Friday, July 15, 2011

freaking out a bit

so everything's moving on at a jolly good pace, which is totally freaking me out!

i just went online & downloaded the school calendar for 2011-12 & realized that christopher's first day of school is august 15th & the kids start on august 22nd. our buyer wants to close on august 24th. that means that we need to move the weekend of august 13th at the latest! ideally, i'd like to move the weekend of august 6th so that we have 2 full weeks of sleeping in the new house before school starts so that the kids can start to get acclimated before we totally change their world again. and somewhere in there we'll have both kindergarten orientation and pre-k orientation.

but thankfully i have amazing kids. the other day, the kids and i painted their rooms. at the time i thought i was crazy for having them help with the painting, but it actually turned out really nicely. chris had found little rollers & paint trays for them, so they actually got to paint their own rooms. we had gone to home depot the day before and picked paint colors, which totally thrilled them, and they did an awesome job painting. so their rooms are done. barbara & chuck are supposed to come in this weekend to finish clearing out the house & then we'll be able to paint our room, the dining room & living room; rip out the carpet & have it replaced; buy a new refrigerator; and replace the bathroom sink. all in 3 weeks. the painting and carpeting NEED to be done before we move in. the existing carpet has been there since they bought the house in the 50's. seriously. it needs to go. every time barbara vacuums, she's vacuuming up the remnants of the padding through the carpet. i was really trying to convince christopher to go with the hardwood, but i had to be a gracious loser in that battle. oh well. i won the battle of the paint color for our bedroom, so :)

and i haven't even started packing what's left in the house. pretty much everything that we don't need is already in the new house or stored in the duplex. what's left is really just the bare necessities. i really think it's harder to move across town than across the country. it doesn't feel like you need to actually pack to move down the street. and we've been doing it so piecemeal that it's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that we need to get everything else ready to go. but i can't pack the toaster, cuz we still eat toast for breakfast. i guess i could pack my cardigans, sweatshirts & sweaters. i probably won't need those for a bit :) but the kids clothes are done. i actually need to get out what i packed away from the spring to see what we need for school. crap! another thing to add to my to do list :( and i wonder why i'm not sleeping & eating way too much chocolate :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

another day, another bath in paint thinner

so it has begun. we got an offer on our house, so we are officially moving. well, assuming that nothing goes wrong & we all know what happens when we assume...

but we are stepping out on faith, as my mother would say, that all will be well and the deal will go through. so we are busy getting the other house ready. it hadn't been painted in literally 50-60 years, although the bathroom was repainted by my husband about 3 years ago, and one bedroom had been re-painted in the 80's. so christopher & i spent the last 2.5 days scrubbing walls, chipping paint & primering with oil-based primer/sealer. the fun thing about oil-based paints vs latex paints is that oil-based CANNOT be removed with simple soap and water. hence my daily bath in paint thinner. oh joy! i can only imagine what my daily paint thinner facials have been doing to my skin :)

but i'm totally excited that we're finally moving forward! there's SO much work to be done before we can even think about moving stuff into the house. and most of the stuff that we don't need right now is already in storage at the duplex or the new house. thankfully, chris & i agree on most of the immediately necessary changes to the house. we've compromised on the carpeting, but now we need to agree on paint colors. that should be fun :)

as we were scrubbing the walls of what will be alexander's room with bleach, i was kicking myself for not taking pics so that i could do a before and after, but c'est la vie... by the time we're done working each day, i'm so tired all i really want to do is take a shower and sit on the couch with my hand down my pants a la ted bundy :) at least all of this work is just physically exhausting. by the time we move, i should have fabulous, ripped arms. whoo hoo! :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

how to tell if you're too drunk to paint

well, in my defense, i only had one twisted tea. but it was "light" and it had artificial sweetener in it, so i didn't really like it, so i drank it pretty fast. it made the daily show & the colbert report really pretty funny :)

but when i went downstairs, i saw that the floor that i'd just primered was 99.4% dry, so i decided to go ahead & apply the final coat of grey paint. i didn't feel inebriated. just nice and happy. and i had music that i knew all the words to, so how could it be bad? :) plus, if i hadn't finished the floor, i wouldn't have opened the door to the garage & realized that the garage door was open. that would have sucked.

