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Stuttering Shell: January 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Things you don't say to a parent...EVER.

  1. You should never tell a parent how to parent. I don't care how many kids you have, what kind of experience you have, how many kids you used to babysit, what kind of books you read, etc. Don't tell me how to be a parent. (Granted, there ARE exceptions to this rule, but - generally speaking - if you are a relatively good parent then you don't need anyone telling you how to be a parent...ya dig?)
  2. You should never ask a parent if their child is ADD/ADHD just because they are "bouncing off the walls." You can either leave, ignore the behavior or just get over it.
  3. It's not nice to accuse a parent of being "unfit" when the only reason the parent is unfit is because he or she just doesn't exercise. :)
  4. Don't ever, ever, ever tell a parent that their child resembles a murdered child you saw on the news. I mean, really, how insensitive can you get?
  5. When congratulating a new mother (or a new father for that matter), don't immediately question her age (or his age) and her motives (or his motives) for having a child. Seriously, people, your sincerity factor goes right out the window.
  6. Never say 'well back when you were a kid we did it this way'. Yeah-back in the you also used lead paint and gave kids aspirin...
  7. Never ever say 'my kids would never do such a thing.' Chances are MY kids learned it from YOUR kids.
  8. Never say 'are you going to let your kid get away with that?' Yep sure am.

Ugh. I'm stuck at 5 things...I know there is more. I just can't think clearly today. I've had this list generated for quite some time, too.
Just for the record, these are things that have either been said to me, I've had to deal with or things I've just heard in general. People are flat out mean sometimes.
UPDATED!! Items 6, 7, and 8 have been added courtesy of my friend, Rebecca. :)

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Humbling stuff...

I read the classified section of our local newspaper -- not because I'm looking for a job, but because I am nosey. I like to see who lost what, who found what...who is missing a fur baby and who has found someone's fur baby...who is selling what or who is trying to buy something. OK, OK...I like looking over the job listings, too. It's interesting to see who is hiring and for what.

But, I also read the classifieds to read through the foreclosure listings. (I also like to read the obituaries, but that's in a different section of the newspaper...) You have to be really, really stupid or from another planet if you didn't know and understand the economic peril the U.S. is spiralling in at the moment. The increasing number of foreclosure listings is evident. And, while scanning through the listings last night, the reality of the problem hit close to home -- well, sort of. I recognized a name. Yes, I saw a foreclosure listing on a house that belongs (well, I guess BELONGED to) someone I know. I don't know her or her husband well, but I've met them nonetheless and do feel sorry for them. No one wants to lose their home. But, in a sick & twisted sense, I DON'T feel too sorry for "the high life" isn't always so great. Of course, this is only my opinion of their situation and, while I don't know their situation completely, it really isn't my place to judge. But, irregardless of the situation or how they used their money or whatever, the sad reality is that their family lost their beautiful home. Their foreclosure listing was just one of many that covered about four pages of the classifieds section. Four pages. Yikes.

Needless to say, it just drives the fact home that the seriousness of our country's economic situation is alive and very much well all around us. This just drives the point home even more that I need to be more of a miser and less of a glutton.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009


That's what I feel like today. Blech. Is blech even a word?

There are two of us in the office today with upset being one of them. I have the chills, too. It's not fun being at the office when you're not feeling 100% yourself.

I feel bad, too -- my sweet Malia made me breakfast this morning...cranberry-raisin toast with cream cheese -- and I couldn't even eat it. :( I hope whatever this is doesn't stick around too long!

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Happy New Year!

Today is Chinese New Year -- the year of the Ox.

I have my red sweater on for good luck. Tonight we're having dinner with friends to celebrate the new year in our family's own special way.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Saturday at the mall.

After Malia & I had our hair cut yesterday afternoon, we ventured over to Lynnhaven Mall. Much to Aidan's dismay, we were there to shop -- the kids both needed new shoes and I had Gymbucks to redeem at Gymboree. All Aidan wanted to do was have lunch at McDonald's and we did...after we shopped for shoes.

Good thing he wanted to eat at McD's because Stride Rite nearly broke the bank. Anyway, we went to the food court and passed the next hour eating Chicken McNuggets and people watching. Well, the kids at the nuggets and I did the people watching. The mall on a Saturday afternoon is not a fun place to be...especially in the food court. But, it was fun nonetheless.

