We are still alive! ha ha, I really had no fear but I know one or two of you out there were worried.
They arrived yesterday fairly late, perfectly post bedtime so no need to choose between putting the kids to bed or being a hostess. We knew they were from NJ and I bet Lars and Konrad that they could find a mutual thing in 5 min or less. I won my bet. The younger guy is living in the town Lars went to college in and his dad works in Newark so Konrad and he swapped ‘crazy Newark’ stories.
Niamh enjoyed bunking in our closet. The upside to all our moving declutter and pre-cleaning is that she could easily fit in the closet. I didn’t enjoy Niamh’s wake-up alarm at 6:30 but hey, getting a jump on the day isn’t a bad thing. I pre-cooked muffins and set up coffee stuff so breakfast service was pretty easy. They actually slept in (or hid?) but when I was back from kid drop off they were on the way out to Superbowl festivities at the Mall.
Tomorrow we gain 2 more guests, 2 ladies from PA. I decided to stick with advertising for just one team to not start anything between guests.
In other news, cookie selling season starts tomorrow! The kids got links for online ordering and once we ‘go live’ I’ll stick them up here just in case you would like to support the kids you have seen grow up here on the internet.
Our city is hosting a giant (American) Football game this weekend and that is great news for the travel industry. There was a short tense moment when it looked like in a crazy twist, the home team would win their way into the Super Bowl, meaning great things for local fans but cutting the possible earnings by 50% because we would only be attracting one team’s worth of out of town visitors. The Vikings didn’t let me down (like their true fans) when they did not win and thus economic goals did. The team that beat them is actually one I have a soft spot for. Can’t go so far as to say fan because I know next to nothing about them but they are beloved by many people I like from my college days so I’m happy they are happy.
Anway! What does this mean for us? Well, first the once in a lifetime opportunity to go see the spectacle that is a Superbowl village. MN transformed our downtown prediction street into an open-air festival. Tons of inside space was transformed into venue area and we spent a very nice half-day playing tourist and seeing all the fun.
(can’t caption the video but look how fun! Like a pro he is)
The real adventure in capitalism is that we took the leap into Air B&B land to rent out our guest room. I have toyed with the idea over the years, we do have a nice guest room that is dedicated to guests. I started the listing and then stopped, full of the nagging doubts that trying anything new has swirled around it. Then a person from Air B&B actually called me to ask if I needed help or had questions. That is a real mark of both service and anticipated demand in the area so I held my breath and just did it.
In for a penny, in for a pound, we also listed Niamh’s room since it is next to the guest room and both are on a different level so easy to have a ‘guest floor’ with a living room and bathroom and 2 bedrooms. Upon the advice of Air B&B man, I listed each room separately and within 3 hours my first room was booked. A day later the other was too. Today our first guests arrive and I’m excited!
I’m going to focus on the exciting part but yes, I’m nervous too. I’m letting strangers into the house with my family and all our stuff. I need to arrange my week to accommodate being here when needed. I’m kicking my kids out of a quarter of the house. I have to push away the media fed fears of crazy people and rely on the goodness of the general person.
I’ve learned fast about how the system worked and after a mistake on the first round, I priced things so that it is worth my trouble. In an odd way, I’m getting paid to clean my own house because cash is an incentive to actually get the rooms in order. Niamh is getting her share, I’m giving her $30 to vacate her room and sleep in ours. Good thing we have a big closet and she is pretty excited to camp out in it. The other girls’ opportunity up the opportunity to earn. There is $2 each per day on the line for being good and helpful, Zoe is taking it quite seriously.
The only thing I have not totally worked out is what do we do with our earnings from this side venture? Should I be a great parent and split it into the kid’s savings accounts? Should we use it to go out to a really nice dinner? Do we save it for a fun vacation fund? I have no idea if post Superbowl there will be much demand for our guest room so this might just be a small windfall but hey, money is money.
Now I need to get back to the hostess game and make sure our house is visitor ready. Let me know what you would do with a little windfall you don’t actually have to use for bills.
According to my timehop, this week of January is nearly never “good”. There are a few days I had nothing, just nothing, and that is pretty odd for me. For this 3rd week of January I was a touch sick, just sick enough that I was still able to do most things but the color of the world was just lost to me for a few days. I’m not sure if it is the week or a germ or maybe both – my stamina might just run out 2 weeks post holiday extravaganza. All I know is that I wish I could make toast because I like toast but our toaster oven is in storage. I seriously don’t need the oven anymore, just the toast function.
Tuesday was an odd day for us. We had a nice little snow storm on Monday afternoon and the school delayed for 2 hours. That is a strange compromise – not a snow day but not a normal day either. The kids didn’t even know until they questioned why we weren’t getting onto the normal schedule around 8:30 (normally out the door by 8:40). With the extra time they started a game of cribbage, went outside and played in the snow, came inside with soaking wet things so I put it all in the dryer and then they stood on their heads for a while and finally it was time to put on super hot snow gear and get out the door.
Odd morning, what is usually a 9:05 drop off was an 11:05 drop so they more or less went to school to have lunch then play time then snack then home. I think they did some school in there… maybe… Snow is the best toy because went they got home they went directly back to tunneling and building and sliding until it was dark.
Tuesday was also a very odd day because I sang the national anthem 9 times (or more). Niamh’s class was invited to sing at the basketball game and when I asked her that morning if she was ready she admitted to not really knowing all the words. So, we sang. And sang and sang. Lars who works from home was fairly puzzled why he was hearing such a racket but in the end she knew 99% of the words and tune. The game itself was better than expected. We watched the 1st half and spent a lot of the time guessing why something was happening. Around then I was getting a massive headache and we all went home and I went to bed.
**Technically I wrote all of the above on Wednesday morning, however, Fiona came home sick at lunch and I never published. Instead of scrapping it I’m just publishing it late. The week did get significantly better but I still wish I had a toaster, nothing makes looking at snow better than toast and tea. **
Every year I make something for the kids (and sometimes more people) and this year I was inspired by the fact that they tie blankets onto and around themselves, with various levels of “success” to be part of their games. I read ages ago that giving kids things that can be used in games rather then specific use objects is better for their imaginations. I posted about this a few weeks ago when I had just finished #1 and said I was excited to see how they liked them. I also got an email asking how they liked them so here is the answer 🙂
(If you don’t recall or don’t want to click over, they are capes made from blankets that have a hood and a built-in tie/scarf. They also have pockets for either hands or stuff.)
I knew when I made 3 identical capes they would be used in very not identical ways and I was not wrong. In the crush of Christmas they were overlooked a little, but, I was rewarded when we got home when Zoe and Fiona were using them in an elaborate game.
Zoe was a bird in the game and she was using the hand pockets to make wings and loved running around the house.
Fiona was a hunter and tied her hood tight and wrapped the scarf around her whole body to make it a coat and she was trying to hide her sword (bird catching sword) when I made them pose for the picture.
Niamh actually started using hers instead of a jacket and has worn it out to walk the dog more than once. She ties a bow in a third perfectly valid, and very sweet, way to wear the cloak.
We also live in a cold state and our house is pretty tight but there are still cold spots and a wearable warm thing is a good idea so I made myself one too. I find myself wearing it in the evening for reading time to give extra snuggle time while also keeping my phone safe in the pocket as we transition into bedtime. So many of my outfits lack pockets…
If anyone wants the how-to on this let me know. I used $3 blankets and they took me under 20min to make. I have never seen this particular pattern online but it also isn’t all that unique a design so I may have just missed it.
I have used up my computer time for now so I must get back to the list of things to do (that may or may not include reading the book I finally got to start….)