Saturday, July 31, 2010

put your hands up!

This morning while I was catching up on some blog reading I could hear the little one yelling at the bigger ones to "put your hands up!".

Then I went to the kitchen to grab a drink and I heard her yell at me to "put your hands up!"

I turned and saw this cute little juicy thing wearing a polka dot shirt and a grass skirt aiming an itty bitty nerf gun at me. I asked her to hold her position while I grabbed my camera. When I turned back this is what I saw..... knights in shining armor trying to protect me from the vicious grass skirt wearing nerf gun toting villain.

Funny kids.

Friday, July 30, 2010

the quota, and then some

It's been one week since I've been to Willacy. I was avoiding it. If I was dating Willacy it would have called for sure to see what was up. The last time I was there the tile guys had just started, the power had been cut off and put back on, I was still trying to locate my painter who was MIA, and I was frustrated.

The next day I left to go to Vernon to get the little ones. When I got home I couldn't bring myself to go and see the progress. I didn't want the frustration and anxiety so I pretended like it didn't exist. I hid.

Today I figured I should go and get some more painting done while there was no one there. The three bathrooms still needed to be done.

So I braved it and went to Willacy. This is what I saw as I opened the door.

Actually that was hiding under a tarp which I removed but nevertheless......

He nailed it. The man nailed it. Let me tell you about the anxiety I had over this stupid railing. A long time ago I showed the man about 2376 pictures of the kind of railing I wanted at Willacy. He said he got the picture. I don't doubt it. I had envisioned only about 4 or 5 steel rods though. He went out and bought all the material. Then he told me there had to be 8 rods due to code rules. I was freaked right out. I almost yelled at him. I thought it would look like a prison balcony or something hideous like that. I did tell him that if I had known there needed to be 8 rods I would have picked something else. He just shrugged his shoulders and walked away which basically was the same as saying "too bad for you you crazy control freak lunatic. It's having 8 rods and you can just......"

You get the picture.

Anyway, while I was gone he built the railing. He was able to keep the rod count down to 7, which is better than 8. Regardless, I did not want to see it.

It was inevitable though and being the mature adult I am I knew that. So tonight, after the man got home from Willacy, I left him and the children and made the journey.


....different angle and the wood isn't stained yet but needless to say I'm more than impressed. If you aren't then just imagine me shrugging my shoulders and walking away from you.

And yes, that's tile you see on the floor. The tiling looks fantastic.

This is the downstairs bathroom which had the only working toilet, sort of, in the house. I won't divulge how I remedied the 'old lady who has had four babies and has to pee all the time' issue tonight. Let's just leave some things secret.

This is the main bath. Ahhhhh......... tile.

This is what else I saw tonight.....

....and this is what it used to look like.

I am still on fence about this stone. It isn't what I had envisioned and it sure isn't what they had on display in their showroom. Whatever, it's done.

So I almost tripled my Diet Pepsi intake for the day. I decided when I got home from Vernon I would cut back seeing as how I wasn't working and had no good excuse to be a junkie. So I had my quota throughout the day. Then I decided to work and took my quota with me to keep me company. I drank that and the night was still young so I had more. I shouldn't be telling you this for fear someone may host an intervention on me. I won't go to rehab, I won't give it up!

On second thought. A few weeks in rehab, with some good books and no reno sounds mighty appealing.........

Thursday, July 29, 2010

he tries.... or does he?

This morning Amelia asked if she could have a tea party on the kitchen table. Of course you can cute child, is how I responded. As I was helping her get set up I noticed how absolutely gross the table was. While the little kids were gone for three weeks the man and I worked. If we ate at home we did it on the couch staring with dead eyes at the tv. The two teens clearly never touched the table and I never noticed how unloved it was beginning to appear.

Poor dusty table. It's missing it's family. Tonight we ate at it just like in the good ol' days.

Since the house we are renting is for sale I asked the man to keep it up to snuff while I was away JUST IN CASE there was a showing.

There hasn't been many showings, only three, so keeping it up to snuff all the time just feels like a huge waste of time. The last thing anyone wants to do is fold laundry AND put it away. Or unload the dishwasher AND load it back up at the same time. I can't be the only one who lives like that. Don't tell me if I am, I don't wanna know.

