Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekend update

I've been spending the week trying to catch up on sleep and on paperwork.

I'm almost there on the paperwork.

Sleep? I'll never catch up on it at the rate I've been going.

I did start my hallway closet organization project yesterday. I completely emptied it out, washed the walls and shelf (it was gross - hadn't been done since we moved in. Yuck), and put in the hanging garment organizers.

I'm thinking I could move most of my general cleaning supplies (minus any chemicals so the kiddies can't get into it) into this closet as well, but need to find something to organize them with.

I'm hoping to have more time to post later (maybe adding pictures?), but otherwise, don't count on hearing from me until Monday. I still have to finish my work for my job, plus I need to let T get his weekend work done (weekly pellet stove cleaning, mix up some pellets and corn, he needs to shovel off the roof a bit, etc - stuff he can't do alone with Monkey).

Did I really think life was going to slow down for winter? Really?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lunch time ramblings

Today, it's actually nap time ramblings.

My week is going to feel off all week long because of T's adjustment in our work schedules again this week.

I got my packet from the State of Maine. As of February 1st, I can officially sell things online as a retailer with the State of Maine. Yes, I wanted to vomit when I opened the packet, too. Then I got over it, put it aside and told myself that I've got to finish the insane pile of paperwork I've been drowning under since the beginning of the month before I can do anything with etsy.

The sick we were fighting this weekend was only extremely terrible for a day. T's been back to himself since Sunday (though he was feeling better on Saturday, he did need some cold meds to help him through the day). Sunday, I felt moderately better (after the long, horrible, disgusting day we spent in Portland/Freeport on Saturday. What was I thinking?). Monday I was 95%. And I now just have a runny nose and congestion left over. Monkey didn't seem to get it as badly as we did. She was still happy, laughing and running around. Though she did have a runny snotty nose that prompted 2 nights of Benadryl to help her breath/sleep. We'll see tonight how her nose is at bedtime, but I'm thinking if she does need it tonight, it's probably the last night.

I have work to do so need to take advantage of the rest of nap time. I've made a lot of progress with the paperwork this month, but still have a lot to finish by the end of this week. ACK!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

This week's new recipe

I'm a day early because T's schedule has me in the office on Monday this week.

Last week, I made the Scallop Chowder with White Beans and Leeks. It was extremely easy to make. I found it alright, but I wasn't floored by it. T enjoyed it and Monkey was not impressed (though she did enjoy the scallops!). So, while it's not something I'll make on a regular basis, it is something I'll make again.

The Fried Chicken Rollups were extremely pleasing to our taste buds. They were a lot more high maintenance than I like for a meal, though. By high maintenance, I mean they required my standing over the pan the entire time, start to finish. I prefer cooking things I can step away from if I need to (you know, frying a steak you can pick up the kitchen before you flip it kind of deal). So, this too is something I won't be making on a regular basis, but it will be made again.

Now on to this week. We'll be going to our Hannaford Fresh magazine again (and there's only 1 recipe this week).

T's choice for this week is a Beef Bourguignon. It sounds really good and fairly easy. We all know how much I like easy!


A shout out

This is a quick weekend posting. T was sick the last part of the week, I started it Friday night and Monkey started today. It's a miserable head cold, plus some (I spent some time hugging the toilet last night - hopefully Monkey doesn't have to deal with that part, too).

As you may (or may not) have noticed, I have a new header! If you hadn't already seen it, I'd like to draw your attention to it now.

This design was done by one of my many "imaginary" Internet friends, Angela.

She runs Save the Date Originals and has recently begun dabbling in blog title graphics. She has a true talent. So check her out!

On that note, I need to go finish working so I can go die on the couch imagining the Nyquil I can not take.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cold weather goal updates:

My original goals are posted here: (Part 1 and Part Deux).

3) We've been enjoying home made bread for a week now. Most recipes I've found make 2 loaves. I'll need to make more over the weekend.

4) T pulled out the snowshoes Tuesday! He needed to start his snowmobile so he broke trail in our 16 inches of snow from Sunday night/Monday morning. We then went around a couple times pulling Monkey in her sled. She loved it. And I got some exercise! Our snowshoes are now in the front shed, where I can reach them on my own.

7) I want to start focusing on the basement room again a little. I've pushed it aside a bit. My Grandma D offered me a new carpet remnant to use down there, so I'm just waiting for my parents to visit and bring it to me (hint hint Mom! haha). I need T's help hanging a cabinet above my desk (too heavy for preggo to haul around on her own, I suppose). And the rest is just organization, really. I want to pull the futon in there (again, need T for that) but we'll wait for the carpet. And I need to pull out the baby items we've been storing (high chair, pack n play, etc). A couple hours of work, really, and the room could be "finished."

9) I'm showered and semi-beautified daily before T gets home from work. Or before I leave the house, if I happen to be going out for errands.

I love progress. No matter how small. Kind of makes me feel a little better after my Negative Nelly post yesterday.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lunch time ramblings

It's that time of week again!

