Monday, February 17, 2014

The difference between a boy and girl

On Valentine's Day, the kids and I went and got donuts to have as dessert Friday night.  Frankly, this year's Valentine's Day was a let down.  After all our decorating, I really meant to go all out with paper valentines that we would make and put in mail slots that I was going to put on each kid's door, and I even found a recipe to make those cute little candies that taste like chalk and say stuff, so we could put our own sayings on them.  Because my kids would think that Foxy Lady is a girl with a bushy tail who steals chickens.

We were going to do these things, and then everyone got sick.  Not at the same time and not with the same intensity, but there has been at least one person not feeling well all week.  So none of my great ideas came to fruition, which is okay because the kids didn't know about any of it, so donuts sounded like a good time to them.

On the way home, the conversation, which perfectly illustrated our oldest children's personalities, went something like this:

Ella:  Mom, we should hide the donuts so that Daddy doesn't see them so that they'll be a big surprise, and, I KNOW, we can put them on a pretty plate and I can put on an apron and serve them to everybody.  Don't you think that's a good idea?  I think that's a great idea.  Or you know what?????  I could put on my chef's costume and then I could serve them while I wear THAT!  Isn't THAT a good idea??  I think it is.  But you will need to distract Daddy while I go down and change clothes into my chef's costume so that he doesn't notice because it's a big surprise.  Won't he be surprised?  He won't even know it's me!!  Or you know what???  I could wear my chef's costume UNDER MY CLOTHES!!!!  He would never suspect that!  Could I wear my chef's costume under my clothes during dinner?  That would be the best idea.  And then I could sneak out of the room and take off my outer clothes and there I would be as a chef!  That way Daddy will know that I'm his little girl and not a chef that just came into the house.  I wouldn't want him to think I disappeared, you know?  Now, I think that a chef would carry a tray, not a plate, and maybe I could make a box into a lid like they have on Ratatouille.  Could I use some scissors and tape?  I have a shoe box I could use, you know, the one that had my gray boots in it, not the pink ones but the gray ones, and then I could make those lids and then when I come to his place at the table I could just whip off the lid like a chef and say, "Here is your donut, sir," and he will be SO SURPRISED, won't he?  Don't you think this is a good idea?  But it's a big surprise.  We won't tell him and he'll never know and he'll be so surprised and happy that we did this for him!  This is the best Valentine's Day EVER!

Jack:  Hey, Ella?

Ella:  Yes, Jack?

Jack:  How about we just eat donuts?

The End

Friday, February 14, 2014

When you just. can't. stop. talking.

Yesterday I bought a couch for the basement.  All the kids in our small group are rejoicing right now.  They've been sitting on the floor for months.

I was excited to find exactly what I wanted in our price range {something that has eluded me for a year of off-and-on looking}.  I'll show pictures when we get it in, but it's beautiful, in a muted light green color, VERY comfy, and big enough to seat our entire family.  There's pilling on the fabric of a few cushions, but I'm confident I can fix that, and the cushions are machine washable, which is very nice with the aforementioned small group kids in addition to our own brood.

When the roads cleared, I drove out to the seller's house to check out the sofa.  Oh, friends.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  If you ever want to know where the one percenters live in Knoxville, I found it.  A-mazing.  I was so glad no one was behind me so that I could drive really slowly with my jaw on the steering wheel.  Beauty was everywhere.

By the time I got to the house, I was mush.  When they opened the door, I was a puddle.  These were the beautiful people you see on TV.  They both looked like models and their home looked like a magazine cover.  Contrary to what you might think, though, they were actually really nice, and were extremely welcoming, but for some reason not due to them, I suddenly felt like a frumpy housewife.  When some people are uncomfortable, they are very quiet and fade away.  I do the opposite and begin incessantly talking, nearly always to my horror in hindsight.  As soon as I stepped in the door, I found myself gushing all over the place about everything in this house.  The floor, the area rug, the kitchen stove with six burners, a charcoal grill, and a warming rack with heat lamps that I never knew I needed in my future kitchen.  I just started talking and could. not. stop.

