Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sibling Reunion

We're back to normal chaos here with both kids at home. Ava was so excited to see her brother when we picked her up from school. A huge love-fest ensued. It was only about 45 minutes before she was yelling at him, though. We were all playing Candy Land (I know! Shocking that I was actually playing with my kids). Things were going great for a minute, and then Davis failed to follow Ava's instructions for properly moving his game piece. He really should know better. There was some name-calling, some hitting, and then I had to be The Disciplinarian and make Ava sit out for the rest of the game. Davis beat me (since there is no strategy whatsoever in Candy Land), and then didn't want to play with Ava.

Ava, who has been a little moody (huge understatement) the last few days, went on to get pretty annoyed and kicked Davis out of her room. The next few minutes are a blur, but somehow, Ava ended up angry at me and started repeatedly screaming my name. I decided the best approach was just to ignore this behavior, so I put away some laundry. Davis and I were both in his room, and I suppose he had had enough of Ava's antics, because I looked over, and this is what he had done:

As he barricaded the door, he said, "This is so Ava can't come in here." 

Five minutes later, they were hugging and playing again. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Surprise

On Friday afternoon, my mom came to Raleigh for a visit. She had called the day before and offered to spend the night at our house so that Morgan and I could have a date night without having to shell out cash for a sitter. Wasn't that nice of her? So, we went out for dinner and a drink, followed by a movie. It was great to get out, but I could hardly stay awake for the movie. We saw Mission Impossible 4. I'm pretty sure I've never seen 2 or 3. That's okay, though. It's not all that heavy on plot or character development. And I still have trouble looking at Tom Cruise without thinking he's going to leap onto the nearest sofa.

When Top Gun was THE movie, I was maybe 9 or 10 years old. I wasn't really old enough to appreciate the beach volleyball scene, but I did know that Tom Cruise was pretty hot. In fact, I was so into him that I wrote him a fan letter. Nice. I got one back, too. I can't remember if I thought it was actually from him or not, but it essentially thanked me for being a fan, and included a photo of him in a fighter jet. I wonder if I still have that somewhere?

I digress. The surprise of the weekend came when my mom was getting ready to leave on Saturday to go back home. Davis announced that he wanted to go with her, and that's all it took.(I've trained him well.) Twenty minutes later he was packed up and heading away. I thought he'd come back home yesterday afternoon, but then my parents offered to keep him another night. I jumped all over that. I love him to death, but lately he really gives me a run for my money, and this break was just what the psychiatrist ordered. 

While he's been gone, he apparently got glasses and took to reading the sports page (sorry, Facebook friends, I know you've seen this):

I think he looks just like my dad in these pictures. 

My mom is a complete news junkie, so I'm kind of surprised it was the sports page and not the NY Times. I would imagine that he probably just wanted to read more about that Tar Heel victory over NC State Saturday night. He's a good fan that way. He really loves Roy Williams and hopes to earn a walk-on spot in 2027.

So, it's been mighty quiet around here all weekend. We enjoyed some quality time with Ava, and it was nice to have her all to ourselves. I've finally gotten my kitchen unpacked. I'll share pictures later this week, but it sure is nice not to have workers showing up at my house every morning. 

I'm getting Davis back in about an hour, and I'll be happy to see his little smiling face. At least for a few hours. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

I've seen my future.

Happy Monday, everyone. We've got a teacher workday, so Ava is hosting a play date with one of her adorable little friends. I turned Tangled on for Davis (his current favorite movie), and the girls joined him to sing all the songs from the movie. Pretty cute, I must say. They can pretty much recite the movie word for word, and song for song. 

My kids were without me for the weekend because I went with a group of 8th graders from our church on their Confirmation Retreat. I have to tell you - I was not looking forward to this little trip. A little background: due to the fact that I have a hard time saying no, I have been on our church's confirmation committe for the last year and a half. That just means that I kind of act as an adviser to a group of confirmands.. They start the process in the beginning of 7th grade, and are confirmed in January of their 8th  grade year. That's a long time. And it's intense. They learn a lot. In fact, I would say that most of them probably know more about the bible, our church, etc. than I do. 

So that brings us to this past weekend. I didn't have to go on the retreat. But there is a small part of me that is responsible, and I just felt like since this was the end of their journey, I really needed to be there. 

As it turns out, and despite having a nasty cold, I had a really good time. Eighth graders are really pretty cool. Maybe not all the time, but mostly. And, frankly, the girls are cooler than the boys. But then again, who is really surprised by that? 

What's crazy to me is that in the blink of an eye, Ava will be one of those kids. I kept looking at those 8th graders and trying to imagine them as kindergartners. It wasn't that long ago for them. In fact, they can remember being in kindergarten, and a lot of them went to Ava's school. Some of them even had her teacher. The leap from age 6 to age 13 is small in years, but huge in change. When does it happen? When do they go from kids to being young adults? The way the carry themselves, interact with each other.....it's so far from where my kids are right now. But what was cool was how much I enjoyed some of these kids, and how much it makes me look forward to those years with my own. 

You know what else it made me do? It made me need to give my kids a huge snuggle when I got home. I had a glimpse of how fast time is flying, and I had one of those moments where I needed it to stand still.

