Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"911, What's Your Emergency?"

Tuesday afternoon ended up a little differently than we imagined.  Our Kai-boy is still in one piece and everything is fine--but it took four hours of adventures to be sure that was true.

We went for our usual after-school play date at the park with a pile of Discovery Homeschool Academy friends for a fun time doing dangerous things like running with sticks & spinning too fast on the tire swing.  The moms gathered in the sunshine to keep warm & catch up on all the craziness of being who we are.

The mob of ditch urchins made their way up to the playground and just as I was starting to think it was about time to go, time froze as a scream pierced through the giggles of play.  My friend, Kelly, dashed toward the playground saying "He fell right on his head!".  I turned to look and saw a crumpled boy with a mop of red hair laying limp on the ground under the monkey bars.

The moment when you realize it's your own kid seriously hurt is hard to describe.  Moms swarmed over us as I held him still on the ground.  I remember hearing "don't let him move", "hold him still", "is he okay?" over his sobs.  Someone wrapped the blanket I had been snuggled in over him and I grabbed my phone, called 911 and started praying.  Thankfully, while we waited for the EMTs, he was conscious and could move his fingers and toes.

When they arrived, he had calmed down enough to tell them what happened.  He had leaped off of the elevated stepping pads to the s-shaped monkey bars--something that he said "usually works".  But his sweaty hands caused him to slip and the momentum made him flip to the ground, landing directly on his head.  The fall was from about six feet in the air so the EMTs said, "No choice, you're headed for Children's Mercy." 

So, collared and strapped to the board, they loaded him up in the ambulance.  He seemed calm and I could tell by the speed of the procedure that there was not an immediate danger, which helped me to think as clearly as can be expected at such a time.  Eric & I were a little disappointed they didn't get to use the sirens and drive really fast--I mean, we did pay for a ride!

"Try not to look dead, Kai, okay?"
My dear friend Kathy was able to take Elena and Zane home with her, Eric was meeting us at the ER, and my sister, Jodi, helped juggle phone calls, kids and meetings that we were supposed to attend.  I'm so thankful for them all!  We kept in touch via text during the evening, and knowing Kai was bathed in prayers of so many families was such a comfort for him and for me.

We were at the ER for about three hours, which I totally realize isn't that long of a visit, but it sure felt like forever for my hungry boy who was flat on his back.  Children's Mercy does many thing well, but the mirrored glasses that allowed him to watch the ceiling-mounted TV probably topped his list of favorites.  He was uncomfortable with the collar on for so long, but he was so patient and very concerned for the other patients that he heard entering the ER with screams and sobs.

After two trips to radiology to rule out any breaks (neck x-ray, ct scan & an elbow x-ray), three nice nurses and two great docs, Kai was able to walk out of the ER with instructions for some ibuprofen, a hot shower & to "be a better monkey!".  Not too shabby.

As a momma to two rough-and-tumble boys, I couldn't help wondering if I should have just let him dust off and hop up to run again.  I talked to the CM staff and my own Mom, who is also an ER nurse, and they both reassured me that calling 911 was the right thing to do.  It would have been a disservice to Kai to take the chance of serious injury to his spine.  My heart hurts for the kids who don't get to walk away like he did. 

So all glory to God for yet again protecting our beloved boy!  Thank you, Jesus!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Giddy with Gold

Up, eat, go to other house, get school going, paint, feed munchkins, paint, more school, paint, eat again, paint. Yeah, guess what I've been doing? But it looks faaa-buulous (can you hear me sing that?).

Pictures say more than words, so peruse at your leisure...of course, I'll have to add a few comments.

Elena's mural wall completed
After sketching the design in pencil, I started filling it in using a small angled brush and attempting a steady hand.   I ended up going over the entire scroll two-three times tweaking the curves and touching up edges.  This design was copied from a picture we found on Houzz (the world's most awesome, inspiring home design site) and I would link to it here but my iMac is having some internet issues and can't get to it.

