Blog design and digital scrapbooking elements created by Adori Graphics »

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Hairy Story

Yesterday was an age check.  For me. 

Annsley and I are on the couch going over her spelling words for the week.  I'm in the middle of reminding her that "c" says "s" before the letters e, i and y when she interrupts me and says, "Oh Mom!"

Before I know it, she is plucking a gray hair from my brunette tresses.  I, of course, am incredulous.  "Really?"

"It's right here," and she hands me the culprit.  "Oh, here's another one," and she passes its friend to me as well.

She has now positioned herself on the back of the couch and begins combing through my hair.  I'm moaning in protest.

"Oh Mom! They look shiny silver in the sun! You should be happy about that!"

I'm cringing as I watch her hand me evidence of my aging body. 

"Don't feel bad," she says.  "That's not terrible.  It's not like you're Grandpa."  Then she muses almost to herself, "I wonder what color of hair his real hair is..."

I just moan more.  "That's not bad at all Mom.  You have fewer white hairs than you have any other color!"

She's trying to cheer me up.  She keeps finding more though. "Have you found 20?" I ask.

"Oh, I've found over 100!" She's almost giddy. 

"I'm looking through your hair," she instructs me, "and every once in a while I see a flash of silver!"  Silence as she removes it from the roots, and then the thing that did me in, "Oh gosh! Here's a whole bunch!! There are like three of them right next to one another!"

She continues her quest.  I am mulling over the Loreal commercial of "Am I worth it?" Do they say that because it costs so much?  Before, I couldn't have cared.  Now that I might need it is a different story...

"Hey Mom! This one is half black and half white.  Want my to pull it???"

"Some of them look whiter than your shirt.  Not all I see have whiteness.  That's good."

She finds three more.  Now she says, "This is sad.  Are you going to cry?--Oooh! This one is sleek white! It stands out from ALL your hairs! Mom, just go to a salon."

I'm tiring quickly of her play by play.  Thankfully my phone rings.  I take advantage of it and get off the couch. 

After supper that evening, Annsley says, "Mom, would you come sit on the couch with me? I'd like to snuggle!"

I smile.  My baby girl may be 9, but she still wants her momma.  I sit down, and her eyes quickly divert to my hair. 

"You got me here to find more gray hairs?" I ask.  She nods.

I kid you not.  She spends two seconds looking through my hair and says, "Oh wow! Who would have thought I'd find one so fast!"

Monday, September 2, 2013

Man Day

"Today is Monday.  It's Man-Day.  Man can't get in trouble on Man-Day."  That's what my husband told me the other morning. 

Oh Honey, you crack me up! Seriously!

Andrei STILL doesn't fuss in his new big kid bed. He gets up only with his new alarm clock.  I paid $30 for a stop light toddler alarm that switches from red to green when it's time to get up.  He's NEVER gotten out of bed once without the light being on green.  He's amazing. Simply amazing.

It's a heavy reminder of his early months of orphanage training. Most of the time I had to watch him on the video monitor to know if he were up when he was still in his crib.  Before we transitioned him to his new bed, he started playing "Rock, Paper, Scissors" in his bed.  One morning I heard this beating on his mattress and him yelling, "Ock, Paypa, Oh NOOOOOOO!" (Obviously he lost with himself.) "Ock. Paypa. Sicks!  Ock. Paypa. Sicks! Ock. Paypa. Oh Nooooo!" (Lost again.)  He was having a grand time all by himself.  This morning, he was singing one of our family's favorite songs, Jason Gray's "Remind Me Who I Am". "Mind me whoooo I am, whoooo I am..." and he just be-bops on the mattress.  Oh yes, the boy's got moves at his age!  Doug's so excited to think that he might clap on the down beats.  I don't understand that, but apparently it's a big deal in the music world.  Doug's always making fun of me because I obviously clap on the upbeats (along with 90% of everyone else I'm standing with but I guess we're ALL wrong!!!)

He has become increasingly bossy--Really, really bossy. (Andrei, not Doug.  I realize that I didn't identify my pronoun very well.  Sorry about the linguistic faux paus.)   I didn't think any kid could get any bossier than Annsley was, but I was terribly wrong.  And any phlegmatic personality that gets near him just hangs his head and does whatever Andrei tells him to do.  (Phlegmatics are easy going, loves to please people, etc.)  I'm in awe at how these people just let him order them around.  He's three and OWNS them....

We're working on social skills big time.  "Mom, get my my sippy cup now!"  "Mom, I need taggy."  Mom, find my socks."  "Mom, you go to bed."  And most of the time he says these things with an ever so slight scowl.   

