Thursday, April 28, 2011

My excellent parenting skills once again astound me....

Last night and this morning we had some pretty wicked storms around here, with severe thunderstorms and more tornado warnings in 24 hours than we typically get in a year. 
My kids aren't crazy about storms, but Olivia gets downright frantic. 

This was exacerbated by the fact that, on Easter Sunday, "Twister" was on and since we were all sitting around talking, I didn't realize that the girls were watching it until Olivia said "Um, tornadoes can pick up COWS????" 


While I find this movie completely unrealistic and almost campy, my (almost) 8 and 11 year old found it a bit frightening until we assured them that tornadoes rarely - if ever  - happen where we live.

So really, they were safe.

Anyway, not paying attention and allowing my children to watch the movie Twister (albeit in a room full of adults talking) and then telling them that it likely would NEVER happen here was probably not the best parenting decision I've ever made and certainly came back to bite me in the ass when the dogs woke us up at 4:15 this morning, which is juuuuusssst about the time the first tornado warning was issued, and we had to usher the girls downstairs. 

In the middle of the night. 
In the dark.
Because the weatherman told us to take cover due to the possibility of a tornado.

The tornado we told our kids would likely not happen.

Oh, but wait, the evidence of my excellent parenting skills gets better....

Last evening, as we sat watching the Weather Channel for updates on the storms in Alabama (that would torture us in a few hours) and again, reassuring the children that we would be fine and answering a billion questions about tornadoes, out of nowhere my little Sydney pops out this gem:

"Mommy? If you hadn't married daddy, I wouldn't be here, right?  So I'm glad you married daddy because he's my buddy.


(wait for it....)

... how did you MAKE me?"

If a tornado had touched down in my kitchen at that very moment, I wouldn't have been more shocked - or panicked - than I was at hearing that question burst (rather nonchalantly I might add) from my baby's mouth.

"And, I know I was in your belly, but how did I get IN there?"

And that's when I started hoping for that tornado to touch down in my kitchen.  Or a cow to fly past the window. Anything for a diversion.

Now, I have to say that having "the talk" with Liv has been weighing heavily on me.  First of all, she's 11, has already had that "My Body and Me" unit in school and will be going to Middle School next year.  It's time.  But she is NOT a talker when it comes to this kind of thing and anytime I bring up something even remotely close to "the talk", she gets uncomfortable and finishes the conversation as soon as possible with a lot of
"Yes, I KNOW mother.  O-KAY mom" punctuated by excessive eye rolling. 

So as you can probably guess, I was trying to figure out how to approach it delicately.  

I was prepared, I was ready, and I was willing to talk about it.

But NOT with my (almost) 8 year old. 

However, I'm a big believer in not lying to my kids about stuff like this and I also don't want them to feel like they can't ask me sensitive questions.

So, while Brian stood behind Sydney, attempting not to hyperventilate and cradling his head with his hands, I explained to her what I felt she needed to know and left it at that.

Right as I was finishing up, Olivia walked in the room.  I told her what Sydney had asked me, hoping I could use this to break the ice about the subject, when Sydney broke in and recited VER-BA-TIM what I had just told her.

"Livvie, what happens is, after a mommy and daddy get married they might decide to start a family and have a baby.   So, the mommy and daddy do some things and sometimes the mommy gets pregnant and has a baby in her belly. But NOT until after they have done all the important stuff to get ready like finish college, get married, buy a house and have a career.  THEN they have a baby. After they're married."

And yes, I actually said "do some things" because really, I had noooooo idea how far she would take this so I figured if I could get away with "do some things" rather then get into detail, I was gonna take it.

I also stressed the "get married" part.  A lot.

Brian at this point was nearly choking - whether from laughter or sheer panic, I don't know - but I looked at Liv with a weak smile and said "So, I know you probably have lots of questions and this is something that we need to talk about more, don't you think?"

Olivia looked at me with that blank look she reserves for when I've embarrassed her, rolled her eyes, cranked up her iPod, turned on her heel and walked out of the room.

Sydney looked at me and said "Don't worry mommy.  If she has any questions, I'll help her."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Finally, the after....

We finished the floors two days before Easter. 

Oh yeah - down to the wire and stressing out about having a floor to walk on for all the people coming to the house for Easter.

That's how we roll....

Just to give perspective, here are a few before pictures.

The dining room looking into the entry hall and the sitting room beyond.


The other side of the wall.  The sitting room looking into entry hall. 

Nice and open now....

The stairs are rebuilt (here, here and here the dreaded floor is being installed.


