Archive for June, 2010

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Is this room in my house?

And I’m not even kidding. The cabinet is down, one wall is done, we hung the mirror, pushed the dresser back and…..

girlsroomblue

it’s so pretty! Of course, there’s a lot to do still. Those wretched boards on the walls are taking 3 coats to look decent. And we’re going to need to put on floorboards at some point. But I’m so pleased with how it’s coming along. The blinds in both rooms are changed. I put an ad on Craigslist and that big cabinet, plus two matching ones that have been taking up room in our garage for years were posted as “Free” and got picked up on Saturday.

Woohoo! I can’t express how happy I am to have those gone. And we didn’t have to dump them!

Those softball and volleyball trophies that are sitting on the dresser in the photo have been photographed (per Abby’s suggestion, but I still credit Susan for the original idea that now floats around our house) so we can dispose of them.

I’m going to make the girls go through and clean out their dresser. We’re getting rid of as much “stuff” as possible so it’ll be easier for them to keep their room clean.

The window wall won’t take too much to finish. I think half of it needs the third coat of paint is all. And there’s a little touch up to do in the windowsill. Then we’ll focus on the wall the bunkbeds sit against. It’s in various stages of being painted. Clark wanted to paint real bad, so I made him strip down to his Pullup and let him go nuts. There was paint all over that dropcloth, but I think the carpet is safe. Veronica gets to paint behind the bookshelf on the fourth wall that is mostly closet. So, I’d say we’re well over half way done.

Then we get to decorate!

And then we can try to figure out what in the world we’re going to do with Veronica’s room.

And then we’re going on vacation. :-)

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Painting

When we moved into this house 4+ years ago, all 4 of the bedrooms were really ugly. The room in the basement has been painted, though the carpet is horrible. We painted the master, which was a greenish-brownish-orange. And while we replaced the carpets in the other two bedrooms (the kids’ rooms), we hadn’t gotten around to painting them yet. I’ve been promising Abby and Olivia that we’d paint their room for at least a year and a half now. I fully intended to do it last summer, but I was too pregnant-sick to follow through.

So, this summer, we’re going to try to get both rooms looking nice. We’re doing the easy one first, which is Abby and Olivia’s room. They’re really excited to be painting, and while I’m happy to have the help, they get to do all the fun stuff. They’re rollering, I’m cutting in.

paintingabs

When Nate gets home, that hideous cabinet is coming DOWN! Finally! I have a big antique mirror ready to fill the spot that was in my room all growing up.

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Abby can’t seem to stop putting a supporting hand on a wet wall

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Here’s the room with all the furniture pushed to the center

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After the blue on top is done, we’ll paint the wood around the bottom bright white. The carpet is green. It’s looking really nice already, and they’re SO excited. I’ve even pulled down those gawsh awful purple blinds (seriously? It took 4+ years to replace purple mini blinds? What’s wrong with me?) and the new, white ones are in the living room waiting to be hung.

Veronica/Clark/Max’s room isn’t so easy. The walls have been wallpapered, and what’s worse, they’ve been primered to paint. I can’t get the stuff off. I’ve tried steaming it. I’ve tried glaring at it. No good. So we bought a couple of those PaperTiger things (ours has a scraper on it) because my mother-in-law said it would help. We haven’t tried it yet, though it seems to be intriguing to Nate as he’s picked it up off the counter and examined it at least a half dozen times since Wednesday, so maybe I’ll have some help!

While I was in Oregon over the weekend, Nate bought Abby a bird. When pulling photos off my camera, it appears Abby tried to take a picture of him. It appears he was shy. This is the best of the lot.

bird

He’s a really neat color for a peach faced lovebird. He’s blue instead of green. A really, complex, dark sort of blue, with a bright violet tail. He’s handfed, but still terrified. I was going to make some snarky comment about how the breeder that “handfed” him must have had anger management issues, but that really isn’t fair.

