Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ramblings: When you wish upon an electrician

The kid has been HOUNDING me for weeks. There's no other way to describe his obsessive pestering about the outdoor fan that has been sitting in storage in the garage until today. Since the minute he recognized the new box on one of the shelves out there, I've explained to him no less than thirty times what it is, where it's going, when it's going up,  and why we don't need to build it yet. Every day he questions me about whether today's the day the new fan is going in.

So guess how excited he was when I picked him up for preschool and said, "Avery. Guess who's at our house? Someone putting up the new fan outside..." He screamed, "WHOO-HOO" and then let me strap him in his car seat faster than ever before. That's saying something--lately it's been a game of chase around the minivan until he eventually ends up giggling and squished in the farthest corner where he knows that I can't reach him without heaving my gigantic bootie all the way into the back of the van to yank him out of hiding.
And he hasn't left his post by the window since he's gotten home. I lectured him for 8 minutes about why he better not touch the light switches on the wall right next to him that the electrician is accessing from the outside to install the fan. "Do you want to shock the man and give him big ouchies so he can't put up the fan?  No? DON'T TOUCH THOSE SWITCHES THEN." It doesn't help the electrocution threat that it's pouring rain outside and has been for most of the day.

So it was really fun when 1/2 hour into the job, the guy said that he needed a longer extension for the fan or the blades would hit the beams. I got to haul everyone to Lowe's in the pouring rain through end-of-day school traffic and three school zones, through the puddle-ridden parking lot in a downpour, and to the fan section. Luckily they had what we needed and we were back in about 1/2 hour. I should've left the guy something to do--like some odd jobs around the house to keep him busy while we were gone.

And when I sat down to type this, I realized I hadn't seen Aidan in a few minutes. So being a diligent mom, I sent Alex to find him. And when he did and started screaming,  I expected to find Aidan covered in blood or something. No blood, but pretty bad. Let's explore this disaster area.
(He's not going to be in any of these pictures because he's sitting in timeout. He's not allowed to see me take pictures of his naughtiness, because to the boys, taking a picture means it's funny. This was most definitely not funny.)

Let's examine some of the ingredients in this disgusting concoction. 
Here we have my perscription Nasonex that I paid about $60 bucks for. It was about 1/2 full--now empty. My brand new makeup remover, it was full to the brim. Mostly gone. $20. In the background is some $18 Clinique refining lotion--about 80% full. Now there's about .08% remaining.

On this side we have my hair stuff--about $20 bucks. Gone. Toothpaste--empty. Face wash--empty, though luckily both are cheap. Mud mask--empty. Powder--1/2 gone and only 1/2 way because all the holes got clogged up with the Chi hair goo.

But what you can't see is the 10 makeup products that I discovered at the bottom when I drained the cesspool.  2 of my new liquid makeup bottles--gone. And he must've gone into my storage under the sink for the rest, because they were new also and now trashed. I found two little white lids but I have no idea what they belong to because I haven't found the bottles or containers they fit. I suspect one is mouthwash, but I have yet to find the empty jug. OH AIDAN-- HOW YOU MAKE MY BRAIN HURT. But you do smell pretty good now.

I had a 30 minute intermission while typing this because the electrician finished with the fan and the new outlets and wanted to have a gab fest. All while the kids were running around, screaming because we had thunder so close and loud that my front door was rattling off the hinges, and freaking out about needing flashlights and thinking they saw tornadoes. Electrician? Oblivious. Chatty. Clueless. Asked, "How many of them are there?" Wow, that's the first time I've ever heard that one. No wait, IT'S NOT.

But he's gone now and I can start screaming at them with no witnesses to call CPS. heh heh. That was my evil witch laugh. At least I won't have to hear anymore about when that darn fan is going to be put up.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ramblings: MOVE THAT BUS (A reference for all those Extreme Home Makeover watchers)

Hurry up guys, get that concrete down. Cuz it's supposed to rain like crazy tomorrow and then snow on Friday. I was getting a little too comfortable with this 60* sunny weather.

