; window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-6252405-9'); In the Mommy Trenches: February 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

100th Post Giveway!

I am fasting approaching my 100th post (this is post 97 btw).  If you look to the left of this page, you will see the prize that I've decided to give away.  The picture does not quite do it justice.. those are pretty pink glass beads with flecks of gold and amber through it.   And... it was made by moi!

Again, the only conditions to enter are to leave me a comment.  You may leave multiple comments if you so wish, but each new comment must be original and hopefully attached to a different post of mine that you hadn't read before.   If you'd like, let others know about my giveway. 

I imagine that it will take me until next week to post my 100th post.  We're in for a busy weekend here at our house (hopefully not like last weekend) and I think I'll take a break from blogging, give you ladies a chance to enter the contest. 

Good luck!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Warning.. Warning, this message may selfdestruct

Just to let you all know... I've just come from a site that had their AD's pulled because of suspicious activity and from what I read between the lines at Mama Talk... it sounds like she's gotten a warning about it.

So the little clickfest needs to end. Click on ads if you are truly interested, spend some time on the page and look things up, buy if you want. Don't keep going back to the same blogs, clicking on the same ads... if you know what I mean.

While it was fun while it lasted, I personally don't have time to constantly visit every body's page clicking on ads. Apparently I have this other job... you know the one where I'm the Mom. Some body's got to do the laundry after all. Do you know how much laundry a family of 5 generates? I can't imagine how larger families get through it. Must be non stop wash, wash, wash. Thank God we don't have to beat it against a rock anymore.

Anyways.. I digress. Let's practice some caution ladies or we will all be in the suds and I don't know about you but I am looking forward to eventually getting a check from "you know who". I'm trying to be all subtle like because apparently "you know who" has web crawlers that go crawl the WWW and pick up key words etc. So...... mum's the word.

And now for something completely different:

I am approaching my 100th post and am contemplating a giveaway in celebration of it. So all commenters on all posts from this day on... will be in the running for my giveaway. Again, I don't know what I will be giving away yet but it will definitely be something "girly". Your only requirement... leave me a comment, make sure your email address is either included or in your profile info and I will also make a point of visiting your webpages. If you want multiple entries... just leave me a new comment. New comment must be original though.

So... the countdown has started.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wow, it's a Double Award Day

Hey all, apparently I also received a Noblesse Oblige award courtesy of Jennifer at It's a Beauty Filled Life.  

One of the conditions of the award is that I have to write a short post about what my blog has achieved so far.  At first I thought this was a tough question.  After all, this is mostly a journal blog of my life.  I haven't so far managed to promote World Peace.  I avoid big political discussions, the environment and have not once mentioned crazy Britney Spears on this site. 

So then what has my blog actually achieved in this short time?  It's opened the doors to new friendships with women from all over the country that I normally would never have met.  It's shown me that there are other crazy ladies out there that share my views.  

Through my blog I have come to emphasize with the plight of many Americans in this recession. We are going through a recession here in Canada but it's no where near as harsh as what is currently happening in the US.  Reading these women's blogs who are afraid for their jobs or have already lost their jobs.. makes it that much more real.  

Through my blog I have relearned some HTML code that I had long forgotten. 

Through my blog, I have learned that volunteering at an elementary school is not for the feint of heart.   Check out Kathy B's post .

Through my blog I have discovered an outlet for some of my pent up frustrations of being a SAHM. 

Through my blog I have newly discovered a creative side. 

Just to name a few. 

I would like to pass this award on to

All three of these ladies stand out because of their amazing sense of humour, constant encouragement and wickedly funny writing styles. 

This Award is presented to bloggers who display consistency in any one (or a combination) of these conditions:

1. The Blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervades amongst different cultures and beliefs.

2. The blog contents inspire; strives to encourage and offers solutions.

3. There is a clear purpose to the blog; one that fosters a better understanding of Social, Political, Economic, the Arts, Culture and Sciences and Beliefs.

4. The Blog is refreshing and creative.

5. The Blogger promotes friendship and positive thinking.

The Blogger who receives this award will need to perform the following steps:

1. Create a Post with a mention and link to the person who presented the Noblesse Oblige Award.

2. The Blogger must display the Award in any location on their blog.

3. The Award conditions must be displayed in the post.

4. Write a short article about what their blog has thus far achieved – preferably citing one or more older posts to support.

5. The Blogger must present the Noblesse Oblige Award in concurrence with the Award conditions.

So congratulations ladies. :)

An Award Day

Thanks to Sandy Jenney at Organize with Sandy for the Gemspot Award.  I appreciate her encouragement.  If you need any organization tips and/or a review of an organization product, head over to her page.  She has lots of great ideas. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oh where oh where has my Sanity gone...

oh where oh where could it be? 

My husband is laughing at me.  You see, he came home to me taking pictures of our dinner.  Yeah, that's right, of our dinner.  I had a new recipe, thought I'd take pics and post the recipe if it turned out to be a hit (it did by the way).  

Now normally I am happy to amuse my man, that is part of why he fell in love with me after all:  my sharp wit and outrageous, some times twisted, sense of humour.   This time; however, it made me realize just how crazy I am getting with this whole blogging thing. Seventy percent of my conversation is about blogging, either what I've posted or what others have posted.  "Come read this" is a constant phrase heard in our home.  Blogging has lately replaced reading novels for me.  I have two, TWO, novels sitting on my night table, one of which I have only read 5 pages in. Anyone who knows me knows that this is bizarre behaviour.  

"Who are you and what have you done with my wife?" 

I would usually devour these books in two days.  I just can't fit blogging, child care and reading in.   Something has to go and it can't be the kids can it?  No. No. Of course not.  I love them. Really, I do.  

So enthusiastic was I, that I even posted pictures of my MESSY house.  WTH?  Not exactly good for the ego.  Now I have to say thinking it over today, I am a little embarrassed about that post.  (I'm tempted to go back and delete them) I do have After pictures but I don't know if I am going to bother posting them.  Really, who cares?  I do, of course.  I love seeing my house looking all lovely and clean.   Record time for it staying that clean... 6.7 seconds. :)  Like Kathy B said, it's just going to get messy again.  

