Monday, August 17, 2015

Week of August 16th

Last week was quite a momentous week for us.

Earlier in the week we were able to fit in some play time with friends.  We have been trying to make that happen as much as possible as everyone will be in school very soon and on various schedules.  It will be much more challenging to get the kids together to play.

At COSI's Farm Days

Friday brought the big day, Jack's first day of Kindergarten!  Jack was beyond excited!

Tuesday afternoon we went in for an open house at Jack's new school and we were able to tour his new classroom, drop off school supplies, and meet his teacher.  Later, Mark asked him how the open house went and Jack said it was, "trucktastic!", which is pretty much the highest honor bestowed by Jack.

The night before his first day of school Jack was so excited he could hardly sleep, I was in tears thinking about putting my baby on a bus and sending him off to school for the day!  I'm happy for him and his new adventures and proud of his enthusiasm, but it is such a shift in dynamic for me!  It's quite different sending your child off to school for 2 1/2 hours at a time 2 or 3 days a week, the way we have for the last 2 years of preschool, and sending your child on a bus with a packed lunch for a full day of school!

After spending the last 5 1/2 years together it's strange not having him around for the majority of the day. It's strange thinking about other people having such a big impact on Jack's day-to-day life. It's weird not having both kids with me all day, them being able to play together, going places all together, eating together. It was pretty quiet around here on Friday. It's nice that Molly and I will get this time together, one-on-one.  She's never had that the way Jack had for his first (nearly) 3 years of life before Molly came along.

AND, as evidenced by the school bus picture above, Jack talked me into his riding the bus to school. I had planned to drive him back and forth to school, but he insisted upon riding the bus.  Insisted!  He was sad about not being able to ride and it was the thing he was most looking forward to about school so I relinquished a little control (not easy for me!) and encouraged his independence by allowing him to ride the bus as he preferred :(

Jack had a great first day of school and is looking forward to his return on Wednesday of this week when he will begin his regular, every day school schedule.  Because they do a staggered start for kindergartners he only attends one day during the first five days of school.

Shortly after Jack arrived home from his first day of school we headed out to the closing of the sale of our home. That's right, we sold our house!

I haven't talked about the fact that we were under contract/sold our house because in my mind, it's not a done deal until the final paperwork is signed.  Because of that, it has been a stressful 6 weeks! (On top of a stressful 5 months, which is really when this journey began.)

We listed our house for sale by owner (stresssssful!) on a Monday leading up to the July 4th holiday weekend.  We didn't get a whole lot of inquiries on it, but we did have one showing on Thursday of that week.  The lack of inquiries/traffic was scary and disheartening, but we did suspect it being a holiday week had something to do with it.

Fast-forward to the following week and we had tons of inquiries on the property!  We did 2 more showings and received two offers!  We negotiated and signed the paperwork to accept one of the offers and officially went under contract 2 weeks after we had listed!  Then we had weeks of dealing with the inspection (and more negotiating), appraisal, waiting to hear the final word on a closing date, moving the last few items that were still hanging around including our playset which takes some organization, etc. SO STRESSFUL!

On Friday afternoon, we took one final walk through, snipped a few cuttings from our hydrangea bush that I love (I'm hoping to grow some at our new house from the cuttings!  I don't exactly have a green thumb so we'll see how that works out :/ ) and then went to sign the paperwork, collect our pitiful check (but hey, we actually got SOME money out of the sale, we were prepared to have to bring money to the table), and hand over our keys.

It's bittersweet.  On one hand I am SO SOOOOOOO happy to be done with that chapter of our lives. The weight of this whole house buying/selling/owning more than one property was a lot to bear.  Not to mention we have been preparing for this move in one way or another for yeeeeaaaaaars now.  Years.  There was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that went into the sale of that house and it hasn't been our home for several months now, even before our actual move, really, considering the packing and preparing that went on.

At the same time, I'm a little sad to close the book on that chapter of our lives.  That was our home for nearly 9 years.  When we bought that house we weren't even engaged yet.  That house saw us get engaged, married, and bring home two babies.  It was home.

It's also exciting to move on to a new chapter.  Being on the other side of this mess makes me feel even more grateful that we made the move and put in all that work.  It was worth it in the end.  It still doesn't quite feel like home here, but I know that it will eventually.  We have lots of work ahead of us until it will feel as much like home as our old house, but we have time (and space!  So much more space!)

Closing out our eventful week (or two days, really...), Saturday we went and bought me a new car!

Say hello to mom car 2.0

The purchase was planned-ish.  I've been putting off buying a new car for a while now.  My old car is very clearly reaching the end of it's life and I've just been pretending that it's not because that's what I do when I don't want to deal with things until I have to.  Obviously we have been trying to avoid major purchases considering the house situation.  Well, some expensive repairs came up and we weren't about to sink more money into the car so it was time.  We've been shopping for a few weeks (and I've been borrowing my mom's car!) and Saturday we brought this pretty Dodge Charger home to stay.  Yay!

