Friday, January 28, 2011

Where did all the colors go?

January is horrible. It's winter and everything outside is white and encased in snow and/or ice. The Christmas decor has come down, and there is no color to be seen anywhere. And don't forget that it is very cold. Quite depressing.

It kind of gets dangerous to live with me around this time every year. I start getting ideas. For renovations. And painting. And redecorating and crafts. And sewing. And future gardening. And if you live in my house and are in danger of becoming a slave to my whims, now is the time to go hide under your bed.

Here's what is potentially on tap:

Entry way renovation: we need solutions, people. More coathooks (or less coats). Someplace for boots and shoes that is far more attractive than the "rustic" shelf currently in use. Replace the hideous and vile wooden parquet flooring with easy to clean ceramic tile. My front door in unforgiveably repugnant and in need of painting. Repairs to a couple small holes in the walls made by a teenage boy who doesn't understand physics as it relates to drywall and knowing your own strength.

Upstairs bathroom: re-priming doors and cabinets and repainting. I refuse to give up my bathroom crab, so while a slight change in color is likely, change in decor is out of the question. If I can find a jetted jacuzzi tub for under $100 I might consider that upgrade....pretty (un)likely right?

My bedroom: re-paint, re-curtain, re-quilt. The only thing that's staying is the husband.

In order to avoid poor choices in paint color in my desperation to enliven my drab existence, I will seek chromatic comfort in my crafts and sewing.
And there are a few new things I would like to try:

I've already started on these lovely faux vintage glass jars, but haven't quite finished yet:

I've seen these in a few places out there on the web, but Kristen's easy tutorial at Bridal Buzz is a good one. Let's hope mine finish up as good as hers, I'll be baking them tonite.

And these faux chenille blankets look adorable and very soft, I'd like to try this also:

This was made by Anneliese at Aesthetic Nest, you should check it out. I must warn you not to start this unless you are willing to sacrifice a significant amount of time to the project, it's a killer.

There are many more possible projects like, fix the fence, repaint the deck, move and rebuild the planting boxes, fix up the "doll house" in the backyard, rip out the stair carpet and paint them instead, plant the vegetable garden, weed the firepit, fix the swingset, repaint my kitchen hutch, paint the shutters, make new curtains, repaint the kitchen cabinets, tote that barge and lift that bale.

Now. The real question. Will this procrastinating lazy blogger actually accomplish anything? You'll be the first to know (well, first after the children/slaves who will very soon be dragged kicking and screaming out from under thier respective beds....).

Monday, January 24, 2011

A challenge for you:

I hate my entry. Really I do.

You see, we have the typical "Utah split-entry" in our home. It almost kept me from buying it. But the house was a steal, and a fixer, and had the most enormous family room! And we have an enormous family. So we bought it anyway.

I have for months been looking for some way to cope with my hated split-entry, searching the internet for ideas to remodel and enlarge it, improve it or decorate it or SOMETHING so I don't hate it so much.

So now I am asking for your help. If you have a split entry, or have seen one that is significantly less repulsive than mine, tell me about it! Or send me an email! or take a picture and post it to your blog so I can see it!

Are you up the challenge?


Whadda ya got, friends?

Friday, January 21, 2011


If you've ever been pregnant you know.

(Especially if you've done this multiple times)

The months drag on and on.

Each milestone passes.

First trimester = lots of throwing up, accompanied by incredible fatigue.

Second trimester = nothing fits anymore and the true discomfort begins.
 Sometimes the morning sickenss goes away. And the strech marks begin.

Third trimester.

You're praying: Please, Lord, that maybe he will arrive a little early?
But only if he's healthy and ready to be born.

That last few weeks seems interminable.

AND IN THE END.... It seems like it all went by so fast.

Welcome Pedro.

the newest member of the family, held here by my nephew-in-law.

My little neice Dorita (not her real name of course, this is my insane blog and I can use whatever embarrassing nicknames that we use in real life if I want to) who was flower girl at my wedding four thousand years ago gave birth to this little miracle just this morning.

It's a beautiful day.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Our Happy Little Nerd Herd Family

I should preface this post with the fact that...our entire family is made up of nerds. Us as children never had a chance - Dad proposed to Mom using the riddle game from "The Hobbit." To this day some of my fondest memories are of dad rolling us back in the banana chair as the Enterprise-D activates the warp drive. My 1992 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser has been dubbed, "The Millenium Falcon."* Dad is a Lord of the Rings aficionado, Mom is an Orson Scott Card addict.

