Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Confessions of a Bad Housekeeper

Okay, there are some posts that I honestly think I have lost my mind that I share certain info with the entire world. This is going to be one of those. Another one of those is this one right here, yikes. Oh well. There are blogs out there that are perfect and shiny and beautiful and everyone smiles and laughs and bakes cookies in clean ovens and the moms wear aprons and you can almost drink from the clean toilets (oops….apparently we do that here too, at least Louisa does for tea parties) and eat off the baseboards while you are at it all the while children are dressed in real clothes (not pj’s at noon or their princess dresses for the umpteenth day in a row) and the mom wears heels. I used to read those blogs and want to be just like that. And in trying, I soon forgot the more important things in life. My baseboards will never be in the condition for you to eat off of them. They will always have pet fur on them. I think they like it. I don’t bake cookies; it is worth it to me to buy them. I don’t wear heels, unless Danskos count. I average a shower every other day. And my child sometimes will stay in her pj’s all day, because it makes her happy. We have fun here. Don’t expect to come over with your white gloves, because if you do you will leave with them dirty, but knowing you had a good time. There will probably be a naked baby doll or two laying around, my child will probably be throwing a full-fledged fit and I will step over her and continue on. We won’t eat at my dining room table because that is where all my laundry is and has been for weeks. I will say, “Excuse the mess” when you walk in the door, because that is what I do. It makes me happy. I tend to be an extremist, and things will consume me faster than I know it, so thankfully I have given up on being the “perfect blog.” We are real here, we say bad words, my child has poor table manners, we watch TV and GASP we pick up dinner sometimes too. Welcome to my house, this is the way we roll. So, I say to my beloved stalkers out there, after reading this post and seeing the FOUL pictures, you will do one of two things. 1. You will love it, and breathe a little easier knowing that “we” people do exist, and admit it or 2. You will think I am a complete and udder lunatic and be grossed out and remove me from your favorites. I hope you stay, because we do have a good time.

So, now onto the confessions since my wordiness has taken hold again.

Confessions of a bad housekeeper #2,395: I don’t clean my oven. Ever.

It is gross, and it was like this when we bought the house. So, in other words, this is about 50 to 60 years of oven-goo. Ovens just aren’t a priority for me. I don’t use them very often, so I really could care less about them. However, as I was cooking my delicious sandwich today (I say cooking, but it was just melting some cheese on top of left-over grilled chicken from last night on some French bread – if you are wondering why I didn’t use a toaster oven, it is because we for some reason cannot keep one alive in our house) it began to smell like someone was in my house smoking a dirty cigarette and burning some nasty smelling stuff at the same time. I *almost* lost my appetite, but only for like a few seconds. It was foul. So, I decided I would clean it out, I mean….it couldn’t be that bad, right? See gorgeous pictures below, warning…..these are graphic.

Well, I went online and discovered that there is something as BEAUTIFUL as a self cleaning oven. Hooray, I went and saw mine had the option and was stoked until I realized that the lock that must be in place for this so-called self cleaning to occur was broken and wont latch. Insert 4-letter of your choice here, I used my favorite, the s-word. So then I went back to the computer and tried to read about how to go about cleaning. Well, even though I’ve never done this before, I certainly wasn’t going to go about it the way that so many websites were saying, goodness….we are Type A here, as Phoebs would say, “I’ve got this.” So, I started to clean with some kitchen spray and some steel wool. The.Crud.Wouldn’t.Come.Off. Wow, this stuff really was baked-on, HA get it? To save you from all the 4-letters that soon followed and all the things I tried and the mess I made, let’s just fast forward and say that Jillian Michaels would have been VERY proud of all the elbow grease I threw in there. That was tough. I will probably never do it again. Sadly, it isn’t sparkling like I thought it would be. But you know what; I bet it won’t smell like nasty stinky guy smoking foulness when I go to melt more cheese. :) I mean, at least you can see through some of the funk now.

