Monday, July 28, 2014

Good enough I say! Good enough.

I want you to understand what I started with. These two rooms pictured below were the cause of a lot of my daily frustration. The photos were taken once the kids had "cleaned" their rooms. As you can see when they say "clean" it actually means "I found all sorts of clever places to stash an ungodly collection of shit I don't need. Can you smell that? Can you smell that putrid mustiness mom? You'll never find it." I can't really blame them for being so lackadaisical though. I sort of set a precedence with the way I hung up their decor.

Last blog I covered the adventure of getting the rooms cleared out, thoroughly douched, and the furniture in. This is all about the decorating. The prettying up. The makin' shit classy. I had so many ideas. Google "decorate girls room" and HOLY SHIZAM there is just so many options! So many! Just as I started sketching design ideas and bringing home fabric samples my boyfriend said something wise to me. He said, "Are you high? You're not doing any of that. I swear sometimes you are out of your friggin mind. You're bat shit crazy." He's a silver tongued devil :) Actually he didn't really say any of those things. He just stared at me for a long time and then shook his head no. Totally means the same thing though. Also, he wouldn't give me any money for this little project. That left me with a real challenge. I had to transform these two shit holes in to one clean, organized, room that was cheap, simple, and fun. And most importantly, easy for them to keep clean and organized. And I had to do it on a budget. But how? It seemed like an impossibility. An enigma. A mystery. A horrid epidemic that will forever plague our house. Luckily for everyone involved I'm brilliant.

My inspiration went from this:

To this:

I know! I know! The first one is so cute! But the second one is clean as F$#% and a room on a budget if I ever saw one. Am I right or am I right?

Here is what we chose.

The beds - Platform with three drawer storage. It eliminates the need for a dresser.

The shelf - Gives them a place they can keep a few things but by using empty spaces and small baskets it means they can't shove a bunch of garbage into it and shut a drawer/door/compartment when they "clean"

The closet - I took the doors off. I had two reasons. 1. The doors open in to the room and that requires a lot of space for clearance. We have two beds in there. We don't have a lot of space. 2. Transparency. Just like the shelf, if I can see it they can't hide it. Also we strung up fun lights. I like that. It's the perfect night light.

The decor - A collage. Its fun, its cute, its so bohemian and its all stuck to the mother F%#@& wall so they can't even think about playing with any of it or turning it from decor to clutter. Plus I had this wonderful idea that they could take pictures of each other, we'd print them and hang them. Each girl would be so proud of every picture because they are either in the photo or they took the photo. That was an epic fail. Because little girls are shitty at everything and that includes photography.

We did a few crafty things though. We took a Styrofoam circle and pinned and glued floral fabric to it. They seem to like it, but I kinda think it looks like I nailed a pillow to the wall.

We went to yard sales, antique stores, thrift shops and found fun frames and wall hangings. I also got a few things from Hobby Lobby. Calm your tits folks! I bought those things long before the conglomerate declared war on the lady parts. Anywho... We took those frames and wall hangings and we spray painted them. If you would like to try this project here are the steps.
1. Put the item on something you can get paint all over. Because you will get paint all over. I chose grass. It was not a wise choice.
2. Aim and spray

Once you have finished there are a few other things you have to do
1. Pick all of the grass out of the paint on your newly painted object.
2. Dance. If you are like me, you sprayed in to the wind and inhaled enough to paint your brain brighter than a pride parade. There are many killer moves that can only be executed when you are high on paint fumes, so COME ON CLOSER TINY DANCER ....
3. Accept it. Just accept that you are and will be covered in paint for a few days. People will recommend you rub gas all over yourself. Don't. You are way too high for that shit.
4. Apologize. You got paint everywhere and there is going to be someone who is not happy about that.

At the end of the day we've got this. Still a couple of lat minute touches are needed. It may not be perfect, but it's good enough.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

And so it begins.....Project 1

I have this bright idea that involves our youngest daughters sharing a room. It's not because I need more petty ridiculous fights among siblings. I've got plenty of that. I've got the Costco size container of that bullsh**. The reason they will now be sharing a room is.... actually it's a long story and would make for a boring blog. It has to do with blending families and it looks a lot like this situation:

Let's just say it's mostly because they need more room for activities. There is really more to it than that, but the moral of this story is it has become my first of 52 projects and as an added bonus it combines all 3 of the project criteria mentioned in my previous blog. 52 weeks, 52 projects I'm finishing a room, I'm doing something fun with the kids, and I'm creating. That's right ladies and gentleman I'm a little rookie fresh off the bench and I'm coming out swinging!