Lately I have been reading so many blogs thanks to SITS that I have gotten tons of new ideas of what I could be doing with my blog.  Don't worry, I'm not out to steal any body's niche.  I have no plans to start up a craft page or recipe page but see no harm in posting what I'm working on. 

Maybe it's a good thing that while I was cooking tonight's dinner I had about 3 different conversations going on in my head about things to post.  (Most of which I will forget by the time I sit down to type)  At least my creative juices are flowing.  Maybe this is good practice for when I finally get down to writing my novel. (I know there's one inside my head somewhere)

Still, am I all over the map with this?  Should I just stick with just household anecdotes about my kids and husband, with the odd paid post thrown in for good measure?  Or is eclectic a good thing?  

How about a poll:    Should a blog stick to just one thing? 

I wanna know. :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Your mission should you choose to accept is....

to transform this wreck of a house into an organized, peaceful oasis of a home. 

We've been busy this weekend.  Too busy, in fact, and like any normal home it does not clean itself.   We haven't been home that much and add to the fact that hubby and I were clearing some stuff out of our back storage room and taking some of the bigger items out of the kids rooms to make more room and make it easier to show the house.   For some strange reason, when K and I try to organize, the house gets messier.  

Maybe part of it is that the kids run rampant through all of this.  It's the only way or we can't get it done at all. 

After we load up the moving van, we head to the "other" storage locker.  The one we pay for.  Turns out we've spent $1700.00 this last year on storage.  Our friends are kindly letting us store some of our stuff in their basement.  Here's where we fall down on the parenting awards of the year.  In order to do this, we need to leave the children in our mini van while I help hubby load up the moving van.  Kids don't like to wait.  So we bring my husband's laptop to play a movie.  Now my theory is that his battery works while mine is dying so it only makes sense to bring his.  I said "in theory".  Reality is.. suddenly his computer wasn't working (turns out it was a registry error.. thanks KC for fixing it) and we couldn't play the movie.  After fiddle farting with the darn thing for 10 minutes we gave up and proceeded to load up the moving van... in the rain I might add.  The kids... they sat in their car seats and cried and I mean cried.  We tried talking, we tried cajoling, bribing with babas and food but we ended up leaving them to cry it out.  They eventually fell asleep while the oldest took refuge from the noise into the cab of the moving truck.  (I should point out the vehicles were side by side within hearing/reaching distance of us I never leave my children unattended in a car). 

After we were done, we drove the hour drive to our friend's house where we unloaded out stuff their.  LC thankfully made us dinner.  Still we didn't get home until 9:00 p.m. last night.  So beyond loading some dishes into the dishwasher we didn't do much except fall into bed.  

So this morning I wake up to this......


how does it get so bad?

The disaster of a playroom.  Why do they have to dump every toy they have out?

One messy kitchen....

And K is off to work leaving me to stare at this mess all day.  Of course, I can't stand it so I'm off to clean, clean clean, enlisting the help of E who has discovered the value of money and now offers to do "extra" chores for money.  Thank goodness she doesn't know the different between a quarter or a loonie yet.  10 dines just looks like a lot. 

Stay tuned.........

Pics of My Stinkin Good Deal

So these are the beds I bought on Saturday.  We're going to have to do some re-arranging of the rooms so they fit better.  Hubby was anxious to get them set up for bed right away.  They are not pushed together there is at least a foot in between them.  Since J was in a toddler bed before, we put up a railing on the one side just to make sure she doesn't fall down the crack so to speak. 

The girls love their beds.  E's on the far side and as you can see she lost no time in putting stuff into her headboard.  She even categorized her books.. nice ones go here, the ratty ones go here.  *L*

Of course, we get them home and I realize also that we have no twin size sheets.  So we had to use the bigger ones and tuck, tuck, tuck.  E's comforter fits just fine but I'll have to buy J a new one for her bed.  

All in all we are pretty pleased with our purchase. 

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Somebody stop me, take away my wallet..please.

Okay, so we've all covered how I like deals and how I like to share said deals. 

Well, we hit the whopper of a good deal today.  Today was the local used toy and clothing sale where parents (let's face it, usually moms) rent a table for $15.00 and can then flog all their kid crap that's been taking up way too much space in their house.  Sounds like a good idea, right?  Of course it is.  I'm just too lazy to organize myself and haul my cr.. er stuff down the street. Cause we like literally live 5 blocks away from this thing. 

So my husband cuts me loose around 9:00 a.m.  He has been known in the past to conveniently let me over sleep these sale days.  They're held 2x a year.  

So I arrive at the community hall, toss in my loonie entrance fee and start to prowl around the deals.  What hit me the most was suddenly how many women I knew there.  In the past, I'd be lucky to run into maybe one familiar face.  Mainly because I've been somewhat antisocial in the past, neglecting to join those "mommy groups".  Since E is in kindergarten though, suddenly I know tons of other mommies.  

Anyways....  I hit this last table and see an instruction booklet for a bed with $60.00 posted on it. Now... let's make it perfectly clear that I was not looking for a bed.  E has a double bed my mom gave us and J is in a toddler bed and O is in a crib and not going to be sprung from said crib for as long as humanly possible.  

But still... $60.00.  It was a captain's bed.  A bed with three large drawers underneath and a headboard with shelves for books etc.  We had originally tried to get E one of these but then the bed came from my mom's house. 

So I deke out of the hall and discreetly call hubby.  He's like $60.00.  Wow, good deal.  Better buy it.  Hooyah.  So I go back in hand the lady $60.00 when she asks me.. "which one do you want?"  Huh?   "Oh, well there's two beds.  The headboards are a little different so which one do you want?"  I pick one, pay for it and go back into the hallway, discreetly call hubby again and tell him there are two beds.  He says buy the other one too.  So I go back and buy the 2nd bed, much to the astonished lady's delight.  They sold both their beds within a 1/2 hour of setting up. 

I got two captain's bed for the girls for $120.00.  When we were last pricing these out, we could not find one under $350.00.   $350.00 for one.   So I got a pretty good deal wouldn't you say.

So I tell these people we'll be back later to pick it up and head off shopping where I managed to pick up some more goodies.  I finally had to say get me out of here before I spend all my money. I head off to the grocery store (we still hadn't bought milk as mentioned in yesterday's post) when it struck me.... we had no mattresses for these beds.  How stupid are we? 

