Wednesday, February 29, 2012

still alive & (mostly) well

I'm back!  Kind of.  You know how it is after you've been gone for a while?  You might very well be back in your normal spot but you still feel kind of "off."  That's where I'm at.  Feeling good, though. 

For now.

I'm still waiting for the stomach flu to strike me as it struck Ruby and Nicky last Sunday.  Thankfully, we made it through the wedding virtually illness-free.  And I am so thankful for that as it was a wonderful wedding.  Thomas and Erin seemed so happy and relaxed and they both seemed like they were having a great time. 

I wish I had better pictures to show you but I only took a few with my phone and I don't have them online yet.  (they all kind of stink, anyways.)  They rented a huge lodge in Northern Wisconsin for their wedding and we had the whole place to ourselves for an entire 24 hours.  It was fully staffed and included things like a pool, outdoor hot tub, firepits, pool & ping pong tables, tunnels, secret rooms and all the coffee you could drink.  (among other things.  ahem.)  They said their vows in a candlelit ceremony in front of a huge sparkly and romantic...I just loved it.  The kids had an amazing time running free with all of their cousins and pretty much did what they wanted.  James and Ruby actually had their own room! 

For me, the the hours flew by.  I adore my family and could just talk and laugh with them for hours, which is pretty much what we did.  :)  Patrick also had a really good time and didn't mind staying in the room with a feverish Nicky on Sunday morning as he was a bit "under the weather" himself, if you know what I mean.  I'm not sure, but staying up until 3:30 am talking and drinking might have had a little something to do with it.  :)

Sadly, Ruby followed Nicky in illness as the day wore on and I woke up Monday morning knowing we had to get out of dodge.  My Dad's immune system is suppressed due to his chemo and it made me so nervous that we would get him sick.  (so far, so good...he's fine)  I hated saying goodbye to everyone, though.  We all had plans to get together Monday night (me, patrick, thomas, erin, seester, ronan & dad) and I was very sad to miss out on that time together.  It was sooooo good to see my pregnant sister, Ronan and little Jacob.  He is so flipping cute and James and Ruby just loved him.

Ruby had a double accident (puke and poop...poor thing) a few minutes after we left my Dad's that morning and it had Patrick and I just holding back the laughter.  We kept joking about what was going to go wrong next but luckily, nothing did.  We made good time getting back and it was soooo good to get home.  I spent the next 36 hours mostly holding a feverish Nicky.  He finally slept well last night and I took him in today and got him some antibiotics for an eye & ear infection.  Poor kid.

Now it is time for a hot cup of coffee and some slippers.  They day started out warm and sunny but now it's raining and chilly again.

Love to you.  Especially my aunties who seem to be my biggest fans.  :)  xoxoox

Thursday, February 23, 2012

more thrifty finds (and other stuff about my also-very-important family)

The day got away from me yesterday, somehow.  How are you?

Ruby was home again yesterday and will be today, too.  She has a mild cough but a raging fever that comes and goes.  Her temp was 104.4 yesterday afternoon...she seems to be okay during the day but then the fever flares up again in the afternoon.  I'm curious to see if today will be better.  I sure hope so...we are leaving tomorrow!  Thomas & Erin invited everyone over for pizza tomorrow night (hello, bride and groom hosting a get together the night before their wedding...can you say organized??  :)  ) and I hope we can go but if Ruby's still sick we will stay home and hope she's better for the wedding on Saturday.

Last night after Patrick got home I left to go vacuum and wash the van.  He loves to do this before trips (well, anytime but especially before trips) but would have a hard time with it because of his back so I went and did it to surprise him.  I also might have accidentally driven to the thrift store and found these awesome things:

Some little Skechers that Nicky won't take off this morning:
 A pair of $50 See Kai Run shoes (in EXCELLENT condition) for Nicky next fall, a pair of build a bear skechers for Ruby (well, for one of her bears), a vintage asian swanky swig, some animal craft sticks to bring along this weekend and an Encyclopedia Brown book for James:
I paid $11 for all of it and was very happy, especially with the shoes for Nicky.  It was so nice to just be out after being home for 2 days with the kids.

The glass was also a good find...I haven't found a vintage "painted" glass for my collection for a long time.  They are all packed up now but I will bring them out again this summer...I wrote a little about them here if you want to take a look.  You might notice I have a small swanky swig in this same pattern...I am happy to have a large one!

