Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wow. I Mean WOW.

Six bags. SIX huge hefty-thick construction grade black bags, full of clothes to go to Goodwill. I am amazed. Because I gave about 10 bags of clothes to Goodwill last year before our move, and that was from four years of living in the same house.

It has only been one year since then. I will admit, a lot of the clothing is winter clothing and heavy sweaters that we won't ever wear again, and if we ever have the chance they'll be so old we will want new ones--so all is good.
I guess I'm just amazed (and all you people with growing boys out there will empathize) at how quickly my boys go through clothes! They grow right out of them! Thing Two is growing like a weed. He grew three inches in the last year alone. Thing Three, well, he gets most of Thing Two's hand-me-downs because Thing Two is one of those boys who Doesn't Get His Clothes Dirty. The only problem we run into, is Things Two and Three have drastically different taste in clothing. Thing Two is all about polo shirts and khaki shorts, and Thing Three is all about SPORTS CLOTHES. Everything he has is t-shirts and sport shorts. Let's put it this way: Thing Two is POLO. Thing Three is ADIDAS.


It's starting to look bare in the house. It's weird. But it's necessary. We close in exactly two weeks! STRESS!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Boxes Boxes Boxes. And Patience.

My life is...boxes. While everyone leaves for their 4th-of-July vacations, I get to...pack boxes. My kids are packing boxes. If we had a dog, IT would be packing boxes. Alas, we have no dog. More boxes for me.

Thing Four (who just turned 4) is entering the "I Want To Do Everything Myself" phase. Getting dressed. Going to the bathroom (although I still draw the line at letting him wipe himself--um, not ready for that yet). Getting into the car himself. Getting his own drink of water. It's fine and all, but I am a highly impatient person, and waiting three and a half minutes for him to try and get his shorts zipped and snapped is BEYOND ANNOYING. Here is where, in my opinion, the Challenge of Motherhood comes in. Because you have to practice patience. Patience when it takes them ten minutes to get their own shoes on, and they end up getting frustrated anyway and whine and ask you to do it. Patience, when you need to getinthecarandzoomzoomzoom and they want to take the time to c-l-i-m-b up themselves and put themselves in the carseat and b-u-c-k-l-e it themselves and move turtle slow and yadda yadda yadda tear tear tear my hair out.

I'm so glad for moments like this. Because I have no patience, and Someone up there knows I certainly need to have my patience tried, in order to gain some. Because He's smart. Smarter than me.

Back to the boxes.Thing Four wants to pack a box "all by himself."

Give me patience please, because I want some right now now now!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Own Five Pairs of Scissors. Why Can't I Find Even ONE???

I am going to start calling my house the Bermuda Triangle. No, seriously. Because things go missing. Socks are the number one thing. Followed closely by--in fact, it's a tie--between Chip Clips and writing pens. Next comes ponytail elastics. And I know who the culprit is, because I only have one daughter. I think she eats them after she uses them, because I'll buy her a brand new package of 30 or so, and two weeks later she tells me she doesn't have any ponytail elastics.

Then the SCISSORS. Don't get me started on those. I have several pairs. I have Kitchen scissors. (Which, apparently, have been borrowed for everything EXCEPT kitchen stuff!) I have scissors in my desk drawer in my office. I have scissors in my drawer in the bathroom. I have scissors in the master bedroom, to cut all those pesky new clothes tags off.

But I also have the Holy Scissors. As in, they have "MOM'S SCISSORS DO NOT TAKE!" written all over them in black sharpie, and they are only for fabric projects, and they are the holiest of scissors--as in, it's very very VERY bad to swipe them. Swiping them incurs the Wrath Of Mom.

And they're all missing. Every single stinking pair.

Bermuda Triangle strikes again. Or rather, my CHILDREN. Who are very much in trouble. I think sometimes I truly get why my parents had a locked cupboard in the kitchen. At the time, I didn't understand it (or more like I was angry because I couldn't pick the lock!) but now, I get it. I am one step away...I will have a locked cupboard in my kitchen, and inside it I will have scissors, ponytail elastics, BOXES of writing pens, chip clips, iPod wall chargers, mechanical pencils, packs of gum and extra SOCKS. With a big ole' padlock on it. Bwahahahahahahahaaa!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

In Which Lara Becomes Jane.

