Cold Needy House

This post is ab0ut crap I want to do around the house, and the cold is, well. Fuck the fuck off vortex of north pole hell.

So, January.  January and I have a love/hate relationship. I love the promise of the new year. With the new planners and blank calendar. I get excited about what’s ahead.

The hate is, Christmas just ended and man, I probably shouldn’t redo the house right this second.  But the ting is, once that tree comes down and all of the holiday cheer is packed up in Rubbermaid and crammed under the stairs, I get sad. The house looks so, empty. So I clean it, helps a little, buy a new plant or two, better. But I can’t sit still. I must “fresh start” all of the things.

Mike made (earned) Tenure! Capital, T, you guys! He did it. 7 years of kicking ass and he got the promotion he’s been working for. Im so proud of him and how hard he works for our family.  Super exciting. and HEYOH, more money.  I remember when we moved here I had a list of shit I was to have when he made it.


fancy camera

a refrigerator made in this century

You get the point. Except the money kind of comes monthly and not in some publisher’s clearing house five foot check with balloons.  So, damn, fresh start all of the things is going to be like, normal life? Wait.  I wanted the big check and balloon version.

I did what I do and made master list. I chose a few reasonable things.  I’m told the fridge and stove will have to wait, damn kids, pay for your own college!

So, god this is a long non-story.  I got new curtains for the living room last summer and they are awesome and I love them but they don’t really go with the current vibe. I’ve been tweaking crap in there but the bottom line is it’s time for new pillows and art over the couch. I grabbed my bag of fabric and started pawing over it all, looking for something, anything, that I already owned that might help. I actually came up with something I loved, and all I would have to so is sew some pillow covers.


I hate sewing pillows.

A lot.

The next day when I started thinking about all of the sewing and of getting the sewing machine out and putting it away every day, and I probably could only work when both kids are at school. 4.5 hours a week. hmmmmmm

Thinking face, thumb twiddling.

Etsy! I know the name of these fabrics, I bet I can get them already made.  So much for using what I have and not spending any money. AHEM. Whatever.  They should arrive next week sometime, and then it is ON!

In the mean time, Nate’s old bed has been crammed in Ben’s room since October. It is leaving today and then I can put his room back together. Eventually we will un-toddler bed the crib and use it as a headboard for the queen set we have. Im sure Mike’s parents will visit in the spring so this should be happening soon’ish. This is AWESOME, you guys. I have no idea where my head has been for the past 3 years regarding this room change, I never in a million years considered using the crib back as it’s made to be used, I was going to sell it all. Keeping it means we will have a faux guest room! Which is huge. Mikes parents sleep in the play room when they visit, there is no bathroom in the basement. Now they can stay upstairs where it is warm and less dungeon like and just across the hall from the bathroom. No shoes or lantern needed! This makes me happy.

The other thing, and it’s small, is repaint the kids vanity and replace the light fixture with the one I purchased 3 years ago (!) – I painted it green, a color that I love when there is natural light hitting it, but in the bathroom you don’t really notice it. I want it to stand out more, I have an idea. I’m excited!


13 gold stars if you read all of this rambling fueled by many diet cokes.



Knock it off

This past week was much better so I got to work on the kids playroom. A room that has been in my head for years, finally coming to fruition. It’s been a load of work getting what was in the space out and the new in. The storage room looks like a bomb went off and at such a bad time since we are having a new furnace, air conditioner and humidifier installed next week. I’ve got to have it all cleaned out in time, but this isn’t about that, it’s about the play room.

I painted one wall in chalkboard paint, covered another in maps and have a slew of other diy stuff going on for both decor and function. I made a Pottery Barn Kids clip ruler knock off and for a fraction of the cost. My 2 were $4 total, PBK, $49 each.

Not identical but the same idea. I will hang the kids art work from the clips. I picked up the ruler shelvs at a junk shop for $1.50 each and got a bag of clothes pins for $0.98. I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. The room isn’t done just yet but I am hoping to get it done by Tuesday night, in time for our thanksgiving guests arrive for the rest of the week. Nate would love to show his cousins this room, it’s all he’s been talking about. Well, that and that Santa can use our bathroom if he wants because he has a penis. Boys, wow.

