Archive for the ‘Sound Off’ Category

Yard Sale Anyone?

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Okay everybody – CRINGE and release… 

We have been busting our butts this past week getting ready for our mondo yard sale tomorrow.  A part of selling our house is purging our stuff.  We are finally getting rid of the excess from our single days, such as my dinner plates, his glasses, my keyboards, his mice, etc…  We want to start our life in our new home as a family with things that represent us.

Luckily for me, the hubby likes Asian things.  I get to keep my collection of tchockes (yay!) and he gets to keep his video games and systems.  Other than that, it’s time to grow up…  Another lucky thing is that Evelyn is old enough to ditch most of her “baby” items.  I am so glad that we had them 17 months apart vs. years apart.  We don’t have to haul baby gear to our next place.

As if I didn’t have enough to do, I organized a community yard sale with my neighbors.  My thinking is that the more sellers I can advertise, the more buyers we can bring in.  It also helps to have all my neighbors involved so they’ll move their cars out of the way and not complain about the craziness.  I normally pull in 50-70 people all by myself.  I can only imagine it will be nutso with 4 families and advertising.

Most of our stuff has been priced.  The tables have already been setup outside.  The boxes are sorted and categorized.  Now its time to go to sleep!  The alarm is set for 6am – wish us luck!

Upside Down World

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Upside Down World courtesy of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street

There’s so many strange things to see! (laugh)
There’s upside-down people who walk down the street
With upside-down shoes on their upside-down feet
In an upside-down world

There’s upside-down clocks that make everyone late!
Upside-down food that won’t stay on your plate
In an upside-down world (laugh)
In an upside-down world!

There’s upside down everything all over town
It all looks so funny that I’ve got to frown
‘Cause a frown is a smile when it’s turned upside-down
In an upside-down, upside-down world.

When you find yourself upside down, you just get right back up and keep on going.  That’s what Oliver has been teaching us these past few weeks. 

This is my first blog post since our world was turned upside down a few weeks ago.  The hubby was offered a job on a Monday, he turned in his notice on a Tuesday, and on a Friday he was done.  Just like that, 4 years – poof – were all over.  We then spent a week writing our “honey do” list for selling the house and interviewing contractors to come out and do some serious outside work.  The next week, the hubby went out of town for training for his new job.  I was left with the kiddos for an entire week – and we survived!  lol…  I was also interviewing daycares, schools, and programs for Oliver and packing up our stuff each night for moving.  I was a bit burnt out by the time the weekend came.

This week, the hubby has officially started his new job and my son has started school.  Our schedules have turned completely upside down and we are scrambling to figure things out.  For the first time in 4 years, the hubby is home before 5pm each night and we are eating dinner around 6pm.  We used to eat at 730pm or 8pm and Oliver would go to bed at 830pm or 9 o’clock.  Now the little dude has to be at school by 730AM, a full hour before he normally wakes up!  Poor Evelyn is doing the best she can, sleeping and eating when she can until we figure things out.

It always amazes me how deeply set we are in our routines.  In just a few short weeks, our world has turned upside down and I am happy for the change.  Yes, it’s scary, it’s stressful, and confusing.  On the other hand, there is excitement in the air.  We are looking at our lives through a new pair of glasses.  Where are we going?  What are our goals? How are we going to get there?  Do we really need 7 pairs of scissors?  Why are we storing unopened and 3 years expired glucosamine tablets?  Just how many places are we going to stash pens, pencils, and markers that are so dried out the tips are hard as rocks?

When our world rights itself again, which it will – it always does, I hope all our excess baggage will have fallen out.  It’s a fresh start for everyone!

Have you been through a major change recently?  How did you handle it?

It’s Not All Fun and Games

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

The hubby is getting a taste of my daily routines this week.  He is off this week while waiting for his new job to begin on Monday.  Needless to say, he has been surprised at how much work it takes to raise the kids.  I went to the post office today and came home to find him frazzled with 2 meltdowns on his hands.  He looked at me and said, “I don’t know how you do it.”  I told him that this year I want something big and shiny for Mother’s Day and it better not be a toaster! :-)

We are slowly cleaning the debris away from the storm.  We are expecting more rain tomorrow, so we haven’t been raking too hard.  The hubby has been working on our brick path again.  He’s also been prepping the front porch for paint.  Hopefully, we can do a final sand tomorrow and get a coat of paint on before the rain.  It’s been nice to have an extra pair of hands around the house.  I’ve actually gone out twice now without the kids!  Miracle of miracles!

