Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I opened my cupboard Monday morning to put the plates away and found THIS staring at me

 ahhh...the joys of having boys.....

and again...just cause :)

This Praying Mantis moment was brought to you courtesy of Alec

Hope it made you smile.    ;)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

If you can't beat'em

join'em. Right?

I've been slowly re-vamping Max's room. It was fine but it needed some finessing. SO I've been slowly but surely doing that over the last few months. It is a process. Just when I think I've got it right - he grows up a little more.

Please excuse the first two pictures - I had to import those in from photobucket and I have no idea how to resize them. *blush*
This was his room as an infant



Then he got into his toddler phase and the changing table came out - replaced with a shelf for all his toys - and his room looked like this

As you walk in - facing South
Corner of his room - facing Southwest
Windows - facing West
 Chest of Drawers between door and closet - facing North
Crib - facing East
Rug in front of his crib - I loved this rug.

But he was getting older and I was pregnant with Piper so we decided it was time to take the crib out and replace it with a big boy toddler bed. 

So then this was his room

Bed - looking in from the door
Shelf - South wall
North wall - chest of drawers

But it still wasn't right. I wasn't happy with it yet.
So I added a different rug
Liking it better. And some doodads on his wood crates - so from this
to this
Those are squares I spray painted with chalk board paint and the little buttons are stickers from Michael's clearance bin. They were 50 cents for a pack of 28.
up close
excuse the smudge on the chalk - I was being assaulted by a toddler and a baby at the time!
North wall - chest of drawers - much happier with this
West wall - new window treatments and a chalkboard/easel
Max and his bed - spray painted some wood blocks dark brown and added them to his wall
Other side of his wall - more blocks and his name - Alec's art is hung in the center

And that was all well and good and then Max did THIS to his wall *sigh*
Here he is posing with it - he was very proud of it *sigh*
So I did this
You can buy these at Home Depot and they are $10. They are peel and stick vinyl dry erase boards. These are dots but they have all shapes and colors.
And I added another chalk board
Hopefully he'll use the structures I've given him and give our walls a rest!

His room is pretty much done. I'm happy with it. For now.

On to the next room...the dining room.

OK then, the dining room transformation is underway!

So I didn't get it quite together enough to download the pictures - hopefully later today.

I have decided on a paint color for the dining room. HOOORAH!!!! Good lord - THAT only took, what, 5 months? ugh. Dark, stained, red oak wood trim will do that to you. You'll think you have the perfect color, get the sample color home, and EGAD.

But, I have found the one. It's called Burlap - from Sherwin Williams. It's a lighter neutral...sort of a green/brown/yellow/gray/taupe?!?!?! lol - I know - but it is one of those "chameleon" colors. I LURVE it. AND it looks good against the wood trim AND works going from our living room, which is painted Butternut, into our kitchen - which is painted an old Martha Stewart color, called Fell ( a dark, olivey-army green color - I know, sounds crazy but it's beautiful against our cream glazed cabinets).

I'm excited about the paint color and I think I'm going to start priming those red walls this week. Then painting. THEN ordering new cream color curtains and a rug.

Here's the next part. We inherited our dining room furniture from hubby's parents. It isn't really our style but it was free. So you go with what you got - right? Anyway - I've never been in love with the chairs. They are a bit too formal for my tastes so I was looking around for possibly getting new chairs.

I'm in love with the "Couture" chairs from Ballard Designs. LOVE them. LOVE the slipcovers. Love the pleat details. NOT in love with the $230 price tag that goes along with the chairs. Seriously. $230 each. Nope. BUT the slipcover, which is SO cute, is only $20. THAT is doable. I was thinking of maybe slipcovering our chairs myself - but for $20 I'm thinking those may just be the better option. Now, our chairs dimensions are almost identical. My thought process is that I will order 1 slipcover and just see how it works on our current chairs. If it fits - I'll order 3 more - if it doesn't - I'll send it back and attempt slipcovering them myself. It could happen...

Another potential problemo is that we really have 6 dining room chairs - but 2 of them are meant for the end of the table and they have arms. Well, they just don't sell slipcovers for dining chairs with arms or at least I haven't been able to find them if they do. So I may have to attempt those myself or see if I can find a seamstress around here to work something up for me on those. Or maybe I'll just put those chairs away and move our bench into the dining room....hmmmm....

I've also re-vamped the current chandelier in the dining room. More to come on that too. Stay tuned...

Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm alive

I'm alive and here and in a much better place mentally. All the stuff surrounding the healthcare bill was not healthy for me and I needed to not be on the computer. Seriously.

