A Painted House

Archive for May 2011

Remember waaaaaay back when I redid the laundry room and I mentioned that I had one finishing touch I was still waiting on?  No?  That’s because it’s been ages.  A year I think.  Several months ago I finally found that missing piece and finished that final touch.  And then I didn’t blog about it for half a year.  Score one for me.

What I wanted was a way to tie the yellow, grey, and black colors all together.  I was looking for a fabric that used all the colors and kept striking out.  I finally found on on fabric.com and ordered the measly little 1/4 of a yard  I needed.

And here’s where I added it:

To “line” the underside of my shelves I cut cardboard rectangles that just fit the spaces.  I then wrapped my fabric around them and hot glued it on the back.  I used adhesive velcro strips to stick my fabric-wrapped panels to the underside of the shelves.  I love that you can see the little pops of color in an unexpected place.

I also added a little bit here:

That basket holds wooden clothes pins for the clothes line I no longer have, but some day hope to regain.

As one final touch I bought inexpensive but durable black mat from Menards.  It both grounds the room a little bit and catches all the junk that comes in on our shoes, from the garage.

NOW the laundry room is done.

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Dear Edison,

You’re six months old!  A whole half of a year!  Didn’t you just get here?  Weren’t we just struggling with nursing and washing newborn sleepers and trying to get through the day with everything intact?  And now here we are with a six month old and I can’t remember what life was like before you.  Oh yeah, I didn’t have an omnipresent drool mark on my shirt indicating that I either have a young baby or I’m overcome by constant thoughts of chalupas and have lost all control of my salivary glands.  Edison, I love you with all my pea pickin’ heart, but your drool is gross.  Don’t take it personally; all drool is gross, even that of your own progeny.  You’d think I’d have a higher tolerance for my children’s bodily fluids than most considering your brother is in the running for Most Frequent Puker: Toddler Age Group, but drool still makes me shudder.  And you have a lot of it.  I’d make some mention of volume except any reference to cups or buckets leads me to mental images of vessels filled with baby drool and next thing I know I’m entered for Most Frequent Puker: Age 30.

We’ve started you on solid food this month as you seem to need more sustenance than just nursing can provide.  You’re pretty excited about this new facet of your day, grabbing at the spoon and gaping your mouth open as wide as you can as soon as I put you in the high chair.  I’m not surprised, as you’ve always had a strong urge to eat and eat often and lately that’s translated to reaching for anything you see us aiming toward our own mouths.  I had to wrestle an American cheese slice out of your grubby, eager little fingers the other day when you lunged out of my arms and grabbed it off of the counter. I had no idea you were capable of covering such distance and with such accuracy.  You were not pleased.  Though I do wonder if I’d let you keep it, how you would have handled the unexpected taste and texture.  The pictures alone might have been worth the dairy exposure and choking risk.  Anything within your range of reach instantly goes into your mouth and you’ve been known to risk life and limb in your quest to grab a forbidden object that we thought was out of reach.  Edison, I get that you’re in that stage where you want to taste the whole world, but it’s not worth cracking your head open.  Unless said item is covered in chocolate.  Or nacho cheese.

I’ve also started giving you pieces of soft and dissolvable food to eat; crackers and fruit loops and soft pears stuffed into one of those mesh feeders.  You loooooove crackers and get really angry at me when you find that there are no more pieces on your tray to dissolve with spit and smoosh into your hair.  I’d wager you’ve probably only consumed two or three crackers worth in this entire month despite being handed a couple every day.  I’m honestly not sure where the rest of them have gone but I bet once I finally get around to cleaning out the inside if your ears I’ll find out.

You continue your quest to achieve and maintain Favorite Son status, Edison, this time using your words.  You’ve progressed in babbling syllables, your favorite being mamamamama   And it took all of sixteen seconds for you to realize that if you start calling for mamamamama you’ll immediately get my attention.  Smarty pants.  So now when I put you on your changing table, on the floor to play with toys, or in your bouncer so I can make dinner, go to the bathroom, or just not be drooled on for three minutes, you give me those three minutes and then sweetly start cooing my name at an increasingly louder decibel until you get a response.  It’s a brilliant move, Edison, because though James may know three thousand words and do his very best to recite all of them to me each and every day, you’ve found the one word that trumps him.  Just brilliant. 

I hope that as you grow you’ll continue to call my name for important things, realize that you’ll call it regularly for not important things, and know that someday I’ll answer with an exasperated “WHAT??” and then discuss with you that I can hear you just fine and repeating my name four hundred times is not necessary. But don’t let that stop you from practicing now, Edison.  It’s the highlight of my day to hear you happily babbling to yourself and watch you look around to see if I’m coming yet.  I promise, I’ll always come.

Love, Mamamama

Dear James,

Can it be that you’re three years old?  Oh, how you’ve grown over the past year both physically (You outgrow pants in the amount of time it takes me to make dinner.  I start to brown the chicken and you’re appropriately dressed; I turn to put the casserole in the oven and you’re wearing capris.) and intellectually.  I started writing these letters to record the things about your childhood that you won’t remember, but I’m not sure there is anything you don’t remember.  Your mind is always churning, always processing, and you never.forget.anything.  We had not been to Grandma and Grandpa Pierce’s house for over six months, a pretty significant portion of your short life, and when we told you a few weeks ago that we were going to visit you immediately rattled off a paragraph about the ping pong table in their basement (which you had only seen once before), their ceiling fans, the DVD player you get to use in the car on long trips, and the toys Grandma has for you to play with.  Astounding. 

