Words To Live By:

"The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won't wait while you finish the work."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Quiet Moment With A Traditional Cup Of Cocoa

Sounds relaxing, doesn't it?   Well let me tell you, it wasn't!  Selecting paint colours stresses me out.  I don't know why.  Maybe because I have no eye for decor and HATE the painting process - so whatever I choose, I'm stuck with until it's so bad I can't live with it anymore.   (Helloooo?!? 6 years in a 7 year old house and we still have builder white on the walls!)

Friday night we thought we'd get a start on our remodel beginning with a trip to Home Depot.  Usually I love browsing at Home Depot but Friday night we had two cranky kids with us who didn't want to sit still and then, after multiple trips to the bathroom, Mommy had enough, Daddy had enough and all we did was pick out our paint and supplies.     After all the suggestions on my Facebook note query, we opted for "A Quiet Moment" for the kitchen, with "Traditional" as our accent wall and "Cup of Cocoa" as our main colour throughout.    It sounds peaceful... maybe some of it will transcend into our daily lives!   Altogether, it reminds me of one of those winning scratch Crossword cards.... so maybe we'll win with this combination?  (I tried for chocolate cupcake instead of traditional but Kev just wasn't buying it...)

They don't quite look the same on the screen... which was a whole other frustration.  I  *knew* that colours on screen will not be the same as the chip in store but I spent quite a bit of time selecting a whole other pallette online and got to HD only to decide I didn't like it after all and couldn't find any equivalents that made me happy.

Saturday we started Phase 1: Deconstruction.   The carpets (eww!) and underpads made it out.  We pried off all the baseboards and decided they weren't worth salvaging.   Spent a lot of time trying to contain dust and cleaning up debris.   Forgot to feed the kids (Mommy, we're really hungry!).  We decided to call it a day.   The boys were cranky after being brushed aside and told repeatedly to stop throwing toys across the floor.    We took them out for dinner and bought a little bit of happiness at the local Kinsmen carnival.  Kaleb is a little ride junky! 

Sunday, we finished some of the tidying and then patched the gazillion holes and dents in the wall.  Yikes!   That also required a lot of furniture shuffling.  It's amazing how over-optimistic I am when it comes to these things.   3 days later and the kids leave slippers or shoes on in the house, half the patches have been sanded down, and a coat of paint has yet to hit the walls.

On the plus side, it looks like we're making progress (or a big mess)... and we only fought two or three times!  (Kevin is a patient, patient man ♥)

How would you finish the fireplace - painted white wood trim or a rough stone?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Main Floor Pics

Living Room (Dining Room) from front entrance:

Carpeted Stairs - how should we cut the carpet?

Family Room (Great Room) from eat-in kitchen:

Looking through to front door from fireplace in family room:

Check out previous post for my design dilemmas!

Time Wasters, Fat Burning and Design Dilemmas

Who knew?!? Apparently Diana Ross is associated with the Supremes... not the Temptations.  I don't know my Motown but am finding Family Feud on Facebook (one of my new time-wasters) a great tool to point out that I:
a) don't think like the general population
b) am clueless when it comes to, well... alot of things!

My other new time-waster is the NY Times Crossword app for my iPhone.  Love it.  Also a big huge fan of Yahtzee (iPhone), Word Whomp (Pogo), and Bejewelled (Facebook & iPhone).   Hmmm...too many distractions in this crazy life!

I have to say with this wonderful weather, I've been heading outdoors a little more often and my reading has fallen by the wayside.  Yikes!  I feel like I've lost a friend.... but that Mr. Sun is just so warm and welcoming, my fingers itch to get dirty and my legs just want to wander so those books aren't calling as loudly.   I'm sure once the summer heat arrives, I'll be lounging with a book in hand and enjoying the sun, but for now, the great outdoors are calling.

Now that we're down a vehicle, I find I'm taking advantage of the beautiful days and walking more - keeps me from going stir crazy when I'm home during the day.   Usually it's just a quick jaunt around the block - fresh air for Mommy, burns some energy for whichever of the monkeys are home with me and I feel good.   Today I thought I'd be a little more ambitious and extended my block - to major intersections rather than just around our neighbourhood.

