Friday, March 25, 2011

Mommy Confession - No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem

So I have something to confess. I'm a bad mommy. Not a bad mommy as in I don't ever bathe or properly restrain him in a car seat, no, I mean a bad mommy in the fact that I have things that I do or don't do that would bring shame upon me if I ever confesed them inside a mommy circle.

What kind of things would bring shame to me? Oh, how about the fact that I let A. run around in a diaper when we're at home. Only a diaper. Yes, I'm that mom. The one that other mommies would give side way glances at and scoot just slightly farther away from.

See that picture? I stagged it. Minutes before that he was running around in just a diaper. But just incase for some reason he were to ever come across this in the future I reasoned I should at least throw a shirt on the poor kid.

The worst part of course is that I could say that I let him run around because our house is warm, which it is, or the fact that we're in the middle of potty training, which we are. No, it's pure lack of will power on my part. The act of trying to get A. dressed is like trying to dress an octopus. I just give up. If we're at home then, meh, run free A. Run free.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dream House Stuff

When we first moved into our house, I walked around with my in-laws and sister-in-law, beaming with pride about our new house and telling them about all my design plans. So many, many plans. My sister-in-law, who is a few years younger, single and doesn't have her own house or really any of her own bills (she's in college) said happily, "Wow, so it sounds like you guys should be able to decorate the house really quickly!". I wish. But in order for that to happen I would need an endless amount of money that isn't already going to just living in the house and eating food, oh, and my own personal FedEx man to deliver all my loot. So instead I like to dream about stuff I'd fill this house with, but only in my mind, because it's cheaper that way. And currently the things I'm adoring include...

This bird jewlery dish that I think would look nice in the entry way as a catch all for keys and other odds and ends. Of course I would have to buy a table to go in the entry way for it to sit on, but I'd actually rather just buy the dish first.

Also this owl umbrella stand for the entry way. We don't even own any umbrellas but I would buy some just so I could have this stand.

I really want a big, overstuffed chair for the living room. The problem is I can't find one in yellow that I like. I'm sure I could have one custom made but I can't afford that. I wonder if I could dye the slipcover? Hmm.

I also really like this owl lamp. I think it would look good in the living room on the side tables we don't yet own. Hmm, I'm suddenly loving things with owls and birds. That trend is old too though and my next door neighbor lady already has an odd obsession with them. But something about them speaks to me.

This large hanging capiz pendant that is sparkly but not in an obnoxouis way. It would look perfect in our dining room because you could see it from the living room as well as the front of the house. And nothing says snazy like a sparkly pendant.

Even though we have a dining room I think this white cafe pub table would be a great addition to the unused corner of our kitchen. I love the idea of having a vase with bright, fresh flowers on it. Plus anything to make that room brighter and less 1952 would be fantastic.

I hate. Hate. Our upstairs bathroom sink. It's one of those awful, awful sinks from the 70's or 80's with the horrible wood bottom and awful gold like color sink. It has to go and soon. And to replace it I want to install this pedestal sink that is very close to what was probably originally in the bathroom when the house was built in 1928. How I want that sink and all it's beautiful glory. I don't even care that I won't have a place to store things underneath it. We'll deal and use the hallway closet instead.

Letter wall hooks that I think would look oh so cute in our full bathroom. Not that The Husband or A. would use the appropriate letter, but still, I have visions of crisp white towels hanging from these.

This crystal perfume bottle is perfect. I would prefer a vintage one actually and there are tons at the local flea markets. It would go perfect on my dresser next to my growing collection of jewelry boxes (I currently own six but have three on display).

And it would go perfect on this curvy dresser. I love the details of it and it would give me more space to display my jewelry box collection and other tchotchkes I've collected over time.

Soon hopefully I can buy some of this stuff instead of plumbing and drywall. No one cares about new plumbing but people do care about quirky owl umbrella stands and sparkly capiz pendants. Well at least, I care.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Growing up I really hated the color yellow. It was too bright. Too gross. And I look horrific in the color. Nothing like taking a chubby girl and making her stand out even more in a crowd than putting her in something bright yellow. Yes, yellow was not my color and I can't ever recall owning a piece of clothing or accessory that was yellow.