Speaking of ceiling fans, your obsession continues.  Three years in and you’re just as in love with ceiling fans as you ever were.  We were watching the movie Cars last week and during a pivotal scene you focused not on the dozen talking racecars on the screen, but on the animated ceiling fans whirring in the background.  And much to your Dad’s pleasure, your favorite store to visit is Menards because they have a gigantic ceiling fan display section.  You’ve even picked out a favorite fan…..which just happens to be the same fan that hung in our bedroom in our old house and under which I parked you every day so I could take a shower.  I don’t think you even know why it’s your favorite, but you gravitate to that fan every time.  It makes me wonder what else you’ve stored away in that brain of yours from these first three years of your life.  Do you also remember the hundreds of bowls of oatmeal you ate until you could tolerate solid food, the time you smashed your thumb in the door at the doctor’s office and had to get it x-rayed, or when I stepped out of the room for thirty seconds while you were coloring with markers and you turned your arms, legs, and neck purple?  How about the time you projectile vomited from the backseat of the van all the way to the dashboard, at seventy miles an hour?  Good times, sweet memories.

And it’s not just fans, you find anything that spins completely fascinating.  Pinwheels, the oscillating sprinkler, washing machines, my kitchen mixer….if you can turn it in a circle you’re enamored. Your tricycle spends more time upside down so you can spin the wheel, than it does upright.  You ask me every.single.day. if we can put the box fans up in the bedroom windows so the wind will spin the blades.  And every time we play with sidewalk chalk you ask me to draw you a fan.  We often wonder how this will translate into a career choice.  Will you be a washing machine repairman?  A helicopter pilot?  The person at Lowe’s responsible for turning off and on all the display fans?  Heaven help us if you become a professional ice skater; your long and lean form might not lend itself to triple toe loops but your spinning would be fantastic.

You also have a strong affinity for music, James.  This is one talent I can get behind. (Though not one on which you may try to base a career.  Unless of course you’re good enough to qualify for American Idol, in which case I’d get to live out every mother’s dream of having her son’s beautiful face flashed up on a TV screen, swooned over by preteen girls nationwide, and associated with a cutesy four digit phone number…To vote for James, text the word VOTE to….Really, it’s all a Mama can hope for).  Anyway. You have a large repertoire of songs stored away in your head and often break into song without warning.  And you’re pretty good too; you can hold a tune, recognize songs just by the notes even without words, and remember a seemingly endless stream of lyrics. You can also hum the tunes, in order, from every musical toy both at our house and your friends’.  You know everything from Old McDonald to Jesus Loves the Little Children, but nothing holds a candle to your favorite song: Jingle Bells.  It may be April but that doesn’t stop you from bursting into Christmas Carols while taking a bath.  You’re a boy after my own heart.  The most impressive aspect of your musical education comes straight from your favorite TV show: Little Einsteins.  You’ve learned the musical terminology for fast, slow, and everything in between.  And I love the look on peoples’ faces when we’re swinging and you ask me not to push you faster, but to push you Presto.  In fact you ask me to start you out Adagio, then Moderato, then Allegro, and finally Presto!  Or when you start humming classical music.  I just soak in the moment of motherly pride and don’t tell them that all the credit for your genius goes directly to Disney Junior.

In the year since I wrote your two year letter you’ve received a promotion, James.  You’re not only my firstborn son, you’re also now the oldest son.  You’re a big brother to Edison who was born just after you turned two and a half.  Kid, you are the best big brother.  You’re sweet to Edison, including him in conversations and asking him to play trucks with you.  You get concerned when he cries and are very upset if you don’t get to be the first person into his room in the morning to greet him.  A couple of weeks ago Edison was fussing after being laid down for a nap and then a minute later I heard your voice on his monitor, too.  I clicked on the video to see your head and hands peeking over the edge of his crib as you checked to make sure that he was ok.  And just last night as we were taking a family walk with the double stroller, you heard him start to whine a bit in the seat behind you and maneuvered yourself around to ask him, “What’s wrong, Edison?  Do you need your paci?”  And then you reached back and gave it to him.  Melt.my.heart.  Your little brother adores you, James; all it takes is a word or a glance and he wiggles and grins with all his might.  I’m a big sister myself so I know the responsibility that comes with having younger siblings who look up to you; everything you do, he will want to try and how you treat him can make or break his spirit.  It’s my hope that you continue to embrace your Big Brother role as he grows and becomes increasingly annoying in your eyes.  And then someday you two can work together to turn on every faucet we have in this house simultaneously and flood every level at once!  Hurrah for brotherly love!

If there’s one negative to your turning three, James, it’s that you’ve discovered your physical and mental independence.  It’s as if you realized that for three whole years you’ve been compliant and sweet and obedient and have decided to test the waters and see what else is out there for you.  The past couple of weeks have been challenging as you push the boundaries to see how much, if any, defiance will be tolerated.  (It would save both of us a LOT of headache and in your case, bum-ache, if you would just accept that that amount is NONE.)  It’s been hard for me to see my sweet child turn argumentative and to have to intervene with correction when you decide to tantrum rather than obey.  But I know that testing the rules and learning to submit your will to that of your parent is all part of growing up.  And I figure if God can be so gracious as to put up with me and my never ending string of defiant thoughts and disobedient actions, despite the known consequences, then I can do the same with you.  It seems that three is the age at which you begin to find out what it truly means to be an individual, a person, sin nature and all.  And nothing is more important to me, James, than that we work through that learning process together so that you come out with a strong sense of your self, a firm grasp on what choices God would have you to make, and a love for Him that helps you to make the right ones.

Happy third birthday, Sweet Pea.

Love, Mama


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