I'm not a cookie cutter wife or mom. I make mistakes, but I try to learn from them. I'm not perfect, but I love my life...and isn't that everything?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Threenagers and tweenagers

Our youngest is a threenager. Our oldest is a tween. They are giving us a run for our money. Lord, all day long...arguing, whining, grumbling about chores or simple tasks, bickering with each other. But then, by some miracle...they snuggle on the couch and watch an entire movie without one single peep. What?! Or I wake in the morning to hear them (they are always up before me as early dawn risers) working together to get breakfast. I hear S sweetly asking C what he wants for breakfast or to drink. They are capable...of being sweet, of being caring and kind. Thank you Lord.

With us, we can battle all day and then they throw their arms around our necks asking for extra hugs and tuck ins and snuggles and kisses. Amen and Thank you Lord. *sigh* We let out our collective breaths and heave ourselves onto the couch and...usually fall asleep. ha!

The sweet requests for bike rides, playing catch, going for a swim often interrupt adult tasks. We are trying harder to say "YES" more and "wait" less. It's not easy, programmed as adults to do do do and go go go. It's just a different kind of do do do. One that doesn't have a visible result at it's completion. BUT it does, very much so, have a feel. You can feel the results when it's over. It is sweet, big, swells, loves...and also stings a little. These days are fleeting. S is 10. It wasn't too long ago he was 3 like C. He's headed into 5th grade. WHEN did this happen?

So, we have a threenager and tweenager. So different. So same. Both trying to assert themselves. Both headstrong and independent. Both sweet and looking for love and adoration. Both , due to having 7 years between them, only children in their own rights, but learning how to navigate life together. Both amazing, loving, growing boys. Boys. Boys. Boys. ;-)

Monday, July 7, 2014


Well, time to redo the deck again! Hurray! 

This will be a multi-part post.

Let's start with the befores:

From one corner to the other
From the steps looking up and across

Soooo yeah. If you read the Deck Rug post, you know what our deck looks like, saw the "rug" and our furniture as well. Not much has changed. The deck here is freshly powerwashed and cleaned. I went over to Pinterest for inspiration and liked decks that had a dark top and posts. Similar to this one. I realize in this one the posts and spindles are reversed than what I ended up doing. Like I said, work in progress...

So, I took a quick inventory of paint we had. I am unconventional in that I just use what is around. I don't go shop for special paint or stain, etc. I figure if I'm going to change it up every few years anyway then may as well use what I have. I realize others want it to last. Anywho... the darkest color I have is a navy blue. So away I went. 

Painted spindles with a deck white stain (had it) and went to town on the rails and posts with navy blue. 3 coats, the 2nd two applied with a 3" sponge roller.

Now looks like...

Yes these pics were at night. It was like 10pm by the time I finished this part. Also realize in these pics the deck does not look powerwashed. Yay. It was. Twice. I swear. So, you can see how crisp the white the looks. I love the contrast of the navy. Our son was working the hay trailer all day and came home and told me he loved the difference of the white and dark and that it was "cute". ;-) Boys. So...the deck "floor" will be a chevron. Soon to come after a series of 3 days of storms predicted. Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Making an old table new again

We are a family of four. We had a small round dining room table with four chairs that was just fine for us. However, having anyone over for dinner posed a whole bushel of problems. We did everything from squeezing everyone in, to setting up a "card table" at the side of it making a weird squarish rounded table (that was interesting), to shunning the kids to a play picnic table or the living room and probably more that I blocked out.
Chairs before with seats removed

So when a friend posted a 6 seater Duncan Phyfe table for a reasonable price, I jumped on it. Now, we have taken it apart and in and out of the house and tried to turn it into a "farmhouse" style by adding turned legs, but finally just painted the original legs and finished it up. I think I'm getting ahead of myself.

I had visions of this beautiful farmhouse type table with a French white bottom and mahogany top. I finally decided to do a black bottom and mahogany top. The table is quite old and has it's share of "character", nicks and scratches, so I felt black would camouflage them better than any shade of white. So, I got to work.

