Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bookcase FAIL

I expect to mess up and fail occasionally. 

In theory. 

I mean, everyone does, right? 


I am always surprised, though, when it actually happens. 

Without further ado:

To the Brady bunch tune:

Here's a story.
'Bout a small bookcas-ie.
It was living in Ella's old room.

Now it needed a home - and a paint job.
So I took my cue.

Okay.  That's as far as I'll take that.  I thought the bookcase would be perfect in the piano room to hold my music which is currently in an inadequate cabinet.  I could totally visualize it!  A white bookcase with a white and yellow chevron pattern covering the back.  How CUTE, right?!

Here's the problem.  The bookcase is fake wood.  Laminate.  I've never tried to refinish fake stuff, but if I could do real wood, how hard could it be? 


I prepped my little bookcase for some painting.  By prepped, I mean that I wiped it off.

Then I took white spray paint and gave it two thin coats.  Easy peasy.

My first hint of disaster struck during the second coat.  I had a small drip, so I reached for a paper towel and wiped it up.  It not only took the wet paint off, but also the paint from the first coat!  Stink!!!  With trepidation, I took my fingernail and gently scraped it, and this happened.

Can I please get a pat on the back for using the word trepidation?

I left it overnight to see if it just needed to cure longer {ha}, and went inside to do some computer research.  Now, here's where I should mention that Handsome Hero had asked me to do this research before I started on the project.  He had said that refinishing over what is basically a sticker wouldn't be like refinishing wood.

He was right.

So right.

But I was so confident!  I knew that I couldn't sand it because, as he said, it was basically a sticker, so what other prep could there be?

Well, if you google something like "how to paint fake wood," you'll find several websites with instructions, all of which begin with, "sand the fake wood."

Sand the "wood."  Who knew?  Well, I would have if I had listened to my better half.


So the next morning, I tried to scrape it off the best I could with a snow scraper.

I got this far when I thought, "Why am I doing this?  Is this such a precious piece of fake wood that I feel the need to make this work?  Why not just wait to find the right piece of REAL wood furniture at the right price on craigslist and call this a lesson?"

So I hauled it into the basement where no one cares what it looks like and I'll use it for storage.

You can't win 'em all.

Lesson learned.

P.S. I did this a couple of weeks ago and am just now posting it, lest you think I'm some sort of super able-to-do-a-bookcase-fail-with-a-broken-leg kind of girl.  I mean, you can think that if you want to.  I don't mind.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How to Paint a Cast

How to paint a cast
Broken leg
Paint brush
1.  Fall down the garage steps and twist your ankle, all without spilling one drop of your coffee.  Have your five-year-old go door to door to find a neighbor while you alternate crying and sipping your coffee.  No sense wasting good coffee.
2.  Go to the doctor and find out you broke your leg.  Choose a good base color for your cast.  I chose red.

3.  Look at your cast forlornly, wondering what you did to deserve this.  Also wonder at the length and oddly non- parallel directions your toes seem to be going.

4.  Decide that if you are going to have a cast, you might as well make it your medically necessary ankle accessory.  After all, you like to redesign and refinish EVERYTHING.  You won't let a little thing like a cast get in the way of your creativity!

5.  Enlist a friend to paint flowers on your cast because you can't reach it all.

6.  Gaze at it meditatively.

7. Realize that, even though it's cute, you'd rather not have this accessory.

8.  Sigh, then drink some more coffee.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sibling Rivalry????

When we were little, my nickname was Princess.  My sister's nickname was Pumpkin-Doodle-Squat-Head. 

Who do you think was the favorite?

That's right. I was royalty; she was a vegetable.

Okay, so maybe our parents didn't do favorites, but I'm always working on it.  I mean, I gave them an awesome son-in-law and three fantastic grandchildren! 

bun #3 in oven

Rebecca was just seething with jealousy!


She already had an awesome husband, but she needed to take it up a notch.

smiling while plotting

Soon after I got bun number three cooking, she got her added her own bun to the oven.

very little bun

But she knew it could take years for her to catch up, so what did she do?  WHAT DID SHE DO????

I'll tell you what she did.  She broke her foot to ensure the sympathy vote.  That's what she did.  At thirty-five weeks, no less!


It was so not fair.  I wracked my brain to think of what I could do.  I had to stay in the lead!  Finally, I landed upon a brilliant plan.

 I win!  I win!

I decided to break my ankle.  Game on, sister.

 This picture shows what a toughie I am

I'm cute,

 Eighth grade cheerleader shot
I'm so not in shape,

 Sweatin' to the Gimpies shot

And I think I may have just won.

Senior picture shot

Woo to the hoo.  Oh, yeah.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

If you want to see something funny...

Typically, my funny stories revolve around Ella.  She is hilarious, but so is Jack.  He's a total ham, but not in a way I can really write about.  It just doesn't translate.  While Ella's humor is verbal and usually unintentional, Jack is very purposeful, but his humor is physical.  A look, a funny face, a silly walk, these are the ways Jack makes us laugh, but it's hard to capture that in the written word.

Recently, Ella and Jack did a puppet show {they charged us a two coupon dollar admission}, which somehow morphed into a concert.  Ella performed a song she learned in VBS, and then Jack regaled us with a loose version of The Lord's Army.  Puppets made an appearance for about .4 seconds.

