Wednesday, January 25, 2017

if you give your daughter a wardrobe

she's going to want a bed to go with it.

It all started because Ruby wanted a new dresser, specifically, a wardrobe.

When the kids were babies I got them nice dressers at Target...nice for me.  They were roomy and lightweight.  They were Sterlite.  :)  (and, after googling them, they aren't made anymore but some Amazon sellers have them and have priced accordingly.  gulp.  I paid around $60, I think?)

Fast forward 10 years and my little girl isn't feeling the plastic dresser anymore.  (I, on the other hand, still love them.  They are 10 and 12 years old and going strong!)

She's actually been saying this for a while so I've been saving for it and told her I'd go to Ikea after Christmas.  Then she asked for a matching bed, please, and James was down for a new dresser, too.

We ended up selling Ruby's old Ikea bed and that covered most of the cost of her new one.  She also ended up getting a nice wardrobe.  James got a dresser, said he didn't want a bed.  (now he also wants a bed, naturally.)  I also thought, hey, I've wanted a bed for YEARS.  So I got one.  On Amazon? yes.  And I love it!

So this started this big ball of taking beds apart, selling on facebook and craigslist (hashtag nightmare), sorting through every toy and dresser in the house, going to ikea, putting all the ikea furniture together, moving other dressers around, new curtains, re-organizing all of my ebay inventory storage, painting dressers*, putting Amazon bed together, moving big sections of the basement around, painting our bedroom* and oh, buying a new to us TV.

*still not done

This was all last week.  There were also 2 days off and 2 days I had to be at school for other commitments and then early release on Friday. I was so looking forward to this being a normal week with a break from the organizing and everything else (kids).  ha.  Monday I did get to work all day.  Yesterday morning James was in the spelling bee (3rd place!!  Yay, James.  He did so well, I love watching his process.) and then Nick had a ENT appt.  Today school was just cancelled.  hahahahahha.


Turns out Nick's adenoids are HUGE.  Like, really big.  The photo below shows "enlarged" adenoids.  I call bullshit.  Nick's are like 3 times that size.  Not even kidding.  The doc couldn't see around them.

They are recommending surgery to remove them which really stinks BUT I am hoping the benefits will be great.  Poor Nick with his nasally little voice and reduced nasal breathing.  Who knew???  (His speech teacher suggested I take him to get checked.  No one else has ever wondered why he has always sounded like he had a cold...even me!  We just thought it was speech related.  She discovered that when she had him speak without using certain letters, he sounded totally different.  Pretty impressed with her.)  These hulking adenoids definitely affect his speech, breathing, sleep and more.

Before I go, I would also like to mention how envious I was of Ruby and her new wardrobe and organizers.  She spent the whole day in there going through all of her clothes, getting rid of stuff and sorting everything else.  She has little baskets for her socks, etc.  It took ALL I HAD not to jump in and help her but I didn't.  She gets it.  She feels it.  She is a natural at organizing.

James, on the other hand, grabbed everything from his old dresser and smooshed it into his new one.  Including taking the pile that was on top of the old one and plopping it onto the new one.  He is such a 13 year old boy.  (I love 13 year old boys.)

I love seeing how they all are so different.  Through all of this, Nick doesn't care at all.  He said he doesn't want anything new, not even curtains.  He cried when I switched his dresser to a bigger one.  :)  (but he did come around.)

So, that was my last week.


p.s.  none of these links are affiliate links because I don't have my shit together.  xoxo

Friday, January 13, 2017

taking stock, mid-January

I am going to join (copy) Maggie who joined her friend in filling this list out, to catch everyone up on just about everything. 
Making :  We just got a new sheet set and never use the top sheet, I normally donate them.  On the other hand, we never have enough matching pillowcases for all of our bed pillows.  (we have 5) (do you see where this is going?)  Today I realized I could take that flat sheet and make MANY more matching pillowcases.  I am so excited!!
Cooking :   We are making paninis like crazy.  I am the Panini Queenie.  We had them for dinner last night and will probably have them again for lunch tomorrow.  Breakfast paninis, dessert paninis, standard paninis.  We love them all.  Cranberry mustard is a game changer.
Drinking : coffee.  
Reading:  The Memory of Lemon  (I love books involving food, particularly cake.)
Trawling: Thrift stores, always.  Earlier this week I went through the clothing racks at Goodwill, which I normally do not do.  I found All Saints, Johnny Was and Commune de Paris...brands I don't normally find.  It was an hour well spent.
Wanting: storage totes for my summer clothes that actually fit under our bed.
Looking: in all of our closets to find stuff to get rid of.
Deciding:  on Spring Break plans.  Or, at least starting to think about them.
Listening:  to Joyce Meyer podcasts.  I really love her.
Buying:   I have to get groceries today.  Trying to find the joy in that.  :)
Watching:   Alone on History Channel.  We love it!!
Marvelling:  at how quickly the day goes.
Cringing:  that we still have our outdoor Christmas decorations up.
Needing: to wash our van.
Questioning:  If I should start paint a dresser in mid-January.
Smelling: um, nothing.  My nose is almost constantly plugged.  I'm a little worried about it.
Wearing:  pajamas.
Selling:  Not much!  It's been a slow ebay week but I am plugging along on my listings...I'm over half way through my monthly goal and it's just the 13th.  (I know that is only a day or two ahead of schedule but I'll take it.  :)  )
p.s.  Patrick is giving Milo a late night snack and he isn't waking me up in the morning.  This is BIG NEWS.  So happy!!

