Friday, December 30, 2011

Our Very Merry Christmas

 Our Christmas kicked off on Saturday (Christmas Eve) with the Philpot family party.  To get Madison into the Christmas spirit before we hit the road for Huntsville(about an hour and a half from home), we let her play with some electricity shielded by tiny glass bulbs.  Which she repeatedly tried to put in her mouth.  But we got a really cute picture out of it, so I guess that risk paid off.
 Once everyone arrived at the party, we rounded up all the cousins for a group picture in front of the tree.  That's when we found out that we had produced a little coven of Cullens.  If you don't get the reference, please don't ask.  I would be really embarrassed for you to find out how much I know about Twilight.  Oops.
 By the time Patrick figured out how to turn off the flash, the smiles had gone from adorably sweet to "fine-here are my teeth."  Hopefully one of the other paparazzi my sister-in-laws snagged a better picture.
 We all had a great time at the party.  The only problem we had was that it was SOOO  loud (four older cousins, a dog, and a bunch of adults who were really excited to see each other again) that Madison's naps just didn't happen.   Still, she was a trooper and pulled through the event with a pretty good attitude. 

The next morning (also known as Madison's first Christmas), Patrick and I got up early to finish wrapping gifts.  Madison opened her gifts before we headed off for church. Like any other six month old, she was a lot more impressed with the package than the contents.
 The same, however, was not true at Nana's house a few hours later.  Her big gift from Nana was a walk along/ride on dinosaur, and that seems to be her favorite gift so far.  That kind of surprised me, because she's not able to actually walk behind it yet; she can stand up and hold it, but only if we hold the dinosaur still.  Taking steps is still quite a ways off for her.  Since she gets tired so quickly standing behind it, we have it set to the ride-on setting, and she loves to sit and hit the buttons/stare at Bella.
It was definitely a long weekend, but I think she enjoyed her first Christmas.  And Pat and I, well, we'll recover eventually.  : )

I hope you had a great Christmas, and that you have a happy new year!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wow...I feel like it's been a lifetime since I've posted here.  I'll chalk it up to being sick last Thursday, busy for Christmas, and Madison not sleeping through the night even one time since.  I woke up with her seven times last night!  SEVEN.  Some call that the number of perfection or completion.  I think it's more like Satan's number plus one for good measure.  Ask me again tomorrow and I might feel differently.  Or I might not.

Now for a list of things I had planned to post about this week had I not been too busy throwing a pity party for myself over the lack of sleep:

  • Christmas recap
  • Six months
  • (Finally) painting the thrift store lamps
  • Making Madison's hand-print ornament
  • 2012 Resolutions
Hopefully the catching up begins tomorrow.  Or maybe even later today...we'll see how it goes.  In the meantime, I think I'll go daydream about really dreaming.


Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ahh, Christmas.

I hate to see you go, but I must confess I'm glad to see a few "nothing special" days come, so I can finally relax and recover.  Madison, as expected, made out like a bandit this year.  Which means that Pat and I did, as well.  Keeping her entertained with new toys is even easier than it was with her "old" ones.

We decided that even though it seems really hard, we're going to try to give Madison only three presents each Christmas.  This should help keep us from going completely consumer-crazy, but mostly it will remind us to point Madison back to the real gift of Christmas, who is Jesus.  I've got to confess: this year we really only gave her two presents(a Jenny Jump-Up and a bathmat so she can take "big girl" baths in the tub).  The third gift "from mommy and daddy" is really from Nana.  She has some of those foam puzzle piece play mat thingies in her garage, and we'll be putting them in the office.  The only reason we're claiming them as "our" gift is that we'll be cleaning and maybe even painting/sealing them.  I've got to stop looking at Pinterest. 

Oh, yeah. I haven't told you guys why we need to rest and recover!  The reason I didn't blog Thursday was that I was busy.  Very, very, busy.  It takes a lot of energy to spend all day trying to keep your water/gatorade/two bites nibbles of cracker(bad idea) down.  Pat and Madi were similarly afflicted.  And that last post about how grateful we are for Nanas?  Yeah, that should probably be updated to include endangering her own health to care for a sick baby so her sick parents could lay in bed.

Wow, I'm all over the place today.  Which may or may not be because I've had a squirming baby on my lap for the last two paragraphs.  I think I'll go ahead and publish without proofreading so we can open another Christmas toy.  We can make a game of it...whoever finds the most typos gets a prize.  Just kidding-I'd really rather not know.  : )

-Kelli (and Madison)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I've got too much to do and too little time, so today I'll just wish you a merry Christmas!  I hope you have a safe and fun weekend with friends and family.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thank Heaven for Nanas.

