I went to the wrong dry cleaners last week.
It would have been totally fine except that the little ticket the guy gave me did not have the dry cleaner's address on it. Not a cause for panic because I can retrace my (driving) steps, right?
Yeah, not so much. Everything looks the same to me here. Every strip mall and um, other strip mall (there's not much else going on in terms of shopping) look exactly the same. At least to me. Josh seems to know where he is right away and cannot figure out why I can't remember which way the Target is.
I am map-challenged. For years, Josh has been trying to show me where I am and how to get somewhere on his various maps that he keeps in the car but nope, nothing. I just don't understand maps. I like directions that go something like: Turn left at the gas station, go straight until you see the mailbox and turn at the next light. Simple, concrete directions with landmarks to look out for.
I drive around here but I never really know where I am. I use the navigation system to go distances farther than five minutes from home or to anywhere that involves turning off the main street, but even so, I can't get a real sense of where I am. And you know what else? The highway here - even though it has a North and South attached to its name, does not really mean North or South. I know.
According to Josh, the highway runs in a circle around the city and so you can get anywhere going either way. In a way, it's comforting; you (I) can't get that lost, it just might take me double the time to fully go around the circle. Also, they might want to consider changing the North and South to clockwise and counterclockwise. I think people would find that helpful.
We eventually got the cleaners thing sorted out (and the two buildings do look alike), and so today, I went to the correct cleaners. And to congratulate myself, I pulled into the Starbucks parking lot. But across the way, there was a Goodwill and I was like, hmmm, Goodwill vs. Starbucks. I've had a Starbucks before, but I've never been to a Goodwill. And a mommy on the pickup line the other day told me that she got an awesome bookshelf there for $10. I have $10 and I am in need of a bookshelf. Instead of dropping $5 at Starbucks (I like a grande), I ventured into Goodwill.
I think until now, I was unaware that Goodwill sold things. I knew they took donations but I never thought it through to the end.
In the spirit of pushing my comfort zone - as if moving out of the tri-state area was not comfort pushing enough - I went in. I did not find a bookshelf but I found an Adirondack chair for $8 for my backyard. Or front yard. Not sure yet. But it's $8 here and $30 in Target. I grabbed it. It was pretty clean but could use a little wipe down with some baby wipes. They make everything better. (Ma, you still with me? I know it's a used chair, but you'll be okay when you sit in it. I promise.)
Wanna see it? I'm so excited.
And since we're looking at pictures of the outside of the house, check out my owl. He's from Michael's and he makes me smile every time I come to the front door.
I wonder if there are any other Goodwills around here? I could totally use a bench for the front hall and I could also use a little furniture redo project...
I'm also wondering why my phone takes such grainy pictures. It might be time to switch back to a regular camera.
Until next time, think good thoughts and do good things - it's the Aseret Yemei Teshuva :)
Remember yesterday when we took the crib apart?
I didn't want Josh to throw it out because I was worried that maybe the little one might not love the whole big-girl-bed idea right away and would want her crib back.
I was wrong. She's loving it and has not looked back.
But instead of chucking the whole thing, we took the short sides of the crib and made headboards for the boys. And when I say made headboards, I mean we placed them behind their beds and said, look guys, you have headboards now!*
Don't you just love a super-simple DIY project that needs no tools, no paint and no mess?
*I'm not even sure that blanket and those pillows belong to either of the boys. But you gotta make a (hasty) bed before you take a picture, right?
Milestones are a fact of life and we hit a big one yesterday - and yet, it appears that I was the only one traumatized. The only one sitting on the floor, holding back tears while saying yay and hooray with everyone else.
After begging for months, we finally moved our just-three-year-old into a big girl bed and she's loving it. Now, every few minutes, she will announce that she is tired and must take a rest in her new big girl bed right now. And off she goes, returning 90 seconds later, all rested.
We've been through this a bunch of times before, this whole transitioning from a crib to a bed thing (or, in our house, a twin mattress on the floor), but this time was extra bittersweet because she is the youngest. We've had a crib, and for a long while, two cribs, consistently in use for the past almost 8 years. There have been times when no one has slept in these cribs, but they were always there, we were always a house of babies and toddlers. And now, we're a house of biggish kids and it makes me sad.
But I take solace in the fact they are so much fun to be around now and that I really love watching them grow and expand their wings. I take great joy in listening to their after-school stories and make believe games that all four play together. And I love watching them experience new things and try, even if it's something they are scared to do.
There are many hard adjustments with little kids - giving up the stroller (where am I supposed to put all my stuff?), potty training (I hate going to the bathroom in the mall), and the kid who is just learning to recognize their letters and causes you to think hmm, maybe this one is dyslexic.
But I truly believe that crib-to-bed is one of the hardest adjustments - for parents - and not for the reason you may think.
I dislike the big-kid-bed move because it's one more kid who can get out of bed.
One more kid who can come downstairs and say they can't sleep.
One more kid who can come downstairs and complain that their roommate already fell asleep.
One more kid who can wander into our room at 3am and either poke me hard in the arm* or silently stand there and stare until my eyes open**.
I feel like kids of all ages should sleep in big cribs because then once they're in for the night, they can't get out.
How awesome would that be?
