(I know I know, I should be ashamed of myself for pulling out these old chestnuts but I just can't help myself. It's a disease.)
We are definitely winning the battle of the box...we're not there yet, but we're getting there. Phew. And have you ever seen anyone quite so happy to push big heavy boxes around with his dad? Pretty damned cute...for 10pm. That's what you get when Coley falls asleep in the middle of the afternoon (whilst watching motor racing with the father figure)...a very happy little helper who wakes up way after his sister's in bed and dreaming about fluffy bunnies and dancing skirts. Love that nappy bum!
Guess what I'm planning on doing this weekend? This is just on 2.5kgs of gorgeous merino (and some silk-merino blends in there for trials) and this wet grey weekend will hopefully offer up a few little pockets of time to get in some dyeing. The shop is desperately overdue for an update, and I have a little interest from some retailers here so I need to get this sorted. And I afeeling rather wanty for some skeinwinders to speed up the process...a swift gets old fast. And no, of course I'm not planning on doing this as a way of avoiding unpacking those remaining boxes, sorting out my sewing studio, or putting together the last three shelving units whose instructions are designed by the very devil himselfintricate No, not that at all, perish the thought!!!
I have been rendered mute. At this stage the jury's still out on whether this is part of the same lurgy that seems to have been keeping me company since we returned to Aotearoa, or a whole new exciting one. Either way, I ain't saying much. D is doing his best to cope with the extreme departure from the norm and the shock of a silent wife. Immy told me off this morning for talking like a baby (apparently babies are known for their whispering) and asked if I needed to get a baby in my tummy to help push my voice up in my mouth. erm.
And have you tried going out to run a few errands with 2 possesseddemented enthusiastically energetic small children when you have no voice? Yeah, it's a science experiment I wouldn't recommend to the faint-hearted!
That said, we've been managing to keep ourselves entertained whilst I try and figure out what to do with my sewing room (trying to sort out the organisation before the contents of all those boxes have been thrown around and piled in heaps on the floor. For a change). Today's pics are some of the 50+ that resulted from them hanging out with the little camera yesterday morning. (If you look behind Immy where she's holding up one of her favourite books and ignore the disaster zone of their room first thing in the morning, you'll see the orange bookshelf finally did become - at least partially - orange. And it only took another bucket of money, three new products and 6 coats of *even brighter* orange. Score.)
I'm very happy (and more than a little relieved) to report that mum came through the surgery well, and is recovering. Cole, Imogen and I went over to see her yesterday (she was operated on in Tauranga) and whilst she was a bit ashen and looked very uncomfortable, she came through like a trooper and the kids were much relieved to see Grandma smile. In an attempt to make her smile more, they offered her plenty of bounces on the trampoline...man, if you ever want to make someone who's just been gutted bellybutton to sternum wince, then i heartily recommend suggesting they go trampolining! Poor wee thing.
I unpacked the sewing machine yesterday morning to whip up a little get-well-soon love. I made her a coughing cushion, because, well, my inner nana is a strong force indeed. The idea is that she can hold the cushion against her stomach whenever she needs to cough, sneeze, laugh and so on. I know I only have caesareans as experience, and nothing anywhere near the level of trauma and stitching that mum is dealing with, but I remember feeling like I was ripping myself apart whenever I laughed or coughed in the beginning, and hope this will help mum a little. So that, a quick little photo album of grandbabies, some Snifters (you would not believe the money I paid for these near-extinct lollies that just happen to be mum's most favourite treat. Bidding wars, people, bidding wars!) and a pic of her 5 progeny, and we were all set. Cole and Imogen selflessly volunteered their unwrapping skills for grandma...they're givers like that.
What my mum made: Mikyla, Aleicha, moi, Aaron, Gareth. We weren't able to get one with mum as well as Gareth flew in as a surprise and by the time he got there mum was asleep thanks to the kickass drugs they'd been giving her for pain.
...and now I really need to go and try to make some sense of the sewing room...so far we have a machine on the desk, the whirlwind after effects of yesterdays hurried makings, and eleventy billion full boxes. Piece of pie.
...and I have to admit that I often find that song blaring in my head whilst I watch the munchkins tear around the driveway on their beloved bikes. These wheeled lovelies are such a hit, in fact, that Cole even invented his own alter-ego - *Helmet Boy* - which he becomes whenever he dons his skid lid.
And I double-dog dare you to even try walking down to the mailbox without a tricycle guard of two.
PS. See what's in Immy's trailer? Yep, no doubt about it, she's definitely my girl!