I sat and watched groups of kids hanging out. I watched families with young children walk around. I even saw a woman carrying a small dog in her jacket. I wonder if she bought him/her from the new pet store at the mall (don't get me started on that, please). The teenage cliques cracked me up the most. They were just hilarious to watch. The girls checking out the guys. The guys checking out the girls. The giggling and finger pointing. Of course, there was some cursing and "bad ass" attitude, but I guess that just goes (unfortunately) with the territory. I was a teenager once who hung out at the mall. I remember getting dropped off at Lynnhaven Mall years ago -- either with my girlfriends or on a date with Adam. We did the same things those kids did -- shop, eat at the food court, watch movies and just hang out.

Of course, we didn't dress like today's teenagers did -- OMG some of the crap they were wearing! I swear, if my daughter even attempts to leave the house in a dress that barely covers her tush I will flip out! Back in my day, even though there were some scandalous ones out there, more was left to the imagination -- I guess you gotta thank the Seattle grunge scene for that. We also didn't have cell phones -- heck, pagers weren't even cool to carry back then yet.

It's just amazing how much difference a few years makes -- OK, more than a few years. But, still. I guess it just goes to show that kids really DO grow up fast these days. Don't believe me? Then hang out at a mall on a Saturday afternoon. You'll see...

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Adding this to my library!

It's no secret -- Adam and I love Playa del Carmen, Mexico -- and I am sooooooo ordering this book:

Anything and everything that can help make our March vacation seem closer than it really is is always welcome!

And, if you're thinking about making a trip to the Riviera Maya, then I suggest you check out this book as well.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Random, useless knowledge about MOI

So, I was tagged in a note on Facebook to list 25 random things about myself. I figured I would share here for your reading entertainment:

1. I work for my husband and's not easy.
2. I dropped out of college -- TWICE.
3. I own over 15 pairs of Birkenstocks -- I think it's actually between 20 and 25 pairs, but I'm not so sure...I can't visualize them all in my head. ;-)
4. I love vacationing in Mexico -- and I don't even speak much Spanish.
5. I am thinking about playing the flute again.
6. My best friend lives over a thousand miles away -- I love you, Angie!
7. My friend, Josh, and I were born in the same hospital (Kapiolani in Honolulu, HI) nearly one month apart, but never met each other until we were 14 years old and lived in Virginia Beach...he is the man who introduced me to my husband way back when.
8. Barack Obama was also born at Kapiolani -- allegedly.
9. Speaking of Barack, his eldest daughter's name is is mine. =] His wife is also fond of j.crew and so am I...must be a Michelle thing. ;-)
10. I have a blog ( although I don't think that my blog is as interesting as some of the others out there.
11. I'm half Chinese -- my Mommy is from Hong Kong -- Chinese New Year is Monday, people...celebrate the Year of the Ox.
12. Caffeine is my friend.
13. Our family once had 13 hermit crabs as pets -- beach souvenirs gone wild -- the two my children started with turned into an obsession for me (seriously...those crabs had a double-decker was a hermit crab mansion!).
14. I am a beachcomber...I love seashells. I'm still scouring Hatteras Island, NC beaches for the perfect Scotch Bonnet (which happens to also be the state shell of NC).
15. It is my goal to be debt-free by the time I'm 35 (the mortgage doesn't count).
16. Red is my favorite color.
17. I remember in the 5th grade there was a kid in my class that I knew from going to school in Hawaii...funny how small the military world actually is (yes, I am a former Navy brat).
18. But, speaking of the Navy, I only moved once the whole time I was in school and that was from Hawaii to Virginia in 1986 when I was 8 years old...I've been in Virginia ever since.
19. I'm a social smoker -- terrible, I know. But, that's my dirty little secret...I guess it's not so secret anymore.
20. I think I am in love with our Kuerig coffee maker -- if you don't know what it is, you need to find out.
21. We have three cars and not a single car payment. Life is good!
22. I used to swim competitively -- I wasn't very good at it, but I still gave it a try.
23. It is my dream to visit Europe one day -- that is, if we ever decide to stop vacationing in Mexico first...because I'd like to visit more areas in Mexico one day, too.
24. I've known my husband since we were 14 years old. Our 7th wedding anniversary is next month -- we'll have been together a total of 15 years.
25. I check my breasts every month for lumps -- breast cancer runs in the family and I'm proud to say that my Mommy is a survivor!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009


