Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Beached Whale

6 sudoku puzzles, 2 episodes of Drop Dead Diva, a handful (or 5) of Doritos and a Cherry Coke Zero = less bat crazy than before. If you read my last blog you understand, if not disregard and read below or things that make more sense (or go read my last blog!!!!!!)

Now I can write the blog I've been meaning to write for the last week. It's all about my butt, color you intrigued right?

A week and a half ago we went to another Saturday night skate night. There were a lot of people there that we know, mostly in the close enough to make my butt story awkward category. I'm sure you know the type. With a few exceptions I'm hoping I can craftily avoid them for at least the next 6 months.

We got out onto the rink and my little Moe was ready to try skating on his own. I didnt love that idea but I did hand him off to my dear husband and with the exhilaration that comes from being untethered I began skating faster, enjoying the freedom of movement and the rush that exercise gives.

Side note: my version of faster is most peoples version of slower.

Just as I was in front of the viewing area, I rolled over some bump, or crack or something that made me lose my balance. So, instead of doing anything to help myself... I fell, HARD, on my butt. It instantly felt like someone had slapped an upper body cast on me, my back was locked up and I couldn't seem to catch a breath. Several people skated by and said, "are you okay?" I nodded and gasped out "fine" inaudibly. One extra helpful teenage boy skated past slowly pointing out ever so kindly that I should probably try rollerblades like his since they are a lot easier than my skates. My husbands good friend came skating by and I gasped at him to please help so he stopped and I said i couldn't catch my breath. He wouldn't let me get up. Then my husband made his way over and he wouldn't let me get up either. They made me sit with my arms out like I was pretending I could fly or carry a crucifix until I could speak a whole sentence. Then my husband helped me off the rink and over to the bleachers.

I tried to shake it off and not cry in front of everyone. It took every bit of effort that I had to not throw an all out bawling fit and I wasted any energy I still had holding back my ears and gulping down my sobs. I got my skates off and tried to walk around the rink with Moe but it was getting harder and harder to move. I tried sitting back down but then it was harder to breathe. I am not sure I ever felt this level of discomfort before and I have given birht to 3 children and had 3rd degree burns. But I also have a fuzzy memory so you be the judge. My husband came to check on me and I insisted that I could wait it out while they finished skating. He didnt believe me and insisted that we leave. I quickly agreed and had Mekana walk me to the car.

On our way out this lady that I know from church and my neighborhood and that I idolize a little was walking the same way and commented "so much for the new skates." I did a meek smile and couldn't even manage words. Mortification set in and as soon as we passed her i just let loose and cried and gasped and moaned and generally sounded like I was being murdered in a public park. Pretty sure I managed to terrify poor Mekana.

We got home and I was insistent that if I took some ibuprofen and laid down I might be fine. I don't really get sick or hurt, like ever, so I really have no gauge on what feels okay and what is not okay. My back was still locked up so I fell onto my bed face first since I couldn't bend at all. At this point my husband decided we were going to the ER and called his best friend to take our kids for the night. Thank you God for best friends!!

So at 8pm we loaded everyone up in the car, dropped the kids off and headed towards the hospital. On the way we saw a fire on the side of the road and had to stop and call 911 to report it. The irony of going to the "emergency" room but stopping to report a more important "emergency" was not lost on me. I took a picture with my phone. We got there and spent the next 3 hours going over the fact that I was not pregnant (this is important for xrays) at least 10 times and spending a lot of time sitting in a holding area listening to the man in the next area swear, cry and answer questions about what drugs he had taken and why he chose to defecate on himself. I was taken for a set of xrays and sent home with Vicodin, heavy duty ibuprofen and the pronouncement that I had bruised my tailbone and was having back spasms. Yep, all that drama and embarrassment for a bruised tailbone. My husband keeps telling everyone that I got a giant crack in my butt. He thinks its funny every time, I think he should leave out the giant part.

Since then I have spent the last week almost completely unable to move. It hurts to sit, it hurts to lay down and it hurts to walk. I have managed a few things like a movie where I readjusted my donut butt pillow so many times that I am sure the friend next to me (who didn't know I was hurt or had a donut pillow) was sure that I dig for treasure down there. I skipped my afternoon vicodin dose (I've never had vicodin before, the fuzzy feeling is good, the constipation is bad) so that I could safely drive to sports camp to pick up my children each day. I cried the whole way there/made my sister drive me several of the days and then took my kids to the public pool after so I could float in the water and not hurt for a bit while they exhausted themselves swimming and diving. I bought a dress for a wedding and went to a wedding, I was never so thankful to know so few people, it made things MUCH less awkward. When I tried on the dress and explained to my husband how great I was going to look at the wedding he smiled and agreed and then did an impression of a penguin (or apparently me walking like I have a stick up my butt) and said, "except for that."

