Brain Dump

When all else fails and I have not blogged in a while- there is always the brain dump.

The rarely seen (or taken) photo of just us


1.  How about this weather?  Mid-80’s for the high, in the middle of October.  WTH.  It seems I was premature on busting out the flannel sheets and down comforter a couple of weeks ago.  

The up side is that I got to go through my clothes and bag up a bunch of warm-weather stuff I didn’t wear much and pass it on elsewhere.  I am way into doing that sort of thing, as you may know.

2.  I’m back to a cash system for some of our budget areas.  Time to curb some of that impulse spending.  There is nothing like going back through my credit card statement and adding up all of those little purchases to the tune of hundreds of dollars for the month of September…  I am a pretty firm believer that knowledge is power, even if it made me slightly sick to my stomach to see the final tally.  

The ultimate side eye to the craw dad; camping 2016


I maintain that sometimes you gotta throw money at the problem, but this last stretch has gotten out of hand.  I withdrew cash for my personal spending, spending for the kids, and home purchases.  We have a debit account for our groceries, which keeps me on track with my spending there every month.  

3.  I read 11 books in September and have read 5 so far this month.  I read I Let You Go in a day, because I got all sucked in before realizing it was a suspense/thriller type book (never ever what I like to read).  But I had to know what happened!  Other notables: A Man Called Ove, The One in a Million Boy, Scary Close, Before We Visit the Goddess, and Love Warrior*.  All brought to you by your local public library.  Scary Close and Love Warrior are both memoirs and I liked a lot about both of them.  Hate to say it, but I didn’t actually LOVE Love Warrior.  Just liked it.  No offense, Oprah.  

*I am not linking to all of those titles on Amazon because I am lazy.  

Pretty into the pigtails these days


4.  A few other factors that have allowed for extra reading time: my rad husband took the three oldest kids on two separate camping trips.  I went to Bermuda with my dad, sister, and numero tres for four days (what is this life I am living?!?!) And I am mostly staying off Facebook during the weekdays.  (Here’s where I am embarrassed about how much time I have given over to Facebook, ESPECIALLY during election season.  That does not serve me well.) 

Bermuda was okay… If you go for that sort of thing…

Twinning with Poppies


5.  I have said something to this effect before, but I increasingly see life on the other side.  We are in the last stretch of diapers, nap times, 5 point harness car seats, and frantic bedtime searches for the lovey.  We are crossing over into more independence and into some headier parenting.  It’s not just kneeling down to break up a fight over a toy; it is also talking about anxiety and uncertain friendships and “I’m not sure I believe in God” sort of things.  It is bittersweet, for sure.  

My kids are extremely fun little humans and I am so thankful for our little crew here.  What a crazy gift (and responsibility) to be their mom. 

Life on our street. His name is Maestro, btw, and he pooped in our yard.

All Those Precious Memories…

…Can overwhelm me.

she cray


Breaking my blog silence to tell you how I store my kids’ important stuff.  Like, the stuff I want to save for a long time and give back to them one day.  Artwork.  Letters to the Tooth Fairy.  Their favorite board book that we read 100 times a day for a while.  That kind of stuff.  

I know you need to know MY method, because Pinterest probably turns up zero ideas about “how to store kids’ stuff”.  Hahahahaha…  I crack myself up.  

If you want to know Pinterest’s ideas, feel free to click over there now.  I will be here when you return in 3 hours.  If you’re like me, you will sign on to look for kids’ storage ideas and, instead, find outdoor planter flower ideas, homemade grout cleaners, and party-perfect crockpot meatballs.  Pinterest makes me feel like I have the attention span of a squirrel.

i have hundreds of these on my phone


So.  My idea.  

Pick a finite space- a box or bin- and use it well.  Just one allocated space for the special stuff.  

I have four bins that sit on the top shelf of the kids’ closets.  One for every kid.  They are not clear, because I don’t necessarily want my kids to see everything in there and ask me to pull it down every few weeks.  The point is to tuck certain things away for a long time.  

When my Mom passed away, my Dad spent some time going through our house and collecting things for us kids to sort through.  Among the things I received was a box of my old stuff.  One box- letters to my mom on Mother’s Day, preschool art projects, my handprint from elementary school, report cards, etc.  That was pretty emotionally filling to go through.  I enjoyed it, though it was hard to know what to do with a lot of it.  Keep it?  Display it? Trash it?  Yes, yes, and yes.

shenandoah caverns. kind of an odd place.


I don’t think I would have enjoyed much more than that.  One box is special and worth savoring.  Several boxes feels like an emotionally exhausting chore.  (To me.  I don’t think everyone feels like I do).    

