Friday, November 21, 2008

A Painting Project, Part 2

Holy doodle, I'm living on the Advil after this one.

It took me a total of three days, but Quinn's room is finally finished. Well, the painting that is... the furniture will come tomorrow with the big move and the pictures/art/cool things will be hung over time. I'm in no hurry to wreck my new walls!

So, where did we leave off? I think I was getting ready to paint the first coat of the green. It went on rather thinly (I guess as it is a lighter colour) but being green, it hid the purple very well.

After the First Coat of Green
After the first coat of green...

The Closet After One Coat of Green
The closet is thankfully, no longer pink.

After cleanup, this (and the continued conquest of Mt. Laundry) had eaten up my second day. By Wednesday morning, I was itching to get going and get the second coat of green. Four hours after that, I took the tape off... and had to go around the room with tiny brush and touch up where the tape had pulled off some of the blue. That being finished, my friend Tracy helped me stick up the animal alphabet so that it was a) quasi straight and b) quasi balanced, two things that my astigmatism mess with frequently. It's so bad I have to use a level to hang a picture. No, really...

Detail of Animal Decals
Animal decals, courtesy of Bang on the Door.

I rehung the mirror in the closet and hung the drapes on the window. Viola!

Finished Closet with Mirror
The now green closet with the mirror. Quinn can practice his funny faces to his heart's content.

Finished With Drapes
The finished room... sans furniture of course.

I couldn't wait until the boys got home that night to check out my handiwork. Sean was suitably impressed and I think Quinn was too... it was hard to tell as he kept running around the room in circles, chanting the alphabet really fast and then falling down laughing. Maybe it's the new daycare provider.... :)

So there you have it. The purple princess nightmare is dead. That will be it for painting projects for a while... well, at least until the warmer weather. Now all I have to do is survive this move tomorrow and open a cold one at the newly christened Black Cat Bar. Sable would have been proud.

Wish us luck.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Painting Project, Part 1

We move in on Saturday, but I'm already hip deep in my first renovation project.

As I mentioned in my last post, the house is newly painted in modern colours that I love. All but one room, that is. My bedroom is a lovely green, the spare room is a rich heritage blue and Quinn's room... well, his room was a pink and purple nightmare. Fit for a princess, but not my little prince.

The Princessy Pink and Purple (of Doom)
A view of the closet. To quote Quinn: "It's so princess, Mom!"

It had to go. Now.

I had a lot of paint leftover from the nursery project and wanted to incorporate the dresser and rocking chair into his new room. After much deliberation, I decided to paint the walls with the blue and have a green stripe running midway up the walls and entirely around the room. Once we got to the house and discovered that the closet was pink, I decided to paint the closet green as well. The first thing I had to do however, was to try and nuke the purple with a layer of primer. After that had dried and cured, I measured out a foot wide stripe in the middle of the wall (you'll see why later) and marked it out with my new handy dandy plum bob/chalk line.

After a Coat of Primer
After the primer. You can see my chalk lines. It still looks purple.

The next half hour or so was spent taping off the stripe so that I could put a coat of blue on. I wouldn't be honest if I didn't add that it was tedious.

Tape Job
I has tape.

This is what the room looked like after one coat.

One Coat Down...
You can still see the purple.

I ended up passing out in a lawn chair (the only other inhabitant of my living room other than toys) as I waited for my family to arrive and check out my handiwork. They were pleasantly surprised. Quinn said "Wow! It's so blue!", which I took as the greatest of compliments.

After a nights rest (ha!), I started back at it today. The room got a second coat of blue and that killed the purple once and for all. You can see my new Ladybug on the floor there.

Two Coats of Blue
Much better. Die, purple, die!

I let that dry and cure and then ventured to rip off the tape. This is always a bit nerve wracking as I always expect half the paint to rip off with it. This time tho', things worked out pretty well.

Awaiting More Tape
Ready for the next round of tape.

While cleaning that up I paused and thought that it looked really cool with the blue and white, but had plans for green and must therefore press on. Then I remembered having the exact same thoughts when I was at this stage while painting the dresser. It must be the fumes.

