Friday, February 22, 2008

Hilarity - Part 2

Grace is 8. Last year I bought her much clothing in size 8 that was swimming on her. This year, she puts it on and it barely fits. So we had to go clothing shopping.

Up until 5 days ago, Grace wasn't at all picky about her clothing. I loved this. A) It was convenient, as I could pick up stuff as I found it on sale. B) It was convenient, as I didn't have to worry about getting her "approval" prior to purchasing clothes.

5 days ago, this all changed. As we entered Old Navy, it became clear that Grace had discovered her taste in clothing. I'd pick things up and ask, "What about this?"

"No thanks."

"What about this?"

"No thanks."

I was getting concerned. Then, she said, "THIS, Mom. I need THIS." It was an orange T-shirt (which I was later informed is her favorite color for clothing, which is odd since mine was black, navy, brown, gray, or anything else dark --- being the introvert that I was at her age). The only issue I had was that it had pirate regalia on it. Not inappropriate pirate regalia. In fact, really only pirate-like if you skewed your imagination, but nevertheless.

Then I see this season's must-have: retro plaid. Love it. It screams Hawaii, if you ask me. But Grace? "I don't like plaid."

I thought I would kill myself right then and there.

I mean, how would I satisfy my craving for this vintage style if my daughter wouldn't wear it and my next daughter isn't yet home TO wear it?

So, I spoiled the boys with vintage plaid shorts. They still don't care about their clothes, so I'll take full advantage of it.

An hour later, we emerged with some good bargains and clothing I didn't feel awful about. She did grab some lacey number in Justice, to which I said, "NO," to which SHE rolled her eyes, and then we left.

I have a feeling that the next few years will be filled with many of those moments.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hilarity, Part 1

This is going to have to a 2-part post because I don't think I have time to type it all at once.

First of all, I was so elated this morning to see that Ted and Tracie made it safely to Ethiopia to pick up their sweet Abel. It's so fun to live through others during this time of waiting. We have officially been on the waitlist for 6 weeks and are #12 on the list.

The bookshelf in the baby's room is just about finished. I swear, for days I'd go in there and simply stare at it, unable to work on it because the final steps were so tedious that I got overwhelmed and decided to procrastinate. Finally, on Friday night, I told David that we simply HAD to get it done or I was going to lose my mind.

I required his assistance because one of us had to hold the cabinet doors while the other screwed them into place. He held, I screwed. But, you see, he was holding in such a way as to prevent me from being able to get the drill in there. And he refused to move. So I was like up, around, and through him trying to get the drill in the hole. It was the worst game of Twister I've ever played.

In addition, I needed his height. He's 6'6" and the bookshelf unit is 9 feet tall. So, with his arms stretched, he can reach significantly higher than I can to install shelves.

Thankfully, the kids were in the family room watching a movie (which was turned up quite a bit) because there was a good amount of innapropriate language being uttered in the baby's room (unfortunate, but true).

At one point, my hand slipped while I was sanding something and a rather large splinter rammed in between my thumb and my thumbnail. It was the worst pain I think I've ever experienced. I tried so hard to be brave, but after about 13 seconds, I simply screamed, "OH MY SWEET MOTHER OF GOD..." (I'll leave out the rest of that quote).

Then, the shelves hadn't been cut properly. So David sent me to the garage to cut off 1/8 inch from a particular shelf. I did that. Then the shelf was too small. So I informed David that he can't measure. That's didn't go over well.

But what you have to understand is that David and I don't fight. When we do strongly disagree, we express ourselves for a few minutes and then just let it go or agree to disagree. We're too tired to engage in knock-down-drag-outs.

But it was hysterical and now it's done. I'll post pictures soon. I'm heading to Tempe on Friday to get the cork for the floor and I'm also trying to find an upholstered rocking chair for her room that doesn't cost $1000. Any ideas anyone?

Part 2 shortly --- hint: it involves Grace's sudden preferences in clothing.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Lost Sanity...Check

We've now been on the wait list for our referral for just over 4 weeks and we learned today that we've gone from #14 to #12 in one month's time. Amazingly, it's gone by relatively quickly! There's so much going on around here that there's just not time to sit and count the minutes. Hopefully, it won't be too much longer.

While we wait, we've continued to work on the baby's room. We're now getting to the fun part (sort of).

You see, construction is finished (except for the fact that, did I mention, NO ONE will come fix the stucco on the outside of the house? Seriously, no one wants this work. I don't get it.) and it's time to move on to the more creative part of the process.

