Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Finally, some pretty days.

We finally had some pretty days lately, and the kids have been out enjoying them!  The boys have been picking up pecans to earn rewards (video game time, special dessert, etc) and the girls have been out spending quality time with the animals.  We had a horrible loss last week.  We lost one of our Saanen does, suddenly.  We only had a herd of four, and two are yearlings.  So, Gretta needs some extra special love as she copes with the loss of her buddy.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Moving is hard work!!

There's been a big gap since my last post.... and that gap was chock full of a whole lot of effort and very little sleep!

Jeff and I moved most of our things over a few weeks ago.  Because we sold the majority of our furniture, we had a lot to acquire before we could even begin to unpack!  You can't take things out of a box and put them away without shelves or drawers!  After a couple awesome weekends of thrift store and flea market shopping, we finally settled on an entertainment center.  It's big and roomy, nicely built, but looked a bit like the used hotel furniture that it was.  So, we bought some paint.  In one weekend, I spent 17 hours painting this furniture.  I painted the first coats with a very dark plum.  Then, I painted a ceramic off white, two coats, on top.  I roughed up the edges so the plum could show through along the high places.  Then, I covered it in clear coat.  Now, I cannot pain during the waking hours.  Oh, no.  I had to start at bedtime and paint until 4:45am.  Twice.  Sigh.  But, at least it's done and looks great!

The entertainment center adventure was very similar to my marathon of the "paper bag floor".  In the house, there is a room that used to be an exterior room.  It has a concrete floor, covered with crummy vinyl tiles.  Jeff and I popped up all of those tiles to reveal nasty black mastic adhesive was covering half of the room.  This is the part of the house project where we need a quick and cheap fix so that we can move it.  The room needs to have tile or wood laid down over all of that mess.  But, we really needed quick and cheap.  We wanted to paint the floor (I have ALWAYS) wanted to paint a floor!  But, the mastic cannot be painted over.  It could be scraped off... with a piece of equipment that isn't even rentable, you have to hire someone to run it.  It could be stripped off with chemicals... but WOW.  What a MESS.  And, could we even, after all that work, get it clean enough to paint over?  We decided to go with an alternative approach.  Paper.

We found many websites on "paper bag floors".  Basically, you take paper bags (or contractor's paper) and rip it up into pieces.  It took us, including the boys, over 2 hours to rip it all into pieces, crumple each one, and then lay them flat into piles.  That was nothing.  The next step was to securely glue each and every piece, overlapping, onto the floor.  That was my job.  You guessed it.... In the middle of the night.  When I came in from working that night, people were getting up to leave for work.  Yawn.

The next step was the stain the contractor's paper.  I rubbed the stain onto the paper, so that I could have a lot of control over the process.  The paper really wanted to soak it in!  Then came the polyurethane.  Jeff was able to take over this step for me.  After a few layers of poly, we noticed some corners trying to peel.  So, I went back over and glued each and every one down.  Then, more poly.  Is this floor perfect?  No way.  Will it last 15 years?  No way.  Is it pretty cool looking and will keep us happy until a real solution is enacted?  Definitely!  You know what the best thing is??  It's an awesome backdrop for Addison's army men scenarios.

I was a bit nervous about the girls moving over.  Would they understand?  Would they want to go back?  Olive was only 7 months old when we moved in over there.  But, the worry was needless.  Everyone was fine!  They love their new rooms, their new couches (yay, Craigslist!), and we all love the fact that we were about to get our king size bed back!!  Now, in the mornings, each of my little kiddos crawls into bed with me to snuggle.... or to poke me in the eyes and ask for chocolate milk.  I missed our big bed full of little restless arms and flailing legs!

It took a couple weeks of living here before we moved over our computer or television.  We had the cable modem hooked up, and I could use my netbook to surf the web, but we had no video games or t.v. shows.  The only movies we could watch were on the little portable dvd player.  It was awesome.  Addison had found himself on t.v., video game, and BOOK restriction for a week (what mom has to put her kid on BOOK restriction?!), which actually worked out splendidly.  The four kids all played together, happily, with the toys that had been in storage for more than 16 months.  The toys were like new to the boys and WERE new to the girls.  It made me think of Woody and Buzz in Toy Story.  See, going into the attic doesn't have to be all bad.  Sometimes you get more playtime with the kids if you just hang out in rotation for a while!