I am telling you all of this so you'll feel sorry for me.

No that's not it. It's so you'll know what a huge baby I am.

Nope, that's not it either. It's so you'll wonder if I do really have treasure down there.

Wrong again. Its really just to explain to you a few things.

1. My house smells weird and is really trashed, this happens when you spend 3/4's of the day in your room and let kids be kids. Kids smell weird too.

2. If I was short with you, forgot to smile, or you were wondering why it looked like I was passing gas every time you saw me last week, its not you, its me. Any interactions I had were short, pain filled and my mind was elsewhere (trying not to say curse words or faint mostly)

3. My husband is awesome. Aside from the butt crack and penguin jokes (which my kids assure me I do in fact look like)he got up early every day last week and did the "morning routine" with the kids. He will never again condescendingly try to "fix things" in the mornings when I am yelling. He now understands why that happens.

I don't think he ever wants to do "morning routines" again. Neither do I. Can we hire someone?

He didn't cook meals but he bought them and ran errands and just generally made it okay for me to lay around moaning like the beached whale that I was. He made me take my medicine and made my boys be extra nice to me. And all this while he was dealing with a week of wedding craziness as a groomsmen in his other best friends (as in not the best friend that took our kids when I went to the ER) wedding.

I went for a follow up towards the end of the week and the doctor confirmed that I was still bruised and that it would take a few weeks to get better. I left with a fresh does of embarrassment and a promise of muscle relaxers if I couldn't handle the pain. I am attempting to go completely drug free today to see where the pain levels are at. Im happy to report that so far its not as bad as I thought. When I move its like a woodpecker is stabbing me with his beak and when I sit its like someone is pulling my rear apart with a vice. So, not so bad. Add to that the mortifying number that I saw on the dr. office weight scale and I am currently the most motivated that I have ever been to exercise 18 hours a day while at the same time being physically incapable of doing so.

And thats the news for now. Tune in for my next blog on the things I've taught my sons so far this summer, you'll want to take notes on my awesomeness.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Those Sweet Summer Mornings

Where it takes every bit of self control that you have ever possessed to not go bat crazy.

Don't get me wrong, I love summer, but mornings like this are not what I signed up for and I am way under qualified to handle them.

As a frame of reference, I had to say the words "I just want to go to the bathroom by myself" twice before 8:30am.

We all woke up late this morning because we went to the beach for a bonfire last night. Around 7:30am I ambled out of bed because my dog Leia was doing acrobatics at the foot of my bed and licking my feet like she was mining a salt lick. Assuming she needed to go outside to relieve herself I started wandering around the house looking for a little person to blame for the dog being out of her bed but not outside relieving herself. Being a salt lick is surprisingly not my preferred wake up alarm.

I found 5 yr old Moe wandering aimlessly and when questioned he proudly announced that he had let Chewbacca, the giant puppy dog who leaves lakes around my house, outside and fed him. Rather than debate why he didn't handle any of the other animals I opened the door to let Leia out only to discover that letting Chewbacca out meant my fuzzy puppy dog was just running all around the front of our house untethered. Gritting my teeth and refusing to start the day screaming I wrangled Chewbacca inside (seriously, picture those calf roping events at the rodeo and insert into this story) and put Leia on the tether.

Phew! Now it was time to get Moe into the shower to soak off the smoke stink from the bonfire. After a brief 10 minute crying debate on could it be a bath/shower? No? Well what about a shower/bath? Does it have to be a shower? He finally went in, taking the always odoriferous Chewbacca in with him. At this point Curly had woken up and heard that Moe was taking a shower...WITH A DOG (yes those are excited capital letters)... and insisted that he should jump in and ummmm "supervise."

I allowed it. 2 minutes later Moe emerged and the wettest most ridiculous dog started racing/sliding/tumbling across my tile floors essentially mopping the upstairs with his body and hitting every wall he could possibly run into.

Phew! Showers were done. My niece who is staying with us for the summer, we'll call her Mekana, woke up and as I went to get her a towel so she could shower I discovered that the boys had turned the upstairs bathroom into a pool. As I raged and cleaned my husband tried to calmly explain how the situation made perfect sense, I did not agree.