Not to worry, though. This morning we were back to normal life, with me wondering why there are so many school holidays in January.

Monday, January 16, 2012

What? Oh, that's just my kid's CD. It's not mine. Really.

One thing I enjoy about having kids is that it allows me to get away with listening to music that I really should consider lame. We all know how much I adore Taylor Swift, and I've gotten away with that under the guise of "my daughter just loves Taylor." The kids' apparent love of Top 40 and pop is also the reason I can sing along to nearly every song on the radio.

Of late, I am really loving Selena Gomez's new song, "Love You Like a Love Song." And, if I'm really telling the absolute truth, that isn't the first Selena Gomez song I've liked. I know quite a few of the Beiber-lover's tunes.

That song is really catchy, though. 

Speaking of celebrities, did you catch the Golden Globes last night?What a bore. Ricky Gervais was pretty funny, but when he wasn't onstage, I hardly watched. Admittedly, I was pretty disengaged due to some Disney World planning, but really. Boring. Highlight for me? Bradley Cooper, looking foxy as ever. 
Bradley Cooper

Rob Lowe looked pretty good, too, although unnaturally tan. I mean, really unnaturally tan. Kind of like when Davis was a baby and he had jaundice. Then again, he was on stage with Julianne Moore, who is not exactly the poster child for tropical tans.
Rob Lowe

Oh, and Seth Rogen's one-liner about Kate Beckinsale got a good laugh from me. 

As for the girls, I have such a girl crush on Emma Stone, so she scored big for me, although more on hair and makeup than the actual dress. 
EMMA STONE photo | Emma Stone

I love Reese, but I  can't decide how much I liked her messy waves. Also (and I swear this is not the insult it sounds like), I'm happy to see that she actually kind of looks her age. Not that she doesn't look great, but I think she looks like she's approaching mid-thirties without the aid of knives.

REESE WITHERSPOON photo | Reese Witherspoon

I don't know much about Paula Patton, but she's gorgeous, and wears yellow better than anyone I've ever seen:
PAULA PATTON   photo | Paula Patton
My other 2 faves were not as classic, and maybe not as well-received by all, but I thought Sarah Michelle Gellar and Zooey Deschanel both looked great.Zooey is just so darned cute, all the time. 
ZOOEY DESCHANEL   photo | Zooey Deschanel

As for SMG, I generally hate tie-dye, but this one worked for her. In fact, I straight-up love it. 
That's it for me. Time to get the kiddos to bed, stat. Wine calls. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Random Thoughts for Friday

This post is probably going to be a fast one, y'all. Davis is currently running around with my Swiffer high in the air. It's only a matter of time before something breaks. The babysitter TV is really not doing it's job of occupying him right now.

How is it that my days seem so long, and yet before I know it, it's Friday? I'm especially happy for this Friday because 1) I have a functioning sink again, and 2) I'm going to dinner with 2 good friends. Even better, we're going to the best Mexican restaurant in town, so Margaritas will be in full effect. (don't worry, Mom. I'm not driving).

Davis slept horribly last night and wanted to "rock" in the middle of the night. If you need a good laugh, please just imagine me rocking my 35 lb almost 3-year-old. He's really snuggly, though. And 2am is not a good time to fight kids. Anyway, he was up on and off from 12:30am til 2am, and then I was up at 5:06am for a very chilly 6 mile run. It took me a solid hour to warm up after I got back home. 

I think equally exhausting was probably the quick trip I made to lululemon today where I purchased nothing. Using willpower really wears me out. Because after my cold run, I really started thinking I need more long-sleeved tops. Namely, this one:

Alas, I walked out empty handed, despite the fact that I was carrying around $100 cold hard cash from the sale of my old refrigerator. 

Oh, and speaking of that fridge, I can happily report that I was not murdered by the Craigslist buyer who came to get it today. It really is the little things that make for a good day.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Kitchen Update

I promise that this is not turning into a blog about my house, but I am so excited about what happened in our kitchen this week that I just had to share.

 It's been a big week on the remodel. On Monday, lights were put in (except for my pendant, which UPS says is coming tomorrow). We had to replace some trim, so that was done yesterday, and the ceiling was painted. I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but we had popcorn ceilings up until last week. I hate them. We still have them in the rest of the house, and now I hate them even more. The fresh, smooth ceilings in the kitchen with their nice recessed lights look so nice. 

Painting was supposed to happen yesterday, but since we had to replace more  trim that we first thought, most of the day was taken up with replacing that. So, paint happens early next week. 

Today was really big. Both counter tops AND appliances were delivered. Of course, they were delivered at the exact same time. The counter top installers and the Best Buy delivery guys played well together, though, and did a good job working in the same small space. Just so you know, if you purchase appliances at Best Buy, they only deliver them. Do not expect them to say, hook up your ice maker. In fact, they will likely disconnect your old ice maker, then turn off the water to your whole house until you can have a plummer (or some other kind soul) come over and hook up the new ice maker for you. Luckily, my contractor was able to swing by and take care of it for me. 

The faucet gets hooked up tomorrow, and I will be all kinds of happy to get a working sink back in my kitchen. 

