Friday, August 29, 2014

Frugal Friday {The Trunk}

One (of the three) perks of moving to Florida, is the TRASH. Yes, trash. People will place interesting trash stuff by their trashcan which makes driving around a lot of fun. That Toyota Camry that breaks at every object beside a trashcan? That's me.

Not in seven hundred years did I think that I would write the above paragraph. Close to twenty years ago (t-w-e-n-t-y let that sink in...) you would've found me DYING of humiliation and shame as I scooted further and further down in my seat of our wood paneled station wagon while my Mom perused trash piles in front of houses. I didn't know (or care) at the time, but she found some pretty nice things including furniture pieces that my Dad has "hauled all over the United States" (his words, paraphrased, from this morning on the phone).

They told me it would happen. I've turned into my mother.

The big difference is that I'll only stop if I know that I can grab it and go, mostly going unseen. My Ma, on the other hand, probably WANTED to be seen by the family so she could get all the details on the family history and before you could blink twice either my Ma or the homeowner (or both) would be crying and sipping tea together on the sidewalk.

Thankfully my thumb sucking toddler in the backseat is still too young to be embarrassed, but I'm guessing that day will come. And when it does, I'll pat her on the shoulder and say in a gentle voice, "Honey, at least we're not riding in a wood paneled station wagon..."

So there I found myself yesterday, driving home from bible study. I had already slowed and braked once for "just a pile of real trash" when I SAW IT. An old trunk. My Ma had two of them and I knew she'd be freaking out if she were with me. (moment of silence) I gave myself a pep talk, put on my sunglasses and turned the car around. The thing turned out to be MASSIVE and as I tried to lift it into my car I had two thoughts: 1) I probably shouldn't be doing this in my condition  and 2) There is no way this thing is fitting in my car. But still, I persisted.

I was so caught up in my work that I didn't notice when a beat up, red pick up truck stopped until a man came over and said Spanish-ly, "Hey we can try to help!" This was A) A relief and B) Totally embarrassing because I was drawing all sorts of attention to myself. It also didn't help that the guy only had one arm. Umm... But his buddy had two! We tried the back seat, we tried the trunk. All to no avail. They offered to hide it in the woods so I could come back later (Really nice guys, and not sketchy like it may sound). I declined, thanked them and we were all on our way.

Give up that easy? NO WAY.
I did take a picture to show my Mom, in case it was gone. Trash Treasures move fast around here!
I drove home and grabbed a blanket and straps, drove back to the church and placed them on the hood of Kent's car (hint hint) I called to explain the whole story to him and hoped that he'd "finish up a few things" soon. I didn't beg or plead because I only wanted to be a half crazy wife. About 15 minute later I got this text. I was bummed out, but told myself, "It wasn't meant to be. Maybe he's joking? No, he doesn't joke. It wasn't meant to be, move on."
But then... he showed me THIS picture
The lady that pulled up when he did? He told her, "My wife called and told me that I had to pick this up." And she drove off. 'Atta boy!! ...And now there is a trunk sitting in my garage. 
The End

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What it looks like

This is what "I had my hair in a top knot" looks like
This is what the corner of the bathroom looks like when your overhead light breaks and you still haven't called the rental maintenance worker
This is what a potty break in a public place looks like
This is what marital long suffering looks like
(In a bathroom lit by a shade-less lamp)
 And this is what copying your aunt looks like

Monday, August 25, 2014


Weekends are for...

Staying late at the pool 
and for long {15 minute} waits in the car anticipating the "hot & ready" pizza 
{that will one day be the death of us}
Weekends are for invitations to a family dinner & meeting new people {not pictured}
And for falling asleep in front of the TV.
{If you're looking for Kent in 60 years, he's the guy asleep in the Nursing Home Lobby, in front of the TV}
Weekends are for buying your first pair of sneakers
and Moms who keep their emotions in check
Weekends are for getting your bake on!
{Muffins for the Youth Parent Meeting}
And weekends are for wearing a new dress that's been hanging in your closet since the early days
{but not for smiling or looking at the camera}

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Coffee Date

If I invited you over for a coffee date, I'd be embarrassed and kicking myself that the last one was in April. But then I'd remind myself that I'm an introvert and inviting anyone over twice is a success. This time you would ring the doorbell and ten seconds later a spunky-turned-shy seventeen month old would round the corner from the living room and stand there staring at you. Inside she'd probably be surprised that you weren't her "DA-DA".

