the timer from a board game or something. If I ever come across one, I'll add it on here somehow.
The little oven door has a plexiglass window so we can see what she's baking inside. She loves getting to open it up and put things in it. She knows to turn the knobs to turn the oven on to bake.
It looks like on this particular day, she had a tray of cookies and a pan of cupcakes baking. That's my kind of oven! She'd tell you that red pot is full of soup.
The pantry and shelves under the sink are great for storing all of her other foods. Under the sink she has fruits, meats, and cake that she can "cut" with her play knives. I, of course, love that there's a curtain to keep it all concealed when she's not playing with it (which is not very often).
Speaking of playing with the kitchen, here are some recent phone pics of Katie Wynn playing with her kitchen and accessories. She spends time playing here every single day!
The pan of cupcakes is pretty awesome because it's also a shape sorter. She has to match the shape of the top up with the right shape on the bottom. She's getting so good at it! The cupcakes are also helping her learn her colors...orange is still her favorite.
Sometimes we bake cookies in bed and then she runs the cookie sheet into the kitchen to put in the oven and bake while we get ready for the day. These are fun too because they velcro together into a roll so that they slice like Slice-N-Bake cookies. She likes decorating the ones that have sprinkles.
When Big Sister isn't looking, Thomas likes to play with the kitchen too. Notice he went straight for the steaks!
I'd say that Santa Clause (ahem...Poppy and Mimi) did a really good job with his gift this year. It has already gotten so much use and I hope that she continues to play with it for a while. Her daddy hopes this will spark an interest in cooking for Katie Wynn and that she might enjoy it more than her mama does. I hope so too so that she can cook for me on nights that he's not here. :)