Friday, July 30, 2010

That one time I went ballistic...

As you are all aware by now we are doing some construction on the house. It has gone pretty well, I love my crew of Juan's. Some of the work has been subcontracted out... and that has been good with the exception of one incident. You'd never believe me if I told you, so Cinnamon aka Witness #11 aka Cimblog(tm) graciously offered to guest post.

This pretty much sums up my friendship with Qwendy.I carry around latex gloves & bleach just in case I ever get *the* call for a best friend type of deed, but we’ll both deny that so don’t even try to report us. Qwendy has been doing some construction on her house as you may have noticed, and while most things have been going fairly well and while she’s been keeping her sanity in tact (mostly) I do think it’s gotten to her.

Several days ago I stopped by to see the progress on the Chalet. I started the tour after most of the Juans had gone home for the day and it’s shaping up nicely. Now, I’m no expert but I did note some…shall we say…inconsistencies in the quality of the work done by certain subcontractor. Let's just called him Mr. Beavis. Let’s face it—some areas flat out looked like Mr. Boy had done the work (no disrespect to Mr. Boy).

Since the head Juan had hired out the work to Mr. Beavis, Qwendy was on the phone with Juan #1 trying to find out what to do since Mr. Beavis wanted his money and the job wasn’t done to their standard. It was determined that they would give Mr. Beavis most of the money for the job but withhold some until they came to fix the work. I’ve never done this kind of thing before, but that seems pretty darn fair.

Several days later I got a text saying, “cimblog(tm), you should stop by, my cabinets are coming and I might need a sanity check.” I don’t need more reason that that to stop by! So, I packed up some latex gloves, bleach, and some wipes and headed over.

The cabinets are GORGEOUS and they’re EVERYWHERE. I couldn’t love it more, and the paint is perfect and the floor is perfect! This kitchen will make the time they went without one absolutely worth it!!

Qwendy whispered to me, “You might want to stick around, it might get good.” Apparently, Mr. Beavis was going to come by for his money. So while Qwendy was finishing up with a painting Juan, I decided to go in and see Mr. Boy and AK-47. We played for a while and I wandered back out to see what was going on with Qwendy. In her hand was a folded check, and she looked a little apprehensive and perhaps a little crazy-eyed. I whispered, tapping the gloves in my pocket, "Is that for Mr. Beavis?” It was. Qwendy went outside to deliver the check to Mr. Beavis and I went and inspected some more areas of the house. That’s when it happened.

I heard this low guttural growl coming from just outside the house and I knew there was going to be trouble. It was like the low growl of a wolf protecting her cubs. Then there was yelling, “GET OFF MY PROPERTY!”, “NO! YOU GET OFF MY PROPERTY, RIGHT NOOOOOOW!”, “GET OFF….GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!”, “OUT, GET OUT NOW!” People came running from all corners of the house and all we caught was a glimpse of the blue shirt of Mr. Beavis retreating from the house and property. What Qwendy had was 10 Juans who witnessed Mr. Beavis picking up a pick axe and coming at her. Mr. Beavis was either coming at her to slay her, her workers, and everyone in the vicinity, OR threatening to come in and pull the walls down. Either way, the Juans only witnessed this subcontractor-freak coming at her with a pick axe and that right there is intent, my beavis friend.

Mr. Beavis, you don’t know who you’re dealing with!
UPDATE: Mr. Beavis called Juan #1 asking for the rest of the money, even though he never had the nerve to show up to fix the rest of his work. Juan #1 said, "Hey, I'm at the Chalet and have a check for you in my pocket. You come up here and apologize to the lady of the house for threatening her with a pick axe and I'll give you the check. His reply, "No way. She is scary!"

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rupert & Co.

Goodness Gracious I love this little face. I love the way he tilts his head at me when he sees me, and how he is the hyper hypo of the herd. Bon Jour Rupert!The other day I stumbled upon Rupert and his tired Mama. She gave me a dirty glare as if to say, "He's been up ALL night, I just finally got him to settle down, and now you show up to get him all riled up. I just need 20 minutes... 20 minutes without anyone being wild." Ahem... maybe I'm projecting a bit. I can relate to Rupert's Mama. I love that this is in my trunk. When we bought the house, the condition was that we would continue to take care of the deer. I was a little leary.. the last thing I needed was 14 more pets. However, I love the deer and since the hillsides are looking bare, I've been supplementing with Deer Chow. The hillside has it's own deer faucet for water, and I have a bowl up there that I place the Deer Chow in. I put the bowl up by the post that is up there....
And when the bowl is empty, they kick it down the hillside. As if they are saying, "I thought we talked about this. What's the deal? The bowl is empty. Fill it up, Wenchy!" These are Hollywood deer, so they've got a bit of Diva in them.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Construction Update July 26

