Friday, March 27, 2009

Owning a Drill Does Not a Contractor Make

I can actually hear an "amen" from my very talented (general contractor) dad, 3000 miles away. So Dad, this post is for you. Try not to roll your eyes and wonder where you went wrong. You can't blame yourself. Just enjoy a good laugh and then come out here and teach me a few things! :o)

So, as of my last post I had decided to wait until Army Guy gets home in June and have him paint and hang curtains. But then... the drill started calling to me. It made me all empowered after building the storage cubes... it made me THINK I could handle hanging curtain rods. How hard can it be, right? I know how to drill a hole. (I should have known better. This is not my first disastrous attempt at curtain rod hanging!)

A good contractor will begin by having all the proper tools for the job. So I gather my tools and get to work.

Drill - check
3/16 drill bit - check
pencil - check
hammer - check
Philips screw driver bit for the drill - check
plastic building block toy (to be used as a measuring standard) (what? ... It worked!)

Step One

Measure with the building block (about 3 inches) and mark the wall.

Step Two
Drill holes for the anchors. So far so good.

Step Three
Push the anchors into the wall.
(Uh oh... anchors are stuck half in and half out. I hammer them and the result is anchors that are half in and then smashed flat against the wall. CRAP! So then I think... "well... I suppose I need to remove the anchors and drill the hole deeper." So I rummage through the garage in search of the needle nosed pliers. "Got it!" Ever try to pull an anchor out of the wall? I nearly launched myself across the room with this brilliant move! So then I decide... "well, can't get the anchors out... can't hammer them in... I guess I need to trim them with a pair of scissors and just Spackle over them...then drill new holes." Genius! Ever try to trim an anchor that is half stuck in the wall? Ya... not so much a good idea! So then I decide.. "screw it... Army Guy can fix that when he gets home. I'll just drill more holes and start over." I'm happy with this plan!) Moving on....

Step Four
Start over with step one. Get a bigger building block and mark holes 4 inches away from the window frame. This works for me.

Step Five
Decide that anchors are from Satan himself and ditch them. Instead, I decide a better plan is to just go with screws only. Because that will be so much easier.... and my curtains are not heavy... so they are not necessary.... right?

Step Five (a)
Invent a few new swear words. (It is at this point I realize that I am a little like my Dad. He invented the very useful "Dad Gummit". I'm beginning to understand how that came to be.)

Step Six
Pause for a second to police my children. Discover Louie doing this....

Ya... that's 1/2 dozen eggs on the floor. Toddler juggling?... Just a guess!

Step Seven
Repeat all prior steps (except 6) and attach 2 more brackets to the wall.... sans the anchors.

Step Eight
Hang the curtains.... and voila!
Stand back to admire handiwork.

DAMN! The rod is sagging because the center bracket is too low. Decide "building block as measuring standard" was not such a good idea.

And then upon closer inspection....

realize the entire rod needs to be about 3 inches higher because you can see the window trim. Not such a big deal right NOW... but after I paint the walls beige... this will not be so super good! DAMN! DAMN!

Step NinePonder my dilemma..... Start all over and raise the rod 3 inches (creating another 6-12 holes for Army Guy to patch) ... Or just go with it and make ALL the rods too low? Hmmm.....Decide not to attempt the other 3 windows and just wait for Mr. Man. My line of thinking goes like this.... "I could spend the next 8 hours (and possibly sacrifice another dozen eggs to Louie's juggling fascination) only to have 57 more holes in the wall and 4 rods that are not at the same level ... causing Army Guy 18 hours of work to repair and rehang. OR... I could just stop while I'm very, very behind and let Army Guy hang three rods and fix one in about 90 minutes.

Step Ten
Decide step nine is brilliant and have a Margarita to celebrate the end of my contractor career!

Step Eleven
At Some point during Margarita break, decide it could be worse... I could have hung crown moulding up-side-down. At least I'm not THAT bone-headed! :o) (sorry bro... love ya, mean it!)

