About Me

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Wife of one, Mom of two two-legged children, Mom of four four-legged children.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Deconstruction of the Circle of Doom

The Circle of Doom was created when L was almost five months old and started army crawling.  He's a very determined child and our house has an open floor plan.  So we got a gate to keep him from going down the hall to the bedrooms and bathrooms, used the pack n' play to keep him out of the kitchen, and arranged the living room furniture to keep him out of dining room and away from the front door.  This allowed L to have the entire living room for play and allowed the animals to come and go as they pleased.  It was dubbed the Circle of Doom because once an animal entered L was all over them.  Some were ok with that.....

 but when they were done, they could easily go elsewhere.

The Circle has changed over time.  When L got a little older he wanted to be in the kitchen while we cooked or cleaned, so the pack n' play was removed and a longer gate added to keep him out of dining room.  We also rearranged cupboards so he could have his own to play in while in the kitchen.

It was a sad day when the Circle was broken.  It didn't take him long to figure out how to climb over the ottoman.  But we didn't give up and for the most part, he respected it when it was in place.  We've slowly been giving him more room to roam.  We stopped putting the ottoman in place a month or so ago and haven't had any issues.  The day before his birthday party I took down the gate between the kitchen and dining room, mostly for ease of cleaning.  It never went back up and I don't miss climbing over it or walking around it.

So yesterday morning L decided it would be fun to run in circles through the kitchen, dining room and living room.  Watching how close he was coming to the edge of coffee table made me cringe, so I made the decision to rearrange.

Before, with ottoman in place...


The other chair was moved to the other side of the living room with L's toys.  So of course, he now thinks it's his....

When J saw what I had done, he made another decision.  Remove the coffee table all together.  So our open living space is actually open again and it seems very odd to me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday, but with words

I can't believe it's already Wednesday.

I'm feeling helpless about the car.  I'm at a loss about where to go from here.  The dealer visit on Monday didn't go well.  They only offered 7800.  I told him I couldn't do it.  He asked why I wanted to get rid of it.  He did not expect the answer he got.  I told him about the check engine light and how it never stays off, about all the repairs and being stuck.  That I'm just done and want to move on.  It's a break up story, and he took it like one.

There was disbelief and bargaining...
"It's left you stranded?"  Yes, twice in fact.
"Let us try to fix it"   It came to you for the first major repair.
"So you've lost all faith in Subaru?"  Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.

He took me back out to the service area and told the service manager about the car.  More shock and disbelief.

"Just let us have a crack at it.  It'll only take an hour for us to check it out."  I've already been here for an hour and now I just want to go.

You're 25 miles out of the way from the places I normally go.  You're shuttle service won't take me anywhere because it's too far.  "We'll give you a loaner."

So I left with the service manager's card and a lot on my mind.  Two days later and I still haven't made a decision.  I really feel done with this car and want to move on, but the debt won't let me right now.  I just feel stuck and it sucks.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Nintendo, Atari and Commodore 64

So the teenager called me a hoarder the other day.  I can't imagine why....

Yes, those are original boxes for a Nintendo and a Commodore 64.  Neither of those items are even in those boxes.  The Nintendo box contains the packaging for the Nintendo.  The Commodore box contains the TRS 80(A computer that is more ancient than the Commodore.  It used cassette tapes.)  These boxes actually came from my mother's house.  So if I'm a hoarder, I got it from her.  I even saw controllers from the Atari today, but not the actual Atari or games.  Which is too bad, because I could really go for some Frogger right now.

I've stated before that this "stuff" is not all mine.  But there were definitely some things that I had held onto that can go.  The boxes from the "good" china?  I can see keeping that.  The boxes from the everyday plates, those can go.  Boxes, boxes and more boxes.  I dealt with a lot of cardboard this weekend.  The recycle guys are going to love me tomorrow.....

That's not even all of it.  Some of it is already out in the garage.  So there was definite progress made this weekend.  Which is more than I can say about my car.

