Sunday, May 22, 2016

What a bunch of lunch

We made it through serving church lunch!  I ordered too much food because, well, I am Lydiann's granddaughter and I can't have skimpy trays, and I am my mother's daughter because I can't not over plan... ha.  Whatever, I like having more than plenty and the leftovers were manageable. The girls thought it was great to have BOTH grandmas and grandpas at their church. 
It was a long day.  We got to rest for a little bit at home before we headed to Kayla's graduation party that evening.  All the girls took naps.  I'm getting to be such an old lady...  woe is me.  I was feeling very drained and unsociable at Kayla's (my apologies). 
They're fans of leftover doughnuts for breakfast.
 "Choc-at no-nut."  "Ow-ul bib."
 Every bathroom needs a large bug print...
And some flowers... (Bob gave them to me for Christmas and they've been waiting to go on a wall...) 
 Welcome to my mornings, welcome to my days...   ad nauseum. 

"Wa-doe sun!"  (aka, yellow) 
 Hop! Hop!  The chalk drawings are getting fairly elaborate... all of these things and creatures are in a circle and Jesus (not in the picture, but he's a stick man with a beard) is talking and they are appearing and he is standing on the sidewalk next to God (also a stick man) and Jesus doesn't like naughty guys and, and, and.  I'm pretty sure I'm failing in the theology instruction department because my usual response is, 'uh-huh,' 'oh!,' 'uh-huh,' 'yeah, sure, something like that'....  she'll figure it all out eventually, right?  I mean, she is just a 4-kid.  Emmy is more interested in "Wobins!"
Friday I discovered that the kitchen sink wasn't draining.  Woot.  So since we were going to potluck that evening, I dropped the girls off at the farm and picked up some draino.  It didn't help at all. 

Potluck was good. Meg made some amazing pizzas.  We laughed a lot. But we had to leave a little bit early since the girls didn't want to spend the night at the farm.  (Someone has suddenly developed separation anxiety... yay....great timing, since she's definitely not coming to the hospital with us...) 

Saturday Bob checked the sink trap which is clear and tried to figure out where the blockage is... such a good man.  And, notice the nitrile gloves.  No good chemist is ever without them.  Safety first!  Especially after pouring a bunch of draino down your sink...  We had no luck unclogging it.  Boo.  So I'm doing dishes the old fashioned way in a dish tub.  woot woot.  At least we have running water.  And that new clean vinyl under the sink that I'm sure the plumber will appreciate!  hehe. 
The girls "helped" me plant the rest of the garden.  I'm hoping that my green beans won't be ready until late summer since I'm planting them a little late, and we put out a few tomato plants.  Bob mowed and Emmy is terrified of the mower.  She was clinging to me in the garden, "Emmy scare.  Mower scare.  I safe.  Mower scare."  We had to go back inside. 

My dad turned 60 last week so we went to the farm for supper that evening since they're done planting and have time to celebrate.  Mom got Trails End Smokehouse ribs and brisket... it was really good.  The girls wore themselves out running around outside being crazy.  Emmy loves Jakey, which is great, but so funny.  "Jakey.  Friend Kitty.  Under car."  "Jakey. Nice. Up high.  Emmy." 

O man, so apparently I should be super excited to be pregnant at the same time as my sister? which, whatever, I'm glad for her.  But I'm not sure Shells really appreciates my random guess-what-delightful-symptom-I-have-that-you-get-to-look-forward-to-texts... bwahahaha.  And that's probably not the kind of sisterly bonding people are picturing. Ha.  Mostly we're just afraid we're going to steal each others names.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Architectural Rant

Because I am so OVER scraping my knuckles on the walls of the hallway while carrying a laundry basket....

Disclaimer:  I know very little about actual architecture, I just have an opinion about everything.  Also, I really do like our house.... no desire or intention to move anytime soon... I'm just very aware of its idiosyncrasies.

Anyway, I have no love for the 1960's... fashion, hair, décor, food, furniture... blech.  Also houses.  I know mid century modern is back "in" but, ick.  I will freely admit my bias and personal affinity for a more early century, Arts and Crafts aesthetic. 

That said, who are these people who signed off on these house plans?????   Did they not have families?  Wives who did actual house work?  Didn't they ever have company??? 

Pretty much all the houses on our street were built at the same time by the same construction company and the plans are all very similar... three bedrooms, one bath, an adequate sized kitchen, and a living room.  Our house was added on to at some point so we have a second bathroom and a family room.  Average family size in 1960 was 3.33 persons... I'm going to guess given the demographic in our area that it was higher in T-town.  So figure at least four people in our house pre-addition.... 