Until we bought the house. I have always loved grey houses, though I'm not sure why. Perhaps because so many different accent colors look good with them or because as they say, grey is the new black. But when we bought a house, a grey house, I suddenly found myself drifting towards yellow. Something about it screamed, LOVE ME! And I can honestly say, I do now.

Now I find that I search out all things yellow and I worry that our house will end up with too much yellow and grey. Even though according to design blogs, grey is so 2009 already. But the great thing is, I still really like the grey and yellow combo with white or even robin eggs blue and purple in small pops of color. Which is why I adore the following pictures...

I'm not sure what I love about this living room from County Living but something about it makes me feel happy just looking at it. I think the arm chairs are part of it.

This living room, which I know was a home tour on Apartment Therapy, though I can't remember which one, also seems so cheery. I think once again it's the white furniture that helps it. And the idea of using a huge piece of fabric as wall covering seems like a good idea, one I could not only DIY myself but probably also afford.

Once again from Apartment Therapy this living room is another that makes me wish I too could own white furniture. But it leaves me wondering, do these people actually sit on their furniture? Because the mere idea of someone sitting on a white piece of furniture gives me a panick attack. By the way, don't you love the pleat detail on the bottom of the couch?

I love that in this living room from Decor Pad that the walls are a robin eggs blue. Combined with the yellow I think it is beautiful. And I love the pop of purple from the flowers.

The funny thing is, even though almost all of these are living rooms are yellow, ours will be Sea Breath from Valspar. It's a bright yet calming robin egg blue that I just adore. I've painted a few samples on different walls and finally commited and bought a gallon on friday. Hopefully I still like it when it's all over my walls.


Monday, March 7, 2011

"Don't take this the wrong way but..."

This post is different from my normal ones.... but I have to get this out... for me...

I've never come out and said it in plain words but A. has a developmental delay with his speech and is believed to have a sensory processing disorder. Though official confirmation on the SPD will come when he sees the occupational therapist later this month. My hesistance to post about isn't from shame, it's from pain.

Pain that is compounded by people's "helpful" insights into his speech delay. And they all start the same way. They all start with, "Don't take this the wrong way but you know why he doesn't talk, right?" followed by some gold nugget of information. The problem of course is, when you start your sentance with "don't take this the wrong way", I do. You already know I will, that's why you started it like you did. And honestly, if you are going to start your sentance that way, I have a tip...  close your mouth and don't finish that thought. Because unless you have the following qualifications:
  • You are a well educated child development professional with years of experience.
  • You have a degree in education specializing in special needs.
  • You have a child with the same delay.
Shut the hell up. Because you have no room to tell me why my child has a delay and I'm sick of fake smiling at people about it. It would be like me telling two of my friends why their sons have Autisim. I have no idea why. I'm not qualified to even guess why and sure as hell have no right to tell them what my thoughts are on the cause.

Call it bitterness, call it anger, call it whatever you want. But it comes from pain. We as a family are in pain. And the idea that I haven't spent hours, days, trying to figure out why he has a 17 month delay in verbal speech and where his SPD issues come from, is just another smack in my face. When A. can't communicate to me what he needs it is a daily reminder of the fact that I feel like a failure both as a mother and as a child development professional . Your insight doesn't help specially when your reasons for his delay place blame on me. I talk too much. I don't let him talk for himself. I don't make him work for anything. He's spoiled. He's a momma's boy.

And the fact that it's coming from family and friends makes it that much worse. I could of course always tell them how they make me feel... but then I'm suppose to pretend to be strong and upbeat and positive about his progress, about the special education he now qualifies for. I'm his mother. I'm suppose to put this in a positive light. I'm suppose to be humble and remember other mother's would kill for just a speech delay and SPD. That things could always be worse. I should count my blessings and thank G-d for even having a child.

At least he's adorable and makes me laugh.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Our Own Renovation Reality

I'm not sure if you've ever watched the DIY network but they have this show called Renovation Realities. The premise is simple. They tape, usually a couple, trying to tackle a weekend renovation on a limited budget and it goes about as well as everyone expects. Horribly hilarious. There is yelling, crying and the occasional trip to the ER. It's a good show.

