Sunday, March 4, 2012

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Lunch date - Me, Judy, Kathleen, Maryann
Today was a good "Girls Day".  No matter how much we love our husbands and our kids, not much rejuvenates a woman's soul more than "girl time".  Often, it is after these "girl moments" that I can go home, refreshed, and ready to be a better wife and a better mom.  I am not quite sure how all of that happens....something in the hormones, maybe?  David is, by far, my biggest supporter and my best friend and yet, we women just speak the same language and understand each others challenges.  Today, I had an enjoyable lunch date with my cousin, Judy, (who lives here, locally), my cousin Maryann (who lives in Colorado) who I haven't seen in about 35 years and my cousin Michael's wife, Kathleen (who also lives in Colorado and who I met for the first time today).  Despite just recently reconnecting with Judy, having been a lifetime since I saw Maryann and just meeting Kathleen, we shared stories and laughed so hard that my cheeks hurt.

Madeline was a happy girl! But what was she wearing?? What a first impression!!
Maybe the need for friends is ingrained in a woman from birth??  Since our move here, Madeline has made a few school friends.....but that is just what they are, school friends.  She has had no real playmates outside of school.  Aside from our brief visit back to Buffalo, Madeline has also been missing girl time.  Today, when we were at the house, Madeline was playing outside, once again sledding down the slope in our backyard.  Along came a little girl, Sarah.  Sarah's family just relocated from Chicago.  They are temporarily staying with the mom's parents (right next door!) while they look for a house.  Sarah is also in kindergarten.  Before long, Madeline and Sarah were sledding in the backyard together and eventually Madeline played for about a half-hour at Sarah's house where they had a great time playing Barbies.

Both Mama and Madeline needed this!  We both enjoyed our girl time!  And David was happy.....let's be honest, what man isn't happy when the women (big or small) living under the same roof are happy. I mean, really.....isn't life a little easier??  There has to be *some* truth to the saying, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"! Rest assured, Mama (and daughter) are happy.

Who Let The Riff Raff In??

Laundry Room (before). Although you can't see wallpaper border in this picture
First, I have to share a funny story.  We already had the cops called to our new house!  Okay, it was nothing *we* did, but still....  David was supposed to meet our tile/painter guy (Tom) at our house at 9am Thursday morning.  Tom was a few minutes early so he parked in our driveway and sat there waiting for David.  I can't imagine that he was there that long but the neighbors called the cops.  I am still shaking my head about this one, not sure if I should be thrilled about vigilant neighbors or scared to death about busy bodies.  Hmmmm.....time will tell, I guess.

Scared to death to start the border stripping
This strip came off in ONE piece!!
Laundry room border off, carpet pulled, sub-floor installed
Only a few more days left until the big move.  The amount of "tag teaming" involved with me and David in this process is insanity.  We take turns with "kid duty" when it comes to freeing up the each other in order to do some work around the house.  It helps tremendously when Madeline is at school, however, Jonathan is not the sleeping little baby he was when we moved to Minnesota.  Jonathan is now on more of a (fairly) regular nap schedule and when he is awake he requires a lot of attention.  He is at the stage that if we walk out of the room for one minute he starts crying, while simultaneously being in the "everything going in the mouth" stage, "don't leave anything on the floor that isn't safe for him because he'll find a way to get it" stage, and the "even if you think a vacant room is safe, he'll still manage to get into something" stage (Jonathan had the ENTIRE sunken family room to roll around in and ended up rolling and wedging his head under the small corner of the step into the family room....geez!) Needless to say, it has taken the two of us to juggle our three ring circus so that we can accomplish even an ounce of work.

David painting pantry - has to install shelving (the last owners removed!)
Starting Madeline's Room
Madeline was literally squealing with delight in her new room
Despite our chaos, we are making some progress.  Certainly not everything will be completed prior to moving in.  We will still have a "to do" list and a wish list. Yet, we have begun to make some little changes to the house to help it feel like our own.  One of the projects we are taking care of prior to the move is our laundry room.  This sounds like something that should be lower on our priority list, and technically it is.  Yet, the reality of the situation is that it makes more sense to accomplish the work prior to having our washer and dryer moved in an hooked up.  We are having Tom (mentioned above) replace the carpet with tile.  Also, since we are starting that, I think it also makes sense to paint the laundry room prior to the move and so, I needed to strip the wallpaper boarder. My close friends and family have to know how much I dreaded this!  After the AWFUL wallpaper stripping experience in the dining room of our house in North Tonawanda I was just getting over the nightmares associated with that task (which was never completed by me, we had to hire a professional to finish the job).  And because of the dining room disaster I was more than reluctant to ever strip the kitchen wallpaper boarder that I loathed in the same house.  I was determined to make some progress and dug right into this project. A VERY pleasant surprise awaited me.  I was ready to cry tears of joy when huge chunks of the laundry room border were able to be stripped off.  Certainly I was thrilled in these large chunks because it allowed me to complete the task during one of Jonathan's nap.....but even more important is the fact that this validated that I am NOT insane!  I do know how to strip wallpaper.  It wasn't me, but rather the wallpaper in the house in NT.

More work on the pantry
We would also like to paint the inside of all the closets prior to our move.  We all know how that goes....if it doesn't get done while the house is vacant, it will never get done.  Realistically, we will have to be satisfied with making sure we paint the closets in the 3 upstairs bedrooms, laundry room and pantry.  The remaining closets will have to wait until we paint the room in which they are located.  In addition to painting the pantry and the master bedroom closet, David and I have to install the shelving units for these as the former owners of the house took the shelves with them when they moved. 

Our painter, Tom, modeling our color choice
More wallpaper boarder stripping

New family room color after 1st coat
We also decided to have the family room and kitchen painted.  It is being done by the same guy that is doing the laundry room tile.  He too gets the lovely job of stripping wallpaper border (the prior owners LOVED their borders).  In the world of decorating I know what I like when I see it OR if someone describes something, I can envision it.  However, I just can't figure it out on my own.  One of the hang ups I had about this house before buying it was that I wasn't crazy about the light colored cabinets in the kitchen.  Our realtor, said that a darker wall color would make the cabinets pop and that she did that exact thing in a house she used to own. Once she said that, I was able to envision the look and get excited about the new color.  Our realtor actually offered to take me to the paint store to get the paint color that she used.  We browsed a number of colors together but ended up using the exact color our realtor had used in her house.  On the day that the paint began to paint, I was at the laundromat (God, I can't wait to use my own washer & dryer again!)  When I got back to the house, two walls had been painted.  I may not have squealed like Madeline did when she saw her bedroom color, but I was probably pretty darn close! 

Slowly, we are making this house our home.  And certainly, all the time we have spent there recently has helped to make this house feel like our home....even before we move in.  Aside from Madeline loving her new room color, she is already staking claim to the backyard.  Madeline was very happy to explore in her new backyard while playing in the snow.  Now we just need to have the conversation with her about not *purposely* sledding into a tree :-)