Saturday, January 07, 2017

saturday morning

I am normally an early riser.  I love those morning hours, I particularly like working and having coffee during them.  There is something cozy about it.

But then we got Milo.

the cat.

Milo has been waking me up at 4:30 to feed him and it is killing me!!  I am bitter and angry instead of happy and peaceful.  haha!  It's true, though.  Way to ruin my life, Milo.

If we shut our door, he just wakes up the kids.  

So, anyways.  Patrick has promised to start giving him a night cap, so to speak, and this morning he didn't get bossy until 6:15.  I could have kissed his furry face.  I hope this works.

I want to go back to getting up at 5 or 5:30.  ON MY OWN, Milo.

In other news.  So, I got way off track health wise when Janelle went into Hospice and then passed away.  I was sad and had a lot on my mind and just took exercising and eating right off of my to do list.  And then it was Christmas and then our trip to the lodge.  Now I need to get it back and it is so hard.  It is always hard, every time.  And then once it clicks, it is so good, I love it so much.  It's bizarre, really.

After thinking about why I avoided it every day this week, I determined that I think it's because I love these early hours at my computer too much.  It makes me sad to give them up to go to the gym.  And so I decided that I will work in the morning and then go to the gym at 8am right after I drop the kids off and then come home and work some more.  (MWF are my home work days, T TH are shopping days.)  I am out anyways so it's almost perfect!  I will throw another visit in on an evening or on the weekend.  I'm excited to try it next week and see how it goes.  I love solving problems.  :)  Or, actually, trying to come up with solutions. 

After that awful math night, Ruby came home with 24 more problems.  There was a minute where it almost went south but we held in there and she did so well.  Thanks, Mim, for the reminder.  :)  This too shall pass.

Nick only allows me to kiss him in the morning and the evening now.  He still likes to cuddle but the kisses?  He just cannot.  Last night he crawled into our bed at some point because of a nightmare.  When I scooted over (we have a Queen now so there's not as much room) he put both of his little hands on my cheeks and gave me a big kiss.  (If I could, I would insert a heart eyes emoji here.)

As far as work goes, it's been good.  I am trying to increase my listings, always a struggle, and I have a neat chart (naturally) that is working out well.  My goal is 200 listings this month.  That is probably 75 more than usual so it's a big jump.  

We did have a very nice Christmas.  We went to church and my mom's house Christmas Eve and then everyone came to our house on Christmas Day.  On the 27th we met my brother and Erin and my Dad and Mari (they came a day later) at a resort.  We stayed in 2 connecting lodges and it was a lot of fun!  It was good to get home, too, and we had a quiet weekend before the kids went back to school.

Well, quiet in the sense of no plans.  It wasn't really quiet.

On New Years Eve we tried to go for a walk in the woods by our house.  Nick, almost immediately after getting out of the van, put his foot through a non-frozen ice rink.  We drove home and got him dry shoes and pants (no more boots) and headed back.  The woods were off the list due to no boots so we just walked around the park until Nick took the snowboard down a small hill and crashed.  He told me he was bleeding and I was like, "Whatever!" but he really was.  hahahha.  We ended up in the van while Patrick and the big kids played on some ice.  Then we went home for game night and snacks.  Scrabble first.  It was...interesting.  And Nick spilled my pop all over the table.  Then one of our kids didn't want to play.  Then another didn't want to.  It was pretty funny, really.  But, we were together and that's all I wanted.  Checkers was a little better.  We were all happy when it was time to watch a movie, I think.  :)  

On a different note, something just made me think of this.  