He used to be a very polite toddler who always said please and thank you without any prompting.  He's ditched those words from his vocabulary and has commenced to just ordering everyone around. I guess because the weak people do whatever he tells them to.  His momma isn't one of the weak ones.  His daddy may be, but not his momma. 

He wears his boots with his shorts.  Every day.  Everywhere, including church. Without socks.  His feet reek. But he LOVES these boots. And tow trucks. And his rubber band rifle which he has been known to sleep with.
First night in his big kid bed.  We just moved the top bunk bed from Kennedi's room and had built in safety rails!

The boots.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Knock Knock!

One of the joys of children is all the funny things they say.  I've tried to write down as many as I can as they say them into notebooks, letters, and this blog. I've noticed over the last year that they have become few and far between.  My baby girls are growing up.  Andrei is going to have to fill in the gap! However, Kennedi did provide Doug and me with a huge laugh the other day.  Her sister was not with us, and Kennedi was enjoying being the "big man" in the car.  She was trying to copy her sister's Knock Knock jokes (which are HUGE in a 9 year old's world by the way...) Kennedi was busy making up Knock Knock jokes to tell herself, and then she got her father involved. 

Kennedi:  Knock Knock!
Doug: Knock Knock!:
Kennedi: No, I say Knock knock!
Doug:  OK, Knock Knock!
Kennedi:  I say Knock Knock! You say Who's There!
Doug: Who's There!
Kennedi (becoming very frustrated with her father): DOUG! Say it right! (Yes, she calls him by his first name when she's perturbed.) Then taking a deep breath, she says,  You say it!
Doug: OK, Knock Knock!
Kennedi: Who's there?
Doug: Doug Rawlins
Kennedi:  That's not funny. Try it again!
Doug: Knock Knock!
Kennedi: Tiger (Yes, I realize she missed the whole who's there line, but I think she was trying to nip her father's fun in the bud at this point...)
Doug: Tiger who?
Kennedi: Ask me a dumb question and you get a dumb answer.  Not THAT's funny!!!

Yesterday was the first day of school this year.  My third grader and first grader!  All Andrei wanted to know was who was going to play with him after we dropped the girls off at school. 

After yesterday Annsley thinks third grade is the BOMB! Her eyes were on fire when I picked her up.   Kennedi is just excited to get back around a gazillion people so she can chatter at recess and lunch.  Imagine that!

From photos from our back to school dinner night:

We prayed for all their teachers, grabbed Romans 8:37-39 for their Bible verse motto for the year, and colored on the table. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Joan Crawford and the Bout with Wire Hangers

Long time no see, Pardner!!

 My wheels have been turning in the back of my mind this summer about other projects--to be continued.  So any time that I have to write has been seriously occupied on my new project.  Hopefully it will come to fruition soon. 

In the mean time, here's a summer update on our family!

Andrei:  He's fully potty trained. Seriously, FULLY POTTY TRAINED.  He hasn't had an accident all summer--day or night.  If a 3 year old could be my hero, he'd be it.  He's awesome.  The only thing he can't do is wipe, but he yells, "Come and wipe me!!!"when he's finished.  I hold my breath and wipe his hiney.  Some times I have to have him flush before I get there.  It's pretty ferocious what can come out of that little body some times.  Anyway..... we're on to stop sucking our thumb.  Annsley was a thumb sucker, and this little bottle of stuff worked miracles.  She was finished with her thumb in less than a week.  It literally makes him (or my husband when he gets it in his mouth) salivate and spit if his thumb touches his mouth.  It is truly nasty stuff. It's made in Switzerland; it couldn't be made in the USA because the FTC wouldn't have allowed it to be manufactured here due to its horrid palatability.   It only has to be applied every two days, but Andrei was a super sucker, so we had to apply it before naps and at bedtime.  We've been at it for 2 weeks, and he hasn't been using his thumb (so he says...)

  Next up will be transitioning to a toddler bed.  (Yes, for you acute readers, that means he's three and half and still in his crib.) He doesn't try to climb out.  It makes my job a bit easier, but now I'm feeling guilty about him being so old and still held up in baby jail, so when the girls start back to school, we'll pull that plug on all things baby around here. 

No more crib, no more changing table, no more diapers, no more board books.  I am not sad.  Baby stuff is in my past.  I've pondered whether I should feel guilty about not feeling guilty, but  I have crushed that thought.  I must be getting old.  Excuse me, OLDER.  Any desire to have another young'n in the house has evaporated.  Vanquished.  Doug brings up adoption again every so often, but I squelch that conversation. Nada Dear. Go take your pretty little brain and think about something else.  The thought of adding another to my nest makes me shudder. Three is plenty for me.  I don't have the personality to have any more. Some wonderful people out there do; I'm not one of them.  And anyway, we're going to qualify for our AARP card when Andrei is in high school!!! Ah, we'll be so cheap going to the movies.  Two seniors, one child. GAG!

