Monday, August 17, 2009

Sometimes I even manage to surprise myself

I covered the chair today, the chair I fully expected to procrastinate on covering. I am still amazed.

I decided to do it while Sebastian was napping and the kids were playing happily downstairs. I asked Hugh to take out the screws holding down the seat and he had the nerve to say, "Oh great. I can see what's going to happen here, I'm going to end up doing everything." To which I very haughtily replied, "I helped Heidi do her dining room chairs so I've actually done this before and I will be just fine without you. Thank you very much."

After about an hour and a half of centering the pattern on the chair, stapling it in place, flipping it over to check it, pulling out the staples and re-centering it, I broke down and cried. And Hugh came and helped me without even saying "I told you so." Does he know how this marriage thing works or what?

Here is the finished result. I didn't have the presence of mind to take a before photo. Previously it had a pale cream, almost white fabric on it. It was very boring. Trust me.

This chair is in my front entryway and in addition to being a handy seat for putting on shoes, I use it to hang my purses. Pretty and functional, what could be happier? (The basket works better in real life than in this photo.)

I am very happy with how this fabric turned out, the chair has so much more presence. And it was a very inexpensive project, $5 for the chair and $6 for the fabric. Now if only the chair frame were white....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Photos as requested

This is the globe I found. It lights up so my plan is to use as a nightlight in the boys room.

This is the dresser I found. Obviously needs new hardware! I always want everything to be antique white but I do love how this has aged. Paint it. Leave it. I can't decide.

And finally, here is a bit of fabric that I got at 50% off to recover a chair I bought 3 years ago at a garage sale and have been meaning to recover ever since. That is serious procrastination. I wonder how long it'll take me to actually get the fabric on the chair.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Snowball Effect

Have you ever bought something you think is going to make your life so much easier only to have it turn out that you made it more complicated instead? Let me explain.

We moved into this house May 1, 2008. One of the last things to get carried in from the truck was an open backed ladder-type bookshelf. It was not the right aesthetic for the room but by then we had no more energy to negotiate boxes so we plunked it down on a small wall just to the left of our entryway with the intention of placing it elsewhere at a later date. We unpacked our boxes, mostly, but that shelf never got moved. Instead we put our stereo on one of the shelves, then some cd's above it, then a box of art supplies below it and then it was a random dumping spot for extra papers and mail and such, and here we are just over a year later.

We also have a small side table full of drawers that we call our diaper hutch that sits in the corner of our living room. It contains diapers, wipes and other baby paraphernalia as well more kids art supplies; mountains of crayons, dried markers, paints and colouring books. It is constantly too full and often the drawers don't close because a colouring book has fallen behind the drawer. In addition to this we have an antique-y cabinet in what is supposed to be for our bar area but which also houses puzzles, cards and other kid games.

Recently I decided rather than have all these kid things spread out what would make life easier is replacing that ladderish shelving unit with a 3-drawer dresser that could house it all. Then we get back our cabinet, then we get rid of the shelving unit that I've never liked in this room, then the drawers of our diaper hutch can hold cd's and actually close and then we can get our ugly stereo out of sight. This is the age old battle in our house: technology vs. design. Or, big huge ugly black TV versus pretty.

I measured the wall this answer-to-all-my-problems dresser would sit against and then checked out Kijiji. I emailed a couple of people but no one ever got back to me and so I sort of let it go. Wrapped into this story is the fact that Sebastian will be going into a big boy bed sooner rather than later, he's almost 2 if you can believe it! and when he does he'll take Ava's bed and share a room with Tristan, and Ava will get Sebastian's old room. The boys' room. My mouth feels strange shaping those words when for almost 5 years it has been "the babies' room" and then "the kids' room". And yes I know Sebastian is one of our kids too but we've never really referred to the other two as "the twins" so when Sebastian was born it became the Kids and Beesh (Which is what Ava nicknamed him days after coming home from the hospital.)

Anyway. Digress much? I've been slowly collecting things for when the kids are settled into their new sleeping arrangements and I can decorate accordingly. Awhile ago I had asked a couple of thrift-store savvy friends to keep an eye out for a vintage globe for the boys' room. Last week one of them facebooked me to say she had seen one at a local thrift shop called The Post. I went down to check it out and took my tape measure with me because you just never know what you'll find. The globe was fantastic and I also found the perfect with a capital "P" dresser. Needs new knobs and a bit of work so the drawers slide smoothly but has been authentically and fabulously aged. And everything in the store that day was 50% off because The Post was celebrating something. Can you say meant to be? The dresser fit perfectly in the back of my van and I nestled the globe into a carseat and drove home the happiest of all living creatures. Why does a good deal give me such a rush? It's like someone dumped a bucket of Pop Rocks candy over my head.

