Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Everyday Chaos

If this is what it's like with two kids....God help me when the third arrives!  Here's a fun little glimpse into the craziness that is my world with so many males around.  Love it!

Project Life Tuesday - June Week Four

Hello and welcome to Project Life Tuesday! I am taking a photo every day in 2011 and putting them together in an album to create a unique keepsake of this year for our family.  Be sure to check in on what others are doing with their projects over at The Mom Creative!

Sunday, June 19th - For Father's Day, the boys and I took Daddy out to eat at Quaker Steak & Lube.  I think the boys ended up feeling like it was more of a treat for them when they discovered these racing games.

Monday, June 20th - The very first day with the new babysitter, Isaiah discovered this dragon costume in his dress up box and insisted on wearing it all day long. 

Tuesday, June 21st - I emptied out the bathroom closet to get it organized and somewhat packed up and it was pretty surprising to see my entire bath & body stockpile all in the same box!

Wednesday, June 22nd - Our neighbor built these beds for my kids and then Evan chipped in by helping with the staining and finishing.  It was finally time to assemble them! 

Thursday, June 23rd - The beds turned out to be FANTASTIC!!  Both Isaiah and Micah were totally pumped to have these fancy new big boy beds to call their own.  It will be really interesting when they discover the adventures they'll have once we stack them into bunk beds!

Friday, June 24th - We're continuing to work on getting the house ready to go on the market and I was able to whip the playroom into shape enough to take the official photo for our Internet listing.  This is the room that will make me the most sad to leave.  I painted those polka dots and that chalkboard wall when I was pregnant with Micah.  A lot of love went into this room and we spend a ton of time in it.  It will be really hard to see it go.

Saturday, June 25th - Saturday morning snuggle time.  This photo makes me happy.  :)

Have a great week!  Hard to believe June is almost over already, isn't it?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I Could Really Go for a Beer

Now's when I curse that whole not being able to drink thing.  While Evan took Isaiah to see Cars 2 this afternoon, I took it upon myself to empty out Micah's closet and create an insane pile o' crap to be sorted through.  I had everything in there from poker chips to a breast pump, and old letter jacket to space heaters.  There was a LOT of stuff.  Anywho, we got the boys down to bed and headed downstairs to try to tackle our storage area to purge out some junk and sort the stuff that we wanted to keep so that it didn't look so much like a bomb had gone off in there.

I should mention that I put Micah to bed in his big boy bed for the first time tonight.  He lasted a couple of hours before he got out and asked to go back in the crib.  We'll try again tomorrow!

But back to the hard work.  Holy crap did we have a ton of stuff piled in that storage area.  I threw out a real interesting variety of stuff that was just taking up space: wedding invitations, old flip flops (yup), random enormous paper clips, a half burned candle, broken picture frames, and a box of parts for a crib we no longer have....among other things.  We also created a huge "To Be Donated" pile with everything from kitchen utencils and a wine rack to Playstation 2 games and napkins. 

Feeling slightly liberated by all this purging, we managed to shove just about everything back in there before we ran out of steam for the evening.  I zapped an email off to our realtor that we just might make our goal of having the house ready to go on the market by the end of the month after all and when would she like to come out and assess the place?

Between the flower planting, decluttering, scrubbing, sorting, tossing, packing, wiping, rearranging, and other such nonsense, I feel like I've just been chasing my tail when it comes to this house ever since I got serious about getting it ready to be shown to potential buyers.

I was really ready for a nice cold bottle of Spotted Cow when I finally plunked my butt on the couch tonight.

I had a bowl of Fruit Loops instead. And now I can barely keep my eyes open.  Nite nite.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Project Life Tuesday - June Week Three

Hello and welcome to Project Life Tuesday! I am taking a photo every day in 2011 and putting them together in an album to create a unique keepsake of this year for our family.  Be sure to check in on what others are doing with their projects over at The Mom Creative!

Sunday, June 12th - I brought the boys over to my Grandma's house today to celebrate both my dad and my grandfather's birthdays.  Their favorite part was getting to play with Aunt Erica and Uncle Chris!

Monday, June 13th - Sometimes, I swear this child looks like a grown man trapped in a little boy's body. 