Little Ghost Little Ghost one I’m scared of the most

In keeping with my 1/4 list Nate and I did some crafting yesterday. Adorable little ghosts! Messy and fun and I almost put myself into timeout over the balloon process read: I should have done this after his nap. But, cute. Idea from Country Living. Googlie eyes? All Nate.

Later today we are making stained glass windows wax paper, crayon chips and leafs. I should probably spread this stuff out but Mama is a little bored and trying not to snack so this helps.

*title – white stripes lyrics

Sometimes it just sucks

I had a day planned today that I was looking forward to. One I was sure Nate would enjoy,too. Bah.

It started at 5 am when I got up to get the babe who had woken up fussing despite the fact he’d just eaten at 3 so I brought him into bed with me to get a little more sleep. Nate started yelling about Jack and Diane not being on and Mommy come fix it. Jack and Diane is Renee and Jeremy and my stupid husband thinks it’s funny to teach him things wrong, I do not. Ahem. I ignore him because the kid knows how to turn on his cd player and its dark outside and he’s turned into such a demanding kid lately. Then his cries changed into his panic wail so I got up. Bloody nose. Really, really bloody. He runs into my room and hides while freaking out and I clam him down and get him cleaned up and into fresh clothes,tuck him into my bed next to Ben, turn on the TV and go start the laundry and make breakfast. It’s still dark out.

We have plans to go to the craft store and a quick stop at the grocery and then home for lunch, nap and then crafting. Except he didn’t nap because Ben was down and I thought we’d have some nice time just the two of us making our stuff and putting our spider webs up that he wanted. Boy was I wrong. He was in a craptastic mood.

I wanted it to be a good day- I made plans that I thought he’d enjoy and it sucked anyway. I got mad, he got mad. He hit me, he sat on his brother, he intentionally peed his pants when I put him in time out which resulted in him loosing his bike for the day which resulted in another meltdown and more hitting and oh,dear,gawd-it was only 4 pm why in the hell did I think skipping his nap was a good idea? 

It made me sad. I wanted to have a good day with my boy but damn if it didn’t work out. Maybe tomorrow. I can tell you one thing, there will be mandatory quite time. I don’t care if he sleeps but there will be quite time.

The last quarter

The season is telling me that another year is winding down. This year has had its own theme, family. My word for the year is/was nurture and I think I’ve done and am doing a pretty good job keeping it in mind while taking care of myself and of those who live under this roof. I looked over my list of ideas for the year and it too is coming along okay though there are things there that were not accomplished and wont be, such as an overnight away with Mike. That was a pipe-dream anyway considering pregnancy and then nursing. Next year though, for sure, most likely in NYC.  
Anyway, as the season change and my feet are cold I’m thinking of small things to do to help me stick with my word and enjoy what is left.

Read 3 books. I’m currently reading The Help and have The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and a Jen Lancaster book I can’t remember the name of (with the leopard slippers on the cover, something about being Lazy) on my nightstand. I will read them all. Not a lofty goal but one that will keep my laptop closed in the evenings which is a good thing.

Read my magazines when they come. I have this habit of flipping through it first, tossing the inserts and folding down the pages of what to read and what to cook and then not getting back to them and they end up in the recycling bin. I need to read them on the first pass.

Keep my nails painted because it makes me happy.

Finish losing the baby weight. I’m doing well, making steady progress now I should be done by Christmas.

Find a new workout routine. I do better when I have some sort of program to follow rather than just hopping on the treadmill.

Make mulled cider.

Watch TV- y’all, I don’t watch any TV anymore. I’m either doing house work or on the computer at night. I miss curling up under my blanket on the couch and allowing myself to relax and be entertained.

Take a bath once per week. I LOVE to take baths but never do.  (maybe even get a bath rack so I can read in the tub)

Make Christmas gifts for my nieces and nephews I really want to do this I must make the time. Each kid will get the same thing but it will be personalized, it wont be that hard just time-consuming. Me and my sewing machine. Another thing that makes me happy.