I'd invite you in and tell Caris to, "Say hi to our new friend!". She'd continue to stare and I'd reassure us all that "She'll warm up eventually." I'd offer for you to sit on the sofa, the recliner and EVEN THE FLOOR because I would have just mopped it. I'd offer you tea, coffee, orange juice and a random hummus and Triscuits. There would've been no last minute baking around my house.

By this time Caris would be running around with toys and balls and random objects. When she saw me snacking, she'd toddle to me and repeat "Mo mo mo dees dees dees mo mo" until I shared with her.

The extremely loud air conditioner would kick on every 5 minutes or so because I would have turned it down a couple degrees for us. And hopefully you would have no idea that somewhere in the house, stuck in a tiny bathroom, with the vent running, was a 75 pound dog just dying to get out.

I'd probably share about my recent play dates with Moms from the church, how the Thursday morning Bible Study is starting back up and how glad I'll be when we get back into a schedule.

Eventually it would be time for me to take Baby Girl to Mother Goose on the Loose at the library. I'd invite you, of course, but you would wisely decline.

We would part with a promise not to go another 4 months before we had another coffee date!
 Sticking magnets on the fridge calls for cheering! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Play Food

She understands the idea of play food
And the eight year old in me REJOICES
Let the fun begin continue! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dog Diary {On Coming Inside}

Dear Readers,

Many of you have asked about my well being (Just kidding, but it makes me feel better to write that) In June I went to the beach with the rest of the family and we were surprised when everyone made comments about my weight. And not the lack of it. I had hurt feelings to say the least, but what they didn't know was that I had been essentially homeless for the last few months. I was kicked out of the house after tearing apart a bag full of dirty diapers (I seriously tried to resist them) Then my Mom and Dad said life got busy, yata yata, and there I was, sleeping in the hot garage. This caused some depression and weight gain.

After the beach, my Mom felt guilty and treated me to a new collar, an updated tag, better shampoo that cost more than $3 and wasn't from Walmart AND a new ball (score) After a thorough bath, I was let back in! I couldn't believe my good fortune. Of course this all came with a sudden reduction of food, but the pros far outweighed the cons. 

Here's one thing I had missed- laundry sorting. 
I'd be lying if I said it was all peachy now. Sometimes they block me off with 7,000 toys. This usually happens when they're eating or when My Mom is about to lose her marbles.
Here's the other problem. This thing. 
Do you see my face here? 
PLEADING. I am pleading for help. My Mom says, "Good dog! Yay Patch!" when I'm patient with her, but deep down, sometimes I'd rather be in the garage than with her. 
We do have some occasional good times. She likes to copy me. This includes licking different pieces of furniture and trying to lick water out of the kiddie pool. I'm better at both things. 
Now I know that I'm not missing out on any big family events. Like making fruit-n-veggie stew. 
My absolute favorite time of the day happens between 1-3. This time is called "Nap time" or "Night night" and it's two hours of freedom when I can wander, sleep or follow my Mom around in peace. It makes all of the other things worth it. 

Signing off for now-

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sunday Snoozer + 4 Years

Yesterday I tried to feed CC (Cranky Caris) some lunch but she didn't want any. I left her in the highchair to wait it out until her Dad came home (we get home 3 hours earlier than him...but don't worry, she wasn't sitting there for 3 hours) She didn't quite make it.
{Poor future pastor's kid}
And a Happy 4th Birthday goes out to our 4 legged family member, Patch. In years past, he would've gotten a bone, a candle and a pathetic rendition of "Happy Birthday". This year he's getting a Birthday Bowl made up of 1 side of burned-to-a-crisp cheese sandwich, bread crust, 1  squishy grape and torn up pieces of a fig newton. Nothing says Happy Birthday like a birthday bowl! 