It's only Wednesday...and I'm in one of those funky moods, so here are some of the many random thoughts scattered through my mind:
  • Thank GAWD the kids went to school today. There was no way in H-E-double hockey sticks that I could handle another snowLESS snow day.
  • Thank GAWD the kids' winter break is finally over with! I swear it was the longest.break.EVER! (keep in mind that their winter break started -- with an early dismissal -- on 12/19/08...yeah.)
  • I know it's not nice to blog about work, but something just seems "not quite right" with me (as far as office politics go)...I can't put my finger on it, but something just feels off. I dunno. Maybe it's just me and this funk that seems to be settling over me.
  • Taxes...need I say more? Adam and I are just hoping that we don't OWE Uncle Sam any money this year. I've got my fingers crossed on this one.
  • it March 19th yet? Oh, wait...we don't even have our airfare booked yet!
  • *sigh*
  • Bills. Adam and I were talking about this tonight...well, it started off as a discussion about refinancing our mortgage (because it sucks big you-know-what) and that led to some reminiscing about how back in the day we used to think we were filthy rich and didn't even make anything remotely close to what we make now...not that it's gotten extreme or anything. Anyway...point is, the more money you make, the more bills you create. LOL
  • There's a pile of laundry with my name on it. It's gonna continue to sit there.
  • The kitchen is allllllllmost finished. One more coat of sealer on the granite, some caulk and I think it's back to normal...until I decide to scrub the heck out of the floors and clean the grout.
  • My kids fought over a T.V. tray tonight. A T.V. tray. I wanted to run away when the whining and fake crying started. Too bad there was no rum to pour into my Coke.
  • I wonder if tomorrow night's "Grey's Anatomy" is going to be continued into next week...if so, it would be like the longest "to be continued" episode ever (in my book)'s already been two weeks!
  • So, two people at work have gotten new glasses...makes me wanna get my eyeballs checked out to see if I need to wear glasses my damn self. =]
  • OMG...the white chicken chili Adam made tonight -- there is a reason why Beano is sold in stores, people. Come over and eat some of that chili and you'll understand why.
  • Malia was invited to a sleepover birthday party this weekend. Thinking aobut 7 year olds at a slumber party makes my head hurt. Oh, boy.

There is more, but you know what?? My mind actually went blank. Maybe that's a good thing. I think it might be my cue to get a cup of white tea and call it a night. Well, maybe not, but maybe it's just time to plop on the couch and chill out. Yea, maybe that's what I need to do.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What snow?!

They are still saying it's going to snow, but I will only believe it IF I see it. And, I'm begging right now, please God let school happen tomorrow...on time. No delays. No cancellations. Please. I know I haven't been the best person lately because I have been so hateful, but really, ease up and just let the schools open. You and I both need this. Forever and ever, Amen.

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Today is just a cool day

A view of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. as thousands
upon thousands await the inauguration of our 44th President,
Barack Obama.

I can't take credit for the photo posted above. It's from MSNBC's website. I've got some live video streaming right now on the computer. Today is quite an exciting day! What makes today even more exciting is the fact that my children, who are only 5 and 7 years of age, know what is going on and know who Barack Obama is. In fact, during their school's mock election, both kidlets voted for Obama. My daughter's reasoning was pretty straight forward -- she just liked him better than McCain. I think it was maybe because Obama's name is just cooler sounding. My son, however, was very honest and said that the ONLY reason he voted for Obama is because his wife's name is Michelle and his daughter's name is Malia -- just like Aidan's mom and sister. :)

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It's still not snowing...

...what a big surprise. It's funny how we get all pumped up for some snow and then nothing happens. Don't get me wrong, the forecasters are STILL calling for 1-3 inches of the white stuff, but the weather certainly hasn't panned out like they said it would yesterday.

But, in good ole Tidewater fashion, schools are closed today. It's quite amusing to think that we haven't even seen one flake of snow, but the schools (as well as courts, certain office, etc.) are closed. I suppose this shows proper planning and consideration for the children and employees. I remember all too well being in school and having to go home early due to inclement weather. I'm sure that it can turn into quite the cluster fuck when you are trying to coordinate the safe transfer of students in high school, middle school AND elementary school from school to home. That's not an easy task. And, I'm sure working parents, while school closings are inconvenient at times, are appreciative of the heads up on the closing rather than having to deal with childcare arrangements during the work day when their children are sent home early.

