New towels -- plain brown. Nothing fancy, yet. May try to get some nice, thick, crazy beautiful towels in a few weeks.
No big shocks today -- just replacing old towels with new towels and adding a new shower curtain. Not sure how I feel about the chocolate brown but I think that it may grow on me. That or I am really craving chocolate.
When Garry goes out of town for a business trip, it's my tradition to remodel something really fast. If he doesn't like it (and he hates that I do this), well, he can try to not take so many trips, especially when I am crazy pregnant and just a little crazy hormonally, to boot. So yesterday I tackled the bathroom. This is a picture of the old carpets.
This is the master bathroom countertop. Not what it looks like on a daily basis -- I cleaned up before I took the pictures.
I added a new carpet from Bed Bath & Beyond. I got a pretty good deal using my coupon. I like the browns and the blues and the creams.
I used a coupon from Michaels to add this centerpiece to the counter. It's a clear vase with sticks. I hope that the sticks make your eyes go up and the bathroom does not seem so cramped. I do not understand this whole "stick" fashion thing going on right now. I just know that my sister has them in her living room and so they must be really cool and trendy. Making my bathroom really cool and trendy.
Lately I have been so happy with a recent purchase; I have thought about selling tickets and conducting tours so that everyone can view The Perfect Dresser.
Garry bought it from IKEA a few weeks ago for the Big Girls Room, and it brings me such great joy. Check out the drawers. There are six of them. And they are well constructed -- real wood on the inside and they slide back and forth so nicely on their little runners. No pulling or yanking or slamming. Just the sweet, sweet purr of wheels on their runners.
Check out the second drawer down -- it is extra roomy. Do you know how many fluffy pajamas I can fit in there? A lot. Truly, it is a work of art. The other drawers are deep and spacious as well, happily accomodating piles of jeans and stretchy pants.
Before now, the item that brought me the most joy was my Swiffer Sweeper and Vac. Though I still have my moments of bliss with that amazing machine, this dresser just makes me to-the-soul happy. Hope everyone can make it for Tour 2008!
Yesterday was a good day! Though Garry left for Colorado, I was still productive and got some stuff done. And I learned some stuff, to boot!
Sweet, sweet charity: On Thursday, November 13th I am having a baby shower for Heather L. from church. Members of the ward reading this, save the date! Garry and I were worried about hosting it at our townhouse because parking gets sparse at night. He suggested that I call another member of our church and ask them to host. They have a lot more room and parking would not be an issue. So I called, and not only did she agree to let us have it at her home, she asked if she could make the cake! I was floored. When people ask me to do something, my mind starts turning as I try to figure out a way to get out of it, not ask for more! So I have decided to try to turn a new leaf and be more like this woman. Not sure how, but maybe the desire will help me on the path.
Close the Door! After her bath, Emma wanted to wear her three princesses nightgown. It's a light nightgown, intended for summer, and it was cold last night. I told her she had to wear something under it. So I put on some fluffy pajamas and put her princess nightgown on top. Okay, it looked silly, but she was warm and had her favorite nightgown on. Really, two birds, on stone.
She looked at herself, and her face just fell. "I do not look good," she said. She's never said that before and so at first I laughed! But then I realized that she really meant it and was really worried about it. I wanted to know who taught my daughter to think that she was anything other than beautiful and perfect. And I realized -- it was me! How many times on Sunday do I go through five outfits looking for something that I feel "good" in and shout down the stairs at Garry that no, I am not ready because nothing fits? Nothing looks good!
As the Mom of little girls, I need to learn to close the door before I express concern over my appearance or voice any low self-esteem comments. Hopefully I can convince her again that she's great -- no matter what she's wearing!
Yesterday I heard the words that I dread most. And I have to admit, I'm still a little peeved. But I'm wondering if I might just be a little crazy or perhaps a little hormonal?
Let me set the scene. I ran into a woman at church. The woman is probably in her mid to late 20s. I do not know her very well. We started talking and she asked me when my baby is due. I told her my favorite response, "Next month". Because saying next month makes it sound so very close. It's all in my head, but hey, it makes me feel better.
