Me Time FAIL

So after all that crap about being out of time at work and in the hole and yadda yadda yadda, about a week ago I discovered I had nine hours of vacation time to use by today or lose.

I was pretty stoked. I mean, I haven’t had nine hours of time to burn in a long time. I thought I would schedule myself a pedicure, do some shopping for myself. I wasn’t going to clean or do laundry.

The place I used to get my pedicures doesn’t do them anymore. Plus, it’s cold today in Pittsburgh (*shakes fist at Mother Nature*), so flip-flops are not appealing.

And I had to deal with some messes at home. I mean, those dishes aren’t going to clean themselves — and neither is my dishwasher since it’s broken. Plus, I really had to put a (teeny-tiny) dent in the ever-present office mess.

Eventually, I went out to lunch (Chipotle FTW!). And I wandered through a couple of stores, but frankly I didn’t feel like shopping. For clothes, anyway; I did end up with two pairs of shoes and some make-up. And now I’m back home waiting for laundry to come out of the dryer. In about 40 minutes I go pick up the girls.

I’m clearly doing something wrong.

I DID get to spend some fun time on Twitter for a change. Although I still haven’t discovered who-all is knocked up. (I have, however, heard from plenty of people who are NOT.)

I guess I’ll have to try some other time for me time. It’s a shame that I squandered today. But the arts-&-crafts drawer is neat now — we can even close it; and my kitchen is clean (until dinner time). And I folded some laundry.

Me-time may have been a loss, but I think the house won.

Random Thoughts: Fresh Start

Look, I want to make something clear. When I post something here regarding my relationship with my husband, it is not a passive-aggressive ploy. Dan and I talk about a lot of things, including what is good and what is bad about our relationship. We discuss how we can do things better, from date nights to learning how to pick up after ourselves.

My post from yesterday — now deleted — was born out of a deep frustration over an issue (Dan working on Sundays) that he and I have been over and over and over and over. And over. Get me? I don’t want him working on Sundays any more. Sundays are for family and yard work and football and beer. Not for stinkin’ paperwork.


I actually have some good news!

No, I didn’t win another fabulous contest.

But the fruit flies — knock on wood — are dead. As are a lot of other bugs that were in our house. The vegetarian in me is slightly appalled, but the home-owner in me is revelling in the slaughter.

We finally bombed — Dan finally bombed — the house at some point on Sunday. (I was at PodCamp Pittsburgh.) Bug bombed that is. Then we opened all the windows (with screens in them) and aired it out. Between the bombs and the temperature (we haven’t had the furnace on since Friday), I feel fairly confident in saying we have ended our infestation.

God help my sanity if we have not.

We have been at my in-laws since Friday as well, which is stressful for everyone involved (except for my children, who take great delight in sleeping over at Bella’s). But we have all survived, our relationships intact. I have, however, been brushing my teeth with my children’s toothpaste, which is like brushing with berry-flavored bubblegum, and I’m ready to go back to the minty freshness of Colgate Total. You would think that living right next door to each other, I could have easily solved this problem (and that of the morning orange juice) but there comes a point of diminishing returns. After I ran over to my house for clothes and pajamas and my contact lens stuff and then to make sure the furniture was covered and then for boxers for Dan and socks and then a pair of shoes for Kate — one more trip for toothpaste or orange juice just wasn’t worth the trouble.

I have a lot of cleaning and laundry to do. A LOT. Which should be stressing me out — my original plan was to bomb the bugs on Friday so I could clean on Saturday — but I’m feeling pretty Zen about it. We’ll probably have a couple more meals at Bella’s house this week, but by Wednesday or so, we’ll be home again. Er, well, that’s the plan.

The next big project is the office, and I am calling someone today (so help me) to get that underway. Dan and I have to get our house to a baseline of cleanliness and organization so that we can a) have more time together, b) actually find being home relaxing and fun instead of a ball of stress, and c) host birthday parties and the like — I will have a 5-year-old in less than a month! I was hoping to host pumpking-carving festivities (the party that has come to be known as BYOP for Bring Your Own Pumpkin), but we’re already overbooked. Boo.

Things could be getting better. Knock wood again. We’re not out of the mess yet. But, truly, I can see light.