Why would you make the only bathroom in the house 8 x 5??? It's not like indoor plumbing was new or novel in 1960!  There's hardly room to help little kids bathe or go to the bathroom, and there's really not room for two adults to get ready at the same time!  I can't imagine getting 3.33 people ready for church/school/anything all at the same time in our bathroom.  

Why would you make the hallway so narrow???  Did these people never carry a laundry basket?  My poor knuckles.  Or a sleeping toddler?  I mean, it's delicate work as it is without having to walk sideways so you don't bump their head on the wall!

Small garages.... wasn't everyone driving boats in 1960?  How did you get those doors open in such a small space?  I am very thankful for sliding van doors...    

Closets that jut out into bedrooms.... this bugs me.  It makes walking into the room feel really constricting or something.  Plus it effectively cuts the room size down by 2.5 feet.... at our house the actual floor space for beds and furniture is cut down to 10x10.  Try fitting anything bigger than a twin bed and a dresser in there without it feeling tight and crowded.... 

Oh, and sliding closet doors.  Seriously, who thought that was a good idea?  Apparently they've never shared a closet and tried to get dressed at the same time as someone else... every Sunday morning we have closet door wars. 

Garage doors that open directly onto the basement stairway landing..... did theses people never have small children???  The girls try so hard to open that door... their momentum could easily carry them down the stairs when it does pop open.  And if you are coming in from the garage and there's a kid behind the door you can't see, how easy would it be to accidently push them down the stairs!  I live in fear.  (Not really)  It's also just really awkward.  Is it a landing?  Is it an entryway?  Where do you put your muddy boots?  What were they thinking???  (I'm all in favor of the resurrection of the mud room!)

Why didn't they run their plans past their wives/mothers before they signed off on them?  To quote Emmy, "why-eee??"


It brings back memories of a friend who was considering studying Architecture while we were at ICC.  He would come up with these fabulous home plans with indoor gyms, and courtyards, and 6 car garages.... and I would be like, "you're really going to schlep your groceries all the way across the house to the kitchen?"  Ha.  I'm such a killjoy. 


Monday, May 09, 2016

May Day! May Day!

Sorry.  It still makes me laugh.
I got the painting done!  It took a few late nights, but the trim is up, the new baseboard is on, and it's all been painted.... why I seem to think it's a good idea to do trim work in the 3rd trimester (especially in a small bathroom) is beyond me... but it's done and it doesn't look too bad, if you don't look closely.  I'm waiting on a frame for a very odd sized print I got for Christmas to hang over the hooks.  I really never put anything on the walls in here so it will be the first time it's been 'decorated' since we've moved in. 
We spent May day in Washington because we haven't been there on a regular Sunday in a very long time.  Cecily went right to Sunday school with Aunt Shelly without a backward glance.  She was excited to go in 'Summer's class.'  Emmy did great all morning, and we apparently psyched some people out because Mom and Lena and I were all sitting in a row and then Shelly only had a few students so her co-teacher taught and she joined us... Jake wasn't even there that Sunday.  hehe.