And then I went downstairs to see why Larry was still sleeping. At this point it was after 8:30am and I have never had a child sleep that long unless you count the one time that Moe was in a coma. I don't count that.

I entered Curly's bedroom where Larry had spent the night and instantly had my nostrils assaulted. I looked around for a source of the smell and saw Larry reading on his brothers bed. There were 2 problems with this situation. 1) No one could explain the smell to me and I was getting louder and louder in my exclamations of the horror of the stink. 2) Larry is not allowed to read in bed in the mornings, he is required to do his morning chores and then the day is his to do what he wants. I go batty when the boys don't do morning chores.

I walked around the room investigating the stink and discovered a giant pile of obviously stepped in dog poo. As Larry unraveled his grand tale of how he had yes indeed stepped in a dog poo for the 3rd day in a row (the last 2 days it was outside, but still, is he blind?!?) AND decided not to tell me about it AND decided not to clean it up AND decided to get back on the bed with poo on his foot, sit in the stink and read his book. I was a little unhappy with this story.

As he got up to go clean off his poo foot and I barked orders to Curly for a mop and disinfectant as fast as he possibly could get it Larry quietly makes an aside comment almost to himself, "and ummm it feels like I have something in my hair."

I turned his head and discovered one whole side covered in unidentifiable goo. I was honestly too scared to touch it or smell it. The 20 questions began and he insisted he had no clue what it could be. My mind was reeling with thoughts of burned marshmallow from the bonfire, animal poo from falling asleep on the beach, maybe puking and then sleeping in it... I couldn't figure it out. Into the shower he went, we soaped and soaped and soaped and it changed color a little but it was not coming out.

As he gets out of the shower he mentions, "I guess it could be gum. I was chewing gum but I thought I threw it away." Rather than shake him til he turned blue I calmly explained that we were going to have to shave his head. Except his hair was wet and full of gum, so the shaving wasn't going real well. So I got the scissors and cut it out. Then I dried his head and shaved it on the 1/8" setting but he was left with polka dots where we had cut out the hair. We both examined it and decided to shave it with a real razor. I shaving creamed his head and began the process with my own ladies bic only to discover that 1/8" of dense head hair is almost impossible to shave with my ladies bic. Then we got the electric razor back out and used it without the accessories to make it as short as possible. Then we re-creamed his head and broke out a fresh ladies bic to finish the job. I nicked him like 5 times :( Don't worry though, I told him it makes him look tough.

Its now 10:30am and I have a son who looks like he's wearing a flesh colored skull cap (Maui tanned body and face, sickly white head), a son who cant go in his room because it still stinks to high heaven and needs to be bleached until I can bleach no more, and a niece and youngest son in time out because while I dealt with my drama they took apart the twins lego creations, did not eat breakfast and generally ignored morning chores. These are the things that make me go bat vrazy.

Needless to say, we are not going on our fun day trip to Lahaina to watch a movie, go to the beach, stop by the bookstore and explore the West side of the island fun that I had originally planned. Once I'm done bleaching I think I'll banish them to the backyard for the day and try to work on my memory erasing skills because I do not want to remember this.

Right now I'm off to poopfest and to convince a sad 8 year old Larry that he doesn't have to wear a hat for the rest of the summer...really the whole clown look is so in right now.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Words are powerful

I just watched one of those after school special movies called "cyber bully" and it has me ruminating on the awesome power of words.

I work at an elementary school and it's tattle tale central. The first thing I always ask the kids that come to complain is "did you ask him to stop and explain why?" they always say yes but they almost never have. Kids seem to be unable to explain why they want actions or words to stop. It comes up with my own kids on a daily basis, soooooo much whining happens that ive become numb to it. we have virtually the same rules for bullying and being the bully.

The bullied child needs to clearly and firmly ask the other child to stop and explain why they don't like the words/actions. The bully needs to apologize and say what they're sorry for and how they plan to change their actions. Despite the fact that my twins are 8 I still need to explain this process every single time.

All of this is great in theory but in reality I live in the land of tattle tales with all the whinies of whinytown making appearances much to regularly.

In the movie the bullied child went to a support group where they taught the value of standing up for yourself. The kids in the group seemed surprised at this suggestion and doubtful of if it could work. They didn't understand that their words could have power.

This got me thinking about how my own kids would handle those sorts of situations and what example I set.

