Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wonder Women Wednesday: My Favorite Chore

 This week I asked Becky: What was your biggest accomplishment before you turned 13?
You can read her answer HERE.

Becky asked me: What is your favorite household chore?

My favorite household chore is vacuuming.  Here's why:
  • It's usually pretty fast.
  • The lines in the carpet of a freshly vacuumed room are very satisfying.
  • The evidence of dirt seems to completely disappear
  • The hose attachment can clean edges and corners and other tight spaces, cobwebs from the ceiling, furniture, and my computer keyboard.  It makes me feel like I've done a complete house cleaning in one go.  It can also get spiders from a nice distance.
  • My children pretend to be afraid of the vacuum cleaner so it's always a fun game when they put themselves right in my path and then run away screaming and giggling.
  • The noise drowns out other daily noise and it's a nice mental break.
  • Vacuuming up a sweep pile is easier and faster and leaves way less residue than a dust pan and broom.  In fact, I've been I've been totally sucked in (pun most definitely intended) by this stationary vacuum that I saw at a hair salon.  It's been out of stock for months but now I see that it's available!  It's on my list of things to save up for.

I love the vacuum cleaner we have now. It's a Hoover Windtunnel and it was a gift from a friend who knew we were having a hard time and knew that a vacuum cleaner was a need. I was shocked when she left a voice-mail telling me to check the back porch. There was the vacuum cleaner, all assembled sitting next to its box. It is one of the nicest gifts I've ever been given and often reminds me to see how I can meet the needs of my friends.  It's also the nicest vacuum cleaner we've ever owned and I would recommend it to anyone.

What about you?  What's your favorite household chore?  I'd love to read about it in the comments.  And don't forget to stop over at Becky's blog and tell us about your biggest pre-teen accomplishment!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Little Brother

The boys set up blanket forts in the living room today.  Excuse me, not blanket forts, water nests.  They were pretending to live deep in the sea inside a configuration of connected pods.  It's too bad they have such little imagination, right?

Anyway, Miles was getting bored of the game.

Miles:  Let's play super heroes!
Toby:  No, Miles, we're still playing water nests.
Miles:  But we could play super heroes.
Toby:  I like water nests.  It's like camping under water.  I'll get the marshmallows!
Miles:  Okay!  I'll bring the poop!
Toby:  Miles!  I don't want to play like that!
Miles:  You don't want to play water nests?  Great!  Let's play super heroes.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Potty Training

I'm trying to convince Miles that going number 2 in the toilet will be worth it.  He's not buying it.

Jeana:  Let's just go try.
Miles:, thanks.
Jeana:  We'll just go sit on the potty.  And see if anything wants to come out.
Miles:  Nah.
Jeana:  C'mon, it will be fun!  And you can get two stickers!
Miles:  Just a minute. (Pulls out toy cell phone) Hello?  Yeah, I'll call you right back.  (Puts toy phone back in pocket) Sorry, Mom.  I gotta go.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wonder Women Wednesday: My Earliest Childhood Memory

 This week I asked Becky: What would be the perfect way to celebrate your birthday?
You can read her answer HERE.

Becky asked me: What is your earliest childhood memory?

I am the oldest child in my family and my brother wasn't born until I was 5 years old.  I'm not the oldest grandchild but I was the oldest grandchild who lived near my grandparents.  Both sets.  They actually lived down the street from one another--how cool is that?  I also have a lot of photo albums of my early childhood.  And my parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles have told me countless stories about what I was like as a baby, preschooler, and little girl.

All that to say, it's difficult for me to distinguish if something is an actual memory or if it's the replaying of a story I was told about my childhood.  Here are few things I'm pretty sure are actual memories.  I think I must have been close to three years old for all of them.

I remember looking at alphabet flash cards with my grandmother, who I called Mama.  She would lay them out on the carpet and point to a card and I would tell her which letter it was. 

I remember my Papa singing silly songs to me.  Especially, "Turkey in the Straw" and I remember his laugh.

I remember going to preschool and the giant indoor playhouse we had.  I also remember finger painting with pudding.  I liked it.

What's the first thing you remember?  And don't forget to tell us all about your dream birthday celebration over at Becky's blog!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Living Room

I mentioned awhile ago that I had been making some changes to our living room decor ever since we got new couches.  This week I had a chance to go out shopping all by myself (a rare treat!) and I hit every thrift store and antique store in town.  I came home with several new (old) treasures that really went a long way into pulling the room together.  I played around with my new finds this morning and decided it was time to finally update the blog with photos of our current living room.

There was a lot I really loved about the room when it was this way.  But when we got our new dark gray couches everything began to feel really dark and heavy.

And there were things I definitely didn't like about the room before.  The lack of seating was frustrating.  We could really only seat three or four people comfortably.  Also, the little TV tray we had been using as a side table wasn't really working for us.  The broken lamp took up most of the space on the table. And while the artwork "matched" it didn't really have any personality.  It was like hotel room art.  Blah.

