Thursday, September 27, 2007

I am back...

We got back late Tuesday night. We had a good trip with just a few bumps in the road. Overall, we got done what we wanted to get done. Not everything though. I ended up sick on Saturday night and all day on Sunday. Let's just say - me and my new master bath toilet had a face to face introduction. Hope that is the last I have of that in my new house! Tim kept on working and the kitchen is in - just needs the doors put on a few of the finishing touches. They measured for the counter tops and they should be installed in about 3 weeks. I got a few things off of my list too. I got Timmy's floor painted, but it still needs one more coat. I got Savannah's wallpaper border up. I got all the switch and outlet plates replaced. I also got the floors cleaned upstairs and downstairs. I didn't get to sanding the steps like I wanted to do. I guess it will be there when I get to it. Even with puking my guts out and feeling awful for a good part of the long weekend, I had a great time. Tim and I got to talk like crazy without any kids chiming in. That was a great break. Now we are back and it has been busy here too. I still felt sorta sick on Wednesday on and off. I had to go to Sam's and restock. That took a huge amount of time. Then there was laundry and a house showing. Today I need to cut the grass and tackle catching up on some school. We have another house showing on Sunday at 11am. These people came by yesterday and called. I wasn't quite ready to have them in at the moment. Something about play dough all over the floor and laundry waiting to be put away. I gave them my house website and the man gave me his wife's cell number to set up a time to come back. I called and talked with her for a short while last night. She said they were "definitely interested". Her husband works all the time, but they could come by on Sunday morning. Her husband did say they were working on getting a loan approval and he wasn't sure what the amount would be yet though. I guess we will see. That sure would be nice. Keep praying.


This is how our cabinets looked when we arrived. Yes, you actually have to put them together. We knew this. These are the same cabinets we have in our current kitchen. Mills Pride from Home Depot. They still carry them, but some of the stores don't have a display. You save a lot of money putting them together and they are really great quality with a lifetime warranty.



Tim is putting together my corner cabinet. No, they are not real wood all the way through, but they have held up so well during the last 8 years that we decided to stick with them.


You have to use your imagination to see it finished with doors and counter top. I really wanted to get all the doors and drawers on, but we just didn't get to it. Plus we forgot to buy handles! Oops!



Tim set all the matching doors in each cabinet. We were missing one door for under the sink. It is on order!



This is my bonus set of cabinets that wasn't in the original kitchen. I think this it going to be my favorite part of my kitchen. It will have a nice open space to either work on or set a buffet out on.



These are the boxes when we were finished! This is also where I want to set my Christmas tree!


Ignore that ugly red color on the wall. I promise we will change it. It is on the list. I just did some cleaning up in here and washed the floor. At least if we come back with a moving truck, we can put furniture in here.



Timmy's room with painted floor. It still needs another coat and I got some on the trim. Otherwise it looks pretty good. For the record, HE WANTED PAINT. We offered carpet. I think he will probably opt to get a throw rug at some point. He says he wants to skate board in his room. I don't want to think about that right now.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I am leaving...

On a jet plane!

Don't know when I'll be back again!



Okay... not really. I am leaving in a Hyundai and I will be back on Tuesday. Tim and I are headed to SC to install our kitchen cabinets. I am just plain excited about this! Last year it was a trip to St. John for a week of snorkeling in the clearest of clear blue waters and smoothies on the beach. This year it is - well - construction work in South Carolina. Oh well... at least we are getting away for a few days. We will just make the best of it. Hopefully, next year will bring some great things and maybe a relaxing vacation.

Friday Feast

Appetizer
What is your favorite type of art?

This had me a little stumped. Art as in Art I would purchase or like to go look at? I guess that would be photographs. I love real photos over painted pictures, etc. Art I love to do? Scrapbooking. I love it when I am motivated. With all the stress in my life, I haven't been motivated. I did scrap 16 pages last weekend though. I was pretty happy with myself for getting that done.

Soup
When was the last time you got a free lunch (or breakfast or dinner)? Who paid for it?