Here are some things in my kids’ bins: a letter to the Tooth Fairy, a teeny tiny pair of pj’s that both of my girls wore, the books that each child really attached to, a special shirt, a Lightning McQueen matchbox car, a lovey that was once vitally important every evening at 7:00, their first artwork attempts, first letter-writing attempts, and so on.  I keep a jar in the kitchen to write down and store funny things that my kids say, and periodically I will put their quotes in their bins.    

it has long been a dream of his to be the one to use the library book slot. dreams come true.


So those are some ideas.  

I often feel overwhelmed by the volume of stuff and the memories attached to that stuff.  I want to remember and savor and all of that.  This method works for me.  If it doesn’t float your boat, feel free to try Pinterest for 7 million other methods, plus party-perfect crockpot meatballs.  That place is a real one-stop shop.  It’s like the Wal-Mart of the internet.  

deer in the headlights meets party animal.


Happy Friday!

Brain Dump

Hello from Charlottesville, on a chilly, rainy Friday.

kids held by their dad=always cute

kids held by their dad, looking over his shoulder=always cute

Some things.  In no particular order:

1.  There is an entire category of things that happen to people because they are old.  I noticed these things in my 20’s, from a safe distance.  “Old” was far away.  Here are a few examples:

  • joint pain or a bad knee just because [not due to- say- a recent soccer injury]
  • “I don’t sleep well when I’m not in my own bed”
  • taking a long time to get over a cold
  • “sleeping in” means 7:45 (whaaaaat? in what universe???)
  • drinking coffee black

I’m 37 and a few of these things are coming true in my life.  What would  you add to the list?

2.  My husband arrives back in town tonight.  He’s been gone for ten of the last twelve days.  He took the boys with him for seven of those days, and his parents had them while he worked.

I missed the boys, and also tried to take advantage of their absence.  It was fun to enjoy a quiet house and get some home’ish things done.  I did stuff like trade out all the summer clothes for winter clothes, hang curtain rods and new curtains, and eat cereal for dinner.  I got rid of five bags of clothes.  I don’t know why I enjoy that feeling so much, but I do.  Finishing things- even finishing with clothes- feels nice.

I tried to refer back to my own rules about kids’ clothes, because sometimes I am really smart and totally know how to do things.

free shirt.  go hoos go!

free shirt. go hoos go!

3.  It has been raining for at least seventy two weeks straight and I am considering something like this light.  I did that month of getting outside a couple of years ago, but that’s not a great option with a dumb old hurricane sweeping through.  Maybe a “happy light” will help me feel peppier in this dreary weather.  (Although, by the time the light arrives the sun will probably be out again.  And then you’ll read about me purging the light as clutter.)

It seems like a nice little gizmo for winter days.  But essential oils seemed nice too and I’m not positive they have helped much.  (Though they certainly haven’t hurt…except the initial cost of the oils).  Anyone care to weigh in on a “happy light”?

4.   One of the best and most practical things my husband has taught me is how to install drywall anchors.  I used to put up curtain rods or pictures with just nails or screws and hope they didn’t come crashing down.  But I opted for drywall anchors that can support a small elephant when I put the curtain rods up last week (see number 2).  Sure enough, Chicken came in from school and immediately tugged the heck out of those drapes and piddly screws would have ripped out of the wall.  Yay for drywall anchors!  Tug away, kids.

The drywall anchor thing came to a head several houses/apartments ago when I was impatient for my husband to hang crap up for me.  Nagging and impatience didn’t motivate him [shocker].  He finally just taught me how to do it, in the name of “teaching a man to fish” and all of that.  Power tools are my friend now.

5.  Two years ago this was in full swing.  The Monkey continues to do very well, with no lingering effects of the tumor or the brain surgery.  If it weren’t for the memories it is as if it did not happen, health-wise.  Goodness upon goodness.

image

gob: beeeeees? lindsey: no, beads! gob: bees? bzzzzzzz! -arrested development

6.  Imagine my shock and horror to see this sly creature in our back yard recently.  Scared the crap out of me.  It just sat there, all calm and patient, watching our lovely little bunny hop around as innocent as a bunny does, when he doesn’t know he is going to be eaten later.

sly

sly

I immediately took to the interwebs and asked facebook what to do.  (Fb is the new google, btw.)  The responses were not heartening, though several friends offered to come pee in my yard “if that would help”.  (Pee to scare the fox away?  And/or scare me into staying in my house for the rest of the week?  Both/and.)

George the bunny still lives, but that is because we bring him in every night.  This falls under the category of “unsustainable”.   Meanwhile, a friend texted me a “Fox News Alert” (hehehehe) that one of her chickens had gotten foxed the other night.  We are all just sitting ducks here, as far as I can tell.  George won’t last a night out there.

hashtag save george.

hashtag save george.

7.  Lists are supposed to be in odd numbers.  Happy Friday!