Last Saturday I took Ruby out for a girls day.  She chose the mall (of course) so off we went for lunch and the play area and some Paciugo (my favorite part!).  I also found a dress that I love (more than my other dress) for the wedding and Ruby got her hair cut.  I was thinking how much I love and need time alone with her...I can totally see how middle children fall through the cracks somewhat.  Now, of course, I've had LOTS of time alone with her and we are all good for a while.  :)  Just kidding.  I think yesterday was my favorite...she wanted to watch "Buddy Elf" (Elf) and take a nap with me.  Loved that.

(Ruby eating her sub...she can pack it away at Subway.)

We had conferences Tuesday night and it was hilarious hearing about what she told her teacher last Mon, Tues, Wed during our stand off with James.  SO funny.  :)  She gave her teacher updates each morning and was like, (in a totally serious voice) "Mrs. Fahey.  You are never going to believe what happened at my house this morning!"  hahahhahahhaah.  So glad her teacher knows me so well.  :)  

(do you ever think about what your kids tell their teachers?  they tell them a LOT, that is for sure.  I am actually glad Ruby trusts her enough to give her the low down.)

On Monday Nicky and I met Susan and her kids at that play place again and again it was lots of fun.  At first, Nicky only had eyes for this semi full of cars...the same kind that James loved when he was little:

(I am almost done with my random catching up...)

A friend emailed me the other day after reading my update on James.  She said a lot of it sounds similar to what they're going through with their own 8 year old and told me to hang in there.  :)  It was very sweet and I really appreciated's always so good to hear you're not alone in these things.  Thank you, friend.  :)

Ruby just got up and is currently putting the new shoes on her bear...very happy little girl.  :)  (she got her other bear a pair on Saturday but didn't have enough to get 2 pairs.) 

I've totally lost my train of thought now.  I have LOTS to do today and better get started.  First on the list?  Fold laundry and watch Survivor.

Oh, I just remembered...some recent notes from Ruby:

On Tuesday she woke me up from a nap to tell me she had written me a note telling me to have a good nap.  :)

 And this one for James, which is a little bit easier to read:

Have a good weekend, dear ones. I will be back next week sometime!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

sleepy yet excited

Greetings from Wisconsin!  It is snowing, Ruby is home with a cold and I am on my second (much needed) cup of coffee.  I just opened up the pots and pans cupboard so Nicky would leave me alone for a few minutes.  Between Ruby and Nicky, I think we were up 6 or 7 times last night??  Nicky isn't sick (yet) so I don't know what the heck his deal was.  It was especially rough since he's been finally sleeping all night again for the last week or two.  Mmmmmm, I love sleeping through the night.  :)  Needless to say, there was no 6am exercising this morning.  I slept in until 7:15 and it felt good.  Guess I'll have to sweat it out after lunch.  (which is hard because that is when my body says, "relaaaaaax, sit dowwwwwwn, relaaaaaaax.")  (today will be day 11 out of 11.)

This weekend is my brother and Erin's wedding and we are all SO EXCITED!  I adore those two and am just so happy for them.  :)

(one of their engagement

Of course my sister and her family will be in town and we will see lots of our other favorite family members at the wedding, too.  Yay! 

I wanted to give you a quick update on James.  The naughty behavior stand-off lasted for two days.  He pretty much spent those two days in his room, when he wasn't at school or joining us for dinner, because he just couldn't control his mouth.  He lost all privileges, including tv, wii, ds and rides to school.  The first night he even had to stay on his bed!  He read for four hours...his first Wimpy Kid book.  :)  (I was proud of him, the naughty little bugger.)  He had to make his own lunch, too.  By Thursday he was ready to try behaving.  I wonder why??  We are now deciding day by day if he gets his privileges the next day based on how he has behaved.  (previously we would take one thing away at a time if he was naughty and Patrick said it should be ALL of it and I agreed to try.  I think it's smart because why should he get any privileges if he's acting icky to us??)   You give me trouble in the morning?  You take the bus.  (I usually give them rides now.)  You complain about your lunch?  You make it yourself tomorrow.  You complain about no clean clothes?  You wear dirty ones until you learn to throw your dirty laundry down the stairs.  You talk back to us?  You get some vinegar on your tongue.  (I had been slacking on this and it showed.  so sassy.)  I feel like we are being harder on him but that's obviously what he it should be.  It's been nice being around him these last few days and that is saying a lot.