My ski pants are too tight in the waist. I discovered this yesterday when T got home early from work so pulled out Monkey's sled and our snowshoes. We started working on beating down the trail around our yard. I had to leave my ski pants unbuttoned (the old rubber band trick might work, but I'd think out in the cold, the rubber band would just snap). My Mom says she may have an extra pair of my Dad's (or even brother's) lying around at home. She's going to check tonight. Cross your fingers because I hate to buy a pair for just a few months of use.

I feel like I'm not being productive enough. Monkey always distracts me in the middle of anything I'm working on. Monkey's not the problem, though. I just never have the ambition to get back into it whenever we finish playing. I do try to involve her so she's "helping" me so I can get more done, but it doesn't always work. Yes, I still have two bridesmaid dresses sitting in my closet, yet to be listed on Craigslist. I did finally manage to get pictures of them, though (see? That half finished thing because I never got back to it).

I really wish we could put new cabinets in our kitchen. It's so low priority, though. We're talking about it. We need to price it out. But I don't think we should be doing it this year. A new computer should be tops on the expensive "want" list.

My to-do list never seems to shrink. This goes back to the not being productive enough.

I hate how I so completely run out of energy by dinner time. T gets home from work and I'm almost a puddle of goo on the floor from lack of energy. Maybe it's because making dinner is such a big job now. Monkey is standing on her chair "helping" - and it requires my having to step around the chair, push the chair back when she's reaching too closely to a hot pan, grabbing for the knife just as she wraps her hands around the handle, etc. It's more of a work out than going to the gym. (Again - she's not the problem. I just need to learn how to get us set up so I get less of a workout).

I guess I'm having a Negative Nelly day today.

Ok - here's some positive.

Weather permitting, we want to take Monkey to Portland this weekend. We aren't doing any planned traveling until fall, so this will be a nice day out of town.

Also, again, weather permitting, we are taking Monkey to the 100 Mile Wilderness Race because we won't be going to Can-Am this year. We really think she'd enjoy seeing the dogs. And this year, it won't interrupt nap time (meaning, she won't fall asleep the minute we get into town to see the dogs!).

My sandwich is gone. Time to get back to work.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Home clear out

T's schedule is off this week, thanks to some re-certification classes he has to take. So I'm in the office on Wednesday instead. Next week, it's Monday. Everything should be back to normal after!

So I'm doing my normal Wednesday "Clear it Out" work today.

The two bridesmaid dresses sitting in my spare closet are still sitting there. Today, it's time to list them on craigslist.

I dug out the box of Precious Moments we've had in storage since we bought the house. It's time to ship them on out. So I've spent the past hour looking them up on ebay and deciding on a listing price. I need to figure out how much shipping would be and then list them.

I also found the graduation gift I had given T when we graduated college. It's a hand carved likeness of him. The glue used to attach a syringe and stethoscope has since dissolved, so I need to pull out the glue gun today to fix it. I want to have it fixed and on display when T gets home from work tonight!

Baby steps. Eventually my house will be organized and clutter free.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New recipes for the week

That's correct. You're reading correctly. We've been having such success with our new recipes, we're going to try two recipes this week.

Last week's Shrimp Nests were a hit. Monkey loves pasta and peppers, but I wasn't sure how she'd like the shrimp. Her exposure to seafood has been fairly limited. Now that we're well past the 1 year mark and my worries about seafood allergies are gone, we've been letting her see it more (we had lobster in November as a big treat one night - I let her try mine and she spit it out!). In the past week alone, she's tried haddock, shrimp and then clams at GFT's house Friday night. She enjoyed each very much.

So this week, we're going to introduce her to scallops. I should also disclose that seafood has been my big craving lately with my pregnancy. AND, I'm trying to add a dish a week to our diet so we get more of the good nutrients found in fish/seafood. I may even suck it up and get over my dislike for salmon to make it once or twice, too (don't count on it, though!).

Hannaford puts out Fresh, a bimonthly magazine full of recipes. It's $2 - or free if you spend $25 or more. We just got the January/February 2009 edition and there were quite a few recipes to pique our interest. Scallop Chowder with White Beans and Leeks is on the menu for this week.

The boys across the street came to see T one day. They were selling magazine subscriptions for charity. None of the magazines on the list interested T (or those that did, we already receive). Since it was for a cause, he wanted to find SOMETHING to help them out. Then he noticed Every Day with Rachael Ray. We received our second copy last week. Again, there were quite a few recipes to catch our attention.

My choice for this week are the Fried Chicken Rollups (I had a hard time finding this one online to share!). Chicken and cheese? How could we possibly go wrong with this one? I just need to figure out what kind of veggies to serve on the side to round out the meal.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

I've said it before

And I'll say it again.

I'm chicken shit.

My good friend T (I'm going to call her GFT from here on to differentiate between her and hubby T) mentioned last night we could buy a pattern and MAKE Monkey's flower girl dress for her wedding.

I gaped at her like a deer in headlights and stammered a bit, I'm sure.

Because, as always, I doubt my abilities.

The entire drive home, I mentally yelled at myself (it was a long 20 minute drive).