And I'm finding myself surprisingly calm. Maybe because we're only moving ten minutes away this time. So, I'm calmer about it. Okay, maybe not so much, but only because I have so much CRAP.

Anyway, I decided I was sick of our dining table. It used to be this rich color, and over the years, it has faded in the sun to a not-so-lovely shade of ORANGE. See below:
See? ORANGE. Even the orange chairs. So, I looked at a few do-it-yourself-blogs (my fave was Being Brook but she needs to update! What has happened since the move???) And I decided to paint it. So, I dismantled the table legs and put the table in the garage on a couple of sawhorses. Then I went to the local Benjamin Moore and other assorted stores and bought these lovelies:
I am happy to announce I did ZERO sanding. Because it is messy and gritty and you can't lift your arms the next day and it is SO NOT FUN. So, I tinted the Zinsser primer, and painted a coat on the table and chairs. Can I say it was MAJORLY UNFUN to paint all the individual spindles? I think I will spray next time. Moving on....

Next I used the Benjamin Moore paint in the blue can. I love this stuff. I rolled it on with cheap foam rollers I bought at WalMart--because that's where I heard they were the cheapest, ha ha. I did two coats, and I have to say it looked really good. Although again, painting those #%&*!*!! spindles...

After waiting 24 hours for the coats to dry, I did two coats of the Minwax clear satin Polyurethane. And NOW look at my table and chairs:
A definite improvement, I'd say!

And it holds up really well because of the Polyurethane. Hey, I have three rambunctious boys and a teen-aged daughter--it needs to!

Go me. Just saved myself $2000 for a new table and chairs set. The whole refinish cost me about $250. Not too shabby! I think next time I might SPRAY the chairs, though. Infinitely easier. Live and learn, right? (Yes, Karen, I know you suggested spraying in the first place! You can do the "I-told-you-so" gloating thing!)

Friday, June 24, 2011

I'm on Facebook. Yes, I Know, I Know. You Can All Collectively Roll Your Eyes!!

In the words of my friend Aimee, Hell has Frozen Over. Pigs now Fly.

I am now a member of Facebook! I only did it because, well, I guess you could say I bowed to the pressure. I guess it all boils down to the old adage "Never Say Never." (Yes, I stole that from Justin Bieber.)

Times change. Luddites get High Speed Internet. Lara Joins Facebook. It's a logical conclusion.

Oh, and just for funs, here is a conversation I had with Thing Three as I was driving him to scout camp this morning. (He was reading the labels on the Campbell's soup cans I let him take for the Camp Food Drive):

Thing Three: "Soup sounds kinda good right now, Mom."


Thing Three: "No, I did, I just like soup. But I especially love Clam Chowder. I like those chewy bits in the chowder. What are those?

Me: "Those would be the clams. Clams are chewy."

Thing Three: (Long pause) Those are...clams? I'm eating clams??? (shudders)

Me: "Why do you think they call it 'clam chowder?'"

Thing Three: "I don't know! But now I can't eat it knowing there are CLAMS in it! GROSS!"

Yeah. Kids make zero sense sometimes.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Christmas in June!

That's what it is. Freaking CHRISTMAS. Because I am opening up boxes I never opened up the LAST move (last year), and discovering all sorts of new and wondrous things I never knew I had. And what's sad? 90% of it is stuff I didn't miss and don't need. Off to Goodwill it goes!

My daughter (bless her) is having a rough time. She's just like her mommy. Pack rat-ish, and nostalgic to the core. She wants to save her school papers from the First grade. She wants to keep the banged-up jewelry box she had at age five that she hasn't looked at in three years, but recently dug up.

**Lara throws up hands in frustration**

That's what I get. She is, after all, a mini me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Junk is Having Babies. I Am So Not Kidding.

Those of you who have moved have certainly experienced this--you look at a room and think "Okay, I'm ready to pack this up! Shouldn't take long!" 30 boxes and 2 days later, it's still looks the same, and you are wondering why you have so much junk and why you ever had to save all those cards and school projects and clothes from college.

Seriously. I am experiencing this right now. What I don't understand, is I have been THROWING STUFF AWAY. Lots of it. Yet it either keeps coming back, or what I have is being fruitful and multiplying, because I still have a FERSHLUGGING MOUNTANEOUS TON OF CRAP.

