Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Hallloween

Presenting Harry Potter,
And the Dog that saved Madeline, Genevieve
 Mr Boy has wanted to be Harry Potter since November 1st of last year, and AK wanted to be Wonder Woman.  I ordered AK's costume and we loved it, but then one evening while we were reading in bed, she blurted out, "Oooo I wish I was Madeline for Halloween!"  Immediately, I broke my rule of "once the costumes is purchased, you have to commit!" She can be Wonder Woman any day, but how cute is AK as Madeline?
While making their costumes this year, I fell back in love with sewing, inspired by this season of Project Runway.  As for Zoey, it seemed appropriate to have her be the dog who saved Madeline, because she is dog who has totally saved this family with her sweet and goofy puppy love.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Feeling Groovy

 It's only taken 2 and a half months of whining and complaining for me to feel like I hit my school groove.  The schedule has got it's kinks worked out, and my whole attitude is better.  Part of it is that I forgot to schedule in some downtime.  So for a half hour each day, we are all lounging on my bed reading magazines, catalogs, or books.  It's my favorite time of the day. 
My kids LOVE to look at catalogs, and I remember anticipating the Sears catalog when I was little to look at all the fun things to buy.  My kids rip out the pages they love and put their initial next to what they want.  I don't know  if you can see it, but AK put her initial next to that painted horse.  It made me laugh when she handed me a stack of winter clothes pages she wanted to buy.  Yes, AK the horse would make a great accessory with that skirt.
I rewarded my "positive attitude" self with a girl's night out at Drag Queen Bingo with Cinnamon and the ladies.

 I love when I go to download pictures and I find gems like this, a self portrait. 
Now that I hit my stride, of course, soccer ends in two weeks and we move onto a whole new schedule. Gah, it never ends.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dissappointingly Pink

AK has wanted a pink room forever and a day.  One day my brother's wife looked me squarely in the eye and said, "Look, as the aunt, I'm laying down the law, she wants a pink room, so give her a pink room." I've learned over the years, you don't mess with the aunts or the aunties.  Plus AK's room has been a disaster since she moved in last year. It was formerly the office aka Chalet Construction Headquarters, and is wired to launch a rocket.  It needs a makeover, and it's in the works, just wait until you see the new bedding!  Step one is paint.
 Once I figured out the color I wanted, I went to town on AK's "long day" at school and dance.   She had NO idea I was painting her room, and I thought it would be a fun surprise.  Mr. Boy even pitched in.
Zoey tried to help, or more like made a mess. It seems like common sense to not paint around a puppy, but somehow I didn't think she would get into the paint.  I was wrong, and do you know what happens when you scream and try to tackle a puppy covered in pink paint?  They run, wiggle, and shake, splattering pink paint everywhere.   The upside, now she matches AK's room!
 Finally, it was done and we picked up AK.  Mr. Boy and I couldn't wait to show her the finished project. 
 We told her we had a surprise for her and brought her into her room.... Ta Dah!
 Uh oh!  Why the frown?  Apparently, kids consider surprises to be "toys", not necessarily paint.  Good thing to know, looks  like AK won't be on one of those Presto Chang-o HGTV shows, and that's okay.  The next morning she woke up and saw her pink walls, and woke up with a smile.  They made her happy, and that's all I wanted, even if it took a few hours to get there.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Forgive me, for yay, verily, I am about to covet.

I'm hooked on Fridge Porn.  No really, I am totally obsessed with this fridge commercial that comes on.  No matter what we are watching on Tivo, I make Mr. Man slow down the remote and rewind for this one commercial of a gorgeous fridge with a built in tablet.   I know it's silly, but I am not sure why I am so entranced by the idea of a fridge with a built in tablet. I love my iPad and I'm hooked on Google Calender, which updates my phone, ipad, computer, and the office of my daily activities.  The iPad is never handy when I'm in the kitchen, and I'm ALWAYS in the kitchen.  Sure, sure, I could just keep my phone or the iPad in the kitchen, but people that's not the point.  I mean.. just take a peek at what I'm obsessed with.  (If you are at work, fair warning here comes some naked fridge pictures, you might want to tilt the screen away from your coworker.)
Oh yeah baby, that's what I'm talking about.   Now don't get my wrong, I love my $35 makeover fridge and it's freebie-ness.  Recently, Freebie Fridge has been leaving an ominous puddle on the floor, that makes me wonder if Mr. Man and I are going to have to pony up for a new fridge.  Mr. Man isn't a fan of my Tablet Fridge, he thinks the concept is cool, but the functionality isn't as great as it seems. (ahem *cough* Tablet Fridge is pricey* cough)   We all know Mr. Man has a big heart, and loves to please his wife, so this is what he has done to remedy the situation.
Here's a close up of his genius-ness.  He is convinced if we end up with a Tablet Fridge, Mr. Boy would suck down juice boxes all day long, while playing Angry Birds on the Fridge.
When I tried to convince him that the genius of the tablet fridge is the ability to be able to access my calendar in the room where I spend the most time... he came up with this.
It made me laugh, especially the pen, then came the ultimate solution...
Perfection!!  This made me laugh so hard,  that's my iPad taped to the fridge.  I love Mr. Man, and I love that he does these things to humor me and my big ideas. However, I think there is room our marriage for Mr. Man and the Tablet Fridge, don't you?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Surviving Soccer

