Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Heredity...a funny thing!



Genetics are an interesting thing. We pass on physical, emotional, and mental characteristics, some from generation to generation.

There's little doubt my kids are mine. They all have my blue eyes. They all have Steve's ears. They each inherited some unique mannerisms and characteristics from both Steve and me, easily identifiable to those who know us.

My side of the family has passed down something a little less visible, but equally "hereditary"...which I will share with you here.

My grandparents often told the story of my dad, who as a young boy climbed out an alcove onto their roof...to "relieve himself" in the middle of one chilly winter night. He was fast asleep.

My aunt, and my dad's younger sister, sauntered into a formal dinner party in the family living room late one evening. She lifted up her nightgown, pulled down her unmentionables, and copped a squat right on the living room rug. She was fast asleep.

Both my brothers, at various times in their childhood, emptied their bladders while sleeping into a kitchen cabinet, my mom's dresser drawer, and a garbage can in the kitchen. They had no recollection of it the next day, and my mom was only able to guess who the culprit was.

I have also been known to sleepwalk a time or two. In high school, my mom was awoken late one night by the sound of pots and pans banging in the kitchen. She stumbled in and found me stirring a pot of top ramen over the hot stove. Fast asleep.

Olivia wandered into the family room a few years back looking disoriented, and Steve caught her as she was pulling down her jammies and sitting on the toy box. Luckily, he intervened before the damage was done.

Last week after dinner, Grant crashed out on the couch. After about an hour, he got up, looking completely awake and alert, got off the couch and walked away. He came back moments later and climbed up on the arm of the couch for a snuggle. I put my arm around him, and discovered a naked little bum.

Perplexed, I asked him where his pants and underwear were. He responded with a confused look...he had no idea he was naked from the waist down. That was my first clue that there might be a problem.

Steve got up and went searching...and it didn't take long before he called to me and told me to bring the camera.

I walked into my office, where Steve was standing at my desk, laughing. I glanced over, and this was what I saw.


Just before he fell asleep, Grant had asked if he could play on the computer (his new favorite pastime). I had said no, it was too close to bedtime. With visions of his favorite websites dancing through his head, he drifted off to sleep.

That little stinker had climbed up on my office chair, dropped his drawers, and peed all over my desk. All while fast asleep. Needless to say, I had to buy a new keyboard.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

No Boys Allowed!

In early December, we discovered some warm, blackish ooze coming from the wall in my office/project room.


The plumber wasn't sure what it was. His exact words were "I've never seen anything like this before in my life. If I didn't know better, I'd think maybe your house was possessed." Great...just what every homeowner wants to hear. We suspected it was another broken pipe...we've had several since we moved in.

When they cut open the wall, this was what they found:

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Who knows how long it had been spewing hot water into the wall...at least a few weeks. It was a wet, soggy mess in there.


The black goo was a combination of mildew, glue from the baseboards, and hot water. Yuck. After fixing the leak, we waited a while to patch up the wall so that it could dry out.

Since that wall would need to be painted after patching, Steve suggested we just paint the whole room...something I'd been wanting to do!

I wanted a bright and cheerful color - something other than the off-white that was currently on the walls. I went to Home Depot and picked out a few samples and brought them home and put them on the wall. I wasn't crazy about any of them.


Steve has an eye for color and said I needed something more feminine than any I had chosen. He got online, went to the Home Depot paint website, and pulled up some design ideas. This color combination popped up.


I wasn't sure about the pink...I didn't want it to look like a baby girl's room! But the design center online looked beautiful, and we decided to go for it. And while I have disagreed in the past with Steve when it comes to paint colors, I've learned that his eye is better than mine and I should trust him.

Here's the "before" pictures:






It turned out absolutely beautiful—the perfect combination of sophisticated and feminine.

The window wall is a deep plum, while the other three are a much softer pink. The pictures don't do it justice.




I still need to find a few things to accessorize the room...but I absolutely love it! And the best part of all is that because of the color, I can declare it a "no boys allowed" zone and lock myself away for days!

