Dang it!

I had written up a post earlier, but as it was saving, the internet went down….doh! We’re ok, I’ve got a cold and hoping the kids don’t get it and we had a busy, but fun weekend. Mostly, I just wanted to share pictures and when I feel like writing what I had before, I will!



A little snippet

Natalie was really into Curious George for about a solid week, maybe a bit longer. Anyways, it resulted in us making paper dolls! I drew George and one pumpkin, the rest were drawn and colored by Natalie – and she cut them all out by herself!


Weekly round up!

Whew, it was a strange week it’s been! Let’s recap, shall we?

– First and foremost, Conrad is fine! After a few visits to strange doctors and disuse of his arm for four days, we finally saw our pediatrician. Well…that must have been what we all needed, because Conrad is now using his right arm nearly 100% of the time as of this morning. Yay! 

– We’re thankful that my mom could come over and stay with Nat, while we brought Conrad out to see a specialist. 

– We got nothing done around the house, but James did see another mouse and I noticed some lovely tuck pointing cracks and a new floor sag in our room.  

– Our car sounds horrible, but works! We’re pretty sure we’ll be in the market for a new car sometime next year.

– After years of tossing around several ideas on where to live, we’ve finally figured it out. No, really, for real this time! Having young kids is hard and isolating and living in the city has taken its toll. We aren’t sure we want to be homeowners, at least for a while, until we feel that we are on financially solid ground and I’m back at work. We do, however, want to stay near those that we know and love – so we are once again considering the western burbs and are scheduled to look at a rental property in Lisle, this Sunday.  We want our kids to grow up among family and it’s important to us to see friends and be adults and not just parents. More details on our move plan later. 

– We’d love to move to Maine, but since that won’t happen for years (remember I mentioned retiring there) or possibly ever, we’ll settle for traveling there on our first, big, Park vacation! Haha, did I freak you out for a second there?!?!

– James is wrapping up tutoring this Saturday. He’ll still have his Thursday tutoring, but we’re elated to have some time back and to celebrate, we’re going out on a date!

More normal posts to come, once we’ve had a few days of normal!

Weekly round up!

It was a good week! I felt better this week and James wrapped up a few tutoring clients. The kids started to get better sleep towards the end of this week, and that was a big plus. I felt more energized than I have lately and we made some progress!

– Set up the playroom and our bedroom as just those two things, and it’s awesome (and we have space for the Christmas tree!!)

– Cleared off cluttered surfaces (fish tank, record player, side table, etc)

– Piled a bunch of stuff in the alley to help clear out the garage

– Bought a lovely new little moss plant that makes me smile whenever I’m standing at the kitchen sink

– Made a big decision to take a big vacation and to postpone our kitchen renovation until the spring of 2014

– Plugged up some mouse holes and laid out some traps, die mice, die!

– Began treating Izzy with an antihistamine and reveled in her continence

That’s about it! It was a much better week – I felt more like myself, even though I didn’t get as much sleep due to the kids and their wacky sleep issues. I think that the excitement about tutoring ending and clearing things out (which helps us move towards our biggest improvement, selling!) has helped tremendously. Lesson learned, no more crazy amounts of tutoring, it just isn’t worth it. James was home and free over the weekend and through Tuesday night and the kids have been a lot happier. It’s pretty great!

The kids are silly and this little tidbit at the end of the post really upsets me….

Exhibit A)


Exhibit B)


Exhibit C)


Exhibit D)


Exhibit E)


Exhibit…well, you get the idea…..


I think I won my case…..




After reading an article in the Washington Post about testing, I decided to look up the neighborhood school where Natalie would be going if A) we stayed here and B) we sent her there. I was specifically interested in their assessment calendar and went on to count how many weeks of the 2013-2014 school year were devoted to testing the kindergarteners. Curious? It was NINETEEN. That’s right, 19 weeks of the school year are devoted to testing/assessments for the kindergartners. The last few weeks, the kindergarteners are taking two tests/assessments each week. 19 weeks devoted to testing/assessments for five year olds. As far as I know, this doesn’t mean that the kids are tested every day during a testing week, just that that week is dedicated to testing that grade level. However, it does mean that five year olds take at least 19 tests/assessments during their school year. Sick? I think so. Want to count? Here’s the link:



update: We got a wonderful and unexpected comment from the principal at Jamieson!! I also need to correct something that I wrote – I realized late last night that when I wrote that they take 19 tests that this was incorrect, but I was tired and didn’t make time to correct it until now. So my apologies for this misinformation! I think my concern is that 19 weeks of the school year devoted to testing/assessing the kids is a lot and I question whether there are better ways of doing so, that don’t take time away from actual learning and discussion and play. Thank you, Principal Baughman for taking the time to comment! I truly appreciate that you did so and would love to open a dialogue. Happy weekend, everyone!


Conrad fell about five times this morning….all by 9am….the last one, he sort of stumbled into my desk and when I asked him if he hurt himself, he simply nodded and collapsed into my arms. Sigh……

 Today calls for carving our huge pumpkin and splashing in puddles. It might also involve a worm search and rescue, since Natalie knows they come out in the rain. This means, that we gently pick them up and place them safely on the grass, while Conrad squishes them….that boy…..

We’ve been busy over here, clearing things out! Here is our room before:


Here is our room, not exactly after, but definitely in between!


We’re happy with our progress and I’ll have more photos for our weekly round up! For now, I’ll leave you with a photo taken by Natalie:


The days are long, but the weeks are long too?

Natalie is creeping towards a 14 hour day, while Conrad is creeping towards a 12 hour one. There is a lot of, what the what!?!, going on as of late. I keep trying to post photos, but it isn’t working right now. No idea. I’ll keep trying when I have more time. 

We’ve been busy rearranging the house to make more room for nothing! It’s awesome and it makes me very happy. Natalie keeps saying that we have, ‘a new house!’, and it does feel a little bit like that! 

Our kitchen renovation has been pushed back due to funding issues, so we’ll schedule it when we get our tax refund. We briefly considered moving out before we sell, but that won’t be happening either. We’re here until we sell! This is the main reason we’ve cleared out and made each room more spacious. We are planning on a much more simpler Christmas around here too! Mostly stocking stuffers for individual gifts and a few larger items that will be shared – we haven’t cleared out so that we can fill it all up again and make me crazy! 

I had three migraines last week and it was awful. James is going to scale back tutoring and I’m visiting the opthamologist (I get ocular migraines) this week to get a check up and because I haven’t gotten new glasses in four years! I’ve also started taking an herbal remedy and plan on taking some yoga for exercise and to schedule in more regular breaks for me (stress is a big trigger for me). 

We’ve also decided to take a big vacation next spring – Maine! I’m excited to plan this and although I’m NOT looking forward to flying, it’s only a few hours on a plane and then that’s it. Plus, we’ll go when our kitchen is getting redone so that we won’t have to figure out what to do! We have a friend that will take our dogs, and she frequently confides in me that she really likes having three dogs (she has one of her own) so that perhaps when she is an old lady, she’ll become a dog lady! 

Stay tuned for some before/after photos and some lovely pics taken by Natalie!