Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Redecorating on a Dime In an Afternoon

I got tired of all the red in The Toddler's room and decided to cool it down a bit for summer. I did it all in a day and for only $67 with lots of materials left over (paint and fabric) for future projects and additions to the room.

Using ideas from these various places, I turned her babyish, primary color-laden, barn animal room into a happy forest.

These pictures aren't very good, as I quickly snapped them tonight before she went to bed, but they'll give you an idea before I do some final shots (after I clean up the room more, get matching bedding - which I might wait on until we do a big girl bed, which will also allow more of the tree to be seen.) It's not perfect, but it was a quick and painless makeover. And I'm pleased.

Moving aqua planter into the room: free.


Moving curtains from another room: free.


Moving table runner from dining room: free


Painting tree and birdhouses: $21 (bought sample sizes of White, Yarrow, and Cooled Blue from Sherwin Williams for $3.49 each plus some paint brushes)



Stick mobile: stick: free, fishing line and hooks: $5 (True Value), birdhouses: $1 each (Michaels)


Matching birdies: $12 (Target)


Signed print: $17.50 from here, but they are sold out, Frame: $6 (Michaels), Embroidery hoops: $1.29 each (Michaels), fabric: $11 with leftovers to cover lampshade and maybe make pillow (JoAnn Fabrics)




Claire seems to like it, as she exclaimed "Tree!" about a million times when she first saw it. Here's some recent pics of my cutey.

Who knew that my first time braiding her hair would result in a Pippy Long Stocking imitation?


Got soy cream cheese?


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Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:17 PM

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

3 Day Weekend and The End of This Week

A good Memorial Day weekend was had.

On Saturday, as I've already said, we had a BBQ honoring Huz's dissertation accomplishments thus far.

On Sunday, Claire (aka "The Toddler") and I hung out at home while it rained outside.

And yesterday I completely changed the look of The Toddler's room. I accomplished a ton of stuff, but have just a teensy bit more to do before I take pictures and write a thorough post. Stay tuned.

We leave at the end of the week to take the Christmas trip home to Colorado that we never got to take due to complications from my surgery. I'm very excited. Excited to go out EVERY SINGLE NIGHT with Huz because we'll have ENTHUSIASTIC! FREE! babysitting. Neglected movie theaters? Here we come! We'll also be touring New Belgium brewery which will be oh so beerific. And? Check out the welcome home dinner menu the night we fly in, courtesy of my Mom and Ed.

avocado soup
rum and pineapple marinated grilled shrimp
espresso granita with bourbon pound cake
plenty of beverages (e.g., mojitos, butterscotch truffle martinis, chocolate martinis, scotch, bourbon, beer, wine…..depending on how the plane trip went!)


I'm getting lack of comment sadness, people. Drop me a line.

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Posted by Bird On A Line @ 1:04 PM

Sunday, May 24, 2009


We had a nice gathering of friends over last night in order to celebrate Huz being exactly half way through his dissertation (3 chapters down, 3 to go...around 150 pages written, 100 to go). It amazes me that somebody can be so focused and motivated to do a beast of work like that, especially considering the distractions in his life: new baby turned active, demanding toddler and wife recently battling thyroid cancer, to name a few. You're a rock star, Huz! Here's to you. (And I hope you enjoy that new Weber grill I bought for you yesterday as an early Father's Day present. Hee, hee.)

I have been obsessed with redecorating Claire's nursery (do you still call it a nursery after they are toddler and no longer get "nursed" in there?). This happens to me - I see a fabric or an awesome idea in a magazine and I get obsessed for weeks until I finally end up changing something (this applies to hair styles, clothing, and redecorating). I still love the green we painted her room, but I'm over the bold colors and animals. I think there is too much red and I want something more sophisticated. I can't decide whether to keep it in a warm palette or to cool it down. Do I replace the red with a muted orange or brown? Or do I cool it down with green and gray and blue? We have a towel that we got as a baby shower gift and it's my inspiration for a cool palette.


I'm also want to incorporate birds, since I love them and this will give me an excuse to decorate with them. I just bought this print for half price from an online shop some Twitter friends told me about. I adore it. It's all in warm tones, though. Hopefully I can still make it work.

I also want to do something with a tree. You've seen all those cool tree wall decals, right? Well, I want to paint one on the wall and tie in the bird theme.

So many ideas!

One easy fix to all the red was to simply switch out curtains from our bedroom to Claire's. I did it this morning and think this alone has made a nice change while I continue to obsess and ponder over what I want to do with her room.

Before curtain change - lots of red:

The nursery (that corner of junk will be a tall white dresser)

After curtain change - I took extra knob ends off the curtain rods and put them in the walls to tie back the curtains.


Before curtain change - the green curtains blend in too much with the tan walls. Boring.


