Archive | May 2018

My whole crew plus friends, birds, and dogs.

Three days of summer completed, only 137 to go.

Mostly good so far, we had plans and they kept us busy and I think we are getting used to being around each other 24/7.  It has only been the equivalent of a long weekend so I’ll re-evaluate when we get to a week.  I’m even preplanning next week, whole days in advance.

So far we have;

Celebrated the first day with a fire and friends and a toast to the summer to come

Had friends over, most notable was a Fiona friend whose birthday we will miss and she missed Fiona’s so we did an un-birthday playdate.  Nothing makes a little girl feel special like a personal sized cake.  (the pans are from Ikea in the kid section, get them!)


Gone to a friends house, rode bikes around the block and played in the yard, traumatizing the many robins who are nesting.

Procured a summer wardrobe for 3 girls since all their summer stuff is deeeeep in storage (remember originally we were supposed to move in April).  We lost shopping patience so I have 2 pairs of shorts beyond the workout bottoms I had kept out.  I ended up modifying a t-shirt to be more trendy (and less annoying at the neck).


DIY; Cut off the collar, at shoulder seam cut a small triangle point down.

We are reading more but not getting much other ‘school’ stuff done but it has been a busy few days.

Gone to the gym 2x and the pool once – I’m very hopeful to continue this trend since I’ll get both a kid break and a workout.

Today Lars is taking the girls out and I’m getting all the winter stuff out to storage and starting in on all the decorative things we kept out simply to make the house look good for showing.  Yes, I do like how it looks too in a hotel sort of way, but in the interest of getting packed in a non-panic I’ll start round 3 with the less essential items.

We even got in a date night!  For the first time in WEEKS Lars and I had an evening with no plans and our sitter was ready and willing so we went out to eat together.  This isn’t to say we don’t see each other – about half the time we go to different things in the evening but are back by 8ish and do kid bedtime and then have the evening together, just taking the whole night is special.


Given that it is a holiday weekend it double downs on different from a school week with a day trip on Monday.  Zoe already said she has no idea what day it is and might just consider all days between now and school Saturday.  Why not?

No real drama yet and I’m glad.  We have so many things cooking that I think we will exhaust ourselves – I should really put ‘relaxing’ on the list at some point.


ps.  I got my side by side done for the kids, here is beginning of the year and end



Last day of school

As of 3:30 today, the kids are out of school, successfully completing another year.  It was a good year for them all especially considering the crazy things we did in the middle like pack up half their stuff and then make them only eat school lunch so we didn’t have to make lunch prep mess during the showing season.  Kids are adaptable.

I’m the one who is probably going to have more reaction to the change tomorrow.

On one hand, we gain back 45min of carpool time a day.  Our mornings will be what we want without a ticking clock accounting for every moment between 8am and 9:05.

I’ll also feel less guilty about going out at night since for the past 2 weeks I feel like either they or I’ve been out every night.  Worthwhile things all, but, family time at night has gotten very scarce.

We also won’t have to have a firm bedtime or suffer the next day situation.  Given the nightly schedule we have been running, bedtime has already been slipping but with school and busy weekends too we don’t get much catch-up time on the other end so it is starting to show.  Zoe still has not really recovered her sleep debt from 2 weeks ago sleepover where they stayed up to 1am.

On the other hand, I still have tons to do to get one house packed and the other house built.  I have enjoyed the relative freedom between 9:20 and 3:45 to get things done.  We all work pretty well on a routine and I’ll miss the reliable boundaries between zones of time.

I also am stealing myself against the fighting…. they play so nicely then erupt like a 3 headed volcano that spews whine.

I’m also super behind planning camps etc because A. school is over 2 weeks earlier than normal and B. I couldn’t plan until the house part was done and then I needed to regain my brain.  C. All the things I volunteered to do over the past 2 months really do take up time in the day and the night so I’ve been short on time.

I don’t think it will be total chaos tomorrow.  (fingers crossed) I will shift onto my summer schedule where I just wake up earlier and do computer work before we start the day and work toward something of a routine.  We have a playdate planned already for 2 of 3 girls in the next two days and we just drafted our summer bucket list.  I’m proud to say that they brought up, on their own, reading goals for the summer.  For the record;

Niamh; 10 long chapter books

Zoe; 1000 books

Fiona; onefinity

… what one of these children has advanced to the stage of realistic goal setting…

To celebrate the last day we are having a smores and fire night and staying up a bit late with a few friends.  I am really very very lucky to be able to spend my summer seeing the world through the eyes of my children.  Not that I’m counting but only 140 days until the first day of school.


last carpool


honoring the last Monday

You know how you often don’t know that you did something for the last time until after it happened and you think “hey, I would have taken a moment to saver that”.  Lars had an insanely sad list on the subject once like one day you will pick up your child and put them down again and never pick them up.  You never know when that will be…  there were about 20 others but they were all sad.  The semi-solution to that is to take joy every time but that is more an aspiration then something you can actually do.  Anyway, I realized last week that I had missed noting the last full, normal, week of school.  Last week they had 5 days in school but I was there for all of 1 watching field day.  The previous week I put on the teacher breakfast so I was at the school for a couple hours. The week before that I spent half the day volunteering, so, I’m a month past my last full normal week.

However!  I am savoring every moment of this last Monday.  This isn’t just my last Monday before summer, it is my last Monday home, child free, in this house….  because, we have sold our house.


We actually sold it a little while ago but like so many things, announcing too early can lead to having to take it all back.  The new people appear nice according to my facebook search of their names.  I think they will fit into the neighborhood well and I’m happy they choose this house.