clue #1: my early edging wasn't the best. but i corrected that on the 2nd wall. unfortunately, now there's grey paint on the white walls in a couple of spots. but it's just at the bottom.
clue #2: my jazz scatting was really good & flowed really naturally.
clue #3: i couldn't remember where i'd put the lid to the paint. i found it eventually, but...
clue #4: i almost painted myself into a small circle on the floor. it was close, but thankfully i realized my mistake before i completed the 4th side of the circle.
clue #5: circles don't have sides :)
clue #6: i stepped on the lid. luckily that was at the end & any footprints will dry the same color as the floor. thankfully i realized it before i stepped on anything that SHOULDN'T be grey, like our beige carpet. :)

i was really amazed at how much easier painting was after a nice adult beverage. and i'm proud of myself for finishing the project. i just started celebrating a little early :) hopefully christopher will notice the finish & not the mistakes :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

mouth feel

i'm starving. really really starving. and it's totally self inflicted. i'm hungry but i don't want to eat becuz none of the things i'm *allowed* to eat right now make my brain happy. i need something with a good mouth feel. something that my teeth can sink into.

right now i'm doing a "carb detox" as part of a dietary change. it's supposed to kick-start everything by letting my body know that we're going to be doing something different. it's really not that bad, cuz you can eat a lot of food. it's just that the only fruit you can eat are either oranges or grapefruit, and you can only have 2 slices of bread: one for your mid-morning snack with either margarine (i've been using butter, but shhh!), hummus or peanut butter; and one with dinner, plain. there's also this really yummy chocolate protein powder for lunch and breakfast that really helps. but the snacks are all either almonds (for which i substitute soy nuts) or veggies. i need something that feels good in my mouth.

i did break down yesterday afternoon and have 2 pieces of Hershey's cookies & creme. i just relished the chocolate melting in my mouth. but yesterday was day 2. i really wanted today, day 3, to be as close to perfect as i could. but cauliflower just kinda crumbles in your mouth. and soy nuts leave little chunks in your teeth. and neither of them have the delicious aftertaste of fudge. or cake. or even just plain bread. with butter.

but i have a good friend who needs my help. she wants to run the Chicago marathon & needs to drop some serious weight. and she needed her friends to do it with her so we can be a support group of sorts. and if it means that i can get rid of my muffintop, then all the better :) and you can do ANYTHING for 3 days. this too shall pass :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

the many ways in which i am a terrible mother...

i sing opera. i have multiple degrees in vocal performance. but right now my *full-time job* is MOM. hunh.

right now i'm doing a show, and i just kinda let my home life go to hell in a handbasket :). for example:
  • alexander completely ran out of underwear
  • we haven't had any bread for almost a week (cuz i haven't had time to make any)
  • the laundry was literally overflowing
  • there are absolutely no left-overs in the fridge
  • becuz there's no left-overs & no bread, i had to give isabelle pb&j on rosemary olive oil triscuits
  • i took a 4 hour nap after church yesterday, completely neglecting the bread and laundry that were totally calling to me
instead of taking care of my family, i made a ton of new jewelry, which i sold to the girls in the opera chorus. making jewelry is a lot more fun (and pays a whole lot better than doing laundry *smile*), but i feel terrible that i let things get so far behind. i don't remember tech week being so grueling and exhausting. i literally couldn't do another thing yesterday when i got home after church (after buying beads for stuff i need to make for tomorrow night *smile*). i made it as far as the couch in the living room and then just collapsed. i even made isabelle find a couch pillow for me, cuz i couldn't make myself get up and find it for myself :)

a large portion of my exhaustion is, of course, my fault. every night i'd come home from rehearsal & make more jewelry for the girls in the dressing room. at this rate, i will totally be able to finance my trip to boston with the kids this summer (which has yet to be *approved*). but, seriously, what's a girl to do when we've got to sit in a dressing room for 2.5 hours waiting to go onstage? shopping is definitely the way to go, and i'm glad that i gave the girls an opportunity to spend some of the money we made sitting around for hours :)

so today is all about makeup work. i had 3 loads of laundry that needed to be folded, and i did 2 additional loads last night, 3 loads already today with one more to go. the bread is in its first resting/rising period. and i've got all the beads i need to make more beautiful jewelry for the girls at opera tomorrow night. :)

of course, the opera is totally worth it. i'm doing Dialogues of the Carmelites with Pittsburgh Opera, and even though we literally have 10 minutes of music to sing, and most of that doesn't even have words, it's a totally fabulous show. all of the leads are amazing, and pretty much the whole audience leaves crying every night. nice! :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Parenting 101?

