Thursday, December 22, 2011


A little mathematical truth for you: As the amount of winter outerwear Ava is wearing increases, the probability that you won't be able to stop nibbling her delicious cheeks also increases. Exponentially.

(Tree lighting ceremony in St. Joseph)

outing my sister's wine problem - she's going to love me for this title

I am planning a delicious Christmas Day dinner - probably the yummiest brisket known to man. I want it to be like, reeeeeeally good. So I am following every.single.instruction and ingredient to the T (it's quite involved). The recipe calls for a dry, red wine. Usually when a recipe calls for wine I use grape juice but this time I am using real red wine.

So I was at the grocery store, perusing the wine selection, wishing they had a section entitled "cooking wine for the devout and unlearned". I was too proud to ask the couple making a vodka selection for help but I could not figure out what wine to get. Is a sweet wine also dry? How come the only obvious dry wines were champagne? What's the difference between a merlot and a pinot noir? I needed someone to google these questions for me so that I could make an informed decision. Also, it had been like 7 minutes in the wine aisle and I'm pretty sure I was starting to look suspicious. So I did what anyone in my situation would do - I called my 17 year old (and also devout) sister for advice on wine. Listen. It seemed completely normal at the time. She was sure to be by her phone and therefore a computer because her phone basically is a computer because that's how 17 year olds roll these days.

So I called Shannon. My father picked up. He, apparently, was the one by Shannon's phone, not Shannon. So I started telling him about the situation and my father asked how Shannon would know anything about wine. Yeeeeeah. Good thing Shannon doesn't secretly sip booze, otherwise this would have totally given her away and I would be the "WORST SISTER EVER I HATE YOU!!!!" We started laughing pretty hard, my father out of the absurdity of the situation and me, out of embarrassment. "I just wanted her to google it. Can't you google it for me?"

And that's how I got advice about my alcohol selection from a former Mormon Bishop. Heh heh.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Homemade Happiness

Life is pretty good right now.

We're all homemade this time of year with the presents and the food and the decorations and the happiness (yes. I prefer my happiness homemade. Unless ice cream is involved) but I've become especially domestic lately. I blame pinterest. And having to sew my own curtains.

We threw away the remainder of our gross chemically cleaners and made some of our own (here).
We ran out of laundry detergent and I'm sick of paying so much for the HE stuff so we? maaaaaade our own (here). (And it works great with front load washers since it is low suds.)
We say "boo" to the gross premade spaghetti sauce and make our own. With three ingredients (and a little salt). And it is the best spaghetti sauce ever (here).
Ava and I are making some ornaments today. Maybe she won't destroy these (here)?

Yeah. I like stuff better when I make it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

squeak squeaker squeak squeaken


In honor of my husband. Because I know how much he loves Justin Bieber.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hey, world. It's me. Ready to take on my agoraphobia and live my life again.

See, I have this rash on ma face. Thought it was eczema from eating gluten back in June. A little hydrocortisone here and there and I thought it would go away. Well. It didn't. And it got worse. The lighting, crappy camera phone, and faux lazy eye does not begin to do this justice, but you get the point.

Here's a better example from the interwebs:

So I finally went to the dermatologist. Turns out I have this thing called Perioral Dermatitis. 90% of patients with this......disease? are woman 20-45 years of age. "Scientists" are not sure what causes it and they're not really even sure how to completely get rid of it. "They" think it might be the fluoride in toothpaste. Ha. My dermatologist? Kind of came off as a jerky idiot on the matter. Every. single. question I asked was met with "the pamphlet will explain that". Turns out the pamphlet was like, "sooooo we don't really know." Awesome. He prescribed an antibiotic to take.....for 2 months. How in the world can that be healthy?? But I was desperate. So I went to pick up the prescription.

$261 to fill that prescription, with pretty decent insurance. No way was I dropping that much on pills that would probably cause more issues than they solved. So then I fell into a depression, out of which I am coming a week later (sorry, Danny!), and hopped online to some great forums to find out that the antibiotics route usually just becomes a cycle. That never ends. For years. No thanks.

