Trial & Error

When I saw this mid-century lamp at the thrift store, I thought it would be perfect.

I liked the pinkish color of the lamp shades, the interesting twirl of the wooden piece around the pole, etc.

I envisioned the lamp living right about here, and as you can see, it doesn't quite work.

mid-century lamp
For one thing, it's too short for our high ceilings. Although, if I put a chair in this corner, no one would ever see the bottom.

mid-century lamp
It looks kind of cramped in this corner with the mirror and other pictures that are already on the wall. Although, I could move them around (the beauty of picture rails).

mid-century lamp
I'm not totally sold on the brassy metal finish, but we all know that can be pretty easily remedied with spray paint.

mid-century lamp
So, this isn't going to be the instant addition I originally thought it might be. I could probably get it to work with some work, but right now I'll wait a little bit to see if inspiration strikes.

Do you ever buy things that seem perfect, but don't quite work? Do you tweak them until they do or do you just give up?


Random Photo Dump

baby girl sitting in camp chair instagram
little girl on windy beach instagram
baby girl sitting in grass instagram
little girl running in park instagram
baby girl side view instagram
little boy on playground instagram
little boy playing on tree lined street instagram
close up baby girl instagram
little boys sitting on rock instagram

Past Blast: Don't be Jealous

baby boy nerd pocket protector
little boy in skirt little girl in suit little girl wearing a tie

little girl nerd
little girl wearing suit fire hat little boy and girl wearing trucker hats

little boy wearing goggles
little girl wearing funny overalls little girl wearing pants over pajamas

baby boy holding calculator
little girl nerd little girl unmatching outfit

little girl pocket protector pencils
But, not everyone's kids can have the fashion sense mine do.


Cracker Man

One Halloween (when he was 3 or 4?) Tyson insisted on being Cracker Man.

Me, Grandma, Mom and Cracker Man - Incognito

You know, Cracker Man -- the superhero who flies around town delivering crackers to everyone.

Or perhaps just to those who are good?

Tyson could never quite describe to us what Cracker Man looked like, so Mom came up with a pretty standard superhero costume of cape, tights, and a large star on the chest.

Tyson was satisfied.

Years later, we decided that he'd been inspired by the man on the crackerjack box, but had let his imagination take over from there.

Anyone else's family have legendary Halloween costumes -- beyond princesses and firemen?


Fathers and Sons

This week was our church's annual Fathers and Sons campout. It's basically a campout for everyone in the church with a Y chromosome.

Going diggin' in "The Beast" is the highlight of Herbie's year. He thinks the other stuff is cool, but this will be the thing he'll talk about for the rest of the year.

boys and dad in giant truckOnce they get there, they do lots of back-to-nature type things like burn gasoline,

dad and little boy on quad runner four wheeler
and eat ice cream sandwiches.

little boy eating an ice cream sandwich
I hear Moses had a bunch of Ralph Wiggum moments where he blurted out random things that had nothing to do with what anyone else was talking about.
Hey! Why did air get in my mouth?
I like to play with Playdoh!
This week was also the last week of school. Ruby came down wearing this on the last day with a very pleased look on her face.
Mom! Herbie says I look very nice!
little boy and girl on last day of school
Her prayer that day?
Please bless the teachers that they won't miss us too much, and that they'll remember us.

schools out for summer
This is Linus quietly (oh, so quietly) sneaking into bed with Woo.
little toddler boy sneaks into mom and dads bed

We must be the most oblivious parents ever because one day we looked into Penelope's mouth, and there was a giant top tooth.

Who knows how long she's had it.

Anyway, we've been reminded again that teething happens to babies, and we're blaming her crankiness today on the two upper teeth very near the surface.

I've been playing around with the tilt-shift function on my photos. I'm not sure that I like it, but it may also be that I'm not very good at it yet.

little toddler boy sitting on rock cowboy boots
And finally, Woo's latest billion dollar idea:
Since these crazy mud, color, whipped cream, scrambled egg, etc. runs are all the rage, I'm starting my own! The Radder Bladder! (Don't even think of stealing my idea!) Drink 1 gallon of liquid then run, or stagger, past rivers, waterfalls, drippy faucets, filthy public bathrooms for 15 kilometers. Special categories for 4 yr old boys and pregnant women! Sponsored by Huggies and The Kidney Foundation ...
He's looking for a logo. Any ideas?


