Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The "I'm Old" Trifecta

Something really really really really bad happened over the weekend.

Here's a hint.

(Image from here)

I found my first gray hair.

Let me say that again....I HAVE GRAY HAIR.

And suddenly I am questioning everything in my life.  Did I make the most of my 20s?  Is Levi going to be a well adjusted, successful adult?  Is our will up to date?  The end is near, folks.

I know, I know, it's so not a big deal - or at least it shouldn't be.  But, I'm freaking out.

I called my mom.

"You know what this means?"  I yelped.

"Yeah, you're getting older!"  My  mom said, she sounded a little too satisfied for my liking.

"Well if I'm old, what does that make you, my mother?"

Score:  Michelle, one; Mom, none.

"Ancient!" Mom shot back with a chuckle - I think she's okay with it.

So, to complete the gray hair trifecta, I give you:

(It sucks.)

1.  I found a gray hair.

2. I willingly watch, ENJOY, wait with Bated (haha!) breath for the next episode for a show .... that is on PBS.

3. The other night, Herb and I were bored, so we went to bed at 8:30.  And, no, it wasn't because we wanted to, you know, "entertain ourselves."  We went to sleep.  And it rocked.

Oh, whoa is me.  Help.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Stuff Levi Says, Part 3

Levi [playing with two trains, and one train says to the other]:  Get out of my way, I need to do the computer.

Levi:  Baby Lawrence needs a nap.  Baby Lawrence sleep in my old bed [the pack n play].
Me: Yeah, that's right!
Levi: Baby Lawrence sleep in the guest room.
Me: Guest room?  How did you know that word?
Levi: I'm just so smart.

This next conversation takes place between Levi and himself, playing the role of "Daddy."  This is all one long stream of consciousness...
Levi [in a normal voice]: What's daddy say?
Levi [in a low voice, answering himself]:  Go to bed.
Levi [in a normal voice]: What's daddy say?
Levi [in a low voice, answering himself]:  Don't kick the window.
Levi [in a normal voice]: What's daddy say?
Levi [in a low voice, answering himself]: Don't take off the shoes.
Levi [in a normal voice]: What's daddy say?
Levi [in a low voice, answering himself]: I love you.

Levi is learning how to pray.  To start, we would say, "Dear Jesus, Thank you for..." and let Levi fill in the blank.  Usually he said Joelle or Elmo.  Recently, I've been encouraging him to "start the prayer."  So, tonight at dinner he said this...
Levi [praying]: Dear Jesus, thank you for...(looks at plate)...the noodles.  Dear Jesus, thank you for....the broccolies.  Dear Jesus, thank you for...(looks around table)...thank you for...the big spoon.  Dear Jesus, thank you for...Amen.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

New House Tour, Part Two, Kitchen

Next stop on the tour of the (old) new house is the heart of the home - the kitchen.  This kitchen is nothing compared to the awesomeness that we had in York, but it is everything compared to the apartment we just came from.  When I walked into this eat-in style boxy kitchen and saw the dishwasher, four windows, and pantry cabinet, I was sold.

This is the view from the living room.  To the right is a wall of cabinets, including the refrigerator,  pantry, and a "command center."

Unfortunately, those great features were also accompanied by some completely retro (and not in a cool way) flooring, ceiling fan, and paneling.  Between the wood cabinets, paneled wall, and wood trim, well, let's just say sometimes it feels like I'm on a boat.

I REALLY love that I can stand at the sink and see into the living room or back yard.  Levi is definitely self sufficient enough to play alone in the living room, and I'm sure it'll be just the blink of an eye before he's going outside by himself, too.  (Not if i have anything to do with it though.  Although, the yard is private and fenced in.  What age is this okay?!)

Oh extra counter space, how I love you.  Let me count the ways.

One.  Yep, this does it for me... this bigger kitchen allows me a helper and this guy is the best.  He sets tables, throws away trash, puts away plastic cups and silverware, and gives things an extra stir.  But mostly he keeps me company and asks, "Did you make that?" in the sweetest little voice, followed by, "I like it."

Two. Three.  This kitchen has room for us to be a family.  Exhibit A.  My son, niece,  and nephew chillaxing at dinner the other night.

So, that's my kitchen.  I can't seem to find the pictures I took of the other wall that shows the command center and fridge, but if you come over and visit, I'll pull something out of the fridge to feed you.  You can look at it then.

Did you catch my little Campbell's Soup Andy Warhol art work there in the corner?  It was the first of several kitchen projects I want to do.  I picked up 9 cans of the limited edition soup at Target a few months ago, then modge podged the labels on to 4"x4" canvases.  The complete project rang in around $30 which is a little pricey for me, but it fits PERFECT into the color scheme I love (anything based on my fiesta ware).

That's my Christmas morning table setting that I spent WAY too long arranging.  I love having many colors of plates though, it's really fun to try differing combinations.

Other projects up my sleeve for the kitchen?  Do something about the mis-matched benches and table.  Re-stain the table top or paint the benches white (I'm thinking the latter).  Levi is almost done with his high chair, so soon that will free up 4 square feet of space, too.  I'd also like to do something more with the window treatments on the door and windows.

Friday, January 18, 2013

New House Tour, Part One, Living Room

Alternately titled: Whenever my house is clean, I like to take pictures of it to prove that it was actually clean once.