I also found that the earthy, voodoo juju, crunchy path is usually the best. I eliminated soaps and beauty products with sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS) and sodium lareth sulfates (SLES). (SLS and SLES basically just make your soap sudsier. So you "feel cleaner". Even though it doesn't actually make you cleaner. In my case, it makes my skin irritated-er.) The rash got worse for several days while my face went through steroid withdrawal (from the hydrocortisone) but after a strict regimen of probiotics every afternoon, diluted apple cider vinegar on my face twice a day, a yogurt mask at night, and a few honey masks, my face is looking better than it has in MONTHS. And it's been YEARS since I was this obsessed with my face. Annnnnnd I also fired that doctor from my services. The fact that these treatments are working suggest that the cause of PD has something to do with the flora in your gut being amiss (the gluten catalyst) combined with yeast issues on yo face. Perfect storm. For some ego-shrinking and confidence shattering PD.

Lessons learned:
- Trust "modern medicine" even less.
- Firing doctors is really easy - just don't go to them again.
- I am way more vain than I thought.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ava goes to jail. Not really. But there was a cop involved.

So. I had my first stupidity-induced traumatic parenting experience last week. My poor, tiny human. It IS hard to be her. Actually.

I was repainting our dining room chairs outside. And any other thing I could find to spray paint (the spray paint obsession is currently at an all time high). When I work outside or in the gay-rage it generally means power tools or lots of muscle use is involved which means my testosterone levels are elevated and I get the urge to cook outdoors which means that I multitask poorly (sexist stereotyping, HOLLA!). Also, I don't like the tiny human running around in the garage because, well, I don't want any tiny fingers lopped off by a miter saw or to find her consuming a bag of screws. Because she would do that. This is where her obsession with the car comes in mighty handy. It contains her so I don't have to worry about her safety/feel bad when I forget that I'm a mom for a second.

I generally open the car door, put on the e-brake and let her go crazy pushing buttons and whatnot (I secretly think she is an evil mastermind and seeks to ensure that, at the very least, I get a blast of a/c in my face and busted ear drums the next time I turn on the car). But I failed to remember the sneakiest super power that kids have. They do this thing when put in the same situation over and over again called learning. A new skill here, an epiphany there. No big deal right? Except when they use all their new knowledge and skills at one time. On this particular day I hadn't realized that my kid learned how to close the door, lock the door, and put the keys in the ignition. Of course she decided to use all! three! new! skills! at the same time.

In the middle of my spray painting induced nirvana I suddenly had an inkling. Where are my keys? Where is my kid? Why is the door closed? Please don't be locked, please don't be locked. Annnnnd the car door was locked. With Ava inside. With the keys dangling from the ignition (not the actual car key, thankgoodness). Panic set in. I stood there and pleaded with Ava to push the button! That one! Right there! (The lock/unlock one.) Turns out she had figured out how to lock but not unlock. After several pushes of the lock button she got mad that I was still frustrated with her and refused to even go near it again.

Since the door wasn't completely latched and the keys were dangling from her hands instead of the ignition I decided to use a marshmallow skewer to procure the keys. FAIL. BIG FAT FAIL. The keys were sucked into the abyss between the door and the seat.

And then I really panicked. Ava was starting to panic as well.

So clearly I called the nearest Toyota dealer, bawling my eyes out, to see what they could do. The guy was really sweet but said I needed to try the police first. (What does it say about me that I don't think to call the police first in a slightly emergent situation? Too much Law and Order, my friends. TOO MUCH.)

So. I called the police. I was almost hyperventilating at that point. My toddler was screaming. She was hot and she didn't understand why her mommy wouldn't just open the door and pick her up.

Seven minutes that felt like 20 later, a police man showed up in his fancy Charger. A little wedge here, a little car opening device there, and BAM! the door opened and my tiny human suctioned herself to my person like an octopus. The cop had to take down some info and I silently worried that he was going to call CPS on me. Turns out he just had to make sure the car was mine. He said something about my car being a "really expensive playpen" and drove off with my eternal gratitude and suspicion (again, with the Law and Order).

All is well that ends well, right?