So we’re giving everyone the benefit of the doubt and spending our efforts trying to get him used to being handled.

Monday, June 21st, 2010

What a weekend!

I’m back from Oregon. It was a really nice time with my mom at the Black Sheep Gathering. My mother-in-law didn’t feel up to coming, which is probably a good thing ’cause I don’t think she would have made it for a number of reasons, the first being that the drive down was a nightmare.

A couple hours south, I was in a construction zone, concrete barriers right on the edge of each side of two lanes of southbound traffic. Cars and semi-trucks everywhere. No shoulder. And there was a huge rock in my lane. If I’d been in my Expedition, I would have driven over it. But I was in Nate’s car, and I wasn’t sure if I had clearance to get over it without damaging the underside of his car, so I slowed down (which put the semi right next to me) and moved as far to the right as I could without going into the other lane. It wasn’t far enough. I hit the rock and blew my tire right out. I turned on my hazard lights and slowed to a stop in the left lane. I called 911. A state patrol trooper pulled up behind me and turned his lights on to get me off the road. I had to drive awhile on a blown tire to get out of the narrow, no shoulder lanes and move off to the side. The trooper lectured me a little about stopping on the road, but really, I couldn’t get back up to freeway speed with no tire, and the right lane was moving by me too fast for me to merge, so I’m not sure what in the heck I was really supposed to do. He had to go help out on a rollover accident, so there I was, with a baby, on the side of the freeway in a construction zone. Two of the men working construction put my spare on for me, (so kind), and I made it a few miles south to a tire place that checked the air and lug nuts and told me being a fill size spare, it’d last through the weekend.

So that could have been much worse, but as it is, was extremely stressful and put me back a few hours.

The class on Saturday was really great,

class1

myrug

wool

letty

but you have to braid standing up. My mother-in-law wouldn’t have made it. But I bought her a book and a kit and took notes, so we ought to be able to make some rugs together once she recovers from her second surgery coming up in a few weeks.

It’s really easy to braid and sew, provided your roving is consistent. I’m wanting to make rugs from my batts, so I’m hoping I can make something consistent to work with. Having samples of good roving will help. I was sitting next to a couple of shepherdesses that had also hoped to make rugs from their own batts which is really cool and helps me feel a little less insane.

While it is easy, I think I’m going to have to rip out the sewing on my started rug because I pulled the thread too tight, and it isn’t wanting to lay flat without a little coaxing. And while I don’t feel ready (as in, I’m busy and don’t have a lot of time), I think I should start making one soon so I don’t forget the little tips and tricks I learned in class.

We’ll see how that goes.

I hit really bad traffic on the way back (on a Sunday afternoon. So irritating), so while I’d hoped to be back by 2 for Father’s Day, after leaving late and traffic delays, I didn’t get home ’til, close to 6 if I remember right. Max was amazing on the drive both ways. On the whole trip in fact. He didn’t cry at all.

It’s officially summer vacation right now, and gray and wet and cold outside. Lovely. I have a ton of housework to do today that I plan to get the kids in on. Last summer, Monday was our cleaning day and then we didn’t have to work much the rest of the week. It worked out really well, so we’re jumping right back into that this summer.

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Voice from the past

I’m actually writing this on Thursday night instead of doing something critically important, like packing for Oregon. It won’t post ’til Friday though, because I don’t tend to like posting twice in one day. So here it is…

I’m really not one to yell at my kids

They might disagree, but really, they have no idea what it means to be yelled at. If I’m grumpy at all, in their mind, I’m yelling at them.

But if I get anywhere close, it’s after the long, drawn out process of getting them into bed. And it’s kind of unfair to them because it isn’t usually any one of them that drives me nuts, it’s a matter of sheer numbers.

When the kids go to bed, I do things. I’ll be cleaning up (shocker), or merely moving around the house. If I walk by their bedroom for any reason, I get this…

“Mom?”

“What?”

“Do you think that sometime we can ….. (fill in the blank with something completely random and ridiculous)”

“I don’t know. Go to sleep.”