Little Emmy loves birds... so I made her a bird cage cake.  I found instructions online, but I was not paying attention to size and amounts because we ended up with a ridiculous amount of cake.  I used three whole cake mixes.  Eeesh.  We have so much cake.  And then I barely had enough fondant and frosting to cover it.  Fondant is not my friend anyway; I couldn't figure out how to get it to cover the whole thing nicely so it sagged and there are holes that are strategically covered by birds and piping.  At least it looked cute from a distance!   
O well, I won't be quitting my day job to open a bakery.  Emmy loved it, so that's all that matters!  "Cake!  Birdy! Happy To-day Emmy!"   My literal Cecily was very concerned that there were no cross bars to keep the birds in, ha!
 She was excited.  And somehow she's 2 years old!  We had chicken nuggets and "mac-ee-cheese" for supper, and of course cake.
 Then she got to open "pez-ants."  With a backpack on.  Because she's two.
 "NO Sheshadee!  Mine! Pez-ants!" 
 She got a bird book. 
 And a bike!  "Red Bike!  Emmy's Bike!"
 The next day she had a doctor appointment, refused to take a nap, "morning!," and we watched Dale and Meg's three girls for the evening.  So we had five little girls for supper... we made them eat cake.  They played outside for a long time, which was good for my ears... lots of girls can be so loud and shrill.  Ha. 
Saturday evening we went to the farm for Emmy's birthday party.  In her pig tails.  She likes to skip down the hallway. 
I forgot to get a picture, but grandma made her a bunny cake.  "Bunny wabbit!"  There was some difficulty in cutting it... "I"m butchering this rabbit!"  "Well, you started on the wrong end..." 
Then a few more "pez-ants."  Binoculars. 
 "Elsha! Chap-ick!"  Her very own frozen chapstick... woohoo...
 "Mine. Purse.  Shopping."
We spent Mother's Day evening with the Beutels.  The kids played at the grade school after supper.  Cecily was off playing kick ball, Emmy was sliding.   
And then the bigger kids were all marching off in a line to go back to Roger and JoAnn's and Emmy took off after them, tripped on a storm drain, and hit her forehead.  *sigh*  It puffed out immediately, thankfully.  Poor little girl.  I was going to take her to get pictures this week...  
Decorating the cake did a number on my wrists... I get mild carpal tunnel when I'm pregnant, probably because of all the pipetting I used to do... I had a couple of really rough nights- waking up several times with both arms sounds asleep, tingling, and aching.  So I got a wrist brace!  And my hands didn't go numb all night!  Instead I woke up with leg cramps!  Woot!  Ugh.  So yeah, besides the carpal tunnel, leg cramps, horrifying nightmares (yay Crime and Punishment!), random back pain on one side that is probably not a kidney infection, I'm feeling great.  Bleah.  And that is how I feel about that.     

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Seven years, treasures, and some silly girls

We've been keeping busy... mostly around home.  The windows are only half washed, the garden is half planted, the bathroom is half painted...
I've been slowly replacing our cloth diapers.  The originals have almost lasted through 4 years of use, but I'm not very hardcore and I do bad things like dry them in the dryer so they were starting to leak.  Silly little bee thinks they are accessories.  And she makes color requests... "bu-doo!" "pink!"
Enjoying the outdoors while rain clouds roll in.   
 They both like to watch all of the wild life in our backyard.  I was hoping the new neighbor's dog would discourage the rabbits and squirrels... not so much.  "Bunny... Wabbit... hop hop hop." "Wook!  Wobin!"

Mom reorganized the attic and wanted us to come look at stuff/ take things away so we stopped in for a few hours on Friday.  The old farmer was coloring before coloring was cool. 
 This is a paper carousel.  It's made entirely out of card stock, including the gears which are several layers glued together.  I got the kit years ago.  It used to go around when you turned the paper crank and it had a little music box that played the carousel song... It's very cool, but what in the world do you do with a large paper carousel?  I decided it was probably time to take a picture and let it go... (although it hadn't made it to the dumpster yet as of Tuesday...)
We brought home a few more treasures:  Samantha, some dolly blankets, a dresser for Cecily, the box of cards Mom had saved from baby showers and baby gifts and my first, second, and third birthdays.  Um... I am so not a card person.  I rarely send them (so sorry!), and I could care less if I get them (unless they have money in them.  hehe).  If you want to send me a letter; that I would love.  So I said I would take them and read them and then pitch them.  Other than enjoying the vintageness and warm fuzzies from seeing old names and handwriting from people that are gone... I can't say I've missed out on not reading through them before.  And if I haven't needed them in 31 years I probably don't need to store them.  So other than the ones from my grandmas- out they went.

Choc-ate milk for a snack... 
 They are enjoying the classic Tupperware stencils we brought home.  Oh, and Bob sent me flowers because the girls picked all my tulips.  Such a good man.
Samantha came home with us.  They think she's great.  "Mom, when I get big, I can get an American Doll too!"
 Her outfits have been interesting.
 She loves the hats.
 And I couldn't quite take letting them play with all of her accessories... I was so torn... but I just couldn't do it so most of the more delicate/ small things are in a box out of their reach.  I know, I'm terrible. 
 Sprout was home Friday evening so we ate supper out there and the girls played hard. 

Saturday morning our garden got tilled... different guy this time and I am not super impressed (it may have been too wet still).  But we got potatoes and onions and peas in the ground.  Not that I'll be in any shape to do anything with all that produce.

Mom is letting us use her childhood dresser in the girls' room.  It needed a little love.  Nothing a little weld bond, wood glue, and sanding couldn't fix.
 And a fresh coat of white paint.  It was a lovely day, but I hate painting outside.  All the bugs in the neighborhood decided to get stuck in the wet paint.
 Clayton joined us for lunch, played with the girls, and then loaded up our old loveseat for his bachelor pad.  The girls are pretty sure that every visitor is there to cater to their every whim. 