Except that Ava whimpered for a solid 10 minutes afterward and maybe I did too. What are the chances I can raise this kid without one or the other of us needing therapy?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pilgrim's Progress

The house. It is coming along nicely. Here are some updates for your eyes.

Here we have the dining room. We refinished the floors, painted all the trim, windows, and built-ins white, repainted the ceiling and painted the walls a nice "fresh butter". This is the table that my dad and I made together. I also repainted our chairs sage green. We still have to put down the quarter round, caulk, and eventually put up a few shelves and crown molding.

The living room is finally looking nicer. So far we have pulled up the carpet, refinished the floors, repaired cracked plaster, stripped the baseboards, painted the trim, baseboards, built-ins, and doors, and repainted the walls a nice Miss Martha Gray. The ceiling needs special attention and so does the fireplace - hence no pictures of it. We totally lucked out and got a nice leather couch and chair from Danny's boss. I guess he needed more space for his painting and yoga, no joke.

Painted built-ins that are eventually going to be ripped out. C'est vrai.

The only downer about the couch? There are big scratches on the (new) floor from moving it in. Blaaaaaa. Also, I don't like the rug anymore. Too modern for this space. Typical me. We'll be moving it upstairs to hang out in my office.

 The gray actually makes my front door less heinous. 

So it feels good to have a house that's prettier. Ish. Now to hang pictures and things..... I was totally going to make this post witty and funnier. Alas, I have to save all my wit for my next post about how I am a terrible mom and my toddler is scarred forever.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

I wonder...

...when will Ava realize she can finish chewing and swallowing the food that's already in her mouth before she moves on to a more exciting food instead of just spitting it out? annoying grocery shopping will be this winter. You know, with all the snow.
...if my loved ones have any idea how MUCH I love them and if there is any way to genuinely convey that to them. many presents I can realistically get made for this Christmas. I may have to outsource to Etsy.
...if a Brown/Hillam reunion (family friends, best of) followed by a Tiffany/Lauren reunion (best friends, product of Brown/Hillam bond) will make Danny and Nelson's (husbands of Tiffany and Lauren) heads explode.
...if I'm not a true foodie because I do not enjoy any olive besides the black ones out of a can. old Ava will be when we can have real conversations. amazing it will feel when the laundromat = my basement and not the actual laundromat (the time is approaching ever so quickly!!).
...if I have destroyed my mantel to the point of needing to just rip it off and put something else there.
...if my husband has any idea how many times a day I feel about him. (See, I don't think about him so much as I feel about him. It's more a warm fuzzy that prompts a thought.) I've lived in this house for as long as I have without anything covering a majority of the windows

Monday, October 24, 2011


Dude. Update your blog already.

I'm all "bleh" about my blog right now. Mostly because I don't have a camera and I get tired of not having pretty pictures to illustrate my life. It saddens my soul.

So here is a picture-less update about Ava.
- Ava is 20 months old today.
- She talks a lot, most of it is still babbling though. She says hey, bye, mommy, daddy, ouchie, eat, where'd it go, oh, here it is, doggy, ducky, fishy (ee-ee), hot, no, uh-uh, binky (deedee), yes, pretty, and most recently i love you (i uh oo).
- She loooooves to sing songs and dance. She still wiggles when she's happy or content. Like a puppy.
- She finally likes to read books and points to everything she knows.
- She is incredibly loving - she loves giving kisses and hugs and patting you.
- She is into how she looks all of a sudden. She tries to put on my makeup and wants to check herself out in the mirror after she gets dressed and I do her hair. And then she says pretty. She also likes trying on shoes.
- She is getting really good at throwing tantrums and feeding herself. I'm sure the two are linked somehow.
- She is still busy all the time. And hates long car rides.
 - She is funny. She loves pulling faces and running away from me halfway through a diaper change. It's actually hilarious.

So yeah. Lots of work is happening on the house. It takes most of my energy so blogging hasn't really made the priority list.

So there, blog.
You are updated.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Still squeaky but a lot prettier

Man! Enough heavy posts for at least a month or two. I love all the feedback I got from the last one though. It's important to talk about these things, ladies. Helps the healing andsoforth.

