Tuesday, June 30, 2009


The kids have been into band aids lately, even for the slightest scratch.

This morning, while getting dressed, Liam had a mini freak-out and demanded I put a band aid on the boo-boo on his chest.

File this under things I never thought I'd say:

"Oh, love, that's not a boo-boo, that's your nipple."

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I'm not ignoring you, I promise. I've been buuuuuuuuuuuuuuusy.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating. I've been dreaming and talking about and planning The Great Basement Cleanout for so long now that I still can't believe that it's finally happening. Not only is it getting done, but it will all have happened within one month...ONE MONTH! The heat is in and J painted last week - it looks great. The carpet is going in on Thursday and then I can begin to load stuff back and set the basement up the way I want.

I am so excited. So much stuff had accumulated down there over the years that I forgot how large of a space we really have down there and there will be plenty of room for a dedicated workout space, quilting area and, most importantly, more play space for the kids. I can't wait to post before and after pictures!

Some other projects, which were on my to-do list have kind of been side effects of the Cleanout and I'm happy to report that our bedroom has had a massive floor to ceiling cleaning and is now looking fabulous and the downstairs bathroom wallpaper has been steamed off and we know what we're going to do in there in terms of painting. That'll be next.

So, aside from being caught up with all of the work with redoing the basement, we also daytriped is to Vermont yesterday for KL's daughters' birthday. I had been wondering how she was going to handle it. S will be 4 on July 12th and the baby turns 1 on Tuesday. KL decided to have a joint party and it was such a nice time. It was a smaller crowd than usual, but we had a lovely time and oh God it was so cute to see the kids all play together. KL's sister got some fabulous pictures that I'll sort through and post when I have a moment (I know, I know, you're thinking you'll most likely see them sometime next year...not true, I promise!).

Also, I've begun something pretty major that I'm not ready to write about yet, but will when the time is right.

So, all in all, life has been busier than usual, which is saying a lot. We've been having a crappy, cool (that's not a bad thing, really) rainy summer and it's not been any fun for the kids. In fact, J just put our a/c in last week and that the latest that's ever happened. I can't believe that next weekend is the 4th of July. What are your plans?

Monday, June 15, 2009


I'm not a fan of country music, but while at the gym yesterday I saw a commercial for the upcoming CMT Music Awards. The dude on the commercial listed off the performers to be seen at the show and I'm just wondering...Def Leppard?


Sunday, June 14, 2009

9 Days

Since last Saturday, Cait and I have done a MASSIVE cleanout of the basement. First cleaning and organizing the unfinished side and then hauling a ton of stuff over from the finished side. This project - which I've been dreaming and talking about for years - is finally coming to fruition and I can't believe it. I've picked out and ordered the carpet, the baseboard heat was installed on Friday (previosuly there'd never been heat down there), Caitlin did the majority of the wallpaper steaming, and there are just a few boxes for J to sort through. The refrigerator is the only big thing left to move, and we'll do that once we know when the carpet's going in for certain.

Yesterday, J and I cleaned out the garage while another niece entertained Liam and Ella and it was fabulous to move more stuff over and out. Between donating items to Goodwill, the church yard sale and just generally throwing things away, we've gotten rid of a ton of stuff, and I'm in awe of how much we still have. When I first ordered the dumpster, I though for sure that we wouldn't come close to filling it. I. was. so. wrong. That puppy is FULL.

At the church yard sale yesterday, Cait scored some great pieces of furniture. I picked up another wooden bin organizer (to put in the basement once it's done, natch) for just $5 (and it's in perfect condition!). We inherited one organizer from N and the kids, and it works well upstairs. I was thrilled to get another one and for such a steal! I'm not normally a yard sale type of person, but Cait and I checked out a couple of other sales on the way home yesterday morning, and I picked up some great kids' books and a step (with risers!). Cait also found a cute pair of lamps for a great deal and I was happy that we decided to check out what else was going on in the neighborhood.

So...in a nutshell, life has been busy, busy, busy and dirty, dirty, dirty.

The Great Basement Cleanout took me on several walks down memory lane, most of which I would rather have left alone, but it's been a cathartic experience overall and it's liberating to be free of so much stuff. Of course, the entire point of redoing the basement is so that the kids have more space to play, I have a dedicated quilting area and also a decent place to workout at home, so I know there's more stuff in our future.

I'm wiped out, but so excited! I couldn't have done any of it without Cait's help and support. A GINORMOUS public thank you to her for taking time off from work to get down and dirty with me and clean our lives out. We love you, chicken head.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Musical Me

I made an almost obscene amount of mix tapes during the '90s.

They're pretty good, actually. So good, that Cait and I went out the other night in search of a stereo that had a tape player and finally managed to find one (yes, ONE...every system out there is made for damn iPods now). I've been breezing through themas we work on the basement, forcing Caitlin to glimpse into the mind of a late teen/early 20something Heather. I hope it's not too traumatic.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Days One and Two

The Great Basement Cleanout is well underway and man are we making progress. There is a ton left to do, but we're knee-deep in making headway. An unintentional side effect of all of this is that I cleaned out my bedroom closet and sorted through an embarrassingly overwhelming amount of clothes. I honestly had no idea how much clothing I owned. Today, I dropped off two and half ginormous bags of clothes at Goodwill - 72 pieces! The best part is that it was all stuff I'm too small for since I've lost weight. Bonus!

