Monday, October 31, 2011

What's on My Mind Monday

I.  My Halloween pumpkin just became a fall pumpkin.  Which is solely because I haven't finished it yet.
II.  I seriously doubt that I'm gonna put together the costumes Pat and I had planned to wear tonight. 
III.  Madison has not learned what "scary" looks like yet.  She had no qualms whatsoever about going to see her Aunt Vira!
Note: on non-Halloween themed days, Aunt Vira looks completely normal.  And no, that is not the real color of her eyebrows.  : )
IV.  Madison cannot sit up by herself.  The problem is, no one seems to have informed her of that!
V.  Any given morning after a (new) normal night, Madison wakes up laughing/squealing.  I wake up with a (her) crying-induced hangover.
VI.  I am thankful beyond words that, as sad/angry/(I hope not) hurting as she may be at night, she is (almost)always a happy girl during the day.

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Burp the Baby!!!

Ashley from Cherished Bliss made me laugh out loud with her comment on Tuesday's post.  If you missed her story, you should totally go back and read it.  Sooo funny!

I can totally see Patrick and me doing the same thing.  Once, probably less than a week after bringing Madison home, I (partially) woke up after dreaming about feeding her.  She was asleep in her bassinet, but I knew I needed to burp her because she had "just eaten".  I was afraid to pick her up because I was so tired I thought I might drop her, so instead I shook Patrick awake and frantically whispered to him that he needed to "burp the baby".  Ha!  I didn't even use her name; she was just "the baby".

Patrick stumbled around the bed to Madison's bassinet, started to reach in to pick her up, then realized he was about to pick up a sleeping newborn.  Something about that didn't seem quite right to him.  He stood there, confused, then finally asked me, "Why do I need to burp her?  She's sleeping."  I told him very emphatically that she needed to burp because she had just eaten.  He asked why I didn't burp her before I put her down, and I, very irritated at this point, pointed out that she had been in her bassinet for two hours, so how was I supposed to burp her?

At this point, Patrick's brain was almost up to 75% power, so he was able to see what was wrong with my reasoning.  I, however, needed a bit of an explanation before I could go back to sleep.

What's the craziest thing you or your loved ones have done in your/their sleep state?


Thursday, October 27, 2011

(A Very Late) Weekend in Review, Part Two

Our weekend was so busy that even after breaking it down into two parts, this will be a long post.  Unless your name is Grandma or Nana, I give you permission to stop reading here.  If your name is Grandma or Nana, you don't have to read the whole thing, but you should probably scroll through the pictures. :)

After Pat woke up, it was time to head to the pumpkin patch!  We chose this patch because we didn't want to go very far, and this is the only one we knew about within a fifteen minute drive.  A local Methodist church runs this one.  It's not very big, but they have a few cute little photo op vignettes.  Or whatever you call them.  The problem with those little set ups was that they were in full sun!  Not good for my little pasty-faced baby.  We clung tightly to the shade of the only tree in sight.  Unfortunately, this tree was in the parking lot.  I think we'll try again this weekend, but this time we'll go earlier in the morning or later in the evening.
I'll always think of this one as the picture that could have been.  Patrick hates when I put big bows on her, so to compromise, we took half the pics without her bow.  If she had her bow on and the image wasn't so dang fuzzy, I would totally frame this one.  Dadgummit.  (Whoa, when you type dadgummit, spell check highlights it.  The suggested alternative is not a very nice word!)
 We, by pure dumb luck, were at the pumpkin patch at the same time as some sweet friends from our Sunday School class.  They were kind enough to take a family picture for us.  Unfortunately, I hadn't planned to be in front of the camera.  Oh, well.  That's life!
 When we brought our pumpkin to the little tent they had set up for the volunteers, those sweet friends tried to run us off!  They were in the process of buying our pumpkin for us.  Then the man-friend (Joe, actually, but I think man-friend sounds funnier) proceeded to grab the pumpkin from me and carry it to our car.  Some people are just too nice.