So yeah, we've had just a few things going on.  I'm hoping that's the end of excitement around here for a while.  I (and our poor savings account) need some time to recover and settle in with the changes we have had.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday:  Grilled Hot Dogs with Sweet Corn and Watermelon

Monday:  BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad

Tuesday:  Grilled Chicken Fajitas

Wednesday:  Caprese Panzanella Salad

Thursday:  Leftovers

Friday & Saturday: Out

I'm linked at Menu Plan Monday hosted by

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week of August 9th

We had a super busy week last week!  I tried to fit in lots of fun since it was our last full week of summer vacation before school starts.  Mid-week we made it to the park to play with friends.

Jack and his little friend Will have been meeting at that park for playdates since they were about 4 months old!

Friday and Saturday I attended a virtual conference with friends.

Lots of doulas in one room!  It was educational and fun, but I felt like I was gone all weekend!

While I was away Mark (along with some family and friends, who made it possible) finally got our swingset moved over to the new house!  Woot!

The first part of summer was SO rainy that we didn't really miss the swingset or have a good opportunity to move it.  It has been nice the last 2 weeks or so, so it has been greatly missed.  So happy to have it over here!

Sunday we did a lot of running around, which made Monday come up super quickly!

This week we're gearing up for back to school (acckk!).  Today we went school supply shopping, tomorrow there's a meet the teacher open house, now that we actually know Jack's room/teacher assignment.  Thursday there's a parent meeting for "curriculum night", whatever that is, and then Jack's first day of school will actually be Friday!

Jack is *SO* excited about his police car lunch box!  I tried to talk him out of it because it's a funny shape and therefore hard to pack, but he was set on it so we'll make it work!

Our district does a staggered start for Kindergartners for the first 5 days of school so he will attend on Friday and then not again until next Wednesday when he will begin his regular schedule.  He is also insistent upon riding the bus, which I'm not feeling super happy about.  I was planning to take him to and from school, but he is really sticking with wanting to ride the bus so we'll see what happens :(

I am so not ready for him to be in Kindergarten, but he sure is!  Ultimately, that's what matters!

It's been a really busy few weeks for me, but luckily the next 2ish weeks should be a little slower.  Of course I say this while I have 500+ square feet of wood flooring waiting to be installed.  It's all relative at this point!

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Sunday:  Grabbed a late dinner

Monday:  BLATs with Fruit

Tuesday:  Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken with Orzo Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, and Feta

Wednesday:  Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches with Baked Ranch Potato Wedges

Thursday:  Leftovers

Friday & Saturday: Out

I'm linked at Menu Plan Monday hosted by

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week of August 2nd

Zoombezi lunch break

Last week the weather was nice (no rain! sun!), but hot, so we had some water fun.  Early in the week the kids and I visited Zoombezi Bay for the first time.  We went with a few friends and the kids had a BLAST! On Friday afternoon I had the unique privilege of sneaking away without kids and returning with just my friends.  It was so much fun and they even got me on some water slides (Eek!)

And some at home pool fun

We're trying to soak up as much summer as possible considering it's already August (HOW?!) With school starting in a little more than a week (so soon!) and the first part of summer monopolized by moving + rain, rain, and more rain, it seems like we haven't had the opportunity to really enjoy much of summer.  Now I feel pressure to maximize what's left, but that kind of pressure kind of negates the relaxed feel that summer should be all about.

Little to no progress was made on the house this week.  We're to the point where most everything is unpacked, but every room still feels like it's in disarray.  I don't know if it's the sporadic boxes or because not one room feels fully put together, but it's annoying because I don't know exactly how to make things feel settled.  We're trying to finalize plans for flooring on the first floor right now. Maybe once that is completed things will feel a little more finished and homey.

Menu for the week:

Sunday:  Grilled Burgers with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Monday:  Salmon with Strawberry Avocado Salsa with Garlic Green Beans

Tuesday:  Grilled Summer Vegetable Chopped Salad

Wednesday:  Tostadas

Thursday:  Leftovers

Friday & Saturday:  Out

I'm linked at Menu Plan Monday at

Monday, July 27, 2015

Week of July 26th

Phew, busy week last week!

Monday I attended an overnight birth and I spent most of the week recovering from that.  I prefer overnight births, which actually happen frequently, because I'm not missed at home while everyone is sleeping. However, it takes me a while to catch up on sleep enough to get back to my always slightly tired self.  7am comes quickly when you've been up all night minus a ~2 1/2 hour catnap.

I talked the kids into watching an afternoon movie in my bed on Tuesday, hoping that maybe they would fall asleep, or at least Molly, but that didn't quite work out.  I did end up being able to doze for about an hour in between being kicked and prodded, etc.  Bed sharers we are not!  It was better than nothing at all though!