And FINALLY....drum roll please.....


The stairs - looking in the front door.


And Baxter Boy makes an appearance....the dogs were never far from the construction.


The sitting room looking into the entry hall and dining room. Notice the lack of wall - ha!

And Chauncey - the wonder dog.

Dining room looking into the entry hall and sitting room 


Dining room looking through the pocket doors into the family room.


The sitting room. 


 I still need to finish the furniture, change the light fixture and hang pictures.


The little green chair belonged to my great-great Aunt Pearl. Love it.

I love how cozy this room is at night.....


The entry hall. Still need a little table for under the mirror.


So, there you have it.  Whew!

Now I have a lot of furniture to refinish. 

Which is good because Brian told me that if I start another project, he's sooooo outta here. 

I'll give him until the fall before I start something else - ha!

UPDATE:  here's the front door redo and the final hallway

Linked to:


The DIY Show Off

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Looks like we made it...

Brian and I have been putting in some long hours, neglecting the yard and the housework, neglecting the kids (no, not really....well, OK, maybe a little...) and made so much progress over the weekend that I think we are actually going to meet our deadline for hosting Easter dinner with a somewhat, almost, pretty damn near finished dining room, sitting room and staircase.

Whew!  This weekend we laid the flooring (all 500 square feet of it - my knees and hips still hurt), laid the quarter round, put a fresh coat of paint on the dining room, painted all the pocket doors (I'm finishing the last one now), touched up everything, caulked and finished up the trim on the stairs and in the sitting room. I'm tired just reading that! In the middle of all that, I managed to get in a few little runs and when I got on the scale this morning I was down 3 pounds - Woot! 

All we have left to do is hang one more piece of crown moulding in the hall and touch it up, lay the thresholds (we have a little issue there) and move everything back in the rooms. 

I have been taking pictures along the way, but frankly, we crawl into bed late a night, barely able to even say "g'night" and so downloading them from my camera is not exactly at the top of my list :) 

The Easter Bunny is NOT going to recognize our house. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

So where did we leave off????



Seriously, this stuff was like a bad date that just wouldn't leave you alone even after you snuck out the back door of the restaurant, took  a cab home and changed your phone number.

Not that I've ever done that.....


It took me a loooooooong time to get the walls free of it.  And then we had to repair the places where someone *ahem* got a little over zealous with the scraper.


But it was finally done.


Those stairs make my heart go pitter patter...swoon.....


We added a lot of mouldings to create definition between the rooms. 

OK, who am I kidding. 
They covered up our mistakes. 


And, like all projects, more gets added on as you progress. 
We decided the entry hallway also needed to be painted.


I apologize for the quality of the photos but these were taken at night (usually around midnight when we'd collapse from exhaustion).


And the can light (to be replaced) didn't help.

After all that, it was time to prime. 

So I put my homegrown help to work.



They lasted about 30 minutes.  But if I HADN'T let them help? 
They'd have bugged me All. Day. Long. about wanting to paint. 

Finally all primed.


This room gets a lot of light, but the morning light makes my heart happy......



And there are some of the paint colors on the wall. 

I chose none of them.


Brian trimming out the stairs.


Since the new flooring will encompass the sitting room, entry hall and dining room (which are all contiguous now) Brian had to remove the carpet from the dining room. 


The color I finally chose was Elderberry by Martha Stewart.  I knew I wanted a deep purple.  Honestly, when I picked up this paint chip, I though - no way - too purple.  But after seeing it for three days in every light possible in this room, I knew it was the one.


It's dark, and definitely an eggplant purple, but at night it looks like the color of dark, dark chocolate. LOVE. 
And I have BIG plans for the furniture and decor in this room.


The hallway is a darker grey - which totally isn't me, but in my mind I always saw grey in this space, so I went for it after trying to talk myself into another color for weeks. 
It's neutral and yet  blends beautifully  with both the red of the dining room and the eggplant color of the sitting room. 
I wish the color would come through better. 
It's not lavendar, nor is it a beige taupe color, I assure you.


Of course, we decided (after telling Brian for weeks and him poo-pooing me until one day he "came up" with the idea himself - why are men like that?) that since the dining and sitting room had dentil moulding, the hallway also needed it. 
So we're hanging that now. 

And Brian hung my chair rail for me after I painted.

I think I'll keep him.


The dining room (where I'll be hosting Easter dinner in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS), has become our workroom.


So that's where we are. 

Flooring is next, and then the fun of finding furniture and making this room exactly what I want it to be begins.....