So in the spirit of lightheartedness, here are my new floors:

Aren't they pretty??? The wood has a nice redness to it. No stain needed. Now all we have left to do.....oh EVERYTHING. We are getting a lot of help with it though. Danny's dad is visiting for a while so we hope to have all the plaster in the walls fixed, sanded, primed, and painted by the end of tomorrow and my dining room is a lovely shade of "fresh butter" as I type this. We just need to paint the trim, baseboards, and built-ins, change out the overhead lighting and I then I can put my NEW TABLE and freshly painted chairs in and call the dining room done for a while. hu.zzah.

I am currently dreading the painting of the trim right now though. The ONLY room in my entire house that had white trim when we moved in was our room. The rest of the house has this gross shade of off-white enamel on the trim. That's right, ENAMEL. Bla. And the windows also have it. There are 6 windows in the living room alone. It's the price you pay for buying a house with a lot of natural light whose previous owners had turrible taste. Just turrible.

Buuuuuut. I'm really getting excited. Like, thuper duper exthited. And I'm so glad for the help. Aren't parents awesome?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An explanation of my smirk when you declare how absolutely amazing being a mother to your newborn is.

In the last 3 months, I have 9 friends who have had babies and I personally know (at least) 15 women that are pregnant right now.
That’s a lot of babies.
I am genuinely happy for my friends. I love to bask in their big-bellied glows and hear their birth stories.
I am glad I am not one of them.
Among the 25+ women I have mentioned, there are 6 who were pregnant around the same time I was pregnant with Ava. That means I am officially getting passed up in the baby-making department. Initially, this thought made me feel a little bit of pressure and incited panic and shock. After mulling it over though? I am totally okay with it. This is not a race and I am not superwoman.
Like I said, I do love reading my friends’ birth stories. Well, ¾ of their birth stories. I hang on every word while they rehash the dilating, the contractions, the insane, indescribable pain, the pushing, and that amazing relief when they get to meet their teeny, tiny humans. It’s after that they lose me. They’re generally sharing their stories a week or more after they took place and by then are incandescently happy with their babies. I know they are sleep-deprived and probably still in pain but they are happy.
I didn’t feel that way with Ava. I loved being pregnant (one plus to being an amazon – it wasn’t as uncomfortable for me as it is for a lot of women) and I loved her actual birth but after that….?? Instead of being exhausted, happy, and a little scared that I was responsible for another human being, I was exhausted and devastated. I spent a good portion of my time alone wither her sobbing. I bawled the whole time my mom was at our house thinking about the day she would leave and I would have to take care of this kid all by myself. It was like I had a giant, ugly monster sitting on my chest, squeezing all the happiness out of my heart. I loved my baby but I mostly felt an obligation to keep her alive more than an overwhelming urge to love her. I had moments of happiness and contentment but they were few and fleeting.
It was clear, after weeks of weeping and being unable to feel spiritual comfort, that something was terribly wrong. I made an appointment with my OB (I loved my OB). When he came into the examination room to see me, he took my baby and held her. He commented on how beautiful she was. Then, he looked up at me and asked me how I was doing. I had a hard time answering through the tears streaming down my face that I was trying so hard to hold back but all I said was, “not good.”
I wasn’t prepared for this. I hadn’t done any research on it while I was pregnant and I was such a naturally happy person that I thought I didn’t need to. But everything in my life aligned to create the perfect storm – Danny was in his final and busiest semester of law school so we never saw him. Ava was a seriously high maintenance baby with acid reflux and a need to be older and busier than she was. We couldn’t figure out the breast feeding. I was trying to adjust to being a mom while being a hormonal mess. My body was done. Everything was out of my control. I was out of my control.
My OB prescribed Zoloft. I’m not really sure how much it helped. I know I should have had a follow-up appointment or seven but my insurance was up 6 weeks postpartum so I didn't. The meds generally made the horrible thoughts go away and allowed for more joyful moments but the monster on my heart was still there. He kept squeezing, turning my devastation to anger. Unfortunately, I unloaded most of that anger onto my sweet husband (who I’m pretty sure was wondering what the heck he’d gotten himself into). I was medicated until Ava was 8 months old and my body decided it was done with the meds (sudden weight gain).
I adjusted. I finally fell head-over-heels in love with my baby and couldn’t get enough of her. The ugly monster stopped squeezing my heart and let me breathe again. But then he relocated to my head. He nestled right behind my ear and taught me the fine art of negative self-talk. I constantly told myself that I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, attractive enough, that I wasn’t worth a thing. That thought process? caused so much marital strife because I usually interpreted everything as an attack. It was Tiffany vs. Danny, not Tiffany and Danny vs. The World. The PPD pretty much dissipated by last January but the negative self-talk habit still lingers.  
I am working on it. I am working on everything. Our job and living situation did a 180, in the best of ways last May, and it threw me out of my catatonic indifference to the quality of my life. I mourn the loss of my daughter’s infancy and the fact that I was unable to enjoy her during her littlest moments. But I have to move on. I am moving on. Danny and I can both breathe and think and laugh again. I feel as normal as I think I will ever feel. The ugly monster is tucked into the recesses of my subconscious but he isn’t gone. He will never be gone. Depression like that leaves scars. And broken parts. And unshed tears that surface at a memory you can’t completely bury.
So my baby train is on a different schedule than everyone else’s. And you know what? I don’t care. I don’t need my own tiny baby to hold right now, not when there are so many around me already. One day, that may change. Heavenly Father will slip some forgetfulness into my morning smoothie and I will want another one. But that day isn’t today and it isn’t tomorrow. 