i was truly blessed to be able to be a stay at home mom. true, at times, it's driven me a little crazy, or at least made my craziness more apparent, but i'm grateful that i've been able to avoid serious daycare with my 2 little ones. but when my husband & i decided to have kids, we were both old & definitely wanted them. there were no *accidents*. although, by the time you're in your mid-30's there really shouldn't be any *oopsies* anyway :).

but it really gets my goat when i read another news story about seriously irresponsible parenting. i just read an article today that makes my heart sick. a mom (34 years old, so she should totally have known better!) left her toddler to drown in the tub while she played on facebook. really? drowning isn't a quiet way to go, so didn't she hear him thrashing? or was she that far away?

and the one that really gets my goat is the one about the parents who walled their naked kids into a room so they could get blitzed on whatever. seriously? they should just be taken out back and shot!

now, don't get me wrong, i'm not a perfect mom. i'm not expecting any medals. i've done my share of letting the tv watch the kids so i can pee/bathe/eat/cook/check my email/blog etc... but i still forget to shut the door when i'm in the bathroom cuz it's just gonna open again. i'm finally able to shower without a little head poking through the shower curtain. parenting isn't easy, but it's not supposed to be. if it is, you're doing something wrong!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

buying secondhand

i noticed recently that all of the knees in alexander's jeans have holes in them. in fact, i sent him to school one day in jeans that were perfectly fine, and when he came home there was a huge hole in 1 knee and a small one in the other. craptastic! now, i shop pretty much exclusively at children's place. not becuz i love their clothes, which i do, but becuz i have a credit card for them & the bill goes to my mom (thanks, nana!). but i'd already gone shopping there this month cuz isabelle's on a dress & skirt kick. all of a sudden, she's a totally girly-girl. headbands & skirts with tights every day. and even though my mom would be cool, i didn't want to do that again. especially since spring is coming (someday!) and i need to go through the totes of stuff i packed up from last year to see what still fits & what needs to be replaced.

so we decided to go to goodwill. i could have gone to kmart, but their quality isn't the best. and i couldn't find the once upon a child in the north hills. i really wanted to go to old navy, but their prices are outrageous unless you catch them on sale. and at goodwill i found a great selection of jeans in his size that are heavier than what i would have found at either old navy or children's place for a fraction of the price. and honestly, in this economy you've got to watch your pennies. i spent as much for 5 pairs of jeans at goodwill as i would have for 2 at old navy or children's place. plus, they had an organ (unplugged, thankfully) that the kids sat and played on while i shopped. i definitely wouldn't have found that elsewhere :)

for some reason, shopping at once upon a child doesn't seem like secondhand. i think it's becuz they're so picky about what they'll accept, while at goodwill you still hafta check. but if i'm looking for special occasion clothes, once upon a child is my first thought. 2 years ago i found this beautiful deep plum velvet dress for isabelle that still had the tags on. originally it was $50 and i got it for $10! of course, they wouldn't take it back once isabelle'd outgrown it when i included it in the piles of stuff i was trying to sell back. oh well. we got awesome Christmas photos that year :)

for myself, my favorite place to shop is my church's rummage sale. i always help with the sorting so i get to shop early. and there's a couple of older ladies with impeccable taste that are tall, so their trousers fit me well :) a couple of years ago i got a black pin striped pants suit for $3! talk about a bargain! :) but i can't always count on the rummage sale for the kids.

when i was a kid, i hated shopping at goodwill. hopefully, my kids won't be as snobby as i was & will just take it in stride. :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

you can't unlearn the knowledge

this week at my son's school they've been celebrating dr. seuss and they've invited parents to come into the class as guest readers to read their favorite dr. seuss story. well, i couldn't pass up a performance opportunity, so i went in to read "green eggs and ham" which happens to be my favorite. but i was talking about it with a client at work and one of the other clients chimes in that i don't really know who dr. seuss is and once i find out the truth about the man i won't be celebrating him anymore. now, this piques my curiosity, and thus my downfall.

