Monday, December 21, 2015

ho ho ho

Good morning!  First of all, thank you so much for the sweet birthday wishes for James.  :)  They each made me smile and I appreciated them so much.  12 was a little emotional for me!

So, how are you?  I am good.  I had today all planned out (insert riotous laughter here) and guess what?  Nick is home due to explosive pooping during the night.  AND, even worse, he seems much better now, even at 8:14 am, but I hate to send him and have that happen at school. le sigh.  Do you want to hear how my imaginary day was going to go?

I was going to get up early for a quick workout followed by a light snack and then get all of my darling, clean and well dressed children off to school after giving them a nourishing and healthy breakfast.  Then I was going to assemble all of my gift wrapping supplies and presents and sit down in front of the TV with my favorite holiday mug of coffee, an episode of Top Chef, and a happy sigh.  Then I was going to watch Love Actually.  Then I was going to have lunch and take a shower and then I was actually going to love taking a small nap.  After waking up, I planned to meet my friend for a walk and then meet our kids after school to walk home.  Then I would give them a seasonally appropriate snack and read them the last chapter in our Christmas book which is funny but still all about Jesus. Then I would go pick up my mother so she could watch the children while I met my husband for a rejuvenating/bonding quiet night together.

INSTEAD.  I woke up at 5am knowing Nick would be staying home and dragged myself down to the basement to start wrapping gifts in the harsh fluorescent lighting.  (Please note: no coffee, no top chef, no happy sigh) Nick came down a bit later to tell me he had to poop.  I helped him out (#1 butt wiper) and then went back downstairs.  I suddenly felt starving so I went up and scarfed down a bowl of frosted Rice Krispies.  At 6:45 I woke Ruby up and she immediately spotted the newly wrapped gifts under the tree.  To prevent shaking/guessing I labeled them (my one win so far today) To: SHIRT, To: PANTS, and To:  Shoes instead of using their names.  HA!  When she discovered this (after first thinking they were all TO mom & dad) she gave me a MAJOR eye roll.  The kind you only get when you've WON so I relished it.  I fed them (bagels) and dropped them off at school in the rain.  Now I am home and Nick is downstairs not pooping, or, playing Legos.  I am here with my coffee and while this IS NOT WHAT I HAD PLANNED, it is not altogether too bad.  I will just pray that God will do what I want TOMORROW and have my kids go to school.  HAHAHA.

Thankfully I am mostly done with everything (except wrapping and Patrick will help me at night or I will do it tomorrow) so this is just fine.  I can have my day in January.  I did decide that for the new year I am giving myself one day every 3 weeks to do whatever the crap I want.  This might be a day on the couch with the remote or in bed with a book or at devil's lake on a hike.  It's hard to say but I am going to do it.  I find that working at home can be consuming if I let it.  I think no matter what we do in life, balance is hard to find!

Speaking of work, last week was awesome!  I think it was my best week ever.  I sold just over $800 worth of items and let me tell you, that was fun!  :)  Here was my biggest mail day:

This is very good timing because Patrick and I found out his dad is coming to help us finish our MYTHICAL LOWER LEVEL BATHROOM in January.  WHAT???  Also, bathroom stuff is pricey!  But I am beyond excited.  Speaking of the MYTHICAL LOWER LEVEL.  Two things.  One, Nick is down there right now playing Legos!!!!!!!  And two, here is a low quality picture of it in action:

There were 6 kids total down there and it made me SO happy!  Also, I love when they all do anything together.  Playing outside, nerf guns, legos and minecraft are all winners in my mom book.

Okay, for posterity, last week was full of big events in the life of our children.  First, James was in the Geography Bee again:

James and Ruby had their Christmas program which was very cute but so long (as you may have experienced):

 Nick had his program which was delightful and short!:

We have been making and eating lots of Christmas cookies.  I decided to let the kids eat them as we go because we always have so many by Christmas and then end up tossing them.  This is much more enjoyable but also not so good for me. (ahem.)  One day Ruby and I had the house to ourselves for a couple hours so we frosted some cookies.  She liked to use her fingers.  I know it looks awful but she washed her hands first and they are gone so no one outside of our family had to eat them.  :)

I know my photos are horrible!  My bad!

One last thing for now because I know this is long winded, even for me.  For the longest time (like over a year) Nick has gone to bed in just his underpants, no pajamas, no matter what I tried.  And then a few weeks ago he mentioned (out of nowhere) that he would like some red and white striped ones for the holiday season.  ???? Okaaaaaaaay.  So I found him some and now he wears them for 2 nights, I wash them and he goes back to underpants for a night and then repeat.  So strange.

