Thursday, April 22, 2010

Conversations with a Three Year Old: The House

Hayden: "Mommy, what's that?"
(Pointing to a screw sized hole in the ceiling)

Me: "It's just a hole"


House for Sale: DIY Do or Die

The past three days we've been internetless or I'd have filled you in on the catastrophe that was our house. As you know we've had the house for sale for a week now. The second day it was for sale Helmut knocked off a couple of tiles in the shower exposing some ominously moldy drywall. That was the cause of freak out #1. When I say freak out, I'm really exaggerating, because while the mold was alarming, it was still easily fixed.

We both spent the entire day researching bathroom mold fixes DIY and came up with a plan. First remove all the tiles covering the moldy area. Second replace the wet drywall with backer board, and lastly, replace all the tiles and re grout. We began to execute our plan Thursday night after the kids went to bed. It took Helmut hours to clean off all the tiles so we could reuse them. Then he cut out the old drywall exposing......da da daaaaaaaaaaa (musical interlude), TERMITES. Crap.

I spent Friday lining up appointments with Termite inspectors to make sure that was the only affected area and to get it treated. By Monday we had a full termite inspection done which revealed only damage to the bathroom. Helmut was able to fix and patch the hole and now we are finally back in business. I just hope that seeing a gaping hole in the bathroom shower didn't turn away any buyers. Come on people you know you loved the house with the creepy bug infested bathroom. Nothing screams buy me like rotting drywall and the stench of mold.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Confession: Gardening

One time I ordered a "corner" garden from a magazine. I expected the
plants to come in pots and wondered how they could ship 50+ plants so
cheaply (free shipping). What I got were 50+ tightly bound roots in a
small box. I planted them dutifully following the instructions. Three
months later I was the proud owner of four blooming flowers.

Life Lesson #18: if it sounds to good to be true it is too good to be

Saturday, April 17, 2010

House Woes and Other Stuff

As of Thursday our house is for sale. As of Friday our house no longer looks like a gem. Now it resembles a fixer upper, scarry, not-gonna-buy-that-house, house. Why? In short, Helmut leaned over in the shower and a bunch of tiles fell off the wall. I don't think he even bumped them. We've lived in this house for 4 years and somehow failed to realize the shower wall was a rotted, wet, moldy, old piece of drywall. duh. Everybody knows that.....except us. I did notice a slight crack in the tiles, but i thought that was normal? I don't know what I thought, but after using the shower for 4 years and not having it implode, i figured it was okay. I figured wrong, and now we are committed to completely redoing the shower, or at least whatever is affected by the rot, which appears to be the entire back wall. Guess what else happened on Friday....our bid got accepted on the new house we're planning on buying...ha ha ha. Oh well. What can a person do.

Instead of moping around and saving our pennies to pay for the shower repair and the new house, and the old house, and whatever else, we decided to take the kids to their first theater movie. So we got up early this morning and went to the first showing of "how to train your Dragon." Hayden sat silently and still through the entire movie while Helmut and I juggled Mariah as she wiggled around, demanded to hold the popcorn bucket at all times, spilled half a bottle of water on her lap, and flailed randomly. There were a few moments I thought to myself "maybe we should remove this little menace from the theater," but neither of us wanted to miss the action, so we distracted her with more popcorn. All in all it was great.

To sum up this very dry blog: House>bad, Movie>good.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Battle of the Doll

Is it just me or are pictures of dolls totally creepy?

Soon after my abrupt career as baby shoemaker ended I started making (or trying to make) dresses for Mariah. For a little while it was fun, but I quickly realized that there is no way making clothes for her is cheaper than buying them. Plus the cheap clothes at the store are always cuter than the weird things i make her, AND they hold up better in the washing machine. So I stopped making her clothes and despaired that I would ever be able to make anything with my sewing machine than wouldn't actually lose me money.....until last week.

{Enter: the naked doll}

Mariah got a really cute doll for her birthday. It's called bath doll or something from Target. It came dressed in a little t-shirt and a diaper which Mariah promptly removed. In the months since Mariah's birthday we have fought an epic battle of clothed doll vs naked doll, with me repeatedly dressing the thing while she as quickly undresses it and leaves it lying around naked. A couple of days ago I was trying to redress the dolly without her noticing when I couldn't find the shirt or diaper. She must have stashed them somewhere when I wasn't paying attention. That night after she went to bed I had an idea. Why not make some doll clothes out of the scraps I had left from my failed attempts at .....everything else I've tried to make so far.

Three days later I'm finished. I think they're decent, if not a little cute. Certainly cuter than anything I've made for Mariah thus far. In case you can't tell what they're supposed to be, they're doll pajamas. I priced some doll clothes at target which go for 8.99$ on sale and 9.99$ regular price. These probably cost me .50 cents in materials, and 1 hour in time (only because I made my own pattern). So there, I finally found something that is cheaper made at home. Doll Clothes.

