Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DIY Update

So. The playroom. Ummm-hmmmm. Can someone please remind me never to paint a contoured wall ever again? The playroom is going slowly to say the least. The good news is that we aren't in any sort of rush to get it finished as I probably won't let Evans play up there by himself right now anyways. However, those who know me, know that I cannot stand a job that isn't done. I think that after today I will be finished painting the beams and that is the LAST of the painting I believe. I cannot wait to get it finished and I'm just counting the minutes until Evans' nap time. The only problem that I am facing is that there is absolutely no way I can reach the tops of the beams from standing on my ladder. See that heinously ugly wooden thing in the right hand corner of this picture? It is our military issued "schrank" otherwise known as a free standing closet. I'm going to have to stand on top of it. I'm pretty sure it is not the safest thing I have ever done but I have done it before and it gets the job done. If only the beams didn't require three coats of paint.
As you can see I don't have THAT much more to do but I'm already sore from standing on the ladder all day yesterday so I'm not looking forward to it at all.
I can't wait for this phase to be finished. Then I can get on to the fun stuff like buying things to go into the playroom. I have picked out a few things for sure but who knows how long it will take for me to get all of it. Deaner left this morning for England and my first instinct was to run to Ikea and pick up a few things I could start "building". Thankfully I exercised some self control and good judgement and waited (really, I just knew I couldn't lift the shelves I wanted by myself and I had Evans to top it off). I did order this giraffe decal for the wall this morning because the website said it might take awhile to get here.
It is 7 feet tall and I've requested the mirror imagine of him. Don't ask me why but I don't like him facing to the right. I want this bookcase from Ikea and eventually I will fill in the squares with red storage baskets.
I probably would not have looked twice at this light online so I'm going to go ahead and say that the picture does not really do it justice. It is completely funky and a bit odd BUT we have such high ceilings in the playroom that I can afford to put something huge and outrageous in for the lighting. I sent Deaner a picture of it while I was in Ikea last week and he said it looked like paper exploding and he wasn't sure about it. We will see who wins. This fixture is also really bright since there is no real lamp shade and I think it would look great.
I also like this rug but I have to make sure that I think it is soft enough. Since I'm sure it will be my knees hurting while crawling around on the floor. Evans won't notice either way.
I have also picked out a really cool hand painted clock but I think I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. I think I will concentrate on completing the painting without seriously injuring myself. So it is now nap time and I'm off to the fourth floor. I'll take my cell phone in case there is a shrank emergency. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Playroom Revovation

To all you Moms out there, have you ever felt like toys are taking over your den? Or your house? Or your entire life? Chances are I'm not alone in feeling like if I step on one more Hot Wheels metal car, one more wooden Thomas train or one more of the Little People that I might just have to get my feet amputated. The toys are taking over our lives (I mostly blame my husband) and it is time to move the vast majority of them out of my den. Thankfully, we have two bedrooms on the top floor of our house that we never use. One will continue to be the guest bedroom because it is nice and roomy and the second bedroom is going to be transformed into a child's toy land. Unfortunately I didn't really realize what I was getting myself into when I dove in head first. Here is a picture of the room before I started. It has an ugly floor, blah white walls, ugly baby blue exposed beams, dingy white ceilings covered in glow in the dark stars/planets/moons and the best most hideous part is this secret door (which just leads to a balcony storage space).How could I not be excited about getting rid of these hippy flowers?? The nice qualities of the room are that the ceilings are 13 feet in some places and it has a fantastic balcony. On the balcony you can even see the Rhein River if you stand on your tippy toes.Really the room is great because I can redo everything with fresh paint and then pick out sun bathing furniture for my balcony. Evans can play and I can sit in the sun (which comes out every few weeks)! Richard has even suggested a mini fridge for up there so we can enjoy adult beverages on the balcony in the summers but I might have to pull the plug on that idea. Don't worry, we have already discussed the necessity of a latch/lock put on the top of the door so that no child could ever open the door or window even though I can hardly get the door open myself.

