31 July 2011

Drywall & diapers

Dear daughter,
I'm pretty confident I got drywall joint compound in/on your diaper, sheets, blanket, pillow and even sippy cup when I put you down for your nap today.

Thanks for not caring until you read this post decades from now :-)

By the way, the ceiling and walls look amazing! ;-)

Love dad.

28 July 2011

You bet yer brass!

Have you ever seen so much brass? It's like a marrching band exploded in my kitchen. So far I've counted 85 handles and pulls. Dying.

And each one an individual. The 70's must be so proud.

Can you help?

I am in turmoil. As if that's anything new. I can explain.

We're working on our kitchen. It has a couple things going for it, but not many. I have a budget tgh size of my pinkie finger, and loads of determination. Here's what we're working with:
At this moment, the kitchen looks like this. The behemoth in the foreground is a built in china cabinet. We plan to take it out in a c0ouple of years and create a more open floorplan, but for now, it's here to stay. We're planning to refinish the cabinets and the china cabinet with Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations in a glazed white. It'll be white, but a little country/casual. We're going to use either rubbed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze hardware. See the greenstrip right there? That will be a chocolatey -gray, which will wrap into the dining room.

This is the counter top. Black, white, rusty red and a touch of blue-green.

Here is the backsplash - I don't mind the tile decor, but I'm not crazy about it. Anything I can do to make it look like we want it there would be great. The paint sample is a greeny-blue and matches the blue in the granite. I liked the idea of pulling the blue out of the granite as a paint color, but now I'm having second thoughts and I'm afraid it'll be too busy and won't make much sense.

Here is the other side of the kitchen. That hideous black appliance is a trash compactor. Blech. We plan to replace it with a second ice-maker, as this is Texas and our fridge ice maker really isn't keeping up. The hole in the cabinets will either get a cute curtain to hide small appliances, or we'll replace everything on that side with one big door to have a normal-sized pantry. Andrew likes the former, I like the latter.

All of our appliances are stainless, if that makes any difference.

Here is the other side of the kitchen. It's basically empty and not-so-full of potential at the time being. We plan to move the fridge to the corner where you can see the washer hookup peeking out, and add on another counter/cabinet next to it with a butcher block/stainless top. We're hoping that by moving the fridge the rest of the room will open up and it won't feel so tight in that corner. Ideally we'll have a breakfast nook and access to the screened porch where we can do brunch and other fantastic food-centered things. Right behind that folded up ladder you can just barely see the door to the HVAC, so we can't move the wall around without dealing with a ton of other issues. So, it stays.

So tell me. What color would you paint the walls? I'm planning to do crown molding in the long run, but I still have to figure in the space above the cabinets where the ductwork runs. I hate it.

Please help. My nerves are frayed and my paint samples are crumbling.

27 July 2011

I should be sanding right now...

...but three little girls kept me extremely busy today. Molly is teething, and she spends all day howling and sobbing. It's a gas. Lucy is not teething, but is asking me all sorts of weird questions and they're seriously taking up a TON of time. Claire is nursing, and that also takes up a large part of my free time. I wish she could hang on better - if she were like a little monkey baby, she could just nurse while I went about my business. That would be fab. I must say, though, I am just loving nursing her. She's totally got it down and now she's getting all chunky and sizeable. She's like a nice big teddy bear next to me. (Except teddy bears aren't fixated on boobs. Not reputable teddy bears, anyway...)

I was going to get moving on the kitchen and finish sanding the ceiling, but I'm kind of over my energy burst for the day, and Andrew isn't here to motivate me. So I blog.

The home improvements continue at a rapid pace around here. Let's see. What's on the list for the near future?
  • Sand kitchen ceiling, prime and paint.
  • Paint kitchen walls
  • Refinish kitchen cabinets
  • Refinish built-in china cabinet
  • New kitchen hardware, outlet and switchplate covers. (We just ordered a switchplate cover for Command Central in the front breezeway. It has six switches and we still aren't sure what they all do. We just hit all of them until something changes. When I went to order the massive cover, I learned that it's called a "Six gang stainless steel rocker plate." Huh?)
  • Move washer and dryer. Andrew has decided that he's not only going to drag them to their new location himself, but he's going to install a 220 volt outlet and the plumbing needed as well. Yeah.
  • Scrape living/dining ceiling.
  • Fill, sand, prime and paint living/dining
  • Paint living/dining
  • Finish front flower beds
  • Refinish ceiling fans throughout house
  • Tear out weird-looking built in desk/secretary thing that I keep running  into.
  • Switch shower heads around.
And then there are all the other things we're planning. It's just a laugh a minute around here.