And now we're faced with our own renovation that before it even began was heading in that direction.

See that hole there? That's a hole in the ceiling of one of the downstairs bedrooms which is A.'s playroom. When we bought the house we knew that there had been some water damage in the past but everything seemed okay. Until this weekend. When it began leaking. Yay! Because this weekend was already jam packed with flu fun to begin with.

So The Husband tore down some of the ugly ceiling tiles that were eventually going to come down anyways. And by eventually, I mean, years from now. Not Saturday night. Then today my Brother came over and helped me break out the plaster ceiling that was hiding under the tiles which is the hole in the ceiling you see now.

So now we have the issue of a hole in the ceiling of the playroom that has to be addressed. Oh and the leaking. And the damage to the wall. So I moved all of the toys out and they have invaded the living and dining room where they will probably live for the next month while this gets fixed.

Originally, we thought we (The Husband, Brother, Dad and I) could handle this. I mean, how hard was it going to be to:
  • Rip down all of the old ceiling tiles.
  • Take down the ceiling trim.
  • Rewire the cloth wiring and add in a new ceiling light.
  • Put up a new drywall ceiling.
  • Put up new ceiling trim.
  • Cut out a section of the plaster wall under the water damage that is falling apart due to age and water damage.
  • Fix the probably minor plumbing issues.
  • Put a drywall patch into a plaster wall.
  • Paint ceiling, walls and trim.
  • Put up new window hardware and drapes.
  • Move all the toys back in.
Soooo yeah. That seemed doable. In nine years. Specially considering how in almost a year we've only managed to paint A.'s room and oh, I painted the ceiling in the dining room.

But here is where the fun begins. Once we tore down part of the ceiling the real issues became clear. Problems I'm already throwing the towel in and calling a general contractor about. My Brother tells me that the top plate in the wall is structurally unsound due to years worth of leaks from the major plumbing issue that is that the stack that runs between the two bathrooms is holding together by rust alone at this point. Awesome.

Thankfully our city has a program for poorish homeowners within the city limits that will pay 50% of the costs, up to $4,000, for immediate, necessary repairs for things like plumbing and structural issues. Yay! So tomorrow I will start calling contracters to come out and give bids, call for quotes for dumpters and filling out an application for the program that the lady at city hall assures us from my description, we already qualify for. Oh and making sure we procure proper permits. Fun fun!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A.'s 2nd Birthday Party - Olivia the Pig Party

So this post is over two months overdue. I was fairly lazy after the party. But whatever the reason, here is A.'s Olivia themed birthday party.

 A. has been obsessed with the show Olivia now since we moved into the House and got better cable that had Nick Jr, which crap, was almost a year ago in April. Wow. Anyways. The first time he saw an episode he went nuts, "swimming" on the couch like Olivia was in the ocean with sea lions. I had never seen him pay so much attention to something on TV before and soon we had 29 episodes of it dvr-ed on our TV. 

The TV show is based off the Olivia book series by Ian Faulkner and A. now has all of the board books available. He loves to point at Olivia and laugh. If you haven't seen or read about Olivia then you are missing out on the most precocious six and three quarters old pig.
So when it was time to throw A.'s second birthday party I stayed true to his first birthday and used a simple color scheme with accents to help tie in the theme. I used black, red, white stripes and polka dots.

This was his second birthday party invitation that I made this year. It was simple again, like last year's invitation. I like it well enough for twenty minutes of work in Word. I copied the invitation wording from some source; I'm not that brilliant to come up with rhyming wording for a two year olds birthday party invitation. I think it went nicely with A.'s name but really any name would go well.
 I wish that I would have thought to take video of A. when he first saw the dining room decorated, but ugh, of course I forgot. But the, "wwwwwoooow!" that he screamed first thing in the morning made it worth it more than you can even imagine considering how it's only one of less than a dozen words he has.

