Saturday, January 31, 2009

(Mostly) Finished Projects

It's been a week of crazy busy activity around the Butler household. We finally hired a painter to finish all the things we couldn't. Chloe's room, for instance, which we meant to paint before she was, you know, born. It felt a teeny bit pathetic to have them finish in ONE MORNING what we've been procrastinating for 10 months, but hey, you do what you can, you know? We also had them do our living/dining room and all the trim on our house. It turned out great, and we're so satisfied to have some projects completed.

We also got all the finishing touches done on my sewing room - and for my first project, I made a great little dust cover for my machine. I'm so excited and inspired - if only there were more hours in the day! Anyhow, photos follow. Enjoy!

Chloe's room

Close up of her bedding - handmade by our awesome friend Theresa.

Sewing table

Workspace - cutting table, storage, etc.

sewing machine cover

oh yes, it's reversible!

my fabric stash, or as shawn refers to it, the money pit.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Crate & Barrel goes "green"?

So, not that I'm a total tree hugger. But I've posted before about how we're making an effort to simply pay attention to what we consume and what we support, trying to be responsible about how we dispose of our stuff and...well, you know.

We had to replace one of our barstools from Crate & Barrel this week, due to an incident involving a 6 year old hooking his feet around it when being removed to time out for hitting his brother to try and impress someone. Long story. To make it short, said barstool knocked over, hit wood floors, shattered. NOT COOL. Said 6 year old in big trouble, long lecture follows.

Anyhow, I digress. When we got the new barstool home, I stood in absolute shock while I watched Shawn unwrap layer after layer after layer of cardboard and styrofoam. Granted, I want my stool to arrive here from Indonesia or wherever without being totally destroyed. But one barstool = two full trashbags of cardboard, plus more on the side, plus and entire bag of styrofoam padding?

The best part was this - when we finally got to the stool, we found this tag underneath. Just so you know, the WOOD is from sustainable forests. Mmmmkay.

A conversation with Aidan

Yesterday in the car after school, we asked each boy to tell us about their day. Jackson gave us a long list of everything they did, from science to details about what they played at recess.

Here's the conversation with Aidan.

"Ummm...well, we had chapel."
Me:"Oh, what did you learn about in chapel?"
Aidan:"Jesus. AGAIN."
(exasperated. As though he's been waiting to hear about someone else - Bhudda, maybe?)
Me:"Well, what about Jesus? Was there a story?"
Aidan:"Yep. He went to a city. And some guy dunked him under the water."

Well, I guess some of the story sticks!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chloe and the Pickle

Well, for anyone who came back after the last post...I thought I'd give you something cute. And fun.

It's Chloe, sucking on a pickle. Why? Well, because, after a weekend like the last one, we figure our kids owe us. Therefore, they become our entertainment. Hey, we say. What do you think will happen if we give her this pickle? Ooooh, that's a funny face. Plus, she liked it!

...Our children are exploding...

There is a reason why there are no photos accompanying this post. The content is such that photographs simply were not appropriate, seeing as how this is a family blog and all!

Folks, we thought we were having a simple, fun Saturday. We slept in, we lazed around the house. We worked on projects, we took the kids to get meatball sandwiches (per their request). A friend called, and said he was taking his kids to ice-cream. So we went to ice-cream. We came home. And then it started. The Saturday evening know where. Shawn comes down with a migraine, and is laying on the couch wrapped in a blanket all the way over his face. Chloe is screaming, the kids are crying because they're hungry. I dump Chloe in the bouncy seat, throw some quesadillas in a pan, get everybody fed. By 7:30, it's bath time. I don't know if I've written about our simultaneous bathing technique, but it is my survival method when Shawn's gone. All my kids love the water, so it usually buys me 15 minutes of peace. Aidan goes in the big soaking tub in my bathroom, Chloe's baby bath sits next to the bath, and Jackson showers in our big shower. That way, they're all contained, happy and in one place. Plus they smell nice.