The first night he came down the stairs in them I almost choked, he looked so funny.  And adorable, but so funny, too, after so long of no pj interest whatsoever.  Then James started in with the Where's Waldo jokes and I had to threaten him and Ruby with their lives.  I didn't want anything to screw this up, the Christmas that Nick wore pajamas.

Hope you are finding some holiday magic, too.  :)  xoxoxoxo

p.s.  Here is one of my favorite holiday cards.  I LOLed when I got it.  I love a good sense of humor.  :)  And, Teresa, these boys of yours keep getting cuter every year! Thank you.  xx

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

James is 12 now

Good morning! I don't know about you but my alarm went off way too early this morning.  Instead of working, though, I wanted to write a little here first.

James turned 12 yesterday!  TWELVE.  Oh man.  Can't believe it.  He had his two best friends over last Friday for a sleepover and a visit to Rockin Jump.  They all had a lot of fun and were exhausted when we left. 

The rock wall was the surprise hit of the night.  They spent a lot of time climbing.

Nick surprised us all by making it to the top, no problem.  He said he was only scared the first time and that he farted while he was climbing.  HAHAHA.  I tried it, too, and it was hard!
Patrick has the security on our WIFI locked up so tight, I can't even login to Flickr to get some tiny James photos.  Here is one from 8 years ago in the leather apron his grandpa made him:

After I made them the breakfast he requested (pumpkin pancakes & sausage) he came up and gave me the biggest hug and said it was perfect.  Oh, my heart.  xoxooxoxoxoxoxox, James.

Yesterday morning he woke up early to open his presents and then sat in front of the tree and started on his new Minecraft Lego set.  This year for Christmas he is asking for Legos, Nerf Guns and books.  (well, and a laptop and a headset with microphone but those aren't happening.)  :)  It feels like the end of Legos may be near but who knows?  He just discovered the Minecraft ones and really likes them.  Anyways, it was all very sweet.

I got our house mostly decorated last week, it took forever, and we still haven't done the ornaments on the tree.  I think we will after school today.  Patrick told me he likes it all, it looks cozy, but he thinks he likes our Halloween decorations a bit better...just all the little stuff I set around.  That made me happy. I know the kids appreciate it but it makes me feel good that he does, too.

Yesterday I went into Nick's room to help with gingerbread house decorating.  I love being around that much candy!!  :)

I did the frosting glue for Nick and only 2 others so it was easy and fun.  He didn't want me to take his picture but I did.


Thursday, December 03, 2015

ebay sales

Mickey Mouse sheets & valance:  paid $8, sold $99

Fossil bag: paid $5, sold $32

VTG mini beaker: paid .10, sold $25

Benetton sundress: paid $1, sold $9

(remember when Benetton was everything???)

VTG Burberry scarf: paid .50, sold $32

(I wanted more for this but it just sat there so I took an offer. cest la vie.)

VTG Sweater kit: Paid 2.30, sold $45

I thought this kit was cool and it sold right away.

Arc'teryx pants:  paid $4.29, sold $50

This is a great brand and they sold quickly, even with my craptastic photo.  :)

I don't feel like grabbing all the images but I have had LOTS of piddly sales lately, too.  $9 and $10 sales.  That is fine, good to get rid of some of the crap!  (Not that I thought it was crap when I bought it!)


Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Happy December!

I cannot believe I did not take ONE photo on Thanksgiving. ??  Dang it.  It was a fun weekend.  OH YEAH.  I did take one:

Wendy and I ran (/walked) a 5K on Thanksgiving morning.  It was fun!  It rained before and after so we got very lucky.  We also got BIG ASS cinnamon rolls and fleece hoodies so good times.

After being gone the week before, Patrick was home all through last week and the kids were home from Tuesday at noon on through.  We stayed home a lot and got a lot of relaxing and work done.  The mythical lower level has a ceiling.  WHAT?  And, electricity!!!!!!!  We are going to trim that bad boy out soon.  It is really a nice room.  I love it.
We had our actual Thanksgiving feast on Sunday.  My Dad & Mari came down and it was so good to see them.  Saturday night we had dinner at the Great Dane and played Shuffleboard for the first time.  It was fun!  And James is really good at it.  Little stinker.
Okay, he is almost TWELVE.  I should not call him little stinker anymore.