I can just see some of the wheels turning in your heads. Hmmm, nasty bathtub, nasty oven, this girl is gross. But, I’m not, I promise. I am just your everyday bad housekeeper. I mean, who really cleans like that anymore? I can run the vacuum like it is my business, and I usually do since I have 2 dogs and 1 cat that do nothing but shed. But the bleaching, scrubbing, dusting, etc....not a priority. If you do, props to you – I am open for suggestions, just don’t let it impose on the things I would much rather be doing. Haha.

While I was typing all this, I went back to a suspiciously quiet toddler in her room and found this. She has torn all the covers, pillows, sheets, etc off the bed and is having a "sumber parwty on da floor wif my friends." See, we have a good time.

Until the next time I try and lose more readers…

Monday, January 25, 2010

Den Reno Done, Check.

I know that you all have just been on the edge of your seats waiting for the “after” pictures of my den. Haha. Okay, so really it is just one of those things that I kept meaning to do and then got side-tracked and then would sit back down at the computer and forget what I was doing. Or, I would get out the camera to take pics and realize there was a drill on the mantel, or a pile of sawdust still waiting to be picked up or a pneumatic nailer (not attached to the air compressor, mind you) lying on the coffee table, etc. Ever feel that way? With the exception of some pillows that I have to finish, the den is done and done. It is nice to finally be able to sit on the couch in the room that we are in the majority of the time and actually not get grossed out while looking at the walls or trim, etc. I mean, I LOVE it. It makes me happy and I am still in the “honeymoon” phase of the renovation in which I just want to keep it clean, always. This used to be my view from the kitchen sink…..not so pleasant if you know what I mean.

And now, this is what I see. Do you hear the chorus singing? Because I do….or maybe those are just the voices in my head. Oops.

Anyways, this was actually the first room we did when we moved into the house in May of 2007. Mind you, we moved from Georgia to a brand-new town in which we didn’t know anyone, had a 6 week old that didn’t eat, sleep or stop crying into a house that we *maybe* were quick to make a decision on that we still had not closed on. Yes, we moved into a house that we still had not closed on. It was a disaster. A complete disaster. The sale of the house was an estate deal since the people who had built and lived here before us has both passed away. It was quite sad, the “grantor” of the estate was kind of an estranged granddaughter (from what the neighbors tell me) that came in and hired an estate sale company to sell off ALL of her grandparents belongings, including nice silver, crystal, her art, their antique collection, etc. It makes me sick. She also sold a fireplace mantel that we had written into our contract to STAY with the house. Bitter? No, not me. But, hopefully this goes to show her character if you know what I mean and why she was so hell-bent and pressed not to let us close on the house. Disaster. So, we were a bit crazed from that experience and then we were also a bit looney (well, I don’t know about Byron…but I was) from a brand-new baby. So, needless to say we didn’t have the best of choices when painting the room. It was gross and drab and dull and made me feel boring every time I looked at it. No more. It is lovely and I like it. It isn’t my tall-ceilinged farmhouse with crooked floors and glass doorknobs that fall off and drafty windows, but it will do for the next 2.5 years. Byron and I were just talking yesterday about how strange it will be when we buy our next house. It will be our “forever” house, or maybe not our forever….but not temporary like our last two have been. I cannot wait. Here are just a BUNCH more pics just because I took them and like I said, I am still in honeymoon phase and this room can do no wrong.

On another note, things are crazy bonkers here again since I opened orders (and then closed them 2 days later since all my customers rock the house) on brownie-goose. My sewing room is back to hopping and messy and making me trail thread and serger “tails” all over the house. But my Spring/Summer fabrics are just so gorgeous and I looooove looking at them. Plus, it is kind of nice to have the craziness back. Idle time isn’t my friend, and although I enjoyed the last 2 months….it was a bit nuts since every time that I tried to tackle a project. It just went wrong. The renovations/cosmetic facelifts to the house were just disastrous and nothing went as planned. Oh well, I am hanging up the paint brush, sander, etc for a while and getting back to my fabrics. We still have the master bathroom (remember those pics, gosh…how could you forget?) and half the kitchen to finish and some rooms that I need to finish painting and maybe repaint, but then hopefully we can stop all that hoop-la for a while. Until the next house that hopefully will involve painting 12 foot ceilings, fat moldings, gorgeous untouched woodwork, etc. Can you tell I am excited?