I consolidated the gift boxes and bags that were in good condition and am recycling the rest.  There's no reason we need all that we had.  I also reorganized some and turned this....

Into this....

Look!  A floor!

Show Off Your Shot

and then, she {snapped}

I hope I can find more of these photo links to participate in.  I enjoy taking pictures of the boy, even if the one below is from our heat wave last month....

And some day I'll figure out to how to do the buttons correctly.

Distraction #2

Since last weekend was so busy, I decided to take a long weekend this weekend to recoup and get some things done.  Friday was unseasonably warm which rendered attic work too hot, so I took my 30% off Kohls coupon and my $10 off coupon and did some shopping.  I got a pair of yoga pants, two exercise tops(I will start exercising, I will start exercising), two work tops and sweater to go over them for just under $70.  I grabbed groceries and some Chipotle for lunch and headed home.

Around 2, J(the husband) called and said that he was finished working.  So I jumped back in the car to meet him so we could go look at a car.  I've decided that I like the Jeep Compass, I just hadn't driven one yet.  As misguided as it might sound it was this review that helped me decide.  We have never been off roading, nor do I ever plan too.  I'm also a huge Powerpuff Girls fan so their mention makes the review hilarious to me.

So I arrive at the dealership.  J is already there.  He immediately comes over to the car and tells me that the woman next to us with her two children is on the phone with her bank.  She wants the Compass too.  So we walk over and take a look at the car.  I do like it.  The mileage is low for the year and it's in good shape.  We head in to talk to the salesman to see if we can drive it. After a whole lot of "we've never had this happen before"  we're able to take a test drive.  I REALLY like this car.  We return and the other woman declines saying she can't do the payment they were able to come up with.  First hurdle down.  So we sit down and go over the numbers.  They go look at my car and come back with numbers.  Second hurdle crash.  They only want to give me $7000 for my car.  It's just simply not enough.  So we walk.

On the way home, I see more Compasses.  They're mocking me.  I stop at a local Subaru dealer and ask them if they want to buy it.  They take a look and come back with $8200.  Better, but still no dice.

Saturday comes and the weather is still nice.  L and I play outside for a bit before nap.  I actually make it up to the attic for a bit before it gets too warm(more on that later).  When he gets up we have some things to take car of in the house and then we're back outside for the rest of the day.

Sunday arrives and I'm another year older.  The boys take really good care of me.  Including a surprise dinner with my grandmother planned by the teenager.  I couldn't be happier.  Definitely one of the best birthdays in years.

So now it's a rainy Monday morning.  The last day of a long weekend.  I really want to spend the day in the attic.  However, I could spend a couple hours driving to one last dealer to get an offer on my car.  If it goes well, the rest of the day could be in tailspin of car shopping in the rain.  I have no idea if the Compass is still available.  If it doesn't go well, I've wasted time that could have been productive.  What to do....

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Paper Mama Multicolor Photo Challenge

The Paper Mama Photo Challenge

<div align="center"><a href="http://thepapermama.com/" title="The Paper Mama Photo Challenge" target="_blank"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7054/6827634910_d6d9a898f5_o.jpg" alt="The Paper Mama Photo Challenge" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Of course I couldn't get the link to work correctly, but attempting to submit L with his new blanket.  A birthday gift that was handmade by a friend of mine.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

So my baby boy turned two today.  I can't believe how fast time flies.  We had his party over the weekend and I think the final cake came out pretty good.

He sure seemed to like it.  As did everyone else.

Overall I think everyone had a good time!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Yet another new record.

So the lights came back on again.  This morning while I was on my way to work.  So I drove to the dealer instead of work to drop the car off.  An hour later, I had a voice mail saying that the car needed a $500 repair. I picked up the car at lunch.  It has not been fixed.  I did ask them if they were interested in purchasing.  I did not receive a response on that.  No shock there.  So now I'm looking at cars online.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A New Record

So the check engine light turned back yesterday.  So I spent my lunch break back at the dealership.  They reset the light and told me that they "think" that it threw a bad code and to let them know if it comes back on.  Let the car shopping begin.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

The Easter Bunny came last night.  He filled baskets and hid eggs.  L had a really good time looking for them and we had a good time watching him.