I walked 4.5 kilometres (3.79 miles) in just over an hour - we got distracted by the sights and had a nice chat with a random lady.  Justin walked partway and hopped in the stroller - for most of the hills!  My legs are not used to some of the inclines and my hips are sore.  I haven't walked this route EVER and don't think I quite made 4.5 kms last spring/summer when I was walking somewhat regularly.   I'm not used to it yet but it was invigorating!  This may become a regular route for Justin-only days.   I got home and calculated the calories burned:  roughly 352.   Sad!   Although that's better than nothing, I was curious as to "what" it burned off:   a little more than a medium Tim's Iced Cap and a little less than a Starbucks Grande Caramel Frappucino with whip.  Thank goodness I'm not drinking those daily and no wonder I'm not losing weight!

On a side note, Justin loved the sights along the way.   We saw the usual:  dogs, squirrels and random birds but extra special, we saw a bluejay, a cardinal, a chipmunk and a tiny purple flower that randomly sprang up in the woods.    I also saw a few trees and flowers that I covet for my garden - is it a magnolia that has the large pretty pale pink blooms?  I love those! 

We bought our LAMINATE!   (It's not hardwood - sigh! - but we're hoping it holds up to the wear and tear of kids and the dog better.)  Our home renos will start this weekend, I think!   Yay for updating!   Fresh paint, new floors and less clutter will hopefully make a HUGE difference.    So now I have some design questions (because I have no eye whatsoever for decor!)

Which way would you lay the laminate?    When you walk in the front door, the entrance is tiled and you're facing west.   It's open into the "living room" (actually a dining room), with the carpeted stairs off the left, entrance to the kitchen beside the stairs and through the dining room is the wide doorway and half wall separating the "family room" (great room.) with the fireplace.   It's all very open concept.   The 2 rooms combined are about 17' x 30'.  It's only 17' at the widest points as our rooms all have peculiar angles.   Would you run the laminate wood the length of the two rooms (perpendicular to the tiled entrance, fireplace and two western windows beside the fireplace) or would you run it across, parallel to the fireplace, halfwall, tiled floor, etc?

Second, at the stairs would you butt the laminate planks right up against them?  Or would you leave a landing area?  If you left some carpet behind, how big an area?  The width (or slightly more) than the depth of a step or bring it out and angle to flow with the walls?  Like I said, we have a lot of odd angles in the house!

Thirdly, what colours would you paint my walls? I know, a personal choice... but I can't decide!  Especially because I don't have furniture for both rooms and it's not in the budget.   We'll be sticking to our blue set, moving the tv into the "living room", and tossing the ivory loveseats (not kid or dog friendly!)  I'm not sure what purpose the "family room" will then serve - but I'm sure it will become more of a playroom/kid-friendly zone.    Our kitchen cabinets are light (maple), our counters are a mixed brown, and the hardwood is darker with a red undertone.   Decisions, decisions.

I'll post some pictures in a secondary post so you can get a visual :)  Ignore the mess - I didn't clean up first!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Blah, blah, blah...

...is exactly how I've felt this week.  The kids have been miserable and bickering with one another non-stop.  The rain didn't help.   Thank goodness yesterday and today were a bit nicer.

In between early mornings, restless sleepers and a midnight trip to emerg with a croupy monkey, I've been feeling worn out.   I've been tired and cranky which turns into lazy!  So my house was a disaster too...  I know I should be positive and look at all the things I can be grateful for but it's been difficult to see the bright side of things the last few days.

I need to remember to cast my cares, stop worrying and follow peace.  To lean on others and not feel guilty when I need a break.    I've never been good with changes and decisions (as much as I can get quite excited about them!)   Here is what's been niggling at my brain this week:

* Justin... is sick again.  This kid doesn't seem to stay away from the sniffles for longer than a week.  As mentioned before, we (read: I) ended up taking him to emerg one night because he woke up wheezing and barking (and then screaming in pain) so badly.   We were fortunate to be seen within 15 minutes of arriving (never happens here!) and then sat through 2 hours of treatment.  The respiratory therapist was great (made a game out of the mask and said Justin was a dragon).   Keep praying that he gets (and stays) well, please.   He needs his strength and has a hard time fighting things off.

** We are now down to one car.   Kev's lease was returned and he'll be driving "my" car into work.  This is a good thing (I think) but it will be an adjustment.  I'm a little worried I might start to go stir-crazy being housebound.   Yes, I know we can walk...but it's B'ville.  Really, what's there to walk too?   I was (see next paragraph) limited to one or two days a week running errands before... but I took advantage of those days when I didn't have daytime daycare placements to go out and about.  Doing groceries, meeting friends for lunch, hitting the library, etc. were all done on Wednesdays or Fridays and left weeknights free to just hang out at home.   On a positive side, we'll be saving a bit of money!