Today is a bit nervy. Early this afternoon, my mum is undergoing some major surgery after a growth the size of a football was discovered in her abdomen a fortnight ago. It's kind of a big deal. And I am a tad nervous. I told the kids about this this morning, and how we will go over to Tauranga (where she's having the surgery) tomorrow to visit her in hospital. And then Cole went off to ride his beloved bike. A few minutes later, he was back, with flowers he had taken upon himself to pick for Grandma. Pansies for thoughts, indeed.
Now, my mum is an indomitable spirit at the very least, and more than a few jokes have been made about what exactly the growth consists of, at least in part to pretend that it could never be anything serious. But nevertheless, there'll be a little prayer for her health and safety, and for the surgeon's careful, steady hands, this afternoon.
...is a project that is likely to give you ample opportunity to revisit every swear word ever to have passed your lips or your aural cavities. At least twice. Turns out, painting MDF is possible, but requires a bazillion steps, some serious priming and a hearty cocktail of some pretty potent nasties to get the paint to adhere. and stay there. I know this because Auntie Google told me so.
Unfortunately, I forgot to ask Auntie Google until after I had tried to wrestle 2 coats of regular old waterbased interior paint onto the damned MDF, and was getting increasingly frustrated that it wasn't going on well, wasn't adhering or drying, and generally was just becoming an unsightly burnt orange cockup in the garage. oops.
This was going to be a quick and simple project - paint a cheapie cube bookshelf that we got on sale from Warehouse Stationery a nice rich, burnt orange to add a little oomph to the kids' room and tie in the colours. Then pop it between their beds, pile on the books and stand back and feel a little pleased with yourself. erm, a few hiccups in there so far.
The good news: an under-the-kitchen-sink goldilocks scourer (thank you previous owners for leaving that! Double thanks for leaving it unused) and a hearty helping of elbow grease is all it took to remove the offending paint. 4 hours, the imminent death of goldilocks and 3 washes with Sugar Soap and I have the 5 inner pieces all sparkling and white again. And the suspicion that the left half of my body may be out of commission for the next 3 days...
The not so good news: there are still 4 pieces to go. The largest ones. And their exterior frame, as it turns out, have a different finish that seems to strip as I remove the paint. Crap. So let's recap....I have half a bookshelf an unholy scraped mess that resembles the after effects of the Battle of Valencia (get it? nyuk nyuk) and no way of removing the paint without completely destroying the finish. This is the bit where I have to wrestle myself to the ground to overcome the desire to do unspeakable things with planks of mdf and not-quite-mdf.
So, to make things better, I go off and spill the beans to D who is at work and has therefore bypassed the orange massacre incident. He was gracious enough to keep the eye rolling to a dull roar, but was mostly disappointed that since I'd started - all gungho and enthusiastic (bull at a gate, anyone?) - before he had given any feedback on my Great and Clever idea about painting it in the first place - he couldn't properly say *I told you so*. And that pained him greatly.
But don't panic! I have a plan to remedy this catastrophe, and have the unit working and even looking cuter than originally intended! Stay tuned, because really, what could possibly go awry?
...so utterly over boxes and blank newspaper and piles of everything everywhere, that I can't even bring myself to take an artsy photo of boxes to illustrate this post. And I'm finally on the mend from the nastiest cold-flu-wintery lurgy. yuck. The good news...I. love. this. house.
Seems to go at least that much for everyone else chez Campbell as well, which is very very good news. The driveway is perfect for tricycling, there are so many little nooks and crannies and cupboards to explore. The spa pool almost makes up for the lack of a beach on our doorstep for the littles. I still swoon a little every time I see my kitchen. Everything is all lovely and sparkly and delish. And ours. Oh yay!
Hopefully by the end of the week, we'll be making real headway in the unpacking realms, the second coat will have applied itself to the studio's walls (dayglo lime green = not my preferred choice for studio walls! Thankfully the only room in the house necessitating an immediate fix!) and I can start playing in there. And get back into things. Bring it on I say!
In the meantime, here's a little smile...an oldie, but a goodie. I sing it to myself when faced with another tower of boxes...
I am so excited to decorate and set up Cole and Imogen's new room, and to make the quilts for their new single beds. It's a bit of a milestone, that. They've been in their cribs until we left the white house in the Seychelles, though have had no sides on their cribs since about 20 months.
(Spider monkeys seek out my children for climbing tips. Not even kidding.)
But you know, with all this excitement and whatnot comes the very real little grip in my gut that reminds me that these extraordinary little people are growing up so fast. A little too fast actually, for their sentimental old mama be comfortable with. These photos were from D's birthday on 29th Feb last year. Oh my...only 18 months ago. sob.
Finally...yes, we sprang for a new suit for the old sea dog.
And yes, the kids are still nicking the good lollies!