Monday, May 28, 2012

The After!

If you recall, a few weeks ago I posted about redecorating my bathroom here.  It was supposed to be a quick little remodel that wouldn't cost us a lot of money. took a bit longer than I wanted, and I spent a little more than I wanted, but the results are pretty AMAZING!!!  Let me show you:









I told you it was amazing!!!  I painted the walls a nice brown the color of melted chocolate ice cream and painted all the trim bright white.  I also spray painted the rusted heat vent cleaning it up a bit.  The floor was a pretty big project but looks really amazing!  I found a peel and stick linoleum tile square that you can grout between.  The tiles themselves were a very heavy duty linoleum, not the tiles you pick up for fifty cents at the dollar store.  Adding the grout makes it look and feel like we installed tile floors, but for considerably less money and less effort.  No tile saw required!  Don and I agree that it was worth the little extra money we had to spend, the floors really look amazing.

The changes to the vanity caused us the most problems, but again, were well worth it!  My mother was getting rid of a drawer section from her own bathroom vanity and it was a perfect fit for my bathroom.  With a coat of white paint to my existing vanity and her set of drawers, you can't tell that they don't belong together.  My stepfather is super amazing and built us a new counter top in his "spare" time.  (Thanks Rick!)  I picked up a new sink at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store for $10 and now all assembled it looks just amazing.  We're still waiting on a back splash, so if you look at the picture closely you can see some paint gaps that will be hidden when the new back splash comes.  Rick was awesome to build that for us, and it has made a huge improvement to the bathroom!  We also bought a new light for over the sink, and everything else was just finishing touches!  Today I found some beautiful curtains that look amazing next to the new shower curtain and a few other doo-dads.

I still have a few odds and ends to finish up, but for the most part, the renovation is done!  And Don and I learned a few things about plumbing as a result.  Like how to get things to line up, and what to do when your toilet leaks all over the floor.  You know, fun things!

Can't wait to start our next flooring in my bedroom maybe??  Hmmmmm.....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Chatter-Box

I was pretty amazed when Ben started learning how to talk before his first birthday.  One little word at a time.  You could see his little brain working trying to repeat the sounds we were making, and connecting them to objects.

As cool as that was, watching him learn to talk now has me completely floored.  He's a talking machine!  It's amazing!  Even the change since his second birthday, when he was stringing together a couple of words at a time and had a pretty extensive vocabulary of nouns, is extraordinary!  He's starting to be a little parrot and repeats words and phrases that we say to him, whether he understands what we're saying or not.  (And yes, this is SERIOUSLY dangerous stuff, as I've caught myself saying non-two year old appropriate words and heard them repeated back to me.  Ooops.)  (Also, this is seriously HILARIOUS, like teaching him to tell Don that "Ben is one and Daddy is old."  Hehehehehe).

He's also learning verbs and adjectives which makes his conversations much more fun.  And he's getting the hang of putting together sentences and telling stories.  It's pretty amazing.  And really, really, funny.

Today I propped him up on the couch because he was leaning on me and I was going to get up: "Mom, no push me!"  "I didn't push you."  "No push me, that mean."

Or Tuesday when I went to get my haircut and he felt to need to tell my hairdresser about the turkey in my garden.  "Bad Tur-tey.  Bad Tur-tey in Mom's garden.  No Tur-tey.  Go Away."

Or Monday when he found a picture of himself from his first birthday party.  "That Ben!  Mom, where Ben's hair go?"  (He was still rather bald at one.)

This developing language thing has me completely amazed, and everyday he learns something new.  A new word, a new phrase, a new animal sound, etc...  I'm so fortunate that he's picking this up easily, and I'm so fortunate that I'm with him so much to watch him and help him learn.  I'm a pretty lucky mom!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rainy Day for Reading

As is the norm for me, I've been doing a lot of reading.  As a result, I'm again looking for suggestions for summer reading.  I've been keeping myself occupied reading some of the discounted books on my Kindle that I can pick up for a few dollars.  Which means I've been reading a lot of "eh" books, and nothing really spectacular.  I did read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, which was really quite good, and a "Crimescape" piece on the serial killer H.H. Holmes (who was written about in The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson) which was interesting, but certainly not moving.  Right now I'm reading The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt, which was on a list of books recommended by Diana Gabaldon.  It's a really unique story, but at this point is still a bit slow, which is unfortunate because I borrowed it from the online library and I only have two days left to finish it.  Good thing it's raining today, because I think I have my work cut out for me.

