Why I Feel I’m Living in a Picture Book

If you have read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, then you can understand how wanting a cookie can turn into needing a hair cut, drawing a picture, and taking a nap. And if you have read it, then you might also understand how painting a bedroom or three could turn into not only cleaning out the attic and garage, but also painting the living room, den, and “touching up” the kitchen.

In the back of my head, I’m sure I knew it would come to this. You put a very nice color up on a few walls and think, “This would look really nice in *that* room also.” Then you realize that room is the same color as the next, so they both should be painted. And while you are filling in the dings and dents that have accumulated over the last six or so years since you last painted, you realize the kitchen could use a little spackle too. The next thing you know, life is chaotic (well, more so than normal), there is a fine layer of dust over most all surfaces, and you wonder if you will ever be able to sit on your couch again.

In the midst of this, I still have sixth grade and eighth grade to plan for my older two (third grade is almost planned), my husband has to figure out high school math Common Core in the next four weeks, and we’d love to get a couple “field trips” in before the school year begins. At least I’m 99% sure I have finally ordered everything we need, aside from a few school supplies. It’d be overly embarrassing to mention how many times I forgot something while ordering online, only to have to put in another order once I remembered. What I hope is the final order is on its way now. If it isn’t, then we will just do without.

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Adventures in painting the bedrooms, or why moving might have been easier

As last summer was the summer of the very long road trip (more on that later, probably in a different post), this summer has become the summer of home improvement. Honesty, ending one school year (our homeschooling year and my husband’s teaching school year), embarking immediately on a month long road trip across most of the US, and coming home just in time to prep and plan new school years left us very little time to do much of anything around the house. What began as a simple desire to declutter some of the mess that manages to find its way in our house has turned into an empty attic, almost empty garage, and rooms that should actually be painted. The painting seemed a good idea and relatively easy on the home-renovation scale. The kids’ rooms were painted a nice sky blue, and though I didn’t see it as “boys only,” it did feel “little boyish.” Plus, over the years, numerous stickers had been stuck on the walls near beds. So, fresh paint was a good excuse to scrape all stickers off the walls and neutralize the walls a bit.

We ended up choosing Dunn Edwards’ Sandcastle. I first saw it when my mother-in-law painted her house. It’s a beautifully warm and yet light color, changing with the light in the room. It doesn’t pop out from the wall and yet doesn’t dissolve into it either. In keeping with my desire for simplicity, I decided all three bedrooms would be painted, plus the hallway. I think my husband fears that will extend to the living room, kitchen/entry, and den. It probably will. But painting isn’t that big of a deal.

For some reason, cleaning out the bedrooms to get ready to paint turned into my husband declaring that the attic needed cleaning out. Now, before you picture wonderful “grandmother” attics, complete with rocking chairs, old chests full of treasures, and even a window overlooking the yard, let me explain by my loose usage of the word. Our attic is a glorified crawl space. I think Miss K is the only one who could probably stand up in there. We do have a drop-down ladder in the hall for access. But getting anything in or out requires staying very low if you wish to preserve your head. With that said, even with our “attic,” we did manage to fill it quite nicely. Three boys can collect many toys over the years. Add to that Christmas decorations, most of which we don’t even use anymore as we decided the electric bill was not worth it, and it doesn’t take long to fill the place. All of it came down, one box or bin at a time. I vowed that most of it will not be returning. There is simply not enough time in their lives to play with everything we have accumulated over the last thirteen years of child rearing. Our over abundance will make some other children very happy.

Well, with the attic cleared out, and with the promise that it will only house a few select things after this weekend, it was only natural for the garage to get in on the action. I mean, what’s a bit more mess. Not only does our garage house our stuff (think bicycles, bike trailers, skateboards, RipSticks, tents, coolers, baseball equipment … you get the picture), but still houses many of the things my dad left behind when he passed. I don’t think we will ever have use of a table saw, for instance. But when we inherited the house, we just kept everything. Much like the attic, the garage will be cleaned out and put back together with far less than it has now. By this point, and with the mess we have made, it seems moving might have been easier. We already have a large portion of our stuff “packed up” and ready to go. But I love our little house. It’s a nice house even if it’s a big snug around the edges. A little decluttering. A bit of paint on the walls. A cleaner attic and garage … maybe not the easiest things to do, especially with Miss K underfoot, but in the long run, much easier than moving.

Starting Over

I will admit it. I’m a blogging drop-out. Three times over. So why, one might ask, am I thinking the fourth time will be any different? Well, I don’t necessarily think it will be. But recently I’ve had the opportunity to join in with some wonderful writers at Sandbox to Socrates, and writing those articles rekindled my love of writing. Life does take over, and things do happen. This blog may not make it far. But, for now, I feel the desire to begin again, sharing my thoughts and ideas with whomever chooses to read them.

As my life is multi-faceted, this blog, too, will be multi-facated. Two of my previous blogs were fairly narrow in their focus, both dealing specifically with homeschooling. My third blog began as a place to post photos, grew into a blog focused on Down syndrome awareness, and eventually encompassed my life in general. There are still thoughts on my third blog that are relevant now; I may share some as I continue this journey. I could have revived that blog, but other than reusing the name, I felt a clean start with WordPress was in order.

My musings here will span from homeschooling, including homeschooling a child with special needs (Down syndrome in particular) to living out my Catholic faith. You, my readers, may not always agree with what I post; I do ask that if you choose to comment, even if it in disagreement, to please do so respectfully. I have found lately that the Internet seems to breed snark and general bullying. The anonymity encourages this as we forget the people behind the black and white words on a page are real people with real feelings and their own unique set of life circumstances. Common curtesy and a life of virtue are lost arts; we are working to instill both in our children.

I thank you for visiting my little corner of the blog world and invite you to stick around.