Monday, April 30, 2012

Wicked Witch

Our top story today comes from Kyla, who is the very essence of the picky eater I did not raise her to be.  Today, I served deli-sliced turkey rolled up around shredded cheddar, warmed it up, and called it a turkey taco.  Kyla unrolled hers, declared she did not like this meat and would only eat the cheese.  I asked her to try the meat, and she took her infamous miniscule bite.  And then another. And another.  Then declared, “Mama, I do like this.” 

I don’t think this will ever happen again, so I needed to record it.

* * * * * *

shed 007This afternoon, Kyla and Piper were playing outside, and came running up to me saying excitedly, “Mama, you’re the wicked queen and you are our mother!”  I whole-heartedly agreed with both statements (it had been a rough day, Wesley-wise, and I hadn’t even to the worst of it yet, I discovered later) and my wicked princesses informed me that they were making a trap for Captain Hook.  I asked if they wanted to help me make granola bars.  Piper’s response?  “OH, YES!  Let’s make poisoned granola bars!!” 


shed 005We went inside and I told her that I didn’t think I had poisonous bananas, and she carefully explained that some bananas were poisonous and some weren’t, and she could tell the difference.  She found a banana, black from the freezer, and declared it poisoned.  Everything we added, except the chocolate chips was poisonous, it turns out. 



Sorry, Rochelle.  Did I not tell you that before I cut an extra-big piece for you?

shed 006

The girls’ “wicked” faces!

Stamp This One “DONE”

Dwayne worked all Sunday afternoon with St. Jim and completed the woodshed!  It is the cutest woodshed ever, and if you ever hear grumblings about not being able to put anything useful in it—like a table saw or lawn mower—well, just tell her to shush and enjoy her new kitchen.

shed 001shed 002

shed 004shed 003

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Kyla Likes the New Area Rug

She doesn’t care what it looks like, but see how fun it is!Kitchen remodel 195

Saturday, April 28, 2012

How Desperate is Mama to Thatch the Lawn?

“Hey, Wesley, sure you can take your bike in the trampoline.”  Especially as he gets it in there himself.Kitchen remodel 193

Kitchen remodel 192

Friday, April 27, 2012

She Climbs a Tree

Climbing up…

Kitchen remodel 170


Kitchen remodel 171


Kitchen remodel 172

near the top.

Kitchen remodel 173


I took this to get perspective of the girls, but I was surprise how beautiful spring looks in the front yard!

Kitchen remodel 178


Coming down, down, down.

Kitchen remodel 180


Picture a Piper wiggling back and forth chanting, “I did it, I did it, I really, really did it!” It’s cute enough for a video, but I’m not going to subject you today.


Kitchen remodel 184


Posing for me while Kyla is off on her next adventure.

Kitchen remodel 188


“Mom, when can I start climbing trees?”

Kitchen remodel 189

“Son, when you are old enough to reach the first branch.  And when you stop sucking your fingers.”

Playgroup Play

Went to Kyla’s BFF’s house for playgroup (together 5 1/2 years now!) and spent a lot of time playing outside.

A lucky find—an unused sandbox with rainwater!

Kitchen remodel 112

Piper generally seemed “in action” all morning.

Kitchen remodel 164


See what I mean?

Kitchen remodel 120


Wesley’s not going to let Piper do something without him.

Kitchen remodel 115


What is that face? Goof ball.

Kitchen remodel 135


Kyla and Isaac garden together. I distinctly heard her say, “I’ll dig this hole and you do all the rest, okay?”

Kitchen remodel 113


Isaac said, “Okay.”

Kitchen remodel 114


Kitchen remodel 150

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Project: Hawaii—Home at Last. Or Close Enough.

The floor and trim were completed today, and I love it!  remodel final 005

remodel final 009

(The splotchy pictures are from me dropping the camera in the sand on Sunday afternoon.  When the camera deigns to turn on at all, it won’t zoom, and I seem to have permanent lens “dots”.  And I can’t even blame this camera failure on a child.)

remodel final 006


The electrician is coming tomorrow to put in all the missing receptacles and generally finish up wiring.  Unfortunately, just minutes ago I noticed an error in light placement above the sink.  I don’t know how that happened, as we spent a long time discussing and chalking light placement.   How did I not notice this before the drywall went up?  It is technically fixable, but it’s not the cost of ripping this out, cutting in new holes, etc, etc, that keeps this light in place.   It is that I would have to paint the ceiling again, and that is unacceptable.  More unacceptable than one light out of place that I will notice every single time I go into the kitchen for the next twenty years.  Okay, so it’s a close call. 

The contractor has a few odd jobs to do that can’t be done until the correct floor transitional pieces come in next week, but nothing that inconveniences us.

