Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rennovations, part deux!

Next on the list of cleaning and rennovation is the hallway bathroom.  Also known as the kids bathroom since all three of us used it growing up.  It's also the guest bathroom, and now when just Mom and Dad are living here most of the time, it's Dad's bathroom.

It's just your standard bathroom by most measures, except that the original owners of this house had a thing for stained glass.  They also may have been colorblind, or perhaps stoned when they selected the stained glass throughout the house. 

I neglected to take a "before" picture, but let me assure you it was horrid.  Yellow wallpaper from the 70s surrounded a yellow and pink and green stained glass window all lit in glaring florescent bulb lighting.  Ugh. 

Early in June, I tore down all the wall paper quite easily, which shocked me.  Expecting to rip and scrape and steam, I merely showered without the exhaust on to steam up the room and loosen the paper and started pulling from one edge!  99% of it came off without any extra effort and the little bit that stuck came down with a sponge full of water. 

Ryan arrived in mid-June and took over the project.  He pulled out some damaged wallboard, replacing it with new upgraded "bathroom safe" greenboard.  He also removed the hideous florescent light and replaced it with a much softer set of wall mounted sconces.  Finally, he filled the hole in the soffet from the original light, taped and mudded the drywall and then primed and painted a very nice "Tea Room" pink from Afinity. 

Let me just pause to put a plug in for the Benjamin Moore Afinity line of paint.  Every single color in this line goes together.  They have solved the problem of picking colors that look nice together to use throughout your house.  If you love the pink for the bathroom, it will look fantastic with the cream for the hallway and the blue in the bedroom and the green down the hall.  I thank God for people with an eye for that kind of thing because I'm good at numbers and numbers come in two colors:  Red and Black. 

I still need to put up some art and a clock, and buy new bathmats and a shower curtain, but the hard work is all done.  Ryan did a great job, as expected, since he's pretty much the best husband ever. 

Ignore the dirty floor, I haven't finished mopping up the drywall dust.  The yellow shower curtain... it gives you an idea of just how hideously yellow the bathroom was.  It's not a super deluxe rennovation by any means, but just a nice fresh look for a bathroom from the 70s. 

One more room down, eight to go! 

Goal! I'm Healthy!

This morning I stepped on the scale and smiled.  I smile most mornings because I'm slowly and steadily going in the right direction, but this morning it was an ear to ear grin. 

I hit 164.0 pounds.  Why is that number important?  Let me just briefly recap.  I lost all the weight by six weeks after Pete was born and then lost even more.  I hovered between 150-155 for about a year before getting pregnant again.  I ate and drank and did whatever I wanted and scoffed at the other Moms trying to lose the babyweight saying "Nine months to put it on, nine months to take it off." 

After Chester I did not lose all the weight.  Ugh.  And then I got pregnant again. 

After Marek, I was stuck at 177.  According to my calculations I needed to be 167 to be at a healthy BMI.  I set my initial goal to 167 pounds but sadly, after a visit to my new pcm, I am an inch shorter than I remember, bumping that elusive healthy number to 164.  I never felt "fat" but when I did the calculations, I was 27 (that's NEARLY 30!) pounds over my easy weight just after Pete was born.  It was time to get serious.

I snuck the baby into the YMCA a week early so I could go back to the gym.  I put my health and exercise time at the top of the priority list, removing my other playdates and MOPS group so that I had my mornings free to hit the YMCA.  I quit drinking so much.  Notice I said "so much".  I still indulge in a few cocktails, beer or wine occasionally, but it has to be occasionally or I gain weight again.  And probably most importantly, I started tracking calories on  I programmed  my goal to 2,000 calories, which includes about 400 for breastfeeding and I lose 1-3 pounds a week if I stick to my calorie goal.  Whenever I stop tracking, my progress stops dead. 

It's not easy.  It's not fun.  I would much rather eat ice cream than veggies, but I know that this is important.  It's important for my health, so that I can play with my kids, and so that I'm still healthy enough to play with my grandchildren.  It's important so that I can enjoy life and not spend my days tired or sore or uncomfortable from carrying around extra weight.  It's also important to me (judge me all you want) that I remain attractive to my husband.  I love him dearly, and I know he wouldn't stop loving me just for being pudgy, but I feel it's my responsibility to look nice for him because he deserves to have a hot wife. 

Earlier this week, Pete and I went for a run.  It filled my heart with joy to put him on his bike help him strap on his helmet, and then lace up my sneakers and strap on my ipod.  It was a short run, just 20 minutes, but I hope for many more evening runs with my little man.  I look forward to sharing a special time with him and I hope that it's the time that he would be jogging along with me and saying "You know Mom, I'm having trouble with my girlfriend" or "Mom, I think I want to change my major" or whatever difficult conversation is weighing on his soul. 