Still.... one person keeping a house tidy? How hard could that be?

My standards aren't high in terms of house keeping. I could certainly improve in many areas.... okay, all areas but when it comes to making the bed I am a perfectionist. I am VERY particular about how my bed is made and the man knows that. There are rules and they are not hard to follow. There are 9 pillows and they need to be arranged in a certain way. He has tried in the past and failed miserably at making it to my satisfaction. He claims he "just can't get it right". I call bullcrap. I told him once that I was fairly confident that since he could read blueprints and build houses ALL BY HIMSELF he should be able to tackle the making of a bed without any problems WHAT.SO.EVER.

Just before I left last week I had him make it while I watched. He passed. It was beautiful.

Last night when I went to bed after being gone for four nights this is what greeted me....

Now I don't know about you but for me this fails to a spectacular degree.

I should have taken a picture of the counter above the dishwasher, but I didn't. You can just imagine what was piled high there. The dishwasher was still full of the dishes I set to wash the morning I left.

Maybe it's just me but I don't think he's applying himself.......

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

a week's worth.....

So it's been a week since I have posted. I have learned a lot this week. I will share some of it with you.

I left Saturday for a whirlwind trip to Vernon to gather my children. Actually, I dumped the two oldest ones off and brought home the three littlest ones today. I was instructed by the man to sit on the beach and relax and have a good time. I did one of those things, and not very well. I sat on the beach for two days. I did not relax, in fact I think I did the reverse of that since on the second day I answered many phone calls and responded to many texts.

I worked on the reno..... from the beach..... 7 hours away.

I learned I can not relax while there is a reno going on.

I picked back splash, I picked grout colors. I tried to organize trades but that got really frustrating and I was constantly screwing up so I handed that annoying job over to the man. I don't think he was impressed. Whatever.

I learned that I have nothing emotionally positive left in me. I am a short tempered, oversensitive, frustrated, cranky, unfun, worn out, emotional binge eating basket case. I do believe that whatever is left in me emotionally is getting used up at such a rapid pace that it might be in everyone's best interest if I stay off grid for a bit. I'm checking out.

I somehow have to figure out how to finish Willacy without:
1. losing it
2. three children being dangerously neglected
3. the man missing any work in order for me to do mine at the reno
4. running into anybody who may ask me how the reno is going
5. gaining any more weight
6. going so far into August on the reno the homeless issue becomes a reality
7. having to talk to the painter anymore. That guy is positively OBNOXIOUS

I have a couple of ideas. We'll see how it goes.

I have learned it's a lot hotter in Vernon than it is here. Okay, I didn't learn that. I already knew that. The weather this summer in Calgary has been a direct reflection of my mood. I take full responsibility for the crummy summer we are having. I don't apologize for it though. If I have to suffer then I think everyone else should as well.

Just kidding....... no I'm not.....

I think, soon, I will take my $60 Chapters gift card and wallow in the book store for a bit. That is a sure fire way to turn my frown upside down.

I wish this house I live in wasn't brown. I hate brown. I can't wait to move into a house that will have no semblance of brown, or taupe, or beige, or mud, or clay or any depressing mopey colour in it.

The very thought of a bright colourful house just cheered me up. Now where will that house be???

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

the wood doctor

It took two and a half days to lay the hardwood. I liked it a lot. We laid about 400 square feet of it - one and a half inches at a time. It was back breaking and knee wrecking but mostly for the man and on the rare occasion for me.

Mostly I stood there at his side at the ready. Whatever you need, my love, I will get it. You just nail the wood down (fast). The man is like a doctor of wood. He's good at wood.

And I was like his beautiful, sexy, much too young, hot and sassy head nurse. I would predict what he needed and be right there ready to put it into his hand.

Hardwood, right there.
Pencil, right there.
Hammer, right there.
Wooden blocky thing for hitting with the hammer, right there.
Nails, right there.
Scalpel, wait....what?

Can you tell I have been watching Grey's Anatomy on boxset?

