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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Random Thoughts and Tidbits: Part 25

Well hello there.  I haven't done one of these posts in a looong time.  I have the usual randomness, plus a couple big things I'll ramble on about, as well.

  • It should be mandatory for bagels to come pre-sliced.
  • The Girl:  Who's coming over?  Me:  No one, why?  The Girl:  You're wearing pants.
  • Baby still has some words that she says wrong, and they are SO cute.  Elephant is elephump.  Igloo is eggloo. The litter box is the glitter box.  Love it.
  • I'm obsessed with the show Fixer Upper.  I could marathon watch it.  The other day, The Kid says: You should do that.  Me:  What?  The Kid:  Design houses and decorate them.  You're really good at it.  Me:  
  • Big news.  We had The Kid's follow up neuro appointment last month.  We hit the two year mark from his diagnosis.  Which means, he is officially off meds.  We did one week half dose, then down to nothin'.  We're two weeks in and no signs of seizures so far.  Woohoo! Obviously, if they show up again, we'll reassess, but if all goes well, we'll never see the neurologist again.  Yay!
  • Baby during a Spot It marathon: I hope you lose.
  • I quit my job with the after school program yesterday.  I may have not even mentioned that I have a job.  Monday through Thursday, an hour a day, serving the meal in the cafeteria to the kids before their clubs.  I'll finish out this term, but won't do it again when it starts back up in April.  There are a couple different reasons, but we'll just say that my day drinking is about to get ramped up, and I can't do that if I have to work at 2:00.  Kidding, not kidding.
  • We're selling our house.  
  • That's a big one.  
  • There are at least two years worth of inner pro and con arguments behind that statement, but it pretty much boils down to, wanting/needing/expecting a good education for our kids, wanting more dirt, and wanting more space. While I believe the adage, small houses make close families, we are a family of five, living in just barely over 1000 square feet.  The kids are growing. They'll be teenagers in a blink. We need more room.  We considered building up, but that doesn't give me more dirt.  And we would still have to figure out how to get the kids into another school.  So, we will attempt to find those things somewhere else.
  • The cons are hard.  And sad.  
  • I was born and raised in Portland.  It's my home.  But it isn't the same as it was when I was a kid.  The school system, in general, is a train wreck, the drugs, although they're everywhere, are rampant here, the traffic is enough to make a person crazy, the housing market is out of control.  I was single when I bought our house, and even as a married couple, it was great to be in such a central location, where you can walk to anything.  But your priorities change when you have kids.  
  • We love, love, love our neighbors.  If we could bring them all with us, we would.  We've been so lucky to have them in our lives. 
  • Mom Club.  I can walk to all three of their houses.  One is directly across the street.  How can we meet up for impromptu day drinking if we have to drive to get together?  This is a tough one for me.  They have become very dear friends.
  • Right now, we're a max of fifteen minutes from both my mom and my sister.  Weeknight dinners are an option. We basically live at my sister's house during college football season.  Although we're not planning on moving hundreds of miles away, we will be going far enough out to get the most bang for our buck.  Adding thirty to forty five minutes to the commute will have an impact.
  • The kids.  We've talked about moving a lot over the last two years.  But now that it's real, The Kid is having a REALLY hard time.  He doesn't want to leave his school. He doesn't want to leave his friends.  He doesn't want to leave his neighborhood.  He doesn't want to leave his house.  He's struggling.  He hates me.  I know that once we're on the other side of everything, he'll be happy, but in the interim, it's hard for his mama to see him so sad. I get it.  I do.  I never moved growing up, so I can't personally relate to those feelings, but he's my kid and I have empathy for what he's going through.  But, as his parents, we have to make decisions based on their welfare, and I know with certainty that this is the best thing for them.
  • As it stands, they will finish this school year.  I won't say too much at this point, but there is A LOT of guilt behind sending them there every day.  It is rapidly becoming uglier, and although our kids are not asking to leave the situation, as their parents, we know that the climate will leave lasting impressions on them.  What they have come to perceive as normal is horrifying to us, and I'm a straw away from yanking them.  Not to mention the fact that they are NOT getting a good education.  I could go on and on, but it really just boils down to that.  They will not be prepared for high school at the rate they're going. So, that being said, they will for sure be starting at a new school next year, wherever that may be.  The Kid will officially go on to a middle school, which he wouldn't be doing here because our current school is a K- 8.  The Girl will be a 4th grader (!!!!) and Baby will enter the magical land of kindergarten.  In the whole scheme of things, this is the perfect time to make the move.  And, for the record, both The Girl and Baby are excited.  The Girl is like, let's go now!
  • Enough about school.  It really has consumed me for the past two years and I'm done.
  • My Rodney boy is buried here.
  • My garden.  You guys.  My garden.  Le sigh.  I will say, I have officially detached myself from it.  This is, and will be, the strangest spring I've had since my first little plot of dirt at nineteen.  I am completely overwhelmed at the thought of the amount of work ahead of me.  I will not walk away from my plants.  I will be digging damn near everything.  The plants that I don't completely remove, will have pieces taken from them.  Phlox, Rudbeckia, Solomon's Seal, etc.  But there are things that are just too big, and too established, to dig.  My beautiful Daphne by the front steps.  My blueberry bushes.  My standard Knock Out rose, that I've had since I was twenty five. Evergreens that are in the ground.  My gigantic Limelight Hydrangea.  My Big Ass housewarming blue Hydrangea. Sigh.  I will carve out a holding area, and once I get motivated, I will just have to start digging and potting up.  All the pots and yard "art" that I've collected over the past sixteen years will need to be discriminately compiled somewhere.  Sigh.  It is what it is.
  • Those are some solid cons.  And they're tough.  But hopefully, the pros will be better than we even imagine them to be.  
  • I say this has been a two year conversation, but in reality, I've had The Dream for as long as I can remember.  My whole life, really.  An old house on a decent sized plot of land.  An entry with a staircase.  A kitchen big enough for a table.  A huge dining room that fits friends and family all at the same time.  A fireplace. A yard big enough for the kids and the dog to run like crazy.  My sprinklers.  My whole life, I've wanted a yard big enough for the oscillating sprinklers.  The noise they make.  I can hear it in my head.  I have pictures of them on my Vision Board.  
  • This isn't a materialistic want.  It's something my heart pulls me toward. When we drive through a town with wide open fields, since I was a kid, it's the feeling that says it's where I belong.  I know that sounds corny, but it's true.  That flutter you get when you're falling in love, or have a crush.  That's the same flutter I get.  It's meant to be.  The Dream.
  • I believe in putting things out to the Universe.  I started a Vision Board on Pinterest last year.  Yes, Pinterest is one giant vision board, but I wanted it to be very specific. 
  •  You can see it here:  Vision Board 2016
  • It's happening.  It's scary as hell, but it's happening.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Valentine's Day Dinner 2017

