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.....


The Hausams said...

Do your kids want to come paint at my house??? What a great job they did! It looks fantastic!

Lori said...

They did a fantastic job!!

I just read your comment on the unioners thingy and am cracking up at your first sentence!!! Too funny!!!

Drew Carey Show said...

Hey Lyons! wanted to let you know that Drew, Zoe and I will probably be in Scottsdale some time in April to visit the grandparents. I'll let you know for sure when...