We worked like a dream team and mostly I didn't screw up. I really need to master the concept of eyeballing it usually doesn't work. Measure twice, cut once. Or how about just measure right the first time and move on. That sounds about right. This isn't scrapbooking after all. It can't just 'almost be right', right?

We had every intention of staining the wood throughout the main floor relatively dark. But laying it in this beautiful airy master bedroom I have decided I want it really light, as light as possible throughout the main floor. Poo poo on what anyone else says, it's what I would want if I were to live there. So thus begins the hunt for the perfect stain that won't turn the oak into a retro golden oak explosion. (It's proving to be tricky).

Isn't it beautiful all light and airy? I need it to stay this way. I don't want it to be dark and gloomy.........

I love the master at Willacy, I could sit in it endlessly.

Here is a picture that proves two things..... maybe three.
One, the man and I did, in fact, lay this hardwood ourselves.
Two, I clearly worked harder than he did.

And maybe three, I drink too much pop while I work.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

my bum and the dump

I realize the title to this post may lead one to believe I might be talking about something "else". But I'm not. I am talking about MY bum and THE dump. It's not really my bum either that I'm talking about but it's close. A couple of days ago I stepped out of the shower to grab something and on my way back in I slipped and fell. Half in the shower and half out. Which means I landed on the curb, which is sharp. I cracked my head on the door and saw stars for a sec but when my senses came back I realized that my right saddle bag was definitely injured. Today it has a furious bruise on it that I would love to show you but my contract states that I can't show my butt on my blog. Since there is no butt double on call today you will have to use your imagination.

It is the size of a huge mango (the bruise, not my bum) and it is a scary mixture of red, blue and purple. It hurts to sleep or sit on that side so now my neck is sore from sleeping in one position all night.

I don't bruise easily so I am very proud of it. Well done me.

Today I went to the dump for the first time ever. It was gross. The man keeps saying to me "what did you expect?"

Well..... I didn't expect anything. I wasn't planning a dump run today so I hadn't thought about it. The princess in me doesn't spend a lot of time pondering the dump and the princess in me refuses to go back.

The birds were what really threw me for a loop. Nasty seagulls. As the man emptied the back of his truck into the filth and foulness I did this....

and this.....

and this....

I'm very helpful, I know. Those nasty seagulls. It was like a scary movie only at the end of it my eyes weren't pecked out. But they did poop in three different places on his truck, that's sort of scary. The dump smells really bad. Really, REALLY bad. I didn't care for it. Such a princess....

We started laying hardwood today. I actually liked it. Which is more than I can say for the stone we made an attempt to put on the fireplaces. That is a thankless, horrific job. 8 hours in and I said to the man. "I'm done. I'm ready to call a stone mason."

2 minutes later he was on the phone. He is resurrecting chivalry all over the place. He also hired a tiler. I love him.

Back to the hardwood...... I bled today.

I have left my imprint on Willacy. We are forever bound together by blood. Or until we sand the hardwood.

Willacy. Such a fair weathered friend......

Saturday, July 10, 2010

groundhog day

All of my days are the same. Not exactly the same but mostly the same. I wake up at the same time. I leave for Willacy at the same time. I get home at almost the same time every day.

It's what I do while I'm there that changes. But the one thing that does stay the same is that what I do there usually sucks and is usually hard. That is always the same.

I won't bore you with specifics of what we did this week, other than the baby bird killing that still haunts my every thought. Things are getting done, slowly. It feels like nothing is getting done actually which is so weird because all I do is sweat all day and it isn't from standing around looking pretty.

Lots of little things get started, almost finished, mostly done, prepped, moved, hauled, dumped, varnished, grinded......

Speaking of grinding. This is what the man did for part of today:

This may look like a picture lacking in quality but really it is a picture of the man escaping his own disaster. He has to grind the plastic paint from the fireplace before we can stone it. And the dust? The dust is unspeakable! It's like a fine mist that clogs the lungs and sticks to the nose hairs.

I, on the other hand, was being so handy and putting lath on the beams with a staple gun but I stopped breathing because there was no more air. As soon as I was officially brain dead I left and sat in the garage and kept the man company on his grinding breaks. He was the grey ghost. And now Willacy looks like a place where the grey ghost might like to live....... and maybe kill baby birds on occasion.