I am mostly a turn the other cheek or ignore the problem sort of girl. I worry that I'm too sensitive or convince myself it's not that important so I just let it go. While this may be the responsible thing in the adult world I think it might not be benefitting my kids in their world.

It's a fine line of when to speak up and when to let go. I want my kids to fight their own battles and make their own mistakes but I also want to be sensitive to the fact that they're young and need guidance and examples.

Yesterday was a prime example. We went to the pool and my kids lined up to jump off the diving board. There were10-12 kids in line ranging from age 6-16. It was all fine for a few times through and then one of the older kids jumped off and stayed in the water (it was super windy and the kids in line were freezing their butts off). Right before my sons turn the kid jumped out and joined his friend in line right in front of my son. My son didn't say anything. The friend in line quietly said to his friend "you shouldn't do that, all those kids have been waiting." the older boy ignored him. The lifeguard didn't say anything. The older kid got on the board to jump and for whatever reason I went at him. The shrieking mother in me came out.

"hey kid!"

- no acknowledgement

"hey you on the board!"

-walks forward slowly still ignoring shouts

"hey, you in the plaid shorts. It's not your turn!"

- turns and stares at me blankly

"yeah you. You know It's not your turn? All these kids have been waiting patiently in line!"

- still staring at me blankly

"how about you set a good example and show all these younger kids how to wait your turn in line?"

-mumbles ok and shuffles to the end of the line where his friend quickly says"I told you!"

Of all the silly things to get riled up about And I was shaking a bit after, I am not a natural confronter. The lifeguard never did say a word.

We talked about it at dinner as I told my husband I had probably embarrassed our kids for life. He asked the kids to explain and Larry (who was the one the kid cut in front of) said "oh, mommy yelled at a boy for cutting." my husband asked why he didn't say anything and Larry said " it didn't really matter and his friend was saving his spot." curly chimed in "but mommy told the boy he should show us all a good example of waiting in line." and then he proceeded to laugh and laugh and laugh. Apparently they weren't horribly embarrassed or scarred for life. Can't believe I'd have to be even louder, guess they have thick skins.

I was feeling a little sheepish but after watching the movie today I am reminded that I am here to be an example for my children and that I do need to speak up. (but I need to remember to do it kindly and maybe a little more quietly)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Beach discussions

I went to the beach today with some outstanding ladies. We sat and watched our kids create wet sandy mayhem and discussed the parenting phases that we are all in. We all have kids between the ages of 5-9.

The discussion was mostly on our older kids. They seem to have found their identities this year and several of us were having trouble coming to terms with it.

One mom concisely pointed out that she gets different pictures in her head of who her child should be and is not always comfortable with who he really is.

Another mom sagely said that she is trying not to nitpick and to just enjoy the place her kids are at right now. She said its hard when they're little and hard when they're older. Right now they are gaining independence, like hanging out with siblings and parents and are generally enjoyable.

I of course spent 20 minutes explaining exactly why I am not comfortable with who my sons are becoming.

Larry is mr. Cool and he knows it. He easily makes friends and always has someone to play with. The thing is he knows he's a cool kid and has adopted the cool kid code. He will never tell on someone, he will carry secrets to the grave. If you tell on him it will break his heart, you do not break the code. He gives presents to his friends (weird things like tape wallets) and he ignores other kids (not purposely being mean but more obliviously).

I don't want him to be the cool kid. Even nice cool kids have a lot of added pressures etc... I'm sad that he already feels these pressures. My husband thinks I'm crazy and constantly reminds me that our son is kind and knows how to do the right thing. Once you hear my saga of his room ridiculousness you will see my point of view (I'm saving this story for a future blog)

Curly has had me worried since he started school. I worry about his shyness and his tendency to let (coerce) others do things for him. His teachers have explained to me that my fears are wrong. Turns out he's the class clown. He takes every story to the next level and loves to use bodily functions to reel in the laughs. He got tired of going unnoticed and this is how he chose to find his voice.

I don't want a class clown. I love that he is funny but he doesn't know when to draw the line and I'm a little sad that he feels he needs attention like that. My husband thinks it's cute and is proud of our son for making the world smile. He points out that our son Problem solved how to get attention and found something he was good at.

On top of all this our beach discussions also got into enjoying the time we have with them. My good friend and I have matching sets of kids and we often feel the seem feelings of not spending enough time, feeling like there's too much to do, yelling too much etc...

She said she feels like there's too much to do everyday to enjoy the time they have together this summer. Time is passing too fast.

