Five on Friday

We did it. First week of school. FINISHED. ALL FINISHED. And she doesn’t even have to be back until Tuesday which Hallelujah, brother. 

Anyway, enjoy the five most ridiculous things I’ve said to my children recently.

1.) “Stop licking your father.”

2.) “We don’t carry your brother around by his neck.”

3.) “He can poop wherever he wants.”

4.) “Put your panties on and answer the door.”

5.) “You go to a Catholic school, you have to wear a shirt with buttons.”

Oh. It’s going to be a long year. *headdesk*

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Where are my bon bons?

(First, I do not want any comments about how it’s going to get easier and how it’s early in the year and an abbreviated schedule and grade school is different and we’ll hit our stride and NO. I KNOW ALL THAT. BUT RIGHT NOW I’M MAD.)

When my mom homeschooled us she got a lot of questions, like are you part of a cult? Do you have a moral problem with shaving your legs? How do you handle not having any time to yourself? 

No, no, and she always maintained that because homeschooling was generally focused on independent learning, she had way more time to herself than she did when she was shuttling us back and forth to school. 

I would always hear her say that and go, “Great story, mom,” and just go back to crossing off days on the calendar until my kids were in school and I could go back to my previous life of being thin and fabulous and watching a lot of Netflix and knowing popular songs. Because I was told I was going to have soooo much time! My husband asked what I was going to do with myself. I thought about getting a job at a community college or maybe getting my PhD. 

I mean, I’m not stupid, so I figured I’d start slow. I’d join a gym with childcare so that I could go work out during the mornings while Squeaks was in kindergarten. Once they were both full-day, then I’d tackle the advanced post-graduate work. I mean, I was going to have so much time!

LIES.

ALL LIES. 

What do I do all day? Well, I get up earlier than I used to, have to get myself presentable (and by presentable I have to make it look like we make at least 25k more than we do and I weigh 25 lbs less because geography), get the baby up, get the kid up, offer a plethora of breakfast options that will be rejected, make the one weird breakfast thing that isn’t rejected, cajole until she actually eats the thing, feed the baby, change the baby, change the baby again because he’s thrown up, get her in her uniform, make sure the uniform is clean, comb hair (oh GOD the hair combing) get shoes on and bag packed with a snack that she might actually eat, and in the car, drive to school, drive back from school, deal with a cranky baby who doesn’t get a nap because we have to turn around and drive BACK to school, pick up a cranky kid, drive home, get yelled at by cranky kid for the next hour and a half until she calms down (shades of my sister who was fond of yelling that she was going to wet the car), make lunch that actually has to be consumed but is healthy because we’re in school now and need energy so not mac and cheese, feed baby, clean baby up because he’s so exhausted he has rubbed his cereal into his hair, deposit him in his crib where he will sleep for about an hour and a half before he wakes up screaming because he’s overtired, try to get the kid to at least play quietly in her room for a while so I can like think about dinner and laundry (both of which will be done completely incorrectly according to the child), have the kid refuse to do so because she’s so amped up from school, and…well, I don’t even want to get into dinner and bedtime because ugh.

I’m not whining. Really. This is parenting. Mostly this is all stuff I would do no matter what. But having to do it on a schedule? And wash, rinse, repeat for the next nine months? Geez it’s a lot more work!

Once again, my mother was correct. 

I really have to start realizing that earlier. 

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(The uniform is pretty cute though.)

House Tour Tuesday: Kitchen

This kitchen, you guys. I love this kitchen. 

Part of it is that my family, friends, and I worked soooooo hard to make it what it is. My grandma had impeccable taste in her day, and not that gold-specked green formica and pink cabinets* aren’t awesome, they’re just not really my jam. And not exactly the “neutral” they tell you to shoot for when renting. 

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So much work. So so much oil-based, not-factory-normal-measurements work. Anyway, here is it now. 

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We decorated the kitchen with our collection of brewery/bar signs that we’ve accumulated over the (two) years. They used to be (appropriately) on the bar but a.) we don’t have a bar here yet and b.) I never looked at them. This way I get to see all of our cool signs that remind me of all the fun places we’ve been.

The table was my 22nd birthday present, long before I knew Matt or had kids or knew if I’d ever be able to afford to live here It looks as awesome as I had hoped in the space, and I am so so happy that I finally get to use it!

Here I am getting it: 

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Look how thin I am. But cranky. I was hungry. All the time. 

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This is our family message/work station. The shelves are built-in, and Buzz and I each have a basket on the bottom shelf. Outgoing mail goes in the silver tray (because we’re fancy like that). The to shelf is pens, paper, dry erase markers, tack pins, and a basket for keys, tape, rubber bands, the tiny little stuff that gets lost all around a kitchen. 