After curtain change - I like how the red adds some warmth to the room and how the pillow ties in the color.


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Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:23 AM

Friday, May 22, 2009

Etsy Finds

More cool things I like.


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 5:00 PM

The Things You Say


Everybody is always saying how smart you are because you have such a big vocabulary already at 19 months. I can't help but beam with pride when I hear this from other people, because of course we think you're brilliant and wonderful, but to hear it from others just verifies it all the more.

I want to remember the adorable things you say - want to always remember your sing-songy voice, the pitch you reach when you say "eye" or "nose". I need to record it more on video. For now, here is but a small record of what you are saying these days. I love you so much, my little monkey.



thone = phone (which you always must play with)
sone = another way you say phone
e-e-E-E-Y-Y-E = eye (you sing this going from a low note to a high one)
n-n-o-O-S-E = nose (ditto on singing)
tinkey! = stinkey (as in when I'm changing your diaper)
belbow = elbow
tankyoumommy = thank you, mommy
tankyoumommydaddy = thank you, mommy, er, I mean daddy
bessyou = bless you
bee = any small object that has black on it (bees, ants, poppy seeds, etc.)
bee-bee? = TV with a question sound at the end (i.e., you ask to watch tv a lot, to which we either give in for 30 minutes max or we redirect your attention to something else)
bapple = apple (which you can eat WHOLE and I find it hilarious)
ah-oh, ah-oh, ah-oh = ah-oh repeated a million times for emphasis
Sasa = Sarah, your teacher from daycare
nigh, nigh = night, night
paciiiiie? = asking for your pacifier
bas = bath
elp! = help (as in demanding help for whatever you cannot do)
sit! = you demand that we sit next to you quite often, while patting the chair or floor next to you
mamafin = muffin (which you insist on eating WHOLE, not sliced)
nana = banana (unfortunately, your grandma wants to be called this so this will be confusing, I'm sure)
Uh huh! = your version of yes, while nodding your head vigorously (as in, do you want milk? Uh huh! Do you want a muffin? Uh huh! Mamafin!)

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Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:57 AM

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hola From No-Blog-Much-Ville (Alternate Title: Wow, This Turned Out to Be a Serious and Revealing Post!)

I have been fulfilling my need to spew random tidbits, whine about the terrible twos, and quote random funny lines from TV on Twitter lately. That is why I've neglected you blog buddies. Sorry.

I just found out that a good friend of mine is separating from her husband. While I'm not really surprised, I'm still sad. Sad that there is a chance my friend could be a single mom (not that I doubt her ability to do that for one second, but, damn, would it be hard), sad that my friend's kid may end up in a different state from one of her parents one day, sad that a good friendship doesn't always translate into a good marriage. In the end, I told her it doesn't matter to me if the marriage works out or not, but what matters is her health and happiness. And I mean that. Big hugs to you, friend. I love you, support you, and want to be here for you. Let me know what you need (dinner at your house once a week together? Drive by hugs? Long, girly chats on the phone? Play dates with our kids?) because I cannot begin to guess what you are feeling right now.

In light of this (and in light of recent weeks with The Toddler From Hell), I decided that I need to be more intentional about the time I spend with Huz. I just got back from lunch with him. We work on the same campus twice a week, but have only gone out to lunch together a handful of times in the past four years. Why!? I don't know, but I want to change this. It may sound like a small thing sitting together over an hour-long lunch, but it's time we can actually be together without a screaming toddler in the background. I think this is important. I've said it before, it's really difficult not having family around to (enthusiastically) babysit (for free). It's damn hard. And during this particularly difficult tantrumy stage, I think it's important for us to set aside time for each other away from her - even if it costs us some babysitting money. So, I'm telling the world that I want to commit to that. It's important for me. It's important for Huz. It's important for our marriage. (And I'm not saying that this in any way caused my friend's marriage to have trouble - I'm just saying it is a good idea in general and I want to do this for us.)

I also want to be more intentional about being happy. As some of you may know from the posts I've done over the years, I struggle with a sense of self, a sense of purpose. It usually comes out in terms of career (or lack thereof*) and struggling with what I want to be when I grow up (even though I'm freaking grown up already!). So, I made a few steps this week to help myself through this ongoing process. I contacted the Rector of my church to offer my photography skills** should any events/publications/websites be needing such services (he said I have good timing and will be contacting me soon to discuss); I called a friend and committed to be more intentional about socializing since I often feel alone after working all day, going home, putting The Toddler to bed, and then vegetating in front of the TV; and, the scariest part of all, I made an appointment for therapy. When I think about it, it shouldn't be that embarrassing that I need a professional to talk to. I mean, shit, I just went through some of the scariest moments of my life with cancer, surgery, and radiation. I'm entitled to some me time - even if it's sitting in a chair crying my eyes out in front of a stranger while learning who I am in the process. I admit that I need some help working through some things. It's going to be hard, but ultimately it's going to be good. It will make me healthier and happier, which will mean I'll be a better companion, friend, wife, and mother.