I am, a very opinionated pre-existing condition because of all my medical stuff, right in the middle of the debate and I am not able to emotionally remove myself from it. I take it personally because, well, it IS personal to me. It is my very life and well being and I, as well as 32 million other Americans, needed this bill to pass. I'm not going to say much else about that here because this blog is my happy place and all that crap rhetoric is like quicksand for my mental state. If you want to read my thoughts on that - check out my other blog. I'm going to unload a bunch over there later this week regarding health care. But not here. This blog is for my kids, my craft stuff and my attempts at cheaply decorating our money pit continually renovated home. In other words, only things that lift my spirit and make me smile are allowed.

So on that note - I'm back and I'll be uploading some pics later of some projects I've been working on. AND I've made progress with the dining room issue. More to come on that too.

Today it is supposed to be 74 degrees. The sun is out and, for a change, the wind is not gusting up to 50 miles per hour. I'm going to be outside with the kids today. :) That is a great thing. Springtime - it's very nice to have you back - I've missed you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Taking a break for a little while until things in my life settle down a bit.

That is all. See ya'll on the flip side.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It only took a snowstorm

to kill the pollen and give a day without terrible allergies. Although I am loving the fact that my nose isn't running and I'm not sneezing - I am missing the pretty weather. It's gray and cold and has been snowing on and off since 8 o'clock this morning. And today is the first day of Spring - how'd you like that? Ah well, it is supposed to be 70 again on Monday so I can suffer through these couple of days to get there.

*Warning* This post is Ok - proceed at your own risk. You've been formally warned.

We went camping at Beaver's Bend and had a good time. The kids really enjoyed it and Mark and I did too - for different reasons. He got to go fish every day,several times a day.

And when he went he almost always took the boys.

Because he took the boys, I got to hang out at the cabin with Piper. A good part of that time she was napping so I got some ME alone time - just to hang out, smell the pine trees, watch the birds, enjoy nature and read. It was really nice.

I've been doing quite a bit of re-doing and crafting and whatnot. I've tackled so many little projects I"m not sure what to talk about first. I'll probably put them in seperate posts just to organize them a bit better. So I'll just talk about the re-vamping of the house. I am on a white kick. I am loving white right now - everything about it - it's so clean and inviting, and to me, calming. I've been adding white into our living room over the past couple of weeks and I'm liking how it's coming. I covered some red pillows in khaki slip covers and covered a pillow in drop cloth. Then I hung some thrift store frames I spray painted white on the wall and added a little vingette of items that came from Goodwill. Have I mentioned I heart spray paint? Well, I do. I lurve it. It is my BFF. I've got a large mirror I found at a junk store for $5 down in the basement taped off and drying right now from a coat of rubbed oil bronze spray paint I put on it earlier. That is going above our sofa. When I get it all done I'll do a "reveal" post. ;)

I also spray painted some heavy, wood candle sticks white. This is the "before" shot.
"After" I like how the paint didn't cover them completely. I really like the bit of brown showing through in some places.

While I was at it I took the cover to our fireplace out and gave it a good coat of white spraypaint too. Our fireplace does not have a flue. I know - odd right? Well, it doesn't - so we have this HUGE board that has been made to fit the exact opening to the hearth and it stays in place to keep the cold air out. Anyway, I have been thinking I want to paint that fireplace for about 6 months now. The issue is that our living room faces East and South and because of lots of trees in our front yard, the room is very dark. The dark red fireplace combined with all the dark woodwork makes our living room feel like a cave. I was thinking that if I painted the fireplace it would give the living room a POP of color  rather than feel like it is a sucking, black hole of death   because that DARK fireplace is just sucking all the light out of the room. SO I painted the wood cover to the fireplace. I like it. It has already lightened that area up and given the little bit of light we have in there a place to bounce off. Reveal shot on this area to come as well. It's better but not done yet. I'm thinking of doing a lime-wash paint treatment on the brick of the fireplace - anyone ever heard of that?

Still trying to figure out a good color for the dining room. Now I'm even leaning toward doing something in a cream or creamy-green shade. The husband has talked me out of painting the trim in the dining room because it would just be So I have to work with what I've got....which is stained red-oak trim - it is almost a Cinnamon color stain. Very hard to get a good lot of colors to work against. Greens do look good, as do yellows - I have enough yellow in my house though. Possibly a green...maybe a green-gray or a creamy-green - something chameleon-like that will change as the light in the room changes. I'm also thinking of cream slipcovers for the dining room chairs. Am I insane wanting a variation of white when I have small children? Probably. But thats what I'm feeling right now.

