Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'm on Vacation


I'm on vacation. But once everybody is into school, and into the swing of things, I *promise* I will dig through comments and visit all of you. Summer with all the energy, chaos, and well, kids, doesn't leave as much time for visiting your blogs as I would like. Thanks for your patience!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Monday

Every August since he was about 10 years old my husband has headed to Hilton Head S.C. for a week of vacation.  This year there were conflicts, the biggest being my oldest child's High School orientation (she'll be a freshman).  So we worked it out that he would head south with the majority and I'd stay here with the oldest- and after orientation I'd drive down too.
(For the record, I have driven to Hilton Head without my husband numerous times because of work conflicts- and then he'll fly in and meet us)
Saturday my husband and 5 of our 6 children drove to S.C. to spend a few days at the beach.
To be completely honest, I really don't want to go join them at the beach.  I am having a marvelous time here in my house without all the chaos!
The oldest and I have spent the weekend working on her bedroom (I posted about the teen-ager bedroom make over here and here)
As we haven't had the younger ones distracting us we got back to work.

new to you furniture, part of the great "bedroom makeover" project, dresser drawers were her aunt's but in the attic so she's cleaning
still so much to do!

She spent a very rainy weekend in her room. This set of dresser drawers was her Aunt's. It has been in the attic for a number of years but I need her old ones for Bitsy and MLyons in their room... so we dug this out. I forgot how sturdy it is. It does need some work, the drawers don't all line up properly, but it is made by Bassett and so might be worth the effort.

Today, Monday, I had a meeting at the office at 9.  So I drove K in and she worked while I was at the meeting.  (K's dad taught her a bit of SAP and so she's been doing some "mapping" for him this summer.) And then we had loads of things to take to the DAV thrift store which I like to donate to because it is on my side of town- so I feel my donations service people who go to school with my kids. K did a run through to see if there was anything interesting and I went in as well.

locker, gun case?, heavy "box" what is it?
what it is?

I found this under the table at the DAV. I'm not exactly sure what it is. At first I thought perhaps a gun case? But my mother's boyfriend said if it were a gun case the handle would be more likely to be on the side and not on the top. Hmmm... whatever it is, it is solid, and the wood has that wonderful beaten up "do I have a story" sort of feel to it. I hemmed and hawed a bit and decided it was worth a try. Maybe we will put it at the foot of K's bed, or maybe in a corner, but it is kind of an interesting piece. And then someday I can put it on the deck and make it a pottery shelf.
vintage? suitcase

And K seemed to think that this vintage suitcase would also look good in a corner, maybe with some books stacked on top of it.

We looked around a bit more and found a lovely china plate, two wonderful belts (or $2 a piece!) and a couple of blouses.  And then we hit the Goodwill of Williamsburg and scored 3 pair of jeans.  Yay us!

pretty lavender flowers

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Deer encounter

Deer along the path, out for a walk, saw 1 large doe, 2 smaller ones, and 2 babies, snapshot with iphone
along Mounts Bay Rd walking path

Look closely, there is a doe watching me, she is along the path (left in the photo) and there is a baby barely seen to her right behind the clump of dark tree trunks.  Then keep coming right and you'll see another doe and just behind her is another baby.

There was a break in the rain and thunder today so the dog and I went out for a short walk.  We came upon this group of five.  I was talking to them and moving slowly because to the left of the path, literally 3 feet left, is the road.  And it was busy.  So I didn't want to startle the deer that way.  The doe just sort of stared me down for several minutes, all the while the dog and I are inching left keeping ourselves between the cars and the deer.  Finally she turned and led her little band back through the small revine to the river.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Potty Time!

if ever you've been involved in teaching a child to use a toilet you know what an "adventure" that can be.

Little Hawk is currently potty training.  He'll be three years old at the end of September so, you know, it's about time.

When we returned home from our marathon road trip last month his bum was sporting some diaper rash from the long car ride so it seemed the perfect time to get out the potty.

I tend to let them run about bare for a week to get the connection between the urge to go, and going.  It has worked well in the past.  Little Hawk made that connection right away and within two days was very consistently putting everything in his little potty.  So around day 4 I put his training pants on.  His little bum was covered, he seemed to think it was a new kind of diaper and used it accordingly.  Hmmm.  It has been about 4 weeks.  If he is bare, all goes well, if he is covered he uses his covering like a diaper.  I'm starting to get a little concerned.

I know some of you may be shrugging, what is the big deal about the bare bum?  Well, for one thing he has school aged siblings who have friends.  And some of these friends do not have younger siblings and are a little startled by the little boy running about.  Add to the mix that Little Hawk, like just about any male I've ever encountered, finds his little penis intriguing and tends to run about with one hand firmly holding on to his favorite body part.  We actually had a conversation at dinner one night when his 7 year old sister was bothered that Little Hawk was eating with one hand, but the other was, well you guessed it. But the kicker was yesterday when I found him trying to use his penis to dial the phone.

yep - it is time to tuck that thing away into a nice pair of big boy pants.