Soccer Mom isn't a term I would use to describe me.  I see those moms every week with their blinged out shirts announcing they are a "Sexy Soccer Mom" in rhinestones and glitter.  I'm more of a "oh crap, we are late.. hurry!"  soccer mom.  Between all the practices, the scrimmages, and the games, I feel like I'm on the soccer field 10 days a week.  It's crazy.... 
but  I will say I had no clue how much I would enjoy watching my son play a sport he loves.  I'm the crazy lady screaming from the sidelines when my boy blocks a goal.  Mr. Boy is a natural goalie, even though he'd rather play forward.  Mr. Boy made a deal with his coach that he'd play goalie for one half, if he could be forward the rest of the game.  A deal the coach gladly accepted.  Mr. Boy's nickname is "The Wall", because nothing gets through him. 
It's crazy how serious he takes this stuff.  I love that when he is out for a quarter, he sits and watches with his iPod on to "stay in the zone".  Even though I gripe about how much time it takes, I love it and am envious of his natural athletic skill.  When he blocks a goal, it's hard for me not to imagine him in 15 years playing in a huge stadium with 25,000 fans screaming, "The Wall!" or imagining him in the 2020 Olympics.  Am I the only one who gets carried away? 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lessons from my Dad: Never pass up a good deal

Junior High was not my favorite age.  It was extra awkward, and I wasn't exactly Miss Popular.

During my eighth grade year, my father retired and stayed at home full time. Parents are already mortifying enough at that age, and now my dad had forty extra hours a week to embarrass me.

Somehow I ended up in Band during Jr. High, I didn't like it, and I was terrible at it.  My brothers were in band in junior high and I think it was just one of those things we did in our family.  Band didn't make me more popular... are you shocked?  Even worse, since I was terrible at band, the band nerds shunned me.  This video reminds me of my band talent... except I didn't have the jazzy dance steps or the sparkly outfit.

My dad decided to take up new hobbies all of which mortified me at some point during my eighth grade year, but perhaps the worst offense was becoming a bargain hunter.  It's a noble and admirable hobby, but combine that with my dad's engineer brain to make all things more efficient, it would encroach on my life.

One day, my dad was scheduled to pick me up from school which was a special treat, since I rode the bus.  My dad had just found the mother of all deals on Toilet Paper and had stocked up.  Our Buick Skylark was loaded down with 24 packs of Charmin.  The trunk was bursting, the backseat was packed, and the luggage rack was loaded up with TP.  My dad pulls up in front of the school in his Toilet-Paper-Mobile with Dionne Warwick blasting from the stereo.  My dad honks and waves madly at me, while I try to disappear into thin air.
(I tried to recreate the scene with my crazy awesome photoshop skills.  This is the actual car from this harrowing experience.  She later became my car when I turned 16, I preferred to drive her around town sans Toilet Paper.)
Everyone is staring and I start to climb into the front seat of the Buick, only to have my dad says, "Oh... no we have to pick up your brother you'll have to sit in the backseat."  He opens the back door, pulls out giant packs of toilet paper, I get in, and then he proceeds to stack toilet paper on my lap. I am squished between a wall of toilet paper and the car window and as I look out the car window there is a sea of gaping mouths belonging to my peers.  It is at that moment I knew popularity was forever going to be just out of my grasp.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Grateful for Puppy Love

This little dog has me completely smitten.
Zoey is proving to be a sweet little addition to the family.  I swear this dog smiles in her sleep. And do you know what is better than round toddler bellies?  Deliciously plump and crazy soft puppy bellies.
Zoey often sleeps just like this.
 In the car, Zoey is either on someones lap or up front with me. 
If she is up front, she sits like this, with her nose sticking straight up to the ceiling.  It makes me laugh each and every time. 
 Her favorite chew toy...  door trim.  The Juans are not going to be too pleased. 
Since Zoey needs some attention prior to the morning rush, I'm up early again, just like during the construction.  I know I've griped about not being a morning person, but I had forgotten the serenity of those early mornings.  The deer are ambling by, the hillsides are covered with a silvery mist, and everything is calm and peaceful. 
And during those mornings walks around the property with Zoey, I give thanks for her,  For Mr. Man who insisted on her, because ultimately, he is wise and tries to do what is best for the family.  I give thanks for the children who make me laugh each day, and for the friends in our lives.  I even give thanks for the Juans who helped us create this oasis in the big city, and for the deer... yes, even Rupert.
Starting each day off with thankful heart has been the best thing, and I am grateful for this little dog, who has reminded me of the power of gratitude. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Left to my own devices...