A couple of months ago I went to lunch with Linda. She is my very good friend and used to be my boss. We try to go to lunch every once in awhile. It is supposed to be once a month, but she is really, really busy. (Especially, since I don't work there anymore and can't help her with projects!) She has taken me to lunch I think 3 times this year. She ALWAYS pays even though I ALWAYS tell her no. She is such a sweet and kind person!

Salad
On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how emotional are you?

During PMS week - I am a 12 on a scale of 1-10. The rest of the time, probably a 7 or 8.

Main Course
Approximately how long do you spend each day responding to emails?

Actually, responding to emails maybe 10 minutes. Reading emails - probably 30 to 60 minutes.

Dessert
To what temperature do you usually set your home’s thermostat?

For years and years and years we have set it at 79. This summer we changed to 78 and sometimes if we are showing the house at some point during that day we put it down to 76 or 77. We figure other people like it cooler.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Wonderful "W"



I have been walking my kids around the neighborhood since Timmy was a baby. We don't have a particularly large neighborhood. There is one "big block" and one "small block". I started walking with Timmy back when we lived in Illinois. I didn't have a car and I had to get out of the house somehow. Back then I just walked to get out. I never really thought of it as exercising. No wonder I quickly lost the baby weight from him. I was walking several miles a day. Then we moved here. I still walked, but not nearly as far. I remember taking him around this neighborhood and he would point out all the cats. Then when the leaves began to fall on the very few trees that do that here - he would pick them up. He soon grew out of walking with me. Probably around the time he was 4 or so. I then began walking with my then friend, Beth. We would rollerblade twice a week and walk a couple more times a week. Along came Savannah. Rollerblading felt like h*ll to me after I had her. I have no idea why it could turn that way on me, but it did. I never got back into the swing of it. I walked with Savannah at the park near my other house for the first year of her life. Then we moved back here and bought my mom's house. So began my walks around the same neighborhood again. She stayed in her stroller much longer than Timmy. Pretty much till she was 6 and I had Sebastian. Then she graduated to riding her scooter around with me. She would point out those same cats and pick up those same leaves for all those years. When I had Sebastian, he was a quirky little guy. He didn't like to walk around the neighborhood twice. I could only manage one time around without having to bring him home and drop him off with Tim. I would then continue my walk. As he got a little older, he started to enjoy the walks like the other kids did. Up until this summer, he mostly stayed in the stroller. I had him ride his scooter around a few times just to wear him out for bedtime. He never is really tired at bedtime. On these walks with him, he would find the cats too. And now a few leaves have fallen and he picks them up too. I flash back in my mind to other walks with Timmy and Savannah. They were standing by the same tree and found leaves. The same people who had cats back then, have cats now. Same driveways, same feeling. My other babies grew up and no longer want to find cats and leaves with me. Then Sebastian did something the other two never did. He found the Wonderful "W". Actually, he found FOUR of them. At first they look to be an M until you turn the way you should. They are W for water lines. I would have just walked passed them and let them go unnoticed. Not Sebastian. He saw them and decided they meant something. What? They meant you are supposed to jump in a complete circle on top of them! Then he tells me with all of his heart that it is "Your turn!". Then I jump up and down on the W's. Of course, what else am I to do? The very first time, I wasn't so sure I wanted to jump up and down on every single W we would be sure to find on our walks. Then I remembered that they all grow up. They don't walk with you and say "Meow, meow" or "Look, airpwain!" or "One more Weaf, pease!". They grow up and all of a sudden Wonderful W's on the sidewalk are just markers for water lines that you just walk on and forget. Not right now though, not for Sebastian. Wonderful W's mean some sort of game that he and mommy play. Right now, they are fun and exciting and amazing. So, if you see a 35 year old woman stopping to jump in a circle on every single W on your block... just smile and know she is taking in every second of her last little baby!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Free Aquarium Day