I got home and Hugh unloaded the dresser for me. When we got it through the front door we stopped and looked at each other. Since I wasn't expecting to go out for a globe and come back with a dresser the shelf, which hadn't been emptied and moved, was sitting in the spot the dresser was supposed to go. This is the exact moment I realized I had just made my life way more complicated.

In order for the dresser to have a home the shelf needed to be moved upstairs to our bedroom. In order to put the shelf in our bedroom I had to put in bins all the clothes the kids had grown out of over the last year that were piled on my floor. And in order to get to the bins so I could put the clothes in them the garage had to be cleaned out.

As a result of buying this dresser, the wood we've been meaning to take back since last summer that has been occupying one side of our garage has finally been returned, our garage is spotless and organized, the kids clothes are sorted and labeled, our bedroom is clutter free and our books are unpacked for the first time since we moved here nearly 4 years ago. Next project: clean out and fix the dresser so I can use it as originally intended and not as a clutter catcher.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 4 of 10-Minute Trainer

1. Have husband wake you up at 7:00am.

2. Have husband re-wake you up at 7:15am.

3. Whine and complain and "humph" like you're 4 not 31 while getting dressed and putting on your shoes.

4. Complete Day 4 (in a row. WHAT!) of 10-Minute Trainer workout.

5. Feel really good. Apologize to husband for being cranky.

6. Shower, not wash hair. rebel. Get dressed.

7. Cut up fruit and make waffles and bacon for brunch with a friend passing through.

8. Watch the bacon cook.

9. See the fat congealing on the edges of the grill.

10. Swear off bacon for life.

11. Eat 4 pieces at breakfast.

12. Swear off bacon starting tomorrow.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Diary of an exercise-hater

The other day my friend Simone asked me how my running was going. Internet, it's confession time. The first week we were in Smithers I ran twice, maybe three times I can't quite remember, which I thought was pretty good considering I was in holiday mode. And to top it all off I ate pretty well; except for the afternoon movie date with my friend Tanya where we ate an entire extra-large metal bowl of honey popcorn and half a bag of ripple chips with dip. Week one? Fairly successful all things considered.

Now week two. Week two was not quite so good. I didn't run a single time. I don't think I even thought about running. Instead, I was trying to erase from my mind the sound of Sebastian's crying which had been so constant for the first week that I wanted to pull my fingernails off with tweezers and run them up and down a chalkboard for relief. Even when he was sleeping I could still hear him crying. I started the second week with a cooler at noon. And then midweek Sebastian decided to spend a few days puking on the only carpet in Michelle's entire main floor. Word to the wise, vinegar really does get out the puke smell. So he was puking and miserable - still miserable - and I freely confess I medicated myself with lethal amounts of sugar. I started eating anything I could get my hands on and as Michelle is a domestic goddess I had plenty of options to choose from. And then we had our AOGG sleepover and redefined gluttony.

And then we drove home; 19 1/2 hours with two 4-year-olds and a 21-month-old all in one day. They were shockingly (considering we listened to Sebastian cry for 2 solid weeks) incredible, only 2 small spots of tears that were easily dealt with and that was it. Vive le DVD player! We pulled into Canmore at 11:30pm. After a day of eating road trip essentials like creamy dill chips and black licorice cigars we changed the kids into their jammies, picked up some Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers, Timbits and extra-large coffees courtesy the Tim Horton's/Wendy's combo place and headed off again. We got home at 3:30am and by the time we carried in our sleeping babes and all our luggage and got ourselves sorted it was 5:30am, the sun had risen and Hugh and I were crawling into bed. I couldn't fall asleep for the life of me and ran on adrenaline all the next day, went to bed early the next night, still couldn't sleep and finally at 1:00am took a Benadryl which completely knocked me out. I think the drive home messed with all of our sleep schedules because the first week we were home the kids, and therefore us, slept until 9:30am everyday. It was completely nuts! When you're used to starting your day before 7:00am, not having breakfast until 10:00am throws your whole day off kilter. Also, Sebastian popped four molars when we got home. No wonder the poor kid was so miserable.