Now, the date this occurred was October 26th. And I said "next month". So for all she knew, I was having this baby in five days or so. You'd think that the response would be, "wow! right around the corner!" or "that's really soon!". Instead, I heard the words I hate. And now I must try to not dislike the messenger.
"Oh, so you still have awhile."
I know, I know, you're waiting to hear something much worse. Something nasty and worth this blog space. But I just hate hearing that I still have "awhile". I'm carrying this watermelon with me everywhere. Day in, day out. And we're not talking about one of those small ones from Safeway. This is a full-sized watermelon. I cannot really put on shoes very well. I cannot sleep very well. She's either in my ribs or on my bladder. Are you feeling my pain, yet?
So hearing that I still have awhile has made me a little moody.
I must remember this day and practice appropriate responses when I am talking to some ppor pregnant woman at church:
Wow! Next month! That's really soon!
You look great! How are you feeling?
So soon! Do you need any help getting ready?
These are the responses that can soothe the soul of a rambling, crazy, pregnant woman.
It's time to carve pumpkins! The girls got to choose their favorite princesses as pumpkin designs (I bought a little kit from Michaels Craft Store): Emma chose Sleeping Beauty and Macey chose Cinderella. The fine details of the princesses faces were a little beyond Garry and my carving skills, but we did our best!
Every year we head South for The Haunted Forest at Anne Marie Gardens near Solomons Island. They have a little path where they let people set up tables and hand out candy. I love it. Not only do the girls get candy, they get to wear their costumes for more than two hours on just one night. It's a dress rehearsal and a lot of fun.
Today while Emma was at school, Macey and I went to Toys R Us to buy a present for Macey which I will now be required to hide from Garry for the next few weeks. We had a great time at the store. She was able to look at the toys at her speed and we did not have to chase Emma around. Remind me to blog about the time that Emma test-rode a bicycle OUT OF TOYS R US and around the parking lot without telling anyone of her big plan.
While we were in the check out line, I saw the saddest thing: a woman with her son, probably almost two, buying him a doll. That's right. A baby doll. A little boy doll with litte blue clothes but a doll nonetheless. She told the cashier how much she loved the doll because you could fill it with water and make it all soft and squishy and huggable. And every two year old boy loves squishy huggable dolls.
Once they had paid for said item, she held it up to her son, saying, "Look honey, do you want to hold it now?" He looked a little scared and a little terror-stricken and did not reach for his new baby doll.
I thought of my girls and my girl on the way and thought that the nice thing to do was to offer this lady a trade. But I love my girls too much.
What sounds do you find soothing? Maybe the sound of the ocean as the waves come in? Or maybe the sound of a fabulous orchestra or even birds singing on a Spring Day? Any of those? Yeah, not me either.
I have two soothing sounds, and I acknowledge that they are weird.
I love the sound of a blow dryer. I find it very soothing. I associate it with being comfy and warm and when I am in the bathroom with my blow dryer, I cannot hear my daughters fighting. It's very soooooothing.
My second favorite sound? Well, this one is an addiction. I love vacuum cleaners. For my kitchen, I love my Swiffer Sweeper with Vac. I've gone through two of them in two years. It really changed my life. Love it, love it. And my kids can use it, so they like it too. For my carpets, well, I think that we have a Eureka right now. I love dumping it out and seeing all the dirt that used to be on my floors now tidily placed in the garbage. For deep cleaning, I have a Hoover Steam Vac. It's a life saver for the piano room. And have I mentioned that when they are running I cannot hear my kids scream at each other. Bliss. Pure bliss. For a few minutes, all is peaceful in the world.
If my mop would only make a VRRRRR VRRRRRR VRRRRR sound, all of my floors would be clean.
So keep your waves and your birds and your string sections. I have my blow dryer.
After several unfortunate events yesterday, the day ended great. Garry had some pity on his weeping wife and made me my favorite dinner: Sloppy Joes and Potato Salad and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. I know, I know, my tastes are a little on the white trash side, but what can you do. I like what I like. Garry even went one step further and did some laundry and did the dishes. My weepiness has dried up, and I feel like I can conquer the world again.