Last week, we went to the Florida Aquarium. It was free homeschool day. I somehow missed that info, but my friend told me about it. We ended taking her daughter, Savannah and Sebastian. I was sorta wishy washy about going. In my opinion the Florida Aquarium is not that great. Especially if you have ever been to Sea World. Then I remembered that Savannah had not been there in 4 years. She didn't really even remember going back then. When I first started homeschooling, I took Timmy EVERYWHERE for these types of things. Since I have had Sebastian, we have not gone to a lot of these places. Now he is old enough that he enjoys them too. So... I made the right decision to go. I still think that the Florida Aquarium is great for a free day, but I don't think I would ever pay the $18 admission to get in. It is nice, but I would put my money towards a ticket at Sea World. They have added an outdoor water area for the kids to play in since we were last there. That was very cool and the kids had a blast in it. Last week was a field trip week for homeschooling. First Anna Maria Island and then the Aquarium. Most of the time, I don't stop to think about it being a "school day". I just make whatever plans and never really think other kids are sitting in classrooms. It dawned on me after our very short notice Monday trip to Anna Maria Island - how cool it was that we could have that kind of homeschool day.







Saturday, September 15, 2007

My poor, little, ARTICULATE daughter...

Savannah is sick. She was at her friend's house last night when she started to throw up. She got home and got into her new pj top and recently sewn pj bottoms (way to go MOM!). I got her a bucket and she went to bed. This morning I could hear her whimpering on the baby monitor. I went in to check on her. She whimpered, "Mom, I am TOO DEHYDRATED for my legs to work. I need to get more water for HYDRATION. My legs just won't work CORRECTLY if I don't get more HYDRATION." Now, while I am very pleased that she knew what this meant, I was a little taken back. Of course, her dramatic presentation only added to it! I am pretty sure when I was around 9 years old and sick - the only words I had were "I am sick or my tummy hurts, etc." I guess I could say that my kids talk like this because they are homeschooled, but I am pretty sure it is because we have cable. I think they get a ton of this vocabulary from Discovery Kids, Animal Planet, TLC, etc. As I just typed that... Savannah tuned into Discovery Kids. She must need some more new vocabulary.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Do other moms do this???

Okay, today I dropped Savannah off with her friends. Then I headed over to Super Target. Well, first I stopped at Ross. I just wanted to pop in there for a second. Sebastian found a Harley Motorcycle that he quite liked. He played with it on and off while I browsed. I had been wanting to get him a motorcycle toy for his birthday and decided to see how much he liked this one. He would play with it and then go to another toy, but always come back to the motorcycle. So, we went and bought it. All the while I am telling him he must forget we bought it and be surprised when he unwraps it! I know - I am crazy. It really is okay. We put it away in the trunk and headed to Super Target. I was going for a very specific reason. Sinus medication! My head has been pounding for days. That really bad migraine type pounding where your vision starts to blur. That was my main reason for going into Target. Tim did rub my neck last night and that took the edge off the pain, but it is still sorta there. I get in Target and find our good friend, Levi. We chat as we go to get Sebastian a cookie. I tell Levi I need ziploc bags. He walks over with me to get them. Then I remember I need anti-itch cream. Savannah has been complaining that we don't have any as if it were the end of the world. Next, I remember that I should get another lunchable. Before you tell me how horrible it is to buy lunchables... please save it. I NEVER used to buy these things. I NEVER let Timmy have them no matter how much he begged. I was a MEAN MOM! Ask Timmy, he will tell you. Last year when Savannah was at co-op, I realized all of her friends eat lunchables. I saw them on sale for $1 a piece (we don't get the ones with juice). I bought her one because I am not kidding you - it made her day, her week and quite possibly her year. Then I realized how stinkin' easy it is to throw a lunchable in her lunch box with an applesauce and a cheesestick. That made it my favorite co-op day lunch. Call me lazy, call me non-frugal, call me crazy - I don't care. It is a timesaver and makes her tremendously happy. I will say I wouldn't want her to eat them for lunch everyday, but once a week for co-op is great. Or as the case my be twice a week as it was this week. This week we went to co-op and an aquarium field trip (pictures coming soon). Lunchables are great for field trips too. So, back to my story. I realized that we had used her last lunchable for the field trip and we would need one for Tuesday. I run over and grab her a lunchable. Then I remember we need night light bulbs for Sebastian. His burned out last week and he was terrible about going to sleep. I gave him the glade plug in night light and turned on the fishtank light. The little "Monk" that he is... could not tolerate it not being his traditional nightlight. Tim actually ran over to my mom's to get a replacement bulb after the second night of Sebastian having a temper tantrum. I decided that I need to have extra on hand. This leads us to the other side of Target to get the bulbs, but before we can get there I notice the clearance rack in the little girls department. I saw a little tank type top that would work great for Savannah's pjs. She has these pjs my sister got her. She got a hole in the bottoms and has been asking me to sew it forever. I think I was mentally blocking it because the top to the bottoms is too small for her. I hated it when she wore it, but she loves the bottoms and the other button shirt that goes over it. I saw this tank and thought it was perfect to replace the too small top. I grabbed that and added it to all the other stuff in my hands because I didn't have a cart BECAUSE I was only getting SINUS MEDS! Off to get the lightbulbs. Got them and headed past the dollar section of Target. I saw yet another clearance sign and had to look. They had the Harry Potter bags half off - so 50 cents each. Savannah is having a Harry Potter birthday party. I saw these before, but passed on them. Now they are half off and a better deal. They would work great for her goodie bags. I run over and grab a hand basket and count out 7 Harry Potter bags. I decide I must leave the store before I see anything else I need. As an added bonus, the Harry Potter bags ring up at 25 cents each! Wonderful! Sebastian and I leave the store. I start to pull out of the parking lot. I take a drink of water thinking that my head slightly hurts. Then it dawns on me that I NEVER bought the SINUS MEDS! UGH! To recap:


  1. One motorcycle for Sebastian.

  2. One cookie for Sebastian.

  3. One lunchable for Savannah.

  4. One anti-itch cream for Savannah.

  5. One tank top for Savannah.

  6. One pack of night light bulbs for Sebastian.

  7. Seven Harry Potter bags for Savannah.

  8. One box of Ziploc bags for household.

  9. NO SINUS MEDICINE FOR MOM!

How is it that I can set out for one thing for me and come out with a zillion other things for everyone else, but me?

After I finished typing the above, Tim and I went out to dinner at Five Guys. There is another Target next door to that. I told him I still needed to run in and get some sinus meds. On the way in, we saw that darn dollar section! I won't list ever item we bought because Savannah tends to read my blog and I don't want her to know. Just let me say that the list above things I bought for my kids today just grew. We also managed to get Sebastian either another birthday gift or a Christmas gift. Not sure which yet. I told Tim that if only we didn't have kids - we would have more than enough money for me to be a stay at home mom! I guess we have to have the kids for me to get that status! And... here is the BIG THING... I got my SINUS MEDS! HOORAY!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A wonderful, unexpected day...

So my Tusie Karen came to Anna Maria Island this week. Remember awhile back I said that Tusie sorta means Aunt in Romanian. We called our aunts Tusie, our nieces and nephews call us Tusie and so on. Anyway, my aunt had been talking to my mom and said she would be in Anna Maria Island. My mom thought that was about 4 hours away. She called me and asked me where it was. I told her about an hour away - just over the skyway. Wow! She got very excited and asked if we could go meet her. Sure! Why not? That was on Sunday night. My Tusie had Monday and Wednesday open. We decided to go on Monday because I didn't have any realtors coming and nothing else planned. As it has turned out, I don't have anything planned for Wednesday either - but who knew? We loaded up my kids, my sister Michelle, my mom and me and headed down. It is an easy drive. I can't believe we have never gone down there before. We had to make two small trips to drop off at the place on the beach because I don't have a mini-van. My Tusie chose this little beach cafe. It was perfect. It was raining a little on and off, but we could still sit on the patio by the water. Great place for my kids to play and for us to sit and chat an afternoon away. My mom hadn't seen Tusie Karen in about 8 years. I am so glad we were able to make the trip. She is my dad's sister. My mom and her talked and talked about the old days and then all about the things that are happening now. An unexpected gift in the middle of lots of stressful things. Look at those great looking ladies!