We got home around two in the afternoon, which meant we needed to leave right away for our niece's princess themed birthday party.  Of course, "right away" doesn't happen very often with a four-month-old.

Since all the girls at the party were going to be dressed as princesses, I wanted Madison to do the same.  I picked out one of her "fancy" dresses.  She looked like a little flower girl!  An hour later, as we were finally walking out the door, Pat asked me one last time: "Are you sure she should wear that dress all the way there?"  I replied, for probably the sixth time in five minutes, that she would be just fine.  Not so much.  Before we turned off of our street, she screamed.  I bet they heard her at the party (which had been under way for five minutes at this point)!
 I pulled over, raced to get to the backseat, and ripped the little red faced cotton ball out of her car seat.  With Pat's help, I (still on the side of the road) pulled off her dress and changed her into a onesie.  Patrick threw the dress so far into the back of the car that when I opened the back hatch the next day, it fell out.  He was gracious enough not to say "I told you so".  Thanks for that, honey!

We only stayed at the party for about thirty minutes, but it was long enough for Madison to:

Say "Hello" to Princess Jenna,
stop and smell the roses unidentified but pretty yellow flowers,

watch the big kids play on the blow up obstacle course,
and plot her escape from Cinderella.
 We got home with just enough time to clean our house before a few friends came over to help Pat belatedly celebrate his birthday.  I baked that yellow cake, which wasn't cooled, iced, and ready to slice until about an hour and a half after everyone got there.  Instead of frosting from a can, I decided to whip up some butter cream.  I used the recipe from the same blog that gave me the chocolate butter cream recipe.  And something was WAAAAYYYY off.  The recipe called for 3 or 4 cups of powdered sugar.  We ended up using about ten (we lost count), and it was still too loose.  We only stopped at ten because we ran out of powdered sugar!

Runny icing aside, the cake was delicious.  It was gone before the last guest left (meaning at least three people had two slices!)  Having friends over at night is so nice.  With Madison down for the night, Pat and I are free to just have fun and relax.

To cap off the weekend, the Texans demolished the Oilers Titans!

Good times.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

(A Very Late) Weekend in Review, Part One

Saturday was one of those busy days that I dread in advance, but enjoy all the way through.  I've been too lazy to write this post before today; I didn't feel like uploading the pictures!  This lack of sleep has been killing me.

Since last Wednesday, Madison has been waking up at least twice a night to eat.  It's usually three, and once it was FOUR times!  She went to her four month well visit yesterday, and I asked for suggestions to help her sleep better.  Madison's doctor doesn't think she's waking up hungry or uncomfortable; instead, she thinks it's just another manifestation of her separation anxiety.  Apparently, she was waking up this often before and just falling back asleep.  Now when she wakes up, she realizes that "Mommy is not here," and that's why she cries.

Her doctor suggested not feeding her every time, because she's most likely not hungry and we will start bad habits.  I tried it last night, and it did not go so well.  After fifteen minutes of steady crying while I/Patrick walked, sang, rocked, bounced, and swayed her, I gave in and fed her.  Poor baby.

Anyway, after that awful experience, she did manage to sleep for six and a half hours before waking again, so with my new store of energy, I decided to finally upload these stinking pictures.  How's that for awkwardly meandering back to the original topic?

Saturday morning, Pat was coming off of his night schedule, so I let him sleep in until 11:30, which gave him roughly seven hours of sleep.  While Madi and I were (not so) quietly waiting for him to wake up, I gave her a bath and then took her four month picture.  Every month we take a picture with her "sitting" in her glider.  It is a LOT more difficult/dangerous for her to sit here now that she can "sit up" by herself.  She (obviously) can't sit by herself, but she can sit up (by that I mean lunge herself forward from a reclined position).  So I was looking at her instead of the camera, ready to jump forward and catch her when she made a break for it.  I had to catch her three times.