Mental yelling: "Seriously? Your mother was a seamstress! She made your clothes as a child. She made HER clothes while you were a child. She taught you how to sew, which you've been doing since you were tall enough to reach the pedal! You can't handle making a dress WITH A PATTERN? The worst that can happen is you screw it up. So then you buy another yard of fabric (my child is small enough, that's all it's going to take! haha) and ask Mom for help. We have until at least August (no date set yet) to get it done!! DUMMY! Buck up!"

So, I haven't informed GFT yet - after the initial fear wore off and the mental yelling ensued, I've decided to take her up on it. There's nothing like a challenge to get me going.

I'm going to scope out patterns sometime this week to find a few simple clothing patterns to try my hand at. It's been quite some time since I've sewn with a pattern as I tend to freehand my projects.

Bonus? GFT wants to come over with her brand new sewing machine and take notes. I guess it's probably a good thing we can't involve booze?

It's scary jumping into the mind of Jodi, isn't it?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cold Weather Goals update:

My original goals are posted here: (Part 1 and Part Deux).

1) Monkey's scarf is done! When I heard the cold weather forecast for the end of this week, so I really started to push to finish. I'm really pleased with it! I'll get back to mine after I embellish the apron I bought her. (She wouldn't let me take a picture of her with it, so you'll have to settle for it on a chair)

2) I found the copy of Mother Earth News with the cheese recipes in it. My list is made and I'll be picking up what I need sometimes next week (I'm avoiding errands right now because of the frigid cold - if Monkey and I can stay in out of it, scarves or not, I'd prefer that).

3) As I type this, I have dough rising for bread. I didn't get to make any last week after all. T keeps surprising me with store bought loaves - and I'd rather not make some when we have a full loaf here already. This will help get the house nice and toasty (pun intended) warm today.

4) Uh.. At 15 weeks pregnant, I've gained 6 lbs. I haven't been able to get much exercise (I love to go walking, but I can't exactly take the stroller out on the side of the road with the snowbanks at this time of year). T hasn't hauled our snowshoes out from the back shed yet, but when the weather warms up a tad, we'll get those bad boys strapped on. Pulling Monkey around on her sled is extra resistance. I have been eating well and doing my best to maintain a balanced diet, so I'm happy in that department.

9) I had an episode this week of feeling really crappy about my appearance. I'm at an in between stage at the moment - I'm wearing maternity pants but still mostly wearing regular shirts (maternity shirts are just huge sacks on me still). The only shirts that still fit are t-shirts, be it long or short sleeved. And I know that's mostly all I have ahead of me in my maternity shirts. So I ordered myself a couple cute, feminine maternity tops to throw in with all of the t-shirts. And yesterday, I pulled out a skirt I bought last summer. It's a Life is Good cotton jersey skirt that I'll be able to wear when I'm at the end of my pregnancy as well (T's been watching their website so I can get a couple more of these!). Paired with a plain t-shirt and fixed up hair, I felt nice when T finally got home from work (having my apron on also helped me feel femme. haha). I need to continue to make efforts on this front.

These are all the updates for this week!

Oh - and just a reminder - check LL Bean often today for their hourly sales item. The item changes hourly from 8 AM until 6 PM (the 6 PM item stays available all night, from what I could see last night).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Another LLBean steal of a deal

LL Bean is having a sale all week long. They change the item every hour.

This hour's sale happens to be rain coats for infants and toddlers.

Find it here.

So, if you want to spend $15 on a rain coat and you're seeing this early enough, here you go.

Yes, Monkey is going to have a funky rain coat... to go along with the funky winter coat I bought from LL Bean this fall.

Wednesday organization

What's next?

I'm at a small stand still with the organizing. I did a lot last week. And then I got a delivery of lots of work for the subcontractor I work for on the side, so between him and work I've been pretty much attached to Quickbooks ever since.

I think my next project needs to be the hallway closet. As you can see, it's quite a jumbled mess (I can't believe I'm sharing a picture of this mess, but then again, it IS better than the closet in our bedroom still....).

I'm thinking yet another hanging shoe organizer will be a great place to store all of my extra bed linens and the air mattress. These are all currently stored in the guest closet which I'm slowly but surely emptying out for New Bean.

I need to move the booze off the top shelf (sorry Dad - your BV is going to be hidden in a new spot next time you visit.. hehe) and find a new home for the few games we own. Then I'll have room for spare pillows and/or sleeping bags on the top shelf. These, too, are in the guest closet at the moment.

Some of these coats can make their way into the basement. We have a rack down there for extra, out of season outerwear. And the life jackets have no business upstairs in the first place, so those will definitely be moving.

If possible, I may be able to fit a cheap, low bookshelf in the back of the closet, but I don't think I'll need to.

The only thing I can't move to a new spot is the vacuum. This is the only hiding place I have for it, and I kind of like having it in a central location.

So, there you have it. Yet another project in the works. Stay tuned for an update..... in a week or two (or three?).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lunch time ramblings

Another Tuesday. Another long day in the office.

I'd like to know what is up with the light in the bathroom here. It was burnt last week. My boss put in a new bulb for me. I get here this morning, it's out again. Peeing in the dark is fun.