I'm having a problem, and yes I know it sounds ridiculous, of my kids liking each other too much. They cannot focus on a single thing because they are too busy giggling, playing and otherwise distracting each other. They have built in playmates 24 hours a day and are taking full advantage of it.

I should be so proud of their kindness, love for each other, creativity blah blah blah but instead I find myself infuriated that they can't get one single 5 minute chore done before the play begins each day. I feel an insane need to steal their joy and force the real world down their throats.

Im trying to find a happy medium and this picture along with my friends kind words reminded me that I am not alone and as my husband keeps saying our kids are awesome.

How do you do it? Do you struggle even when things are going well?

If you have 8 year olds then I have good news. My friend with the 9 year old said everything changed in 3rd grade. she's pretty awesome so you can take her word for it, I know I'm now counting on it.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


I have been afraid of many things in my life. My fear of birds is the worst but snorkeling, food and water are not far behind. I face my fears daily and try my best not to let them win. one ever prepared me for the fears that come with parenting. Its a daily dread of how i will screw things up or what they will manage to bump, break or stick up an orifice. Luckily I have God on my side and he doesn't complain while a whinge and moan about these things in my mind. I make it through most days with a smile plastered on my face and fear stricken awe in my eyes.

Then I signed my sons up for Boy Scouts. Its a great organization right? my sons will learn, have fun, form bonds and become more responsible right?


They will play with bee-bee guns, bows and arrows and hike around unknown places and I am terrified.

The thing is, I knew this going in. This is what they were most excited about and some of my husbands fondest memories. We only started a month ago and it has all been geared towards the big summer cub scout camp that starts tomorrow. At last weeks meeting my friend asked me for like the third time if I was sure I wouldn't be going with my boys to camp. I smiled and explained that siblings aren't allowed so I would be staying home with Moe and my niece who would be visiting. for awhile my husband thought he could take off work and go but then he couldn't and I thought it was okay. Except after being asked for the third time if I was going I finally began to wonder if I should be going.

Because, oh dear Lord, they were going to go spend 3 days at a camp 40 minutes away and




Holy crap! What was I thinking? Do you have any idea how many ways and places they can get hurt there? Do I really know and/or trust the adults that are going? Can my very allergic Larry be trusted to know when he's having allergies and ask for help in a timely manner? Does he know how to use his meds? Can the ambulance make it out that rickety road? Will Larry & Curly follow the rules or follow the kids?

What have I gotten them into?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

I am writing this post on Tuesday and beginning my prayerful preparations as I step out of my helicopter comfort zone and push into free range. Lord help them and don't let me get an ulcer.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Family Time

Yep, we've had a lot of it recently and I am loving it!

This Saturday, with much fanfare, we hit up the local outdoor skating rink (which is free, how cool is that?).

After the first 15 minutes both Moe and I were in sore need of our first break. Our friends began showing up then and as they came to say hello I watched their faces turn to concern as they stood poised to call medics in case I collapsed. Some also said I looked sunburned.

Turns out I am really fat and out of shape and after attempting to teach darling adorable 5 yr old Moe how to rollerblade (which entails squatting behind him while trying to teach myself how to rollerskate) for 15 minutes I was not okay, and neither was he.

He had a severe case of icant disease and I was nearing a heart attack.

After a brief rest and a long explanation of how noodle legs are not for rollerblading, only strong legs like the Hulk will work, we headed back out to try again. We made it a lap and a half with minimal tears and then he did his best fall of the night and took me down with him. I sat on the cement for awhile before venturing up to find that he had landed on my foot and ripped my skates. I hobbled us off the rink holding back tears of embarrassment and sadness. Those skates were the first, and one of the most thoughtful, gifts that my husband had ever given me. I had them for 12 years and they were now broken beyond repair. Luckily i am a superhero so I got over myself and convinced my little bundle of icant crocodile tears back onto the rink and I helped him while I walked next ot him in my street shoes. Despite the fact that he could only stand up for 5 seconds at a time he still performed his best robot moves to every single song and had smiles for everyone passing us. After each loop he said he was done and I said one more and so we continued for an hour and a half.

By the end of the night he really didnt need me but I stayed because i couldnt let him be free yet. I was so proud and so was he, we had pushed through the icant and almost emerged into the ican.

My husband is a skating machine and rocked the rink with all of his sweet moves, I think we should throw him a skating party for his brithday next year! My twins did the rollerblade shuffle where you basically walk on skates and accidentally roll every once in awhile. They loved every minute.

