Oh, my! My angel baby just swept out the door with his Mother.  And, all I can do is sit here…right here on this bar stool.  I can’t move or get up or laugh or cry or anything.  I’m going to write a post because I only have to move my fingers.  I’m not sure if you, my faithful friends, will ever read this or not….not sure if I’ll post it.    But, it is sure gonna make me feel better to write it down.

As is usual, nothing is ever simple and easy around here.  It is complicated by oh, so many factors.  So, I must tell you the back story and fill in some detail before the real story begins.

Last, last Christmas (2010), Adam gave me a gift.  It was 3 ’20×24′ picture frames.  The pictures to go into those frames would arrive in a few days.  He said they were very special pictures that he took and they would be especially meaningful to me.  So, I put those frames in the hallway and left them there so I could hang the pics as soon as they arrived.  I waited patiently.  And around April of last year (2011) I finally put them in the hall closet.  Because I had heard a twenty or so times that they would be here the next day. After awhile, I catch on and figure things out.  Didn’t know anything I needed to frame that size, so, I put them away and forgot about them.  Until a few weeks before Christmas, Adam and I were talking and gifts were brought up and I said something to the effect, “I’m sure hoping I get those 3 ’20×24′ inch pictures I heard about last year.  I already have some frames for them and everything.”  Fast forward to a week before Christmas.  Adam comes to my house and says, “Here’s your Christmas present, Mom.”  And, it was those 3 pictures.  They really are special…of a redbird in flight…coming to a branch and leaving. Redbirds have a special meaning to our family in reference to my Mom.   Beautiful!  So, he put them into the frames and again they leaned against the wall.  Looking lovely, but leaning.

I asked Don to help me hang them.  Said he would.  Didn’t happen.  Knew it wouldn’t.  Remember, he thinks putting a nail in the wall is akin to taking a sledgehammer and knocking down a door.  It does the same amount of damage.  He would rather have N O T H I N G on the walls than have the house decorated and nice looking.  So, I didn’t really expect him to help.  But, the important thing is that I gave him a chance to help.

Then, I asked Adam to please bring his laser level and shoot me a line across the wall, so I could hang the pictures.  After the sixth or seventh time, he brought it by.  I mean, he comes to my house every morning to bring Sweet Levi.   AND, I gave that laser level to him for Christmas…not intentionally, but in a round about way.  See, when I asked Don to help me hang those pictures for the third or fourth time, I asked him if he had a laser level and he said, “I’m not sure but I know Ian has one,  I’ll get him to bring it when he comes home for Christmas and then we can do it.”    So, while I was out shopping for the rest of my gifts, I ran into a big display in Target of…you guessed it!…laser levels.  I got the medium priced one.  Because I don’t like the cheapest anything and I knew we would not use it enough to get the money’s worth out of the expensive one.  Imagine my surprise when, on Christmas afternoon, when we were all opening gifts, and Don opened his laser level, he said, “Well, Tonja.  How many laser levels do you think I need?  You have already given me two!”  Adam piped up quickly and said, “Well, give it to me…I don’t have one.”  So Don tossed it to Adam and therefore I think it counts that I gave Adam a laser level for Christmas.  And, I bet I never buy another one as long as I live!

Ok, so, instead of just shooting me a level line across the wall, and leaving it at that, Adam, kindly, decided to hang the pictures himself.  In the spare 30 minutes he had when he dropped Levi off one morning.  Wasn’t that nice?  Well, he kinda got one of them spaced wrong, but that was OK.  He said he would fix it.  And, fix it he did.  Which, unfortunately, left a nice big hole in  the wall caused by the super-duper size Monkey Hooks which Don says is the only way to hang anything ‘in this house’.

It had to be super duper size because the frames were heavy what with the frame and the glass all being in the ’20×24′ size and all.  Adam, my oldest son, is very smart.  And, he has known his father for 36 and 1/2 years.  And, he knew that hole in the wall was not going to cut it with his Dad.  I told him not to worry, I would take the blame, and he could go on about his life without that boulder hanging over his head.  And, I thought that would be that.  I knew I could fix it and it would never be noticed.  But, Adam came back a few hours later to fix it.  And, I don’t know what all he did, or what all he put in the hole and on the hole and around the hole, but when it was all finished, the filled in-patched-primed and re-painted ‘hole’ was an off colored 6×6 inch square.  I did not even want to know how it happened.  Really, I did not  want to know.  Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss.  And, what you don’t know…you can’t tell.

