Tuesday, August 30, 2011

They're going baaaaAAAAaaack!!!

Yesterday was the first day of school around these parts (well, for those of us that didn't lose power because of Irene - there are a lot of schools south and east of us that have had to delay their first day and still aren't up and running as of this morning).

Ms. Liv started sixth grade and now has to get up at 6:00 to get ready and catch her bus at 7:10 - which seems so early to me for middle school....

The great part about this is that Daddy is now on Liv duty.  He has to leave for work at the same time she has to catch the bus.  So, he gets her up and oversees her getting ready. 

So far it's going well.  He thinks it's a piece of cake. 

(Wait until he has to deal with an overly tired, hormonal, bad tempered pre-teen who is NOT a morning person.  At all.  Fun times.)

The night before school started, no one slept well.  

The girls were up and down, up and down, and I just flat out didn't sleep.

Maybe anxiety?  For all of us?

Look at that face :)  You'd never know the night before we had a disagreement *coughscreamingmatchcough* that culminated in me removing her bedroom door from the hinges with a screw driver and hammer so that I didn't have to listen to it SLAM for the 20th time, would you?

Oh yes, I am so looking forward to the teenage years....

Olivia's looking forward to getting her door back.

Unfortunately for her, we have solid wood six panel doors (have I mentioned how LOUD they are when slammed?).  And I'm not really motivated to put it back on.

That bitch was heavy.

(And totally ruined my "I'll show you who's boss by taking this door off" moment when I had to grunt and groan to get it down and could only move it 3 feet to the hallway while she snickered in her room at my red, sweaty face.)  

But, even though she's a little diva with a HUGE attitude, I love her dearly and she sure is beautiful....

Since Liv leaves an hour earlier than Sydney, our mornings are much quieter.  There's no more sibling bickering, slamming doors (heh - heh), stomping around, and rolling eyes.
Sydney gets up after Liv leaves, gets ready and off we go to meet her bus. 

Whereas Liv was enthusiastic about the first day of school, Sydney was.....not. 

She perked up after she had her coffee.

I'm kidding....

My little cutie patootie loves school even if she doesn't think it's "cool" to say so.  

And so, we start a new chapter.

Sap that I am, I looked at all the old first day of school pics of the girls last night and got all misty eyed.....my babies are growing up.

I know the next few years will go by so fast and soon they'll be off to college and the house will be too quiet. 

I'll miss the bickering and the attitudes and the general chaos.

And I'll probably go slam some doors - for old time's sake. 

Monday, August 29, 2011


My babies started school this morning. I am now officially a mom of a middle schooler.


I'd be depressed, but for Cassity over at Remodelaholic.

I love to see everyone's projects, so I'm pretty much on there on a daily basis.

I was thrilled when she told me they were featuring my stairs!

(And I'm now lamenting the fact that the new front door isn't installed so a REAL after can be shown....boo)

Cassity and her hubby Justin recently redid their staircase too - it's very similar to what we did so go check out the site and get some inspiration!

Thanks Cassity! You made my day!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The list - again....

Every few months I revisit my "List"  (here and here) - to cross off what I've accomplished and add a few new things that I've come up with.  Since it's been almost a year, and nothing gets me motivated like a LIST, here we go again.

1. STOP being a slacker. Eh - I'm middle aged now.  Slacking isn't so wrong anymore.....

2. Get myself in shape. What can I say?  I'm a "work in progress".  Brian and I did P90X last year and it seriously kicked our butts.  I had nice arm muscles.  But then we stopped.  And it all went back to flab.  And since I've gained a bit of weight I figured the most efficient way to GET IT OFF (blech) was to start "ru-walking".  So that's what I do.  I don't know that it's actually done much, but I feel better about myself and I actually did a 5K this spring so I've got that going for me....

3. Get my house in shape. (Resolutions a through q). Is it just me or does this list grow every time I look at it???

a. Lay new wood floors in the dining room, entry hall and sitting room. Hot Damn!  DONE!

b. Renovate the upstairs bathroom. YAY! This one is done! Woot! Done, 2010.

c. Paint the downstairs study/bedroom. Holy crap - another one to mark off my list - Yahoo! Done, 2010.

d. Add some decorative moldings to the bottom half of the dining room walls. I really want to do this soon, but I can't decide on the look I want.  My ideabook on Houzz has a shit load of pictures.  I like them all.  Decisions, decisions....

e. Design and actually make wooden valances for the family room windows. This was my current project in September 2010.  But I got sidetracked.  Life was busy, the girls were involved in all kinds of activities, we were running around a lot, we threw a bunch of parties and then...wait, what was I saying?

f. Add crown molding to the big family room to match what's there. This room is getting a total redo.  I'm working on my ideas now, so that will be part of it.

g. Talk my husband into moving our bedroom downstairs into the girls old playroom. He's getting sooooo close to letting me start this.....

h. Blow out the wall between the two guest rooms at the end of the hall upstairs. This will happen after item g.

i. Move Olivia into our Master Bedroom upstairs. Again, all dependent on item g.

j. Expand Olivia's old room to create a larger spare bedroom. I really need to get moving on item g.......

k. Reconfigure the kitchen. I am still rolling on the floor with laughter at this. Not happening anytime soon.

l. Talk my hubby into converting the wood burning fireplace in the morning room/breakfast area into a gas fireplace. Given our electric bills last year, this might happen sooner rather than later.