Guest Story: Stupid Mama

I'm pleased to present a guest post today from Diana. Diana is the mother of two young sons. The younger son has had significant medical issues that required a lot of hands-on attention, resulting in the older son being allowed far too much screen time. Since he has a strong gene for general awesomeness, it doesn't seem to have effected him too adversely.

P.S. Diana secretly (not anymore, thanks, internet!!) thinks she's hilarious, and I'd have to agree with her. It's a pity she doesn't write more often ;).

Does anyone else spend half of their parenting time wondering whether or not they are succeeding at parenting? I keep an informal tally to try to keep track of how I am doing. There are things that I count as a parenting win, like the fact that I have managed to sneak pureed kale, spinach, or swiss chard into our breakfast smoothies nearly every day for the past six months.

Then there are the times that I know I am not succeeding. For instance, I never thought I would hear myself say any of the following (all of which I'm afraid I have):
1. "If you eat dirt one more time then we are going inside. Fine! We're going inside!"

2. "You are mad right now. But I don't think you really like Satan."

3. (While potty training, and trying to minimize the aftermath clean up) "A penis is a tool, not a toy."

4. "No, you may not have more broccoli until you have at least one bite of your cheeseburger."

5. "Hey! We do not fight with knives!"
Then there are the in between times. For instance, is it a parental win or fail when my four year old, hearing me shout, "YOU ARE A CRAZY PERSON!!" at the woman on my new exercise video, responds calmly, "Mama, don't be mean. She is just trying to make your body be more healthy."

Or how about when you take the same four year old to his father's "Take your child to work day" celebration and the little guy confidently introduces himself to his father's colleagues and then proceeds to tell them all about his favorite World of Warcraft character?

We let him log on to his uncle's account once a week, at which time he creates several new characters, participates in a few non-humanoid-murdering quests, and spends a lot of gold buying in-game pets. So it isn't as bad as it sounds. But still...

I'm also unclear as to where to place the following on the parental win--fail spectrum. My son taught himself to read several months ago, thanks mostly to my insistence that he spend time on "educational" websites before he played on the NON-educational websites. But while he has very well-developed wrist and index finger muscles (read: computer mouse-using muscles) his other fine motor skills were lagging. Here is a sample of his handwriting:

In a fit of good intention, I created a variety of worksheets for him that would allow him to develop his fine-motor skills by tracing letters and numbers, drawing dots and symbols, and other educational fare. I set up a study space with a child-sized table and chair, and told my son he had to "earn screen time by completing worksheets."

I was so proud of myself. He was proud, too, when he brought his first completed worksheet to me. He enjoyed the second and third worksheet as well. The fourth day, the novelty began wearing off. By the fifth day, insistence was required, followed by false cheerfulness, wheedling, begging, and threatening (World of Warcraft screen time may have come into play.)

A little over a week into the program, it was beginning to be more difficult to get the worksheets completed, but I stood my ground. No screen time unless it is earned by doing chores, exercise, or worksheets!

At last it seemed I had convinced him, or converted him, or broken his spirit, or something. He took the worksheet one morning with a minimum of fuss. He sat at his table and worked quietly. Then he proudly brought the finished results to me.

Except instead of completing the worksheet, which this time was tracing dots to form the numbers and words for "Counting by Tens!" he had turned the worksheet over and had written this:

I'd call it an epic fail, except as you can see, his penmanship is remarkably improved.


Kitchen Trim & Molding

bead board trim
Work on the kitchen is still moving along. I've got most of the trim and molding up. It's one of those boring jobs that doesn't give instant satisfaction (like painting, for example), but has to be done.

I've put up the molding we took down around the windows and doorways,

beadboard trim
molding on top of the cabinets,

installing molding about cabinets
and trim to finish off the paneling.

paneling trim
I'm loosely basing what I'm doing off of what Shaunna did here, but she didn't caulk anything for a rougher look.

paneling trim over gaps
I have a different situation -- wonky walls, pre-existing paneling in part of the room, etc. so I'll definitely be caulking.

I actually enjoying caulking; I find it relaxing, and I'll probably be doing that most of next week.

It won't look like much, but after that ... we'll probably start looking like we're making progress!

What home remodel tasks do you find satisfying? Which ones are a burden and total bores?