Saturday, March 29, 2008

Missing Nana & Papa

My folks left early this morning, and should be just about back to Maine as I type this entry. We had such a great visit with them! They are the most wonderful grandparents, and our boys are lucky. Camden woke up this morning and promptly burst into tears when he realized that Nana and Papa had gone back to Maine. He's had a rough day today, but I am keeping him busy, which always helps. It is far too quiet here without my folks around. Just knowing they were in my house was the best feeling. I can't wait until we see them again.

I have been working diligently on my kitchen, and it is coming together so nicely! I can't wait to show you all how it is turning out. I think it will be another week or so before I can do that, though, because I still have a bit of painting ahead of me. I'm a little stumped over choosing fabric for new valances, but I'm hoping I can settle on something in the next couple of days. One thing is for sure - - it is no longer dark and dreary in this kitchen. It feels so bright and cheerful, and I'm having a great time transforming it.

While my parents were here, I really had the chance to take care of myself, and it was wonderful. I'm just not good at focusing time on my own "upkeep", if you will, probably because I don't often feel as though I have the luxury/time for things like that. What a difference it made for me to have my hair cut and colored. To get to the eye doctor for an exam and pick out some new glasses. To get away for a night with Steve. To treat myself to an hour-long massage. To go on long walks with my mother. I'm so grateful to my mom and dad for the support they provide me with - - they are wonderful parents and grandparents. Thanks, Mum and Dad - - we miss you very, very much.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Timeless Art of Seduction

I can't believe my folks have to leave tomorrow - - these past two weeks have flown by. I haven't been posting much because we've been quite busy here, but I'm hoping to resume regular posting as of today.

Yesterday, we set out to a local picture studio in hopes of getting a good shot of the boys and I, because that is what Steve told me he wanted for his birthday. Camden has always been super-easy to photograph. He follows the photographer's direction quite well, and is always done within a couple of minutes. As for Griffin....oh, Griffin. That is another story. Needless to say, I did not have high hopes for coming home with any pictures yesterday. Luckily, we were able to get one decent shot of the boys and I:

...and then there is this one of my folks and the boys. I love this picture. Love it.
But then there is this next picture. Griffin was being a bit of a "pill", shall we say - - didn't want to sit where he was supposed to, had a very runny nose, kept bursting into tears, etc., etc. However, he really liked the teeny chaise lounge prop they had, even though it wasn't supposed to be in the picture. He insisted on sitting in it, so we finally gave up and threw it in the picture, so that he'd sit still and get his picture taken already. Look very closely at this photo, though. Pay particular attention to Griffin. Does this picture look familiar to you?

Think, now. Where have you seen this picture before? You know you have.









Happy Friday, everyone!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy, Happy Easter!

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Soccer, Packages, and a Weekend Getaway

The past week has just flown by, it seems. Next week, Camden is on spring break from school, so we plan to get out of town a bit and air ourselves out. Some of the highlights of the week:

Camden had his first soccer game this week (that's him in the middle). I am not kidding - - if you want to laugh your bottom off, then go and watch a bunch of four-year olds play soccer. It is hilarious. I felt so bad, standing there on the sidelines laughing, but I couldn't help it! There were midgets everywhere, some seemed to know what was going on, some had no clue (*ahem*, Camden), some would walk off the field whenever they felt like it, some would spontaneously burst into tears. Lordy, it was good entertainment, I tell you.

Yesterday, we hit the package jackpot when the mailman came. There's nothing I like better than getting a package in the mail. I don't know who gets more excited - - me, the boys, or the dog, who practically loses his mind at the sound of packages being ripped open.

First, Camden and Griffin received a box full of finger puppets, knit by their Aunt Jean. They have been having fun with them. Thanks, Aunt Jean!

Next, I was ecstatic to receive this vintage Pyrex from our friends, Curt and Mary. In my humble opinion, no kitchen is complete without a Pyrex liquid measuring cup, and I love, love, LOVE the vintage refrigerator dish. I was so touched that Mary saw these things and thought of me.

And last, but certainly not least, we received a box full of Easter treats from Auntie Rachel and Uncle Kevin. I swear, my brother and his wife have an uncanny ability to pick out the most perfect things for little boys. Whether it is a book (a no-brainer there since they are both librarians!), a treat, a small toy, or gadget, whatever they send to the boys inevitably ends up being among their most prized possessions. Not to mention, they included some Starbuck's coffee and Lindt chocolates for Steve and I - - two of the things that make our world go 'round, for goodness sakes.

My parents managed to escape Camden for a couple of nights while Steve was out of town, but no sooner did Camden get in bed with me, when Riley and Roy took his place between them. So much for a good night's sleep!