Wednesday we met friends for some splash pad fun!  It was the perfect day for it, hot, but not too hot, sunny, and not humid!  I'm glad we were able to get out.  It has been so rainy and I know once Jack starts kindergarten it's going to be harder for us to meet up with friends during the week as we're all going to be on different schedules.

I finished up the week with another birth on Friday, but this time it was during the day, which was nice!  And it was with my first repeat clients, which was a wonderful experience.

I finished up my busy week at a workshop on Saturday where I learned how to use a TENS unit as a tool for labor.  I love learning and I love being able to offer a variety of tools to my clients, excited about this!

And then it was Monday.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday:  Grilled Brats w/ Cheesy Potatoes and Broccoli Salad

Monday:  Meeting friends for dinner, Homemade Pizza for the fam

Tuesday:  Walking Taco Casserole

Wednesday:  Salad + Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Thursday:  Leftovers

Friday & Saturday:  Out

I'm linked at Menu Plan Monday hosted by

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week of July 19th

Last week was pretty low-key.  It was actually sunny (SUNNY!) one day so we got to play at the park with friends.  It has pretty much rained for the last 4-5 weeks so it was so nice to get outside in the sun and fresh air for a while!

We're making progress on selling the old house (stressssssful!) and unpacking the new (overwhellllllllming!).  I'm just ready for the new house to be completely unpacked, but it's not like I have tons of time to dedicate towards that goal.  I'm trying my best to be patient.  Every day at least one more task gets accomplished and that means we're just a little closer to actually being unpacked.

During a stop by the old house I made sure to cut a few hydrangea blossoms from our bush because it was just sad that they're in full bloom and no one is there to enjoy it! So now we have some pretties for our kitchen table!

We'll for sure have to plant some hydrangea bushes at our new house because I love them!

On Friday I finally completed Jack's Kindergarten registration.  It had been pending for a while because we were required to fill out some additional forms and provide some additional documentation to get registered under the correct, new address so that Jack can attend the correct elementary school.  That's going to be happening way too soon!

I also tried to get my license and tags renewed, but after going to 2 DMVs and spending nearly an hour and a half of time I still have yet to accomplish this.  Thanks state of Ohio, you always impress me with your operating practices.  Big thumbs up!  So... that will be a task for this week.

Sunday I baked a Blueberry Crumb Pie because it seemed like the right thing to do.

And it was. It most definitely was.

And now it's Monday, here's what we're eating this week!

Sunday:  Grilled Burgers with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Monday:  Sweet Corn & Zucchini Pie with Tomato Cucumber Salad

Tuesday:  Mom's Night Out for me! Homemade Pizza for the rest of the fam

Wednesday:  Salad + Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Thursday:  Breakfast for dinner!  Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes with Bacon and Fruit

Friday & Saturday: Out

I'm linked at Menu Plan Monday hosted by

Monday, July 13, 2015

Week of July 12th

In the 3ish months since my last post we tackled our to-do list, started tackling a new to-do list for our new house, moved, and listed our old house for sale.

I really feel like ^that^ descriptive sentence should be much, much longer considering the amount of work, stress, and time that has occurred, but I guess that about sums it up.

This was our moving day.  It rained all. day. long. until we unpacked the last box and then the rain stopped.

We're *finally* getting to the point where I feel like I can pause a moment to catch my breath just a little. Every day the utter chaos we've been living in is just a little bit more organized and I'm beginning to see just a hint of light at the end of the tunnel, which is nice because up until now I feel like I've been just stumbling around blind.

Amidst the all consuming chaos that has been this relocation event I've also had 2 small kids to care for, a household to manage, at least enough so that everyone's basic needs are tended to, and doula work, which is always a welcome respite from the household drudgery, but it is work, I don't get to do it when I feel like it or when it's convenient.  I have to forget about everything else so that I can attend to my clients' needs and then come home, sometimes running on zero sleep, and pick up where I left off.  Needless to say the last several weeks/months have passed by in a blur.

But we're here.  We're moved in, the essentials have all been unpacked, and yesterday I tackled my last large painting project for a while (YAY!  I can't convey just how sick if painting I am at this point.  Since late-April I have painted every room in our old house, plus 5 rooms in the new house. All. the. painting.)  I still have the upstairs hall on my list and probably the playroom as well, and eventually (down the road just a bit) all the bathrooms will need attention as well, but after the rooms I've already tackled it will be relatively easy to get those checked off the list!  I've been well reminded of why people just buy turn-key homes.

With every room that I paint and every box that I unpack I remind myself over (and over, and over...) that I won't have to unpack that box, or do that project, again, at least not in the foreseeable future. Also that I'm privileged to be in this whole moving situation and that we've been working towards this goal for years now.  It will all be worth it.