I think I need to stop wearing stripes to church... I'm getting too many pitying looks and "HOW much longer do you have??" 

Tuesday was our seventh anniversary.  Crazy.  We went to Basta's for supper... and neither of us got each other cards.  *grin*
 The girls found the play dough.  Woot.   "Dank oo much."
 Emmy loves her babies and bears.... "Quiet!  Bear!  Schweepin!" 
As of today all of Emmy's clothes have been moved out of the nursery and into Cecily's room.  I was sorting clothes at the same time... they try so hard to be helpful.... I try so hard to be patient...

Sunday, April 17, 2016

there's no luck in swordfishing here

It's finally warm!  Hallelujah!  No coats, no shoes, the girls would prefer no pants.... flowers are blooming... spring is the best.
Continuing down my project list... This is our only bathtub.  There is not enough tile around it.... considering we have two little water lovers and hard water that leaves spots all over the walls.  I used satin bathroom/kitchen paint, but it's still not very washable. 
I am not afraid to try home improvement projects, but hopefully I know my limits.  I would hate to be the reason the next owner of this house goes crazy.... I mean.... would it have been that hard to mark a level line on the wall and use spacers when tiling this backsplash??  Bob and I hung the cabinet with a level.  There is a quarter inch difference in the tile underneath it.  Why??  It's not like tile is easy to replace or fix. 
 Anyway, so we're trying something new- wallpaper!  Ha.  When I mentioned that I wanted Mom to teach me how to wallpaper at her and Steve's birthday party it was met with exclamations of shock and horror from all quarters.  We've all removed waaaaay too much wallpaper in our young lives because; no matter how cool/pretty/trendy/etc. it is when it's put up, it quickly becomes passé (and if you wait long enough, ugly, hehe).  This is a little different though: behold paintable, textured bead board wallpaper! (The weird spots went away when it dried.)
It's going all around the lower half of the bathroom, will be capped with trim and eventually I'll get around to painting it in delightfully scrubbable semi-gloss paint.  Mom came over on Saturday and helped me and talked me through papering behind the toilet.  Woot.  It's not a Lyd and Pearl job, but not bad for a first attempt. My long term plan for this bathroom is to completely remodel and put in a tub/shower combo (way down the road and many years of saving up), so since I will probably be the one removing this wallpaper I don't feel too guilty.
Emmy has been sleeping in the bottom bunk since last Tuesday!  And napping in there!  Woot woot. 
 Such a big little girl. 
 We've been enjoying the sunshine... lunch outside. 
The driveway was full of chalk creatures again.  And I hooked up the hose, so somehow they both got soaking wet and needed their towels. 
Bob got the lawnmowers out on Saturday to see if they will run this year.  He was going to just wash off the seat.... 
 And they, of course, decided to wash the whole thing.  We now have the cleanest mower on the street. (We're really not lawnmower washing type people...)
That evening Lena had planned a surprise party for Matt's 30th at the farm.  He found out about it, but it was still fun.  The girls had a great time chasing Gus around, taking grandpa supper at the field, playing with Garrett, and eating cosmic cake.  I was excited to see Kris and Blake... it was a good time, and Emmy got to bring home some snack mix.  She hugged it tight all the way home, silly little hobbit. 
Other than picking all of the flowers, we have been intentionally not busy.  Although I need to get my act together and get the garden tilled because Cecily is dying to plant more flowers...

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Fruit Basket Upset and a mini-vacation