Remembering Christmas 2010

Less than two weeks into the new year, and Christmas already seems like a distant memory.

Here are some of the highlights:

A Christmas "Pixie" delivered this gift to us on December 1st.


We named our elf "Rockie" (after the name of our street - Rockford). The kids had a ball finding him in a different spot every day.




Jack had his holiday piano recital. He really rocked it. He loves the song so much that I have a feeling we'll be "Decking the Halls" for months to come!

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My brother passed through town with his darling family on their way to Arizona for Christmas. We decorated cookies. I made the kids do it outside in the freezing cold so I wouldn't have to clean up the sprinkles in the kitchen.


We got the requisite picture with Santa.


But we didn't wait in this line.


Instead, I took the kids to the mall over Veteran's Day weekend. In mid-November. Olivia complained that she was getting too old for this. I insisted. And won. As long as she's living in this house, she'll get a photo taken with Santa—whether she likes it or not!

The kids all celebrated the holidays at school. Well, except for Grant. I had the days mixed up for his party, so we missed it altogether. And I was in charge of bringing all the paper goods and a gallon of milk. Oops! Grant didn't seem to mind too much—he celebrated on his own the next day by dressing up as Mrs. Clause.


Christmas Eve brought our family tradition of clam chowder for dinner, followed by the reenactment of the nativity. Olivia is becoming quite the director!

The kids all got new jammies on Christmas Eve, set out cookies for Santa and went to bed early.


Christmas morning brought a whole lot of excitement.


Santa managed to sneak a trampoline into the backyard!






Jack spent hours building his new Lego sets...Steve even set up a "Lego station" in the empty bedroom upstairs (formerly known as Grant's bedroom...we didn't get rid of Grant, he just didn't like being in his own room!)




Grant is learning the art of drifting on his new Big Wheel.

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This year, I did much better at not over-scheduling myself during the holidays. I truly enjoyed the kids' time off school, we did fun things together as a family, and I felt like I captured the joy of the season. For that, I am thankful.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Out with the old, in with the new!



2010 was an eventful year for our family. Last January 1st, we had no intention of moving. Here we are, a year later, in a brand new town! The stress and hassle of moving twice in two months is a mere memory.

We sat down as a family tonight to set our annual goals/resolutions. We fell a little short in some areas, but it's a new year and time for a fresh start!

So, without further ado, here they are!

Steve:
Since he didn't master his goals last year, he's doing a solid repeat of 2010.

1. Get under 200 lbs. by June and sustain it through the year.
2. Lower golf index to a single digit handicap.
3. Continue for family to be #1 priority.

Olivia:

1. Do a kids triathlon
2. Stay healthy
3. Keep my room clean and organized all year long.
4. Continue my acting career.

Jack:

1. Do good in school.
2. Help mommy by keeping my room cleaner.
3. Get better at basketball, then join baseball in spring and be the very best swimmer.

Grant:

1. Keep my room clean.
2. Listen to my mother.
3. Learn to ride a 2-wheeler with no training wheels.

and last, but not least....my goals for the new year:

1. Lose 20 lbs. by June. (This includes the 15 I didn't lose last year, plus the 5 extra I gained in 2010. Ugh. Depressing, isn't it?)
2. Exercise 1 hour/day five days a week.
3. Read 15 books. (I surpassed this goal last year and have enjoyed discovering new authors, subjects, and writing styles.)
4. Branch out with my writing, and complete a book project. (I think I'm done writing about art exhibits and school board meetings)
5. Dedicate 1-2 hours a week on creative things. (I've got unfinished projects up the ying-yang. Some are holiday specific, which I had intended to complete this year. Didn't happen. But it will!)
6. Do a better job at keeping things tidy. I have a tendency to just dump when I'm in a hurry. Then things accumulate, and I get irritated with myself. If I can keep on top of it, I'll save myself (and my patient husband) a whole lot of irritation.

I will try and not beat myself up with unrealistic expectations. But I also feel the need to be a better person this year, and know that I can do it!