Thursday, February 26, 2009

Meal ideas anyone?

OK we are getting down to the wire of when I will be leaving. I leave a week from tomorrow. My husband leaves a week and day after me. My goal is to have as much as possible packed before I leave. And I don't want to have to put off packing too much. So right now I'm trying to think about what we are going to eat.

I want meals that don't require too many pans and bowls to make. Breakfast isn't too hard. If we have cereal with juice every morning the only prep dish we need is a pitcher for the juice.

Lunch, could be PB and J. If I buy pre-made bread, all I need to make it is a knife and spoon (which can be plastic).

Dinners however are a bit more complicated. I am trying to come up with as many meals as I can that you can make with 1 frying pan, 1 sauce pan, and maybe a colander, cutting board and set of sharp knives. Or less. Also I want them to be meals that take as little prep as possible, because I am going to be busy all day, and not have a lot of energy for cooking at the end of the day. I might be asking for too much, but if you don't ask, you never learn right?

So if anyone has any meal suggestions, I would appreciate the input. And if you could give me basic instructions on making it (if it isn't something simple like to make spaghetti: you boil the noodles, and heat up the sauce), I would appreciate it.

So I need dinner ideas for this Saturday through next Thursday suitable for my whole family, and then meals for the next Friday through the Friday after that for my husband.

Thanks.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sleepless nights

So as I mentioned in a previous post Guy has been sick lately, and it has been disrupting sleep. Pretty much all of the members of our family have had their sleep interrupted. But last night was the worst. Hopefully it gets better soon.

We woke up to Guy screaming and coughing about 12:00 or so. Actually I think I woke up, I don't think Daddy was awake, because he said something about ice cream, so I think he was still dreaming. :)

I went and got Guy, as has become my nightly routine. I picked him up, got his pacifier and blanket, and took him to the rocking chair. We sat down and he kept screaming, he started thrashing around on my lap, and didn't want sit down. I tried standing up. He didn't want to stand. I tried walking with him. He didn't want to walk. He just kept screaming and kicking. Finally I was just so frustrated I was crying. I went and woke Daddy up, and told him I couldn't calm Guy down, it was his turn.

He took Guy in his arms, and rocked him there on the bed. I just stood there and watched. I wasn't sure I wanted to get back on the bed, because then I felt like I would be pushing all the responsibility off onto him, but also I didn't want to rock the bed at all and stir Guy again. I was sobbing, feeling so bad that my son was suffering so much, but wouldn't do what he could to calm down. It was so frustrating. I wanted him to calm down, but I couldn't make him. Finally Daddy got him to calm down, and got him back in bed.

About an hour later, I woke up to the same thing. I felt completely useless, so I sent Daddy in there to begin with. This time Daddy couldn't get him to settle down either. So I tried again. I couldn't get him to settle down. I was so frustrated, I couldn't figure out what to do. So I put him in the middle of our bed and tried to ignore him. He continued to scream and thrash around. The whole while I had been praying, and finally I had an idea. This night was the first night we hadn't given him Tylenol before he went to bed, because he didn't have a fever. I thought, maybe he is hurting somehow, and if we give him some Tylenol he will be able to settle down. So I suggested it, and we gave him some. He instantaneously settled down. So I don't know if he was hurting, and knew the Tylenol would help him feel better so he calmed down. Or if he just decided he felt better because he got some meds.

Anyway, I hope he does better tonight. Currently he is sitting on my lap trying to type on the keyboard, instead of going to bed. But he and Cinderella were keeping each other up, so I'm keeping him up till she goes to sleep, and then we will see what happens. I'm definitely ready to get more sleep.

Packing

Have you ever tried packing with toddlers? It is an adventure let me tell you. As soon as I get a box out, Guy is all over it. Climbing, trying to use it as a slide, stomping on it, etc. I'm sure you get the picture.

Then comes the part of trying to put things in the box. If I can distract them long enough for me to get something in the box, it doesn't take long before they have removed it from the box.

Also, unfortunately, Mama can't play with them as much when she is needing to pack, as she can normally. This is hard for my munchkins. And so consequently, when I try to pack, they are trying to get me to play with them. So I can put down my packing and play, or I can try to get them doing something else and pack, or I can play "Mama puts it in the box, and kids take it out."

