From The Houxes
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Unlike professional home bloggers who are able to take on projects and go (dodge)balls to the wall and get it all done in a couple of days, I have to be honest and tell you that this took me a while to complete. I painted the ceiling clear back when I re-did the downstairs powder room. It stayed that way - white ceiling, tan walls - for weeks and weeks, while I put the J-bird's birthday party together and manned (womanned?) a St. Patrick's Day party and a children's choir performance for church. Then, I started doing the cutting-in along the ceiling and trim with the glorious emerald green color I picked, and that took several days, because I had to do it while Miss V napped each day. Ever try painting a room - or just having an open can of paint - around an almost-three-year-old maniac? Let me save you the trouble. Don't. Anyway, the weekend arrived, and James took the kids all day so I could finish all the painting. He offered repeatedly to help me, but I actually enjoy painting (walls). I turn on podcasts of "This American Life" or something and get in a groove. I just needed someone to make sure the kids didn't burn the house down. Once the painting was done, I could get to work on all the OTHER stuff I wanted to do to the room.
Backing up a little.
And we replaced the counter top with this beautiful business a few years ago, when we did our kitchen. So, when I started planning this revision, I had visions of a jungle mural, or maybe leaf silhouettes painted on the wall. I even bought lighter green paint, in addition to the emerald shade. But then I got to going with the woodwork, and I ended up forgoing that. I'm so glad I did.
I bought some of the less expensive pine paneling at Lowe's that fits together. They are not supposed to cut it for you anymore, but I don't have a truck, and a very, very nice employee took my three eight foot bundles to the back and cut them down for me anyway. I still had to trim them to the right length at home, but at least I could get them in my car. I trimmed them all down, beat them up with the claw end of my hammer (because I like things to look old, especially when I buy the cheap wood and know it's not going to look like perfection anyway), then stained them. I actually did all this on my front lawn, because I'm classy like that, but I had to drag everything in to my garage to dry, because it looked like it might rain. The next day, I varnished the boards with an outdoor, all weather varnish. These boards are going on the wall behind a toilet, and I have a little boy. I'll let you sort that one out.
Somebody make me a s'more...
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
I got Miss V a few lessons as well. Since she's about to turn 3 (!!), she'll be old enough for the beginner class that starts in April. Unfortunately, Alyssa doesn't teach that one anymore, but Miss V loves the water so much, that I think she'll be ok.
I loved swimming when I was a child, and it's so fun to see my kids in the water, slowly, but surely learning what to do. They're both so proud of each new skill, and even the cautious J-bird is able to shake off setbacks like water up the nose or not being able to find the side of the pool right away. They aren't Olympians or anything, but they're finding confidence in the water, and I love that.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Saturday, March 23, 2013
The J-bird has a loose tooth. I've been expecting it for a while. Most of his friends have already lost at least one tooth, if not more than one, but his have stubbornly (surprise, surprise) held onto their little terrritories in his mouth. I don't really mind. I feel as though I worked just about as hard as he did to GROW those suckers, so I'm not in a huge hurry to see them go. I told him several months ago that he might start feeling a tooth or two getting wiggly and that it would be no big deal - exciting, in fact. It'd mean his grown up teeth were coming in, and I explained the whole Tooth Fairy thing. True to form, he was completely. freaked. out. Just not having it at ALL. I may have mentioned that the J-bird is not fond of new things. Because of that, it's probably best that his friends have blazed the enamel brick road. He's had plenty of time to see what a minor/cool thing it is, and now that it's his turn, he's finding it more annoying than terrifying to have a wiggly tooth.
I was going to make a really cute, angelic, little tooth shaped pillow to hold the soon-to-be liberated tooth. I envisioned a stitched on smile and pink cheeks. The J-bird had something else in mind though. He wanted something blue, green and orange. Something....not so angelic. So he stood next to me as I scrolled through Pinterest, and then he emphatically pointed out what he wanted. He repeatedly gave me very specific directions - polite, but specific. He even asked me if he should draw it for me. I declined. And in the end, it's his deal.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Really. It was so bad. I was in a mood to face it though, so I flung open the doors and told the children to take everything out. After the cupboard was empty, I had the kids sort everything by round, square-or-rectangle, or "weird". Then, we put lids on the boxes we were keeping, recycled the boxes with no lids, decided what to donate, and put everything else back in to the cabinet.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
And I have to remember, amidst all the list-checking, that there are two precious, small people who need me, and who are intently watching me. I include them on a large amount of household chores (at age-appropriate levels). I think it's good for them, even if it makes everything take twice as long to do, and they usually enjoy it. I never push for THEM to be perfect, just to be clear. I don't expect that :). They also learn a lot about doing for others when they join me as I volunteer for things, and they learn patience and how to entertain themselves when they have to wait while I attend to other business.
Everyone goes through phases, and this is just one of mine. I will find balance, and there will be socks on the floor and a few dishes in the sink (not many though. I hate that). I'll put my feet up in the evening and go to bed at a decent hour and stop volunteering for every single thing that needs doing. It's nice to know how much I CAN accomplish though, when I set my mind to it. Yes, indeedy. It sure is. Maybe striving for perfection isn't all bad.
Saturday, March 9, 2013
The first thing the kids did when they arrived was pick a square to sit on, and then start coloring a t-shirt. I had outlined robots on the shirts earlier in the week, using fabric paint, and the robot on each kid's shirt corresponded with the robot on their goody bag (which made it easier to remember which shirt went home with which kid later on). They used fabric markers to color the shirts, and then we threw them in the dryer to heat set the color. This activity was a humungous hit.
Our second activity was ROBOT BINGO! Five in a row got you a piece of candy, and we played until everybody won once.
Once bingo had been accomplished, we played some Musical Robot Walk. It's like a mix between Musical Chairs and a cake walk (because I love Musical Chairs, but it nearly always leads to bodily injury, and ain't nobody got time for that). Everyone did their best robot dance moves and walked around the circle while the music played, and when the music stopped, each player had to find a square to stand on. I picked a card from my stack of cards with corresponding pictures, and whoever was standing on that square got to pick a piece of candy to put in their goody bag. Again, we played until everybody won once.
Our last game was "Build A Bot" - basically "Pin The Tail On The Donkey" with robot pieces. I traced a robot shape onto a piece of foam core board with a silver pen, and then I traced and cut out various robot pieces from poster board. Add tape and a blindfold, and you've got a winner.
After all those games, the kids were ready to eat.
And it was a gorgeous day, so we finished up by playing outside with bubbles and sidewalk chalk and lots and lots of running and wiggling and screaming and laughing.
And my six year old boy had a wonderful, special day with his wonderful, special friends.
Thanks so much to everyone who showed up, and to my friends Amy and Justin, who took turns manning (and womanning) my camera when I had to set it down. Their photography skills are far superior to mine. In fact, you can check out Justin's work here, and hire him for something, if you're in the market. Links to some of the robot parties I poached from are here, here, and here. Some of what I did was adapted, and some of the thing I did were direct copies, so credit goes to the folks who did it first. If you see something here YOU like, feel free to copy :)
Thank you also, of course, to my James, who helped me by entertaining the kids so I could work on the party preparations this week, who also manned the camera, who ran around doing all the little things during the party, and who always helps me in every way as my complete partner. I wouldn't want to be on a team challenge with anyone else, dude. Thanks for making and helping me shape this little whippersnapper for the last six years.
I'd also like to thank the Academy. Nope...that's a different speech....
Alright, y'all. It's been a big week. I'm heading to bed for a few blissful hours of unconsciousness before Daylight Savings tomorrow. Peace out!