And yes, it felt better to say that! Whew!

Deep breaths, Lara. Deep breaths...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Just Call me Taz...

I know I've used this picture before, but this is ME, literally, getting the moving stuff done. The POD is 70% full. I've been meeting with contractors, dejunking, racking up the Goodwill donation receipts, and trying to function in other capacities, which isn't going over so bueno. Thing One is really helping out with her younger brother, and I am VERY grateful for that. Otherwise it would be Sponge Bob and Nick Jr., babysitting him for me. Yes, I will be collecting my Mom Of The Year award after this move...

Everything is going well otherwise! The kids are hanging out at the pool and with friends, Thing Three is in Scout day camp this week, and other than it being REALLY hot and humid outside, things are going well!

Then again, it's only Tuesday...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Knocking Out The List...

Met with a woodworker this morning, I am AMAZED at what he can do! We have a niche next to our fireplace and we want a nice dark set of bookshelves with cabinets built-in. This guy can do whatever we want. He's that awesome. Mike Vick of Timber Wolf Wood Creations, Inc. If you live in Charlotte, he's your man!

Then I  I ran to the store and brought home Subway for lunch, because my kitchen is messy. Bad Lara. Thing One emptied the dishwasher and refilled it, but I need to go around wiping down the counters. Sticky floors and sticky countertops. That's what I have. Especially since Thing Four (who is four, heh heh) has decided he needs a straw with every beverage and likes to BLOW BUBBLES. Yeah, I shut that down pretty quickly. ;-) But my floors need to be mopped, especially around the bar stools.

Today is getting more stuff into the POD, put the final coat of polyurethane on my dining table (I refinished it, and it looks GREAT I will post pics when I'm done!) and then I need to start packing up a room. I already packed up all the books in my office, and it looks so bare, but I don't use them currently so they had to get boxed first. I never realized how HEAVY the books are! Lots and lots of little boxes. So the movers can actually MOVE them. ;-) I am so lucky, a family just changed houses in our church ward and they asked me if I need moving boxes (um, YES!!!), so I will have boxes galore. Happy happy!

They're installing the carpet in our new house this week. It's getting close!

I hope everyone has a happy Monday!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Opposite of a Job Day? FERSHLUGGING AWESOME.

You know how you have one of those days, that are so awful, you kind of start to feel like Job from the Bible? I call them "Job Days." Everything goes wrong, you get bad news, and you just don't know how to carry on?

Well, yesterday was the opposite. Yesterday was a FERSHLUGGING AWESOME day. (Yes, I love that word. I love how it rolls off the tongue. Fershlugging. Especially since I think the F-word is dirty and I won't say it. ;-) I remember where I first heard Fershlugging-- you know the Disney animated movie Hercules? Well, the Satyr (voiced by Danny De Vito) says it. It's a GREAT word!)

Many of you may already know we're moving in a few weeks--we've been building a house. Well, we got a great rate lock yesterday, so I was very excited about that. Also, Thing Two found out one of his best school friends actually lives less than half a mile away from us, so they spent the day together, and that made me happy. There are ZERO boys in our immediate neighborhood his age, and I was really worried he'd have a lame summer. Woo!
 Then I got some amazing news (I'm not quite ready to share, but trust me, when I can, I will shout it from the rooftops!) and it was just the perfect end to a really FERSHLUGGING AWESOME day! And no, I'm not pregnant. Don't ask! We are officially done with having kids!

Today is a little crazy, the back left tire on my Sequoia got a screw in it and it's losing air (dang construction site!), so I have to get it patched this morning. Then I need to run and pick up Thing Two from his sleepover, pick up another friend to bring to the house for a "hang out" (they don't say "playdate" anymore past age ten, I was informed) and then it's back to loading up the POD. Which was six hours of major sweat yesterday. UGH!

I hope everyone has a great Friday, and a FERSHLUGGING awesome weekend! Heh Heh. Can't get enough of that word!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Brevity. Quickie. Shorty.

All is well. I'm packing/loading my brains out. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

One Way Ticket To Insanity.

I guess I should just shut up, because people move every day. They pack up their stuff in boxes, load them up into trucks, and MOVE.

