Wednesday, October 27, 2010


This past Saturday, it was 70 degrees in Pittsburgh.  It was the perfect day for our yearly trip to the mountains.  When I told a friend of mine we were going there, she said, "You guys sure do love to go there, don't you?"  We do.  We really do.  When she asked, "Why?", I was a bit dumbfounded.  I think "Why not?" would be a better question.  But, pictures usually do speak louder than words, so...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

First School Field Trip

(First off, I want to thank all of you who left comments on my wallpaper post.  I really think I get it now!  We were going about decorating all wrong in the past, choosing paint colors and then trying to match stuff to the paint.  We should have been picking room accessories that we loved, and picking paint colors to match those.  I mean, I don't think they'll be inviting me onto Extreme Makeover : Home Edition anytime soon, but I am optimistically hopeful I can make the dining room look great.  THANK YOU!)

Today was Dylan's first school field trip.  I signed up to be a chaperone weeks ago.  I have to admit, after signing up I had a flash back to some rainy, cold, miserable fall field trips I went on when I taught preschool, and had a bit of a "WTH did I just do that?" moment.  In the paperwork, we were told that we would be in charge of one child besides our own.  I was picturing them giving me a little girl with blond hair, whose head spun in circles while she spit fire.  I was picturing her and Dylan jumping on my cold, exhausted body, lying in a puddle of rain, crying "WHY?  WHY DID I SIGN UP FOR THIS?!"  But, then I snapped out of it.

Turns out, my kid was harder to handle than the one they gave me.  (The $20 spot I slipped the teachers when they were making their selection helped).  First, he put his feet up on the seat during the "Pumpkin and Gourd Presentation", getting mud all over the seat and the kid I was in charge of.  Then, I had to tell him repeatedly "We can go soon", during the presentation (which WAS ridiculously boring), as he asked loudly "WHEN IS THIS GONNA BE OVER?"  Then, he made me go in the foul port-a-potty because he had to poop.  He spilled his entire bowl of peaches on the table during lunch, after dumping some of his crackers on the floor.  Plus, he was the only kid who got hurt and caused a scene. (Totally not his fault, but still.  He was on the swings and some girl pushed the swing next to him sideways so it hit into his head).

We got to ride on a bus to the farm, which he was excited about.  After the ridiculously boring presentation, we went on a hayride, picked out a pumpkin, went through a corn maze, went in a teepee, and played in a pirate ship play structure.  Then, we got back on the bus to ride to a playground, where we also had lunch.  

I joke, but I am really glad I have a job that enables me to go to things like this.   I'm glad I got to hear him laugh as he ran through the corn maze.  I'm glad I got to see his smile when he saw me get on the bus and come over to sit with him.  I'm glad I got to marvel at how adorable he looked when he fell asleep on the bus on the way back to school.  I'm glad I got to share his first field trip with him.

(If I didn't have this rule where I don't post photos of other people's kids unless they say it's okay, I would post all the shots I took of Dylan and the kid I was in charge of.  Just picture Dylan with a look on his face that says, "Mom, you are SO embarrassing!", and the other kid with a look on his face that says, "Does this lady ever quit?  Why did you put me with her?  What about that $20 I spotted the teachers?")

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Wallpaper Dilemma

We moved into our home in August 2008.  We loved many things about it, but we did NOT love the dining room.  Specifically the wallpaper and the chandelier.  Jim and I have a pretty laid back.. uh... style.  I hesitate to use the word "style", since I'm not sure we have any.  But when we looked at this wallpaper...

we knew it just wasn't "us".  It's a little too fancy.  A little too stuffy.  A little too Donald Trump for our taste.  We planned to get rid of it.  But, well, life happened.

One day back in August, I was sitting looking at that darn wallpaper, and it just made me mad.  "What is wrong with us?!  Why don't we ever get anything done?!", I shouted internally to myself.  Then I walked over and did this...

Yep, I just ripped a section right off the wall.  No preparation.  No planning.  No tools.  I knew it was the only way we would ever get started.

We had recently been to a friend's new home, which they had only lived in a few months.  She had already removed the wallpaper and painted her dining room.  She told us "It's really not that bad.  It's kind of fun, actually".

This week I started the project in earnest. (Yep.  Two months AFTER ripping off those first few pieces. Pure SUCKITUDE.)  You know, it IS kind of fun!  Like going to the dentist, grocery store, and gynecologist is fun.  Our friend had to be high on wallpaper remover fumes, because... uh... NOT FUN AT ALL.  I can only do a small section at a time, and then take a break for oh, say, a few days, because it just annoys me.  So, maybe I'll get done by Christmas?

