Still at the old farmhouse

Well, we all get busy at the holidays right?  Add to that normal craziness a house full of kids off of school for 2 weeks where everything is boxed up waiting for a move that has been dragging on forever, a very busy grandmother from the other coast who has flown in and all her stuff, my insane thought that I could get all the boys stockings done before Santa came (more on that later) , and trying to figure out how to involve the Tall Man and his family in our holidays and us into them.  So when I say it’s been busy I mean it!  Oh yeah and 2 feet of snow got dumped on us too!

So since we are still here and January is my super slow month, (I basically have the month off from 1 of my jobs) I have started planning.  Planning the kids rooms, planning the master room, thinking that I need new dishes, watching youtube how to videos, an ungodly amount of HGTV fix it shows and visiting stores both online and in person just to see what they have when the time comes to get things done, since most likely by then I will be super busy again with everyday life stuff.

Why are we still at the old farmhouse?  It’s a loooooooong story, one I will be happy to fill you in once we are moved, but I just can’t before then because to many things are still up in the air and my future (home) depends on it.

 

 

So….

 

Anyone know how to make a 3 year old go to sleep and not mess around for hours every night after lights out?

What ever happened to the holidays?

I am just a little sick of our new “modern” Christmas craziness.

Frankly, I think the fact that I could buy Christmas decorations before Halloween was over (and the stores were already out of Halloween decor a week before the holiday) stores like Michael’s were opening at 4 pm on Thanksgiving day to start your Christmas shopping, and all of the commercials on the radio that were encouraging me to take out a holiday loan to afford gifts is just to much over the top!

I think the last straw was this week though when I was reading the paper at the diner and saw under the list of affordable gift ideas to give your kids teachers a coffee cup (good affordable idea) filled with a $50 coffee card!  What!  When did it become the norm to spend $60 on a teacher Christmas gift?  What ever happened to a small gift made by the child? A tin of homemade cookies or fudge?  Who has that much money for a teacher gift?  And for all the teachers?  That is insane!

What ever happened to having the Christmas you can afford?  One that won’t put you in to debt?  What happened to saving through the year for the holidays?  Making gifts if you could not afford to buy them?  Giving gifts that mean something and took some time to pick out, wrap up, and some thought instead of throwing gift cards at everyone?  Including your significant others?

I don’t know whats happened to the rest of the country, but in our house we are keeping Christmas real.  We are not taking out loans for gifts, or maxing out our (non-existent) credit cards.  We are making some gifts and buying others, We will not be giving a single person a  gift card or a pile of cash to “go and buy there own gift”.  Teachers will be getting gifts of baked goodness, the postman will most likely be getting the same box of fudge we have made him every year, and grandparents will get something homemade from the kids. Yes, we will buy our parents gifts as well as each other and the little people, but with in reason and with in our budget.  And we are making sure we are doing plenty of other things through the season, the little things that money can’t buy that make the season memorable and make it feel like Christmas; Driving around to see the Christmas lights up on everyone’s houses, wrapping gifts for each other and placing them under the tree,Visiting Santa in the town square, Standing in the cold to watch the annual Christmas parade, going to make Cookies  with the grandma, decorating gingerbread houses and snuggling up on the sofa at night as a family watching all the Christmas movies we can find on Netflix and TV, knowing that my mom will fly in for the holidays to share them with us, that We will go to the Tall Man’s parents house on Christmas eve and wake up Christmas morning to presents from Santa Claus, Coffee and Cocoa, and Cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

Now that is how we do Christmas in our house.  Just like the Tall Man and I did as kids with our families.  And in my mind, this is how Christmas should be…

My 11 year old is smarter than me…

 

Well, on some things he is.  #1’s mind is like a sponge, he reads constantly and seems to actually file it all away for later use.

The other day when we were heading to an appointment, he commented how he is weird, which led to a conversation about how everybody is weird in one way or another especially middle school kids, and examples of this.  That kids can be and are cruel, it’s just part of middle school life, how they call each other names and say mean things, and that in time it will stop, he just has to be strong and confident in who he is and not try to change for anyone.  I explained how I had tried changing for people and ultimately failed myself.  I explained how I use to care what others thought of me and would adjust my outward persona to accommodate my thoughts of what they wanted and how that sucked, and how I still catch myself doing it sometimes and shake my head and say ‘what am I doing?”, but now I’m just rambling and getting off point, so back to why he is smarter than I am.

I used examples of how I am weird and one of them was that I laugh when people get hurt…  Well what did he do?  He gave me a scientific explanation of why I do that!!!!  Something about the parietal cortex of the brain and how we humans think pain is funny when it is not to serious…  and here I was all these years just thinking it was a nervous reaction!