m. Remodel the sitting room into the room I want it to be, which includes the refinishing and reupholstering of a couch which belonged to my grams. I'm totally counting this as DONE even though the couch hasn't been touched (I'm a'scared to try it), nothing has been hung on the walls yet (although I have most of it), and touch ups need to be done (seriously - I am NOT a touch up kind of girl.  Once the major painting is done and that paint brush goes bye-bye, you can pretty much count on the fact that I'll never pick it up again).  But, the wall came down, the floor was installed and the bench/ottoman recovered.  Again - it's done in my book.  For now.

n. Talk my hubby into installing several rain barrels.  There's a freaking hurricane coming.  I'm making him stand outside with buckets since he fought me on this one and we have NO RAIN BARRELS. That'll teach him.

o. Talk hubby into FINALLY allowing me to have a real vegetable garden rather than just growing peppers and tomatoes in pots on the deck for the chipmunks enjoyment. I've about given up on this.  The stinkbugs destroy our veggies.  We might try next year....

p. Paint the trim. All of it. In every room of the house. Yeah, I still hate painting trim so it's a safe bet that this won't get done anytime soon....unless I redo every room in the house. Still, so far, the dining room, upstairs bath, downstairs hall, stairs and sitting room have been done.  So, let's look at the glass as half full.

q. When I get my crap together I will post a full picture breakdown of the house as it exists, and what the plan is. Yeah - still not done. *sigh*

4. Finish that pesky little thing called "Grad School".    DONE DONE DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Check Spelling Done, 2010

5. Spend more time with my kids. We've actually really made great strides here.  Unfortunately, with fall gearing up and cheer, dance and school for the girls, I expect our family "bonding time" will once again be in the toilet for the foreseeable future.

6. Spend more time with my hubby. Our anniversary is in September (13 YEARS!) so we hope to sneak away for a weekend.  Somewhere close.  And cheap.

7. Start reading. Have I told you how much I love my Kindle?  I'm blowing through books like crazy....

8. Plant a money tree in the backyard to fund Resolutions 1 through 7. Apparently money trees are back ordered. Maybe we'll find one next year.

9. FINALLY quit smoking for good. I'm not even going to go there....


10.  Family Room. Put some sort of wainscoting in the Family Room, repaint, resurface the built in bookcases (I simply can't bring myself to paint them.  I'll probably stain them darker), and find new or recover the old furniture.  The room bores me.  I need to amp up the excitement in here. This may call for a complete overhaul.

11.  Downstairs Bath.   I want ceramic flooring, do something with the vanity/mirror and repaint.  I'm struggling because it has nice tile on the tub and vanity and its a difficult color to try and coordinate with, along with the back of the brick fireplace.  I looooooove exposed brick.  But I'm just not sure I'm loving it so much in this bathroom. We'll see.....

12.  Closet. My closet needs some drawers and shelves.  I can totally do this in a weekend, but I need a plan.  And materials.  I'm working on it.

13.  Outdoor furniture. Build an outdoor sectional for the deck.  I want to get this done this winter so next year we can enjoy it. We found some fairly user friendly plans (I love Ana White) so although it's a bit outside our comfort zone, I'm pretty sure we can handle this.

I feel MUCH better now.  I loves me a good list!  Although the fact that this one has grown instead of shrinking may be cause for concern.....

Saturday, August 20, 2011

This is the random stuff that floats around in my head....

1.  I've realized that I may think of myself as a strong, confident woman, but when someone wrongs my kids, I turn into a shaking, distraught, angry mama bear.

2.  I've also realized that in those situations, e-mail is better.

3.  I've realized that - even though my daughter can be knocked down, devastated and humiliated - her strength and confidence in herself is beyond anything that I have.

4.  I'm in love with my shoes for the wedding.

5. I will always doubt myself and whether or not I'm doing right by my children.  But I actually AM a good mother.  My daughter proved that this week.

6.  Being in a wedding is expensive.  Like, crazy expensive.

7.  Having kids involved in youth sports and other activities is like having another full time job. Seriously.

8.  In a few days I'll be the mother of a middle schooler. How the hell did that happen?

9.  Why is it that I can never get my butt out of bed during the week but here it is Saturday morning and I'm wide awake at 6 am?  DAMMIT!

10.  I'm starting to think that plastic surgery is not so bad.....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Our new retirement plan...

Since the stock market is in the crapper (excuse my language) Brian and I decided to look elsewhere for our retirement funds.

For Christmas/his birthday, Brian got a new set of golf clubs.

The questions then became, what to do with the old ones?

I voted to sell them on Craigslist. 

I got vetoed.

He cut them down so the girls could use them instead. 

I'm OK with that.

They go out every night and hit balls in the side yard.

Tonight while Liv is at practice, Brian is taking Sydney to the driving range.

They actually LIKE it.

Look at that form - when she wins a bunch of money as a pro, she can take care of her mom and dad.

Voila!  Retirement!

This is where the "coach" sits, observing their swings, occasionally getting up to help with their form....

As you can see, Olivia takes it very seriously.  So seriously, she doesn't even wear shoes.

Sydney is a little more serious about it.  She even insists on wearing a hat when she golfs, like daddy.

(Watch out Mister, Sydney would now like to play cars and golf with you.)

He is the master of all he surveys....

Actually, he's just happy to have SOMEONE interested in something besides cheerleading and ballet. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Our most costly Before and After....





Olivia got braces on Friday.  So far she's been so good about it.

She's brushed her teeth at least four times a day.

She's flossed.

Unfortunately, she's barely eaten.

She has a bite guard in so she can't shew.  Her teeth don't touch anymore in the back.
But she's been so good about it.  

She's taken a lot of Tylenol.

But she's been a trooper. 

And in 3 years, I'll have another before and after.

A very expensive one.

But the most worthy one to date.

And that new car Brian wanted?

It's now in his daughter's mouth - ha!