Kennedi and Annsley: They have turned 7 and 9 respectively this summer.  They had a co-birthday party one evening at the city swimming pool.  BEST BIRTHDAY PARTY EVER! We killed two birds in one two hour period of time .  All the kids had a great time, and more importantly, Mom spent little time planning for it.  Bonus all the way around. 

They both played softball and/or T-Ball.  Annsley's team was undefeated. Kennedi's T-Ball team was a riot.  It was like watching a bunch of coaches herd wild cats.  Everyone was a winner.  Everyone got to get on base.  Everyone needed a helmet because even though a kid was throwing the ball to first base, it might end up heading straight for the second baseman. Thank the Lord there was a time limit. 

The girls get along well sometimes.  Sometimes they have some knock down drag out fights--literally.  And sometimes there seems to be peace in making bad decisions when you are with your sister.  Take three weeks ago...

I incorrectly assume that because my three children are so quiet, they must be reading together or playing dolls.  I'm excited because the house is quiet, and I'm making din-din without any interruption.  I hear Andrei yell out his "Come wipe me!" and I head to the bathroom.  I meet Annsey on her way to the bathroom.  "Can you please turn on the water for me?" she asks as she hold her hands oozing with sticky white stuff. 

It is Elmer's glue.  She and her sister have decided to pour out the bottle of glue on top of Kennedi's table, use their fingers to smear it all over the top, and are fixing to apply paper doilies to the top of her table for decoration.  

I'll admit.  I didn't handle it very well.  That nasty little Mother of the Year Medal was snatched out o my hands again.  Consequently, I noticed bright orange paint on Kennedi's carpet.  Turns out it is finger nail polish. Earlier in the day I caught Annsley painting (yet again) at her desk in her room--no drop cloth, no art smock, nothing.  Both girls know that paints (of any kind) are not to be opened in bedrooms. 

I had had it.  The Joan Crawford in me came out that afternoon.  Every single marker, paint brush, glue, scissors, arts and crafts box, stamp, you name it--if it could be googled and found under arts and crafts, I loaded it up and it was all sequestered in my bedroom.  I felt like screaming, "NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!!" aka NO MORE ARTS AND CRAFTS!  ( OK, I probably DID scream it...) I locked the closet door that houses paper, glue, stamps, etc (a Hobby Lobby's crafter's dream come true) by tying a string to the doorknob and winding it around a nail. Ingenious I know.  "Trust me, Young Ladies, you do not want to find out what happens should someone try to get into this door," I hissed with gritted teeth. 

They knew I was serious.  With Kennedi's grandparent birthday party, she got a lot of arts and crafts stuff.  Annsley did too because our grandparents can't buy just for one child.  Neither child said anything.  They knew that stuff would be going to the time out pile in my room as well.  Without a word, both girls loaded up their "scores" and added them to the buckets and boxes in my room.

I found it amazing as I was quizzing them on the fallacy of their thinking.  Kennedi blamed Annsley.  She said it was her idea.  Annsley blamed Kennedi. Why? Because Kennedi let her in her room. Jeez Louis! Andrei just looked at me and whined, "I didn't do it!!!!!!" 

It reminded me of the time Annsley got a hold of the Vaseline when she was 18 months old.  The picture says enough.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Entering the 21st Century--Literally

It's been so long since I've posted anything that I realized that I've never finished Tiling Saga Part II. At one time it was a hilarious story. Six weeks later I'm not so sure, but I will write about it--soon. I know--it's more than my faithful few blog readers can handle at the moment--:)

For those of you tuning into today, I bring you our latest and greatest 21st century updates of the new year. (I'm not counting anything from my house by the way...Our 1990s couch still stands here--not so proudly anymore--but it still stands.)

First up: 1998 model:
2011 model:

We drive our vehicles around here until the wheels fall off.  That's all fine with me because it awesome not having a car payment.  However, with 3 children, it was getting VERY crowded in there.  Trust me when I say the three children were packed in the second row like sardines.  Then, over Christmas, the transmission went out while we were in Angel Fire, NM.  We towed it home, and three days later bought the Enclave.  I though surely three rows would be enough--but they can still manage to touch each other.  I'm thinking about one of those little yellow school buses.  Boy in the back, Big Girl somewhere in the vicinity of the middle, and Baby Girl right behind me, the Driver.  And just like the real school bus, you fight--you lose riding privileges and have to hoof it for a week.
Anybody need a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a brand spanking new transmission?????
Second up--From this:
To this:
Oh yeah, my cell phone has little pictures all over it.  I'm not sure how old the old Nokia is, but it was a hand me down from my husband, and I know he had it way before Annsley was born, so I'm thinking late 1990s. 
In case you're wondering where you can get one, you can't unless you try your local antique dealer.  The cashier in Walmart the other day saw my phone and said, "Gee, I haven't seen one of those in a long, long time." 
The only real, pressing reason we've decided to update our mobile technology is based on Doug's phone.  When he first bought it, it was the very first "smart" phone of the day.  Don't get too excited here either.  It was a military grade flip phone, but it did stuff that his Nokia could only dream about.  It used to get a lot of respect out in the world--not so much anymore.  The last time it broke, the guy had to order the part from Hong Kong and told him if it broke again to not bring it back.  The little flipper thing is getting loose again and his phone makes an odd crackling noise when he talks, so we thought we'd better do something fast before he loses his 1 million contacts he has stored on his phone. 
I thought I'd try to turn our old phones into the companies who buy back used cell phones. 
They don't even have ours in their systems. 
Until I can figure out how to turn on my ringer so I can hear it, I probably won't pick up on my highly intellectual phone.  It vibrates all day long, but I can't seem to figure out how to turn the ringer on. 
I need a manual. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Remake of Ken's dresser

Kennedi's dresser and night stand was a hand me down from us, which was a hand me down from my grandmother. I decided that it could use an update.  I forgot to snap a picture of the before, but here is it after I sanded it down.  It was made out a solid wood, but is had this slick plasticy finish on it, so I found some primer that says it sticks to any slick surface.  Bulls-eye 123 Primer.  The primer said it didn't need to sand, but I did any way for good measure. I let it dry for 24 hours and then painted the base coat a shade of lilac.

I then glazed the dresser and nightstand with a dark coffee brown.  If you haven't used a glaze, try it! It's so easy!  Just paint on, and rub off with a dry cloth.  Rub off how much you want until you get the look you're going for.  Leave extra in the creases and cracks!

Lilac painted night stand.  I won't talk about the dust I found when I removed the drawers. 

Finished product! Much better, don't you think?

Found these awesome knobs and pulls at Knob Deals. If you haven't shopped for hardware, beware, it's very expensive--especially cute kids' hardware.  We're talking $8-20 bucks a knob or pull.  I got the butterfly (and it's large=2 inches in diameter!) for less than $2.00 a knob.  The pull is glass--less than $4 a pull. 

The primer says for full cure takes 7 days. I didn't wait for the 7 days before I put it back into her room.  I noticed a chip on Kennedi's nightstand afterwards, so I went ahead and put three coats of polycrylic on everything a few days later.  Six weeks later and so far, so good! It's holding up well to my 6 year old!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Four & Five Rooms Down!

We finally put in our flooring in the living room, halls, and Andrei's room over spring break.  We used laminate flooring, mainly because it's what our budget would afford and because it does better with water than engineered or real hardwood.  And when you have 3 children under the age of 8, that's a biggie!  Laminate floors have come a LONG, LONG way since the last time we installed them nearly 7 years ago. They actually look like real hand scraped wood!  I ordered these from Floors To Your Home and we LOVE them! They gave us free shipping since we ordered so much.  Whoo Hoo on that since it was over 2000 pounds! They already came with underlayment attachment, but noise reduction was a major for me, so we put down Floor Muffler as an additional underlayment. 

I don't like quarter round, so I pulled off every baseboard by my little bitty ole self.  We really needed to reuse the baseboard as it would be difficult to match the stain with everything else in the house.  The last time Doug pulled off baseboard, he had to buy a lot to replace all the damages (remember, he's a quicker and faster sort of guy), so I told him hands off this project.  With my trusty crow bar, hammer, and dry wall spatula and lots and lots of patience, I removed 54 pieces of baseboard with only one slight casualty that was easily glued.  I need a sticker on my sticker chart! (Of course, it was my handy dandy husband who nailed them back!!) By the way, in case this is on your own to do list in the future, it is IMPERATIVE that you number each piece of baseboard and number the wall where it came from.  Otherwise, you're going to have a frustrating puzzle ahead of you when you go to putting it all back. 

Yes! I have BEFORE pictures!
Living Room before.  Those are dusty, nasty lace curtains heaped on the carpet. (Our home had been vacant for nearly 3 years...) This picture was taken the day after the pest control guys came.  You can't see them, but there are about 100 dead spiders.  It was pure carnage...)

Andrei's room before.  You can see the reminant of hunter green window blinds I had already torn off the windows.

