Sunday, October 31, 2010

Purple Paint

Several months ago, maybe even a year ago, (time flies when you're having fun) our shower head was wobbly. I thought it added personality to the house. Willie thought it needed fixed. He was, of course, right. However, my reservations were founded when he knocked two holes in two different walls. He did patch them, but these patches still needed sanded, re-filled, primed and painted. I decided to tackle this project during this deployment, even though all logic points a different direction. 

As all projects do, this has morphed into a money-making machine for Lowe's. After purchasing all of the necessary materials, I began the project and have now a new Lowe's wish list. In removing the towel hooks, I succeeded in punching two new dime-sized holes into the wall. The list was started: Putty. Next, I moved on to taping up and painting one section of the bathroom. It turns out that the paint department mixer guy thought that my walls would be better served by a light purple rather than the smoky blue I had chosen. Two gallons gazed at me from the drop cloth like a pair of googly eyes. Light purple it is.

In my mess of children and paint supplies, I smudged the trim and noticed about an hour later. Second item on the list: White trim paint. Morgan woke up from her nap. I decided to use the old Saran wrap trick over the paint pan so that it wouldn't dry out. Third item on the list: Saran wrap. What's a little dried up paint? I have two gallons. 

Studying the purple putty-patched wall, I decided that with the right accessories, it would be fine. With the right pair of shoes and the right necklace, any outfit can be redeemed, right? Maybe not all things can be redeemed by accessories, but certainly with the right amount of denial.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

sweating in October

First of all, I am pleased to report that I have successfully detected and expelled the stink. I am equally pleased to report that it was the result of excessive cleaning. Cleaning, as I always say, is lethal. Because of the many unsavory "accidents" (or "on purposes", as the case may be) that occur in my day: hairballs, food spillage, drink dumpage, potty oopsies, or dog nastiness, my Spot Bot gets a daily work out. My rugs were being shampooed so frequently that the rug pad beneath was not getting a chance to dry out. Thus, the moldy sock smell. I have banished the rugs to the garage and am considering keeping them there until my children are old enough to appreciate them.

Although, now may be the perfect time to bring the rugs out of time-out, since right now my house is so stinking hot that I'm afraid my fish tank might start boiling. Trying to conserve energy, I shut the heating and cooling off in the house, figuring the mild fall temperatures would be sufficient for our comfort. It was 87 degrees today. I have the fans blowing, the windows open, and am considering a cold shower.

Morgan was running a fever today. I could read in her eyes the questions, "Why? Why can't we have air conditioning? Can't you see I'm suffering?" I gave her some Ibu Profen and told her this is what Southern girls live with.

I don't know how much longer I can pretend to be a Southern girl.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Phantom Stink

There is a phantom stink in my house. I don’t notice until I leave my house and return, whereupon I discover that my house smells like moldy socks. I have been eliminating the usual suspects: compost bowl, trash, diaper pail, dog bed… there are so many possibilities. What with potty training, a dog, a cat, and massive drink spillage, my house is a perfect storm for stink. Halle said she thinks the culprit is the Happy Monster, who is her apparently very rank imaginary friend. That would explain why I can’t find the odor.

Yesterday, I walked outside and actually thought that the air smelled like dryer sheets because it was so fresh in comparison. The stink is driving me crazy. I don’t enjoy cleaning, but the stink is causing me to either clean or stay away from home. So after some frantic cleaning, I give up and take the girls to the park or shopping.

I was reflecting this morning on the sins of ignorance in the Old Testament. The Israelites were expected to bring guilt offerings and sin offerings and on top of both of these, offerings to acquit for their sins of ignorance. That must have been like a spiritual phantom stink – a sin that kept being committed without realizing that it’s a problem. Sort of like how a person might lose ten pounds after discovering that fried foods are unhealthy. These sins cause problems unintentionally, but that doesn’t make them innocent.

I hope I find the phantom stink soon. Otherwise, I’m going to have to throw out all my rugs and start over with ones that are not committing sins of ignorance against me. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Living in the Projects

Willie left this morning for another deployment, which makes things awkward for a few days, depressing for a few days, and then full of frenzied activity. The frenzied activity is useful not only to distract, but also to exhaust the three of us so that we can sleep at night. Sleep is illusive because when Willie leaves, a magical thing happens: when night falls, our house is transported from a peaceful, front-porch loving cul de sac and into the projects.

My dog, Madison, even feels the difference. She barks when the leaves rustle, causing the rest of us to jump and assume the worst. Last time Willie was gone, I was soaking in a bath when Madison sounded the alarm. Leaping from the sudsy liquid, I wrapped a towel around me and grabbed my pistol. I held my breath as I stood cop-style by the door, listening. It was a couple minutes before I realized the bandit was actually just stealing bird seed. Those filthy squirrels. I almost fell to my death on the slick bathwater trail.

Last deployment, Halle developed night terrors. These were certainly connected to Willie's absence, but were not quite as terrible as one might think. At the top of the stairs, she would cry out with loud sobs, "Where is my cheese? Mama, I need some cheese!" The previous night, she performed the routine with the opening line of, “I need the mama frog!” The mama frog is a bath puppet (there are two – one small and one large, hence mama and baby frogs). She had gone to bed with them and apparently had a desperate need for them at 2:30am. I told her that I wasn’t going to look for her mama frog just then, that we could find it in the morning. “Go back to bed, Halle.” She sobbed all the way back to her bed, whereupon she pronounced, “Oh! There’s the mama frog!” There have also been requests for band-aids, moving a rocking horse, going potty, and losing a band-aid.

Hopefully this time will be better. If not, there are always naps.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

dog smell

We had to drop Monkey Cat off to get spayed this morning, a fact that greatly dismayed Halle and elated her father. My only concern was that Monkey Cat would be rather hungry, since she refused her "Super Supper" cat food both yesterday and today. Perhaps the name should be changed to, "Sordid Supper", because not even the dog would touch it. Feeling the need to both satisfy the animals and clean out my fridge, I served them some leftovers. This was, of course, a rookie mistake.

We arrived home from our outing, and the first thought that entered my mind was, "Why does my house smell like dog poop?" The answer came by way of the hall. Grateful for laminate flooring, I counted my blessings: 1.) I found it before the kids did, 2.) It hadn't hit the rugs, 3.) I did have a clean refrigerator. Just then, Morgan charged forward, crawling at top speed. "NOOOOOO Morgan!" I cried, rushing the infant. But I was too late to save her from slipping and belly flopping in the mess. Just then, I noticed the rug. It didn't used to be brown.

As I cleansed the house and cranked some air freshener, I ordered Halle to use the restroom herself. I disposed of the garbage outside and came back in to find a new puddle, this one from the kid. When it rains, it pours. I cleaned the children up and washed my hands for about ten minutes. I really do have a lot to be thankful for. And my fridge is still clean.