Have you gotten to a point in your life where opinions you once really valued start to not matter as much anymore?  They might almost become something that you have to work at ignoring graciously?  (or pray about, really.)  It is so interesting to me to see this happening with myself.  It must just be part of getting older and, I think, part of trusting God more.  Not that I don't value other people's opinions still but sometimes I just don't.  It's kind of freeing.  Also, it's like I have this little secret in my head.  heehee.  :)

Well, I hope you have a good day!!!  I hope I do, too.  xoxoxox


Thursday, January 05, 2017

poor Ruby

Last night Ruby came home with 30 (THIRTY) math problems.  I made the mistake of letting her do some electronic time before she started.  Then she needed my help but Nick had a couple of friends over and then when they left it was time to start dinner so I was helping her in between doing other stuff.  She worked on those problems on and off for 3 hours.  By 8pm (her bedtime - go into her room time) she was DONE.  I was also done.  She was laying on the floor by me and just writing down whatever, like she didn't even care.  (um, she didn't.) I totally YELLED at her.  about DIVISION.  ugh.  It was awful.  She started crying and ran up to her room.  I followed a minute later but she wasn't ready to forgive me yet.  ha.  Thankfully, it didn't last long.  We hugged and I told her how sorry I was.  We agreed she should get some sleep and try again in the morning.  Everything is better in the morning.

She just came down, it's 6am.  She had done the rest of her problems and got them all right.  I squeezed her and apologized again.  I told her I will never be perfect but I will never stop trying to be better.



Monday, December 26, 2016

one story of God's provision

This story is from last fall.  I don't think I ever shared it, forgive me if I did.  I had written it all out after the fact and found it this morning in my financial papers.  I just really felt like I wanted to share it as it was and is amazing to me.  :)

Last September I got my check from Half Pint and saved it for Christmas gifts as I usually do.  It's normally right around a thousand dollars.

In October we found out Patrick would have one week furlough (UNPAID) and started saving what we could to cover it.  I started praying to trust God and not freak out about this.  Money stuff has always been hard for me.  I want to control everything.  ha!

In November I started Christmas shopping and had the tiny thought (which I feel was the Holy Spirit) to see how much I could pay for without touching that Half Pint check.

We also found out there would be 3 additional furlough days in December.  (His company didn't have the best year last year.  That had been bought out the year before and it was a tough transition.)

In December I kept using ebay money to pay for our Christmas gifts and to cover the unpaid time.  We also found out that Patrick's Dad wanted to come and help us finish the bathroom in the Mythical Lower Level.  How could we turn down that offer even though we didn't have any bathroom money saved??

I ended up paying for all the gifts with money made on ebay and started saving every bit we could for upcoming bills and the bathroom.

Patrick needed new tires.  We took the money out of savings and found out, SURPRISE, there was going to be ONE MORE FURLOUGH WEEK.  (so, that made 13 unpaid days...1/24 of his annual salary...gone)  He could have used vacation days but we didn't find that out in time so it was all unpaid.

I found out I needed $500 dental work.  Meanwhile, I was still praying and shopping like crazy.  Ebay was super busy and I was feeling God's peace...wasn't worrying.

In January we saved more for the bathroom, the money for my tooth, paid extra on our loan.  Found out about one last furlough week.  Prayed hard.  We still had an "extra check" coming up.  (one of those 2x during the year you get 3 checks instead of 2.  you understand if you're paid bi-weekly.  :)  )

We got the extra check and for whatever reason, it was half the size.  (I cannot remember now.)  Pray. No Panic.  Trust God.

Ebay was SO busy.  My dad gave us some money for Christmas that we weren't expecting.  He also gave us a free toilet.  We found beautiful tile and a sink on Craigslist and Patrick drove all over to get them with me and he hates Craigslist.  pray, pray, pray.

His Dad came, bathroom got finished with that Half Pint money we still had. Had enough money to pay bills.

Get next check, it was the full amount when we were expecting half.  WHAT???  It feels extravagant and we put lots of money back into our savings.

sigh.  What a crazy few months that was, all over Christmas.

So, in a nutshell.  While we ended up missing out on a big chunk of salary, having unexpected bills come up and a strange opportunity to remodel a room (that was the first time his dad has ever come to our house in 20 years), God provided us with EVERYTHING we needed and we got a second bathroom??  I still can't even believe how crazy it all felt as it was happening.

I felt so loved and taken care of and I know Patrick did, too.  He was under a lot of stress at work so I feel like I tried to burden him with the least amount that I could.  Instead of freaking out that he wasn't going to be bringing home the usual amount of money I turned to God.  It was such a learning experience in the best way possible and I am so thankful for it.  It's hard to put into words.  Just wanted to share.


Friday, December 23, 2016

can I do this one thing?

