Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Carter's room

This was the bedroom when we first looked through the house, with other people living in it.

And the AFTER:



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What's your excuse? ;)



This was hilarious. And very true. I've both heard these things and said these things. My bad.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Office Makeover

BEFORE
The way the people had it before us.
Bright, glossy red.

AFTER
Some several days of wallpapering and waaaay cuter furniture


And the low-down: Wallpaper 101
I had never wallpapered before.
I knew I was being ambitious trying to tackle an entire room myself.
My husband is particular and likes things to be done RIGHT.
And of all the rooms, I decide to wallpaper his office. While he was gone.

But there are lessons learned! It did turn out very nice (just don't look too close). 

#1 Get the right paste!!! I tried 3 different ones. The first was a generic adhesive- the only wallpaper adhesive to be found at Home Depot. I bought it because well, I had no other choice, there at least.
By the way, I used non-pre-pasted vinyl faux grasscloth wallpaper, so it's heavier and needs a legit adhesive, thus my struggles. 
The crap paste did not stick AT ALL. At the time, I didn't realize the problem was paste. I was putting wallpaper over a glossy red paint, which poses a problem, but I had sanded it down by hand.
I read several tutorials on wallpapering and thought I was doing everything right.
I was this close to busting out the electric sander to go over the whole room, which would have taken hours, plus would have left red dust all over the place.
Instead, I decided to go to Lowe's and get some advice.
They suggested a wallpaper primer, which you paint on, it dries clear, and lets the paste adhere better.
So I tried it.
No success.
The paste was the problem. It was a watery mess, I don't even know how they sell that crap.

I did more research online, and ended up at Sherwin-Williams, where they supposedly carried heavy duty adhesive.
BINGO.
This is a new product, and they just had a gallon sample that they gave me to try out for free! It was ah-mazing. 
But then I ran out.
The awesome guy at Sherwin tried to locate another sample for me and couldn't, so he recommended a different brand- Roman.
Decent, but still not as good as this Gardner-Gibson Dynamite.
And I even ran out of Roman- after it left lots of bubbles in my wallpaper =(
SO he finally called in another gallon of this Dynamite, which finished the job, and it clearly is the WINNER!


#2 Wallpaper is not cheap. I ended up having to order more than I thought because I was initially being kind of stingy. It was probably $350 for wallpaper alone, and that was an inexpensive wallpaper! 
Plus you need supplies:
the paste: $40-50
paint rollers or a stiff brush
a level edge to smooth it out
wallpaper seam roller
an exacto knife to trim top and bottom edges- and extra blades!!! They get dull way fast
sponge to wipe up paste 
drop cloth

#3 It takes time
Never mind that I did this myself, while trying to still be Mom to 2 little kids. But I averaged 40 minutes per panel. Brushing on the adhesive, letting it sit for a bit, then placing it on the wall, smoothing it, and trimming edges, then wiping down. It's a process.
IF I ever attempt this again (okay I totally will), I'm more inclined to just do a single accent wall, even though I do love the look of an overall room wallpapered.

#4 With my wallpaper that had a stripey effect, it's hard to get the panels perfectly straight, and once they go slightly crooked, you've got problems. 
Wallpaper edges are supposed to butt up against each other, but on a few I had to overlap, just to straighten it out again. You can tell, and it bugs me, but maybe ordinary people won't notice. Whatever.
Glad it's done, and that it looks 100 times better- or at least, more my style ;)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

bAd MoM

Ironic post, since it's almost Mother's Day... sigh...

I'm getting personal because I want to remember this, and I'm sure others can relate. If not, then learn from my mistakes. My bad mom mistakes.

We'll call this the Story of the Pirate Ship =)

About a week ago, I decided to do a prize box for Carter. I bought a bunch of fun, little constructive toys that he could earn if he did his chores and was obedient. It seemed to be working really well.

