Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rainy Weekend Remodel

Or, The Ladies at the Fabric Store Read a Lot of Harry Potter.

This weekend, FINALLY, it poured on us.  After months of earth crackling drought, while the rest of the country gets repeatedly buried by mountains of snow, we FINALLY got, oh, an inch of rain. Maybe an inch and a half or two inches, thanks to a storm called a "Pineapple Express."  Okay.  I'm just glad the two inches of rain we got didn't receive some alphabetized name like apparently every cloud that breezes over the east coast and/or midwest now needs to have, according to the weather channel.  Back in my day, our blizzards were just nameless feet of snow piling up on the ground, we didn't go getting all attached to them and naming them after someone's aunt or uncle or a Roman god.  Now everything needs a name.  Well, not our Pineapple Express; we're happy to just call it by the name of some 2008 stoner movie and be done with it.

I'd like to say that the rain kept us from our usual weekend routine, but we're not what you'd really call "outdoorsy" in any way, shape or form.  On a rare occasion we'll go for a "hike," which generally consists of driving several miles to a scenic locale, getting out of the car, breathing in the fresh mountain air and then walking into the wooded trail for about a mile before the kid starts complaining about being bored and I start freaking out that we're being followed by a mountain lion.  Husband would likely prefer to be at home puttering or watching some DVR'd sci-fi, but he knows that between Ethan's general lack of interest in nature (so sad) and my hyper-sensitive fear of all things (so neurotic), we're only going to be out for about an hour, tops, so he never puts up any resistance to our forays into the great outdoors.

So indoors we stayed.  On Saturday, we went to see The Lego Movie and I stand by my assertion from just seeing the previews, that movie was written by a bunch of stoners who were stoned.  And it was hilarious.  However, I have a bone to pick with whoever wrote the theme song because I cannot get the song out of my head and I am >this< close to digging through my ears into my brain with a fork just to MAKE IT STOP!!!

We also watched the DVR'd opening ceremonies of the Olympics on Saturday.  Wow, can my kid ask  a crap-ton of questions about Russian history.  I made the mistake of saying something about the Russian police choir singing Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" during the show and that set off a 4-hours long string of "are the police singing next?" at every commercial break.  So it was super when we got all the way to the end of the recording and there was nary a Russian police officer singing even one bar of "Get Lucky" to be seen.  We had to dig up the clip on Youtube and finally all the questions came to an end.  Bliss.

On Sunday, the boy discovered Whole Foods pizza for lunch.  With orange juice.  weirdo.

he's totally rocking the Susanna Hoffs eyes here:

And then, fueled up on citric acid and mozzarella, he got it in his head that today would be the perfect day to turn the crawl space under our stairs into the perfect little Ethan-sized hideout! "Mom, how about you clean out all the junk that's in that closet so I can have it as my own little nook?" he said.  Ha.  "How about you clean out all the junk that's in the closet so you can have it as your own little nook?" I countered, expecting that to be the end of that because if there's one thing this kid likes less than meandering for hours on end through the great outdoors, its anything that involves the word "clean" as a verb.

But, much to Husband's and my amazement, the lure of the secret hiding spot was strong, and no sooner had we gotten home than Ethan set to work pulling all manner of things out of the closet to find the very back space he was thinking off for his hideaway.  This of course meant that the entryway of my house looks like, well, a crawl space.  "Welcome to our home! Just toss your coat on top of our sleeping bags and that assortment of holiday and birthday wrapping paper!"

I was impressed by how tirelessly he worked all afternoon and so I decided that I'd help him out with the rearranging of things.  Of course, that just really means I consolidated the random piles of former closet dwelling items into more meaningfully grouped piles of former closet dwelling items.  I'm handy like that.

In the end, the kid got his nook in the back of the closet, and I got to put some things back in the closet to create a little hallway within the hallway, thereby making an even MOAR SECRET-Y secret nook.

It looks like any other door....but behind it lurks...

table leaves and paper towels and utility step ladders....

....and a kid with a dream!   And some boxes...

Now it looks more like this...

you've still got your random golf clubs and holiday decorations and overnight bags, as well as a couple of boxes of pendant lights one might have ordered months and months ago and never got around to hanging in the kitchen.

