and here’s a fun indoor game for hot afternoons

Caroline invented this fun game while I was taking pictures of my new curtains.

I call it “Where’s Weirdo.”

Player One: Get camera focused and ready to take a wide shot. Count to three and take picture.

Players Two, Three, etc: Hide until Player One counts to three, then poke your head out from hiding to be in the picture.

Good, clean fun!

It started with a fever . . .

A few weeks ago, Caroline ran a high fever for about a week. So, spending a week cooped up at home gave me lots of time to look, really look, at my house. I am not a decorator-type. I’m very much into function over beauty. But that week of looking closely brought me to the realization that I could pretty up a few things around here. Through the power of Facebook, I found some used tables for my living room (from John’s cousin). And I started checking in to window treatments. We had faux-wood blinds put on our windows when we moved in, but I hadn’t done much to them beyond that. Many of our windows have eyebrows, which were not covered by the blinds. These let in lots of light — and heat — but are tricky to cover. I talked to my very stylish house twin neighbor to find out who did her window treatments and got the name of a lady in the neighborhood. She is working on valances for one window set for me now. I found some good deals and got creative for the others.

Our living room is now covered in long panels to cover the eyebrows to the bottom. When closed, the room is dramatically darkened and noticeably cooler. I found these on sale online at JCPenney. The super-long curtain rod came from Overstock.com.

We’re going with the same approach for my dining room windows. I found solid taffeta panels at fabric.com for them and expect them next week.

I got a little more creative and went more on the cheap side for our guest bedroom/office. John works in this room a few days a week, and it is also our “server room” (yeah, we’re fancy like that!), so the room gets HOT. I covered the eyebrow in there to keep out the heat, and John said it is easily ten degrees cooler now when he’s working. My make-shift cornice starts with one of those blank canvas frames that you can find at Hobby Lobby and such. (Be sure to use those 40 percent off coupons if they aren’t already on sale for more.) I picked out a yard and a half (and had quite a bit left) of fabric. I looked at the decorator fabrics but ended up going with a regular cotton print. It may not last as long, but I’m sure it will survive longer than when my next redecorating whim comes. I covered the canvas with the fabric (leaving the canvas side facing out so the outside of the window shows white) and stapled it all around. John hung it. Pretty cheap (less than $20) and quick (less than 30 minutes, including hanging).

I do believe that over the course of a year, all of these pretties will pay for themselves in utility-bill savings.

(I need to put something on the wall in this guest room/office, I think.)

Country Girl, Suburban Mom

A few facts:

My house growing up was on the school district boundary, so I lived farther away from the school than almost anybody else.

[googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=5880+Dixie+Dr,+Vidor,+TX+77662&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=37.819897,79.013672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=5880+Dixie+Dr,+Vidor,+Orange,+Texas+77662&z=14&ll=30.219132,-93.980547&output=embed&w=425&h=350]

Our house now is on the school district boundary, so Caroline will love farther from her school than pretty much anybody else.

I lived 10 miles from my school. An hour bus ride!

Caroline and I will bike to her school, eight-tenths of a mile from our home, in about eight minutes. It’d take us a minute in the car. Riding the bus isn’t even an option as we live too close.

Flashdance!

Dancing, breastfeeding, keeping Austin weird. These are a few of my favorite things.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyYhDs8-aSM]

And to kick of National Breastfeeding Month, I got to combine all three. 🙂 Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies organized a flash mob (though we were a bit more obvious than the flash mobs I’ve seen on youtube). We rehearsed in a hidden location in the weeks before and then all gathered at Zilker Park to do our thang. About midway through the video, you can see that Caroline looses sight of me and gets upset but is comforted by another dad until I see her. (She had just recovered from a five-day high fever and was still a bit off her game.)