Oh my, and another thing. Byron is going to be embarrassed that I put this, but as I said before, here at the Norris house…we aren’t perfect. We don’t live in a house that you can wear white gloves and wipe your fingers on every surface. Our house is clean, but lived in. You will get pet hair on your clothes; the hardwoods will leave your socks dirty, etc. But, this next subject is something that is unavoidable in any house. We have a mouse, and not the cute Mickey or Minnie version. It is alive and it is in OUR bedroom. The most ironic part of this and possibly why I am putting this out there for everyone to read….it is in the room in which we sleep. Not just Byron and I, but the 2 labs and kitty cat. So, makes me think the animals are not doing their jobs…I mean, seriously? I locked Murray (the tabby cat) in our bedroom all day yesterday to “catch” it. However, every time that I peeked in, she was sprawled out on the bed cat-napping. Great. I guess I should’ve known from this picture I had taken a while ago of her and her toy. Hmmmm. What a cat. :)Well, we will figure something out and get our little “squatter” back out of our house. Just another day in this life……..

Until next time...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

She is Beautiful, and She is Mine

I know that parents are always biased about their own children, so I will feed off of that in this post. I really will be completely one-sided on this one just because she is my kid. But do you ever have those moments in which you just fall so madly in love with your child that you cannot even grasp the concept? It takes my breath away sometimes. This picture is one of those moments. She just amazes me. When I say beautiful, I don't just mean outer beauty. She is just such a mess and so sweet and so stinking adorable that it is all of it put together.

Mind you, I was not one of those mothers that fell in love with their child instantly. Isn't that awful? I remember (granted it was foggy thanks to the IV Phenergan given to me the night before....heads up if you are ever my physician some day in time, Phenergan does not like me. Please don't give it to me, especially if you want me to push out a baby the next day) when my labor was FINALLY over and I was just exhausted and they brought Louisa to me wrapped up like a little burrito in a blanket and laid her on my chest. I remember that moment feeling amazed, but confused too. Isn't that strange? Then for the rest of the night it was like I was living in someone else's body while all of this was happening. Trying to learn to breastfeed, trying to figure out why my newborn baby wouldn't stop crying, trying not to focus on the incredible pain that I was feeling (I won't go into details, but you moms know what I mean) and all at the same time trying to figure out why I wasn't on cloud 9 like everyone always talks about. I was scared of being a mom instead of embracing it. It didn't come natural to me. For a long time I struggled with it, but in talking to other moms over the years I realized I was not alone. Now, I don't want this to be misconstrued by any means, I wouldn't trade it for the WORLD now, but it was such an adjustment to me.

Our life was a whirl-wind after delivery. We sold our house days before I had Louisa, I lost a grandmother while in labor that I didn't really get to mourn, I packed our house with a newborn baby that screamed all day long whether being held or not, my husband was working his tail off trying to get his rental property in line before we moved 8 hours away from it, we traveled to Jackson with a 10 day old to house hunt, we moved into my mother-in-law's house for a few weeks until we made the trek to Mississippi with a 6-week old to move into our house that we hadn't even closed on, we were in a brand new town with no friends or family, a newborn that was still screaming day and night and my husband started his residency and we soon learned that he would spend more hours at the hospital than at home. It was rough. I don't know if I necessarily suffered from the baby blues, but something went on that changed me. I honestly think it was insanity in it's true form. I was stuck in a house that was not unpacked with a baby that screamed and screamed and didn't eat and didn't sleep. It was terrible. I would buckle her in her swing and just go outside so I couldn't hear her scream and just cry and cuss and cry more. I was elated to go back to work when she was 5 months, and that is something that I am not necessarily proud of. But, somewhere in the last couple of years, things changed. She stopped screaming all the time and in turn started talking all the time, she still doesn't sleep....but we've grown accustomed to that, she eats like a horse now, and I am so in love with her that I cannot even explain it.

I just now realized that I got SO off the subject of this post that it is almost laughable. Nothing like my stream of consciousness mind. But, I will leave this because it is part of our life, maybe not the prettiest part, but it is part of it. And this blog is a journey/diary of our lives. I think it is important to also remember those "not so picture perfect" times.