In the midst of simultaneous bathing, I turn my back on Chloe (who sits up perfectly in the bath by herself) for all of about 30 seconds to help Aidan. I know, I know. Not supposed to take my eyes off her. But. Suddenly, she starts to cry. I turn back around, and for a minute I don't really understand what I'm seeing. Her bath water is....murky. And then the smell hits me. OOoooooohhhh. "SHHAAAWWWWWN!" He walks in to Aidan screaming "Chloe poooed! EEEEWWWW!" After a 30 minute clean-up process, which involved both Chloe and Shawn in the shower, bleach, and hosing out the baby bathtub in the backyard, we finally had everyone clean and in their PJ's. Wow. The joy of parenting.

By 10, Shawn and I had settled down on the couch to watch a movie. Whew! Deep breath. But, alas, our night was not over. About 45 minutes later, a sleepy Jackson comes walking in. "Dad, I threw up." And boy, did he ever.

Never, in all my life, have I seen anything like what awaited us on his top bunk. Remember all the food related things we did that day? Let me just say this - in order to preserve my washing machine, which I consider a good and loyal friend - once again, at 11:30 at night I was outside, in the freezing cold, hosing off the bedding. And the stuffed animals. THANK GOD my washing machine has a setting called SANITIZE. Because otherwise, a big pile of bedding would have gone in the trash.

By about 1 a.m. when we fell into bed, we just had to laugh. Shawn looked at me, and said "Why are our children exploding?" We couldn't stop lauging.

It reminded me of something from the Indigo Girls - "You have to laugh at yourself, because you'd cry your eyes out if you didn't."

Nobody ever said parenting was a walk in the park. But we just wish there could be a little less bodily fluid involved!

Friday, January 23, 2009

10 Reasons why I love this moment, right now.

I've been putting off posting an update on here because...well, mostly because I am a perfectionist, and a first-born, and if I can't do things EXACTLY how I picture them in my mind, they why do them at all? I felt I had to catch up - on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years...basically 3 months worth of mostly boring details and gobs of photos of my children. All of which I'm sure you've been dying to see. Most of you have been crying yourselves to sleep at night wondering what my kiddos looked like in their Christmas jammies. I know it.

But today, I threw off the chains of my own expectations and did a skinny dip cannon ball into the lake. In my mind, that is. Not in real life. Jeeze, people, it's January in the Pacific Northwest. So I'm picking up from this day, this moment right now. And what follows are 10 reasons why I'm totally in love with this moment.

1. Two of my children are asleep. In their own beds. The third one is playing quietly and contentedly in the playroom.

2. The trim on my house is right this minute being painted a lovely charcoal-ey gray color. Which I love. And which makes the slate blue color of the house actually look better than tolerable.

3. I'm sitting at my new workstation in our "nook" upstairs. This is my birthday present, and it's (almost) done, thanks to my dad and the mister spending the morning assembling swedish parts and pieces. There are clean white cabinets, drawers for bitty things, storage for fabric and yummy butcher block table/counter tops. I'm sure I will now finish all my unfinished sewing projects, and create new and exciting things of which I have yet to think.

Of course, what would a project be without a second trip to the store? They shorted us the hinges for the second set of doors. Boooo to you, Ikea, even if you are fabulous most of the time. I'll show the other side (amazing sewing table!!!) when it's finished.

4. There is a latte on my lovely countertops.

5. The boys LOVE the new easel and art supplies we got for their playroom. They are churning out artwork at an alarming rate, but who am I to stifle creativity simply because we've plastered every surface of the playroom with pictures? I found the art supplies at Stubby Pencil Studio, and we looooove them. First off, they're from Portland (buy local!!!). All eco-friendly materials - pencils made from non-toxic insides and recycled cedar chips outside. Soy crayons, recycled plastic brushes, and our favorites, the rock crayons. Up next on my list are a shipment of Bare Books. These are super amazing for those kids who are learning to put their stories to paper. And at $1.75 apiece, you can't really go wrong.

This is the view from where I sit...the boy, in red, drawing an amazing bald eagle.

6. Next week, said painters will be back to do the bebe's room. It's been unfinished for far too long. I'm excited to put up all the fun things that have been in a pile on her floor for 9 months.

Um, okay, I know that's only 6 reasons, but one of the two sleeping children just awoke. So, I go. Away from me perfectionism, away.

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