Monday, January 31, 2011

H2 Oh Yeah Baby

Why does water taste so awful during the day and so absolutely wonderful just before bed?

Is it just me???

(I wonder if it's because my body ENJOYS waking up to pee 12 times a night. That must be it.)


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Remodel Project # 2

It's a little bit disappointing to me that I've been living in this house for six months and I'm just barely starting to redo, remodel, repaint, and renovate the things I've never liked. I feel like this should have been done in late August or early September. But in late August, I was still sorting through boxes and finding spots to hang up pictures. Then in early September, I found out I was knocked up, and morning sickness started shortly thereafter, so doing anything besides surviving was out of the question.

Now I'm starting my third trimester. The 2nd trimester energy is still going strong and I think my 3rd trimester nesting instinct is already in full force, so I seem to suddenly have boundless energy (for fixing up the house at least. Not for laundry or cooking dinner or anything as mundane as that.)

So I already showed you the repainted upstairs bathroom (the only project I managed to get done when we first moved in. Now for remodelled bathroom # 2, the kids' bathroom downstairs!

This was it before:Dark, boring, dated, and completely lacking in any personality at all.

The first step was to redo the circa 1990 vanity. Oak with antique brass fixtures is not really my thing. And the old water stain in one corner was an eyesore. So I sanded the entire thing down to the raw wood.

It was quite an undertaking, I won't lie. There was sawdust everywhere for days. I had to wear goggles and a face mask (which steamed up the goggles) and use several sanding tools and grits of sandpaper. I was worried I might jiggle the baby loose! But I was pretty proud of myself when I got the sanding done. Such a manly job for a pregnant lady and I did it all myself!

Next was wiping down the wood and priming it. I got the hardware store to tint the primer brown -- painting a dark color over white primer just means more work. Two coats of espresso brown paint came next. And finally three coats of satin-finish polyurethane to add some shine, waterproofing, and durability. THAT was the hardest step. Who know that applying polyurethane would be so hard?? You can't just slap it on like paint. It is very watery, very persnickety, and it dries almost instantly. If you put it on too thick, it gets a milky finish. If you try to go over an area you've already done once it has begun to dry (which is 20-30 seconds after you've applied it) it starts to pill up in little gummy crumbs. If this happens, you have to wait for it to dry completely, sand it down smooth, and re-apply in that area. So basically, you have to do a super thin coat, only going in one direction, leaving no thick spots or drips, and you have about 25 seconds to get each area done perfectly. Any mistakes have to be allowed to dry, sanded, and then gone over again. And hopefully you won't sand down through the paint, requiring you to repaint that spot before applying the polyurethane again. And, of course, every step from primer to polyurethane requires 6-12 hours of drying time. Yes, the process took a LOT of patience. But finally it was done.

I ordered some satin nickel knobs online and picked up a couple of coordinating pulls from the hardware store. A very inexpensive matching satin nickel faucet got rid of the chrome and gold one (gag). Finally, some accessories and towels from Target completed the look.


A definite improvement, don't you think?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Haus Frau

On Friday night, my husband and I attended a mini high school reunion for all his high school buddies and their wives. Some of them he still sees fairly often and I know them, others he hasn't seen in years and years and I've only met them once or twice. Some of his high school friends I've never met, even though they've all stayed within a county of where they grew up. They're an amazing group of guys. I'm sure they had a lot of nice things to say that evening, but we wives immediately segretated ourselves so we could do some good "girl talk."

This included, but was not limited too:

Giving Birth and Nursing (as one of the other wives is fortunately still having babies--I'm not the very last one)
Kids and school
Getting our kids to do work around the house
Getting our husbands to do work around the house (fortunately not something I struggle with. Props to you, Big Daddy.)
Lack of sex
Too much sex
Accessories (for our clothes, not for sex, you dirty minded person!)
and finally...
Cleaning ladies

This last topic was one I was particularly interested in hearing about. It has been a fantasy of mine for a long time to have a cleaning lady. I'm pretty good at tidying up my house, keeping it looking fairly clean and uncluttered ( quiet, Honey. I know this is all relative). What I'm not particularly good at, and what I enjoy the least about cleaning, is the deep cleaning. You know, washing base boards, scrubbing that area behind the toilet that your mop won't reach, dusting the nick-nacks on the bookshelves, etc. I realize my cleaning skills are all about making the greatest transformation possible: if the floor is super dirty, I love cleaning it. It really shows. If a room has gotten super cluttered, straightening it out and clearing off all the surfaces gives me joy. When the silverware drawers have gotten full of little crumbs, taking out the silverware and washing the tray is actually a pleasure. But when you really can't see the difference, as is the case with most of the deep cleaning (if you can't see the dirt, does it really need to be cleaned?), it just isn't dramatic enough of a change to make me excited to do it.