I Found Army Guy's Drill and Was a Maniac!

The other day I decided that the play room was OUT OF CONTROL! Seriously... look at this picture! Louie is sitting there, all overwhelmed. He doesn't have a clue what to play with. There is just too much stuff. Sadly, this is just about average for the play room. On occasion it is actually picked up (you know.. when they are asleep), but mostly it's much, much worse than this. Louie likes to dump the bins of tiny little things into a pile in the middle of the room. (yeah... I know... I'm the complete IDIOT that bought them a 300 piece Lincoln Log set for Christmas.) So usually there is a pile which includes 300 pieces of Lincoln Logs, 200 pieces of wooden blocks, various Thomas and Friends engines and cargo cars, wood tracks, plastic tracks, match box cars, stupid Happy Meal toys and about a zillion tiny pieces of plastic food. Oh... and I forgot the pieces to 3 different Thomas the Tank Engine puzzles... all mixed up! Lovely! Sometimes it's so bad that the boys won't play in there for DAYS! (doah... I just ratted myself out! Ya... I'm less than enthusiastic about picking up toys every day). I've decided it's much better to just let it go and then totally stress out every other Wednesday because Awesome Housekeeper is coming and I have to pick up so she can clean. (Army Guy thinks this is insanity at it's finest! "Why should you clean so she can clean?"... Whatever... It makes sense to me!)

Anyway... I went to Target and bought some storage cubes and got all "fix-it-guy-ish" with Army Guy's Drill. I can't believe how easy it was! Took about 20 minutes to assemble each unit. Huey helped by being in charge of placing the little covers on the screws. (which are pointless because Louie picked at them until they flicked off... then I had to pick up tiny screw covers all day... Ya... those are gone!)

So, long story short... here is the result of my efforts.

Now everything is nicely tucked away in little cubes. And the best part is... they can't see the thousands of tiny pieces of plastic food and Lincoln Logs because they are hidden in the cubes. Brilliant! No more dumping just because "that's how they roll." Out of sight... out of mind! Who-ever "thunk up" the cube storage system is genius! The boys have spent three straight days playing and watching movies in the play room. AND... ooh ooh this is the best part... THE PLAY ROOM IS STAYING CLEAN AND ORGANIZED! HOLY COW!

Soon I will actually paint the walls (once Louie is finished drawing all over them with orange crayons) and hang curtains. I'll post a new picture when I'm all done. (translation... waiting for Army Guy to get home in June so he can paint and hang curtains). Bwa ha ha!

*** Update August 17, 2010***
FINALLY got the toy room painted and curtains hung. Here's a photo of the project completely finished! Yay! Props to Army Guy for his excellent painting skills.

Friday, March 20, 2009

4:00am Snack Attack

I appreciate a good snack! Occasionally I even like to sneak a snack in the middle of the night. There is nothing better than a brownie and glass of milk when everyone is asleep and the house is completely quiet. This is my idea of sheer luxury! So I should not be surprised to learn that my children enjoy a little snacky-snacky now and then as well.

This morning I woke to some serious commotion coming from the kitchen. It was 4:00 in the morning. Something went "BANG", and I thought "what the......?" I came flying out of my room and noticed that every light in the house was on. Once I got to the kitchen, I found Louie 
(20 months old) standing on a chair in the pantry, foraging for a snack. He had knocked over the broom (that was the loud bang) and had managed to spill a large container of raisins and a box of spaghetti. 

Of course, the first thing I said was, "wait... hold that pose... let me grab the camera!" (oh wait... no... that's not exactly what I said! Silly me!) My first reaction was .... "ARE YOU SERIOUS? WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING"? So the following pictures are actually a re-enactment of the crime. (I made the poor child climb the chair and grab the marshmallows about eight times until I got a non-blurry picture). Ya... I'm wicked like that! I'm sure my kids will be in therapy for years over this sort of thing! Serves him right for waking me up at 4:00am! Bwa ha ha!

