Friday, June 27, 2008

Some bathroom pictures!

I'm so happy! The tile is all done in the bathroom (after we let the grout dry until tomorrow night), the bathtub faucet is in (although the plumbers ordered the wrong finish - we're deciding whether to live with it or not - it looks beautiful, but it doesn't match the other stuff we picked out). We've been in our house for five years now, and it feels really nice to finally have the bathroom we wanted. We still have another week or so of renovation to go, but the change is already amazing.

Here's the before picture showing the tub. Note the duct tape holding some of the tiles together, the green tub with pink and black tile, the brown and pink and gold wallpaper. Blech. (When the electrician pulled the old medicine cabinet out, we discovered black wallpaper, two layers underneath the current one. Who uses black wallpaper?!? Especially in a bathroom!)

Here's the interim stage with some of the white subway tile up:

And, here's the final product. The strip of mosaic tile matches the floor tile.

And, here's our beautiful floor.

This weekend, we have to find a paint color for the top half of the walls. The bottom half is going to have white beadboard. I'll post more pictures as the work finishes up.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I figured I'd better post something before I forget how! The last couple of weeks have been absolutely nuts. Our bathroom has been in shambles, so we've been getting creative about finding public restrooms. (The brand-new Nordstroms at our local mall has some very lovely and clean bathrooms!) And, we've been packing up all our towels and shampoo and soap and stuff almost every night and heading over to our friends' house to shower and give R a bath. BUT yesterday, the tile started going up in the tub area, and I just love it. I'm so excited! Once our amazing tile guy starts doing the floor, though, we're probably going to find a hotel for a few days because we won't be able to use the bathroom at all.

Simultaneously, my friend who is pregnant with twins and due pretty much any time now ended up in the hospital with kidney stones and the accompanying horrible pain. She got over that after a few days and many painkillers, but then over the weekend, the contractions started coming regularly. She's been in agony pretty much ever since. They're not close enough to warrant going to the hospital (although she did go for a few hours early Monday morning), but they're close enough that my friend can't sleep or relax at all. So I'm praying that they get closer together right away or that her water breaks or something so that she can get those babies out of there!

Work has been nutty at the same time, so I haven't had much time at all to do anything but work, eat, bathe, and go to sleep. But my diet has been going great! I lost 13 pounds, and now I need to stop losing weight (which wasn't the point - I was just trying to get rid of some of my mama belly fat) and adding back the good carbs again, which is fine with me. I feel a lot better about myself, though, so that's a nice side effect.

Other than that, we made our first trip to the nearby beach last week, and R had a blast. R's schoolmates who are moving on to kindergarten this year had their graduation ceremony and picnic, and R got a special Friendship Award, which was so sweet. This weekend, we're planning to go see Wall-e with R. Gotta love the Pixar movies, and A and R are beside themselves that this one is about robots. Last weekend, we went to a party at our friends' house because old friends were in town, and we spent all afternoon and night outside. The kids played in the pool, bounced in our takealong bouncy house, ran around, ate watermelon and pizza, and at night we lit sparklers and watched fireflies. It was a perfect summer evening!

That's the story for now. I'm hoping to post pictures later this week of the bathroom stages - it's really quite amazing!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Where I've Been

How time does fly when you're sweating and trying not to stick to the furniture! It was insanely hot here for a few days, but now things are back to June in New England temps, which is lovely. Next year, though, I will not let A claim that it's too hot to put the air conditioners in. (He did put in the upstairs ones right away because it was 102 degrees in our bedrooms!)

We tried to keep cool by going grocery shopping, going to the Museum of Science, eating popsicles, and then by filling our little pool. R and I spent many hours in there over the weekend.

Before it was insanely hot, we did this (notice how I'm wearing a jacket):

Besides trying not to melt away, there's been a lot of little things going on. After getting into a bathing suit for the first time, I hopped on the South Beach Diet. It's going well so far, although in the first two weeks, you're not supposed to eat any fruit, and we just bought some gorgeous cherries and nectarines, so I've been cheating there a little bit. I don't think eating fruit is my problem anyway.

Operation Snooze has been a mild success. We eased off on forcing R to fall asleep by himself - sometimes he'll do it, other times we don't want to mess with things because he's already super cranky or completely wired. But I've been firm about not sleeping in his bed when he calls me in during the night. Sometimes he'll sleep in his room all night (and very soundly); other times, if he wakes up, he just marches himself into our room, climbs up between A and me, and goes back to sleep. It's amazing, but either way, I've been able to get up in the mornings and get ready for work without R waking up. That alone has been a miraculous change!

In other R news, he's had some issues with school lately. We've had a few rough drop-offs and sometimes he decides to spend the day in his old classroom instead of the new one. He likes the new one, but there are a lot more kids in there (18, compared to seven or eight in his old class), and even though there are three teachers, it is quite a bit noisier and more chaotic than his Pre-K-1 class. When he arrives in the morning, he doesn't get a circle of friends surrounding him and giving him hugs and shouting his name in excitement. But they give the kids time to transition, so it's fine for him to move back and forth. On Monday this week, though, he was distraught about going to school from the second he woke up in the morning. He was so upset and pleading with me that I decided to keep him home because I work from home on Mondays. The idea was for him to see that if he stays home with us, it's not fun. We have to do work, we have to clean the house, we can't play with him. I stuck to that for the most part on Monday, and R helped me with cleaning and spent a lot of time playing by himself, but I didn't ignore him either. I read him some stories, we took a lunch break in the pool, we played with Legos for a little while. But my plan worked. At the end of the day, he told A that he did NOT have a good day. So he was excited to go to school on Wednesday morning. (Of course, they were having Field Day, complete with games, hot dogs, and popsicles, so that helped!)