Things are moving along at Chalet du Francais. The trash pile is getting bigger, and the house is looking more like... well a house. (psst.. I caught Sandy mid-sneeze.) What kind of doors do you think we picked? Why, French Doors of course! Hello Rupert! (and his exhausted mama) They have been keeping a close watch on the construction. Rupert has been entertaining the Juan's.*Up until this point it's been all 2x4's and hammers. Now the pretty stuff is being delivered like flooring!I came home to find this waiting for me. Ooooo I cannot wait to show you what is inside! Check out my fancy doorbell. When you arrive at the house, just take those two wires and cross them to ring the bell.
On the inside, walls are going up.
And the kitchen is empty... which means we are hitting the local eateries... but it's taking shape.
* There are five guys on the construction crew all named Juan. It makes it easy to ask for help, just call out, "Juan!" and someone will come to your aid. Even the contractor and foremen say, "Just ask one of the Juans." The crew is here 6 days a week and we love them like family. They annoy us, make us laugh, and are helpful. Juan has become an endearing term for anyone we love.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Construction Update July 16

Check out our sweet little Chalet. I left to go on a little vacation up to San Francisco... And when I came home, we had all new Windows and a roof!! See the window on the left corner, that is precisely where my desk will go to watch the sun come over the hillside in the morning while I work. The four middle windows and big opening is the family room. And this is going to be a rock climbing wall inside the house... how fun is that going to be!

Anyone have a good source rock climbing handles? The contractor promised me once we reached this point, the house would go fast. I sure hope he is right!

Monday, July 12, 2010

1,000 Errands

There are what feels like 1,000 construction related errands to do. The poor kids get dragged to most of them. I've tried to give them a scavenger hunt list, with things to find during our outing, such as find: "a pink stroller," "man with a beard." My kids crack me up, because they come up with their own activities. For example:

Let's pretend we are showering at the store!
Let's sit on the cart and make mom work up a huge sweat!
Let's pretend I'm on Wipeout!While my sister is smiling for my mom, I'm going to steal her ice cream.And finally.. Where's Waldo?

Friday, July 09, 2010

Mr. Boy turns 7

Mr. Boy
On this birthday, I sit to write you a note and tell you how much I enjoy being your mom. I want you to know how much fun I have with you. Each and every day you make me laugh out loud by your actions or comments. You are a funny guy and your adventurous spirit makes every day an adventure. It has been pointed out several times this year by other mom's how funny you are, and how they love having you around because you fill their homes with laughter. Mr. Boy, you have a STRONG personality, you are persistent, stubborn, persuasive, and it makes for some long tough days, but I love it. I do not fear your adulthood, because I know you are going to grow up and be a great leader. On those tough days where I feel like I'm constantly having to resist your persistence and persuasion to keep the family on track, I remind myself this is a talent. It is a talent that will lead to your great success... or your downfall if you are not careful.
Years from now when you and your therapists read this and try to figure out how I ruined your life, this is probably the year that did you in. I look back on this past year and, buddy, you got the short end of the stick. I'm very sorry... but I promise you it is going to be worth it. We started you at a new school in the fall where you thrived! You made friends easily, your teacher loved you, and then BAM... we moved into a tiny house, and then practically tore it down. Your new school was fine, the teacher... she didn't have a sense of humor, and life has been chaotic. You have made friends, but it has been tough.
Amid all these challenges have come great opportunities. Mr. Boy... we live on the side of a mountain! Do you have any idea how lucky you are? Exploring the great outdoors has been the best new activities we do as a family. You and Dad love to go on long hikes on Saturdays. This new house will be amazing, and in a few short weeks the workmen will go home. It's not going to last forever, and soon we will forget all the inconveniences. One of the good things about this construction, we are always looking to get out of the chaos. You and I have started a nightly routine of looking for cool new spots to read in the evening. These are my favorite moments, as we dive into a book and eat Popsicles. Mr. Boy, you are Exuberant. There is no other word that fits you as well. You have such a zest for life and it is contagious. I love it. I'm a better person with you in my life. This year you have been obsessed with Legos and discovered the joy of a good taco. You and Dad can talk and play with Legos for days on end. I love having Lego battles with you and watching you build amazing creations. As a giant Mexican food fan, married to a "Burger Guy", I'm ecstatic to have someone to share a good taco with. I've always said you can break America down into two demographics..."Burger people" or "Burrito people". Taco's are close enough. One of the other things you have become obsessed with is Relaxipants (tm), you wear them daily and I love it. You wear them everywhere, and when I do laundry, I'm amazed by the items I find in the pants pockets. You are most definitely a boy. One of the more comical experiences of the year has been your discovery of the term "jinx". You recently learned about the phrase and have tried it out in all sorts of situations. When you were reciting your math facts in unison as a class, you stood up and jinxed the class when they recited the answer of 5+4=9. The entire class, remained quiet much to the teacher's dismay, until she recited each of their names to un-jinx them. She told me this during a parent teacher conference where I failed to stifle a chuckle. She told me, "It's not funny Madamoiselle Francais." Which made me laugh even harder that I was being scolded. It was not one of my finer mom moments. But it is SO funny, and so clever, and I'm not sure if that makes me a horrible mom that I find it hysterical or the perfect mom for a child like you. Hopefully, next year your teacher will enjoy your personality.
This year you have honed your negotiating skills. It is a constant, "mom, I know you said no, but what if we just do a little bit now... " etc. You have also learned that it "Never hurts to ask", and it has worked to your advantage. When we have gone out to eat, you will always ask for an extra toy while batting your big blue eyes. It drives us crazy, and even worse you almost always get what you ask for. We aren't sure how to teach you that, "You don't always get what you want." if people are falling victim to your handsome good looks.

