Saturday, January 31, 2009

Come one......come all...

Let me start by saying this, I was hoping my grand entrance to the blog posting world would be a more important topic than this.

Yes, this is Shane and I always envisioned something about early american literature, the rise and fall of the Ming Dynasty or maybe something more serious like am I really smarter than a fifth grader?! All great ideas....looking forward to really getting into the meat of all those subjects, but I have a small announcement to make.

It is Devin Marie's Birthday Today!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Big 3-0

For all of you who don't know, I am only a mere 28. You're right, I agree with you, I was taken advantage of, but I have moved past this with some long talks and some crying nights. Anyway, enough about me.

This is Devin's day. My sweet, funny, kind hearted, crazy, love of my life, marry all over again, love of my life friend to which I am eternally grateful that she chose me(or stalked I like to think of). I thank God every day. I love you with all my heart, baby. I hope that today is so wonderful for you. You are more beautiful to me today in every way than ever.

So, Devin and I have this little competition between us to see who can get the most comments on a post depending on who the post is about. I am in the lead with 17 comments on the post about my mom's cabinet, and I think it would be great to see that post get blown out of the water today by you guy's wishing you're favorite blue eyes, brown hair, birthday today, junior mint lovin', not at all old blogger friend.

Warning to her little blog "accidental" double commenting will be permitted. I'm talking to you Julie, Kara, and Kathy--the influences you put on my wife.

I have no idea what I'm talking about; it's 1:30 A.M. and all I can think about is if the punctuation, subject-verb agreement, the past and present tenses, and overall grammar of this post is up to the standards of the regular postee( or poster?).

That's funny, right.

Anyway, gotts to go.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Happenings, Part Six: Closet Makeover alternately titled: One more *thing* checked off the Honey-Do list

Wow. What a response. Did you all read the comments of the last post?


The Munro Family's comment definitely had the most "Merritt Thought" put into it (and if you can't understand why on earth she would bring up a snake, you should click here); my sister-in-law Aimee's comment made both Shane and me laugh out loud; Steph's comment.....well, she obviously knows my boys pretty well; and I felt extremely well loved (as usual) by my buds Julie, Kara, and Kathy :-).

Most of you were on the same train of thought: Shane re-did our master closet.

Of all the projects we have done (and I have posted) this is probably--in Shane's own words--the least impressive on a grandeur scale; yet, for me, it is one of the most practical improvements we've done yet! We didn't do the whole knock-down-walls-and-make-a-huge-walk-in-master-closet or anything....but once again used what we had and added a few key improvements.

And I use the term we very, very loosely here.

See, I started with this:

Every single bit of clothing that both Shane and I owned had to fit on this one bar. We don't own a standard dresser like most people do, so we have less room for clothing right off the bat--and then you add a very non-functional closet on top of that, and we were really hurting! We have only one other piece of furniture in our bedroom, and that is an armoir with only two drawers. There's got to be a place for underwear and socks, can see our dilemma.

One bar.

For two winters now, my sweaters have found their position on the side of my bed, like so:

{The type-A perfectionist in me did, not at all,
have a difficult time posting the above picture.}

Tsk, tsk. For shame.

So, after two years of grumbling complaining gently reminding my sweet husband of my problems in this area, like stepping over my clothes every night just to get in my bed, for crying out loud, a couple of days ago, Shane decided to quickly and efficiently tackle our closet and shut me up once and for all.

You know. In his free time.

He started by ripping one whole foot of panelling and framing off of each side of the openings of our closet, so as to widen the door by two whole feet! There is nothing worse than having to reach back into the closet behind a wall to try to get your hands on your clothes. It's just terrible visibility people. That's all there is to it.

Colin, of course, helped by *sawing* some wood of his own....
....with a hat that matches his Daddy's of course.

More cutting, and you can see the some of the shelving here as well!

And, about three hours later, I had this!

Glorious. Just glorious.
{*Doors to be added later, if you're wondering*}
Every single stinkin' thing I own (oh, yeah...and Shane's too) fits in here. Organized. Dressy shirts with dressy pants. Camis right next to sweaters and shrugs. T-shirts hung together and color-coordinated. Long-sleeved shirts separated from short-sleeved. Sweaters folded and in a spot that fits them oh. so. perfectly.