SO...enter the idea of a haus frau. When I lived in Germany, everybody had a haus frau, a cleaning lady. Even people with tiny apartments and town houses had a haus frau come once a week or once a month to give the house a good shine down. Big Daddy hates mowing the lawn, so he hires a crew to come and do it each week. For about the same money, I could get a cleaning crew in once a month to do all those little deep cleaning chores I hate the most--and I would know that at least once a month, my whole house was clean. Not just tidy, but REALLY REALLY CLEAN.

So when I found out a bunch of my husband's friends' wives use a cleaning lady, I thought....maybe I should do it!

So I you haus frau? How do you like it? Any recommendations or advice? I'm all new to the idea so I welcome any thoughts.

Monday, January 17, 2011

And While I'm On the Subject Of Christmas...

I know it's 3 whole weeks since Christmas and so this topic may seem SO passé, but I'm just now finishing up the last of my stocking candy (What can I say? I like to nurse it.) and it lead me to wonder...What kind of candy do YOU put in your stockings? Do you put different stuff in yours than your kids? Do you have traditional candy items you put in every year or do you mix it up depending on your mood? Do you also put in presents, fruit, or other things? Or just candy?

Do tell!

As for us, we Davis kids grew up with real socks, not those giant store-bought stockings. They were my mom's cable knit knee socks. We had no mantle to hang them on, so usually they were just laid out in front of the tree or the Franklin stove. In a way those socks were really fun. Because they were stretchy, you could see shapes and bulges in them, which lead your imagination to run riot for those few minutes until you could open them and find out what those shapes were. You could always see a big bulge right in the center where the orange was stuffed, like a an ostrich who has swallowed a baseball.

Inside we almost always had peanut M&M's, my dad's favorite. There were mini peanut butter cups in honor of my mom's favorite candy. There were always nuts of some kind, usually cashews. And the rest seemed to vary year to year. My parents weren't big on presents in our stockings. Maybe a pair of socks wrapped up or a small item like a nail polish or chap stick. Mostly they left the room for lots of candy.

As a mom, I usually try to stick in a few small gifts for my kids--things from the dollar section at Target, their own box of tic tacs or a pack of gum, that sort of thing. I put in peanut M&M's to satisfy the traditionalist in me, and a Reese's peanut butter tree (better peanut butter to chocolate ratio). I throw in some cashews for protein, and the rest is filled with each child's favorite: mint for Beck, peanut butter for Daphne, Milk Duds for big Daddy, and usually a Ritter Sport Marzipan bar for me. And then Big Daddy and I usually try to sneak a small gift or two into each other's stocking without getting caught.

So, that's my stocking story. How about yours?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Only Reason Why I Love Winter

Guess What?

That means my favorite--

And my second favorite--

And even my former favorite, which is now too sweet for me, which is now my kids' favorite--

(Does anyone even eat those other crappy flavors???)

I'm sorry if my local Brownie feels like this come March...

Because I think my car will be packed with happiness.

p.s. The above picture does not demonstrate an intent to distribute. I am strictly a consumer (on a massive scale).

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sick Of It

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm sick of the snow. Sick of winter? Oh, I'm sick of winter when it's still October and barely even cold yet. But despite hating the cold, I've always loved a fresh new snowfall. And the nice thing is that here in Utah, winters are generally so warm (relatively, of course--they're not Maui, but they're also not Minnesota) and sunny that within a couple of days after every snow, the sun has melted it all away and the ground is bare, the streets are clear, and we get a break before the next snow comes.

This year, however, it has been unbelievably cold. Instead of the upper 30's and lower 40's we tend to have in between cold spells, we've had 20's and teens on a regular basis. And that means the snow we got just after Christmas still hasn't melted off. It's gotten greyer and crunchier, icier and dirtier, but it still hasn't melted away like usual. More snow has been added on top now and then, making for some really exciting adventures walking to the mailbox. But it's been a long long time since I've seen the bare ground or the dead lawn. And, weirdly, I miss that.

Also, I'd like to take the trash out without having to put my boots on. I'd like to be able to run out and grab the mail w/o thick socks and shoes and my pants rolled up. I'd LOVE for my cat to venture outside of our bedroom some time this winter. But evidently her dainty feet can't stand the snow, so she goes from on to under our bed in 12 hour shifts each day, with a 15 minute break for eating and peeing in the house somewhere.

Seriously, Winter, warm up a bit already!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How To Prevent 10 Minutes Of Daily Screaming, Whining, and Fit Throwing

I asked Daphne if she wanted a haircut.