So I know that this might come as a shock to some of you after Evan's giraffe theme birthday party but that is sort of what I am going for in this playroom. I mean, if you perfect something, you should continue to use it, right? :) It has been slow going to say the least. The walls in this room are so grooved that the only way to paint is to use a brush. That's right, a BRUSH. As in, I must do all of it with my one right hand and elbow grease. One day I painted for two hours straight and you could hardly tell. And not only the walls have to be painted but the exposed beams, the ceiling AND the window casings.You can see in this picture that I have half of the beam that splits the room in half, halfway finished. These beams take roughly three coats to make them look decent. I have a sneaking suspicion that I might never be finished. I am almost done with the walls (they are yellow) but I have managed to run out of paint RIGHT before finishing. Back to the german hardware store tomorrow for more yellow paint and to pick out a ceiling paint. I've informed Deaner that he will be painting this weekend on the spots that I cannot reach myself. This is like pulling teeth and he needs plenty of forewarning. I have picked out new bookcases, a new rug and several giraffe accents including a big wall decal. I can't wait to post more pictures as I go. Now, if I could only figure out what I am going to do with the three rather large pieces of furniture that need a new home. Hmmmmm. Stay tuned......tomorrow I will tell y'all about our first day of the new school.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy (late) Easter 2012

I've had so much else to blog about lately that I am just now catching up to Easter. Considering that it was only four days ago, I think that I am doing okay. If anyone can remember last year and our Easter celebration I was pumped to have bought Evans the best Easter basket ever. I was thrilled to get to use it again this year. In fact, if I put as much thought and effort into other things in my life as much as I did picking out Easter basket goodies there is no telling how great it would be! This year Evans got a basket that held a Mr. Potato Head (bunny version), The Runaway Bunny and I Am A Bunny board books (I should mention that he seems to really dislike the Runaway Bunny book as he pushes it away and cries when I try and read it to him), bunny ears, an Easter plate and sippy cup, bunny and lamb rubber ducks for the tub and PLENTY of easter eggs filled with matchbox cars. I also bought that Hot Wheels car organizer/holder but I'd be lying if I said that was solely for Evans. I am sick to death of stepping on little metal cars when walking around my house. In keeping with his attitude from last year, Evans really could not have cared less about his basket! After all that work!He did humored me when encouraged to at least look at his basket.But it was clear that he would have rather been anywhere than on our blanket. Deaner and I had to take turns chasing him so he didn't end up in the Rhein.We were grateful for nice weather since the forecast called for rain and happy we could spend Evans' second easter down by the river again. A lot of changed since this time last year. Especially our child!Last Easter Evans has just (barely) learned to sit up on his own (remember, he was a bit slow!).This year we had to keep him from trying to take a swim. The past year has certainly been a challenge but I know that Deaner and I are both grateful for having such a happy and healthy baby (yes, I still call him a baby because he IS one).Maybe next year we will have better luck with the bunny ears!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Busy In Brussels

When I tell you that this trip to Brussels was all over the place, behavior wise, I'm not exaggerating. Evans was pretty snarky, goofy and just plain hilarious at times. He acted like a grumpy old man, a gooney lunatic and like he was born for the life of leisure traveling around Europe. As always, we would take a walk to visit the Mannekin Pis every afternoon when Deaner was finished working. It gave us time to catch up on the day and decide which cafe to sit down in for a pre-dinner drink (are you seeing a pattern here?). Of course there was always the ever important question of where to eat dinner that night. Evans didn't exactly love these leisurely strolls down to visit our little peeing statue. It was almost like he knew which part of the evening was coming up next and he was ready to get on with it. I'm not sure how I have been to Brussels so many times over the past three years and that this was the first trip I've had a Belgian waffle. Thankfully Evans didn't wait as long in life to indulge in such wonderfulness. After our strolls in the afternoon Mama and DaDa got to enjoy a delicious adult treat.Don't judge. It really was a 3 for 2 happy hour special. Evans on the other hand was happy as a clam with his Belgian waffles. Which I might add are probably the messiest treat on earth.All while being the most enjoyable.It is fair to say that by the time dinner rolled around I didn't expect Evans to eat much of anything. Especially anything that was good for him. The name of the game was keep Evans happy, quiet and looking this cute.Even if it meant letting him eat fruit snacks, cheese-its party mix, a chocolate cookie and pepperoni......as his supper....Even if it means eating cheetos while the oreo residue is still stuck in his teeth.....And even if it means letting him sit in his high chair at the dinner table......Like this. Thought I was joking about my efforts to keep him quiet? Whatever. It. Takes.