I call hubby again, should I check out the local mattress shop. Yeah.  I head to the mattress shop, which apparently is having a no tax sale because sales are so slow for February.  Still, I'm looking at the price of these mattresses... $299.00 on sale.  Ouch.  I had to buy 2.  They only had one in stock but would sell me the floor model.  I ask how much even though I already read the tag.  He says "$169.00 each including taxes."    I tell him I'll get back to him.. I go outside call Hubby, he quickly searches mattresses at Sears and finds one for $20.00 cheaper but that's before taxes so with my deal it works out the same.  Plus I'm supporting a local business.  So I went back in.  SOLD. 

I head home.  I have to drive the kids and hubby to the truck rental place (we're shifting our storage locker tomorrow) and then race back to the toy sale to pick up our beds.  Then we race back home because the moving van has no lock and hubby's afraid our new beds will get stolen while he's working the concession (I volunteered him to help run the concession stand as a fundraiser for J's preschool).  The he and E go back while I look after the little ones. O goes for a nap. 

O wakes up, Daddy comes home, we set up beds.  We're missing two locking bolt thingies.  I know they have a technical name, I just don't know what it is.  We're scouring the floor, the driveway, even driving to the hall parking lot to look.  We call the people, fortunately she gave us their number.  They call back, they found one.  Great.  It surprised me because this lady was so organized and had everything in little baggies itemized etc.  What happened, I think, is that dear old Hubby (as in her husband) didn't bother taking those bolt thingies out, you have to bang em out and so they just fell out somewhere along the way. 

So we have only one bed up.  Of course, the girls are absolutely dying to try out their new beds. I raced to the hardware store (stopped at the bank too), found out they don't carry those kind of bolt thingies, its a specialized part and picked up pizza for dinner.  By time I got home, gobbled down two slices, I had to leave for work.  I was glad to go to work... I could stop racing around. 

So when I left, hubby was going to try and jimmy something up and worse case scenario is we will have to contact Ikea and get a part replacement.  Because bolt or no bolt, it was still worth $60.00.  They look great and are in great condition.  

I will post photos up of the beds tomorrow.  Phew that was rather long winded. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Raging Momma

As of this particular moment life sucks.  From the moment I got out of bed this morning I have been a raging momma.  Patience is at an all time low.  Every little thing is setting me off and gets an instant raised voice reaction.   I just don't know how to stop it.  

I do try.  I realize that I'm being crazy and tell myself that I am going to respond to the next kid crisis without yelling but it doesn't turn out that way. 

What makes me crazy like this?  It's not good for my ego either.  I have not been this bad in a long time.  It started yesterday and has gotten worse today so that almost every word out of my mouth sounds like a shrieking shrew. Is it PMS?  Cause it's that time of the month, or it's supposed to be.  Nothing has been normal since I went on the progesterone only pill.  Or is it the sleep interruption?  The night before last, I was up in the middle of the night.  E keeps coming in our room telling us that one of the kids are crying but I don't hear them so I have take her back to bed and then O does wake up so I have to feed him.  Last night was the same thing only when I went back to bed, I was feeling sick so I ended up being up for two hours till it passed and I could go back to sleep.  Plus I've been waking up with what I call sleep headaches.  Sometimes they are so bad I wake up in them middle of the night aware of my aching head.  It usually dies down by the morning but some times it lingers. 

So these are a lot of little things that can add up to my grouchiness.  Sleep is a big thing for me. The less I get, the moodier I get.   Fortunately, I managed to get the kids outside to play for a little bit because I am at the point of sitting on the floor with my head in my hands cause this is not the kind of mom I want to be.  

How do you get them to not take the broom and swing it around the house while you're folding laundry narrowly missing the expensive flat screen t.v.?

How do you get them to remember to pick up their makeshift beds on the floor when they are done playing with them? 

How do you get them to not pull the chairs up to the stove and fridge, take all your pictures and magnets off the fridge, pull all the recycling piled up on the side of the counter onto the floor, pull all the DVD's out of the cupboard onto the floor... all while you take a 10 minute shower.  All under the nose of the 5 year old.  Not that E is responsible for them, I try not to put that kind of pressure on her but couldn't she at least have said no to them at one point?   These are things they don't normally do all at once.  Usually  I can manage to get a shower without major chaos, I had them all set up playing in their room.   

How do you get them to stop yelling at each other?  (especially when mommy's doing a lot of yelling herself)

How do you get them to bring me back their sippy cups and snack bowls so I don't find rotting cups of juice and/or milk under my couch six months later? 

How do you get your 22 month old not to keep taking his boots off and walking in the one muddy spot we have in the entire yard then opening the back door again and walking across my kitchen floor with his muddy socks/boots on at least 5x a day? 

How do you get them to eat with their plates under them and not half way across the table so all their food that misses their mouth lands on their plates and not the table? 

How do you get your 5 year old to stop trying to get rid of her baby brother by telling him to go get a baba from Mommy, especially when mommy is trying to get the baby out of bottles and especially since the mommy has very little milk left at the moment and needs to get to the store?

OH and the list could go on and on... I can't even remember all of the more hair pulling incidents that have gone on this morning.  

Why is it that we so quickly lose sight of why we are doing this and how much this is actually where we want to be.  Why can't we remember in the moment all those wonderful things about parenting.  Why do I feel like I'm going to be stuck in bad mommy moments forever? 

Does anyone know of any natural mood enhancers (and I'm not talking romantically either.. no oyster recommendations please) *wink*

Okay, life can't be that bad... I just made a joke and a wink all at the same time.  Maybe I just need lunch. 

Peek Review and Giveaway

Check out this Peek review and giveaway at Seeryus Mama.   I had never heard of a Peek before but I sure could use one.   Apparently it's an email checker/sender.  I've been trying to check my email on my cellphone but it sucks.  You can pay month to month for the service.  No contracts.  j
So check it out.  Very easy to get extra entries.  :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thrift Shop Mama

I just love a good deal.  Who doesn't?   Do you know what's even better than a good deal? Telling someone about your good deal.  

I spent the morning with a friend and we decided to head out  to the local thrift shop.  Prior to E being in kindergarten I hadn't paid much attention to the good ol local thrift shop.  It's not that we had so much money, it's just that 3 were such a pain to take out by myself.  So now E is in kindergarten and J is in preschool 2 mornings a week so that just leaves O and me.   