Well, he was bummed.  He  knew that this was going to cause his Dad such great distress that a big lecture would follow and he would be expected to listen to it, as would I , since I was an accomplice But, Don has not mentioned it at all.  Don’t know if he hasn’t seen it or just decided that saying anything would not help or what.  ( I have managed to keep the lights off when he was going to and coming from work,though.)  But, when Don went out of town on Sunday, Adam was after me to fix it. PLEASE.  This morning, he took sandpaper and sanded the 6×6 discolored patch and I was left to ‘fix it’ and keep Levi.  So, I did the best I could.  There was no hole there…whatever he put in, stayed in.  I painted it and then repainted it…but it doesn’t look good.  And, it’s not going to look good…until the whole wall is painted again.  And, that’s the way it is.******  After I painted the first coat…I left the can of paint and the stir stick on the cabinet in the laundry room.******

Now my sweet Levi is growing and getting bigger and stronger and happier every day.  And, faster, and into things, and biting anything he can get his hands on.  Bless his sweet heart.  (Now, the next part is a little risky to talk about…but I will try to do it as delicately as possible.)  Stay with me, friends…this will all make sense in a few more paragraphs.


Levi was not ready to go to sleep, though I had tried to convince him he was.  His Mom had to take him with her several places after she picked him up and I wanted him to be well rested for her.  After he convinced me that a nap was just not going to happen, I put him in his bed to play for a while.  He played and rolled and  stood up and fell and stood up and fell and stood up and fell.  He’s standing alone, but not walking yet.  I walked over close to the crib…and it hit me.  The smell.  The smell that strikes fear in every mother’s heart.  No matter how long it has been since you had children in your care.  No matter how long it has been since you had a little one right inside your house standing up in his crib.  It was one of those smells that lets you know you need a clothespin for your nose and rubber gloves and a big garbage bag and about a box of wipes.  It was one of those smells that lets you know you had better get a plastic dropcloth and cover all surrounding furniture.  It was definitely going to be a tough task, but it had to be done.  And, the sooner the better.

I got a big towel, and laid it across the bed.  I got the wipes and opened up the garbage bag on the floor so I could just drop the offending material into it.  A mask I had worn last week while I had bronchitis was nearby and I grabbed it.  Last, I grabbed my apron, because I had plans to go to the grocery store after Suzanne picked him up.  I was ready.  I got the boy out of the crib and commenced to remove his shoes.  To think he would lie still for that was wrong, wrong, wrong.  Twisting his body, with all his might, he flipped back like a fish when I didn’t twist with him.  Shoes safe…now on to blue jeans.  Theis was going very close to the danger zone.  I managed to remove the jeans and I saw that the socks and shirt were going to have to be removed as well.  Contents of the lovely little P*mpers, was already moving out.  I did a quick strip job…on him…not me.  But, wished further into the project that I had included myself.  Removing the P*amper, I soon discovered this was not going to be a task that mere wipes would handle.  This was a sink job.  Holding two squirming feet in one hand and trying to hold the boy so that only his shoulders touched the towel was a big mistake.  That little imp did a lightning fast twist and slipped from my grasp.  He followed it up quickly with another roll over and just that quickly, he was off the towel.  Not wanting to be graphic here, but what was ON the boy and ON the towel was also ON the bed.  And, what was still all over the boy, was now all over me, as I carried him to the sink.  (How clever of me to think of putting a sink in my studio back when we began drawing up plans for this house…just saying.)  I had to remove my apron, as it was ‘soiled’, so all the splashed water and soap got all over my clothes and my face and my hair.  Even without his approval,  he got bathed and rinsed and diapered.  Putting him on the floor, I changed the sheets, removed the blankets and the toys that could be washed.  I disinfected the crib as best I could, and deposited the ‘little mess machine’ inside.  Then I removed the quilt on the bed, and picked up my apron.  The pile of dirty laundry was growing.  Taking the pile to the laundry room, I discovered that the arm of my shirt AND my good jeans were damaged goods also.  ******I laid the clothes on the cabinet while I loaded the washer******  Yes, Yes, I did.  So, the clothes and quilts and sheets that were soiled….also now had paint on them.  And, the paint is oil based.  It does not wash out.  It does not scrub out.  It does not even wash off your hands.  This day can not get any worse.


When Adam brought Levi this morning, he went to look at the paint disaster we were trying to fix.  “MOM!  It looks worse now than before you repainted.”  And, he was right.  Something was wrong and we were both missing it.  Maybe you have already figured out what we did.  Adam said, “Well I don’t care what color is written on the can, this is not the right paint!”  And, I agreed.  I told him where to go look in the garage to find the paint so he could see if there was another can.  He found another and opened it up.   “This is right!  The color is the same!”  So, I secured Levi and went to see and sure enough it was totally covered and you could hardly see any hint of where we had made such a mess.  I glanced down at the paint can and I immediately knew what we did.  We were using the oil based paint that had been used for trim and we needed the Latex eggshell finish paint for the walls.  Adam still was not quite satisfied that it was as good as it could be.  So this afternoon, he brought over a small roller and rolled one more coat of paint on, and it all totally blended in and looked perfect.  Case closed.  Finally, the ‘great picture-paint disaster of 2012’ was over.

And, IF Don sees any damage, and IF he is bold enough to say something to me about it…I’ll just remind him that I asked HIM to do it first.