Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bathroom renovation pictures...

A few months ago I wrote about the water leak in our Master bathroom that led to a total renovation. It took awhile (about 4 weeks?) to complete, but I am so happy with the results. Here are a few "After" pictures...


We removed the old white marble that surrounded the jacuzzi tub and replaced it with new tile to match the existing tile floor. The mirrored sliding doors to the closet (framed in brass) were also removed and replaced with the white french doors (to the right of the tub in the picture).


We also changed out the brass faucet and replaced it with one that has a brushed silver finish. The result is a new clean look (when it is not covered in Barbies, baby dolls and bath toys).


The shower also got a face lift by removing the old white tile, brass enclosure and brass fixtures. We also enlarged the shower and got a new glass enclosure.

Finally, we updated the brass light fixtures (that looked like bare bulbs on a brass strip), removed the wallpaper and painted the walls a light green. The granite countertops were added over a year ago and now the rest of the room has been updated to match.
Both of the vanities and all the trim also got a fresh coat of paint to finish off the room. I am so happy it is finished and I love the results! By the way, it took me so long to post these pictures because my bathroom never stays this clean.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Motherhood Musings...

Friday night, Trey, Sophia and I were invited to dinner at a neighbor’s house down the street. The couple moved into our neighborhood about a year ago and the husband is a lawyer. We had consulted with him about establishing our wills (fun topic, I know) and he thought it would be more enjoyable to socialize while we talked business. Their children are grown, but they have met Sophia and invited her to come along for dinner too. I was a little worried about how she would behave in a house that does not normally see small children, but I packed up some toys, movies, and her tea party set to keep her entertained.

After getting over her initial fear of their very large but very old (and gentle) dog, she settled in to watch Surf’s Up and play Candyland. Just as we sat down to dinner in the dining room, Sophia immediately decided she needed to go to the potty. I excused us both and quickly took her to potty, wash hands, and return to the dinner table. No problem… until this happened again THREE MORE TIMES during dinner. After the first two or three times, I delegated potty duty to Trey so that I could at least try to eat some of my food. I still don’t know if Sophia was just having trouble going potty or if she just liked their bathroom (she told me it was “beautiful” when we walked in the first time).

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Sunday morning, Sophia and I were making pancakes for breakfast. She stood on her stool next to the counter while I let her help me mix the batter, and then I asked her to play with her coloring and sticker books while I poured perfect circles on the griddle (uh, yeah right). My pancakes are far from perfect – I tried to make a Mickey Mouse pancake for Sophia and passed it off as a kitty-cat after it ended up with pointy ears.

While I was flipping the pancakes, Sophia walked over and gave me a sticker to wear.

“Here, Mommy. Here is a cocodrilo for you.”

Admittedly, I was impressed with her dual language skills, but I realized that if my daughter can give me a crocodile sticker in Spanish then MAYBE she is spending a little too much time watching Dora the Explorer.

**Picture of Sophia finger-painting on Saturday (and proof that I do more than just let my daughter watch TV).

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The “S” word is banned; from now on we are supposed to refer to the new influenza virus as “Influenza A (H1N1)”. Regardless of the name, it is hitting a little too close to home here in Texas. On Friday, local school officials made the decision to close our entire school district due to up to 11 suspected cases of the virus. Since Sophia attends an in-home daycare, which has decided to stay open this week, she is not directly affected. However our daycare provider has two children who attend elementary school in the district and they will be staying home this week. I was assured that neither of their schools reported any suspected cases, but I still took the weekend to decide if I should send her to daycare this week.

Trey and I both work full time so staying home with her all week is not really an option (although my mother-in-law would more than likely offer to keep her if it was necessary). We are just trying to take precautions without panicking. Our decision was to skip swim lessons at the community pool on Saturday, but we still attended our friend’s First birthday party. We also stayed home from church and did not go to the playground on Sunday, Sophia played in the backyard instead. After checking to see if any of the kids were sick at daycare (they were not), we decided to let her go today. I am finding it difficult to make decisions about what is safe and what to safeguard her from…

Friday, May 1, 2009

Flashback Friday!

Can you remember what was going on in the world exactly one year ago? Well on April 30, 2008…
  • The remaining finalists on the 7th season of American Idol were: David Cook, David Archuleta, Syesha Mercado, Jason Castro and Brooke White

  • The US was in the middle of the Democratic presidential primary election with a close race between Senator Barak Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton. John McCain had already clinched the Republican nomination

  • The top songs on the Billboard Hot 100 was “Lollipop” by Lil Wayne and “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis

  • The price of oil was around $120/bbl and gasoline was averaging $3.24/gallon at the pump

  • Trey and I had just returned from our trip to Las Vegas
More importantly, on April 30, 2008, I officially launched my personal blog, The SUIRESPHERE. It is hard to believe that I have been a “blogger” for 12 whole months! Before that I was just an annoying person who sent really long, opinionated, impassioned emails to all my friends and asked them to send me comments back. If you have not been following me from the beginning, it might be fun to go back and read some of the archives.

When I first started blogging, I was very motivated about pursuing my dream of becoming a writer. Last summer, I even took an online beginner’s creative writing course at UNT (University of North Texas). Out of fear of sharing my thoughts with people in person, (and facing the horror of rejection) I enrolled in the online course where I could remain faceless and even post my writing under a fake name. When I started the class, I was intimidated but arrogant, highly self-critical but hoping I could impress the other students, eager to learn but secretly hoping the instructor would say that I was a fabulous writer - without putting in alot of hard work or effort. I'm sure this is how all the other students felt.

The best lesson I learned from the course was giving myself permission to say, “I am a writer.” I can call myself a writer simply because I choose to write every day. I enjoy it. It is part of my personality. I express myself best when my pen hits the paper; my thoughts become clearer and my emotions pour out. By blogging and sharing my thoughts with friends and family, I feel like I have found my voice.

Initially, I had imagined a future that could include writing a novel, freelancing for magazines, or publishing a collection of short stories. However, throughout the last year I have learned that my validation as a writer does not need to come in the form of a book or a byline. I am simply enjoying the process, the idea that I will have all of these memories saved to share with Sophia (and eventually Baby T). I still think of a future where I can spend more time writing, but at this point in my life it is not a priority or a goal. For now I have my career, my family, children to raise, and memories to put on paper…

You can probably tell that my motivation to write began to fade as the number of posts on my blog dropped off towards the end of the year (Seriously, I only posted 1 or 2 times a month in November, December, and January). This was mainly due to lack of free time and work issues. I was fighting the side effects of my pregnancy (mainly nausea and fatigue) while keeping up with the “busy time of year” at work and still being a good mom and wife at home. I am sure the same thing will happen towards the end of 2009 – with my free time being spent taking care of our new baby boy and working overtime at the office.

But I will still continue to write. In my personal journal, in my journal to Sophia, in letters to Trey, and when I find the time… on my blog. I am also thinking about taking another creative writing class this summer. I will still probably take an online course because I will be at home with Baby T on maternity leave. But this time, I just might get brave enough to use my own name in the class.

So what were you doing one year ago? Have you tackled any big fears in the past year? I would love to hear how the last year has changed you…

*A picture of Sophia one year ago. Maybe we have another aspiring writer in the family.