Friday, December 23, 2011

Owen's Christmas gift

I'm so excited about what Scott and I are giving Owen for Christmas this year.  He's VERY into Star Wars right now, but the poor kid is usually forced to fly his kelly green LEGO pad around in the air pretending it's the Millenium Falcon.  I'm all for creativity, but it's pretty pitiful watching Owen use a white picket fence to keep Chewbacca from falling/floating out into deep space.

So when Scott and I were talking last week about what WE wanted to give Owen for Christmas (procrastinate much?), I mentioned that it would be awesome if we could track down a local guy in his 30s-40s with a bunch of old beat up Star Wars vehicles in his parents' basement that he'd be willing to sell us for a reasonable price.  Scott said something along the lines of Good luck with that, and I accepted the challenge.

Enter eBay.

I'd spent one evening discouraged in my mission.  Even Wal-Mart wanted $170 for their reproduction Millenium Falcon.  But first thing the next morning, I got up and tried again and found a guy in Nashville who was selling his vintage 70s-80s Star Wars vehicles as an entire lot (read:  cheap).  They're in battle condition, which makes them perfect for Owen.  The Millenium Falcon is missing it's chess board, the X-Wing it's cockpit canopy, and all of them more decals than I can count.  I spent yesterday taking them apart and cleaning them, and I got most of them to light up and/or make sounds again.  I've already found several websites that sell replacement parts, and I'm giddy with the idea of restoring them a little more.  The new action figures don't fit well inside them either, so that means I get to track down vintage figures now too.  My inner Star Wars nerd is just buzzing with all the possibilities.

We won't give this to him until Christmas morning, so shhhhh!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Mishmash

Say that five times fast.

Rebecca requested some photos of our Christmas decorations, but I think this set-up in our entryway is the only thing new I did around the house this year.  Our mantle looks roughly the same as it did last year, only the longhorn got to keep center stage with baubles draped from his horns and the wreath leaning off to his left.

Here's how the present-wrapping turned out.  I'm loving pipe cleaners this year.  I have to flat wrap all the presents that travel with us to Texas, hence the boxless, blobby shape.  Ooh, say that one five times fast too...

In the middle of dinner the other night, Scott announced that we would go Christmas light looking if Owen ate well.  I think I may have shrieked with excitement, but Owen said, "Dats okay, I don't wanna go wook at Cwismas wights anyway.  I just tay here and pway."  As in with toys, not as in with rosary.

But I coaxed him bite by bite, and we were in the car hunting lights by 7 PM.  I spent a dozen blocks pointing out every little thing to Owen before he said, "I don't see anyfing you're telling me mommy."  A dozen blocks more, and we heard snoring from the back seat.

I'm seriously concerned for this kid's Christmas spirit.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gingerbread Men 2011

Thanks to everyone who's checked on me since last week.  I'm feeling much better.  Now I'm just trying to get my strength back and catch up on Christmas stuff.  I would have loved to decorate gingerbread men with friends again like we did last year, but I just couldn't get my act together.  Still, Owen and I made a big mess and had lots of fun just the two of us!  Okay, now off to wrap presents...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Just checking in quickly to say hi and share this LEGO Christmas tree Scott and Owen built together.  Because nothing is merrier than a dismembered, handcuffed torso being used as tree ornamentation.

I'll try to get back to regular posting soon.  In the past week I've had an abscess tooth, dropped a 4 x 4 on my foot, and had a bad reaction to antibiotics.  The highlight for me was visiting the overcrowded ER and being assigned a bed in the hall between a very inebriated woman intent on finding a cigarette to sniff and a man who had just tried to hang himself from his kid's tree swing.  It was funny... in a Quentin Tarantino kind of way.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Makit & Bakit

Owen and I spotted some Makit & Bakit ornaments at Michael's the other day for $1, and we couldn't resist.

I was worried that it might be too tedious and frustrating for him, but he just stuck out his tongue and dropped those little plastic bits right into place.

Even though the fumes are probably toxic, I would put that melting plastic smell right up there with play dough and crayons for its ability to transport me back to childhood.

And now his polar bear is hanging on the tree a few limbs over from a rainbow ornament I baked up 25 years ago.  Can I get a collective awwww?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tree Gettin'

On Friday we returned to the same place Scott and I have gotten our tree for (I think) the past 10 years.  Owen was not the least bit interested in choosing a tree, though.  He spent most of his time trying to reunite Fraser Firs with their broken branches and collecting the twine littered about the lot.

Owen makes a lot of musician faces in pictures lately.  Mostly of the death metal variety.

Last night we celebrated Scott's birthday and put up the tree.

So Norman Rockwell, right?

Hmmph.  Just past the point of no return in the decorating process, I noticed an ominous puddle spreading in the corner behind the tree.  Our old tree stand/bucket had sprung a leak.  The thought of having to take everything down again made Owen quite weepy... and me homicidal.  So Scott put Owen to bed while I bailed water, mopped and pouted.

Within the hour, our Mr. Fix-it neighbor came over and solved the problem - without us having to un-decorate the tree.  Thanks Chris!

Now Owen and I can spend the day sipping hot chocolate, watching old Christmas movies and decorating the tree.  I'm sure it will go just the way I see it in my mind (wry smile).

Thursday, December 1, 2011

B & A: Garage, Part I

We've done a lot to our house in the past 2 years, and the staging area for most of those projects has been our garage.  Everything out there was covered in layers of sawdust, paint splatters and cobwebs.  And while it's true that very few people ever look inside our garage, it is the very first thing I see each time I come home.  Depressing.

So a few weeks ago, we finally got new garage doors to replace our noisy, mouse-chewed ones.  And that was the impetus for a much needed garage makeover. I haven't finished organizing all the shelves yet, but the entry is complete, so I can share that much.  Here's how it looked in-process:

There was carpet on the one step leading into the house, and it was knatty.  

So I ripped it up, sanded the underlying piece of wood, and polyurethaned it.

Then it was on to the door.  I told Scott I wanted to do something really fun with it- to make it like our door was saying "Welcome home!" every time we pulled into the garage.  You know how you feel when you have on zany socks?  No one can see them under your boots, but you know they're there, and they make you happy?  Same concept for the door.  Most people will never see it but us, so I used that as a good excuse to go a little wild.

Image from here.

Scott threw out the idea of painting a bullseye on it, and that was enough to remind me how much I loved the drum kit from Guster's Easy Wonderful Tour. Not to mention I just love Guster, period.  So a welcome home door and a Guster tribute?  Sold.

It would have been a budget buster to get outdoor paint in that many colors, so I narrowed it to eight.

To get the spacing right, I took a razor blade to a roll of Frog tape, then taped out my pattern on the door.  And then, because I'm a nerd, I numbered the colors 1 through 8 and used the random number generator on my calculator to tell me where to paint which colors for a truly random pattern (why, yes, that is an oxymoron).

And here's how it turned out.  Scott said it made him smile when he returned home from a 3-day business trip last night.  And he is not sappy man.  So I consider that mission accomplished!

I also added a mason jar to the wall using plumbing clamps and transferred the artillery basket from the laundry room.  Owen is always collecting rocks and sticks and leaving them around the house and the garage, so now they have a better home.  Who am I kidding.  I collect just as many sticks and rocks as Owen does, so it's for me too!

And even though I maintain that Guster was my muse, it dawned on me that I totally ripped off this Lourdes Sanchez pillow from West Elm.  Oh well. Nothing's new under the sunburst, right?