My little girl slept until 8 AM this morning. Why doesn't she ever sleep that late when my body needs to sleep in? Or, a better question, why does she only do this for her father?

I'm not looking forward to the latter part of this week. The temperatures are supposed to be insanely frigid. This is what I hate about winter. I don't mind the snow, but I do mind subzero temperatures. Brrr.

Monkey is going to be a flower girl this summer (or early fall?). Our good friends T & M are finally taking the plunge. I screamed loud enough for the neighbors to hear when T called to tell us about the engagement. I probably blew out her ear drum on the other line, while I was at it. (If you couldn't guess, we're extremely excited for them!)

I have such a long mental list of everything I want and need to do around the house that I keep forgetting things. This could also be attributed to pregnant brain fuzz, I suppose. I think I'm just loopy.

My sandwich is gone. Time to get back to work.

Monday, January 12, 2009

This week's new recipe

I guess I should start off by saying the Tetrazzini last week was really good. I didn't give it enough time to thicken so it was more like soup, but it was perfect reheated the next day. It was one of Rachel's 30 minute meals, but it took me a little longer to prepare (maybe 40 minutes - still not bad). This one will be going into rotation.

Yesterday, I was finally able to sit down to finish my recent Parents magazine. Every now and again, I find a really yummy looking recipe with them. They gear their recipes towards getting your children to eat. This isn't a problem I suffer from (she may be tiny, but the child loves to eat).

I saw a recipe for Shrimp Nests (seen above - photo from and decided to rip it out. Being pregnant makes me crave things and just seeing the picture (the one in the print magazine looked tastier than the one online) made me want it NOW. I can be patient and have it later this week instead!

Bonus? The recipe says it takes only 10 minutes to prepare!

I'll have a side of salad (along with seafood - my other big craving) and garlic bread with that, please.

In the words of Monkey... "Nommy nom."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

So much for taking the weekend off...

I spent all morning working for work yesterday. And then a couple hours working on the bookkeeping I do on the side. We then ended up in town running errands for T just in time to get home, make dinner and get to bed.

T and Monkey let me sleep in a little this morning (7 - hey, it's better than 6!). After a relaxing breakfast, I did some more side work while Monkey watched Sesame Street. T arrived with our weekly Dunkin Donuts coffee treat (we make our own at home to save money but treat ourselves on Sunday). We vegged out while enjoying our coffee, each with a magazine and Monkey with her books and a couple of puzzles.

Then all hell broke loose.

Ok, not really. But kind of.

T decided it was time to put together the end tables I bought on Ebay this fall. He didn't remember the reason I hadn't put them together in the first place was because we hadn't been given all of the hardware we needed to do so (after 2 months of fighting with the seller, I gave up in disgust).

This made me feel guilty for sitting and finishing my magazine, so I got started on another organization project. A small one, I promise. I had one of those over the door hanging shoe organizers screwed to the wall in the guest closet for my seldom worn shoes (mostly my high heels). I sorted through and put some in the donation pile and the rest went into a new hanging shoe organizer I purchased for my closet.

Of course, I couldn't stop there. The other organizational tool I purchased Friday were small plastic drawer bins. I started rearranging my bathroom products. The pretty baskets I've been using are just that - pretty. Everything gets jumbled in them and it's impossible to see if I need to buy more toothpaste or if I really do have 5 tubes of mascara! I got 2 of the 3 I purchased set up. I'll do the rest later this week.

By this time, T was done with 1 of the end tables (he can't do the second because of the missing hardware). They have 2 drawers and a shelf for storage. I was finally able to go through T's magazine rack with him to save what he wanted, put it neatly in a CLOSED DRAWER, and get rid of the ugly magazine rack with the slats magazines are always falling out of.

We finally hit lunch time. T went out to change the oil in the jeep, get some pellets and corn mixed for our stove and snow blow the driveway.

Monkey went down for a nap.

And here I am.

Just as I type this, Monkey is waking up. So I guess my break is over.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Taking a big step

Two years ago, while pregnant for Monkey, I started an Etsy store.

It has been sitting empty and unused this entire time.

Why? I'll admit it. Because I'm a chicken shit and have been scared to do anything with it.

First, there's the whole sales tax issue because the State of Maine requires you pay sales tax for purchases (meaning I have to charge sales tax on in state sales).

Then, there's the whole "what if my stuff sucks and nobody likes it" mental hurdle.

I have been toying with this for much longer than the two years I've had the store set up.

After a talk with my mom (she works for an accountant and is much smarter than I with taxes and bookkeeping and with life in general), I filled out the application to get a sales tax number.

It is now sitting here, addressed and stamped, ready to go. Staring at me. Making me want to vomit with nerves.

But, I have finally taken the first big step.

Now, someone come kick me into taking the next one.

What's the worst that can happen? Right?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday's crazy

So, my crazy today was another hanging shoe organizer for Monkey's room. And I found a couple of baskets on clearance at Target.


Organized toys!

I also found a great area rug for her room, too. I've been looking for one of those for, well, 19 months now.

I picked up a couple other storage solutions, but they are for another project on another day. I'm hoping to take the weekend off from organizing. HA!