Friday, August 8, 2014

5 on Friday

This was Caris' Bethany Hamilton sleeping pose while on vacation
Starting my day with these guys is a rare treat. They are happy and healthy.
 Kent served me dessert last night (bonus husband points!)
...but it came in this mug (bonus husband points taken away)
 A recent trip to the library. We colored, but it looked a lot like tasting the crayons, taking them all out of the bucket and putting them back in.
 For the past few mortgage payments on our house, I've used up the last of the New Year's stamps (from a few years ago) and each time I hope we can really celebrate by SELLING OUR HOUSE.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August Goals

last august

I'm not good with goals, lists, aspirations or long term commitments. New Years Resolutions? Bucket Lists? They've been written and then shoved into the depths of my nightstand drawer. There are 3 things that I've committed to and stuck with...

1. College Although Calculus almost did me in 

The next two are big because they are like...NEVER ENDING

2. Marriage
3. Parenthood

Aside from these 3 commitments, I've managed to keep pretty low expectations for myself ('Atta girl). And this month is no different, although I AM writing down a few goals and you ARE accepting the challenge of being my accounta-billa-buddy (Don't worry, we don't have to check in or talk about any of this)

A bunch of bloggers do monthly goals, but I'll cite The Tiny Twig who calls them Goals with Grace. Which means, if when you fail, you give yourself grace and only eat one tastykake instead of three. 

August Goals
1. Go for walks
"Early" morning "power" walks that I can count as exercise. This is awful for two reasons: Exercise. And Florida heat. Actually writing down a number (SIX DAYS A WEEK!) would be too daunting, but I'm thinking...4-5. 

2. Read one book

3. Use our public pool 
You're probably thinking, "Ewh! Public pool?" Especially if you have the same images that I do of a  public pool in Philly in the 90's.... BUT this one is clean and people follow the unspoken pool expectations. I begged Kent for a pass so I need to make the most of our last month. The issues I usually run into? Nap time (daily) and crazy, raging Thunderstorm time (usually daily). 

4. Clean and organize
The garage (which is currently housing a few tree stumps...don't ask) 
The linen closet
The pantry 

5. {Get my husband to} Hang Decorations 
There are 3 projects for the living room area that I'm mulling over right now

What are your goals for this month? I would link up to The Tiny Twig, but sadly after all these years of blogging I STILL don't know  how to link up to anything.

If you're looking for list inspiration, ask my bestie who, along with her husband, is a LIST PRO. Short term lists, life lists, marriage lists... they rock lists! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Traveling with a toddler

As much fun as it was to see our families, by the end of both trips I was ready to check myself into the Loony Bin for a couple of days. 

I'm not very good with math, but I know that the answer to almost any parent/child equation is SLEEP.

No sleep? Life...? 
Not enough sleep? Life is bad
Enough sleep? Life is good

I can't complain too much about my traveling sidekick. As she's gotten older, she'll scream occasionally in the car, but we don't experience hours on end of screaming and gnashing of (her 4) teeth. 

Once we reach our destination, it all goes downhill. Quickly. From the start of vacation, she would average 10 or less hours a night and for a girl who always clocks in at 12+ hours, this was a big deal over time. 

Many, many meltdowns
A tiny pack-n-play (and this sleeping position) won't getcha' 12 hours of sleep 
Even naps weren't enough to hold her together (How cute are these two?)
The kids weren't the only ones in need of some rest
We had high hopes for vacation #2 where she'd be treated to a comfy, full size crib. The only hitch? We weren't even a foot away from the crib. 

"Mom? MOM? MOMMM? Is that YOU??"

I have never laid so still or held my breath for so long. 

Surely she'll fall back asleep.

Well meaning family members on both sides would ask, "What's wrong with her?" The unspoken answer in my head went something like, "EVERYTHING and NOTHING" Sleep, sleep, sleep.

While sleep is key, we know there are other factors as well. Kent and I will be the first to admit that we brought a (cute) sinner into the world. This will be an ongoing theme on the blog in the years  months to come. 

This is her rebellious "can't touch this" move. 
SO after 4 weeks on the road, we've happily put our suitcases far, far away in the closet never to be seen again... until Thanksgiving. 

Waffle Wednesday

Choosing to temporarily forego your waffles, cool whip and blueberry breakfast to read an Insects and Spiders book and have conversations l...