It is finally Danny and Tiffany and Ava vs. The World and I just want to enjoy it for a while.

Monday, September 26, 2011

about my earlobes

When it comes to the really important things, my family has pretty good genetics. When it comes to stuff that doesn't matter a whole lot?? There is some ugly lurking in the DNA.

I have inherited most of the ugly. Because "the ugly" isn't that serious I kind of feel like I brat complaining but, come on. Hypothyroidism (read: slowest metabolism ever)? Check. Hypoglycemia? I'm borderline now - give me 10 years and it'll be a big old CHECK. Ridiculously high arches? Got 'em. Varicose veins? Since I was 14. Man hands and big feet? Watch me palm that basketball while I wear Danny's shoes. Huge earlobes? Ha. Like your Grandpa's. Arm flab? Yup. A dash of the crazies? DOUBLE CHECK. Strange heart palpitations (I forget their proper name)? Unfortunately, yes. IN-GROWN FREAKING TOENAILS?? Yeah. Got those too. Large rear end and thunder things? You couldn't have missed that. Awkward amount of overactive sweat glands? Ha. Yes. Strange flat spot on my head? Thanks, mom. A propensity for sharing too much information? ........oh wait. That's just me. No genetics involved there.

The earlobes are especially bad. I remember several times in school when I would just be minding my own business and someone would start playing with them. I had to get them pierced three times because no one could get the earrings even. Too much yardage, I guess. I know I could have gotten it sooooo much worse but let's be honest. I got the nickname "Zoobaby" in high school for a reason.

So I get a weird amount of glee when I turn on my hulu to catch up on my Project Runway and there. they. are. Earlobes like mine!!!!!! And to whom do they belong? Well, to the hippest, cutest, former-Miss-Universe-Contestant-turned-fashion-designer-that-every-girl-wants-to-be, ANYA, that's who!!

ANNNNNNNND. AND she has a huge earrings on.

Gah. I love this. Although, it won't keep me from ear plastic surgery when Danny becomes a bajillionaire.

Carry on.

Friday, September 23, 2011

We can do all the things!

Welp. It's pretty gross outside today and it's supposed to be that way allllll weekend loooooong. But that doesn't really matter because we'll just be working on the house! Yeah! More of that!

We refinished our floors last weekend while my fasha was here. We had a few technical difficulties (read: we've never done this before) though so the last coat of polyurethane will be going on tonight. I'm also finishing up a table that fasha and I built together during his visit (squee!). Tomorrow, Danny is working on the walls (because they could give a crack house a run for its money), I am working on the baseboards, sanding and repainting our old kitchen table and chairs, and deep cleaning the carpet in the family room (you know, the disgusting carpet.....the one we're tearing up in 2 months anyway.....that one), and Ava will be sharpening our knives.