Here he is sometime making a cell cake for science class.  This was a fun project that was also tasty.  :)

In other news, I got a light kit for my ebay photos!  Our basement had the perfect spot just waiting for me to use it.  I love our basement.  It is so hardworking.  Since I took this photo we have moved things around a little and Patrick added a couple more lights for me to fix some shadowing.  I think my photos look a lot better and it is SO NICE to be able to go down and take pictures and not have to wait for the good light and drag everything up into the living room.
Today I am staying home and decorating for Christmas!  I am a day late but my kids didn't seem to notice or were kind enough to not mention it.  :)

A couple more Nick secrets before I go.  He has been arranging my hair to look like his music teacher's lately.  It is the cutest thing!  He pulls it all over one shoulder and tucks it behind my ears.  It isn't exactly like hers "cause hers is like a C" but closer than it was.  After our family Thanksgiving dinner (pizza!) where we had all said something we were thankful for, he crawled onto my lap and whispered into my ear, "I am thankful for you, Mom."

I should note that our Thanksgiving pizza order got mixed up so we ended up with LOTS of mac & cheese pizza for our weekend.  I'm not even going to say how many times my kids ate it.  I think they will remember this as the mac & cheese pizza Thanksgiving.  :)

Thank you for the comments lately.  :)  


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

back in business

I should not be doing this right now.

But I will be quick.  :)  Last week while Patrick was gone our kitchen sink clogged and our computer crashed!  He came home Friday night in the middle of a snowstorm to a house falling apart.  :)  Thankfully he got the sink fixed on Saturday and got me set up with a new computer yesterday.  He salvaged all of our photos and stuff from the old one.  Thank God!

So, I just wanted to say hi.  I have 1,000,000 errands to run today and it's early release.  Yay!

Here is a picture from Cranberry fest in September.  These are my friends that I met when we lived in Eau Claire, 20 years ago.  I love them, we had such a fun day.  I almost botched my friendship with Melissa (to my right when looking at screen) after my miscarriage that I had before James.  It was my first pregnancy and I got so depressed and didn't know how to express how big it felt to me.  I don't remember all of the details but I think I got mad and then said a bunch of shitty things???  Ugh.  I am sorry, Melissa.  Thankfully we got past that.  xoxoxo
And, randomly, here are 4 of the cousins at Grandma's house:


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lion's Den Gorge, Milwaukee

Good morning!  I found a lot of photos from last summer that I never shared here.  I want to keep them from getting lost in the abyss that is my unorganized computer so I am going to post them here.

I think it was in August that Patrick had to go to Milwaukee for a night for work.  I took the kids down and we hung out for the day, had dinner with Patrick and spent the night at the hotel, and then spent the next day visiting a couple other places.  (still need to track those photos down.)  These are from that first day when we visited a new to us place I found called Lion's Den Gorge.

There are lots of hiking trails, huge (terrifying) bluffs, a swampy area, and a big wooden staircase down to the lake.  I loved this place.  What a beautiful day.

 I made them lay down to look over the was a sheer drop down.  :) 


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

no calorie left behind

Oh my gosh.  Don't even ask me what time I woke up!!!  It might be due to the two boys in my bed, neither of which is my husband.  sigh.  James has an ingrown toenail that is hurting him and who knows why Nick came in but man, long night.  I never napped yesterday, either.  Just went to bed at 9:30.  It was a super busy but good day.  I did get the Halo Lemon Cake ice cream and tried a bite but wasn't in the mood for ice cream so didn't properly chow down.  It is really good but definitely feels different in your mouth...kind of like cold lemon air?  :)  Today I have the whole day at home so I am TOTALLY going to nap.  I promise myself!

Instead of the ice cream I ate 2 servings of this:
It is good!  I love kettle corn and sugar cookies so it was a no brainer.  I do like the peppermint stuff better, though.  I have to hold off on that for a while.  :)  (I searched recipes last night to make my own.  Yay!!)

So I think I said I joined a fall challenge group again?  It is a good way to keep me accountable with the weekend challenges and stuff that they post for us.  I really didn't want to gain weight over the holidays and since it was helpful last year, I signed up again.  The weekend before last our challenge was to have a "no cheat weekend".  We each decided what that meant for us and then tried to do it.  For me it meant not going over my calories at all.  On the weekend.  Quelle horreur.  (Don't forget, I've been to Paris, bitchezzzz!I did it, yay!  But then I ate like a pig on Monday & Tuesday and felt awful and bloated and like a failure that was going to gain all my weight back and never wear my cute clothes again.  (Okay, a bit dramatic, but sometimes life is I am like that.)  I decided that I would make it my personal goal to not go over my calories until Thanksgiving day.  And it's going well so far! (I do eat more on the days when I exercise, aka, eat some of my "exercise calories" back.  This is a huge debate on my fitness pal!) (I would die if I didn't so no debate here!)

