DIY


Lily helping Daddy spackle the wall.
26 September 2007

We decided to “redo” the living room.  The living room is the darkest room in the house, and therefore one of the most depressing.  The computer room is very depressing too, but that is due to clutter and disorganization, not lack of natural light.

When we first moved in, we put lamps in the living room.  But, even with every light turned on, the room is covered in the orange glow of flourescent light and is still very dreary.

I was talking to Mom about our problem, and she said one of the main culprits was the dark wood paneling that covered one wall.  To use her phrase, which I like very much, it is the “physics of color” and the dark wood soaks up all the light.  A white wall would bounce the light around the room.  She said Paul’s study was covered in wood paneling and was a cave.  She painted it a “soft vanilla” and now it’s bright.

So, one of the first things Matt did was remove the wood paneling.  The picture above with Lily spackling shows the unpainted drywall that was behind it.  We’re going to paint the ceiling the a light blue and the wall a light pink.  The crown moulding and baseboards will be chocolate brown.

Our color scheme came from the new couches and La-Z-Boys we got.  The new couch and ottoman are chocolate brown.  Our current couches, though very pretty, are uncomfortable — they are too short to stretch out on (they are loveseats).  My mom gave them to us when Matt and I first moved in together in 2001.  We have been wanting new furniture for awhile and finally did it.  It’s so expensive so we kept putting it off.  I’ll be sad to see the old couches go; they are very pretty… just too short for my six-foot husband.  If anyone is interested, they are for sale on craig’s list. 😉

Matt is also going to cut a hole in the roof and install skylights!  How exciting (and a bit scary) is that!  Our living room is going to be bright, airy and beautiful when Matt has finished. 🙂

September 28th, 2007 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

Life is what happens…


Carla and Lily feeding baby Clara
22 September 2007

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.  — John Lennon

I keep waiting for things to settle down. I keep waiting to get back into a “routine.”  I think, “Oh, we just have to do this, and we’ll be back into our family routine afterwards.”

But I realize now that I am living the fantasy life of an overactive planner with a mild case of OCD.  Things will never settle down, and I will never be caught-up.

Lots of family came to see the new baby this weekend, and, of course, I thought, “Well, once we finish hosting for the family, we’ll get back into a routine.”  But now we are going to paint the living room/dining room area — including the ceiling.  Matt is skipping gym this week, and the children and I are going to gym early so we can all be home by 5pm to start the painting project.

I’m not very good at moving with the organic flow of life.  I’m a planner, an organizer.  I like predictable patterns.  It’s the personality trait that makes me good at math, languages, and organizing events.

I’m really not flowing with the chaos very well.  I still have to give up a little more control.

September 24th, 2007 | Marathon/Fitness, The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

Housecleaning… again


Carla and Steve holding baby Clara Marie
15 September 2007

Carla’s new baby, Clara Marie, was born on September 6th.  We have a lot of family members coming into town this weekend to see the new baby including my grandmother and the baby’s namesake, my grandma Clara.  And she will be staying at my house.

So what does this mean?  Why, more housecleaning of course!  Serious housecleaning.  My German grandmother will be staying overnight at our house.  🙂

ps. It took me forever to find a new WordPress theme I liked.  I really liked this Chobits theme, but I couldn’t keep it as Chobits or people would think I was a 14-year-old girl.  So I had to modify it to my liking.  It still needs a bit of tweaking, but I’m overall pleased with it.

September 20th, 2007 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

Romance stories


Damian loves water.
He has loved water from the first moment we put him in his first bathie.
03 September 2007

I am very picky about my romance stories.  That’s why, a looooong time ago when I was only a teenager, I decided to write romance stories; I could never find a decent romance because I don’t like the Harlequin-style romances nor the bodice rippers (apparently, that term is offensive in the romance market now, but the official term is “historical single-title”; boy, is that a mouthful).

Anyways, so I decided to write my own romances with characters I like and stories that I find interesting.  That proved to be much harder than I anticipated, but it has been an interesting and fun journey just the same.

Recently, I watched Howl’s Moving Castle by the legendary and inimitable Hayao Miyazaki.  It was a great romance story.  So I’ve decided to make a recommend list of romance movies in case someone out there is in the mood for a good romance but can only find the formulaic, insipid romantic comedy shite that is churned out year after year by Hollywood.

Some good romantic movies:

  • Howl’s Moving Castle
    • Watch it in English.  It’s a very unusual story which makes it very difficult to follow while reading subtitles.
  • You’ve Got Mail
    • And, to answer the question that always comes up, No, I don’t like Sleepless in Seattle nearly as much.
  • The Secretary
    • Big Warning: This is a movie about a submissive and a dominant who find love even though they are considered deviant by accepted societal standards.  There are explicit sex scenes, so if you don’t like movies that involve fringe sexual subculture or that have explicit sex scenes, do not watch this one.
  • The BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries
    • No romance list would be complete without this one.  And though I also love Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson, that is more a story of love between two sisters.  The men really are only supporting characters in that one.
  • The first four episodes of His and Her Circumstances
    • The rest of the series is not nearly as heart-throbbing as the first four episodes, and the ending has no resolution — it is Hideaki Anno after all — so just stop after the first four episodes.
  • The Wedding Singer
    • I know many don’t think much of this movie, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • And, in honor of my romantic husband, The Cutting Edge
    • I saw this once a long time ago with Matt.  Matt loves this movie and regularly re-watches it.  He has, apparently, loved this movie since he was a teenager, and his family tease him over it. 🙂

Well, that’s all I can think of now, but that’s a good list to start with. 🙂

September 14th, 2007 | General, Podcast | No Comments -

The illusion of being separate


Babies in the sink!
07 September 2007

The illusion that we are separate from one another is an optical delusion of our consciousness.  — Albert Einstein

Recently, the children have been very draining for me.  When you have small children, you must give a lot of your self to the child.  Your world is all about the children and what they require to thrive.  And all the things that support and nourish you, as an adult, must wait.  Small children require all of your time.

So you become depleted… like a rag doll with all the stuffing removed.  And this is what has been happening over the past couple of months.  The children have required all of my time, energy, and resources.  Matt has been the one to prop me up, to hold me and sustain me — a rock that has kept me from drowning in a very stormy sea.

And, as more time passed and I have been unable to find the time to nourish myself, I have become more and more sad.  Last night, I worked out a plan to take care of myself and the children, and we’ll see if it works.  The children still get the largest slice of me, but I’m holding a little back for myself.

But, during all this, I realized something.  As I was becoming sadder and sadder, the whole family was being affected by my mood.  And, yesterday as I was coming to a crescendo of unhappiness and watching how my sadness rippled throughout the family, I thought of the Albert Einstein quote.  My little family of four is not actually four; we have bonded into one unit.  The time will come when the two children will break away and form bonds with other people, but right now, the four of us have become one.

It’s really comforting being bonded; it makes loneliness slip away into the night.  And being bonded also helps you get through the difficult times.

September 13th, 2007 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

Where in the world is Carmen San… err, Angel?

I’m sorry there haven’t been any posts for awhile.  The children have been keeping both Matt and I very very busy at the moment.  And, on top of that, my mind is popping with ideas; my brain feels like soda water with all the bubbly thoughts and the excitement fizzing and popping and tickling my nose.  The little guys are just struggling to get out of my head and into the physical world, but poor li’l fellas… I haven’t had time to work on them.  The kiddos are just very demanding right now.

Now is a time of waiting… not doing… not yet… I chose motherhood and that’s where my duty lies at the moment.

September 5th, 2007 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -