Whirlwind Catchup

Hi guys, I have been avoiding the blog. It's been too long, I am sorry. For those of you who haven't been following along on Twitter, I wanted to catch you up on the happenings. It's only just starting to resolve itself, and I can even talk about it without tearing up. So that's something!

Back in October, we decided to make a big change and submitted The Husband's name for a transfer to Portland. We had done quite a bit of researching the area, homes, etc. And really felt like we were ready for a new adventure. It was so exciting to dream about trees, rain, and temperate climates!

In January, we celebrated all the kid's birthdays and took the family for a big trip out to see my in-laws in St. Louis. Mere days before our departure back east, we got The Call that we could be Portland bound. It was a huge stretch, cutting the trip short and having Husband race directly from the airport to his car to make a straight push the 17 hr drive. It was hectic to say the least. We had two days to prepare the house, sell everything we didn't want to move, (which was almost everything- I dreamed of a clean slate in Oregon, not to mention the inevitable short-term downsizing we planned on upon arrival) as I would be lone-wolfing it down here without a Husband.

As soon as he arrived in Portland, there were some serious red-flags about his job stability, and a week after he got up there, he was laid off. It was a huge blow, as I'm hoping you can imagine. Yet, he had to stay up there to be "on-call" to keep our insurance, and to fight for his job back down here in Vegas. We went through two months of hell and agony. He worked maybe a few hours a week at half pay, we drained our rainy-day-Portland fund down to the bone.

Two weeks before we were to take Husband's case to a tribunal to decide our fate, the twins came home with lice from school. They gave lice to me, and I just about lost my marbles. In an effort to quell the invasion, I shaved my head nearly bald.

Take a breath now. I KNOW. Seriously, I KNOW. It was BAD. Everything was BLEAK. I was sobbing myself to sleep every night.

Luckily, the tribunal took pity on our situation, and awarded his job back in Vegas. We didn't get everything we were asking for, and took a hard monetary hit that will take some time to recover. I'm coming out of some stages of grief, mourning the loss of a dream, among other things. (like MY FREAKING HAIR) I'm trying to be patient and make a plan for our life here. We'll be putting down roots in this heaven-forsaken-dust-bowl, and I'm not exactly sure what that is going to look like, but I'm taking it slow. The worst is absolutely behind us.

I only got through those dark days with the help of my lovely community of friends both near and far. I have been so incredibly lucky to have amazing people in my life. (Including online!) Thank you to those (you know who you are) who sent me things to brighten my day; Who offered warm words of encouragement; who were there to listen to me weep. (and yell!) I'm so grateful to be in this place- this time- being able to look back and see the mess BEHIND us.

I share this only because I kept to myself a lot in real life and isolated myself quite a bit as talking about it was often really painful. Now it's out there, and we can all brush ourselves off and move forward. I'm excited to see where this VERY DIFFERENT THAN PLANNED adventure will take us. Hug your paychecks, everyone.


Beach Photoshoot

Basically I tried to import and arrange all these in the time it took for the kids to eat dinner. It... did not go well. And now I'm all frazzled and kinda done with the whole thing. Kind of like how I felt at the idea of a photoshoot to begin with. Luckily, my mother talked me into it, and the thing happened. It yielded some really beautiful pictures. Some of which I will be putting on canvases and putting... somewhere. I've put some of them here for your perusal. Enjoy. Then stop by again and perhaps I'll be up to talking about the first day of school that happened this week. Second grade! My babies are in second grade! Someone should really pull my head out of this open container of Praline Crunch ice cream. (with all that specificity you know it's true!)

Now that you've most assuredly wet your pants from all the cuteness, I recommend you go change your pants, and then come back with some more Praline Crunch ice cream to stuff in my face. Also, tell me where I can order some real quality prints & canvas options that aren't going to annihilate my ice cream budget. Many thanks! 


Back To School Supplies 2014

This year I've seen a lot of posts showing what is on everyone else's school supply lists, and how much each family ended up spending. And hot darned if that doesn't interest me, the list loving person. We have to wait an eternity for our teacher assignments & lists. I think I got this one last week, and went shopping this past weekend on a blitz during my child-free birthday weekend. Some may find it strange that banging out this massive undertaking in my "relaxing time" is truly fun for me, but I assure you I had a smile plastered on my fool face the whole time. I hit Target, Office Max, and Sam's Club in one afternoon AND HAD TIME TO SPARE to go out for lunch & a movie afterwards. It was pure bliss. So down to business- here is the list:  (owls this year! Squeal!) 

