I’ve been showering a lot earlier in the day, and it’s been setting the stage for a better day. We’ve had the tv off a lot more and are reading and being silly a lot more. I’m glad that I shook things up!

Natalie painted her hands the other day:


Conrad showed us his belly!


We’re using this set up quite a bit:


We brought over another of our rugs and plunked it down here…..


Not having a train table anymore means we can build complex tracks!


Something might be missing here…..


Pancakes for dinner, no more booster seat, and being self sufficient:


Followed by some broom hockey:


Some major hamming it up:


A brief circus act:


Followed by a quick game of peek a boo!


Happy Friday!


New things

I need to have some sort of cleaning routine….because maybe I’ve cleaned the kitchen floor 3 times, but not vacuumed (not really, I’ve vacuumed many, many times) or other goofy things. So! Our new cleaning routine….

– weekday: clean the entire downstairs

– weekend: clean the entire upstairs

Horse back riding is on for next week! Natalie is nervous and excited, but she brings it up, so we’re hoping that means it leans more towards exciting! We’ve arranged it so that James will take his lunch break to watch Conrad, since our instructor has asked for my involvement, at least at first. As long as I’m willing to get my boots dirty (which yes, I’ve worn the same socks for days while camping/hiking, that won’t be a problem) then we’re a go! 

Constant dilemma to two kids: what to do with the other one while you take one to a class…..most people use preschool for this, but since that isn’t what we’re doing, we generally forgo any classes. It’s not that big of a deal, since most people do just fine with not taking any classes until they are school age.  Another solution, which was not something I found in the city, is that the library here has family story time AND it’s during the day – which means you can bring all your kids, older than 2, and be amongst other humans to hear someone read a story! This will definitely be on our list for the spring. 

In other news, our play date went really well! However, on the drive home, I skidded on some ice at 55mph (we’re fine, I did all the right things!) and although my heart leapt into my throat and I nearly burst into tears and nothing truly bad happened, the car just isn’t handling well at all and so we’re looking to replace it within the next week and a half. Neither of us like the way the car is feeling lately, so we’d all feel a lot better if we got it replaced. 

I’ve got some cute pictures to post for tomorrow!



Funny things

It occurred to me the other day that while at 21 months, Natalie was able to recognize all her letters of the alphabet, Conrad doesn’t know an A to save his life, and it made me think about why that is. Well, to start with, Natalie loved being read to and she loved doing puzzles – so we read to her for (I’m not kidding) up to a few hours every day and we did puzzles every day – so we threw in an alphabet puzzle. Conrad, on the other hand, wants to play trains and cars and copy everything Natalie does now (which doesn’t really include daily reading and puzzles right now). They are just different people and so he can do things at this age that Natalie wasn’t that great at and vice versa. It’s interesting! 

We’re meeting some new friends today and I’ll let you know how that goes. Tomorrow is supposed to be downright balmy, so we’re heading outside for sure! James will be heading to the building tomorrow to clean it up and our new tenant will meet him in the evening and start moving in some little things. It will be fantastic to have the building off our radar for, well, unfortunately only a week or so, until we have to head back there and get it ready to list for sale. We’re scrounging for some extra energy! 

Time to head downstairs and help James get breakfast ready. Conrad is not really using his booster seat anymore (a little later than Nat gave it up) and we often find him sitting at the table and he’s quite proud….we can’t believe he’ll be two in less than a month! It’s even more crazy to us that we’ll have a five year old this year…sigh….

It’s cold….still….and I think we’re suffering from The Januarys

It’s supposed to even colder today, so it will be another day of staying inside. I can’t wait until it’s warmer out and we can walk around and be outside for hours on end. That is how we spend a lot of our time anyways, just out and about, exploring the outdoors. This cold has been hard on us.

I really love this post –

Whenever I’ve read Little Women, it always is so lovely to me, how Marmee IS so accepting and supportive of who her daughters are, while at the same time, challenging them and pushing them to grow. Things to think about.