As of right now there is exactly 32 more hours before I have to go back. I don't even want to sleep, even though I am exhausted. I just want to be home, with nothing to do.

Nothing to do? What is that all about? I swear, somewhere around here there is a heap of laundry that needs to be folded. Now where is it....?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

the great bird massacre of 2010

The killing spree continues. Remember awhile ago when the man killed chivalry? Well he's at it again and this time he's really stepped it up. I have thrown around the idea of blogging my day at the reno and what I would say. I have gone back and forth. Back and forth. Back..... and.... forth. When it first happened I thought it had blog post written all over it but then as I thought about it I thought I'd better not say anything because people may think me sick and twisted. Why would she share something like that, you'd say.

Let's start with something tame. I painted today. Phew, that was easy.

Let's see...... the counters look GORGEOUS and I think we may have won over the two biggest skeptics of the counter tops. 'Jesse the finisher' and 'Brett the realtor'. They say they are converted so I will believe them and ignore MY skepticism that they are telling the truth and leave it at that. You may be wondering what I am talking about. What kind of counter tops, you're thinking to yourself. Well, I'll save that for another day. For today, they look GORGEOUS.

Hmmmm, I helped build a deck. My first deck. I'm so handy. I'm not sure the man will let me touch his fancy drill ever again but it was fun nonetheless.

Oh, and then there was the GREAT BIRD MASSACRE. I say great but not great as in it was awesome. It was great as in a great many birds either lost their lives today or were displaced from their homes. The man kills again. I had trauma people! T-R-A-U-M-A!

In the back of the house there were about 5 holes where over the last few years birds have pecked their way into the exterior of the house and made nests. We needed to replace those ruined boards with new ones and paint them. The nesting had to stop. He tried to find a humane way to move the nests but they were so deep and so big that removing them unscathed wasn't an option. He had two choices. One, fill the holes with something and tomb those nests up. Or, two, remove them, despite the wreckage and upheaval this may cause.

It didn't matter the choice, they were both sick and unsettling. It was a blood bath.

It was trauma.... even the man was traumatized by the end. Now is where I fight with how much detail to share. I wanted to unload and share EVERYTHING because it was so disturbing to me but I have since decided to keep the trauma to myself. Maybe share it with my therapist because I am certain that after this little project we have undertaken I am headed towards the looney bin. I think they have government funded therapists there, right?

So I'll leave it at this. Many birds, both able-bodied and otherwise, were evicted from their homes this day, July 7, 2010. A few got away but most did not. Some landed on my freshly painted deck, which is just.........t.r.a.u.m.a.

You get it right? If you don't, email me and I will send you pictures to help finish the story. And yes, I did take pictures but I did it for the therapist. Once I go catatonic and can't speak anymore from all the trauma I will need pictorial evidence that the trauma happened.

Oh, it happened.


At the little green house.

The great bird massacre of 2010.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I got nothin'

I left this morning at 8 am. I just walked in the door. It is 10:48 pm.

These hours are killing my ability to think of anything funny or witty to say.

Counter guys started today. I'm nervous about it.

My babies are gone indefinitely. Most of them anyway. It makes me cry every time I think
about it so I either get to cry all the time or never think about my babies.

I cry all the time.

Today...... I got nothin'.

Friday, July 2, 2010

never ever again

Today I went to the South side Costco. Now I'll tell you why.

Two days ago a few of my children asked for a snack. I said "sure, please have some fruit." "Yay!" they all said and proceeded to wolf down some fruit. I stood and stared at them and then I said, "I am worried you aren't ever going to eat fruit when you go to Grandpa's house next week. I am worried you will begin a steady diet of pop and chips". They said, "we won't mom, we promise."
I said "maybe I should send some fruit cups and apple sauce so you always have some fruit to eat.". They said, "good idea mom. Maybe we should go to Costco."

Today I went to the South side Costco. With three kids. Now I want to die.

