Friday, March 22, 2013

spring break!

Hey guys, how's it going?  Life is good here even though the weather SUCKS and is just RIDICULOUS.  :)  I am in denial about it, just trying to ignore it.  Yesterday I ran and it was 25 degrees outside.  Brrrrrrrr.  Super cold starting out but after a bit I got warmed up and actually hot and when I got home I spent a while chipping some thick ice off of our front walk.  It's got to end soon.  It's just got to.

I lost the weight I gained in (bad, bad) February but haven't lost any more even though I've been exercising a lot and (mostly) counting calories.  I think I am gaining muscle, though, as I feel stronger and my pants fit better.   Last year I kicked around the idea of losing 10 (20?) more pounds but never committed to it.  I am this year.  I want to lose 10 lbs. by my birthday (June 10th) and maintain that for the summer (and beyond).  I have some really cute "goal" pants, size 12, and that's what I'm shooting for.  :)

I barely worked this week, knowing I had to put my store on vacation today as we're going to Duluth for 5 days.  I did work on the resale clothes, though.  I got a lot done!  I need some more hangers and my goal is to get everything hung by March 31st so I have two weeks-ish in April for pricing.  My basement is so messy it makes me want to weep.  I am realizing how crucial all that space, and the organization of it, is to my two businesses...ebay & children's resale.  It's so discouraging to go down there and just see mountains of crap everywhere.  A lot of my clothes lines are blocked and I use them DAILY so that has been annoying.  BUT!

James' room is all but done!!!  He and Patrick are hooking up the electricity tonight and then there are just a couple little things to do.  We ordered him new bedding & a curtain (Super Mario Bros. - fine by me...stay little a while longer, James.) and they should be here when we get back.  He wanted to sleep in there last night so they just dragged in the mattress.  He loved it!

Last night I went to an open forum with the school board candidates and it was really good.  There are three spots open and I know just who I'm voting for.  Our district needs a lot of work (a lot of which has gotten started this year) and I am SO hopeful about the direction we are going.  Afterwards my friends & I went out for a beer and that HIT THE SPOT.  I am so thankful for them and this community of ours.

Also thankful:  my sister & Ronan closed on their house!!!  They have a lot of work to do but before too long, they will live right down the road.  I can't wait!!!  I haven't seen them all week, which seems weird.  (miss you, seester!)  We did get to run together last Sunday.  James came with, too.  It was cold out but so fun.  There is a nice trail between our houses...can't wait to run with her on it when it warms up.

This week, my van was in the shop on Mon/Tues and then on Wednesday I volunteered (in the school I am still welcome at.  ha!) and Nicky and I finished getting Easter goodies.  Yesterday I "worked" but really mostly did errands, cleaned the house & van and went for a run.  I did hit up a couple of thrift stores but only bought an Anthropologie shirt for myself (score!) and a pair of Keen sandals for James (double score!).  Today I am doing final laundry loads and starting to pack/make packing lists for the kids.  I am also getting James' paperwork for baseball in the mail.  So happy he is going to try that out this year.

Have a great weekend and I will see you back here next week some time.  (when it's WARMER.)


