Tuesday, November 16, 2010

gobble gobble

This morning I went to the gym, came home, put the girls down for a nap, took a shower, got dressed, ate some lunch and then sat down to make my massive shopping list for Thanksgiving. I don't even know where to start with this list. There are items I need for multiple dishes, items I need for only one thing, and trying to keep track of  how much of what to buy and when and for what is making me a little crazy. I need like a spread sheet and power point or something because honestly, all of this cross referencing is going to make my brain explode soon. I need me a Monica Geller, STAT!

I began my list by writing out each dish on a post-it note, so I could line everything up and see where I had duplicate ingredients. Green Beans, Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce, Mashed Potatoes, Brussel Sprouts... the babies woke up... quick, write "Turkey" before we forget that altogether... and went upstairs to get the babies.

I got the babies up, changed, and fed, fed CB, got her dressed again, sat down at the computer to respond to an email really fast and to find a receipt for something I needed to return at Old Navy and then loaded everyone in the car to get W. Drove to W's school, got out, talked to a couple of parents, went and waited at the door for W to come out (while all of the other classes were getting out, tons of kids and parents around), repoed W, walked back to the car, went to Old Navy, walked around for awhile, returned what I needed to return, walked back to the car, and came home.

After the kids got settled I walked back to my desk with the intention of finishing my list, but I couldn't find the "Turkey" post-it. I figured maybe one of the babies had swiped it but they didn't have it and the other 2 hadn't been by my desk since we had been home. And then I saw something shiny and got distracted and went to do something else. A few minutes later, W started laughing and yelling TURKEY!! TURKEY!! GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE!! Mommy, you're a turkey!! Um, EXCUSE ME?? No way are you going to be rude and call me a turkey. Knock it off! And then he came over to me, told me to turn around, and pulled the "Turkey" post-it off my @$$.

Yes, I had been walking around for the better part of 3 hours with a post-it that says "Turkey" on my butt. In public. At multiple places, during one of the busiest times of the day. Awesome. Now I know why the 6th graders were laughing and saying Turkey while I was waiting for W and why the 8 year old kid at Old Navy started laughing when they passed us from behind.

Why, oh why, didn't anyone tell me I had a turkey sign on my butt?? WHY?!? I bet you $5 that somewhere, there is a facebook status saying "haha, just passed an idiot with a post-it that says TURKEY on her butt!" and best of all, I might end up on peopleofwalmart. I am just very, VERY thankful I wore the jeans that make my butt look good today. Sigh.

Friday, November 12, 2010

we don't fart rainbows and sunshine, we poop sequins.

Last week W's teacher sent home a turkey cut out on cardstock with instructions to decorate it, as a family. You could use whatever you wanted, but the goal was to make it a family project. Uuuuuuuhhhhhhhh. Yeah. Because I am Mother of the Year, I stalled, and stalled, until the night before it was due. I had planned to use cereal and pasta and some finger paints and way more glue than necessary, but W wanted to make his turkey "fancy" and the babies really weren't into having their hands dipped in paint and pressed onto a piece of cardstock. MJ just looked at her hand like, "this is dumb" and A quickly discovered that orange paint didn't exactly taste like sweet potatoes. So we scrapped that idea and I dug through my massive craft box to find something, anything, we could use to make a turkey "fancy".

Good thing this mama's always got some tulle and sequins on hand and I happened to have some feathers and a couple of googly eyes. We also had a bag of torn construction paper left from a Thanksgiving project we had just done for our Thanksgiving Wall of Fun so we had to use that too. W got to gluing the construction paper while belting out Christmas songs (yo. could we please get done doing this THANKSGIVING turkey before we move on to Christmas??) and because it was a "family project", CB wanted to help too. And she helped by pouring out all of the sequins onto the table and the floor. And then the babies helped by putting the sequins I didn't get to right away in their mouths. It was awesome. And because it was close to dinnertime there were meltdowns and lots of crying from everyone, including me. We aren't really the "family project" kind of family, I guess.

We took a break, ate some dinner, and started in on the project again. This time it was just W and me as we had put the babies to bed and CB was only interested in sticking feathers in her ears, so she got sent to the playroom, far away from the ear drum perforation devices. W pretty much lost interest and told me that I needed to have his "super fancy turkey" done by the time he woke up in the morning, and then went to play. And then I had visions of what life was going to be life in 6 years when it was science fair time.

So it was me, some feathers, some sequins and a lot of glue. Since this was a "family project", W had wanted a picture of his family on the project. He is very literal. I kind of thought it was appropriate. I mean, really, where better to put a picture of a bunch of turkeys than on a turkey? I put the pictures of us on the belly of the turkey and then got to gluing. Soon that turkey started looking less like a turkey and more like a Vegas Showgirl with all of the feathers and sequins I had put on it. It was pretty gaudy, walking on a very fine line to tacky. So gaudy/ boarding on tacky that I half expected it to get up and start a kick line. But W got his wish, it was definitely fancy.

I was kind of embarrassed to have him turn it in, especially because anyone could tell who it belonged to with our big ol mugs pasted to it but he was really proud of it and was excited to show it off. I'm pretty sure I heard it scream, "I'm HEEEEEEEEEEERE!!" when we took it into the classroom. It was for sure the loudest and fluffiest and shiniest turkey of all the turkeys. Fitting, I guess.