Now is where I tell you I need your help.  Have I mentioned that Jim and I can NOT pick paint colors?  Have I mentioned that although we both are creative, artistic people, we are completely clueless when it comes to decorating?  No, really.  Do you want to know how many walls we have painted in this home, since moving in in 2008?  One.  We painted Dylan's room, and I actually do like the color, which is shocking.  Usually, when I stand in the paint chip aisle at Home Depot I am suddenly a complete dodo head.  "Colors!... Purdy!...", said with a blank stare.

So, what I need is pictures of your dining room, or just suggestions in general.  We plan to keep the chair rail.  Our plates are blue, but we can buy new plates at some point, so don't go by that.  Here's a picture.
HELP?!?  (Go ahead and ignore the mess on the table and the car seat we are hoping to sell).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Farm & Playground

Even though I am still sporting a raspy smoker's voice from the cold that won't go away, and Dylan now has it, we managed to have a very enjoyable weekend.  Outdoors!  That was key.  I was in desperate need of some sun.

It is a yearly tradition for us to go to Reilly's Summer Seat Farm in October.  In all the times I have gone there, it has certainly never been so warm! (It was 90 degrees on Saturday!)  We went on a hayride, picked out some pumpkins,  played some games, went through a Candyland corn maze, and ate chocolate chip cookies that melted in our hands.  Dylan went in the balloon typhoon, went through the Boo Barn ("I did NOT like that!", he said about a hundred times afterwards), fed some very aggressive goats and sheep, went on a pony ride, and had his arm painted (he never wants his face painted).  Other than the fact that Dylan is not getting any better about waiting in lines, the day went well.

On 10/10/10 we ordered 10 windows to be installed.  Nothing like spending your tax return WAY before you get it.  It's a good thing we did, though, because yesterday we discovered a crack/hole in one that resulted in a stink bug invasion in Dylan's room.

We also went to what has to be the coolest playground in the area - Castle Park.

Do you see this crazy 45 year old, who thinks he is still a kid?  He climbed across the TOP of the monkey bars, reliving his youth and causing his wife to scream, "ARE YOU CRAZY?!  THERE'S NO ONE HERE TO HELP ME IF YOU FALL!  I DON'T HAVE MY CELL PHONE TO CALL FOR HELP, EITHER!"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What's Up? Oh, You're Gonna Be Sorry You Asked.

It's been a week since I posted.  I'm not sure why?  Possibly because I have been... well... exhausted.  I went to the doctor's this morning.  The poor lady looked like she was writing a short story on my chart.  Here are all the gross and completely TMI details to make you feel pretty good about your hot selves...

1. What I thought was a sinus infection is just a cold.  A cold that is making me unable to breathe, my throat hurt, and my cough tickle, but still "just a cold".  Prescribed:  Echinacea and Dayquil/Nyquil

2. Constant gas. (Sexy, no?)   Prescribed:  Probiotics

3. Horrifyingly ugly big toes.  Prescribed:  Go see a podiatrist to see if it is just trauma (my kid steps on my toes daily), or an infection.  (You're welcome for not posting pictures.  Although, Halloween IS coming up soon).

4. Rash(right under my boob) that  I thought was eczema and have been treating as such for almost a month because I cannot make the time to go to the doctors - Yeast infection.  (Yes, I have been rubbing my boob in public.  AND, I work with children).  Prescribed:  Some kind of cream

5.  My fear that I am already in perimenopause because even though I am cold all day, at night I wake up overheated and soaked in sweat (It is amazing I have sex, ever, isn't it?).  Prescribed:  Blood work to check my thyroid, and while we are at it, my cholesterol level because, oh, why not?

6.  She asked if I'm fatigued.  I said, "Uh... DUH.. See above".  No, actually I said, "Well, my job is exhausting, I have a 3 1/2 year old active little boy, and my husband's blood pressure medicine makes him cough at night and wake me up".  Prescribed:  Quit job and divorce husband.  Just kidding!  Tell husband to have doctor switch him to another blood pressure med.

On top of all this, it is October.  "So?", you ask.  Well, something happens to my kid in October every year.  Every year he starts acting like a lunatic in October(one month before his birthday), and I think, "Oh man, 2 is gonna be terrible", or "Oh man, how am I gonna survive 3?".  Then, he turns 2, or 3, or 4 (I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE) and he is fine.

So far, he has
A.  illustrated the concept "centrifugal force" by spinning a tower of books in Borders until I heard a sound like a spaceship breaking through space, followed by books spraying all over the Borders floor.

B.  Colored on our couch in PEN.

C.  Threw a ball, which hit a shadowbox, causing it to crash to the ground and break.

D.  Put a bunch of my Mini-Match pieces in a bag, BEFORE they were dry.

E.  Thrown numerous fits.

All this, in addition to the craptastic rainy/cloudy/cold weather we've been having in Pittsburgh has resulted in me being quite "AREYOULOOKINGATME?HUH?PUNK?", but today the sun is out, and I'm gonna go pick up some cream to put on my itchy boob.  Things will get better.