Changes are a comin’ for this little family, I can feel it in my bones…

Waiting For a Tornado

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

On Saturday we spent all morning waiting for a so-called “massive storm system” to come and scrapped our outdoor plans for the day.  By 230pm we were glued to the TV as the storm approached our county and a large tornado had been spotted on the ground. 

Hmmm… the flashing banner on the bottom of the TV screen said we had been upgraded from a tornado watch to a tornado warning.  The tornado was southwest of the city and headed to Raleigh.  Then news came of other tornadoes and the tornado cells seemed to be headed straight for us.  The meteorologists tracking the storm said that the residents of Raleigh were in imminent danger and that we should take cover now.  And then the power went out…

With the words “…extremely dangerous and life threatening situation” echoing in our heads, the hubby and I switched into autopilot.  We gathered up all the cushions from the couch and lined the tub of our guest bathroom, which is located in the direct center of our house away from all exterior walls.  We already had our emergency lighting handy and we rounded up the kids to put them in the tub.  Our battery powered radio has a programmed emergency weather channel and we listened as the alerts rolled off for one tornado after another.

The hubby grabbed our important papers, I got several wool blankets, we hauled in the emergency kit, and pulled on shoes.  Then we waited.

Darkness descended very rapidly around the house.  We were already without lights, but could faintly see from the sunlight coming through the windows.  Within minutes, it was dark – very dark – and the storm hit us.  Rain pounded down on the house and the wind whipped it sideways into the windows.  We could hear cracking and snapping as branches around us broke.  Occasionally, there was a loud bang or crunching noise, but no freight train roared by our house.

The brunt of the storm passed over us within 15 minutes – it was moving fast – and just like that, it was over.  The sun was back, the wind died down, and the rain steadily dropped from the sky. 

The house was warm, muggy and humid.  The kids played in the living room, while the hubby went out to assess the situation.  Luckily, we were spared any damage.  Our neighbors had a few fallen branches and one down the street had his porch crushed by a tree.  

The hubby drove out to find ice in hopes that we could save some food from the fridge in our cooler (I had JUST gone grocery shopping the day before the storm).  He reported that all the traffic lights were out on the main artery and that there was no power for miles.  Sirens were heard nonstop for probably 2 – 3 hours as emergency crews were dealing with one thing after another.

As night approached, we broke out the candles.  Luckily, I’m a candle freak and have dozens upon dozens of them!  Without electricity, the neighborhood was eerily quiet and dark.  As the hours passed by, we sat and talked with each other. 

We worried about looters and robbers breaking in to our house.  We worried about all our food in our chest freezer going bad.  We worried about the kids waking up into pitch blackness and silence and being scared.  On the other hand, we were grateful that we were passed over.  We were proud that the kids were unaffected by the drama and were sleeping peacefully in their beds.  The electricity thankfully came back on around 3am.

Ninety-three tornado sightings were reported in NC Saturday.  Several of them were in Raleigh.  We found out today that a tornado had touched down a mile away, on the other side of the main thoroughfare, and had killed 3 children.  The kids, ages 3 – 9, were put into the bathtub for safe keeping and a tree fell on their home.  A 6 month old baby girl suffered head injuries and is in critical condition today.  My heart breaks for that family.

We were lucky this weekend.  The hubby spent today cleaning up debris outside.  I took the opportunity to clean the fridge really, really good before I put back what we had saved in the cooler.  My poor garden was flattened and I spent some time gingerly digging lettuce leaves out of the mud…life goes on.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Do you see anything wrong in this picture?  Apparently, the hubby didn’t either.  He looks at her and says, “Is that a new outfit?”

