Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bunk Buddies

Yesterday, the Hubby, the boys, and I went to our local Ikea in search for a shelf to fit in between our fridge and our wall (a 9" gap), so we could store our canned goods there (since there isn't really space for them anywhere else).

We walked around the whole place and checked the measurements of any self that looked a tiny bit promising. There was a DVD shelf that would fit, but there definitely wasn't enough room for the amount of canned goods we have. Then there was a wall mounted 7-shelf unit that would fit, but we weren't sure how it would handle the weight of so many canned foods. We noted the numbers to pick it up, in case we didn't find anything else, and continued on our way.

Soon, we were in the kids bedroom section. And there stood a sturdy bunk bed, that could either be two separate twin beds or a bunk. It's siren voice called to us. We had talked about getting bunk beds eventually, and we are hoping to get Gizmo into his own bed soon, and we don't really have a lot of room in our house, so a bunk bed is the best option. We looked at the price. We looked at each other. We looked around at the other beds. And then, I took down the numbers, as well as the numbers for another twin sized mattress.

And then we headed down to the warehouse section. For our canned goods, we ended up buying six single shelves (only $4.99 each!) and a dozen brackets (only .50 each!). Then, we headed to aisle 28 to pick up the bunk bed.

A couple dollars later (ok, it was a bit more than just a couple of dollars), we were packing it all into the back of the van and heading home.

And once we were home, and the boys' room was cleaned and prepped, and shelves were mounted in the kitchen, we opened the three boxes of bed and were all of the sudden overwhelmed with the complexity and enormity of the project before us. Scotty hefted two bags full of screws and dowels and brackets out of one box, and wordless instructions out of another. And we got started assembling dozens and dozens of black bed pieces. The tension was high. The kids were constantly in the way. Injuries were acquired. The tension was -really- high. Styrofoam was crumbled...everywhere. Tools and hardware were lost and found and lost and broken and found again. Dinner was late. Wishes of cheaper and easier to build beds were made. Tension was still high. But, after several hours of ridiculous labor,  we had assembled the beds, added the mattresses, sheeted them up, and were ready to put them to use.

Of course, by this point, the boys were both totally exhausted, annoyed at being ignored and snapped at while mommy and daddy worked, and also very excited about the new beds. Bug kept wanting to sleep on the bottom. "I wanta sleep with Gizmo!" And once Gizmo realized it wasn't a game to sleep in the new bed, he wanted nothing to do with it.

We were able to get Bug up on the top bunk, and settled on letting Gizmo sleep with us for at least one other night. We were too tired to fight with him after fighting with the bed all evening. But [hopefully] sooner, rather than later, our boys will be bunk buddies!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Bug has been potty trained for nearly a year now. It has been a wonderful, marvelous year that could probably make me sing. It definitely took time, but once he was ready, he transitioned from diapers to underwear very quickly and very well. Ok, he actually went from being "naked-butt" all day to underwear, but I was totally fine with that!

But, last week, he had an accident.

I'm pretty sure that our move has broken something in these little kids of mine. They don't seem to be happy very often anymore. And I mostly feel a desperate need to be able to keep them from crying for at least 3 hours, with low success. It's very discouraging at the best of times, and downright unbearable at the worst. (Like this morning, when I crawled out of bed at 4am for a shower, just to get away from an inconsolable Gizmo for 10 minutes.)

Anyway, Bug had been being goofy and defiant, as he so often is, playing around in the living room. I reminded him several times that he should probably go use the potty. He didn't listen to me.

Eventually, he ran past me in the kitchen, into the little half bathroom. Then I heard liquid hitting the floor, and an exclamation from Bug, "Uh-oh! Oh, no!"

I ran into the bathroom, to see Bug standing there, shorts still all the way up, right in front of the toilet. Peeing. And peeing. And peeing. And still, he just stood there, like there was nothing he could do. I told him to pull his pants down and pee in the toilet. (Probably not in the nicest way, considering most of my patience wore out last week, probably a day or two before the accident, and hasn't been replenished yet.)

He did pull down his shorts and peed a microscopic amount of urine into the toilet bowl. Of course, it's amazing that there was anything left. I'm pretty sure the kid had to have been full of pee up to his eyeballs. I can't imagine how such a large amount of pee fit inside such a little guy!

I helped him strip off his soiled clothes, and I gave him a wad of paper towels to help clean up the mess. Then I realized that there was way more mess than a wad of paper towels could handle, so I sent him away for a bath, and I tackled the ocean on the bathroom floor. After mopping and wiping and soaking and spraying, our little bathroom was (mostly) clean again.

Most people say that you should wait to potty train until you have time to do it without any interference from major life changes, so you don't have to worry about the trainee regressing. I'm beginning to think that it really doesn't matter. Because apparently, even supposedly well potty trained little boys will have accidents after a major life change.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Virtual Tour

Welcome to our humble home!
This post is probably more for my family and close friends than any other blog readers. I have had requests for pictures of our new place. So, here is a virtual tour (sorry the pictures are kind of wonky, I did my best getting them into a logical order, but I couldn't get them to all line up the way I wanted them to, and as soon as I added captions, everything got all messed up again!!):
There is a cute little porch...that currently has our ugly trash can on it.
This is what you see when you walk in the front door.
This is what you see if you turn around after walking in the front door.

Looking from the kitchen to the living room (including the evil dishwasher that made me hand wash everything for a week).
To the side of our kitchen, we have a laundry room. There are two doors to the left. The first is a pantry, the second a 1/2 bathroom.
Our kitchen/eat-in dining room/back door

The pantry
1/2 bathroom
Another view of the living room. Door on the left of the picture is the coat closet. The door on the right is the front door.
Up the stairs
Our lovely coat closet/storage closet. (I'm pretty sure if you walk in and keep going, you'll end up in Narnia.)

