Tuesday, May 29, 2007

(half) Moved In

To the basement that is. We got the couch and entertainment center moved down Saturday and half my craft mess was moved down today. The other half is giving me raspberries and daring me to do something with it. Since it's 12:30 in the morning, I think I'll pass for now.

And that's one of the stinky parts about having depression. I'm exhausted all the time. I mean I could take a nap anytime anywhere exhausted, but I can't sleep at night. I will be falling asleep on the couch at nine thirty, go to bed at ten, and lay awake for the next two to three hours. It sucks, to put it delicately. (If you don't find that delicate, you haven't had insomnia.)

That's why I'm up. Insomnia is sitting in my brain blowing horns and playing rap music (the kind that has themes of guilt and stress and is only found in an insomniacs brain.) It keeps making to do lists for me that involve things like becoming a successful stock photographer, tearing down full walls in my house, and winning the lottery (which I never play but Insomnia doesn't seem to know this.) Insomnia is a busy body with no sense of timing. (This makes for very bad rap music, by the way.)

I'm trying to get my craft mess to blow raspberries at Insomnia in the hopes that they will fight it out. Insomnia is a tough customer but it's a baby compared to Craft Mess, a towering behemoth capable of standing up to Logic and Budget without even flinching. Once the swinging starts, it's only a matter of time. I'm hoping for a KO in the first round.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Always Check Your Lids

I finally got around to painting baseboard yesterday afternoon. I planned on doing another coat, so I left the paint outside next to the boards. It was a completely full gallon of paint when I started the project.

Before dinner, things got a bit hairy while I finished up dinner and shooed my scout boys out the door to their pack meeting. Steve and Josh were about to leave when Joshua pokes his head in the door to tell me that Libby is outside. Lovely. Someone had left the back door open and she had escaped. I sent Sarah out to supervise her until dinner. Libby wasn't in the backyard; she was out front. I ran out to get her myself and discovered what she had been up to.

Libby was "helping."

She found a paintbrush and went outside to paint baseboard for me. Three or four sticks had fresh paint slopped onto the ends and the paint can had been tipped over and the lid knocked free. Half a gallon of paint was dumped into the grass. It was at this point that I started to worry about what she looked like.

Covered in paint is what she looked like. It was on her hands, her feet, her shirt . . . and on her best jeans. the adorable ones with the embroidery on the right leg. They are ruined, of course.

I feel so "helped."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The better way to avoid work

Steve asked me to paint baseboard today. I did this instead:

One Step Closer

We laid the carpet in the basement last night. Steve did a great job. I just sat around and handed him his knife or rolled the carpet stretcher along the wall when it got stuck. I'm so helpful. But as I said, we laid carpet last night, because I'm all for glomming onto someone else's coattails if it means I get a bit of credit. Oh and I told him what to do all the time even though he's done this several times before and I have never even watched someone do it.

I know I've said this before, but I bet you are all just sitting back wishing you could remodel with me. I've decided to make Steve a bracelet that says "WWAD," (that's What Would Amy Do, for those who aren't following my entries) just to help with my nagging campaign.

The furniture gets moved down Thursday when Steve's band shows up for rehearsal (they usually don't bring drums, thank goodness.) I mentioned that he might want to call and warn his buddies that they'll be hauling furniture for the first 15 minutes of rehearsal, but I think he's just going to surprise them with the good news. Isn't he a nice friend?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

How to blow an afternoon

Take up digital scrapbooking. My first version of this layout (very similar) totally disappeared from Photoshop. All the other files I had opened stayed just fine, but the layout just went kablooey. I didn't think it was that horrible but apparently PS felt differently.

Here's my afternoon waster in full living color:

I will probably do this again, despite the frustration of losing work, because my scrapbook desk is buried right now and I've been missing scrappping.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Photographic Proof of my Insanity

Friday night, I realized that I had just hours to complete the family room project before Steve came home, so in the midst of my panic, I invited Sarah to help. Joshua overheard me ask her; Rilla overheard him ask me if he could help; Matt overheard Rilla getting excited about painting; Libby just followed us down without asking. I ended up with all five children excited to paint. I was sunk. There was no getting out of it at that point, so I just started handing out rollers. I didn't have enough for Libby to have one (and I think it says something about my organizational skills that I had six roller handles when usually only two of us paint. I tend to overbuy, I think.) Libby was not happy with the idea of not painting, so I found a paintbrush for her to use.

when we were all done their feet all looked like this. I was only able to grab a shot of Matt's because they were quick to clean up.