So...... apparently this was not one project. This was many projects that could not possibly be done in one week. Also, this was not a project. This was hell on earth. No, not hell. This was hell's dirty infested anus on earth. For this week I was hoping I'd sail right through the preparation phase and get right in to creating fun projects. I have just barely mostly completed preparing the rooms and have done zero fun things. So there is no step by step Pinterest linked how to's, instead this is a list of what we planned, how it worked out, and then a helpful tip or two in case you intend to attempt this at home.

Plan: Clean, Sort, and Organize in preparation for the merge 
How that worked: I wouldn't know. Ten days later and we're not completely done. How do young children accumulate a never ending pile of worthless shit? My daughter has a dresser with four drawers and a desk with two drawers. Somehow I have cleaned out 11,000 drawers. And I'm not done. It's like that mythical beast that as soon as you cut off one head two grow back and when you cut off those two then there's four and so on and so on. I can't seem to end this. 
Helpful Tip: It's hard for kids to spend hours sorting and organizing their stuff in to stuff to keep, stuff to store, and stuff to toss piles. I suggest making a game out of it. Every time your child tries to sneak off in the middle of the job or fakes an injury or illness to get out of work or just begins to break down and wine and lament all existence. Take a shot of tequila. After about the first hour of work, they'll have run off, you'll be totally shit tanked and you'll find sorting becomes very very easy because suddenly everything goes in to the "stuff to build a bitchin bonfire" pile. Honestly. This is a really good plan. For many reasons. Here's three reasons.
1. Cleaning a kids room drunk is actually hilarious. When I find something important that I've been searching the entire house for months for, like the television remote, in a desk drawer. It's so funny. I am filled with laughter. Make the same discovery sober and I am filled with rage.
2. If I diligently sort and organize everything then at the end of every cleaning day I notice it's not cleaner it's worse. This continues for days and spills out in to other areas of the house. When my guy gets home from work and looks around at the chaos he of course asks "what the hell happened?" not in a judgmental way. In a concerned and genuinely curious way. When I have to look him in the eye and say "I'm cleaning" I feel shame because I am obviously failing hard at anything remotely related to cleaning. However, if I look him right in the eye and say "I'm ser jrunk" this answers every possible question and I feel somewhat accomplished. Six straight days of tearing apart the house and calling it cleaning, sad. Six straight days in an alcohol induced frenzy showing signs of being oddly productive, strangely impressive. 
3. Its all about making memories. Ten years from now will my children ever say, "remember that time you organized our bedrooms?" No. They will not. That is not a memory. That is so lame. I promise you though ten years from now my children will definitely on many occasions say "remember that time you were drunk for two weeks and threw away all of our stuff?" That's golden. Right? Good times. 

Plan: Buy, Assmeble, and Personalize cutsey matching beds
How that worked: I blame myself. Why? Because I sleep in a gorgeous bed. Handmade by the Amish folks. I love this bed. It is so beautiful. Sometimes I just look at my bed and I am filled with pride. It was expensive and it is an accomplishment. You don't deserve a bed like this until you've seen some shit, okay? If your kid is under ten and has a "bedroom set" consisting of well made sturdy real wood furnishings, I can guarantee your kid is an asshole. If any of that stuff came from a store like pottery barn or Ethan Allen or similar, I promise you that your kid is now, and will likely always be an asshole. Just sayin'. Because your kid has not earned nice things. I believe kids should start out with nothing. Just a mattress a tattered blanket and an old sweaty pillow. That way they will lie awake at night and dream of a day they will have coordinated bedding and a pillow that doesn't smell like crotch. If you start them out with everything they will never appreciate anything. So with that theory in mind I did not buy the girls the highest quality of craftsmanship in a bed. I bought ones I had to assemble myself. I gave a pile of money to a company in exchange for a wood like substance and bolts that strip instantly. Thank god we didn't go for the bunk bed option. They have not yet been cutseyed or personalized because right now I'm still angry at those beds. They are rude.
Helpful Tip: I meditate. It helps me center. It calms me. Even though I bought these beds from Lowes, I quickly discovered that F#@& YOU IKEA! is still the appropriate mantra for the activity. Get real primal with it for maximum efficacy. The louder and more guttural the chant, the better. And because you're drunk it won't even seem weird. Oh and read the instructions several times before you even start. Because sometimes step six starts with Note: complete step six prior to step two. Seriously.