This week I am even down a pound and a half which is always a surprise for me.  I am pretty good at maintaining but losing is so slow for me.  I can go a couple months bouncing around the same weight and then all of a sudden lose a pound or two.  Then I hang out there for ever, and repeat.  But that's okay.  I am NOT gaining so I am happy.  It is also fun/bewildering to see a weight on the scale that I have never seen before.  huh.  So that's how that feels.

Just to add:  I try not to be a slave to the scale because I know it is not a super good representation of what goes on in our bodies.  If I am up 3lbs one day, it can bum me out if I let it.  If I take a few days off (i.e. eat all the things) then I normally don't weigh myself until I have been back on track for a few days.  

My plan right now is to stay in calorie range until Thanksgiving weekend.  Take the weekend off (with exercise...doing a 5k, etc.) and then start again that Monday.  Who knows what December will bring but at least I will be going into it feeling good.  Then, BRING ON THE COOKIES.

I would like to wrap up this long, mostly pointless post with this, that I love:

 I am not quite in the "normal" range but do feel like I'm getting closer.

OH YEAH.  My last exercise related tidbit.  Last week I went for an hour long walk with my friend.  We walk at a pretty good pace and my heart rate monitor said I burned 250 calories and my average heart rate was 110.  Decent burn/enjoyable's all good.  I went to the dig after and decided to leave the monitor on as I have ALWAYS wondered how many calories I burn sifting through pounds of clothing.  Turns out it's a LOT.  

FORGET WALKING.  FORGET THE GYM.  I am now joining "Club Dig."  I burned about 350 calories an hour and my average heart rate was 117.  I was there over 3 hours that day (That was long for me but it was ALL new stuff. could. not. leave.) and burned over 1100 calories.  CRAZY.

It kind of blew my mind.  I can work/enjoy myself/work out/shop for my family ALL AT ONCE???  Life changer.

Also, I totally had pizza that night.


Monday, November 16, 2015

monday funday

Good Morning, dear ones.  It's Monday!  Holla!

Okay, not really but I have been up for hours and am ready to get this early release day party started!  Patrick had to leave at 5am so my body thought it was a good idea to wake up at 3:30?  Ugh.  This happens to me sometimes, but not as much as it was, Thank God.  I have already had my coffee and read some of my favorite blogs that still post things.  (ahem.)  I have no ebay items ready to list so here I am with 30 minutes before I have to wake those children of mine.

I am so excited to take a nap later!

In the spirit of lemonade from lemons, here are a list of things that I see as positives when he is gone:

1.  Who cares what we eat for dinner?  As long as it's moderately healthy, it goes.  I don't have a hungry husband coming home that I want to feed.
2.  No end of the day clean up time.  We normally tidy the house moments before he walks in the door.  Now this task can wait a bit longer because, who cares??  (but I do like it done...don't like waking up to a mess.)
3.  I only have to make hot chocolate for one at bedtime.  :)
4. Less laundry.

I never look forward to him being gone but no longer dread it, either, like when they were little.  I tell that to myself and mostly believe it BUT I do usually have the strange urge to eat lots of ice cream.  Something tells me him being gone might affect me more than I let on?  :)  To combat this I am going out today to buy my first pint (s) of Halo Top ice cream.  This stuff is supposedly really good and really low in 240 for the WHOLE PINT.  What?????

Thank you for the comments on my last post!  I know my current blog design is strange but I had wanted to showcase my photos and just haven't switched it back yet.  eta:  I changed things back to the Simple layout but changed column widths.  I hope this works better!

I recently discovered a cute little trail in the woods right here in our town.  It veers off from a path I often walk/run/bike on but we had never explored it until I did with a friend a few weeks ago.  I love it!  We dragged the children there last weekend.

Since today is early release I am tempted to take them on another hike.  HAHAHAHAHA.  I'm not going, to, though because 3:30 wakeup.  Instead I am hoping for a rainy afternoon so I can snooze while they are all safely in our house.

I think I will do an ebay post/update soon and maybe another on some exercise/weight loss stuff.  Nothing earth shattering, just me, going on about myself.



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