Wednesday, April 30, 2008

the light at the end of the tunnel

It's in sight! After the longest month of my life (well, except for when I was in and out of the hospital during Julia's pregnancy) we are so close to being done with the move. Brian took the day off of work today and it made all the difference. If I'd had to make the last two trips out to the house with kids in tow I think they'd be scarred for life from the trauma of my short fuse and inability to give them the attention they need. Instead, Brian is at home cleaning the house while the kids nap and I'm at the house bringing out what better be the 2nd from last load. Tonight Brian will bring out the freezer, the washing machine (thank you Craigslist), and Sam's birthday tree (which he'll drop off at his parent's house where it will be reside)

Because I like the randomness of numbers and it will serve to capture the essence of my life right now and because it will be fast so I can get back to work....

140 - the number of miles I've driven back and forth between the house in the past 24 hours
30 - the number of windows I have to put window coverings on
14 - the number of bruises on my legs from moving
90 - the number of dollars I spent on a new washer and dryer
25 - the number of phone calls I fielded yesterday
2 - the number of days it took to sell our old couch and love seat
25 - the number of minutes it will now take us to drive to church on Sunday mornings
7 - the number of days I ran my garage sale in the last two weeks
0 - the number of utilities I've switched over to the new house
4 - the number of nights I've "slept" on a deflated air mattress
9:00 - the numbers on the clock when I get out to the new house every night this week to unload
15 - the number of trips its taken us to haul all our stuff out here
13 - the number of feet our moving truck was
17 - the number of feet our our moving truck was suppose to be
3.51 - the price of gas right now
6 - the number of years we've lived in this house
10:00 - the numbers on the clock tomorrow when we hand over the keys to the rental lady
4 - the number of things I've bought or sold on CraigsList in the past week
6 - the number of days we'll be without satellite TV. I guess I'll have to catch ER in reruns.
1 - the number of minutes I've let myself think about the emotional side of leaving the only home our children have ever known
a gazillion - the number of memories we created in this house

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

pay no attention to the (wo)man behind the curtain

UPDATE: I've added 2 pictures. Can you see them? The first one is of me in the library and the second is of the playroom. Someday I hope to upgrade from the cheapo white curtain rod, but for now they work. In fact, most will stay. It's the ones that the curtains are tab-tops that I want to upgrade so the rod isn't visible. I made great strides today in getting window treatments up. The windows are very tall and let in a ton of light which I hated to block out. My solution was to use cafe curtains in the kitchen, laundry room, and both bathrooms. That way for most of the day we won't have to use lights in those rooms, but we'll still have the privacy we need. Thanks for your suggestion Kelly! I'd completely forgotten about L.N.T! I might have to check that store out for the few windows I have left.

I'm out at the new house tonight getting things as settled as I can before our first day here on Thursday. Moving back out to the country and living in a public place has me a bit spooked about people looking in our windows at night. Putting curtains on 30 windows is a daunting task and gets left for the end of the day after I've worked all day long. So what am i doing blogging when I should be home sleeping? Well.... I'm also testing out our new internet service. Has anyone every used an Verizon air card before? I like the idea of being mobile and still providing service for both my computers, but I'm not getting my hopes up that it will work properly. Just in the time I've been typing this post I've been informed by Blogger at least four times that the computer can't connect to Blogger.

15 minutes later...this isn't looking good. My pictures are still not showing up and I can't wait any longer. Is this a temporary thing or is the air card not the way to go? I guess that's one thing I can't check off my list quite yet.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

When it rains it pours I shop

sorry I can't get the pictures to show up. :( My internet connection has been spotty.

Here's some of my finds at the area garage sales from the past two days. How did I manage to get any shopping done while watching the kids and running my own sale? One word: Help.
Help from Wendy (Brianna's mom), who covered the sale for a bit this morning while I power shopped, help from Sharon (SIL), and help from my middle sister, Katie. THANK YOU ladies!!!
I remember last year someone requesting a photo of things I bought so here are a few. Isaac and Maisie can you spot the items I found for each of you?

Step2 toy high chair - $1

5 Gap sweaters - 50 cents each

Four dollar Gap wool coat for Julia

8 pair of pants for Sam - 1 dollar each

crocs - $2

jogging stroller - $13 looks brand new

2 Minnesota Twins jerseys - 50 cents

gymboree tights - $1

4 pair of shorts - 25 cents each

leather footstool - $20
dryer - $30
Gymboree pj's - 50 cents
large area rug - $15
white bead-board toy box - $15

I splurged a bit on this vintage Tonka Crane, but Sam played with it all day and this type of toy increases in value. He only stopped because I pulled out a bag of new track pieces ($3) The excavator Brian is playing with is pretty cool too. When Sam is busy with the crane, Julia gets a chance to pull the levers on the backhoe.