Good morning, dear ones.

How are you?  I'm good.  I got up super early and am already looking forward to a nap in a few hours.  :)

Today is the first day of break for the kids!  We stayed up late (later than a school night) watching a Home Alone movie we had never seen (the one set in Maine...not bad...) and at one point Nick came over to lay by me on the couch and said, "Now THIS is a special night."  :)  He had pajama day at school yesterday so he had his PJs on all night and looked so darn cute.  (this kid normally wears his clothes to bed.)

I am feeling more like myself.  Thank you for your kind words about Janelle.  I still can't believe she's gone but I feel like I am pushing it away a bit, you know, with Christmas and all.  I know it's just real life but all of it feels so strange.

Thinking about Janelle being gone and her kids going on without her made me think about my recording so much of our life together here.  I've said before how much they all love to read this blog and I really don't want to stop.  (I mean, I feel bad I did pretty much stop. :)  )  I'm not making any promises to myself but I'd really like to take even 10 minutes a few times a week and post some things.  (we all know how this is going to end.  ha!)

We had James' band concert last week and it was a lot of fun.  I mean, watching James' band and then the jazz band was a lot of fun.  The next band was really good as well but by that time Nick was getting restless and I was trying to keep him in line gently while I really just wanted to pinch him really hard.  Have you been there?  Anyways, here is James just to the right of his band director.  He plays the flute and really liked the black dress pants I got him for the performance.  #random

One day this week, it must have been Wednesday, I took a day off.  I watched TONS of Bravo (delightful) and even the Mariah Carey show on E!.  Too fun.  While I was vegging I made some leather keychains.  I have wanted a leather tassel keychain for a long time but am far too cheap to buy one.  I found a pair of perfect leather pants at the dig, a tutorial online, and whipped up a bunch of them.  I love them!!!

What a fun day!

Oh, back to the concert night.  While we were waiting to go, my mom and I were trying to talk in the living room.  Nick was super wound up and wanting all of our attention.  He was standing between us (we were on separate couches) and as we spoke he was throwing his body back and forth like he was being shot, over and over.  I was like WTH are you doing??  and he said that our words were hitting him like bullets.  hahaha!  It is hard to describe but it was hilarious.  I thought it was a perfect way to describe that feeling you get as a kid when your mom won't shut up.  Every word is painful!!

A quick Ruby update.  She wants to video chat with a male friend in her class and Patrick is saying a definitive NO.  I told Ruby we might have a long road ahead of us.  :)

One last thing.  I found this down Outdoor Research hat the other day and was so excited!  I imagined myself wearing it all winter, feeling all toasty, looking all outdoorsy.  And then I got home and tried it on.

AWFUL.  I looked like a Conehead!  A warm Conehead, but still.  A total fail.  I hope someone else has better luck with it...I've got it listed on eBay, of course.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

janelle + more

One of my oldest and dearest friends passed away last week.  It still doesn't seem real and I'm finding my feelings all over the place about it all.

Janelle has battled colon cancer for the last 7.5 years.  She has a husband and 2 kids that are 15 (or 16?) and 11.  She was a straight forward, hilarious, smart woman and I feel SO thankful for her.  I always have.  Her and Jolee and Cherie were my first friends I made as an adult and I loved (love) them so much.  I always felt so lucky that they would choose me to be friends with.

After some drama in junior high, I lost my best girl friends.  It was really awful.  In high school I made new friends, first at church then at school, and felt really good about that time but I still didn't have that close bond that I had lost.  Enter these 3...

They were everything to me.  Janelle is the one in front.  We all lived, worked and played together for years (my memory is foggy...haha).  We had so much fun and spent so many hours just talking.

When I think about those time, I loved all of our long talks the best.

When else in your life do you have time to just talk for hours?  Then go to the beach and talk some more?  :)  Only before kids, that is for sure.

Anyways.  Heartbreaking.  I can't believe she's gone.

Cherie, Jolee and I have been sharing all the random sad, funny, guilty, angry feelings we've been having and that has helped a lot.  It's all pretty normal and it all sucks.

Oh yeah, Christmas is next week!  :)

Last night Patrick had his work Christmas dinner so I took the kids to IHOP (random) and to see the lights at Olin Park.  Dinner wasn't the tastiest but I had a really nice time and I think they did, too.  I just love them.

James ordered an iced tea at dinner and then Ruby decided to as well.  It arrived a few minutes later...unsweetened.  haha!  We joked about that stupid iced tea all night.

Ruby is up now and is opening her Advent calendar.  I have wanted to get them Lego Advent calendars for years and I finally did it and they all love them.



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