Now, we are almost back into a groove.  We are still not completely moved in.  Just today I loaded up the truck and trailer with more boxes.  But, it feel so awesome to have the kids around the table together, talking, coloring, and playing.  We seemed so scattered for a while.  But, the resilience of kids is amazing!   The boys have their chore chart back up and kickin'.  We have our old stackable washer and dryer back so the boys can easily pick back up on their laundry chore that they used to have.  We are getting our groove back.

 Yes, we are getting our groove back, and it seems to be cut on an LP.  In the weeks that we had no computer, ipod dock, stereo, or electronic media, Jeff set up his record player and speakers.  Jeff's uncle passed away not long ago, and for the last few weeks, we have been going through his and Jeff's record collections as our only means of musical entertainment.  The collection is pretty fabulous, and I love the nostalgic value of it all.  They sound great and it set just the right tone for our space. I think they'll stick around.... in our new awesome Salvation Army entertainment center, no doubt.

So, the reason for the absence of posts lately can be squarely blamed on lots and lots of forward motion.  The move into my parents' house, and now the move into this one, are steps towards the final destination of that Timber Frame house in Senoia.... the timber frame house that currently stands as trees waiting to be cut by Jeff himself.  We've passed "baby steps".  Our 10 year plan needed weighty bounds, of which we have already made a few.  Hey, at least when the kids are a little older, some of these bounds can be done during waking hours.  
Now, to trim these windows and doors....

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Little Ms. Helper

The other morning, I awoke to the realization that Olive was not in my room.  Usually, Olive is my early riser (I mean, besides Addison, who wakes up at 6:00 in the morning so he can read in a quiet house.).  She gets up at 6:30 almost every day, walks silently to the door with her kitty cat in one hand and blanket in the other, and knocks.  After a while of knocking, she will make a bed on the floor and patiently knock again and again until I open the door.  This morning was different.  This morning, she and Ivey were playing happily in their room together.  It was 8:30.  I had slept until 8:30, without interruption!

I laid there, listening to the sweet noises of content children.  I nudged Jeff so he could listen to the sounds of bliss.  And then, I heard it.  The words that changed the entire ambiance of the morning.  "I am so sorry that you got your poo poo everywhere, Olive!"  With that, I jumped up and bolted for the door.  I entered the room to witness Olive, lying on a changing pad on the floor... and Ivey changing her.  It appeared that the initial stripping of the diaper had happened some time ago.  Without going into any graphic details... it was a mess.  For some reason, Ivey was also naked as a jaybird.  With this newfound knowledge of what was truly going on, the memory of their blissful playing-- playing kitchen, reading books, playing with baby dolls-- turned into a checklist for the HAZMAT cleanup.  As I hit the bathroom, I realized that Ivey had not only mothered her sister (her sister that is only 6lbs lighter than she), but also herself.  The reason that she was naked is that she had pooped in the potty like a big girl... without asking for help with the wiping.  No telling how long ago THAT happened.

I cleaned up each and every spot in that room that little dirty tushes may have sat or hands may have touched.  Through it all, Ivey was still in Mommy-mode.  She insisted on dressing Olive for me.  She made sure Olive said her "pleases" and "thank you's".  Yes, it was a completely vile morning, but at least it was vile with a smile, right?

(Interesting how similar this post was to this one.  And how much the term HAZMAT needs to be used in my life!)

Survival Mode

Lately, we have just been on survival mode.  We are in the midst of another move.  A very weird move.  A move across the yard.  Most people pack up their boxes, move to a house, and unpack their boxes.  Not us.  We sold 1/3 of our things, packed up boxes, stored most of those boxes in a barn, and lived off of the necessities in my parents' house for 16 months. 

Now, I am getting things out of storage.  I am washing each and every pot, pan, dish, fork, and spoon.  Washing every towel and sheet.  Remembering that I used to use my rice cooker about once a week.  Remembering that we used to make ice cream, make cheese, and that I actually own a budnt pan.  It has been so theaputic to see that all of the things we used to have are still there... that is, unless we had sold them!   So... we need bedroom furniture, a desk, lots of shelves, and an entertainment center... even if we are living straight out of the boxes, it will still feel pretty darn good!

The kids are getting very excited about the move, too.  Ivey has been putting things away in her new room and the boys must have made 80 wagon trips back and forth with loads of their things.  If we can get clothes, the fridge, and the girls' beds moved, we should be sleeping there as of this weekend.  Even if we have to run back and forth for all the other things that haven't made it across the yard just yet!  One step closer to beginning our timber frame home adventure!