Oh, and three dollars worth of silk flowers from Wal-Mart that I used to tie all the colors together. 

The wall is my favorite though- I made the calendar- it’s a 21×15 frame. I framed a piece of pretty yellow wallpaper and drew the calendar grid on it. Every month I change it out with dry-erase. It’s awesome to see our whole month laid out, and helps me from forgetting things like the children. 

(And by “I drew the calendar grid on it” I mean I told my mom I wanted to do it and she got my dad to do it correctly for me. Thanks Daddy!)

The weekly board next to it is our menu. It was not creative at all. It was $7.99 at Target but I love it like a human baby. 

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Buddy’s little station, shoved between two walls so it at least slows him down when he tries to kill himself by flinging himself off the cafe-height chairs. 

(Why didn’t skinny me think of this?)

(Probably too hungry.)

Also, seven dollar valances from Wal-Mart. I know, I know, you could totally make them. Ain’t nobody got time for that. 

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It’s a galley style kitchen. I thought I would miss my kitchen in the old house, since I was sooooo big, but it turns out I didn’t really need all that space. I’m not a gourmet chef, and I find it easier to move back and forth between the two counters when there’s only a few feet between them. 

Look how much storage, though! That I definitely enjoy. True story. I HATED the storage in this house six years ago. I was all, “Gah, Grandma, how could you live like this it’s so decadent and disgusting you should be able to travel with what you need to live on your back!” and I almost gave up consumer goods and lived in a yurt somewhere with a single tube of toothpaste. 

Now that it’s my stuff in all the storage spaces? I LOVE IT. SO MUCH SPACE, Y’ALL!!!!

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Mostly filled with wine and rocks glasses. My mom was helping me get organized and she said, “Oh! You know what, the upper cabinets are perfect for things that you don’t use all the time! LIke martini glasses! Nobody uses those!”

“Um. Mommy. We keep two martini glasses chilled at all times.”

We also have to keep a stepstool around, since I am short. 

Finally, behold, my Keurig station-

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I love it so much. I keep cookbooks on the middle shelf, and the basket is a charging center- we just run an extension cord up to the outlet. It’s not pretty, but it works. I keep Buddy’s bibs on the bottom, because he plays with them anyway so might as well make it something he can’t break. 

(He can break those creamer and sugar things, which is why they only come out for this picture. Usually the k-cup go-round is shoved way over in the corner because Buddy also enjoys gnawing on them and I have enough trouble getting them to nap without literally giving him coffee grounds to chew on.

The towel-rack-as-cup-holder thing also goes to my mom- she found it on pinterest and helped me set it up. (My dad: “Is this made to support that much weight?” Me and Mom simultaneously: “Don’t care.”)

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We spend so much time in this kitchen, and it’s so sweet and homey and makes me feel sooo happy. 

*Fun fact: We’ve lived here almost two months and Buzz just realized the inside of our closets are pink. Uh. Yeah. EVERYTHING was pink. And we’re keeping it that way because feelings. 

 

Dear Squeaks,

You start kindergarten today.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. Well, no, I’m exactly sure how I feel about that.

In order:

1.) Old. (Mommy is vain. The sooner you accept it, the easier it will be for all of us.)

2.) Sad to see you grow up.

3.) So happy and excited for you because you’re happy and excited.

4.) Moderately concerned that I am now expected to have two children up and dressed and fed (mostly your problem, as you’ve never been much of a breakfast girl and lately have taken to telling me, “No, it’s a special day. I don’t eat breakfast on special days.”) and pooped (mostly your brother’s problem, as he is VERY specific about how he prefers to empty his bowels and God help us all if his routine is interrupted in the slightest) and in the car by an alarmingly early time. I guess there’s no more going back to bed after Daddy goes to work. Which means we’re done having babies because that was the only way I surived (barely) Buddy’s gestation. 

ANYWAY. 

But t’s GOOD. I’m so so happy for you. Your teacher is wonderful, and you’re going to have so much fun playing and learning and letting your little light shine.

You’re excited. You can’t wait to do everything new and exciting about school, like go to the library, and eat lunch, and ride the bus…so excited that I can’t convince you that most of those things don’t actually happen for a few years and by then I most likely will have grown tired of having other people tell me how to raise my children and what do you mean Latin is not offered at the grade school level? How hard is it to learn “the sailors praise Mary?” and will be homeschooling you, and then, well, you’re stuck with boring lunches that I make you and the bus ride from your bedroom to the kitchen table is remarkably efficient.