Not to be confused with bananas, which we should also be thankful for, but aren't in any way related to today's post, except that when eaten in excess, they can contribute to bowel problems.  No, today, I'd like to talk about what a blessing it is to have a Nana just down the street.

It's nice to have a Nana down the street for an "in a pinch" babysitter.  For instance, I decided that instead of procrastinating this year (sarcasm alert), I would start my Christmas shopping a little early.  So yesterday (the 20th, for those of you who are calendrically (this is my blog and it's a word if I say it is) challenged) I hit the stores Walmart while my mom stayed home with Madison, who was taking a nap at the time.  I told my mom to bring a book, which she did.  I should have instructed her to actually read the book, because instead she cleaned my house.  Which made me feel even more indebted to her.  Maybe I can repay her by letting her babysit more often. : )

It's nice to have a Nana down the street when your dog runs away but you can't chase her because it's cold outside and you don't want the baby to suffer for your dog's disobedience. 

It's nice to have a Nana down the street when your stove has relocated to your living room and you're tired of cold turkey sandwiches for dinner.

But more than any of these, it's nice to have a Nana down the street when, in the middle of your apple and yogurt snack, you notice that your baby has a strange looking puddle by her feet in the base of her saucer, which she then mashes between her toes and slides up her legs, which by the time you lay out a towel on the changing table has miraculously migrated up to her belly button, within range of her curious little fingers that typically spend more than half of their existence in her mouth.  And it's nice that this same Nana is able to drop what she is doing and come running when that sweet baby tries to put her slimy big toe in her mouth, kicks the wall (brown and green usually work together, but in this case it wasn't so pretty), and between her two hands and two feet, comes close to winning the speed match with you by getting something into her sweet little mouth.  And it's nice that during bath part two, the same Nana brings all the fallen warriors linens to the washing machine and gets them started on the hot cycle, then cleans and sanitizes every part of the desecrated saucer.

So Nana, this one's for you. 


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Three-Hole Punch

I'm white.  Really, really, white.  Regardless of my mom's best efforts (I spent more than half of my childhood even a shade or two whiter than normal because I had so many layers of sunscreen coating my skin), I've had several major sunburns.  Once, during a kayaking excursion with my parents on a cruise to Mexico, my feet were burned really badly.  It turns out that it's a bad idea to apply your sunscreen before removing your socks and shoes.  Anyway, when we got back on the ship, we all took a nap.  I woke up in a panic, sure that I was being attacked by fire ants.  I threw the covers off, then stared at my feet in horror.  I spent the groggy next few minutes trying to figure out why I had such a terrible rash on my feet before I finally realized what had happened.  The next port of call was Jamaica, and I couldn't walk to get out of our state room, much less off the ship.  I've still never been to Jamaica, but from what I've heard, I didn't miss much. 

Before you read any further, I should tell you that the rest of the post is about my visit to the dermatologist.  And it grossed me out.  I give you a free pass to hit the "back" button on your browser, just be sure to come back over tomorrow!

Still reading?  Well, don't say I didn't warn you!

I've been dreading this visit to the dermatologist since I decided to set it up last week.  I figured if anyone was going to have skin cancer at 24, it would be me.  Thankfully, all is well.  So far, anyway.  My dermatologist did remove three spots, only two of which really concerned him.  There was a mole (it looked like a freckle to me, but I guess if the derm. calls it a mole, it probably is) on my shoulder blade, and another (freckle) mole on my leg.  Since both were oddly shaped and one of them had two colors, he wanted to take those off.  The other one was (ewww) an angioma on my calf.  That was the one I was most concerned about going in, both cosmetically and medically.  It turns out that they are almost always benign, but it was still a shaving hazard.  Eww, ewww, ewwwwww.

One thing my doctor said that really scared me was this:  with our fair skin and living where we do, Madison and I will get skin cancer at some point.  He said we just need to try to make sure we get it at 95 instead of at 30, and that we get basal cell carcinoma and not melanoma.  Of course, we have to try our best to protect ourselves.  Wear hats, long sleeves when possible, and always wear sunscreen.  I asked him to recommend a sunscreen for her, and he wouldn't.  He said his kids use Aveeno, but that's just based on a scent preference. 

His statement (we will get cancer) got me pretty worked up.  I've decided I'll just have to show him how wrong he is!  Which is probably exactly what he wanted me to do. 