And nothing shoved on any floors. Anywhere.

I am a happy woman. And Shane wins husband-of-the-year. Hands down.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Are you wondering why every piece of clothing Shane and I own is out on our bed?

Any guesses?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Looks like I have a bit of work to do in the "teaching of the body parts" department

A conversation between Cameron and me today:

Cameron: "Mommy, I don't feel very good."

Me: "What's the matter, buddy?"

Cameron: "I have a headache."

Me: "Oh, you do? Well, where does it hurt?"

Cameron: "My tote."

Me: "Your throat?"

Cameron: "Yeah."

Me: "Where is that, Cameron? Show Mommy where it is you hurt."

Cameron: "Right here."

And.....he points to his belly.


Monday, January 26, 2009

A belated--but very special--Christmas gift

As I mentioned in my previous post, Shane and the boys and I took an impromptu trip to Chicago last week. Shane and his brothers decided at Thanksgiving that, for Christmas, they would get a corner cabinet thingy for Lynette, who has been looking for one for months and has never found one she liked. Roger and Jason would provide the funds, and Shane would provide the labor *grin* for the cabinet.

So, Shane spent several days designing, building, and finishing this cabinet for his mom. He is certainly not a cabinet maker, but he really went to town on this one, putting special curves and finishes on it--and adding his Mom's favorite thing--hearts--into the design. The corner was too tight to do one solid cabinet (and still be able to fit Lynette's microwave properly) so Shane built an upper and a lower cabinet instead of just one unit.

Shane's brother, Jason, who lives in Minnesota (and we don't see all that often) was in town for business last Thursday--so, it seemed like a great opportunity to head up, install his Mom's cabinet (that she knew nothing about, by the way), and see his brothers all at once.

We got there about 1 o'clock, and Shane began the installation: (The microwave cart that you can see in the background
to the left is what used to be in that corner)

Lynette walked in to find her boys and most of their families in her living room!
She had no idea, and was very surprised and very happy!
And then she walked into the kitchen....and spotted the cabinet.
This was her reaction:

Yes, there were tears involved....

And a look at her boys, as if to say,
"You guys did this?"

A hug to the builder :-)

And, basically, for the remainder of the evening,
you could find her doing this--just staring up at it!

It really was fun to see our family, and a great surprise for Lynette. She is a wonderful person and a great mother-in-law, and was very deserving of something nice for Christmas. Thanks to big Roger (Shane's dad) for helping us pull this off--we couldn't have done it without you!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My children have the cleanest sheets in town

Why, you ask? A brief overview of my week.....


Sunday: Put the boys to bed as normal.

Somewhere in the middle of Sunday night: Cameron wets his bed.

Monday morning: Wake up. Discover the wet sheets. Strip everyone's bed, because if I am going to wash one set of sheets, they might as well all get cleaned, right?

Monday evening: After a day spent washing three sets of sheets and blankets, make up the boys' three beds with yummy, delicious-smelling, sparkly clean sheets. If, you know, sheets could be sparkly.

Monday night: Put the boys to bed as normal.

Somewhere in the middle of Monday night: Cameron wets his bed. Again.

Tuesday morning: Wake up. Discover the wet sheets. Again. Strip only Cameron's bed this time. Wash all of his blankets and sheets.

Tuesday evening: Put the boys to bed as normal. Say a little prayer over Cameron that he will stay dry tonight.

Wednesday, early morning--3 a.m., to be exact: God hears my prayer, but answers me differently than I had hoped....I hear whimpering coming from the boys' room.

{If I just pretend I don't hear it, will it go away?}

It doesn't go away, and whimpering turns to crying, which turns into calls of "Mommy? Mooooommmmmyyyyy.....I need you." They were coming from.....

....Colin, who had wet his bed. He hasn't had an accident in months, so this is very unusual.


I strip him down and strip all the sheets. I throw a blanket over his mattress, and call it good. We change his clothes and get him all snuggled back into bed.

Wednesday day: Take the soiled linens to the laundry room. Much is going on that day, so things got washed but not dried.

Wednesday night: Put the boys to bed as normal, with Colin still in his makeshift, blanket-acting-as-the-mattress-pad bed. Beseech my sweet Lord above that this would be an uneventful evening filled with dry pants.