Anyway.

You’re a big kid now, sweetie. Just the last few weeks, you’ve gotten taller. So tall that your shorts are now so short that I have to assure people that you are, in fact, fully dressed when you wear oversized t-shirts. You’re changing too. Your face isn’t round like a baby’s anymore, it’s chiseled and beautiful. When you smile or make a silly face you look like your mama, and I can’t imagine how much joy that brings to everybody you sees you. When you’re serious you look like me or Daddy, which warms my heart. And sometimes, just sometimes, you’ll be concentrating really hard on something and you’ll look like you did when I met you.

 I’m so happy for you, baby, and I’m so excited to see what you’re going to get to do. But you’ll have to forgive me, I’m a little bit sad too. Because this is the first time you’re leaving me. I know it’s only for three hours, and nothing is really going to change, but EVERYTHING is going to change. You’re a school kid. And you are going to walk away from me and start something entirely new. Like you will countless more times for the rest of your life- when you don’t want me to pick you up during church anymore, when you start high school, the first time you take the car out by yourself, your first date, when you start college, when I hug you goodbye after your wedding reception, when you take your own babies home from the hospital, so many, many things you’re going to get to experience by yourself, the way God intended. 

But even though I know it’s the way God intended it, I’m still sad. I’m still going to cry when I drop you off (like I am right now typing this). I’m still going to count the minutes until I get to pick you up again (just two hours later, I know, I know…) And I’m still going to hug you so, so tight all the rest of the day because you are going to do all of those things, but not right now. 

Right now you’re still my four-year-old. Right now you still need me to drop you off and pick you up and make your breakfast and help you in the bathroom. Right now you’re still my baby. 

I love you, 
Mommy

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House Tour Tuesday: Living Room

You guys. I love my house. (I know, I know, I know, yesterday…it’s complicated.)

(But my new house is not complicated.)

(It’s just awesome.)

Here is the totally awesome living room, most of the decorating ideas in which I stole from Jen at This Hawk’s Nest.

And by stole, I mean blatently copied and found for way cheaper.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is, I think, my favorite view in the house. It makes me happy every morning coming down the stairs.

And my favorite part? I didn’t have to buy anything! Except for the rug. Totally awesome rug from Target.com. I know, I know, I know, one day people  are going to see these pictures and say, “Wow. 2014 much?” with the faux moroccan vibe, bu it makes me happy.

The sofa, leather thing, and end table were ours. The chest is my hope chest, and I finally got a man so I get to keep it now I guess. The piano was in my house growing up, and a neighbor generously let me keep it for the kids. I can’t wait until they learn to play from their grandma.

The bookcases are the finest Shopko has to offer. Eventually (when we stop hemorraghing cash from the move), I want our fabulous friend at Carl Allen Woodworks to build real bookcases in roughly that same spot.

The little black chairs are my favorite part, though. They were my grandparents’. They were in Blue Ribbon Hall at Pabst Brewery, and my grandpa ate lunch on them every day. When Pabst closed, my grandma bought a bunch and painted them white (as she did to everything that stood still long enough). My mom found them for me in the basement and spray-painted them black for me while I was tearing my hair out over the rest of the move.

(My mom. A real life Pinterest.

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Sofa table I stole from my mom. (A common decorating theme in my home.) I’m super excited to have a place to put my coffee table books where Buddy can’t destroy them for like another four or five days until he’s tall enough to reach the top of the table. I kept toys and blankets in the baskets underneath the table. Joey likes to roam around the house, and the more things I keep handy with which to distract him, the fewer fake candles he eats.

It’s also his current pooping spot. So that’s exciting.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEven though it’s my formal living room. I stuck a tv in the corner because, well, I want to have the option of watching Orange is the New Black at all times, even while pretending to be fancy.

The secretary desk by the entrance was my grandpa’s, generously on loan from my sister. I’m hoping to replace it with something similar, but it will never be as special.

Seriously. I can’t tell you how happy I am in this house.

 

For Sale.

This morning I went back to our old house to deposit some air fresheners. Apparently, people think we kept a dog there and didn’t wash it very often. Uh. Okay. They should talk to my brother-in-law, who likes the way our house smells so much that he jumped my sister when she was wearing my old clothes.

ANYWAY. There was a for sale sign in the yard, and I got really upset. 

*crickets*

I know. 

I realize I’ve spent the last few weeks going OMG SO HAPPY AND AMAZING I’M HOME THIS IS AWESOME DID YOU SEE MY KEURIG STATION??? and I still totally feel that way, but seeing the sign in the yard made me cry.