Or I can send them to someones house while I pack. This works wonderfully, when I do it. The downside, is my kids have been sick most of this winter, and right now is no exception. So I can ask someone to take my kids, but doing so is not only giving them sick kids, who are whiny and coughing all over the place to deal with, but also asking them to take the risk of their kids getting sick. Also I feel like I am being unfair to ask the same person to watch my kids every day of the week so I can pack. Does this mean I don't do these things? No. I still do them, because I know I have to pack, and I have limited time. I just them feel extremely guilty for doing so.

One day, this will all be over. My kids will be healthy again, and my packing will all be done. Then I can move on to the next challenge that life has to offer.

Potty training again

I thought the next time I would be writing about potty training it would be with Guy. I was pretty sure that Cinderella was all the way there (other than at night time), but boy was I wrong.

She did really well. Until we flew to Grandma's house. She had an accident on the plane, but that one was understandable. It is kind of hard not to have an accident on the plane, being newly potty trained, when you can only have access to the restrooms at certain times. But then being at Grandma's house, she had at least one accident every day we were there. However that is understandable, because routine is different, and the bathrooms are in different places than she is used to. But even since we came home, I think there has only been one day that she made it through the whole day without an accident. I know that we are still progressed past when she wore pull ups. But I am getting really tired of having to clean up her mess off the floor. I have her do as much as she can, but really she can only do so much.

I'm sure it is because there is a lot of change happening right now, and I'm guessing she is feeling a lack of control, and if she uses the potty, is completely in her control. Even though it really frustrates me sometimes that it isn't in my control.

I look forward to the day, when she finally decides she is ready to be potty trained again. I know it could still be a long way in coming. Like not until after Sleeping Beauty is born. But one day that day will come, and I will be very grateful.

Valentines Preschool

OK so I know this happened a little while ago, but life has been busy, and if it wasn't for Sunday's, a day I make a day of rest, and refuse to pack, I probably wouldn't even be writing about this yet.

On February 13, I taught my last preschool lesson. Well the last one for the preschool we are currently involved in anyway. It was a Valentines Party. We traced the letter V, made heart shaped sugar cookies, and put heart shaped stickers on hearts cut of of construction paper (made valentines). The girls seemed to enjoy it, but of course they enjoyed playing most of all.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

When they are sick, it is Mama.

My kids seem to get sick at the most inconvenient times. Lately we are fighting a nasty cold. The kid have a dry cough, that just doesn't want to go away, and I can't come up with anything that really helps. And of course it is worst at night.

So my life has been kind of crazy lately, and having sick kids just adds to the craziness. I am trying to pack my apartment. I am trying to keep my house somewhat clean and presentable. I am trying to make sure my families needs for food and clean clothing are met. And I am trying to give my kids the attention they need. And unfortunately for all of us. When kids are sick, they need a lot more attention.

I feel bad asking anyone one to watch my kids during the day, so that I can get some packing done. Because they are sick. But I need the help, so I do it anyway. Sorry if I got your kids sick. :0(

At night time, they always seem to have the hardest time. Daddy is a really big help. Pretty much for the last 5 months or so, if the kids have a problem in the night, he gets up and takes care of it, so that I can get my much needed sleep. There is one exception to this rule however. When the kids are sick, it is Mama. That is who they want, and Daddy just doesn't know what to do to help them. I don't blame him. I think it is a mothers intuition, or maybe just some feminine instincts. But I have spent many a night lately getting up, picking up a crying Guy out of his bed. And taking him to the rocking chair. We then rock until he settles down. You see, he wakes himself up, then gets worked up, and as long as he is worked up, he is coughing really bad, and so he can't calm himself down. So it is Mama's job to calm him down.

Last night, in my not total awakedness, I created an even bigger dilemma for myself to deal with. I heard both kids coughing away, and not being able to sleep. So I sent Daddy to get them a drink of water. Well, neither kid was really interested in the water, and all it did was proceed to wake them up enough that they couldn't go back to sleep. So I had gotten Guy, and had taken him to the living room to rock. He had finally calmed down, but I could hear Cinderella coughing and crying for Mama. I wasn't sure how I was going to get Guy in his bed, and Cinderella calmed down, without re disturbing Guy. Thankfully the transfer seemed to work OK, and I had Guy in his bed, and Cinderella in the rocking chair. We rocked until she calmed down, then I took her back to bed. I got back in my bed, and was there for about 2 or 3 min. when I heard Guy bump his head on the wall or bed, and then start crying and coughing again. I quickly went and got him, so that he wouldn't wake up Cinderella again. As I was rocking him this time, I wondered how long this was going to keep up. I offered a prayer that we could all get the sleep we really needed, and thankfully once he settled down this time, they both went back to sleep and allowed me to do the same. Later in the night Guy came into our room, asking Daddy to help him find his "plug" and blow his nose. I was grateful that he was handling waking up this way this time, instead of crying. I could see that my prayer was being answered. So other than Daddy getting up to meet his needs at that point, we were able to sleep the rest of the night uninterrupted.