Aqua bath for our girl
The golden hallway (paint is wet here)...lovin' the chocolate doors!  I've had lots of comments about them...go for it at your house...and painting them on the hinges seems to be the easiest.
Ahhh...that's a touch of sun going in under the master bath tiles.  A Sun Touch tile warmer mat thingy, that is.  I dared not even ask my super-handy honey to get this for us...but HE brought it up and wanted to try it.  Wheeee!  My piggies will be happy.  As long as it works.  It's almost ready to hook up.  Fingers crossed!

Kitchen "before" aka "this morning"
Kitchen "after" aka "this afternoon". 
And that's it.  For today at least.  Tomorrow brings more gold on the main level hall and living fun Valentine's Day parties at the kiddo's academy.   I think I'll go crash now. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Progress on the Kids' Rooms

I can't tell if I'm moving in slow-motion, or so fast my head is just spinning.  Two bedrooms down and our new way of life is starting to fall into a routine.  Hopefully the whole fam coming home at 10 p.m.--like last night--will not be part of that routine!

We worked on Kai's room last week...he likes to add a little graffiti each time he paints.

He found several design elements he liked on the much-loved, but after much discussion, we decided a really cool horizontal stripe technique would be the best bet for longevity.  The green is left over from the color of his other bedroom.  It turns out quite dark when full on all walls, but was perfect for this accent.  I eyeballed where to place the stripes along the wall, then measured and marked all the way around.  Thankfully, I didn't get out the level as it might have drove me more crazy.  Bring on the frog tape!

Worked like a charm!  I don't think I pressed hard enough on the top tapes so had a tad bit of seepage on the brown stripe, but nothing that 40 minutes with an artist's brush and a steady hand didn't take care of.  The best advice I found, but didn't take, was to go over all the edges with the base color before doing the stripes...I think I wanted to test out the claims of the green tape!

We hung the now brown doors and replaced the outlet covers last night...he already has his tent set up, ready to camp, or more likely, do his reading in the new space.

So this week I've been working on Elena's bedroom.  It's a vision in lavender.  Even the ceiling.  Actually, it's a really cute theme with a stenciled border of carousel horses and two shades of light purple.  But that's not going to fly with my girl.  She has done her research...again on houzz...and has quite the plan.  But she wrote in her English assignment yesterday..."I've learned it takes a looooonnnnngggg time to prep to paint!"

And even longer if Momma insists on learning to use new tools.  I'm ever-so proud of myself for figuring out how to use a paint sprayer in order to save me hours teetering on a ladder cutting in a vaulted ceiling.  Many props out to the paint guys at the Raymore Lowes for giving me a full-on demo when I showed up with my borrowed machine and asked for help!

This is the set up, and above you can see the handy-dandy extension wand that made my ceiling-painting a breeze.

Someone asked how I managed to not have paint all over me.....

 That's how.  Awesome.

And after seeing how easy it was to use the sprayer, I decided I should just spray all the trim too!  So yesterday I decided to rip all the carpet out of her room.  All you gym-goers...forget that...just rip up carpet.  It was quite the workout and I may have some nicely sculpted shoulders and arms after this project!  (Good timing since I'm no longer carrying around a toddler, which usually takes care of that.)   I was delighted to find that they did not staple the pad down...hoping that is true for the whole house.

Cutting in around the ceiling's a long way down.

Elena took care of the corners and around outlets...while Super Z-Man...well, that's how he usually looks.

Today I tackle the sprayer again to do the trim in Elena's room and perhaps the hallway.  Our special-order Cocoa-colored grout should be ready for pick up in the next few days and we can then grout the three rooms already tiled...maybe four as Eric is working on Elena's bathroom floor today.  Yeeeee!  Excited!

Meanwhile...the kids are liking doing school work down in the basement (just didn't want anyone to think they were off the hook LOL).  We're studying China for two weeks leading up to the big Chinese New Year celebration at the Nelson-Atkin's Art Museum.