We also celebrated 4th of July/Mark's and my birthday!

In the midst of the chaos, just a week after moving in, Molly decided she wanted to learn how to use the potty!  That's been a good/bad thing as she's caught on really quickly (day two she had the reward system figured out and was pottying with the sole intention of getting chocolate.  Needless to say, we discontinued that program quickly) but it's still a learning process and she needs help going potty eleventy-hundred times per day when I'm not exactly sitting around, twiddling my thumbs and hoping that another labor-intensive project would fall in my lap.  Alas, I'm thankful this task has effectively been accomplished.

For about 3 weeks surrounding our move we were living off of more take-out than I care to admit to, sandwiches, and whatever salads I could scrape together from the items in my fridge.  Last week I had things unpacked enough and the time necessary to actually cook again.  COOK!  Real food!  I'm so happy to be eating fresh, colorful food again!

My versions of Paleo Sausage and Veggie Bake (left) and Thai Carrot and Cucumber Noodle Salad (right)

My body was craving veggies and I feel so much better physically now that I'm back to normal eating habits. It was definitely an excellent reminder of how much food impacts how I feel.  Plus, as of last week I'm back to my usual schedule at the gym after several weeks of sporadic attendance, and oh my did I feel the impact of that.

And I'm back to meal planning!  Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday:  Smoked Ribs with Corn Pudding and Green Beans (Yes!  First Rib Sunday of the summer!)

Monday:  Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

Tuesday: Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats with Corn and Black Bean Salad

Wednesday:  BLATs with Fruit

Thursday:  Leftovers

Friday & Saturday: Out

I'm linked at Menu Plan Monday hosted by

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week of April 19th

We had a very busy weekend around here that, of course, went by in the blink of an eye.

First we made a list of all the projects that need to be completed to get our house ready to sell.

So many thiiiiings, not enough time or energy
Admitting you have a problem is the first step to getting better, right?

That list encompasses all of the things that arise while living in a 45 year old house for 8 1/2 years, with small kids, and little time, and a propensity to procrastinate on things (+ a bathroom reno that probably should have either been done years ago or not at all :/ ).  *sigh* I wish we had worked harder at getting things completed this winter, but we do procrastinate and I've always done my best work while under pressure (I like to torture myself that way) so I guess we couldn't have done things any other way!

We worked allllll Saturday and unfortunately, didn't get a whole lot checked off the list.  Whomp, whomp. More progress in the bathroom (sooooo close to being ready to move beyond working on the walls. I think things will start chugging here soon!) and I powerwashed all the things, scraped old paint, and repainted all the trim as well as our shed (which still needs another coat).  It was pretty tough work!  Lots of up and down the ladder and the wood wasn't in greeeat shape so I really had to work the paint in.  But!  It's done! (Or, mostly anyway.  Darn shed.)

8 hours later and covered in paint.  At least it was gorgeous outside so I got to soak up plenty of sun!  And hey, look, you can see the bathroom wall progress behind me.

And we also got grass seed down (included in that was digging out more of the giant hole in our front yard, laying down topsoil, as well as hitting a couple of the regular patches in our backyard that need re-seeded every year thanks to poor drainage + dog running around.  Grow, grass, grow (please)! We're crossing our fingers that what we've done out front will take care of the giant hole once and for all.

You know what physical labor isn't good for?  Manicures.

I took the picture on the left on Saturday morning because I'm adoring Essie's Ballet Slipper right now.  And then by Saturday evening my nails looked like the picture on the right.  Except I actually just took that picture because it's now Monday and my nails STILL look like that.  I can't get the paint to come off!  :(

I digress.

Even though it feels like we will never get everything done and that progress is as slow moving as molasses, I will say that I feel a little bit better about actually checking things off the list and making some progress. Gotta keep it movin'!

Sunday I had a prenatal visit, then ran to the grocery store while Mark was at home with the kids, working on the bathroom walls, and hanging a new overhead light fixture (woohoo!), then we went to my parents' house for dinner, came home, put the kids to bed, and I folded laundry.  So basically, busy the whole day and feeling like not much got accomplished. Story. of. my. life.

We're technically approved for closing on the new house, but have to fix a bit of siding that has come loose on the house before we can actually officially close (so random, but these are the things we deal with when buying a house.  ::facepalm::).  We really need to close by 5/1 so we're going make it happen cap'n.

In news other than The Housing Situation That's Dominating My Life, Molly is up for letting me do fun things with her hair and I'm loving it!

She's a trip.  She calls braids her "Elsa braid"  Love!

Off to hopefully get some more work done!

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday:  Dinner with family

Monday:  Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

Tuesday:  Sloppy Joes with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Wednesday:  Chicken Fajitas

Thursday:  Leftovers

Friday & Saturday:  Out

I'm linked at Menu Plan Monday hosted by