This is how I put her in the chair:
I LOVE the look on her face!
 This is what she did almost immediately.  Bad for three reasons.
1) She covered up the "4".
2) Danger from leaning against the glass in the frame.
3) Danger from falling off the chair.

 This is the picture I chose for her album.
 Wow, this post is getting long, fast; we're only up to about 11:00 on Saturday morning!  I think I'll call this part one and give you guys (and myself) a break.

What death-defying stunts have you made your four-month-old do in the name of a good picture?  Yeah, I'm probably not gonna get much of a response from that one.  If you want, instead you can tell me how bad of a parent I am for doing this.  But if it makes you feel any better, I will be replacing the glass in the frame with plexiglass before her five month pictures.  That was just too scary!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Pirate Knife

What I failed to tell you last week was that Patrick was working nights.  I hate being home alone (well, alone with Madi and Bella) after dark.  I slept on the couch with a pirate-looking knife under my pillow.  That blade is ten inches long, curved, rusty, and as dull as Jessica Simpson on Newlyweds.  I figure if I don't stop the intruder with just the intimidation factor of the crazy lady with the rusty pirate knife, maybe the tetanus he contracts from the scratches I'm able to give him will kick in before he's able to do any serious damage.

And if that doesn't work, the shotgun Patrick insisted on reminding me how to operate just might work in a pinch. 

Speaking of that tutorial, I do believe I've passed my wariness of firearms onto our daughter.  Just before Pat left for his first night of work, he was showing me (again) how to load the shotgun.  Poor Madison was laying on our bed watching the lesson her daddy was giving me.  He opened the chamber thingy (I was paying really close attention), put in the shell (at least I think that's what you call it), then did that scary cocking thing that makes that noise (ka-chicka).  That's when Madison started screaming.  She didn't stop until probably five minutes after Pat left. 

I don't think she'll make a very good hunting companion for Pat.  And that (sorry, honey) is a-okay with me.

Do you hate being alone at night?  Are you more afraid of your own guns than you are of a potential intruder?  Do you (not so) secretly hope for your baby to share your irrational fear of firearms?


Monday, October 24, 2011

Random Learnings

I.  I learned a new mathematical principle this week: 3+3+3+3 < 9+3.  At least when it comes to hours slept.

II.  It's much more gratifying (and much less fatifying) to bake when you have more than two people to enjoy the fruits cakes of your labor.

III.  Putting on even just a little bit of makeup can help combat the blues.

IV.  Baby squeals are some of the best sounds in the world.  Baby squawks make me want to hide under the pillow.

V.  Having a baby changes everything, even the way you view mosquito bites.  Now when I get bitten, instead of being irritated, I'm grateful it was me instead of Madison.

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 21, 2011

And the Winner is....

Actually, there kind of wasn't a winner.  I guess "B" did win, but just by one vote.  Normally, I would call that inconclusive.  However, for two reasons, I think I'm gonna go with "B".  Reason 1: two of the "B"s did give an explanation for why they liked it better.  (No, I'm not calling Cecilly and Amanda "B"s.  At least not in the traditional sense of the letter.)  Reason 2: "B" is how it's already taped up, so if I go with "B", I'm done with rearranging newspaper.  Hopefully forever.

It's a crown, okay?  It's a beautiful crown.
We have a ridiculously busy weekend ahead of us, but I'm still hoping to give you the big reveal Monday!

In the meantime, I'd like to hear about what you've got planned for the weekend!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kind of Like a Visit to the Optometrist.