Me with my kiddos!

Grandma and the kids dipping their toes in the water!


Savannah playing in the sand.

You mean I am NOT supposed to throw the sand?


Beach Buddies!

Can you believe this was the first time he has been to a beach and we live TWO MILES from the Gulf of Mexico? I know... bad...


video
There was a man set up to play music on the beach from 4-8. My Tusie spoke with him for a little while. Turns out he was from Illinois too. He went on to play Chicago. My mom and Tusie began to dance. I quickly remembered my camera would take video. This was priceless for me! When I think about my Tusie and being a little girl - I remember her buying the 45 of Celebration. She brought it home and had me and her daughter dancing on the coffee table. I thought she was nuts, but I laughed so hard my tummy hurt! I also had just told Tim last weekend about my mom and dad dancing. We were at the flea market and they were playing Run Around Sue. Both he and I said about the same time how much that reminded us of my dad. That made me think about mom and dad dancing at the club. They could dance! I was always amazed and loved to just watch them. How I wish I had a video of them dancing. Anyway, enjoy the show... I certainly did!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Ace of Cakes...


Have you seen this show? Ace of Cakes - it is on the Food Network. We (meaning my whole family - yes even Sebastian) have been watching it for awhile now. I guess like a year or so. It is about this guy and his friends that makes odd cakes in Baltimore. Some of the cakes are not that great to me, but others are pretty cool. They are not your traditional wedding cakes. I think we all like seeing how the cakes turn out, but more than that - I think we like watching the crazy cast of people work together. It is just a fun, non-stressful show to watch while you eat not so great tasting Little Caesar's Pizza (what was I thinking trying to save money by getting Little Caesar's anyway?) on Sunday night! We all really want to go to Baltimore and visit them. Unfortunately, it says you can't visit them on their official website Charm City Cakes. It also says that their cakes start out at $500, so I doubt we will ever get to taste one either! Bummer... I guess we will just have to keep watching and pretend like we get to go there to create and taste a cake.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Friday Feast

Appetizer
Using only one word, how does grocery shopping make you feel?

TIRED

Soup
What is your favorite part about the season of Autumn?

Cooler weather and the beginning of the holidays.

Salad
Have you ever had any bad experiences online?

I have been "slammed" on a homeschool message board before. Not really that big of a deal, but it sorta stings a bit. I also sold to a crazy person on Ebay once. They gave me a negative and that absolutely turned my stomach.

Main Course
Name three things that make you happy daily.

My kids, Tim, my mom. Those are the people "things". Thing "things" are my computer, my dvr attached to my big screen tv, and my porch swing.

Dessert
What one household cleansing or organizing item would you not want to be without?

Clorox Clean-up or Clorox Soft Scrub with Bleach. I clean just about every surface with one of these. Of course, I do really need my vacuum too because my dog sheds like crazy.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sunlight, Serotonins and Stress

I have been taking the kids to my mom's pool the last couple of weeks. Yes, we have a pool in our backyard. It is a very nice pool. It would work to get wet and play. Before this summer, I had only swam at my mom's pool maybe 3 times in the last 8 years. When I say "her" pool, I should say her community pool. She lives in a retirement community. During the summer, the pool is not really all that full because of lack of snowbirds. Her pool is roomy and there is no screen over it. My pool has a screen over and around it. Normally, I am not a tanning person. For a brief time in my twenties, I had a friend that loved to tan. I would go to the beach with her for the sole purpose of getting a tan. Then I had two more kids and we lost touch and that was pretty much the end of any tanning for me. If you were to ask me if I was a tanning person, I would probably tell you no. Then something happened. I went swimming in SC while we were there. My brother-in-law's pool also does not have a screen. I got a little color just from swimming for that one morning. The color was nice, but more importantly, I felt less stressed. I can't explain it exactly, but if you are a bath person - sorta that feeling of easing into the bathtub and drowsing in and out of sleep. Just more relaxed. I came home and I went swimming in my pool. Something I hadn't really done much this year. I would let the kids swim and watch them from the swing. I didn't get that same relaxed feeling. I started to think it was the sunlight that the screens were protecting me from. Believe me I know about the danger of UV rays. Tim burned his ears pretty bad on a boat trip and had to have tissue removed due to skin cancer. I am not saying I should bake in the sun and that will solve all of my stress issues. I am saying that a swim once or twice a week has done wonders for my mood. I did a little googling and found out that the sun really does release those happy serotonins. This was a simple, basic article about relieving stress - click here. In case my family is worrying that I am depressed and need sunlight - I am not depressed. Stressed, yes! Depressed, no! You can relax now.