We've been living in this new house for almost 5 (!!) months, and I have not shared the house pictures I promised.  Not that anyone really cares, but I really enjoy "peeking" in the homes of other people, especially if they are friends I don't get to see on a regular basis.  Or actually, even the ones who I see on a very regular basis, because, let's face it, I love houses.  I love how people decorate and hearing why they do what they do.  I am definitely no professional decorator or designer, but I definitely take a lot of pride in the cheap way that I come by things which my house is blinged up with, or re-purposing items I had used previously in another room.

This new house is just plain wonderful.  Although, I know that living in the apartment slash cave for a year really helped me appreciate this town house even more.  The current townhouse in which we reside does not even  hold a candle to the house we had in York when it comes to size, so I know know I certainly have a lot of space to be grateful for.

That being said, here's a few pictures of our current living room.  Let's start with the view from the front door.

I am absolutely in love with the L shaped stair case.  I like the older style railing with it's boxy-ness and craftsman feel.  Which, even though it's weird, is exactly why I started a little gallery wall on the landing.  And yes, a guitar does live in that little corner of the stairs all the time.

You can see that there is a dresser in front of the faux fireplace.  The dresser didn't fit up the stairs (downside of the L shape), but it serves a purpose because the fireplace isn't really that.  It's a slab of brick with a hole to the chimney for a non existent wood stove   So, the dresser does come in handy for aesthetics and storage!

I am perfectly aware of how disgusting the carpet is in the living room/stairs/hallway/master bedroom.  At least the color is non-offensive.  If we owned this house, I would rip it up pronto, because, yes, there are nice hardwoods underneath.  In the meantime, I bought that 8x10 area rug for $50 from Rugs USA(thanks, Groupon for that deal!).  It's a really low pile and darker and more grayish than I expected, but I am pretty happy with it.  Especially for the size and price.

The piano bench ottoman doesn't really match the rug anymore, it has a much brighter teal on the fabric, so I picked up the furry thing at Ikea for $10.  It might get permanently attached some day, or maybe not, I kind of like the options of throwing it around different places.

The wall behind the couch has been my biggest struggle.  It is a huge blank space with no windows, and since there is plaster and brick behind painted wallpaper (yuck), hanging things has been next to impossible.  I finally invested in some of those 3M command strips and had some fun gathering "art" I already had.

The cable has to run over the door to the kitchen and I really liked when it was Christmas and my garland covered it up.  Now I need to come up with a more permanent solution.  I would also like to replace the cabinet to the left of the couch with a tall shelf for books (maybe like this one?  Can I build it?).
I want this.
In addition to book shelves, I wouldn't mind giving the desk (built by my dad!!) a coat of white or light blue paint and some fresh hardware.  I'm having fun having a mantel (sans fireplace) for the first time and changing the decor seasonally.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Whoa, Bridge

Two things you need to know about Levi before I tell this story.

1.  He is two, therefore he copies everything we say.

2.  He is two, therefore has trouble pronouncing some sounds.  Specifically for this story, the letter "r" sometimes doesn't get pronounced, and the sound that "dge" make, as in "bridge," are pronounced "tch," as in stitch or witch.

Yeah, you know where this is going.

So last week on our way to Mercer, PA to visit Herb's family for Christmas, we had a 5 hour car ride.  At some point in the car ride I got to warm for my coat and I said, "I'm hot," and proceeded to take of my coat and turn down the heat.

This happened to be a part of the drive where we were going over mountains, through tunnels, and across roads that seemed like they were bridges.

Often when playing trains, Levi will say, "Go down the bridge!"  And we chuckle because if you refer to point #2 up top, the word bridge sounds like another word that would be quite inappropriate for a two year old to say.  Say it out loud if you can't figure it out.

So, after the heat got turned down, and we had all be quiet for a few minutes, taking in the view, Levi points out the window and shouts,

"Whoa, bridge!!"

And then, I exaggerate not, he said,

"That bridge is HOT!  And I'm hot, too!!"

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hands Down

For the last few years, a weird phenomenon has happened, but it wasn't till today that I realized it.

The weather turns absolutely frigid, the Christmas lights come down, and suddenly, all I can think about was the first time we touched.  The first hand hold during an Eagles play-off game.  The first snuggle in the car as he drove through a snow storm.  The quiet prayers asking for guidance together in his car with the heater turned so high we almost suffocated.  The stolen glances during rehearsals of a new semester.  The late night study sessions by the florescent dorm lights assisted by cream filled donuts.  And a year later, the first time he whispered the words, "I love you," again in the car with the blasting heater, parked outside of my apartment, a year of the highest highs and lowest lows behind us.

There are some sappy songs that quickly take me there under normal circumstances, but when combined with the calendar turning to January, my heart and thoughts turns to Herb, the joy it was to fall in love with him, and the incredible blessing it has been to stay there.

This month marks nine years since my heart became his.  Just for fun, I like to reference our old xanga sites (mine, his) and revisit those new feelings and awkward moments - the subtle hints and the obvious declarations.

I know what we have is a special kind of love.  The kind that comes once in a lifetime.  I'm so glad I nervously took a chance.  I'm so glad he chose me.  I'm so grateful He brought our paths together.