Benjamin Moore’s Silhouette went up on the curved wall in our family room today. Jeff sent me this first picture at work. We love it!

What you can’t see is that the color we did around the dining area and kitchen (BM’s Weimeraner) appears to be having a bad reaction with our floor and the “red” in the room because it took on a very mauve/pink tone that we are just not digging. Luckily, Karl the Painter rocks and has offered to repaint it for us, so we spent part of yesterday trying out some new samples and have narrowed it down to one or two we think will work really well. For the time being, tomorrow he’s on to the garage entry/mudroom area and bathroom just off this room, which will both be painted the same two colors you see here (Cotswald in the mudroom; Silhouette on walls and ceiling of the bathroom).

Benjamin Moore’s Silhouette (main wall) and Cotswald (upper wall)

BM's Silhouette at night (with Spurs game on, of course)

nightmare on 96th avenue

They’re baaaaack! Yep, we thought we had heard the last of our home buyer friend, Doug Kienzle, when I had asked him for written proof of his right to take $310 out of our security deposit to help pay the cost of his mortgage above and beyond our agreed-upon rent payment during the 60 days we were there (not to mention the rest of it for random cleaning costs) and heard nothing back from him. Of course, this is pretty much par for the course of how he handles matters, so we let it be and assumed we had heard the last of him. And we might have. Until, in late January, he contacted the title company to request the payout of the $500 deposit that had been sitting in escrow and undoubtedly, much to his disappointment, they contacted us to double-check that we were in agreement with dispersing the funds to the Kienzles. As a matter of fact, no we’re not in agreement. Not at all.

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let the transformation begin

Loving our new house as I do, I don’t love everything about its current state. Which is, of course, one of the things that made it appealing. There was an opportunity to tackle all sorts of “little” projects. Right after we win the lottery.

But like I mentioned recently, one of the super duper priorities – vs. just the super priorities – is getting rid of the numerous yellowish/creamish walls. After getting a few estimates, last night we finalized an agreement with Karl the Painter. We can’t afford to have him do the whole house, but he’s handling a good chunk of it for us. I met with him this morning to review some specifics (you know, little things like which color goes where) and after that, he was off and running. Stay tuned.

Formal living area

talking trash

As part of my effort to re-engage in normal life at the beginning of 2012, I decided to sign up to volunteer in Ian’s classroom. It’s just one half-morning a month, but makes me feel like I’m doing something to contribute to his education and attempting to get to know his teacher a little better. It also helps in the motherhood guilt department. Of course, it might have been nice if I had started that in September, but frankly with all we had going on, at that point I was lucky to make it to work every day. Plus, better late than never, right?

So, Friday was my first volunteer gig – actually for a special event. His class was having a parade through the school to recreate the dragon dance that is part of the lantern festival for Chinese New Year, followed by a little class party with “traditional” Chinese fare: tea, fried rice, a fortune cookie and a piece of mango candy. Some other parents and I helped set up for the party, serve the kids and clean up. Ian was really excited that I was there in his classroom, which alone made the whole thing worth it.

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the reader

Every Monday night Ian comes home with two new books that he checked out at the library that day. This week he brought home two books from the “Fly Guy” early reading series so he could “practice his reading,” he told us. I noted (to myself) that this was a great improvement over last week when he brought home some Star Wars chapter book that looked like it was for a teenager. I digress.

So, last night I casually pointed to the books as I passed by and told Ian we’d have to sit down with them “soon.” Translated: I don’t want to do it right now, but it’s on my good-mother-to-do list. At which point he said, “Well, I’m already on chapter three of this one!” “Oh, did you read some while you were in the library?” “Yeah,” he says. Okay, I thought. That’s nice.

Then…wait a second…that’s more than nice. You read! A book! On your own! “Ian,” I said, “I think that’s the first time that you’ve sat down and read something all by yourself, isn’t it?” A big smile engulfs his entire face: “Yes! It is!” He was so impressed with himself that a few minutes later he apparently decided he no longer needed me. He plopped down with the book and began reading out loud to us on his own.

Wow, I think we’ve just about got ourselves a real live reader. I love it.