Thursday, August 22, 2013

Blog? What Blog?

I've been quiet for awhile.  A large part of that is due to the fact that I am TIRED!  And we are BUSY!  And we have a daughter who keeps us on our toes with antics such as these...

The other night on vacation I came into her room two hours after we put her to bed.  I heard a little voice in the darkness say, "Lotion!" and I looked over by the light of my cell phone to find her sitting up in her pack and play with the lotion bottle and at least half of the bottle smeared all over her face, arms, legs, clothes, and bed.  I laughed so hard I cried.  Then I found Zac and my friend and told them.  Then I cleaned her up.

Speaking of late nights, she was up an hour and a half after I put her to bed a few nights ago.  I came down the hallway to find her room light on and her reading in her bed.  My little Bookworm.

She decided to use the stick of a dum dum sucker she received at the bank as a q-tip...while we were driving in the car...and we hit a bump.  She punctured her ear drum and the doctor recommended we follow-up with an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist in a few weeks to make sure all is healing okay.

She got bit in the face by a dog on our first day of vacation.  The dog was a sweet dog who was old and tired and also suffered from a severe case of arthritis.  We suspect Feven touched the dog in a place that hurt  the dog, so the dog nipped at her to warn her not to do it again.  She cried really hard and was very shaken up, but luckily bled just a little.  I was proud of her for still wanting to pet dogs after that, but I also noticed that when the dogs she has seen since get their faces close to hers she freaks out.  I don't blame her!

She had to go to the bathroom the other day after running errands and I didn't get her out of the carseat fast enough. She peed in her carseat and so I took her out and then tried to quickly remove the carseat cover to minimize the damage.  I told her (without thinking) that if she still had to go more she could just go pee in the grass.  About 1 minute later I heard a little shuffle-shuffle-splat.  I looked over to find her with her pants and underwear down around her ankles, fallen face-down on the driveway in front of our house.  As a car drove by.  We are that family.  I scooped her up, threw the pee clothes in the middle of the driveway, and headed inside.

I was composing a difficult email this morning and she brought me a snack.  She carried in a small green plate from her tea set with a plastic donut on top and placed the plate on the office desk with a napkin.  She said, "You hungry, mama?"  I thanked her for the donut, then she put her little hand on the red and white checkered napkin she brought and said, "I have this if you need to wipe your mouth."  Such a thoughtful girl.  You better believe I stopped writing that email and gave the best little girl in the world some snuggles!

She and I spent 30 minutes snuggling and reading books together this morning in bed.  There was no place else I would have rather been than cuddling with her under her baby blanket, our foreheads touching, reading some of my childhood favorites and some of our new family favorites.

So those are a few things keeping me from the computer these days.  Life keeps spinning onward, leaving behind a trail of toys, dirty laundry, giggles, and memories.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Lose a Ton Lessons - Freedom in Limits

Having a Lose a Ton trial before my "actual" 10-day challenge proved to be helpful in many ways.  One way was that I began to see the freedom in limits.

On Day 3 of my trial run, I went through my massive collection of gift bags.  I was able to weed out bags liberally because I decided an appropriate number of gift bags for our house was 3 bags per size per holiday.  Having that limit enabled me to discern which bags I liked the best quickly.

Limit-setting also played an important role on Day 4 of my trial run.  I saw how nice life could be with a DVD cabinet where you could actually see each DVD without having to move around stacks of DVDs and VHS tapes.  Seeing the benefit of a limited number of DVDs helped me to make some tougher decisions regarding which movies to keep and which to sell.

When I began my official 10-day run, I started going through my kitchen linens.  I implemented a limit on my place mats after discovering I had 8 different place mat sets.  Sadly, I must admit many of them have not made an appearance yet in our house...which we've lived in for 5 years now.  I laid them out according to how many settings were in each - I had place mats for 4, 6, or 8 people dining.  I chose to keep just one set per group.  Having that practical limit helped me push through the obligation I felt and the irrational thoughts of what scenarios I might encounter later in life that would require me to need all 8 sets.

I need to remember limit-setting in the future.  When storage space seems infinite it's easy to hang onto everything.  When a limit is set only the truly important things stay.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Lose a Ton Garage Sale (aka Blessed and Exhausted)

This weekend I got to be part of a garage sale with a few of my friends who have also been scouring their homes for unused, unwanted, or overabundant items.  My friend hosted at her house and we had a great time!

I spent some late nights over the last few weeks rummaging through my house looking for items to sell, pricing the items and packing them up, then hauling them over to my friend's house to set up for the sale.  The alarm clock seemed to go off far too early the last few mornings and I felt I needed an IV to get caffeine into my system more efficiently!  However, despite the exhaustion I have felt this last week (and feel as I sit here trying to type!) it was SO MUCH FUN!  

Minnesotans know that the summers in our state make up for the harsh winters, and the two days we held our rummage sale were prime examples of perfect Minnesota summer weather.  I got to sit outside with my friends all day, relaxing in patio chairs under an umbrella and enjoying the gentle summer breeze with temps in the upper 70's.  Above the sky was blue with a few crisp white clouds.  Gorgeous.  Absolutely gorgeous.

A few weeks ago I started praying for our sale.  I prayed not just that we would earn some money from the items we had to sell, but that there would be people who would come who would find just what they needed at a really, really good price.  I wanted to meet the needs of others.  I wanted to bless others.  Within the first 15 minutes of the sale we got to see our first answer to that prayer.  It continued over the course of the two days.  A teenage girl found a TI-86 graphing calculator she needed for school for only $3.  A woman struggling financially found some very affordable kitchen items and some free cleaning products.  A couple who had just purchased all the needed ingredients for stir-fry meals found a wok.  A man found a Princess Bride DVD and was so excited because he and his wife only had the VHS (side note - he looked JUST like Cary Elwes, the main character in the movie!  When I told him this he said that's why his wife married him! Awesome!)  There are so many stories of people finding just the right item I can't remember them all!  It was incredible to see the people who stopped by our sale find items that were really special to them.  

I got to work with some very generous people.  My friends are amazing.  Time and again I watched them lower the price if someone asked or give away an item for free.  Sure, we all were happy to take home some extra cash, but what we liked the most was giving our stuff to others who would use it and enjoy it.  

Friends who lived nearby (or not so close too!) stopped by to say hi.  It was delightful to see a familiar face stroll down the alley to our sale.  I got to catch up with a few friends I haven't seen in awhile and hear what they've been up to.  

I brought home money to add to our adoption fund.  I feel blessed and excited to make another transfer into that fund.  We don't know yet who will join our family or when, but we're getting ready for when that time comes.  

I did NOT bring home as much stuff from the sale today as I hauled over to the sale on Wednesday.  That is a blessing!  Over 400 pounds of stuff left our home rummage-sale-bound.  I don't know how many pounds returned, but it was considerably less!  

What a fun experience.  Even though my body is aching and my eyes are heavy, my heart is happy and I will cherish these memories for a long time.