And so my friends, I'm wondering, do you have any tips for making the jump from bare bum to pants whilst using the potty?  I'm out of ideas.

crazy = normal

recently I sent an email to my husband in reply to one he sent me: sorry, accidentally hit send before I was done and then R. came to pick up Tiger for junior high orientation and Bitsy is running around without clothes yelling "I am naked girl" (the painter is here) but really I am trying to respond to you oh, and Little Hawk broke a bowl just a normal day here.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Melancholy day

I know - think good! think happy!

But today I'm struggling.
There is always so much to do.  The yard is *not quite* done.  The upstairs are a mess.  I've been talking about moving rooms around for 6 months.  6 months!  And so I got started.  But...
Soccer has started.  Field Hockey has started and the boys are "behind" in Tae Kwon Do.
On Saturday we travel to the beach for a week and we miss all the back to school stuff, this happens every year, but we bought a fixed week at Hilton Head before we had kids in school and we obviously didn't think it through.  (there is more to it, but that is the simple version)

And then I hear randomly that all the *cool mommies* took their elementary aged kids to a concert last night.  Those kids are all friends with my kids.  One of those kids spent the night at my house Monday night.  But I never heard about the outing until after.  And all my preschool mommy friends are doing their things, and I find out via Facebook.  (sometimes Facebook is like Junior High and I just have to not engage)  And my husband is in Indiana.  And I'm running to all the practices on my own.  And suddenly having kids from high school age to preschool age seems very lonely.

It isn't something I ever factored in.  And then there is the family bit.  Both my husband's grandparents and my mom resent that my having all these kids has altered their "grandparenthood" they are not living the grandparent dream they anticipated.  I don't know if they consciously realize this.  But to me it is apparent.  My mom in particular resents that our adult relationship is not what she thought it would be.  I've had a toddler for 12 years running.  She wants them to grow up so we can go have coffee and check out cool shops.  One of my sisters used to exhibit signs of resentment too.

I started thinking about this a while ago and I realized that the mommy blogs I follow with families of several children, especially the ones that talk about adopted or fostered children, rarely mention the grandparents.  And so I wonder, large "untraditional" families, do you find that sometimes having "so many" kids can be isolating?

which makes me wonder, what if one of the kids had ended up with a serious disability? How does that change people's ideas about being a grandparent?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Weekend

M-Lyons cut her hair last week.  Her hair had been almost waist length but recently she's been talking about getting it cut, and I made her wait two weeks to be sure she was ready, and she was.  She asked me to send the rest to "Locks for Love."
According to Locks for Love's website, they estimate that 80% of their donations come from children who wish to help other children.

We spent the weekend back out in the yard.  Do you see grass out there? Yes!  There is grass!  The sod was finished on Saturday.  WooHoo!

I bought flowers to change out the tired old window pots- but we didn't get to it before it rained.  But look past that pathetic pot and check out that yard!

in May it looked like this:


On Sunday I spent a ridiculous amount of time convincing my husband to drive up to Mount Vernon, because we have a friend in town who expressed interest.  But the husband didn't want to spend that much time in the car, and then our guest opted for Busch Gardens which got the kids all excited.  Until we looked at the weather radar - rain all day.  So we went to the movie theater and saw "Brave" instead.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

I'm linking up to Sally's Blue Monday - 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Indian Field Creek, York River

Today I decided I needed to get Bitsy and Little Hawk out of the house for a while.  Being the youngest they sometimes find themselves "getting shuffled" around all the busy-ness of the big kids.

It turns out that 3 of the kids had plans with various parties so it was myself, Dragon, Bitsy, Little Hawk and the dog.  We decided to see if we could find a quiet spot along the Colonial Parkway - sometimes you can, sometimes everybody is out fishing.  And with a big ol' labrador a quiet spot is helpful.  Kahn Sol (that's the dog) is a sweetie but he is big, and he wants to play in the water, and not everybody is comfortable being around him... so I try to be considerate.

One of the fun things about living here is that every where we go seems to have an historical marker:

This area is called "Indian Field Creek"

playing by the York River

I brought a sketch pad & pencils

I'm linking this post to A Southern Day Dreamer's Outdoor Wednesday

Monday, August 13, 2012

teen bedroom make-over cont.

(before photos are the previous post)
so... I got started.  Here is a peak

again, I'm taking photos with my phone because my camera is out of commission just now (very inconvenient) and here I'm having difficulty because of the window... I actually took several pictures but they are all very dark.