Friday, March 15, 2013

bullet points

  • I kind of hate when people talk about their dreams.  (This coming from someone who has talked about her dreams A LOT in her life.  :) )  But last night (sorry) I had a horrible dream that I was pushing Nicky across a flat bridge (I was in Duluth and it was the lift bridge but not really the lift bridge, you know?) with no guard rails and instead of having him in a stroller, I had him strapped to a lawnmower.  A heavy lawnmower.  Do you know where this is going?  I lost control of it and he rolled in and I watched my baby start sinking into Lake Superior.  I stopped the dream there because I couldn't imagine an ending.  My brain didn't know if I could hang onto a lawnmower in the water (I still am trying to figure it out) or if he would sink for sure or what I had him tied was awful so I stopped it.  whew.  creepy.
  • I am finding that making a conscious effort to be more physical with James (making sure to hug him a lot, etc.) is helping me feel closer to him.  I adore James but he is 9 now and doesn't come in for cuddles as much as the other two.  He is also a boy and loves to talk about video games and things I don't relate very easily to.  Sometimes I start to feel a distance from him and just making a point to seek him out for more hugs (which he is always open to) makes me feel more connected and warmer towards him.  That might sound awful to you but I don't think it will if you get what I mean.  It is SO interesting raising both girls and boys and having your kids get older.  Interesting and terrifying and heartbreaking and so much fun.
  • Speaking of James, he had a pretty big role in the spring musical and never really told me about it.  He was one of a dozen or so picked to dance up in the front while the rest of the 2,3 & 4th graders were singing Hound Dog on the risers behind them.  He sang and danced this whole routine with a neighbor girl as his partner and nailed it.  No wonder he had stage fright!  He said he was learning the song and moves but I thought they were doing it together as a grade or class.  Oh, James.  You little stinker, you are such a BOY.  It was so fun to watch.  The musical had an American Bandstand theme and was full of old music and the kids did so many amazing numbers.
  • Nicky is slowly tipping from darling toddler who is cute every minute into a normal kid.  I knew it was coming and we've had a good run.  3 is just around the corner, Nicky.  Welcome to real life.  :)
  • I have done ZERO ebay work this week.  Yesterday was a work day and I spent a lot of it catching up on our financial stuff.  Did you know I hadn't balanced our checkbook since January?  Ha!  I paid the few bills that aren't automatic in February but other than that hadn't recorded a darn thing.  It was a big job but I am all caught up now and feeling good.  I did take some ebay pictures yesterday so I hope to get some listings up.  I also got a negative last week.  My only one (that one last year got removed) and I find I don't really care.  The buyer returned a skirt to me having OBVIOUSLY worn it (had dried food on it) and then denied it and left me a negative.  
  • Nicky sometimes taps his finger on his chin (like he's thinking) and says "Actually..."
  • I had my sister and a couple of friends over for playtime and lunch on Wednesday and it was really nice.  I like having new people over because it inspires me to do some things I've wanted to do for a while.  I hope before our Lia Sophia party that I can paint a certain shelf in our living room.
  • Patrick is now working on the flat shelf that will go around the half wall (s) in James' room.  It is a bigger job than I thought it would be as everything has to be even and flush and all these words that seem to call for lots of sawing and sanding and such.  I told him he should just nail it on and he just shook his head.  :)
  • Nicky is also sneaky these days!  He is not very smart about it yet, though.  He will come and tell me to stay in my room, close my door, and then go off to do something naughty like play James' DS.  :)  Or, just now, begin to make himself a glass of chocolate milk on the table behind me and when I get up yell at me to, "Just go work, MOM!"
  •  I am totally unprepared for the kids spring consignment sale that is in about one month.  I got hangers and pins yesterday so I think I am about to start.  One of the only drawbacks to the work in the lower level is that our basement, my usual efficient happy work/storage place, is a DISASTER.  Seriously.  It is full and jumbled and a hot mess.  It's hard to get inspired to get to work down there but I have to.  I want that stuff out of there.  :)  I will probably start working on it for an hour a day or something.
  • Ruby had my camera for a lot of the spring concert and I got about 100 shots like this:

There were also a lot of Nicky and I (Patrick came later):
 And I got a bunch of blurry ones of James (and a movie) because Ruby had messed up my settings and I didn't realize it:

He was hand jiving there.  :)  so cute.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

quiet tuesday

 Hello out there.  How's it going?  I am tired today as I stayed up late watching the Bachelor finale on DVR.  I was very happy with the ending.  :)  Today is snowy outside and quiet in here.  I am having a cleaning/reorganizing day so Nicky is staying busy with all the junk I am pulling out and moving around.

I thought I'd share a few pictures from last weekend.  I met Andrea & Ronan at the Overture Center for Kids in the Rotunda on Saturday morning.  None of our kids stayed interested for very long but it was good to see them and get out a bit.

 Afterwards we met at Einstein Bagels and it was very nice.  It was quiet in there and the kids didn't get wild which is always a bonus.  :)  Isn't Eli adorable???