Now, I must run. I am off to Boise to retrieve my husband, for we are ditching the kiddos with my folks tonight! Oh yes, we are staying at a swank hotel in the Big City so that we can celebrate Steve's impending 40th birthday in style. It has been so long since the two of us have had a chance to go out for dinner, much less, spend a night away without the little ones, that I can hardly contain myself. I hope I remember how to act like an adult out in public.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hair-Do Bliss, Sleep Overs, and Kitty Testicles

Boy Howdy, do I love a good bleach job. I'm talking about my hair, people. I don't know why I do this to myself - - I don't know why I let my hair go for so long. Oh wait - - I know - - I rarely get the chance to get out by myself so that I can get it done. I have always been a curling iron, mouse, hairspray, etc., etc. kind of girl - - I like to play with my hair, and I want it to look nice. Vain, maybe...but that is me, that is what I like to do - - it makes me happy. However, since around the time I got pregnant with Griffin, I've been caught up in a serious bad hair nightmare. This is probably one of the main reasons you rarely see pictures of me on this blog (the other being that I am usually the person behind the camera). It finally dawned on me that my trouble really began back in 2006, when I broke up with my hairdresser, Jeff. Although I'd always been madly in love with him, he had an "off" day at one point, and did something a little weird to my hair, so I ditched him and didn't look back. I proceeded to encounter such disasters as the Quickie Cuts Bangs Hatchet Job, The Angled Bob (which I really only liked for about a day), and then a really low point this past fall when I thought coloring my own hair was a good idea. Alas, all is right in the world again, because yesterday I put my tail between my legs and went crawling back to Jeffrey. That man foiled, cut, texturized, and coiffed me, sending me out the door a new woman. A New Woman, I tell you! I could have smooched him on the way out the door, I felt so darn good. Yay for hair chemicals!

In other news, Camden has been sleeping with his Nana and Papa every night since they arrived. Mind you, our guest bed is only a double bed, so I'm not so sure they have actually been getting much sleep. Camden is so very happy to have them here (as are the rest of us), and he asked them multiple times tonight if they would move in with us. He proudly showed both of them around his preschool today - - I wish I'd thought to video tape that because he was just so darn cute.

Roy's day started off on the wrong foot when I loaded him into his kitty carrier and carted him off to the vet to be, *ahem*, neutered. After some blood work, however, he was sent home with his testicles still attached to his body, along with a teensie bottle of antibiotics, and was told to return in a week when his white blood cell count is back to normal. I'm pretty sure when I went to retrieve him from the vet, I heard him breath a rather loud sigh of relief. It's only temporary though - - he'll be back on the chopping block next Thursday. Yeouch!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

There Is No Easy Route to Idaho (if you are my parents!)

It seems my folks rarely make it out here for a visit without incident...they tend to have really bad luck with cancelled flights, airport delays, and such. You may recall the time my mother flew out here to do the Race for the Cure, only to have her plane land after the race had already started, thanks to multiple delays and cancellations. Well, they were supposed to arrive at 2:20 p.m. today, but there were some mechanical problems in Portland, Maine which caused them to miss their Chicago connection, so right now they are sitting in Denver, waiting for a 6:30 p.m. flight to Boise. Camden and I will head out later tonight to pick them up around 8:30. I think they've been awake since about 3 a.m. East coast time, so they will be good and tired when they get here. I think we'll give them a little Southern Comfort and send them off to bed! We feel so badly for them, but we are all happy that they will be here with us, in just a matter of hours. In the meantime, the boys are out in the yard enjoying the beautiful spring weather, and I am busy inside, baking up a storm. I've made some of Pioneer Woman's lasagna for Sunday dinner, some granola bars, an asparagus strata for breakfast tomorrow morning, and a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Come to think of it, I need to make a loaf of bread, while I am at it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Kitchen Makover: Part One

Yesterday, for some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to start tearing down some of the wood paneling in the kitchen. I've purchased the primer and the paint I need, so I'm getting a little anxious to start my kitchen makeover. If I was smart, I would have waited until my parents arrive, but, well, there you have it. Here is what the wall that was completely covered in wood paneling looked like, before:

Ick. Besides being ugly and outdated, it makes the kitchen so dark. While we have a lovely, large window, I generally have to pull the shade around lunch time, because the sun shines right in and it gets hot - - especially during the summer. So, with these dark walls, it sometimes feels like a dungeon in here. My goal is to lighten and brighten.

