Posts Tagged With: around the house

favorites or tricking myself to write

Y’all I’m so distracted.
Between the construction and a house full of people I just don’t stop and do any of my normal things.
You know it’s serious when I’m over here like, “I’m going to need you to get it together.” to my own damn self. I keep recognizing that I need to, but don’t quite seem to get around to doing it.

You hear about the glorification of busy…I’m not there. I’m not enthusiastically embracing being busy. I am simply more busy than I’ve been in a while. And the kind of busy that isn’t actually accomplishing much, you know?
Toddler in the house keeps us all on our toes.

I’m making the time to write today.
Of course I sit with my fingertips on the keyboard and wait…where are the words?
My brain is simultaneously empty and full.
Full of ‘stuff’. Empty of words.
In the hopes of jumpstarting the writing, I’m tricking myself by doing a random favorites list and inviting y’all to join me.

Favorite pasta dish?
cacio e pepe
all day every day

Favorite vacation you’ve taken?
Barbados
hooooon-ey-mooooon

Favorite show on the Discovery Channel?
Expedition Unknown
Josh Gates is a great big goober and I kind of love that!

Favorite toy as a child?
Barbies
no unrealistic body image bullshit here, just a girl who love(s) to play dress up

Favorite makeup you can’t live without?
Benefit Cosmetics BADgal BANG! mascara

Favorite thing you’ve done in the last 24 hours?
rock Baby K to sleep for her nap
All! The! Snuggles!

Favorite animal?
kitties
cutie little fluff balls with claws of death

Favorite cover song?
Guns N Roses Live and Let Die

Favorite children’s show?
Bubble Guppies
Baby K digs it and now I do too

Favorite thing in the sky?
the moon

Please play along so I can learn some random cool things about all y’all!

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timelines and titles

Turns out I have a new title to add to my list.
Project Manager.
I mean, it’s not that serious, the title. However the project is pretty serious.
The project is getting this house ready to go on the market.
I mentioned I was concerned it felt like a long time, but between now and May isn’t all that long.
And though the list isn’t terribly long, it’s still a list.

Remodeling will be tricky with extra people in the house. But we’re just going to have to find a way to make it work. Since we’ll be down two bathrooms, (hopefully one at a time) Thing G is moving to his mom’s sooner than originally planned. He expressed his disappointment and anxiety. YBW encouraged him to examine what about the change was causing his anxiety. Thing 1 assured him leaving the home he grew up in was a big deal so feeling anxious about it was normal. YBW and I were gentle with him when we made it clear he was truly without choice in the matter and reassured him of our love and support. We reminded him he was not being thrown to the wolves but going to his other parent where he would be loved and supported. He’s accepting of the situation, and we’re accepting of his feels.

YBW and I created a preliminary timeline yesterday. One that we’re both comfortable with. It started out a bit with him questioning my proposed timing. But then I expressed my concern about pushing everything off. I said I’d rather get it all done and breathe than be panicked about getting it finished in time. When I likened it to his travel anxiety he had an ah-ha moment and agreed to my proposed timeline. (He’d rather get to the airport early, get through security then use that extra time to walk around or sit at the gate than be running through the airport to get to the gate before the plane door closes. TBPH, I feel the same damn way.)

So our prelim timeline looks like two bathrooms asap, one right after the other.
Painting immediately after the holidays.
Flooring in March.
Pressure washing the exterior and lawn and garden touch ups in April.
All the myriad things can be inserted when and where most applicable.

The master bath plain old boring builder grade stuff that’s never been changed in the twenty years YBW’s lived here. We talked about changing it many times and right about the time we were ready to pull the trigger, the new house became a thing and we abandoned those elaborate plans.
Now we’re just going to update the floor and tile, light fixture, faucets, and cabinets.
Thing 1 and I went looking at tile Friday morning. (both my girls love any excuse for a trip to the hardware store)
We found this tile for the shower and tub surround.

We chose these beautiful porcelain tiles. The white ones are .79 and the carrara looking ones are .99 and I plan to set them vertically. We found 12 x 12 squares in a gorgeous gray for the floor.
Done and done.

On my calendar today is to call the contractors.
My notebook and pen are at the ready!
I got this!

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Monday thoughts

My brain feels like it is chock full of mush. Something between the texture of cream of wheat and raw pizza dough.
It could be because that storm is headed this way.
It could be because I still don’t feel rested.

These are my random thoughts today:

We’re starting to get the hang of life around here. All these humans and canines in one place. We’re finding our way at becoming members of one household.
Baby K alternates from ‘most adorable baby on the planet’ to ‘face slapping and scratching demon baby’ in a way that is perplexing but makes a kind of sense. She is trying to get nine-hundred-seventy-three-thousand teeth all at once, but damn! Of course then she’s all lovey and snuggly and sings songs with you and you forget she was demonish.
Never a dull moment in life with a toddler.

