Sunday, June 17, 2012

Furniture Shuffle

After weeks and weeks of remodeling our little house on the corner, we are at that stage when we have to decide what furniture will stay and what will go. Mainly, what will go someplace else in the house.

I didn't want to keep any of it. Much of our furniture was bought for one purpose and one purpose only -- get us through the little kids who don't make it to the bathroom stage. It's not terrible expensive, not a perfect fit to our style, but was a perfect fit for expense when it came to what we were considering disposable furniture.

In the planning of our new spaces I think everyone in the family assumed there would be new furniture everywhere. What we didn't take into account is that we are challenged when it comes to making decisions. There's also that 6-8 weeks factor on furniture delivery. And last but not least, the "I'm attached to it, now" factor.

This final straw that we're asking the camel to carry about is really upsetting the kids. Please examine the shiny red table pictured here. It was a cheap find (in every sense of the word) at IKEA. I let the boys pick one each. They wanted them for LEGO stations in their own rooms. Mason picked a glossy red one, Coop a fancy black one. But now, I don't really want them and they do NOT want to get rid of them.

In this shuffle I have two towers of shelves that need to part ways -- one to find a new nook in our home the other to go to the first hungry college student who asks for it. Two squat bookcases that need new homes, but that I am having a hard time parting with because they are such high quality and surely we can find a spot for them. I've got to make a decision about the bedroom furniture that my husband's parents gave us. It's really pretty, but we don't have the full set and we're having a hard time matching it up to other pieces of furniture we do have. Argh. We absolutely won't be able to part with it. But where to showcase it?!??!!

Our big burly, red sectional found a new home in the basement. That was an accident. I fully intended for that to be thrown away. But you can't watch Rio on the big screen while sitting on the floor. It might be new, high quality carpet on a plush pad, but it's just not THAT comfortable. Not 6-8 weeks comfortable.

When the red beast found a new home downstairs it abandoned the front living room. So now I have one of my pet peeves, a welcoming room -- genuinely the first, and sometimes last, room visitors see -- empty but for toys. Children's toys. Oh and a lamp. We left the lamp there because we haven't found a new room for it, either.

Let's also chat a little bit about my plan to make the basement grey, chocolate brown, and tangerine. Now there's a big red elephant in the room.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bucket List

The Coop following a presentation he participated
in as a "leader" in an all-school assembly.

In an impromptu car interview with Cooper I asked him what he’d like to do this summer before school starts up again.  He didn’t take much time to mull over his reply. 

  1. Ride 19 miles with Dad (he meant on his bike).
  2. Get smarter.
  3. Have a garage sale.

In case you don’t understand what this list tells you about Cooper, let me explain a few things. The boy is driven and truly believes he can do just about anything – except sing in front of people. He won’t do that.

When he made this proclamation I wasn’t even surprised. My only worry was that he would actually rope me into a garage sale.

Then I realized he intended to ride 19 miles on a starter bike that had no gears and a slightly taco-ed front wheel. You could say, Cooper had for all the days of his riding career done so at one speed and with great resistance.

We bought him a bike.

He has since shown us his tremendous fortitude and determination to not only set goals but also accomplish them. He begs his father nearly every weekend to take him on a bike ride. Each time they venture just a little farther. To date they have gone about 10 miles in one trip. He’s halfway to his goal. I know he’ll reach it because I know Cooper.

Everyone on his swim team does, too.

At a recent practice meet – the first one of the season is designed to test the equipment and be a dry run for volunteers and swimmers – he showed how much gumption he really has.  Toward the end of the practice the college-aged coaches hopped up on the blocks for an expedition race. This is always fun and the “kids” do it just to show off to their swimmers. With no real expectation that anyone would volunteer the starter announced over the PA system, “Would anyone like to race the coaches?”

Cooper threw down his towel, scrambled to find his goggles and hopped up on the blocks alongside three very surprised, trim, able-bodied twenty-somethings. That got everyone’s attention. He swam a 50-meter breaststroke and he swam it legally. I walked down to cheer him on during his flip turn. He was smiling.

Of course everyone gave a hoot and a holler for his effort and the coaches stayed in the water to shake his hand following the race.

Now, wish me luck, because I have no intention of having a garage sale.