I am beyond the math here. Someone help me out.
Our tradition of me taking each of the boys shopping and out to eat individually looked a little different this year. We weren’t going to leisurely peruse stores for gifts, and we weren’t going to be eating inside any restaurants. But we still had fun.
Miles and I hit Target and then Five Guys. Is there anything more depressing than eating burgers on a gray, cold day at an outdoor table next to the parking lot and a busy commercial thoroughfare? I guess there is but I don’t want to hear about it. At least the burgers were delicious and Miles wasn’t complaining.
Oliver and I had a similar journey, but his requested meal was Popeye’s, so we had no choice but to bring our chicken sandwiches home. I was not sad about that. There are no photos of this jaunt.
Linus and I went to have brunch at Tartine, which has a lovely outside patio. One could say he lucked out. They have the most delicious baked eggs in brioche, which I can never not get. Yum.
Christmas Eve was pretty quiet. We had some incredibly delicious steaks that Kristina and Mike sent us. I was terrified of overcooking them, so maybe I went in the opposite direction (well, not for me – there’s no such thing as undercooking a steak to me) but no one complained.
Steak is our traditional Christmas Eve dinner, and we were able to partake in most of our other Christmas Eve traditions as well. Like…making the boys put on their Christmas stockings to show how much they’ve grown.
(I made them sit in front of the fire. Hee hee)
The first time I made them do this, they were much smaller.)
And we read The Night Before Christmas…
No one got a very good night’s sleep that night. The smoke detector right outside the bedrooms started chirping at 4am. Delightful! It took me forever to get back to sleep. At least the boys let me sleep until 7. Zzzz.
The boys got a gaming PC, or rather, all of the parts to build one. George put it together with their help later that day. They were surprised and thrilled with that gift. I got a giant Ziggy blanket (among other things) so I can’t complain. (Also a big pack of my very favorite socks from Kiki, which may sound lame was is absolutely not.)
Our oven broke sometime earlier this month, I can’t even remember when, so I decided I’d get a ham and cook it in my instant pot. That plan didn’t go well, so I gave the ham away and decided to do a charcuterie board instead on this gorgeous board that Steph MADE me! She MADE this! Isn’t it gorgeous?!?!
I was able to heat up the bread on the grill, which I might always do now. It was so good.
And that was about it for Christmas. It was quiet, but it was good.
They were very excited to get their gifts this morning. I promised not to post the whole video, but what we did (this was my friend Stephanie’s suggestion) was fill a box with boring things like socks and underwear and Axe deodorant (I couldn’t bring myself to get the body spray) and call it their “Teenager Survival Kit” or something, but hidden at the bottom was an iPhone.
Here’s a gif of Oliver’s reaction (LOM):
Obviously I’m sad we can’t celebrate like we normally would, but let’s face it, they just want to be on their new phones anyway.
My sweet boys at the bus stop.
Grandee and Larry came for Thanksgiving. We had zero vegetables.
Ziggy has been cute, as usual. We got our Christmas tree up!
Random leftover photos. Finally got the fabric for my cape! I was going to make it over Thanksgiving break, but I didn’t have the pattern yet. But it’s coming soon! Also the delicious beet salad I made. I like making things that are yummy.
Now it’s December 2 and the boys will be 13 in two days and I cannot believe it.
What are they up to right now? Enjoying their new room, even still keeping it neat! Playing Football Manager and Fortnite. Not doing enough summer reading. About to start reminding themselves what math is to prep for a placement test. Though surely keeping track of football team standings and scores and all that stuff is keeping their brains sharp? Mmhmm. School starts virtually in a couple of weeks, so I’m frantically trying to get three desks set up around the house.
Finally! We are (almost, nearly) finished with the boys’ room makeover. Since there wasn’t going to be on a vacation this summer, I figured, why not spend that money on sometime more tangible. And the boys’ room was ripe for a makeover. The last time I did anything substantial to their room was 7 years ago when their beds were built.
Now. If I could go back in time, I’d tell myself NOT to paint the room dark navy and the beds dark gray. (Well, one would hope I’d use my time travel for more important purposes, but trust me, this weekend there was nothing more important.)
Let’s get to the good stuff first…before and after pictures. I admit, their room was in quite a state when I took the before pictures. But if I’d waited for them to clean it up just so I could take before pictures, well, I wouldn’t have paint in my hair right now.
Okay, so I didn’t do a great job taking pics of the same angles, but you get the idea. Here are a few more:
Here is what we did:
- painted the walls Alabaster (Sherwin Williams) and the trim (beds included) ultra reflective white (SW.) I wish I’d gone with Behr paint, but SW was having a sale. I feel like the good Behr paint covers better and is about the same price as Sherwin Williams Cashmere on sale. Oh well.
Aside: on the advice of a friend, I got a paint sprayer and it really helped the primer go on quickly. And it was fun. But I didn’t want to put expensive paint in it (it has to be thinned) so it didn’t get as much use as I would have hoped. But it’s nice to have.
- got these LED lights. This was basically what the room was designed around. They wanted light walls to show off the LED lights better. Ha!
- got a rug from Amazon. It’s soft and squishy and was super cheap. We don’t do rugs in our house, so I didn’t want to spend a ton in case it didn’t work out.
- removed all of the posters and (sniff, sniff) stickers from the walls. The original theme of the room (when the boys were 3, mind you) was “under the sea” so there were sea creatures everywhere. Linus was particularly sad to have to remove these Easter stickers he got from his preK-4 teacher.
- took down the ratty “curtains” that have been up forever (really just pieces of fleece on clips) and got light blocking 2.5″ faux wood blinds.
- put a set of their cubicles that were next to the old dresser into the closet instead.
- bought a new dresser! Real furniture! The one that was there before was a hand me down from a friend. I really think this was the first piece of furniture I’ve ever bought that didn’t have to be put together. (I mean, I love IKEA, don’t get me wrong, but I wanted something a bit more grown up, and that I could see in person first.)
- used some of the 46 zillion soccer jerseys the boys have to decorate the wall behind the dresser. Hung their team scarves on the walls around one of the windows.
- moved the TV and Xbox to the dresser so the desk can be used for school, since it will be at least partially virtual this year.
- got a butterfly chair from Target to make it more comfortable to rot their brains.
There are still a few things left to do, but I am burned out, so they’ll have to wait a bit.
- install hooks on the back of the door for coats and jackets
- re-hang a shelf with hooks in the desk nook for all of their medals and whatnot
- hang the soccer team photo
I think that’s it? Overall, we are all very happy with the updated room. But I swear, I am never painting again.
I photographed and edited and posted this all from my phone. What can I say, I took Friday off work and didn’t want to go near my computer.
Not a super exciting fourth for us. I made pita bread and cake though, and we used some old sparklers. So yay.
I took this on time, but I mean, you know, who cares if it’s not posted on the right day? What is a day? What is time? So here you go, the 148th monthly pic. Ooh, we’re almost up to 150! I wonder if we’ll still be locked down for 150? I don’t want to think about it.
The boys are doing well. They miss their friends. They miss school. (This is unusual.) But they are handling all of this much better than I’d have expected. I used to complain about them never wanting to go anywhere. Now I’m grateful they’re homebodies.
Also, they are all the same height, despite what the picture might indicate. Just different levels of slouchiness. Getting them to take the picture is enough of a battle, forget posture.
We made a quick trip to Baton Rouge, just for the day, so the monthly picture was taken in front of Grandee’s garage door. Could they be any more handsome? Possibly I am biased, but I think not.