 What is your least favorite part of getting an eye exam?  Is it the waiting room?  That blasted(pun intended) machine that blows in your eye?  The lecture for not replacing your lenses often enough?  Jeesh, sorry!  I didn't know that "disposable" means you shouldn't keep them for over a year.  Get over it, already!  If I'm being honest about it, which I am, my last visit to the optometrist was Christmas Eve eve.  The only reason I went then was that my last contact lens ripped in half that day, and I couldn't get the stupid scotch tape to hold it together.  Just kidding-sort of.  Anyway, my friendly optometrist gave me two samples for each eye, along with my prescription.  By my calculations, I should have been able to make it through Madison's first day of kindergarten before filling the prescription.  Alas, it wasn't meant to be.  I tore the last sample lens last Friday.  So now I'm stuck with my stupid glasses until my prescription comes.  

Where was I going with that titillating story?  Oh yeah, I hate going to the optometrist.  My least favorite part is when they try to trip you up with that "A" or "B" garbage.  They're practically identical!  I actually had a guy tell me once, "But earlier you said "B" was better.  Why did you change your mind?"  Yeah, I didn't go back to him.  Jerk.  And since I've never been good at applying the golden rule, I decided to subject treat my lovely readers  to the experience.  Without further ado, which is better?

Okay, maybe just a little more "ado".  I do realize the lighting on these pictures is terrible.  However, natural light is not a possibility in our hallway, and I promise the flash looked even worse than the overhead light.  So again, which is better?

 or B:
 again, A:
 or B:
Here's B from one more angle.  
In case you missed earlier posts and are wondering why the heck I have newspaper taped to the wall in my hallway, take a look here, here, here, and then here for good measure.  Or if you don't feel like it, I could just tell you.  The newspaper cutouts are place holders for identically similarly shaped frames and wall decor.  I stole the idea from YHL.  The idea is to get placement nailed down before actually nailing down placement.  Huh?  Let's try that again.  The idea is to figure out exactly where everything goes before hanging anything, so as to put as few nails in the wall as necessary.  Whatever.  If you still don't know what I'm talking about, that's okay; neither do I.  I'm still recovering from night before last.

I've been rearranging the newspaper for about three weeks now, and I'm still not "in love" with any of the arrangements.  I have, however, finished reading the top middle article, sideways though it may be.  Maybe that's why my neck was hurting last week!
But I digress.  Again.  What I need from you guys is HONEST opinions.  If you like "A" or "B", please tell me which.  If you hate them both but have suggestions for how to make the wall look better, give me those suggestions!  If you think this is a stupid idea and I should just scratch the project altogether, well, keep that one to yourself.  I need all the encouragement I can get! 


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

English/Lit Majors Beware.

Please forgive me for what will probably be one of my most bland/typo-riddled posts of all time.  Madison and I were up every two and a half hours last night, in addition to the two times she woke up when she didn't eat.  I think I got more sleep the first night we brought her home from the hospital.  Yay for (late) three month growth spurts.

After the sponges had cooled and before the Texans v. Ravens game began, it was time to whip up some frosting.  I found a recipe for chocolate buttercream on Pinterest.  It was originally pinned from

The recipe called for:
1 cup unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
As I mentioned, the Texan's game was due to begin at any minute.  In my rush to finish the frosting so I could watch the game, I neglected to take a single picture of the process.  That sacrifice turned out to be in vain thanks to the suckiness factor of the Texans.  Actually, they played pretty well; I'm just a sore loser.

Anyway, the frosting was pretty simple (but definitely not easy) to make.  First, I creamed the butter.  Doing it by hand, it took me about five minutes.  I was out of breath by the time that dang butter was creamed.  Then I added 3 cups of the confectioners sugar and all of the cocoa and creamed them into the butter.

After another five minute upper body workout,  I added the vanilla extract, salt, and cream, and mixed them in.  Once it was fully incorporated, the frosting was still way to stiff to spread, so I added two more tablespoons of the heavy cream.  I mixed it all really well, and I was done!  I used maybe 3/4 of it to frost the cake.  The rest, I begrudgingly dumped. 
The finished product definitely didn't win any beauty contests, but I think it tasted pretty good.  We had my parents over for cards that night, and of course I made them each eat a slice.  I knew the cake was lacking something, but couldn't figure it out.  My mom thinks it needed more salt; I'm not sure if that was the problem.  Nonetheless, as of about 7:02 this morning, that sucker is G-O-N-E.