While I'm not crazy enough to share the state of my bedroom, here are some before and in progress shots of the unfinished side of the basement.

Deplorable, I know! Check out the horrible "storage" door thingies that were left behind by the "handyman" former owner. I HATE THEM. I call them the refrigerator doors. Finally, they've been removed and are currently residing in the dumpster.

That horrendous, useless, storage unit in the middle there? (The one with the paint cans?) I never would have thought to try and take it out, but Cait suggested it and we discovered that it wasn't attached to anything, so J went to town taking it apart and holy hell what a difference! Excellent idea, Cait!

Check it out! The ugly storage doors and center unit are now gone! I'm so happy! We have so much more space now to sort and haul everything over from the finished side to store while the carpet is installed/wallpaper is stripped/painting is done/baseboard heat is installed. This may not look like an improvement over the "before" shots, but trust me it so is (and it's even better now).

Tomorrow and Tuesday, the kids are off to Mom's so Cait and I can work uninterrupted and J is going to prime and paint the porch (which is still the crap brown color of the original house...after Tuesday it will be a lovely almond to match the siding). That was the other big project for this summer and since J was already taking the next two days off (originally for child minding while Cait and I worked downstairs), I came up with the brilliant idea that he could bring the kids to Mom's and do the porch! Do I know how to plan his time or what? I'm sure he'll be thrilled to get back into the office on Wednesday.

I've been talking about doing this for so long, that I'm still a little in shock that it's finally happening. We'll keep on keeping on and I think that, within 4-6 weeks (depending on how long it takes to get estimates and the baseboard installed), I will finally have the third floor of living space that I've been dreaming about.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Proud Aunt

Mom and I went to an art show that my nephew's work was in for his AP art class. He only decided about two years ago that he wanted to go to art school and we were all a bit skeptical that he'd be able to pull it off since he'd never really expressed an interest in art until after his sophomore year of high school.

The kid is pretty damn good! (No, I'm not biased.)

He's posted scans of a lot of his work on facebook, so I was familiar with most of his portfolio. It was nice to go and support him, though, and Mom got a kick out of seeing his stuff (since she just doesn't grasp the concept of "facepage" and therefore hasn't seen any of his stuff).

As I was walking around the room, admiring works by other students, I came upon a painting that I was drawn to. Lo and behold, it was done by my nephew! I went over and asked him about and it turns out that he hates that particular painting and asked that it be put on the other side of the room nowhere near his collection because he didn't want to see it during the show ("it doesn't fit with [his] style").

Well...I love the painting and now it's mine!

For the record, this is the painting that's now mine. The painting at the top of the post is one of my nephew's self portraits. He's just getting to be so great that I wanted to post more than one painting (and, you can see his "style" in the self portrait...it's "chunky," as he calls it, and "in the style of Lucien Frued").

And, yes, he's going to art school in the fall.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How Could I Forget?!?

My own little butterflies!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Something Different

Mom's been dying to take the kids to The Butterfly Place for well over a year now. As the weather gets warmer, she's more eager to "make memories that will keep [her] warm during the cold winter." Add to that the fact that she's just plain stircrazy and she's pretty much always asking me to do "something different." Last night she came up with the idea of finally going to The Butterfly Place.

I was a little skeptical, concerned that Liam and Ella would be a tad unmanageable. I forgot to mention our plans to J entirely and he had the back to front stroller in his car. I almost packed the side by side into the van as we set out, but decided to take my chances and explain to the kids that they must hold hands with Nana and Mumma or we were going to leave "the butterfly show" (as they called it) immediately.

When we pulled up, there were 3 school buses and Mom's heart sank a little. It's not a huge place, and we were concerned that it was just going to be overrun with school kids. One of the buses was leaving as we parked and the other two groups cleared out a little while after our arrival. We walked through the display area, where they have various (live) life stages of the butterfly for visitors to observe, and then stood at the window of the atrium in awe of the butterflies. Finally, we went into the atrium and it was so magical! It's a bit tropical, as butterflies and moths need the warmth to fly, but it wasn't unbearable. The kids did a great job, and I eventually slackened my hand holding rule once we were all comfortable in the area and I knew the layout of the path. Liam was a bit intimidated of all of the butterflies. Ella was in awe and Mom was so happy. The blue morphos are stunning and we had such a lovely visit.

The highlight of the entire day, at least for Liam and Ella? Moxie, the talking moose at Bugaboo Creek (a restaurant we'd never been to before and decided to try in Nashua - we liked it!).

All in all, it was a much needed and very lovely change of scenery.

Monday, June 1, 2009


My son eats lemon wedges. Rind and all.

Apparently, my father did the same thing (and it totally skeeved Mom out!). It doesn't skeeve us out, but it is rather amazing to watch.