Sing Song Boy

So I woke up earlier than the kids this morning, and decided to write a few blog posts. We will see what I can get done, before I hear the pitter patter of little feet.

Guy loves music. He loves to sing. When ever I have music on he is singing along. It is so cute to listen to.
Last week at church. When we were getting ready to go home, the congregation that meets after us was having choir practice. Guy was enraptured. He stood in the door way of the chapel, just starring at them, and listening to the music. And all they were doing was warming up. They were making an "Ah" sound to scales. But he was fascinated.

On our way home from church, he sat in his car seat doing his own little variation to the warm ups he had heard. Seeing my son like this makes me glad that I have a home, that I try to have music be a part of. We don't have a piano, although one day we would like to get one. We don't do musical instruments. But Mama and Daddy sing a lot of the time. And we often have fun, uplifting music playing in the background when we are trying to work, or clean up. So it hasn't taken a lot of effort on my part. But I can see how it has influenced the lives of my children.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Just a quick note

Plenty is happening here, and I have tons to blog about. Unfortunately I don't have tons of time. Between packing, being a mom for my kids, and house hunting (not to forget not letting my self overdo or get stressed out), I am pretty busy. So if you don't hear much from me for a while, it is because I don't really have time to sit down and write.

An update on our house situation. The sellers of the house decided to go with the other offer, so we are back to the drawing board looking for a house.

Cinderella had totally digressed in her potty training. She was pretty much there, but going out of town and the stress of moving have thrown her off, and I think we have only had one day in the past 2 weeks without an accident. However that was yesterday, so maybe things are getting better again. (For the moment at least).

Guy has been sick, and wants Mama all the time. And if he doesn't want Mama, and I think I can get something packed, he is climbing all over my boxes, or emptying them as fast as I can fill them. So he makes packing interesting.

I think that is a quick run down on our status. I've got to run. I'm not sure when I will have a chance to write again, so hope you enjoyed this brief update.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What a memory

Cinderella's memory astounds me sometimes. A long time ago, at least 6 months, maybe more, we were shopping at Costco, when Cinderella made a comment that we needed to buy the playground they had on display there. Daddy responded that we don't have a house, so we don't have a place to put a playground, so we can't buy it.

Well today, she commented that because we are talking about buying a house, we need to go to Costco and buy the playground that they have there, and put it in our new back yard.


This picture was on the back of my boarding pass envelope from our latest trip. Cinderella discovered it, and told me that it looked like fun and she wanted to go there. I took a look to see what she was talking about. Acknowledged that it looked like fun, but told her it was really far away, and we would have to have lots of money to go there.

Today while doing our taxes, Daddy said, "I guess I make too much money to qualify for earned income credit." Suddenly Cinderella pipes up with, "now we can go to that place I wanted to go to!" She then ran off, and came back waving the picture in the air.

It is so amazing what they pick up on, and remember. I guess you always have to watch what you say.

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's the lack of communication that gets to me.

Have you ever played the game telephone or gossip? You sit in a circle and the first person whispers a message into their neighbors ear, and the message then moves around the circle, and the end message is completely different than the one that started? A message like "Can you jump rope with me?" turns into "Kangaroos jump in Tennessee." You can see how the sound of the message is similar, but what it is communicated is completely different than what the original intent was.

That is how I feel like this house buying process is going. With one big exception. I don't get to hear what the end message is. You would think the message shouldn't change that much. We told our agent what we wanted. We watched him put it into a written contract, that we signed. He then faxed the contract to the sellers agent. So you would think the seller would know exactly what we want, and there should be no confusion right? Wrong. We were supposed to hear back from them as to weather they would take our offer or give us a counter offer by 5:00 on Wednesday. We received a call from our agent shortly after that time saying he hadn't heard anything from the other agent, other than that they had received our offer. He then went to work trying to find out what was going on. After this the best he could tell us that in his opinion the sellers had not had the deadline communicated to them. So now I want to know, what else wasn't communicated to them? What is their agent hiding trying to make a bigger profit for himself, or because he doesn't really know what he is doing?