I'm still cleaning up pieces of hot glue I pulled off my fingers before they were seared together and itty bitty feathers. Those feathers are nasty little things and infiltrate every crevice they can. Then this morning I realized I didn't do as good of a job cleaning up the spilled sequins as I thought I did. While I was changing MJ's poopy diaper, I noticed something shiny, and then saw another one. Low and behold, there were two silver sequins, in her diaper. The girl won't eat some real foods because of their texture, but she will eat, and swallow, sequins? I have to say though, it is pretty cool to have a real life confetti cannon at your disposal.

I think we will hold off on "family projects" for a little while. At least until we are past the "let's taste everything" stage. We tried. We had good intentions. But I really don't think it is an experience we need to relive for a couple of years.

Monday, November 1, 2010

"loads" of fun

I guess the "new hot thing" in houses is to have an upstairs laundry room. I'm not impressed by it, in fact I think it is dumb. I know it is great for some people and it cuts down on lugging laundry all over the house, but honestly, my thighs could use the workout I would have gotten having a laundry room on the main floor. There are a few reasons why I can't stand the upstairs laundry room, one of them being I tend to do all of our laundry late at night because I'm cheap and for some reason think that if I do it late at night, it will somehow be cheaper. I don't know if this is true, but I like to think it is... perhaps it comes from years of living through California's Rolling Blackouts.

Doing laundry at night in an upstairs laundry room sucks because it is So. Loud. while you are trying to sleep. Thump thump thump thump rattle thump bang rattle thump bang bang kerchunk kerchunk kerchunk thump thump thump. The Army makes my husband wear these uniforms and PTs that could probably be considered weapons in themselves. The zippers and clasps on those things sound like anvils rolling around in the dryer drum. Annoying. And if either the washer or dryer are slightly off balance, the entire house shakes like you're blasting off into the stratosphere. There's no point in trying to level pictures, you can only hope they will return to their normal position on the next spin cycle.

The other reason I don't like the upstairs laundry room is because it keeps me accountable and I HATE THAT. There's no hiding the massive pile of laundry that needs to be washed or folded. Every time I walk up the stairs it is like having two huge eyes staring me down saying, "HAHA! You thought you had a moment of peace! PSYCH!!" Bite me. And then there's that whole lint and dust thing. I really don't think it is healthy to have your bedrooms be connected to or near the laundry room, with all of the dryer lint flying around. Not to mention the occasional bleach fumes and toxic hazmat quality stank that can come from your husband's workout clothes that have been left in his car for 3 days during the summer... not that that has ever happened in this house...

Our laundry room isn't so much of a "laundry room" as it is a "laundry closet" that happens to reside directly at the top of the stairs. When we chose this house we didn't exactly measure to see if our washer and dryer would actually fit in the laundry closet. I thought it was just a given they would fit, but when you have 6 people in the house including 2 babies who are cloth diapered and a husband who changes his clothes 4 times a day, you need a mammoth size washer and dryer. And laundry closets don't come in mammoth size. I ended up with a laundry closet that had to have the doors opened at all times, because there was no room for them to close. And that meant that every time I walked up the stairs, there were those 2 big eyes staring at me and a plethora of neon colored bottles and boxes with HUGE BOLD brightly colored wordage SCREAMING at me. And that was not going to work.

I needed to do a laundry room makeover, and fast. So I made a plan and dragged M 3 hours away to IKEA and roughly $100 and some sewing and painting time later, I had a pretty awesome laundry closet that I was not scared to look at and that actually made me kind of *gasp* enjoy?? *gasp* doing the 2.5 loads of laundry I do each day.

The baskets were plain wicker looking and kind of yellow and it didn't really work with the yellow of the walls, so I painstakingly painted them using acrylic paint to match the washer and dryer. Then I decided that was kind of boring so I found some cute fabric incorporating the colors of the rest of the house and made some basket liners. Then because there wasn't enough going on, I decided to make some "pictures" for the frames because I couldn't find any prints that I liked. I wasn't sure what I wanted to make but I just kind of went with what came to me. I did the flowers first, using coordinating fabric to the basket liners. Then I decided I needed a tree and who doesn't love owls, right? So I made an owl too. Each piece is individually cut and then hand sewn onto flannel using embrodery floss. It was pretty easy, if I do say so myself. They aren't perfect, but I highly doubt anyone is going to be getting that intimate with my laundry area, except for me so no one will really ever see the flaws. 

One thing I knew for sure was that I didn't want to see any plastic bottles or scoops or sprayers. So I bought glass jars and bottles to hold all of the detergents and powders. I use a lot of different types of detergent, depending on what I'm washing. I wasn't comfortable putting the more potent chemicals into the glass so because I rarely use them, I put them under my bathroom sink. The extra powders, dryer sheets and stain sprays reside in the baskets on the top shelf and then tiny basket on the "counter" holds all of the junk that is found in pockets and what has become my secret cash stash.

If we weren't renting this house, I would have gotten a counter top that could be anchored to the wall but this will work for now. It is a table top from IKEA and cost like 30 bucks. I would have also put a wooden shelf above, instead of the wire shelf, but this works. It isn't gorgeous, but since it was already there, I have to use it. It is handy for hanging cloth diapers and other hang dry items though. And for that, I painted a bunch of clothes pins to match the baskets... thank you, insomnia, for giving me that kind of time. The only thing left to get are some wool dryer balls, which I am seriously coveting but can't quite justify getting, just yet. Even though I reeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally reeeeeeeaaaaaaaally want some... I must exhibit some kind of self control every now and then.

So there it is, my cute little laundry area. It is kind of excessive although potentially unimpressive comparatively, but it makes me smile and that is really all that matters, dontcha know?