One day per week do exactly what Nate wants to do, be it play trains at home or go to the Zoo,anything he wants that’s reasonable.

Research holiday crafts to do with Nate. The kid loves to make stuff and I love us working together.

Experiment with some new vegetables. When my sisters were here they made parsnips and a cauliflower puree and I loved them both. I always make the same things and only steamed;asparagus, broccoli, green beans. Variety will be good.

It feels good to see this, to make promises to myself and to help prioritize my time. I spend way to much time with my blog roll and not enough enriching my life. Time I could be spending doing things in real life, not just from behind the glow of my laptop. Granted, I love the glow, I just need to cut back some.

How are you doing, are you taking care of you?


I’m stuck. For a while I was keeping up with my projects and my ideas were flowing and all was right in my crazy little world and then it stopped. I have pillows I’ve started weeks ago and just dropped. The basement has a gorgeous pile of what will be a playroom for the boys full of unfinished projects. I have tons of supplies and none of the results.

I hate that.

My sister in-laws are coming next week and my book tells me I am to be done with 2 pillows in Nate’s room and 2 in Ben’s. I have some pictures that need adjusting in Nate’s room, I need to move out his desk and in his little chair and I seriously doubt it will get done. The desk out and the chair in, maybe. The pillows, HA! Not a chance in hell.

Sometimes I think there isn’t enough room in my head. I started on operation fat ass (OFA) about the same time I lost interest in all of my house projects. It’s as if I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. I need to cram in a workout here and there, I can’t find time or room to sew too. It makes sense but I hate it. I hate that everything takes 10 times longer to finish with the baby but it does.

Mike and I were cleaning up after getting the kids down recently and I was whining about how I’d taken a shower and an hour and a half later was still wearing a towel because the baby woke up and needed to be fed and then Nate had to pee and the phone rang and I found myself making dinner IN A TOWEL and didn’t even realize it and eventually gave up and tossed on a pair of yoga pants and a t-shirt and put my wet hair in a pony tail. Life is long these days. Really long. (as are my sentences, apparently) It seems like even the simplest of tasks go unfinished.  Long live craft time and time for a blow out.

I know it is temporary, the craft fallout, the bad hair and yoga pants. I really feel that Ben has come leaps and bounds in the past few weeks and save for the regressions and teething we have beat the infancy stage. HOLLA!  But also weep, my baby is growing. My last baby. Thank god, but wait not so fast!

Next up, tighter abs, awesome throw pillows and nail polish.  I truly can’t wait.

A little peek

We had one hell of a productive weekend!  My to-do lists are suddenly manageable and I’m calmer now that I can see some progress.

The guest room is empty and the closet has just the baby’s belongings and some of my room supplies.  The closet is painted and tomorrow I will put the second coat up in the rest of the room. Our room has a new bed (old- the guest room bed) and all of the excess no longer needed furniture has either been moved into storage for other uses or is ready to be hauled away.  Nate’s furniture and mattress are in the den and his closet houses all of his new linens. It is all finally happening.

Next weekend we will do Nate’s room. I can’t wait but I’m also a bit worried about him in the new bed. Will he get up a trillion times or just go to sleep? Yeah, I’m not so sure I’m ready, his nap time is how I keep the house clean and hang on to my sanity. We’ll see.

Anyway, since it’s a little slow going I wont be able to share completed rooms for a while so today I offer you this.  Yesterday Carrie and I covered two plain beige lamp shades.  This is just one of the fabrics that will be in the bedding.  It was a little time-consuming and I was a total chicken, thankfully Carrie made me do a lot of the work so I know what I’m doing the next time.  But, it wasn’t hard.  I think I hate plain lamp shades now.  I mean look at what you can do in a couple of hours? You can get a little peek at the wall color too. I’m so excited for this nursery; I swear I’d do this for a living if I could.

Don’t call it a resolution

Man am I sucking it up lately or what?  I’m all better and full of life and nonexistent.  Lame.  I’ve got plenty to talk about it’s just I can’t stop cleaning and organizing my house after completely neglecting it for nearly three months.   So, I am picking up as if it’s not the middle of January already and am going to share with you my list of goodies to do this year. Not a resolution list, really just a list of want to’s. 

