Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mommy’s Piggy Tales – 1st Grade

I’m participating in a project called Mommy’s Piggy Tales where I’ll be writing stories about my childhood once a week for 15 weeks, starting with birth and ending with graduation in the hopes that my children, and possibly my children’s children, will one day appreciate it.


I had the best teacher for 1st grade.  Her name was Mrs. Lucas and she had bright red hair (at least I think she did - that’s how I remember her anyway).  I don’t know how old she was, but she seemed like a grandma to me.  A grandma with bright red hair.

At some point during the year, Mrs. Lucas got a new kitten.  She knew that I loved kittens (well, really, who didn’t in 1st grade?) and she invited me to her house to meet her new kitten and swim in her pool.

I felt so special that my teacher asked ME to visit her home.  I remember I wore a leather-ish skirt and a white top with matching leather strings at the neck.  I swam in her pool and met her adorable black and orange calico kitten.  I think there may have even been ice cream involved.  Perhaps she invited all the kids to her house - I’ll never know – but I’ve carried that feeling of being special all these years.  What an amazing gift!

Sometime around 1st grade, I found another gift – my best friend.  My mom and I had just moved to our new house.  It was about a half hour out of town, but I was still going to school in town, so didn’t know any kids in the neighborhood.  One day I was out in our front yard playing by myself when I heard someone yell, “Hey, kid!”  (or was it, “Hey, girl”?)  I looked up the street and saw two girls playing in a yard.

Not being overly skilled in the friend-making department, I knew I’d need some sort of peace-offering, so I ran into the house to get some Oreos (my very favorite cookie!) to share.  By the time I got back out, the girls were gone.  Foiled! 

I can’t remember what happened after that or how I actually did meet those girls, but one of them became my best childhood friend and we both remember that first non-meeting and laugh.  We spent a lot of time running back and forth between each others houses, playing in the woods, and writing marathon letters when we were separated over the summers and it all started in 1st grade.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chalkboard Thought Bubble


Now that Father’s Day is over, I can show you the great project the girls and I made for their dad.  He has been seriously into photography lately, which is very nice because it makes it easier to find presents for him.

A few weeks before Father’s Day, I caught him checking out a very cool site called PhotoJojo.  They have a bunch of fun accessories for the photographer.  We did end up ordering him a few things from there, but one item caught my eye as something we could make ourselves: the Chalkboard Thought Bubble!

One day while Dad was at work, we grabbed our tools and got to work.  I decided to use a piece of the giant white board that we had sitting in our garage because it’s light weight and easily paintable. (It’s actually called shower board at the hardware store, but it makes fantastic white boards.)

Then, we (I) went to town with the jig saw.  First, I cut a smaller rectangle off so it was easier to work with. 


I taped the line where I wanted to cut with masking tape to help keep the board from chipping and splintering when I cut it.


Then, I drew in the curved corners and the little jutting do-hickey at the bottom and cut them out.  I did it all free-hand, but I think it looks pretty good!


Finally, we grabbed our trusty cardboard paint and gave both sides a couple of coats.


We found some of those chalk ink pens at Michael’s and included those with the board.  I must say, they’re pretty darned cool!

And here’s what Daddy got on Father’s Day!


We had a lot of fun writing silly phrases and taking pictures with goofy faces!

Hope you all had a great Father’s Day!

I'm linking this up to:

Making All Thingz Related Show and Tell Green The Trendy Treehouse

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mommy’s Piggy Tales – The Preschool Years

I’m participating in a project called Mommy’s Piggy Tales where I’ll be writing stories about my childhood once a week for 15 weeks, starting with birth and ending with graduation in the hopes that my children, and possibly my children’s children, will one day appreciate it.

Some people (like my husband) have incredibly clear memories of their early years and can describe in detail the places they went, what they thought about while they were there, what they were wearing, and what they ate in the car on the way to said place.  I am not one of those people.


I have just snippets of memories of my preschool years.  These years just seem to be vague impressions for me, but I do have a few, relatively clear memories.

I was born in <city, state>, but at some point we moved to <a different state>.  I don’t actually know when we moved, but I do know that my parents split up when I was 2 and we had already moved (at least I think that’s right).  I remember next to nothing about living there and my mom and I moved back to <original state> when I was 5 and then my dad moved back too, but to the other side of the state.


My clearest memory from early preschool is losing my first tooth.  I was at school and we were all getting on our cots for naptime.  They were those canvas cots with the metal frames and I must have hit my mouth on the side as I went to lie down because out came my tooth!  I guess I didn’t understand that you lose teeth as you grow up and I don’t remember what I thought about it, but I do remember that I THREW IT AWAY!  Thankfully, one of the teachers must have noticed that my tooth was missing and learned where it had ended up because she pulled it out of the garbage for me so I could save my first tooth for the tooth fairy.

One day, when I was 4, my mom took me shoe shopping.  (I have no memory of this day, but I’ve heard the story from my mom several times…)  As she was paying for the shoes, I tried to say something to her, but my speech was slurred and unclear.  My mom knew immediately that something was wrong and she pulled me out of the store without the shoes and headed for the doctor.

It turns out I had had a seizure.  After several tests, they learned that I had some scar tissue in my brain (possibly caused from a fall down some steps that ended with me landing on my head on the concrete floor – this will become a trend throughout my childhood) that was causing very small seizures.  I was put on phenobarbital which, according to my dad, made me bounce off the walls until my body had acclimated to it.

My parents get pretty upset when they remember this time. (I think I was pretty much clueless.)  My dad remembers taking me in for an MRI or an EEG as one of the worst days of his life.  I remember that he promised me ice cream afterwards.

