Painting, All the Painting

Well, the crayon on the walls is pretty much history.  We’ve been painting like crazy people.  We’re probably going to be painting in the morning too, getting everything finished up.  We’ve got two bedrooms down, the downstairs hall, and most of the upstairs hall.  There’s just one segmented off part that seems like it was formerly a door to the room that needs to be painted.  Now instead of one room it’s been sectioned off into two, leaving a weirdly shaped hall with an archway where a door used to be, and a weird frame on the walls to both rooms.  It’s too bad because it would have been a really nice single bedroom with plenty of space and a large closet.  Anyhow, all of those are done.  The hallway upstairs needs to be finished in that segmented off spot and the last bedroom needs a second coat of paint.  Hopefully that will be enough to satisfy the inspector.  There are three other rooms that could probably benefit from painting over the graffiti, but they’re not bad, so hopefully it won’t be an issue.

So what have I learned about this?  Aside from my back and arm hurting from all the painting, I really enjoy it.  It’s somewhat peaceful to sit there, working on a wall.  Plus there was something great about hand painting the second coat to cover all the little spots the roller missed.  The parts I did look really even and turned out well.  The parts the other responsible adult did?  Well, I’d never tell him this, but it’s kind of obvious what he did versus what I did.  Mine has a nice, smooth finish and my edging is so much better.  Still, it looks pretty good.

Painting for me is very zen.  I think I may have to look into doing it as a hobby when we’ve got the space for it.  I think I’d like learning how to do some simple things.  We plan to paint my littlest’s dressers and I want to put some flower stencils on it, something pretty Nordic over a “Elsa blue” background.  My littlest decided that was the color name.  We’d talked about doing stencils on the walls as well.  It might be nice to get into painting furniture like that, even if I never did it for money.  It could be fun to do stuff up for everyone in the house.

Hurting the way I do comes with benefits as well.  I feel like I actually did something.  I worked for once.  I pushed myself to the point that I couldn’t do it anymore when I quit.  There’s only a little left for me to do tomorrow.  I’m feeling pretty good about that, even though I’d planned not to paint on Christmas Eve.

As for things I’m proud of today, not only did I paint, but I ran errands by myself.  I had Nika with me, of course, but I went to Target to get printer paper and PetSmart to get claw clippers for Nika.  I’m not brave enough to cut her nails, but the other responsible adult said he’d be willing to take on the task.  Sable did it the last few times, but it really needs to be done again and I won’t see her again until next week at best.  It could be longer than that.  I just want to make sure it gets done.

The list of things I did today that I never would have done before Nika is one I’m pretty happy with.  I walked to the bus stop and waited for the bus.  I took the bus to the mall.  I ate lunch at the mall, and despite being told I couldn’t have a cup for water for Nika, I didn’t panic because things didn’t go according to plan.  I changed plans to clean out my soda cup to let Nika use it for water from the bathroom sink.  I navigated a busy mall at Christmas time with crazy last minute shopping chaos.  I managed to only call home to make updates and to ask about spending money on food and about the bus schedule.  I walked a good distance between stores.  I changed plans and picked up something I didn’t intend to buy, but needed, without panicking over spending money.  I spent money on the thing I needed to buy without being panicked about money.  And I rode the exceedingly crowded bus home, pulled the stop requested cord at my street, even though it’s not a scheduled stop, because you can do that on the local buses.

Now that list of things might not seem like much to you, but looking at where I was without her, I never would have any of these things without an adult escort or without having someone on the phone with me the whole trip.  It was different in the south.  Living in the south was safer.  We didn’t live in neighborhoods that were dangerous.  Even the neighborhood I live in now is sketchy in comparison to the places we lived at in the south, and we lived in trailer parks, which are known to attract trouble.  Then again, in the south I still had a lot of problems getting out on my own and tended to frequently get overwhelmed when I was out without another adult.  I had to be on the phone with someone the whole time or I needed to have one of my kids with me.  Otherwise it was impossible to get me to leave.  Now it’s harder to do even that.

I’d like to think I’ve come a long way.  Not only was I able to do a lot of things that were impossible for me to do before, but I was able to stay motivated to get the painting done.  My shoulder is not happy with me and I feel like I could use a massage, but I’m pretty happy with the outcome.  The kids’ presents are almost all wrapped because most of them came that way.  Tomorrow night we just need the living room cleaned so there’s space to wrap the final presents.  Then we need to set them all out.  That shouldn’t take terribly long to do.  We need to make sure we’ve got cookies to put out for Santa too.  The painting needs to be finished with second coats on a few things.  I’m feeling pretty good about this week.  It’s not what I would have wanted the week to be, but I’m pretty confident about getting through just fine.

So if you don’t hear from me again this weekend, here’s hoping you have a wonderful Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year.  We’re going to be celebrating with our usual Chinese food on Christmas.  Then we’re going to have four, yes, four Christmas related celebrations.  Christmas Eve is the standard Christmas Eve ritual, get a last minute Christmas gift (probably pajamas for the kids), watch a Christmas movie, send the kids off to bed, and set out the presents.  Christmas morning we open presents and get Chinese food.  The day after Christmas we’re celebrating with my parents and my sister.  The day after that my aunt and uncle are coming over and the inspector will be back to tell us whether or not we’ve done enough to clear us with the housing authority.  Undoubtedly I’ll have lots to say after it’s all over, but I don’t know if I’ll be back before then.  It’s going to be a busy few days.


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