Emma did not have school today, so we are enjoying a day of domestic bliss. We steam-cleaned the first floor carpet so I am no longer embarrassed when my piano students come in. With 20+ students and their parents and my dog, that carpet takes a beating. But bless my little Hoover.
We made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and macaroni and cheese and are heading off to Target and the mall. Welcome back, domestic bliss.
My father once told me that when I am feeling well, I can take on anything. I am a strong person, strong personality, strong will. Most days, I can take on the world. But when I am sick or really really pregnant, the fact that the ice cream machine at McDonald's is down is enough to drive me to tears. Today has been a teary day.
VANS: I knew I was in trouble this morning when I saw a van drive down the street and the thought of how much easier life would be with automatic doors made my eyes mist up. If I allowed myself to dwell on dual climate control and seat warmers, the mist may have developed into a full-fledged sob fest. Hmmm...that's not quite normal.
CAMCORDER WOES: Serious woes. To connect my camcorder to my computer in order to burn a DVD, I need a DV Port. Well, my laptop doesn't have a DV Port. And my camcorder refuses to acknowledge a USB Cable. I have talked to Best Buy, Toshiba support and Sony support twice. The Toshiba guy was floored by my question and WENT ONTO GOOGLE to see if Google could help. For the love, that cannot be normal, can it? I have about ten little camcorder tapes I am desperate to transfer to a DVD before I have another baby and we record more useless video tapes. Any experts out there that can help?
BETRAYED BY A FAITHFUL FRIEND: So when life get down, it's time to eat, right? And if you want to eat a lot and cheaply, hey, it's time to run for the border. So while Emma was in school, Macey and I headed for Taco Bell. Wallowing in my bean burrito, I bit into, into, into a piece of plastic. A five inch long, one inch wide piece of plastic. I think that what happened is that while someone was grating cheese, maybe some of the plastic around the cheese got grated in? Okay, I am being stupid, there is no way that Taco Bell employees grate cheese. I need to accept the fact that the plastic was from somone's gloves and it ended up in my mouth. Now, that cannot be normal, right?
CREDIT CARD WOOPS! I got a letter from my bank essentially saying that some information had been exposed and so for my safety I would be receiving a new credit card and a new credit card number. It came last week and to make sure that the transfer between old and new card went smoothly, I called Wachovia to ensure that the old card was cancelled before I tore it up and the new card was activated. I was assured that everything was "a-go" and so I cut up the old card and put the new one in my wallet. A few minutes later, Wachovia called me back and said that their next caller called in to report a stolen card, and numbers got mixed up and well, they have accidentally cancelled and reported stolen my new card. Now, I am so glad that they called before I actually USED it, but still, that cannot be normal, right?
The scary thing is. . .this day still has about seven hours left. . .
Emma went to school today! Unlike last year, where she went for a whopping two hours and thirty minutes, this time she only attends school for two hours. Apparently it was too short of a day because she yelled at me when we got in the Jeep for picking her up while she was playing "I Spy." So tomorrow I will do my best and try to linger in the parking lot so she can be one of the last kids picked up. Such a change from last year when I was greeted with hugs and kisses and excitement to go home!
Fans of Seinfeld (that's you, Jana!) will recognize the term "Bizarro World". It's a world or state where everything is backward. I guess the term first came out in a Superman comic and re-popularized by Seinfeld. The term has a few Wikipedia entries.
Today, I entered my Bizarro World.
Afer church, the girls and I went next door to the little girl's 2nd birthday party. Their townhouse is the exact opposite of ours. Their kitchen faces north, ours faces south, we have wood floors in our kitchen, they have tile. You get the point.
And since they have just one little two year old, they are able to hide, quite successfully, that a kid lives there. Everything was so clean! And bright! And clean! And all of her toys in the living room fit in this little section behind the couch.
I have to admit, Sunday or not, I came home from Bizarro world and cleaned my kitchen. I shook my head in shame at the Barbie dolls on the floor and the coloring books, well, pretty much everywhere.
I love, love my girls. But I have to admit, it was nice to visit Bizarro World.