So this morning we went, as I said before, to the local thrift store.  I hadn't planned on spending anything, I was going more to hang out with my friend than anything.  However, point me towards a clothes rack and I can just seem to smell out that good deal.  The nice thing about thrift stores is that so many items are in really good quality and not only are you putting money back into charity, but you are also recycling.  

So I spent 16.75 today and here's what I got, 

Two t-shirts - 1 dora, 1 disney princess:  $1.50
One Thomas the Train t-shirt - 99cents, half off .49
One Lightning McQueen Shirt - 50 cents, half off .25
One Fleece pullover top for E -  $.99
One Jacket for O:  $1.99
One Fancy dress J:  $3.99
One top Mommy:   $2.99
One corduroy dress E:  $1.99
one sweater top O:  $.99
one cool sweat suit Jacket O:  .99 half off  $.49

I took some pictures.  Of course, O had to wear his shirt and jacket right away and ended up going down for a nap.  So these are just a few of the pictures. 

J's dress is satin with puff sleeves, it has a lining underneath with a little bit of tulle to make the dress stand out.  Hers was by far the most expensive but for $3.99 this could easily be a dress up dress. 

E was delighted with hers  because she has lots of fancy dresses but no real "play" dresses.  

So I think I managed to do well this morning.  The only drawback to shopping the thrift store is it's much like garage saling, you can often end up spending too much money and buy more than you really need just because it's a good deal. 

There also can be a certain stigma shopping at thrift shops.  My one SIL does not buy second hand at all and only would consider taking cast offs if she knows the people personally.  This from someone who had a tight budget for a long period of time.  

I disagree.  What with the cost of raising three growing kids these days, I need to save money wherever I can and besides, if my daughter wears a 99 cent t-shirt and spills paint all over it or plays in the mud in her new jeans that cost $1.99, who really cares.  That all joins in with my letting kids be kids and get dirty theory.  All that and helping the environment too!  What could be better than that? 

A dirty kid is a happy kid and a thrifty momma has loonies in her pocket. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Favourite kid quote to date

The set up:  J (3) is straddling my lap, cradling my face in her hands and making faces at me. 

Mommy:  "J, don't poke mommy's eye," as her little finger is jabbing my eye "that hurts mommy."
J:               "Only little bit." poke, poke, poke. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Some times my kids amaze me.

We had a pretty much average day, get up take E to school, J to preschool, come home, run around cleaning house till it's time to pick J and E up, eat lunch and clean some more etc.. you get the picture. Pretty tame day.

Hubby comes home around 4:15. The kids are usually pretty excited to see him and so am I for that matter. At this point in the day I am trying to finish up making supper and get the food on the table because I have to be at work by 5:00 p.m.

K was not in the greatest mood when he got home today because he had a crappy day. So it didn't take long before his patience wore thin, then my patience wore thin because he was losing his patience and on and on and on... You could just see things spiraling out of control and if we didn't get a hold on it things were just going to get worse. Dinner time is always a tough time of the day but it gets even tougher when K and I are trying to have a quick conversation about the day and the kids are constantly interrupting. It doesn't help that we're transitioning him coming home and me going to work.

To top it off, when I took the stuffed turkey roast out of the oven, it wasn't cooked all the way through. You can get away with that with roast beef but not poultry. Great. I had to stick the darn thing back into the oven to keep on cooking while we ate potatoes and vegetables, cause like I said I have to be at work by 5:00.

So I eat my vegetarian meal and jump up to get ready for work. I can hear K in the background being exasperated with O because he's in this stage of putting food in his mouth, chewing it and then spitting it out, usually into his hand. Well today, he decided to chuck the food he has spewed into his hand around the table so K's getting pretty annoyed.

I come out, get ready to go when I call the girls to come and kiss me bye. I just give O a kiss when I look up to see that my five year old, E has just put all her laundry that was folded up in the laundry basket away and she was standing there trying to sort out the mix matched socks. You could have knocked me over with a feather.

For some strange reason, this brought tears to my eyes. My baby is growing up. I gave her a big high five and a hug and told her how proud I am of her. Part of me wanted to go check and make sure she put it all in the right drawers but then really who cares. It was put away and she did it on her own initiative. When I went to say goodbye to K, he too had tears in his eyes. Her act of thoughtfulness was enough to break him out of his mood and opened our lines of communication up again.

Kids really do amaze me.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Shoes, Shoes and more Shoes

I love my shoes.  It's a woman thing, I know but we just can't seem to get enough  Shoes.  My problem is that where I live, I am limited as to variety.  Oh there are plenty of shoe stores around but they never seem to have what I want at a price that I want to pay. 

After my first pregnancy my feet were really bad and a friend of mine had recommended Skechers. Skechers; however, were very expensive to buy in my area and I was limited as to style and colour.  

So I was glad to stumble upon this website, Women's Shoes in 2004.  Not only did I find the perfect Skecher sneakers, I also managed to get them with pink trim.  To top it off, they were around $40.00 less to purchase online than buying them locally. Even with shipping costs, I still saved lots of money plus had shoes that I loved.  

Since then I receive email updates now and then letting me know about special sales.  Don’t worry you don’t have to receive the e-mails, you can choose not to be notified of any special offers etc.  I happen to like good shoe deals so I like receive these notices.

I recently had a chance to wander back to their page and must say I spent about an hour drooling over their shoes. They certainly seem to have just about every brand of shoe that I could want in every size, shape and colour that I want.  From Clarks, to Crocs to Dr. Scholls (another pregnancy friendly shoe brand)   I even found those latest Ugg boots.

My favourites are, of course, the summer sandals.  Sandals are my absolute all time favourite style of shoes.  I can’t wait for spring.   Aren’t they gorgeous?

 This webpage is easy to navigate and has a very fast response time.  You can either search by your favourite brand name, by style or by gender. They even have an advanced search feature so you can search by shoe size. This, in my books, is a great feature.  There is nothing like wasting time looking at shoes that don’t come in your size anyways.  You can also sort your viewing page out by how many shoes you’d like to look at and by price so you can stick to your budget. 