August is here, and I’d normally be gearing up for going back to school. Only that’s not a thing this year. So disappointing.
I’ve contracted with a family to essentially tutor their daughter as they navigate online school. At least I’ll be able to work a little. I like the idea of working with kids to facilitate their learning. I’m hoping to schedule with (up to) five kids scheduled twice a week.

I have this concept that time is on my side when it comes to design plans for the new house and preparing this house for sale. In reality, it probably isn’t.
We’re about to schedule the ‘low voltage’ appointment to decide where all the extra normal and fancy electric stuff will be. Within another sixty days, we’ll do the appointment I’m most enthusiastic about, deciding things for the kitchen and bathrooms.
The house is scheduled for summer 2021 delivery.
In this house, we need new flooring on the first and second floors, and some rooms painted. We have to ‘unpersonalize’ by removing all our family photos etc. Our bathroom must be updated, and possibly the bathroom YBW’s sons use(d). Thing 1’s family can’t move until Husband N has a job and they can purchase their own home. Thing G is supposed to be moving to his mother’s ‘by the end of the calendar year’. Sooner than later would be good at this point because construction can’t take place conveniently with five adults and a baby sharing two bathrooms.

My brain isn’t working the way I’d like it to. I’m having so much more aphasia of late. Some migraine aura but no pain. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not really doing things to promote brain health, or because I’m so damn tired.
I know I have to find balance in figuring how to make time for myself while engaging my fam. I’m working on it.
I think naps may become part of my days until I finally feel rested.

It occurs to me these thoughts are so very Monday.
Even though I feel off kilter, I am filled with love and gratitude. I am hopeful.
When I begin to feel better, that hope, gratitude, and love will fuel me living my intention and nothing can stop me!

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a dollie crib for Baby K

I finished the dollie crib for Baby K!

When it was mine it was a sort of green leaning aqua color with animal decals.
I painted it purple and added the wooden hearts for Thing 1.
Since Baby K doesn’t have a favorite color yet, I chose two soft coral colors hoping she’ll like them.

First, I took it completely apart and sanded it. Then I used wood glue to ensure it went back together properly before prepping it for paint.

I finished painting it Friday.
(you can see where even with sanding it well, the decals and where the hearts were attached were problematic)

I put it back together Saturday.

YBW had a piece for the bottom that became exactly what was needed with a little reinforcement.
I cut foam to the perfect fit for the crib mattress.
Went to Target Sunday afternoon for a pillow case to cover the foam mattress.
(WTF was I thinking going anywhere on the weekend in these mask-wearing-pandemic times? Target was straight chaos. For a bit longer, I will only go public places during the week.)

Anyway, we had fun reimagining this little doll bed for Baby K.
Now it’s in her room, and ready for her to put her dollies in when she gets here.
Three weeks from today!

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

an opportunity

So YBW’s company has divided his team into two groups and they’re alternating working from home and going into the office each week. This plan began Tuesday. Wednesday morning he’s at his computer in his jammies with the cutest bedhead hair ready to work.
His group won’t go back to work until Monday. Of course, he’s on call this week, so if anything blows up, he’ll be going into the office anyway.
This working from home thing is tricky because of the kind of work he does.
I don’t actually have an opinion about him working from home. (be sure to document my lack of opinion)

I’m up and dressed and going about the Robyn things.
I sort of feel like I should be adventurous when it comes to meal prep. But that also sounds like more effort than I’m willing to put forth. Not to mention more dishes for me to do.
I might actually tackle cleaning my closet. I mean, I recently did a bit of a purge, but I need to examine my shoe situation. They need to be put away properly, and I could take this opportunity to wash all the sweaters and get them put away for spring.

I’ve got a huge project of going through the last thirty years of photos that I was saving for when Thing 2 comes the first week of April. Of course, now, she may not actually come.
We had tickets to for a live Welcome to Night Vale show, but the US shows have all been postponed.
So I can either tackle that alone, or wait patiently for Thing 2 to come and assist. Seems a shame to waste the opportunity when I’m actively trapped in the house for the foreseeable future.

YBW asked me last night if I thought I might go stir crazy being trapped at home.
I honestly hadn’t thought about it.
But now, as I put forth (slack-ass) effort to plan my days, I’m beginning to wonder.
I have Netflix and Hulu. And Disney + is a thing, right? But I’m already over the television.
According to my local meteorologist, it’ll be 81 today. Maybe I’ll get on setting up some porch life?