In conclusion, the one bedroom is cleaned out. Everything has been combined and put away in to one shared bedroom. The furniture is purchased, assembled, and in the room. Now it's time to decorate. But that is another adventure and another blog.

Monday, July 14, 2014

52 Weeks, 52 Projects

I know! That title is intense! A project every week for 52 weeks would be a productive year. Hush now child. I know what you're thinking. Don't go feeling bad that you have already scoffed at the very idea of this being accomplished. I have no faith in me either. This blog may very well be renamed "51 failures, 673 naps, and one load of laundry that was washed, dried, and mostly put away" If there is one thing I have done well my whole life, it's almost never finishing anything sometimes. Cause I've sort of done that before soon. Ya follow me? So 52 weeks, 52 projects. I'm excited. You're excited. Everyone is excited. I could totally do this. A week is a long time and when you dial it in and think about it in terms of one little project over one long week, I'm probably already doing that anyways right?

If you are anything like my boyfriend you are probably thinking "Why the hell? Can nothing be simple in your world?" Here's the deal. Lately my stress level has been a little elevated. In the way Everest is a little elevated. In fact, on many occasions only Tibetan Sherpas are capable of traveling to the height my stress levels have reached. I might be exaggerating just a little bit, but mostly I'm not. I've decided that there are a few things. Simple things. That I can do to help with my stress. Because nothing relieves a mofo's stress like taking on a massive amount of work for absolutely no reason and then setting unrealistic deadlines. Once you think about it, it's really not that hard to understand. In a strange way setting such an ostentatious goal will force me to take care of and manage many of the things that stress me out. And I'll feel busy and useful and for me that is strangely relaxing.

1. I want to get organized! We moved in to this house on October of 2012. We are still not fully moved in. We are mostly moved in, but not fully. In every room in this house there are random things that I'm "going to do later." These tasks vary from hanging a picture or curtains, to fixing or replacing a wobbly knob or fixture, to sort through a box or drawer of random misc junk, etc, etc. I want to stop postponing all of these tasks and go from "later..." to "now!" Some of my 52 projects will be this boring. I'll apologize for that now. Just keep in mind that often it's the boring items on the to-do list that are the most rewarding to cross off.

2. I want to have fun with the kids! More often than not I get distracted from my chores because I suddenly explode with the need to do something fun with the kids. It goes something like this.
Me: We need to clean up the garage
Kids: whine, complain, whine, complain, finally acquiesce.
Me: Is that a kiddie pool? I didn't know we still had that. we should fill it full of pudding and see who can eat the most the fastest.
Kids: Yes
Me: That would take a lot of pudding
Kids: The store has a lot of pudding
Me: Find my keys we're going to the store!!
Some of my 52 projects might be new and interesting ways to do ridiculous sh*t with your kids that sets a very bad example of how to choose appropriate activities

3. I want to create! I have a huge imagination and a need to see these fantastical ideas come to fruition. I'll happily take a DIY chair that you can't sit in because it won't hold more than two pounds but I love it cause I built it myself over a sweet leather recliner you can buy at a furniture store. As long as I can have both. Which is actually very reasonable, because I have to have somewhere to sit while I fondly admire my chair I built without any instructions from stuff I found when I took apart a perfectly good chair. I can't be the only one who feels this way. The biggest problem with my need to create is I don't know how to create anything. When it comes to talent in this area mine is about as abundant as cherries on a cactus. Which is to say it's not even plausible. Maybe if there was some sort of lab experiment gone awry I would suddenly be brimming with ability. But it would have to be a weird experiment to begin with and then gone awry from there. Horribly awry. Investigators may never understand what happened type of gone awry. Short story long, I have no talent. But I have one thing people with talent also have but don't necessarily need, PINTEREST!!! And I have family and friends who are willing to help me as long as I pester them incessantly for three days straight and refuse to stop until they bend to my will. I think they secretly like being a part of my shenanigans because they enjoy calling me an idiot and watching me fail miserably at simple tasks. Some of my 52 projects will be of this nature. These, I think will be the funnest of all the projects slated.