I haven't decided whether I'll try making this particular cake again.  The frosting is a definite keeper, but I'm not so sure about the cake itself. 

The gub bug (I can't even type this morning!) sounds like she's waking up.  Again.  I'm gonna go do my best happy mommy impression.  Have a great day!

Oh, yeah.  Happy 27th birthday, Patrick!  I We love you very much!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How Many Paper Towels Does it Take?

 As I mentioned in yesterday's post, tomorrow will be Pat's 27th birthday.  And yes, I did just now have to add it up again to be sure.  Too bad I can't blame it on my pregnancy anymore.  I can't even blame lack of sleep; Madison was down for over 13 hours last night!

In honor of his impending birthday, I made him his (almost) traditional birthday cake on Sunday.  Every year growing up, his mom made him chocolate cake with chocolate icing and candy pumpkins on top.  So on the years that I've remembered/been brave enough to try baking, I've tried to do the same.  All the other times I just picked the most appealing Betty Crocker mix, but thanks to my new housewife status, I figured now was as good a time as any to try making it from scratch.

I had gained a little confidence after baking this yellow cake last month, so I went to my standard destination for new recipes,  Side note:  I know I plug them a lot.  I get nothing from it, I just like that they have a bazillion recipes with tons of reviews and they're free!  Anyway, that's where I found a recipe I was super excited about: Black Magic Cake!

The Black Magic Cake called for:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Two notes: First, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I do not measure the smaller quantities.  I just kind of guesstimate.  (Is anyone more surprised than me that spell check didn't flag "guesstimate"?)  Second, when I don't have an ingredient that's called for and I don't feel like packing up the hundred pounds of baby gear required for a fifteen minute expedition to the store, I just use the item in my pantry that most closely resembles the needed ingredient.  In this case, I used olive oil instead of vegetable oil.  It's better for you, anyway!

I combined the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt:
I made a well in the center:
 Then added the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
 Then, according to the recipe, I was supposed to beat it using a soft paddle attachment on medium speed for two minutes.  Instead, I beat (beated? bate?) it by hand for probably five minutes.  It was very thin, so it wasn't too tiring.
I believe this was the point at which, after eating a few spoonfuls, I suggested that it might be a good idea to pour it over ice cream.  What I really wanted to do was just eat it like soup, but I was too ashamed to admit that in front of my husband.  In person, anyway.  I guess he'll know now.

Then I baked (half of) it in a 9" cake pan at 350 degrees for 24 minutes.  The recipe called for 30-40; my oven is a beast.  After baking the other half (I only have one cake pan, I'm waiting to see if I like this whole baking thing before buying any supplies), my mom invited us for some chicken gumbo leftovers.  We were starving and desperately wanted to go.  One problem:  we have sugar ants.  I didn't want to leave the cakes out unattended for any period of time.

Patrick, who, surprise, surprise, was being sarcastic (see what I did there?), suggested that I surround the cakes in dish soap to keep any ants from getting to them.  Then he stared at me in shock as I poured green apple dish soap onto the counter.  That stuff smells good!  Which got me to thinking:  what if this wonderful smell soaks into the cake?  So after covering one layer with foil and the other with a lid, we headed over to my mom's for some delicious gumbo.  Mmmm.  Mom, if you're reading this and you have any leftovers left over (ha ha), send them my way!
 Thus ends part one of this gripping tale.  Tune in next time for the jaw-dropping conclusion!

Do you have to use your fingers to remember your (or your spouse's) age?  Have you ever regretted the loss of that universally acceptable excuse, "It's just because I'm pregnant"?  Is beat really the past tense of beat?  How many paper towels do you think it took me to get the dish soap off the counter? 


