Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sometimes wine just isn't enough - aka, the thrills and SPILLS of the Terrible Twos.

Let me preface this possibly jarring blog post (at least to some, perhaps) by saying, I love my daughter.  I would gladly lay down in front of a bus for her.  Fight off rabid zombie squirrels for her.  She is the squish to my peanut butter. 

However, there are times when the sound of her voice makes me want to kill myself. 

Moms, back me up here.  And when I say moms, I mean REAL moms....  Not the medicated, la la la, every thing is coming up roses all the time, I can't feel my face anymore ladies who call themselves moms.  I'm talking the down in the trenches, I can't talk anymore about poop or other bodily monstrosities (why didn't my mom ever WARN me about this crap), can't I just go to the bathroom ONCE in peace, I love you but please STOP touching me, moms.  

After 9 months of pregnancy, you have this little red, wrinkled gnome of baby-ness that you love.  You stare into your baby's face, searching for this feature or that feature, "does he/she look like me, my husband, my mother, etc?"  The first three weeks in hell you can't really remember because you haven't slept - you and your husband frequently dissolve into fits of hysterical laughter followed by weeping unabashedly because you're so tired.  You find yourself playing "rock, paper, scissors" to decide who has to get up when the baby cries.  But that eventually passes and you begin to gloat to your other new parent friends that YOUR baby sleeps for 4-5 hours at a stretch - nah nah nah nah.  

And then you slip into a steady groove at about 4 months when you can leave your baby in a swing or vibrating chair (within reach, of course) and do mundane things like read a book, make a grocery list, watch a TV show without worrying about him/her bursting inexplicably into flames or imploding on a burp. 

And then the wonder months come.  Those glorious months of rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing and walking.  And you marvel at this human being who you had a hand in creating - who is clearly smarter and more advanced than any other baby that has ever lived.  "OMG, get the camera....she's a genius!  She just sat up, rolled over and did a handstand on the coffee table.  All while farting like an old man.  Mensa, here we COME!"  Everything is so cute and amazing.

And then those days pass.  Suddenly you are trying to outsmart a tiny, universe-laughing, mini-version of yourself.  The first-timers, like me, go for the baby-proofing kits at your local Target - the word "baby-proof" lulls you into a lovely false feeling of security and safety.  That feeling quickly passes when you are sitting on the living room floor cursing under your breath at the latches for the cabinets because you can't get them to release.

Hand them to your 12 month old - that shit will be released in a matter of seconds.  Totally negates the whole "baby-proofing" thing if your child is the only person that CAN get into the proofed items. 

You start stacking every item you ever owned higher and higher - making towers of books and DVDs that you don't want field stripped by a pro.  Looking around the room, never suspecting that chair legs might be used as a weapon against the cat - how on EARTH did he/she manage to get that chair leg off...and how is the chair still standing?!!

A few months of that and you are now a PRO at hiding, stacking, straight SELLING anything of yours that may be of interest to your kid.  You buy the learning toys that EVERYONE says you HAVE to have, spend the money on non-toxic engaging toys...and look over to see your darling baby playing with a ball of dust/cat fuzz from under the couch.  Winning.

And then comes the walking.  And then the running.  And then the climbing.  And jumping.  And basically at this point, your pets desert you without remorse.  Hiding from the whirlwind/spastic jumping bean that has become your child.  You want to hide too sometimes - don't lie.  You dream of days when the house is quiet - and it's not because it's 4am and everyone else is asleep.  You daydream about vacations alone and setting fire to that damn stroller that swore it could be opened one-handed, and takes 2 people and a lot of shaking to actually get it going. 

You wonder when the guys with the padded cell are gonna come get you because you can have an entire conversation of squeaks, honks and grunts with your child that you can ACTUALLY understand.  And you realize that you were LIED to by every mother you talked to before and WHILE you were pregnant. 

Secretly those bitches were laughing inside when you delusionally started talking about how much fun being a mother was going to be and how you couldn't wait for everything.  They knew the exact moment when you would swallow all your theories about parenting without yelling and would just lose your shit.  They looked at your clean and brushed hair and snickered. 

How far I have fallen.  And as I finished writing this lovely diatribe, I found a Cherrio in my hair that my 2 year old had so generously bestowed upon me. 

And I ate it.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The best intentions of mice and men...