Mr. Man left on a "Man's Trip" to visit Mr. Uncle, and Mr. Friend, which meant I was left at home alone to hold down the fort.  I think Mr. Man gets a little nervous leaving me home alone, because he is never certain what I'll do next.  With my recent home project streak, I think he feared he would arrive home and find the Juan's had moved back in and the front half of the house torn down.  (Oh, how I miss the Juan's, shhhh, don't tell but this Christmas I'm asking Santa to bring the Juan's back!) 
While Mr. Man was gone, I just reached my breaking point with the Living Room.  That fireplace makes me want to poke my eyes out, plus the living room lacks a place to be festive.  I need a mantle to decorate and add some flair to the boring room.  So, I became determined to make a mantle. 
I started with this mantle shelf that I found in my friends garage, and after some cuts on Mr. Man's table saw, I came up with this:
Not to shabby, eh?  Okay, so I'm kidding.   I couldn't figure out how to pull the table saw out of the crevice Mr. Man has it wedged into, so I gave up.  Then I turned to my new best friend Craig (aka Craigslist) and found several mantel's for sale.   This mantel was ridiculously cheap and cost less than our dinner at Souplantation on the way to pick it up from it's owners.   (Bonus, it was my dad's birthday and we took him out for his birthday, then stopped a few towns over from his house to pick up the Mantel. Souplantation was my Dad's first choice, and it was Punk Day at school, hence the blue hair on Mr. Boy.)
It only took about 10 minutes to install, took less than one minute for it to turn into a Lego Battlefield. 

While I love the Mantel, especially for the price it was a steal.  However, I don't love these wood decals or whatever they are.  I want to pry them off., I think they are too fancy for the Chalet.  What do you think? 
My other problem is I'm not digging the color.  This room is so very brown, and I really think I want to paint it with some white chalk paint, and paint the wall behind it a dark color... Mr. Man is voting for a deep grey-green and I'm voting for Navy.
I refuse to cover the Dorothy Chairs until I get the color palette nailed down... not to sway your vote or anything but wouldn't they look amazing with white legs and Navy velvet on them?

Saturday, October 01, 2011

One thing leads to another

Back in January I set out to make goals for myself for the year 2011.  I'm working on it, but it has been a little slow going.  I thought that the Super Ultimate Mega Summer would yield lots of time for house projects, but I'm not going to lie...  I spent a good deal of time lounging by the pool.   Then School started and my foul mood and the agony of trying to find my "responsible school mom groove" didn't yield to projects.  However, if there is one thing I've learned about my way of grieving... I like to keep busy with projects.  Plus housebreaking a puppy means you spend a lot of time outside... which made this a great project for right now. 

Here is the table that I said I wanted refinished in 2011.  It was supposed to be done in 2010, but well.. that year was a bit overwhelming with the Chalet Construction.  This table was purchased on August 18th, 1995, over 16 years ago.  It was the first piece of furniture Mr. Man and I bought together and I love it.  The two tone wood might be a little dated... a little bit country... but this is The Chalet  so I'm going to keep it.  Here is the before picture.  The island which is in the bottom right corner is a dark brown, and the pine top table clashed.  (Pause for a moment to remember dear Skoopi. She always laid under the kitchen table in this house, it was her haven.  I still walk in and expect to see her there.) 

I refinished the table, in the same shade as the island and it. turned out great.  It gives a rich feel to table and as I sanded the table, I couldn't help but reminisce all the changes this table has seen.  We were young newlyweds and now..... Mr. Man is an old man.

Something didn't quite feel right about the table once it was refinished, besides the fact that Mr. Boy wouldn't move for the pics and is 4 months past due for a haircut....
I think the chairs aren't quite right.. and one thing led to another.
Then I spied these Ladder back chairs  at a thrift shop, when I went on Half off Day.  Yep, you read that right, I'm so cheap I went to the thrift store on half off day.  I scored four of these Ladder back chairs for $10 bucks each and laughed all the way to the bank.  (Not really, but still, that's a steal, no?)
Then I spray painted them with about 6,000 coats of Rust-oleum White Satin. It felt like 6,000 coats because I would pull these out spray them, and then forget about them, have to put them away at night, and then drag them out every morning to spray them again.  If I had just remembered to spray them every 2 hours, it would have taken a day.   
I love the end product, I ended up restaining the seats too. 
Only thing is, I'm not sure which I like better after viewing them both...     
Windsor Chairs or Ladder backs?