Thursday, April 17, 2008

300 lbs of Poop, Flames and Daggers of Broken Glass.

Yep, it was an ordinary week at our house. It all began with potty training and 300 POUNDS of POOP. These two weren't actually related, they just happened to be on the same day. The poop was even on sale! 99 cents for a big bag. All that glorious, composted steer manure ended up in my garden. We had a fantastic time, digging around, mulching and weeding. The little boys were enchanted with all the worms, and made a meal of deciding which box would be home to each one.
Potty training began on Monday, and boy was this little guy excited! He kept naming all the kids he knows who wear underwear, and how he'll be strong like them. If I remember to take him potty every 30 mins or so, he does just fine. I don't think the whole concept of holding it until you're on the toilet has reached him yet. All but one of my boys did it in a week, three months before they were three. The other one was a special case. I'm crossing my fingers that he'll see the light, and I'll see the end of diapers.

Flush! We are now an official two-holer family. As the toilet and vanity were installed, I was seized by anxiety that they didn't match. I chose both of them, so it would be all my fault if they didn't. I made a frantic call to my decorating guru, and waited on pins and needles until she could make it over for an emergency visit. She came, relieved my distress, and told me they look just fine, that all the details haven't been wrapped up yet. So we looked at my plans for wall art, and I could breath again.

Remember how happy I was to get a closet door in my entry way? Then remember how it was mutilated almost immediately? Well, it's dead. After a few short months, the boys have successfully pulled it completely off it's hinges. How? By piling their instruments into the closet and leaning really hard until it closed. By swinging on the doorknobs, by shutting the door with all their weight when there was a wooden sword between the door and the jamb. That's how.
The very same day that the door died, I received another blow. A few months ago, I bought a beautiful bedding set for my new room. I'd squirrelled it away to keep it safe, but changed my mind after my big room breakdown. "Why wait?" I asked myself. "I might as well enjoy it now!" I told myself. Then one night I put the baby to bed, and he wasn't tired. What did he do? He stood on a picture frame, broke the glass, and somehow, without a single cut to his hands, fashioned a dagger out of a shard of glass, and stabbed my comforter to ribbons. Why, you ask? Because he's a boy, that's why. I'm still in the process of hand sewing the gaping holes together.

I got a call first thing in the morning from my aunt who lives next door. "I just thought you'd want to know, that Jill killed a squirrel and left it at your kitchen door." "Thanks.... yeah. Thanks." So out I go, in my red snowflake jammies to dispose of the body. It was surprisingly heavy. And wet, because apparently Jill played with it a lot and drooled all over it. I sent it on to it's reward, and luckily it was garbage day. That night for dinner, my eight year old wouldn't eat some bottled plums. "I can't," he said, "they look like the squirrel intestines Jill left on Aunt Jeanne's lawn." I stifled a laugh, and counted myself lucky to have just had the carcass.
And then there was last night, when I almost became a flaming torch of death. No, it didn't look like this, but it could've! Some sweet child left a candle on the stove, where it promptly melted and left me with a big mess. This particular mess can only be cleaned up when the stove is hot, so while dinner was boiling away, I grabbed a napkin and wiped up the melted wax. I came too close to the burner, so it burst into flames. I had all the boy's immediate attention at this point. I blew on the napkin to put it out, but it only made the flames bigger. I think the wax had something to do with it. "Drop it, drop it!" my level-headed 11 year old instructed. I did, and then I stomped on it. Again, the wax proved more clever than me. It stuck to the bottom of my sandal. Every time I brought my foot up to stamp it again, flames reached higher and were licking at my jeans. I'm shrieking and stomping away. Luckily, at this point the napkin became unstuck, and stayed burning on my tile. "Just leave it there, it'll burn out," instructed my wise, calm son. It did. Then we all looked at each other for a minute thinking, "did that really happen?" And then we burst out laughing.
Finally, some good news. My husband is tiling the tub, and as soon as he's done (in a day or so) we'll be able to start using it! We're not going to wait till the floor is done, we need the relaxation now.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Can I build it? No, I can't.

I've had a spectacular week 'helping' my husband with the remodeling. My poor husband, he has a problem. Number one, he's super detail oriented; two, he doesn't have a whole lot of spare time. I figured I'm his perfect solution! I have TONS of spare time, and, well, I'm not super detail oriented, but who needs details, right? They just stand in the way of progress. My husband had a day off, and boy, was I raring to help! The problem was, there wasn't any job that he'd trust to me! I insisted on helping, so he let me install sheet rock while he painted with a fancy new paint sprayer. I hadn't done it before, but how hard could it be?Harder than it looks, apparently.
After experiencing the splendor of my building skills, he decided I could paint. He bit his lip as he handed the sprayer over to me. "It'll be fine, I can DO this!" I told him. Everything was fine, until I was about halfway done. Suddenly, instead of a fine mist, the sprayer started spitting at the wall! Undeterred, I wiped up the drips with a foam brush, and kept up with my work. (I'm very diligent, you see) Then instead of a hissing sound, the spray gun started swearing at me with this ACK, ACK, ACK! sound. That was it for the fancy new sprayer. All our efforts to clean and revive it failed. We lost a good tool that day.

I didn't give up. Ordinary people would be crushed by these failures, or maybe they just would have read the tea leaves and gotten a clue. Not me, I kept going. We still had a handy-dandy paint-roller-pump-dispenser, and no I didn't kill it. I painstakingly painted the bathroom ceiling with this thing. My shoulders were killing me, and I was almost out of paint. All it needed was the final coat. My sweet husband impressed upon me the importance of rolling the paint in only one direction for this last coat. Anxious not to mess this one thing up, I failed to notice that there wasn't enough paint coming out of the pump, and I painted stripes in the drying, still-tacky ceiling. Blast-a-matic!
This wasn't my week for construction brilliance.
Despite my help, the work is progressing. The tile is laid, mortared and waiting for grout in the powder room,
The paint is pretty much (cough) done is the master bath, and hardy board laying has begun.

Here's the shower, and the ADA height, unpluggable toilet will be where my now paint-covered dining room chair is. How did my dining room chair become a paint ladder? I have no idea, ask Mr. Details. Our bedroom sheet rock would be a lot farther along if some idiot hadn't messed up a big piece of it that had to be redone. Some people!

That plastic sheeting opens up to my current bedroom, and I'll be plenty happy when that's closed off. My boys have taken to using that as a door when I lock mine. They come bursting in while I'm dressing, and I take great satisfaction in their howls of dismay. "You'd better knock if you don't want to see this" I calmly tell them.
This is what I'm looking forward to the most:
I can totally spy on the neighbors now.

If I want to be able to spy on their garden (and I do) I'll need to do a little trimmin' on the pine tree. We have a chainsaw, I bet it wouldn't be too hard (snicker).
I'm looking forward to this too:My bathroom tile. The tile I chose for the picture looks mostly blue-grey, but the main color is the rusty mocha brown you can see in the trim. I love these colors, they're so serene. So there you go, this is what has been devouring our every spare minute the last two and a half months. If all goes well, we should have two (!) toilets in about a week. I think I'll declare the new powder room a ladies only rest room.