This year instead of hosting it away from home, we got to host it in our new dining and living room complete with paint swatches and patches on the walls. So ignore those in the background. The Husband was in charge of taking the majority of pictures this year. He did a great job (insert, don't let that happen next year, smile here). I'm missing a few that I would have liked to have gotten but overall they are photos of his party. A. had a blast!
This is obviously us. We apparently suck at taking a decent family photo but I promise we were all happy at that moment in time. We'll work on making it look like it for next year. But it does a decent job of showing two of the streamers The Husband hung so beautifully for me, the yucky drapes left over from the previous owners in the kitchen and the sailboat painting that is forever titling to that one side.

This was A.'s Olivia the Pig birthday cake. I wish I could take credit for it but trust me, I'm not that talented. I could handle his first cake and that was very important to me, but with his 2nd cake, um, not as much. No, this cake is the wonderful work of my best friend growing up, Melissa. We have known each other since we were six and when I knew I had a specific idea in mind for his 2nd birthday cake, one with tiers and fondant work, I knew I couldn't ask anyone but her. I knew I wanted stars and stripes and an Olivia with the red dress made out of fondant, but she is the one who designed the final cake design. The cake was so yummy too, with a white and chocolate cake with oh so yummy filling.

This is a close up of the Olivia cake topper. It was perfect and coordinated perfectly with the sparkly red number 2 candle I found at Target. We kept Olivia around for a week or two after the party and every time A. saw it he exclaimed "oooooh!".

This was the party table. I used the white table cloth and white platters I already owned. I then picked up red plates and plain black napkins from the dollar store. The polka dot napkins come from Target and I shelled out a big $2+ dollars on those and shamelessly saved all the extras for some function in the future. I served pigs in the blankets, fruit, cheese and crackers, mini cheese and pepperoni pizzas, red and black liquorish and chocolate covered pretzels.

There's a close up of the one side of the table. I have no idea why I didn't take one of the other side. Oh well. It looks the same, just with the pizzas. By the way, isn't the fruit platter pretty? My mom did that. She rocks.

This was the punch table. I meant to get a better picture but then, meh. I bought a cheap red plastic table cloth, red cups and reused the punch bowls and glass pitchures from our wedding. My Mom made pink sherbet punch. The recipe is simple and consists of one pint pink sherbert, one bottle of sprite and one can of pineapple or pink lemonade juice. I think Mom must adjust it a bit because when she makes it it tastes creamy and oh so good, where when I make it it's just kinda sugery sweet. Either way you make it, it tends to stain so I took a risk letting people wander around holding open cups over our 1952, once cream colored carpet.

These were the presents to A. that The Husband and I bought him. An Olivia puzzle that is three feet tall. It's too hard for him to put together by himself but he loves handing us the pieces and it was a big hit as an activity at the party. The other activity was the coloring pages on the table. We also bought him an Olivia board book, Olvia Counts, as well as an Olivia plush doll dressed like a cow and a duplex set. I would love to say he has adored and played with each one day and night but um, yeaaah.

And to end, the ballons The Husband went and picked up the day of the party. Normally when your child has a birthday party you put them outside. But poor A. was born in December in a state that gets snow so instead they go inside next to the horrible yellow paint I painted on that wall. The Husband did do a very nice job with the ballons.

And that was A.'s birthday party. I can't believe we all made it to two. I can't believe he's two! I'm so glad at the end of the day that we got to celebrate it exactly like a birthday should be, with family and friends. I couldn't have thought of a better way.

How I Lost 10 Pounds in a Weekend

That's right. I lost 10 pounds this weekend. What magical diet did I come across?

The flu. Yay.

Yes, I caught the flu on Friday night and at first thought it was food poisining from Temple. I dared to eat food other people and their germs had touched after service at the oneg and figured it was just my pleasent reminder to not ever, ever do that again. Or at least not follow behind a teenage boy whose hygenine and basic dressing skills made me question why his parents had allowed him out of his room.

But no, it was the good old flu. I haven't had the flu since I was in second grade. H1N1, sure, but regular flu, nope. And while it is awesome to be temperarly 10 pounds lighter from not eating for the last four days, I wouldn't reccomend it as a long term weight solution.

Oh well, at least I'm over it, The Husband is nearly over it and A. got expossed but didn't catch it.