Ok, so off to fold some laundry and check on the pulled pork I have in the crockpot. It smells wonderful and my tummy is growling. Happy first day of Spring everyone! 

Ok - so upcoming posts will be on chalkboards. I am a madwoman right now for chalkboard paint. I've got some serious projects in the works on that. If the weather really does turn nice next week maybe I'll be able to finish them!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We are home

We made it through the camping trip and had a lot of fun. Pip had a hard time because she likes to sleep in HER bed but we muddled through. I, however, am in allergy h*ll. And because of that I'm having a hard time functioning so I'm not doing much posting or writing - just trying to get my head off the floor and the laundry caught up and the house clean. Hopefully I'll turn a corner with this soon and be able to regain some sense of normalcy again. Here's hoping right?

I have a couple of projects I'm working on - if the weather holds and stays pretty I may get them finished!

Hope everyone is having a good Spring Break.

Catch ya'll when the allergies calm down a bit.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Camping trip

I'm going to be gone for a few days. We are taking the kids on a camping trip to Beaver's Bend.
We are staying in a cabin on the river (not tent camping - I'm not insane). The river empties into this HUGE lake and it should be a lot of fun. There are tons of nature trails and lots of river fishing for trout. There is also a terrific museum at the entrance to the park that the kiddos will love.

The last time we were there Max was in my belly. I was right at 13 wks along and right at the end of all the morning sickness stuff. This time I'll have my whole family there. I am happy. Also - it is gorgeous and right now the Dogwoods should be just starting to bloom. I can't wait.

However, the baby is still sick and can't breathe and we had a terrible night last night. Now, on less than 2 hours sleep, I only have to do 3 loads of laundry, do the grocery shopping for the trip (we simply MUST have the stuff to make s'mores with and hot dogs to roast on sticks - cause that is how I roll when we camp) and I have to get us all packed. Oh and did I mention the 12 yr old is home sick today too??? Ugh. I am tired but really happy.

But, these are the days - the good days overall - so we are going to push ahead and have a good time no matter what!

See ya'll when we get back next week.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Color my World

Color has been a large part of my life. And I have always felt that the colors around us influence our moods - I am a believer in color psychology. Which brings me to what I"ve been doing the last few days - rethinking the colors in our home.

Let me start by saying that I've never been a big fan of the color blue. There is nothing wrong with the color - but it just didn't speak to me. I have never felt that I had any real connection to it; I don't live by the ocean or even a lake and I don't even have blue eyes. I have no foundation in the color whatsoever. I have also thought that it would be a lovely color to decorate if I lived near water. But I don't. I live in Oklahoma - a state that is just about as landlocked as you can get. The colors I decorate with mostly are the colors I see everyday around me: shades of green ( like my eyes ), yellows, golds, tans and browns. The shades that color the Great Plains in which I live.

But now, all of a sudden, I am finding myself drawn to the color blue - or shades of it at least. I bought a new coverlet for our bed the other day that is turquoise and light blue. I have been switching out my red and brown accents in the living room for white milk glass and items of blue and turquoise. I am finding it all very relaxing, soothing, and most importantly, calming. These 3 feelings are all things I need more of in my life. Interestingly, I find that I am almost unconsciously attempting to create that around myself right now.

Which brings me to my dining room. *SIGH* Currently I have a red dining room. We bought this house in the summer of 2004 and this was the first room I painted. It is painted a color called Ladybug. I still love the color BUT I am just tired of it. It has been 5 years. And also, RED just doesn't speak to me anymore.

When I painted this room, red definitely had something to say to me and about me. I had just landed a big job. I was in charge of 500 employees and I was learning my way through a department of 8 direct reports and how to hold my own in an industry that was ALL male. Red was my color; it was my shield and my safe place.

But it isn't so much anymore. I find that I shrink from red right now. I want something quieter. I want my dining room to softly speak to me rather than yell. I want to feel calmed by it rather than excited. I really want to paint my dining room a warm gray color.

Now, I went round and round with this last November and I just could NOT find the "right" gray. The trouble is that our wood trim, and there is a lot of it, is all stained. It is the original trim and because of that I have flinched from painting it. Well, that and the prospect of all the sanding we'd have to do. But I keep coming back to this and feeling that it is just time - time to do it. I am feeling that it may be time to paint at least some of the trim. Possibly the trim around the windows, doors, baseboards and some of the crown molding. We also have a built in hutch that is the original wood trim. You can see part of the built in here in this picture. I may not paint that. I wonder if it will look ok to leave that alone. I guess we'll find out.