I also discovered that Libby likes showers. When you are this covered in paint, a bath just doesn't work.

The room actually looks pretty good and they managed to get less than half a gallon on the floor. And they got to surprise their daddy with their paint job the next morning because I was a stinker and evaded the question when he came home that night. (He asked if I had gotten any painting done that evening. I said I was too tired to paint after I got the kids to bed. I'm so clever.)

So room is painted. We are finishing up electrical and then the carpet will go down. I'm thinking that we'll be completely done by the end of Memorial day. woohoo!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

My New Superhero Handle . . .

is Avoidance Girl.

Before Steve left town, I promised him I would finish painting the family room. I know, I know. It was a lot to promise, but the faster that got done, the faster the room would get finished. It's obviously something I can do myself, so why not?

All good in theory, of course. In practice, I seem to find every excuse to not start painting. I can't paint during the day because the little ones will make a mess with it. I can't paint at night because I'm too tired; I'll do it tomorrow; I've got something else I need to do right now, etc.

In the meantime, I've managed to find all sorts of other projects this week. Yesterday I mowed the lawn. It needed it badly; Steve's been so busy lately on the basement that we've become "those" neighbors. The ones that get everyone else on the block looking up city ordinances on grass length. (Luckily, we live in the sort of town that doesn't have city ordinances on lawn maintenance.) However, I haven't mowed a lawn since I was 18 and left for college. It was my job during my teenage years to mow my parents abnormally large lawn with a non-self propelled lawn mower with a non starting gremlin residing in the gas tank. I hate mowing lawns; Steve likes it. The division of labor was obvious. Yesterday, though, in the face of my unpainted family room, I found myself with the itch to just get it done.

I sent my children to a neighbor's house to play (I have this thing about young children being anywhere near a running lawn mower.) The lawn mower was retrieved and I pushed it around front. I pulled the cord. Nothing. I pulled again. Nothing. I pulled the stupid cord on our "one pull start" lawn mower for nearly five minutes and couldn't start it. I called my husband and ranted at him via voice mail. (And he was glad his phone was off, I'm sure.) I called my neighbor to whine, and being the totally awesome, giving person she is, she offered the use of theirs.

She pushed it down to my yard, where I begged her to start it for me, because I truly believe lawn mowers hate me. (If you had had to mow lawns with my father's Frankenstein creation of a lawn mower, hobbled together from three different mowers to create one that works, you would have a complex too.) My neighbor leaned over the front and said, " it's got a priming button. you have to push it three times and then it will start."

Yes, folks, my lawn mower has a priming button, too. There was a two second delay while my brain processed the idea of a button before I made the connection. I did blush.

Anyway, yesterday I mowed the lawn. Today I froze 10lbs of carrots. I also brought over 10 wheelbarrows of gravel from the neighbors' yard to mulch the flower beds. Not something that needed done this week, of course, but it worked to avoid the basement. Cool neighbor did another 10, so we've about got it done.

This evening, when I swore to myself I would at least get to the family room ceiling, I fixed the zipper on my new (Craigslist) couch. I do love the couch, but it had a broken zipper. I'm glad it did, actually. The owner had it listed for two weeks and no one was even remotely interested because of the broken zipper. I paid $40 for a beautiful, tan couch with 25% down filled cushions. It's got a very up to date shape to it, unusual for Craigslist, the land of broken down, corduroy pillow backs. About a week after we got it home, I inspected the cushion and discovered the zipper wasn't really broken. It was just missing the pull, so I bought a cheap, metal zipper at Walmart in the right gauge that I could canabalize. This evening I did a little cover surgery, slipping the new pull on and sewing the popped seams back together so it wouldn't happen again. It looks fabulous and I'm feeling especially clever.

I'm thinking tomorrow I can do a complete wardrobe switch out for summer for all the kids. Finish the other 10lbs of carrots, finish leveling out the gravel in the flowerbeds, wash 6 loads of laundry, completely clean the house, cut off and hem the jeans with the holes in the knees . . . .

What? Family room? What family room?

