Monday, August 29, 2011

What Would Nanny Do? (really LONG post)

DD and I have been watching "Nanny 911"--a reality TV show where a British nanny visits the home of an American family (supposedly for a week) and tries to help the family with their biggest/most problematic parenting issues.

It's been quite interesting and I was pleased to note that a lot of the problems faced by the families with younger children were not things we struggled with when our children were small. Things like bedtime and chores and sleeping in one's own bed.

These days, only the two youngest are still at home. Sonshine is 15, soon to be 16 and DD is 21.

As we watched episode after episode after episode, I began to ask myself: if one of the two nannies spent a week in our house, what would she see and what would she say? So I've been thinking about that...

On a side note, one episode featured a family who moved a lot. Dad was a contractor and flipped houses. The family's own house was unfinished. One of the children felt very insecure--every time he made friends and got settled, the family moved and the kid had to change schools and start all over. That got me to thinking about Sonshine's room...physically it's finally finished--flooring, molding, etc. I feel bad having let his room go unfinished for so long, but that's water under the bridge. But now that that part's taken care of, I want his room *finished*. His bed is back together and all his furniture is back in place--minus one ugly white sewing table that had been a catch-all for junk and dust. I cleaned it out and moved the bookshelf in it's place. Even with the large bunk bed (all wood with the double-size bed on the bottom) his room is, well, roomy. :) He has a collection of hats, so my next goal is to get him some sort of something he can use to display them. What good's a collection, if you can't see and enjoy it? And after that the closet. He's got a lot of children's books shoved in the top of closet and other toys and things he never uses/plays with. He and I are going to spend some time next weekend going through that stuff. And then I'll be ready to call his room finished.

DD's room, on the other hand, is a disaster. She's an adult, so I think there's a fine line between what I can and can't do. But it is my house and she doesn't pay rent, so I do have some say so. I'll be thinking about my expectations this coming week and then they'll be made perfectly clear to her.

(And all the while as I type, I can hear Nanny Stella's lovely British accent.)

So what would Nanny Stella say about our household?

I think she'd say the kids don't help enough around the house, especially considering their ages. And she'd be right. DH tells me that all the time. :)

I also think she'd say...

It's ridiculous that Mom has to play alarm clock for the two men in the house. DH is 42, Sonshine is 16. They are both old enough to be responsible for getting themselves up in the morning. And she'd be right. Honestly I can't tackle that one right away, but rest assured it is on my list of home improvements.

She might also say eating dinner together as a family and not in front of the TV is important. I know she's right, but I don't know how easy it would be to pull this off. We don't even have a proper dining room table--though we do have a card table and chairs which I'm willing to set up. I'll have to think about that one.

And the biggest thing she'd probably say is that Mum has to assert her authority. Many times I let them get away with smart mouths or bad attitudes and not completing tasks I've asked them do. I've started working on that. :)

My biggest problem is consistency and follow-through. I know that these are probably the most important factors. And I'm awful about them in almost all aspects of my life, but *fingers crossed* that I stay firm.

Friday, August 26, 2011


I could use a nap right about now. It's too warm and I just ate and I woke up at 4AM worrying about Sonshine's band shirt. I ended up getting up and running it through the washing machine. I went back to bed after starting the washer and dozed until 6:30am when I just had to get the show on the road.

If there wasn't a client in the office, I'd put my head back and close my eyes for a while. Instead, I'm slogging through my latest fan fic (slogging because I'm so sluggish, not because of the story--I *love* this story) hoping that my super-dee-dooper relaxed brain will create some really good stuff.

That's all, Jen out. :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School

Well, the first day of school is no longer the big deal it once was, for mom or for the kids, though Sonshine was eager to get back at it. Mostly because (I think) more time he can spend with his girlfriend.

He has a few adjustments to make to his schedule as they put him back into geometry but didn't put him back into JROTC.

Another week and DD begins the fall semester at the local community college. She attended both summer semesters, passing all three classes with flying colors. Let's see how well she does with a full course load. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What's Up??

Not much. Just thought I'd check in.