My house smells like a chemical factory because they came yesterday and stained all the wood on the patio cover. We've all got a little buzz going from the fumes. I don't get those druggies that choose to inhale fumes from paint cans--it's not a pleasant feeling. (FYI. If you're ever forced to choose between having your house stink like bacon or wood stain fumes, go with bacon everytime.)

I took this from between the slats of the kitchen blinds--I felt like I was doing covert spy surveillance...or maybe I just felt like a reverse Peeping Tom. Luckily are windows are a bit mirrored from the outside so they couldn't see my giant camera pointed at them. However, it would've been awesome if they would have seen me and started doing funny poses. Too bad.

While they were here staining on Tuesday, I had them restain the kids swing and tree house--better known as the boys' platform for nude chitchatting with the neighbor girls.  Gotta keep their place lookin' nice for the ladies. Now if I can just get them to keep their undies on. The boys. Not the guys working on the stain. That would be a different issue altogether. Naked Home Repair Service--an interesting idea for those weirdos out there looking for a cheap thrill. (Have you seen that Seinfeld where they talk about the things you never want to see someone doing if they're naked? Like coughing. Or struggling to open a stuck jar lid. Too true. I think I'd add staining a swingset. Or hammering pretty much anything.)

And later today the mystery of what colors I ended up choosing for the concrete will be me and everyone else.  They're coming in on their snowmobiles Friday to seal the concrete--which supposedly changes the colors a bit. Meanwhile, I've started painting  a variety of samples on the exercise room walls to decide what color to repaint in this weekend. Jeremy gets nervous now whenever I start a sentence with "I really want to..." Cuz lately it's involved recarpeting, reorganizing, rearranging furniture, redecorating, pretty much add re- to any verb that requires alot of physical effort, straining and the herniation of a variety of body parts, and of course $$.

Plus, he really DETESTS painting. Hates it. With a passion that burns deep to his soul. And he gets cranky. Cranky like a two year old three hours past naptime. Make that a hungry two year old three hours past naptime. That you are refusing to feed a bite of the ice cream cone that you're licking right in his face. Cranky. So I'll do the painting and he'll do the kid duty. No brainer for me. But that means I'll spend my time after I get done painting putting the rest of the house back together.

I just answered the door for the UPS man and he handed me this box--its contents revealing the obsession that's overtaken Jeremy's mind since we decided to redo the patio. Make sure you read the subtitle on that book--otherwise it sounds awkwardly scandalous. Luckily today's box was little. I've been told to expect a much larger, heavier one in the next couple of days. I'm a little worried.

My website surfing has involved a MORE important necessity for the patio. Seating. A table. You know, stuff you have to have BEFORE you invite 10 people over for a BBQ next weekend. Not that Jeremy realized that. Apparently we're all supposed to stand, encircling his new smoker and holding our plates in awe, marveling at its ability to produce such delectable meats.  With the toxic stench of freshly applied stain burning through our nostrils and melting our brain cells. No, that probably won't affect the flavor of the meat, OR WILL IT?

I've digressed. I have a small habit of that. This is the set I'm currently liking. I like that they try to reassure me by telling me it's a best seller. Like, "Hey! You're not crazy! Other people have like this enough to buy it too! Come on! Just click 'purchase' now! You're not alone." Anyway, I like that it's square. And there's no glass to clean or have one of the kids crash through, requiring tons of stitches and the possibility of gallons of blood staining the new concrete.

Gotta jet--the boys just spread an entire one of those jumbo pack of 1000 cottony, colored hair rubberbands across the living room. I think they're rebelling because we had to miss our weekly playgroup today to babysit the concrete guys.  Or not. Sometimes  Most of the time they're naughty for no reason.  I've told them they're not eating lunch til they are all picked up. They may be really, really hungry when we're standing around that smoker next weekend.

