Crisp Autumn Eve 3 Column from TCBOTB

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Our House is CLEAN ... though probably not for long

Like a friend of mine said (yes, YOU, Amanda), my house could stay clean if I moved my family out of it. Sadly, she is right. What I am referring to is that we did a major overhaul on our house this weekend to get it ready for the LCJ (Lake Country Journal – magazine) photographer who came out Monday morning. Earlier this fall someone came out to take outside pictures before too much of the foliage started dying and before winter would settle in, but now it was time to showcase the INSIDE of the house. All last week I did little bits here and there to prepare and get things uncluttered, organized, in their rightful places …. Or in some cases, just temporarily hidden. Our carpets were cleaned Wednesday, our new sectional delivered Thursday, and the boy’s new beds delivered Friday (which went straight into storage downstairs for the time being). Then this weekend we tackled all the cleaning, scrubbing, vacuuming, and some much needed decorating etc. We did everything short of washing the walls. In the process of all of this, we actually somewhat reclaimed our living room from the children. All of their toys (other than the cubicle/bookcase which houses some of their toys and books) were moved into their rooms – some temporarily; many others, permanently. After all was said and done we did move a few toys back into the living room …. But I am hoping we can continue to keep a majority in their rooms to prevent our living room from looking, again, like a daycare facility.
The photographer, Pete Pelony, got here around 9:45 Monday AM and got right to work. Here I was thinking this would be like a 30-45 minute job at the most…. But it took him almost 30-45 minutes to haul in his 4 loads of equipment and get it set up before he even took one shot. I mean this was definitely much more professional and technical than I had envisioned. All in all, he photographed the dining room, kitchen (from 2+ angles), the living room and our bedroom. Then he did some more creative shots moving some of our things around etc. We watched him for the first hour or so, but then got out of his hair and pent ourselves up in the boys’ room. Ended up even having lunch in the boys’ room too…. Got out their Little Tykes play table and we had a little picnic in there which they loved. They even asked if they could do that again for dinner. Now we just wait for the article to come out – I can’t wait to see what images they showcase and how the article turns out.
Another bit of news…. As I had stated earlier (I think), we were originally going to be working on the boys’ room this coming weekend, but that has been put off a bit. The guy who was going to come out to do our wall work (texture, popcorn etc) came down with some sort of bug and wasn’t up for starting quite yet, so he will be starting next week instead. So hopefully that following weekend (or even late that week) we can get to painting and getting everything else done. The woodwork (trim, doors) are all stained and finished and were dropped off yesterday … so once the walls are ready, I think we’ll just fly right through all of it. I can’t wait for them to have their new room with their new big boy beds. I’m hoping to use this as leverage and motivation for potty training. The ole … “Well, you guys are big boys now…. With your big boy room, your big boy beds. And big boys don’t wear diapers … they wear underwear and use the big boy potty.” I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to register with them… but I’m sure going to try and put some real effort into this potty training thing. I’ve even been pointing out to them at preschool how ALL the other kids in class are using the potty and don’t wear diapers, … a little bit of peer pressure oughta do the trick right?
Speaking of preschool… the boys are doing SO well. They are so good at paying attention during circle time (both with and without me there), listening to the teachers ….. and doing more for themselves with their art projects. MacKay LOVES to cut. Just this week we made Gingerbread men and he LOVED cutting out the strips of paper to decorate the hands/feet. Oscar is more about painting and gluing. He’s quite adamant that HE squeeze the glue bottle… which I’m sure you all can realize the result of that – VERY gooey artwork. They are able to recall almost all the names of the kids in their class. Each time they will list different ones and just leave 1 or 2 out … but the next time they will mention those names and leave a couple others out. They definitely have their favorites that they always remember and love to talk about and I love seeing that they are making friends …. Even some GIRLS are referred to quite often as their favorite friends.
Diesel 10 continues to be the rave in our house (MacKay’s gift from Santa this past Xmas). He still brings him to bed with him EVERY night and carries him around practically ALL day long. I say practically because from time to time he will put him down to play with something else, though it isn’t long before I hear those all too familiar words, said in sheer panic …. “Where is my Diesel 10, Mommy?” He just has a complete melt down until he finds him, like the world is just not right if Diesel 10 is not in his grasp. Sometimes Oscar will jump at the chance to play with Diesel 10 when MacKay has moved (temporarily) onto something else, and when MacKay wants it back it’s like WWIII is beginning in our house. You can tell Oscar holds onto him just a LITTLE longer than he really wants to…. Just to torment and taunt MacKay too – which he does SUCH a good job at. MacKay even demands that Diesel 10 join us at mealtimes as well …. Placed right in front of his plate just staring at him. It’s insane how obsessed he is with him. And Oscar too. They both now are constantly begging me to put in movies (which there aren’t many of) with Diesel 10 in them. Recently, they have begun looming over me at the computer chanting “Find pictures of Diesel 10 on your ‘puter, Mommy.” They love looking through the images I Google and pointing out the pictures that they like of him. HIT Entertainment, (makers of Thomas shows)….. PLEASE put a rush on your “Day of the Diesels” movie you apparently are working on as I am ANXIOUSLY awaiting its release. And if you can’t rush that, just even sneaking him into one of your Saturday morning shows on PBS would suffice. Unnnnghh.
