Monday, January 25, 2010
One of the first projects we did together (and almost the last) was the infamous swing set of 2001. I was 8.5 months pregnant with Bev and in nesting mode. We decided that before she came we would get Andrew a swing set. We bought it for $350 at Toys-R-Us. We had done our shopping--it was the best price we could find for everything that we wanted. We also got a purple turtle sand box. I had visions of happy children playing blissfully in the yard. I hadn't invisioned the "domestic" that would occur during the building of said playset.
We didn't have all of the instructions, and the ones we did have had been "roughly" translated into English from Chinese (I think it was Chinese.) I was great with child, so I did what I could. I sorted all of the nuts and bolts and helped give instruction. Apparently my "instruction" was deemed "bossy." I make no bones about the fact that I am (and I am searching here for the right word) shall we say capable (I think he said controlling and perfectionistic.) He actually didn't call me a perfectionist until after assembling one side we came up with several extra bolts. That concerned me. I wanted it to be secure. He wanted it to be secure, but also completed. In retrospect, I do think that the manufacturers just threw in a bunch of stuff and called it a kit.
Anyhoo, what started out as a project that we thought we could complete on a Saturday morning ended up being finished in the dark with the help of work lights late Saturday night.
I didn't think we would ever be able to work on something like that again. But we worked it out. I'm not saying that we didn't have our issues on other projects, but they were so much more pleasant. With the help of his grandpa, his brothers and some of my family we finished our basement in the last house. My dad and I put in the sprinker system (Mike had back surgery.) I repainted every room in the house (Mike helped move all of the furniture.) We designed and built a playhouse in the basement. Grandpa helped us build Bev a kitchen and he helped Mike build cabinets in our laundry room. Mike and I built storage for a mud room. We designed and planted our yard.
I have been feeling the project bug--I get it every year at this time. I came up with a plan for a wall-to-wall desk in the craft room. I got some money and gift cards for Christmas for the project and we finally had a free Saturday, so we headed out to Home Depot. I had purchased three short filing cabinets to use as the bases and we were going to install a counter top. I told Mike what I wanted and we worked together to find the best way to do it.
We completed the project in total peace. I don't know exactly what has changed. Obviously we have learned to work well together. Although I still want things to be as close to perfect as possible, I think we are both more mellow. It might help too that I tell him how attractive I find sawdusty hair and clothes.
The wall was not totally straight, so we used a sander to make it fit. I didn't want to sand in the house, so we had to take it in and out about 20 times to get it right. He didn't complain once.
The finished project.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Warning: This song is addicting.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I did see a clip of vacationers on a cruise docking nearby and, well, vacationing. That made me sick. I get disgusted that the world just seems to be moving on--people are enjoying cruises, people are just going about their lives when this horrible catastrophe is happening.
I have kept the details from the kids, but a few days after the earthquake, Andrew got up early and made himself breakfast and turned the TV on. Apparently he saw and heard enough to break his heart. We talked that morning and I assumed he was handling it alright. That night he had a hard time going to sleep. He has had a hard time since.
Last night as we were making some different sleeping arrangements, Bev asked the question. The one I don't have an answer to. The one I struggle with myself. "Why didn't Heavenly Father stop it?" Andrew, Bev and I started talking. We did some crying too. I wanted to say the things that would help them. I told them how badly I want to help, how hard it is to feel powerless to fix or help. We talked about what we can do. We made a donation. We can pray. And then I said it--the thing that had so disgusted me about what I saw people doing--we have to move on. I told them that they have to get up and go to school and learn and grow and develop skills that they can use to make the world a better place. We also decided that we have to do something tangible to help. I had researched organizations over the weekend and decided to support the American Red Cross. We love the Church Humanitarian Center. We will be doing some projects for them.
I saw this again today and this time it took on a different meaning.
P.S. When I do watch, it's CNN--I mean Sanjay Gupta and Anderson Cooper can deliver the news!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
We set out bright and early. We ate a breakfast of champions--McDonald's. Why do I not remember how awful I feel after eating that junk so early in the morning?
We watched a little Paul Blart Mall Cop on the road.
Of course, Christian was the first one with a line in the water. He stayed the longest of any of the kids manning his pole.
We had eight kids in the company. They had a blast on the ice. They used the ice skimmers as hockey sticks. They pulled each other in the sleds. They shoveled snow and ice into the buckets. I forget how much fun they can have just being outside.
On our way home we completed a few firsts. We went to Cabela's--don't get me wrong. It was really cool, but like I told Mike, I felt in there like he probably feels in a fabric or craft store. Seriously, I never imagined there existed that much stuff for lovers of the outdoors.
We then waited for 20 minutes for some In-N-Out Burgers. I was the only one that really enjoyed them.
We were exhausted. We came home and I slept on my bed with Jessi, Bev and Kiki for THREE hours. We took a THREE hour nap! That never happens, and I loved it. It was a great end to a great day.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Mike made paella for Sunday dinner with my family. It was muy delicioso.
We then played our newest oldest favorite game--Bonanza. My Grandma made this Bonanza board a long time ago. I learned to play with her, my mom and my aunts when I was a kid.
We finally took down the tree. The kids are actually great helpers.
We finally gave Mike his birthday breakfast in bed. Notice Tiger looking lovingly at Mike--she wants his love and acceptance so much.
We headed out to a hill near our house. It was an incredibly beautiful day--the kids took their coats off. They would sled all day, everyday if we let them.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
Our New Year's Eve started with cousins visiting and cleaning the house. Mike came home and spelled me off while Bev and I took the cat to her first vet appointment. Mike is not thrilled with the expenses associated with the newest member of the family, but a healthy cat is a happy cat. We have to get her shots so that we can get her "fixed" before she hits that special time when kitties want special time with other kitties resulting in more kitties.
Mike was also not thrilled that the nurse and vet told me that a great way to deal with bad cat behavior (which she does not have too much of) is to get him or her a friend. Seriously, I only want one more. Then I will stop. Kidding--there are no plans to get Tiger a friend. I should say that there are no plans that I have verbalized in getting Tiger a friend.
So we had our annual New Year's Eve party with the gang. Good friends who know how to make good food and provide good entertainment. It was a great time. I forgot to take pictures (I was laughing too much to remember to get the camera out) so I took one this morning of the drink area. (Notice one of my favorite Christmas gifts in the background--a sign that reads, "My cat is not spoiled...I am just well-trained."
Andrew and Bev went to my parent's house. Christian and Jessi spent the night with Katie and Courtney. The kids don't do friend sleepovers, so going to Grandma's or to the sweet cousin's is a special event. Mike and I slept in. It was heaven. The house is NEVER that quiet. I loved it, but I was happy to know that the noise and chaos of the rascals would return later that day.
Now I have some resolutions to consider--I am extending the holidays until Monday. That is when my New Year will officially begin, and with it will come the beginning of the "healthy eating and exercise plan." Not looking forward to the return to real life--I much prefer living in the fantasy world that is the holidays.