Also, in praise of my husband: He cleaned the crap out of our backyard yesterday. And it needed it. He mowed and swept and took all the trash up to the curb, and burned stuff in the chiminea, and just made our yard look very presentable instead of like the kind of backyard where you expect to see an old car with no tires up on jacks. Yeah, it was that bad. And now it’s the kind of backyard where you can picture sitting in front of the chiminea, burning all your junk mail, while the kids are asleep and you’re finally having a beer.

You know where to find me later.


Speaking of later: Countdown to Burgh Moms (Burgh Bloggers?) dinner at Las Velas: Four days.

Weekend Score: Girls, 2; Sleep, 0

While we had a lovely visit with my friend J in podunk Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, I came to Monday morning utterly exhausted.

The girls decided that 5:30 in the morning was a perfectly reasonable time to start on Saturday. Having consumed three glasses of red wine in quick succession the night before, and getting to bed around midnight, my sour stomach and I felt much differently.

I managed to survive until about 9 a.m., when J graciously brought me Tylenol and ginger ale from the convenience store, and then took the children for a walk. After about 45 minutes of utter stillness with my eyes closed, the Tylenol did its work, and I managed to shower and get dressed.

Kate decided to try for consciousness Sunday morning at 5:30, too, but I brought her into bed with me, and we managed to doze off again until the more decent hour of 7 a.m. Red wine had been wisely avoided on Saturday night, although I did have a tasty Dogfish Head IPA, so I did not have to relive that pain.

The weather was less than optimal, but we managed to keep the girls entertained over two days with new-to-them toys, walks when it wasn’t raining, a playground nearby, play-doh, and an indoor play area complete with the Germ-Laden Ball Pit of Doom (pictures to come). Mealtimes and evenings were low-key, and included crockpot mac ‘n’ cheese (need recipe, J) and a chick-flick on Oxygen (The Notebook; mraw to Ryan Gosling, but pretty hokey none-the-less), a prerequisite for girl time.

Driving with the girls was stressful, as per usual, and Flora saved her very worst behavior for the final 30 minutes of the drive home. I mean, child, we are 30 minutes away from the front door. Chillax, as they say in the ‘hood.

After fighting the fruit flies with vinegar-, wine-, and apple core-loaded traps, Dan braved Wal-Mart on Sunday night to get real fly traps. They seem to be working thus far (the organic traps worked, too, but not in nearly the same numbers as the store-bought traps). I will be undertaking a serious sanitizing of the kitchen in the coming weeks. Oh joy.

So, yeah, I’m tired. Suggestions for pick-me-ups are more than welcome. I’m staring down a daunting week, and I could use some positivity. Thanks.

The Results Are In

After all the hard work, our upstairs looks very good. I am very happy with the results — the heavy lifting and sleep shortage was worth it.

We have to pick up some shelving and storage for the closets, and that is part of this weekend’s plan (I hear IKEA is having a huge sale, so that should be fun). In the meantime:

The Guest Room:

The Girls’ New Room:

I’m pretty sure they like it.

What I Did

A number of people (*cough* Brandon *cough*) wondered how I could manage to watch movies while I was allegedly cleaning and painting upstairs. For the record, I watched Gran Torino, This is Spinal Tap, and the original X-Men (this kind of in two parts; we went to dinner around 7 p.m., and cruised IKEA, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and Target for a little comparison shopping).

And while I watched (and bawled during the last half hour of one of those movies — I’ll let you guess) I sorted though a few clothes.

My girls get a lot of hand-me-downs. Between that, what they outgrow, and what needs to be changed out for more seasonal clothing, I had a lot of sorting on my hands.

Here are four boxes of donations.

I added two garbage bags to those four boxes.

Two boxes of clothes for TTG’s 4-month-old daughter (below, top picture). I also gave a box of dresses to Niece, and two boxes of clothes to A Girl (below, bottom picture), daughter of my friend H (who also has A Boy).

I still ended up with… a few things to put into storage until A) it’s fall/winter and/or B) Bun or Monkey grow into them.

And here are some things I have to put on hangers and hang in the girls’ closet.