Music has been a pretty big thing in our house lately too. Both the boys are quickly learning more and more new songs courtesy of Evie’s little Fisher Price photograph and their karaoke machine. Humpty Dumpty, London Bridge, and How Much is that Doggie in the Window are some of the new ones they have been working on. Evie likes the karaoke machine as well and more enjoys making weird noises along with the music (mouth RIGHT up on the microphone) or just dancing along. She much prefers simply walking around the house constantly singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It’s quite amazing … she really has the whole song down. She has all the right notes and tones…. All the right amount of beats/syllables … and usually has it all in the right order. Of course there aren’t any words… but similar sounds. Twinkle is “Dee-Doh Dee-Doh [Dee Doh Daaahh]”. Then “Ow ahh waa waa waa ooo ahhh”, “Ahh pah bah dah wa wa eye” ….. I could go on. I try to get it on video but every time she sees that thing (just like the boys) she freezes and is more interested in the actual camera than anything else. I’m dying to get it captured though… if I do I’ll be sure to load it up on and share it out here.
Games would be the other obsession. We try to play at least one a day. We (the boys and myself) can usually squeeze in one (or more) during Evie’s nap time … and we usually try to squeeze in one or two before bedtime as a whole family and try to get Evie involved someway, or keep her preoccupied with something else while we sneak in a game. Uno Moo is always the favorite. The boys are getting very good at it and now are even saying “Uno Moo” when they only have one piece left. They love saying HOW their pieces match (animal or color) and they get the concept of winning (always wanting a high five). Just the other night Oscar said “I’m a WINNER!” The newest crave…. their new Leapster 2s that they got from Gpa Gary and Gma Terri as a late Xmas present. They had sent us money to put in their accounts and to purchase some gifts as they weren’t coming home (from AZ) for the holidays this year, so after we saw what they hauled in for Xmas from everyone else, we decided to get them Leapsters. They have quite a few games to go with them, though from what I’ve seen, they all seem a little above their ability at this point. Though one of the games they have works on tracing to help them with writing their letters and numbers, so I think we’ll start with that soon. So far they are getting really good at the shapes game we downloaded as their free download when setting it up. Basically it shows them “blueprints” for an item that they have to build by fitting different shapes into the spaces. They get frustrated easily, as they have to be very exact with the pointers for the screen, and like to tell me “I can’t do it, Mommy” but I just keep telling them that they need to keep trying. They also like the coloring game that comes standard on it, but are more interested in the different stamps they can use to gussy up the pre-made backgrounds. Oscar loves the spiders and lady bugs that skitter around, while MacKay likes the scorpion and octopus.
Other than that, not too much is new. It’s only been a week since the last post so not a lot of time for much change. But I was able to snap some fun pictures… including some right after the photographer had left as proof that our house was immaculate. Definitely not to be compared to the artistic pictures that Pete snapped at our house, soon to be seen in Lake Country Journal….. but more just for documenting purposes, and for those of you that haven’t been able to see the recent changes we’ve made to the place. So enjoy.
Poor MacKay... forgot to mention, in the middle of trying to get the house ready poor MacKay had a touch of the flu. Off and on high grade temps, sleeping a lot, eating virtually nothing .... finally ended up getting "sick" late Friday night though it wasn't much (more like spitting) as he hadn't eaten anything for almost 2 days at that point. Snapped a picture of my little angel cathing a snooze in Daddy's chair.

The boys playing with their Wedgits ..... MacKay, feeling a little better after his Ibuprofen kicked in.

Oscar playing some tunes on Evie's Classic Fisher Price Phonograph (sidenote - I totally had the original of one of these when I was young.... love it). Oscar's always looking for the "Jack and Jill" record to play.

Evie helping Daddy make a Wedgits tower

The kiddos having their "picnic" (lunch) in their room while we were hole'd up in there during the photoshoot.

The boys with their new Leapster 2s.

Just some pictures of our house.... CLEAN.... ORGANIZED... DECORATED (though minimal - my style). Mainly took pictures just of the areas that we've renovated in the past 5 years - plus a picture of our new sectional.

Come back again soon.... I'll be sure to give a report on the status of the house (clean vs back to normal).

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