Now we have a lot more seating thanks to having a love seat instead of an overstuffed chair.  And that little orange swivel rocker was a $5 score at a thrift store in Albany.  It's everyone's favorite seat in the house.  Our new rug is the right size to hold all our furniture and it really seems to make the room feel bigger.  I found the side table at another thrift store in Albany.  It used to be a kitchen table but I sawed the legs down to make it work for our living room.  And the yellow lamp and shade are from Target.  My 'Exegesis' art adds depth and texture and the room feels like us now.

Speaking of the table that I cut down (and also sanded to get rid of the super ugly and badly applied stain) Noah has set up a little reading nook underneath it. We want to rig up a light for him but for now he uses his headlamp.  That pillow was a Christmas gift for Noah. I wasn't sure how it would go over since it's not a toy but Noah was so happy on Christmas morning when he opened the box!

The piano helped in giving purpose toward the front of the room but it always seemed a bit lackluster over there.

The bigger rug and a few accessories helped tie both parts of the room together.  See that vintage suitcase and the globe on top of the green cabinet to the left? Those are two of the treasures I found the other day.  I'll show a better shot of them later in this post.

Here's the same angle of the room but from a few steps back.    That orange door on the left is another of my treasures.

I never knew what to do with that blank space to the left of the green cabinet.

This old beat up door had been sitting on the porch of an antique shop in town for months!  They let me have it for a song and I'm planning to put some artwork in the window frame part and then hang the whole thing on the wall.  It's quirky and unexpected and I just love it.  I also love how it fits in with the vignette on top of the green cabinet.

It's hard to tell from these photos but the water on the globe has really similar blue and green swirls to the artwork over the couch.  I love the deep colors of this vintage globe and the orange-y vintage suitcase goes perfectly with it.  The wooden sign on the right was one of the items I got at the Summit View Bazaar last year.  My Beautiful Mess was directly across from me and I stared at that little sign all day, falling more and more in love with it as the hours passed.  Thankfully, Heidi was willing to trade with me.  She got some cool jewelry and I got the sign and this little welcome mat below.

I love the simplicity of it.  And that little orange 'hi.' just feels so perfect for our little house.

I'm amused that I pointed out my messy kitchen before.  It's equally messy today.

I love how colorful the room is now!  There is pattern and texture and depth and interest.  And there are two cuddle blankets.  It's very important to me to have blankets to cuddle with.

Here's the boring music corner again.  I know that it doesn't help that the shades are drawn and there is no light in the before picture.

Now the piano and guitars feel like part of the same room.  And the room feels so much bigger.

Here you can really see how small the old rug was.  Another thing I disliked about this rug is that you could see every crumb, lint speck, and fuzzball thanks to the dark brown background.  It constantly looked dirty.  So annoying. 

I saw this rug last summer on an episode of the HGTV show Junk Gypsies.  When the decorators laid it out I said aloud, "I need that rug!"  My sister-in-law was watching with me and she agreed.  I spent months hunting it down and when I finally found it the price was way above my price range.  But then Geary surprised me on my birthday by saying I could buy it.  When I went to look at the rug on the website it was on sale and I purchased it so fast!  It's pretty wild and crazy but we love it.  Crumbs, lint, and fuzzballs still show up (there is, after all, a contrasting color of dirt for every background) but they don't seem to glow in the dark the way they did on the old rug.

I'm still on the hunt for the perfect clock for this room.  And I know I'll change up the accessories on the piano when I find some different thrifted treasures.  I would also love to make built-in floor to ceiling bookcases all along that back wall.  And new baseboard molding is on the wish list, too.  But for now, our living room feels like home again. And it feels good!

Thanks for sticking it out through this whole tour of our living room!  I hope you enjoyed seeing it.  I know I enjoyed sharing it with you. :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wonder Women Wednesday: The Weirdest Thing I Ever Ate

 This week I asked Becky: What was your favorite class in college and what did you love about it?
You can read her answer HERE.

Becky asked me: What's the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

I was all set to write about the time I ate ostrich sausage but then I realized that Becky didn't ask about the weirdest food I had ever eaten, but the weirdest thing.  

I actually wrote about it here a few days after it happened.  Toby was just shy of being 2 months old and I can just go back in time and read about it HERE.

What about you?  What incredibly weird thing have you eaten?  And don't forget to tell us all about your favorite college class over at Becky's blog!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

What Does a Daddy Say?

Geary was telling me about an Amazing Race episode he had recently watched...

Geary:  And that guy was just doing the same old whining and blah, blah, blah.
Miles:  Did you say, "Blah, blah, blah?"
Geary (chuckling): Yes, I said, "Blah, blah, blah."
Miles.  Oh.  Well, I say, "Yoooooooooooooooo!"