Frankenstorm: preparedness

Now I am not one to jump up and down yelling the sky is falling the sky is falling, aka Chicken Little, rather I just go with the flow and figure everything will all work out in the end, I mean people survived for hundreds of years with out emptying the shelves out in Walmart, with out having not only a generator, but a BACKUP generator, but then again they also didn’t have the internet and advanced weather notice…

So today after dropping all 5 of the Handful off at their respective schools I decided i better play along and get some basic supplies, I mean I had to go and buy coffee and trash bags anyways since we ran out yesterday afternoon, what would it hurt getting a few candles and a working flashlight as well?

But that was easier said than done! Even though we are far from the brute force that Sandy the hurricane and her friends Nor the Nor-easter and Art the arctic blast should collide, the mythical “they” are saying we could lose power for a week.    …   Yep, a week of no power.

So probably some candles would be in order  Well, apparently everyone else had the same idea, our small town = completely sold out of batteries as of yesterday.   So I headed where everyone does in a natural disaster, yep that’s right!  Walmart!

Walmart still had batteries, and flashlights (well if you consider $30+ headlamps flashlights) and 1 loan pen light for $5, someone must have missed that one, but that’s the one I got 🙂  I also meandered over to the candle aisle and thankfully only half of those shelves were bare, the ones that contained tapers, pillars, and everything that smelled remotely good.   So I got some nice stinky candles and tealights as well, in Christmas colors to boot!  Yeah me!

Other than that I gave Lowe’s a call and got put on the waiting list for  a new generator ( since all farms actually DO need one of these and mine bit the dust in our last flood last summer, and being the well prepared person I am and broke like all typical farmers it just didn’t see the urgency to replace it, even though my mother has been reminding me at least once a week  since then to do it…)

And I bought coffee, and trash bags, and hair ties, and cupcake making supplies because Frankenstorm or no, #4 will turn 6 tomorrow!!!

Packing, oh how do I hate you…

Boxes, boxes, everywhere.  Deciding what to take and what to leave, what others may see value in and what needs to go to the dumpster.  Deciding what we can truly do with-out for a few weeks, what we can do with out for a few days, and the essentials that we truly need right on up till the big moving day or days or whatever time I am given in the end…

The handful believes everything they have ever owned, made, or touched should be brought with us, they feel their toys should be accessible till the very last minute.  And unfortunately for them, they are not the ones doing the packing, or the hauling or the heavy lifting and the box finding and the paying for the move.  If it were up to them I would be bringing ziploc baggies of driveway rocks, gravel, gems, as well as every single piece of paper they have ever brought home from school.  We would be bringing lunch boxes galore (they don’t even bring lunch to school, they have been eating school breakfast and lunches exclusively for the past 4 years, yep, I gave up on the daily lunch making battle years ago…) yet still they feel we need those lunch boxes…  I guess it’s a good thing it is not up to them!  The dumpster that usually takes 6 weeks or so to fill up is now full after just 6 days (yeah I know, how wasteful!, save the planet!, blah-blah-blah), it’s a sad crappy choice though we gotta move and we simply aren’t going to take all the stuff that has collected over the years with us.  The trash man will be happy though that I will pay him to dump it again so soon.

Moving is hard on kids, they want their stuff, #4 cried tears and tears thinking her barbies would not be coming with us, #2 has taken to carrying her stuffed piggy around with her everywhere and has decided she doesn’t want to visit her father anymore (I think she thinks we will leave with out her somehow?).  #3 has been slipping his take home papers from school into random open boxes, and #5, well, he’s a preteen middle school boy…

Out have gone bags of broken things – toys, sticks, ripped papers, torn books.  Out has gone years of paper piles of practice math assignments, and spelling sheets, and lunch menus.  Out has gone tons and tons of everyday trash that the handful had kindly stashed in the oddest places.  Yogurt cups with the duplos, straws with the barbies, cheese stick wrappers shoved behind books on the shelf ( really? the trash is 10 feet away…) and boxes have filled up with stuffed animals and dress up clothes.  Nerf guns and marbles.  Puzzles missing pieces have mysteriously disappeared along with the mostly colored coloring books, while squinkies and zhu zhu pets have found temporary homes in a fold up dollhouse and a treasure chest.

But don’t worry, the handful will make do, they will live through this temporary separation of their most prized possessions and soon they will be in their new home ( all of them, no one will be left behind, I promise) with their toys again and then they won’t even want to play with them as all kids do.