Sonshine starts back to school on Monday. YAY. Though this summer has not seemed as long as past ones. I think because he was busy with school-related activities (mainly band camp) for most of the summer. I think I mentioned somewhere (maybe not here, but one of my other outlets) that they've tacked on an extra hour to the school day. I don't mind so much since I know where he is and what he's up to, but really are they just going to teach him more of nothing? He's going to have re-arrange his schedule and shuffle classes around--they failed to put him in JROTC. Surprisingly. He wants to stay in it (unusual for the most part at this school) and they didn't put him back in. DD on the other hand, did two years (for PE credit) and was outta there faster than our recent rains disappeared. :)

We slept in our own bedroom last night. Thank goodness. The ceiling fan in the writing room is terribly noisy and if I woke up any time after 4am there was NO going back to sleep. I still need to move the dresser and the armoir back in, but that's a task for tonight. I sorta hate to do it as the room looks so airy and roomy right now. But I think Sonshine would really like his room back.

The kids are going to the dump today, taking as much of the old molding and trash as they can fit into the truck. Luckily its a big full-sized sucker and can haul a bunch.

I think I'm going to miss this month's writing meeting. My house still needs a lot of tidying and I have two band related events--one Friday night and a Cowboy game on Sunday afternoon/evening. I think I'll stay home and rest on Saturday. Or get something accomplished around the house. And rest. Take it easy.

The writing is going, albeit slowly. But that's okay.

I'm going to admit it right here, right now, publicly that I'm no longer writing for publication--well, official publication. I do love to write, but it's really fan fiction that tickles my fancy. So I'm going with it. I'll write and post as the muse allows. But I also love the editing aspect so I'm going to hone those skills on my critique partners. Maybe someday I can make some money doing that.

So Rick Perry, my state governor, has joined the run for the White House in 2012. I don't know much about him, though I've gotten the impression that he's a more liberal Republican and that some of his acts have not benefited issues that I hold dear. But his recent words about easing the burden on small businesses got my attention. I guess I need to see what those smarter than me have to say about him.

Monday, August 15, 2011

It Rained!!

For about 4.5/5 hours Saturday morning.

I think it started somewhere around 4am, though that's a guess, and it rained until 8:30/9am. It didn't rain as hard as I would have liked for all that time, but beggars can't be choosers, I know.

Saturday remained "cool" only reaching the mid-80s temperature wise. Sunday was a little warmer, though I don't think we broke 100*. But today we're back to triple digits.

The house is 98% done. Now it's time to put it all back together. My FIL starts a new job today and will return next weekend to finish up minor things.

Tonight, I'll go over my new bedroom floor with a couple of coats of Mop n' Glo before moving my furniture back in there. I'll dust my ceiling fan and all the shelves and decorations. Then each piece of furniture will also be wiped down before it gets to return home.

Unfortunately, our bed money had to be spent to buy additional boxes of flooring, so no new bed anytime soon. :( I will have to buy new sheets though.

Once we're back in our room, we'll work on getting Sonshine's room put back together. His room & furniture will undergo similar cleaning in the process. Despite his penchant for falling asleep on the couch, he is looking forward to getting his own bed back.

I did get to enjoy my writing room yesterday though my bed's still in it and I didn't actually write. I cross-stitched and listened to music. It was nice and cool and quiet. :)

Pictures tomorrow.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The end is in sight...I hope. But not.

RE: home improvement

DD's room will be finished today. The new molding is up and painted. FIL will be touching up the walls around the molding where it's all raggedy from pulling down the old molding. She'll begin moving back in tonight.

With DD out of Sonshine's room, we have two choices--move our bed into Sonshine's room and leave him on the sofa for another week or allow him back into his room and move into the home office. If we do the latter, we'll have to move all of MIL/FIL's equipment and supplies into the kitchen. Which is not a big deal.

They are also working on the hallway. New molding has gone up in there as well and walls are being painted.

Then our bedroom. New flooring and new molding.

THEN back to normal and cleaning up. My floors have not been mopped in probably three weeks. My backyard is a disaster area. My front yard needs some serious TLC.