Let's see ... other news ... our bathroom renovation project is finally starting next week! We've picked out and ordered almost everything. We just have to find a medicine cabinet and light fixture and order our tile after the tile guy tells us today how much we need. We found out yesterday that we'll only be without a bathtub for two days, which is wonderful news. Especially because we are going to be taking showers/baths at our friends' house during that time. And, they are expecting their twins pretty much at any time now. So we don't want to be inconveniencing them for a long time while they're trying to get settled at home with two newborns. (My friend isn't actually due until late July, but from the looks of her, those babies are coming sooner rather than later!)

In the evenings, I've been reading the Bible more and getting to bed earlier, which is lovely. I was going to participate in Trish's 40 Days of Faith "project," but I wasn't sure what specific thing to pray for. I had two ideas in mind, and when I asked God what to do, he laid something else on my heart. I needed to pray for a specific person in my life and give up after-dinner snacks. This was the same message I got from Him for Lent this year. So I'm re-Lenting. LOL. But when I prayed about this, I had a lightning bolt moment where I realized that praying for this person was directly related to the two things I was thinking about asking God for for myself, so who knows how it will all work out. I just know it will work out because God's in charge. :-)

Tonight I'll write about my little miracle/message from God I got yesterday. It was really cool! But I need to actually do some work now...

Oh! Just one more thing: Last night, we went out to eat at a country buffet place nearby. We like it because it's relatively cheap, and we can all get something we like, plus dessert! (Well, options were a little limited for me this week because of the diet, but whatever...) So, while we were there, we noticed two other tables where people were bowing their heads, holding hands, and saying grace before dinner. A said that he has noticed that at this place before. I have to tell you - that is a RARE sight 'round these parts. But it was refreshing, and I thanked God for it. It made me wonder, though: Is that common where you all live? Do you say grace in public? I'm ashamed to admit that we rarely do. We'll go through spurts where we do it all the time, and then there are dry spells. So I'm just curious about y'all. :-) (Apparently, the country buffet has affected my speech and writing...)

Happy Friday - and Happy Father's Day to my dad friends!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bad night, good day

This week, A and I have been attempting to fix a problem with R that started more than a year ago. It's completely our own fault. When we moved R to a big boy bed, the only way we could figure out to keep him in it at bedtime was to lay down with him until he fell asleep. Eventually, that also morphed into R waking up at some point during the night and requiring my presence. So, I've pretty much been sleeping in R's bed for many, many months.

Sometimes it's lovely. I get to snuggle with my sweet boy and watch him sleep and see his happy, smiley face first thing in the morning. But other times, it makes me grumpy. I want to sleep in my own bed where I'm much more comfortable because I'm not being kicked or elbowed or pinned down by legs and arms or given merely inches of space in which to occupy my body. And, I get tired of being needed all day and all night. I need some space for me. And, of course, sleeping in the same bed as A would be nice, too!

Mostly, though, I think the lack of good sleep has been affecting my overall mood and my patience level with R. He's really been grating on my nerves recently. I held it together most of the time that A was gone last week, but on Sunday, it all welled up and I had a bit of a meltdown. I hid most of it from R and tried to just escape to another room instead of screaming and yelling, but he still said, "Mommy, you're scaring me!" And, of course, that made me feel like a pile of dog doo. I think if I get some adequate sleep, I'll be better able to tolerate when he wipes his marker-stained fingers on my clothes or climbs onto the pollen-covered hood of the car for the 1,000th time or takes off down the street without A or me.

So, for the last two nights, we've worked on getting R to fall asleep on his own. He's done it before (well, a handful of times besides when he was in the crib), but he's had a rough time this week. Last night was awful. He cried (mostly fake, but some real) for close to two hours and sorrowfully whined about being lonely. We did go up and check on him and reassure him every so often, but in the end, he pretty much collapsed from exhaustion. He (and we!) did sleep without interruption until about 4 a.m. He yelled for me then, so I went in to check on him and gently refused to climb into bed with him but told him he could come in our room (which is fine with me), so he did.

It's been hard, but the end result has been very good so far: I've slept all night in my own bed, I didn't wake up with a sore neck and shoulders, and - miracle of all miracles - I was able to get up in the morning, take a shower, get dressed, and eat breakfast while A and R slept. Usually, as soon as I stir, R wakes up, cries as if I'm leaving him for a year, and I have to turn the TV on to entertain him while I get ready for work. (Well, I know I don't *have* to, but that's generally what works.) And, today I got to work on time!

We've also been trying to emphasize R's accomplishment at sleeping by himself. Because another big thing that bothers me about my sleeping in his bed is that maybe I've somehow led him to believe that he can't do it by himself, that he's not strong enough emotionally. So, we've been asking him how he feels in the morning this week - if he feels proud. I'm trying to push the personal independence and satisfaction. He doesn't go for rewards or bribes - we've tried that before - you know, if you sleep by yourself for three nights this week, you can get a new Lego kit. His love for a new toy does not outweigh his love for his mama or at least his desire to have a giant warm body next to him at night. But anyway...

Today has been lovely since: I walked to the train station this morning in the beautiful sunshine, I've been happy and smiling all day at work, and I've had time to talk to God.

Keep your fingers crossed for night #3 of Operation Snooze!