Sunday, January 31, 2010

You Turn Around For One Second/ Stop, Drop, and Roll

I have a boy.  And he's a boy's boy.  He put the "boy"  in boisterous.  Anyway, my favorite little hooligan is quite a handful, and recently, I've had to wonder if I'm teaching him enough about safety.  I am definitely not a "helicopter parent," and sometimes I think I may swing too far in the other direction.  Today, Dominic and I had the pleasure of making a little outing with five stops.  We went to Target to return something and pick a few things up, then Trader Joes, Home Depot, Harris Teeter, and a stop to pick up some things I got through Freecycle.

Dominic was pretty well behaved, with the influence of the bribe-threat combo.  And I was very impressed at how patient he was at Home Depot while we waiting for a staff person to retrieve some totes from a high shelf for us.  We had one more thing to pick up and he was sitting so nicely in the approved position for the shopping cart.  But I turned around for one second and this is what I found:
 Quietly and quickly he had unbuckled himself and climbed out of the seat and into the totes.  I laughed and took a picture, but thought, briefly, how easily he could have fallen and smacked his head on the hard concrete floor.

Now the stop, drop, and roll part.  Dominic has taken to throwing his ooubi and dish towels up on the stove top.  I've warned him about doing this, and thankfully, the stove has never been on when he has done it, but I decided that I had better give him a lesson in fire safety.  He is a rascal, and genetically predisposed toward pyrotechnics... from... um... his father.  Okay, that's a pretty big lie, I've always enjoyed playing with fire and it seems to run in my family.    The good news is, he took to "stop, drop, and roll" like a duck to water.  All night I've been running up to him and yelling, "You're on fire, what do you do?"  Is that wrong?  I figure better early, after all, I was calmly able to smother the fire on my breadspread at the age of 13.   Still, I probably shouldn't have showed him how to put out a candle with my fingers last weekend...

On a completely unrelated note, how cute is is that whenever he is getting a piggyback ride he likes to say, "Oink, oink, oink."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Child Labor

It's been a while since I posted, so this is just a quick one during my lunch hour.  I grew up doing chores, and I have been doing them for as long as I remember.  I have to admit, I still feel the same way about chores that I used to, I just have no authority figure to complain to, so I'm a lot less vocal about it.  I remember calling my mom a "slave-driver" as kid, partially in jest, and partially with the firm belief that she and my dad had kids so they would never again be forced to set or clear the table.

Continuing on in the grand tradition of child labor, I have been instituting chores for Dominic at home.  Since he was a baby, he has "helped" me in the kitchen.  He has always cooked with me, first in my sling, then, when he reached out and cut himself on my knife, from a walker safely on the floor.  For a while he simply played in the kitchen, but then he became much more interested in helping me.  For about a year now he has been pushing chairs up to the counter to "help" and has been thwarted in most of his attempts.

At first, I would only let him help me mix baked goods, but he quickly graduated on to stiring pots and pans full of hot food.  Don't worry, I don't leave the room and I'm never more than an arm's length away from him.  In other words, don't report me for abuse or negligence.  But Dominic has wanted to do more and obeying that first instinct, keeps reaching for my knives.

Last night I was hit with a memory of what I used to do for my mom before I was allowed to trim beans. 

I peeled!  Carrots, potatoes, cucumbers.  Thankfully, these vegetables make pretty regular appearances in our home, especially the carrots.  So, I tested it out and Dominic did a beautiful job!  I'm still feeling a bit guilty for letting my 3-year old handle what could be considered a sharp implement, but he didn't come even close to hurting himself, so he'll be my official peeler from now on.

Other chores he does: putting silverware on the table, clearing the table, cleaning up his toys.  Now if only I could teach him to make his bed... but he may still be a little to small for that.  It's hard to make a bed that's on the same level as your chest, or at least, I imagine it must be.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's Growing

I have thick hair.  Very thick hair.  I also used to have very long hair that one of my dear friends described as "beer commerical hair."  I've been pretty vain about my hair in the past, but I gave up vanity when it started falling out in clumps shortly after I weaned Dominic. I was sick of pulling hair out from drains and vacuuming it up, so I chopped very short.  It wasn't the most flattering hairstyle I've ever had, but boy was it easy, just wash'n go.  I let it grow out to a bit of a bob and have kept it that way for about two years.  But, I decided to start growing my hair out about a year ago (alright, I didn't so much decide as I just got too busy to go get it cut) and now I'm pleased that my locks are getting long again.  Today I discovered I can return to my favorite whoops-I-forgot-a-rubberband-and-I'll-never-make-it-through-the-day-with-my-hair-in-my-face do. 