But, what I wanted to talk about is another moment in which she just melted me. Lou is so incredibly obsessed with princesses and marriage and dresses and weddings and such that it cracks me up. Byron and I joke that she will one day be a wedding planner. :) But as we were up last night in the storms, she was telling me that she didn't want to go back to sleep because of the bad dreams. I honestly cannot imagine what a 2 year old has to fear, but it breaks my heart that she has these night terrors on a nightly basis. I mean, one would think that there was something that could be done. But as I was telling her as I usually do, "no more bad dreams Lou, only princess dreams the rest of the night" she looked at me and said, "Mommy I am a princess and I will marry my prince. Chapan is my prince and he will marry me." And with that, she laid down and went back to sleep, well for at least another 30 minutes. For those of you that don't know, "Chapan" is Chapman, my friend Julie's little boy. It cracks me up because all of us girl's here in MS have kids the same age...and they are all girls, except Chapman. He is the stud of the group. I haven't told Julie this yet, but Julie....I think it might can be arranged, huh? That is if Chapman isn't busy marrying all the other girls in his life. :)

I'm gonna wrap this one up before I go off on another tangent in the wrong direction. Plus, I've got the cutest little blondie tugging on my arm and asking me to "get off da cuuter Mommy. We's gotta go pway in da sunshine." And we are off.

Until next time...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cabin Fever

I can honestly say that I got cabin fever. I KNOW for sure that my sweet labs did. But, what else do you do when you are a Southern girl and for 2 weeks straight the highest the temperature gets is 36 degrees. I mean, that is just wrong. If I want cold, I will go up north or somewhere that it is cold. I don't want it to come and find me.

Oh well, it did, and I really shouldn't take it too personally since we all suffered through it. My ferns have taken up permanent residence in the bathtub in the guest bathroom. Murray (the tabby cat) loves it because she can easily go in there and eat my ferns. Seriously, WHY do cats do this to themselves? It has happened with every cat that I have ever had. They eat the plants that we have repeatedly asked them not to, and then within 5 minutes, they are throwing up. Gross. It is okay at my house though, because the dogs make a bee-line when they hear Murray vomiting to see who can get there first to eat it. Gross, right? But less clean up for me. Yep, I just admitted to that. But, we all were finally able to go outdoors yesterday without a thousand layers of clothing on. Sweet Louisa was FINALLY able to play on the swing-set that Santa brought her. I felt like a 2 year old walking out the door with the biggest smile on my face and just soaking up the sunlight. It was great. Many smiles to follow.....

How 'bout them apples?

Now, on to more of what is consuming me lately. I am trying to find humor in living in a house that is undergoing renovations. Well, I hate to even use that term since my new friend Amy over at Playing Sublimely is really showing me up with her "cute carpenter husband" and the gorgeous renovation that her house undertook. Actually, if you enjoy home renos, you should really start to stalk her too since she is starting to go room by room in the entire house. It is fun, plus....she has the best name ever. Just saying. But seriously, as I am sanding, priming, etc. thinking I am doing tons of work, she is tearing out ceilings and adding walls and such. Mary Poppins would call her "cheeky" but I know better. She is fun and secretly (well, not anymore) I am jealous. :) There are a few walls in this house that I could stand to lose.

But I have moved on to the den now in the "reno" process. And it doesn't seem to be treating me any better. I mean, it is like the dark cloud of do-it-yourself is hanging over my head. To save you all the hoop-la involved, I will just use a few choice bullets to give you a grand synopsis:
  • 100 grit sandpaper, and lots of it. WHY you may ask. Well, I ask too. I just do not see the need in 5 layers of polyurethane on woodwork, especially built-ins. It is just wrong. Especially when you jump the gun and try to prime before sanding. Gag.
  • 100 grit sandpaper AGAIN. Because apparently there are more than 5 layers of polyurethane.
  • Third coats on built-ins. That one calls for a 4-letter, or two. Or, well....we all know my mouth. A sailor could learn a few things from me. Ooops.
  • An entire wall of real wood paneling that probably needs sanding too. Lovely, just what I want to do.
So, does that sum it up? There actually is good news though. The coat of paint on the walls, is going to be just fine with one coat. And Byron actually agrees with me on this one. How awesome is that? Loving it. I will give a few pictures, but will be saving the finale for the end and maybe I can do something fancy like Amy. :)