Monday, October 17, 2011

My First Miscellany Monday

I've linked up over here today!

1.  Butter is a lot harder than margarine to cream.  Which probably makes it doubly good for me.  More calories spent preparing sinful treats+ less trans fat = I should probably stick with butter.

2.  Patrick's birthday is Wednesday.  He'll be twenty-seven.  And yes, I had to do math to figure that out, not that that is any of your concern, thank you very much.

3.  We put Madison in her ExerSaucer for the first time Saturday.  She loved it from the very beginning.  Now she's a regular super hero in it!

4.  Girls are better than guys at spades.  That is all.

Have a great Monday!

Friday, October 14, 2011

An Early Development

Madison seems to be developing and reaching milestones earlier than what the books call normal (says the completely biased and proud momma).  I've been thrilled at every one...holding her head straight, rolling over, reaching for and grasping her rattles (and my hair), etc.  That is, I was thrilled at every one until yesterday.  Babies aren't "supposed" to experience separation anxiety until 6-9 months.  Madison is 16 weeks old, and I am certain that she got her first taste of it yesterday.

I was really excited to bring her to the credit union where I worked up until I was eight months pregnant with her.  I just knew that she would enjoy all the attention showered on her by my old coworkers.  Well, I didn't plan it out very well. 

It takes about twenty minutes to get to the credit union from our house.  Of course, she fell asleep on the way, and I had to wake her up when we got there.  At first (like always when she's woken up) she was docile and snuggly.  She stared curiously at all the ladies talking to her.  While I was getting some money orders, my old manager (Jayania- I don't want to hear it; you know I'm not calling you old!) asked if she could bring Madison to see another lady whose office was just down the hall.  I didn't see a problem with it; she was in good hands, they were only going about twenty feet away (albeit out of sight), and Madison has never seemed to care who holds her as long as she's being held.

Well, after less than a minute, I heard my baby's scream through two closed doors.  I raced down the hallway to her (in the process leaving behind my diaper bag, cash, money orders, wallet, etc), just sure that she had bumped her head, been poked by a name tag, bitten by an get the picture.  This was her "I'm in a lot of pain right now" scream.  We don't hear it often, but I remember it well from the thumbnail incident.  When I got to her, her chubby little face was bright red, her eyes were squeezed shut, and her chin was quaking in the middle of a sob.

It was all I could do not to sit down right there in the hallway and bare all to nurse her.

I managed to calm her down for a little while, long enough to say goodbye to all my old coworkers.  But before we got out the door, she had started a new kind of crying.  It sounded very mournful, like this time she was telling me how badly her feelings were hurt.  I thought she would fall asleep on the ride home, but instead she talked to me the whole way.  She wasn't crying, but just "oh,whoa,whoa"-ing. 

I've never felt more guilty in my life.  I never would have let her go if I thought she would notice!  My poor baby.  We had to use the swing to get her to sleep last night.  We normally leave her in her crib alone and she quietly goes to sleep, but last night, every time we left the room, she would start screaming again. 

Phew!  For those of you with kids, how early (if ever) did they start showing separation anxiety?  And what in the world did you do about it?


Thursday, October 13, 2011

And the Frames Keep Coming.

 I'm having more fun than I expected with the frame wall project.  I've been digging through our "sentimental" box (mostly filled with stuff that should have been thrown away, but wasn't, thank goodness), and it's been a fun walk down memory lane. 

Sorry, I had to go rinse the taste of bile from my mouth.  Being so cliche made me a little sick.

I think this project came at a good time; it's really easy, with a new baby, to lose focus on our relationship.  Looking through all the mementos of our very early days has reminded me of how we felt about each other back before we were "Mommy" and "Daddy".  And, minus the obsessive co-dependency, I'd like to get back to being this way.