It looked smaller than last year, but it feels like I spent more this year. It's hard to really tell as the twins will be in the same class, so while I got two of some things, I got only one of others in classroom general items. So I don't know how it shakes out according to last year, because I didn't do a snazzy post like this last year; Darn. Target did have a pretty good buy one get one 50% off sale on the school supplies which worked well for me, who was buying two of everything. 

The general classroom supplies suggested: 

2 bottles hand sanitizer (not on list, but I would sleep better knowing this is in the classroom): $13.90
Pack Disinfecting Wipes: $8.98
2 Packs 3x3 Sticky notes: $9.84
Animal Crackers: $5.50
Paper Plates: $6.69
Skinny Dry Erase Markers: $4.49
Total: $49.40

I just now realized I skipped over the freezer bags I thought I had in storage. Nope- just sandwich bags. Last minute store run: I see you over there!

Each Child's Supplies: 
Backpack & lunch tote: $45.00
Water bottle: $9.99
Crayons 12 ct: $1.87
Colored Pencils: $2.74
6 glue sticks: $5.97
24 pencils: $3.00
2 Composition notebooks: $6.98
3 pink erasers: $2.29
Markers: $1.46
12 ct dry erase markers: $14.17
Scissors: $1.14
5 plastic folders: $11.45
Total: $106.26

Yikes. And that is just for one kid. So Squirt has another $100 of supplies. Plus the nearly $50 in classroom supplies, we've spent about $250+ and that doesn't account for shoes or clothes. (Math, why must you be so harsh to me?) Maybe I didn't want to do this... Now I must go eat some feelings. Those feelings may taste like frozen Ding Dongs. If you haven't tried it, I suggest you add up your receipts for back to school and try it with me. 

School starts one week from today, and I am SO EXCITED. It is TIME. Not only do I wear thin from having three kids at home full time, but this dreadful weather is coming to a lengthy (but quantifiable!) farewell. It's the best time. Have a great week everyone! Do tell, what is on YOUR list?


My Attempt at a Bullet Journal

I've been hearing a lot of buzz about these bullet journals lately and I honestly do not understand them. Are they a list? Like a calendar? A journal? My phone does all these things for me. In the interest of branching out, I'm bulleting my day, as it was kinda epic.

Yesterday: I think it was Wednesday July middle-ish?

- watched friend's kids: play Just Dance Wii to keep everyone in one room. 

- schooled friend's 9 yr old in Pump Up the Jam. I made the 90's my biznatch. 

- almost died from the cardio load one song can do to an old lady like me. Still 10,000 points. DECENT.

- made lunch (just my kids now) & put on a movie for "quiet time." 

- had a revelation about Squirt's temperament with this book. It's basically written about her.

- passed out on my bed. Woke up in he nick of time to whisk kids off to swimming at Grandma's.

- Swam. It was HOT. Even in the water my face felt like it was going to sizzle right off.

- Pancakes got a zillion splinters. Took me over 30 mins to get two of the larger ones out. My Dad comes home and pops the third one out lickety split. Further proof he's magic. 

- after getting everyone in bed a full hour behind schedule, I watched Teen Mom 2 on the couch accompanied by two frozen Ding Dongs. (PRO TIP) 

- let the dogs sleep in the big bed as Scotty has a dental appt the next day, and at 11 years, anesthesia is a bit of a gamble. Got a pretty crappy night's sleep with two squirrelly dogs. 

- BUT I did get Peaches to smile for the camera. (She was asleep) 


Early Morning Conversation

The other night Little Man decided to abandon pull ups. Before I headed off to bed, I checked on him. He was totally out, but also totally wet. So last night we went back to the safe embrace of Mr. Pull Up. Of course this means he leaked through the pull up at 6 am this morning, and I was NOT ready to wake up. I stripped him out of his jammies, and shooed him into my bed, hoping for an extra hour of snoozling.

Nope. The squirmy wormies got the best of his four year old body. So we whispered to each other in the morning.

Him: "I'm going to stay in Daddy's space forever."

Me: "Oh yeah? Is Daddy going to sleep in your bed then?"

Him: "Not necessarily..."