Yes, her onesie is buttoned over her pants.  I thought that’s how all the babies were doing it nowadays.   The hubby said I’m not allowed to dress her anymore…

And yes, she wore this all day long! :-) (this is what you get when momma doesn’t get her sleep)

SAHM one year anniversary

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Wow! It has officially been one year since I left my job to be a stay at home mom and a semi-regular blogger.  I traveled to yesteryear to refresh my memory on why I left the work force

I quote myself, “Instead of thinking of everything we will do without, we are thinking of everything we will gain – peace of mind about the baby, less stress, more sleep, more family time and more time to have a cleaner house and better meals.”  This was written without the knowledge that at that very moment, I was pregnant with Evelyn. 

Would things have been different if I had known?  Probably not.  My baby, Oliver, needed to be home with me.  I couldn’t take one more weekend of him being sick or another hospital visit.  (It’s funny that we are both sick right this moment as I type).  I did get more sleep, for a month or two at least, and we had loads of family time.  No more dinner in front of the TV and our clothes managed to get clean every week! 

I can’t say there was less stress.  Transitioning from being a career woman to a stay at home mom was difficult and has its challenges even today.  I give working moms a million kudos for being able to work and take care of your little ones and I give stay at home moms a million kudos for being able to work and take care of your little ones.  There have been times this past year where I have never worked harder in my life to keep the family going.  This must be why they say that you can’t truly appreciate your mother until you become one.  (I love you mom!)

And then there was this little blog that I started… Out of all the things I have written about can you guess what my top 3 posts are?  Make your own foaming handsoap, make your own liquid laundry detergent, and make your own powder laundry detergent!  I’ve pulled some data from this past year on the different things people are typing in search engines to come across my blog.  Soap, soap, and more soap wins hands down.  People find 2Pennies because they want to be clean, clean, clean!  What to do with Fels-Naptha, Kirk’s Castile, washing soda, and borax are repeat searches.  Foaming hand soap dispensers, clogs, and recipes are top searches.

Here are a few unique search engine queries:

thai basil plants fort walton beach
study of mandalas
blog on saving money on hunting clothes and equipment
pregnancy cheese
tvp dry lbs per cup
1lb of tvp is equal to how many cups
tvp conversion for 1lb of ground meat
roasted whole 6 lb chicken cooking time 400 degrees
can you roast a chicken upside down halfway through cooking
do melissa and doug toys sell at consignment sales
$12 banana box pallet
squeeze a booger out of lincoln noise
picture of rubbing pennies
napping breastfeeding

I don’t know how some of those people came to 2Pennies via those searches, but I hope I helped the rest!  I was tickled to see the TVP queries, as I had worked hard on the TVP conversions.

To celebrate 2Pennies2Rub’s anniversary, I am hosting a giveaway next month.  In honor of my most read post, I will be giving away a (wait for it…) – Suds Pump from Pampered Chef!  It’s a foaming hand soap dispenser with markings built in for the soap and water measurements. 

Clean on my friends and stay tuned for the giveaway in April!

Blowout on the Highway

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

This was our rear passenger side tire.  Totally shredded, both sides.

My hubby and son were heading out to borrow a power washer from a friend and traveling about 70mph on the interstate when, BLAM!!! the tire blows out.  They were able to safely pull off on the shoulder.

He calls me to tell me that Oliver is freaking out being strapped alone in his carseat as cars and trucks thunder by while daddy is changing the tire.  I got dressed and packed Evelyn into our other car to go rescue Oliver.  Poor Oliver’s eyes were wide as saucers when we showed up and he was ready to get the heck out of the van.  What an adventure we had!

From start to finish it took about 5 hours to change the tire, drive to a repair shop, swap out carseats and screaming, hungry, and sleepy children, and get the van back to the house.  I left the hubby at the shop and he managed to talk them down $20 on the new tire.  It never hurts to ask for a discount, especially if you are the only customer.

Needless to say, I didn’t get to plant my lettuce, radishes, and onions today.  :-(  On the plus side, we made a trip to Lowes and Home Depot to buy small holly bushes.  Lowes had them for 6 bucks each, Home Depot had the same ones on sale for $2.50 each.  We bought 6 of them and will go back tomorrow for another 6.  We always do a price comparison between those two stores when we go out to buy something from either one.  One of them is always less expensive than the other for various items.