I feel bad for complaining. Though TBPH, I’m not actually complaining, I’m just expressing my thoughts.
That’s the key. Minding the attitude. I’m not being a dick. I’m simply trying to suss it out…out loud…to all y’all…

My mood is actually quite good.
I have a big ass stack of TBR.
I have a ton of music to be organized.
I can go outside and get some vitamin D.

It’s just that I know there’s an opportunity in all this and I’m disinclined to waste it.
But an opportunity for what?
Stay tuned, y’all!

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back to normal but not on autopilot

YBW and I finished putting away Christmas stuff today.
Everything but the trees was packed up during the week and today I undecorated, debowed, and deribboned the upstairs trees while he sorted through ornaments. The tree downstairs is the only one not prelit so I quickly removed the lights while he carried the trees and box of ornaments down.
Then we began the loading of the closet.
Christmas in the very back, Autumn and Halloween next then the luggage all went back into the closet under the stairs.
Y’all is there anything more satisfying than a well packed storage closet? I think not.

Photos and art returned to the walls, photos and tchotchkes returned to the tops of furniture. And just like that, the house, and life gets ‘back to normal’.
I did leave one Baby Jesus out so I can acknowledge Epiphany tomorrow, but that’s easy because it doesn’t go with the Christmas stuff anyway.

Then YBW went to tidy his office and I patched all the holes on the walls of Thing G’s old room. I’m going to sand, wash down the walls and start painting. It’s time to get that checked off my list.

We’ve sorted out holiday things to ask our kids about, I have some old nativities and ornaments I want the girls to take a look at. YBW has ornaments for the boys to go through. Well, mostly Thing C, since Thing G is still at home.

We’ve got stuff set aside to take to Thing 1 and Husband N’s later this month.
A crib mattress from a friend who was happy it’s going to a home that needs it. Other random baby supplies, and some things I’ve bought because our granddaughter might need them. (mostly books)

I’m thriving on the planning and organization.
I’ve starting the building of my planning calendars. Yes, that’s plural. I have one I keep on my desk, and one that lives in my car. I have decided it’s the best course of action for me in the coming year.
January is slammed. I have an appointment every day next week but Friday. And one of those is me being brave and going all by myself to my very first yoga class. I’m going to try our three different studios to find the best fit, and commit from there. I’ve been saying I want to start yoga classes for over a year now. After a bit of research and advice I pulled the trigger and registered for a class. I even found a super cute robins egg blue yoga mat that’s got terry cloth on one side. We’ll see how that goes!

After taking a break from my coursework, I’m picking that back up in January. I’ll be writing lesson plans and observations and checking that off my list too.

I’m working out how to build a schedule that makes the most sense. That allows me a proper balance of work and open time. I have a stack of books in my TBR shelf that aren’t going to read themselves, you know. I have time in the mornings before school and in the afternoons with which I can use more wisely.
My goal is to create a plan that successfully allows me time to do what must be done without overwhelming me, as well as to do what I’d like without me wasting precious time.
Stay tuned…

Organizing my environment is so much simpler than organizing my time.
Do y’all find that or is it just me?
I don’t have little kids at home anymore, I feel like it should be easier. It doesn’t seem to be. Though perhaps then it was that I was planning for others so I didn’t have to be mindful about how I spent my time. I did what needed to be done for the girls, the house, etc.
Now I’m pretty much free as the breeze and I feel much more pressure regarding the way I spend my days.

LA at Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50 wrote this post about her wintertime goals. I commented, to which she replied, “I have to make fun a goal almost. It’s so easy to get tied up in the day to day.”
That struck a chord in me.
Have to make fun a goal. (almost)
I totally get it.
It’s so easy to let life get in the way of active living. Functioning on autopilot in the day to day. I want to be actively engaged in myself and the world while doing the everyday things that must be done. Disengaging my autopilot and making more mindful choices about how I spend my time and energy.

Building a schedule will be a good jumping off point for me. I can adhere to or adapt as needed to ‘get stuff done’ and ‘make fun a goal’. Once I have a preliminary plan in place I can move from there. I can incorporate any and every thing my little heart desires. As long as I’m being mindful, I can’t really go wrong.
I mean, sure, there will be times I feel overwhelmed or lazy, times I’ve bit off more than I can safely chew, and times when I’m itching for a new project. But by simply paying attention, I’ll figure it out and continue moving forward.

I want to be completely finished with course work this summer. Once that monkey’s off my back, I’ll have more time to do new and different things.
And that’s important because Baby K will be here and I’ll want to oodgey goodgey over her every chance I get!

Have a plan.
Make a schedule.
Kick myself into gear.
I got this!