There is also a clearance section where you can find fabulous prices on a wide variety of shoes. This is not your typical shoe store clearance section where they have 5 shoes on clearance in size 6.  I found page after page of shoes that comes in my size. (10 in case you were wondering)

Plus there are more than just Women's Shoes.  There's also plenty of styles and selections of Men's Shoes and the shoe love doesn't stop there.. there's boys shoes, girls shoes and even baby shoes and shoe accessories.  Many of the shoes are offered with free shipping so you save even more money.   I have done some price comparison with an online Canadian department store and this page  Shoes is definitely more affordable. 

This is a Canadian company and living in Canada as I do, I find it refreshing to find a company like this.   There are just not enough Canadian companies out there supplying products to us Canadians.  Having said that they do deliver to the U.S. as well  and any order that is under $200.00 US dollars is duty free.  Good to know.

So top reasons to shop at Shoes:

  • Free shipping is offered on most items.     
  • Easy Returns:  75 day return policy.
  • Fast Shipping  This was certainly my personal experience.
  • Items are in stock.  They have a 99% fulfillment rate. 
  • Great Service.
  • This store has been in business since 1990 and online since 1996.

As I said, I have personally shopped online at this store in the past and had a wonderful positive experience.

In the Mommy Trenches

The Foot is Coming Down.

My husband has put his figurative foot down.  No posting pictures of our children on the internet.  

My main plan with this blog was to be fairly anonymous so that I can post my beefs and gripes without fear of repercussions.  I can be, at times, candidly honest on this page with regards to family and friends.  No I know my mom's old adage 'if you can't say something nice, then don't say it at all'.  But really, some times you just need to b#@*h.  Really get it off my chest and suddenly, I feel just a little bit better.  I would; however, feel absolutely mortified if my BIL & SIL knew how I really felt about their germaphobe behaviour.  (see earlier posts). 

I digress.  I have been reading many other blogs online and love to see pictures of people's families etc and have been thinking of posting several of my kids now and then of their more zanier antics etc.  My husband disagrees. 

He was listening to the radio on his way home and heard a report about how bad guys (translation - perverts)  are taking photos of kids off the net and using them for their own purposes, posting them in other places etc.  Because let's face it, most of us don't know how to protect our photos from being "borrowed" like the really smart people do.  

In fact, if you do an image search on google with the words, children, girl, playing, names etc... you actually pull up a photos of kids from various peoples webpages and blogs.  Kind of creepy if you think about it.  So I don't know how to stop that from happening. Maybe it mainly has to do with the description of the photo... I don't know.  Maybe it's just a matter of not doing head shots, again, I don't know. 

If anyone out there has any suggestions I'd love to hear it.   

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentines, Valentines, Party

We had a lovely Valentines day.  My hubby let me sleep in and only woke me up when breakfast was ready.  When I got to the table these were waiting for me. Notice the kisses nestled inside.  This is a standing joke for my husband and I, when we just "friends" 11 or so years ago, I happened to threw a hershey's chocolate at him and asked him if he wanted a kiss.  Well, you could literally see the five shades of red he went. He thought I meant a real kiss.  He was a little shy in those days).  So 10 years later we have been continually exchanging "kisses" on every special occasion.

These are what we got the kids.  Each girl got a Dora purse.  I just thought they were so pretty. They are metal and have a clasp. We put a few candies and stickers in there for them.  I hate buying those small commercial candies that they do up for the holidays now.  Have you tasted the chocolate in there?  It tastes like crap, not to mention all the chemicals.   So I splurge a little and buy a few better quality chocolates now.   
And of course, O got the cars tin.  He just loves Cars.  

Party Update. 

We had a nice time.  Supper was nice.  We got a little behind.  My sil while being prepared in some areas was completely unprepared in others.  But lets not gripe about that.  I think they all had a nice time and the kids sure loved my chocolate fondue dessert. 

It was funny, My niece and nephew had dove right in before I had gotten back to the table and they were using the little spoons to scoop chocolate all neatly onto their plates.  I took up a fondue fork, speared a creampuff and said to my nephew "This is how you do it." dipped my fork and creampuff into the chocolate, swirled it, pulled out a completely chocolately covered puff out and his eyes just about bugged out and he said "cool" in an aw inspired breath. He thought it was one classy dessert.  I just about laughed at his expression.  Later my husband said to me, you know nephew was really impressed with it when he was done and he was getting up from the table and said "Thank you Aunty." 

My mom liked the memory tree quilt.  It turned out nice.  My mom is not overly gushy about things, but she did say it turned out nice and thank you.  So...  although her next words out of her mouth were... where did you get the panel?   Of course, being an avid sewer herself she's been to all the stores up and down our island and I'm sure she's thinking how come she never come across something like this before.  But I had another source, heh heh... Ebay.  


It's Done, Yeah! Craft project Update #2

My goodness it's been hard to find the time to post this.

 So I had to trace out all the name labels onto iron on adhesive paper and then cut them out.  It took some time getting all 11 done.  

With the iron on "silk" setting, lightly press the label onto the adhesive paper making sure you iron the paper side.  I used a piece of parchment paper between the label and my ironing surface because sometimes the glue can transfer onto your pad.  Make sure the glue has melted, peal off the paper and then place your label in the right spot on the tree, press and voila. 

Just a close up of the embroidered flowers and the family tree sign. 

Once I finished the ironing, I allowed it to set a while to make sure the glue had cooled enough and was firmly attached.  Then I cut out my backing material to the same size, pinned right sides together, straight stichted around the quilt leaving a 3 inch gap at the top.  When done, press, trim edges and pull the quilt right side out.  Handsew the gap closed.  Press again. 

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the complete finished project.  I didn't get it completely finished until Sat a.m. so we were a little rushed.  But you get the general gist. 


Saturday, February 14, 2009

What the World Needs now is Love

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone.

Lord, we don't need another mountain,
There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb
There are oceans and rivers enough to cross,
Enough to last till the end of time.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.

Lord, we don't need another meadow
There are cornfields and wheat fields enough to grow
There are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine
Oh listen, lord, if you want to know.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.
No, not just for some, oh, but just for everyone.
lyrics by Burt Bacharat

Happy Valentines Day!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Eighty MPH Mom
: Please Feed the Cat!

<center>Eighty MPH Mom</center>: Please Feed the Cat!

3 Columns, Hooray!

 I now have 3 columns on my blog. I'm looking forward to playing around with it.  I wasn't liking the way everything was piling up on the one side.  