Despite today's rain, it seems that spring and summer weather has finally started to arrive, which means mornings and afternoons spent outside playing with Ben.  And it means squeezing in a little reading in the sun between tossing balls, swinging and splashing in the pool.  Yippee!  Reading in the sun has to be one of my favorite things to do!  So while I'll suffer through some "reading inside while it rains" today, I'll keep my fingers crossed that tomorrow I can do a little "reading in the sun," assuming of course that the sun comes out, and that the webinar I have on my schedule tomorrow goes as planned, and I can get to the dump at some point, and that Ben agrees to leave me alone for a few minutes so I can read a page or two.  I guess I should be crossing fingers and toes....

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Silly Kiddo

Hilarious Ben Moment:

Ben was sitting on my lap while we were visiting my in-laws.  My father-in-law (called Bumpa) sat down at the table with a groan and said:  "I'm Pooped!"

Ben turned and looked at me and said, "Mom, Bumpa needs a change."

I thought my father-in-law was going to die laughing.  He thanked Ben for his concern but reassured him that he did not, in fact, need a diaper change.

Two year olds rock.  :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

"Sometimes Goodbye is a Second Chance"

It was a rough day.

A couple of days ago, Ben startled Ivy while she was asleep.  Her reaction was to snap at him.  It's a completely normal dog reaction, one a lot of dogs have when startled awake.  Unfortunately, Ben and Ivy are at the same level and Ivy's snap got him in the face. 

Ben is completely fine, the skin wasn't really broken, just a mark where her teeth bonked him.  But even as I hugged him and kissed away the tears, I knew I  had to make a choice: be a terrible person and take my dog to the shelter, or be a terrible parent and let the dog stay in the house knowing that next time we might not be so lucky.

I didn't rush into the decision.  I talked to the vet.  I talked to the shelter.  I talked to family and friends.  I found that I had a lot of support in making the right decision.

Despite the fact that the right decision now hurts an awful lot.

Today I took Ivy to the Animal Shelter and said goodbye.  Most certainly one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.  She's been my dog for seven years.  She was difficult, and was increasingly anxious as she got older, but I was determined to work through it with her.  I believe very strongly that you don't give up on someone just because they're struggling, and that was true for Ivy.  But in the end, there was nothing I could do.  There was no medication, no training, no prevention to keep her from being startled awake.  There was no guarantee that it wouldn't happen again.  And I know I could never live with myself if it happened again and the outcome was more serious.

So this morning I woke up with dread in my belly.  I got ready to go.  I spent some time with Ivy brushing her and putting on a brand new pink collar.  She licked away the tears on my face and didn't leave my side all morning.

We drove to the shelter, and I cried.  She sat on my lap in the parking lot while Ben napped.  I cried some more.  When Ben woke up I went in and made the arrangements.  I filled out the paper work, gave them as much information as I could.  I choked back tears and couldn't look the volunteer in the eye.

I put Ben in the car and brought Ivy in.  I said goodbye.  I kissed her, told her I loved her, told her I was sorry, and to be a good girl.

And I left.  And I cried.

The volunteer took one look at her when she walked in and said she was adorable, and wouldn't be there long.  I hope she's right.  She's a good girl, and she deserves a good home.

It will be rough for me for a bit, but I can handle it.  I'll miss her, but I have to hope that she will find a new home with someone to love her and work her through her anxiety and spend time enjoying her.

It was the right decision, but that doesn't make it any less painful.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Monkey on His Back

A Blog inspired by last night's episode of Modern Family, in which Mitchell and Cam put their daughter, Lily, on a "child safety tether" (aka a leash).