Wish me luck, people.

*I mean, I do have a career, I guess - education administration - but it never seems to grow to a level that satisfies me. I'm' still stuck at a desk doing whatever faculty or students ask of me. I was even called "secretary" this year by one of the students. I thought I was going to hang myself that day.

**I struggle with feeling like I have any good skillz, though I do enjoy photography and have been told by more than just Huz (who doesn't count) that I'm good at it. So, in reaching out to the public in this way, I'm trying to get over my fear and self doubt and to further grow in this artistic area. I did make $400 last week taking photos at a work function. How cool is that!?

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Posted by Bird On A Line @ 1:39 PM

Friday, May 15, 2009

Etsy Finds Friday

Yes, I'm copying many others. But since I love those posts so much, here's my own.


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:59 AM

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mothers Day 2009

I'm learning to be grateful for the quiet, sweet moments and I hold my breath through the loud, screamy ones. Claire is experiencing the Mighty Will of Her Own, otherwise known as the Terrible Two's at the age of one and a half. I had a good mothers day, but it was punctuated with three, count them, three temper tantrums. Huz caught one on video that I must post, but later. These tantrms are exhausting. My hope is that she'll get through this period soon and her sweet self will re-emerge at the end.

We went out for breakfast and then to the park. As you can see, I decided to dress Claire up for the occassion.



I got this sweet little chair for a steal and Toys R Us the other day. It was the only one in the store and all the crappy plastic ones next to it were marked $7.99, so I got it for the same price (even though it's metal and wicker).


Big girl reading.


Asking Mommy to read to her.


Here she is playing with Daddy last week.




During naptime on Mothers Day, I got inspired to redecorate Claire's room and painted an owl.


More to come on that later...

Sweet Claire, I love you more than life itself. You make me smile and laugh so hard, you give new meaning to life, and you make me love your Daddy more than I ever have before. Even if you throw fits right now, I will try to remember that this is a difficult stage for you emotionally and that you aren't being bad on purpose. You remain my sun, moon and stars. Love you, baby girl.


Huz made me some phenomenol Memphis-style dry rub ribs. Amazing. I joked with him about the gender reversal and how I guess I'll be making him tea and crumpets for Fathers Day. :)



Huz, I love you and am so grateful for your partnership in this crazy thing called parenting. I honestly could not do it without you.


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Posted by Bird On A Line @ 5:53 PM

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mama's Day, Part One

The day hasn't even begun and I'm so excited! It's only supposed to be in the 70s today with no rain (!!!), we're going out to breakfast in an hour, then to the zoo....and these? THESE! Are being prepared for me as I type.

Photo 28

Hello ribs, Memphis style!!!

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Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:50 AM

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hairy Puppets

As I mentioned on Twitter recently, I hate the new hairdresser I tried out. Why do I have so much bad luck in this department!? Remember pregnant Marilyn Monroe? Not good. Well, I tried someone new based on a recommendation and liked the highlights I got, but not the cut. I showed her some pictures of some sassy 'dos with wedge bangs and layered ends, not concerned with taking a few inches off, but still wanting medium length hair. The result was a short little girl bob with straight bangs and a blunt bottom. I hated it. Yes, that is why I bought a hat on a whim.

I called the girl around a dozen times over the last week (she wasn't good at calling me back and when she did she left a voice mail because I was busy at work) to get it fixed into something more of what I wanted. When I went back to get it "fixed" on Thursday, she dry cut me (meaning, no washing, no wetting, also no styling) for all of 5 minutes, basically pretending to give me more layers. She didn't do anything to make me look decent and it was obvious to me that she didn't care since she already got my money and this was pro-bono.

So frustrated by looking like a little girl, I went back to my usual girl and my usual salon and forked over more moolah to get my hair fixed. Since the previous girl had already taken off considerable length, I went even shorter to get a good look. So, this is my summer 'do.

After the pro did it:

Photo 14

Photo 15

And after I slept on it:

Photo 25

Photo 21

Photo 17

In other news, I took Claire Bear to the downtown library today to watch the marionette show. This is the last week of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves. (Did you know that Nashville has the largest Kurd population of any city in the United States? I didn't either.) It was great fun, as always, and it had her rapt attention for 30 minutes, which is quite impressive.



I knew it was a successful puppet-filled morning, as I was being serenated by toddler snores the whole drive home. She's sleeping quietly now. Huz is studying at the library. I like my hair again. Life is good.


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 12:14 PM

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