On Sunday I took the kids to church and was going to take them to McDonald's but suddenly hit a wall.  I was trying to get them out of the house so Patrick could work (He's gotten a lot more done!  There is a lot involved in finishing a room.  Who knew??) but just couldn't take it anymore.  So we came home instead and I took a 2 hour nap.  Ahhhhh, much better.

I bought a roll of chicken wire over a year ago for this project.  I spray painted the frame last summer and finally today, 9 months later, put it together.  I kind of love it and can't wait to find more things to stick on there.  I found a box of large vintage paperclips yesterday and my sister just gave me some other tiny clips so that's what I'm using to keep it all attached.
Nicky changes his clothes about 5 times a day now, mainly his shirts, because he CAN.  ME DO IT is all he says now, about everything.  A lot of things in my life suddenly take a lot longer but I am trying to go with it most of the time and only intervene when I absolutely cannot take it a second more.  :) 
This morning I asked him if he wanted to stay home with mama today and he looked at me out of the corner of his eye and said, "No, me to go Auntie Sarah's, Mom."  heehee.  He was teasing me!  Little stinker.  (He did go yesterday which was very nice.)

We signed Ruby up for a week of day camp for this summer (and picked James' out) so that feels good.  Ruby's camp is on a local farm so she'll get to spend a lot of time with animals, learning about them and helping to take care of them.  Her friend is also going or she wouldn't have had anything to do with it.  When I went in to wake her up this morning I found a note she had written me:

 She is so sweet.  I love her little notes.

Time for lunch!  Have a great day!


Friday, March 08, 2013


What a strange week.  Sarah (Nicky's sitter) was gone so he was here with me all week.  Tuesday was a snow day.  There was a lot of serious type of kid stuff going on that left me worn out and not wanting them to grow up and now Ruby is home sick today.  She is actually better today but she had a fever and threw up last night.

I just finished a big cup of coffee and my new HGTV magazine.  That was nice.  I love that magazine. 

Remember how I said I was sick of volunteering?  Ha.  Well, I won't be volunteering in James' classroom any more this year.  His teacher told me yesterday that she wouldn't be needing my help anymore as she has a high school student to help her now.  All this after I spoke up about something she had done that I didn't agree with.  Coincidence?  I don't think so.  I am bummed about it but mainly glad that it's all out in the open and over with.  As much as I was sick of volunteering, I never would have quit this year.  What a witch.

I am happy it is Friday.  This week we tried doing homework immediately following snack after school and it went so much better than doing it after they had an hour to do whatever they wanted.  We're going to do it that way again next week and I am hoping the results are the same.  I didn't even need to prod them that much.  I just said, "How nice is it going to be when you are ALL done for the WHOLE night???"  Nice for all of us, that is for sure.  :)

It turned out to be a pretty decent ebay week even though I only did ONE new listing.  :)  I just decided not to bother with Nicky here every day and took naptime to just chill out and/or exercise.  I still had quite a few sales and am in the mood now to do some listing so maybe this weekend.  Otherwise next week we will be back to normal.  I sure appreciate having those days to myself, to work and just be kid free.  What a nice thing that is for me. 

Ruby had holes in both of her snow pants knees and James' are shredded along the cuffs.  I fixed his easily enough but wasn't sure if Ruby would go for patches.  I ironed them on (made from what I had at home) while she was sleeping after school yesterday and held my breath.

She liked them!  Yay! 

Time to figure out what the heck we're going to do with ourselves today.  Happy weekend, friends.


Tuesday, March 05, 2013

(yet another) snow day!

We are having another snow day here.  SERIOUSLY, WINTER.  STOP IT.  I was hoping that the storm might pass us by but just in case I made banana muffins last night and washed and cut up a container of strawberries and left them in the fridge.  This morning when everyone was up and SO! EXCITED! and also STARVING, MOM! I got to tell them to grab a muffin while I laid in bed for a while longer.  :)  (I have been making THIS banana muffin recipe and they are so good.  I think it's the melted butter.  I also add a teaspoon of vanilla, just because.)