But I like to whine about how HARD it is to pack up all my junk! Because I have so much of it! ;-)

When we moved here from Wisconsin, I had 500 boxes. FIVE HUNDRED BOXES. And that's just boxes. That doesn't count furniture, and all the other crud. Take the biggest moving truck trailer you've ever seen (you know, those ones that are so long they shouldn't be allowed to legally be on the roads) and we filled one of those TO THE BRIM. Plus another semi half that size filled with storage.

It took a team of ten men two days to pack my house. And we're talking majorly experienced packers, with boxes and tape and paper galore, they didn't have to stop and hunt down a box or paper, or empty out something for the box. Nope. They just PACKED. Ten Men. Two Days.

I'm little ol' me, with kids away at camp. I have four weeks. I think I'm going to be 10 pounds lighter when this is all done.

And of course I have neighbor kids running through the house at all times of day, depleting my snacks and begging me to take them (because my kids put them up to it) the pool, and can I just tear my hair out already?

My favorite part: Hubby has a super-important-can't-miss-it-have-to-go-or-else business trip, and he doesn't get back until the DAY before we move.

Thank heaven for PODS. Thank heaven I thought of them with my own brain. Or I think I'd lose it. ;-)

ps--is it bad I'm enjoying the peace and quiet having one kid away at camp affords? Does that make me a bad mother?

Oh, and we are NOT asking our church to help us move. They are not a moving company, and that's how we've always felt about it. I know, we're prideful that way. ;-)

Monday, June 13, 2011

And Summer Begins...

Got my daughter sent off to Girls camp this morning at 5am (and thanks Mom, I got your invitation to play "Hang with Friends" at 1:13 in the morning--very LOUDLY on my phone!) ;-). She will be gone for a week. Her brothers are rejoicing, and I had to tell them to tone it down. (We call her The Police at our house, because she never lets anyone (especially her brothers) get away with ANYTHING.)


So, we should have a quiet week. I'm getting a little freaked out, because we're moving in less than 5 weeks and I have a TON to do. We're moving ourselves, this time. I'll be honest, it's the first time in 13 years I've had to call a moving company and coordinate everything myself. And PACK myself. I haven't done that, either, because every time we've been relocated the movers packed us up, which was SUPER AWESOME. I am realizing now what takes five people two days to do will take me all four weeks to accomplish. I'm renting a POD and sticking the non-necessary crap in it so the movers will only have to deal with the big stuff.

I really hope this week doesn't kill me! Happy Monday everyone.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

A Lesson Learned.

One end-of-year party to go! I'm in the home stretch!! Woo!

You know, as much as I detest the ants in this house (see previous post), I have to admire their tenacity. They don't give up. They know what they need to do, and whether it's by sheer determination, or simple "group mentality," they push forward, always trying, always searching, always perservering.

Much to MY chagrin, of course, but hey, we can all learn from Ants. Maybe if we were a little more like them, we'd actually get SOME of the goals we've set for ourselves accomplished. Just sayin'.  ;-)

I am really really really tired. Lack of sleep because Hubby is traveling, and getting up early to get the kids to school. It will be nice to not have to do that any more for a few months.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


Sorry, Major Rant about to take place--can I just say, I HATE ants? Those pesky little black sugar ants, that never, ever, ever, ever EVER give up??? You know that stupid song about the ant and the Rubber Tree plant? Well, the house we're currently living in, is that rubber tree plant, trust me. UGH.

Let me just preface this by saying I've never had ants before, in any house I've lived in. Or if I have, I think I sprayed once, because they were coming in from the outside and they stopped coming in, and that was that.

THIS HOUSE, which we are currently renting, has a crawlspace INFESTED with the little buggers. Nothing seems to get rid of them! Pest control hasn't killed them. I've tried sprays, foggers, pepper, vinegar, (in my kitchen to keep them at bay) and the fixes are always temporary, because they find another crack in the crawlspace and come up into the house somewhere else. It drives me fershlugging NUTS!!!!! They are in the second floor bathrooms, going after the toothpaste and soap. They love Hubby's computer in the master bedroom for some reason. I can't leave even ONE tiny crumb of food on the wood floors on the first floor (YOU try and keep on top of that with four kids in the house) or we get swarmed.