I never felt like it was my home. I’m not being dramatic, and I’m not trying to make anyone feel badly. It was beautiful, it was great for our family, and I was perfectly happy there. But I never really felt at home. 

I think in my haste to appreciate a.) the awesomeness of my new home and b.) the fact that I don’t have to literally live in a remembrance of how much the people I love most in the world have suffered, I forgot that it was my home for almost two years. 

Because of Squeaks, most of our courtship took place there. I met her there. She handed me Big Baby. Buzz told me he loved me there. We decided to get married there. We came home from our honeymoon there. It was where I first had a bedroom with my husband (I’m not being creepy, for those of us who didn’t live together before marriage having an actual bedroom together where you can like SLEEP- LITERALLY SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT- with someone you love is, like, amazeballs). I found out I was pregnant with Buddy there. I told my parents about him there. (Well, okay, I told my mom about him at church because she figured it out. But still.) We brought him home from the hospital there. It was our home. 

And now there’s a sign in the front yard. And I did not expect it to bother me this much. Finch-Realty-Home-For-Sale

But hopefully for someone it will be their dream house. And it will be filled with only happy memories. 

(Not our actual house pictured. I don’t want any creepers.)

Moved. Past tense.

Dudes. We are moved.

Completely, totally, everything important is unpacked, and things are hung on the walls moved. Matt still has some memorabilia I couldn’t be trusted with, and we can’t technically find the Netflix DVD we had out when we moved, but eh, I would probably want to buy Amazing Grace to watch Benedict Cumberbatch over and over again.

Anyway.

WE’RE FINISHED. AND IT IS GLORIOUS. I’m planning on being one of those obnoxious bloggers who post house tours over the next couple of weeks, because I did a bunch of cool stuff in this house that I’m ridiculously in love with, and house bloggers bug me a little bit less than mommy bloggers, so I’m going to hitch my horse to that wagon.

(And by “I did a bunch of cool stuff I mean my mom had a bunch of ideas and when I said, “Oh, that’s awesome? But how will I get it/build it/put it together?” She responded “Your dad will have it here tomorrow!”)

(Young House Love shoutout. LOVE IT.)

In the meantime (while I’m over here hyperventilating over having to sell my other house), have a post about moving, as told by iPhone photos. Or, the only thing I could find until a few days ago.

The whole time we lived at the new house (or at least as long as I had lived there), we talked about having drinks on the patio. It seemed so idyllic and adorable and relaxing and I just couldn’t imagine anything more awesome. Except. We never actually did it, we just talked about it.

Until the last night. I demanded that we have drinks on the patio once before we move.

photo 5Using our super classy solo cups, because I’d packed everything else.

And then the mosquitoes started attacking and we realized why we didn’t ever really have drinks on the patio before.

The next morning I was quite excited (and exhausted) (and stressed).

photo 1 (3)And wearing braids like Anna from Frozen! (According to Squeaks.)

Buddy was less excited that he was being corralled by various grandmothers in attempt to keep him alive.

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The movers showed up-

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Squeaks’ response was “Those are the strongest men I’ve ever seen!”

(True dat.)

I got tired thinking about moving Matt’s desk to vacuum. They carried it up the stairs without, like, thinking about it.

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They got to our new house, unloaded everything, and I spent the rest of the day unpacked, putting away, and rolling around naked in ALL OF MY STUFF IN MY NEW HOME LET ME SHOW YOU IT.

(I kid.)

(My parents were over.)

My sister made us a cake with house on it, because she’s awesome like that.

photo (6)Joey had a bunch of stories about his first night in the house.

photo 3 (2) He slept! Really! Like for twelve hours! I swear, this house in enchanted.

And then my dad played peek-a-boo with him and moved all my patio furniture around.

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ANYWAY. Now we’re in the new house and freed up to do lots of awesome things like have drinks! On the patio! For real!

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(Happiness apparently an alternative to makeup.)

And entertain in my awesome dining room!

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And garden in my not-garden!

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(And by that I mean get my brother to do most of the work and then transplant some flowers.)

And have lovely Saturday mornings with my coffee and Facebook while my kids play on the swing set!

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And take my son to the emergency room because he can’t be trusted on changing tables for 1//8th of a second apparently!

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(Thus bringing the number of times I’ve stood in this living room with paramedics to TOO DAMN MANY.)

(Also, happiest ER baby ever, amiright?)

The only problem with the house has been lodged by Buddy. I won’t let him play out in the road with the trash collector trucks, even though they’re really cool.

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I know. I’m pretty mean.