Speaking of laughing, here's a doozy for you. I cannot get the hot water to work in the master bathroom. Everyone seems to be able to do it but me. That bathroom totally has it out for me. Every shower I've taken in there has been cold. When I take someone in to prove I'm not crazy, the hot water just pops right on, confirming my insanity. I don't know what to do about it anymore, but I do know that if I drag Andrew in there one more time, he's not going to help me scrape the living room ceiling. So I suffer.

So Lucy and the weird questions. Here's a small example:

We were riding in the car yesterday and I mentioned that I was going to sign her up for soccer. Being a first-born female, this sets off all sorts of worry and anxiety for her. "Well, will there be kids there? Will they be four like me? Do I have to run? Is my coach a girl? How many people are on my team? Do I have to talk to boys? What if my shorts don't fit? When is it?"

I wisely choose to ignore everything but the last question. "It's in the fall, about 6 weeks from now. It'll be once a week or so, I think."

Silence. I'm imagining the terror she must be in, thinking about this new thing she's about to begin. I look in the rearview mirror and she's looking out the window, chewing on her lip, just like her mama does in times of stress. My poor baby. I continue to wait for some sort of reponse.

Finally, it comes. "Hey mommy? Do black people have black blood?"

Clearly, she's not losing sleep over soccer.

Well, goodness gracious. It's 9:30 and I'm ready to call it a night. Claire is actually asleep in her crib (and has been doing GREAT with that whole business, might I add.) so I think I'm going to finish the last two episodes of The Tudors (how about that King Henry? Live. Wire.) and hit the hay!

Sweet little feet.

Sweet Nursling!

Why I need wireless.

Disclaimer: This was one day after moving. Don't hate.

25 July 2011

beautiful evening with my beautiful babes in Geckoland.

Claire smirking but not quite smiling tonight despite having Laura, Lucy & Molly leaning over her say "Hey Smiley Smiles Smiley Smiler You Smiley Smiler You!" in a baby voice. She's strong-willed because it was making me crack up! Geez. Look @ that cute lil bald  head. Mmmm so kissable.
Fight it Claire! Fight the evil estrogen power! Lets go fishing instead!!!!   :-)

I was SO close to getting ALL FOUR girls smiling in one picture for the first time!
I'm not entirely sure Claire's face was a smile here and Popper slipped out of frame just in time. She's so elusive!

Lucy's mischevious little 4-year-old grin when she learned that the sprinkler can be use for both good AND evil ;-) Yes, my cactus are awesome. Eat your heart out :-D
Next we moved to the swing. Look @ those freckles or as her cousin Lilly calls them, "spots"!

Daddy just practicing catching a moving subject on film... Didn't do too bad in this picture but it took 100+ to get this one :-D (I won't photolog those ones!)

Who me? This is hard work! Molly caddy's me around the yard. So cute. Working so hard.
Molly showing her golfer which way the wind was blowing. Turns out, if your fingers are covered in snot it's really hard to throw a blade of grass in the air... Hence the perplexed, cross-eyed stare at her fingertip.

The family swing. The house could burn to the ground and fall in a sinkhole. As long as this tree and its swing remain unharmed... all is well in the world. If you cannot hear the laughter when you see Poppers in this pic, something is wrong w/ you :-)

Too cute not to zoom in a little. Laughing at the top of her lungs. I'm lucky I didn't see any of her dinner after these few swings. My little daredevil is about 6' up in the air and she kept saying "Wing me. Wing me. Ush me. Up Der. Uckles, Uckles (buckles), Higher uh Higher Ahhhhhh!!!!!"

Click on this picture.
Open it all the way in your browser.
Now reflect on the mystery buried in those dark eyes and how beautiful life truly is.
This photolog brought to you all courtesy of Laura who is the best wife and mother in the entire world. Without whom, none of the above pictures would be remotely possible and to whom I owe absolutely everything. And... to whom is currently standing in the kitchen laboring over ugly brass cabinet/drawer pulls. Stating repeatedly "I just can't SEE the kitchen w/ these things on. They're so hideous and distracting"

24 July 2011

23 July 2011

Popcorn, Anyone?

(Please ignore the fact that three of these pictures are sideways. Just tilt your head and keep reading.)