That being said, I should have known that it wouldn't have been as easy popping the paneling off, slapping on some new paint, and going about my business. No, instead, I wrestled with the beastly paneling, and discovered that it had been glued to the wall:
See all those brown splotches? They were thick, old, and a bit like cement. I spent the better part of yesterday, trying to chisel and scrape them off the wall, while trying not to damage the wall any more. One thing I discovered was a rather large hole underneath that ancient telephone there - - looks like someone made a bit of mistake with their measuring, when installing it eons ago. I'll need to figure out how to patch drywall, I guess!

Maybe you noticed the crazy-looking bright yellow light fixture hanging above the table? I've always wanted to get rid of it, but now I'm realizing it will go perfectly with my new table, so it will stay. As for the rest of the kitchen:

There's a bit of this. I really do not like wall paper. This paper is very old, vinyl, and it is not the type of wall paper that will simply peel off. It needs to be steamed off, but there isn't too much of it, so it would be more effort to do that then it is worth. I'm opting to be lazy and paint over it. I'm quite sure nobody will ever be able to tell when I'm all finished, so don't tell.

I've got quite a few days of prep work ahead of me - - more scraping, lots of patching, priming, and taping. I haven't decided whether or not to paint the cupboards yet, but I'm thinking it would probably be a good idea. So, stay tuned to see the progress!

Oh! I found this great kitchen clock last night, while surfing the Internet for funky kitchen decor - - I love it and think it needs to go in my new kitchen:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Last Lingering Bit of Baby

Griffin loves his Mummy, but he wants to be a big boy. He doesn't want your help, he doesn't want your guidance - - he wants to do what he wants to do, and he wants to do it on his own. So different from Camden, who loves to be babied - - he always has, and I'm pretty sure he always will. Not my Griffie though. So, when a rare instance presents itself, like it did the other day at nap time, I'm all over it. Griffin has always been the type where, when nap time or bed time comes along, I just put him in his crib, wide awake, and he goes to sleep on his own, never making a peep. The other day, however, he wanted to be rocked and cuddled, and I eagerly obliged, of course. These little moments are so fleeting, but the thing I love about being a mother is that each new stage brings new moments. Gosh, I love being a mom, especially to these two wonderful little boys.

Now, on a completely different note, if you would like a cheap thrill today (and I know you would), then do yourself a favor and head on over to my dear friend Kate's brand new blog, and read about how Patrick Dempsey touched her yesterday. I'm so jealous, I could spit.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Just Pictures

I love this picture, from earlier in the week

Griffin takes his naps pretty seriously

This is how you will usually find Riley and Roy

Camden gets some help from Daddy during his visit to Miss Helga, the military barber. You see, the clippers tickle, and the last time, he flinched and ended up with a line shaved across the back of his head!

Griffin's first haircut turned out about as we'd expected! He wouldn't sit in the chair, so Daddy tried holding him. When that didn't work, I held him, so he could have full access to my hair, which he proceeded to rub like a magic lamp during the entire haircut (more about Griffin's obsession with my hair, in a later post).

Griffin's chip-dipping method: Dip the same chip repeatedly, until it is a soggy mess.

Friday, March 07, 2008

A Little Paint Goes a Long Way

I'm a big fan of working with what you have. Taking something, and then turning it into something different (and better), without spending a whole lot of money. I've mentioned before that our home is in a bit of a time warp, a-la 1970. We love our house, but eventually we'd like to do some major gutting and remodeling, especially to the kitchen and the upstairs bathroom (okay, we'd like to spruce up the downstairs bathroom, too). However, we bought this house at the same time that we became a one-income family, and at the same time we decided to keep our old house and try our hand at property management. There won't be an major remodeling going on any time soon. So, while our focus is on saving money, I'm trying to make some little cosmetic improvements to brighten the place up a bit. I started on the family room last year, removing a large forest wall mural (you had to see it in person to truly appreciate its hideousness) and painting the dark wood paneling white. Unfortunately, I only painted half of the room, and never finished the rest. We spend a lot of time in the family room, and since it is in the basement, it is dark down there. Not a place for wood paneling and forest scenes. I'm hoping to finish the remaining two walls while my parents are here, so they can help me keep curious little boys out of the paint.

What I am really excited about, however, is my kitchen. It is a wonderful kitchen, but there is also wood paneling on the walls, along with some wall paper that I really dislike. The kitchen table is too big for the space, but it came with the house, so we've kept it. I want to brighten it up with some paint, a little ripping and tearing, and a little creative decorating. I have a plan in mind, and it is based around the fabulous little table that I purchased the other day, at a local antique shop (this picture was taken at the antique shop, while Griffin was busy testing the chairs out). Very retro, and very yellow. I am madly in love with it. My goal is to create a bright, cheerful little breakfast nook, and then brighten up the rest of the kitchen, since the boys and I spend so much time in it. We eat all of our meals in the kitchen, too, but I'd like to start using the dining room instead, because, why have one if you aren't going to use it? Anyway, I'll be posting pictures in the coming days of the before, during, and after. I hope what I have in my mind's eye will turn out just as nice in reality. We shall see!