P.S. On a totally unrelated (but completely tragic) note, I picked up a huge bag of valentines conversation hearts, of course intending to eat them until I was sick. **Tragedy alert** But I couldn't eat 60% of the bag. Why, you ask? WHY? Because at least 60% of them were white. White conversation hearts? SICK! Does anyone out there like the white ones? They are the equivalent of purple Skittles of yellow Starburst. Always eaten last or if no others colors are available. Come on, Brachs candy, put out a white-free bag of conversation hearts for heaven's sake.  If you like the white ones, I got about 2 pounds I can mail you.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ramblings: Pooper scooper

I've reached an all time low. The weather's sunny and 70 and I'm sitting at the playground watching the kids play. But here's the kicker--I just got finished holding Avery up above the grassy patch by our car in a squat position so that he could PooP. The bathrooms were locked and he had that "now or in my pants" look on his face. And then he actually started screaming that he was about to poop in his pants. But here's the new low--then I had to poopy scoop it up with the last two wipes I could find in the car like I was cleaning up after a dog.
Cleaning up people-poop off the grass in public. Awesome.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ramblings: Not So Extreme Home Makeover

The not-all-that-extreme makeover part 2 has gotten underway. (The carpet chaos being part 1.) Although it was temporarily halted yesterday due to an overly ambitious, enjoying-the-ridiculously-limited-power trip delegated by the homeowners' association title of "president," that decided to be a major tool and call the city to report our project because he was upset we had forgotten to participate in the intricate approval process. I was apologetic and told him I understood the need for the process, we had just forgotten and we'd take care of it as soon as possible. He felt the need to restate over and over that he didn't want to be a jerk, but...And then he continued acting like a jerk. While he was at the door giving me a lecture, Avery walked out past him and peed into the bushes right behind him. I wouldn't have been too sad if he'd have missed and watered the guy's shoes.

A few pieces of paperwork and a city permit later, we'll be back in business tomorrow. Turd.  The builder said he doesn't usually worry about permits in little cities like ours because no one's ever bothered them about it--they come in and out within about 10 days and it's done. Well, you haven't met OUR very important HOA Presidente then because apparently he has the city officials on speed dial.

We're in the beginning stages here--lots left to be framed and then stained. Then the guy comes after that to pour the concrete, stain it and stamp it.

Although that part will be a mystery since all four of my kids decided to cry, scream, and harass me during the entire time the concrete guy was here trying to show me color samples. I excused myself three different times in humiliation to drag them screaming and yelling into the back hallway to threaten them and explain that all I needed was 10 minutes of cooperation. Too much to ask, I guess. I told the guy--I like this pattern. You pick what colors you think will look good. He fled the premises and then all four went to separate rooms for a major time out. Actually it was time for me to cool down so I didn't strangle each of them.
We've been planning this project since we moved in and finally decided to go ahead with it. Although I'm sure you wondering why, since isn't that 4 inch slab of concrete back there sufficient to fit a family of 6? Ummm, not quite. I can't believe the homebuilder wasn't embarrassed to offer that postage stamp as a "patio."
When we're done, the concrete patio will follow that blue line and basically go from end to end of the house. Plenty of room for the kids to fall and crack their heads open when they're trying to scale those cedar posts. Or to have contests to see who can pee farthest while standing on the patio table.

And now it's a torrential downpour and I get to load up the boys to go get Alex from his friend's house, pick up Maddie from gymnastics, force Alex to practice the piano, attempt to have them finish their homework, and shove food in their faces before taking Alex to scouts and myself to my weekly church activity.

Adios, amigos!

FYI, comments are now in pop up form per Dena's blatant begging. Thank or curse her. Just kiddin.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ramblings: Bacon-y fresh Carpet

I made the mistake of cooking BLT's for dinner last night and I'm still occasionally gagging on the aroma of stale bacon grease combined with new carpet fumes. Barf. That's the drawback that comes with the deliciousness of bacon, isn't it--that  you have to deal with the smell for about 3 days after.
I was googling for a picture of bacon to entertain you with and I found this.  I hope it's a joke. Although I admit that I'm intrigued--combining two of the most fabulous creations on earth...?!