Then yesterday, we got a call from our agent telling us there had been another offer, this one a for sale by owner offer, which was allowed by the sellers contract. However as far as we can tell this offer is just verbal. However it is high enough that it matches the amount the seller would get if we offered full price. We have also been told that the seller is interested in our offer, and is preparing a counter offer. Which by the way, we have yet to see. And that we will have a deadline to let them know, if we will take the counter offer, by Monday. Is it just me or is there something smelly about this whole deal?

Now I like this house, and I feel good about this house, but I'm not in love with this house. If it falls through I know there are other houses out there. But I am in love with the timing that this house offers. If this one falls through, I won't be able to do any in person looking until the beginning of March. Which will delay how soon we can get into a house considerably. I would like to be settled or at least start moving in, by the time my husband starts his new job on the 1st of April. And if that isn't possible, I would at least like to be moved in to the point that I'm not living out of boxes by the time the baby comes in May. So I am struggling with not being frustrated.

I know that it is all in the Lord's hands, and if this is supposed to happen it will. And if it doesn't, there is something else out there for us. I just have a hard time believing that sometimes when I am stuck waiting, wondering what the seller has even been told.

Oh well this too shall pass.

Tip of the day

If you forget to put the mixing blade in your bread maker, you won't get bread. You will get baked goop that never mixed. Whoops!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Saturday- Making an offer, and a trip to the Temple

On Saturday we went and looked a a couple more houses that aren't worth mentioning, and then we decided to make an offer on house #2. From this point on, I have been very glad we have an agent. The only down side I see is that we have had no direct communication from the sellers of the home. I hate having to go through a chain of 4 people to get anything done. I wish I could just sit down with the current owners, with our agents there to cover the legal stuff, and talk it all out. However being long distance, that isn't really much of an option anyway. We should hopefully hear back sometime today as to whether or not they accept our offer, or want to negotiate. I'm guessing they will want to negotiate. We offered $10,000 less than their asking price.

We got done making the offer just in time to go back to my parents house, change our clothes, eat some dinner, and go with my brother and his girlfriend to the Draper Temple open house. This is when a temple has just been built, before it is dedicated they allow people to go in the temple on a tour, so that people can better understand what a Temple is, and why it is so important to the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I really enjoyed going, but wished that (except for the fact that it was like 9:00 at night,) we had the kids with us.

Friday: House hunting and a play

On Friday, my husband joined me at looking at the homes I had liked from the previous day. His sister joined us.

We viewed them in the same order at the previous day, and my husband seemed to have similar opinions to mine on houses one and two.

That evening we went and spoke to a loan officer to find out more info on getting pre-qualified. Then we went out to dinner and to a play to celebrate our anniversary.

We went to a theater that specializes in spoofs. The play we went and saw was called "Home School Musical". I'm sure you can guess what that was a spoof of. I have to say, even though I haven't really seen all of "High School Musical," I still got a kick out of the play. It was very funny.

A house hunt: Houses #3-6

I don't know that there was much to mention about the other houses we looked at. They didn't really strike me.

House 3- There was some miscommunication and the owner wasn't expecting us. So we didn't see any more than the front room of the house.

House 4- A short sale, (meaning it is being foreclosed and you are trying to buy it before it does. This can take quite a while from what I understand. We don't really have a while right now with Sleeping Beauty coming in May). Would need paint and minor work before moving in.

House 5- Foreclosed and trashed. I was willing to give it a look, and even tried to look past holes in the walls, and carpet and linoleum that would need to be replaced. But when I saw mold in the master bathroom, I was done looking at that one.

House 6- This house was small. It had 4 bedrooms, but everything in the house was on a really small scale. The hallways were too narrow for more than one person to walk down it at a time. The bathrooms were narrow, and the living area was small. Other than that, the house seemed nice and in good repair.

After we saw house number 6, we ended our day of house hunting. My husband was flying in that evening, so I made appointments with our agent to bring my husband by homes 1 and 2 the next day.

A house hunt: House #2

Then we moved on to house #2.

This house was one that hadn't really appealed to me much just by looking at the outside. However the back yard had appealed to my husband, and the pictures of the kitchen appealed to me. So I figured it was worth it to take a look. And I am glad I did.

