Sunday, May 28, 2006

Quinn is 6 Today!

Happy birthday to my sweet boy! I can't believe you're six already, where did the time go? I think because you are the youngest it seems more final, all that baby stuff you are leaving behind.

I always had that time frame of the September when you would go off to Grade 1 for full days of school and Leah would be in Grade 4. It always seems so far in the distant future and yet here it is only a short summer vacation away!

You and your sister are growing so fast that I find myself looking at and you both and wondering some days how I got here and where did all that time go? You both are really great kids and I love you to pieces and love to hang out with you, it's always a fun time. I was once told that our children are our greatest Zen Masters and will teach us our toughest lessons because they are the one person on the earth that we have to listen to and can't avoid the lesson being taught. So always remember you have as much to teach me as I have to teach you and we have a life of learning ahead of us both.
Love you my wee boy.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Bathroom Limbo

Well the bathroom reno is temporarily on hold. Tim is back at work and once again crazy busy and coming home late and exhausted. Weekends are crazy busy like this weekend with it being Quinn's 6th birthday party and nothing prepared for it. So between the mountain of homework Leah always brings home and a party to shop for and organize along with a function at the kid's Boys and Girls Club that they desperately want to attend, I'm already tired. Not even mentioning Leah's social calendar of her friends that want to get together with her to play.

Now that I'm working from the store and not at home during the week all the household chores are piling up. I used to break up my work with grocery shopping, laundry and cleaning while I was home. Now I'm too whipped to do it in the evenings after rushing through a meal and homework. What is up with the homework anyways! Leah is in grade 3 and there is always an hour to 2 hours of homework. She has trouble doing class work in class because of her APD but even still. Last weekend she came home with 13 pages of math work that was over and above what they are doing in class and the homework that came from that. Crazy! Math is a real struggle for Leah especially at the end of a day when she is tired.

So back to the bathroom, well no news is bad news in this case. I think we are going to have to hire someone to get us to the next stage. This is going into week 4 with no upstairs toilet and I really need a toilet up there! I guess I'll make some calls to see what it will cost me... sigh. It's actually cheaper to hire someone and keep Tim at work since taking off work for Tim means no pay whatsoever. Definitely cheaper to hire someone than loose Tim's income.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

All Quiet...

Well Tim went back to work today after taking 2 weeks off to do the bathroom. Those kind of holidays suck, all work and no play. We did manage to get some major destruction, rebuilding, organizing, purging of the house and garage done which is great.
We are going to have a big yardsale soon!
So the kids are now out of the house to school and Quinn will go to daycare for the afternoon and Tim is at work so we can finally get a paycheque again. It's very quiet and pretty damn clean in this house, yeah!
Now I'm supposed to get my work done of making final changes to the children's book I've illustrated and designed for the author. Of course I'm avoiding as usual. I keep telling myself it won't take long and then I can burn the CD's and ship it this week and it will be done! Unfortunately I'm not really believing that because there always seems to be one more change...sigh.
I've moved onto other projects and jobs and illustrating a whole book may sound great but it's a really long project for me and I never can do it quick enough to actually make any money. I'm lucky if it pays my daycare expenses for the time I'm working on it. I've decided that I'm not a book illustrator, I'm much better at the short creative jobs so I'm going to turn down the ones that I'm not good at so I can concentrate of the jobs I am good at. Less stress this way for everyone involved.
The author that is paying me has been awesome about the whole project and the 2 books we did previous to this. I think though she is taking it a bit personally that I don't want to do a 4th book or any other book in the future. I couldn't have asked for a better person to do the project with but I need to realize my limitations and step back to allow for someone truly talented in this capacity step in. I know lots of illustrators so when she is ready I'll help her find the right person to step in and develop anymore books that she wants to plan for.
Book website

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Tub is IN!

The plumber arrived early Saturday and we got the tub in by evening and it's really, really deep! YEAH! A good soaker/bubble bathtub at last!!!
The kids decided to christen it for us and there is tonnes of room for them both and Leah can even completely submerge herself and she says practice for swimming class. We stuck up plastic everywhere and hopefully we will get the floor in and the toilet and sink by the end of next weekend.

We moved the doorway so it opens on Leah's side of the hallway and will have a sliding pocket door. The door will be in the wall when open right at the end of the tub.