Madison, I'm sorry you're going to have to deal with me lathering sunscreen on you before you leave the house.  And I'm sorry I'm going to make you come out of the pool/lake/river/ocean every thirty minutes to dry off and reapply.  And I'm sorry you'll never be allowed to use a tanning bed.  But I will not ever be in a position to apologize to you for not doing everything I could to protect you from the sun.

In other news, we're at T-minus four days to the beginning of our Christmas festivities.  Exhale, Kelli.  No, exhale all the way. 

Have you checked your skin recently?  What was your worst sunburn?  Are you ready for...<gulp> Are you all set for...<hyperventilating>  CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE!  Heaven help me.


Monday, December 19, 2011

What's on My Mind Monday

Linking up over here with Carissa!

I.  Patrick graduated with his Associate's degree Saturday.  I'm so proud of him for deciding to go back and finish what he started.  And I'm so thankful that he opted to sacrifice sleep instead of time with our sweet girl.  Now he has a few weeks "off" (from school anyway) before his next semester starts.  And he'll only be taking one course, because that's all he lacks to get into the business school at UH Downtown, so we'll call that an extended break!

II.  Pat and I were proud to be a part of our church's Christmas program yesterday morning.  The choir did a beautiful job!  I think that's the best Christmas program they've done.  And no, I'm not patting myself on the back, because thankfully, I was not a part of the choir.  That would have been a disaster.  Patrick and I just read introductions to a few of the songs.  And our mikes were (almost) always on when they were supposed to be.  : )

III.  Because we were on stage for both services, and my mom is in the choir, Madison stayed in the nursery all morning.  She got a little fussy during the first service, probably because she was woken up so early.  Dang train whistle.  We live quite a ways from the tracks, but for some reason the sound really carries!  After she took out her misplaced frustration with the nursery  workers by peeing on one of them(sorry,
Bonnie!), she felt much better.

IV.  When we invited people to come see Patrick graduate, we specified "no gifts".  Is it normal for people to bring gifts, anyway?  Because after seeing Pat's loot, I'm second guessing every "no gifts, please" event I've ever been to!  Nevertheless, I'm grateful that our sweet friends and family were so generous.  Patrick was a little overwhelmed by it all.  : )

V.  Oh, Texans. How will you ever beat the Packers in the Super Bowl if  you're gonna let the Panthers beat you?  Well, I guess if the Chiefs can do it, so can you.  But I expect a "W" next week, ya heard me?  (If you're not a Tyler Perry's Meet The Browns viewer, well, sorry.  You're just not gonna get that one.)

Happy Monday!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Half Bad.

Looking over my to do list from yesterday, I realized something.  I completed exactly half of what I was supposed to do.

Here's yesterday's list:
  • Clean the house (I only managed the kitchen, living, and bathroom)
  • Decorate the tree (I strung the lights, added a bow topper and the first "level" of ornaments (more on that later), and started constructing a tree skirt)
  • Make an appointment with the dermatologist (I need to get a few spots checked out) after checking with our insurance company to see whether I need a referral for it to be covered.
  • Walk 5 miles.
  • Go to Old Navy

So now I know I'm setting myself up for failure, because Madison took the best nap ever yesterday, meaning I got as much done as humanly possible, and still didn't finish.  Nonetheless, this is my list for today:
  • Clean the (rest of) the house
  • Decorate the (rest of) the tree
  • Check with our insurance company to see if I need a referral to see a specialist, if so get one today.
  • Walk five miles
  • Go to Old Navy for that dress and some running shorts for Pat
  • Listen to our church's Christmas pageant CD and work on timing the readings correctly.  (Pat and I are gonna be narrating Sunday morning, and we have to hit certain cues in the music.)
 Hmm.  I think I might be in trouble.  Speaking of trouble, I hear something cute and fuzzy (fuzzy headed, anyway) stirring in the next room.  I'd better go check it out.

Am I the only one that does this to herself every day?  I think I need to get my head checked.  I'd better add it to the list.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ornamentally Speaking

Thirteen.  That's how many ornaments we have.  Up until this year, we've always used a "six foot" very cheap fake tree.  I used quotation marks because I think the tree manufacturer's concept of a foot was relative.  Maybe they measured by their own feet.  If so, their feet were probably a size or two smaller than mine.  If that tree was "six feet tall", then I'm a "size two".  Just saying.  The point is, we never felt like we had a shortage of ornaments before.  The tree was saturated with ornaments.  Not so this year.