I am all writed out now.  (I know that's not a word.)  I hope you have a fine Tuesday.  :)


(Ruby is going crazy trying to clean up after Nicky this morning.  I told her he just moves stuff around all day and it's not worth the effort until after lunch.  She has my organizing gene.  I love it.  :)  )

Monday, February 20, 2012

thrift share monday

The dig has been mildly disappointing lately but I managed to pull out a few winners last week. My favorite is this North Face sweatshirt for myself. It had a big stain on the front but it is almost out now and I think one more bleaching/sunlight round will take care of it. I love the multi colored smocking on the sleeves and waistband. I thought it was tight at first but after washing it and just line drying it, it's fine. (I love hoodies but I've gotten 3 new ones lately and I should probably stop. :) )

This tunic shirt is for me also.  So lightweight and it has that pinstripe detail on the tabs and collar, which I love.
This Lands End shirt is for resale:  (it's a 2X...nice quality plus size clothes usually sell pretty good for me.)
Vintage plus size shirt for resale:  (probably on etsy) 
Oh no!  I accidentally bought another Lands End jacket!  my bad.  :)  This one is for Nicky and I love the red tabs with that blue.
Some super lightweight capris and plain brown tank for me.  No, I won't wear them together.  :)  I think the capris are for over a swimsuit but I will wear them with whatever I want.  (rebel in the house!!)
PJ pants, Nike shorts and mermaid tank for Ruby:
white tanks and some Levis that Heidi found for Nicky:
For childrens resale:  gap, osh kosh, childrens place, gymboree and cherokee:
And some crocs for me!  (goodwill, not the dig)
And a super crappy pic of 2 pretty mugs.  The blue leaf one (which I think is pretty boring) is marimekko and the other is just marked JAPAN.  marimekko mugs are pretty collectible so I hope this one sells.  Not sure about the other one but I couldn't resist it.  :)

My total for all of it?  $12 and $4 of that was for the shoes.  Fun.  :)

Well, Sesame Street is over so I got to go.  I'm going to link up with Thrift Share Monday today.  I am loving that link's so fun to see all the treasures.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

we're going to buy a pony!*

Good morning, dear ones.  How are you?  How was your Valentine's Day?  Mine kind of sucked for a while after the fun morning but it came around again in the afternoon.  Patrick cuddled me for a long time and I drifted off for a little nap in his arms.  Very sweet.  That being said, I was ready to kick him to the curb this morning and quite happy that he was going back to work.  :)  He basically slept for most of the last 2 days and his back is better but not a whole lot so.  :(  I do feel so bad for him.  He saw his doctor and a chiropractor and got some good pain meds so hopefully he will continue to heal, albeit slowly.

I commented on the post but wanted to say thank you here for all the sweet comments on Valentine's Day.  I have come to love celebrating this sweet little holiday because A) James loves that breakfast deal so much and B) I can spend a couple hours preparing and cleaning up and that's it!  It's over.  Kind of nice.  :)

Speaking of James, OH MY GOSH.  That boy is causing some kind of ruckus over here right now.  I don't have the energy or inclination to go into all of it (you're welcome) but let's just say it's a bad one.  I know it will pass, though, and I am really thankful for this opportunity to be a better parent.

KIDDING!  :)  We are just tightening our parenting belts and trying out a few new tools.  Wish us luck.

I took Nicky to Toddler Time yesterday (see above) and really enjoyed myself.  Nicky did, too.  He is such a little muncher.  Right now he is watching Sesame Street.  ISN'T THAT AWESOME??  I think so.

I will tell you about my goal right now:  I want to exercise every day for the next 15 days (at least), which will make it 21 days in a row.  21 days to making it a habit for me again.  I am 6 for 6 days right now and feeling really good about it.  I am loving the aching muscles and haven't even minded (too much) getting up at 6am to do it.  I was going to wait until after the wedding, when we'll be up in Duluth for 5 days, to start but this way makes it more challenging, I suppose.  My dad has a treadmill and I plan on using it.  :)

I'm not sure what's on deck for today but it needs to be something fun.  I need something fun today.  Nicky, too.  Maybe we'll go buy a pony!

Oh, the only other area of my life that needs updating is ebay!  Sadly, I only made 12 bucks last week.  boo!  But I am not giving up and have quite a few auctions ready to go on Sunday night and hope to do a few more before then, too.

I hope you all have super awesome days!  Or at least nice ones.  :)


*not really.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I am listing ebay stuff so I can't talk right now.  Nicky has been asleep for 2 blessed hours and I am taking advantage of every minute of it.

Back tomorrow.

See you then?


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I am so exhausted

I've been up since before dawn creating a Valentine's Day Wonderland® for my children.  I made homemade pop tarts (using whole wheat flour, natch) and homemade strawberry milk.  I also made heart shaped rice krispy bars with organic marshmallows and fresh pomegranate juice to make them pink.

