Displaced Yankee Chick in Texas

This blog chronicles my life as a displaced Yankee chick in Texas. I'm from the NY/NJ/PA area and quit my job 1.5 years ago to move to TX with DH and become a SAHM to our 3 kids (2 DDs and 1 DS). **Please note that names have been changed to protect the innocent.**

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

It's a done deal

DH and I met earlier today with B's kindergarten teacher regarding B's placement for next year. She is smart enough to move on, but emotionally she's not mature enough to move up to first grade. She has given me trouble about doing her homework, and complains about the first graders having homework every night. In fact, she has told us that she never wants to leave kindergarten. So we agreed that she should be "retained" in kindergarten next year. It really was a no brainer. She's a quick learner, but is reluctant, and is having trouble making friends. She no doubt would benefit from another year in kindergarten in order to mature.

I know it is the right decision for her, but I still can help but feel a little guilty that she is being "left back." I really need to get over the stigma.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Hall bath makeover, Part 2

Blogger wouldn't let me add more pix to my last entry, so here is the latest on the bathroom makeover:

I removed the tracks from the tub (with some help from DH). By the time I got around to cleaning the tub, it was last Thursday, the day my parents were arriving. I only had time to scrub out the tub and do a very preliminary scrape down of the gunk on the tub. There is regular white caulk and clear silicone on the tub and walls from where the sliding door tracks were. It is going to take some time and effort to get all of it off. In addition, I have to figure out how to cover up the three holes on each wall where the side rails were screwed into the shower enclosure. As a temporary measure I simply covered up the holes with some packing tape.

Here's how it looks today:

This is the tub without the guides. The crud on the tub is pretty gross, but I've gotten a lot of that up with some scrubbing.

This is the tub today, after some scrubbing and scraping.

This is the new shower curtain and rod. If you don't already have a crescent shower rod, you NEED one. They are fantastic! We had them in our last house and refuse to go without them. You can find them at Home Depot, Linens & Things, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. The guy who makes them is based in Houston, and when we got our last two, his was just a small time operation. Then he got a contract with Hilton and things have exploded for the guy. I'm very happy for him.

Hall bath makeover, Part 1

I had been planning on removing the wallpaper in the upstairs bathrooms, or perhaps taking the easy way out and just priming over it all and adding a nice light paint color. That still may happen for the girls' bathroom where I plan to get rid of the hunter green wallpaper and paint a very light blue; perhaps an off-white with a faint blue tint. A's bathroom, which is the hall bath, is another story.

The first week I was here we experienced a water heater leak. Water was dripping from a pipe and it had filled the drip/overflow pan. In other houses I've lived in this wouldn't have caused much of a problem. However, our water heaters (along with the AC condensers) are in the attic. Water leaked out of the pan and onto the ceiling of the second floor causing damaage to the hall by A's bedroom. I hadn't noticed any water stains in his bathroom until quite a while later. As it turned out, water leaked through the ceiling in the shower/toilet room of his bathroom and caused some of the paper to start peeling. So removing that section of paper has become a little project of mine. I had to stop work on it while my parents were visiting and make the bathroom habitable. Here are some pix of it:

This is the shower enclosure before I removed it. (Toilet is to the left, and the door opens inside to the right.)

This is the BLUE wallpaper. It seems to absorb all the light in the room, since there is only a 100w lightbulb in this part of the bathroom.

The shower enclosure looked halfway decent, but the doors didn't slide easily, and it was starting to rust out at the bottom closest to the shower head.

Here is where I removed the wallpaper. You can see some of the damage from the water in the corner and at the ceiling line. I have to finish stripping the wallpaper backing here, then patch the wall and ceiling, and then I can finally start priming and painting.

This shows the shower without the sliding doors. You can see how chewed up the bottom track for the doors is.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

B's first field trip with this school

Today B had her first field trip with the school down here. The entire kindergarten went to downtown to visit the Museum of Natural Science, and more specifically, the Butterfly Center.

The kids really seemed to enjoy seeing the dinosaur exhibit that greeted us upon our entrance to the HMNS. However, I think they were awed by all the butterflies at the Butterfly Center.

I dressed B in a pair of floral shorts and a bright pink shirt hoping that it would attract the 'flies. If any were, they were quickly shooed away by her frantic arm waving. She did not like having the creatures flying anywhere near her. *sigh* She also was not in the mood to have her picture taken. It's great to have a moody kid. At least she did a good job eating her lunch. After seeing the Butterfly Center and eating lunch the kids were able to run off some steam by running up and either running or rolling down the hill across the street from the HNMS.

I wore a teal outfit and a beautiful Blue Morpho butterfly landed on my hip. Needless to say I was mesmerized by it. The top photo is a picture of this butterfly with its wings open.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

It's been a while since I last blogged

Here's the quick update:

I finished painting the bedrooms upstairs (four bedrooms plus DH's office). I have some minor work left to do, like paint the trim in DH's office, and the closet and bedroom doors. But everything for the most part is done. About two or three weekends ago we took the kids to a Houston suburb and ordered S's big girl bed and some additional furniture. It should be here by early June. Her big girl bedding arrived yesterday and looks great with the wall color.