Tomorrow we tie the record of 42 days in a row of over 100* temps, Saturday we break it and there's no end in sight...not for ten days at least. We have a 30% chance of rain Saturday, but I doubt we'll see it.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Mother's Heart

My baby's going through something. With his girlfriend. I don't know what. They're fighting or having a disagreement. He won't say. But he's not his usual happy, smiling self.

I hate it when he's unhappy in the sad way.

I offer to listen and give hugs and tell him I love him. I guess that's all we can do.

Luckily, these spells are short lived. I can only hope this one is too.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Here are a few pictures of the room in progress...

Once it's empty of remodeling supplies and equipment--it's been the storage spot/staging are for my in-laws tools and stuff--I'll take a few pictures of it. The again once I get it complete with furniture and decorations.

Keep cool.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Before Pictures

Seeing as how the writing room is almost done, I'm going to post a handful of before pictures....

Tomorrow, maybe some during pictures. :)

Keep cool!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Record Breaker/End Times

According to the 10-day forecast for our area, it looks as if we're going to break the 42-day in a row over 100* record made back in 1980.

We've (that's a relative term encompassing all of Texas at the moment) have been suffering drought-like conditions for several years now and lakes, rivers and reservoirs are getting lower and lower.

The reservoir at San Angelo State Park is so low that all the life within it has died and the resulting decay and bacteria has caused the water to turn blood red in color. A preacher in Indiana has hypothesized the beginning of the End Times. Read this article and this one for more details. Of course most people are going to dismiss the notion, but I really don't think it's so far fetched. Just because there's a scientific reason to explain it, doesn't mean it's not related.

I personally DO believe the world is now on the path to Armegeddon. Do I think it's going to happen any time soon? Depending on your definition of soon, as in the next two or five or ten years, I think ten years is possible. If you're not of a mind to believe in God and in the Bible then, of course, all this is a bunch of hooey.

The Bible can be quite the dry read, but Joel Rosenberg has penned a series of five books (all fiction, this link goes to the first book on chronicling an End Times scenario and steeped in thorough research of End Times prophecy. Even if you don't buy into God, the Bible, and End Times prophecy, the books are all immensely good reads if you enjoy political thrillers.

A bit of a turn from my original intended topic, but we'll get back to our regularly scheduled posts on remodeling and other shallow stuff. :)

Keep cool/stay hydrated.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sonshine's Room

Looks fabulous!

Flooring and baseboard molding is installed. Door casings installed. Window casing installed.

All that's left is the quarter round for the "crown molding" and trim all the way around the room where two paint colors meet.

Today we have the day off, at least from the workers. We'll be painting/installing the quarter round tonight. I think. I'll also be touching up the walls where furniture has rubbed or rough-and-tumble boy has scraped the color off.

My hallway is that same floor, though they've stopped just on the other side of Sonshine's door. They'll continue down the hall once his room is done.

Monday, August 1, 2011

To echo a friend, Change is good...isn't it?

I'm going to be negative Nellie, for a moment, and say, emphatically, NO! Not all change is good. I'm not fond of change, even the good sort, but the bad...well, let's not even talk about it right now.

On the other hand, there are changes going on in my house. And while the transition leaves me cranky and out of sorts, the end result will be good. (Well, except for the reduction of funds as a result. :)

Last post, I mentioned flooring. My writing room is, for all intents and purposes, finished. It just needs furniture and decoration. Only it is now being used as a staging area/storage while my in-laws work on the rest of the house. But that's okay...

About 3/5 of the hallway has flooring now also, as does Sonshine's bedroom and closet. Today, all the molding in his room will go up and the painting of the molding will commence. After that, I'll be touching up his walls and then we'll go through all his stuff and refill his room. Oh, boy...

So the changes are wreaking havoc with my mood, though being at work today helps (not the work part, just the no chaos part).

In other news, yesterday (07.31.11) was the 30th straight day of over 100* temps here in North Texas. The record is 42 days back in 1980. It's entirely possible we'll break it, but, good gravy, I sure hope not. I had a gander at the trees in my back yard and I think I'll have to start watering them as well. My maple is looking a bit scraggly. So, yeah, as soon as the yard bags are moved, I'll start watering back there too.

As always, keep cool and stay hydrated.