Julia jumped at the chance to try on some of her new clothes. (50 cent shirt, 50 cent skort, $2 crocs) I still can't believe that the outfit in the final picture is a 4T - it's almost too small!)

(Good thing it's) Wordless Wednesday

...because the words I have to say about the relevance of this shovel make me want to scream. Have I mentioned I'm in the middle of a garage sale and I move
in two days?

Julia insisted on carrying this shovel with her at the new house yesterday. Her accessorizing as Merranda calls it, has turned into having something special to call her own whenever her brother is playing with something on his own. The day Sam went fishing it was her water bottle. Yesterday when this photo was taken, Uncle Gary was pushing Sam around on his bike. Lately she's been sleeping with multiple stuffed animals because she doesn't want to be without her special toys (Baa, Ducky, Puppy, and B-bear)

left foot , left foot , right foot, right.

Julia had to wear mismatched shoes last night because our dog keeps running off with shoes in his excitement over someone coming into the house. It bad enough they are two different shades of pink...

but the worst part was they were two right feet.

Don't worry JoJo, Mommy is bound to embarrass you a lot worse when you're older!

Good thing Uncle Gary was there to take your mind off your troubles.

rain, rain, go away!!

You're driving my customers away. Literally. At least 30 cars have slowed down and then passed us by and it's only 11am. Sigh....

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

As if...

...I didn't have enough on my plate this morning caring for three children while suffering from a terrible head cold after a fitful night sleep on the couch (Brian's sick too and snoring liking a bear.) Anyway, as if I didn't have enough to deal with, I decided at the last second to open my garage sale a day early all on my own. The rumor is that snow is on its way for Friday. S.N.O.W! For Pete's sake!!! Today it was sunny and 77 - perfect for selling stuff even if I had to keep an eye on the munchkins at the same time. Brianna's dad arrived in time for me to feed the kids lunch and put everyone down for naps. Then he and I rearranged everything so it will fit in the garage. I am sooo thankful we sold enough last weekend that things fit good this week.
As tired as I am tonight after a really long day, I'm excited for the bargains I'll find when I do a little shopping of my own first thing in the morning. I did a little shopping already and scored a dryer for the new house, some bar stools for the kitchen, and 4 pair of pants for Sam. I love garage sale season!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Land O Lakes

Driving past a lake over the weekend Sam asked, "Is that our lake Mommy?"
"No, it's not."
"Oh. Is it Kieran's lake?"
"Sorry, that isn't Kieran's lake either."

Oh, the joy of living in the land of 10,000 lakes!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Half Birthday Sam

I look at the face staring back at me in this photograph and am overcome with love. Sam is so grown up at 3 1/2 yet is still my baby boy in so many ways. He has a great imagination and memory, he loves to have books read to him, play with play dough, snuggle before bed, sing songs in the car, play trains, trucks, and airplanes. I love you Sammy Sam!

Half birthdays at our house are about giving each child a special day and for Sam what makes his day special is cake.

and unlimited pushes on the swings.

and because he's a great big brother - he shared his cake with the rest of us.
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How I wasted 10 cell phone minutes

ring, ring...
Recorded voice: Your auto warranty is about to expire. (This is where I've always hung up before. This time I decided to wait for a person so I can get my name off their stupid list.)
Recorded voice continues: Please hold for a live person.
What? As apposed to a dead person? Ugh. I hate solicitation calls!!! I stayed on hold until a person came on the line..
Live person: Hello. Can I have the make, model, and year of your vehicle?
Me: Actually I want to have my name removed from your list. Is that something you can do or do I need to speak to someone else?
That's the first time I've been hung up on by a solicitor.
I used caller id to call them back, poised to give them a piece of my mind.
Recorded voice: I'm sorry. The number you have reached has been disconnected.
Then how in the world are they able to call me!?!?

Happy Half Birthday Sammy

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the pressure is mounting

...and not just in my head.

My "to do" list is a mile long and now the kids and I have colds to contend with as well.

Before Sunday I need to:
secure a moving truck
figure out the gear we'll need in order to camp out here for 4 nights
pack our dishes
pack all our clothes
take down curtains and curtain rods
remove nails from the wall
take cribs apart
take our bed apart
cancel our utilities
set up new utility accounts
get a new phone number
line up people to help us move (Brian's job)
find a babysitter for Thursday's garage sale
find someone to run the sale on Thursday for 3 hours
find a babysitter for Friday's sale
Get my house picked up before daycare on Tuesday and Wednesday
Work Tuesday and Wednesday
run another 3 day garage sale
wrap up some loose ends with my Usborne business
Move 6 years worth of stuff to the new house
sign Sam up for a different preschool

By next Thursday:
dye curtains for our new bedroom
get curtains hung so the bedrooms are dark at bedtime and we have the privacy we're going to need now that we'll be living in a park.
deep clean this house for the next owner
get rid of all the leftovers from the garage sale
schedule Henry's 3 month portraits
get the dog's hair cut
have our mail forwarded
have some semblance of a home put together for our first day at our new home.