Thank goodness for VBCPS's new alert system. Our phone rang this morning just after 6am and the telephone recording notified us that Virginia Beach City schools and administrative offices were closed. Soon after, my cell phone rang and I got the same recording. Then, while checking my email this morning I noticed a similar message. Let me tell ya...their new notification system is a God's a pain in the ass to try and read the list of closings at the bottom of the television screen on the different local news channels. I remember doing it as a kid growing up and I remember having to rely on that list on the news even as recently as last year! I sooooo prefer a phone call at 6am over having to squint my eyes and read fast that early in the morning...this chica doesn't function well at the crack of dawn especially if there is no caffeine involved.

Well, with that being said the kids are with me today at the office. My stress level is already through the roof and it's only just after 9am. God help me. If they keep bickering over the damn portable DVD player I'm going to, as Adam tells Aidan from time to time, "turn green and grow big muscles."

Please, please, please snow.....the weather needs to do something in order to justify this day off from school!

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Kitchen pics!

I know...finally. Some more kitchen pictures. Hooray!

Installing the glass mosaic tile...the kind of tile we used were face-mounted tiles, I believe it's what they are called. They were single tiles "glued" to a paper front and once the tiles were pressed into the thin-set mortar you moistened the paper to reveal a 1' x 1' square of mosaic tiles. Adam said it was a pain in the you-know-where. The first wall he did (shown above) gave him the most grief...he cursed out that wall many times that night. It was quite entertaining if I do say so myself. Ha ha ha.

The finished product a day after Adam grouted the tile backsplash. He was so thrilled with how well it turned out. I really like the color of the glass mosaic matches with the walls in our kitchen beautifully. (I know, I know...the Gizmo can opener has GOT to go, but Adam won't part with the freakin' thing!)

A closer look at the tile. Yes, our family likes is one of our most favorite food groups! :)

It's not professionally done -- my husband is a bricklayer by trade people, not a tile installer -- but it still is wonderful nonetheless. I'm so happy!

A view of the backsplash by the stove/micro...I love how the tile sparkles in the new under-the-cabinet lighting Adam installed yesterday. That portion of the kitchen was easy for him to wire. He's installing the remainder of the lighting under the other half of the cabinets tonight....I just heard him call something in the kitchen a "bastard." Something in the installation must not be going as he wanted...

For more kitchen pictures, check out this link:

All in all, what started out as a garbage disposal gone bad has turned into a really wonderful project. We spent some money we didn't want to spend, but I think the value of what we've done with our kitchen full outweighs the *whispering* credit card bill. Ssssh...spare me the lecture. Besides, it's 6 months no could you NOT go for it! :)

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Snow day!

So I may be jumping the gun a bit, but from the looks of the weather forecast, I think it is safe to assume that tomorrow is going to be a snow day for the kids. Even the Weather Channel is talking about it!
Snow days are rare in our neck of Virginia. Very rare. I can probably count on one had how many times we've had a significant snowfall here in Virginia Beach and I've lived here since 1986.

Of course, as excited as I am for the kids and the prospect of missing school because of the snowy weather (because Lord knows that back in the day I used to watch Don Slater on Wavy TV 10 like a HAWK whenever he talked about snow during the school year).......I'm semi-disappointed that tomorrow just might not be the first day back to school after the long winter break. I know, I's silly of me to feel that way, but if your kids had a month off for the holidays and had been coming to work with you for the last couple of weeks you would be feeling the same way as I do. Trust me.
Nonetheless, it's still exciting to know that tomorrow morning there just might be a blanket of the white stuff covering the ground...I guess I'll just send the kids out into the parking lot to play when I bring them to work with me tomorrow. :)

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Got glass tile?

I do!

I'll share pictures later on tonight. It's all up on the wall, but nothing has been grouted yet. That's tomorrow night's project. Fun, fun, fun!

But, this just means we're one step closer to having the kitchen finished! Hooray!

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I wanna go!

*pouting & stomping my feet*

No fair! I wanna go to Cupcake Camp!

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Here's what I owe you...well, sorta...

Pictures of the kitchen. Stay tuned. I'll upload them either tonight or tomorrow evening.

I promise!

Updated on Monday, January 12th:
See, I made good on my pictures thus far (as I'm typing & posting this Adam is in the kitchen starting on the glass mosaic tile...I'll have pictures of that soon)...

Ewww...the mess underneath the sink thanks to the ancient garbage disposal...OK, OK, it wasn't ancient, but it was just over 10 years old which, in my opinion, is old for a kitchen appliance. It was nassssssstay underneath the sink.

