Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

I'm sure you're all just dying to know how I'm doing on my 365 Less Things Resolution. Well, you might notice down a ways on the sidebar over there to the right that I've got a running tally. I'm ahead right now, but that's because I sent some neutral baby stuff home with my folks to bring to my youngest brother & his wife who are expecting a new baby in early March.

Today, because I felt ahead of the game since I'd done all my Flylady Weekly Home Blessing tasks yesterday, I pulled a box of knick-knacks out of the basement. It doesn't reflect in the tally yet, but I'd wrapped a lot of the breakables in clothes that I wasn't sure I wanted to keep in the first place, so I'm expecting to put most to all of those into the Goodwill bag once it's all washed & I've made sure I can live without them. :)

But my bonus category on there will definitely go up, since I've now pulled out of storage our glass boots (for beer drinking), a couple of shot glasses, some pottery I'd made (in a class) that can replace the empty tin can I was using on top of the frig to hold scissors, pencils, etc., and some other odds and ends.

It's so nice to feel a little more caught up. So far, I'm finding that I like the balance in the Flylady system - just do stuff for a while (set a timer!) then go ahead and be done for a while. You really can get more done in 5 or 10 or 15 minutes than you'd think!

I'm putting some of the photos & knick-knacks in the built-in display case in the living room for now. It had looked kind of funny ever since Mr. Kluges relocated the photos in matching frames from there to the mantle. So, while those are technically "bonus" items, I'm not counting them because they're not useful. Which makes sense to me, even if it doesn't really. :)

In other 365 Less Things business, I think we've now gotten rid of one of the the ickiest things in the entire house. You see, when we moved in, the previous owner had left a LOT of stuff, aka "treasures" behind. Some were useful, like the really tall ladder or the gorgeous big antique mirror that happened to match our dresser. Others, not so much. They'd left the LR and DR rugs behind. Since they're plain and match the stairway carpet exactly, I think they were just plain carpet cut and bound to size.

Well, the PO had at least one dog. And the previous renters had a least one cat. And the LR rug had been peed on at least one time.

We tried to clean it with Gramma Yori's help and carpet cleaner. We spread it out on the driveway and cleaned it three times. Didn't matter. Yuck.

So, for some unknown, incomprehensible reason that made sense at the time, we rolled it up, tied it up, and stuck it in the attic.

Yesterday, we hauled it out (which involved removing the storm window from the upstairs hallway window so we could bring the cumbersomely long and heavy thing down the attic stairs, out the window, and toss it over the back balcony, before carrying it all the way to the curb).

Today, the garbage men came and took it away. Yay!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cute kid singing alert

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Also, possibly slow-loading video alert. This is the longest one I've ever put up here at about 40 seconds.

P.S. My kid is so cute.

Friday, February 20, 2009

So.... pictures...

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Slight problem with the "What did I just do to her hair?!" pictures...

Last night she wasn't real keen on getting her photo taken.


And this morning I don't think it's the bangs that are the main problem.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Um, oops?

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Small girl who won't leave in clips, or ponytails, or even the silly-looking topknot + slightly frustrated mommy sick of trying to put them in and/or find some way to keep her hair out of her eyes/mouth/boogery nose + easy access (on Mommy's part) to fingernail scissors while small girl is holding still and brushing her teeth + only one previous instance of cutting-child's-hair and that was a trim at the back = Hey, wow, those bangs are a little shorter and a little wider than I'd intended...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WW - So we missed the 14th...

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Post-paint, pre-bed brain jumble dump

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

I just finished cleaning up after painting the bottom half of the bathroom. 'Cuz I was going to finish it, gosh-darn it! I mean, it's such a small amount of square footage that we only bothered to get a quart of paint to cover it, and I think I used half. BUT THE TIME IT TOOK! Sheesh! I taped during the day, but waited for to paint until the girls were in bed. (Well, and The Mentalist was over, but I folded a load of laundry, sewed on a button and reinforced two more, and fixed a hole in a sock all during the show, so it wasn't like that was wasted time exactly.)

YESTERDAY I painted the top half of the bathroom, which is definitely more square footage, with a lovely shade of white called White Hyacinth. It's a white with just the hint of yellow that comes from the sun on the grass that the cows eat that shows up in their cream. A white with a warmth and richness to it, the barest hint of sun to it to work on your subconscious and convince you that getting up early is not quite the end of the world. I started that late-ish, too, but was done by 10ish. And I think it looks really nice.