I'm sure there are other things I'm forgetting, but it's time to get to school....Have a good week everyone. I don't know how much I'll be around.

On a bright note, I left the clock radio in Sam's room after Brianna used it for naps during the garage sale and on a whim I told Sam that when the "7" was back on the clock he could get up. For the first time in a LONG time Sam didn't call for me at 6. I'm hopeful that it's because my little trick worked and not because he's sick. I'm gonna need all the sleep I can get.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

tales from the driveway

I haven't been posting much this week because of our garage sale. Spending three days in the driveway freezing my bum has produced a few humorous moments I thought get written down before I forget. We're moving to the country a week from tomorrow so these are our last sales for a while. Every year there's always a hot ticket item and this year was no different. Wendy's teddy bear collection has been snapped up by 3 year old boys all the way up to 65 year old women (that particular woman purchased 12 of them!). A different year it was my old trophies that the neighborhood girls pooled their pennies to acquire every last one from my modest collection. Why anyone would want a trophy with MY name on it is beyond me, but I have a sneaky suspicion it was the gold horse on top that was the draw more than the name on the plaque.
Part of the fun of having a garage sale (after clearing out clutter and making money) is the people watching. Some of the shenanigans leave me speechless and dumbfounded. Like that lady who sent her young daughter to ask the price of the toys in her hands. I clearly said they were twenty-five cents each. She and her (even younger) sister approached me and handed me fifty cents (only enough to cover 2 of the 4 toys in their hands) before walking off to join their mother who'd already headed for the car. Not wanting to be petty, I didn't bother calling them on their poor math skills, but I did wonder about the parenting skills of the mother.

Then there was the woman who asked me the price of an item and then two seconds after I gave her the price she handed me half of what I had just told her. I'm a wimp and don't like to squabble over such small amounts, but again, I wonder about people like that. The funniest moment was when a women took a flyer from the HOME FOR SALE sign I no longer need so am trying to sell. It's pretty obvious that I'm selling the SIGNS and not the house based on the line of signs I have stuck in the ground, but we all had a good laugh anyway.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

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a head start

The first of my two garage sales this month doesn't start until tomorrow, but by last night I had already sold $48 worth of items. (Ya gotta love advertising on CraigsList!) The weather is suppose to be pretty decent, the kids and I already put up all the signs around town, and if all goes well I might even be able to skip the sale next week and stay focused on moving. (two weeks from tomorrow!!)

Before I forget I have to mention what happened on our 2 mile trek to post signs this morning....
We passed a grouping of trees in various stages of decay. All were still standing, but dead. One was completely stripped of its bark. When Sam asked me what that stuff was on the ground I took the opportunity to give him a mini botany lesson. "That's bark. It goes on the outside of the tree like this (pointing to an intact tree)." I picked up a big piece of bark from the pile he had been pointing too; held it up to the bare tree and said, "See how it protects the inside of the tree?"
In a very serious voice he replied, "Oh. It looks like it needs more glue." and off he went in search of sticks to throw in the creek.

A breath of fresh air

For the first time in six months it's warm enough to open the windows. 'Bout time!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What's wrong with this picture?

Last week when we walked to the park for the first time Julia was not happy to be in the swing. Twice I tried putting her in and both times she begged to get out. It made me worry how I was going to manage this summer with Sam always wanting to swing and Julia only wanting to slide down the slides. Sam's not old enough to pump yet so I thought I'd have to do lots of running back and forth between the kids when we walk to the playgrounds.

Sunday we walked to the playground closest to our new house and discovered that there isn't a baby swing.

Neither Julia nor I am very pleased about that.

And then there was today....

The park (here by our current home) has baby swings and she loved swinging.... What a relief!

Hold on to yer hats!

Aren't these "kites" fun?! Grandma Rena got them for the kids and today was a perfect day to fly them. We have a regular kite, but it is way, way way to windy to try to fly it. I would be too afraid that it would come shooting down to the ground like an arrow with the wind gusting the way it has all day. It's almost midnight and the windows are still rattling.

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two by two

Watching Sam and Julia become the best of friends brings Brian and I such joy. He and I will look over their heads sometimes and smile at each other as the two of them work together to construct a train track or build a tower. The kids like to hold hands and spin in circles when we have family dance time in the living room. Those giggles are priceless. They are happy to hold hands (most of the time) when we're going for a walk.