Luckily, for me, the seizures were never (with one exception) very large.  I actually remember sitting in Second grade having one and no one even noticed.  Luckier still, they ended after a major event when I was 8.  Though it was a fairly short-lived issue that I barely remember, I still consider those experiences as a defining time in my childhood.


My most clear memories are of kindergarten and they make me laugh every time I think of them.  My kindergarten was offered through my day care, so I actually had no clue I was in kindergarten until I graduated.  I was too busy playing Wonder Woman with the boys.  This game consisted of the boys trying to get into the little play house out in the yard and me grabbing them by the wrist and swinging them around and around until they went flying off before coming back to try again.  (Do you remember how Wonder Woman used to do that?  She was awesome!)

The other game we played was “KISS”.  No, not kiss-ING…KISS, as in the band!  There were a few boys that were often there late like I was and they always wanted to pretend they were members of the band KISS.  I was a girl, so I couldn’t be in the band, but I could be a groupie!  They’d run around that daycare doing who knows what and I’d chase around right behind them, as any good groupie would.

Preschoolers are dorks.  Gotta love ‘em!



Linking up to:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fabric Freaks Me Out

I’m freakin’ out just a little bit because I finally had time to order the fabric for my family room!  I’m so excited that it will be here soon and I can finally make the room look a bit more…friendly.  But I can’t figure out why I picked the fabrics I picked.

Lately the rooms I love feature seaglass colors: blues and greens like Kate at Centsational Girl posted about today.  I just love the Candace Olsen Office:

And this dining room:


And this blue living room (my file says this is from House To Home, but I don’t know the URL):

blue-living-room4 from house to home 
And I really love this bedroom Kate did for her daughter:


And these laundry rooms:


(The Centsational Girl again.  Clearly I just need to move into her house…)

laundryroomafter Censational Girl

And have you SEEN all the turquoise I’ve been using lately:  Here and here and here?

So, can someone please explain to my why, when I went to the fabric store, I chose these:

Light Couch and Pillows  Brown Couch and Pillows

Don’t get me wrong.  I still love these fabrics, but now that I’ve ordered them, I’m concerned that they just won’t “stick” for me and that it won’t go with the rest of my house.  You know?

The thing I need to remember is that this is just pillows, curtains, and my ottoman – the things that are easy to change with the seasons.  Perhaps this is just my summer look…

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sprucing up the Garage - Painting the Door

As I posted yesterday, I spent Saturday morning cleaning out my garage and Sunday painting my garage door.  I thought I’d post today about how I did it.  This was actually one of the easiest projects I’ve ever undertaken (once the incredibly heavy door was taken down), so if you’ve ever really wanted to paint a door, but were too nervous to do it, read on:

First, we had to get down the door.  This is an exterior door, so it is solid and HEAVY.  Once we got it down, I behaved like a big girl and taped up the sides and the handle and deadbolt.  I used a plastic baggy over the handle and then just taped it down. 

(One note, the tape I used didn’t cover the entire width of the sides.  I forgot about that and wasn’t careful, so I got a bit of overspray on the sides.  It’s not bothering me much, but you should either use wider tape or be more careful than I was.)

Then I sanded the door to rough it up and get any major junk off.

It’s good if you can get some help…
Once the sanding was complete, I wiped the whole door down and went to work with my spray paint.  I used Valspar Mediterranean blue.

Since I figured any drips would really drive me nuts as I walked through the door every day, I made sure to put on several light coats.

(I did find that I started having issues with my first can of paint covering at all.  I think the nozzle was probably clogged a bit because the can still had plenty in it.  I switched to the other can and the paint came out in nice even coats once again.)

When I pulled the tape off the door handle, I realized that the tape had covered part of the door and that I had a white spot under the handle.  To fix that, I just sprayed some paint into a paper plate and touched it up with a small craft paint brush.

Since I was on a painting roll, I also pulled down the hand rail, gave it a light sanding…

And then just ONE coat of Rustoleum’s Ultracover 2x Spray paint.  That stuff covers amazingly well!

Once the door was dry, I had my husband and his friend put the door back up (good job guys!) and here’s how it looks now!

I’ve walked through it about 20 times so far and I smile at it every time!

I’m linking up to these parties:

All Thingz Related

Monday, June 14, 2010

How to Spend a Saturday – Cleaning the Garage

You may remember that I woke up Saturday morning very early (for me), raring to get going on cleaning out our garage.  Well, I actually DID go downstairs and start working on the garage.  Here’s what I saw Saturday morning:

DSC_1921 DSC_1922
Man, that is really embarrassing.  You can see that we were able to still fit a car in…barely.  The problem started last year when we cleaned out the garage.  We had a bunch of stuff left over that we needed to Craigslist, but we never got around to it.  That pile of stuff was right in the way, which meant we could never get in to put other things away, so those other things just added to the pile.  In the past several weeks, the problem had stepped up in a big way.

So, I got to work just putting away things that actually had a home.  Then I moved everything else out into the middle of the garage, so I could see what needed to be dealt with.
That actually looked much better, but felt even more daunting because now we had to decide what to do with these things.

By this time, it was late enough to go grab my husband and make him ask him very nicely to help me.  We spent most of the day Saturday working on this puppy and here’s what it looked like Saturday afternoon:

There’s still a Craigslist pile, but everything is actually listed and we’ve gotten rid of some of it already!

At some point on Saturday, I decided that the door to the house really needed some paint because it was all scuffed up and impossible to get clean.  For some reason, my husband had no problem with this and he helped me take it down Sunday in preparation for its makeover.  I even took off the hand rail and gave that some paint too!
I’ve got tons of pictures of this project that I’ll share tomorrow, but for now, I’ll just share the after:

DSC_2042 DSC_2041
How cool is that?  Of course, now something needs to be done about those big clunky stairs.  Hmmm…

I’m linking up to:

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