On a positive note, I have a fun weekend ahead of me that involves some delicious home decor fabrics that I have been drooling over for quite some time and am so excited that I finally had a color palette to use them. Lots of pillows need making and I already got a head start on some curtains that I stole the idea from one of the magazines I read at Byron's Mom's house over Thanksgiving. I was a bit nervous introducing Louise (my serger) to burlap...but it went WAY better than I thought. And hey, I can say that I finally made something that I saw in a magazine. I cannot tell you how many pages I have ripped out and said my infamous, "ohhhh. I can do that" and just set it aside. Not this time, I brought it.

Until next time...

Okay, so this one is an I went through and did my "editing" (I am not an English major, just looking out for the obvious) I was looking at the pictures of the back door and realized that it looks like we live in the hood with all the locks. We don't, but the sweet lady that we bought the house from suffered from dementia and I think that they had to lock her in as there are dead bolts all over the house. Also, if you click on some of the pics you can see how the walls are no longer touching the trim and such, no one is playing nice-nice anymore. If you live in Jackson, you will understand this. However, if you are looking to buy my house in 2 years, let me go ahead and tell you since I have already done the homework....(knock on wood) we have one of the VERY few structurally sound houses in Fondren. Trust me. We looked at close to a bazillion.

Peace out.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Martha in Training

Is this not just the most adorable thing you have ever seen? Just looking at the picture makes my heart melt all over again. This is a "table" (really an ironing board) set by Louisa with one of her tea sets for me and her to enjoy. She even brought me in a chair. When she came to get me to show it off, I could've cried because I had fallen head over heels SMITTEN for her in an instant. Adorable. I had to capture the moment so I would never, ever forget it and share it with the rest of you so that you could all melt as well. And look at sweet Lucy in the background standing her guard at the front window.

On another note, those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, this was NOT the scene of the now-infamous tea party. That one took place with the same tea set settings and on the same ironing board, but this time we were in her room instead. Wondering what I am talking about? Oh, let me just fill you in.

Louisa asked if I wanted to have a tea party. Of course I said yes, because sometimes there just isn't anything in the world I would rather do. It is fun, and she just chats it up with me which I am sure you can all imagine the conversations. I swear, I really think I am sitting with an adult sometimes with the things she says. Well, I told her I would get us some snacks and she was in charge of the "tea." So, it just happened to be my afternoon coffee time too, so I brought my coffee and some cake. Louisa of course threw a fit when I brought my coffee and said, "no Mommy. It is a tea pawty, not for coffee." So, I set it aside and only took sips when her highness wasn't looking. She filled up our glasses with water from her pitcher in which she had put a plastic apple in (she told me it was for "flayvor" seriously....) and we drank and ate cake and talked. Well, about 10 minutes and 2-3 cups of "tea" into it, it suddenly dawned on me. HOW did she get the water in her pitcher? I was wondering if there was a water bottle left on the coffee table or something, and if there was I knew there was a mess that I needed to attend to shortly so I asked, "Louisa, where did you get the water for the tea party?" And she simply looked at me and said.......drum roll, "oh, just from da toiwet Mommy. Why?" Yikes. It was that moment that I no longer wanted to be at attendance for the tea party. I wanted to hurl. But I didn't, because the look on her face was too cute to worry about nasty, foul toilet water at the time. I know that you moms out there understand this feeling....even OVER your immediate thought of nastiness. Of course, Murphy's Law that loves me, the majority of Jackson's water lines are busted today. The entire city is on a boil water alert. So, not only did I drink toilet water, but it was also toilet water that should've been boiled. Oh well, talk about pro-biotics, right? LOVE her.

Until next time...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Calling HGTV

I have gotten to the point in which I will no longer not post pictures on my blog because the background of my house is a mess. Know why? Because it is a constant mess and disaster area, and I am slowly (did I say slowly) trying to let it go. It is hard, and I am not sure exactly how to go about it all, but I am gonna give it my best. Any suggestions are always welcome.

