Monday, February 25, 2013


My husband sprung a post-Valentine's getaway on me.  Back to our old life...back where we met...NYC.

When we left for Toronto, we promised we'd go back once a year.  It's been that and then some since last time.  I'd been saying how much I miss it lately...

Here are our highlights of the city I love.

My Favorite
"The Scream"
"Girl Before A Mirror"
Oyster Bar
Central Park

I missed my kids to death.  I think I'm that person now.  But in a good way...I can't WAIT to show them the city.  XO NYC!!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pantry (Almost) Perfection

Amid the sickness that would never end, I managed to get a little project done.  What else does one do while housebound with germs during naptime?

Last we spoke, I started here.

And got as far as a freezer.

Then I got busy.  First, I ran an extension cord to the utility room beside the pantry.

I know, really not pretty.  And not the best source of power.  When we wire our main floor, I'm going to have an outlet wired down here for the freezer.  Consider this temporary. 

Also, that hole in the wall.  That is an additional pull for the cold air return.  It just happened that we needed to place it here.  Which works well for the freezer, and my conscience, because I know it can breathe.

And freeze.

Then a few days later, when we only had the first two men down, I took the big boy with me to the store.

I considered MDF or some kind of white wood planks that were 3/4" thick.  But they only came as wide as 12".  So instead, I chose 1" thick pine panels to make deeper shelves.  I almost went 16", but ended up with 14".  Not too deep, not too shallow.

It was my first time planning something wood-related and having the store people cut it for me.  Should be totally easy, right?  Picture me in the store second-guessing myself 15 times while the kind sales associate stands there with safety glasses and a line up.  

Luckily enough, I got the department manager, and he helped me cut the panels to eliminate buying an extra 1x2.  Yes!

We got it all home, threw the pieces in "position," and I got excited.

Can you see it?  Storage beside and above.  With vacuum cleaner tucked nicely between shelving and door.  Beautiness. 

A few days later, after the next wave of sick, I got down to business.

I started low first.  I figured the first shelf will be the hardest, and if I screw up, it's so low, holes will be hidden.

Then this happened.  Hmmm.  Not the bracket's fault.  Not the wood's fault.  It's the ledge.  Since our basement was underpinned, we have a ledge in the back of the pantry where the new foundation wall juts out a bit.  Unfortunately, the studs creating the ledge aren't angled perfectly.  But it's nothing a wedge won't fix. 

And I made sure the other side was level when I screwed the 1x2 into the studs.  So when the wedge goes in, the shelf will be square. 

Yup, that was the hardest part.  The rest of the shelves went in smoothly.  Find the studs, screw in the bracket and 1x2.

Ta Da!!! 

I ended up forgoing a bracket in the middle of the long shelves.  Since the pine is 1" thick, it's not bowing.  If I end up with heavier items on the shelf, I might reconsider.  But for all those light bulbs and paper towel rolls, it's perfect.

My goal is to paint the shelving so it doesn't look so unfinished.  Maybe some baskets.  But for now, it's functional. 

How about the before and after, shall we?


Once the main floor pantry is built, all edible dry goods will go there.  Anything DIY, paint, cleaner, or tool-related will stay here.  Which means, I'll need a new name for this little storage area that could...hmmm...

In the meantime, anyone who wants that old GORM shelving unit, come visit my curb tomorrow..!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Two More Men Down

Still in the thick of sick here. 

Last Week

The big boy's birthday saw the middle boy go down.  The weekend saw me go down.  Then yesterday...

Last Night

...the big boy went down.  At least it happened after his birthday.

Just waiting for the last family member (husband) to get it.
But he never gets sick.
Knock on wood...

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


Someone in this world is turning 7 today.

He arrived the day after a Superbowl.


Was an only child for less than two years.

1 year old

Spends summers in Wisconsin.

2 years old

Is outgoing, kind and makes friends easily.

3 years old

Loves sports.

4 years old

And his family.

5 years old

He takes life seriously.

6 years old

And will always be my baby.

7 years old

Happy 7th birthday, Jake.  Love to love you.

- Mommy

Friday, February 01, 2013

Two Men Down

Yesterday morning, I wake to Steve saying, "George just puked."

1st thought:
Argh.  We were doing so well.  No colds, fevers or flu this long into the season.  Longest stretch ever. 

2nd thought:
Really?  Today?  REALLY!?!?

All plans out the window.

Kept the middle kid home with the little.  Neighbor graciously offered to drop off and pick up the oldest from school.  Now I don't have to leave the house. 

Puke Bowl

Yesterday afternoon, I'm going crazy.  Sick toddler whining.  Must be held.  Always.

Middle is bored.  Too much TV.

Oldest comes home.

And Steve's home early - yes!  I can still take oldest to basketball class with middle.  I'm out of the house!!

We stay for open gym.

Yesterday evening, we come home from the community center.  Steve is quiet.  Little is climbing all over him.  He runs up to the bathroom.  I start dinner.

After a long time, he comes down.  "I'm in pain."  Goes back up to lay down.

20 minutes, back down, ghost white.  Off to hospital.  Morphine.


This morning, I wake to find Steve in the bed.  Yup, another kidney stone.  Small enough to pass, big enough to be extremely painful.

Check on the little.  What!?  Puke everywhere.  How!?
You slept through it!!??
And in it!!??

Bathtime.  Clean up.  Wash everything everywhere.

Waiting for the stone...

Is it wine time yet?