But today's paint I'm not so sure about. It's a darkish blue with maybe a hint of battleship to it, especially before it dried. I liked the idea the bathroom paint job - dark blue, and white with a hint of yellow - and it looked nice on the paint samples. Heck, it was one of the pre-put-together groupings on the Sherwin-Williams Arts and Crafts paint brochure. (We're trying to stick with that for historical accuracy, plus reduced number of otherwise-overwhelming choices. Have you SEEN the number of "almost white" shades there are?! And that's only one color!!!) Oh yeah, it's called Bunglehouse Blue. But I hope we didn't bungle choosing it!

But I don't know. It might be a bit too much for the very small bathroom. Too much change/variety for too small a space. Or maybe I'm just not used to it yet. I tend to be "Oh, ok, um, change?" and it takes me a little while to warm up to newness. Not that I don't like new things, but, for example, when I team-taught, it was always my teammate(s) who would instigate room rearrangements. I tended to really like how we ended up rearranging our space, but it always took me a couple of days to get used to it. So part of my ambivalence could very definitely be improved by time.

But, oh, did I mention the PAIN in the BUTT today's painting was?! No? Argh! You see, the top half of the bathroom we stripped/steamed/scraped/washed and then primed, and so I was painting on a ready-to-go surface. Today... well, I don't know what sort of paint the previous owner used over that evil calcimine paint, but the new paint did. not. like. it. at. all. It clung to the brush and/or roller like a reluctant kindergartner on the first day of school. Seriously, I would paint and the pigment would try to stick to the roller instead of staying on the wall. It left all these tiny pinpricks and empty marks on the wall, sort of like when you peel off tape that's been on a surface too long and it takes little bits and parts of the color? Like that. And I couldn't touch up/paint over it until it'd at least partially dried or the semi-dry paint would want to lift right off the wall even more! *(&*@%@%#$!!!!!

The only good part about painting today was that I managed to paint behind the radiator completely (well, other than the pinpricks, but you can't see those there!). It was a case of small, narrow paint roller meets stir-stick, with a side order of duct tape. Hey, it worked, and I wasn't left with a big white void behind the radiator, so yay!

But I ended up with too many thoughts rolling and bumping around in my head after spending several hours in a small room (with exhaust fan running!) with only paint fumes and the radio to keep me company, and couldn't therefore go right to bed, or I'd end up lying there trying to decide if I like the paint or not, and what to do if I don't, and which color(s) should we use then, and if the room should be all one color (excepting the white tile) or if we should split it at the wooden ... well, not chair rail 'cuz it's at eye level, so what'd you call it then?... and on and on and on. So thanks, any of y'all who actually read this far, for bearing with me while I cleared out my brain.

So now I'll say good night to you, and to the sky I can see out the window that's the strange pink color that means the light pollution is bouncing off the new-fallen snow (yay, shovelling tomorrow - :P ) and making it seem much too light outside for midnight. But midnight it is, and morning will be here all too soon. G'night.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The things they say...

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

We just spent a very busy weekend here at the House of 42 Doors doing a home improvement project without the help of either set of grandparents! We finished steaming & scraping the last of the paint off the top half of the bathroom, washed off the remaining calcimine paint, and painted it with masonry primer. This week we hope to do some of the actual painting and MAYBE even have it all painted by this weekend, when my parents are coming. Yay, us!

As we went about our project, Mr. Kluges took on more of the kid duties so I could have the satisfaction of doing a project and getting something done besides the never-ending treadmill of diapers, laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. It was a refreshing change, even though I steamed my hand twice. Ow!

Maybe it was just the paint fumes going to my head, but I think the girls have been particularly funny lately with the things they've been saying. Penguin has been doing three-word sentences/phrases for a few weeks, but this weekend, we got her first 4-word one: "Na-na take doe-doe no-no!" Translated that means Pumpkin took her Dora book, which is a no-no!


This morning she was wearing her new Elmo socks from TNGreatAunt and said, "Toes, Elmo, YAY!" I wish I was excited about getting dressed in the morning as she was.