Yay!  I can now bun up my hair using only a writing implement, and this gives me plenty of opportunities to grab the pencil while gently tossing my head from side-to-side in that beer commercial way.  I <3 having long hair.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I try to only resolve one or two things each year, this makes those resolutions more attainable.  Last year, in addition to making exercise a regular part of my life, I resolved to learn to crochet.  I kept thinking about it all year, but I had so many other things going on.  The first two months of the year found me working madly on a quilt for my great-grandfather-in-law.  Alex DiSanto is the wonderful patriarch of my husband's family (father's side), and I feel blessed to have been so accepted by him and his clan.  Anyway, Papa always hosts the family, whoever can make it, at a beach house in the Outer Banks, NC every summer.  Each year a new t-shirt is made up for family members, and I had a great idea to make a quilt with all those t-shirts.  Unfortunately, I had the idea in the late fall and his birthday is in February.  But, I worked hard and diligently in all my free hours and got it done, and I'm pretty pleased with the result.

After that I finished a quilt for Dominic (something I had started in college for somebody else), but I don't have any pictures of that one.

Meanwhile, I started a new job, Jason graduated from law school, and my other life events happened, providing me with ample excuses not to get on with my resolution to learn to crochet.  Well, along comes November and I decided it wasn't too late.   I got myself a book, a hook, and a ball of yarn and sat down one weekend.

This is as far a I got.  2 rows of a really long scarf chain, and I haven't picked it up since. (Also, I lost my crochet hook).  I hope to get back to it this weekend as I'll be going to a meet-up with my good friend, Suzi of the Stars.  I should have a replacement hook to as she is making me one of her wonderful felted crochet hooks.

Technically, I would say I kept my resolution, I did learn... a little... about how to crochet.  Hopefully, this year  I'll actually complete a project.  I'd love to do a baby afghan and maybe some booties and a hat- I know a lot of people having babies, so these are good items to start with, as soon as I finish my scarf.

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 11, 2010

So Darn Tired!

Well,  today was my sixth consecutive weekday to get up to work out before 5am.  I must admit, by Thursday and Friday of last week my workouts got a little bit short and rushed because *somehow* I managed to take a really long time to drink my coffee.  But, I kept up the program and did a long-ish run (outside in the below freezing wind) on Sunday and got up again this morning.

I'm pretty happy with myself, but I'm also so tired.  I feel like I could fall asleep while typing this...

Whoa, what? (wipes drool from corner of mouth)  I guess I should take myself up to bed so I can face tomorrow when it arrives... at 4:30 am.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Side Table Re-do

Here's the second project I accomplished.  This was almost free, I used the same paint and primer as the dresser and the two leftover knobs from the 10-pack I purchased for the dresser.  The stand itself is something that I picked up from Freecycle and has been sitting in its pre-sanded state in our entry way for almost a year.  The only thing I bought for this project was the four new legs.  I'm not sure that I like them after all, but at this point I'm not willing to spend anything else on this project, and the old flat legs were destroyed when I remove them.  With out further ado here it is:


I have one more project I think I can squeeze from that quart of Billowy Down (love that name), so stay tuned.  Quick thought- do you think this would look cute with a little skirt under the drawers?  If so, ruffled or tailored?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Motivation

Like most Americans, I struggle endlessly with making the right food choices, portion control, and getting enough exercise.  It feels like I'm always starting over and resolving to do better.  I'm not a dieter, I've known that for a long time, but I have tried to gradually make changes towards a healthier lifestyle.  I've done pretty well in food choices, and I can now say that over 50% of my weekly groceries are fresh produce (we buy our meat once a month at a Costco).  I've successfully transitioned my family to eating cookies and other desserts made with wholewheat, cut the salt and oil in most of my recipes, and started using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and regular yogurt (which was easy because it's delicious!).

However, exercise continues to be a challenge for me.  I got a pretty good start on healthy habits in 2009.  With Jason finally graduating from law school and being able to spend evenings and weekends at home, I found I had the time to start something.   Initially I joined a gym with the intention of going 3-4 days a week, and alternated swimming with cardio & weights.  That went alright, but as the weather warmed up, I decided that I would try to be a runner.  Jason has been running pretty regularly for over a year, and I'm always looking for ways to find common interests between us.  So after about three months of runnng (somewhat sporadically), I quit the gym since I was no longer going.  But alas, fall came and with it came stress and long hours at work, which led directly into the holiday season of parties, eating, and a lot less daylight by the time I arrive home.

