Monday, January 31, 2011

Chalet Appreciation: Mr. Boy's Room

Mr. Boy's room has been a work in progress for a year now. Finally, there is some semblance of order and a plan taking place. Originally, AK shared the space, and as the construction moved forward, their room became multi functional. This room and the den next door were not radically altered with the exception of new windows during the construction. Which meant this room was getting crammed with more and more stuff as the construction reached it's peak. Mr. Boy wanted a Star Wars room and I happily obliged, or it might have been the other way around.

For the art, I framed pictures of him in his Halloween Costume.  Every year we take the kids to get a professional picture in their Halloween Costume at the place in the mall.  I am not a fan of studio shots, preferring more candid shots, but Mr. Boy loves these. I also have some of Mr. Boy with AK in a Princess Leia Costume but he insists on a "No Girls Allowed" policy for his room.  
His room is definitely not "done".  Underneath that "Larger than Life" picture of Mr. Boy with his cousin (a gift from my dad), will go his new desk.  While not new, it came with the house, along with that awesome Midcentury Modern dresser.
Mr. Boy loves his bunk beds, and deemed the bottom one for guests, and the top one for him.  The sheets are Pottery Barn and an exact replica of the ones my brothers had when I was little. Why do kids insist on putting stickers on furniture?  Every evening I scrape off one sticker while tucking him into bed.  Have your kids discovered the Evil Vile Build-a-Bear yet?  Mr. Boy just attended a lavish birthday party where that was one of the events.  All Mr. Boy talks about is wanting to go to Build a Bear and building another Star Wars Bear.  It's as though the stuff those bears with Crack. The outfit the bear is wearing cost more than the last outfit I bought Mr. Man. 
Have you noticed the "Lego Shelf" yet?   It's the one thing I knew this room needed when we first bought the house.  The Juans made it and it is the perfect spot for displaying Mr. Man's Mr. Boys Star Wars Lego Collection.  The collection is also known as: Reason #3 why Mr. Boy needs to earn a scholarship for college.  "Look kid, we can't pay for college, but didn't your Dad you have fun building all those Lego sets?"
Mr. Boy loves his room, it's the perfect place for storing Legos and Relaxipants.  I love the clean look, although I'm tempted to paint the walls grey.  What do you think?  

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Curse You!

Disclaimer: I received zero compensation for this post, but if would like to pay me a billion dollars for the free publicity to my 9 loyal readers, I'll take it.

Since moving to the Chalet and befriending Rupert, I have become a homebody. 
I loved shopping, well still love shopping, but I don't feel the need to run out all the time to do errands. In fact, I kind of avoid going out to run errands, preferring to get creative instead.  "I wonder if the kids will notice if I use canned Evaporated Milk on their cereal."   Totally gross.. I know.  *sigh* I miss Homegrocer.

The internet has been fabulous for enabling my homebody status.  The UPS man has gotten to know us well, or more like gotten to know the Juans, who have become adept at accepting my packages. 

Back in November, I got an email from to try out Amazon Prime for free for 6 months.  Amazon Prime is essentially a program where you get free 2-day shipping on any order, no order minimum.  With the holidays quickly approaching, and holiday shopping looming, I signed up,although I was hesitant of the benefit.  Then, I sprained both ankles and could barely walk.  Mr. Boy was complaining that he needed new a lunchbox since his was torn, AK's markers had been ruined when she tried to use them in the bathtub.  I beckoned for my laptop, 4 clicks and 2 days later a box arrived with the supplies the kids were begging for.

Genius!  Then Skoopi needed a dog hiking boot (yes, i know... the dogs are spoiled) for a paw that got a cut and to preserve her ability to go on morning hikes.  I  hit up a few pet stores, and everyone kept referring me to someone else.  Annoyed at the fourth store, I whipped out my toosmart for me phone and bam.. 2 seconds later I had an Amazon phone app, and 4 seconds and 2 days later Skoopi had fantastic dog boots. And that is how I became hooked.

