Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Territory

Have you ever come across the blog, People I Want to Punch in the Throat?  That Jen is a card, I tell ya.  I will also warn you that if you're easily offended by 'swears' (as my kids call them), coarse humor, or painful truths, don't click on the link. 

This post has nothing to do with her blog.  But I have found myself, recently, wanting to punch people in the throat.  To keep repeating the phrase over and over, I thought deserved at least a shout out to her dedication to throat punching.

As our children (ages 10, 8, and 4 11/12) get older, I continually find myself in new parenting territory.  Whatever I think I know about parenting gets pushed aside to make room for new realizations.  My most recent realization is that kids are jerks.  Ugh!  Okay, fine!  Not all kids.  Certainly not your kids...never my kids. Ha!  But, seriously!  This school year has had me mentally throat punching people left and right.  (Do I have to add that I would never actually punch a kid?  Fine.  I hereby declare that this post is satirical and should not be taken as a threat in any form.)  Since Christmas, one kid in particular has taught Joe the "F" word.  Joe didn't understand him the first time, so I got to tell him that FURK is not the mother of all swear words.  Take that, kid!  Except that he spoke more clearly the next day.  He's taught Joe to look up words like vagina in the dictionary. (Joe already kinda knew this word, he just didn't know you were supposed to giggle when you said it.) And, I can't even fully explain what he taught Joe to make 2 Lego horses do to each other.  So, this new much do we let 'boys be boys'?  We can't exactly forbid Joe from talking to this kid...they're in school together.  And as much as I hate it, Joe has to be out of my eyesight for those educating hours. And, if it wasn't this kid, it would be another.  How long will it last that Joe openly tells me (or uses props to show me) what he's 'learned'?  We continually tell Joe that we want the other kids to be like him.  Not for him to be like the other kids while I'm mentally punching people in the throat. 

Bella (the 8 year old going on 17) is taking her first real hip hop class at a local dance studio.  The class is once a week for half an hour.  The other girls in her class take other types of dance, too, and seem to have been taking classes together for years.  Bella loves, loves, loves the class, the teacher, and the other girls.  My sweet princess girl is oblivious that the other girls are shunning her.  They turn their backs to her when she walks up to them or just walk away.  The other night, she asked a girl what game she was playing on her phone.  The girl could have dislocated something with how hard she rolled her eyes and said with a sneer "You've never heard of Minecraft???"  Bella, thinking the girl was interested in her gaming history, said "No. How do you play?"  The girl ignored her as another girl plopped down on her other side and started chatting.  At that point, I called Bella over to me to hug her before class started.  While Bella was in class, I watched a gaggle of other girls (not so) subtly mock a girl who was not part of their group.  People were getting mentally throat punched all over the place.  How do I make sure Bella preserves her innocence?  How do I tell her she doesn't need to be friends with these girls without hurting her feelings?  I did tell her that I thought the one girl wasn't very nice, to which, Bella defended her.

I fear that this new territory includes letting them step further away from us and navigate social situations themselves.  It's painful to watch.  Good thing we know that God is bigger than whatever a bunch of kids can throw at them.  Is it okay, though, if I keep punching people in throat...mentally, of course. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Overly Detailed Before & After

Christina, over at She's a Crafty Pumpkin, is constantly annoyed at me for not giving more detailed descriptions when I make or redo something.  So, this post is mainly for her. 

My brand spankin' new dining room needed a pop of color, so I took this...
 To this...
Annnnnddddd, here's how that happened in great detail.  To be honest, this 'dresser in the dining room' idea was my 'B' plan.  Plan A looked much different in my head. But after several searches failed to meet my vision, including my beloved antique store, I had to come to grips that unless I was going to spend a ton of money it just wasn't going to become a reality.  I'm for sure keeping Plan A in the back of my head and will ditch this dresser in a hot minute (or maybe just move it to another room), but for now, I love love love the color and the functionality.

After Bella's dance class on a Wednesday evening, we scooted on over to the local Goodwill Store. I'm gonna pop some twenty dollars in my pocket.  This gem of a dresser was just sitting there waiting for us for the bargain price of $14.99.  After convincing Bella to stop rubbing her face on the seat of an old couch or trying to get me to buy snow boots, we folded down the van seats and zipped on home.

While the kids did their homework on Thursday and Trey was otherwise occupied, I pried off that weird dental molding strip, all the hardware (which I broke in the process), and the top edge added on piece thing.

On Friday, I moved this project down to the basement so I could sand it.  This is an important step even though I'm tempted to skip it every time.  But, with this old kind of veneered shiny wood, if you skip sanding, the new paint will peel right off...kinda like when you were a kid (or last week) and would cover the palm of your hand with glue, wait for it to dry then peel it off.  Fun when it's glue, sad when it's paint that you had to actually buy.
I employed the toughest sanders I live with and let them have at it.  We used a heavy grit (50 & 80) to really give the finish some teeth.
After sanding, (don't forget to wipe off the dust!) I used my new favorite water putty to fill in flaws and a weird seam.  While Jay played with the kids, I went to Home Depot to get the paint.  When I found the color I wanted, the woman helping me suggested that I get the SAMPLE SIZE.  This size only comes in a flat or egg shell finish (I chose egg shell), but is enough to do 2 coats on a piece like this.  The sample size cost $3.15!!!

On Saturday, while Trey napped and the kids were playing, I sanded the dried water putty and put on a coat of primer (which I already had in the paint closet).  Again, I love to skip steps for expediency's sake, but...I hate going back to fix things more.  The primer guaranteed that the old, ugly black freckles on the wood wouldn't peek through.

After the kids went to bed, I did the first coat of paint.  During Sunday's nap time, I did the second coat.  My next problem was the hardware.  I had broke every handle taking them off the dresser, plus they were dated....

On Monday, I went to The Construction Junction and found the perfect hardware for a total of $5.89.  *Construction Junction accepts donated household goods and sells them for practically nothing! However, the hardware was a shiny brass, which was not what I wanted.  A can of black spray paint would solve that problem.
I attached the new (old) hardware to a piece of cardboard and waited for the kids to go to bed.  I have to say, spray painting is an art.  An art that I am not proficient in...even less proficient at the 30* weather.  Somehow, I always miss spots and get a little high every time.  It's not my best work, but got the job done!

So, for a total of $25.00, I got my nice pop of color!

Whew!  If you read this whole thing, God bless ya!