I am a roaming nerd, and pick up a new "Fandom" every six months or so. Thing Two is a Halo Addict. Screamapillar will tell you her vice is soccer, but it is in actuality Dr Who. Luke Skywalker is a lego/bionicle/star wars/anything-with-small-parts-that-hurt-to-step-on fan, and can tell you its lore for hours and hours. Eclair has yet to find her nerd-niche, but give her time, people, give her time....

Tonight I was viewing Star Trek (2009) with my parents. The following conversation took place tonight, and had me pausing in moderate disbelief that this kind of occurence is completely normal in our household.

Mom: Wait. That's not right! They're building that on the ground!

Dad: No they're not, it's...They're shuttlecraft.

Mom: No, its the Enterprise.

Dad: That's not the Enterprise.

Mom: They're building the ship on the ground! That's wrong! Karen, rewind and pause it.

Dad: No, it's not.

Mom: That IS the Enterprise!! Look! (She gets up and gestures at the screen.) Deflector dish, warp nacelle, saucer section, warp nacelle!

(Dad is quiet for a minute)

Dad: I dont like you. You ruined it for me. I'm going to get some ice cream.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Deep and Meanginful relationships.

Today is Whit & Aussie Boy's big day. Gettin' hitched.
We did bridal photos a couple weeks ago. In the FREEZING COLD.
Whit's running on adrenaline here, and isn't cold one bit.

Well, maybe just a little. Going to pick up some Hot Hands on my way to Salt Lake this morning. To keep them warm while taking more photos today. It snowed last night, lovely fresh powder to cover up the yucky looking old snow that's still hanging about.

And speaking of grunge, I've been playing around in PhotoShop with "Grunge filters."
They're kinda awesome: 

We're going to have a fun day!

AND.....Speaking of "meaningful relationships," Eclair has a new boyfriend.

A WONDERFUL family with five kids has moved in next door. 

We traded:
 fistfights at the bus stop for a little boy who comes by to "pick up" Eclair every morning.

Twin teenage bullies for a video game playing buddy.

Complete and total disregard for snow removal for a neighbor-husband who shovels my walk
 so early that I'm not awake to hear him doing it.

Sharing beer cans and other refuse by leaving it on my lawn for 
"here are some hot rolls fresh out of the oven!"


I could get used to this.

Last night the phone rang. It was Mrs. Lovely Neighbor.

"Hi! Hey, I just wanted to ask you about this: Eclair gave Ralphie an alarm clock. I asked her if you knew about this, and she said 'Yes, but don't tell my mom.' That's kinda a flag for 'maybe I don't really have permission,' so I though I'd better ask."

(The last neighbor's kids stole our Halloween pumpkins before they moved. 
And their mother never batted an eyelash. 
Mrs. Lovely Neighbor is worried about something Eclair 
tried to GIVE to her. I think I love these people.)

"Is it a white alarm clock?"

Answer affirmative.

"Actually that's mine."

The root here is that Mrs. Lovely Neighbor overslept one day last week, and Ralphie missed the bus. She drove him to school, but apparently Eclair was so alarmed that the newest love of her life wasn't at the bus stop, that she needed to ensure that it would NEVER happen again.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Bedtime Monster

(Eclair and I are eating in the kitchen.)

Eclair: "Is the bedtime monster real?"

Me (confused): "What?"

E: "Mom told me that if I dont go to bed on time, the bedtime monster would eat me."

Me: "Well if mom told you that, it must be true."

E: "Huh?"

Me: "Would mom lie to you?"

Eclair (without hesitation): "Yes."

(she goes to talk to mom, to double check with her)

E: "So all these years I've been afraid of the bedtime monster for nothing?!"

Eclair asleep in the nest she built on the floor next to Thing One's bed. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Epic Family Stories Chapter 2: Why Luke Skywalker is afraid of the Vacuum

The phone rang.

"Honey, do you think you could come over and help me with something?" said my mother. She lived less than three miles from us, a very quick trip and not inconvenient.

"Sure, what's up?"

"I seem to have a little problem. I'll explain when you get here. Could you please hurry? I'm in my bedroom."


"Okay, be there in a minute."

I load the little ones in the car, as it is early in the day and the big ones are still at school, and make the quick trip to my mom's house. Unload the little ones, and go in to look for Mom.