Silence. I take one half step before the other bunkbed pipes up.

“Mom?”

Sigh. “What?”

“I’m firsty.”

“Go get a drink, and get back in bed.”

I might make it into my room at this point, and on the way back down the hall the other bedroom chirps,

“Mom?”

Louder sigh. “What?”

“I need you to fill out this thing for school tomorrow morning. It was due two days ago.”

“Fine. Remind me in the morning. Goodnight.”

Pause. One step later. “Mom?”

“What?”

And someone launches into an obscure story I’m barely able to, and even less in the mood to follow. I usually interrupt with something like,

“It’s an hour and a half past your bedtime. Go to sleep.”

“But can I just finish…..”

“No. Goodnight.”

And then I’m done.

“Mom?”

FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, WHAT???????

Pause.

“Nevermind.”

Every night is like this, I swear. The only thing more irritating is when I don’t in fact end up walking in and out of my room at night. It becomes too much for them, so they have to bring their contrived emergencies out to me and every single one of them is back out of bed.

People may joke about using shock collars, (you know, for dogs?) on their children. This is not very funny, and I’d never. However, I did learn one thing from dog ownership that is directly applicable to, and effective with children and that is….

Squirt bottles.

I admit, I use them. It’s a tremendous stress reliever. It’s non-violent. I usually end up laughing. After screaming, so do they. Good times all around. And they tend to quiet up and stay in bed. Just sayin’.

Now that I’ve ranted and mellowed out some from bedtime and after bedtime, (and the kids are even dry), I can talk about Abby’s graduation. It was lovely. She was lovely. Fortunately, she sat right in front so I could see her.

abby1

abby2

abby3

Max has finally had it and is screaming on the floor. Time to feed the baby.

I’m in Oregon today, I’ll be back on the blog Monday with tales of rug braiding. I’m so excited.

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Success!!!

It may not be perfect, but Abby feels like a princess, and that’s what matters. Her hair is, like, 2 feet long, so I’m pleased I was able to tame it into anything usable.

hair1

hair2

hair3

Graduation is at 1:30. I’m borrowing Carol’s camera again and planning to stake out a seat at 1. Which means my boys will have to behave for almost 3 hours. This’ll be interesting.

I’m already showered and dressed this morning. We’re heading out to finish Father’s Day shopping, buy road trip food for my Oregon excursion, and pick up water bottle hangers for our new “hamster playgrounds.” I’m sure I’ll post more about those later. I had this brilliant idea that our active hamsters might enjoy a large playground type setup for a few nights a week, and it would give the girls an opportunity to interact with and handle their new pets more often. Good times all around?

Well,

Papu likes his playground so much that when we put him back in his cage last night (because we didn’t have a source of water yet) he went a little crazy and started insanely gnawing on the bars (which is very, very bad. They can push their teeth up into their brains if they do that, or damage them enough that they can no longer eat).

Great. Try to do something nice…..

So, he spent a waterless evening last night living large in his playground (when I toddled out last night for Max’s feedings, he was going nuts on the huge wheel) and I’m off to the pet store this morning.

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

How’s that? 3 posts in a row!

Remember when we found the second goldfish in the pond? We thought he was black, then discovered he was chocolate colored? Well, in another few days, it looks like he’ll be completely orange.

I’m kind of annoyed. Chocolate was cool.

So, here’s Ritesh (pronounced rit-esh) the day we pulled him out of the pond…

ritesh1

Here he is on June 5th…

ritesh2

and here he is today…

ritesh3

The stinker. There’s only a trace of brown left.

Out of the 4 or 5 fish that could have parented the two of them (I don’t remember when Alexander died), only one was solid orange. The others had a lot of white on them so who knows what these two will look like down the road? But, they seem to have healed from the broken pond they were rescued from, and are living large in their clean, 29 gallon tank in the kitchen, where they’re fed extremely well every day.