Tuesday, June 14th - Isaiah has scraped up this same spot on his knee over and over.  He's more than slightly obsessed with his owie.

Wednesday, June 15th - Evan's parents stopped by for a little while tonight and the boys really enjoyed talking their Grandma's ear off.

Thursday, June 16th - Room by room, I am de-cluttering and cleaning so I can get the photos taken for our listing and get this house ready to go on the market.  The closet is still a disaster, but at least I was able to get the "official" photo of our bedroom finished.

Friday, June 17th - I brought Isaiah with me to go pick out the mattress for Micah's new big boy bed and the salesman gave him a sucker as a treat.  Immediately, Isaiah asked if he could bring one home for his brother.  He was so excited to bring home a surprise for Micah!

Saturday, June 18th - Here's the thing about Micah.  He is one tough cookie.  That child tumbled and scraped his knee multiple times to the point where he literally had blood running down his leg, but he was absolutely refusing to stop playing.  He would cry and want to be consoled for all of two seconds before he was ready to get back to business.  Wild, huh?

Have a fabulous week and thanks for stopping in!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Where's Waldo?

When I received my spectacular white Project Life box several months ago, I made sure to take the "Glamour Shot" with my new kit and swiftly sent it off to Becky Higgins with my sincere thanks for creating such a cool project. 

Check it out!  I made the photo collage!  Can you find me?  (Hint:  It shouldn't take you too long!)
Somehow, I landed in there twice!  Aren't I a lucky gal?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How Not to Sell a Van

As you may have caught wind of, we took a little trip a couple weeks back with the mission of driving home in a minivan.  Mission:  Accomplished!

Before I get to the fun little story that accompanies our adventure, allow me to break down for you how we were able to purchase our family vehicle with cash.  We started saving up for the van pretty much as soon as the money for our roof was squared away.  We actually ended up saving up more than we needed for the roof, so we were able to roll over some of those funds into the van stash!  I set aside $450 every month to this purpose.  Our in-laws gave our kitty a much needed boost with a gift of $2500 and finally, we sold our 2003 Mercury Sable to a co-worker fro $3600.  When all was said and done, we hopped in the car to drive to Illinois with $8600 in cash all ready to go for our purchase!

Why Illinois?  Evan is to thank for that stroke of genius.  He was listening to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University the last time he was in China and caught on to the tip that you sometimes might have to expand your search a bit wider to find a good deal.  Instead of looking on Auto Trader for a van within 50 miles, I boosted it up to 200 miles and voila!  We suddenly had dozens of vans to choose from!  From that list, we narrowed it down to a pile of 11 vans that had the options we wanted and were within our budget.  I mapped out a route for how to go to each and every dealership in one day so we could test drive as many as possible. 

We ended up driving 7 of our original list of 11 vans.  There was one that we didn't even get inside before we walked away and four of them ended up being sold within 24 hours before our arrival on the lot.  It was actually easier than I expected to narrow our choices down to a top three and we were able to make a deal on our first choice van the same evening that we did all our test driving!

We purchased this 2002 Honda Odyssey with just under 119,000 miles with leather seats and the DVD player.  The sticker price was $8748, but we were able to negotiate to get a full new set of tires and a purchase price of $7935.  Happy Dance!!  After tax, title, license, and other such fees, we were able to squeak in just under budget. 

Now, on to the fun little story from our trip.  One of our potential vans was listed as being located at Pauly Toyota Scion in Crystal Lake, Illinois.  We drove up to a new, rather large dealership and waited a few minutes for them to locate the vehicle for us.  Turns out, our Odyssey had recently been moved to their old location a mile or so away.  They gave us directions and sent us on our way, telling us they had already called ahead to let Terry know we were coming.  We drove off, followed our instructions, and found ourselves at what had clearly become the Budget Lot of this fancy dealership.  It was little more than an old parking lot with a shack for an office.  We walked into the office and were a little surprised to see that the interior looked like it had recently been robbed.  A desk sat off to the right, covered in papers and other such junk.  A man walked out from behind it and introduced himself as Terry.  We explained we were interested in the Odyssey, so he went to get us the keys.  We walked out to the van and started our little inspection routine.  When we were ready to test drive, this guy basically gave us some quick directions on how now to get lost and sent us off.  It was kind of weird considering we were clearly not local, but I suppose he needed to go clip his toenails for something. 