So, here we are. Friday. It's pizza night and I realized I never did share the dough recipe T's cousin N gave us. I have perfected it for my needs. And I cut it in half because otherwise, I'd be freezing a ball of dough every week (and always forgetting to take one out for Friday, hence needing to make another batch). This is the full recipe (makes 2 pizzas).

Pizza Dough (NC)

3 cups flour
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs salt (I use less)
1 tbs yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp olive oil (I use a little more)

Knead until smooth.

Place in oiled bowl and flip so oiled side of dough is up.

Let rise 30-60 minutes.

Split in half. Either use both or freeze one.


Monkey and I are just waiting for ours to rise now. She loves helping put the toppings on.

My mental health is in question

Both my husband and my mother questioned my mental health yesterday.

While we were sitting to dinner, T asked me what was wrong. "What's with all this nesting? It's not like you're giving birth soon. Relax! We've got plenty of time!"

Later, I spoke to my mother via instant messaging. She told me "I'm starting to think you're going crazy!"

This was after they found out what I did during Monkey's nap yesterday:

I organized my closet so I could fit my fancy dresses from the spare closet.

I emptied one drawer in my dresser and put sweaters into my closet (I need to downsize my dresser when we empty the spare bedroom because my current dresser won't fit in our bedroom).

While working in my clothes, I pulled my maternity clothes out and put them into rotation (specifically, pants!! I only have 2 pairs of regular pants that still fit comfortably.).

I emptied the cedar chest at the foot of my bed. I put the things I had for Monkey in her closet (the empty bin on her top shelf is no longer empty). I put a few decor items I've been holding onto for my bedroom re-model under my bed. And I just have to figure out where to store Monkey's Halloween costumes.

I then was able to pull all of our big spare blankets out of the spare closet and store them in the cedar chest.

So, yes, I over did it yesterday. But I still never put more than an hour into these projects at a time. And they need to be done. What's wrong with doing it now instead of procrastinating and waiting until New Bean is here?

Monkey is finishing up her cereal and I'm sitting here enjoying my coffee. Then we're heading into town. I need to go to the office and I'm taking this opportunity to hit Target again for a few more storage solutions.

Because, yes, I do have another small project for today's nap time.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cold weather goals update

First, I need to say I didn't touch T's text books yesterday. I went downstairs to look at them and realized I had NO idea which he'd want to keep and which he'd want gone. So I have to have him go through them and give me the ones safe to go.

You can refer to my original goals here: (Part 1 and Part Deux).

1) I've put the striped scarf aside and started my third project. A scarf for Monkey. I think she needs something to protect her face outdoors sooner than I need a scarf to wear to hockey games, right?

I started her scarf on Monday. Not too bad, eh? I'm using a 100% cotton yarn. My stitches have gotten so much more consistent compared to my first scarf! I'm not going to push any other projects this year, but I did buy enough to make a snow hat when I decide I'm ready to teach myself how to make a hat. You can't really tell in the picture but there's a violet color in there with all of the pinks. It matches her jacket perfectly.

I'll finish my striped scarf as soon as I'm done Monkey's.

3) T picked up a loaf of bread Sunday so I didn't do any baking. I'm hoping to bake bread today.

These are all I have to update on this week.

Wishing you a productive week!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Nesting Organization 101

My nesting is this huge urge to organize. Let's face it, my little house isn't ready for a fourth person to live here full time. I need to move things around, clean things out and make space.

I guess I should clarify what I meant yesterday by taming our children's chaos. It's not so much a matter of keeping everything neat and tidy. That's impossible with children - at least, I can say it's impossible with my Hurricane Monkey. What I really need at the moment is to find her toys homes. She got a lot of new things at Christmas and because there are no "homes" for these items, they are still literally strewn about the house. So, while Monkey is obviously not putting her things away, I can't either without places to put them!

I've started in her bedroom. My first project was her closet. I picked up this hanging shoe organizer at Target on Monday. I've got swim diapers stored in the top (she didn't use them all last year - hopefully she'll be out of diapers by next year!), the extra containers of wipes we keep filled are also stored neatly now. She got a few sets of flash cards for Christmas and they fit very nicely in the bottom, where she can reach them.

This got the top of the plastic drawer bins emptied off, allowing me to neatly stack extra diapers and wipes (we buy them by the case at Sam's Club so we always have a bunch ready to refill the wipes containers). I keep books and other toys she's not old enough for in the drawers.

Having the extra diapering supplies up off of the closet floor allowed me to park a couple toys in there. The door of her closet will be left open for her during the day so she can have access to her fun stuff, but easy enough for me to tuck everything away at night. Believe it or not, before Christmas, I was in the habit of tidying up her room before bath time every night.

Her clothes are all well organized. That's something I've never fallen behind with, luckily. The bins on top have 1) clothes she hasn't grown into yet; 2) clothes she's outgrown still waiting to be stored in boxes; and 3) baby items I know I'll need fairly early on once New Bean arrives (such as our Baby Bjorn).