In any event, the room is no longer pink- it is "Likeable Sand" by Sherwin Williams (SW 6058) and I LOVE it!

But I have to tell you:

My husband *hates it* when I paint.  I haven't painted in years.  But with the never ending yard project going on, and school starting in 3 weeks and us on vacation again in 2 weeks, when is this going to happen? And he said, over and over again, "I will not paint that room again" after he painted it pink.  So I went ahead.  I got it started on Wednesday, and had it almost finished Friday (needed to touch up an area) but I told him Friday seeing as the weekend was coming up I didn't want him to walk in and get a nasty shock.

Oh my.

You would have thought I'd wrecked the car.
The carrying on. and on. and on.

So a man's coming on Thursday to "fix it" ! really.  And I've been given a list of suggested yard projects to keep me out of trouble.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Teen-Ager Bedroom Make-Over, The Challenge

just to keep my life interesting (hah!) I'm pulling apart kids' bedrooms and reorganizing.  A few years ago MLyons (then about 5 years old) convinced her dad to paint her room "Sleeping Beauty Pink."  He did.


At the time MLyons shared the room with Bitsy who is 2 1/2 years younger.  Then we added Little Hawk to the mix and moved things all around and the bright pink room became MLyons and K's to share.

more pink!

Now, we are rearranging again, and the room will be K's and K's alone.

K is 14, a freshman in High School and she has made it clear: She isn't into bright pink.

She said she wanted a cozy, cottage style room so I imagined a softer pink and lots of white or cream. I thought I could just rag roll over the pink, several layers, and that would be that. Then she said she liked quilts, scrap quilts and I decided she should make herself a coverlet. So I took her to the fabric store for some fat quarters. She picked out the following:

fat quarters
These are fabulous! but they are not going to look good in a pink room... and so, we are working on a complete make-over.

I am linking up to Beverly's Pink Saturday

and I'm linking up to Sally's Blue Monday Sally has the coolest dolphins this week. go see!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

backyard make-over

It continues!
I posted in May (more before) and June about our yard-

We returned from being away for a month and got back to work.  The drain had to be dug back out and reset. And we had to rebuild parts of the back "wall."

But the Joe-Pye Weed and the Virginia Columbine are taking off and look really good.  My husband and several other men have spent the past two weeks resetting the raised flower bed area and creating a side yard drain.  It has held through the last several rainstorms so it looks promising...

backyard choas
at the beginning of the project

another photo from May 2012

backyard august 2012, graded and ready for seed
same back yard as it is currently

to the right of the house, we put in a long drain
as this is where all the water from the street washes out our yard

back yeard, reset drain, rebuilt wall, added mulch to hold dirt
the back drops off rather sharply
I spent this past weekend planting Monarda, or Bee Balm on the slope
hoping it takes and next year we will have lots of red flowers

joe pye weed, the joe pye weed looks good and happy
the Joe Pye Weed is looking very happy!

So that is our update - there is still lots to do but it is starting to take shape.  Looking forward to having it done!

linking up to Outdoor Wednesday

Monday, August 6, 2012

Jamestown Ferry

Between Jamestown and Surry Virginia lies the Jamestown River.  The Jamestown Ferry runs across it.  It is actually called the Jamestown Scotland Ferry.  It is a free transportation service offered by VDOT.

K's friend lives in Surry.  Last week K went to her friend's house for an overnight.  Picking her up the next day provided all of us with an "outing" as we were able to ride the ferry.  The kids think it is fun.


Bitsy is not sure about getting out of the car

some people bring bread for the sea gulls, I always forget!


Jamestown, view of Jamestown from the ferryiphone photo
Jamestown from the Ferry

I'm linking up to Sally's Blue Monday

Friday, August 3, 2012

A little bunny table

I have spent the last week cleaning out closets and trying to get organized enough to begin redoing the bedrooms. There is a big switch-a-roo planned. Moving Tiger and Little Hawk into one room with Dragon, leaving K in a room by herself, and moving MLyons and Bitsy into a different room... its going to be a lot of work... While at the consignment shop unloading things from the closets last week I saw the cutest little table.  I spent some time thinking about where I'll use it, but I ended up just really liking the cozy feel of it.  I went back today to buy it. I'll offer it to K for her room first, and then if she doesn't care for it I'll put it in with the other girls.


 I just love the bunnies...


The consignment shop is "Sugar and Spice" and the owner does a really good job keeping her shop full of new things, nice things, and it is a pleasant shopping experience.
Plus - she lets you keep your account kind of open.  Some consignment shops insist that you pick up your check on a certain date.  Sugar and Spice just keeps it in the system and either prints a check when you come in and ask for it - or lets you buy against your account.  I had $40 in my account, so I spent it on the table :-)

I am going to link this up to Beverly's Pink Saturday.