But you've also got your little spot for homework, complete with original artwork and assortment of sleeping bag/pillows/blankets for your nook lounging enjoyment (and do not forget your just-for-show old Mac decorated exclusively in puffy glitter heart and star stickers.  Natch). Oh, and also?  A nerf gun.  For under the stairs protection.

Yesterday we went to the fabric store to buy a few yards of fabric so I can make a curtain leading into Ethan's little spot in the crawl space.  Every employee we encountered (in the aisle, at the cutting counter, at the cash register) wanted to know what we were doing and upon hearing that we needed fabric for curtains for "the space under the stairs," each one of them lit up like a nerdy fangirl and said, "JUST LIKE HARRY POTTER!" and sighed adoringly.   Fair enough; we've got a neighborhood owl.  But I draw the line at a quidditch pitch.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014


I bet you thought I was gone on another months-long hiatus.

No, I'm here.  But given the fact that I've just written two 1/2 blog entries and deleted them, I'm pretty sure I don't have anything interesting to write about.  I've had a head cold for the past four days and can't really think about anything except how if I have to blow my nose one more time, I'm going to cry because OHMYGOD are tissues made of glass shards???!!! Husband even got me these fancy "cool to the touch" tissues that are supposed to be filled with lotion and somehow extra soothing.  Nope.  Just cold, lotion-y glass shards.

On Monday, after bringing Ethan to school, I drove home and told myself I would just "rest my eyes for a few minutes." I woke up at 11:55.  Incidentally, that's 5 minutes before I'm supposed to be in the school library reshelving books for an hour and giving the librarian her lunch break.  In my crud-filled foggy-headed state, I had forgotten to call in sick or email her that I couldn't make it.  For a brief moment, I considered just closing my eyes and going back to sleep--its a volunteer position, for goodness sake! She would understand if I missed it just one time and forgot to contact her! But.  What if that 3rd copy of the 4th Harry Potter novel was sitting on a cart waiting to be reshelved and some kid needed it because the other 2 copies were already checked out and way overdue, probably growing mold in the bottom of some 4th grader's backpack?  What if a kid showed up during the librarian's lunch break and needed to check out a book on horses or kittens?  Or tractors?  Or Percy Jackson?!

I sped to the school and arrived only 5 minutes late for my scheduled volunteer time ("sorry officer, somewhere, someone might need a book!"--said the nerdiest girl EVAR.)  It occurred to me as I walked into the library and only managed to croak out "sorry I'm late" before I needed to stop talking and catch my breath through what felt like an entire bag of soggy cotton balls shoved up into my sinuses, that perhaps I shouldn't have brought my bevy of germs to school.  Um.  Ooops.  Fortunately the library comes equipped with a hand sanitizer dispenser and as much as I am normally super anti-anti-bacterial, I fairly well bathed myself in the stuff before getting to work.

Also fortunately, very few kiddos came into the library during that hour, with the exception of a group of rowdy boys who wanted to use the place as their personal obstacle course--said the crotchetiest old lady EVAR.  I gave them three chances to pull themselves together and stop acting like lunatics and then I said, in my perfect ornery old lady voice, "If you can't behave like you're in a library, then you don't need to be IN the library.  Good day!"  Oh yeah, I said "good day."  I almost finished with "I said good day, sirs!"  but I knew they wouldn't get it.  They were already shuffling out, shoving and "nice job'ing each other, so it would have been overkill anyway.  A couple kids in the corner who were actually reading books during lunch thanked me on their way out.  I love kids.

Another mom found me in the library to tell me that a bunch of materials for our spring community service project had come in.  Oh, did I mention that in my complete and utter lack of boundaries or sense of self-preservation, I volunteered to head the spring community service project for the whole school?  Oh yeah.  That happened.   There are two boxes of things now waiting in the work room for me.  I don't remember what they are because I was trying not to cry the entire time the other mom was talking to me about what was in the boxes.  I love helping.

Its day four of the head cold and while it spent the first 72 hours firmly planted on the right side of my head, it shook itself up last night and spread out to both sides of my sinuses, which meant that instead of not being able to breath at all on my right side and being able to breathe perfectly on my left (seriously, I felt like I was just walking in circles for days), I could only breathe marginally well from either side of my nose.  Is there anything lovelier than a mouth-breather?  I'm stunning, I tell you.  Breath-taking (no pun intended).  This morning, my head congestion seems to be trading itself in for some chest congestion.  So the hacking should start any minute now.  Special.