That's what spurred my cheap-is-good-but-free-is-better ornament-pinning bender.  I haven't actually completed any of these yet, but I will say that Patrick drew some dirty looks at the Lowes paint counter Tuesday night.  I'm okay with that; I think we've paid our dues over the years with the eight GALLONS of different colors sitting in the bottom of our hall closet, which does not include the four or five gallons that we've emptied since moving in.

Without further ado, I'd like to introduce to you my Christmas board, courtesy of Pinterest.

This next one is actually not a DIY, it's for sale at West Elm.  But I think popping a feather in a cheap glass ball ornament would be almost as pretty!

Source: via Kelli on Pinterest

Can you believe these next ones are made with tissue paper?  I'm not entirely sure I'll be able to duplicate this, but I do plan to try!

Now that I've got my inspiration, I've just got to get started.  Now if only I had some motivation.  What?  It's December 15th already?  Okay, consider me motivated.  I'll be sharing my tree with you soon!

Oh by the way, you probably noticed I've changed the look of things here.  It's still very much a work in progress, so don't get too used to it!

What's your favorite DIY Christmas ornament?  Or just your favorite ornament, period?


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree.

Dear Christmas tree,

I'm sorry you're still naked over a week after we brought you home.  And that I forgot to water you for three days.  And that you'll be thrown away in less than a month. 

Thank you for still being so vibrantly green.  And thanks for your lovely aroma.  It makes me smile every morning. 

But please.  Please, please, please, stop dropping your needles on my floor.  Don't get me wrong, I probably understand hair loss better than any non-Rogaine testamonial giver.  Still, it's a little excessive.

Your neglectful and borderline abusive(especially when you consider what I'm gonna do come January 1st) mother,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Park Day

Yesterday, Madison and her cousin (or second cousin once removed or something like that) had an impromptu play date.  Ainslee is about two months older than Madison, and she is just the sweetest baby ever. You know, except tied with Madison.

We all met at a local park.  We started with nap time, during which we(my mom, my aunt, and I, each pushing a stroller) walked about three and a half miles.  Some nap, right?!  I'm not sure Madison ever realized that she had dozed...she woke up playing with her rattle.
After nap time was over, the babies took turns looking at each other for awhile.  It was very exciting.
Madi's cousin Mason brought his so-new-she-doesn't-have-a-name-yet puppy along.  Madison was not impressed.
You call that a dog?
The whole "play date" was very calm and uneventful, but Madison was happier afterward than I've ever seen her.  I think she had a really good time!  Her smiles were so big and so contagious that my cheeks still hurt.  I think raising Madison has given me stronger smiling muscles.  It's physically easier to smile now than before we had her.  Isn't that crazy?


Monday, December 12, 2011

What's on My Mind Monday

Linking up over here with Carissa!

I.  I left Madison in the nursery during Sunday School yesterday.  Except for a scheduled feeding (I didn't bring a bottle for her), she was fine the whole time!  I did okay, too.  And it was nice to sit through Sunday School.  It's been about five months since I've done that!

II.  We also left Madison with my mom last night so we could attend Patrick's company Christmas party.  We were gone for four and a half hours, and I didn't cry one time!  I thought that was pretty impressive, considering that she was taking a nap when we left (meaning no goodbye), and I expected her to be down for the night once we got back.  Thankfully, she woke up pretty much exactly when we got home(but went back to sleep with no problem), so we were able to tell her good night.

III.  Christmas is in thirteen days.  Which is hard for me to wrap my mind around, since I'm pretty sure it's still August.

IV.  The Texans are amazing.  I could not have been more excited about the last two minutes of yesterday's game (v. Bengals) if it was the Super Bowl.  Now it's time to stop getting injuries and rest up the big players (the ones we have left, anyway) for...PLAYOFFS!

V.  Tres Leches.  Ohmygoodness, that was some good stuff.  How do they get that much liquidy goodness to stay in the cake?

VI.  Madison can say Mama.  More accurately, she can say "ammmmmmmmm ummmmmmm mmmmmmmamamama".  Still no "d"'s.  And yes, I'm perfectly aware that she is not really attaching any particular meaning to her mummmummmm's, but a girl can dream, right?

Happy Monday!

Friday, December 9, 2011

What's Better Than Saving Money?

Saving gifted money, of course!

You may remember that I mentioned we got an Old Navy gift card for $75 from our health insurance company.  Well, Patrick's company Christmas party is Sunday night, and like the typical woman, I had "nothing" to wear.  Except in my case, I literally had nothing to wear.  Unless they go for the whole torn jeans and tee shirt look. 