And don't think Eric and I are JUST working...we're playing in the Ice Bowl disc golf tourney this weekend (my first tournament) and plan to go freeze our patooties off in the name of charity.   Brrr...the tag line is "No Wimps.  No Whiners."  What a perfect tournament for me.  Ha.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Work has Begun!

Whattyaknow.  Between real life and working on the new house, finding the time to journal about our progress is rare.  So while the pasta boils, here's a peek at what we've started with one good work Saturday and snippets of time from day to day.

Eric is on floor duty, and this one is icky!  It's the powder room on the main floor hallway and had a tad bit of a toilet leak.  Thankfully, the subfloor does not need replaced so it's ready to prep for tile in this pic.


Meanwhile, I've started tackling the walls and trim, starting in the smallest bedroom.  The prepwork is fantastic.  I think perhaps the previous owners let their kiddos loose with pushpins and posters.  Anywhoo, spackle is my friend.

Bye, bye vinyl!!

Eric was going to learn a new skill and refinish the kitchen floors himself, but after talking to several people and doing more research, we've decided to leave it to the professionals.  As soon as we get a sample of the prefinished floor that we're installing in the living room, we'll have the refinishers match the stain as close as possible.

Mmmm....chocolate!  I'm pretty traditional, a lot eclectic and a tad bit trendy with my decorating, so for the interior doors I'm going with trend.  They are all getting a fresh coat (or two...or three) of deeply chocolate paint.  I LOVE them with the fresh white trim!  This is getting started on door #1 of....hmmm....I don't think I want to count.

Ooh, look!  Progress on that nasty powder room floor!  This was taken last night and now it's almost complete.  We choose a rich brown tile for all the bathrooms and laundry.  It's color variations remind me of a well-loved leather chair.  ♥

I always let my kids paint--at least a little bit--in their own room.  Here Zane takes to the roller with relish!

Last night's finishing touch was hanging the closet doors in Zane's now finished bedroom (except carpet).  Looks FANTASTIC! 

Now I'm onto the prep work in Kai's bedroom.  This window sill has some water damage so after sanding through several layers of paint, I gave up and spackled the whole thing to resurface it.  I spent this afternoon cutting in and hope to get over there tonight to finish cut #2.

So it's a start!  We ordered the prefinished wood floor today and decided on the carpet.  In other news, we had two showings on our Sandpiper house this weekend so traffic is picking up...and so am I...ya know, socks, laundry, legos, legos and did I mention legos?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Tour of the Bones

Merry Christmas!  Welcome to the adventure of transforming our new house into our home sweet home.

After a tad bit of drama during the purchasing process, we are just beginning to take stock of everything on the 'To Do' list.  It's a long one, but we're so thankful to be starting with great bones!  The house is a California Split with a twist (meaning the master is on the main floor with the kitchen) and has some major spacious living areas, a blank canvas for landscaping, an enormous garage, plus a bathroom for everybody.  Okay, I don't know if that last one is actually a plus...I keep looking for the house cleaning fairy that was supposed to come with the deal.

Since I started ripping down wallpaper yesterday, I thought I'd better get going on a journal of our progress, so let's start with a tour!

From the outside we're diggin' the three car garage, since our current two-car garage exists as a one-car/tons of tools and bicycles storage unit.  We may BOTH be able to park under cover...novel.

The New Project

Walking through the beveled glass front door trimmed in lavender, you see a huge entry fixture (sorry, took that photo out).  It needs to be to balance the size of the living area.  This is the main living room and it plus the entry make up about 400 square feet.

Living room...can you say "Cranberry"?
The shocking cranberry flat paint fairly well clashes with the yellow toned woodwork surrounding the purple-tiled fireplace and on the bannisters.  But I do think it looks worse in the photos than in person.  Thankfully.  The purple-ly tile also graces the entry half of this room.