JUST KIDDING!  :)  All of that sounds wonderful but, um, not happening here.  Instead I got some pre-made pie crusts and a can of mixed berry pie filling and made them heart shaped mini pies for breakfast.  I also got some old school Strawberry NesQuik and gave them their first taste of strawberry milk...they loved it!  :)  (that stuff still tastes the same and is dangerously good.)  In an effort to provide something healthy they also had some fresh strawberries.

I had a little table all set up (Patrick was working on the kitchen table last night so I couldn't use that) when they got up this morning and they were thrilled.  Especially James...he really loves when I do this.  He kept shooting me loving glances and offering me bites of his pie.  He also wanted to hold my hand and said, "This is the best day ever!"  :)  The other cute thing was when he said, "These are so good!  Am I right??" (he loved it last year, too.)  (apparently I am a one-trick valentine pony.)

I wish I would have got a better shot of James but I was also trying to just sit with them and then I had to make lunches.

A little while later Nicky got up and while I was upstairs to get him, James set his little place up for him.

He seemed to like everything but mainly looked like he was wondering what the heck was going on.  :)

I drove the kids to school and then came home and quickly shovelled our sidewalk.  When I got in Patrick told me he was going to stay home again as his back was worse today.  :(  (he is going to the doctor at noon and also...he did that thing I needed him to do!!!!!!!)  I like having him here, even upstairs in bed, and brought him up a little breakfast.

(dang, those mini pies were good!)

James is going to have pizza at school for lunch but I sent him a heart shaped rice krispy treat for their party time.  Ruby had strawberries, a heart shaped sunbutter sandwich and a rice krispy treat.  (I used those strawberry marshmallows for the rice krispy treats and they are sickeningly sweet.)  (the marshmallows themselves are actually pretty good, though.)  (if you like artificial strawberry flavoring, which apparently I do.)

For dinner we are having plain oatmeal and salads.  :)

The final valentine-themed tidbit I'll share is James' quick and dirty valentines we printed out last night:

 Get it?  Super Valentine's Day...Super Mario Brothers??!!

(I copied the idea from an image of commercial ones found online.  so sue me!)

He had had all of his valentines done, down in his room, and couldn't find them after school yesterday.  (sigh.)  In a panic, I found this image online, added some text in Picasa and printed them out!  Easy and he loved them.

I will leave you (for now) with something my friend Kathy posted on facebook this morning:

You are loved today, 
whether you have a valentine today or not.

Loved that.  Thanks Kathy.  :)

xoxo, dear ones.  (I love you, too!) 

Monday, February 13, 2012

a few more things

We are back and have successfully accomplished Nicky's haircut.  Why do I wait so long?  He looks so flipping cute again.  Not ugly like he did yesterday.  (ha!  kidding!  I re-used that line from a conversation I just had with my seester.  :)  )

I wanted to touch on a few more things from our weekend.  But first, I totally forgot to share something on my thrift share post!  Nearly everything in the photo of stuff for me was found by my awesome thrifting friend, Heidi!  She passed that Lands' End jacket and Janie & Jack fleece my way, too!  What a girl that Heidi is.  :)  When I was thinking about my post I was planning on mentioning that but totally forgot in my haste this morning.  It is so fun to dig with a friend...thanks, Heidi!

Now, about our weekend.  On Saturday morning I went shopping and had some breakfast with Wendy.  Wendy used to stay home but went back to work this year (teaching) and is sooooo busy now.  (how do moms work full time??)  I am so happy whenever we get to hang out because I just miss that girl.  We had a lot of fun and I came home with a new necklace and a yearning for spring.  (cute clothes alert!  they're everywhere!)  Later on, James and I baked a cake for him to decorate for his Boy Scout cake contest the next day.  He read the recipe, measured and stirred it all up by himself and was SO PROUD.  (and it was SO MESSY.)  Later on he had a friend over and I took Ruby to her Girl Scout dance.  The girls just basically ran around in their dresses for 1.5 hours.  Oh, and ate cupcakes and got their faces painted.  Works for me.  (I'm so glad I got her that Lands' End dress earlier this winter because she wears it all the time!)

On Sunday morning I made baked hotdogs for James to take, along with his cake, to the Boy Scout luncheon.  They are so delicious that I'm going to make them again soon for us (meaning me) because I didn't even get a bite!  After I put the base layer of frosting on, James decorated his cake: 

I think it turned out so cute but he was bummed that he didn't win like last year.

After the boys got home we took a family trip to Target for some essentials.