Is this the beginning of my career as a doll clothing designer? Who knows. But it's certainly the start of something. At the very least Mariah's dolls will have clothing, whether she chooses to allow them to be clothed or not.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


It was even cuter when he was wearing the hat. One of Hayden's favorite activities that doesn't include running.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Life with Chicks: The Raddist Cage on the Planet

After the chicken eating contest that the cats held a couple weeks ago, Helmut took it upon himself to build the remaining chickens a cage to keep them safe. This also means they no longer take up a stinky space in our garage. I'm are the chickens.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Conversations with a Three Year Old: Pedestrians

This exchange took place in the car on the way home from the store one night. It's important to note that Helmut and Hayden couldn't see each other at the time.

(From the back seat)Hayden: wiping something from his eye,
"What's that?"
(From the driver's seat) Helmut: noticing a pedestrian,
"That's just a man walking down the street."

Hayden: pausing to think,
"there's a man walking down the street in my eye??"

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spider Advice---->Help!

I just googled "are spiders attracted to certain people." You want to know why? The day we spent at the ranch with friends marks the 4th occasion on which I have found a spider resting on Mariah's shoulder.

When I was little my siblings got kicks out of watching shows like "America's Most Wanted," Kujo," "The Gremlins," and pretty much anything scary, so when "Arachnophobia" came out they were all over it. I must have watched it 3 or 4 times before I realized I didn't like watching scary movies. To this day I will close my eyes if I think something scary is going to happen....not that I'm scared ---->pashaw----> I just don't want to have repeats of those scenes playing over and over in my head when I'm trying to fall asleep...which is inevitably what happens. Anyway, that was also the point in my young life where I realized that I am absolutely terrified of spiders. For a long time after that movie I would double and triple check the toilet to make sure there weren't any in there, and I would always let the shower run for a few minutes to make sure no spiders would come out of the shower head.

I'll never forget the time I was walking with Helmut and Hayden on trail at one of the local parks when i began to notice all these freakishly large spiders living in the trees over head. There were hundreds of them....and FREAKISHLY oreo cookie sized. I contemplated blacking out, but the thought of laying under them was worse than the thought of sprinting to the car and hopefully out running their creepy spider intentions.

There was also that time when I was living out at Camp Eagle. I was heading back home one evening 6 miles into the 8 mile driveway when I spotted a tarantula crossing the road. So naturally I slowed down and let it go by.

Let this be a lesson to you parents. Don't let your kids watch scary stuff on TV or they may develop certain irrational fears.

Back to Mariah: Four times now I have found spiders on her shoulder. FOUR. Can anyone explain this?! I have NEVER found a spider on Hayden's person. DOES SHE NEED MORE BATHS? IS IT A BLOOD TYPE THING? Somebody clue me in so i don't have to keep flicking spiders off of her. All the stress from the spider flicking is also probably the REAL explanation as to why my diet is NOT WORKING......but that's another blog post.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Confession: Interpretations

Confession: Sometimes when Mariah talks it sounds like she's speaking in Russian. In those moments I really wish I had taken the time to learned to speak Russian so we might have a chance at understanding each other.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ranch Day

While our chicken was becoming cat chow we were off enjoying a day at the Hamilton Ranch. Thanks Carol, Henry and family for the fun times!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bonding Time

In truth, he's holding that stick in the hopes that he will be able to mesmerize Hayden into staying still for 2 seconds while I snap a picture.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Life with Chicks: One Down

Whelp, it has happened. The cats got one of the chickens and ate it for dinner while we were enjoying some time out with friends.

Before we left, knowing we would be gone for 2 or 3 hours I thought to myself, should I put these chickens back in their stinky box in the garage, or should I allow them the pleasure of a few more hours of fresh air?

Life Lesson #15: Better to spend a few extra hours in a stinky box than to become a cat snack.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Life with Chicks: Still Alive

We've had the chickens for a few weeks now, and miraculously they're all still alive. I say "miraculously" because last week Hayden tried to play softball with them and almost broke one of their legs. I actually thought he broke it because the bird didn't move for a few days, but now I can't tell which one got hit, so I think they're all fine.

New House Rule: No playing catch with the birds.

That said, the chickens are easy to care for, and hardier than I thought. Hayden has been quite rough with them despite repeated time-outs, spankings and conversations about why we shouldn't be rough with the chicks i.e. "they will die!" I realized before I got them that it would be a challenge to keep them alive around Hayden. He doesn't have mean intent, but he really likes to play rough. What I didn't count on though was how badly they would smell. I now know why birds are called Fowl. The stench emanating from our garage at this time can be described using words such as: Special, Unbelievable, Disgusting, and FOWL. I never realized they could smell this badly. I gotta say I'm really looking forward to getting them out of the garage in into the farthest corner of the back yard so I don't have to vomit in my mouth every time i feed them. Even I who claim little to no sense of smell can smell more of these birds than I ever cared too.

I wish it had been possible to buy full grown egg layers. That would have made my life much easier. But I guess this way Hayden is "bonding" with them.