|I was feeling a little stifled here in Xanga land, so I moved here: Stepiphany|
Today, I had to get up at 6:00 am on a Sunday for work. This capped off a two-week period of battered friendship, childcare juggling, scary medical diagnoses, and general schedule upheaval and tension. I wish I could blog about some of it, but I'm not the only one affected, so this is one of those times that I have to respect other people's privacy and find an alternate route of expression -like exercise (coming soon!) or household organization (in process).
Anyway, other than the fact that I stayed up way too late last night watching Inglorious Basterds (go see it - I'm not normally a fan of rewriting history, but in this case it's totally awesome and justified), work was no big deal. We tested our new application upgrade for a couple hours and went home.
I came home to this:
A newly hatched Swallowtail Butterfly, freshly emrged from his chrysalis in our kitchen.
This is what he looked like when we first met him 16 days ago:
My friend Tracy brought him to work from her garden, just so my kids could enjoy a miracle.
I had meant to take him outside when it looked like he might be ready to come out, but I was starting to lose hope. Until you've watched the metamorphosis up close, you have no idea how unassuming and depressing a cocoon can look.
But just look at him! I am as amazed as the kids that a cocoon 1/6 of his size held this:
Isn't he gorgeous?
He wandered gracefully off into the yard and allowed us to follow for a few minutes.
The he flew to the top of the junipers.
He hung around the yard for about an hour before heading off to greener pastures. Note to self: Plant Flowers!
And look what else:
Grown from abandoned jack-o-lanterns.
We have a very laissez faire attitude about gardening.
It's a very good day to live and let live.
When I mentioned to Paul that I really needed to get a pedicure a few weeks ago, he threw a fit. He gave me a lecture on foot fungus, toe infections and the generally poor hygiene standards at salons. I see his point, of course, but my feet are a hygiene travesty by themselves. He offered to start giving me regular pedicures. I was charmed by the romance of it all. He was serious, though. He said if I found him "instructions" and bought the supplies, he's be happy to maintain my tootsies. I promptly did a google search and visited the "how to" site, and emailed him a few pages. Then I went and bought $20 of pedicure supplies.
Over the next couple weeks, I gave myself a couple foot soaks, trimmed my own cuticles, sloughed my own callouses, and applied my own lotion. I even attempted to polish my own nails. I have never been able to paint my nails without it looking like a kindergarten class project. Paul was preoccupied, but he still intended to give me my promised pedicure.
Today though, after a rough day at work, my friend Casey talked me into going with her to a real-life nail salon. Of course I was concerned for my health, and hated to deprive Paul of the intimate joy of shaving my callouses, but I thought it would be a fun way to relax after work.
Here is where I give you the REAL reasons that I rarely darken the door of a nail salon. When I got there, Casey was already soaking. I signed in on the clipboard, and tried to hold my breath before I passed out from the acrylic fumes. A masked man asked what I needed, and gave me some heavily accented, muffled instructions. I found the chair in the back in which I supposed to sit, but neglected to pick out nail color. So I tramped back to the front and chose a fun purplish-pink color. Then I waited for a tiny, attractive, graceful, Asian lady to come turn on my water and instruct me further. My feet soaked while Oprah interviewed some poofy haired cultists. The tiny, attractive, graceful, Asian lady (let's just go ahead and call her TAGAL) came and asked which pedicure I'd prefer off the menu. I was pretty happy with the results I'd been getting with my at home pedis, so I chose the 2nd level of intensity, the "ice-scrub" - more exfoliation than the "basic pedi", but not quite as brutal as the "callous treatment". She glanced at my feet and recommended the callous remover. I didn't want to anger her, so I agreed. Quickly.
TAGAL removed the remainder of my last poorly applied polish, and started working on my cuticles. After trimiming my nails and cuticles, she squirted some clear liquid on my foot that appeared to melt skin, and then began shaving my heels. I was horrified by the mountain of dead skin that she discarded on the towel. After that, she applied a foot scrub and started violently tickling my feet with an abrasive block. Of course I giggled the whole time! She was lucky I didn't mule kick her in the face! She then scrubbed my feet and calves, and then massaged my feet and calves for about ten minutes. About two minutes in, when she was massaging neon green exfoliant into my already flourescent calves and apparently deploring my whiteness to her colleague in a language I do not speak, I realized that I really need to shave. If you're keeping count, that's embarrassing moment #4. Thinking that it couldn't get much worse, I checked email on my phone. TAGAL interrupted me to ask me to open the nail polish. She couldn't open it. I had picked the only petrified, unopenable bottle in the place. Score! No prize. She slapped disposable sandals on my feet and I toddled back up to the front of the store and picked another bottle, and trust me, I tested it. It opened. After crawling back in my chair, TAGAL expertly polished my deformed little feet and then looked expectantly at me, saying "OK!". I eased out of the chair, taking my big fat purse and PLOPPING it down on my big fat toe!
There was no freaking way I was going to point out that big ole smudge, I just paid and left, people.
This is what happens when my kids grab my camera:
There is usually a dress up component::
Always some crazy poses:
And they love the self-portrait:
There are some blurry pics
There are some dark pics:
There are probably 20 pictures of Ari's nose:
And finally, a picture of Ari's beloved puppy, "Rainbow"
Yes, I'm afraid I am the type of person who uses nutsack in her post title and then immediately follows with a picture of adorable sleeping children. Note the remote control lovey.
So, I think I left off with the staining of the components. We were very tired and we were very sore. We got the bottom bunk sides assembled and then realized that we'd only bought half the bolts we needed. OOPS! Ok, so again I went to Lowe's. The saddest part of all of this is that every time I checked out, the cashier gave me my receipt and told me that if I brought it back in the next time I spent $50, I could get $10 off. Do you think I ever remembered to bring in my last receipt???
On this particular trip to Lowe's I learned an important lesson. It turns out that it's not enough to know the diameter of your bolt and nut. You must also know your thread gauge. Go figure. So, I went and bought the wrong freaking thread gauge. So my kids had a few more campouts in the living room. The important thing is, they are awfully cute.
The project had to take back seat to a six hour round trip road trip to St. Joseph, Missouri that I made to retrieve my 12 year old. Unbelievably, I was not in the mood to work on the bunkbed the next day.
Eventually, we made a trip to our local Sutherlands for the correct gauge nuts. We put them in a nut sack:
Paul could not resist the urge to ask the cashier to not fondle his nutsack. He could not resist showing his nutsack to the children, and he could not resist regaling the waitress with tales of his nutsack at dinner. He was sure to inform his WoW friends of the glories of his nutsack as well. Rarely in the history of the world has a man been so excited about a sack of nuts. As far as I know.
The important thing is, the nuts fit the bolts and we were able to assemble all the sides and ends, and it looked like a real bunkbed. We felt really good about ourselves. And our nutsack.
And then, finally, on the Fourth of July, we bought slat boards and installed them. We were able to put a mattress on the bottom bunk! There was great rejoicing.
Libby slept on the bottom bunk the first two nights, and then we made the ladder. It was quite an ordeal, but we're pretty proud of the results.
The kids are pretty pleased as well.
Ari only fell off the ladder two or three times and we didn't even have to go to the emergency room.
This is the picture of bedtime the first night in the new bed. It was extremely exciting!
Ari fell out of the bed the first night and slept on a pallet next to my bed until a friend took pity on me and gave me a removable bed rail. I love her a lot.
This bed meets federal safety standards for rail spacing, and it's sturdy enough to withstand an F-5 tornado.
I am still worried about splinters.