We're almost all unpacked and rearranged. My frantic panic that the carpet wasn't the exact color I hoped for and too shaggy has diminished.  Once they got our old stuff out of here and the rooms were completely done, I relaxed. I think it is a major improvement. Our toesies definitely sense a major improvement. And the fact that the old owner's cat pee stain, the 5 foot area where I dropped an open container of Downy fabric softener that never quite came out all the way, the smashed Milk Dud stains, a variety of random kid pee stains, and other assorted disgustingness is now GONE makes all the craziness and hassle totally worth it. Now we can just focus on accumulating a fresh plethora of gross and unidentifiable stains.

It was going all fine and dandy till the kids all got home around 3 and because of the order of the rooms they were carpeting, we were all stuck in here. Yup. Crammed in with all the living room and office junk stacked in the kitchen. Alex left after about five minutes to go play at a friend's house--he said, "Ugh. I'm getting out of here." I was jealous. The boys and Maddie squished on the couch and watched a DVD on Jeremy's laptop for awhile.Then they just started whining and fighting. And more whining. Lots more fighting. Along with some name calling and generally unbecoming behavior.

It got even crazier that night while Jeremy and I were trying to reassemble all the kids beds and mattresses before bedtime while they ran around like crazy trying to dodge the areas where the poor guys were still carpeting.  Jeremy and Alex left at 6:30 to go to basketball practice, leaving me with the hyper little crazies and tantrum-throwing Maddie to get showered and ready for bed while simultaneously putting their rooms back together. Child abuse never made more sense at the end of that really long day.

The guys finally left at 7:30 cuz they said they didn't want to keep the kids up when they were trying to go to sleep. I'm pretty sure they just had headaches from all the screaming, crying, and yelling. Oh, and the kids were pretty loud, too.

(But for real--I didn't realize laying carpet is that loud. It is. They scrape all the old glue off the floor and then there's hammering, banging, vacuuming, and all sorts of other noises. And so much for all my deep cleaning in all the rooms before they came--it's also a dusty process. I had to redust and wipe down anything near where they were working. Keep that in mind and save yourself the extra work, future re-carpeters.)
All in all in took about a full day and a half of CHAOS and WORK but the house got carpeted and all the kids are still alive. Although Aidan did manage to step on a carpet tack that poked a hole in his foot--but he was afraid to cry or tell us for about 10 minutes because he was walking around in a NO- NO area when he did it.

The naked room with the nasty astroturf before they showed up the first day...and Jeremy on work calls all day while we were moving furniture back and forth.  I didn't do a close up because it was just way too nasty (the floor. Not Jeremy. Well, actually his shirt is a bit nasty. It says, "I Don't Give a..." and then it has a picture of a tiny mouse holding the rope to a donkey. I'll let you figure it out. But can you imagine the horror of the other parents when he accidentally wore it to coach basketball practice for a bunch of 9 year olds? Classy.) And yes, Tyson the Dyson is out because of course I vacuumed the carpet right before they could rip it out. What?! I'm not an animal.

The after carpet. Nice and fluffy with the superpower of camouflage. I really should've taken a before picture of the stairs. There was a really lovely juice stain trail up the entire set that kept reappearing no matter how many times I cleaned it.  And the day before it got ripped out, Alex and his friend tramped all the way up stairs with muddy shoes. And I didn't even clean it up. Even though I wanted to really, really bad. Look at my will power kicking in. Actually, I was just too exhausted. 

See--Look! It's so nice and fluffed that after I wheeled the vacuum to the closet it left a trail. Astroturf don't leave no trail. The kids were making snow angels in it before we moved the furniture back.  Do you like my broken LazyBoy? One day the boys and Maddie came up with a fun game. They would stand on the footrest and then Maddie would close it and they'd go flying off. Until it bent and bent badly when they tried it fully reclined. For the love...seriously.

But in true form, we've already put the rug to the test. Stainmaster, show us what you're made of.  This guy had a rough night--he awoke and came downstairs with a bloody nose.  And then a rough morning with toilet paper shoved up his nose and a death threat to stay on the tile OR ELSE when it started pouring again during breakfast. (Blood removal from carpet--successful. Thanks, Stainmaster.)