Now I have four kids coming out of bed - and I'm not making this up - in the first thirty seconds of her first night in her big-girl-bed, she was out and on the top of the steps calling my name. Twice.
She is definitely the boldest - the other kids all had the decency to stay in bed at that age and just call our names. But nope, not this one, she's a wanderer and I'm thinking we may have to lock the bathroom door at night so she can't get in. Only problem - how will the other kids get in? Okay, that wouldn't be the only problem - how would I get in? I'm always in there.
We have to figure something out. But that's a whole other story.
** Am I the only one freaked out by this? Truly terrifying.
My youngest, my little one is turning three in a week or so and this Sunday, we are throwing her a birthday party. She is beyond excited and asks every single morning if her party is today. It's not, but she shrugs it off and goes about her day. She's that kind of kid.
I asked her who she wanted to invite to her party - and after she listed every single family member that she knows and loves, she said she wanted to invite her friends. I was kind of surprised, because as she's not in school yet, she doesn't really have a posse with whom she plays on a regular basis. So we talked:
Me: Who are your friends?
Her: Um, people. I don't know their names.
It was kind of sad and kind of very very funny at the same time. Then we talked about going to nursery in the fall and how she would meet all her friends there and then invite them all to her birthday party then. And she was okay with that so, you know, phew.
We've been getting ready for this party for what feels like ages. We took a trip to the party store where she picked out Strawberry Shortcake paper goods, even though she has never heard of Strawberry Shortcake before. And the butterfly pinata she picked out in Target has been hanging in the living room for a good week already. And today is party baking day.
We are serving brunch food at the party and so this morning, we made cranberry-orange muffins and coffee cake muffins, both of which made the house smell amazing.
And now the little one has decided that the time has come to bring the Birthday Chair
* up from the basement. Birthday Chair?
Yeah, years ago I made a birthday chair out of one of the un-needed kitchen chairs from my grandmother's apartment. And it was that chair that started this blog. It was the subject of my first post ever and was quite terrible.
I had still not gotten the hang of my camera at that point and I had no clue as to what was appropriate blog material and what was not. You can look back at that Birthday Chair post
and laugh at me. I just did.
Anyway, here is the recipe for these very delicious cranberry-orange muffins. The coffee cake muffins are as yet untasted so I can't share those yet. I mean, you know, they might be gross. But the orange ones are delish, I make them all the time.
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1.5 cup craisins
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients and then add in the craisins. Stir the craisins into the flour mixture. The reason you do this, as opposed to adding the craisins at the end like you would add chocolate chips to cookie dough, is because the flour coating keeps the craisins from falling to the bottom of the muffins while they are baking. See? You learned something today.
Next, add the egg, orange juice and oil and mix with a spoon, just until it's all combined. But really, please, mix until just just combined. Don't keep mixing or you will wind up with hard muffins and you don't want that. You want light and fluffy muffins. Next,
spoon the muffin batter into a paper lined 12 cup muffin pan, dividing the batter evenly between all the muffin paper liners. Bake for 15 minutes and then check to see if they are done with a toothpick. Mine needed another minute or two, but be careful not to overbake them.
Remove the muffins from the pan and let them cool completely. You can eat them right away or store them in a ziploc bag until you need them. They also freeze very well. *The Birthday Chair - used only on birthdays, not half-birthdays, even though my children have tried to persuade me otherwise - was spray painted blue and decorated with rhinestones and painted letters spelling the words, Happy Birthday. The thing is, it's been through quite a number of birthdays so far and so now the chair reads: AP Y BIRTHDAY. So if it's your birthday, then AP Y BIRTHDAY to you! And if it's not, then hurry and go make a birthday chair before the next family birthday rolls around!
We bought a bunch of Lack tables from Ikea a while back and this yellow one used to live in my living room. Somehow, it wound up in the basement, possibly when people started using it as a landing pad on the way from using one trampoline (couch) to the other trampoline (couch). And once down there, it was just a hop, skip and a jump to being used as the table that held all the painting supplies when we did the basement
a few weeks ago. So now my pretty yellow table is all splattered with paint and I can't get it off.
I've been looking at this messy little table every time we go downstairs to play. I didn't to get rid of it, it's such a cute little table. And then the kids started using it as a pretend playing house table - setting it with plates, forks, cups and stuff. And because I have trouble leaving well enough alone, I thought it would be fun to make it into a real tea party table - and some scrapbook paper and some Mod Podge later, we were in business.
I didn't take pictures of each step because I had a little two-year-old helper who was enjoying waving the gluey paintbrush around just a little too much. Instead, I'll just tell you - I cut out rectangles for the placemats, circles for the plates - although I guess they are more like chargers than plates. I also cut out circles as saucers for teacups and triangles as napkins. That's it. Glue the pieces on, wait for them to dry and then add another coat of glue on top to harden it all up. The back of my new bottle of Mod Podge says to let the project cure for four weeks, but that's not going to happen.
I'm hoping when the kids come home, one or more of them will set the table so I can take a picture and share.
Total project cost: Free. I had everything in the house.
But even if you don't, it's still pretty darn cheap.
Lack table: $7
Bottle of Mod Podge: $5
Four sheets of scrapbook paper: $1