Thanks to Jen at 80MPH for giving me the link to Tips for New Bloggers. Definitely a page to check out and put in your favourites.  I am a complete newbie at editing html and while I didn't get it figured out immediately, I did manage to tweak things and get my columns up in 30 minutes, without losing my gadgets etc.  So I'm pretty impressed.  

Oh and be sure to check out Jen's snazzy new blog makeover.  She usually has several contests and lots of fun Link below to a video on her page. *L*

Oh and yes the Valentine page will be coming down soon.  


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hopefully I only screw them up a little.

My second post for the day.  I was originally just planning on posting this but then I saw every one's comments on yesterday's post and felt I had to give a little update. 

So on with today's post. 

I, like every mother, want the best for my child.  So it's when I see her struggle socially that my heart breaks a little for her.  You see, I would like it if my child was more popular.  Don't get me wrong, I don't need her to be popular or to be in the "in" crowd.  I just wish she had more friends. 

I've been observing her in her class line up and the other day there were these two girls making fun of her.  Oh it was light fun that kids make and my E didn't have a clue.  It went over her head thank goodness.  It didn't occur to her that they'd make fun of her.   But it did make me a little sad and wonder why she hasn't really made any girl friends.  Sometimes it doesn't go over her head as she tells me that one girl made fun of her drawings because E scribbled or told E that she wasn't inviting her to her party because she was different.  What's different mommy? 

Being socially accepted is not the be all and end all of life, I know.  It's just makes life that much more easier and maybe less painful.  I'm speaking from experience here.  I started off with lots of friends in elementary school but gradually I felt a shift.  I felt it then and I can pinpoint the reasons even more so now.   There began to be subtle differences, I was invited to the birthday party of a "popular" girl.  Her parents lived in a big fancy house and her mother wore a dress.  A mom who wore a dress was idolized in my eyes because I loved wearing dresses.  I have no idea what her father did for a living.  I just know they had money. It was after that party that suddenly there were "cool" kids and non cool kids and gradually I was shifted into the non cool crowd.  No longer welcome to sit by the "princess".  There was this one girl in grade 4, pretty petite.  Loved by all.  Everything about her was dainty, even the way she ate.  I idolized her.  I wanted to be her best friend.  My biggest highlight and let down.. was eating lunch with her at her desk.  She said okay but her heart wasn't in it obviously as she talked to other girls more than me.  

I didn't know it at the time but we were considered poor.  We lived in a small double wide trailer, both my parents worked to make ends meet etc.  I'm not putting them down.  I had a great childhood, loving parents.  I never went without.  We lived, however, in small village where a lot of wealthy people live.  It just pisses me off when I look back and see how I was discarded based on the financial status of my parents.  My one sole personal drawback, I was a bit shy.   My mom told me that there was nothing wrong with me, I was just a little shy. Kids like kids who aren't shy.  So why was it then that the girl who lived the street over, used to walk with me to school in grade 6 decided that I wasn't even cool enough to walk to school with.  Oh she didn't say anything to my face, she just started walking earlier so I'd have to run to catch up with her.  It didn't take me long to clue in that she didn't want to walk with me anymore.  Suddenly, I was almost friendless in this big school.  

I did have this one friend Rene.  She didn't have many friends either.  She was new to the area and she was definitely different.  She had bright red, I mean pippi longstocking red hair, that was curly so she had like this big red fro with ringlets sticking out all over it.  The ringlets were big and fat and completely natural and literally you could pull one and it'd boing back into shape.  I always added the boing sound effect in my head.  She was pale with freckles and about the most vibrant, fun loving, happiest, most accepting person I had ever met.  Unfortunately, she moved away again and I have no idea where she is now or even her last name so we lost touch. 

The best thing that ever happened to me was when my folks decided to move.  We moved ten minutes down the road to a new town, which meant a new school.  Suddenly I had friend and lots of them.  I became part of a crowd.  Because this town was a "working" town.  Most people who lived in this were regular joes.  So then I realized there was nothing wrong with me.  It really was them. 

Amazing how childhood can still affect you.  You think you're in your mid thirties and life should be just a breeze by now.   Things still rise up to bite you in the butt.  Especially when you have children.  

 When E first started kindergarten I would say things like don't do this or that because the kids won't like you.  I'm not talking big things but etiquette things like picking noses, sticking hands down your pants, wiping properly so you don't smell etc.   Things that needed to be worked on.  But then she started getting agitated and would freak out about some minor thing saying that people were going to laugh at her.   I was floored at where she was getting this from.  Then I realized that I was putting MY anxieties on her and making her insecure.  Shoot.  So I stopped and became more careful at how I worded things and she doesn't worry about people laughing at her anymore.  Phew.  

So now I try to say more encouraging things to her about making friends, trying to be helpful and kind etc.  I don't worry about her hair or what she wears (within reason) but there is still that part of me that wants to because I would like to pave the way for her... just a little.  Take some of the rocks out of the path.  But that would be wrong.  

Who I am today is because of all that I went through. Maybe I wouldn't have been so empathetic for those kids on the fringe in High School if it hadn't been for my childhood.  Maybe I would have shunned the girl who became my best friend because everyone thought she was a B&#@H. She was just shy.  

Have you seen the movie:  Jane Austen Book Club?  There is this scene where this woman is mad at her husband because he thinks one of the girls she went to school with was nice and spent some time chatting with this blond, attractive woman.  He said to her "High School is over."  Her response... "High school is never over."   How true for some of us.  

So how do we navigate through this social map known as their school days.  How do I protect my child's self esteem while encouraging herself to put herself out there, to be bold and to love her own way.  

I don't know but I'm sure I'm going to screw it up along the line.  Hopefully, just a little. 


Low Day Update

You all were right.  Sometimes it is just a matter of feeling like you've been heard.  

We talked it out last night.  You could have blown my husband away.  He felt that because he had talked at me that it was the same as discussing it with me and agreed that no, he hadn't actually asked me.  It wasn't like I really was going to put my foot down and just say no because nothing is ever cut and dried that way.  The decisions we are making are not as simple as what's for dinner tonight.  

So while I don't really feel we've totally resolved some of the decisions we need to make, he at least heard what I said.  He must have been feeling bad because he was very helpful the rest of the evening and even was more helpful this a.m.  So hopefully something has clicked.  