The kitchen counters BEFORE and minus the old sink. Don't hate me because of my sad looking butcher block wannabe laminate countertops. Come on, people, this house is almost 20 years old! I'm sure those were H-O-T looking countertops back in 1989. (if only you knew what the cabinets used to look like...they were stained a shade of brown not much darker than the countertops...Adam and I painted them back in 2005).

Laying out the granite tile to make sure that everything fits and all necessary cuts are made before Adam puts down any grout. The darker tiles are wet from being cut with the tile saw.

The granite bullnose edge just to give an idea of what it all looks like when it comes together. By this time Adam had one whole side of the kitchen countertops installed, re-did the plumbing underneath the sink, installed the new garbage disposal, new sink and new faucet.

Tweaking the plumbing underneath the's still a mess in that cabinet. I refuse to clean unless I can get the whole kitchen cleaned...looks like it's not happening any time soon considering that Adam is still laying tile. Oh, darn.
Adam is wrasslin' with something up under the sink. Don't ask me what it was or why he was doing it. I was just taking pictures like I was on vacation. :-)
One side done! Well, not quite...the grout and granite still needs to be sealed. The only appliance Adam has allowed on the countertop so far is the Keurig coffeemaker. I think he loves it more than he loves me. *sigh*

Grouting the other countertop...we debated quite a bit on whether or not we should have lowered that bar area that Adam is standing next to. Adam now wishes that we lowered it. It's bad enough that we have a small kitchen...what makes it even worse is that there is so much wasted space (as was evident when we ripped out the old counters) and that bar area does not get used at all..........but now that it's "new & improved" it just might. Adam's gonna need to raise the pot rack, too.

The only "tacky" portion of the tile job thus far as far as I'm concerned is the very end of the bar. We were short ONE (yes, one) bullnose edge. Rather than pay another $25 for one (yep...they were $25/each...ouch) Adam decided to make the cut pieces work. Thankfully, all of the pieces he had were the same size and it fit perfectly. You don't really notice it when you're in the kitchen.

Laying out the glass mosaic tile was tonight's project...I think the color I chose was spot on and I cannot wait to see it on the wall and finished. Adam chose a grout color to match the new countertop.
The color of the glass tile is "Glass Sky." I think it's so darned pretty. As for an update on the current happenings in the kitchen, Adam has one wall of glass tile up and he's removing the paper backing. I'll snap a few photos and add them momentarily.
So, now that the new countertops are installed and the backsplash is going up, Adam and I are now rethinking our cabinet color. The sandy color worked with the old countertops, but we're thinking a really light gray would be best for the cabinets now. It wouldn't clash with our beachy themed kitchen and it would coordinate well with the granite counters. That's gonna be another weekend project in a few weeks.......I think.

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One more week left!

Can you believe kids still have one more week of winter break left. It's true!

Aidan came home yesterday and Malia left again this afternoon to spend the week with my parents. I know she will enjoy her time without her brother. He loves her, but even at 5 years old he knows how to push his older sister's buttons.

It's nice having Aidan home, though. It's been so quiet for the last couple of weeks. Now there's noise, activity and even some whining! Who would have thought that I would miss hearing my son whine?! I didn't.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Forget football...let's go to Playa!

So, I brought up an idea to Adam. Instead of season tickets, let's just go to Mexico. For the price of those tickets we could easily go to Playa del Carmen, Mexico at least twice this year. We have always gone for my birthday, so I asked Adam what he thought about going in March for his birthday.

He's considering it.

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Decisions, decisions...

So, I called Heather with the Washington Redskins back today. Adam and I talked about these season tickets and wanted to know if there was a cheaper option. There is. But, the waitlist for the general admission season tickets is, right now, approximately 5 to 7 years long. Oh, boy.

Now that we know that bit of information, it makes the prospect of season tickets at the premium club level even more exciting. What isn't exciting is the price tag.

We still have until Friday to decide.

Part of me is saying to just go for it. The other part of me is saying no....that we should pass. We just spent money on the kitchen. Our goal is to be debt free after this year (well, credit card debt). Logically, it wouldn't make any sense to take on yet another payment no matter how enticing the reward is.

Of course, passing up on this offer means that there will be other opportunities to get season tickets; however, the price will have gone up.


I would hate to disappoint Adam...and, I'll admit it, I'm slightly excited myself. But, taking on an obligation this huge would mean that other things we enjoy throughout the year would come to an end. One of these days we'll be able to take on the added enjoyment of season tickets...and, we just might be able to afford enough for the whole family to enjoy. I am thinking that for now, we should just turn around and walk away....