Living Room After

Andrei's Room after

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Just saw this trailer for this movie...Have any of you seen it????

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Three Rooms Down!

Annsley's room is finally finished (minus the carpet...) Again, no before photos, but it was a replica of Kennedi's room...beige walls, broken plastic faded venetian blinds...

A wall of giant paisley stencils! Cutting Edge Stencils has great stencils! (Gee, how many times can I use the word stencil???)

Crackled her laminate dresser. Valspar Crackle is a wonderful product!  I took her old knobs and glued over 500 little jewels over them. (And then I spent 2 hours peeling the glue off my fingers thank you!) I think it turned out awesome for a little girl!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Potty Training:Take 2

We're on Day 3 of Potty Training.  It would do me good to have a margarita at breakfast--actually I could use one when my alarm goes off.  A margarita fairy!  Just like the tooth fairy only this fair maiden gives you the power to potty train your 3 year old BOY.  She'd deliver another about 10:00 AM, noon, 2:00, 5:00 Happy Hour (and by now it's really, really happy), and then 8:00 to sooth the pee out of your mind while you wipe it off your shoes.  You could go to bed and have a dream without urine in it. 

Is it wrong that I'm thinking about a tequila IV belted to my hip???

My boy is sooooo different to train than my girls.  They got "it" on Day 1, and they had only one accident between the both of them.  It was fun.

 Sort of--in a potty training sort of way...

 But they both really got into drinking a ton of special juice (which provided lots of practice); flushing the toilet was a big, big deal.  And they couldn't wait to wash their hands.  Two Skittles was simply a just reward for a job well done--icing on the cake--if you will. 

As you can tell from my first sentence, we've made it considerably farther than we did 6 months ago.  If you are just joining this most ambitious and entertaining blog, you can read that post HERE.

In all reality, he's doing quite well by his own standards.  If you go by our experience 6 months ago, I could go on tour as a potty training phenomenon. 

But by a potty training girl's experience, we're way behind the 8 ball.  Way behind. 

Day One:  We started off by watching Potty Power again.  This time Andrei was thrusting his little fist in the air and shouting "Potty Power!" with the kids on the DVD.
"That's progress," I'm thinking.  "This time it's going to be a breeze." 

I gave him straight grape juice (which is something he never gets) to drink and a new cup to drink it out of.  He loved the cup--not the juice.  "Water," he requests after drinking about 2 oz. of Welch's deliciousness. 

"OK, fine," I think, "but you're going to drink the fire out of the water so we can practice, practice, practice." 

We practice sitting on the potty seat.  By the way, this new potty chair I bought is CRAP!  Clearly the designer did not have a penis nor did he/she have a son.  If he/she had either of the before mentioned, he would know that this wimpy urine deflector in no way shape or form deflects anything shooting out of a toddler's penis.

Yes, I said the "P" word.  I've said it a lot lately.  Forgive me. 

Anyway, he sits on the Pourty potty seat, stays for no more than 5 seconds, and says, "Finished!!"  He's done nothing.  I try to coax him to sit back down.  "Don't make it a power struggle," I keep repeating to myself.  He pulls up his underwear (I have to keep correcting myself as I call them panties--much to my husband's dismay), and I plead with him that TowMater will be sad if he gets wet. 

Yes, I'm bribing my child with the possible guilt he will wear should any of the Cars cast members become rained with 3 year old urine. 

One hour later Andrei tells me that TowMater is sad. 

Yeah, accident #1.  10 minutes later, Lighting McQueen is sad too.  Off to the car wash they go! 

Finally, we meet success with attempt #3. But you've got to be fast.  When the boy looks at you and says, "I gotta go," he's got about 2 seconds of holding power in him. 

We started carrying the potty chair with us wherever we go in the house. 

When his daddy got home from school, I announce that Andrei has not done any pooping business all day long.  Ah, the Lone Ranger is at last home.  "Come with me, Andrei.  We'll go do business together."  And he and Andrei and the purple Pourty potty chair head to our bathroom. 

Five minutes later they emerge with Andrei carrying his potty seat and Doug is on his cell phone.  Really? You can't be double minded when you are potty training, my Dear!  Andrei tells me that TowMater is sad.

I take off his underwear; Doug sees me and says, "What are you doing?  He peed in the potty chair." 
Well, Deary, he either didn't shake the dew off his lily or he's not finished, because Tow Mater's left fender is wet. 

Doug shrugs and continues talking.  Big huge help.  Two minutes later, Niagara Falls hits our new floors. 

Before he goes to bed, I have him sit on the potty chair again.  All of a sudden I hear my two daughters in a knock down drag out fight in Kennedi's room.  I go to referee. 

