Friday, March 23, 2012

It's TWINS!! sorry...not that kind of twins. No, sorry - I'm done! But our backyard squirrel residents just had twins and they are ADORABLE!!! Here are some pics:

Testing it out

Mom or Dad hanging out at the side of the nest. Actually he/she is on the squirrel feeder, which I haven't been game enough to fill since the squirrels moved into the nest, for fear of scaring them away.

Extra Notes: I'm from Australia, where we have the cutest little possums you have ever seen. They are not like the US Opossums, oh no! Check out this link HERE for further explanation. Sorry, but those things are a little unpleasant to look at :) So, now that I am here in the US, I LOVE squirrels, because they are so cute, and they have a big fluffy tail, and they remind me of home :) So that is why we have a squirrel home in our backyard! 

Now, aren't they ADORABLE!!!!

Easter Subway Art

Tried my hand at the subway art thing last night. What I thought would take 15 minutes took well over an hour! It is a lot harder than it looks...well, for me anyway. Researching, editing, adjusting, adding, subtracting, undo-ing, re-doing, adjusting colors, changing fonts, almost giving up, then finally got it just right (ahhhhh). Also, I was subjected to a letterpress/color families lecture from my (graphic web designer) husband, so that took up a little time too ;)

But here is my final (final) product (no more editing) and, if you wish, you may download for free - just in time for Easter.

And just click HERE to download the Easter Subway art :)


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Today / Random Stuff

Sometimes you just got to get this stuff out of your mind and onto paper/blog:

I'm on Day 6 of yoga! Yeah - kind of proud of myself. Doesn't sound like much but I'm having serious motivational issues with exercise at the moment. And I'm hurting. So yoga-on baby!

I ran 1 mile yesterday - yep, you heard it correctly - ONE mile. Awesome :) hahahaha - HEY, it's a start. I have a whole plan worked out to get me up to 3 miles in 12 weeks. Slow maybe but I think this (time) will work for me.

The girls and I had a fun Spring Break together. On Monday we went to two museums, and then had a little picnic at the botanical gardens. I laughed so much watching them play tag. Those two crack me up!



On Tuesday, I took my two girls, and a friend of my eldest girl, to the movies to see The Secret World of Arrietty - very cute movie. So good to see a movie with no "issues" or moments you have to awkwardly explain to 3yr old and 5yr olds. All the girls loved it.

Wednesday was my birthday! And what a day. My husband and I were going to go out for dinner, get a babysitter, enjoy time together, but it got completely derailed. Now, it was partly my fault. With all the construction, painting, moving furniture stuff, etc. going on our house was complete chaos. So I tried all day to get it tidy (enough). The girls were both wheels-off crazy! Both in time-out numerous times - this hardly ever happens - ugghhhggghhhh!!! It was not a good day for anyone. So, at 3pm I gave in and canceled the babysitter - totally bummed :( Thankfully my husband convinced me to get the girls ready so we could all go out for dinner - my choice (huh? of course it would be my choice, right??). But he was being very nice and managed to get me out of my grump-funk and we all had a lovely dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Oh, the cheesecake is to die for!! And my dinner was delicious too. So, a birthday night was rescued from the jaws of despair and depression - thank you God for giving me him :) and my two beautiful girls.

Thursday - the girls and I headed to the Aquarium. SO glad I pre-purchased our tickets. The general admission line was SO SO long. The priority line was SO SO short :) So short I felt a little guilty. We waited for about 5 minutes and were in. So worth pre-purchasing tickets if it gets you priority admission. AND the tickets were cheaper on-line too. Gosh, this day totally made up for yesterday's day. We loved the Aquarium. It was all indoor, but really well done. We took about 2 hours to go through it all - taking our time to stop and look at whatever grabbed our fancy. We even timed it so well that we got to see them feed the sharks in the main tank - so cool! My eldest even asked a great question to the attendant - "Why don't the sharks eat all the fish in the tank?" - because they get feed really well, so never feel like eating their little tank buddies....for the most part ;)
Oh, and hubby surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a birthday pie - made my day!

The birthday cake is ABLAZE!!!

But see, I'm only 15 (wink, wink - hehehe)

Friday was down time, and packing time for the lake.

Today, I painted my nails blue for fun - what do you think?

The clouds looked weird this afternoon. We had storms all last night, which equals four people in a king bed and no sleep for me, because I have two little people hogging my pillow :(

First thing out of my 3yr old's mouth this morning - "Mom, we need to go to the store to buy earplugs, so we can get some sleep! That storm was too loud." - couldn't agree more...zzz...


The girls got busy doing some drawings. These are the new designs for the living room. This is my 5yr old's design.

And my 3yr old's design. Gosh, it will be hard to pick the winner!

And the last one - I'm trying really hard to give up Facebook - it annoys me more than benefits me. So hopefully more writing on the blog :)

That's it for today. Wasn't too painful, was it???

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wood Floors / Update

I realise I abruptly stopped at Day 3 of the wood floors project. I was SO worn out from all the work, plus trying to keep up with (real) work, and the laundry, and the kids...The blog was way last! But here is the latest:

We did finally finish getting the wood floors installed on the Friday - Day 5! I was trying to get some painting done while my in-laws were finishing off the floor (don't you love them! I do!). I still have not finished painting - it seems to be the gift that keeps on giving! Uggggg....enough already. And all the furniture is still not back in the room.