We drove the van, liked the van, but noticed it had a couple issues.  A ceiling vent had popped loose and there were a couple other concerns.  When we returned to the office, we raised these issues with Terry.  The response was, "Well, then you'd take it to a Honda dealer and get it fixed."  Ummmm.....ok?  As we talked more about the van, Terry suddenly started to mess with his teeth a bit.  Out of nowhere, this guy started spilling all the details about the problems he was having with his bridge and that it clearly wasn't fitting right anymore, but he couldn't get in to see a dentist until that afternoon and blah blah blah.  After poking around in his mouth for a moment or two, he excused himself for a moment.  While he was gone, we finally noticed the enormous 8 foot by 6 foot sign that hung behind his desk that explained in no less than 200 words that their vehicles are sold "As Is" and will probably have something wrong with them and that's why they're so cheap.  Translation:  Our vehicles are a piece of crap.  Run, do not walk, out that door before Creepy Terry returns!

Did we listen? No, no, no.  Terry returned, carrying some items in his hands.  I wish I was joking about what happened next, but I am not.  This guy proceeded to sit down right across from us, remove the bridge from his mouth, and started cleaning it!  He gave it a good scrub down with this little brush thingy, reapplied some glue, and then jammed it back into place.  The whole time, he was narrating about how he'd had this bridge for so many years and "sorry if this grosses you out" and "did I get it in there straight?"  I was beyond shocked!  I mean, who does that???  As soon as that bridge was back in place, the first words out of Terry's mouth were, "So, are you ready to move on that van?"

Well, after that extremely awkward encounter, I was looking to race to the door.  I stood up to go and Evan and I tried to politely make our exit.  Before we could hit the exit, Toothless Terry looked at me and asked out of nowhere, "When is your baby due?"

People, I realize I'm pregnant.  If you know for a fact that I am pregnant, I look pregnant.  However, I am not so pregnant that it is obvious to a stranger.  I found it a bit off-putting that this guy would be so presumptuous with someone he was trying to sell a vehicle to, but then again, he did just take out his teeth and clean them in front of us so clearly social graces were not his strong point.

It's no surprise that Toothless Terry was left behind at the budget lot.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Project Life Tuesday - June Week Two

Hello and welcome to Project Life Tuesday! I am taking a photo every day in 2011 and putting them together in an album to create a unique keepsake of this year for our family.  Be sure to check in on what others are doing with their projects over at The Mom Creative!

Sunday, June 5th - A friend of mine held my hand and guided me through the garden section of Menards to help me pick out some flowers to jazz up our curb appeal.  After she helped me plant them, Evan topped off the new flower bed with fresh mulch and a healthy drink of water.  Here's to hoping I don't kill them!
Monday, June 6th - It was another scorching hot day.  I went out to water my flowers once in the morning and then took the boys out one more time in the afternoon, but I barely made it 10 minutes before I ushered the kids back into the air conditioning.  They were reluctant at first, but it took them all of a few seconds before they were vegging and cooling off to Toy Story.
Tuesday, June 7th - Ah, the dreaded gestational diabetes test.  Good news: I passed!
Wednesday, June 8th - A big storm rolled through tonight and brought some serious rain, but it stayed pretty warm.  Evan sent the boys out to run barefoot in the rain and they had an absolute blast!  Turns out, the neighboring county was under a tornado warning while we were out frolicking in the rain!  Oops.
Thursday, June 9th - I brought our "new" van into the service center today to get a headlight replaced and to have them check out my radio because there was some smoke coming out of it the other day!  Turns out, all the change you see here was crammed in the cassette player!  $2.29 worth! 
Friday, June 10th - Now that the flowers have had a few days to get good and happy, here's a glimpse at the new front view of our house.  Now if only I could get the inside whipped into shape before we start having showings.
Saturday, June 11th - Our friends stopped in for a visit today on their way to visit family and my boys got to meet baby Lainee.  Micah was just enthralled.  He kept touching her face and cooing, "Baby.....baby!"
Now, if you'll excuse me.....I have to go purge about 50% of my kids' toys out of the playroom and ship them off to a garage sale without their knowledge. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

So Much To Say

Anyone else have a Dave Matthews Band song running through their head right now after reading that title?