and finally,

At least one of my projects will be a secret passageway in my house. A revolving bookcase activated with a lever, perhaps an inconspicuous candlestick. My dedication to having my very own secret passageway is unrivaled. Never before and never again will you witness such a misguided passion for nonsense as my passion to spend both time and money recreating the architectural design genius of Scooby Doo.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Out on the Mashu's boat

I have an older brother named Mashu. That's not really his name, that's just what I call him. Because he hates it. And I torment him. Why do I torment him? I don't know. I just always have. As children whenever Mashu made the mistake of falling asleep on the floor of the living room I immediately began to struggle. Seeing Mashu so relaxed, so at peace, so asleep, made me want NEED to stand on his head. I struggled to resist the urge but that is a battle of wills I rarely won and I often stood on his head. That is not a metaphor. I quite literally, one foot after another stepped on to his head. It didn't seem to hurt him. Just annoy the hell out of him. I myself have no idea what it is like to wake up with someone standing on your head but I would assume it is alarming. Mashu never appeared alarm. In fact he always asked me the exact same question as if there was going to be a different explanation. Unable to turn his head to look at me, because I was standing on his head, he would mumble in to the carpet, "Why are you standing on my head?" and I would bend down and loudly exclaim, "I'm sorry. Did I wake you?" I've never overcome my need to confuse, antagonize, and sometimes abuse Mashu. This weekend was no different.

My boyfriend and I headed up to the lake to stay a night at my parents cabin and do some fishing in the morning. Bright and early in the AM we went down to the dock and we took Mashu's boat out on to the lake. I wasn't going to mess with him, in fact I hadn't planned to even speak with him that morning, but having not used the boat before there were a couple of things I needed to ask about before leaving the dock. It was pretty early so instead of calling I sent Mashu a simple text letting him know I was using the boat and I had a quick question. Matthew call immediately. He answered my question. We hung up. Then I realized, he had called immediately. Very very immediately. I know immediately means right away, but it seemed somehow even sooner than that. I had sent him the text, seconds later and BAM! he calls. Not only did he immediately call, there was a hint of concern in his voice. Just a hint. Barely noticeable. I noticed.

For some reason Mashu was nervous that I was on his boat. I thought about this for a good five minutes before sending him another text. I didn't bother with salutations this time. I got right to the point.

Does smoke always come from the motor

I waited. Sure enough, he immediately called. I assured him it was not out of oil and it wasn't on fire and it didn't sound like it was misfiring or sputtering or anything else. There was no longer a possible hint of concern. It had been affirmed. Mashu was definitely very concerned. I was not concerned because there wasn't really any smoke. I was testing his faith in me. He had none.

What should I do about this? Mashu is at home. Trying to relax. I'm on the boat. I thought about this for a good five minutes before I decided it was best to send Mashu another text.

How do you get the stereo off? Or at least turn it down?

Once again my phone immediately rang. This time before answering I turned the radio up really loud. I screamed "hello!" in to the phone repeatedly followed by "I can't hear anything you're saying because I don't know how to work the radio. I'll have to call you back when I'm done fishing! This is too loud!" I hung up.

I was hoping this would alarm and confuse Mashu for at least half an hour because I had some fishing to do. I didn't come all the way out here to play on my phone the whole time. It was a great day for fishing. Clear skies, calm waters, perfect temperature. I was really enjoying myself until I glanced at the time and realized it had been awhile since Mashu had heard from me. He was probably getting worried that everything was fine. I should probably text him.

How fast can this thing go in reverse!!

I don't know what Mashu was thinking when he received that message. He didn't call immediately, and when he did he was strangely calm. I said "hello?" and he said, "what the hell?" and then he was silent for a long time. "I have no idea how fast the boat will go in reverse. How fast did you go?"

And then soon after:


"What Bee's? There are no bees on the boat?" "You can't just suddenly have bees on a boat." "Wasp spray I guess."

This is what I was hoping Mashu was imagining based on my very colorful description of bees on a boat. I of course used my very best Samuel L Jackson voice. "I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THESE MOTHER FRIGGIN BEES ON THIS MOTHER FRIGGIN BOAT!"

At this point he seemed really agitated and I didn't want to play with him anymore. And we were done fishing and done using the boat so there was really nothing left to say.