Just walking into this house you could tell it had a nice feel about it. It is a house that is almost as old as me, but you could tell that the owners have taken really good care of it. It has only had one set of owners, and everything appeared to be in good condition. It had a nice sized living room, kitchen and dinning area, and family room downstairs. This house also had large bookcases in the family room that the current residents are planning on leaving behind.

There were a few downsides to this house as well.

There were 6 bedrooms, but they were smaller rooms. The master was large enough to fit probably any size of bed comfortably, but wasn't much larger than that. All of the other bedrooms are probably not big enough to fit more than one twin bed in each, except for maybe in the instance of a crib or toddler bed. But because there are 6 rooms we felt like that was workable.

There are 2 bathrooms. One upstairs and one down. Neither are really large, but they aren't really small either. The upstairs one is accessible off the hallway and master bedroom.

There is not much space provided for food storage. The area under the stairs had shelves that can be used, and there were a lot of cabinets in the kitchen. But there was no pantry or room that could be used conveniently for storage. To make up for this however, there were a lot shelves in the garage. Not a place you would want to store food, but you could probably store just about anything else you want to store, in there.

There were also quite a few trees in both the front and back yard that looked like a decorative crab apple, that could have the potential to make quite a mess in the fall and winter.

Structurally, the house had aluminum siding, which isn't one of the best options, but I don't know that it is one of the worst either.

A house hunt: House #1

Our agent sent me some house listing to look over and I let him know which ones we were interested in. He then set up appointments for me to look at those homes on my second day there. My mother and sister joined me in my house hunt. We started with a house that was just two doors down from where my grandparents live. This house had a lot of things I had liked about it before even really seeing it. Of course the location being as close as it is to family was a plus. Also this house was one that my grandfather had built, so I knew that it had been built well. Also looking at the pictures that were posted online, it had a lot of features that really appealed to us in a house. The one downside that we could foresee was that they were asking quite a bit more that what we really felt like we could afford.

Going into this house, I was really impressed. It was really well taken care of. It had a really nice living area. Great kitchen cabinets, built in bookcases, and tons of storage. It had a work room off the garage that was really nice as well. The backyard was really well landscaped, and had a sandbox and swings. Then we looked at the basement. It was clear that the people who lived there previously had not spent a lot of time in the basement for a long time. There was one room that was in really good condition. The office. The other rooms were nice rooms, but would need a lot of work to make it livable for my family. So it was a house that would work, but would also require a lot of work.

A house hunt: A real estate agent?

All of our married life we have lived in apartments and have finally reached a point in our lives where we are really tired of renting and feel like we can afford to buy a house. However we don't know much about buying a house, and so it has been a learning experience for us.

We weren't sure at first if we wanted to go with a real estate agent or not. We didn't want to have to pay extensive costs, but at the same time, there is only so much you can do by yourself long distance in the process of buying a home. We were referred to my husbands cousin's husband (did you follow that?) who is an agent, and decided it might be beneficial to go through him. Now that I am back home again, and needing to do everything long distance, I am glad that we chose to go through him.

A vacation?

I think it was last November that we booked the tickets. We had been talking for a while about my husband looking for a job closer to family, so that we could maybe have more family support and interaction with baby #3 on the way. We found a decent deal (for today's prices) on airline tickets and decided to book a flight for the first part of February. We thought that this way my husband could possibly schedule job interviews for the week of our vacation, and the kids and I could visit with family.

Well it turned out that things didn't quite go how we had envisioned. My husband started his job search at the turn of the year, and we had a couple of companies show immediate interest in him. Companies that didn't want to wait around until February to interview. So as it turned out, he was offered a job before we even left home, and didn't need a week to do job interviews. Also at this time we decided it would be beneficial for him to not use so much time off. So we changed our vacation plans a little bit. The kids and I still went as planned, but my hubby just came for the weekend, so that we could celebrate our anniversary and his birthday a bit belated with my family.

So what did I do for the vacation? I did a house hunt. Overall it was good that we went, but it wasn't the vacation that I had planned on. Oh well, I guess everything works out in the Lords way.

Stay tuned for more blog posts with more in depth info on the different elements of our "vacation".

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm back again

OK so I've been away looking for a house, and visiting family. The kids and I just got back today. So I will try to get some updates posted as soon as possible. Just so you didn't wonder what happened.