So, here goes. My house is a nutcase right now. Why? Well, we moved Lou into her “big-girl” bedroom today. These were fun times that have left everything that was in the guest room strewn throughout the rest of the house. I don’t have many pics of Lou in her new bedroom because she told me, “Mommy, I’m reawwy not in da mood for you to be taking pictchas of me, otay.” Yes mam, your highness.

So, instead I will give you plenty of pictures of the rest of the house so that you can be so jealous that yours doesn’t look this way. I mean, who DOESN’T want a mattress in their kitchen?

This is what the floor of Lou’s old bedroom looks like now.

It is now going to be Byron’s new office. He is super excited, since he does like to have his own space. I mean, you can’t blame him living in a house of girls. Well, our brown lab is a boy…but sometimes he is moodier than all the girls put together. So, I guess the office is our next project…but we still have to repaint/stain/etc the den and guess what……………………the hall has to be repainted. YES, the one that I just did that took me days on end. Let’s just say that if I came face to face with the man who invented the Behr paint and primer in one… wouldn’t be very pretty. Look at this just peeling straight off. Gross. I am sorry...but it doesn't look to me like it will cover anything...latex OR oil dear Mr. Home Depot.

Not to mention….look at it peeling STRAIGHT OFF THE paint can, I have never, ever seen paint do this before.

Doesn’t look like there is any primer in there to me. What do you think? So, still don’t know what to do about all the trim and such in the hall since it needs to be peeled and repainted. Gross, but the walls have just about the shoddiest paint job ever, and I’m not in love with the color, so put it on the list as well. I honestly think that HGTV should pick us up as a show. They really would benefit from us since Byron and I have a hard time sitting still, not doing things and we end up doing great work by ourselves and on a VERY small budget. People could SO learn from us. They could definitely learn from our mistakes that we still have yet to be able to laugh about. And, bonus for HGTV…if they picked us up now, they would have the pleasure of being with us on one of the bigger projects coming up. Drum roll please, our master bathroom. I will only give you teaser pics, but I know that everyone will be so sad that they don’t have a bathroom that looks like this. But, I can bet that many of you can honestly say that your grandparent’s bathroom looks JUST like this. :) So does mine. Hehe.

I know you are all drooling right now, or maybe you are just about to throw up, one of the two. Well, I think I have procrastinated enough with this post. Now to get to work with finding a place for all this hoop-la strewn throughout my house before it gets the better of me.

Until next time…

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Living With a Star

Slowly, Byron and I are figuring out that we are *privileged* to live with Lou. The super-duper star/drama queen that she is. Aren't we lucky?

Just for example, yesterday I decided that we were going to run errands in the snow (yes, snow AGAIN in Mississippi, seriously) because I thought no one else would be out and it wouldn't be crowded. I was right. It was wonderful. It is strange how I have become such a "no shopping on the weekends" snob since I have become a stay-at-home mom. I mean, it is MUCH nicer wandering the aisles of Target on a Tuesday with a few other moms, than on a Saturday with EVERYONE and their moms. Back to the story. I had just gotten Lou dressed and told her I was going to warm up the car, get our waters ready, etc. I told her while I was doing that to grab baa-baa (yep, she still has it and I let her take it places, not in public though....judge not, I especially love for her to have in the car so that she stays quiet) and whatever else she "needed" in the car. Well, I did all that I had to do and slow-poke still had not come down the hall. I hollered, "Louisa, I am ready...come on." And she politely responded, "Mommy please wait. I'm trying to get my fings togedder, otay?" Sure, when you live with a drama-queen you just adjust. So, I start loading the dishwasher knowing that if I go to hurry her along it will create chaos, so once just adjust. Well, she presented (this really is the right word for the entrance) herself in the hallway with her sunglasses, purse, bracelets, necklaces, ring and a tissue in her purse that she told me was to "dab at her nose when da boogers came out." Wow. She is just a mess. I seriously need to think about medication for the teenage years.

Until next time...