How did we become such productive people? There is something about getting a huge project done (refinishing the floors) that gives you some serious umph to keep going. We're all, "yeah! we can do things! and we have proof now! we can do all the things!" and it feels goooooood.

Pictures of housey things to come. For now, on this chilly, rainy Friday, enjoy some sunshiney pictures from a couple of weeks ago. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Summer, let's shake hands and be friends

Farewell, summer! Twas a glorious one and I can't wait to see your face in Michigan next year! I think a repeat of this year wouldn't be too bad.

We ate a lot of of fruit

and flavor-ices.

We made lots of pesto                                                                    

and used A LOT of these.

I did a little singing,

she did a little tantruming

and a lot of shoveling. 
We got some quality cousin time

and some serious help with alllllll of our projects.

Until we meet again. Stay classy.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Good morning!

So there is a fall chill in the air 'round these parts. It is wonderful, albeit strange because my low tolerance for hot and humid was not really reached this summer. Anyhoodle, this breakfast was the perfect companion to a crisp morning.

Oatmeal and Almond Meal Cinnamon Pancakes
*adapted from

1 1/2 c. almond meal*
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 TB sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/2-3/4 c oats**

Mix dry ingredients, add wet. Cook like regular pancakes***. Pour on the syrup (they don't really need butter) and nom nom nom.

A few notes.
*So almond meal is expensive. I believe it's around $9.00 for the bob's red mill at the grocery (i got a really good deal on amazon a while back). If you don't feel like splurging for that, you can grind your own (raw) almonds at home or you can sub regular flour for some of the almond meal. IF you do that though, you'll miss out on the low carb, high protein benefit of these little babies.
** I just kept adding oats until I had a good pancakey batter consistency.
*** You can make 5 fairly large pancakes from this recipe. I would suggest making small pancakes though because these are very filling, especially if you're serving them to little ones or with something else.

Pancakes without the carb hangover. Perfect.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ava's skills - you're welcome, mom.

We went to the high school football game last Friday.

Ava enjoyed herself thusly:

I love her.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

So romantic

So we saw this commercial tonight:

and Danny said, "if I die early that's going to be you".

And then, I wiped snot off the tiny human's nose and onto Danny's pants so he literally pinned me down on the couch and wiped his pants on my face.

To top it all off, he informed me this evening that he is part of 2 fantasy football leagues.


Friday, August 26, 2011

A new love and a shameless plug

Welp, I should be napping right now. Or cleaning. Instead I am blogging. See how I give up nappy time to update you on things in my life, about which you don't really care??? I AM SO GENEROUS, YOU'RE WELCOME.

Well, Dustin and Rebecca and the niecews came last weekend. It was kind of wonderful. I got to chill with people I love love love and snuggle a warm, delicious new baby. We stayed up too late, ate waaaaay too much Captain Crunch (and ice cream, and meat, etc...), and went through lot of towels but it was a special occasion, right? Do you know what else? Wanna know what else??? Wanna know what my sweet brother and awesome husband installed in the kitchen???

A DISHWASHER. (Said with reverence and humility. And an echo.)
(The Before:)

(The After:)
I understand that before dishwashers were invented, the real washer of dishes were also called children. However comma my child is not yet old enough for her to be an efficient means of getting the dishes warshed. Mostly she just makes a bubbly mess and sucks on the dishrag because she knows she's not supposed to. So I've been the dishwasher since moving to Michigan and my life has been so hard. Such a trial to have to wash all your dishes every day, twice a day. Cannot believe I got through that tribulation.

But seriously. I have gained back at least an hour of my life every day thanks to this magical contraption. And you know what's extra awesome about it? It was free. ( It's only 4 years old and it was at a rental property. The property manager said they always got complaints about it not working but apparently the people loading it didn't know you couldn't stick things down below the bottom rack (really??) and, upon instillation, Dustin figured out that the hose they had been using wasn't the right one. So anyhoodle, we're only out the cost of the hoses, electrical, and plumbing doodads and the labor was easily bought with hot fudge sundaes. It does a fabulous job and I have no complaints. All I have is praise, in fact.

