Jan 24, 2016: All Play and No Work

Well, the blog title isn’t all true—I did work Tuesday through Thursday, and Chris worked Tuesday through Friday. But we all had MLK day off on Monday (except Sam), and Theo had Friday off as well, which meant I had to take the day off (not that I minded!).

Sam’s preschool is technically also a daycare, so that’s why they were open on MLK day. I thought about keeping Sam home since the rest of us were off, but it’s nice for Theo to get some time with Chris and I on his own, so we dropped Sam at school and then headed out for a play date with Gavin, then a bit of shoe shopping. It ended up working out well because keeping track of Sam at Chuck E. Cheese is not exactly my idea of a grand time, and that’s where we were meeting Gavin. Theo and Gavin had a great time playing games, and Sam isn’t really old enough for most of the stuff there anyway, so he didn’t miss much!

After a couple of hours at Chuck E. Cheese, we took Theo to the mall. It’s funny—when we lived in blistering-hot Sacramento, we used to go to the mall all the time just to wander around in the air conditioning and let Theo play at the play area. We rarely bought anything, but we were just there all the time because for a good chunk of the year, it was the only cool place where you could go walk around and not spend any money! But now that we’ve moved to the Bay Area, where it’s noticeably cooler, we’ve been to our mall exactly twice in four years. Monday makes the third time we’ve been. But we were on a mission! The Stride Rite store was closing and having a mega-sale, and that particular brand of shoes happens to fit Sam’s short, fat feet quite well—and they are pretty sturdy and last quite a bit longer than cheaper shoes. So I decided to stock up for both boys in the next several sizes, so they can grow into them. I ended up getting nine pairs for $180! Given that they are normally roughly $45-$55/pair, I was pretty ecstatic! The boys definitely shouldn’t need shoes for quite some time now.

Friday Theo was off for a teacher in-service, so he and I went to the chiropractor (exciting, I know—I’m such a fun date!), then to lunch, and then to pick up some rain boots for his “camping” trip on Saturday. It’s surprisingly challenging to find rain boots in January! I guess most people buy them earlier in the season. But anyway, Kmart had them, so it’s all good.

I put “camping” in quotes because the campout actually was modified due to rain and mud. As I mentioned last week, this was the camping trip that was rescheduled from September (a much nicer time of year to camp!). We’ve gotten quite a bit of rain over the past week or two, so I guess the campground was a mud pit. So the people organizing the campout decided that people would not stay overnight, but instead it would be a day/evening event. So Chris and Theo went to the campsite in the early afternoon, where the boys did a scavenger hunt and other fun outdoor activities, and then the Weeblos (am I spelling that right???) made dinner and dessert for all the campers, which they enjoyed around a campfire. I’m told a muddy, wet, good time was had by all! I guess it rained pretty hard in the early part of the event, but then the rain stopped and it was just muddy, muddy, muddy. Naturally, the boys didn’t mind. 😉

While Theo and Chris wallowed in the mud, Sam and I headed up to Sacramento to see Grandma Diane! We had a nice lunch out and then just hung out and chatted and ate some dinner before heading back. Sam got to show off his mad flashcard skills for Grandma!

We decided Sunday would be Home Improvement Sunday, because Grandma Diane had given us a 15% off coupon for Home Depot. So we headed over there and bought new light fixtures for the three bathrooms, plus new towel bars, new toilet-paper holders, and materials to repaint the bathroom cabinet in the boys’ bathroom.

The bathrooms and kitchen have been on our radar to update ever since we bought the house. The kitchen is a big project that needs to wait for much more money, but the bathrooms are much more doable. The showers are actually in good shape, even though there’s nothing at all fancy about them. (That is, they look like 1990s builder-grade showers, but they work just fine. Anyone on an HGTV home-improvement show would undoubtedly cringe and say they need to be updated, but they’re clean and in reasonably good shape, so they’re staying for the foreseeable future.) And the toilets are all new because…well, the toilets didn’t work when we bought the house. 🙂 And the floors are all new because…well, the floors were disgusting when we bought the house, and one had to come out because of some plumbing issues anyway!

So we’ve been watching a lot of home-renovation shows lately, and I finally decided it was time to try our hand at a few inexpensive DIY projects that hopefully will improve the overall look of the dated bathrooms! The towel racks were an easy change, along with the TP holders. The light fixtures should have been easy, but of course they didn’t turn out to be. The builder appears to have botched installing the lights in the master bath, so when we removed the old fixtures, we found large holes in need of patching. Luckily, I am semi-skilled at patching drywall thanks to all of the patching I had to do when I was painting the house before we moved in. (I say semi-skilled because I’ll be honest…my texturing is awful. But I can adequately patch and plaster a hole—it just doesn’t look as lovely as if a professional did it.)

And what do you know—there were no junction boxes when the light fixtures were installed originally! So Chris had to run out to the hardware store and buy junction boxes and cut into the drywall to install those. Cutting drywall was a bit daunting, but he did an admirable job, and I’m pleased to say that within four hours, we had three light fixtures installed and working, along with three towel bars and a towel ring.

The other part of the project is redoing the water-damaged bathroom cabinet from the boys’ bathroom. It’s that 1990s yellow “oak” look that I’m not fond of, so I wanted to paint it anyway…but what made it worse is that it had a bunch of water damage, so it didn’t even look like decent yellow-y “oak.” And it’s a small cabinet, so I figured it was a good trial piece. I mean, even if I botch it, it can’t look much worse than it already does!

As it turns out, it has some nice mold on the inside of the door, too. Sigh….

So anyway, that was our weekend! Want to see some cute Sam videos before this week’s gallery? Here’s one of Sam trying to identify “Alex” in a book he likes. Poor Alex’s name sounds rather unfortunate, doesn’t it?! I can’t decide whether it’s better or worse than Percy, who he calls “Piss”!

And then there’s Sam running around like a silly boy because I told him he could have bacon for dinner!

And this one cracked me up because he is quite certain of which particular song he wants to hear on iTunes, and he keeps saying “No!” until he gets to the one he wants—at which point he dances!

And last but not least, here he is doing the Hokey Pokey at preschool. That’s him you hear going “Hoooooooe!” and “Poooooooe!” as he sings along!

And then of course, the gallery of pictures. Enjoy!


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