Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Own HGTV Day (without the actual HGTV)

We bought the home we live in almost four years ago. When we toured it I knew immediately I wanted to buy it but I humored Hubs and viewed a few more just so we were sure this was the one. (I was sure, he wasn't.) There were a few things we didn't like about the house and knew we needed to fix up.

The major thing on our list was removing the fireplace.

I am happy to say the fireplace is gone.

It's not like we need a fireplace in Florida. They look nice (when they are installed/maintained/updated correctly) and those nights, one, maybe two a year when it's cold, well they are nice to have. But totally not necessary and certainly not needed as a giant room divider.

Watching the workers remove the fireplace in less than 30 minutes was crazy fun. But then it took another day and a half to put the room back together again nicely. We had to re-tile some of the floor in the kitchen area, fix the wall & ceiling, paint and lots of little things. Then a few days later we had new carpet installed.

It's awesome now. The room is so much bigger and brighter.

Here are all the pics!

I also truly believed that before we had it removed we would make at least one trip to the ER for stitches from one of our kids falling in to it. By some sort of graceful miracle, we did not!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Mommy Vacation

A couple weeks ago I boarded a plane and headed to Denver, CO to visit some of my dearest friends. Alone. By myself. No Hubs. No kids.


I had so much fun! Vivien picked me up and took me to Red Rocks. We walked (I nearly died) to the top and sat down to watch the sunset while eating homemade mango, pineapple salsa with chips. It was delicious and the view was spectacular! It was so different than what I am used to living 10 miles from the Atlantic coast!

The next day we drove out to an area called Loveland Pass and we stood at the Continental Divide for some photos. I'm such a tourist! Originally that morning I had on shorts and a tank top. But after thinking it was a little cool (dry, not humid, not used to that at all type of weather) I changed to jeans, but still kept on my flip flops. I'm really glad I brought a jacket. It was windy and cold up there. But it was also refreshing and wonderful.

Then Vivien took me to Mt Evans. Holy cow Mt Evans is 14,258ft above sea level (you know, where I live). The drive up (and down) was probably one of the scariest things EVER to me. I have terrible vertigo and am terrified of heights, like looking straight down heights. And as we drove up the winding road, the only thing between me and a sheer drop off the side of the mountain was a truck door and about 2 inches of dirt. DIRT. No guard rail, nothing. I even asked Vivien why they didn't put up guard rails. Since she works for the Dept. of Transportation I figured my request could go straight to the top. Her response was "there isn't enough room for guard rails." Hello?! I know!! A little wiggle one way or the other with her truck and it would have been a long, bumpy tumble over the cliff. But the view from the top was well worth the sore hands I had from gripping the door of Viv's truck. I did make a vow though that the next time I drive to the top of Mt. Evans I will be driving in a Smart Car or some other such tiny vehicle that will leave me more than 2 inches of dirt before the drop off.

Later that day we drove up to Boulder and had tea at this amazing tea house. It was all hand done wood work and tiles and completely gorgeous. Then we drove up to Ft. Collins to stay with our friends Matt & Lisa. We went to this great local restaurant and ended up scoring free ice cream sundaes because our server said we were his best (perhaps least annoying? perhaps funniest?) table of the night.

Saturday the four of us drove to the Rocky Mountain National Park and took a gorgeous walk (also known as a Beginner's Hike) around Bear Lake and then up to a water fall. I scaled a few boulder-ish rocks so I could be authentic. I took about a bazillion photos of the mountains and decided that I could live there.

I was also pretty stoked that I had two people say "Go Gators!" to me on the trail! Ahh! The Gator Nation really is everywhere!

This trip meant so much to me. It was my first time away from the boys, all of them, alone. I got to see one of my BFFs and some very dear and wonderful friends. I got fresh air, non-humid air. I got to pack a suitcase without diapers or any baby gear. It was crazy.

So THANK YOU Hubs, Kiddos, Family Who Helped Make This Happen...Vivien - for not laughing (too hard) at me on Mt. Evans, for hosting me, for planning everything and showing me how awesome Denver is... Matt & Lisa for being awesome and wonderful (it was so good to see you both only a few months after your wedding!)... and the airline pilots for not crashing, the weird people I sat next to who made interesting conversation about what Jesus would do, and for my sanity over randomly running in to people I never really cared to see ever again.

Such a great trip!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My House IS NOT Filthy Despite What This Post May Imply

There is a mouse in my house.

I say mouse like I know it's only one. But saying mice? That just gives me the creeps. I have barely gotten over the snake being in my closet last summer and now there is a mouse in my house. One mouse.

I hate getting up in the middle of the night to pee, which happens once or twice and I'm not even pregnant. But these critters have ruined me. I have to jump over the floor by my closet door to avoid the potential snake ghost, and now I have to listen for the mouse nomming away on the food in my pantry.

Yeah. One second there little bugger. That's Hubs' food. That's the boys' food. Dude that's MY FOOD.

We threw away three large yard trash bags of food, plus two boxes yesterday. Food we found teeth marks on, food we weren't so sure about since it was open and might have been breathed on by the mouse, and food that well, had expired. (Expired food in my pantry? It's genetic. My mom tried to poison Hubs when we'd only been dating a few months. Like she offered him honey mustard for his ham sandwich and it was green. GREEN. And it was 10 years old. That was 10 years ago. We still check the dates on anything coming out of her fridge and shelves now.) It was a lot of food.

I spent about five hours going through the food in our pantry, throwing it away, cleaning and reorganizing. How'd you spend your holiday? The entire time I had two thoughts.

  1. Why did we re-home our cats last fall?

  2. There are no cats in America and the streets are filled with cheeeeeeese.

Later I had a couple more thoughts.

  1. Oh my cake mixes! Oh my brownies!

  2. Damn it this mouse is forcing me to purge all the things I shouldn't have in my pantry anyways because I eat too much, when I'm stressed and anxious and it's totally not healthy, and I need to get over the emotional roller coaster I'm on right now and kick this habit to the curb along with the crappy-ass memories of people who attended my wedding but shouldn't have because they were shitty (former) friends who continuously bring me down by the sheer fact that they exist on this planet.

  3. breathe in, breathe out, breath in, breath out

This morning I drove to my friendly neighborhood Target to buy storage containers for my cereal and the boys' snacks which I have to restock up on tomorrow since we threw most of them away.

I really hate this mouse. Last night I had giggly thoughts of it scampering over to my pantry and staring up at the shelves in utter despair, its heart breaking in to a million tinier pieces as it realized it'd have to find another place to live. That it's cozy nest under the cupboard that also houses my pots and pans wouldn't be the best place on the earth to hunker down and breed in. Shudder.

Consequently I don't mind the pots and pans banging about when I put them away now. I delight in waking that mouse from it's peaceful, food-induced slumber with ear crushing clanging. Because it ate my food. It lives in MY house. And I didn't marry it nor did I birth it. It doesn't pay rent either. I have limits. I say this like I cook and bake every day and need to be using my pots and pans often. This is definitely not true but should be reconsidered as a viable rodent deterrent solution.

We did glean some useful knowledge about this mouse though while cleaning up its mess. It likes cereal bars and teddy grahams the best. So we use some of the nibbled on leftovers in the traps we have out. LIVE traps people. I haven't reached the point of really wanting to kill it. I'm not cold. Yet. But the funny (not-so-much) thing? It managed to get some of the food on the ramp of the trap last night. Without actually getting caught in the trap.

If that mouse turns out to be smarter than me? I'm going to write a letter to my alma mater to ask for a refund.