On Wednesday, Madison and I headed out on our first mother/daughter shopping excursion.  I was kind of dreading the experience, to be completely honest.  But Madison was an angel the whole time.  She seemed enthralled by the new sights and sounds.  The only difficult part of the trip was navigating the narrow aisles with her stroller.  Old Navy, if you can hear me, I'm pretty sure your Humble store is not handicap accessible.  You might want to look into that.

My goal for the day was to find a dress that would work for the party.  I picked out probably five options (basically every dress in the store), and fell in love with two of them.  I chose the more festive of the two, but only after promising the other one that I would come back.  Navy blue boat neck size small (no one was more surprised than me on that one) jersey three quarter sleeve belted at the hip dress, I haven't forgotten about you.  I'll come back for you soon, you pretty thing, you.

The only reason I didn't get both dresses on Wednesday was that I was dangerously close to the $75 mark once I added in the accessories, and spending "real money" was just not part of the game plan.

Speaking of accessories, have you been to Old Navy lately?  They actually have a huge selection now!  And most of it's really pretty! 


Excuse me!  Darn allergies.  : )

Anyway, after the bittersweet farewells to my sparkly friends, I headed for the checkout.  As the clerk was scanning my items, I was watching the credit card screen, like I always do, to make sure things are priced correctly.  I hate it when things are more at the register than they were marked as.  Imagine my surprise when my marked-as-$39.94 dress rang up as $13.49!
I was sorely tempted to turn that stroller around and march back for "my" dress, but I figured I had pushed Madison far enough, and that she shouldn't be penalized for good behavior.  But mark my words: that dress will be mine by Sunday. 

Have you done any shopping for you lately?  How about a surprise good deal?  Do you ever fall in love with and converse with articles of clothing?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another Christmas First

Yesterday I posted about our first real Christmas tree.  And no, we didn't decorate it yet.  However, last night we did get the ball rolling on another big Christmas "first": we ordered our Christmas cards!

Forty sure sounded like a lot last night, but this morning as I'm making our list, I'm starting to realize that forty may not be enough after all.  We had this problem with wedding invites, too (although we definitely invited a lot more than forty people). 

I think we'll just make it work.  Forty covers our close family (the ones we see more than twice a year) and friends (the ones whose phone numbers we have and use).  If we start branching out to extended family and Facebook friends, we might end up with five hundred cards to address(not to mention stamping).  And that would not put me in a very jolly mood.

My only fear is that we'll forget someone important.  That's almost enough to make me want to scrap the whole thing.  Two weeks after our wedding, I realized that one of my best childhood friends had not received an invitation.  I realized this when she mailed us a gift.  Worst day EVER.  

I think we'll press on, anyhow.  And I can't close out this post without a little preview, now can I?
Do you send Christmas cards?  How many do you send, and when do you send them? 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

There's Nothing Quite Like It.

 The smell of a real, live Christmas tree.  This is Madison's and Patrick's first real tree ever.  Can you believe that?  Well, I mean, obviously the Madison part wasn't a surprise, but Patrick?  He's been around for twenty-seven Christmases before this one, and if he's to be believed, he has never once had a real tree.  I can at least vouch for him for the six Christmases we've been married.  Every year before this, we had a fake tree, but I always knew I wanted to go "real" once we had kids.  Or kid and dog.  Actually, now that we "have a kid", I kind of hate the way that phrase sounds.  Like you have a hammer, or a toaster oven, except it's a kid instead.  But I digress.  This post is supposed to be about our Christmas tree!

Originally, my plan was to go to a Christmas tree farm and chop down the tree of our choosing.  Then I started to dread the long ride to the nearest farm, and the long time spent in the cold picking out/cutting down/dragging back our tree.  At first, I pressed on with the plan, mostly out of some strange sense of duty to Madison to "do it right".  Then I realized that Madison would probably be even more miserable than we would if we "did it right".  So off to good ol' Walmart we went. 

Sadly, we are now a zero truck household.  Man, we miss his Ranger.  Since we didn't have a truck to toss the tree into, we had to go with plan B for getting our prize home.  Enter the Explorer.
Pat spent probably ten minutes making sure the tree wouldn't fly off the top.  His new name for the week is Captain Careful. 
At this point, it was about six o'clock.  That's about fifteen minutes late for Madison's typical dinnertime.  We decided I would feed her (sweet potatoes for the first time, which she loved) while Patrick cut a few inches off the base of the tree.  All we had to cut it with was Pat's circular saw, but he got the job done. 