Re-enactment of the crime.... take 8

Here are a few more photos of Louie doing what Louie does best! He is my mess-maker-in-chief

Um... no that's not a pile of rat droppings! It's actually an entire bag of chocolate chips. I let the boys eat them off the floor... until they were absolutely sick of chocolate! They stopped begging for chocolate for awhile! Brilliant!

Popcorn baby! Louie loves his snack spread out. Plates and bowls are way too refined for my little Lou.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Week In Review

This has been one of THOSE weeks. (um.. not the good kind). Let's review... shall we?

* Sunday: start the week under pressure to finish up prep for my woman's group luncheon on Thursday.

* Monday: 2/3 of my children have pink-eye

* Tuesday: serious allergic reaction to eye-drops that treat pink eye (Dewey).

* Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: trips to Dr. to treat serious allergic reaction to med. (and when I say SERIOUS... that is really an understatement. Let's just say, Deweys face looked like something from a horror flick)

* All Week: mostly ignoring kiddos so I have a prayer of finishing up program stuff (translation: UH OH... ducklings are wrecking havoc all over the house and I can't be bothered... just out of time)

* Can't even remember which day: SOMEBODY finds a pair of scissors and thinks it would be cool if my favorite new shirt had more of a "snowflake effect". (um.. this would NOT be a shirt from Walmart by the way. This would be something from Coldwater Creek ... aint nothin cheap from Coldwater Creek)

* Wednesday: can't decorate for my woman's group event because the chapel is booked all day. Must arrive by 8:00 Thursday morning and hope to get all prep done prior to 9:30. Getting ducklings out the door at 7:15 am was an amazing thing!

* Thursday morning: pull off woman's group event. Phew. Had to take Dewey with me because he couldn't go to daycare looking like a creature from somewhere other than planet Earth! Dewey was adorable at the event. (seriously gross looking... but adorable none-the-less)

* Thursday Night: baby vomits on me. While cleaning that up... Dewey squats on coffee table and goes pee pee. (this from a boy who has done such a good job this week in the "pee-pee-on-the-potty" department)

* 12:30 am Friday morning: baby crawls into bed with me (as usual). Cuddles up nice and
sweet and then proceeds to spew all over my bed. Change bed... put down a huge beach towel and crawl into bed again. Five seconds later, baby spews all over my bed again. Sob uncontrollably while I change my bed the second time in 20 minutes. Put baby back in his bed because I only own 3 sets of king size sheets. Finally fall asleep at about 2:30 am.

* 6:30 am Friday morning: Baby comes to my room with diaper overflowing with "butt-squirts". It's so bad that when I take his diaper off, I have to wrap it in the changing pad cover and just throw it all away. Find out later that the diaper leaked THROUGH the changing pad cover and dripped all the way to the garbage can outside. Yep... It was THAT bad!

* 8:30 am. Dewey wakes up sick too. Spend Friday cleaning up barf and trying not to think "what next" because I just don't want to know.

* Friday morning: I have lost my voice. Much rejoicing is heard from the Ducklings!

* Friday, Saturday, Sunday: Spend all day every day cleaning up vomit and nasty diapers. All potty training has come to a complete stop. Dewey is back in diapers because the "butt-squirts" are coming so fast and he just can't control it.

* Sunday: Dewey has not held anything down since Thursday evening. Off to the hospital to have him checked out... fear dehydration. Spend 7 hours at the hospital while Dewey has an IV. Cry when they put the IV into his hand. Poor baby screamed so loud. I remember that pain.... it is not fun!

Keep in mind these are merely the highlights. Add to that the continued frustration of potty training, the countless ways the boys found to destroy the house while I was too busy to care, and 100 other little annoyances that occurred. Yep... It was a very, very bad week, indeed! But I have lived to tell the tale. I am a survivor! Woo Hoo!

By the way, I'm still searching for the funny.........
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