Bad mistake.

Andrei shows up carrying his potty chair.  "Mommy, I tee-teed!!" he says. "Are you proud of me???"

Yes, but there is no urine in the potty chair.  Where'd it go? He's decided to dump it in the toilet himself.  Do you know the dexterity a three year must have to dump urine from a funny looking potty chair and hit the hole of the big toilet? 

Yeah, a lot. 

Andrei doesn't have that much.

When my alarm goes off the next morning, Doug asks me, "So, are you ready for Day 2?????" and he laughs.

Day 2 starts off with a temper tantrum on the potty chair.  Andrei is mad because I won't give him his Tag while he is sitting on the potty chair. No way on a day like today am I going to have him screaming for 2 hours while I wash and dry Tag as a result of urine that doesn't get caught on this almighty urine deflector.  I'm sitting on the floor in front of him while this temper tantrum of epic proportions ensues, and before I know it, I'm being sprayed with urine from this rogue penis poking out of this potty chair that is not built for boys. 

Day 3 starts off with a screaming child when I take him to the potty chair as soon as he wakes up.  "I'm hungry! I want oatmeal!" Big tears are running down his face and he is getting mad all over again.  This time I take action. 

"Andrei, what does Daniel Tiger say to do the first thing when you wake up?" (The boy LOVES Daniel Tiger; it's take off Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.)

"Go to the bathroom," he sobs. 

"Andrei, what do you think Kennedi does the first thing when she wakes up?" 

"Go potty."
"What do you think Annsley does as soon as she wakes up?"
"Go potty."
"What does Grandpa do as soon as he wakes up?"
"If he's upstairs, he goes to the potty." (Apparently, Grandpa holds it if he wakes up on the first floor...)

By now he's quit crying, and what do you know, a TON of pee is in the potty chair. 

He's getting the jist of this whole potty thing, I think.  He's actually had a bowel movement in the chair.  That got him 5 Skittles.  I'll pay 10 if I don't have to clean THAT mess out of underwear any day.  He's probably 50-50 on making it to the potty chair right now.  We'll see what Day 4 the mean time, enjoy Jimmy Buffet and Alan Jackson.  Drop any judgements you may have about my margarita obsession and simply smile in the fact that poop and pee and TowMater getting showered with urine are not the center of YOUR 44 year old universe today!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tiling Saga--Part 1

As I previously posted, my dad came over to help us with tiling the girls' bathroom.  He suggested we lay the tile on the diagonal.  I said OK--as long as he was going to help because that was way above my pay grade and perhaps more importantly, my tiling book did not cover that particular lay out.  He and Doug tiled the floor in one day as I wrangled to keep the 3 kids out of their way.  My dad was on his hands and knees placing the tile and Doug was the one making the cuts with the tile saw.  About mid day, Annsley puts her hands on her hips and thoroughly disgusted with her daddy says, "Why won't you help Grandpa? He's doing all the work!!!!)  I guess in her mind if you weren't actually in the bathroom, you weren't working!

The day of Andrei's birthday party was actually quite warm.  After everyone left, Doug looks at me and says, "Hey, you want to get started with the tile?  It's warm and the tile saw won't freeze."  (If you don't already know, a tile saw uses water to cool the blade.)

I should have said no.  I was sick.  I had enough snot running out of my nose all morning I could have swum in it by the end of the day.  Doug loved the diagonal tiles and wanted to continue the theme in our bathroom and kitchen--you know, to make it look cohesive...  (I obviously have a husband who has watched too many episodes of HGTV with his wife...)

We needed my dad here--if for no other reason to act as foreman.  My dad is like this McGyver turned farmer person.  He can make a CB radio out of 2 Q-tips, a dime, and a pencil.  (I don't know if that is even a remote possibility, but really, he can do just about anything....)  He is also a perfectionist.  If it's not done correctly, he'll redo it.  Seriously.  No matter what it is and how long it took him to do it in the first place.

But no, he's not here and I have an over exuberant husband about to embark on a diagonal tiling job with a sick wife. Now, my husband can do a lot of stuff.  He's a rather handy guy to have around, and he's not afraid to attempt to do something new (which is good when you have a wife who likes to watch HGTV and DIY channels.) Doug is quite accomplished with a welder; he can wire light fixtures, new light switches (although he will not turn off the breaker.  "Real electricians don't do that.  Besides, how could I tell which wire is hot?" he says to me. OK, well don't call me to come get you when the electricity pulsing through that hot little wire tosses your big body off the ladder.  His step dad was a carpenter by trade, so he knows a lot about sanding, staining, hinges and glue.  Doug loves glue by the way.  Everything is better--and stronger--with glue.  No. Matter. What. It. Is...Oh the stories I could tell about that product and 22 years of marriage! He can change spark plugs in your car; he can dig big holes; he can drive big, earth moving machinery; he can do the plumbing; he doesn't mind climbing on the roof and hanging Christmas lights.  But let's remember, Doug is KING at demolition.  He loves tearing stuff up. Loves it. 