"Noooo!!!" She shrieked, "I want to be Repunzel!"

Well, if you let me cut your hair, I won't have to use the ouchie brush to get through that rat's nest on the back of your head every day.

"Really? No more ouchie brush?"


"Mommy, cut my hair! Cut it right now!!!!"


(This was her hair before the cut, in case you're not up on D's hair. If you look closely, you can even see the rat's nest emerging from her hair in the back.) what to do with those extra 10 tear-free minutes each morning?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Dear Heartburn, I Hate Your Guts (Get It? Guts?!?)

Here is the conversation my body has been having with itself lately:

Stomach: Hey, who wants to see what dinner looks like again, this time soaked in gastric acid?

Throat: Ooo, me me me!

Brain: I hate you guys.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Misc. January

It's a good thing the word "miscillaneous" has an abbreviation because, as you can see, I have no idea how to spell miscilanious. Miscellaneous? Miscalaneous?Seriously, no idea. My guess is that no one else can spell it either and that's why someone finally said, "SCREW IT, I'm just writing "misc." from now on!"

First off, I am somehow still alive after the craziness that was December. I ended up not doing teacher gifts, which I feel super bad about. I even planned to make up for it over the break and make some and send them with Daphne and Beck this week, but that never happened either. Maybe a heartfelt thank you card would be just as good? Or maybe I should just forget about making soap and go get some gift cards to Target. Everyone can use those, right? Anyway, cutting that out might just have saved my sanity.

Also, after shopping 12 hours a day for 4 days straight, I managed to get gifts in time for Christmas. Gifts I think the people I bought them for actually liked. Of course, it didn't really matter what we got for Daphne other than this one present because, well...I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

Meet Cuddles and Lollipop, baby Netherland Dwarf bunnies. Unfortunately, Daphne thinks the bunnies are toys and has been playing with them a bit too imaginatively. She actually lost Cuddles for 4 hours on December 26th--after spending an hour and a half ripping the house apart and not finding a single trace of Cuddles (we started eyeing the cat suspiciously at that point), Big Daddy sat quietly in the library (the last known location of Cuddles) with the lights off and just listened. Eventually he heard some scratching. Cuddles ended up being in a 3" high space on top of the books but under the next shelf, a shelf 3 1/2 feet off the ground. Cuddles did NOT get up there by herself. We've also found the bunnies in drawers, in doll-houses, dressed in doll clothes, and there was one incident that involved a toy hammer and a bloody bunny nose. We've promised not to discuss that one with anyone, so mortified is Daphne. Nonetheless, Daphne has been sentenced by the Court of Mom and Dad to have only supervised visitation rights until further notice.

New Years Eve was kinda lame, but I was Ok with it. I guess that makes me kinda lame. But I'm OK with it. We got a bunch of cocktail shrimp and some Meyers sparkling grape juice (SO delicious--if you haven't tried it, do! I recommend the Cold Duck), and a chocolate silk pie. Then we ate and drank and watched TV until I fell asleep on Big Daddy's chest at 11:30. He woke me up at midnight with a kiss and said "Happy New Year." And then we went to sleep. We are loads of fun.

Three exciting things are in my future:
1) My camera that I got for Christmas is on its way. Well, I traded in the one I got for Christmas for one that isn't so embarrassingly behind my photographic capabilities. And that one is on its way. I am sooo excited!!!

2) I am getting cabinet and drawer pulls for my kitchen. It currently doesn't have any and it has bugged me since we first looked at this house. I hate having to pull open the drawers and cupboards by sticking my fingers under the corners. Here are the contenders:


3) That rash I got under my ring is going away. I finally found out that it is a sort of yeast infection caused by too much moisture staying under the ring when I wash my hands. So I got some OTC cream and it's almost gone. This may not seem worthy of a Top 3 Exciting Things That Are Happening To Me list, but trust me, it is. If you saw how gross my finger looked, you'd understand.

On a down note, I have now gained more weight at the 5 month mark of this pregnancy than I did in both my other two pregnancies by the very end. Which makes me wonder: Is it more worth it to eat whateverthehellIwant now and for the rest of my pregnancy even if I end up having 40 lbs to lose afterward? Or is it more worth it to take it easy on the eating now, do some exercise, and try to minimize any more weight gain so I don't have to kill myself losing it later? Hmmm....tough call. I'll decide after I finish the last slice of Chocolate Silk Pie.

School is back in session. This morning I was forced to get myself showered and dressed by the shockingly early hour of 11am. Let's just say I let those little things like hygiene and being clothed slide a little bit over the last 3 weeks. Hey, I had to prioritize, and laying around doing nothing was just higher on the list.

Ok, I think that sums it up. How was your December?