I'm thinking another hanging shoe organizer might be a good investment. Something a bit wider, to fit big wooden puzzles and games, as we start getting them. I'm also looking for the perfect bins to put on her bookshelf to pick up some of the smaller toys. My Dad made the bookshelf for us, and he also made a matching hanging shelf which is still waiting in the basement for me to paint (one of the small paint projects of my cold weather goals). This bookshelf has been fantastic in keeping toys off the floor, but it needs some help now. Hence the toy bins.

So, I'm curious about the storage solutions in other's homes. I love seeing what other people are doing - and I always find an idea to incorporate into my own home!

And, just for Queenie - here's my gown waiting to go into it's new home under my bed. I'm going to let it hang until this weekend because I'm paranoid the moisture it had on it's hem causes it to mold (it's dry, but it can't hurt to wait a few extra days, right?).

Monkey and I are off to attempt another organization project. Today's project? Sorting through T's nursing text books to list on freecycle. I know there are a few he'll probably want to keep, but there's a bunch I know are safe to go. If nobody wants them, they're going to the recycle center.

Did I mention I'm clearing everything out? If I'm this bad at 14 weeks, I'm going to hate to see how bad the nesting is at the end....


After posting this, I got an email from all about storage solutions!

Here are the three that caught my eye and will hopefully be of use to you:

Best Closet Features

DIY Kids' Room Storage Projects

13 Kid Clutter Solutions

I'll be checking them out later and am hopefully able to find an idea or two that works for us.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Lunch time ramblings

I hate suffering from insomnia. This is my pregnancy woe. I had it throughout my pregnancy for Monkey. I'm suffering a sleepless night a week right now, and I'm sure it is only going to get worse.

Thank goodness for Dunkin Donuts. I managed to snooze for 30 minutes after my alarm went off but that left me no time for breakfast. Dunkin Donuts coffee and bagel saved my morning.

I'm not liking my shorter hairstyle right now. I took the time to quickly jump in the shower to get rid of my bed head (and stink). I only half dried my hair so I could run out the door. My hair looks worse now than when I first rolled out of bed.

Thanks to Queenie, I started rethinking selling my wedding dress. I thought of it through Monkey's point of view and decided maybe I should keep it. But, it can't stay in the closet because I'm attempting to empty another closet into the one it's currently stored in to make way for New Bean. So I bought an under the bed storage tote. As I pulled the dress out of the closet, I found the plastic it was stored in was collecting condensation and I had mold growing up the wall of my closet. So thank you Queenie. I knew this congestion couldn't just be pregnancy related (mold is one of the worst allergens for me). T did a quick scrubbing last night but he'll be back in the closet this weekend with industrial strength mold/mildew remover.

I really am nesting badly. Before attempting to put my dress in better storage (it had to dry out because it got wet, too - letting it dry a few days to be safe), I was in Monkey's bedroom working on organizing. I'll have a post dedicated entirely to it tomorrow to include pictures. I have an assignment for my readers. I want to see what other Mommy's (and Daddy's - and even grandparents who have play rooms for their grand babies!) are doing to tame their children's chaos and how they store toys/puzzles/etc. Visual aids are appreciated.

Most of my nesting right now is this insane need to organize. My house is chaotic. Normally, I'm ok with some chaos. It's not a good chaos right now and it's raising my blood pressure. I find it impossible to relax. And I feel the need to start making room for New Bean.

T found a porterhouse steak marked down from $15 to $7.50 for dinner tonight. Yum. Monkey loves steak as much as we do.

Courtney over at Cady Cupcake gave me the heads up on an online store closing. is closing their store. There are a lot of things on clearance and they have a coupon for free shipping (it's right on their front page). I'm disappointed because the only thing I wanted was a baby sling for New Bean (I never used one for Monkey and really want one this time). I would have bought a Hotsling for $24. Alas, they are sold out of all of the really cheap ones.

I guess I need to find a pattern and make my own sling.

I bought Monkey a blank canvas apron at JoAnn Fabrics yesterday. I'm going to embroider some flowers and her name on it and pretty it up with ribbons and bows. She is always trying to put our aprons on - and she loves to help cook - so it's time to give the kid an apron!

I'm just about finished eating - at my desk, as usual - so it's time to get my head back into work. I still have W-2's that need printing. Almost done!

Monday, January 5, 2009

A new cold weather goal

T decided I need another cold weather goal.

He'll be helping with this one.

We need to try one new recipe a week. Oddly enough, when I mentioned this to my mother, she said she was doing the same (but every other week because she usually only cooks on the weekends and lives off of leftovers all week).

Friday night while we were waiting for the pizza to cook, I told T and Monkey to sit down and chose a recipe for this week.

He picked the Rachael Ray Just in Time cookbook from our library of cookbooks and began to thumb through it. My brother bought me this cookbook last year for Christmas, but like all other cookbooks in my house, it was catching a lot more dust than I'd like to admit. It's now a dust catcher no more!

Our recipe for the week is Turkey Tetrazzini. T's not a huge fan of turkey unless it's roasted or deep fried (and usually only at Thanksgiving), so I'm going to make it with chicken instead.

My plan is to keep either a checkmark or an 'X' on each recipe so I know if we liked it or not. Why waste our time with a recipe we couldn't stand? (I'll need to use a question mark for something that's ok but not a favorite, perhaps? haha).