I have lots of tiny paint touch ups to do and I haven’t begun to putty and finish the trim work.   But I’m going to have fun putting things back and finding new spots for my favorite items.  And maybe the shop vac and ladder can go back to the garage eventually….

Thanks for following this adventure with us!

PS For those who don’t know, this was called Project: Hawaii because a few months ago, Dwayne called my mom and asked her if she was willing to take care of all three kids for a week while he took me on a romantic vacation.  She said yes, of course, bless her.  I was excited at first, but a few weeks later realized that if we had a time and money to go to Hawaii for a week, perhaps we could just tear down a couple of walls and raise the kitchen ceiling.  That’s all.  Dwayne graciously, graciously agreed.  He was the one who wanted to do the flooring, too, and I’m glad he insisted. 

But I think I have the project bug completely neutralized for a long, long time.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Kids Are Back!

Mom and Dad brought the kids back this morning.  While the house is not ready for them, I certainly was! 

I think they all got bigger over the last ten (!) days.

remodel paint 018

remodel paint 021

remodel paint 029

remodel paint 044


And one of their favorite things to do at Gramma’s?  Popsicles. 

April  2012 Kids at Grandmas 006

April  2012 Kids at Grandmas 019

April  2012 Kids at Grandmas 020

Thank you, thank you, thank  you, Mom and Dad.  For taking the kids…and bringing them back!

Project: Hawaii (X)—I Hate Painting Now

Friday night:  They finished texturing the walls and ceilings about 8pm on Friday evening.  I had been painting on and off that afternoon, working on priming beams, etc.  But I started painting in earnest as soon as they turned off the hopper.  By 5am, I had primed and painted all the surfaces not directly textured. 

In our 32oo sf house, I have painted every wall and ceiling, personally, in the entire house.  Except these two walls.  remodel paint 006      remodel paint 005

These are the two walls in stairwell at the split level entry.  There is no good way of painting the beams, the ceiling, or the walls.  It was lousy, lousy, lousy.  And then painting all the beams in the cathedral ceiling.  At 2am.  And 3am. And 4am. 

Saturday:  Slept 4 hours and then got up and painted for 7 hours straight.  Used up most of a 5 gallon bucket of primer. 

Saturday night:  Went to a fabulous, swanky birthday party at the Metropolitan Grill.  Wore a dress long enough to cover my paint-splattered knees.  Came home at 10:30 and Dwayne and I painted until 3am. 

Sunday night:  Completed all but the final coat of green paint after the kids went to bed.  Take a peek!

remodel paint 045


remodel paint 047

remodel paint 051


This was my Friday night nemesis, those lower walls.

remodel paint 052

remodel paint 054

But I really like how great the ceilings turned out.  The beams are not longer dark brown beams painted with one or two coats of white paint.  There’s no more water stains or little cracks.  It is clean, smooth, and finished…in direct contrast to everything below it.

remodel paint 053


The flooring (and trim) is all that’s left to do, plus a few touch ups.  Done on Wednesday??? (I’m trying to type with my fingers crossed!)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Project: Hawaii—Shed’s Almost Done!

Isn’t it adorable? 

remodel paint 037


remodel paint 042

Project: Hawaii (IX)—The Mess

Chaos reigns in our house.  I spent six days completely destroying and reconstructing our bedroom to give me one oasis of tranquility and order when it was done.  But Piper’s room and the downstairs have been just gotten worse as more things have been thrown either place to get them out of the way. 

The downstairs:

[Funny story.  Damn Cat Smokey has loved all these open doors lately and we’ve been chasing her out.  Smokey was hiding out on the train table and I tried to get back to her.  I climbed over the brown chair, but halfway over, it tipped over and I fell back on my rear.  With my legs in the air, the chair tipped back to level, spilling me on the ground.  Cat smirked.]

remodel paint 001


And poor, poor Piper’s room. 

remodel paint 002

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Project: Hawaii (VIII) Surf’s Up!

The drywall is up and the men are staying late to get the mudding done!  A lot has been accomplished today in the kitchen, but even so, the floor will probably not be completed until Sunday (and then depends on how fast we can get the trim on).  But it looks like a kitchen now.

remodel drywall up 006

remodel drywall up 005

remodel drywall up 007


remodel drywall up 008 

I know it looks like I’m just photographing the scaffolding, but it looks great from here on the sand.

And our room is officially complete, down to the still-drying shampooed carpet and tools all put away.  See, the upper trim finishes it perfectly.  Thanks, Jim, for the use of the nail gun. It made the project much faster and more enjoyable.

remodel drywall up 002

remodel drywall up 004