Mr. Boy, I still can't believe you are seven. It seems like just yesterday I was holding you and dancing in the moonlight to Van Morrison next to your crib. Now you are gone all day at school and I hate it. I miss you terribly while you are gone. Life is much more fun when you are around.
You are so lucky to have so much opportunity in your life, even though the news on TV paints a different picture. I want to remind you to be compassionate and kind. In today's world the nice guy doesn't always win, but at least he finishes with integrity. I've often told you that being a nice kind hearted person will unlock the world's riches. Not necessarily material wealth.
I love you Mr. Boy, may this be your best year yet.
Love, Mom

Monday, July 05, 2010

Bad Example

The day started out innocently enough. We went to the special Mummy exhibit at the California ScienCenter. It was creepy, educational, and awesome. I don't know why, but I totally want one of these for the house. It's like a souped up version of the tin cans connected by string for telephones. The Sciencenter is next to the historic Coliseum. I told the kids all about how when I was Mr. Boys age I watched the Olympics here. So did Mr. Man, although he was like in college and had a moustache. I couldn't help but notice one of the entrance gates were open. I could not resist, I knew this was my chance. I taught the kids how to be stealth and we snuck right on in. Mr. Boy kept saying, "Mom, you are breaking the law!" But I've always wanted to stand under the torch at the coliseum and pretend I was athletic. I can now cross that off my bucket list. We had to sneak past a group of security guards who were chatting, but the kids were awesome at trespassing. Way to go kids! Then I taught the kids how to tip over a newsvan in case of looting. I'm so proud of my little criminals!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

SOS! Get me out of here!

We love Mr. Man, and on Father's Day weekend, we lost our kitchen, the living room, and the master bedroom all at the same time. Mr. Man does not do well with chaos and construction. During the day it became terribly obvious he needed to get away. Getting a sitter at the last minute on Father's Day weekend wasn't panning out, so I put out an S.O.S. Enter Aunt Cinnamon who graciously accepted the frantic call. I got all dolled up, which meant I showered... and put on my best pair of bangs. Mr. Boy wanted to document our grand outing by taking pics. Notice we sprung for the fancy plastic sheeting as our background of choice. Har-dee-har-har Mr. Man... He pretends to sleep during a picture, so funny I forgot to laugh.
Mr. Boy is at the age where kissing is the grossest thing ever. We like to gross him out every chance we get.
When we got in the car, we realized it had been FIVE months since our last date. FIVE months far too long. As we drove to dinner, I saw a man running down the street wearing a straight jacket. *I'm just going to pause here while you digest that*

I'm not kidding, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. A STRAIGHT JACKET! Mr. Man was unimpressed, probably because he grew up in LA, and seeing something like that just means it's a typical Saturday night. Silly me... I wore a red dress to dinner. I should have worn a straight jacket.

Thanks to Aunt Cinnamon for babysitting at the last minute!