Sunday, October 22, 2006

The cleaning fairy

As a little girl, whenever I had a friend sleepover, I used to do something very odd. At least, I think it's odd...you'll have to tell me if you ever did this yourself. At some point during the middle of the night we would sneak downstairs to the kitchen. That, in itself, is not the least bit odd, as I'm sure many little girls and their friends snuck a midnight snack during a slumber party. But we weren't sneaking down for food...we were sneaking down to do crazy things like clean out the cupboards and the refrigerator, mop the floors, do the dishes, and scrub the sink.

We would always leave a little note for my mom from "the cleaning fairies" and we thought she would never know it was us. I'm rather sure my mom looked forward to my slumber parties since she knew she'd be getting a sparkly clean kitchen out of the deal. I have no idea why we thought that was so fun. Perhaps it was because we didn't have to clean kitchens on a regular basis (believe me, I don't get such a kick out of it nowadays), or maybe we were just high on the joy of service. Whatever it was, we did it every single time I had a slumber party. I have to believe that I was somehow the instigator of this midnight cleaning ritual because I did it when Emily slept over, whenever Laura Lee spent the night, and Janel, and Kristin, and probably Bonnie too.

This week has been a bit crazy due to Bria's illness. I haven't gotten much cleaning done, and it doesn't help that she got sick while we were out of town, so I had all the unpacking and such that arriving home from a weekend trip entails. I also have a hard time functioning properly in chaos....when I'm pregnant I don't function anyway, so chaos is to be expected. But normally, if the house is in disarray, I don't do well.

So, I resurrected the cleaning fairy. The girls' room looked a bit like a tornado went through there and every time I asked them to clean it up they didn't get very far. I know they get overwhelmed when we don't keep up (I mean, who doesn't? I certainly do.) so I thought I'd do them a big favor and clean it up while they were asleep. So, around midnight, I crept in and sorted toys, put away books, threw away a ream of artwork done by Chloe (must blog about this child and her art obsession), folded clothes, straightened the dresser and made sure the room was ready to be vacuumed the next morning.

The girls woke up earlier than I did and within a half hour they totally ruined the cleaning fairy's work. So much for that. I guess I can only hope that someday when they have a friend spend the night the cleaning fairy will take root in their hearts and they will surprise me with a magically cleaned kitchen in the morning. The only problem is that I have a "no sleepover" policy...makes me wonder if I should rethink that.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

When it rains....it snows.

Joel woke me up at 6:00 this morning to tell me it was snowing. When I finally woke up and looked outside there was probably a good 6-7 inches on the ground. Pretty crazy stuff in the middle of October...even for Utah! Joel says he felt the "feeling of snow" in the air a couple days ago...he's pretty proud of the fact that he predicted it would snow and wasn't surprised at all to see it this morning.

Speaking of a couple days ago...the last several days have been difficult. We were in Orem over the weekend where Bria celebrated her 6th birthday on Friday (Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!) and then she started a high fever/loss of appetite on Saturday night. She's been totally lethargic ever since. It is now Tuesday night (well...actually Wednesday morning) and she has still not eaten a thing. She has existed on water and juice for the past several days. Her fever has not gone away, and she just lays there and doesn't talk much. If you know Bria, you know that this is rather alarming.

I took her to the pediatrician both yesterday morning and this morning. They ruled out strep, bronchitis and pneumonia and thought it might be appendicitis, but weren't confident enough to take any action. Just told me to watch her for another 24 hours. Well...this afternoon her fever climbed again to over 103 degrees and she was literally screaming about the pain in her abdomen.

It was a real struggle to me to decide to take her to the ER...mainly because the pediatrician really didn't think this was anything serious, and I didn't want to overreact. I didn't want to show up at the ER and have it be nothing really. But...I felt strongly that something was definitely not right. I knew we wouldn't get to the bottom of it unless we took her into the ER. Joel agreed. So tonight we went in. (And, as a sidenote to all my Arizona buddies: we were taken back to triage less than FIVE minutes after walking into emergency.)

Turns out the poor child actually does have pneumonia. Something the pediatrician had earlier ruled out. The abdominal pain was actually originating in her lower lung and causing some distress to her diaphragm. So, we're set now with antibiotics, a nebulizer and instructions. Hopefully we will see some improvement soon.

Just goes to show, trust your instincts. As a mother I knew something was really wrong with Bria and I feel bad that I didn't push it harder with the doctor this morning. I will next time, that's for sure. I have learned my lesson: Mother knows best. And I am just as proud of that fact as Joel is about the fact that he knew it would snow today.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Home Decorating 101

It's been really fun for me to have home decorating projects again. I think after the first year in Arizona I just gave up on the place. I made it look as good as I could and decided I wasn't going to waste resources on it anymore. (I am sure that those of you who lived on base with me will agree there's not much to be done in those old houses!) So, here are a few of the things I've done lately, although I only have pictures of one project.

Furniture: I inherited my grandmother's old dinette set and hutch. The first line of business was to give them a makeover. It is pretty old and the paint was chipping a bit, and some of the chairs were discolored (I assume because of where they were in relationship to windows) and most of the seats were stained.

Project: It took me several weeks, but I found the perfect fabric to recover the chairs in. I also added the plastic stuff so they are easy to keep clean. I spray painted everything black. The hutch was a huge annoyance to do...I'm thinking I'm never painting a hutch again. Ever. But, I do love the end result. These are the before and after pictures of my chairs. Today I plan to use the extra fabric from covering them to make a valance for the dining area window.

I bought a great rooster tureen off of eBay that is the perfect centerpiece for my "new" black table. (I collect roosters, and most of them live in the kitchen. That is the reason the fabric colors go so beautifully...they match all the rooster feathers!) Got a picture of it off the eBay website so y'all can see that, too:


Furniture: Entertainment Center. I finally got rid of my rundown entertainment center in Arizona. Here, I found a great piece of furniture at DI for 25 dollars. It's a tall shelf (perfect since we have vaulted ceilings in the living room and I needed the height) and I thought that our TV would fit perfectly in it. Wasn't sure, so I went home and measured and came back the next day with my measuring tape. Perfect was right...seriously, there is barely space on each side and it fits exactly front to back. And, to top it off, DI had lowered the price to 15 dollars!

Project: I will admit, it didn't look like that great of a shelf. It was filthy and scratched. But, with a little cleaning up and shellacking it looks like I might have purchased it at Pier 1. Now I just need to buy some more IKEA DVD basket holder thingies (I had one already). But, alas, IKEA does not sell this particular item online, only in the stores. Hopefully my mom can pick up some for me while she's in Seattle in a couple weeks. Then it will be perfect and all our DVD/Videos will be nice and hidden. I am also going to paint our CD holder things a darker color to match the wood. One stands on either side of the shelf to make it look more substantial.

Furniture: Dresser for our room. I finally found a good one at DI...25 dollars this time. Gave Sophia the one Joel had been using (it's a dresser bought at a garage sale when I was pregnant with Bria. It was fixed up for her arrival in the first place, and is perfect for a baby's room).

Project: Haven't started yet. This will be something I do this month though, slowly but surely. The dresser is UGLY. Someone painted the drawers the ugliest tan color imaginable, and the rest of it is painted dark brown. The pulls are hideous. But, it's sturdy, in great condition and made of solid wood. I'm going to strip it and stain (not paint) it black. Get some fancy pulls that I like and I think it will turn out beautifully. Going to have to do this one drawer at a time, and then get the whole dresser after that.

Fun stuff. It's kept me busy, but my creative juices are being all used up here and I haven't done much scrapping. Ah well, I'll have a much nicer looking house to scrap in soon enough.