Hand holding is over as soon as Julia sees a potential friend. "HI!!!!!" she shrieks across the field and runs to meet a neighbor girl. All is fine and dandy. The girl was friendly and we all wandered closer to where her dad was waiting near her house. And then it when downhill. Conor managed to get out of the house and found us 100 yards from home. So there I was with a 30 pound toddler who wouldn't come home willingly and a 40 pound dog without a collar to securely return home. Thankfully the dad of the little girl had a leash we could borrow.

Every day since we pulled his dump trucks out he's been begging to play with them.

Good thing we scored two of them at garage sales last year because Julia insists on keeping up with her big brother. "JoJo!! JoJo!!! JoJo!!!" she calls anytime she sees Sammy do just about anything.

He has his moments, but most of the time Sam is a great big brother. He's affectionate, kind, thoughtful, and helpful. He's getting so grown up at 3 1/2.
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that's nice

...that Brian's boss offered to pay our $500 deductible to get the van fixed.

...that Brian's co-worker has been giving him a ride for the past seven months without getting anything in return (except some cookies from me once in a while)

...that Brian's dad spent 4 days working on a house he doesn't even live in just so we can have nice hardwood floors

...that my mother-in-law and sister-in-law have been babysitting more than usual so we can handle the logistics of moving/refinishing the floors.

...that my sister-in-law's friend thought of us when she heard about the caretaker position/house

Thank you isn't even a drop in the bucket, yet what else can I say?

What nice thing has someone done for you?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

don't try this at home

When a stray dog wanders into your yard don't let it in your house where your unsuspecting family is eating lunch.

Pretty obvious right?
If only life were that simple.

A dog I've never seen before got too close to our yard for our dog's comfort so I rushed out to get Conor back into the house. Conor was so worked up about the trespasser that he snarled at the dog and in the process got his nose scratched. The other dog (a boxer) got spooked and ran into our house (through the open patio door) before I could get Conor under control and back inside. It was a crazy and scary couple of minutes with a random dog wandering around my home. Sam was crying. I was yelling. Julia was safe in a chair. Brian did his best to get the dog out while I tried to keep Conor from getting blood all over the place.

Turns out she was a very friendly dog who crisscrossed the neighborhood in the back of a police cruiser while the officer tried to track down her owner. I was perplexed when he knocked on our next door neighbor's door. Didn't he think I'd recognize our neighbors dog and return her? I played nice and casually asked the officer if he was having any luck. For some reason the license number came back to that address and our old neighbor's name. How odd, but not as odd as our lunchtime turned out to be.

Friday, April 11, 2008

A whopper

You are not going to believe this. I don't believe it and I saw it with my own eyes!
I was packing a box of things to take to the new house when the kids required my attention in the other room. Upon returning to my spot on the floor in the office I spied our remaining goldfish on the floor. The floor for Pete's sake! How long had she been there? How close was she to landing on my head? WHAT HAPPENED? Near as I can tell, Mary jumped out of her bowl and fell 5 feet.
It didn't look good.
I screamed for a good two minutes before regaining enough composure to get the scoop and try to pick her up. It wasn't working so I used a paper towel to coax her lifeless body into the net. I have no idea what possessed me to dip the net in the water, but that's what I did. Immediately she started squirming her way out of the net and is currently swimming around her bowl like nothing happened. Now I have to get her a new bowlmate so she can share her harrowing tale with someone. I know I couldn't wait to tell Brian when he walked in the door a few minutes ago, but I let Sam do the honors.
"Daddy, Mary jumped out of her bowl!"
The funny thing is that he didn't acted surprised. Apparently he had a fish a child that did the same thing and lived to tell about it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

how quickly you forget

I knew that the floors that my father-in-law has been working on for THREE STRAIGHT DAYS have been vastly improved looking at the before photos...well... I'm floored.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pancake House

Our refrigerator may be bare because I haven't had a moment to shop, but that didn't stop us from making a batch of pancakes the other night. Sam wasn't thrilled about sharing his chef duties with his sister, but Julia thought it was fun to participate. For the record her first attempt at cooking turned out yummy! I'm thinking breakfast in bed for Mother's Day?
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Pancake House

Our refrigerator may be bare because I haven't had a moment to shop, but that didn't stop us from making a batch of pancakes the other night. Sam wasn't thrilled about sharing his chef duties with his sister, but Julia thought it was fun to participate. For the record her first attempt at cooking turned out yummy! I'm thinking breakfast in bed for Mother's Day?
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School Spirit Beanie Crochet Pattern

Beat those winter blues and cold winds with this a FLEECE lined brimmed hat! It seems like everyone is wearing a beanie these days - me in...