Thursday morning: Wake up. Praise the Lord, it was an uneventful evening! Throw Colin's sheets in the dryer. Leave around 10 a.m. for Chicago for a day trip. (More on that later.)

Thursday evening, about 10 minutes to midnight: Return home from Chicago. Make up Colin's bed with his clean, dry sheets. Bring all three sleeping boys in from the car and put them all in their beds.

Forget to say that prayer.

Friday morning: Wake up. Go about my normal business. Go into the boys' room. Discover that Cameron has, again, wet. his. sheets.

*Make the longest, deepest sigh imaginable to mankind.*

Strip Cameron's sheets and blankets. Wash and dry. Make up one of my sons' beds with clean sheets for the 4th time in as many days.

Friday night. Put the boys to bed *sigh* as usual. Did not forget to say that prayer.

So, it's like I said. The cleanest sheets in town.


Here's hoping for a dry Saturday morning--otherwise, I may possibly do myself bodily harm....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cameron just made me feel a whole lot better

During reading time yesterday: Colin to my right, sitting sort of up above me on his bed; Cameron to my right, sitting next to me on his bed (a trundle that pulls out from under Colin's); Ethan on my lap.

Colin leans over: *Sniff, sniff* "Mom."

Me: "What, Col?"

Colin: "Your breath stinks."


Cameron: "No, Colin....I just pootered."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: "Mr. *Potato* Head"

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happenings, part five: The Office/Guest Bedroom

(More room remodels, if you're interested:
Part Four--the Kitchen/Dining Room
Part Three--the Hall Bathroom)

An impromptu remodel that we did just a couple of months ago was our office/guest bedroom. We weren't planning on doing it; in fact, the office was the very last room we were planning on tackling.

But, the weekend of our 8th anniversary trip, we decided something: we were not going to gut the office, the way we had done with every other room so far, but simply work with the 'bones' that we already had in the room--i.e. the panelling and the ceiling squares--and just do a quick and easy 'makeover' rather than a full-fledged overhaul.

So, that Monday, after our trip, we came home....and got to work.

The office before: a panoramic view, going around the room clockwise

The work begins:
Prepping the panelling for paint by sanding
{*Dig on my fashion, here:
I seriously think that scrunchie on my head is from like,1992.
Feel free to give a shout out if you still wear any of your old scrunchies*}

Getting some big help from our little guys
By the way, we have started this 'thing' where we always make them work on projects in their underwear. It saves big time on holes to clothing and paint damage--or to any other clothing damage that two boys might manage to cause.
{You just probably wouldn't believe me if I told you...}

Shane and I starting the primer

This picture is simply to illustrate the lovely green paint that was in the closet
Ceiling and walls are primed; first coat of paint going on
(Poor Shane; as I've stated in previous posts, he always gets to do all the fun "trim" work when we paint, because I possess neither the patience nor the skill for that)

More trim work
First coat of paint done. It actually dried a bit darker than this.
Doesn't it just look like someone melted Hershey's kisses all over my walls?

Shane in action, building our new guest bed
(with his helper Colin close at his side, as usual!)
The boys watching Daddy work
Primer and paint done; now on to some finishing touches!
Installation of blinds

For several days during the makeover, we were telling Ethan "Don't touch the walls!"
This was his, "Can I touch now?" face, and laughing and smiling when we finally said yes!
Shane finishing up building the bed and putting it all together

And, the final result!

The new desk and shelving
They are both from Ikea, if you're wondering. They have gotten some very nice things lately! ( was on our getaway weekend, when we were doing some shopping at Ikea, that we saw this desk. We sat down right then and there and began making our alternative plans for the office! I loved this desk--I thought it was just so pretty and classy looking, and thought it would look great in our office/bedroom. {The detail of the desk may not come across well on the'll just have to take my word for how pretty it is!} I was so glad Shane agreed with me; he, of course, was the brains behind putting everything all together, as usual!)

The desk and the cozy, made-from-scratch bed

On the other side of the room, we used a pair of curtains to hang across the old doorway of the closet, and it really softens the room up nicely. It certainly isn't as elaborate as the other rooms we have done, but, there was no need for that in this case. This room turned out looking great, and we couldn't be happier about one less room we didn't have to tear apart!