First, I found two very important ticket stubs.  After seeing The Crocodile Hunter, Patrick told me for the first time that he loved me.  It must have been a very romantic movie!  And our first kiss was after watching Star Wars for probably the sixth time in theaters.  It took him more than three full cycles of POD's "Satellite" album to work up the nerve.  Yeah, we were that cool.  Who doesn't want their first kiss to happen while listening to "The Messenjah"?

And yes, I did put them in the wrong order.  My lazier side is telling me to just say I sorted them alphabetically, but I'll probably end up flipping them.  One day.  It'll probably be the same day that I iron the creases out of Madison's curtains, clean out my email's spam folder, and organize the junk drawer.
 Probably my favorite find so far was this calendar page.  It's written in gel pen on black paper, because that's what all the cool fourteen-year-old's were doing.  Just kidding; I've never been cool.  Anyway, the reason I was so excited to find this is that June 2002 is the month we started dating.  I was so enthralled with Pat at this point that I used a code to mark the days when I saw him; any date that has a smiley face was a Patrick day.  June was a pretty significant month for me.  Aside from starting to date my future husband and baby-daddy, we went to Super Summer, Jeff and Michelle (our youth minister and matchmaker) got hitched, and my granny passed away.
Do you like my camera technique?  I call it "The Cobra"!
 I also decided to frame my favorite of Madison's newborn pictures, by the talented Cristina Murphy.
 The next is just a snapshot from a disposable camera, but I L-O-V-E this picture.  It completely captures everything we love about snowboarding.  New goal: we will go snowboarding next winter (2012-2013).

 And finally, a totally meaningless "filler" frame.  Something about it kind of reminds me of an old tube television.

What have you been working on lately?  Did watching The Crocodile Hunter or Star Wars lead to any major milestones in your life?  Have you ever memorized not only the words but also the drum solo to "Youth of the Nation"?  What's your favorite vacation activity?


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pass the Shovel, Please.

Pat has a hole to dig.

After seeing a commercial (advertising something I've already forgotten) about a husband being whiny while he was sick, Pat and I laughed together, then had this conversation:

Patrick: I'm glad I'm not like that.
Me: Do you really believe you're not whiny when you're sick, or was that supposed to be funny?
Patrick: I'm not!  Unless I'm really sick.
Me: You always think you're really sick.
Patrick: No, I mean like, 102 degrees.  
Me:  You were really whiny when you had the stomach flu.
Patrick:  Well you were really whiny when you were in labor!  That stomach flu was bad.  I felt like I was going to die!
Me:  [staring at Patrick in disbelief]

So there you have it.  Apparently, going through labor is breezy compared to having the stomach flu.

What holes have your husbands dug for themselves lately?


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Throwback Fun

 My favorite frame for the frame wall is also the one that took the most guts (you're welcome for my edit there) to change.  It used to be the frame for this bridal portrait that I never felt like hanging:
 Call me crazy, but I've always felt that hanging a 16x20 portrait of myself in an eleven-hundred square foot home would have been overkill.  It would take up practically half of our house!  Plus, the fact that it is an almost life-sized image freaks me out a little bit.

This is the closest I have to a "before" shot of the frame (the one leaning against our dishwasher): 
It was a really nice frame already, which was why I was so conflicted about spray painting it.  In the end, I decided that I wouldn't use it anywhere in its original finish, so it was better to change and display it than to keep it under the bed gathering (more) dust.