Bedlam in Fact

Where have I been? Going crazy! Steve left early Monday morning for a week long conference in Kentucky. Why Kentucky? Because the home offices for his company are there. The airport he finally flew into was so small that his plane was slightly larger than a Cessna. The in flight meal consisted of milk shakes. The attendants poured the milk and then just handed the glasses to the passengers. The turbulence did the rest. It was so small, Steve didn't even use a standard airport gate when he transferred to that plane. He ended up on the tarmac using one of those ramp stairs things. I forgot to ask him if he remembered to wave like the president from the top.

So anyway, he gets home tomorrow. at midnight. You may pray for me.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A brief moment of pride

this evening, Rilla had a concert. They last about 30 minutes and the room is just packed with people. If you show up any later than 15 minutes before the performance, you stand. My kids actually behaved the whole time. I did have an issue with Joshua and his attitude, and a couple of moments of Libby getting restless, but over all, they were good kids. It was so nice. I often dread these things because I hate being the mom of the distracting, rude kids. We've tried hard to get them to behave and it might actually be sinking in.

The second part of the evening, Steve had a scout dinner he needed to be to (he was the entertainment) and I was invited as well. I ran the kids home and went back to the school for the dinner. When we got home just a little over an hour later, every single kid was in bed and in their pj's. They had read to each other out of the book we are doing our bedtime reading out of as well. whew. I had visions of them racing through the living room fighting like cats and dogs and Libby outside digging in the dirt unsupervised. Nope. In bed. Good kids.

We might be near the end of our hired babysitter days. That's a good feeling. It sounds terrible, but it's like a weight has been lifted. It means a bit more independence for me. More date nights too where we actually leave the house. ;) I'm very much looking forward to the years of free babysitting.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

If I had a red carpet to walk down

I'd want to wear this: Shades of Pink. (with sleeves of course)

That is all.


We've been working on the basement all week, every single evening until nearly midnight. It's an interesting process this remodeling. We sit in a house for five years with very little work done on it, then all of the sudden we blast out a room in a couple of months. It will be completely done before the end of the month, including mouldings.

If I weren't so tired, I'd be looking forward to it. I'm typing this while lolled out on the new couch. It's shoved up between the computer desk and my scrap desk upstairs, patiently waiting for carpet in the basement. Couches are patient like that. Their whole existence is so people can relax.

We started texturing last night. We would have finished texturing, but we ran out of dry wall mud. We are always running out of mud. I think there are mud gnomes that steal it at night. If I can manage to stand up straight and lift my arms, we'll primer tonight. Then Thursday we're going to paint. Then we get to look at an almost finished room while we figure out where the heck to get carpet (and pad) for a measly 1.60 a square foot. yeah, I know. we're dreaming, but I'm trying not to let my fantasies blow up until I've been shopping.

Catch some sleep for me, please. If you can manage it, make it a totally wasteful afternoon nap.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Bad Blogger

so yeah, I get you all used to frequent updates again and then I disappear. it's all part of my master plan. Don't ask what that is because I'm still trying to figure out what master plan includes sporadic blog updates. (and somehow this master plan also includes not noticing the spell check feature on Blogger for months.)

We've been working on the basement lately. It's been an interesting process and slower than we (well I) expected. I wanted my family room by the end of March. I may get it by the middle of May. We're mudding and taping drywall now.

Mudding drywall is an interesting thing. I've spent much time watching home remodel shows. I love those. Tommy Silva, the contractor from This Old House, can handle a mudding knife. Of course, my new motto for home remodeling is "WWTD?" (what would Tommy do?) It is not in fact "WWSD?" ("what would Steve do?") which annoys Steve somewhat because he does not memorize Tommy's methods and I have to call him on his improper technique. Even though Steve's mudding is very far from Tommy's, we still manage to mud the same room a the same time. My tongue has visible teeth marks in it by the time we are done with one layer, but we are still married, so I count that as a roaring success. Today is layers number two and three and hopefully texture (sometime before midnight but I'm not counting on it.)

I already have a couch for the room (gotta love Craigslist) and I was promised carpet for Mother's Day. I'll post pictures when we're done. Steve just left to run some errands, so I need to get to the basement and get as much mudding done as possible while he's gone so it can be done right. (don't you wish you could remodel a house with me?)

After that, I'll be making a bracelet with WWTD on it. Let me know if you want one too.