Loves it.

 Anyway, finesse is not his strong suit. He knows that and I know that, and he knows that I know that.  His number one desire in life is to be fast and finish first--looks are secondary in the moment.  It's speed.  Speed is king.  He shoots first and then decides to aim.  I'm the opposite, so we usually can make a pretty good team. He's like all those men you hear about.  It's not about getting to Dallas safely and having a good time.  It's about beating your last time you drove it.  Yes, he's the guy tapping his finger on the steering wheel as you and your two girls are waiting 10 deep to use the bathroom at the highway Stop and Rob. (And tell me again why you can't just use the empty Gatorade bottle in the back? he always asks!!!)

Case in point: when my parents were remodeling their kitchen, Doug gleefully takes his new pawn shop find--a sawzall--  over to their house to see if he can help with the demolition. This is a reciprocating saw that does what it names says--saws all. He is assigned to ripping out one of the walls--a specialty of his.   According to the ones who lived there, my step mom and sister were in the middle of emptying the cabinets when this saw blade from the other side of the wall appears above their heads.  It's all they can do to throw pots and pans, cereal, and Spaghetti-Os into plastic containers to keep ahead of the saw that is trying to eat them. Doug sawed the 2x4s, insulation, cabinets, sheet rock, electric wires, boxes of Uncle Ben's Rice--anything that was in his way.  But the job was done.  And hours ahead of schedule he would later add....

So, with this mentality, a box of Kleenex stuffed up my nose, and hours of DVDs to entertain 3 children under the age of 8, we embark on the great tile quest of 2013. 

 Part 2 to be continued...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Two rooms down!

Kennedi's room is finished! (Except for the purple carpet which I don't count because I won't be having anything to do with it except picking it out!) I don't have any before pictures, but it was you basic beige walls with plastic broken, sun stained mini blinds. I decided to do Kennedi's room first as she is always behind her sister (hand me downs, having to go to bed first, etc.) She was excited when her room was finished, but now she is moments of pouting as she sees Annsley's room coming together.  It  not that Annsley's room is better--it's just "newer" and therefore better.  I might have shot myself in the foot with this brilliant idea...

From brass to white! Much better!

Stencil that sums up our Kennedi!!

72 butterlflies, 13 dragon flies...note to self: USE A STAMP NEXT TIME!!

The bunk beds that will eventually go to Andrei when we move him to a big boy bed.  Kennedi is not so patiently waiting to inherit Annsley's castle head board.

New drapes made by moi with black out lining (so Kennedi will sleep).  Kennedi picked out the fabric.  I think she did rather well, don't you?

Peel and play fabric decals.

The peel and play decals are awesome.  I found them at Mona Melisa Designs. Awesome stuff!! They have such cute murals, growth charts, and these play decals--especially for boys--Andrei will be getting some when he gets older! They are around $80, but if you go to their Facebook page, they have a store there which sells the "slightly irregular" things.  I got this set for $20.  And I can't tell what's wrong with it.  I bought a Christmas tree peel and play set on clearance for $15 which the kids can decorate next Christmas

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

One room finally down!

I can say we have one room completely finished to date: the kids' bathroom.  I can't tell you how awesome it is to spend time in there! LOL I will often just take my cup of coffee in there and sit on the vanity and just relax.  There isn't sheetrock dust, cement foundation floor, or paint cans to look at in there.  What a way to relax!  Let me just say, I have no idea how people stay sane with remodeling projects that go on for years!

My dad came over and helped us lay the tile in the bathroom.  Andrei saw him with his measuring tape out, so he runs to find his.  He about knocked me down getting back to the bathroom.  "I gotta help Gan-pa!" he says as he shoves me out of his way.  He's VERY aggressive when he thinks he needs to be "helping". 

Here are some before and after pictures of our bathroom.

Before with striped wall paper and border and purple carpet.

Nice Hollywood light fixture with brass detailing and rusted squeaky towel bars.

New light fixture.  Found an awesome website for lighting fixtures.  To find one that was as long as I needed, I was looking at spending over $100 easily.  Scored this one for $30! Got our dining area chandelier for only $42!

A little vinyl lettering.  (Not too much fun to put up since our walls are textured...but it looks great!)

Awesome looking tile floors, new drawer and cabinet pulls, and plenty of monkey stuff!