At our house, the Easter Bunny recycles.  This started with my older son, C.  He has solid plastic basket, and of course the plastic eggs, which gets left out the night before Easter.  The Easter Bunny comes after he goes to bed, fills the basket and hides the eggs.  In the morning, the egg hunt begins.  Candy can't be consumed until after breakfast.  The struggle with L, is that we haven't been able to find a good sturdy basket for him.

As for the To List, I made some progress but didn't finish it.  I did get a practice cake in though.  I'll be making the cake that counts on Friday.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

To do list

Exactly one week from today my house will be invaded by family members, friends, two year olds and their parents for L's second birthday.  So last night as I on my way to bed, I started thinking of things that needed to be done in preparation for next weekend.  So I grabbed the itouch to make the list so I could go to sleep.

The list(in no particular order):
TV(as in the one that's been on my dining room table for 2 weeks)
Get Easter stuff from the attic
Make and hide eggs
Practice cake
Pick out clothes for next week
Dining Room
Front Door
Balance Check books
Wrap Bday presents
Party Decorations
Cook for Week
Grocery Shop
Finish Invitations
Litter Box

The items pertaining to work are not typical.  It looks like next week is going to be heads down on a project, which I am not looking forward to.  Which means that any errands I had planned on attempting to run on lunch breaks, will probably not happen.  There is at least one day that I know of so far that they are bringing lunch in.  So not only am I preparing for the party, I'm trying to prepare to not have to think about anything else.  And tomorrow is a holiday?  Fan-freakin-tastic.  All the more that has to be done today.  Looks like there won't be any attic work this weekend either.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dear Subaru,

Yours was the first foriegn car I have ever owned. There have been many in my family over the years, so I trusted you. After three Chevys and a Ford, all of which were incredibly reliable, we had a dog and a baby and I thought they should have seperate spaces in the car. I looked at lots of different cars, but kept going back to your Forester. It had everything I wanted, with the exception of an audio jack, and things I never knew I wanted. We searched and searched until we finally found "the one". I wish I only knew then what I know now.

Two months in the check engine light came on and the cruise light started flashing. So I took it back to the dealer. The tech who ran the code gave me the stupid girl speech. "You probably overfilled the tank or didn't screw the gas cap on tight enough. It's fine", he said and sent me away.

Within a month the same thing happened. The lights came on and started flashing at me. Even though I am not a stupid girl and had taken great care to not overfill the tank or not screw in the gas cap. Since the car was running fine otherwise, I let it go. It's not cheap to clear those lights. This went on for a few weeks until very suddenly the car stopped running all together.

So I called the dealership again. Since they were not a Subaru dealer, they referred me to the one down the street from them. The warranty we had purchased with the car covered the 25 mile tow. Three very long days later, I had a car again. This was $900 repair with all but $200 covered by the warranty.

Approximately two months later, the lights started flashing again. It was about this time we got wise to unplugging the battery to reset the light. This didn't last long and soon the lights were flashing again. Then one day on my way home from work, it just stopped working again.

Unfortunately, my first instinct was to call AAA instead of the warranty company for the tow. The tow would only be free if it was less than 5 miles. Luckily, there was a different Subaru dealership within 2 miles. So the car went there. While waiting for the tow truck, I called them and they called a rental company to bring me a car. I didn't know it at the time, but I would have that car for almost two weeks! Yes, two weeks to for them to work with the warranty company and fix my car. This time it was a $2000 bill with all but $200 covered by the warranty. By this point, I was REALLY glad I had that warranty.