By sheer luck, I happened to be in the right place at the right time, and snagged a free treadmill at the end of November, and so now I many less excuses for not doing something regularly.  I do want to be in shape, but it's hard to find the motivation.  Yes, I want to be able to run around with my kids and grandkids, that's always been a goal.  And yes, I'm sick of my exercise-obessed husband looking better than me.  (To understand this you must know that when we got married he was about 50 lbs. heavier and I was about 15-20 lbs. lighter, I'm not digging the role reversal).  But my primary motivation for getting up and onto the treadmill these days?

Excuse the pictures, I'm a terrible, terrible photographer, but I'm doing my best.

The lasting effect it will have on Dominic.  He so excited about exercising right now.  Yesterday he was reluctant to come home (as usual) when I picked him up from daycare.  He was just having too much fun.  In the past I've tried bribing him with TV, seeing Daddy, a snack, and anything I could think of that would induce him to stop kicking and thrashing and come quietly.  Well, yesterday all I said was, "Don't you want to come home and do your exercises?"  And boom!  He was practically running for the car. 

I can't tell you how adorable it is to watch him run on the treadmill (with a parent standing very close) and do his push-ups and sit-ups with daddy.  But I can show you...

I'm admittedly biased, but really, isn't that darling?  He is wearing his exercise clothes, that he picked out.  I'm not sure why, but he definitely feels that a hat and gloves complete the ensemble.  So now when I don't want to get out of bed, I remember that it's not only my health and habits that I'm influencing, it's his as well.  And that helps.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My very own before and after

The month of December saw an expansion in my blog appetite.  No longer was I content to quietly stalk the lives of friends and neighbors, I needed more.  So, I stumbled upon home improvement/decorating blogs and endless hours were spent pouring over picture after picture and just itching to get my hands on some "good bones" piece of furniture I could refinish.  Thank you so much BetterAfter, for the countless hours of visual pleasure.

Then, on an afternoon jog I passed a pile of furniture with a large "FREE" sign.  I had to cross the street and run by.  Wait, could that be, no really, COULD THAT BE!  There was a hideously painted and spotted blue dresser with a darling curve and little legs.  And don't you know, I desperately need another dresser!  So I finished my run (considerably faster than I had planned) and dashed home to recruit the hubby for a minivan salvage mission. I promised that I would finish this project speedily, that I wouldn't need anything else for Christmas, and that I would take over dinner duty for that night.  This combination seemed to do the trick and hubby acquiesced to my fervor.

We got it home and took it down to my "studio" in our unfinished basement.  Here's the before:

I thought I had spotted a piece with potential.  It was quite dinged up, and I ended up puttying an entire corner (which will be strategically camouflaged when I figure out what I want to reside on my new surface).
But two hours of power sanding through blue, white, then green paint, and I felt I was making progress.

I also decided to replace the hardware from old-fashion pulls, to shiny new knobs.  So I filled in the extra holes and sanded some more.  Then a thorough going over with a damp cloth to get rid of any dust and on to the next step.

I put on a couple coats of primer, then a couple coats of Behr Billowy Down.  and Voila, the after:

Isn't she a beauty?  Right now I haven't decided how to "dress" her, but she is acting as a buffet in my dining room. I really do need another dresser, but I decided on the buffet first.  I know we will be moving in the next 4-6 months, so I have no idea where this piece will find its final resting home.

I love the crisp white of this, but I may have to had some distressing or another color when I figure out where she finally belongs. For right now though, she'd fit right in any room of my house and add a little much-needed class.

Stayed tuned for other projects I'll be doing to try to use up the rest of that Billowy Down quart.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Try, try again

I started a food blog back in the August/September time frame with noble ambitions.  I was going to blog about my monthly menus (yes, I do plan my menus a month in advance-mostly) and post each recipe with step-by-step pictures every night.  Alas, my eyes were bigger than my stomach for blogging, and this lasted a grand total of one week.  I guess you could say I bit off more than I could chew.

Really though, what was I thinking?  I work full-time, have a three-year old (plus husband) at home and am doing my best to try to develop that healthy and painful habit of exercising.  However, I do really like the idea of being a blogger.  I've never kept a journal or a diary, but I certainly tell stories of my life to whomever will listen.

With that in mind, I'm starting this blog with no grand promises of posting daily.  I'll post what I want, when I want.  I'm not going to try to stick to any theme, but this blog will revolve around my home and family.  I'm very much in a nesting mode right now, probably because there is a possibility that we'll be buying a home in the next year or so.  I've always wanted to be a home owner (just think, I get pick my own wall colors!) so this prospect has me in a tizzy, though I have at least 8 months to wait before even getting to start looking.

Anyway, we'll see how it goes, hopefully this won't be my only post.