Thursday, July 10, 2014

Stuck Between A Dog And A Doorjamb

Our fixer-upper house is, obviously, an older house. A late 20th century home to be exact. A traditional, colonial revival. It is not one of the newer open floor plan homes where the living space is one giant room - living room, dining room, and kitchen - all together. Our home, having a traditional floor plan, is made up of lots of rooms - a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen - all compartmentalized. I was raised in a compartmentalized house. Husband was raised in a compartmentalized house. It's what feels right to us. It also makes it easier when Little Man is being little monster and needs to be in time out for a few minutes - we can put him in another room, away from the stimulus that caused his tantrum. Or he can continue his tantrum out of our earshot. Either way it's a win-win.

There are lots of plusses with separate rooms. I can be banging and clanging in the kitchen and Husband can be watching TV in the family room and my noise won't disturb his viewing pleasure. Also, we can entertain and have people over for dinner and they aren't looking at the mess I made creating the feast. I can even put off doing dishes and kitchen cleaning after dinner and enjoy the evening because out of site, out of mind.

The down side to having separate rooms is doorways and entry ways. There are several passageways that seem to collect the family (Husband, Little Man, me, and both dogs) at precisely the same time creating a traffic jam. Usually at dinner time or when we are trying to get ourselves together to leave the house. It's like the Three Stooges.

To me it seems odd that we have this issue in our home and I don't know what to do about it. I don't recall this problem in my home when I was growing up. Maybe I need to reorganize the house so that there is one way traffic through the doorways and passages. But that won't work either. Perhaps in our fixer-uppering I should suggest to Husband expanding the size of these areas. If we remove the back staircase, move the main stairs, knock out the half bath and move it to the laundry hall where the back stairs used to be ..... I don't think he'll go for it. Maybe later, after we're done with the fixer-uppering and time has passed and it will be time for remodeling. *smile* As a writer I call it rewriting and revising. *grin*

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Yes, Little Man, There are Red, White, and Blue Pirates

Last Friday our Little Man turned 4 years old. I can't believe 4 years have passed - it seems like such a long time but at the same time, it seems like no time at all. Perhaps that's because I am sleep deprived and my sense of time is all muddled. Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to involve him in his party planning so that he could have a party he'd enjoy.

Me: Little Man, what type of birthday party do you want?
Little Man: I want a red, white and blue pirate birthday party.
Me: A pirate party? Okay.
Little Man: No, Mama. *rolls eyes* A red, white, and blue pirate birthday party.

You can find red, white and blue 4th of July themed party items. You can find pirate themed party items. But red, white, and blue pirates? Well..... that's a bit more difficult. I was further hampered by the fact that I am not Martha Stewart. Husband found a website that had pirate party ideas that were helpful.

Pirate ship tree house adorned with red, white, and blue streamers
Photo by LeeAnn Rhoden

Fortunately, when it comes to pirates, Little Man has two very specific obsessions -- swords and treasure maps. That made a cohesive thread possible - treasure map invitations, treasure map thank you notes, treasure map cake. For the favors - inflatable swords (so no one would put an eye out), eye patches, pirate masks, pirate hats. These were all stuck in, yes, pirate buckets that were actually red white and blue! There were also poppers and pinwheels to celebrate our nation's birthday. And for fun there was a treasure chest piñata. Nothing quite like 4-year olds swinging a wooden sword as hard as they can at a swinging object. Duck!

It's amazing how much fun 4-year old boys can have with inflatable swords in a pirate ship tree house. It is also amazing how exhausted 4-year old boys can make their parents! Husband and I were zombies by the end of the day and I believe we slept most of the following day. This morning Little Man came to me with a question:

Little Man: Mama, can I have a birthday party tomorrow too?
Me: No. You have to wait until next year to have another party.
Little Man: Oh. Okay. I want a 4th of July, red, white and blue prince and knight party next year.
Me: Oh. Okay.

I'd better start planning. Time flies and I'm really not sure what day it is any more. Anyone have Martha's phone number?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Every now and then I go shopping. I don't like to go shopping so it's not often. Well, let me clarify - I don't like shopping for clothes and such. I DO like shopping for things like appliances, cars, furniture, houses, interior décor, bags (luggage and purses), and kitchen gadgets. But clothes? Not so much. The result of my not enjoying shopping is that I end up wearing hand-me-downs from my mother who DOES like shopping, or clothes I've had since college. And they look like I had them in college - out of style, frayed, faded, perhaps stained. And after Little Man was born, most everything I owned was stained with some sort of food, formula or bodily function of and infant/baby/toddler.

So, every now and then I go shopping. This last time I went clothes shopping it was at the behest of my wonderful husband who handed me the credit card with a smile and said, "I love you. Go buy some clothes." So, okay, I searched for the most economical method of buying clothes (coupons, online deals, etc.) and I shopped. I got several new outfits that will do for the summer. I'll worry about autumn and winter if they ever come back. Now I need new shoes. I really hate shopping for shoes because since Little Man was conceived my feet have swollen up and no amount of diuretics takes the fluid out. My once single w-i-d-e feet are now double w--i--d--e. And guess what? No one makes double wide cute shoes. I do have a pair of Nikes I like but I can't really wear them with my new dress to church.

Because I don't like shopping I tend to wait long periods between going. And once I've found something I like, when it's time to get something new I'll look for the thing I like. Recently I found myself in need of a new bra. I still need a new bra because I haven't gone to get a new on yet. I did go online to the store I purchased it from, and searched for the brand name and model number. Guess what - discontinued. What? Why?!
Photo by Salvatore Vuono

That's just the latest discontinuance that has crossed my life. It's happened before with lipstick, eye shadow color, eye liner, hair brushes, shampoo, soap, perfume, air filters, blankets, upholstery material, pens, and light fixtures. Now I can add bras to the list. I know what you're going to say, "So, go buy something different." I don't want something different, I want what I liked. I don't like change. Besides, that would involve shopping.

See, it's not really the buying that bothers me; it's the shopping. Shopping involves going to the stores, searching through the shelves and racks, trying things on, thinking about the item and deciding if it's right/comfortable/looks good. It's too much like work.

Being discontinued is the message that you've become too comfortable. Life is too easy. You've been discontinued unless you get up and get out there and no matter how busy you are, go and find something else that is just as good. It's life.

Have you ever been discontinued? What was it? What did you replace it with?

On a new note - I have been able to link this blog site to my website so you can read it there as well as learning all about me and other things.