Yesterday Sylvia blogged about her pursuit for the costume that her daughter wanted. I think that it's great that she is involved in finding a perfect costume and getting it early, to boot! And I know that the Isoms probably start planning their Halloween costumes on November 1st. They always look so cute!
I can only remember a few of my costumes growing up, I wish I could remember more. And since I was child #7, you know that there are NO PICTURES. I remember one year I was superwoman. I had a costume from KMART that felt like, well, a costume from KMART. The mask was hard to wear and the cape wasn't really classy.
One year I remember my friends and I were "punks". We got all creative and sprayed our hair with different colors and pulled our hair into side pony tails. I am not sure if the side ponytails were part of the costume or just the fashion of the day. We went trick-or-treating in the back of Jennifer's dads truck, singing Tiffany songs. Ah, Tiffany.
One year I took one of my sister's homecoming dresses and went as Scarlett O'Hara.
During my angry teen year, I was "black and white". I wore black and white. I am not sure what statement I was making besides "I am lazy and want some candy."
Maybe it is for the best that there are no pictures in existence.
Garry got Quincy from the Alexandria shelter when we had just been married three months. So we've had him for over five years. He's a really well trained dog, Garry put a lot of effort into his training, and so generally he's a great dog. But lately he has been interfering with my sleep. . . putting him on my bad list.
It started with an upset stomach. He had a horrible case of diarhea and just could not help but take care of it on the first floor. But a few deep cleanings later, I think that we're okay again.
But it made me nervous. Everytime I heard the jingle, jangle of his collar in the house, I'd wake up, concerned that he was off somewhere pooing away. So I started putting him outside. 2 am, 3 am, it really did not matter -- out he went. He was confused. But my carpets were safe.
Then last week he finally figured out how to unzip the small pocket of my purse where I keep snacks for the girls.
And last week he bumped the carbon monoxide tester button, making a BEEP BEEP BEEP sound out through the house at 2 am.
Egads. But it was just an accident. Just one of those things, I thought. Until he did it again last night. BEEP BEEP BEEP. 1 am.
So many great things have happened in the last few days, it's time for a Happy Dance!
Doctor Visits: I am down to three, count them, THREE doctors visits. I have one on Halloween and two in November. Wahoo!! Happy Dance!
Great Deal! Today I went to Ross and found five onesies for $10. That's right, two dollars each! I found some other great bargains but since I have not broken the news to Garry yet, I've got to keep those treasures on the down low. But I got a great deal. Happy Dance!
Wow! What Service! This morning I took the girls to Borders to look at books and drink a yummy hot chocolate. The Cocoa Trio at Borders is a work of art. You get the hot chocolate, whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles and white chocolate shavings topped off by a chunk of pure chocolate. Yum! When the barista saw that the girls and I were sharing a large, she brought us two extra chocolate chunks. What service! Happy Dance!
Bliss At The Park: I took the girls to Bensville Park this afternoon, and we were the only ones there. Bliss. They could throw rocks, play in the dirt, hog the tunnel, and it did not matter. We had the parks to ourselves and I did not have to worry about other kids or even worse -- other Moms! Happy Dance!
It appears that within the last 24 hours I have lost control of my children. I have no idea what happened, but the situation appears to be dire.
SIBLING RIVALRY: A few months after Emma was born, I came up with the brilliant idea to have another baby. They would be close in age and bestest of friends. And normally I am congratulating myself on my plan and ingenuity as they generally play well together. But this morning. . . Emma was walking out of the kitchen when Macey was walking in. There was not even a collision -- both girls corrected their paths and it should not have been a big deal. But it was. Emma told Macey to BE CAREFUL! And Macey told Emma to WATCH WHERE SHE WAS GOING. And I shook my head. So much for my brilliant plan.
MCDONALDS BULLY: I hate being at McDonalds when there are a lot of big kids. There's always a bossy bully who is just not careful with the little ones who are just trying to play. Where are their mothers? Why aren't they taking control of the situation? Well, today, I was that mother as Emma made her debut as the playground bully. She blocked the kids on the stairs, in the tunnel, and on the slide, and she would not let them pass until they said a magic word. Apparently it's called the Gate Game, and we had to have a long talk on the way home about how the Gate Game is only fun if EVERYONE wants to play.