i'm one that MUST KNOW. i question everything. it drives my husband mad! but my brain is unsettled if i don't know why everything. but in this case, that's really unfortunate. several years ago i was watching an episode of oprah and she was talking about Megan's Law which requires the police to make available to the public a list of sex offenders and where they live. so, of course, i HAD TO KNOW, so i promptly went to the site and found out that we do indeed have a sex offender living on my street. now what? i haven't been back to check, but i'm pretty sure he was an adult rapist, and not a pedophile or child molester, so from a mom standpoint i'm relieved. but it's still unsettling to know that there's a registered sex offender living within walking distance of my house. i know he's done his time, but there's a reason they make them get registered. and now i'm stuck with this knowledge that i cannot erase from my brain. if only i had one of those flashy-thingies from men in black!

so do i want to do the research to find out if dr. seuss is a racist prick? not really, becuz then every time i read one of my kids favorite stories i'd be thinking about it. but it brings up another question: does it matter? according to the other client, his character the cat in the hat is based on a lazy, shiftless black man. ok. does that mean he thought all black people are lazy & shiftless? i don't know. do i know some lazy, shiftless people of all races? sure! but is that how i label all people of a particular race? no. but do i really want to open this pandora's box and ruin the simple enjoyment of good stories? some of his stories are incredibly political, at least the cartoon versions. so i definitely think he had more to say than simple entertainment. but is it wrong of me to want to just enjoy his stories without delving too deeply into the how's and why's of his creative process? part of me REALLY wants to know. but once you know, it's there forever. that sucks.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

welcome to Lent :)

so today's the first day of Lent -- traditionally a time of deprivation. but a thought came to me today. does it hafta be? i mean, i usually struggle with what i'm going to give up for the 40 days of Lent. it really shouldn't be something you shouldn't be doing anyway, like drugs or watching porn. but what's the point of giving up something like chocolate or coffee that you're just going to pick up again on Easter? can't we give up something that will make our lives better?

this year i really want to give up unhappiness. why not? i'm tired of being depressed. i'd really like to figure out what it is my brain needs for lasting happiness. i'd really like to spend the rest of my life doing what i enjoy and being happy doing it, instead of suffering and slogging through my days. wouldn't that be awesome? i don't think God would have a problem with it :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

our government is run by idiots!

it just boggles my mind that we keep electing these stupid people into office who have the power to ruin so many lives. i don't usually blog about politics, but this time i hafta make an exception.

i keep hearing about how there's a bill that's being considered that will take away funding for crucial things like Planned Parenthood. clearly congress & the senate are full of men & women who've never been down on their luck, without medical insurance & in need of good gynecological care at an affordable cost. now, don't get me wrong, i'm totally pro-life, but i don't feel that i have the right to tell you what you should do with your body. i couldn't imagine what kind of circumstance would compel me to have an abortion, and i'll do everything in my power to talk you out of it, but it's YOUR choice. i won't drive you to the clinic, but i'll be there for you afterward. but Planned Parenthood does SO MUCH MORE than just abortions! in fact, the 2 clinics i've been to don't do them AT ALL! what i loved about them is that they had a sliding scale. i had a job, but i didn't have insurance, so i couldn't afford to go to a *real* ob/gyn but i still needed to have my annual exam & get my birth control pills.

now i'm reading that they're thinking about passing a bill for birth control for wild horses. WHAT?!? i was sure that i'd read the post wrong, but, alas, i hadn't. i don't understand why horses are more important than women. how would these congresspeople & senators feel if their daughter was denied care becuz she couldn't afford it (since they're intent on repealing the health care bill too!) and had no other options. are we going back to back-street abortions with no aftercare and inhumane, unsanitary conditions? really? especially since they're planning on cutting more and more public sector funding, like head-start, is now really the time to cut funding for contraception? you can't just make a decision like that and not think about the long-term consequences. no contraception = more babies. do they just expect people to stop having sex? clearing they don't watch maury povich or jerry springer enough.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

living on the edge of perfection

so we're moving. it's such a pain in the butt! we've got a house that we want to buy, and the sellers are willing to wait until we're ready, but we've got to sell our house first. and in order to do that, we need to keep it in pristine condition so we can show it at the drop of a hat. so stressful! and i hate to clean. i've done so much cleaning in the past month or so that i'm sick of myself! but now that everything's clean, i find myself not wanting to do anything. chris & the kids were in youngstown over the weekend, and when i came home from work i came in through the garage and went no further than my basement computer room & craft area. i don't want to cook, cuz i don't want to mess up the kitchen. i would actually prefer to not be in my house right now for fear that i'll make something dirty & hafta clean it again!