I thought about asking for my coupons money back, but in the end, I decided it was worth it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

When I said to put away his superheros,

I didn't know he was one.  I found him sitting in the bin where they live.  He was right at home.

I'm just preparing for my next rescue, Mom. 

That's awfully confident of you, my dear.  I can't help but notice you still need your blankie.

It's my cape, Mom.

I'll trust you to save my day, WonderJack!

Thanks, Mom.  Every great superhero needs a sidekick.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Nate - the child actor

I was looking at my sweet little baby yesterday and realized that he is far from little anymore!

I started taking some pictures, and realized something.  He clearly wants to go into showbiz!  He's a very versatile actor.  Maybe it's just because I'm his mom, but it seems clear to me that he has a lot to offer.  Observe.

This is my Matrix impersonation.  I'm about to get all Kung-fu on you.

Watch me flip my hair.  I can be a boy-diva.

Musical Theatre:
I'm tap dancing!
I'm shooting out my Spidey-web.

Yes, he has it all.  And look at that mysterious smile.  I wonder what he's thinking.
Shh.  Don't tell mommy, but I'm working on a surprise for her right now.

What a gifted child.

Knuckles, Bro.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Dinner Conversations

This was the conversation last night at dinner:

Ella:  I don't like this salad.
Me {surprised}:  What?  You love everything in it!
Ella:  No, I don't.
Me:  Look at the mandarin oranges.  You love those.
Ella:  That's true.

 Me:  There are almonds, and you love almonds.
Ella:  I do love almonds.

Me:  And what about the cucumbers?  You love cucumbers.  And sugar snap peas!
Ella:  I do love those, even though they're sliced funny.

 Me:  And what about the dressing?  Isn't it great?
Ella:  I LOVE the dressing!  It's my favorite!

Me:  So, would anyone like seconds of anything?
Ella:  Yes.  I'd like some more salad.

Score one for the parental unit.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Let me tell you a story

I'm going to tell you a story.  It's a story about a girl named Bethina.  Bethina Lewisina.  It's not me.  It's another girl whose name is Bethina.

Bethina had a tough morning.  It all started last night when her son, Jacksuma {who is two and built like a tank}, started having stomach pains.  He was very fussy and very unhappy, and cried and cried and cried late into the night.  Her other son, Naterama, who is only five weeks old, is in a growth spurt and wants to eat incessantly, which is hard on Bethina, who would rather sleep incessantly.  Between Naterama and Jacksuma, Bethina and her husband, Billman, didn't get much sleep.  In fact, they feel like the walking dead {cue: Thriller video}.

Jacksuma finally felt better this morning around 6:30, when it was announced by a very excited five-year-old named Ellackadoodle that "MOM!!!  Jacksuma THREW UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  After the night she and Billman had had, it may have been enough to make Bethina cry a little. 

It was now 6:30, and the kids were wide awake.  She was supposed to have at least another hour of sleep!  Wait.  Why did she think she would get that?  She hadn't gotten it in weeks, but a girl can dream, can't she?  She got up and began the day. 

In order to change Jacksuma's sheets, Bethina stuck him in the bath.  He had no toys to play with because he had gone poopoo in the bath the day before and she had dumped the yucky toys in the sink and promptly forgot about them while she cleaned out the tub .  Jacksuma was content to play with two cups, so Bethina went to change the sheets.  While taking off the bottom sheet, she heard, "Mama, I go peepee!" from a very enthusiastic Jacksuma. 


Now, keep in mind that while Jacksuma was getting his first and second baths of the day, Naterama, who is not normally terribly demanding, was crying every 10.5 minutes to be fed.  Or changed.  Or comforted.  Or just to see Bethina's face, which is apparently soothing even when it holds a manic expression.  Ellackadoodle, however, was playing quietly in her room.  That should have been a warning.  Ellackadoodle does not do anything quietly.  When Bethina went in to check on her and get clothes for Jacksuma, she discovered that Ellackadoodle, who is FIVE, had drawn a picture. It was over two feet long.  She drew it in black crayon.  She drew it on the carpet.

Bethina just stared.  She pulled herself together, and, realizing she was too upset to be disciplining the child at the moment, she murmured something about dealing with this when her father got home and went back to Jacksuma.

Bethina put a diaper on Jacksuma, who promptly filled it completely and fragrantly.  It was so bad that she had to double bag it and take it outside to the garage, but the garbage was out by the curb, so she left it on the garage steps to deal with when she brought the can back in.

She decided that what she needed was to get out and clear her head {as much as she could with three kids in tow}, so she put the kids in the car and backed out of the garage.  As she rolled back, she heard a loud POP! and thought for a second that she had a flat tire, but as she continued back, she saw that the grocery bag-encased diaper of mammoth proportions, which must have been kicked off the steps by a kid on his way to the car, had rolled under the front passenger tire where the van had run over it.  Think of how bad that could be.  Just think of it. 

It was. 

It was that bad.  Maybe worse. 

All of this before lunch. 

And as she sat there in the driveway surveying the carnage, Bethina started to laugh.  She couldn't help it.  It was a slightly deranged laugh, bordering on hysterical, but she pulled it together enough to tell me about it.

Because this is a story about Bethina.  Not me.