One of the toys was a pirate ship that needs to be assembled, and then painted. He chose this ship last night, but it was bedtime, I was tired, and I promised him we could put it together the next day. Carter wasn't happy about this, but finally gave up and went to bed. I figured he'd bring the ship down this morning so we could do it.
Today I forgot about the ship, and he never said anything either. Until we were getting him ready for bed again tonight. He really wanted to put the ship together right then.
Now, let me say that being temporary single mom for now has exhausted me. By the time bedtime rolls around, I just need a break. My patience has run thin, and the longer my kids are up, the more messes they are making. And I turn into Mean Mom.
I wasn't about to let Carter stay up another 30 minutes or whatever to assemble this pirate ship, so I told him again that we'd do it tomorrow. He was mad, because he said this was his prize, and I told him we could paint it and we never did.

Enter Bad Mom...
I didn't let him do it. He pitched a fit, I got frustrated and told him to get into bed himself because I was too tired to deal with him. (Real nice huh?) And I went back downstairs to take care of crying baby Mason. And I just wanted to veg on the couch and watch American Idol while painting my nails, and so that's what I did. I left Carter to just get himself to bed, hoping he'd forget about the dang ship.

I came back up to check on Carter as I always do at night, and my first reaction was anger because right there in his room, he had opened up his ship, made a mess and got glue on the carpet.

And then it hit me like a truck. I was mad about this?? Carter had earned his ship and wanted to put it together like I promised he could. And so he attempted himself. The poor little boy had managed to get the glue open, and tried to glue the pieces together, and must have given up, and was asleep in his bed -without me having tucked him in.
I kinda lost it. I've never felt so bad in my life! It's a stupid wooden ship but it meant something to him and I failed him.

So instead of putting away my loads of laundry that have been sitting on my counter the past week, and making protein bars that I wanted to, and finishing my dishes and kitchen mess from dinner, and taking a bath that I really wanted since I haven't even showered yet today!...I got that pirate ship kit, took 5 minutes to glue it together, and wrote this post so I can remember that there are little things that matter to kids- and being a mom that keeps her promises is what matters to me.
We'll be finishing this bad boy first thing in the morning.

And this is why I love my kids:
This cute boy started itty bitty t-ball this week and it's the funnest thing to watch. I had planned on doing my cardio while at the rec center, where his practice is, but I felt like he liked me watching him, so I've stayed. And I do like watching him! He's a stud. Cardio can wait.

Me and Aaron were cracking up over this picture. He's got his sucker, he's got his headphones. And he's kind of a big deal ;)
 The other night, Carter had fallen asleep with his blanket, on the vent. It's funny that he's discovered the vent. I remember doing that when I was a kid. Maybe he wouldn't be so cold if he'd actually put on pants once in a while!

Speaking of no pants, here's Captain Carter, checking himself out in the mirror with his new cape =)
This was a prize from his prize box I DID deliver on!

This picture sums up the reason I have a love/hate relationship with bedtime. Mason wanted to be held, but I only have 2 hands, and have to help Carter brush his teeth. Enter the bjorn. Ugggh bedtime is such a process...
Once things are under control again, the 3 of us can make it through maybe a book or two and then either Mason or I are just done. 
Speaking of Mason....
He's pretty dang cute with his big bright eyes and his crazy dark hair that everyone always comments on.
 His smiles are precious, and so is his chubbiness!
 He's begun to roll over and it's so funny to see him pull that big chubby body over. How did I learn he could roll over? Well, I left him on the couch, and he rolled off! Another wonderful mom moment...

Side note: I've been getting way weird dizziness that I had a few years ago and I just realized that it must be related to post-pregnancy hormones or something. Lack of sleep could very well be the culprit. I don't like being in a weird spinning haze, and I don't remember how long it lasted with Carter or how it actually stopped. =( I blame my Mean Mom syndrome on this!!! Just kidding.. mostly...

On the bright side, my kids are amazing and cute and we are all alive and still having fun =)
Aaron's doing great in Texas, and will be home for my birthday at the end of the month. We can make it!
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