My heart knows what we should do...I just gotta get the rest of me to believe it. *ugh*

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hail to the Redskins!

So, on a whim a few months back, I entered in our information so we could be placed on the wait list for Redskins season tickets. Besides, if you put in your information you would be put into a drawing for some season tickets or something.

Anyway, I never expected a phone call. Adam said the waiting list is like thousands and thousands of people long. I mean, he would know...he's the fan. I just cheer along because I'm a good wife. So, when my cell phone rang this afternoon I was a bit hesitant to answer the phone call from the 301 area code. I was pleasantly surprised to hear, "Hi, this is Heather from the Washington Redskins."

I talked to Heather for a while. She said that some season ticket slots became available and we were called to see if we were interested. Of course I would be the perfect birthday present for Adam! I mean, this man eats, lives, sleeps and breathes all things football...especially anything concerning the 'Skins. But, wait...what's this gonna cost me?! Oh, the price is per seat? Hmmm. Where are the seats? I get parking, too? What else do we get?

Let's just say, right now I have two aisle seats in on reserve in Section 337:

I HAD to let Adam know because a financial obligation this big wasn't something I could keep from him. We're talking a few thousand dollars and not a few hundred dollars. Yikes.

So, we have until Friday. Until then, I'm consulting with all of our friends who hold season tickets to get some guidance. I don't think that Adam would be disappointed if we passed on this opportunity, but I know how happy he would be if we didn't.

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Honey, I just found out...

I don't know about you, but those are famous last words in our household. It doesn't matter who says it, Adam and I both know that when those five words are spoken the news following is either going to be absolutely wonderful or really, really crappy. I guess in this case the news is wonderful for Adam and semi-crappy for me.

Adam found out today that he's fishing in the Mid-Atlantic Rockfish Shootout this weekend. Adam and I would both like to take this opportunity to thank his father for NOT telling Adam that he was entered into a fishing tournament. Adam only found out because the girl handling the registration and such called him today to confirm. Well, golly gee...I guess I know what is NOT going to happen this weekend...yep, that's right...the kitchen won't get finished.

Of course, Adam says to me today that the kitchen would not have gotten finished this weekend even if he wasn't fishing. Here I was thinking Rockfish season was over and done with...well, that was fishing in the bay and not the freakin' ocean.

Ah, well...I suppose the good news is that Adam is fishing on Friday which means that he'll be able to work on the kitchen Saturday. BUT, knowing my dear, sweet husband there will be some other fishing related excuse come Saturday. This is why, my friends, I find this news to be semi-crappy.

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Kitchen progress

So, it's now been four whole days since I've had a working kitchen sink. It's starting to get kind of annoying. While I'm thankful that everything else in our kitchen is still accessible and working, it really is difficult to work in a kitchen without a sink. Before, we were still able to at least run the dishwasher but Adam turned off the water supply to the kitchen last night because he had to redo the plumbing underneath the sink in order to accomodate the deeper sink and the new garbage disposal. *sigh*

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I just want my kitchen back!

I suppose, however, that this kitchen renovation is going a lot smoother than originally planned. And, just knowing that we can get this done and NOT have to worry about the kids (since they are with my parents) has been quite a big help, too. I couldn't even imagine taking on such a project if the kids were at home. They practically live in our kitchen!

Anyway, Adam and I went to The Tile Shop yesterday at Lynnhaven. We brought a piece of our existing granite tile in order to find a suitable match for it. Also, we needed to find three 12"x12" tiles to closely match the granite tile because Adam found out that he was 3 tiles short to complete the job in the kitchen. We had agreed that our "bar" area would just have ceramic tile since there wasn't enough granite to cover it as well. Well, upon entering the store, we were greeted by Jason who helped us out with everything. The best thing we heard yesterday was, "We have that exact tile here in the store!" Adam and I couldn't believe our ears! Seriously?! The Tile Store had our tile? Sure enough...they did! It wasn't from the same run number (duh!) but Jason told us that the granite we had was probably some of the most popular...or was it the most common (I dunno)...but, irregardless...they had our tile! This meant that we didn't have to use ceramic for our bar area...hooray! And, to make things better, they also had matching end-pieces and corners! Hot diggity dog!