And on a totally unrelated note, Maddie's been complaining for weeks that she hates the shower in her bathroom because it "doesn't have enough water." We figured out that she meant the shower head was pretty pathetic and didn't have much pressure--and after checking it out, she was right.  So I hopped online and after reading a few reviews, I ordered what I thought was a decent one to replace it with.

Of course I assumed from the picture that it was about the average size that you typically see--like softball size.

Boy was I wrong. When it arrived today and I opened the box, I started laughing and all the kids gathered around to see what was so funny.

I'm pretty sure this is what the zookeepers use to hose off the elephants. Holy shower head, batman. It's bigger than an iron.  I'm sure she'll want the "total body spray" setting, because the "power spray" may knock her completely out of the shower. Or put an eye out.
Holy Moly that just gave me a BRILLIANT idea for a new time-out strategy--here's a hint. It involves Maddie's shower and the power spray setting.

Have a great weekend--or I'll come after you with the waterpik.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ramblings: Update

Carpet's finally all in.

Feeling nice and squishy 'tween the toes.

Body tired and achy.

Can't find camera yet.

More to unpack.

Pictures later.

Bedtime yet?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rant: A watched pot

Never boils. And staring out the window and cursing the late carpet guys doesn't make them show up any quicker. It is giving me time to second guess my choice of carpet and stress about hating it once it's installed all over this place. They better show up soon or I'm gonna start ripping this old stuff out might be a good stress release.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ramblings: It's beginning to look alot like...

...we're moving. But we're not. Although at this point, most of our stuff is pretty much packed up in rubbermaid totes and bed frames are disassembled waiting to be dragged around, so maybe we'll just up and spontaneously relocate.  We could be your new neighbors! (That was supposed to make you all excited, not make you run and lock your front door and start soundproofing your exterior walls.)

We finally pulled the trigger on the carpet redo.  As big of a pain as it is and as much hassle as tomorrow is going to be, I think we'll be tons happier. Basically, the carpet we have now is like stained off-white astroturf-- so the new stuff should be 1000% better. (And yes Amy, I totally agree. Wood would be so much nicer and more durable, but for about 42 reasons we just went with carpet. One being that I'm pretty sure we may have some foundation issues and relaying carpet is so much easier than tearing out wood floors. So I'll smile and be happy with the carpet for now. And WHEN are you moving?)

I've digressed. But now I fear I will become one of those people that insists people take their shoes off even if they're only driving by and looking in our general direction. We're finally going to have nice carpet--LET'S KEEP IT THAT WAY, dangit! And the poor child that is the first to spill something or get hijacked Milk Duds smashed in the new carpet...well, he might as well pack his bag and start walking for the border. I'm sure he'll be able to start over with a nice life in Mexico.

I've used this as an excuse to pretty much deep clean and declutter all the rooms since the furniture and stuff is all pulled out and packed up. I'm proud to say we rounded up about 3 big garbage bags full of trash and junk from the upstairs.

I also had my eyes opened to the depth of Jeremy's book-buying addiction. These are full of---BOOKS. Political, biographies, history, law, you name it--we got it. Here's the kicker--they are almost all never-opened, crisp paged, still-smelling-like-the-bookstore books. I packed books for an hour. I need to plan a book buying intervention. And yah, we're storing them on the front porch (whatsup white trash) till they put in the office carpet so I can restock the shelves of our very own Barnes & Noble.

And Avery and Aidan helped me get the rest of the office ready Friday night. We spent forever going through old files and shredding years worth of unnecessary paperwork. Avery's a pro at the shredder now and even still has all 10 fingers. Aidan joined us after we'd been shredding for awhile and I got to watch the hysterical tutorial Avery gave him on how to use the shredder without "choppin' off all your fingers in there." Every now and then he'd holler at him, "No! Too close! The scissors are gonna get your fingers!" All in all, three garbage bags of shredded confetti.

