Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Let me explain...

No no; there is too much.
Let me sum up.

The foundation at Pleasant Row is slowly progressing.  The slow down was primarily because of the holiday weekend and today the weather.  I am trying to control my impatience with focusing on the progress that has been made thus far.  The bid process and attempting to get the best price on materials has been very frustrating.  I am proud that my husband is so persistant about it.  At the current pace I need to expect the box to not be completed until the end of July.  Urg... that makes me stress a little about being so close to delivery of baby Megatron.

The holiday weekend was fantastic.  We had great fun with our friends and family.  It was relaxing and enjoyable.

I sincerely miss frisbee therapy.  I've had overly emotional days recently and could really use a good run/refocus.  At my current weight, that is improbable and would be uncomfortable at the least.  I'll have to continue to use writing as my therapy right now.  It works sometimes.

In just over 9 weeks I will enjoy the world debut of my next son.  I am curious how our world will change that day.  I don't honestly know what to expect.

Miles is 4 and becoming an amazing little man.  He is not shy.  He will introduce himself to everyone.  This has only begun to make me nervous.  Teaching him the difference between strangers and friends is tough, especially right now with all of the contractors working at Pleasant Row.

Ripley is 2 and knows it.  She has developed a tantrum technique as well as some super-cuteness.  Her language development still surprises me.  There is a lot about her that amazes me.  She has taught me a lot about parenting and about raising a young woman.

Next Saturday is the Herkimer County tax auction.  I'm excited to see my friends there.  I'm excited to be there without my kids (hopefully- still have to plan for child care).  There is something I love about the auction that I'm sure is related in some way to Pleasant Row.

I need a good book.  I have so many that I'm just not interested in anymore.  I could stare at house books over and over, but I don't want to get bored with house stuff as it is still quite enjoyable.  So, maybe I'll have to look for something at the library to borrow... ah, the library.  The library is something that I have been neglecting lately.

Back in February, when I took the kids out of Junior Junction - the day care in New Hartford - I thought I'd try to provide a learning environment for my kids each day.  I planned to go to the library every Tuesday.  I planned to help Miles with writing and reading every day.  I planned to teach.  Our current structure is not as I planned.  It's not terrible but not meeting my expectations.  I would like to look at this more closely and adjust if needed.  I'm sure they are gaining something from their experiences without day care, but can I give them more?  Probably.

I also planned to save some money.  This month I have been more aware of spending and tried to cut coupons and cut costs.  It is a work in progress.  I still have a lot to learn.

I also have tons of creative activities I'd like to get back to.  I have windchimes to make, cabinets and rocking chairs to refinish, a sewing machine to fix, and gardening I'd like to work on (berries).  If only I had a schedule - oh wait - I'd ignore the schedule and go with the flow anyway.  I'm not great about maintaining a routine.  That is something I can accept or attempt to modify slightly, but I also need to understand that I won't naturally change that about myself.  My natural tendencies are not bad, but self-improvement is always a good goal.

So, it turns out I explained more that I summed up.  Life is good.  I am learning and growing.  I am imperfect.  My mission in life still is and always will be focused on family, and my family is awesome.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 15th (I'm almost 34!)

From May 2012 through October 2012, I will be taking a "break" from real estate. As you may know, no one ever really leaves real estate. My license is active, and I can answer questions and help people on a case by case basis, but my energy during this time will be devoted to family, family, Pleasant Row and family.  Our third baby will arrive in less than 12 weeks!

I have some ideas for fun projects that I may start, and if I do I will post the information about them.  The one I'm focused on today (although I haven't actually started it) is making wind chimes.  I have been missing my creative spark for a while now, and for some reason it returned today.  :-)  Now to encourage it and see it blossom into a creative fire!

Miles and Ripley are playing so nicely right now.  They are playing with cars and joking around and laughing.  I love them so much.

Monday, May 14, 2012


2012 has started with a lot of planning for death.  My grandparents are all deceased now.  The challenge of distribuing ancestral meaningful items is still rearing it's head.  It's a challenge to find out what would be fair.  Who deserves what?  What would grandma want?  My mom died before my grandma, and my grandma was suffering from dementia.  So, stories are lost.  Wishes are lost.  What am I learning from all of this? 

Plan now.  Tell the stories.  Write them down.  If you imagine that something important to you will be passed on to someone, tell them, and tell others, and write it down, and put it in a safe place.  If it has a story, tell it and write it down.  Memories fail.  People who remember the stories die.  In the end, the stuff is just stuff.  The value of the stuff is in its meaning and story.  Find a way to make the meaning more valuable than the monetary value, so everyone in your family can share it and no matter where the stuff ends up, it will all be fair.

Today, Miles said, "My favorite flowers are the yellow ones."  Ripley's response was, "I like the white ones."

The internet lasts forever, right?  So let me make a plan to write every day.  Sometimes it can be about how my day is going.  Sometimes about what I learned that day.  But also, if I'm struggling for finding something to write, I need to write down stories about the past.  These can be from my siblings or dad or my in-laws.  My grandfather wrote in a calendar diary every day for years.  And that is very nice to read.  I want my kids to have it all to look back on.

To summarize, there are two things I learned today (and continue to learn).  #1, my grandfather taught me to learn something new every day, and to value learning.  #2, he also taught me to find meaning in each day and to share the story with others.  Stuff is just stuff.  The value that lies in something's meaning is always greater than its cash value.