Yesterday Nicky and I went grocery shopping, stopped at the mall to ride the escalators (while I waited for a supply list from Patrick) and then hit Menards for ceiling tiles, etc.  Those tiles are big and heavy and once the cart was full I rammed it into the back of my ankle and dropped the F Bomb OUT LOUD in front of a Menards employee.  What??  Can you believe it?  I can't.  But it happened and I apologized and he just laughted.  It really hurt.  Nicky was oblivious.  (I hope.)  :)
And now for some random photos.

Here is a fort Ruby built in the living room last weekend: 
For cub scouts we did the Space elective and we had them make Pinhole Planetariums (easy and they really liked it) and then find their constellation on this vintage map of the Heavens that I've had for years.  I am totally framing this.  I love it.  We also had them make Sky Wheels (you'll want to click on the PDF file that is linked) and James gave a little presentation on Jupiter.  It was cute. 
Here was Ruby's set up this morning on the living room floor.  The girl knows how to make herself comfortable, that is for sure.
Here is the inspiration board I made myself.  I subscribe to a few health related magazines and have noticed that certain articles/images really do inspire me...but not so much after I shut the magazine and walk away from it.  So I cut a lot of them out Friday night and made this!  It's not finished but it was fun and I like it.  It turned into a lot of running stuff.  I think that's because I started the C25K again (started at week 3 this time) and quickly remembered that running is REALLY hard for me.  I'm not "good" at it.  I'm slow.  It's hard.  But I can do it if I try!
I got Kate Spade New York Things We Love from the library and this image was inside.  I LOVE IT!  It's so fun and so cute.  I want to print a copy for my wall.
Here is James' bedroom as of last night.  Patrick put some of the ceiling tiles up (the ones that didn't need to be cut) and the casing on the door:  (yay!)  He also had me get two 40 gallon buckets of joint compound yesterday and I was like WHY? (because all the drywall is done) and he said, "I'll need it for the bathroom."  And I promptly fainted dead away because having a second bathroom has only ever been one of my wildest dreams. 
For the Blue & Gold banquet a couple weekend ago, James decorated another cake, this time depicting a flag ceremony.
I forgot to take a picture before they cut it but he did win a prize again.  :)  He was so happy.
Here is my cute seester while we were at Anthropologie. 
I found the Paris print somewhere and thought it was really cute:
And finally, I still see these arrows they put around our neighborhood for that 5K I did last summer.  I kind of hate them.  :)

Monday, March 04, 2013

new room in progress

Good morning! Happy Monday! Woo hoo! :) just kidding. Except I did mean the good morning. How are you?  I am actually glad it's Monday.  We had a really busy weekend and it wore me out.  I did a lot of housework, took the kids to the mall, planned a boy scout meeting, had dinner with some friends, wiped many boogers, fed Patrick while he worked, went for a run, made myself an old school inspiration board, led boy scout meeting with James and oversaw baths & showers.  whew.  Glad it's Monday and I can rest a bit.  :) 

I just finished packaging up my ebay sales (I had some auctions end last night) and Nicky and I are leaving soon to go pick up some ceiling tiles before the snow starts.  I got rid of 9 older ebay listings (yay!) and also sold 2 more of the shoes I mentioned in that other post so that was good.

Patrick is making a lot of progress downstairs.  GOD BLESS HIM.  Here are some pictures as my mom has been wondering what it all looks like.  The new room is on the left side of the photo.  This is your view when you walk down our stairs.  That is his new (INSTALLED!) door.  I think the layout feels doesn't make the space seem much smaller and I actually really like it a lot.  The room was SO big before, this seems more usable/manageable.
And this is inside of the new bedroom.  He decided to do one more coat of the Buckwheat (the light color) on the new drywall wall but otherwise the painting is done.  The ceiling tile tracks are installed, the door is on and he is staining the trim!!!  This is so exciting!  :)  James picked the green color and it is actually really nice.
I'm so happy James will have his own bedroom. 



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