A few weeks prior to our trip to Boston I was shopping at Goodwill with my mother and grandmother.  My grandmother was hunting for items to resell at her flea market booth, my mom was looking for whatever she could find, and I was keeping them company; with Ben dragging me around the store.

On our fifteenth trip to the toy section, filled with a large variety of toys I would never let my kid have, never mind touch, one item jumped out at me.  A "New-In-The-Box" Monkey Backpack/Tether.  That's right, a kid leash.  I picked it up....

When I was a young, naive, non-mom, I swore I would NEVER put my kid on a leash.  I frowned upon the moms dragging their kids around by a leash.  A good mom wouldn't need to put her kids on a leash because they would be perfectly well behaved and listen to everything their mother said. 

Then I had a kid.  My two year old is actually pretty well behaved.  He listens and usually complies with my requests.  He holds my hand or sits in his stroller when we are out.  Most of the time.  Ok, some of the time.  I'm a good mom, and Ben's a good boy, but seriously, he doesn't always want to do what I ask and he doesn't always want to hold my hand.  This really isn't a big deal when we are in our local grocery store, or even in the larger shopping centers.  He's not really going to go too far, and we can always leave and go sit in the car for a time out if we need to.

But with Monkey Backpack/Tether in my hands, and the impending trip to Boston, I had visions of my son throwing a fit in a T-station, or at the museum filled with people, or in a crowd at Quincy Market.  What would I do if he took off?  Or let go of my hand for a second and we got separated?  Or if someone actually wanted to take him?

I bought the damn child safety tether.

I'm happy to report that the novelty of "giving the monkey a piggy back" appealed to Ben.  He had no complaints wearing the little harness and during our practice trials, didn't want to take it off.  I'm also happy to say that for the entire trip in Boston, Monkey Backpack stayed attached to the back of Ben's stroller.  We didn't use it once.  But let me just say, I felt so much better knowing it was an option.  Maybe I'm not the good mom of my young, fanciful dreams, but at least I didn't have to worry about losing my kid in Boston.  Success!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Now I'm a REAL Grown Up!

We brought the new car home last night.  I really like it, but I'm still trying to remain loyal to my good ol' car-car and not become too attached too quickly.  But it's hard.  It's a pretty sweet car.  It has working air conditioning and heat.  (I don't think I've had ac for at LEAST five years in my civic, and the heat has recently become "intermittent.")  It has also has the "LATCH" carseat hook ups which my civic didn't have.  Let me just tell you that it makes getting the carseat in and out of my car at least 4000 times easier.  It's AMAZING.  Gotta love ten year old technology....

And may I just say that the pockets on the back of the seats to hold books and toys nearly brought me to tears?  That's right, I'm pretty easy to please.  Who needs leather seats and blue tooth when you can have pockets to hold toys and crap??

As for the sound system, well let me just say that I am going to be rocking the cassette deck pretty damn hard.  (Ok, it has a cd player too, which I will probably be rocking harder, but I'm going to start hunting The Goodwill for some early 90s cassette tapes.  Boyz II Men anyone??  Maybe some Hanson?  You're damn right....)  I might also add it is pretty sweet not to have blown speakers for a without buzzing and rattling?  BONUS!

And then of course there are the two bonus luxuries....keyless entry....and heated seats.  Seriously, it's like I'm ACTUALLY a grown up! 

Now we didn't buy the car for these reasons, it has a pretty good track record for being a reliable, safe car that will hold its value well and should let us put quite a few miles on it too, which was much more important than a rockin' cassette deck.  And while I'm really, really excited about it, I'm also a little nervous.  It's not as good on gas as my car was, which I'm not really thrilled about, and I'm not sure how it will compare when it comes to maintenance.  My Civic didn't require a whole lot at all, so I guess we'll just have to hope for the best.

Today I moved all the important stuff over to the new car...carseat, ice scrapers, toll money, stroller....and I discovered my old car is still full of stuff....hmmmm, guess I've collected a bit of junk in it....oops.   Hopefully I can keep the new one clean....for a while....