Finally, I am married to one of those people who despise getting rid of anything. So I consider it a major victory that he only wanted the following onsies and hats for the girls’ memory boxes. The outfit on the right is for Monkey, and the outfit on the left is for Bun.

Some days — most days — it’s hard to remember that they actually fit in those little things.

Let There Be Pink (and A Little Purple)

I’ll tell you something straight up about DearDR. Man knows how to paint. He’s got all the tools from when he painted houses in college, and he’s got mad skillz. He doesn’t tape; he doesn’t drip; he doesn’t dawdle.

He’s good. If this psychologist thing ever falls through, he’s got a back-up career.

This was the first glimpse of the new color in the Big Room:

It seemed a little more mellow in daylight:

We used plastic bags to make a pattern on one of the walls. I was really pleased with the results:

See the final results Friday!

Before: The Starting Point

DearDR and I, and the girls, live in a three-bedroom home. When we moved here, Monkey was nine months old. When Bun came along, she stayed with DearDR and me in our bed for a few months, then we moved her into a crib in the guest room; her dresser/changing table lived in Monkey’s room. A few weeks ago, Bun decided she didn’t want to sleep in her crib any longer, but wanted to sleep in the “big bed” — our guest room bed.

It was time for a change.

Here’s where we were starting:

Monkey’s room: Bed + Bun’s dresser

Monkey’s room: Shelf + Monkey’s dresser

Monkey’s room: The closet

The big room: Rolltop desk + crib

The big room: Bed

The big room: Stuff

This image best demonstrates another reason it was time to clean and rearrange. These bags and boxes and piles of stuff have been piling up for more than a year. They are part of the “something more” that I find it difficult to deal with in a timely manner as a WOTHM. They are clothes that no longer fit anyone; clothes that will probably fit Bun someday; and baby stuff that we are not sure we will need again. (This is still up in the air.)

The big room: The closet (i.e. wasted space)

The big room: Glider and doorway

The angel will be moving into the guest room, with other angel art that we have received over the years.

How I Spent Friday Night: The big room, nearly empty

I said “nearly”.

Where all that stuff went:

Come back tomorrow to watch the transformation.

So Tired

I am going to have to check how often my Monday post references exhaustion.

We did a ton of work this weekend. I am uploading photographic evidence as I write this.

I picked up the girls at the Grove City Eat’n’Park around 6 o’clock yesterday. To my disappointment, there was not squealing. Instead, Bun simply crawled over Nonna to come sit on me. The girls cuddled up for a bit, then went for a walk outside with Nonna and Pap-pap, while I had a bite to eat. As I suspected she would, Bun threw a fit when she realized she wasn’t going with Nonna and Pap-pap, back to Erie, to see the dogs (Buddy and Roxy — I guess Roxy is very entertaining).

We got home at 7:30. The girls seem to be thrilled by their room. Last night’s transition went pretty smoothly — Monkey pretty much passed out; Bun took a little extra cuddling. They were exhausted from the weekend. I’ll have to see if Nonna got any good pictures.

I’m going to let them sleep a little bit longer, but I have to get them to daycare and myself to work. The rest of the week will probably be pictures. Stay tuned.

Saturday Checklist

Get up; have coffee; finish The Hour I First Believed.
Choke back tears.
Wipe down walls in Big Room.
Steam clean rug in Big Room.
Bring all the girls’ clothing downstairs to front room.
Put on Gran Torino.
Start sorting clothes.
Two hours later, cry a lot.
Put in This is Spinal Tap. Keep sorting clothes.
Put four boxes and two bags in car trunk for donation.
Keep sorting clothes.
Green beans!
Finish sorting clothes while watching first half of the first X-Men movie.
Gopher for DearDR while he paints first coat.
Think, “Holy cats, that’s pink.”
Two hours later, go out to dinner.
The vegetable pad thai at China Palace in Sewickley is fantastic.
Comparison shop closet organization options.
IKEA wins. Will have to come back.
Pick up beer at Bocktown.
Go home. Goof off. Make plan for Sunday.
DearDR starts second coat of pink.
Write blog post.
Sort gift wrap, gift bags, and wrapping paper.
Watch second half of X-Men.
Have another beer.
Go to bed. Try hard not to think of everything that has to be done Sunday.