If I was mean and mad at you, I'd go dump in on your front lawn and water it down with a hose. That'd be an awesome prank. But I won't. Because I don't know where that lady lives that felt the need to stop me in the middle of the grocery store last week when I was breaking up a fight between the boys in the car part of the cart (while the older two were fighting about what side of the cart they got to stand on), so she could tell me I was pulling "the wrong one" out to make sit in the front. She felt the need to EXTEND the length of the noisy and humiliating group scene by making sure I knew that Avery had been head-butting Aidan and that's why he was screaming.

But I had witnessed the whole thing and when I was yanking Aidan out of the car part, I told him if he'd sit in the front and be my helper that I would give him 4 m&m's when we got home. He happily agreed. When she came over and confronted me,  I just kinda stared at her for a minute because I couldn't really figure out why she needed to join our freak show. Then I nodded and said, "I know. The head-butter is usually my troublemaker. He'll get his time out later.  But this one's easier to bribe right now." And that must have freaked her out because she gave me a nasty look and stomped off with her stupid little mini-shopping cart. Hey random, judgmental lady in Kroger, I PICK MY BATTLES. Deal with it. Just be glad you don't have three years of my old shredded bills on your front lawn.

And speaking of WRONG, this is what my car thermometer has been looking like for the past couple of weeks. With the windy, windy, windchill, they say it's been feeling like 0. ZERO!? Are you serious, mutha nature? There's a reason why we suffer through the inferno called summer here in Texas. It's for the warm winters. Not so warm this year. Luckily it's supposed to warm up this week and I can shove the crazies in the backyard to play without worrying that they'll come in 20 minutes later with frozen or frostbitten appendages--especially considering their propensity to strip naked as part of their playtime.  Boys are so weird.

It was so cold last week (the kids were still out of school) that we had to find a variety of things indoors to keep us occupied and not at each others' throats. One day we went to the aquarium downtown and then tried to meet Jeremy for lunch since we were two streets away from his office. The aquarium was fun and a success--trying to meet up with Jeremy, not so much. He was on a never ending conference call and I was sitting with four hungry and cranky kids nearing naptime parked out in front of his building for 20 minutes with no end in sight.We gave up and crashed a chickfila on the way home. 

Kind of funny PURE CRAZY can be wrapped up so neatly inside of four cute packages, right? They LOVED watching all the sharks and kept trying to pose so it would look like the shark was about to eat them.

I'm off to time out Avery for the 30th time today (yah, I'm using it as a verb now. Gotta problem with that? I have several bags of minuscule bits of paper that might change your mind...). He peed right in the middle of the garage and then decided to start throwing random things in it. Boys are so gross. Where's a shark when you need one?

P.S. Alex's basketball team--still undefeated. Saturday's score 28-6. And if that wasn't enough to make Jeremy's Saturday awesome, he got to go watch the Cowboys win their playoff game with some clients from apparently awesome seats. I wouldn't know--I was still PACKING BOOKS. 

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Rave: Choc-attack

Since Christmas I've consumed approximately 3/4 of the total amount of cocoa imported to the U.S. last year. By myself. That's alotta chocolate, baby. There are two main Christmas gifts that I blame for my chocolate binging and the additional jiggly cellulite that is slowly appearing as a result.

One is this baby. It's been around a few years, but my mom got everyone one this year and we've kept it busy since Christmas. It's Mr. Coffee's Cocomotion and it's awesome. It heats the chocolate milk and gets it all frothy and piping hot in just a few minutes. And it's alot easier than individually warming sippy cups.

The other indulgence we've been scarfing is this---Serendipity 3's frozen hot chocolate. Santa left some in my stocking this year. If you've been to New York you may have had it or heard of it, but here's the awesome part. You can buy it in a mix and make it in the comfort of your own kitchen without having to stand in line for an hour.  You add milk and ice and blend away. I can't say we've ever dolloped the whipped cream on top, but I'd imagine it would be even more delicioso (as Dora would say) that way.

So if you're a choco-holic like me, or if your jeans are a bit loose and you'd like to keep them filled out, (not my problem. Ever. And if that is your problem, then I hate you. Skinny suckas.) then give one of these a try.

Yummy. Your tastebuds will love you.