Anyway, here are the latest photos. I'm not expecting anyone at House Beautiful or Traditional Home magazine to call me to start taking pictures for them. Interior photography is hard!

(Backsplash gets put in next Wednesday).

Yes, that is my old fridge that you can see in the next room. I'm hoping it's gone tomorrow.
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Monday, January 9, 2012

The one with the creative genes.

I have a sister, and she's uber-smart AND very creative. She's also got really good business-savvy, so she's one of those jack-of-all-trades types. She has some retail pet boutiques in Norther Virginia called Wylie Wagg. In their first store, which is in Middleburg, she and her very talented husband create windows that would rival any New York department store. The latest creation pokes fun at the current presidential election.

See for yourself:

And for the record, yes, I am jealous that she can come up with that and I can't. Hmph.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Wow, this kitchen project is really moving along fast. The new cabinets were installed yesterday, and I love them. It feels so much cleaner now. Pictures can describe them better than I can, so here you go:

 And, a couple of my favorite features:

Next week we get lights and paint. Then countertops. Then backsplash.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Coffee grinds are good for your complexion.

So far, the kitchen project is going well. The demolition is done, and our popcorn ceilings have been scraped.
(photo taken before the ceilings were done)

I'm pretty impressed by what a neat and tidy demo it was. We only ran into one little glitch. When the sheetrock guy was here yesterday, he casually asked if we were putting a recessed light or a pendant light over our sink. Well, the plan was recessed, and I told him that. It seems, however, that the beams (I guess that's the right word) running across the ceiling are not centered to the window, so a recessed light there would have to go to the left or the right. Clearly, that's not going to happen. We had a recessed light there before, but it was in the soffit, so it was able to be centered. 

(please note that I have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to fancy words used in home construction. It might be that the beam is actually dead center over the window, which would be why we can't do recessed. Sometimes I pretend to know more about what I'm talking about than I actually do).

I certainly don't mind doing a pendant. I'm planning to put one over our table anyway, so now I just need a smaller coordinating one for the sink. I'm just a little overwhelmed by the choices, but I think this is what I'm going with:

Sea Gull Lighting 61850
Or this?
Sea Gull Lighting 61283
or maybe this:
Sea Gull Lighting 69059
or this?
Sea Gull Lighting 61060
I even kind of like this bronze:
Sea Gull Lighting 61850
Oh, geez. I can't decide.Anyone want to weigh in?  I need to order them like, yesterday. 

Cabinets go in tomorrow. I can't wait. 

Oh, and if you haven't ever lived without a kitchen sink? Just know that cleaning dishes in the bathroom is really not all it's cracked up to be. Also, as much as I don't love my old Keurig, it's about to come out of hiding for a  few weeks. Having to clean out coffee grounds in the bathtub just feels really wrong. 

On the upside, anyone bathing in that tub can expect some great exfoliating.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Movie Night

Last night we watched "Crazy Stupid Love."

 I loved it. Really loved it. And it got me thinking a little. It seems like all women have some celebrity they sort of aspire to look like, however far-fetched it may be. We'd all like to have Jennifer Aniston's body, right? Or, if you're me, Gwyneth Paltrow's everything. Maybe Carrie Underwood's legs?

I don't often hear men saying they want to look like a certain celebrity. But you know what? I think men need to tape a shirtless picture of Ryan Gosling to their refrigerator for inspiration. As Emma Stone's character said to him in the movie, "It's like you're photoshopped!"

PS - That little Emma Stone is about the cutest thing I've seen in a while. 

Monday, January 2, 2012


Happy 2012 everyone! I hope everyone had a fun New Year's. Mine was VERY low-key due to the stomach bug making a swift attack on me. Then last night, it hit Morgan. And today? Ava. So, now we've got 100% coverage. And folks, I won't lie. It's a nasty, nasty little bug. I stayed in bed for 15  hours. And I'm still not completely better. Ugh. Oh, but I've lost 6 or 7 pounds, so that's good.

So, in the midst of all of this, we had to pack up the kitchen. That ended up being a one day job since I was laid up in bed all day Saturday. You know, if you're going to pack up your kitchen, you probably might as well just move. I don't think any other room in a house can fill as many boxes as the kitchen. It all got finished just as the workers were pulling up this morning.

So, here's the before: (and now you know why I need a new kitchen).

Yesterday I sold our old stove, and on Saturday night, I ordered our new fridge and range. They will be these:

9499027 Alternate View 29499027 Larger Front
To save a little money, I opted not to have the ice and water dispenser on the door. This particular Samsung model was on MAJOR sale, so I just decided to go with it. I also had visions of Davis thinking the water dispenser was a pretty cool thing to play with. It does have in inside water dispenser, so that's fun. Besides, I'm replacing an almond-colored freezer-on-top model, so let's be honest. This is a giant step up.

I'm most excited to be switching up to a gas range. That was one of my I'm-not-budging items. I went with this model:
9355574 Larger Front
Now, those won't be installed for another 3 weeks, but I wanted to go ahead and purchase while they were on sale. 

Now, if I can just get everyone healthy and back to school, I might start feeling like I have some control over my life.