We're going back again this weekend (I ordered new skates)and I think we found a family activity that we can all enjoy. Hip Hip Hooray!

p.s. Larry and Curly have been practicing around the neighborhood so they'll be as good as daddy next weekend. Curly, the shy tentative child, rocked the rollerblades and can go up and down hills now and on and off sidewalks. Very surprising and very exciting! Larry, daredevil leader with an attitude, suffered one of the worst cases of icant disease that I've ever seen and cried and whined and moaned and fell and got dramatic for a half of a block before giving up completely and crying all the way home. Not what I was expecting for our biggest skate enthusiast. We're trying again today, cross your fingers that he was just tired last time or more than one of us will be crying.

p.p.s. Whoever decided that parents are allowed in the rink in street shoes is a saint, should be knighted, and deserves a medal of honor. Cant believe what a difference that made in teaching my son without killing me!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The icant disease

A disease has permeated my home. It has encroached upon our families well being and threatens to alter my darling sons permanently.

The icant disease. Sometimes also referred to as itstoohard or ineedhelp, always said in the whiniest tone of voice possible sometimes includes violent sobbing.

You see, its summer which means i have time to spend with my kids, which means i **gasp** try to teach them things! So far with very mixed results.

I know my youngest son suffer from this disease, its part of why he went to preK this year, he needed to learn that you cant just cry every time you don't want to do something or get someone else to do it for you. I thought we had made great strides, apparently we've hit a setback.

Last week my youngest asked me to play Skylanders with him. If you do not know this video game you should, I cannot express enough good things about it and I may or may not be mildly addicted to the iPad app for it. I sat down with him to play and within two minutes he was in hysterics. Everything he tried was too hard. he couldn't make the controls do what they were supposed to. he didn't know he wasn't supposed to kill me. We got to the end of the level where we had to kill the big boss, but first we had to time it just right and jump up three rotating bounce pads. It took me awhile to get it, it wants easy. But it was possible. Unless you're five and in hysterics. To Moe it was too hard. He sobbed and sobbed and didn't even try. he shoved the controller in his brothers hands begging them to do it for him.

At this point i reached that eerily calm place where people get afraid of me. I calmly repeated at least a hundred times that he should keep trying, that he could do it. the more hysterical he got the calmer I got and 25 minutes later he made it up the bounce pads and helped me slay the big boss.

We turned off the game and I turned to tell him how proud I was that he stuck with it and kept trying. he blinked back crocodile tears as he stared up at me with a huge grin on his face and said, "that was easy, I'm going to play outside now."

Icant is a vicious heartless disease.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Completed craft project

So, rather than just tell you the news you already know, that I'm awesome, I thought I'd show you the project that made me awesome yesterday. Yesterday my son was sick and so we stayed home and watched movies all day long (and I did 8 loads of laundry and this project)

A year or so ago I redid my downstairs, we call it the movie room. i painted and purged and got new couches (fake leather that I could afford and that wouldnt bother my sons allergies). I came up with this brilliant plan of using a headrail for vertical blinds to make my fabric curtains slide back and forth nicer (we have fabric curtains everywhere and my sons think its a contest to see who can tear the rods out of the wall first every time they open and close them.

pretty huh? :)
 My darling sister installed the headrails for me and I dutifully sewed curtains with little ribbon tabs that fit into the blind clips:

See the picture on the left camouflaging the speaker?
Then my windows stayed that way for the next year. I new I wanted to make a valance to match these pictures that hide my wall speakers:

This shows a little of the wood and the hardware holes.
But I didnt know what to use. I didnt want to buy large pieces of wood but I didnt have any to spare either, until my bed broke. I saved the side rail pieces to use and made my husband take out all of the nuts and bolts etc... (which proved incredibly difficult)

On to the fun stuff, here's how I made my fancy new valances.

STEP 1: Cut scrapbook paper and lay it out til it looks good.
STEP 2: A girls best friend, Mod Podge is used to glue the paper on the wood.

I also glued the edges and made corners like this. I trimmed off extra with scissors.
STEP 3: To match my picture it needed to look aged. I used a black ink pad and an old washcloth and rubbed ink heavily along all edges and lightly over the entire valance. See my black fingers?

STEP 4: Next up I mod podged to layers over the top and sides using a heavy hand.

STEP 5: Then I mounted them on the wall with those 3M brand velcro things that can hold up to 30lbs. I used 7 on each valance.

Ta Da! I really like them. My husband came home and saw them and said, "Their nice, but I don't think you should have spent all day on them."

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