We put Madison in her saucer so I could "help" Patrick with getting the tree in place.  And by "help", I mean make him come through the back door twice because the camera wasn't ready the first time. 
We obviously haven't put the kitchen back to rights yet.  I'll just pretend we left it this way on purpose so Pat could navigate the room more easily while carrying our tree.  Yeah, that's what we were thinking.  I'm so glad we plan ahead for these things.

I'll admit; once it was in its stand, I couldn't help feeling a little...disappointed.  It was just so small!  But I didn't say anything, because we had just spent more than a dollar (meaning a lot of money in our book) on it, and Pat had worked really hard (in the cold) to get it home.
 But then something magical happened.  When Pat started to pull the twine off the tree, it grew before my very eyes.  I know you'll think I'm being facetious here, but I really was surprised by how full and appropriately sized it looked!  I guess when you go five years with cheap (think <$50) fake trees, a real tree like this is bound to surprise you with its...realness. 
  At first, Madison wasn't too sure about what we had going on.  This is the look she gives me when there's a loud noise.  It's her "Mom, is that okay?" look. 
 I assured her that yes, it's safe, and it's our happy Christmas tree!  Then she felt free to explore.
 Immediately after that picture was taken, she announced rather loudly that it was bedtime.  Since we didn't want to decorate the tree without her, it's still very much bare.  Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with a post on our fully decorated tree!  Until then, I'll just enjoy the sweet smell of Christmas. 

I'd like to you do real or fake trees for Christmas? 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


 Our kitchen floors are D-O-N-E!  Patrick laid them Saturday, it's now Tuesday, and I'm still surprised every time I see them.  I guess when you live with this:
for over three years, waking up to this:
is gonna be a shock to your system.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Let's see...I believe we left off here:
Early Saturday morning, I woke up my sweet husband and put him to work laying out our (commercial vinyl) tile.  This was especially important for our house, because "square" was apparently not a very prominent architectural style in 1945.  Either that, or the builders didn't feel like measuring while they were building our house.  Irregardless (love you, Michelle), we (and by we, I mean Patrick) needed to lay out the tile so that we could find the angle that looked the most square from the most perspectives.

We also went back and forth between splitting the cuts (meaning to have the grid centered on the floor and have cuts on all sides) and working from a corner (which is obviously what we chose to do).  Our reasons for choosing to work from a corner were three-fold.  First, it ended up looking the best.  Had we centered the grid on the floor, we would have been left with itty bitty cuts on either side.  This way, we have no cuts on the two most seen sides, and half-ish cuts on most other sides.  The second reason we chose to work from a corner was that it was easier.  Pat had to make exactly half as many cuts as he would have otherwise.  The third reason was to save our marriage.  Just kidding...after I surprised Patrick that morning with a triple grande double-blended white mocha frappuccino, he was putty in my hands.  I probably could have gotten him to lay the floors on a diagonal if I so pleased.  Which I didn't.  But he did vacuum the dog hair off the floor.  I wonder if a quad venti frap would get me a clean office...
 Once we were sure of the layout, Pat made marks and we popped some guide lines (you'll see them in red).  Then he double-checked that everything was perfectly square:
 At this point, Madison and I were expelled (due to extreme fumes from the adhesive).  We went to Nana's and PawPaw's (about half a minute down the road) and played all day.  Well, we played all day except while Madison took a nap and I ate sweet potato pie.  Three slices.  By myself. 

Once we were safely (obviously not safe from pie) out of the house, Pat opened up this bad boy:
 and started spreading.
 He did a three foot strip, then let it dry until it was tacky.  I wish we would have known a week and a half ago that these tiles were supposed to be laid on a tacky surface...all that demo was for nothing!  (wahm, wahm, waaahhhmmm)  It took about forty minutes to set up. 
 As he laid the tile, he would flatten the joints by pounding them with a rubber mallet.  This helped them get strongly adhered, and also eliminated almost all the ridges.  Seriously...the floor feels seamless.
 Notice I said "almost" all the ridges were eliminated.  After he finished the three foot section and felt comfortable with the process, he spread adhesive over the rest of the floor, waited for it to tack up, then laid it all at one time.  Once he was finished, a few problem areas kept popping up.  Pat put some weights on them, and we hoped for the best.  Actually, the weights are still there.  I guess it's time to move them and put our kitchen back together!
This was my original checklist for the kitchen:  You'll notice I've now crossed through some items and added new ones in red.
-Replace flooring
-Replace countertops/backsplash-
-Repaint the stovetop-
-Paint (or replace?) vent hood-
-Paint refrigerator -Buy new refrigerator
-Convince Patrick that our refrigerator needs to live where the stove is and we need a new stove/oven/vent hood for the island
-Install island
-Buy/make barstools
-Paint base of table
-Reupholster dining chairs
-Build window seat- After de-kennel training Bella, that is!
-Install recessed light over sink
-Find shallow drawer pulls
-Install quarter-round
-Finish painting trim (including column)
-Touch up paint
-Upgrade electrical switches and outlets to GFCI
-Find/DIY art for wall behind table
-Stencil or otherwise decorate the soffit.
-Overcome my claustrophobic tendencies and invite thirty people over for a human game of chess.  