Emma is in the First Flight program at North Point High School. I think that it will be a really good program for her after spending last year at Good Shepherd Preschool. In that classroom, there were 20 students, one teacher and one teacher's aide. In this program, she has two teachers and several high school students studying child development ready to lavish her with attention.
Today was orientation and Macey was able to go, too. Both Garry and I felt horrible that I did not sign Macey up because she had such a great time. She loved playtime and snack time. I put her on the waitlist, and hopefully something will open up in the next few weeks.
We spent the last two days at the Big Meadow Lodge in Shenandoah, Virginia. We were last there six years ago where we stayed in a room attached to the main, historic lodge. The last time we stayed, we discovered mice in our room. I had a bag of pretzels and during the night we heard a rustle-rustle-rustle in the bag. Egads.
So we asked for some traps and the next night killed four mice in our room.
But overall, we had a great time, and so we happily took the girls back.
It was wonderful to let the girls run and run and run. They could climb, hop, jump, touch everything, and I did not have to tell them no or to slow down or put that back or down. Emma had such a great time that she fell asleep at the table at dinner.
The rooms still have a little to be desired. We tried the cabins this time. The girls wandered around the small room looking for the tv!! When it was time to go to sleep, the girls went down happily and easily. Garry was in the bathroom and I was trying to go to sleep. We had noticed before that the walls separating the cabins were very thin. Very thin. But as our room was really quiet, I suddenly noticed how thin the walls were. Trying to fall asleep, I heard our neighbor fart, laugh heartily, and then blame it on his wife. Lovely.
Overall experience, fabulous. Cabins, once again, not my favorite part.
Almost every morning, Emma will wake up about an hour or so before Macey. So we hang out and watch Playhouse Disney, waiting for Miss Macey to join us. Usually around the time that Mickey Mouse comes on.
The other day, we were watching the "Happy Monster Band" which is a five-minute segment that Playhouse Disney plays during shows. They had a song about expressing feelings. Something about how it is okay to cry.
Now, I do not know what preschoolers the Disney people hang around with, but my personal experience has taught me that preschoolers do not have a problem expressing feelings. So may I suggest another song entitled "You Don't Have To Cry Over Every Little Thing". It should go something like this:
Yes, your sister got the blue plate and you got the pink one, But you don't have to cry over every little thing.
Your sister got to pick the video and you have to wait, But you don't have to cry over every little thing.
Yes, your chocolate milk is lukewarm instead of perfectly hot, But you don't have to cry over every little thing.
The lady at the bank gave you a blue sucker instead of a green one, But you don't have to cry over every little thing.
I know that life can be so unfair. But yes, you still have to brush your hair. So won't you join with me and sing You don't have to cry over every little thing.
Alright, Playhouse Disney, I give you permission to set it to music.
When I am pregnant, I have night terrors. They go a little something like this. I'll be dreaming and then all of the sudden I will feel that (a) the ceiling fan is going to crash down on my head; (b) a mysterious book shelf that is not nor has ever been in the bedroom is going to fall down on my head; (c) someone is in the room, getting ready to attack me; (d) someone is on the bed and is going to bounce onto my stomach.
So of course I wake up, screaming. Really, who wouldn't? And sometimes I start yelling that someone is in the room, someone is in the room. But usually I calm down after a few seconds.
The puzzling thing is Garry's reaction. Upon learning that it is just another night terror, he usually gets a little mad about the unnecessary screaming. Go figure. And last night after he put the bat back under the bed he told me that I should find someplace else to sleep and have these night terrors. I think that he was kidding. Can't we just consider these little episodes drills? How fast can you grab for a bat and call 9-1-1??
I really think that he should offer to rub my back or feet to help lull me back into a peaceful sleep. Or at least offer to make me a little cocoa. With marshmellows. Lots of marshmellows. After all, he's already awake. . .
October 1 is a big day for me. It's the day that I accept that summer is gone, fall is here, and I make the necessary changes. I switch out the girls' clothes, switch our bedding, bring out the Halloween decorations and suddenly! hello fall!