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Soundtracking my Saturday

Soundtracking my Saturday.
It was a struggle to choose music that inspired me to tackle getting the house back together after the chaos of construction.
(In addition to the tree falling on the house which finally finished construction the last week of August, our main waterline from the meter to the house was leaking. Homeownership is NOT for the weak of heart…or stomach.) Moving the shelves of tools to make access for them to jackhammer out a place in the floor where the water comes into the house and now completely reorganizing the utility room.
We also moved Thing G into his brother’s old room. (the one damaged by the tree and rain in the house) Now we must disassemble Thing G’s old room.
Purging. So much purging.
Decorating for Autumn because I must honor the beginning of meteorological fall!
This is my life today and I’m cool with that.
But, I was slow moving and couldn’t land on a playlist that worked for me. Turns out, the wonderful thing about my madly eclectic music collection is how quickly it can surprise and delight me!
A song from Thing 2’s Cool Boy, Real Cool mix came on and fired me right up!
I’m inspired to accomplish great things. Let’s see how long I can keep up the momentum.

This is Brick + Mortar with Terrible Things.
Please listen responsibly.

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if you give a girl a shelf

Y’all know I’m a sucker for an around-the-house project. And with this unpredictable weather we’ve been having, icy days close school even though the ice turns to rain, which means I’ve had some time on my hands.
So…I decided to paint and add another shelf in the laundry room (closet?).

Years ago, YBW put up a shelf and hanging bar. But recently I realized how underutilized is the vertical space in there and decided we needed a second shelf.

And just like with If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, another shelf needs cute and practical storage bins, and while I’m at it, might as well paint. And I might need some fun laundry signs to go over the door…and so on…and so on.
Until at last…

Tada!

Cute, right?

Tuesday after school I got to painting.

Two good coats of Waterscape by Sherwin Williams (SW6470) and I rocked it!

Of course I had to do one last load of laundry before I could get started.

Y’all, that was one sad coat of builder grade paint up in there and the walls just soaked in the new paint.

Tuesday evening just after nine, we got the email that county schools would be closed Wednesday. Hot damn! That meant I could sleep in and finish all my laundry room work without interruption!
The drill/screw gun and I are total BFFLs. Up went the old shelf brackets. Up went the new shelf brackets. Boom! Shelves went up. Great washable storage bins on the shelves and lastly, hang the dryer shelf on the wall.

Two days of my time + approximately $60 = a gorgeously organized and functional place to perform my absolute favorite household chore.
Yassssss!
It’s good to be me.

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disinclined to acquiesce to normal life

Now that International Week of the Birthday has passed, I find myself a bit ‘Barbossa-esque’ about returning to normal life.

Yet normal life is here, and I’m kind of in the middle of it.
Between finishing up waxing the upper cabinet doors, painting the base cabinets, and planting herbs for my back porch…my dance card is rather full.
That said, YBW and I drank wine on the back porch Monday, then again last night in front of the television, catching up on shows in the DVR. Clearly, I’m not jumping back into the deep end of normal life…

YBW and I are going to NYC to see a play and hang out a few days over Memorial day weekend. The goal is the have the kitchen put completely back together by then. So, I should probably do a little bit of waxing this afternoon. (As soon as I pot those plants.)
I’m certainly not going to have the base cabinets painted by then…but twenty-one days left in the school year. (I know I’m not the only educator that knows that number.) Soon, I’ll have all the time in the world to finish the kitchen. Then begin other projects!
Two rooms are in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint and I’ve already chosen colors!

Right now, I’m going to get back to regular stuff by eating some breakfast and switching the laundry, projects will sort themselves out as we go along. And I’m acutely aware that the world truly does not revolve around me.

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coming soon to a kitchen near me

One afternoon not too long ago, YBW suggested to me that since we had a bit of extra money it might be time to consider what to do in the kitchen. Let me assure you, he didn’t have to say it twice!
Thus began my search for the perfect countertops.
For a while I was convinced I wanted concrete. I moved past that and re-embraced my love of granite.

We wandered three granite yards to end up here.

It’s called Black Fusion and is quarried from Brazil. And soon coming to a kitchen near me!

So that granite really isn’t going to sit beautifully on the cabinets the way they are now.

So…I decided to paint them!

(don’t mind the messy cabinets, I was too busy painting to tidy them up for a photo)

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is my new BFFL!
One quart of paint covers 150 square feet.
I’m gonna Rock the Casbah out of these cabinets!
My goal was to have the uppers done before the countertops are installed…but there was a mishap at the fabricators…they only got in one of our two slabs. (Full on ‘Ice Queen Bitch’ mode phone call in which I will negotiate a sink for my trouble about to take place.) But…the bit of delay means I may be able to also finish the lower cabinets before installation!


One more coat of paint and a bit of wax and they’ll be ready for new hardware!
I’m so freaking excited!!

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