Monday, January 31, 2011

"While You Were Out"

There's a show on TLC called "While You Were Out". The whole idea of the show is to redecorate a room while the homeowner is "out"... they come home to a surprise remodel.

We had our own version of that show this weekend.

In the more than four years we have lived in this house, we have painted every room except for the living room, the kitchen and Jake's room. For some reason, Jake just kept getting pushed aside. First it was because he didn't know what colors he wanted, then it was because we had a baby, then it was because we were just too busy.

So when Jake and Lizzy headed to Minnesota this weekend, Brad and I decided it was time to paint Jake's room. As soon as they left, Brad, Lexi and I started tearing Jake's room apart. We moved his bunkbeds into the little girls' room and sorted through all his toys and treasures. Our plan was to get the room completely redone over the weekend as a surprise for the world's biggest Vikings fan.  We were at Lowes, getting the paint mixed, when they called. The roads were bad and they were turning around. So much for the surprise.

But then Sheena offered to keep the kids overnight, and when I told her what we were doing, she was happy to help. In fact, her husband even came over and did the edge work for me. Thank goodness, or I'd still be painting.

They ended up leaving for Minnesota on Saturday morning, which means we really didn't have to stay up until 2:30 in the morning, rushing to get his room painted. It also meant we had time to do the project right, and of course, one home improvement project leads to more home improvement projects.... in this case, it meant the great bed shuffle. We moved Jake's bunk beds into the little girls' room, but because Morgan is still in the crib, their room was really crowded. So, we moved the bookshelves from their room into Jake's room, which meant we had to sort through their toys. But then Jake didn't have a bed. So we decided to move Lexi's bed up to Jake's room, which then meant Lexi didn't have a bed. In between basketball games we went bed shopping. Of course, a new bed needs new bedding, so in between the next games, we shopped for bedding. 

Somehow, we managed to get Jake's room put together in time for the biggest surprise of his life. When they got home on Sunday, Lexi was waiting in Jake's room with the video camera. After a short visit, I excused myself to the bathroom (I really went into Jake's room to take pictures of his reaction). Brad used his best "angry dad" voice and told Jake his room was a pit, and he needed to clean it immediately.

To say he was surprised would be an understatement. The kid that always has a comment was speechless.

The surprised look on his face, his giggle, and the ear to ear grin made my long weekend of painting and decorating all worth it. I would do it again in a heartbeat to see my kid that happy.

Lizzy was equally excited about her "new" bunkbeds... she claims she has been waiting "for years and years" to get those beds. She is still deciding if she likes the "polky dot" bedding I bought her. She thinks she wants peace signs instead.

Meantime, Jake is prouder than a peacock about his new room. He actually made his bed this morning because "it looks so nice when it's made, and you can see all the Vikings stuff". He invited a friend over after school, so he could show off his new room.

Now, we just have to make sure he stays a Vikings fan for a long time. Those purple walls are going to be a pain to paint over!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"I really don't hate winter"

We watch a lot of "Phineas and Ferb" in our house. It's a great cartoon on Disney. I especially like the evil Dr. Doofenshrmirtz. The show has adult humor, hilarious songs, yet the kids still like it. Anyway, for the past few days I've had a song from the Christmas special in my head: "I really don't hate Christmas."

I've changed the words a little..... my version is "I really don't hate winter." Don't worry. I won't sing. But I will share a few of the reasons why "I really don't hate winter":
  1. There's no need to shave my legs everyday. No one ever sees my legs, and not having to shave everyday is a real time saver in the shower. Same goes for my toenails. I haven't painted my toenails since October.
  2. Layers hide fat. Really. Everyone is bundled up in sweaters and coats...can you really tell who is fat and who is just dressed for the weather?
  3. It's cold outside, so it's a great excuse to stay home and do nothing. I have very little guilt when we watch movies in the winter time, whereas in the summer time, I feel incredibily guilty for sitting around and watching tv...we should be outside, enjoying the warm weather.
  4. It gets dark early, which means the kids are willing to go to bed early. In the summer, it is impossible to get them to bed before 10:00 pm.
  5. I like soup, and soup tastes so much better when it's cold outside.
  6. I like coffee, and coffee tastes so much better when it's cold outside.
  7. Lizzy and Morgan are rockin' some really cute hats this winter.
  8. When we forget to bring the milk in from the milkbox, it's ok. Sometimes it's frozen by the time we remember, but I'd rather have frozen milk than rotten milk (yes, we've had that too..... why is it so hard to remember the milk in the milkbox twice a week??!?!)
  9. I don't have to remember to water the flowers.. it's too cold for anything to grow outdoors!
  10. I splurged on a really great pair of slippers this year. They are so warm and comfy, perfect for cold January days.
  11. Brad works just eight hour days, as opposed to 12-15 hour days in the summer. It's pretty cool to see my husband everyday, and to have help driving the kids around.
  12. It's basketball season! Need I say more? Love me some 4th grade and 6th grade basketball!
  13. Christmas. I love Christmas.
  14. The sippy cups full of milk that get left in the van don't smell when I finally find them.
There are more things I don't hate about winter. Everyday I remind myself of those reasons, and add to my list.