Thanks for your comments.  It's nice to know that I'm not the only one out there who feels she caves a lot.  


Sunday, February 8, 2009

So do they like it... or not?

Well we got the home feedback through the homefeedback site and yes they like the house... but after all the gushing the realtor did to my MIL their feedback was a let down.

"considering the costs of making changes for in home business.  may consider building ???"

bleep bleep bleep.  :)   So they like it but not enough?  Or they like it but it's too expensive? 

How frustrating is that.  Do you think there still remains some hope that they may decide to buy from us?  

Our house is perfect for their idea.  Plus we're on a corner lot with parking at the side so it's a perfect set up for customers.   They would be hard pressed to find such an ideal set up like this.    

Oh I am so ready to be done with this house for sale thing.   I have realized from being on the selling end of things that I will have way more respect for the viewing other people's home process.  I won't be looking at anything unless we're very serious about it. 


P.S.  That house picture up there.. not my actual house but my dream home one day. :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

House Update

Apparently they liked our house.  They spent a good 45 minutes going through it.  They are thinking of putting a hair salon downstairs (our part of the house) and I think it's a great idea.  The location etc is perfect.  

Hopefully, they make us an offer.   Hope hope hope hope hope hope. 

What I really want.... is a Maid!

Can you guess what I am up to? I mean before I began typing this post.  :)   That's right, cleaning.  AGAIN.  We're showing our house again today to the same people that saw the house on Tuesday.  The husband saw it first and now he wants his wife to see it.  Cross your fingers and send up a prayer for us.  We are more than ready to get out of this dumb, I mean lovely, of course, house. 

Fortunately our house has remained relatively tidy since our last showing on Wed.  Still there are dishes to be done, toys to be  picked up, laundry to be hidden.  This is when I start dreaming about having a maid.  She doesn't have to come every day just once a week.  Someone to do the "heavy" stuff.  Remember when, well we don't actually remember when, but we've been told about those days when even poor families had a woman in once a week to "do the heavy stuff" and often had a girl to help during the week.  

Just how did we progress to this point where we have to do it all on our own?  Course, I have the luxury of a dishwasher and washing machine.  I don't have to go beat my laundry against a rock, thank you Lord.   

Reality is I just can't really picture being comfortable having a maid come in.  Can you see me now, rushing around tidying up a little because I don't want her to think we live like pigs.  I wouldn't want her to do my laundry because who wants a stranger to go through my underthings.  (it's bad enough when my MIL decides to "help".  It's always seems to be a day when those period panties happen to be in the wash).  I'd have to clean before the cleaning lady gets here.      

So we tidy up ourselves and try to keep the children from playing with their toys too much and making a mess.  Poor things.  We are, however, in silent mode.  No our kids haven't suddenly grown wings and halos.  My hubby and I are in disagreement this morning. 

We all like our sleep and I think my husband likes his more than most because he gets right growly when the kids keep coming in the room in the a.m.  I get annoyed too and have even been known to yell at them to get out.  I'm not going to embarrass my husband by saying exactly how he lost his temper, it's enough to say he lost it. 

The problem is, I think he should apologize to E and when I told him that he "tchh" me and proceeded to ignore me after that.  Fine.  That's how you hold a discussion, so be it.  I know, we sound like immature 4 year olds.  And that's where it stands. 

We'll eventually go back to talking at some point this day when one of us forgets we're annoyed with the other.  


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mommy or... super spy?

You know you're a bored, stay at home mom when you have nothing better to do than torture the children. Here's O having his nap. It was time for him to wake up from the said nap or he won't go to bed tonight. I just love sleeping babies. It's not often I get to sneak in on him though cause usually once he's down, it is not worth the risk of waking him up to peak at him.

Poor O!.

He looks so peaceful.. so unsuspecting. 

This was actually the first picture I took.  look at that big lip.  I bet there's drool on the pillow.

Oooh.. playing with my nightshot feature.  Black and white is just as sweet.

Oh, oh, somebody's waking up.  Think the flash might have done it?  *L*

Still nightshot mode.   Moooom!
He looks kinda scary... like extra terrestial or something...

Who turned on the lights?

Me feigning innocence:  "Who, what, huh?  Wasn't me sweetie." 

Yeah, it's sad.  That's our best form of entertainment right now.  Mwah ha ha ha ha ha.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Craft Project... Remember This

Well, since hubby had to work tonight and I am off I actually had a chance to work on my project for my parent's 40th anniversary coming up on February 14th.  See post

I had done some embroidering of the names on a different night but had to wait until I had a chance to wash the backing material so I could actually start sewing it together.   Super Ninja Mommy has been posting her craft projects lately along with pictures so I thought maybe you might be interested in seeing mine. 

These are the circles that I am embroidering the family names on. I will have to cut them out and applique them on to the final project. Normally you're supposed to do it before you start sewing but I plan on doing some extra embroidering of the tree.

First I had to cut four even strips (and cut straight I might add) and then sew them on to the panel which in essence are going to "frame" the tree. I picked this lovely brown material with darker swirls on it. I think it stands out quite nice.

Pressing seams. I just love pressing seams. Don't you?

One mitered corner.  In order to make the seams nice and neat, I could either postage stamp the corners with separate material or fold one corner at a 45 degree angle. The catch, I had to hand sew the those corners. Can I just say, I hate hand sewing. It's a real pain trying to sew not only neatly but also so it's hard to see the stitches.  One down, 3 to go. 

Then I laid my panel onto fleece backing and cut it out to size.  I then quilted all around the inside of the square with a zig zag stitch.  It's my mom's trick. It's a lot harder to detect a crooked seam when you zig zag than when you sew straight.  I used a tight zig zag setting on my machine and so it actually looks really nice, almost like serging.  You can't really see that on the back.  

This is as far as I 've gotten tonight and crazy as it is, I was anxious to share my success.  I'm normally what you call a lazy sewer.  I hate fiddling, I hate prep and I hate long projects.  I tend to cut corners so for me to actually have made it this far without any major screw up is a high five, dance around the table kind of victory. 

The plan is now to hand quilt the tree and some flowers around the bases of the tree.  

Whew..my shoulders are aching and my back is tired.  I'm off to have my tea and head for bed. 