Pumpkin: "Dad, I'm not afraid of heights. I'm just afraid of really, really high things." *

*To which funny man Jaysan replied, via Twitter, " you mean like Cheech and Chong?"


Me: [Penguin], don't eat your hair clip.
(To Pumpkin) Your sister's kind of odd.

Pumpkin: (sighing) Yeah, I know. And I'm kind of even.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

In case AKJ and The Dude need naming help, she's available.

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Pumpkin was talking about her imaginary friends, Amy and Effy. I thought I'd misheard and that she'd changed "Effy" to "Ethy." So I asked.

Pumpkin: Her name's Effy. I named her Effy because she loooooves the letter F.

Me: That's a good reason. What about Amy? Why'd you name her Amy?

Pumpkin: I named her Amy because whatever she wants, she aims at it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

WW - Peek!

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

First time this year!

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

Record high temps in the Fox Valley today. That means today we walked to school for the first time this year! It was a good thing I wore my big ol' boots, 'cuz there were puddles everywhere. Also, yay for the wagon! The girls wore their snow pants for warmth, since they weren't the ones walking and pulling a wagon, but there were good spirits the whole way and Penguin was happy enough on the way home we dropped some cards off at the post office.

Now I've got to decide if I want to try to pick up Pumpkin AND Ray-ray at 11:20 or if we'll just drive for that one. Good fun being out in the sun again though! And another 2 miles of walking wouldn't hurt either...

Edited to add:
I did decide to walk for the school pick-up as well. Didn't go as smoothly as the morning, since the 3 girls had to take turns walking home. It was INTENDED to be the two 4 year-olds switching off riding, but somebody small had to "walk! walk!", too. Fine, we were in no hurry and I even had snacks along since lunch would be lateish. Then there was the "this is totally counting as my workout" part of the walk where I was pulling the two 4Kers in the wagon and carrying Penguin on my shoulders with a death grip on her legs. Then there was the "we ALL want to walk" part, which was fun until Penguin fell straight on into a muddy puddle and got soaked. Fortunately it was about a block and a half from home, on our way home, and she was willing to wear my dry gloves instead of her completely and utterly soaked ones.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

That'd be what? 3 points?

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

In the car on the way home from the grocery store this evening, Mr. Kluges started a conversation with me...

K: So, what should we do tonight once the kids are in bed?

Me: Well, I've got a couple of movies from the library, or we could play Scrabble or something.

Pumpkin: What's Scrabble?

M: It's a spelling game.

P: Oh, like Princess Presto? I want to play, too!

M: No, honey, it's more like a board game, like Candyland.

P: But I wanna play!

M: Honey, I think you need to wait until you can spell a little bit better before you can play.

P: I can spell!

K: What words do you know how to spell, honey?

P: [spells her first name]

M: That's great; what else can you spell?

K: I know you can spell another word. You were spelling it this morning.

P: M-O-M!

K: That's right...

P: (interrupting) B-O-O!

M: Great!

K: I bet you might be able to spell this one - it's pretty easy. How do you spell "dad?"

P: (thinking) D... O-O!

Poor Mr. Kluges! At least it wasn't "D-O-G-G-Y-D-O-O!"

Friday, February 06, 2009

A few things I've learned today

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

  • A nickel and an AAA battery can somehow become lodged in a seat belt windy-part and make it all wonky.
  • It takes about half an hour of labor at the local car repair shop to remove a triple-A battery and a nickle from a seat belt windy-part.
  • It's easier to turn right when leaving our local car repair shop than left.
  • The bakery is a few blocks to the right of the car repair shop.
  • Donuts make me less grumpy about car repairs, and the mysteries of how in the blazes a battery, even a small AAA one, could get into the windy-part of a seat belt.
  • Even having only had donuts a very few times in her life, Pumpkin has definite opinions about them - chocolate, with frosting, no filling, but definitely sprinkles, preferably multi-colored ones.
  • Penguin doesn't like donuts so much as she loves frosting.
  • When you have donuts at 4, at 5:00 you're not so much interested in figuring out which leftovers to heat up for supper.
Oh yeah, also, manatees, unlike pretty much every other mammal, have only 6 neck vertebrae, not 7. Pumpkin saw a Reading Rainbow about manatees, so we had to get some books from the library about them.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

WW - We USED to live someplace where Feb looked like this!

(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at

February 8, 2006