Ok, so first things first.  I sincerely apologize for being so absent on the blog lately.  A few weeks back, some news hit our family that has kind of shaken everything up and we've been in the process of working through things together.  I've had to stay pretty quiet mostly because we were told to keep the news on the down low for a while, and also because I have needed time to process.  I've already worked through the stages of Anger and Denial and have entered Acceptance. 

Anyway, I've got a lot to talk about. 

I need to tell you about how we drove to Illinois and test drove seven vans before purchasing one with cash and driving it home.  I really need to tell you about how one of the salesman actually took his teeth out in front of us while trying to sell us one of those vans. 

I need to tell you about how I got it in my fool head on the first of our handful of 90 plus degree days to go outside and rip all the flowers out of my flower bed with a shovel all before I had to go work a full shift at the restaurant.

I need to confide in you about how hard it was to say goodbye to my teacher friends when I was at school yesterday.  I cried as soon as I hugged Lynn F, one of the women who has been a friend and mentor and has taught me so much about how to be a good teacher.  Walking out the doors of the high school yesterday was particularly tough, since I knew I likely wouldn't be returning.

I need you to laugh with me at all the curse words I uttered while trying to paint my bathroom.

More than anything else, I am relieved to finally be able to talk to you about the huge reason that I've been preoccupied, anxious, stressed, upset, and overwhelmed.  I need to tell you all about the job transfer that Evan has accepted that has us on the fast track for a whirlwind of changes within the next year. 

So, in between planning my summer school class, painting my bathroom and living room, scrubbing my windows, meeting with my realtor, planting my flower bed, cleaning out the garage, and packing up my belongings among a million other things......I will get on here to tell you all these stories. 

Just be patient with me.

Oh, and don't let me forget to tell you about how when our neighboring county was under a tornado warning and people were being told to seek shelter (which we knew nothing about), we sent our kids outside to run barefoot in the rain.

Parents of the Year, that's us alright.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Project Life Tuesday - June Week One

Hello and welcome to Project Life Tuesday! I am taking a photo every day in 2011 and putting them together in an album to create a unique keepsake of this year for our family.  Be sure to check in on what others are doing with their projects over at The Mom Creative!

Sunday, May 29th - I know this photo is blurry, but at least it shows how fast these guys were running laps around the kitchen table.  Isaiah was Spiderman and Micah was Iron Man.  I'm not sure how those roles play into the game of running around the table, but they sure were having fun.

Monday, May 30th - We arrived safely in Illinois today for our van-buying trip.  I organized our options in the order in which we would test drive them before we headed out for dinner and a movie to enjoy ourselves a bit on this trip too!

Tuesday, May 31st - After a full day of test driving 7 out of our original list of 11 vans, we actually ended up making our purchase today!  Evan's cousin hooked us up with a great discount on this room at the Hilton Garden Inn and we spent a relaxing evening in.

Wednesday, June 1st - After all the hard work and saving, we were able to drive home our van today!  We ended up getting a 2002 Honda Odyssey EX-L with the DVD player and still stayed under budget.  I dang near ran out of gas driving home, but we're happy to have this big purchase out of the way.

Thursday, June 2nd - Ok...how to explain this?  The boys were playing "dead," waiting to be woken up with a kiss.  Yes, it sounds goofy, but it's a game they enjoy playing.

Friday, June 3rd - For some odd reason, I got it in my head to haul my pregnant butt out into the crazy heat to dig up the mums out of my flower bed.  By the time I had to head to work, I had already destroyed my back and was sooooo tired.  Probably not the best move on my part.

Saturday, June 4th - It was another crazy hot day, around 90 degrees!  Micah had a blast keeping cool in the sprinkler while I continued my flower bed insanity.

I hope you're keeping cool and having a great week!  See you next Tuesday! 
(Hopefully I'll get to write some additional blog posts this week, just to shake things up a bit!)

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