So anyway - this is my next big project. If anyone has any pointers or words of wisdom - I'm all ears. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Real quick before I go to bed - I had to post about a Fun Giveaway over at Finesse Your Nest!

Kendall is celebrating 200 followers by giving away a book each day this week!!! Head over to her blog and check it out!!!!

We are supposed to have really pretty weather tomorrow so I am thinking about doing some painting/crafting! If I am able to I'll get some things posted on here...but no promises I still have a sick little baby girl (viral throat infection = yuckies) so it may or may not happen. But here's hoping!!! Oh and I also re-vamped our bedroom and lightened it up for Spring/Summer. I just need to change the lamp shades from dark red to a crisp white and I'll feel better about how it's looking. Maybe I'll post some pictures of that if I get time too!

edited - to fix the typos. Good lord you can tell I was sleepy when I typed all that!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I am Grateful

I *am* grateful. Every.Single.Day. that I wake up and breathe I am thankful for it. You should be too. I'll tell you why. Be thankful you can see and be thankful you can smile. It is all too easy to get caught up in the every day BS around us and forget what actually matters.

I usually talk about this stuff over here at my other blog but today, I just felt like part of what I had to say was about my kids and it needed to be said on this blog - my mommy/kid blog.

Last week I had to go and see my Neuro Surgeon and have my MRI. I have 3 Meningiomas. They found them while doing an MRI for the Bell's palsy I got right after my little girl was born. The Bell's robbed me of my smile and the Meningiomas robbed me of my peace of mind. Now, that being said, Meningiomas are benign brain tumors. Yes - it is WONDERFUL that they are benign. However, benign is really a misnomer because it just means that they are not actively attacking the brain. They are still in there and they can still grow. You can see pictures of them over here.  If they grow large enough they can begin to cause me all sorts of problems and then would need to come out. Also, they are too far apart to get at once - so I would need 2 separate brain surgeries.

So last week I had to go have another MRI done to see what was happening inside my brain. Turns out the tumors do not show any "significant growth" since my last MRI back in October. That is great news and I credit this for making it possible. However, the third tumor may or may not be a Meningioma. It is located on my right optic nerve sheath. It may be a Glioma. Pretty much anything with -oma attached to the end of it sucks ass. If it is a Meningioma it will either continue to grow very slowly and eventually rob me of my sight in the right eye OR it could just stop growing altogether leaving my vision as it is right now - compromised but there.

Gliomas are a bit different. They almost always occur in children. When they occur in adults they are usually very aggressive. The doctors don't know exactly which I have yet - they have to continue to do MRI's and watch and see what it does. They can't biopsy it because of where it is located which is what also makes it inoperable. Or rather if they did operate on it - I would be blind in my right eye immediately because they would have to remove my optic nerve. I just found out there that IF it is a Glioma -  I wouldn't just loose my vision in that eye, which I thought was the worst that could happen, I would most likely loose my eye.

Now, some people would say that should have always been obvious to me - why didn't I see (haha) that earlier. I'll tell you because I didn't. I just did NOT realize that was an option. To me going blind in that eye was bad enough - it never occurred to me that it could get worse.

In high school, during our senior year I was voted prettiest eyes. I love my eyes. I love that they are green with yellow and gray flecks in them. I love the shape of them - almond. I don't want to loose my eye. I don't want a glass eye. I want my eyes. Both of them.

And then the other night a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to this site. But let me warn you - don't go there unless you have a good deal of Kleenex and nowhere you need to be soon. Their little girl is dying of cancer right in front of them. I can not imagine what that child must physically be enduring or what those parents are emotionally enduring on a day to day basis. It is, to me, in a word - unfathomable.

I read a couple of pages and got up and went into my room. Those pages were all I could take at that moment. I have only truly knelt to pray a couple of times in my life. The other night I hit my knees next to our bed and prayed and wept. I cried for that little girl, I cried for her family, and I cried for her parents. I prayed for all of them.

And then I thanked God that those things were not happening to us. I thanked God that if we had to have the Bad Things, they were happening to me and not my children.

It has always been a bit odd to me that I have 3 tumors and I have 3 children. Coincidence? I don't know. Maybe I have one for each child - payment made in advance for them. I would gladly have it be that way. If this must happen then yes, it should be me. Yes, the tumors suck. And yes, they are a lot to go through. But, I got to have 37 years of good vision. With 2 eyes. I got to see my children. And they are healthy and happy and growing. And that makes me, even with everything going on, blessed beyond measure and very, very grateful.