See, I don't enjoy Costco. I never have. Even if I were alone in the entire store I would still detest it. Unless, of course, I was buying books. Okay, if I were alone in Costco buying books that might just be heavenly. That is the only way I would ever like Costco but that would never ever happen so I still hate Costco.

The reason I went to the South one was because I had been at Willacy dropping off tile so it only made sense that we would go to the Costco 5 minutes away.

There was nowhere to park. Strike one.

There was nowhere to sit and eat lunch. Strike two. (It is here I should have turned around and left but my ability to think coherently in this situation had been diminished to the level of brain deadness)

Someone stole my cart. Strike three.

I have PMS. Strike 4782.

If anything it was an interesting study of how people behave when there are too many crammed into one place armed with giant metal death machines that protrude outwards from one's front not allowing for clear vision as one turns corners. In order for people to get what they need people forget their manners and basic animal ignorance kicks in. It is a scary sight indeed. People cut you off, people push your carts with theirs, people don't say excuse me or thank-you.

People are rude.

The worst part is that now I have become one of them. I start to sweat. My heart starts beating it's funny irregular beat only faster. I can't breathe. I become intolerable to anyone who has the unfortunate opportunity to be with me. I move other's carts out of my way and I actually say things really loud like "keep moving people" and "why are we leaving our carts in the middle of the aisle?" At this point I feel as though I have to leave or someone may die. So I take what I have and make for the checkout. I am maybe one third done my shopping. It does not matter. 'Get out' my inner sanity screams at me.

Since every till is open the lines go relatively fast. Thank goodness for small miracles.

I am out. I have survived. A few deep breaths and a slightly longer than necessary attempt to locate the vehicle and we are on our way home.

Today I went to the South side Costco. It was horrible. I hated it. Never again.




Thursday, July 1, 2010

canada day

Today is Canada Day. No big deal really. Other than the fact that I have tremendous guilt about not planning anything super fun with my kids to celebrate this great country we live in.

As a child my dad would take us every canada day to the fireworks. We thought it was awesome! We would stay up late and stop at the treat store and walk up the big hill and park our butts on the side of a grassy, pokey hill and wait. It seemed like forever, we'd wait and wait and wait. Then they'd do the little 'warm up' thing they do, which always falsely got our hopes up.

After I started having kids my dad still carried on with the event. I would go and the man as well. It was fun. Then we moved to Edmonton. I thought I'd carry on the tradition.

So one year, probably 2001, I put the kids to bed and went to bed myself. I set the alarm for 11 (yes, it is weird that I did that, I see it now) and got up, got the kids up. The man decided he was too far gone into sleepland so he bailed. Shocking......

It was still light out. We drove a bit, walked a bit. Threw out a blanket and sat. I had sippy cups and snacks for my two kids who were 4 and 2. And then we waited. And waited.......

I'm sure the fireworks were awesome, I don't remember at all. I just remember the hard parts. Like waking up after being asleep for an hour and a half and waking the kids up and leaving at 11:30 at night. Making them walk so late and so far. What was I thinking? But what I remember the most was how SICK I was the next day!

Holy crap! Was I SICK! I thought I had West Nile. I had received the warning brochure in the mail a few days before and read it so it was on my mind. I was vigilant about protecting the kids but at those fireworks I got eaten alive and then I got so sick. I was a rash away from West Nile. I'm usually pretty tough but when I get sick, which is so rare I get SO sick and then I think I'm dying. It is melodrama equalled only to that in the Twilight movies.

I haven't been to the fireworks since.........

And, I have no desire to ever do it again really. Maybe when the kids are older or something and it is less traumatic to get them there.

The older I get the less I want to take four or five or six kids to big crowded events. The driving, the parking, the not losing of the children thing. These small worries kill my desire for fun. That and the fact that the man is ALWAYS working which means I do it alone. My poor kids, they don't know what they are missing.

So today I took Cicely to Beehive camp. Paul is here visiting with Chandler. The man is at work. Shocking. And so I only have three kids. I looked online to see what was going on and found some really great things to do with kids. But the driving, the parking, the walking, the not losing the children thing is cramping my get-up-and-go.

I want something safe, low key and not chilly or windy to do. I think we'll go to a movie.........

My poor kids.