Before children, I was a better conversationalist.  Now I stay home and my day is often filled with bodily functions of some kind or another from some child or another.  It has become normal conversational fodder.  This couple didn't have kids.  When you are talking to adults with children, you can have conversations about dirty diapers and you kind of bond over your shared battle with all things potty-related.  When you are talking to a couple who do not have those daily smelly blessings, it is best to avoid the topic.

Maybe now is the time to mention that we've had a stomach flu in our house. 

You see where this is going.

I opened my mouth and from this cavity spewed forth such details of this last week as I should not share with anyone.  I could see on their faces that they were going to double up on their birth control, and was able to reign myself in.  Until the girl mentioned the Ikea and how much they love shopping there.

That did it.  I couldn't help myself.  I launched into the greatest of Ikea stories, where we single-handedly shut down the play area and all the parents had to come back early to get their kids because Jack had diarrhea in the ball pit.  It's a great story.

Really, it is.

I wouldn't say that they propelled me out of the house, but they didn't ask me to stay and be friends, or better, bring back those kids who, if my account was to be believed, have an amazing capacity to-

Well, I'd better stop there.  I wouldn't want to say anything out of turn.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The reluctant decorator

Yesterday, I did something I've never done before.  Never in the history of ever.

I decorated for Valentine's Day.

As I've mentioned about thirty-five times, the only holiday I like to go crazy over is Christmas, but I'm slowly getting on the bandwagon.  It started with seasonal decorations, and now we're moving dangerously toward holiday decorating.  When you have kids, there is a natural evolution that takes place around your home.  You find yourself wanting them to find joy in every holiday like you did as a kid, so you start coming up with projects they can do that make the holiday more special.

But I still have my pride.  I spent about ten dollars total and that is about the top dollar I'm willing to spend on a holiday.  Also, most of the decorations can be used again for Spring decorating, which I might do this year. 

It's becoming a sickness.

I painted dots a la our fall tree decorations in a heart for the mantle and added some love-themed books we had around the house.  Then I made some felt flowers. and put them on the mantle and the bookcase.

If I start redoing my mantle every three weeks, feel free to shoot me.  I will have reached the point of no return.

For the bookcase, I had the kids paint an X and an O on canvasses and hang them with 3M command strips to my bookcase. 

You might have to use your imagination with the O.

The Dining room got some pom pom trim {the same as on the mantle and bay window above} and a wreath of rose petals left over from when Ella decided she wanted to be a flower for Halloween.  This project was definitely a great way to use up all those leftover bits from other projects that I felt would be wasteful to throw away.

Ella cut out a bunch of hearts which we taped all around the dining room.

My favorite, by miles, though, is Lester.

Oh, yes.  He is handsome.

Not bad for a reluctant decorator and ten dollars.  I like it!  I might have even had thoughts of how I can decorate for St. Patrick's Day in a couple of weeks.

Stop me.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Lester, the ???

Please welcome Lester.  He's the newest member of our home.

What's that?  You want to know what kind of animal he is?  Um....

I have to be honest.  I have no idea.  And while I would like to know, his unknown provenance doesn't lessen the Lester luster.

To answer a question I keep getting {doth my reputation proceed me?}, I didn't paint him silver.  He came that way.  I might paint him white at some point, though I like him this color while he's here in the dining room.  Thoughts?

I think it would be awesome to find a couple of friends for him and have three animal heads on that same wall.  Handsome Hero is not quite convinced {read: he's horrified}.

He graciously wore ribbons for Jack's birthday. 

Trippy.  Lester, meet the world.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Nate, and the stages of addiction

Nate has discovered the French doors leading to the sunroom.  It's better than a play ground.
 Why are you looking at me?
Wow!  Is that CANDY? 
It IS candy!! 
I need candy. 
No.  I'm strong.  I don't need candy.  I don't need anything. 
There is strength in numbers.  The big guy is my accountability partner.
Thanks for being there, bro. 
Okay.  Now he's weirding me out. 
I'm eating this glass and pretending it's candy. 
It worked! 
I'm free of addiction.  I'm an overcomer. 
I am strong.  Very strong. 
There's a whole new world out there for a candy-free guy like me. 
 Wait....  Is that....  Ice cream????
No, keep it away.   I am strong.  I am....
 Maybe just a little wouldn't hurt.  Just a pinch.  See?