My parents were in for the long Easter weekend. We all had a blast with them and, of course, the visit went all too quickly for my liking. There were 15 people here on Saturday for a pool party/BBQ and only twelve for Easter Sunday dinner. I considered pulling out the china and having us all eat in the dining room, but instead we ate on Chinet out back. Much nicer being able to toss the plates instead of wash them. Must convince my parents to visit more often.

Here are some pix of the renovations, provided blogger allows me to upload pix:
Table bed in guest room.
Table bed with bed made.
B's room with new bedding.
S's room (same wall color as B's room).
S's new bedding.
A's room.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter weekend recap

My parents came in for a long Easter weekend and had a great time. I was like a crazy woman, working frantically last Thursday in an effort to finish everything before they arrived. Not everything got done, but it was going to have to be good enough. I left quite late for the airport but arrived in just about an hour's time, which was amazing, considering I left daycare at 5:40pm -- the height of rush hour.

DH had to fly to Cleveland the day before and his flight was scheduled to arrive about 15 minutes after my parents' flight. We ended up waiting a long time for his luggage to arrive, and by then the kids were nuts -- tired and hungry. On the way home we picked up dinner at Chick-fil-A.

Once the kids were finished, B gave my parents a tour of the house. She was their "tourman". LOL. Put the kids in bed and crashed.

Friday we put the little ones in daycare and B (who had off Thurs and Fri) stayed with the 'rents, DH and myself. Mom, B, and I went to Sam's Club to pick up food for Saturday's barbeque and Sunday's Easter dinner. Then we met DH and Dad at a local NY style pizzeria for lunch. Then back home to unload the cooler full of food. Once that was done, we wound up cleaning out my van since dad and I were going to Home Depot to get us a new patio set. The guys at HD took their time finding the set I wanted (they first brought me the chairs on a dolly, out of the box, with no hardware to assemble them), and then they took damn near forever to find the forklift to get the box down from on top of the display case, where they had an intact box of chairs. The afternoon was spent assembling the furniture.

We had planned to go out to dinner someplace for seafood, since it was Good Friday, but decided instead to stay home and eat the shrimp cocktail tray we earlier bought at Sam's. We also celebrated my mom's birthday a few weeks late with a delicious mint chocolate chip ice cream cake that we got at HEB. Later that night while DH and dad snoozed on the couches, mom and I hung out in the spa. It was great.

Saturday our church had an Easter Egg hunt, so we got the kids ready and my parents and I took them over to it. While we were there DH vacuumed the house WITHOUT me asking!! I was needless to say thrilled when I came home and discovered that he had realized it needed to be done and had gone ahead and done so. The kids enjoyed the egg hunt, but I think the little ones were more excited to open and close the eggs than look for more.

Saturday afternoon my aunt, uncle and cousins came over. My dad's brother lives in Houston, probably about an hour away from us. My cousin T and her two kids live on the other end of my town, about 30 minutes away. My other cousin J and his wife and son live closer to Galveston, so they're probably at least an hour and a half away. The younger kids were in the pool, along with DH, myself and T. The other adults hung out both inside and outside and caught up.

Sunday morning we attempted to go to Mass, but we were late, and there was absolutely no room inside the church. We tried standing in the hallway, but we couldn't hear a darn thing, so we finally gave up. I took my parents on a tour of our area, including a drive by the local HS. The thing is about a mile long and looks like what we Yankees would consider a community college. It really is amazing how big some things are down here. We had a delicious buffet brunch at our country club. Before we started eating we went outside for some pictures. The kids were hungry, as were the adults, so I just snapped a few and didn't really care how they came out. That is pretty evident from the pix I got.

Sunday afternoon my aunt, uncle, and cousin T and her kids came over for dinner. The kids again swam in the pool with DH and the gals cooked and dad and his brother had time to catch up. After dinner we sang Happy Birthday to uncle who turned 72 yesterday. My dad was a change of life baby for my grandparents, and he couldn't be more different from my uncle if he tried. It's amazing to think sometimes that they actually have the same parents. LOL!

Sunday night after the kids were in bed DH, my parents and I sat in the spa for a while. It was great. I think we all felt refreshed after a nice long soak.

Monday we took it easy. B went back to school but I kept the little ones home. We went out to Pappadeaux for lunch so my parents could have some yummy cajun food. After B got home we packed up the car to take my parents to the airport. It was very difficult for B to say goodbye to them (and it was for me as well). B cried a lot in the terminal, and I teared up. To cheer her up we let her choose where we'd get dinner. Once she got her Happy Meal and toy from the new movie "The Wild", she was happy.