Thursday, March 06, 2008


It is an exciting time around here right now, because we are getting ready for quite a bit of company. First, my parents will be arriving on March 15th (9 more sleeps!) and will be here for two weeks. Near the end of their stay, Steve's parents will arrive with their camper in tow, and will be in Idaho for two months. During their stay, Steve's sister Danielle and her husband Aaron, along with our sweet nephew, Max, will come for a 10-day visit. I am so looking forward to having so much family around. Steve and I love our life here in Idaho, but with literally no family out here with us, it can get a bit lonely at times. Lonely in the sense that I long for my children to have regular interaction with their grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. Lonely in that I would give anything to be able to pop in and visit my parents whenever I felt like it. And, perhaps a bit selfishly, I wish so much that Steve and I had the luxury of going out to dinner, or to the movies, or whatever the case may be, on a somewhat regular basis. That being said, we are still so very lucky. We are both extremely close to our parents, and our boys are growing up to know their grandparents really, really well, and nothing makes me happier than that.

So....preparations for the onslaught of company! I'm afraid the guest bedroom has been my dumping ground for outgrown baby equipment and clothing over the past year, so I have quite a project ahead of me in the next few days. I'm in the process of preparing for a HUGE baby-focused yard sale, but won't be having that until after my nephew has been here in April. Last year, I was dreading the thought of parting with all of these baby things, but I must admit, I am actually looking forward to it, now. I'm anxious to "make room" for the next stage in my life, whatever that might be. I won't give up the crib though, because Griffin will be in it for quite some time yet, and, because I just can't. It doesn't take up much room when broken down, so I'll be keeping it for now. I will also be keeping the moses basket, along with many special pieces of clothing and a few other treasures. What I am learning is that little boys seem to accumulate a lot of "stuff", and you just cannot keep everything.

Yesterday, I bought some lovely buttery-golden towels for the guest bathroom - - if you are in need of towels then please do yourself a favor and head over to Target - - they are having a wonderful sale this week, and the selection is HUGE. So, after some cleaning, baking, grocery shopping, etc., we should be all ready to entertain!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Come on Over! We Have Plenty of Crazy to Go Around.

Just in case you may be under the false impression that all of our days are spent crafting, baking, and making costumes, let me share a few tidbits from our day yesterday:
  • One child, who shall remain nameless (*ahem* the older one) throws a massive temper tantrum in the middle of the local library. Result: mortified mother drags him out to the car by his ear
  • This same child returns home and proceeds to crunch his baby brother's hand in the back of the bathroom door (oh yes, the part near the hinges). Unfortunately, the sound of his brother wailing didn't clue him in as to what was going on - - he pulled and pulled and PULLED until his mother physically removed him from the door knob.
  • Mother is so horrified by the sight of her baby's hand (seriously, folks, the crease was so deep and so purple that his hand appeared to be bent backwards, in a highly grotesque fashion) that she spits the half chewed sandwich that was in her mouth at the time, onto the floor of the laundry room. Only later that day, when she nearly stepped in said sandwich tidbits, did she realize what she'd done.
  • Mother nearly loses her marbles after listening to oldest son say, for the umpteenth time, "Mummy, here's what happens on The Lion King" and then proceeds to monologue for a never-ending amount of time.
  • At the end of the day, mother makes the executive decision to feed children early, and then send them off to their bedroom with a DVD, so as to eat dinner in peace, without having to repeatedly say, "Calm down!" or, "Eat your dinner!", or, "Mind your manners!" which of course could have potentially led to her head exploding.

Alas, today is a new day (thank goodness!). On our agenda today: A trip to the pediatrician to have Griffin's mangled hand inspected.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Things I've Learned Over the Past Few Days

I'm still feeling a bit list-y today, so I thought I'd share some tidbits with you that come from far too much time surfing the internet, while battling the flu bug:
  1. I want my bottom to look exactly like the one Catherine Zita-Jones has. If someone knows how I can get my flabby, large, stay-at -home mom bottom to look like hers, please contact me immediately (this recent obsession was brought about by watching the movie, "No Reservations", in case you were wondering).
  2. White vinegar is a natural anti-bacterial /disinfectant that you can use on your counter tops, cutting boards, etc. I don't know if I could stand the vinegar smell, though.
  3. One of my new favorite blogs is Chocolate on My Cranium.
  4. I also am loving Thrifty Goodness.
  5. I watched the documentary, "Bowling for Columbine" on YouTube, and it was an eye-opener. It has caused me to think differently as a parent, and as a person.
  6. My blog layout is very boring, and I think it is time for a face lift. Working on that.
  7. When a really popular, witty, and well-known sports blogger links to you in his blog, your site meter goes CRAZY!! Unfortunately, my traffic only picked up temporarily, because all those sports-loving people realized they'd landed on some random stay-at-home mom's blog, and quickly exited.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Get Thee to Target...