Okay, that last one is never gonna happen.  But night before last, I was a knight and Pat was a bishop, and I totally kicked butt.  Boo-yah.

Have you been working on your house lately?  Or eating pie?  Or manipulating your spouse with highly addictive sugar and caffeine-laden beverages?

Monday, December 5, 2011

What's on My Mind Monday

Linking up over here!

I.  I'm beyond unprepared for Christmas.  We haven't bought a tree, put up a single decoration, or made/purchased any gifts.  But I have been jamming our local easy listening station all day every day for Christmas tunes, so don't buy me a humbug t-shirt just yet.

II.  At some point this week, I'll get to go shopping!  We got a $75 Old Navy gift card from United Healthcare just for filling out their online health assessment. 

III.  I had a TERRIBLE nightmare last night about Madison.  I haven't had one this bad since she was just a few days old.  I'm not even going to describe it...I'm hoping I will have forgotten the details by tonight.

IV.  She had such a good day in church yesterday that I think I will actually leave her in the nursery next Sunday.  I spent most of the Sunday School hour yesterday in the nursery sitting behind her, and she had a blast.  As I lurked, I observed our nursery workers, and came to this conclusion:  they love babies.  I know she'll be in good hands.

V.  Madison proved me right yesterday.  I've been thinking for a while that she still remembers how to roll over, but just doesn't feel like it.  Well, lying on her back at church, a book she wanted was a little out of her reach.  So she flopped over and grabbed it, like it was no biggie.  Phew!  I can check that irrational worry off my list.

VI.  Texans.

VII.  I'm excited about tomorrow's post.  It starts with a "K" and rhymes with "witchin' floor reveal". 

Happy Monday!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The "I Was Right" Song

We think Madison is teething again (the prime suspects are her upper middle teeth), and she has woken up a few times over the last couple of nights.  We had kind of gotten spoiled by her sleeping10 1/2 hours at a time norm, so this hit us on our blindside.  Last night, after Tylenol and holding/rocking didn't even begin to soothe her (about nine hours into her night), Pat convinced me that I needed to bend the rules and nurse her earlier than usual. 

So I did, reluctantly.  I figured that if pain was the problem, nursing would only calm her down temporarily.  Well, as I write this three hours and forty-five minutes later, I guess I should admit I was wrong.  Yeah, yeah.  You were right and I was wrong, now you can sing the you were right song. 

As painful as that last paragraph was to admit, Madison more than made up for it.  As I laid her back in her crib, I swear she said "Thank you".  Okay, not audibly, but she looked deep into my eyes and smiled sooo gently before turning on her side and going to sleep.

That turned my "bad night" right around.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It Happens So Quickly!

No, not the floors.  Those are at a standstill until Saturday.

  Madison is growing up so quickly!  I know it's cliche, and I know we were warned a thousand times not to blink, but we just weren't prepared for this.  After she wore herself out yesterday, she plopped back in Patrick's arms and stayed there for probably ten minutes while he carried her around.  I told her she was so sweet, and she was letting Daddy hold her "like a baby".  That's when I realized that, although she is still by definition a baby, there's a little girl emerging.

Yesterday's photo shoot helped to reinforce that line of thought.  Check her out at one week:
 And twenty-three weeks:
Are you kidding me?  I can't even fit all of her into the frame any more! 

She also blew me away yesterday with a big first; she fed herself.  I mean, I guess it wasn't a true first, because she has grabbed the spoon and jammed it in her own mouth countless times.  But never a solid food!  Here she is gnawing chewing (I still can't believe she has teeth) on her rice rusk:
Oh, and please ignore her "outfit".  We're having a bit of a laundry crisis right now...I just can't keep up with this girl's spit up!