You see, it's all a matter of perspective. It's easy to complain about the weather. But it's completely out of our control, so what good does it really do? I say embrace the cold. Soon it will be 100-degrees and I'll share my list of reasons  "I really don't hate summer."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bleacher Butt

I can't believe it's already Monday. Where did the weekend go? Oh, that's right. I spent my weekend sitting in the bleachers, watching my two oldest play a lot of basketball.

There were lots of things I wish I would have gotten done this weekend - there's still a ton of laundry to finish, a movie I've been meaning to watch for two weeks now, and the pile of pictures waiting to be organized so I can get them in scrapbooks. But I've decided that stuff can wait. For now, my free time will be spent driving my kids around, and watching them play the sport I still love so much.

Yes, I'd love to go to a gym and actually get some exercise. But there's just no time for that! I had a little time between games, however, and started totalling up how much money we spent at the concession stands, but it was too painful. Let's just say Lizzy didn't starve, and she could probably do a review of the concession stand at each school.

Meantime, here are some other interesting numbers from our weekend:

2 days
4 different gyms
2 entrance fees, times 2 days (thankfully, players and little kids are free!)
14 trips to the concession stands
2 hotdogs
1 sucker
3 bags of popcorn
2 bottles of Diet Coke
2 bottles of Powerade
3 bags of chips
6 freethrows for Lexi, that were nothing but net!
7 great passes from my kids to their teammates
16 hours at those four different gyms
2 cranky little girls (it's hard to sit and watch others have all the fun!)
2 tired big kids
adults with some major bleacher butt
2 second place medals (1 for Lexi, 1 for Jake)
1 proud mom!

I can't think of a better way to spend a weekend! Lucky for me, I'll have many, many more weekends like this!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

I don't like new year's resolutions. I can never keep them. Yet every year, I make them. There are the standard ones... lose weight, drink more water, be more patient, spend more time with my kids, etc. While I'd like to accomplish all those things in 2011, there is something else I'd like to do too. Something that, I hope, is a little more attainable.

My new year's resolution this year is to get the little girls to bed earlier. I know. It sounds silly. But it's important to me. My kids, aside from Morgan, have never been good about going to bed (I should add, that is until they start kindergarten. Amazingly, both Lexi and Jake started sleeping all night, in their own beds, the day they started school). That's probably my fault. Life is busy, and often I get busy, lose track of time, and the next thing I know, it's 10:00 and Lizzy is still awake.

Three nights into the new year, I'm happy to tell you, that not counting Saturday night, my resolution is going great.  Lizzy is not only going to bed by 8:00, she's even spending most of the night in her own bed. I gave her new sheets and a new blanket to help. Okay, it was a bribe. I'm not above bribery when it comes to bedtime.

This morning, Morgan woke up at 5:00. She has a stuffy nose which makes it difficult to breathe when you have to have a pacifier in your mouth (maybe my second resolution should be to get rid of her pacifer). When I got her out of her crib, Lizzy woke up. She followed me to my bedroom and sweetly said "My don't want to get in bed with you. My just want to give you and Morgan both a little hug and a little kiss." She gave us both "little" hugs and kisses, then went back to bed.


Of course, both little girls have been awake since 5:00. That means, they'll both need naps this afternoon. And that means, Lizzy will be ready to stay up a little later. And since we have a busy evening of running around with the big kids, our routine will once again be disrupted.

But I'm not giving up just yet.

I like to get at least a full week into the new year before abandoning my resolutions.