And they really love the bubble wall. It’s fun watching them play in it. If I were in there, I’d probably hang out in the bubble wall, too. I bet it feels great.

I have so much to do before Friday. Abby’s graduation ceremony is tomorrow and she wants a fancy up-do. I don’t know how to do much with hair, so that’ll be interesting. We all need laundry. And I’m not done assembling Nate’s Father’s Day present yet, though I’m close. It’ll be a little adventure for him and the kids to do while I’m driving back from Oregon.

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

funny

So, at Veronica’s birthday party a Saturday or two ago, as I was taking pictures of her opening her presents, I commented on how incredibly short she is and she shot this look at me.

vparty1

(she’s not sitting down in that picture)

I happened to catch it with the camera and it amuses the heck out of me.

vparty2

We had another great day at the beach yesterday.

liv

I love this annual field trip. Kayak Point is a gorgeous park.

class

I didn’t take much in the way of pictures this year, because between Max, Clark, and the three girls who might as well have been preschoolers with the amount of assistance they required, I didn’t have time to do much of anything.

I swear that with the three full classes of kids and many, many parents that were there, 80% of the time “mom!” was called out, it was directed at me.

On Friday, I’m going to Oregon (hopefully with my mother-in-law if she feels well enough) to take a class on rug braiding! I’m SO excited! I’ve wanted to do this for years. My mom is meeting me there to watch Max for the day, and we have a hotel room for a couple nights. It should be tremendous fun. This will be the first year that I stay in a hotel at this event. Usually, I pitch a tent in the field behind the sheep barns which I also love to do. (Falling asleep to the sound of a bunch of disgruntled, displaced and complaining sheep. I always fall asleep giggling).

I hope it goes well. I have all sorts of ideas for colorful, braided wool rugs in my house. Nate isn’t so enthusiastic.

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Field Trip

All three of the girls’ classes are going to the beach today. I’m busy packing the truck and getting everything together. It’s a hectic morning for an extremely relaxing day. I look forward to it every year.

I wanted to take my guitar up with me today, but didn’t want to worry about it being damaged or stolen. Nate suggested I buy a cheap guitar for just such occasions, so I spent Thursday and Friday hitting pawn shops, music shops, local eBay listings and Craigslist (the boys were SO patient and amazing) looking for something cheap that still sounds good enough that I’d enjoy playing it. On Friday, I found a bargain that ended up being an eBay listing from my local music shop. I’m really excited. It’s a cedar/mahogany Walden that was dropped in the store so it’s cracked on top (but my luthier can glue it to keep it stable). It was cheap, and it’s fabulous! It’s going to go everywhere with us this summer.

Gotta go. The clock is ticking and I still need to gather beach supplies for 5 kids. I’ll check in tomorrow.

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Why do things like this happen to good people?

I got 2, 2 hour stretches of sleep last night. Wanna hear about it? Might as well since it’s Monday, which has unintentionally become my official, solitary posting day each week.

So, I couldn’t fall asleep. I finally managed it around 1:15. At least, that was the last time I looked at the clock before falling asleep. And at 1:45, Max woke up to eat. So I fed him and made it back to bed at 2. At 2:23 I woke up from a nightmare where Nate wasn’t home late at night (imagine that. Not quite sure where the line between reality and dream is there…..) and the power was out and the phone wasn’t working and a creepy guy was pushing something sharp into me and I was carrying Max and trying to hold him out of the way so he wouldn’t be hurt.

Nice, huh? And it only took my brain 23 minutes to come up with that one.

So I distracted myself thinking about Bollywood movies and drifted back to sleep. Max woke up again to eat at 4. And at 6. At 7, our alarm went off so we could rouse everyone and go out to breakfast for Veronica’s birthday before taking them to school.

(Oh, happy birthday, Veronica).

I snuck in a 25 minute nap between 10:35 and 11 this morning, aaaaand that’s about it.

Yeah, I don’t feel very good right now.