So after being delightful dinner company, it was time for some nekkid radio flyer riding in our apartment. Remember how I said I had a story about those accommodations? Well our "apartment", while being very nice and very big, was also basically just a big room.I believe in this picture you can see how Evans' pack 'n play was actually set up in the bathroom.The one and only bathroom this time. This did prove to be a bigger problem than before but luckily we had a first floor apartment and there was a bathroom in the lobby for us to use after Evans went to sleep. Ridiculous I know, but worth it. After more nekkid activities, such as playing the guitarthere was a little more radio flying (incognito) before passing out in his private suite.That included our only "facilities". I guess life could be worse. Our second night in Brussels we ate in an area that had quite a few street performing musicians that came along. I try not to make it a habit of tipping these people because honestly that could add another ten euro to your dinner bill. Unfortunately when Evans hears them coming he cannot contain his excitement.Then the dancing begins.Before I know it, the accordion players are flocking to our table, each wanting a tip for making our child so giddy.Thankfully letting him play with his truck and our lettuce garnishes (plus the binky) took his attention off of all his admirers.The same truck played in the bathtub that night and I definitely found lettuce floating in the tub along with a few fruit snacks. By our third night there we had everything down to a science.Not to say that we weren't happy to head home on Friday. I'm actually surprised that the trip went as smoothly as it did. I wouldn't hesitate to bring Evans along on another business trip sometime but I'm hoping we will be home for awhile. Anyways, we are off to an orientation at Evans' new "school". I am sure it won't be half as great as his old one but I'm hoping he enjoys it. Happy Wednesday!

Very Exclusive Deluxe Accommodations

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, we have found it necessary to have suites now when we travel. This is not always an easy thing to achieve but we do the best we can and as long as there is somewhere we can set up E's pack 'n play that has a closing door, we are okay with it. When Deaner suggested we spend a couple nights in Garmisch I was happy to oblige and he booked us a "junior" suite for the weekend. Neither of us thought twice about this until we were on the way there and I noticed that there was a very distinct "junior" included on our itinerary. Lo and behold, we arrived to a very large hotel room with a sitting area but no separate bedroom. I started to panic a little bit because it is nerve wracking sharing a room with the two men in my life, together. One is a very young light sleeper and one is a very noisy, tv watching night owl. It's not a good combo. After a few minutes of discussing our game plan I happened to notice another door tucked away that I hadn't noticed before. I was thrilled to find another half bath! Don't even get me started on the ridiculous set up of this "suite", which claimed it could sleep 6 adults, but I have never been so happy to see an extra toilet in my life! It was quickly turned into Chez Evans and the little prince had his own private quarters! It was quiet, dark and I even had a toilet to sit on while reading night time books! To say that Evans loved it would be an understatement. He didn't even want to get out of his crib when he woke up from naps and in the mornings.He was so into his private room that he would come and get us and point to his crib when he was ready for bed. I can promise y'all, that does not happen here!

Unfortunately the Zugspitz was cloudy the day we were planning on heading to the top. Instead we went up the Garmisch Classic for lunch. Evans had other plans. Plans that did not include sitting peacefully with us in a restaurant and enjoying himself.In fact, his plans didn't involve sitting at all. Deaner and I for the very first time had to take turns eating lunch. Since Evans wasn't happy unless he was dangling over the edge of the mountains, one of us had to be with him at all times.Lunch was not quite as much fun alone as it may sound! We didn't spend nearly as much time up at the top as we would have liked but we did try and get one family picture taken (by Deaner). The old hold the camera out trick is a bit easier with only two people! Especially when the third party is struggling and fighting you.Though he still had a little time to be sweet to his Mama....It was clear he would have rather been hanging out at the hotel, getting ready to go to the swimming pool and hiding in his favorite hide-y hole.We had a great time in the mountains and Evans had a great time in the hotel. He is a well kept man after all. I'm sure we will go back before too long. We headed home on Monday afternoon to throw some laundry in the never-ending German washer/dryer, repacked our bags and headed out on Tuesday morning for Brussels. I was relaxed and happy because I knew we had an apartment in Brussels and that having a separate room for Evans wasn't an issue. Do things ever happen the way they are supposed to? Tomorrow I'll give y'all the low down on our Belgian accommodations.