Original legs
When sanding, and sanding, and sanding I thought there is NO WAY I am sanding the original legs. Not only do they have incredible detail, but they also have ridges down the legs that are teeny tiny. So that's when I decided to replace the legs with farmhouse style table legs. BIG mistake. Not only were they wobbly, the screw didn't stay in them so they spun. I reinforced them and shored them up and wood glued, but nothing worked so I ripped them off. (After I flipped the table out of frustration a la Teresa from Desperate Housewives). Seriously, if you have a table to ruin and frustration, try it, it was kind of cool. I decided the heck with it, I'll try just spray painting them and see what happens. Would you believe the non sanded legs took to the paint and have a better finish overall than the table and chairs I slaved over with the sandpaper?

In need of TLC
So, I sanded and sanded the chairs and the table. Then I painted the chairs and the skirt of the table with Rustoleum Paint and Primer in One Universal Satin Spray Paint in Black. I let them dry for a "half a day" or so in between coats. Meaning, I'd spray them during our youngest's nap time and then again after bedtime. There was about a 6 hour lapse between. Also, turning them upside down for a coat or two to make sure the bottoms of the rungs, etc. were coated well. There were parts of the chairs that did not take very well and repelled the paint some. I noticed these were areas that would generally have been touched a lot while moving the chairs, pushing them in, and so forth. I chalked it up to oils from skin contact. Between coats I lightly sanded the chairs with a 3M fine/medium sanding sponge. I just kept painting until I was happy with the coverage.

For the table top, I wanted to keep the mahogany finish. So I stained it with a gel stain. I didn't care for the gel stain. I applied it with a roller, that could be why. By the time I finished applying it (only half at a time), it was too sticky to wipe the excess off. This resulted in a very streaky look to the top, which overall wasn't bad, but looked bad because it wasn't consistent. But Thanksgiving was a'comin' and I was out of time. So I lived with it.

I sealed all pieces with Johnson's paste wax. Which, incidentally, had "shrunk" in the can since I did the little yellow desk. This worked to my advantage because I took it out of the can and rubbed it right on like it was meant to be used that way in a block. It worked really well. So if you use Johnson's and have a lot of flat surfaces to wax, leave it open a tad bit and let it shrink up and voila! you will have a very large wax "tart" to work with.

Okay, so...the table top wasn't too my liking, so I waited the winter (we're in NE US - brrrrrr) and brought the table back out the next summer, much to my husband's chagrin, and redid the top. I'm still not happy with it as one side is much "thicker" layer than the other, but I'm living with it. It's been inside as is for over a year now. Next summer I will either redo the whole thing French white as planned, or just give in, sand and spray the top black to match the rest. If I attempt the French white and it doesn't work, I'll just repaint it black. After all, it's just paint right?

Ready for the reveal?

See the little yellow desk back there? ;-)

You can really see how well the legs took to the paint without sanding! I may never sand again! hardyharhar

Complete. This picture makes me so happy.
Voila! Like a brand new set. I really would like to recover the seats with just the right navy and burlap color ticking. I have yet to find it in a price that won't put me in an early grave. Always on the lookout!

During non holidays and normal daily life, the club chairs flank either side of our fireplace, making it quite a cozy place to hang out. And isn't that everything?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

5K all the way!

Just a little update on my "I like to move it" post. I did it! I ran the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Buffalo, NY. I walked a teeny tiny bit, but I did it!
I have also ran the Moonlight Run and the Run for Hope - both 5Ks. I'm not a speed demon, but my goal is to "just keep moving". If I can do it you can do it. I was literally the LAST runner to cross the finish line at the Run for Hope, but I did it. I'm proud of myself. I have a friend who has really taken the running world by storm and has participated in two half marathons and runs other races regularly. She is awesome! She didn't start out a runner, just decided one day she was fed up with her lack of fitness and got out there and started running!
I haven't lost a ton of weight, but have gained tone and muscle. I see a huge different in my body shape and have gone down a pant size. Since my highest weight after our youngest child, I've lost a total of 15 pounds and feel good about that. I know my body and I tend to weigh more than what is "normal" for my height. I'm good with that.
Our dog and I try to get out for regular runs. He enjoys it as much as I do! I recently found a hands-free running leash by Ollie Dog and it's the greatest accessory yet. If you have a pooch for a running partner, I highly recommend it.
Our next run is coming up soon in November and I can't wait! Just get out there and try! You don't have to run. Walk! Just get out there and move your body any way you can! Your life and health depends on it!
I don't focus on the weight loss, I focus on how I feel. I feel great! I feel strong! I feel powerful!