But this year, something happened. October 1 came and went, and shorts were still in my girls' dresser drawers, my white coverlet was still on my bed and the Halloween decorations sat buried in the back of the garage. Really, truly, three piles deep buried.
And so went October 2nd. And 3rd. And 4th. The days passed and my stress level went up. I'm behind! I'm behind! So I decided that since this was a self-imposed deadline, it could be self-moved. Instead of everything being done on October 1, I thought that getting things done by the first week of October would be just fine.
So it's October 7th. The Halloween decorations are out. The girls have sweaters in their closet. My white coverlet that has received so much blog time has been washed and put away ('til we meet again, my little beauty) and a beige down comforter has taken it's place. And it's only October 7th. Man, I am on top of things!
It's not a good time to be in the Cunningham house right now.
We're "organizing" -- and just like it's darkest right before the sun comes out -- we are far, far from organized right now. I need to do the laundry, vacuum pack some baby clothes, sort through some shoes. It's a mess.
I have a tolerance for mess. I understand that you have to get really messy before you can get really organized, and I am willing to go through the process.
Garry, however, is having a hard time.
He hates clutter. He really hates clutter. And sometimes he attacks clutter I really wish he would leave alone. This time, my Jeep was the victim.
I had to renew my registration and printed off a temporary registration to tape up in my back window. It's ugly, sure, and cluttery, sure, but it's necessary to be LEGAL. But with his clutter-tolerance at an all-time low, Garry took it down and threw it away. Making me ILLEGAL.
So until the dawn comes, I need to hide the important clutter. Or use stronger tape.
Yesterday my oldest turned four. She had a great weekend with a small get-together at Chuck E. Cheese's and then on her birthday she went to Red Robin and Kings Dominion. It was all bliss in the life of a four year old.
Emma is an amazing little girl, and she was an amazing baby. Before she was born, we heard that babies could not see very well and were amazed by how alert Emma was. When she was born, she was ready to get to know this new place. She took everything in with excitement and joy, and she still does.
Emma's birthday is on Saturday. She has been waiting for this day since. . .well,. . .since this time last year. She has already gotten cards from family, and she keeps them in a little pile on the kitchen table.
Today during lunch she showed me all of her cards. She had one from great-grandma and grandpa, from grandma and grandpa, from Aunt Meg & Uncle Jeremy and even from her bank. She told me where each card was from and I said, "Yes, Emma, look at all of these people that love you and want to say Happy Birthday to you."
"Yes, they love me" she said, "but what about Cousin Kaylee and Cousin Trey?"
I had to laugh. "I'm sure their cards will come soon," I told her.
Man, she's only four and already she's taking names. I would ask in confusion where oh where she gets this from, but unfortunately I know EXACTLY where she gets this.
It's only Wednesday and already Emma has had a very busy week.
NOT MY DAD: First, we had Monday. As Emma, a Daddy's Girl, faced another week without her Dad, she tried to communicate with me how she felt about that. We were getting in the Jeep when she told me, "Mom, I like you." I like you, too, I answered. Before I could close the door, she added the dreaded BUT. "But I miss Dad." This girl is going to be a heartbreaker when she gets older. She already has the "You're great, but I am looking for something else. . ." speech down.
NO BREAKFAST!: The girls bunkbeds were completely functional on Sunday, and Emma would not sleep in her new bed. She's a restless sleeper, and so I can see how being on the top bunk would be intimidating. For the first few nights she slept on my floor and would eventually sneak into my bed when I was asleep. But last night I put my foot down. She had to try to sleep in her new bed! She was not sleeping in my room again, I announced. "Alright," she answered, "but if you're not nice to me, I'm not going to eat breakfast!"
SCISSORS: So those toilet bowl cleaners come in packages impossible to open. They require scissors! So when putting new bowl cleaners into the girls toilet bowl, I accidentally left the scissors on the counter. And the next time that Emma went to the bathroom, she accidentally cut her hair. Lots of hair. She came downstairs, and I gasped, "Emma! What did you do? Where's your hair?" "In the trash can," she calmly answered. Well, at least she was tidy about it.