While at the store, we also chose our glass mosaic tile for the backsplash. It wasn't the color I had originally fallen in love with online, but I think it's going to look beautiful just the same. The color worries me just slightly since our kitchen walls are painted a turquoise blue color (it's "Embellished Blue" by Behr), but the eat-in portion of our kitchen has a darker blue colored ragged onto the walls (a la moi!) called "Surfer" (also, by Behr). So, I think it will be fine. The glass tile I saw online was actually MUCH, MUCH lighter in person and would not have worked at all. Adam chose a coordinating mortar color (something to go with the granite and also the mosaic tile) and then Jason totalled up our purchase. A good portion of our purchase will be shipped to the store on Wednesday so our kitchen will be complete by next weekend!

I've taken a few pictures here and there and I'll get those posted soon. I'm just excited that we're actually doing something substantial to our tiny kitchen. Maybe I'll even spend more time cooking in it once it's finished....ha ha ha, yeah right, who am I kidding?!

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Fresh Starts

"Fresh starts. Thanks to the calendar they happen every year --just set your watch to January, our reward for surviving the holiday season is a new year. Bringing on the great tradition of new years resolutions, put your past behind you and start over. It's hard to resist the chance of a new beginning, a chance to put the problems of last year to bed."

Meredith Grey, "Grey's Anatomy"

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Kidlet update

So, the kids are in Connecticut with my parents. They made it safe & sound to my sister's house late in the afternoon on New Year's Eve. They survived driving north on the New Jersey Turnpike in the snow. They made it through crazy holiday traffic. And, they even survived a trip to the mall in Danbury, CT in order to outfit my kids with proper winter gear (thank kids don't own boots made to be worn in the snow!).

The kids made snow angels in my sister's front yard on NYE. Aidan conked out well before midnight and Malia stayed up to watch The Jonas Brothers on the Dick Clark NYE special (speaking of Dick Clark, oh, how my heart ached for that man when I saw him on television). Malia called just after midnight to wish Adam and I a very happy new year. She was drinking her "champagne" (a.k.a., sparking grape juice). My father informed me that they would be building snowmen on new year's day.

My mom called us yesterday to see how things were coming along with our kitchen sink and also to let us know that they were headed to Avon, CT to visit with my cousin, Vivian, and her family. The kids are excited about seeing their cousins and playing in the snow...again!

I'm not sure when they will be headed back to Virginia. I know Malia and Aidan are having a great time with Po Po and Gung Gung and I'm sure Auntie Monica & Uncle James are having fun with the kids as well. I really wish I chould be there with them...but this thing called work (oh, and those unexpected household repairs) kinda keep me from heading out of town.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Another year...another dollar...

So, what big plans do I have today with my sweetie? Well, let's see...last night before we headed out for dinner (we had Mexican...mmm) we ran the dishwasher. As Adam went to get the dishwasher detergent out of the cabinet he noticed that there was a leak underneath our sink. Grrrrreat. The garbage disposal had a hole in it and, well, I think you can imagine what the cabinet space beneath our kitchen sink looked like. Ew.

Thank goodness New Year's day isn't like Christmas day and stores are all open and ready for shoppers. We made a trip to the Home Depot and bought a new garbage disposal. We upgraded from 1/2 HP to 3/4 HP...don't ask me what that means. I'm just excited about getting a new garbage disposal. I don't know the life span of one, but the one we're replacing is original to the house and our house was built in the late 1980s, so.....

Well, while at the Home Depot we also bought a new sink and a new fixture for the sink. Adam had his eye on a very pretty black enamel sink, but I talked him out of it and we settled on a $99 stainless steel sink that gives us a bit more room since it's 8" deep (our current sink is only 6" deep).

So, Adam's in the kitchen as I type this. He already took out the bottom of the cabinet...MDF and water don't have the best of relationships...and he's replacing it with some plywood. If the "OW!" I just heard means anything, then he must be wresting with the garbage disposal right know, getting the old one off. I'm supposed to be helping. Ha ha ha.

This is all quite exciting although it was money that neither of us really wanted to spend, but I think this has motivated us now to replace our kitchen countertops and I think we may start that project this weekend and take advantage of the time since our children will not be at home (allowing us more time to spend working and getting the project done faster). We have some granite tile in the garage...or maybe it's marble...that we plan on using as our new countertop. I am envisioning a glass tile backsplash that runs from the counter to the bottom of the upper cabinets, but we'll see about that. After all, this kitchen renovation is on a tight budget...a really tight budget.

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