...and buy one of these. Seriously, the coolest eco-friendly shopping bag out there. I love mine! The best part about it is that it folds up into the size of a check book and then zips closed, so you can keep it right in your purse. That way, you can never say that you "left your cloth bags in the car" again - - this is my biggest problem. I want to use cloth bags and stop using plastic, but half the time, I forget them at home, or I remember them, but then forget them in the car. Oh, and they only costs 99 cents. Yay!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

50 Things About Me

I've seen a list such as this on many, many blogs. I've never taken the time to sit down and do it, but since I'm banished to my bed today, I thought I'd give it a shot.

  1. My middle name is my mother's maiden name. My brother and my oldest son have this same middle name, too.
  2. When I was very small, I once wrote to President Reagan. He wrote back.
  3. I hate touching raw chicken. It totally grosses me out.
  4. For years, I've had a recurring dream/nightmare that the University of Maine has contacted me, to inform me that I never really graduated.
  5. When I was little, my dad use to make popcorn and shake it up in a bag with powdered cheese. It is one of my fondest childhood memories.
  6. I've climbed Mt. Katahdin (with my dearest friend, Jen)
  7. Even though I am uncomfortable/scared of heights.
  8. I use to think the Wicked Witch of the West was under my bed at night.
  9. I have each earlobe pierce 3 times, although I haven't worn earrings in the third holes in years.
  10. I had my belly button pierced when I was in Maine in 2005. I had to take it out when I got pregnant with Griffin.
  11. I won't be getting it pierced again, because after having hernia surgery last year, I no longer have a belly button.
  12. No, I won't show you.
  13. I love black licorice, black jelly beans, and Black Jack chewing gum.
  14. I use to play the trumpet.
  15. I do not like flying in an airplane. At all.
  16. I don't like to drive at night. Especially if it is raining.
  17. I do not like having to wear glasses.
  18. I have one sibling, an older brother.
  19. I love blue cheese.
  20. Especially on a salad.
  21. I'm a technology idiot.
  22. I've seen Rod Stewart in concert three times.
  23. I've lived in three countries.
  24. My favorite number is three.
  25. I love to cook.
  26. I love baking even more.
  27. I was 29 years old when I got married.
  28. The farthest distance I've ever run without stopping is 6.2 miles (10K). My dream is to complete a half-marathon (and maybe even a marathon, someday).
  29. I feel weird if I don't have my toenails painted.
  30. I have little patience for poor customer service.
  31. I have an extremely irrational fear of vomit. I recently learned that Matt Lauer has this same irrational fear, which makes me feel a little less like a freak, for some reason.
  32. I love sushi.
  33. I once (okay, more than once) kissed Humphrey Bogart's grandson.
  34. I do not like to "sleep in" in the morning. It makes me feel like I'm wasting my day.
  35. I've loved James Stewart for years and years. I could watch Rear Window or It's a Wonderful Life over and over.
  36. My favorite scene in It's a Wonderful Life is when George Bailey is sitting in Martini's bar, crying and praying to God to show him the way - - it chokes me up every time.
  37. I am a moody person, and I'm not proud of it.
  38. The sound of another person eating crunchy food (like cereal or potato chips) makes me cringe.
  39. I have had all of my wisdom teeth extracted.
  40. I once walked into Martha Stewart's yard while she was having a garden party.
  41. I love to watch any kind of "true crime" shows, like Cold Case Files, or Dateline.
  42. I love Barbie dolls. I have a small collection of them hidden in my office
  43. It makes me angry that women can treat each other so badly.
  44. If there is an open bag of chocolate chips in my house, I have a hard time not eating them.
  45. I love lotions, potions, perfume, makeup, frills, and all things girly.
  46. I don't like waiting for a table at a restaurant. I get testy.
  47. I often fantasize about being a famous singer, although I cannot carry a tune in a bucket.
  48. I have always been fascinated with eras-gone-by.
  49. If I could change one thing about myself, it would be to be more organized and not procrastinate.
  50. I've never been as fulfilled as I am now.
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