The kitchen is great...tons of cabinets and even a double oven (♥)!  And you KNOW I'm ready to start painting cabinets again!  Already have pulled the silver/white ceramic hardware off and the doors are next in line.
Ariel view of the Kitchen/Dining area
The laminate counter-top coordinates with the purple tile in the entry, so it will, ahem, be going.  However, we will keep the hardwood floors.  They are in good condition, just need refinished.

Just a few of the many shelves!
Down the hall from the kitchen is the master worries, can't miss it--it kind of glows a bit (in the dark?).  The double tray ceiling is nice and I'm excited to turn this suite into a peaceful & cozy space.

The light & bright Master Bedroom
Standing in the master closet, this is a peek of the master bathroom.  It's not the best angle, but I had to show you my very favoritest thing in the whole house.  See the vinyl just past the carpet?  Oh, yeah, baby, it's cushy.  Yup, cushy as in 'got some carpet under it'!  Bordered by a couple tacked down brass transition strips and gobs of caulk, we've got ourselves a comfy floor when stepping out of the shower!
The best spot in the house!
I do finally get a huge whirlpool tub, so I'm very excited about that!

Moving on to the top level of the house, we come to the kids' rooms.  They are smaller than the rooms in our current home, but have some nice details including the pretty Palladian window in Kai's bedroom.

Kai's room with the fantastic window.
The boys will share the hall bathroom with its double sinks and a separate tub and commode room.  

And then for our Elena-girl:  her very own suite!  Her pretty room is at the end of the hallway and includes a vaulted ceiling, walk-in closet and separate full bath.  She is beyond thrilled to have her own space and has designed a unique layout for all her furniture and some cool painting treatments for the walls.

Back down, and then down again and again, is the basement living area.  The doors you (barely) see on the right lead to 1.  The unfinished sub-basement and 2. An office, which we will use as a school room (YESSS!).  If you turn around you'll see a little hall with yet another full bathroom and a guest bedroom (#5).  Really all a lovely space that I know we'll use a ton!

Walk-out Basement
Finally, a peek at the back yard and deck.  It's sturdy and has a nice patio underneath and to the side.  There really is little to no landscaping so we're choosing to look at that as a plus since it means less to re-do.  Just starting from scratch!

The back deck
So there she is!  We have our work cut out for us, but as my dear sister reminded me, it's all cosmetic.  We are glad there are not walls that need knocked down or dilapidated cabinets to rip out etc. 

And now to the question lots of our friends and family have asked:   

Why in the world are you moving a couple miles down the road when you just finished re-doing your house?!!  

The answers:

#1 Community.  Great friends that we love and go to church with right next door and across the street.  Plus more friends and acquaintances scattered both around the double cul-de-sac and throughout the subdivision.  Kids EVERYWHERE.

#2  It was a good deal on a larger home--plus there is a community pool.

#3  What else to we have to do?  I mean really, there is lots of lounging on the couch going on around here, right?

Stay tuned.....

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Double Back Pony Tutorial

Yes, another hair tutorial...they are just so much fun!  This style is very feminine and can look a little vintage or retro if you tweak it a bit.  I wore the second variation shown in the video--more of a double back bun--to the pool all summer and it was great in and out of the water.  For me, a size large flexi clip works great, so try it with whatever size you usually use for a full twist...usually a size or two larger than what you need for a ponytail.

Let me know if you have questions, and enjoy making the world a prettier place with your Lilla Rose hair jewelry!

Friday, August 31, 2012

New French Twist Tutorial

After a visit to my favorite hair stylist, my locks are now shoulder-length and I have a nice shock of bangs.  This has changed-up my styling routine and I finally have mastered the French twist again.    I'm still using a size large flexi clip to secure it...the size you need will depend on the thickness and length of your hair.  Thanks for watching!

Make the world a prettier place by wearing your flexi clips from Lilla Rose!