I am going crazy. It's just a little embarrassing when we have people over, and while we're all laughing at the table and talking, an ant or two will run across the top of the table--just enough to embarrass me and freak out our guests. One of my sons likes to smoosh them with his finger tip. My 4-year old steps on them. I SPRAY and SPRAY. Which usually holds them off for a few days, but they find other ways in. It's like we're being INVADED. Since we're only in this house 6 more weeks I don't really want to call in another pest control guy, and spend several hundred dollars--so I get 6 more weeks of freaking ANTS.


Monday, June 06, 2011

One More Week of School: Just Shoot Me How Exciting!!! Woo!


Also my good friend Devon Ellington (Writing as Annabel Aidan) has a novel out today: ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT! Congrats, Dev! You can buy it here.

I am conflicted. Happy vs Sad, because it's the Last Week of school. Of course Hubby just left for NYC this morning, he'll be there all week, so I get to brave the festivities and parties on my own, but that's usually how it is, so no worries there. I have a husband who travels a lot. At least he stays in the U.S. when he travels. I have friends with husbands who go Overseas, for weeks at a time.

No complaints from this Momma.

I'm beginning to get a tad overwhelmed with everything I have to do, but I also have this Adult ADD problem (which drives my Hubby nuts) where I do a little here in one room, and do a little there in another room, instead of just STICKING WITH ONE ROOM and finishing it. I can't do it. It's beyond my scope of ability. It's usually how I write, too, but that's another post. ;-)

It's supposed to be BLAZING hot all week, mid to upper 90's, and humid. Yep, Summer is here. I am fine with it, I like being outside in the morning and evening, but during about noon to five, it sucks to be outside. Probably because A) I'm still used to "hiding indoors" from my Wisconsin years and B) I am extremely fair-skinned and can't be out in the sun very long anyway unless I slather on the SPF 180. Also a rather embarrassing C): I hate the way people smell when they're outside and they come into the cool indoors. (Myself included.) The sun makes them...stinky. There's no other way to describe it. I hate the smell of baked clothes and baked people. Does that make me weird?

Oh well. Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

I'm a Sucker for a Purple Room.

When I was a girl, there was this GOSH AWFUL Laura Ashley purple flowered wallpaper and white bed set with purple flowers and it looked like someone threw up purple flowers and craziness everywhere, and I LOVED IT. LOVED IT. Why? Because I loved purple and it was the 80's and HAVE YOU SEEN WALLPAPER FROM THE 80'S??? Flowers and Gosh Awful tackiness everywhere. Just like the room I loved. I was fortunate enough to find a picture of it:

Yep. VERY 80's. Take out the Blue components and you have the room I wanted.

We are redoing my daughter's room, and currently it's kinda cute, but now that she's a teenager, she wants DRAMATIC. And she wants PURPLE. Well, DARK PLUM anyway. You get the picture. She asked me if there was any way she could have the same bedding as Bella in Twilight, and luckily, I found it for CHEAP at Target through Amazon. Yes, the exact set:
Now, as far as furniture, she currently has this light colored Broyhill Fontana furniture (our first Master Bedroom set in the 90's that EVERYONE and their dog had):
And I think it would be much more dramatic if I painted the headboard, dressers and nightstands matte black. That would be better with the purple/dark plum, right?

Yeah, I know this isn't the same, but it's the look I'm going for. So, I figure I should go ahead and do it, I just need to wait until September, when this fershlugging humidity lets up, and it isn't 100 degrees anymore. Summer has officially arrived, and it's not very conducive to paint drying. ;-)
So, here's the BIG question: Do I sand it and prime it, or do I just put that awesome Valspars bonding primer on it and NOT sand? Hmmm... decisions, decisions...

Anyway, I think we'll paint one accent wall a dramatic dark plum (the one her bed is up against), and the other walls will be a very light light light mauve. Throw in some purple lampshades and it will be awesome! I just need to plan it out and envision it. That's the fun part. :-)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

I Survived the Onslaught.

Ten days of grandparents at the house. Oh my!

It was actually fine--just a little busy. But things are back to normal and I have the house to myself again and now I need to CLEAN it.

Other than that, I don't have much to report. I guess I'm sort of brain dead. I think I will have a more detailed post on Monday.

I hope everyone has had a good week! It was over a hundred here, yesterday. And it's in the upper 90's the rest of the week. I'm thinking Summer has arrived, non?