That week was exhausting - how my FIL coped I'll never know! It was hard on the ole knees.

Also, it was Spring Break here last week - the kids off plus me trying to paint is NOT a cool combination. Maybe when they are teenagers and don't give a hoot if I breathe, but right now they are all in my face, demanding my time - isn't that awesome! So I obliged :)

I will get photos up of the final reveal of the room. I have some awesome ideas, but, of course, that involves lots of energy and time (ugggg - maybe my 3yr old will lend me some of her energy??).  I will tell you one little thing - I bought lots of beautiful new fabric!!!!! So exciting!!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wood Floors / Day 3

Today, the reinforcements arrived to help - yeah!

I think they were suitably impressed at what I had done so far. I thought it was only fair since I am a little younger than they are :) Still, we had more work to do on the initial prep stuff - grind the nails off, vacuum, and lay the underlay down.

Guess we got started on the actual flooring by 2pm, and worked for about 3 1/2 hours on it. Still, may not look like much, but it was a LOT of work. Much more difficult than it looks. But once we got the hang of it, off we went.

It looks AWESOME! Love, love, love.

In bed by 9:30...goodnight....

Wood Floors / Day 2

Day 2 of Wood Floor Project:

1. My hands hurt

2. My legs hurt

3. My arms hurt

4. I'm exhausted

5. I think I overdid it yesterday :)

I finished off all the little bits - a few strips of carpet in the living room, the baseboards and all the tack strips. Moved one more piece out of the room, with help from the hubby. Still not ready to move the TV yet :)

Everything hurts, so I took a break today. Managed to take one kid to her playdate at the park, do a little business work, take the other one to the doctor (ear infection - boo!), make dinner, and tidy up a little bit. In bed by 10:30 again - now that is saying something!

Tomorrow's list:
* grind off all nail heads
* finish vacuuming
* wash floor
* move TV
* lay down underlay
* go get some glue to start with (boo - still hasn't shown up yet!!)
* start on FLOOR :) yeah :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dream Come True / Wood Floors

Finally...finally...finally! After 5+ years of dreaming, wishing, and a little pleading, I am finally getting wood floors in the HOUSE! So excited!

So here is the step-by-step progress (hopefully it will all be over by the end of the week).

First up - the floor selection. I follow Dana's House*Tweaking blog and when I read this post I knew it was time, and I knew we had found the perfect source for our floors - Build Direct.

I ordered 4 samples of engineered hardwood flooring (free!) from Build Direct and we mulled over them for awhile before deciding on the Texas Brown. Absolutely no correlation between where we live and our preference ;). Floor shipping was fast - just a couple of days - although, I'm still waiting on the glue and baseboards :( Hopefully the glue will arrive soon. I need it tomorrow!

Anyway, flooring is here. We went for the engineered hardwood because we have concrete slab - I'm pretty sure this is the only type of wood flooring you can use on concrete slab...but might be wrong? The flooring we ordered also comes with an underlay (extra cost though) that is an acoustic underlay. The living room has a vaulted ceiling, so I'm hoping this will lessen any echo/ noise from the floor. So, because it has the underlay all we have to do is remove the existing carpet, tack boards and nails; vacuum; wash; then lay the underlay. No need to "prep" the floor any more than that. Of course, that is where the "easy" work ends. The boards are tongue-in-groove and each board needs to be glued individually together along each seam. I'm thinking this is going to take FOREVER! My FIL is going to KILL ME!! he....hehe....he...

So here are the before pics:


OK - was that enough photos for ya? hehehe...sorry - sometimes I get a little carried away :) the hallway .... onto Day 1 - move all the furniture and remove the carpet!

Well, I moved as much as I physically could (yes, me, myself and I), except for the TV. I really was "able" to move that but choose, for the sanity of....well, me really (because who in their right mind would take the TV from their kids or husband until right at the very last minute, or unless it was an emergency!!) to leave it until seconds before we really need to move it.

Next up - removing the carpet - now, really, how hard can this be?? No, really??

Oh, all was fine until I came across the dreaded tack boards. Really? Are these things cyclone rated or something??? Good grief! For one, they have a billion nails in them. For two, are they glued down or something?? For I don't have a third point. But the main point here is that these things are a crime against the impatient ADD DIY! Don't they know I want this done within 1/2 hour - not 5 hours?? Really!

So this is how I conquered them ;)

Got this little jimmy-thingo from Lowes - I position it at the base of the tack board then gently hammer it under the board and pry it up. Gentle does the trick so as not to pull the nails up, that hold the boards into the concrete. My first reaction was to pry those nails out of the concrete too...until about a 2 inch round piece of concrete came out with it as well! So, the nails stay until I saw them off with my grinder! WooHoo for power tools!!

The baseboards are coming off too. I cut along the top of the baseboards, pry a little from the bottom, then pop them off from the top. Does all that make sense?? Look, really I just found this on pinterest :) (sorry - cannot find the original reference for it - lost somewhere in those 4000+ pins...oops).


This is in the main living room area - cutting up the carpet into manageable strips to put out for trash collection. I know those trash collectors LOVE me :) They always slow right down in front of my house, point and say a few things (just can never quite hear them though...hmmm), stamp their feet like they are doing a little dance of joy, then load up all my trash :) They are so sweet!

So there you have it. Day One complete and I'm completely exhausted. My muscles are actually shaking from fatigue. In bed by 10:30pm, peoples!! Now that's A.M.A.Z.I.N.G (for me).