The upstairs hall

Boys' bathroom, as seen through the mirror, because the door opens into the bathroom, creating a total non-efficient use of space.

Linen closet. Gideon is trying to close bedroom #3, also known as "The Adventure Room".

Here are my models, showing us how fun it is in the Adventure Room.
Closet in the Adventure Room (it is currently the most un-unpacked and unorganized room in the house.)

Boys' bedroom. Which is 1,000,000,000x's cleaner than it was earlier this morning (I had to clean to vacuum...which was horrifying in its own way).
Kid's closet
Master bedroom

Door to the master bathroom (window is just to the right of this picture).

Our lovely garden tub...with a crack in the I won't be able to soak until that's fixed. Sad day.

Master closet. You would be able to walk in just a bit, if there weren't a million bags of blankets on the floor.

Our tiny, sloped back yard...full of prickles, mushrooms, and the smell of moth balls. (But it's warm out there!)
The back of our house, including our kiddie pool, mini grill (we've used it twice this past week), ginormo flower pots (that I hope to put to good use this year), recycling can, a mysterious black bin (that I don't know what to do with, but has awesome bugs underneath of it), and another trash can full of metal (that I also don't know what to do with).

 So there you have it! Our digs here in the Charlotte area! It's a little bit hard to believe that we have already been here for over a week. Things are definitely beginning to feel like home, though.

So, who wants to come visit???

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I will probably become a sweeping expert

I swept my kitchen and dining room yesterday. It was kind of an eye opener...and definitely a new experience for me. All of our other homes have had carpet where the table was, and just a little strip through the kitchen of laminate. So, I have never really needed to use a broom over such a large amount of space.

I'm here to tell you that, unless my kids magically became messier after our move, I possibly...maybe...probably...definitely...should have been vacuuming our floors more often.

It was atrocious. There were crackers. Crumbs. Cheerios. Crumbs. Dirt chunks. Crumbs. Dried cheese. Crumbs. And probably some more crumbs.

And the whole time, all I could think of was the fact that a similar mess (and worse) was hiding in my carpet at our old home in between vacuuming. Which...I guess meant that the floors didn't looks quite as dirty for a longer period of time. And when I did vacuum, I got that satisfying crackle while going over the worst parts.

But then I think of the spilled milk. Spilled yogurt. Spilled taco filling. Spilled spaghetti sauce. Spilled Jell-O. And I am ever so grateful for a floor that will need to be swept at least weekly.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Obviously, it is time for a blog revolution. Or maybe just a revival? Something! And, because of recent life changes (one in particular), I have finally...hopefully...found the motivation to jump back on the blog-wagon.

My little family just moved from Cincinnati, Ohio to Charlotte, North Carolina.

I have always lived within the Greater Cincinnati area. Always. As in, my whole freakin' life. (Ok, it's not like I'm just barely leaving the nest at the ripe, old age of 82, but it's still a big deal to me!)

And now I live in The South. Honestly, I never really thought much about North Carolina being part of the South. (Normally, when I think of the South, I think of the Deep South, which doesn't include NC. But geographically, culturally, demographically...NC -is- part of the South.)

Mostly, the area is just like any other. Except they don't have my favorite grocery store. But there are little things, cultural things, that do make it different. First off, spring has clearly arrived. Back in Cincinnati, we would still have a month of slightly-above-freezing-windy-gray days before spring really kicked into full gear. Here, there are already trees in bloom and yellow daffodils basking in the clear sunlight. I almost already need to mow the lawn.

Another difference is the racial makeup of the city. It is A LOT more diverse. In Cincinnati (I think this is going to become my catch phrase now! " Cincinnati...blah blah blah"), especially the places where I have, the country.... it is predominately white. Way predominately. Downtown had the higher concentration of blacks. Here, they are everywhere! It's probably still predominately white, but there are a lot more blacks here. There also seems to be a larger Latino community here in Charlotte, as well. I know this probably sounds bad, and I really hope I don't sound rude in saying it. It is just something that is very different from what I am used to, and is simply one of my stronger observations so far.

Next is the recycling. I like to identify myself with the green, crunchy people as much as possible, but I have always had a hard time recycling. Mostly because, (in Cincinnati) it isn't provided standard. Plus, I've always lived in apartments, where it seemed difficult enough to worry about normal garbage! But now, we have been provided with a recycling can. AND it is North Carolina state law that all aluminum and plastic numbers 1 and 2 are to be recycled. I really doubt that they are digging though your garbage to make sure you recycled everything that you were supposed to (and then sending you any proper fines), but I would like to try my best to keep my integrity with the recycling laws. I already have a small can inside full of recyclables (and not just the mandatory ones) to go into our big can for pickup next week!

I've been a little cautious about the kids, and wondering how they will handle this move. They are both really whiny and clingy. But at the same time, happy. It's weird. They both seem to understand that this is our home now, but it's still upping their little, tiny stress levels. Which, is totally understandable. I've had several people remind me that for children, a move has similar stress levels to a death in the family and divorce. That's a big eye opener, and I try to remember how difficult this might be for them when I feel like I'm losing my patience because of all the whining and tantrums. Hopefully, they will adjust quickly.

I should write a post or two detailing more about our move....that will go on my to-do list. I'm going to try to take this blog revival seriously (especially for my mom!)

So, here we go on this new adventure!