Anyway, I tell you all that to help you understand why when I sat down to write about our AOGG sleepover and saw the previous entry about how I'd taken up running my first thought was, "Oh yeahhhhhhh, I'm a runner now." We've now been home from Smithers for a month and I have only run twice. Not really sure if I can still call myself a runner if I'm not, you know, running. I just have no motivation. The whole reason I started running was I didn't want to gain weight while gone. I did end up gaining 2 1/2 pounds but I lost them again when I got home so I'm still holding steady in the weight department. Steadily 15 pounds heavier than I was last summer that is. I guess rock bottom wasn't quite as deep as I thought it was. It's so maddening! Espcecially since as far as it goes, I actually like running. I don't necessarily mean I like it while I'm doing it but I like how I feel after and I like that I get out of the house and leave the cacophony of kid noises behind me. And yet, I still have not laced up those shoes. Until today.

Before you get excited for me all finding my motivation again or whatever let me tell you, I did not run today. In the Spring, as I was contemplating the arrival of swimsuit season I happened to be flicking channels and got caught by an infomercial about something called the 10-Minute Trainer. Amazing results! 10 minutes a day! Powerstacking moves to get the most out of your workouts! No equipment required except a resistance band they will send you if you order in the next 30 minutes! I am kind of a sucker for infomercials (something I discovered was genetic when I heard Tristan yell excitedly to Ava not too long ago, "Come quick, it's Shamwow!") but the before and after pictures were so real looking. Nobody went from schlumpadinka to body builder, they all just looked trim and fit and I liked that. Then I saw a lady, and I swear she has to have had at least one baby by c-section because I recognized that drooping apron of skin hanging over where her scar would be as my own stomach. When I saw her results I knew I had to have my very own 10-Minute Trainer.

Now, several years ago I ordered Windsor Pilates after watching an infomercial. They were actually good DVD's but I only did them a couple of times then I loaned them out, I forget to who, and never thought of them again. So many years later I am wise to the ways of infomercials and I know that the "but wait, if you buy in the next 30 minutes!" price will still be the same tomorrow or online all the time. So I took my time and did a little research on it and still decided it sounded like a good idea and ordered it. Well it took 6 weeks to come in and by then I had lost steam and it sat in the box under my bed and every so often Hugh would say hey we should do that exercise thing you ordered and I'd say, yeah, yeah, right after I finish this cup of tea and eat another lemon square.

Well this morning Hugh decided he was mad we had paid money for something we never used and opened it up. And I was all, I'm not doing that because I'm a runner. And he was all, well then you should run. And I was all, I will. And he was all, when? And then he put in the DVD and my competitive spirit kicked in and I had to do it too, which is why I laced up my running shoes this morning. So we did the 10-Minute Cardio and then the 10-Minute Lower Body workout and let me tell you, it totally kicked my butt! Just hours later and I can feel my butt and my quads when I bend down to pick up the kids toys. I am going to be so-oh-ore tomorrow. So good workout, short amount of time, and lots of different options. Good right? Except something you need to know about me is that I hate with a capital "H" "A" " T" "E", hate washing my hair.

I feel completely ripped off if I have to wash my hair before day 4 and can often stretch it to day 5. Today when I was done and the sweat was dripping off me I was completely pissy because I had only washed my hair 2 days ago and now had to do it again. All the endorphins I was high off were crushed in my pissy-ness. I thought the 10-Minute Trainer was going to be the answer to my battle with the bulge but the thought of having to wash my hair every time I do it is a major deterrent. Which sounds stupid, I know that. And it's not a vanity thing, I swear; it's a laziness thing. My hair is long and deceptively thick and washing it makes my arms hurt and it takes a long time to comb out and I can't just let it air dry because one side dries straight and the other side dries wavy, and blow-drying my hair from right out of the shower takes me a good 20-minutes and makes me really hot and also makes my arms hurt, so I normally like to let it half air-dry which takes an hour and then it feels like it took forever to get ready and I hate being in limbo and I hate taking that long to get ready. It's a good argument for cutting my hair short. Then I could be showered and ready in 120 seconds like Hugh, but, and this is a vanity issue, I look horrible with short hair. I had really short hair in Bible College, aka my ugly phase, and looking back on those pictures literally makes me shudder and cover my eyes. And then, because I can't help it, I look again from between my fingers. Sort of like how I watch anything to do with Britney Spears. No, short hair is not an option.

So, what am I supposed to do? Running didn't make my head sweat like the 10-Minute Trainer but I'm not currently motivated to run. I am motivated to compete with Hugh and I do really want to lose that extra 15 but I can't wash my hair everyday, it will make me insane. Internet, I need your advice. How can I make this work? How do you deal with the working out/sweaty hair conundrum?