Monday, October 27, 2008

Trick or Treat

Growing up I remember all of our homemade Halloween costumes. Give us a dress, fancy shoes, and a scarf, and we could be beautiful princesses. Or tie the scarf around our waist, add some gold jewelry, and we were Egyptian princesses. Hmm, those are surprisingly similar.  We used my mom's prom dresses, wedding dresses, and even just old, what we thought of as, fancy dresses.  A trip to the thrift store and we were all set.

The first year Jack was ready to trick or treat, I ignored the sage advice from my older sister and went and bought a costume. It was very cute, all warm and fuzzy, and he HATED it. He would not wear it no matter how much we bribed him. Instead, the day of, we ended up putting him in normal clothes, sticking a name tag on him and calling him "Earl". Get it, My Name is Earl.  No one else did either.  We went to a party and all the other kids were in serious costumes and there was Jack, running around looking pretty normal.

The next year I was going to have a real costume to make for him. But then it was Halloween and I had nothing. Since his brother was going to be Charlie Brown, I decided Jack could be Linus.  Pig Pen would have been better, but Linus gets to carry his blanket everywhere. Again, no on really got his costume since he was mostly just wearing normal clothes and carrying his blanket.

I was dreading this year. What would I do for costumes. We were talking about it in the car one day and Jack said he wanted to be a pirate.  A pirate, I could do that, all I need is a hat, sword, and some torn pants.  
But what would Micah be? Of course, what does every pirate have?  A parrot!!

I listened to my sister this time and bought a green hooded sweatshirt. Then I spent about 4 hours hand sewing on a billion (well, I don't know how many for real) felt feathers onto his sweatshirt.  Ta-da! A Parrot! 
Or a turkey as one woman guessed but that's okay at least she recognized he was a member of the bird family.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

10 Reasons to Finish our Downstairs Bathroom

10. We have all the materials already.
9. It has a nice linen closet where I could finally unpack my towels.
8. There are definite times having a second bathroom would be handy (especially with a just potty trained 3 year old).
7. It has become a catch all room for my husband. Even found his clothes in there last week
6. When the shower backs up into the tub, we don't know, because we never go in the bathroom!
5. I can stop showing guests the horror that is the bathroom.
4. It has a real medicine cabinet where I can store all the kids medicine, no more accidental overdoses!
3. No more running upstairs every time someone has to go!
2. Oh, to give baths to my boys again!
1. So my neighbors won't see me outside helping my three year old pee on tree. (Didn't want to wake the baby by using the upstairs bathroom!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

"What IS That Smell?"

This is the question I ask myself every time I go into my kitchen.  It isn't a 'hit you in the face' smell but more of a subtle smell that seems to just linger. I have scrubbed my cabinets, countertop, sink, and now even disposal.  I can not seem to find the smell.  

My kitchen already has some issues so I at least try to keep it clean. That way I can ignore the door-less cupboards, drywall backsplash, gaping holes in the ceiling, and even the temporary countertop.  But with this odor I am constantly feeling my kitchen is dirty.

I thought it was due to our container for food scraps. Now that we can put food scraps in the yard waste bin, we have a nice stainless steel pail (with a lid!) to hold food scraps.  Not so bad, we used to just have a bowl, that was kind of gross. But I have emptied and cleaned that daily and I still have the smell.

I thought it was the garbage disposal so I cleaned that. I did have a very unpleasant surprise, which I was sure was the origin of the odor. Did you know that the little black plastic thing above the garbage disposal comes out? I did not. As I was scrubbing it, it moved and I thought, oh this is interesting. I pulled it out and nearly gagged. I've dealt with some seriously disturbing things in this house but the stuff clinging to the rim of the drain was disgusting. I cleaned it, I sprayed it with good smelling, environmentally friendly cleaner. Nope, that was not the smell.

I've scrubbed the sink, under the sink, around the faucet. Nothing.

I finally decided it must be the countertop. When we bought the house we did not plan on re-doing the kitchen. Yes, it was disgusting, but a little spic and span, a little paint, and good as new! Or so we thought until we started cleaning and found the entire countertop was rotted. So, out went the cabinets and countertop. In went Ikea cabinets and no countertop. We didn't want to put in a laminate countertop so we decided to go without until we could afford what we wanted.  Instead Brandon nailed down a big piece of plywood and called it good. I covered it with stainless steel contact paper (at the time we thought we might like stainless steel countertops) and we were set.  So, my last idea, Brandon came home from work to find me ready to take off the old contact paper, scrub around the sink and faucet and put down new contact paper.  That was a big project but we uncovered some nasty things under the rim of the sink, plus some mold where the wood had gotten wet. New contact paper, some serious scrubbing, and it was like a new kitchen. Yay! I was so happy.

Next morning I walk into the kitchen and pause. Oh, yes, the smell is back.  

What to do now? Stock up on candles. I have a vanilla one for this  month, pumpkin spice for next month, and a spruce tree smelling one for Christmas. My new plan is simple. Burn a candle at all times and embrace the smell. 

So, if you come over and think, you catch a whiff of something unidentifiable, chances are you are right. But don't worry the longer you are here the less you notice the smell, pretty soon you are thinking, "Do I smell something? Oh, yes, that nice vanilla candle that is burning. What a lovely smell!"

What my kitchen looked like the day we bought it:

What my kitchen looked like on moving day:

What my kitchen looks like today:

Now onto the next issue. Get the buckets and the hose honey, the sewer pipe is backed up again!