Century homes are such a joy and full of surprises!! We did find some old newspaper from 1937 and old wallpaper and the old, probably original flooring which was about 5 inches lower than the other old floor that had probably been installed in the 60's with the yellow tub and toilet. We also found a nice piece of baseboard still attached to the wall under the old tub from the days of a freestanding tub. The bathroom is only about 8 feet wide and the original floor where it attached on the side of the room where the toilet was to across the room to where the tub was the drop in the floor was about 5 inches. The angle was crazy! The old floor ontop of it was sloped as well, even where they tried to correct it. We had to rip up the hallway section as well since it wasn't level either. Now Leah's floor in her room is again lower than the hallway and a small step down into her room.

The angle of the walls is pretty scary. I think if we intend to stay in this house for much longer we are going to have to underpin the kitchen so it will stop sinking!!!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Movie Night!

I help organize a movie night fundraiser at our kid's school and it's tonight. We are watching Nanny McPhee.
We usually raise close to and sometimes more than $300 so it's a great evening. THis time I'm sneaking a thermos of some lovely chilled wine for myself and another mom (best girlfriend) to celebrate the end of another school year. This is the excuse I came up with anyways.
Hopefully I won't get caught with the goods!


I was at my Mom's during the xmas holidays and created this backsplash for her kitchen. It was a small area that ended up taking a surprising amount of time to do.
I used 4 x 4 inch white tiles with 1/2 inch glass mosiac tiles in about 4 different colours of blue and 1/2 inch mirror tiles. The mirror tiles were all silver but the glass was etched with different designs like a raised wavy pattern, swirls, a fern-like leaf pattern and also just clear glass. The mirror added a really nice sparkle.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Renovation Time...AGAIN!!

So we are once again renovating this house of ours...sigh. This time it's the upstairs bathroom. So far we've discovered the original floor is sloping about 5 inches from one end of the 7 foot room to the other. Someone raised the floor over it in the 60's but now that floor is slopping too. So now we are raising it up so it's level which meant now we had to raise the hallway up too. Which means we had to rip out the top layer of laminate flooring, the middle layer of oak strip flooring and the subflooring and then start over. We've gone to the dump alot! Our poor old van is going to have a heart attack with all this abuse.

This is the 3rd bathroom reno Tim and I have attempted and none have been much fun. This picture is before we took the lovely gold tub out and found the old flooring underneath it with the old baseboard still there.

The basement bathroom we reno'd back in September and only finished it last month. That reno entailed digging up a large portion of the basement floor to get the plumbing set up properly. Before we fixed it the toilet used to get flushed out a pipe and sent through the floor drain in the basement out to the street rainwater run off. The smell was nasty in the basement because of that floor drain. So we dug up trenches of dirt through the basement back to the upstairs sewer pipes to discover that it was up too high so we had to buy a "poop shooter" which takes the waste water and shoots it upwards into the sewer pipes. This "poop shooter" needed another hole dug about 3 feet wide and 4 feet deep. You would not believe the amount of dirt that we dragged by the bucket upstairs thru the kitchen and the livingroom and out the front door to the dumpster. We filled the dumpster with dirt!

We've lived in the house for 3 years and we have done some major work to it; made the house back into a single family dwelling and put in a new kitchen, ripped out the walls in the livingroom/dining/hall area so it's open concept, new hardwood, new electrical, insulated, removed the upstairs kitchen and put it back to a bedroom and painted and sanded every square inch of the house. Plus fenced the backyard with a wooden privacy fence and put in gorgeous perennial gardens in the back and the front yard and even planted a tree.

Maybe someday soon we can just live in it without a project that has to be done to it.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

And So It Begins

So I bought a motorcycle a month ago and have managed to drive it in the streets of Toronto and lived to tell about it. Yeah! I got my license about 12 yrs ago and haven't really driven since. There was the problem of no bike, no money, college, marriage and children that slowed me down a bit.
My husband became hooked on bikes last year and got his license and Honda 550 1977 last spring and then convinced me this year to get my own. I bought a 1971 Honda CB350 which is a a bit smaller and much less daunting to handle. Though I have discovered that I need to hold on and excelerate slowly because it is so light it practically does a wheelly sometimes!

I was very nervous about riding since we live downtown Toronto with all the traffic but I stuck with just our few neighbourhood streets and then cautiously ventured onto the bigger streets. So far so good and I'm driving it to work and here and there. I do need to get some saddlebags because after all I'm still a mom that needs to pick up milk on occasion! Vroom, vroom