"I'm in here!" shouts a muffled voice.

I open the door to her bedroom and find her sprawled on the floor in front of her dresser. The phone from the dresser is beside her. And for some strange reason, it looks like she might be using the vacuum for a pillow. It doesn't look very comfortable, actually.

"Could you get some scissors?"


Here's what went down: Mom was using the hose attachment on the vacuum to clean under her dresser. She leaned just a LEETLE too close to the rotating brush of the vacuum and...


It sucked up her hair.

The hair was burned and matted, and wrapped very tightly around the brush. Her scalp was very sore. She had the presence of mind to pull the plug to keep the vacuum from sucking in the rest of her hair, and was able to reach the phone to call me as well. But I guess it would be pretty hard to walk through the house with a vacuum attached to your head to find a pair of scissors.

She cut off the scraggly crispy hair, and her 'do was a little lopsided for a while until it grew back.

"Well, I guess that's something I won't try a second time." Wisdom from my mother.

Four-year-old Luke Skywalker learned an entirely different lesson:

Given ample opportunity, the vacuum WILL try to eat you.

He had always been afraid of it. Scampered from the room every time I turned it on. Made sure nothing he cared about was on the floor and in danger of being "disappeared" by the evil beast.

And now his worst nightmare had come true.

There was his grandma, on the floor, valiantly fighting for her life.

Fast forward nine years: Luke Skywalker is thirteen now.

And he still scampers from the room.

Let's hope there's no custodial work in his future. And that his future wife likes to vacuum.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Conversation with Eclair

The following conversation occured this morning. After Eclair missed the bus and we were hurrying to finish getting ready and rush out the door.

"Mom, I want to take my Pillow Pet to school for show and tell..."

(For those of you who don't know what a Pillow Pet is, I envy you. They have invaded and taken over my home.)

"...but I have to pay thirty dollars."

Thirty dollars?

for show and tell?


I am outraged. Why would my child need to PAY to participate in show and tell? Show and tell should be free!!! It's the right of every American child to drag their ephemera to school and make people admire it! It's a grade school tradition, for heaven's sake! I can understand a teacher's setting aside only a certain day each week for the event, or restricting them to certain types of items, or participating once a month or something, but PAY? for show and tell?

And special ed kids are the worst (Eclair especially). They smuggle contraband show and tell items to school in the backpack every day. EVERYTHING they own is fascinating and needs to be shared with other like minded individuals. I once unzipped her very heavy backpack to find the stupid complacent cat in there. So, yes, restrictions. But MONEY? Explanation, please, Eclair.

"You can bring show and tell any day, but you have to pay thirty dollars, or give four auction trades instead. Mr. C said he would pay me a hundred dollars if I do my homework EVERY DAY. Do you have a pencil?"

So, not real dollars. Classroom auction dollars. Commerce. Is it a good thing? If it makes her do her homework, yes. If it means she's raiding my wallet, no.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


It's that time of year again, time to make spectacular goals and then fail when it comes time to reach them. Since they're not gettin' done anyway, lets make them great!

This year I resolve to:

Keep my house completely clean every single day.(Stop laughing, right now.Yes, I know that this will not happen until everyone moves out, including me.)

Lose all that extra weight and get back to a size nine (The last thing that I wore that was a size nine was my wedding dress. 22 years ago. And we're dreaming here, so anything is possible!)

Get organized - have a place for everything and everything in it's place (Actually, I have half-acheived this -- I do have a place for everything. But everything is not it it's place - it's mostly in something else's place, or on the floor. This allows for easier access, right?)

Be on time to sporting events, concerts, and everything that starts at a specified time. (Of course to reach this goal, I may have to leave behind the athelete or performer I am going to see at the specified event, but the important thing is to be on time, right?)

Spend less time on Facebook. (Yeah, right. Getting right on that after I finish this game of Scramble. I'm trying to beat Melissa's high score, okay?)

Park my car in the garage again. (I think the garage is that big giant room with the really big door currently being used as a storage unit for stuff that's not mine...)

Inherit a million dollars. (From whom, I have no idea. I don't know anybody with a million dollars. But wouldn't it be ideal to inherit it from someone I do not know, who lived a really full life and was happy to die and leave me the million dollars? Yep. Ideal. Then I could buy Thing One some snow tires or chains for the Iceberg On Wheels.)

Be glamorous and stylish and perfect in every way. (Oh wait, I already AM!)