It was a really stressful month being on the market.  We held it together and I think we did admirably considering everything, but it was like final exam week stress for 4x as long but with the added stress sause of having no way to truly affect the process.  The only tip I can give for living in a house you are selling is to get nice luggage and use it to store laundry.  I would put our daily laundry into the suitcase and then wash every 3 or 4 days.

The other reason I didn’t post earlier is that I wanted to have the next chapter ready for you.  I’m sure everyone is wondering what combination or permutation of moving out and in actually will happen.  I know I had virtually a different scenario suited to every day between June and August rattling around my head like the worlds worst mosh pit.


We are selling our house on Friday, July 27.

We are buying our new home on Monday, August 12.

The good side!  We can live here most of the summer, no interim move like would have been necessary for a June closing.  There is a bit of a gap though, and actually, more then you see because to sell the house we need to be 100% moved out of it so really we need to be out by (goal) July 25.  Technically the builder can have things ready for us on July 31 but unless it could be done by July 20th giving us time to move, we have to get a storage solution regardless.  Our normal yearly 2-week family vacation is set to begin on July 28th so, I’m taking the hint from the universe and going on vacation instead of harassing the builders to be 10 days ahead of plan.  We will come home from vacation to a hotel for 1 night and get our new house the next day.

What about July 25-27?  Well, we are bunking in with a friend and given it is only 2 nights I think it will be fun and a nice transition from one house to the next.

That is the plan.  Given this actual framework, I can move all the other parts and pieces into order around it.

Not a minute to spare though, I’m so glad the kids were safe and happy at school for the majority of the selling process.  I’m going to try not to pack them into boxes over the summer but no promises….

Day 75

Current status;  we have both insulation and sheetrock and I assume all the things that should be between the walls are now all there.  Cabinets are decided and are in construction at the shop.

Next; (me) buy 27 light fixtures (not a joke) (them) tape the sheetrock and start the trim.

Status; 700 of 1000 – still no toilets but sheetrock really makes it look like you could live there

Last week I went over and took a picture of every. single. wall.  in the entire house so I would know what was where for future me.  I was doing this as the insulation team was tucking the house in.  Today I went to check in again and it is 99% sheetrocked, they were doing the garage when I got there.  At this point, a lot of the really BIG things are done and I understand the timeline rational for the flooring and siding etc.  The next 3 months will, I’m sure, have chunks of time where it seems like nothing is happening until all of a sudden a new thing is done.

We also did the firming up of dates thing and we are going to move in AFTER our family vacation in August.  This actually gives the team an extra 10 days to get every little thing done so hopefully no surprises at the end.  I need to get going on procuring light fixtures – a daunting and fun task all at the same time.  I like to pick out the ‘perfect’ one but when you need 27 I don’t actually have time for that…  The few that I’m least excited about that go in the pantry or halls are oddly some of the more necessary because without them those rooms have zero light.  The cool fun ones that go in the kitchen and front hall and dining rooms are technically not needed immediately because all those rooms also have built-in ceiling ‘can’ lighting (all LED).  I’m rolling the dice and using the Wish site where they have some serious bargains because if I hate it, I won’t feel bad replacing something that was $15.

The must decide list is still actually pretty long but I’m insisting on a mid-project budget review to see how we are doing.  If we have extra we can upgrade a few things, if we are in the hole we can make a different choice on some things.  I have my fingers crossed that the budget will cover all wood stairs…   I’m on a personal strike that until I see some numbers, I’m not choosing one more thing.  This is a personal game of chicken with the builders but I dropped in on them today and they promised they were doing our budget and would get back to me asap.

That is the update on the house, so far so good.  Pretty soon I should start a count down to move in because things are looking real over there now.

Lilly and the Octopus

I’ve had a good amount of time recently to read books, and, listen to books.  I usually have one of each going all the time.  Chores are more fun and phone games less frivolous if I’m also listening to a book.  Kid TV and line waiting is less brain numbing if you can read a book.

Late last week I was feeling a little blue so when I was hunting up a new book I used the filter ‘humorous’ and Lilly and the Octopus popped up with a mini description that said ‘Hilarious; it will be the next book you have to recommend”.  Not too long ago I read a set of mysteries where a pet sitter was the protagonist and they were indeed funny so I took the computers advice.


Spoiler and Warning!!!

This book is NOT humorous.  It is about a dog with a brain tumor.  This isn’t much of a spoiler because you learn about it in the first chapter!!!  This poor little dachshund and the even more sad owner have a final month or so and in the end, the description of the agony of choosing to end things was sweet and perfectly descriptive.

This book is very well written.  It paints a picture.  It is the fight of a fiercely lonely and loving owner.  There are a few ‘funny’ parts, basically, the way the author writes how the dog talks made me smile, but, the story is not one that will cheer you up.  In fact, it will make you relive any pet loss you ever had.

I feel like I am writing this review as a rebuttal to all the people who have labeled this ‘humorous’ but if you go in knowing the subject it is a beautifully written book.

ps. ironically it is exactly a year since we put Mr Pink to sleep

Day 60ish

Current status;  Systems are getting done, the space between the floor and ceiling is getting pretty busy looking.  Got the garage door ordered and dialing in dates for things near the end.

Next; inspections than walls up!

Status; 550 of 1000 – still no toilets so I’m not giving a full 100 points for this week

The changes now are harder to see from the outside but we have great builders who have an open door policy about visiting the house.  It is fun to see things in process like this electric box, I do hope they have ways of making all that fit into the box…



We also took the opportunity to write on the studs.  Everyone else was doing it and it will all be covered up soon so why not.

The question of the week; Front path

  1. from the road to the door, or,
  2. from the driveway around the front of the house.