We've been moving furniture around here... shuffling and getting some new things... woot woot. 
This bookcase is a new addition.  I was hoping to find the same one that is on the other side of the window, but of course it's no longer available.  So I picked this one, and I'm not impressed with the quality.  O well.  Someday I want to get matching built in bookcases for this corner with a window seat in between.... someday... for now this will hold overflow books and the printer.  
The girls got glow stick flashlights in their Easter baskets and one evening they had all the lights off and were running around with them.  I did not let them take the flashlights in the bathtub, but we did bring them in the bathroom.  Add a package of glowsticks and they got a glow-bath!  They thought it was the best thing ever.   
 The smaller bookcase that used to be in the family room is now in Cecily's room.
 Gloves!  Because every little girl needs a pair of fancy gloves in her life.  *grin*  They were on clearance... I'm not sure if they were supposed to be for Easter or first communion, or what.  I had a pair of lace gloves from Aunt Lori's wedding when I was little so I couldn't resist.
 Bob's birthday was last Friday.  The girls were very excited.  So excited that they opened his gifts for him.
 Look Dad, you got a book!
 Ooooh, look!
 They were very excited about his new lanterns.  Silly girls.
 Over the weekend we moved Cecily's cute little twin frame out and moved the bunk beds in.  Emmy was helping clean them.  "Washin' washin'."  I need to figure out if it's possible to get all the college-girl-marks off of them.  *cough* Shelly. Lys. *cough*
 And she kept finding hammers... little stinker.  Lately when you tell her "No!" she'll say, "Why-ee??   *pause* Cuzsh!"  Haha.
 They were pleased.
 I am not pleased that Emmy can climb the ladder... I also am terrible at making bunk beds... it has been a long time and my brother's beds were lower...
Emmy acts like she wants to sleep in the bottom bunk, but she hasn't ever stayed there for more than a few minutes.  Eventually.  

Monday afternoon we headed to Schaumburg!  Cecily was up super early and soooo excited.  She was driving me crazy since we weren't planning on leaving until after lunch. 

"I love this hotel so much I want to stay here forever!"  She does not take after me... I despise hotels....  "Look they have TWO computers!"  Haha... sheltered AC children... 
We took them to the Rainforest Café for supper.  I told Cecily all about it so she would know about the animals that moved and the 'storm.'  She kept telling me "We're going to eat at a restaurant with hundreds of animals!"  Something like that kiddo... They both liked it and weren't scared, good times.
 I wanted to go to Janie and Jack... since I can never find free shipping online and their kids clothes are so cute (but expensive!).  They didn't really have anything on sale though.  Boo.  Basically I was at Woodfield mall, went to one store, and didn't buy anything.  So sad. 

Then we went back to the hotel and went SWIMMING!  They were so excited.  "Wimmin pool!"
 I don't think we stayed in the pool long enough because we could not get Emmy to sleep.  We put her in bed with Cecily and she did not want to stay in it or shut her eyes... ayiyi.  She finally fell asleep next to Bob at 11 and woke me up a few times during the night.  So we were all a little tired in the morning. 

I was up in time for the Embassy's delicious made to order breakfast... everyone else had to settle for pop tarts and juice in the room.  She was actually really happy about it.  Cecily ate pretty much nothing because we let her watch cartoons at the same time.  O well.
 Our first stop was IKEA.  Which I love.  They wanted to explore everything... don't worry, we didn't let them.
 I think they would have spent the rest of the day in the kids section....
 We ate lunch at IKEA- kids eat free on Tuesdays!  I've never tried the food before, it was pretty good and definitely convenient! 

Our main reason for going north was to get a new loveseat.  The one we have has seen better days... and it's technically a chair and a half so we all barely fit on it to read books.  It's over by our computers and the toys so it gets the most use out of any spot in the house.  I looked at a few loveseats, but everything is so BIG... too wide or too deep or so overstuffed that the seat is too small.  IKEA furniture is slightly smaller scale, cheaper, and major selling point- slipcovered!  So we got a new loveseat with two slipcovers... that are washable!  Woot woot!  Yay practical.

After we loaded up the loveseat and everything else we couldn't leave without, we headed to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center.  Cecily was sooo excited.  The first room was full of models of Chicago sights and landmarks that she wasn't super interested in... I thought it was cool. 
 They had a section where you could build city things too.  Not sure who is having more fun here... it was hard to convince her there were more fun things to do and see.
 A room of jungle creatures all made out of legos... "I could stay in the Jungle for hours!"  Haha.. um.. ok, but there are two floors to this place... 
 Another building section.... she was emptying the tubs onto the table.
 Building, building.
 Inside a lego lion! Rahr!
 There was an indoor pirate themed play place, which they loved.
 And a water table with pirate ships that I didn't take pictures of...

Cecily was dying to go on this ride with Daddy.  The more you pedaled, the higher you went while it went around. 
 They didn't want to leave, but it was time.... we let them each pick out a lego set.  They were really happy, but they were also really tired at this point so you can't tell... ha.
 Do we have to go home?
 All loaded up with the couch... Emmy was out almost as soon as we started driving, snuggled up with the activity booklet from LEGOLAND.
Anyway, it was a fun little trip! 
And somehow the laundry pile from being gone for a day is huge...