1.  Have a baby!

2. Spend the rest of Nate’s time as an only making it rock.  Lots of crafts and story time and Tyke Tyme (don’t get me started on that spelling) and anything I can conjure up to live up the time we have left as just the two of us.

3. See a live play or musical.  

4. Brush my teeth after lunch.  I brush Nate’s but not my own, you’d think this is simple enough.

5. Take my health seriously all year-long.  I will NOT GAIN 50+ lbs this pregnancy, I WILL NOT! 

6. Take a girls trip!  This is in the works, Chicago next month.

7. Have an overnight date w/ Mike.

8. Paint my nails more often. I love a good manicure, need to make time for it. 

9. Decorate Olive’s nursery!

10. Design &  Decorate Nate’s room

11. Design a cheap Master Bedroom to satisfy me for the next few years

12. Have the carpets cleaned

13. Have AC replaced before it gets deathly hot!  This should be #1

14.  Take one last family trip before Olive arrives mid July.

15. Sew a baby blanket for Olive.

16. Sew pillow for Eames chair

17. keep my car clean, inside and out!  (oy, this one is a lifer)

18.  Read both from my list as well as the random library choices. 

19. Get a few new cookbooks and keep trying new recipes.

20. Bake a pie!  For crying out loud, I can bake and cook well and I’ve never made my own pie.  I think it’s time. 

I’m happy with that list.  There are probably a few I’m leaving out but that’s okay.  It’s not a hard and fast set of things more like flexible plans.  Except for the baby and the AC- those two are as good as done.

I will write about my word next.   How are you doing two weeks in?  Sticking with it or did you forego it all together this year?

**edit- I just found my written list and forgot a few.

take a pattern classs-potty train nate-get thank you’s out before people forgot they gave you a gift

Make like a tree

I got bored last week and decided it was time to make something.  I came across a post about making leaves  from paper sacks and stringing them from twine.  Sold. 

Nate and I got down to business.  First we cut 3 large grocery bags, removing the bottom and laying them flat.  Then I cut them in half and crumpled them up for texture.  We mixed some acrylic craft paint with a tiny bit of water, cut up some sponges and started painting.



Nates handprint


fall mantle

 The leaf cutting was easier than I thought it would be.  I cut each bag half into 9 small squares.  I went for a little walk around the yard checking out shapes and then drew them out, stacked about 5 sheets of paper and cut them out in multiples.  After that I attached them to the twine using craft glue by folding the stems over on themselves. 

Im pretty happy with the end result.  It looks homemade for sure but it is, and I loved working with Nate and I know he enjoyed it too.   $5 in paint for an afternoon of fun!   I plan on making a hand print each year and adding to it.  Who knew you could turn a paper bag into a memory?!

Oh, Henry!

Poor Henry. His feelings were hurt, Mauve was really harsh about his look and overall vibe. She made fun of his traditional lines and his “pink” undertones, she even blamed him for bringing out her bad side. The nerve. I told him to hang in there, I’d find his match. I hunted high and low for paper but was unable to find anything that was a good mix of tradition and hip metro to balance the other pieces in the room so I gave up and moved to fabric. Today I found Henry’s soul mate. She’s much classier than Mauve anyway, I mean she sold herself out at $1.49 per roll, Fabric Tess was $9 per yard. “Suck it, Mauve!” yelled Tess, loud enough for Mauve to hear her from the depths of the basement. She didnt respond, ashamed of her future appearance wrapped around a train table at a 2 year olds party before hitting the recycling bin.  It never pays to be catty.

Henry beforeHenry After

Henry’s close-up

Henry's closeup

And with that the room is about as complete as it will be for a long time.  I do want a rug and a comfy chair but neither are a priority and a rug with a toddler and two pets is out of the question for a few more years. 
I love this room now!   It’s welcoming as the first room you see as you enter the house and I love that I’ve mixed in a lot of suff that doesnt “go.”  

I think my next project is the fireplace, I’m getting close to painting the mantle and maybe the brick too…… I don’t know, I’m scared.  But, I hate it so we’ll see.