Like tall skinny mochas and hot dogs.  (nothing makes James happier than a Target hot dog!?)  (and yes, that was a lot of hot dogs for one weekend.  :)  )

I guess it doesn't seem like you could fit some boring in there but we did.  I also fit in some laundry, a nap, making a quiche (Patrick loved that last one), and some reading.  Oh, and I can't forget some words with friends.  :)

I love weekends.  And just think, we are only 4 days away from the next one!  :)

xoxo, dear ones.

thrift share monday

Good morning, friends.  I hope you all had very nice weekends.  What did you do?    I had a fun/busy/boring weekend, which are the best kind to me...a bit of everything.  :)

I'm linking up again with Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday today. 

My pictures are kind of poopy but I was trying to get them taken before Nicky got up.  Without further ado, here are my finds:

Stuff for the children's sale in April:  (justice, old navy, ed hardy, gymboree and gap)
 for my kids:  James:  Lands End jacket for next year (woot!), Shaun White shirt, Tony Hawk shorts.  Ruby:  cherokee shirt, generic shorts and gap shorts.  Nicky:  halloween janie & jack fleece and osh kosh shorts.
 For me:  navy linen dress, cozy green hoodie with button pockets, silky black and white shirt, lacy tiered tank, nike shirt and lands' end swim top.  (I have plain black bottoms already.)
 Also, more of my favorite vintage playing cards:
 I just love these graphics.  One pack is Whitman and the other is some brand I haven't heard of.  I will probably sell some on etsy and save some for my own creations.

I paid $10 for all of the above and also one pink linen shirt for the consignment store.  Not a great week for finding items to resell but I got a lot of stuff our family will really use and that I really like.

I am especially happy whenever I find a summer shirt that I like and that is different from what I usually wear.  I never wrote about my "shirt collection" last summer but it made me so happy.  :)  It was so fun after I lost some weight to be able to fit into a lot more of what I found while thrifting.  If something only costs a quarter or fifty cents it is easy to bring it home and try something you wouldn't normally pick out. 

((((I can't wait to wear summer clothes again!!!!!))))

I am taking Nicky for a hair cut now (finally.) but can't wait to click around later and see all the other thrifty finds from the weekend.

xoxo, dear ones.

Friday, February 10, 2012

happy frogday

Patrick added this treasure chest to the frog's tank last weekend.  He said they looked bored.  :)

I'm off to volunteer and then do a little treasure hunting myself.  (yay!)

Have a great weekend!


p.s.  new header!  finally.  James loved that I used his picture.  xx

Thursday, February 09, 2012

I will save this school work.

(I adore this school-work that James brought home.  He had to write a sentence based on a given word (food, earth, leave, etc.) and draw a corresponding picture.  I love his little stick guys.  I re-typed his sentence onto each picture for this post.  xxoo)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

disjointed thoughts

You know how I started my valentines back in January? Um.  yeah.  Still have to finish them.  Like today! 

Patrick noticed all the tidying up and purging I did yesterday and said it "looks really good in here."  That means so much to me, when he notices.  It felt like there were piles of crap everywhere but I didn't bother with it because of Christmas and stuff.  Well, Christmas was a long time ago so I had no excuse anymore.  I love that it's all gone.  My next job will be the basement because it's a mess again.  I have piles of resale clothing and ebay stuff stacked all over and am going to put it all in one section on some shelves that I have.  If I have a dedicated spot in our home for my stuff, I can take a tax deduction for that square footage.  It won't be much but it will all add up.  I can also deduct for part of our internet service, my new phone (that should arrive any day!), all the miles I drive to thrift and a portion of a new camera purchase, whenever I get some more $$ saved up. I'm glad I started this in January because it is so nice to start out organized and keeping track of everything.  I will be so happy when tax time rolls around.

These were the treats I made last night and they are delicious.  They really are like a thicker sugar cookie.  I baked mine the whole 20 minutes and they are very done but thankfully not dry.  I think to get them more like a Lofthouse cookie, you might want to check them at 17 or 18 minutes.  I don't know if a couple minutes matter but I don't want to underbake anything with egg that James will be eating.  He is doing so great with baked egg!  I am so happy!  Every week I've been baking something with one egg in the recipe and he's never had a problem.  I made one larger batch of brownies with 2 eggs and the first time he ate them he said his tongue tingled a tiny but he asked for more and ate them the next day just fine. 

Here are some pictures from our weekend.  I apologize if you already saw them on facebook!  :)

 at the zoo:

 Ruby, designing her 100th day of school shirt:

frosting some brownies he made for our superbowl "party":
and one of Nicky and Ben at the play place on Monday:

Cheers to Wednesday!  xoxo


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