Friday, December 18, 2015

{Kids} Gift of Gab #4

Man, these kids are going 100 miles an hour these days. Oh, they make me so tired.


I can't believe that winter hasn't actually started yet. I feel likes it's been ages since they could run around outside!

It's a good thing Nemo and I finally got our unfinished basement cleaned out; we put their bikes down there so they can ride around and around all afternoon burning off some of that energy. It's not as good as the great outdoors,  but it will certainly do in a pinch!


 Here's what they've been saying these days.


CJ was acting wild and crazy in the kitchen, which led to him running headlong into the fridge.
CJ (genuinely irate): "HEY! WHO PUT THAT REFRIGERATOR THERE!



***

When reading the book "Olivia" by Ian Falconer...
Noni: Why is she wearing a zucchini?
Further investigation revealed that she meant "bikini".


Me: Noni, do you think you can try to poop today?
Noni: No, I don't have to.
Me: But, what about your gummy bears? (her preferred "successful use of the potty" treat)
Noni: Oh, yeah...I fink I'll poop den.

 ***

One again acting wild and crazy, CJ crashed into his bed.
CJ: I bumped my brain! I need to say sorry to my brain! SORRY, BRAIN!


While getting our flu shots, CJ was second in line after Noni. After seeing her cry...
CJ: Uhh I don't want my flu shot. Ender can take my turn.
So gallant.

***

While eating his "I got a flu shot" sucker...
CJ: This flavor is called "Purple Grape". I can say that in Spanish. It's morado grape-o.

***

While dropping off some donations at St. Vinny's...
Me: Ok, I'm just going to give this guy the stuff that's in the back seat.
CJ (wide-eyed in panic): But...but...I'M in the back seat!



***
CJ: My fingernails are 83-almost 84 years old. They are from Mississippi.
Me: ???

***

I gasped in mock astonishment at something Nemo said at dinner and Noni looked around, genuinely confused...
Noni: What I dood, mommy?


***

Every time she sees me pour pancake batter onto the griddle...
Noni: Wook! Dey gwowin', just wike us!

***

Coming home after a lonnnng morning on the go...
Noni: We can watch a movie?
Me: No, it's almost time for lunch.
Noni: Mommy! Stop dat! You stwessin' me out!
Gosh, I wonder where she picked that up.

***

CJ: I need to eat my jelly beans quickly so the bible of Jesus doesn't get them.
Me: ???

***
Noni entertaining me with her ever-expanding imagination...
Noni: There's a bad guy in here and he's coming soooo-ooon!
Me: Oh yeah, what's he look like?
Me: Oh my, that's very scary. (It actually kind of is...when did she get all creepy?)
Noni: He not a scary, he just a little guy. We'll pway for him.

***
A growing boy raiding the pantry for yet another snack...
CJ: Mom, baby oranges are called Cuties. You're MY cutie, mom--but you're not an orange.

***

Me (to Nemo): I talked to Niki today.
CJ: Hey mommy, did Aunt Niki lose her rubber duckie?
Me: ??? Uhhh...is that something you remember from when we visited her last year?
CJ: I don't know.
Nemo: Does Aunt Niki have a rubber duckie?
CJ: I don't know!
Nemo: Did (her son) Gabriel have a rubber duckie?
CJ : I don't know! Stop talking about rubber duckies!!!



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Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.

Monday, December 7, 2015

{House} A Floating Mantel for Christmas

The fireplace was a major factor in our decision to purchase this house.

But while it existed, the fireplace was a little bit lacking in the looks department.

My shoddy housekeeping skills didn't really help the situation either.

One of the things that bugged me was the mantel--which consisted of two goofy little stone outcroppings that weren't big enough to put anything on. In our previous home we had four (nonfunctioning) fireplaces with mantels, and I often used them as a "stuff the toddlers aren't supposed to touch" storage space.

As a stop-gap solution we spanned the large gap between the outcroppings with a piece of plywood. My, that's attractive.



The room itself is pretty dark, as it only has the one window and that window is overshadowed by our back porch, so at some point I painted the backs of the built-ins (it's fake paneling, so I didn't feel bad) a cream color to try to brighten things up.


After pondering mantel solutions for a while, I decided that we should build a three-sided box that would slip over the outcroppings to make a floating mantel. I typically don't like to remove original features of houses, so the fact that this would be easily removable was a big plus! Also I imagine Joanna Gaines would approve.

Our local Habitat ReStore carries wood planks milled from local trees, so Nemo picked up some white oak for about $50 and he and his dad got to work building the box/mantel. From what I understand there was a significant amount of planing and sanding done to get a nice smooth surface.

Doing a dry fit. It fits!

Then I got to use my handy-dandy new paint sprayer to apply the stain and polyurethane. It made the job so quick and easy I almost cried.


As soon as it was dry Nemo installed it and I ran out to the store for some decorations because CHRISTMAS.


 I decided a while ago that there needed to be a mirror over the mantel in order to make the room brighter, and I ended up getting this one from HomeGoods for $35--more than I wanted to spend but I wasn't able to find one at a thrift store. The candles were free, though, since I already had them!


I love small(ish) projects that make a huge difference in how the room looks!


Now we actually have a place to hang our stockings...guess I had better go find them.


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Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.