First, I decided to antique the bookshelf unit I built. I got about 2/3 of it antiqued and worried, "Oh dear, it's a bit busy." I called David for a confirmation and he concurred. My sister has told me for years that I need to learn when to stop, but I continue failing to heed that advice. This is why I'm not a hair stylist; everyone would leave my chair bald.

So, I applied yet another coat (officially coat #4) of paint on top of the antiqued portion, and then applied a layer of polyurethane so as to prevent myself from getting even a hint of an idea of doing something more to the unit.

Henry loves to draw, and he recently began drawing these neat birds. I asked him if he'd like to paint them on the wall in the baby's room. "Paint the wall?" he asked, "Sure!" I then had to explain that this was CONTROLLED PAINTING. He wasn't as excited after that, but he was still interested enough to discuss the idea. Then, the other kids got wind of his impending project (because he went and immediately told them all that HE gets to paint on the walls of the baby's room). They quickly (and loudly) let me know that they needed to have input as well.

Grace wanted to be the room's interior designer. No offense to her, she has great taste, but when she started with fluorescent pink taffeta at JoAnn's as an idea for the bedskirt, I knew we'd have to find another area for her to contribute.

I do have control issues. This is not new. I have a vision for this room. And still, I want the kids to contribute. I want it to be something we all work on for this little girl. I don't want to say, "You have to do it my way," but the fact of the matter is that they have to do it my way.

My mom recently found some amazing cards in Anthropologie with African paintings on them. I asked the kids if they'd like to copy the animals off the cards onto the wall and then paint them. They would coordinate well, I thought, with Henry's birds. Thankfully, they thought that was a great idea.

Except Jack. Jack wanted to do rainbows. I'm all about my kids' creativity, but I just didn't see rainbows in this room. I think it's okay that I said that. Some child development experts may say I've ruined him for life, but I just can't have rainbows in there. They don't "go." After much cajoling, he agreed to do a fish.

We began drawing the animals with chalk so that if a mistake was made, it could easily be erased (before the paint was brought out). So there I am, standing in the middle of a 13x11 room, trying not to trip over the 12 gallons of paint, paint brushes, nail guns, compressor tanks, and paint trays that are everywhere as I turn in circles supervising each kid drawing his or her animal. I wasn't worried so much about the quality of the animals as I was about the kids getting carried away with the chalk (which was a very real possibility. Those who know my kids will confirm this.).

Animals drawn, it was time to break out the paint. First, I had to do some deep breathing exercises.

Grace finished about 1/3 of her giraffe and declared she needed a break to go buy her Webkinz a dresser on Webkinz World with the tokens she'd won the night before playing some game on the Webkinz site. Apparently, the dressers went on sale at 7:00PM and she needed to check the current price on the Hippo Topiary and the Beach Hibachi to see if either of them had gone on sale. She wonders what we even did as kids before Webkinz World.

Jack was painting at the speed of light because he wanted to get it done so he could show David. Great. But I needed the paint IN THE LINES. So I had to keep asking him to go get me water so that while he was gone I could quickly GET the paint in the lines.

Henry drew a duck. I asked him if he wanted to draw baby ducks. His response: "Yeah. Sure. I'd be delighted to." You have to know Henry to see the humor in that. Henry then painted 3 inches of his big duck and declared himself exhausted.

This morning, with Henry and George home sick, Henry decided to finish his ducks. George wanted to paint something. He suggested a puppy. No. He then suggested a dinosaur. No. I suggested grass, and he agreed. So there I am, with a 3-year-old wielding a paint brush and a container of green paint.

I needed Xanax. Or a stiff drink. Or both. It was all I could do to just relax and remind myself, "It's just paint. You can fix it." I had visions of paint flying everywhere.

I was very patient, they were very cooperative, and it went well.

Henry with his duck (the mama duck)

George working on his grass

Henry felt that the duck needed some love in it

Henry was trying to explain to George how to paint, but George only wanted to show Henry how clean his hands were now that he'd washed them for the umpteenth time
Henry working on the duck's beak

At one point, George got a new color of green and I heard him yell, "Wahoo!" I was terrified to turn around. He said, "I'm doing hills mom!" This was a diversion from the plan. I said, "George, no hills. Only grass."

Grace's elephant

...and her giraffe

Jack's fish

So now, I just have to find someone to do the bleeping stucco, put the doors on the bookshelf unit, figure out if the crib will assemble again, and put down some flooring! (and get a baby to occupy this lovely little suite).

Stay tuned.....