This old house


Paint paint paint.

Sand sand sand.

Trip over garbage.

Spill paint on the carpet.

Knock over three half-drunk Diet Dr. Peppers.

Reheat Taco Bell burritos in the microwave.

Try to peel the stuck paper off the tortilla. Oh well, it's just fiber.

You're sanding that?? I already put two coats of paint on it! It was perfectly fine!

You've done what? That's it?

Pass the step ladder. Well, I need it too!

Should we wipe the wet paint off our feet before getting into bed, or do we care at this point?

Oops, I liked that shirt.

Tell me it's worth it. That when all the dust is swept up and the empty paint cans are tossed out that this place will look like something resembling a home. That the Ikea furniture we just bought makes any sense at all in this room. That we'll get a real schedule here sometime soon. Please.

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Ikea: the ultimate test of one's marriage


I'm writing this again from my blackberry (wooo!) As we drive an XTerra so heavy laden with Ikea treasures that it is similar to what I might imagine driving a 500 pound woman down the freeway would be like. We spent way too much money (incidentally we spent about the same amount furnishing an entire house - albeit a small, shoebox sized house - as we spent on a living room set for our portland apartment in another life).

Our car is jam packed. I have three inches of leg room and a frantic dog on my lap. If I lean forward too much I'll smack my head on the windshield - this is one of those very few instances in which not being the size of a normal adult comes in handy. That Natalie, she doesn't need leg room!

We spent 5 hours driving to Ikea, 5 hours wandering around aimlessly throughout the giant store, 10 minutes smiling politely at my ex-boyfriend (seriously!), 2 hours finding the stuff in the warehouse (seriously, what? I have to do this myself?) And then another 2 hours trying to get it all in the car.

Halfway into locating our furniture in the giant self-service warehouse Brandon had this genius idea:

"They should offer marriage counseling after checkout for all the couples who nearly divorce while picking out Swedish coffee tables."

"Oh yeah? We could totally use that right about now, couldn't we?"

"Yeah. I'm thinking a certified professional and a couple golf clubs, and we can just beat eachother senseless until all the rage is gone."

"And baseball bats. Metal ones."

"And then we could hug it out."

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Pooping and chewing


Every night like clockwork, as Brandon and I are sleeping off the exhaustion of work and painting and dust inhalation, Peter Pan wakes up, hops off the bed, and poops by the bedroom door. At first it was diarrhea. Then it was just poop. This morning it was just poop three separate times. Somehow I've managed to sleep through every last one of these little rituals, and every morning Brandon fills me in on the poo escapades while I'm putting on my make-up.

To hear Brandon describe it, Peter Pan wakes up with a start, leaps heroically off the bed, lays his treasure, then scrambles over to Brandon's side of the bed and hops on his back legs trying frantically to get back up onto the bed (the bed isn't high, and Peter Pan is rather tall. He's just averse to effort, you see). Brandon will wake up just long enough to hoist the dog onto the bed and see the poop pile. He wakes up, turns all the lights on in the house, cleans up the mess and goes back to bed.

Why Peter Pan thinks it's okay to poop in the house is beyond me. We've been struggling with re-potty training him since we moved here. It's a bigger house (tragically tiny, but still bigger than our last place) and there are places for him to hide and times when we aren't all in the same room together (this has done wonders for our patience level with each other). And then, to be honest, we just haven't spent much time loving the puppy like we used to. Half the accidents are ploys for attention, I know that, because the pee spots are barely the size of quarters and when we get after him and tell him NO! in our sternest voice, he gets excited and wags his tail and tries to get us to chase him. And the dude gets three walks a day. Long walks. Long Brandon walks, which usually take over a half hour and involve different terrain levels, many different neighborhoods, and a closing game of fetch in the empty field behind the middle school.

Ah but we love him, the raggedy twerp, so I guess we'll hold off feeding him to the cougars... for now, anyway.

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