A little over a month later, the lights came on again. Since it had almost been a year since I bought the car, my inspection was coming due. So I took it back to dealership that was close to work to have it cleared. After pulling in, I was greeted by the guy at the desk who said, "Oh, I remember this car." To which I responded, "I'm sure you do." A mere $85 later and a new gas cap installed, I drove away without the lights flashing and got the car inspected before they came back on.

And come back on, they did. I'm sure by this point you're thinking, why do you still have this car? Why haven't you just traded it already? There are two answers to this question. The first is that I keep hoping that this repair will fix the damn thing. The second is, I'm stubborn. I have paid in full each car I have purchased prior to trading it. I can't bear the thought of trading a car that still has a loan balance. So the lights flashed for awhile. That is until they mysteriously turned themselves off one day while I was driving.

The lights stayed off for two weeks and then turned back on. I'm at a point where not having flashing lights, makes me more nervous than having flashing lights. About a month ago, I received a recall notice on the car. So last week I called and made an appointment to have the recall work done and have the flashing lights cleared yet again.

The same guy greeted me at the desk. He still remembered the car. I was not at all surprised when he called me a couple hours later and said my car needed $600 worth of work. This time, the warranty did not cover it. A little coordination, as they didn't have the part in stock, and I have a car where the lights have not been flashing for a whole 24 hours. I wonder how long it will last this time?

So what is the point of this long winded post? I'll tell you. While it makes me unbearably sad, if those lights start flashing again, this car is being traded. It will not be for another Subaru. Which really is too bad because like I said, it had almost everthing I wanted. I will once again have to find a car that meets all my criteria, and I'm picky. So if you have any suggestions, let me know.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Goal

I found a decent picture of what I want the transformation to look like!
I just need to turn this:

Into this....

Minus the skylights. I don't know anyone who has good luck with those.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Distraction #1

So a friend of mine recently celebrated her 30th birthday and I decided to make her a cake with my new cake pan. I really like to decorate shaped cakes, but most of mine are boyish(I do have two boys, three if you count the husband). So I was very excited when I found this "girlier" pan during a recent lunch break.

It's the Backyard Bug pan by Nordic Ware.

So yesterday, I baked a cake. Or should I say, I baked 8 mini cakes. They're cute. Now, the directions said to fill the baking cups, which I thought was a little odd. But for some reason I was still surprised when I opened the oven and saw what looked like exploded cake. My apologies that I started trimming the excess off the cake before taking the picture.

So it wasn't until I went to decorate the eight mini cakes, that I realized I only had 1 decorating bag left. I knew I was running low, but didn't think it was that low. Note to self, check decorating supplies before baking. So needless to say the decorating, didn't go very well and I was not happy with the outcome. I'll spare you the less attractive cakes. A butterfly and dragonfly are below.

And yes, those are the better looking ones.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Attic Issue

Clutter, clutter everywhere. But the attic is by far the worst. We've only lived in this house six years. Before we could actually live in our house, we 'moved' in. Meaning 3 people's worth of crap was carried into our attic. Unfortunately, it didn't all make it out. The attic is sizeable, and uninsulated. Which makes working up there a bit tricky. I always thought I'd get to it eventually. And then life happened.

In 2008 my mother in law had a massive stroke and had to move to a nursing home. We had very little time to clean out her apartment. Which basically means that we boxed up everything(and I do mean EVERYTHING), brought it to our house and put it in the attic.

Later that year, my mother decided to move. My mother lived in the house that my sister and I grew up in. So basically, 30 plus years of our stuff to paw through and get rid of or store in our attic. See at the time, my sister lived in a small condo and didn't have any storage space. So anything she wanted to keep, had to come to our house.

In 2009, I got pregnant. So our den/guest room had to be transformed into a nursery. So, as I'm sure you've guessed by now, the bulk of the stuff from that room went into our attic.

We've had some other smaller events that have added to mess that exists above our heads, but the problem remains the same. We need to go through all this stuff and make some decisions, reorganize and eventually finish off this space so we can have a den/guest room/office/craft room again.

So I'll leave you with this. It's not a recent picture, but you get the idea....