Hopefully this will introduce our family to a lot of different foods we wouldn't try otherwise.

Rest assured, T's not afraid to take on the recipe of the week on either of his night's to cook.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I'm absolutely amazed

Last night, I listed our old mattress on craigslist and freecycle. I then logged off for the night.

I just checked my e-mail and had 10 responses!

I haven't gotten back to anyone yet because it's still a little early on a Sunday morning. Most people sleep in (hint hint Monkey! Sleeping later than 6:15 is allowed, you know.). Ok, so the lucky ones sleep in. haha

Personally, I think "EW" taking a used mattress from someone. But I think that's mainly the germophobe in me. I know it's coming from a clean home, but these people don't know me from Jack!

Oh well. I'm glad we're able to give it to someone who needs it. And they're getting it out of our way. It's a win-win situation!



I posted it at dinner time on Saturday. It was picked up at lunch time on Sunday.

Now I need to go through the house and see if I can put anything else on freecycle! I may have just created a monster. hehe

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I'm a nester by nature. Being pregnant just makes me more crazy about it.

I think it's safe to say I've hit the second trimester energy burst I've been waiting for. Especially considering we were up most of the night with Monkey and I'm still running pretty well at 3 PM. And I didn't even get a cup of coffee this morning!

I actually had quite a burst this morning. I finally got around to hanging the pocket quilt I finished back in October. I also reorganized Monkey's clothes. She had a lot of things in rotation she's grown out of. And I was attempting to make room for the new clothes she got for Christmas. I packed up what I could, cramming as much into the one empty box I had, leaving the rest in crates on the top shelf of her closet. And then I pulled out my needle and thread to sew the pom pom back onto Monkey's snow hat.

I would have continued but we needed to go mattress shopping with T. I know, I know. You're
not supposed to buy a new mattress while you're pregnant. We pretty much knew what we wanted already, it was just a matter of finding the best price for it.

We got a great deal at Tuffy Bear Furniture in Glenburn. Oddly enough, while I was pregnant for
Monkey, we had been looking at new mattresses and they'd had the best deal then as well. However, this time, we actually made the purchase. We also went to The Furniture Gallery in Bangor (formerly American Mattress and Furniture Gallery). They are having a huge inventory blow out sale right now so we thought we'd be able to find a pretty good deal. The best deal we could find on an in stock mattress that we both found comfortable was $1000. Sorry. Too much. Have a good day. Thank you. Buh bye. Now I've got to list the old one on craigslist to get it out of our way. Free for the taking!

aking of craigslist.. during our marathon night last night, I had a lot of time to think. I really need to start getting this house ready for a fourth person. We're going to have to dismantle our guest room to make a new nursery. We've currently got the closet in there stuffed with extra sheets, blankets, sleeping bags and our "fancy" dress clothes. It's time for me to list my wedding dress, my mother's dress from my wedding and the bridesmaid dress I wore in T's sister's wedding. They are taking up extremely valuable closet space that I'll very soon no longer have the luxury of. I'm hoping to pull them all out tomorrow to take pictures of them.

've got a little bit of work to do for the office, so I'm hiding in the basement during Monkey's nap. I've got a sewing project in mind for afterwards, though I may just wait until tomorrow and stick to my knitting tonight.

o on that note, the printout I've been waiting on is finished so back to work for me!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The tree is gone

I put in nearly 7 hours of time for work yesterday. Since T was home, I figured I'd rather get a good chunk of work done now and have most of the weekend free for family time that doesn't involve travel!

Afterwards, I had just enough time to take the tree down so T could haul it outdoors before I had to throw dinner together. I thought he'd hauled it to the back of the house, so I was quite surprised to see it lying on my front steps this morning!

Christmas just doesn't want to leave my house. I've been trying to find a place for all of the new toys and books Monkey received. They're still scattered through the living room and her bedroom. I attempted to tame some of it last night by tossing them all into a laundry basket so they aren't all over the floor, at least.

It's time for me to think about some creative storage. Monkey's bookshelf is already full, but with some creative solutions, I'm sure we can fit more on it (even if it requires putting the Little Golden Books into the closet where she can't reach them.. which isn't a bad thing because they are too easy for her to rip apart!). Ideas would be appreciated.

And I haven't even unpacked the clean clothes from my suitcase from last weekend yet!!

It's going to be a busy day.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Cold weather goals:

It's been a while since I've updated on my winter goals. I've kind of pushed things aside to get through the holidays while attempting to get myself through the first trimester of pregnancy. I'm lucky the morning sickness has been gone for pretty much 2-3 weeks now, but I've still been dealing with the fatigue. I'm ready to get back to it now!

This morning, I printed out my original posts listing my cold weather goals (Part 1 and Part Deux). I want to be able to scribble on it and physically cross things off!

1) Learning to knit is going well. I pulled out my second scarf on our trip north. I hadn't touched it in a month. I've doubled it's length - it's about a third of the way done. I haven't decided what my next knitting project will be. I'm not ready to attempt socks and 4 needles at a time (My Memere - Dad's mom - kind of scared me when I saw the socks she was working on this weekend! haha).