So let me give you encouragement if you're not happy where you are.  And let me give you congratulations if you're making progress towards a goal.  Whether it's 3lbs or 30lbs or 100lbs, you can do it!  Join me on (my screen name is SKPK) and we'll do it together.  I'm just 4 pounds from my second goal and 14 pounds from my "wouldn't it be nice" goal.  I want my friends to be happy and healthy too so that we can all be sitting around the old folks home someday, laughing at our great-grand-children. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Killer: How he survives daily life is beyond me.

Ryan's dog is everything but a dog.  He's a lizard.  He's fat.  He's lazy.  He's cold-blooded.  He's everything that a Boston Terrier should not be.  He might also be a cat, happy to snooze in the sun and flashes you disdainful looks if you try to cuddle him or take him for a walk.  Killer also has at least nine lives.   He's done really crazy things like eat blocks of rat poison and survived.  When he ran away in Lynn, he happened to hop in the car of a sister of a  friend from church.  But he's actually been a great dog on this trip, too lazy to run away, too fat to climb the stairs and get into trouble.  Killer is happy to lay on the back patio and sun himself.  He even excuses himself to the back bushes to use the potty.  Great dog, I tell you! 

Last night I let him out for a potty break about 8pm.  When he hadn't returned by 8:30pm, I was a little worried that someone picked him up, since he's too lazy to run away.  Because we just moved, his only tags are for the Air Force Base, and I figured the well-intentioned good Samaritan was probably hanging out with our fat lazy dog until the Air Force Base Vet opens in the morning and could help identify and return Killer to me.  (Yes, I'll go to Petsmart tomorrow and get him new tags too!)

So as Mom took the bigger boys upstairs for stories, I took the baby and headed out for a walk around the neighborhood to find the dog. 

I didn't need to go far. 

Killer had wandered next door and found the neighbor's minivan, which admittedly looks just like ours, and made himself at home.  He had been snoozing on the floor of their van, while my neighbor was cleaning out the back.  When he heard my voice, he jumped up and stuck his head over the back seat, scaring the neighbor about half to death.  Jerry opened the sliding door and out came Killer, just tickled to be free again.

Clearly this was God's perfect timing, since the doors were shut and Jerry hadn't noticed Killer in the van.  A few minutes later and Jerry would have been done cleaning out the van and I wouldn't have found him.  Killer would have been locked in the van all night, and depending on their plans for the next day, could have been locked in there all day too.  And we all know you should never leave your dog in a car because he can die of heat stroke in even mildly warm weather.

I figure Killer just used up another one of his nine lives. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Oh, that's right. I have a blog. Guest Room update

There are so many things to catch up on, but I'll focus on the present and I might actually catch up on the past few months at some point too. 

I'm in Ohio.  No, I didn't move here (though we did move last month!) but this is the annual summer trip to Ohio and Michigan.  Right now I'm in Hudson with my three boys while Ryan is still at work in MA.  One of the perks of being a stay-at-home-mom is that I can take weeks or even months at a time and head back to my hometown. 

My parents bought this house in 1985, just before I started kindergarten.  27 years later, it's pretty much the same as when they bought it.  We painted and wall-papered a few rooms, and they did gut and remodel the kitchen a few years ago, but for the most part, what they bought is how it remains today.  The goal is for my Father to retire (Mom has already retired) and for my parents to move to "The Island" (long story for another blog) sometime in the next two or three years.  It's been the five-year plan for about the last ten years, but I get the feeling this time it's more likely than not (also the topic for another blog!).  The Island Home is much smaller than their current home, so the first item on the agenda is helping them downsize all the stuff that nearly 30 years and three children has brought into their home.

The second issue will be updating the house to prepare it for the current rough real estate market.  The latest info we get from interior decorators and real estate agents is that wall paper is OUT, so we're not just downsizing stuff, but also preparing to tear out wall paper and paint the entire house.  A fresh coat of paint makes everything look new and exciting, right?

I'm also assuming that we'll be updating the landscaping too, but that's definitely not in the cards for this summer! 

This is the guest room.  At various times in the last 27 years, it has been Greg's room and Doug's room, but now serves as the guest room for married adults.  (Ahem, Doug!)  All our high school books, including some Cliff Notes are still on the shelves, but I've removed everything else.  I took five boxes of clothes to the thrift store and threw out another three boxes that I didn't consider donate-able.  I've been working on this room since last summer, going through countless boxes of Doug's photo materials, old blankets, books, and clothes.  The closet now has room for guests to hang clothes, there's a nice comfy mattress on the bed, the extra desk is gone and there's even room for the crib to be put up while we have Marek here with us.  I vacuumed the rug today for probably the first time in ten years. 

I still have a little work to do for this room, but I am just thrilled to death with the work I've put into it so far.  I have one more box of Doug's sports and high school memorabilia to box up, and all those books to donate back to the high school (even the Cliff Notes.  Especially the Cliff Notes!) but then we will be ready to pull down the wall paper and choose a color!

I've also been cooking, cleaning, shopping, going to the gym, strawberry picking and chasing my three boys during this renovation, so I'm more than a little exhausted, but at least I'm not pregnant this year!  Oh, and my parents finally got the air conditioning fixed, just in time for this to be the coldest June on record... just my luck!