More to come... I started the green stripe/closet today and plan on giving it a final coat tomorrow. My girl Tracy is coming over to help with the house and I hope to have it done by then.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We're Movin' on Up!

It may not be the east side (it's the northwest side, actually), but we are definitely getting our piece of the pie.

As you well know, we've been looking for a house for quite some time. Shortly after our first one fell through, we found it. Actually, it was one of the 13 that we looked at, but at the time decided it was too expensive. Fate, karma, chaos... whatever it is that rules my life in particular, decided it was the house. We could not get it out of our minds and as soon as our other house fell through, right on cue the price dropped dramatically. It was to be ours.

Now, in the efforts of maintaining some privacy, I'm not going to spill all the goods. What you will be interested in knowing tho', is that it is a two story detached, on a court in a quiet mature neighbourhood. It has a lovely open concept main floor, a kitchen with an island, a walk in closet in the master bedroom and new laminate flooring throughout. The only carpet in fact, is on the stairs, in the basement and in the kids rooms. Even the master bedroom has laminate, which gives the room a bright airy feel to it.

Home Sweet Home
Welcome to our new house.

The garage has been divided laterally in half, creating a mud room and a storage area in front. The basement is fabulous and meant for entertaining... not only is there a beautiful bar, but we also have our own fireplace! This house offers so much, not the least of which is the "move in ready" quality of it. The only room that needs painting will be Quinn's. Right now it's a garish girlie purple. You can be sure that there will be many pics to come of it's coming transformation. He seems to be excited for his new "boys room". His one request, thus far, seems to be "and a pi-wowl [pillow] too Mom, ok?"

The rest of the house is newly painted in colours that I love. I really am looking forward to making this house our home.

The Dining Room and Beyond...
The view from the dining room through the french doors to the gazebo deck. No, that is not our furniture. (Like we own anything that looks THAT good! Well, so far.... )

This house promises us so much. After living in apartments for the last 15 years or so, it is a welcome addition to our family. As I've said before, for every new expense, there is one that we're overjoyed to rid ourselves of.

Now comes the hard part. We've been packing for what seems like an eternity now and there is still so much left to pitch/put in a box. We're down to the last week before we get the keys and I must confess, I'm starting to panic a little. I have a write on/wipe off calendar in the kitchen and a giant war room-esque whiteboard in the dining room that maps out our every move over the next two weeks. There are appointments with the lawyer, cleaning days for both residences, painting days for Quinn's room, storage units to empty, boxes to relocate, laundry to do, daycare to go to, new daycare to find, meals to cook and full time hours to work. I also start my new job on Monday. My face looks like I've hit puberty again and half the time I feel like my skin is too tight or that I have a head full of bees. I know this will pass, I know this is just "stress", but to quote Richard Carlson, "stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness". I'm trying to combat my anxiety positively and trying to not eat (too much) junk or lose my patience. I am lucky enough to have colleagues that took some of my shifts the week before the move; I now have that week to settle down and savour the little things... such as creating the "boys room" for my little fella or seeing him run around the backyard with his pals for the first time. Holding the keys in my hand, walking over the threshold into our new home... There are going to be so many moments to cherish. I may need a mood stablilzer to get there, however. :D

It's all good.... really, really good. I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Just for a little while longer...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Goodnight Opus

After almost thirty years, the beloved penguin has been given his final resting place.

Citing many things, including an ugly social and political climate, Berkeley Breathed has sent Opus to his "paradise". In the words of the shelter worker that delivers the news to Steve Dallas, "A good place. Warm. Safe."

I can assure you, there isn't any place warmer or safer.

That's probably why there hasn't been a dry eye in our house all day. Opus' final resting place guarantees his innocence will never be lost and has managed to touch us deeply. Berkeley himself has been quoted as saying:

"As I drew him finally at the very end, I knew that that was the end — [Opus'] childhood was gone. ... It took me a few minutes. I had to pull myself back together again and face the fire."