So now I can devote all that time saved washing dishes to my latest venture - my new etsy shop. (Click on the picture.) 


I'm still working on upping the inventory and, as the name suggests, there will be a variety of things to buy - hair accessories, pillows, wall hangings, maybe a printable or two, jewelery, and  vintage finds. Why? Because I have craft ADD, THAT'S WHY.

That's the news for now. I'm going to go pet my dishwasher.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Better things to do with my money?

charity: water

I love the simplicity of this solution. Teach them how to dig a well.

A Moment of Genius

That's what Danny had last night. Installing a pocket door in our problematic bathroom will be a mess and require us to higher a professional. Annnnnnd we're not so much about that. So? Bi-fold door it is.

In white.

Yeah, he has good ideas every so often. Sadly, none of those good ideas ever coincide with outfit choices for our daughter. Tim Gunn and I don't get it but beggars can't be choosers.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

On superpowers and triangle heads

It's no secret that upon having a kid a woman's multi-tasking abilities go from impressive to superhuman. I realized this after the first week of motherhood when I looked around at everything I had gotten done in 15 minutes while Ava snoozed and had to check myself for a heartbeat because AM I A ROBOT OR DID I REALLY JUST DO ALL THAT?!

Well lately, my superpower is a little on the fritz. Maybe it's all this home improving but I have short-term memory loss. I get halfway through a task, get distracted five or six times, and finally make my way back to the first task. Flittering around to different tasks has always been my modus operandi but it's never been this bad. I feel like I'm TAKING CRAZY PILLS. The end of the day comes and I have 12 half-done piles around the house. Except the dishes. The dishes always get done all the way.....because I have no dishwasher and not that many dishes.

I can't even concentrate on doing Ava's hair long enough to do it. So she walks around as triangle head all day.

(this picture doesn't even begin to do it justice)

Meanwhile, Danny is Mr. Superfocused and I am jealous of him muchly. Maybe, between the two of us, we can actually get a few things accomplished. To be fair though, that wood paneling was rough and probably no other room in our house will need 4 coats of paint and have that many crevices.

I think I just need to relax and channel my inner Reilly (because she is freakishly organized). Some homemade coconut almond chocolate chip ice cream and netflix ought to get my powers back in working order. Yeah, I'm pretty sure the ice cream alone could have mended Harry's wand.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

DIY has commenced

So, here at casa de AWESOME, we are in full do-it-yourself (diy) mode. I'm painting the wood paneling in the back room. It's taking roughly 17 coats of primer of the oil-based kind and ALL of my patience. You know that point when you just want to be done and you don't care how crappy it looks? Trying to avoid that point has been SO HARD. But alas, I want our house to look nice. So i paint during nap time. Not favorite.

We have also started on the upstairs bathroom. This is what it looked like to begin with (I didn't get a really good shot because it's pretty much impossible to do in this teeny bathroom).

View from the stairs:.

Classy vanity and tub:

Flooring and wallpaper. Even the ceiling was wallpapered.

And the most annoying thing about this bathroom (and the entire house, actually): The door is kind of huge in relation to the size of the bathroom. You can't just walk into the bathroom and shut the door. You have to lean way back against the sink: 

or shove yourself against the toilet and lean back (there is also like no room for a traesh can (pronounced traysh) in there either) to close the door. Sooooo annoying. 
 Needless to say, this will have to be fixed before we think about having another babe. I can't imagine being large with child and bathing my other child in here. Or peeing, for that matter. I could just leave the door open but it's also in the way then. Gah. So, we're thinking pocket door. We'll see what we can actually do though. Any suggestions? I'm open to 'em.

Alas, the only redeeming thing about this bathroom? Tbhe faucet. Lurve it. Will keep it.

So far we've torn down the wallpaper to reveal a never-before-painted plaster wall and mold on the ceiling (awesome) and we've plastered over some holes. Next, we'll sand and paint. Then do the tile flooring and replace the vanity and sink.

It's really hard to fit the rest of my life into all the home improving going on here. Oh, and we got an estimate on replacing windows yesterday..... $18,000-20,000.


Yeah, right. Right?