But here's the thing, Amazon is making a mint off of me.  This is what I greeted me on my doorstep, and this is a typical day. Three boxes!  Inside these boxes were a baseball bat bag for Mr. Boy, Mr. Man's Favorite Granola Bars (that are only found at a supermarket across town), and some organizing supplies for AK's closet. Yesterday I ordered popsicle sticks, red pencils, and black thread.  It's crazy addicting and I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up on some Intervention show, clutching my smiley-face boxes as I get dragged off to rehab. 

And for the record, the kids noticed the Evaporated Milk and it's a definite no go.  I'm not sure if the kids are ever going to forgive me for that one.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Mama Bear

This is hard. I don't want to do this.  Those are the phrases that cross my mind daily when thinking about my mom's cancer.  Her breast cancer returned after 3 years and now she has Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer. The cancer is everywhere, bones, brain, lung, liver.  My vibrant mom is withering away and this week she just looks so....  so... so very beaten down.  That is not the mother I know.  Cancer is a thief, robbing my mother of her spunk. I don't want to do this. This is so hard.

Growing up, my mom was ALWAYS in our corner.  She was the ultimate "Mama Bear." Today was a Yellow Day at our house.  Both of the kids got in trouble in school and got their colors changed and moved down from Green (good) to Yellow (warning).  It reminded me of when I was in 2nd grade, and got my color changed.

Second grade was a tough year for me.  After an awesome summer with an amazing trip to Ixtapa, Mexico and watching the Olympics live in person, I got sick.  Really sick. So sick, that I wanted to stay home instead of attending the Ice Capades, even though we had front row seats!  Long story short, I nearly died from a rare medical condition and I ended up missing the first few weeks of 2nd grade.

When I finally got well enough to go back to school, I was excited to be out of the hospital, back with my friends.  Even better my older brother had my second grade teacher before and loved her. Mrs. Kuss (rhymes with goose) made no big deal of my arrival back in school.  I found my desk, sat down, and started in with the day.  At some point she asked the class to 'quietly pull out our Compucat Charts and prepare for a test."  I had no clue what a Compucat Chart was and so after a quick glance around the class, I turned to ask my neighbor.

Suddenly, I heard, "Wendy, No TALKING, pull out your chart."
Moi: Whaa....
Mrs. Kuss interupting: I said NO talking.  Go change your color.
I sat silent as I have no idea what a Compucat Chart is or how to change my color.
Mrs. .Kuss:  Change your color TWICE for not being obedient.
The kids behind me are hissing, "Go to the wall in the corner"
Mrs. Kuss yells and points to a wall:  Go do it now or else you will be in the prinicpals office.

At this point, I think hanging out in the principals office would be a vacation. Who knew my second grade teacher would be such an ogre, my brother totally lied.  I go over to a wall of blue smiling faces, find my name and quickly realize behind it are frowny faces with other colors.  I guessed what changing your colors twice would be, and sat down.  The kid next to me had pulled out my Compucat Chart and put it on my desk in an act of compassion.  I carried on with my day, biting my lip, trying to hold back the tears.

During recess, I had to lie down in the nurses office so she could check my temperature and give me a once over.  I cried to the nurse and told her  all about how my teacher was terrible, and she said, "Don't worry, I know your mom, she'll fix it."

As soon as I got home, I told my mom all about my day and the colored happy faces.  I wailed that I had an orange frowny face above my name.  Her smile faded and I could see fire in her eyes.  She looked at the big clock in the family room and said, "She's probably still there. Go get a drink and lie down, let me make a phone call."

I stood outside my parent's door listening to my mother talk to Mrs. Kuss.  She was livid and used phrases like, "How dare you.... The child misses the first few weeks of school and you can't take 2 minutes to explain the classroom procedures?   I expect this will be fixed tomorrow...   Wendy will be awaiting your apology. "

I heard her hang up the phone and I sprinted to my bed and acted like I wasn't eavesdropping.  She walked in, calmly pulled the blanket up to my chin, and said, "Don't worry, Mrs. Kuss made a mistake.  She will apologize and fix it."
The next day, during recess Mrs. Kuss pulls me aside and apologizes.  She then takes me on a tour of the classroom and the goes over the daily schedule.  At the end, she looks at me and says, "I'm really sorry about yesterday, your mother was very upset with me."  With the confidence that my mom was on my side, I looked at her and said, "Yeah, if you mess with me, your gonna have to deal with mom, so you better watch it."