Since I knew I didn't want to hang my bridal portrait, I had to figure out what was going to fill this large frame.  I wanted it to be simple and meaningful.  The trim piece on the inside of the frame inspired me to start by covering the back with burlap-ish material:
I picked up a yard of the stuff for $3.48 at Walmart and stapled it to the cardboard back while Madison played with Eeyore:
Then I needed to decide what to display.  I dug through our box of sentimental stuff and found two things I liked: an essay on marriage that Pat wrote in high school and a letter I wrote to Patrick a few weeks before we got engaged.
I love the red marks.
Look at the time on that letter!  I cant be up past midnight these days, lest I would surely die.
 I stapled the letter and essay to the backer because I thought the staples would make it look even more like a school project.
 Then came the least fun part of the project.  The little metal holder-inners (you know what I'm talking about) had almost all come out.  These were the only two left in the whole frame:
 After thinking on it awhile, I decided to hammer some wire brads partially into the frame, then bend them over to hold everything in.  It worked like a charm!
 The finished product:
 I like this wayyyyy more than just a picture of me in a wedding dress, because this represents both of us!  I also like the way the colors are layered.  It was sort of accidental, but I think it looks pretty great! 

What is your favorite "artwork" that's framed in your home?  Maybe a picture of your family?  Marriage certificate?  Degree?  Hospital bracelet?  A cheesy letter to your boyfriend-turned-fiance-turned-husband-turned-baby daddy?

Update: I'm linking up here!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The (Never Ending) Frames

As I mentioned in my tour of the hallway, we plan to cover one of the walls in the hallway with frames.  I've been gathering frames for this project since I saw it done over on YHL.  After Madison and I scored these three lovelies on her first thrift store expedition, I decided I finally had enough frames to give it the old college try.
 First, I pulled all the other frames out from storage (under the guest bed/laundry center/mirror stand) for a good dusting.  And they needed it!
 I think I might need to move the bed and get to cleaning.  Ick.
 After they were clean and dry, I brought them to the back yard for (what I thought would be) a few quick coats of spray paint.
 By the way, the box I used for this was (obviously) from Madison's travel system, which I L-O-V-E.  Go get yourself one.  Or do like we did, and register for one.  You might just get lucky!  (Thanks, Grandma, Aunt Becky, and Aunt Christie!)

Since a lot of the frames/decorative iron thingy were metal, I opted to start with spray primer.  That first coat gave almost no coverage, but I'm hoping it will give the paint that extra stickagization.  Which is, regardless of what my spell check is telling me, totally a word.
 After a few coats of spray paint, I noticed that the corners on a lot of my cheaper frames were noticeably imperfect.  Which is my mild way of saying "totally jacked up".  So I took the caulk to 'em, gave them one more coat of spray paint, and called it a day two-and-a-half weeks.  I kind of got distracted by a little thing called life (aka Madison) between coats.
 I left the frames outside to cure.  Then I forgot about them, until a miracle happened.  It started sprinkling!  See, Texas is going through a little (see what I did there?)bit of a drought right now.  When I saw the strange stuff falling from the sky, I was so surprised and excited that it took a few minutes for me to remember that my frames were in the backyard getting the full benefit of the miracle. 

I managed to save them before any major damage was done, but a few of the cardboard backs warped a little as they dried.
 No big deal, I just replaced them with cardboard from boxes that we have lying around.  I think I'm a mini-hoarder, but only with bags and boxes.  I have no problem getting rid of things that have actual and sentimental value (for instance: we sold Madison's bassinet a few weeks ago), but on trash day, I just can't bring myself to haul the boxes to the curb.  Instead, I break them down and store them in the garage.

Pat's not a huge fan of holding onto the "trash", so I'd like to take this opportunity to rub in his face point out that for this one project we used three of my boxes.  Bam.
 I still haven't finished the project, which means that right now the hallway, along with the rest of the house/yard/garage, looks worse than before I started this craziness.  So here's how the project looks right now:
I bet you'll never guess what this has to do with the project!
Our friend John came over to run with Patrick yesterday.  When he stepped in the hallway, he asked whose murder we were planning. 
Still not perfect...
I'll probably never stop adding more frames.  I picked this one up Saturday.
 What are you working on right now?  Is the space beneath your beds completely disgusting also, or should I have left that little tidbit out?  Do you hoard anything?  Do your projects ever always take longer than you expect?  Is "Bam" a frequent flyer in disagreements with your spouse?