The BIG Boom

We finished out our second week of swim lessons very disappointingly.  I have the mind set at this point that Gretchen will never learn to swim.  I may end up just dropping her in the water one day and walking away so she can figure it out on the fly because I am not taking a ten year old that can’t swim to the pool.  We sat there and watched what I swear were three year olds swimming across the pool and my almost five year old was bawling every time the teacher asked her to blow bubbles.  Ridiculous.  A new teacher entered the class, she was obviously training and just helping the real teacher, but it threw my kids for a loop.  They weren’t into her at all.  The very last day Wes just refused to go in so I let him sit on my lap and watch hoping he would decide to go in, but he never did.  Gretchen was still a wussy, crying mass even on the last day.  What I really think she needs is some kids her age who can swim and she needs to watch them go off and have fun and feel so left out that she is willing to give in.  Some day she’ll get sick of splashing around with the toddlers in the baby pool.

The weekend came, our second weekend owning the house, and it was time to get started on making it ours.  We had a contractor out to help with some of the items on our inspection we wanted taken care of before we moved in and I started on painting the kids rooms.  Originally, I was just going to paint Gretchen’s room, just her walls, but then I got to thinking how hard it would be to move Wes around to paint his room after we moved in so I decided to paint his too.  Then I started really looking at the ceilings and they were awful and I thought well if I am going to paint the walls, I might as well do the ceilings.  And then as I was taping the trim to get ready to paint, the trim was pretty gross.  But I had to draw the line somewhere.  I may at some point go back and do the trim, it will be more difficult but I didn’t have enough time. 

While the contractor was there Saturday morning, the kids and I walked to the playground about 8 houses down from our new house.  It is a really nicely laid out little playground.  Tons of shade trees, right on the pond.  It is really peaceful.  Perfect for the kids.  I really enjoyed sitting there.  And the neighborhood committee has been working on building a little pavillion off to the side (you can see the orange fencing around it) which will be really cool for picnics and impromtu events.



I had the ceilings done by Saturday. I got a day off my schedule since I chose a sky blue color for the ceilings and they could’t dye ceiling paint the color I wanted so they gave me regular interior flat paint and the ceilings ended up needing two coats.  That was a bummer because I HATE painting ceilings. Gretchen’s room walls had two coats by Sunday day and I put a coat on Wes’s walls Sunday night.  The contingency plan was for me to be finishing Wes’s room on Monday night but Gretchen ended up waking up with a huge fever Sunday night and we stayed home with her on Monday.  I headed over to the apartment to meet the guys delivering the dryer and when I went to scope out Wes’s room the paint I used went on perfectly the first coat it was crazy.  When I paint I always plan on two coats.  There is just something magical about putting on a second coat, the first coat never seems quite right and there are always spots where the paint went on too thin and then you paint that second coat and it all evens up and turns the proper color.  I looked at Wes’s walls very critically knowing that if I found even one spot that didn’t look right I would seek it out every time I was in his room and be bothered that I didn’t put the effort into the second coat.  I found one spot, I simply painted over it and voila it looks awesome.  I felt pretty lucky because I was burnt out with painting.  It didn’t help I was rushed and not really in the mood in the first place.  Not to mention sore from craning my neck to paint the ceiling and the combo of swimming in the morning and using my arms to paint I was exhausted.

Gretchen’s room:

From this:


To this:


Finished product:


And a picture with Gretchen camoflauged against her walls.  Do you think she likes purple?


Wes’s room

From this:


To this:




Picking out Gretchen’s room color was fairly easy, she wanted purple. ANd purple is purple is purple to me. I don’t particularly care for the color so I didn’t have much of an opinion. I got it narrowed down to two shades, got samples and painted both on the walls. I picked the one that was less pink. February Frost. I actually like the color now that it is painted on the walls. It’s very cool and clean. Wes’s room was a bit more difficult. I didn’t want to go typical boy blue and he seems to favor yellow but I didn’t really want his room to be yellow either. I decided on green. But not just green, I wanted a specific light grayish-green, not too minty, not too camo. I picked out three samples from Home Depot and ended up hating all three. In a last ditch effort I googled perfect green room paint and found someone’s list of go-to greens for rooms and I found Guilford Green and Soft Sage at Benjamin moore. More samples on the wall, now there are five swipes of green on the walls and I settled on Guilford Green. It’s a pretty nice muted green. My thought was to decorate with darker green John Deere pictures, but we’ll see how it evolves.  Besides having to buy a whole pint at Ben Moore to sample (instead of the cute little $4 cups they give out at home depot…at this point I had already spent $28 just to find the right green), the Ben moore paint was twice as expensive as the Home Depot paint at $70 a gallon.  Holy cow!  Steve pulled up the consumer reports on interior paint and Behr paint I usually use had dropped in ratings in the years since I have painted (it used to be number one) and the Aura paint from Ben Moore was number two.  So I sucked it up and bought the gallon of paint.  But it was totally worth it.  It showed it’s value by going on in one coat.  I would pay twice as much to save me two-three hours worth of work at 8-10:30 pm. 

On Saturday right as I finished painting the first coat in Gretchen’s room the thunderstorms and torrential rains rolled in.  The thunderstorm wasn’t nearly as bad as the one we had when we first got here.  But I didn’t have a plan for dinner, I was hoping we would go out to eat, but I did not want to attempt to get the kids out in the car and drive the roads with the major flash flooding going on.  So we waited, and waited for things to subside. 

Here are the kids playing “dresses” waiting for things to calm down outside:


We decided to watch a movie and order some pizza close by for Dada to pick up.  When it was time for Dada to head out the kids and I wanted to watch him run to the car and get drenched.  Pretty much because they have never seen rain like this before.  We went out on the covered porch area (on the second floor) and waite dand waited and waited.  Dada never came around the corner so we went to check on him out the front door.  He was just waiting on the cover for it “to slow down”  At this point there had been no thunder, just rain.  Finally Dada says okay fine, I’ll just make a break for it so Gretchen ran ahead to get a good view from the porch and we were all still standing right inside the door when there was the brightest flash ever following by a GIANT thunder clap.  Poor Gretchen, who was out on the porch all alone, comes running from the porch screaming bloody murder.  It was such an unfortunate event because up until this point she wasn’t quite too bothered with the thunder.  Wes, of course starts crying because Gretchen was so visibly upset but he stopped after a minute and was like “I not scared.”  But poor Gretchen kept talking about how she was shaking and from that point every flash or boom made her grab the nearest adult.  And then it came time for bed and the thunderstorms were still going on. We had the hardest time getting her to sleep.  She didn’t go to sleep until well after 10:30.  I finally laid in her bed and then when I thought she was asleep left but she followed me in a few minutes later.  I was so sad because now she is deathly scared and probably will be more intuned to them in her sleep. 

Here is everyone watching the movie and eating pizza.  I took the picture because of the way Wes was sitting.



And a cute picture of Wes eating a banana in his underwear


 Some days later I was talking to Gretchen about the concept of a journal.  About how it’s a book where you keep all the pages together and you can either write about your day or draw a picture of some experience you had.  She says, like when I was outside and that big flash and boom came.  I said yes, like that.  And then a few days after that conversation she came home from daycare with her visual depiction of that moment:


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