it was a shock to see the listing online. it made it seem so real! and when i came home from the gym yesterday, the sign was in the front yard. i guess we're really selling our house. the kids keep asking for toys that we've packed to take to Miss Bea's house. as long as we're not giving them away to other little ones who don't have any toys, they're cool. :)

but the kids and i took a mental health day today. it's a beautiful day & as soon as isabelle has awoken from her nap, we're going outside to play in the snow (which we probably shouldn't do, cuz it'll mar the perfection of the yard...) and i'll bake cookies & make cocoa for when they come in. thankfully the cookies are in the freezer pre-made, so there's no mess there. just crumbs to clean up afterward, but fresh-baked cookies are always worth the effort :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

technology hates me

today has been a pretty craptastic day. today we met with our realtor for the first time so that we can put our house on the market so we can move. so i spent the ENTIRE day cleaning, which pretty much sucks cuz i don't clean. but today i found myself scrubbing everything, which i hate, and vacuuming everything, which is exhausting. especially when the little shop-vac decided to stop sucking. i vacuumed my entire basement with a dirt devil on my hands and knees. needless to say, when my husband got home from school i wasn't in the best of moods :)

but for my *lunch* break (which consisted of 2 nutrigrain bars) i decided to sit & get online & list an item in my etsy shop. but my external hardrive, where all 14000+ photos are stored, decided to take today off. it's on a little vacation. totally craptastic. ALL of my photos are there. as well as all of my documents. my computer runs really slow cuz it's old, & my dad sent me this nifty little portable hard drive to free up some space on my computer's hard drive to help make things a little faster. so now it's holding my info hostage. on the bright side, we're doing shop makeovers on etsy right now, and i was thinking i needed some new photos :)

but then, i was finishing up my cleaning, and ready to order the pizza for my kids to eat while the realtor was here, and i pulled out my phone, & it's DEAD!!! i'm swimming in a sea of craptastitude! i don't know ANYONE's phone numbers. my phone is my alarm clock & keeps track of my schedule so i get where i need to be on time. how am i gonna get out of bed in the morning. i have a dr's appt tomorrow. what time is it? who will tell me when to leave? do i have clients next week? WAAAH! how did i live for so long without a phone? how do people get through the day without texting or checking the calendar to see if they're free? crap crap crap!!!

so, tomorrow will start with dropping alexander off at school, and then isabelle & i will go DIRECTLY to the sprint store to get a new phone. it won't even turn on. and when you get a new phone, they can transfer your address book, which is good, cuz i don't know anyone's numbers, but they can't transfer your calendar. craptabulous. i guess it's time to drink :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011


so, i stumbled across this website this evening where you bid on stuff & can get it really cheap. it's called QuiBids, and it's truly brilliant! i just watched an auction for a BRAND NEW ipod nano & someone bought it for $4.34. each auction starts at $0.01 and every bid moves the price up by $0.01, BUT each bid costs the bidder $0.60 and adds 3 seconds to the clock for additional bids. so even though the final bidder only paid $4.34 (plus $11 shipping), QuiBids got paid $260.40 for an item with a retail value of $199.99. so they're able to sell stuff AND MAKE MONEY DOING IT while we're able to buy stuff for a mere fraction of the cost. and just cuz the retail value is $199.99 doesn't mean that that's what they paid wholesale. amazing!

but i don't think i have the patience to sit and bid on stuff. since each bid costs $0.60, if it takes you 20 or 30 bids to finally win an item, if you just come in at the end, you're still paying $12 to $18 on top of the purchase price + shipping. and since each bid adds 3 seconds to the clock they take forever to end. when i started watching the ipod nano auction, there were only about 15 seconds left. but i watched for about 45 minutes (off & on *smile*) before it finally ended. but even if you used 80 bids, which would be $48, but managed to get something like an ipod nano for $5, you're still getting it for more than 50% off. and all the people who lost the auction just spent however much to TRY to get the item, & the price of your bids is non-refundable if you lose the auction. so losing an auction at QuiBids sucks a LOT more than losing on eBay. you're actually losing more than just your time. cuz i'm sure the people who lost the auction placed at least 10-20 bids, which means they spent like $12 so that someone else could have the item they wanted. that blows! :)