Here are the pictures from the pool. I didn't realize that there was smudges on my camera. Sorry for the blurred part!


My VERY BRAVE PHOTO of myself! Don't I look relaxed?

My white legs that could use some color!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Five Guys and a Burger



My mom, Sebastian, and I went to dinner on Friday night. I wanted to take her to our new Five Guys and a Burger. My sister-in-law, Karen, took us to one when we were in South Carolina. It is not fancy in anyway, but it has the BEST burgers and the fries are really, really good too. You get to pick from a ton of toppings. When I was younger, I was a pretty boring topping person. I was like mustard, ketchup and a pickle or two. Now I am like LOAD IT UP with mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomatoes, a little onion, pickles and then my very favorite MUSHROOMS! Awesome! They have regular burgers and what they call "little burgers". I find that the little ones are good enough for me by the time you add the toppings and fries. A regular order of fries is enough for two people too. So, if you happen to have one of these - stop by and get a great burger. Oh and it is not a bad price either. Very reasonable! You can find them by clicking here -
Five Guys.

The BIG BOY BED...

You can't keep me in this cage anymore! HA! HA! HA!

Last week, you may recall, I talked about starting to potty train. When I had that brilliant (not) idea in my head - I realized that meant we had to take Sebastian out of his crib. After all, how would he get to the potty if he was stuck in his crib? I have never had to deal with this particular situation before. Timmy and Savannah NEVER stayed in their crib till they were nearly 3 years old. They had both climbed out about 18 months old. By the time we started potty training, they had been in regular beds for quite some time. I do believe having to get rid of the crib was another in the long list of reasons I was not in a hurry to potty train. What sane mother actually takes her child out of a crib? I mean c'mon - they have to stay put where they are in a crib! I so completely didn't want to get rid of that crib. I thought it would mean the end of nap time and then bedtime would be a battle too. I kept using the moving excuse. We will buy him a bed when we move. I don't know how many times I said that. Then I decided we don't seem to be moving as quickly as I thought. I started to whine to my mom that I really didn't want to buy him a bed only to have more furniture to move. Then my mom pointed out that I had a perfectly usable trundle bed stored under Savannah's bed. I kid you not... I had never even thought about it. I am just a whining away about how I am broke and I don't need to be spending money on a bed before we move. Then I was whining about how I couldn't just put his crib mattress on the floor because the house needed to be "staged" for realtor showings. My mom just so quietly tells me about the trundle bed. Duhhhh... Why couldn't I think of that? I then remembered that I had seen a Thomas the Train bedding set at Ross for a bargain. I ran out and found the comforter for a wonderful $15. I had to go to a second Ross where I found his sheets for $12. What a deal! We brought them home and washed them. Tim took the crib apart and I set it out in the garbage. We got Sebastian ready for bed that night and he proceeded to bug his sister like crazy. I was so tempted to run back out to the trash and get the crib back! The next day at nap time, I was sure he wouldn't just lay down and go to sleep, but he did! Bedtime has been on and off with him. He does much better if I stagger bedtimes for Savannah and him. I just can't move soon enough for them to have their own rooms. We have the 4th bedroom, but none of Savannah's bedding matches it. I can't just put her in there since that whole house for sale staging thing. Hopefully not much longer and they will be in their own rooms. Hooray!
Just kicking back in my cool new bed!

Yes, my shirt is very wet... that is because my other favorite thing to do is play in the sink making messes with water!