You can find the final strip here and the very final frame here.

May you always run nekked through the bluebells saying "thhhhhppppttttthhh!". May your dandelion patch always be in bloom.

Goodbye Blubberbutt.

We're gonna miss you.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hallowe'en Hijinks, 2008

I know there is a lot that I need to catch up on here, but I could not resist a little hallowe'en update.

After a busy day of catching up on my phonecalls and cleaning like a madwoman, I made a quick "kid" dinner (KD and hotdogs) for the boys when they got home. We had plans to meet up with the Fearsome Foursome (AKA Skye, Erik and the twins) for a little Trick or Treat fun, so we had to hurry to get us all ready.

Quinn chose his own costume again this year. A week or so ago, we were at the SuperStore and had it narrowed down to three: a lion, a frog prince (Mommy's pick!) and a bat. After much discussion, he chose the bat. Since I have a penchant to wear horns and my usual all black, I thought he would make a lovely little minon. At the same time, we picked up a gore kit for Sean and a little half mask and "boney" gloves that he could wear at work. We were all set... we just had to put it all together in less than an hour.

Well, as you can guess, that didn't happen.

For those of you who ever think of getting one of those kits in the store, don't. They are crap. After mucking about with it for half an hour, I tore all the little lacerations and boils off of his face in disgust and started over. It took me less than 10 minutes and I had a pretty good looking freshly dead guy just by using the leftover adhesive on his face, toilet paper and the makeup in my bag (M.A.C. of course!). Trust me, I know dead. He wanted a bloody mouth and chin, and I have to say, I am not happy with that result at all. Next time, I'll get him to bite a pomegranate or somthing.

Zombie Dad
Zombie Daddy. Apparently looking for brains and the early 90's...

Once we got that sorted, it was time to dress our little bat. Mother Nature had been kind to us with warmer temperatures, yet we still had to put a sweater and track pants on under his costume. While I dashed off to finish up my face (I just did a my makeup a little more dramatic and arranged my horns in my hair), Sean took Quinn into his room to get him dressed. They were in there for quite some time and there was a lot of yelling off and on. I would find out later that Quinn needed two diaper changes in that time; one of which occured at the exact moment he was finished getting dressed. Of course.

All of that made us trying to leave the apartment at seven, 45 minutes after I had planned to leave. I was not impressed. However, we made it to our rendevous point and were pleasantly surprised. Actually, delighted would be a better way of describing it as we were overjoyed to find ourselves in Hallowe'en Town. Almost every house on the street had a display. There were skeletons, graveyards, ghosts, goblins, zombies, lightning, scary sounds... anything you could think of.

Hallowe'en Spooks
Some Spooky Sentinels

I remarked to Sean at the time that it was like when we were kids, but that is not correct either. It was better than that. Much better. We felt like kids again... and got to share the night with our child as we took him door to door on his first trick or treat night.

We met up with the Fearsome Foursome and their friends and the kids were estatic to see each other (they've been jonesing for some toddler fun for a bit now). They had a little visit with each other as the flow of kids continued around us. We chatted with their friends and marvelled at their glowing pumpkin display. It was quite a hit with the little folk.

The Toddler Sabbat
A Toddler Sabbat

We were only out for an hour or so, but Quinn was getting tired from all the walking and he couldn't quite manage to carry his treat bag any more. Since I didn't get a decent pic of him before we went out, I snapped a post-trick or treat photo of him in the garage.

Twick or Treeet!
A tired little bat. I swear, every house gave him double candy.

On the way home we stopped at the liquor store downtown because, after all, it was our anniversary (our 11th). It was during that trip that my attempts at zombie makeup were validated as Sean got two "Holy Fuck"s and a "What the....???" as he perused the wine selection. I thought it was pretty cool, especially in a part of town where crackheads and real life zombies are sadly a daily occurance.

We got home, tucked our little bat in and... promptly fell asleep on the couch. We both woke when the movie was over and went to bed laughing.

As Quinn would say, it was a "most lovely day". :D