Isn't that everything?

The toilet

My life is spent in front of the toilet. Okay, not really, but with a potty training/trained toddler in the sure feels like it! Constant "I gotta go potty/peepee/poopoo!" with a huge sense of urgency is the catalyst for a race to the toilet, only to beat the toddler there and end up saying, "COME ON! If you gotta go get in here!" because he has inevitably been distracted by something shiny. Or furry. Or with wheels. Or a snack. Or an injustice doled out by the big brother. Or Mickey Mouse. So, we get there and pull off the required clothing...or more than the required clothing. And we sit and wait and hum a song or poke the toilet paper or try to flush the toilet backwards. Aaaand after the main event, get redressed, which I may as well try to dress the a snowstorm...with a bowl of tuna in front of her. I'd get the same results. And we're off and running. Only to hear shortly thereafter, "I GOTTA GO!" I have become very acquainted with our bathroom floor and bathmat. I can say my toilet base, floor and baseboards have never been cleaner as I take the opportunity to give them a swipe when I'm down there. Carpe diem right?

*sigh* BUT we are well on our way to being a respectful part of society that uses the restroom and not our pants and so...isn't that everything? ;-)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Deck rug

I have always wanted a rug a to place outside to ground our patio furniture. However, I never wanted to pay the price they want for them! Not to mention, then you have to hose it out, sweep it, clean it... Really? So, I decided, if people can paint designs on their floors, why couldn't I paint a rug on our back deck? So I gathered up all the leftover paint we had sitting around, taped off the deck and our oldest son & got down to business! We did it within a few hours. You will need:
  • old paint
  • brushes or small rollers
  • painters tape
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
Because you've used all of the colors in your home already, they should all go together quite well! Do they match exactly, no, but they should "go" just fine.

We measure the width of the planks and marked off the perpendicular lines to match the width. You can make a weave design, or any design you desire. We kept it simple. We marked with the pencil and taped off all the sections before we began.

Start from the inside and work out, otherwise you'll be playing painter twister to get back to the inside sections. It was quite simple.

When we were finished, we let it dry overnight. After I pulled up the painter's tape, there were sections left to be filled in. I have a steady hand and was able to freehand these small sections. If you don't, tape them off to paint them.

When you're completely done painting and it's dry, you can choose to seal it along with the rest of your deck. We did not, and it did not fair very well over the winter. I'm planning on powerwashing it, redoing it and sealing it this year. The deck railings need a good touch up as well.

And there you have it! A new deck "rug" for free! It adds the perfect touch of color.
Isn't that everything?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I like to Move it, Move it!

     So, like every single of my resolutions is to get healthier. I had baby #2 in Dec 2010 and feel more blah than I ever had. YES! I know it was over 2 years ago, shush. hahaha. Back in the day, I was a runner. My college bff and I lived in the gym every evening, but alas, now I'm an adult and there are responsibilities and schedules to keep. BUT I have made a commitment to attend no less than 2 zumba classes each week. I have been to two. Don't judge!

     I also just discovered the idea of tracking the number of miles ran throughout the year. Just tallying them up on your calendar at the end of the week. What a great idea! I'm doing it. I usually go in and cool down on the treadmill after class. I'm going to stick some running in there. I know I can do it. I also know that I deserve it and owe it to myself and my family to get fit and healthy again and feel good! My mid term goal is running the Susan G. Komen 5K in June. I participate every year, but this year, I'm running if it kills me. And you know what? There are ladies in pink (SURVIVORS) that run. So for goodness sake, if they can do it, so can I. I cannot wait to see my mile total at the end of the year!

Move your body!
After all...isn't that everything? (To feel healthy!)