Friday, May 28, 2010

Somebody slow life down for just a bit, please?

My Nathan, my baby, completed another year of preschool this week.

I remember him hanging on my hip while his brother played on this playground.

He has one more year of preschool, and I have one more year of my baby with me for at least half the day with me, and I intend to make the most of it!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thrifty Thursday

This week I was in unloading mode, after doing some serious housecleaning for the garage sale last week. I basically sold a basket of household goods to the local second hand shop, which netted me $8. It just so happened that they had a set of these turquoise Fiestaware knock-off plates (they retail at Target for $10 for a set of four) for $8. So final cost for 4 dinner plates and 4 salad plates was free! It was so cool I squealed because lately I am loving this color, and I had been wanting those plates, but did not want to buy them new.

Additionally, I sold a total of ten items to the second hand kids shop, and earned $17 in store credit which bought exactly 4 pairs of badly needed boys' shorts. Not bad for an hour's work.

Laundry Room Re-do

It's funny how an accidental project can grab you. A horrible noise coming from your washing machine can really alter the course of one's weekend. Seeing as how 1)we've already paid several hundred dollars to have both washer and dryer repaired, 2) the dryer was taking 2-3 cycles to actually dry clothes, and 3) our state was giving a rebate for energy efficient washer purchases, we decided to get new models.

In the meantime, I thought why not paint if we have a few days to kill? I mean, it wasn't like there was any way to do our laundry anyway. Plus I still had aqua blue paint from the office and Zack's room; and I find myself suddenly in love with that color all over again (as you will see in upcoming blog posts!)

It only took me a few hours to paint, but 8 days to get the washer and dryer. Needless to say, I was busy with laundry for a couple of days. Now I am happy to do my laundry!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Art with my son

When I am feeling creatively dry, pulled in twenty directions, and generally feeling disconnected from things, there is nothing that helps rejuvenate me quite like grabbing one or both of the boys and doing a little art.

Today we each did one side of the notebook, and "my" side got no attention, because Nathan's side was much more interesting and creative.

While Nathan is drawing or doing art, there is always a story going on. In this scene, the baby birds were pecking out of their eggs, the mommy and daddy birds were eating cherries, and there were two little mice (one is already in the hole) stashing cherries away for later. He had to call Daddy to tell him all about it.

I am feeling very revved up and ready to blog and create again!

Monday, May 17, 2010

My man turned 40; what a surprise!

We had a little shindig for my guitar man Sunday. We have the bestest cake lady in the universe over at Cake Creations and she has obliged many silly requests from us over the years. This latest work of art was based on one of Ken's favorite guitars. (And yes, I bumped the edge a little, but it was still beautiful, no?)

It was a surprise party, and it worked! He totally didn't see it coming. My wonderful brother in law, who happens to be an actor, and I cooked up a plausible enough story to get Ken out of the house for long enough for me to hightail it to the grocery store, then a local park where 20 of our friends and family waited to yell surprise as the car drove up to the shelter house.

Our older son, with the daughter of our friends, sharing the joys of aircraft. When we have parties, the boys are excellent little hosts.

Our younger son, digging in and looking adorable. My children are fairly amazing because they kept the secret of the party for over a month. See, I am a flibbertygibbet, and had to talk about it to someone!

God bless Ken's mom, bringing an embarrassing band characature from high school, and stuck a "Lordy Lordy Ken is 40" sign on it. I also loved the silly card from my sister, that reads on the cover: "It ain't over till the fat lady sings," then you open it up and it plays an opera singer singing "AAAHHHHH!!!"

I must admit I've never seen him this happy at any sort of function. Usually he is busy being the host, helping me do stuff and looking after the kids. He's kind of awesome like that. This time though, he hung out with his peeps, and that made me feel it was all worth it. Additionally, despite the please no gifts request, our nutty friends hooked him up with some really sweet stuff, including tickets to Rush this August! What a great day!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Yard Sale Magic

There are these little moments during the process of preparing for and having a yard sale. It's the crazy people you meet. It's the making a bargain. The happy high of shedding stuff. The moment when someone finds treasure in your trash, like the kid who took the DVD player from our free wasn't working so well, but I guess this kid, age 8, enjoys taking things apart. He looked pleased as punch. But the first moment for me, the moment that allows me to step outside my daily reality for a while, is the jarring moment of realization that we have an entire store in our garage.

Then there is the emotional tug of sorting tiny baby clothes. Wasn't too long ago I was washing and sorting these little clothes in this very room, getting ready for my first baby. I am happy to report a lot of the super tiny baby clothes did NOT sell...I ended up giving them to a lady who was busy buying cribs and mattresses for a local organization that helps pregnant girls who've been thrown out of their parents' homes. She said "God will bless you, kiddo" and I said "ma'am, he already has."

Sweet, isn't it? His own idea too.

I know it's just stuff, but wow, it really captures the lifespan of a child.

Our next door neighbor came by and told us that her sister in law is visiting tonight, and that the sister in law's house burned down two weeks ago. She has a two month old baby. Our neighbor wondering if she could send the SIL over to shop later. Um, no, I don't think I'm taking the money of a mom who just lost everything except, thank God, what's most important. A giant bag of clothes sits here next to me waiting for her to keep. (And here I've been whining all day about having too much stuff.)

Finally, the moment of triumph where I realize that after the sale, the books, kid stuff and general junk I will try to unload at the second had shops, and the six bags to be donated, this is the only stuff to re-enter the house! Yay me! I conclude with the solemn vow never to let my house get this junky again, cross my heart!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

These are the best kinds of gifts! Thanks Boys!

Thanks for everything, Lois. I still can't believe it's been six Mother's Days without you, but I know you're in my heart!

Friday, May 7, 2010

May is here, so it's time to clean house!

(My beautiful tulips; they are already gone!)

I can't believe it's May already! I haven't been around much lately, for a number of reasons:
1. Dejunking the house for next week's community yard sale *with a solemn vow that all unsold items will be donated to a local thrift*
2. Hanging out with family from out of town, which included seeing my brother in law playing the lead in a community theater production of "A Thousand Clowns. " He was tremendous!
3. Being outdoors for walks and in the garden.
4. Waking up to the realization that my 4 year old will be in preschool for four days a week next year, and thus spending tons of one-on-one time with him.
5. Eating too much, especially eating out too much, and watching my weight balloon up.
6. Hanging out with friends..
7. Checking out the Titanic exhibit at COSI.
8. Completing, as a family, the 1000 piece puzzle we got at the Titanic thing.
9. Generally living life without the camera for a while.

We managed to take in a model train show when our family was in town.

My little engineer was very happy and dressed up for the occasion.

A Buy Nothing New Update:
Hmm, to say April was not so good would be a massive understatement. As a family we managed to make so many purchases, new and used, needed and not, that itemizing them out is really laughable. Suffice it to say that Murphy came knocking, and we found ourselves needing not only a new washer and dryer, but also a new (to us) vehicle. (That is, a new vehicle after repairing the old vehicle that was in an accident.) My husband used the phrase "hemorrhaging money" to describe it. Also, if you're a fan of The Secret, you might appreciate my theory. I believe that by stating I "don't want to spend money" or that I "don't want to buy newly manufactured items" I am actually drawing those situations where I have to spend or buy a new widget to myself. It's like the universe is hearing "spend money" and "buy new stuff" and delivering those situations. Maybe.

So for now my main focus this week is prepping for the big yard sale. Hopefully if I can focus on reducing my "stuff" it will keep my mind off of acquisition.