Natalie and Conrad have been playing together quite a lot recently…and it’s going pretty well, actually. They are both giggly and funny and have fun doing the weirdest and most mundane things. It’s awesome.

I need to carve out a better routine to our day…we’re getting lost in aimless tv watching (kids) and pacing around the house (me). It’s hard to move in the middle of winter….it feels like we have a newborn and are trapped in the house! Somehow, we need to get back on track and find something. It will help that the building will be mostly dealt with, that has been a real chore. We’re also making plans for our family vacation this year – we’re thinking about a farm stay! I think I need to unplug and settle in and be more present. I’ll let you know how it goes!


We rescheduled our plans for today, which was really disappointing. It’s just so very cold out and I was feeling hesitant about venturing out alone and to someplace that was new. Our car isn’t handling the snow that well anymore either, even when in 4 wheel drive, so we’re looking into replacing it as soon as we get our tax refund. 

We’re rescheduling our horse riding lessons as well. We want it to be really positive, so it’s best to just wait until it’s a bit warmer. Our Wednesday plans are still on though! We’re meeting some new people this week and we’re excited! 

I don’t really think this needs to be said, but just so it’s clear: I don’t care how anyone else lives their life (big house, job with long hours, living off the land, living in a converted school bus), I’m just writing about what we want without regard to what anyone else does. 

Now to come up with some indoor fun ideas….we already played with soapy water this morning….and ate cake…maybe a fort? 


We woke up to a lot of snow. As a family, we really like snow, the dogs like snow too actually, but we all hate the cold – especially poor Izzy. If it’s one of those lovely snowy days, in the 30’s, we’re all out there and happy….but this winter, though quite snowy, is quite arctic and sad. It makes a girl dream of warm Atlantic beaches…..sigh. 

Anyways, it seems like all that’s left at the apartment is to clean it before our new tenant moves in. James was gone for a full 10 hour day yesterday, buying paint, blinds, clearing things out, helping our upstairs tenant with a plumbing issue, etc. Conrad was gracious enough to take a 3.5 hour nap, but that also meant we were all up until maybe 9? We’re pretty beat. We’re hoping for some peace once the new tenants move in….at least for a few weeks. 

I think a lot about what sort of house we’d buy in the future and although we don’t know when or if we’ll buy again, we agree that a house on the smaller side is better for us (but not those tiny houses, those induce panic attacks for me) and we’d like it to need renovating, so that we can make green improvements and create a better layout. Layout is really important. It can make a 1500 square foot house seem expansive or filled with weird tiny rooms. We also don’t want a mortgage that requires two incomes.  We’d rather have a smaller, cheaper house if it also means we get to travel for a few weeks every year or take an interesting class to learn about cartography, and most importantly, we don’t want to have to work some crazy job with long hours to make enough to pay for stuff. 

We might have to reschedule horse back riding again this week. It’s going to be really cold and I’ve been told that their heaters aren’t that great. We have some plans with friends this week and we’re really excited! We haven’t seen friends for a while, so it’s going to be fun. 

Happy Sunday!



Natalie’s elaborate playscapes….

If you recall, I used to set up scenes for her after she went to bed – not always, but it was a lot of fun to see her surprised face in the morning. Now she does it for Conrad!


James is heading to the building today to take care of all the last minute things before our tenant moves in next weekend!! We hoarded the last bits of our tutoring income to pay our handyman for the kitchen reno and painting, and now that we have tenants, we’ll have enough to pay for all the materials too (it went on credit cards). It feels good to have that cleared away, and maybe, the universe will smile on us and we’ll make enough when we sell the building to pay ourselves for the last few months. Maybe.

Happy Saturday!

edit: sorry, I meant to say that it would be lovely if we make enough when we sell the building to pay ourselves for the last few years – we’ve put nearly $40k into the building (that does not include money that was put in by Halmoni and is not what our current debt amount is right now – hint: it’s much less) and it would be nice to get something back….