Here it is.  Our annual Valentine's day dinner at home.

The kids were at school, so I was able to set the table during the day.
Nothing fancy, just more special than an average weeknight meal.
I dug through my stash and used what I had.

Baby helped me make dessert.
I found small heart cake mixes at our local Grocery Outlet for $1 each, including the paper baking pan.
I bought three. 
(She just inherited these boots and refuses to take them off.)

The cake was red velvet, of course.

It came with ingredients for a chocolate glaze, and then we added sprinkles for fun.

I had big plans to make fancy cocktails, but in the end, I went the easy route.
Champagne and pink grapefruit mimosas.

Because it fell on a weeknight, I didn't get crazy with appetizers, since The Dad wouldn't be home until after work.
I did a couple different cheeses, salami, and apples, with heart shaped crackers.
The log of goat cheese had cinnamon and cranberries and it was flippin' delicious.

He had secretly brought home boxes of chocolate for the kids a few days prior, so I put those at their place settings.
The Girl was concerned that he and I didn't have anything, so she added treats from her school Valentine bag.
So sweet.

Candles lit and waitin' on Dad.

The kids planned the menu.
They insisted on artichokes, and then went from there.
They added penne with tomatoes and garlic butter sauce.
Steak, so I did bacon wrapped filets, that I actually already had in the freezer.
And bread, of course.
The only thing I had to buy for the entire meal was the artichokes....and the cake mixes.
I love it when that happens.
I haven't said this for a minute.....
Here's dinner on my plate:

And the fam around the table...

They were pretty gosh darned excited when I told them they each got their own cake.
With bites from Mom and Dad, of course.
And actually, they were pretty dang good.
I'm not a cake person, at all, and DEFINITELY not a box cake/frosting person, but they were totally worth the $3 I spent.  
And for the record, no one ate an entire cake.
We still have a few hunks left in the fridge.

These two proceeded to argue over who's cake had more sprinkles.
Ya know, 'cause these are the important things in life.

All in all, way better than paying a stupid amount of money for a fancy Valentine's Day dinner out on the town, if ya ask me.
I like our tradition.
And on that note, happy flippin' Friday.
It couldn't have come on a better day.

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