Monday, May 7, 2012

4th birthday party

1. 4 friends is plenty to have at a 4 year-old's birthday party.  They all seemed happy.
2. 6 children in a small house are very loud except when they are eating.
3. 4 riding outside toys is not enough for 6 kids who want to ride on them.
4. I yell way too much.
5. A 4-year-old doesn't care about the people who don't show up- only the one's that do.  This is a lesson we, as adults, need to remind ourselves of when we become disappointed.  Also, waiting isn't fun, but friends who are late are still great friends and all is forgotten/forgiven once they arrive. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Learn something new every day

My sister, Tari, and my nephew, Hank, brought their "catch" from their adventure today.  They weren't sure if they were tadpoles or some other kind of critter.  After some looking through encyclopedias, we discovered together that they are red newts in their larva stage.  I learned that red newts can actually be kept as pets and their requirements are similar to the water dragon that I used to have.  Maybe someday I'll have them help me and Miles catch some newts for pets.

Tonight, I will have to practice patience as my 2-year-old daughter is testing bedtime limits.  There doesn't seem to be an easy solution to this problem.  If she skips naptime completely then bedtime itself isn't as much of a problem.  However, she gets very tired during the day and sometimes we can't avoid letting her nap.  Tonight, it is 9:45 and she has come downstairs for the nth time and is saying, "I'm just hiding," as she peers around the corner of the doorway at me.  I'm not taking her back to bed.  I've told her to go back to bed. We'll see what she ends up teaching me in the next few minutes.

Tomorrow, I will learn the ups and downs of a birthday party for a boy who is turning 4.  Miles invited 7 kids and their families, as well as his grandparents, aunt Tina, and uncle Brian and his girlfriend, Amy.  I don't know exactly how it will go, because I'm not well practiced, but I am excited for him.  I know that 11-13 adults and 6-8 kids will be here.  There will be cake and cupcakes and ice cream.  Miles will get presents.  Miles will play with his friends for at least an hour (it's a school night).  Other than that, I'm not sure of anything.

Update: 10 PM, and Ripley is laying down on the couch in the next room (she's too afraid to come on the couch next to me because she knows she's supposed to be in bed), playing with her doll quietly.  She's clearly tired, so I guess I have to help her get back to bed.  Lesson learned.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


We are planning to meet with the foundation contractor for Pleasant Row tomorrow.  I am feeling so excited and nervous about finally seeing our plans moving forward.  Kevin and I designed this house together.  It is a new page and we are still the craziest people in the room.  ;-)

This year's County Property/Land Auction listings came out today.  I've been reliving what I felt 2 years ago.  My friends, Carrie and Daryl, are interested in some land that is near their property.  Carrie called me and asked what to do about it, and we went through the basics.  Also, I saw that there's a house that my friends, Charles and Rachael, would be interested in.  I sent them a message about it, and Charles and I talked about the auction options tonight.  All of this has led to me feeling the same kind of emotions and excitement about the auction that I did 2 years ago.  I'll have to remember to get a babysitter this year.  There were some neat properties in the auction last year, so I went for fun with my mother-in-law, but couldn't stay because of the crazy kids.  This year, I'll feel even more invested in hearing the results, and I'll want to pay more attention. 

County auctions are so interesting to me.  I have seen the same names come up every year for people who've lost the houses to the county for not paying their taxes.  There are 118 parcels in the auction this year, where usually there are 80 or less.  Granted, 25 of the parcels this year are being auctioned together and some end up getting taken off the list as people catch up with their taxes.  Maybe in a few years I'll consider seeking out how to become more involved with the process and really learning how it all works.  A friend of the family is part of the legistative committee for properties, and I should start with talking to her.

Did I mention how excited I am about getting Pleasant Row started!!!  :-)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Things I've learned today:

Couponing is not simple.  There's a reason stores will double and triple coupons, and usually it has to do with pricing items in a way that they can still make a hefty profit.  We used to live near a Wegmans and would call their card a "conspiracy card."  I just got a Price Chopper conspiracy card today.  I've also gotten the Rite Aid conspiracy card recently.  After dealing with coupons (that, in some cases, even after being doubled didn't make it a better deal than store-brand or alternative brands), and marked up/marked down prices, I'm more frustrated than relieved that I saved money.  I will learn the system so that I can continue to save money, but I'm not happy about the process.  And, I have so much to learn.  I am thankful to have great friends and family who have already learned and are more than willing to share their knowledge.

At 6 months pregnant, I no longer have the patience to provide/allow for a fun bathtime for the kids.  I'm happy that my husband usually takes care of bathtime.  He really is a great husband and dad.  Tonight, the children have achieved cleanliness and nothing more from bathtime.

With simple planning ahead (having snacks and drinks in the car and leaving right after a meal), it isn't so difficult to avoid fast food joints on our trips out of the house.  If I can manage to eliminate all or all but 1 trip to fast food places a month, then I will save up to $50/month.

Listening to my children's play/imagination/story is possibly one of the most enjoyable sounds in the world.  It is too often interrupted by my voice or by the children screaming.  Children screaming is possibly one of the most stressful sounds in the world.

I need to prepare for a garage sale.  We went through and donated a lot of toys and clutter last month, but we need to do more.  And, Pleasant Row still has a lot to get rid of so that we can rearrange the carriage house to put a wood stove in the back.

My spending weakness today was home improvement magazines.