*** I am down two daycare kids as of last week.  Their mom is on mat leave and while we're excited for their family and soon-to-arrive baby, I don't have a clue what to do myself.  This family was a big chunk of my income but with summer right around the corner and only having 2 kids on a part-time basis for those 8-9 weeks, I'm not sure whether I should advertise for more summer placements (good money but long weeks!) or hold-off until the next school year starts and keep it strictly before-and-after. To wait until September will mean a few really lean months but a lot less stress... gah, I hate decisions!  It also affects any vacation plans we may have had (see next paragraph.)

****  Our summer vacation plans have gone out the window as of yesterday due to funds needed elsewhere.  We weren't going to do anything truly exciting but I was going to take at least 2 weeks off and Kev at least one.  We weren't sure whether we were going to stick around home, road trip, camping or what, but it was in the works.   Now we're replacing carpets on the main floor.  Diesel had a vicious encounter with the existing carpet and underpad.  We're missing chunks of both and the carpet was torn all the way back a couple feet and now has an ugly (noticeable) split in it.  We were planning on replacing it eventually... but that was projected for at least another 2 years.   Maybe we can camp out on the new hardwood.

*****  Why are there so many freakin' hardwood options out there?  I know I don't want anything too dark, but we brought home some samples and I don't think I want anything too light either.  I don't have an eye for decor either so the whole fact that we have very light kitchen cupboards throws me for a loop.   I have a few top runners but my reasons why they've made the cut are very varied and include eco-friendliness (bamboo), grain (maple/oak), as well as pricing/financing options.   On the bright side, Kev will take some time off and we'll work on this project weekends and while kids are in school.... and paint my walls! (So not only do I have to make a decision on hardwood but I have to pick out paint colours, too?!?)

*Sigh*  I know that was a long, not-very-positive reflection... but I'm hoping this week will resolve alot of my concerns and maybe have some happier, sunnier days. 

(PS - anyone have any good venue ideas for a 3rd birthday in the beginning of May???  I'm hoping for sunny, warm weather and maybe we can do a picnic in the park...but last year was cold and drizzly!)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring, Spring, A Marvelous Thing...

I'm so glad it's spring!   Sunshine, raindrops, cool breezes, green grass and buds galore!

I wrote a whole post and went to publish when Explorer decided to crash... so I'll recap our Easter activities here:

Celebrated afterschool with a houseful of kids.   We enjoyed yummy Easter egg cookies ("These are great!"  "No, these are better than great!"), painted ceramic egg banks (I'm still finding glitter all over my house) and went on an egg-hunt!
Took the boys to see "How To Train Your Dragon".  Cute movie, even if I missed scenes because  Monkey #2 had the wiggles and wouldn't stop talking!

Below is a picture of Justin earlier in the week enjoying a movie-themed Happy Meal.  He's a cute little Viking.

Kaleb & I hit the mall after Mommy realised the monkeys needed a wardrobe rehab to deal with warm weather.   We were on the hunt for some pants that A) did not have holes in the knees or at the hems,  B) were not lined with polar fleece and C) are easy to pull on and off.   Our hunt was frustrating as every store seemed to have the size up or size down from what we needed but Kaleb made the most of it and convinced Mommy to stand in line for the Bunny Hop path at the OC.   Check out my cute little bunny here.   It took an hour to colour, get the bunny ears, face painted, picture taken, popcorn sample, and cuddle with the rabbit named Timbit, but he had fun and may be in the local paper.


Egg hunt and all that jazz.   I (being the Easter bunny) always find it challenging to limit the chocolate and candy but still find good stuff (read: not junk) for the eggs.   We scored with fruit gummies, bubbles, hatching critters, Toy Story figurines and play-dough.    The baskets are also a challenge but this year we lucked out at the dollar store:  we filled new sand buckets with Spiderman toothbrushes, Spiderman shampoo/body wash, a Kinder bunny, Pez dispenser, clapping Monkey candy tube, bubbles, Easter story book and What's In the Bible DVDs.

We read Kaleb's new Easter story during breakfast than headed to church.  After church we went to visit with family.   The boys love spending time with their cousins and Papa & Oma and with the beautiful weather, we all truly enjoyed the Easter weekend!