Yes, I got out my sewing maching and made the valance.  Just call me Susy Homemaker! Just don't look too closely at my less than straight stitching...hmmmmm I did not make the shower curtain!

Moved the light switch.  Our wires are covered at the time of this writing.  I'm just excited that everyone has a place to put their towels now.  Bathroom hardware is SEROUISLY underrated!!!

When we moved the door, palm tree #2 was chopped down (literally), so this was painted in its place.

Annsley made me turn her into a girl snake--with eyelashes!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bye Bye Ceiling Fan Brass

As promised, here is a post about some of the updates going on around here.  I know you've been biting your nails waiting for this!

All of the ceiling fans in this house were stuck in 1990.  Brass was popular.  Brass was shiny.  It was in. I've since decided that I don't like shiny and bright staring down at me from the ceiling.  I was not going to spend hundreds of dollars to replace the ceiling fans, so I splurged on some paint.

Nothing short of incredible transformations I must admit.  I used spray paint and a new product I had never used before called Sophisticated Finishes.  This stuff is awesome, by the way.  The product comes in many colors, you can get the antique or rust look by appyling their patina colors.  It has real metal in the paint, can be used indoors or outdoors, and a little 4 oz bottle ran me less than $10 at Michaels with a coupon. 

I spray painted Kennedi's ceiling fan and our bedroom fan; I used the Sophisticated Finishes and brushed on the paint on Andrei's and our living room fan.  I still have Annsley's fan to update.  Spray vs brush on?  Brush on was SO MUCH EASIER!  It was less messy by far and I didn't nearly pass out because of the fumes.  The con would be you don't get that super smooth look that you do from spray paint, but in my opinion, you only notice that if you get super close (and I don't know anyone who is going to get a step ladder to check out my paint jobs anyway.)

Here are some pictures and the tale of my spray painting woes to go along with.  (Remember, I'd share the ugly with you too...) I sanded everything that was going to be painted but I didn't use primer.  If I'd been painting over something that was going to get touched alot, I'd do it differently.  But really, how often do you get up on a ladder and finger the metal of your ceiling fan?

Ceiling fan that came with the house.

I took down the blades, arms, and gave everthing a good cleaning with soap and water.

Sophisticated Finishes in Blackened Bronze, coat #1.  Doesn't look very promising at this point...

Painting the arms.  Use a smooth foam brush for less paint lines!

Coat #2...still having problems but getting better.

I flipped the ceiling fan blades over to the darker espresso finish.  With a third coat of paint, ceiling fan looks AWESOME!

Kennedi's fan with gobs of paper hung around it to catch the overspray. It took longer to protect the stuff I didn't want to have semi-gloss white on it than it took me to actually spray the fan.

I taped off one side of the fan blades because I was going to paint one side satin white and the other a rainbow of colors. 
  Now, at this point, Kennedi's ceiling fan update is going well.  I've managed to spray paint her fan blades a different color (green, pink, yellow, purple, and orange) and I have waited 24 hours and have flipped them over to paint the other side white.  I have my fan blades out on the driveway on top of newspaper.  It is a calm day.  I spray them.  I wait 10 minutes.  I spray coat #2.  I go inside to wait.  I all of a sudden hear a gust of wind roar outside.  Not good.  I go out to the driveway and two of my fan blades are flipped over and the the newspaper is sticking to them.  They will now have to be stripped.

I find some old paint stripper in a box and wipe them down with it.  Unfortunately, some of it bleeds over to the "good" side, so the orange and yellow side will have to be repainted as well.  I scrape off the paint, and clean them up. 

Now it is day #3.  I start with the colored side.  I obviously did not get all the stripper off because within 30 minutes, the newly painted orange and yellow are showing cracking and splitting of the paint.  Great.  I scrape that off and clean them again. 

Now it is day #4.  I spray them again.  They are not looking as great as they did the very first time, but at this point I'm getting a bit ticked and don't care.  I'm beginning to feel like I'm being held hostage by her fan.

Day #5.  I turn the blades over and spray the other side white.  15 minutes after spraying coat #3 I noticed this:
Somebody has stepped on my newly painted fan.  To this day I can't identify the foot print, but I'm still looking....
Instead of stripping them AGAIN, I just layer on the paint to make them somewhat smooth.  At this point I'm more than willing to fork out the $15 bucks for new fan blades...

Kennedi's fan finally finished after 6 long grueling days...

My favorite ceiling fan: our bedroom fan spray painted with hammered silver spray paint.  I just flipped the blades over to the darker side. 
Free blog design by Adori Graphics using the Safari Sam digiscrapping kit by Adorible Digital Designs