Monthly Archives: March 2013

Painting the fireplace

We painted the fireplace white to update it just a little. I’m not saying it was easy. The paint sprayer came to life in the middle of our project and we could not turn it off. Sprayer thought, if ever I were to have a moment in my life to really be me, to just let loose, this would be it. While I applaud Sprayer’s boldness, it made things tough for us. Sprayer got Kevin in the face. Kevin, of course, couldn’t see with white paint clouding his vision, so he started stumbling around, and meanwhile, Sprayer went to town, just doing what he does, spraying the hardwood floor, the stereo, the ottoman. “Stop, stop, stop!” I yelled. This was not helpful. (Sometimes, in emergency mode, I freeze and yell things rather than springing to action.) “I can’t see, I can’t see!” Kevin said. Eventually, Kevin wrestled Sprayer down, I dotted Kevin’s white face with a paper towel and we cleaned up the offending white paint before it dried. Whew!

Before:

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After:

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We started with a white wash, meaning, we diluted the paint with water. (1 part paint, 4 parts water.) Then we brushed it on. That wasn’t working well because the brush was very drippy and the paint wasn’t sticking to the black (mortar?) between the bricks. That’s when Kevin remembered Sprayer, and then the paint went on much smoother (until aforementioned accident.) It worked well when Kevin sprayed and I brushed the paint around to even it out. It was also good to have a wet cloth nearby to wipe any drips. 

Here we were halfway through:

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The first coat looked like this (bad):

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We stood back and looked at our work.

“What do you think?” Kevin asked.

“Um, I like it?” I said.

I hated it but didn’t want to say so because I was the one who wanted to start this project at 8pm on a weeknight. I had done some research before starting, and thought a white wash would be a good option for us so the brick showed through a little. But the problem was the black between the bricks just looked dirty and unfinished.

“Maybe we should try another coat,” Kevin said.

Whew! Glad we were in agreement.

It took maybe another hour or two to keep piling on the layers of paint with a paintbrush, making sure to get in between the bricks. I like that you can still sort of see the brick underneath. We kept the paint pretty thin.

So, to recap:

Before:

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After:

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After with rugs and pictures and whatnot:

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What do you think?

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Dada

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Nora points at herself in the mirror and says, “Dada!” She says Dada when she sees a picture of herself, a picture of a baby on the side of the diaper box or baby food jar. She stumbles around, holding two Dadas in each hand and repeats “Dada dada dada dada” over and over again. (By the way, she walks now. Can’t believe I haven’t posted about that yet!) She points and says Dada with such an earnest expression each time, waiting for my response, as if this is really something she needed to get off her chest.

“Dada,” she says.

“Uh huh, baby,” I say. 

She nods once. “Dada.”

On an airplane ride back from Florida, Nora spent the trip peering over the seat behind us to point at a boy. “Dada!” she said in a squeal. “Dada!”

“I think you have the wrong person,” the boy said, a little embarrassed.

This week, we took a little trip to the library and the librarians were cooing at Nora. A fifty-ish man told Nora she was going to be a heart breaker. “She’s a beautiful baby,” he said. Nora pointed at him (technically behind him at a little kid) and said, “Dada.”

The man’s eyes widened. “Oh, no I’m not your Dada” he said, as if she were implying, “Thank you for the compliment. You are my father now.”

My husband says it’s confusing when he hears her saying “Dada dada dada” from her crib in the morning, because in his sleepy state, he thinks she’s calling out for him. When he goes in to check on her, she’s reaching over the crib to the baby doll which has taken a plunge.

She knows who her father is, though. She just doesn’t call him Dada quite yet. But he’s in the club. How do I know? Because she puts a hand on his chest, gazes up at him and tells him, in her little voice, “Mama.”

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