2) Learning to make cheese is something I want to attempt soon. I need to dig out the Mother Earth News edition that first piqued my interest so I can reread the articles concerning cheese. And to create a shopping list so I know what I need to buy.

3) I've been doing a lot of baking this past month, but it was mostly cookies. And Amish Friendship breads. I'm going to dig out my recipe for home made bread this week. I want to start baking bread by next week.

4) Losing weight is obviously out of the question now. So I'm crossing this off of my list for the time being. I do, however, hope to keep pregnancy weight gain under control. I only gained 23 pounds for Monkey. That is in a healthy weight gain range. I'd like to keep it in a healthy range this time as well. (If it wouldn't be so darn frigid out we could pull out the snowshoes and pull Monkey along in her sled!).

5) Small miscellaneous projects are currently on hold. I really only have 2 small paint projects left, but we do small paint jobs in the basement. It's a little too cold down here right now so they'll have to wait for a bit warmer days. I'm worried about the paint drying well.

6) The cupboard painting is temporarily on hold while we decide what we want to do. We may replace our counter tops with our tax refund this year. We'll do it all at once if we end up replacing the counter tops. Stairway to the basement hasn't been touched yet.

7) The home office/craft room/family room hasn't been touched in about a month. I have been brainstorming and came up with a great plan for storage. I have an old metal cabinet my Grandma D gave me a few years ago. I had been using it to store pots and vases, but most pots are outside now. And the few vases I have can be moved elsewhere. I need help to hang it because I think it's heavier than I should be carrying on my own right now (I hate feeling even remotely helpless - not being able to carry things right now is a huge pain in my rump!). I want to drill a hole in the bottom to hang an electric cord out of so I can put my printer and photo printer in it. I'll also have the top 2 shelves to store office papers I need handy. I'm glad I couldn't find the type of storage I was looking for last month at TJMaxx! The family room portion is currently being used as storage for baby stuff Monkey has outgrown or graduated from. I'm hoping to rearrange it and put it in the laundry section of the basement so I can set up the TV, VCR and PlayStation and have T haul the old futon in here. I also need to get a big area rug to keep our tootsies warm on the cold concrete!

8) Done.

9) I've been getting regular haircuts! We won't be heading north again until Easter (weather permitting), so I had my hairdresser chop it pretty short this past weekend. I'm always showered and dressed right after lunch, though. It's just too difficult to shower while Monkey is awake so I've decided to save myself the stress and wait for her nap time (except for days we leave the house - I make myself presentable before leaving). Let's just say that having my shower curtains pulled down on my head from a child trying to heave her body into the tub with me was just too much to take.

10) I have been thoroughly enjoying my family. And trying to imagine how it will be with 4 of us instead of just 3.

A Christmas recap to start the New Year

NOTE: I give up on the formatting. Blogger keeps screwing with it. It looks ok in the preview screen but is messed up after posting. Sorry.
Catching a snooze on the couch before it's time to get ready for Santa

Work and traveling have prevented me from recapping earlier.

Writing a letter to Santa

One of the best things about being a parent is getting to do all of those parent type things. You know, writing letters to Santa and leaving out cookies and all that fun. T was like a kid in a candy store on Christmas Eve because he'd been looking forward to it so much. I'll admit, personally, I was looking forward to Christmas morning and was too exhausted to get super excited on Christmas Eve. I just wanted to go to bed (this is something I want too much of lately.. haha).

Even a carrot for Rudolph!

T's sister and her husband alternate Christmas between their families (his are in the area and hers are up north). This year was their year down here so they came to have dinner with us on Christmas day. Originally, I didn't really want to cook and would have loved to have done Chinese take out. Alas, that would have required a drive into town - if anything was even open. And then I found out we were getting company, so I opted to toss together a lasagna and put together a salad. It was yummy, easy and didn't require a ton of cooking. We didn't have to attempt a self-portrait in front of the tree this year, either.

Christmas 2008 family portrait

We really had a lovely Christmas.

After T went in to work for a few hours Friday morning, Monkey and I picked him up to head up north to celebrate with our parents. Monkey's "big" Christmas gift this year was a portable DVD player (Santa brought a dual set in anticipation of New Bean). It came in handy when, with an hour to go, she had had quite enough riding. I pulled it out, strapped it to my headrest (she sits behind me) and put in some Elmo's World. The look on her face was priceless. And I even managed to snag a nap because she didn't need me to attempt to entertain her. Well worth the money!

We spent Friday night and Saturday with T's parents. Saturday night, we packed the car and headed another 15ish miles up to my parents house. Santa was making a special trip because he knew it wasn't really Christmas until the kids were together! He's a good guy, that Santa.

Watching their Pa plowing the driveway

I love getting the kids together and wish we could do it more often (Monkey had just pulled off her pants before that picture - she's always loved being naked and luckily hasn't figured out how to take off a onesie yet).

Monkey loved the toy cars Santa brought just as much as C did
Our trips up north are never long enough, as far as I'm concerned. The travel bit is a pain, though.
Now to pack it all up and think of next Christmas.
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