Unfortunately, Mrs. Kuss would have to deal with my mother's wrath again, but she totally deserved it and it wasn't like I didn't warn her. That's another story for another day.

Now, my Mama Bear is in the fight of her life, and I'm all grown up.  I feel like I'm the Mama Bear, pacing around my wounded cub.  I just don't know what I can do to help her fight.  I don't want to lose her, but I don't want her to suffer.  This is so hard.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Goals for 2011

On this day (1/11/11), I can't help but feel like making a list of priorities.  It's probably because all those ones are staring at me and reminded me of the days I used a big bulky Franklin Covey system and made a list putting a #1 next to all the "URGENT" tasks.  

Since becoming a mother and mellowing out a bit, I have learned to scale back my to do list, lower my expectations.  The truth is, everything takes much longer when children are around.  Now, I'm scaling back even more with my mom being ill.  I cut back on afterschool activities in an attempt to be more flexible.

My ultimate goal is to GET HEALTHY!  My body has aged quickly this last year as I tackle lame stupid health issues.  Nothing major, but obnoxious.  I don't want to feel this way. It's a simple fix, eat more protein and workout.  Last year I was in the shape of my life, thanks to Mr. Kenny!. So this year I vow to excercise 3 times a week and eat more protein.

Then there is the fun stuff:
I want to hug this guy.   It's my lovable Rupert, who I love more than I should considering he is a wild animal.  This year I want to earn his trust so much that he lets me hug him. 
 This tabletop needs to stained to match the island. Hi Skoopi!
This is my "message center"  where the family calendar, birthday invites, sports schedules, school notes all reside.  It doesn't work for me.  I had a giant corkboard at my other house and I loved it. This area... it's just needs something to make it better.  Prettier...  more functional?  Help!
 This dresser is so lovely. It's over a hundred years old, and gorgeous. It was a wedding gift from my mom.  It's problematic in that I have no idea where it should be.  I want it in AK's room, but what color do you paint the room this is in?  Or maybe it should go in the entryway?
 My living room is so boring it makes even Sandy bored just walking through it.  And that lamp in the corner, the shade is always crooked. It drives me mad.  So this room needs a chair, a rug, and perhaps a new life.  And less Brown. Everything is brown brown brown.  You could stick a brown cow in the corner and I'd never even notice. It would just blend in.
There you have it.  Easy resolutions for the new year. 

Friday, January 07, 2011

What I did on my Christmas Vacation

My family got together for a couple days of togetherness.  The cousins had a blast.
 My brother would make the perfect captain on Deadliest Catch. He lived in Alaska for a summer and worked in the Salmon Fishing Industry.  He is one of my favorite people on the planet.
Anyone got any spare miracles laying around to lend me?  My mom is withering away right before my eyes. She's still a total babe and if I could describe my mom in one word it would be: Vibrant.
 A visit to the beach refreshes the soul, relaxes the mind, and reminds me that things are going to be okay.  
 All of a sudden strep hit Mr. Boy. 
And next thing you know we are at an Urgent Care Center, where a doctor who was younger than me administered to Mr. Boy. I suddenly felt ridiculously old when I looked at him and blurted out,  "Dude.. how old are you?" Because only older folks say things like that... minus the Dude part.
 Mr. Boy rebounded after some antibiotics and a seriously long nap.

I love being the aunt to these guys.   My favorite moment of the week was sitting in a homemade fort with my kids, my niece & nephews.  I taught them all how to make convincing fart noises with their mouths.  It's one of my secret talents and now I passed it on to them.  Only cool aunts teach you these sort of things. 
These guys are total buddies, and I love that they are best friends.  My only complaint is we live too far from one another. 
New Years came and went.  We went to Uncle Mike's for the annual New Years Eve gathering to watch the Rose Parade Floats line up.  Mr. Boy insisted once we got home that he wanted to stay up until midnight. 
He didn't make it, but we took pictures to prove we let him party with us. 
Dear 2011, What do you have in store for us?  Can I have a sneak peek?  And please do be kind to us.
Love, W
PS Do you prefer to be called Twenty-Eleven or Two Thousand Eleven?