Let’s hope tomorrow is a better day and we get our seeds and plants in the ground!

Sick House

Monday, March 7th, 2011

So I never got the garden posts up.  All my kiddos are sick, sick, sick (including my hubby).  We sat for my friend’s son this weekend while they were having their baby and he came with a cold from daycare.  Ahhh… I don’t miss those daycare colds.  Oliver had one long perpetual cold the entire time he was in daycare.  It took 2 weeks for him to get healthy after I took him out.

The hubby was too sick to go to work today and the kids have been miserable.  I slept on the floor in Oliver’s room last night, because he kept waking up crying.  I’m off to cram in some sleep before Evelyn wakes up to eat again.

Somehow I am not sick yet.  Keep your fingers crossed that I make it through this week!

Project 52: Glimpse Into Motherhood

Sound Off: Family night, gardening, and babysitting

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

It was First Friday at our favorite kiddie hangout (meaning they were open late) and we squeezed in another family outing.  Oliver and Barry took off leaving Evelyn and I in the dust. 

It is so nice to have some time with Evelyn in the baby area.  Normally, I’m toting her around in a sling while chasing after Oliver.  It’s nice when the hubby can join us.

Evelyn is 4 months old now and can sit up pretty well with support.  She also flipped herself over this past week for the first time and scoots herself all over the floor when she has tummy time.

She’s a cutie!  I can’t help kissing her chubby cheeks all the time.  I have to get them in now, before she doesn’t want them anymore.

Quintuplets!  More cheeks to kiss!

With all the activities that they have setup for kids, Oliver loves climbing the stairs…again and again and again.  We love that he passes out at night after the work out!

I am so glad we were able to get to Marbles last night.  February sort of turned into a rough month for us.  Tons of appointments kept the family on the go.  We also worked hard outside on the weekends, which left me little time to recharge.  Normally, the hubby takes care of the kids so I can recover from the week.  When we have a honey-do list, its business as usual for me and I get really run down after several weeks of little sleep.  If you ever see a drop in posts on this blog, you know I’ve been hit with a ton of bricks and need to sleep it off.

We’ve also been watching our friend’s son, while they’ve been having their second child – Congratulations!!!  As you can imagine, it’s been crazy juggling all three kids.  On the plus side, we aren’t on standby anymore and I can take the phone out from under my pillow! :-)

I’ve got the photos for my garden posts lined up and ready to go.  If the kids cooperate tomorrow, hopefully I can get them up on the blog.  Until then, hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Sound Off: Dig, dig, dig

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Brrr… it’s both hot and cold today!  The temps were in the 60s, but the wind made it feel much colder.  Evelyn got to wear her teddy bear hat out and about in the yard. 

We’ve been busy, busy around here.  Our close friends are having a baby any day now and we will be watching their toddler while they are in the hospital.  We’ve been preparing for the sleep over as much as they’ve been preparing for their new baby!  I feel like we are all on the babywatch together as we wait for the newest little one.

We’ve also kicked our gardening plans into high gear this weekend.  The hubby has been having fun with the chain saw.  R.I.P. my dear chestnut tree…  Tomorrow we will break ground on the spring garden.  We went to Lowes and Home Depot today to buy some bushes to plant and some seed starting supplies and they had zip!  Whad-up with that?  They said we were 2 weeks too early.  I told them to consult the Farmer’s Almanac and get with the program.

We are also building a 2 tier light tray in our dining room for my seedlings this weekend.  We’ll be posting a tutorial on that next week if you want to build your own.  Oh yeah – I just found out in the blogosphere that all my “how to” posts and “do it yourself” posts should be called “tutorials”, because I am actually teaching you how to do something.  That seems to be the correct blogging lingo and I’ll probably go back and re-name some previous posts.  Seriously, how to string cherios will now be a tutorial…

Next week will be green week for 2pennies – all about growing stuff indoors and out: light trays, starting seeds, digging gardens, laying soaker hoses, planting the spring crop, trimming and planting shrubberies, etc… 

Do you have a green thumb?  Tell me some of the things you will be growing this year.

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