P.S.  I couldn't figure out how to get the pictures and the typing to line up.. would you believe I actually strayed into the Edit Html and actually figured out how to stop the photos from lumping up.  wtgZeemaid. *L*

Quick House Update

We had another showing today at noon.  It was different people from the last ones.  So far no feedback and no new appointment for the other couple.  So who knows. 


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Correct me if I am wrong...

but when you've got an entire house to clean and only 4 hours to do it (with the picking up and dropping off of children at school and feeding them lunch all in there) you do not:
  • start re-0rganizing the storage room.
  • suddenly decide to haul all those decorations that have been hanging around since Christmas to the storage locker 10 minutes up the road. Which requires driving to my store (10 minutes the other direction) to drop off boxes so we can drive back home, fill the van up and then drive to the storage locker. 
  • suddenly decide to finally take apart that large, broken plastic toy and try to jam it back into it's box because we're gonna take it back ($100.00 and it took 2 days for O to break it.  I want my money back!).
  • Oh and in the aforesaid reorganization of the storage room, shift the carpet cleaner which decided to pour out dirty water (filled with vomit from J's latest puke fest on Friday) all over the carpet.  So it stinks in there.  3 hours to showing and my house stinks like PUKE!!! For some reason, water stayed in the hose after K thought it was already cleaned out.  Plus he got a big sliver in his hand because of his madcap reorganization. 
  • clean the walls behind all the furniture.  I'm sorry but no one is going to be pulling the chair out and looking back there!
  • take all the stuff that you're clearing from room and come and pile it into the other room that I had JUST FINISHED cleaning.  Every time I had the kitchen cleared, I turn and find more crap piled up on the stove.  For ME to sort through.  ARGHHH!!  This happened in the living room, the bathroom and our bedroom.  Shazbut
Now, I love my husband.  Bless him for taking the day off and helping me out but men just don't think like we women do.  I'm a little more concerned with covering the basics, like de-cluttering, cleaning bathrooms, the kitchen etc.  Then IF I have the time, I'll reorganize. 

I have; however, learned.  You see we've gone through this a time or two before.  And that's to just let him go and do it because after all it's all things that need to be done... eventually.  I keep my mouth shut and just do my thing.  Sure I may be grumbling inside but at least I'm not grumbling with him. 

Of course, he's gonna have the last laugh on me today because I always tell him that we're going to go to all this effort and it's gonna be some kind of looky loo people, not serious lookers.  Well, the feedback has already come in and it sounds like we might get a second showing out of it.  I guess just the husband looked at it today and he wants his wife to look through it.  It's hard not to get excited because he came sometime between 2:30 and 3:15 and we got our feedback response by 4:18 saying that showing realtor already had a call from him and that he wants his wife to come see the house.  On the other hand, if she doesn't like it.... and we all know who carries the most clout when it comes to buying homes etc, we're back to square one. 

Whatever happens, my house is so clean that it positively glows.  Remember that pretty house post I wrote a day or so ago?  My house is almost like that today sans the knicknacks.  I'm almost tempted to keep the children outside, it's so nice and shiny inside. 

Let's just hope I can keep it up because we are entering upon the house hunting season. 


Monday, February 2, 2009

Murphy's Law or just my dumb luck?

Do you all know about Murphy's Law?  The old adage that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.   

Today wasn't totally one of those days.  It wasn't a bad day, just a busy day.  I had to get the E off to school and Nana kindly offered to sit the other two while I went grocery shopping.  I looked at my messy house (we had a busy weekend) and almost said  no but I knew that if I didn't take her up on it then I'd be doing a late night shop this evening after we put the kids to bed.  Now I don't like to do late night shops.  I'm tired, besides they start to clean out the deli counter and produce and bread bins at night so the selection is much less.  I digress. 

So I left a very messy house behind, went grocery shopping.  That was just fine.  Got home had to race to put groceries away with J helping me the entire time.  You should see the inside of my pantry cupboard.  Decided to wash my hair because Mommy never got a chance to shower this a.m.  Ugh.  I hate having to go out with greasy hair.  You know how it doesn't really look greasy but you're worried someone else will notice a shiny spot and realize you didn't wash your hair today?

So I do all that and am trying to quickly pick up toys before Nana comes down so I can go pick up E, when O comes up to me saying in his baby voice..."ook" and holding up a brown looking hand in my face.  OMG.   It's pooh.  His hand is covered in POOP.  What's more, his blanky is covered in poop.  Where did this poop come from?  Well, apparently he stuck his hand down his poopy diaper and had a good feel around down there.  So he's got poop up his back as well and on his clothes.   

So I quickly grab his wrist to make sure he doesn't touch anything, get him all cleaned up, then have to proceed to sanitize the sink and the floor.  Oh did I mention we got poop on the floor when changing because it was so far up his back it just smeared out of his diaper everywhere?   Where's Nana when you need her.  

Then I had to race back to school pick up E, bring her home, feed them all lunch, pack snacks, dress them and get them all inside the van and drive an hour to meet up with my friend.  We were spending the afternoon at her house and having dinner.  

In the meantime, I have left an entirely messy house behind and I mean messy.  Laundry is overflowing the baskets, the playroom is littered with toys, our living room has blankies, toys, cups, bowls and books from one end to the other and our kitchen has all the left over clutter from colouring, painting, craft making, food clutter that could be possible.  The sink was full of dishes.  Are you getting the picture?    

I tried, I really did try to tidy up before we left, I did get the table cleaned and the lunch dishes cleared.  They just all didn't make it to the dishwasher.  

So we're having a lovely evening at KCs, (the pot roast, potatoes and yorkshire puddings were delicious by the way) when we get a phone call.  (Darn cellphones).  They'd like to show our house tomorrow afternoon. 

Oh no.   The one day when I am completely behind in all things housholdish, they call.  They haven't called for three months.  Oh there was this near miss last weekend, they called us on short notice and then never called back again.. so we cleaned anyways just in case they did call and set up a time. 

So here we are madly cleaning (I'm taking a break obviously) and organizing.  I am going to be totally stressed tomorrow trying to get everything cleaned.   Thank goodness, both E and J are off to school tomorrow for the morning. 

So.... everyone out there, put your prayers into effect that this is it, these are finally the ones that are going to buy this house.  

I'll keep you posted.