She loves to pull up from sitting to standing now.  Usually we do the work by pulling her hands up, but here lately she has taken the initiative a few times.  I love watching her little bottom wobbling in circles while she stands.  It almost looks like she's hula hooping.

The one and only thing that she still refuses to do is to roll over either way.  Back at two months, she rolled over from tummy to back for about a week.  Then she forgot how.  Other than the other morning, when she woke up on her tummy (which is obviously not how we put her down), she hasn't rolled over on her own since.  I really believes that she thinks that would just encourage me with tummy time, which she has always hated.

Well, I'm off to enjoy my baby girl.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We Can Only Go Up From Here.

You know how they say things have to get worse before they get better?  Well, I found an exception.  It ("It" being the floors) really doesn't get any worse than this.
That's why I was sooooo excited to get started ripping them out on Saturday.  Normally, we could have laid the new floors right over them, but there were two reasons we couldn't do that here.  First, patches of the floor were missing, so we didn't have a level surface.  Second, we knew that some of the sub-floor needed to be replaced(because it felt soft underfoot), and we wanted to inspect all of it.

While Pat took Madison on a grocery run like the Super-Dad he is, I got started by ripping out the quarter-round trim around the cabinet bases. 
Then I found a good starting point for peeling the linoleum and got crack-a-lacking.  Or whatever you call it.  For your viewing pleasure, I've included all three layers of linoleum.

Layer 1:
 Layer 2:
 Layer 3:
 Layer three is so damaged in the above picture that you really can't tell what it looked like. Here it is in another location.
Once I ripped up all three layers of linoleum, I was left with this (treated? adhesive covered?  blackened for no apparent reason?) wood.
 It came up in decent sized chunks, which I hauled out the back door for later disposal.  Actually, we'll just be sneaking bits of it into our regular trash pickup.  It will probably be gone by March 2013.  
 The Pampers box was especially useful for the tiny scraps that peeled off along the way.  I hate construction (demolition?) mess.
An hour later, I had removed all but the most stubborn bits of backing.
 As I mentioned before, we expected to have to replace a good portion of the sub-floors.  Thankfully, there wasn't as much damage as we expected.  We marked the places that needed to be replaced, measured, and then Pat headed off to Home Depot to buy the lumber, plus a few other materials we knew we would need more of. 
 Once Pat got back home, he cut out the bad patches and ripped out that top layer.
 Once we cleaned up that mess, we were left with this.
 Pat caulked the edges to prepare for the next step: leveler. 
 Here's the floor all prepped for the leveler.  Or so we thought. 
 It turns out you have to use primer to prep the surface to accept the leveler.  And the primer has to dry overnight.  Meaning we couldn't apply the leveler until Sunday after church.  Meaning we wouldn't get to install the tiles that weekend.  Meaning we wouldn't have a working stove until at least the following Sunday.  After we absorbed that discouraging news, we read the instructions for the primer and got to rolling.
 We set up the fan to blow out the minimal fumes.  It was very cold that night, so we worked as quickly as we could.
 Thirteen hours after I started on the floors, we were done for the night.  Sunday after church, Patrick started on the leveler while I played with Madison/annoyed him by making him pretend to work while I got pictures.
 The leveler was about the consistency of runny pancake batter.  I would have been really nervous to do this step, but Patrick's pretty experienced with concrete-y type things. 
 The leveler spread into all the low places (of which there were many), creating a perfectly level surface.
 Madison supervised.
Once it was done, Patrick finally took a break,
during which he inadvertently let Bella out of the bathroom.  
 Since, as I mentioned, we are stoveless, we picked up some Little Caesar's.  And it was good.
 This is how the floors look for now.  Come quickly, Saturday!
 I can honestly say I think even this is an improvement over the before.  It doesn't look like leprosy, so that's a plus in my book.  Why, why, why, did we let that floor stay for so long?

Oh yeah, we're okay in the food department.  I went over to my mom's yesterday and baked a party-sized lasagna (healthy, no?) and made some beans and rice.  We'll be able to eat out of the microwave until Saturday.  Don't tell anyone, but I also brought the remainder of the banana pudding back from my mom's.  You know, for my potassium deficiency.  Health is first in the Philpot household!  I wonder what deficiency sweet potato pie would help me with...

What were you up to over the weekend?  Has Thanksgiving wrecked your diet(not that I'm on a "diet"), too?