Sooooo....I started a blog again and what happened?  Same thing.  Wrote a few times and then life came along and went KAFLOOEY.

Here's a brief rundown of what's been going on in the interim - uhhhh.....oh yeah!

1.  Unpacked the house (and still unpacking)
2.  Busy, busy, BUSY summer season for Reyna Red. (yay!)
3. Had a Flash Sale (my first, another to come soon!)
4.  A friend moved away.
5.  A friend got married.
6.  Sick cat.
7.  Sick kid.
8.  Laptop went KAFLOOEY!  Got a new one.
9.  Washing machine went KAFLOOEY!  Got a new one.
10.  Classic Car show - took pictures.

And that brings us to today - so now you are caught up.  Really gonna try to keep this updated from now on.  I promise, promise...and hopefully with things that interest my readers and (hopefully) more readers to come.

Plans for August

VACATION!!  Taking 2 weeks off for the first time that doesn't involve moving cross country.  The shop will be open, orders will be filled after I get back.  My office is getting overhauled, plans for a new desk and better organization are being vetted.  Wall art is being drooled over...ideas are being thrown around for the movement of a giant rug currently being pinned down by a million pounds of SCHTUFF.'s not really a vacation per say....

New Fall/Winter stuff will be unveiled!  

Another FLASH SALE!!!

Website overhaul....ick, HTML....oooooo, bucket of HaagenDaas....I feel better.  LOL


Friday, April 5, 2013

A work in progress - aka: Podlette's new room and playroom

So some of you know that about 4 years ago (when I had that other blog), we bought a 100 year old house in Omaha.  Shortly thereafter, my husband was deployed for 9 months and I had EVERY single room to repaint because the previous owners had this passionate love affair with dark, DRAB colors.  So I used every bit of the 9 months and every room was repainted and decorated by the time my husband got home.

Fast forward another 2 years after that and we were expecting our daughter, Thalia...affectionately known to many as Podlette, Pod, Poddance J Poddington III, etc....  So one room got re-painted for the nursery - my husband did that since I was anti-paint at that point.  And it was adorable - all primary colors and a Dr. Seuss theme.  And it was Podlette's room for all of 3.5 months of her first year and then we were transferred to Monterey, CA our beautiful home was rented out.

To morons.

But that is a different story.

Long story short - 7 months in Monterey.  Back to Bellevue in a two-bedroom apartment for 7 months while our tenants lease ran out.  Back into our house.

So how we're back and we've played musical bedrooms - moving things around since the needs of the family have changed drastically.  My daughter's old nursery is now my husband's office.  His old office and the upstairs sunroom is now her bedroom/playroom.  The first thing we did was have the room that was billiard green re-painted to a light sky blue - by someone else because I NEVER want to see another can of paint+primer again.  EVER.

So it's still a work in progress - we need to put up the curtains and valances up in the playroom which has a Dr. Seuss One Fish, Two Fish theme.  And we are still waiting on a GIANT Truffela tree growth chart and a wall quote for Podlette's bedroom - Dr. Seuss ABC themed.

Hey, what can I say?  We LOVE Dr. Seuss.  We're nerds.

Here goes!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Home again, Home again...jiggety jig.

So the last week has been a total whirlwind of packing, moving, unpacking (and still unpacking) from a tiny 2 bedroom apartment that served as short term housing back into our 2800+ square foot house.  To put it another way, you could fit our entire apartment in the basement of our house.  That's how small it was.

Let's just say I am so happy to have more space, I'm practically making snow angels out of packing peanuts.

Podlette, my 18 month old daughter is gleefully going up and down the stairs, running from room to room like a spastic jumping bean. 

And the WINDOWS....

I need a lot of light.  Mostly I think it's because I am from a particularly sunny state (California) and am used to sun, warmth, etc at least 9 months of the year.  Fast forward to 5 years ago when I moved to Nebraska and am frequently stuck indoors for weeks, (if not months) in the winter.  Our apartment had 3 (count 'em) 3 windows.  Total. 

The house has 37 windows, and 2 sunrooms.  Again, if I could make snow angels in sunlight, I would be.  LOL

I look around, even with the piles of boxes still to unpack and I smile.  I am so thankful and happy to be HOME.

                                                    This is an old picture - but it's HOME.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Moving tips from a military spouse - or how to PCS like a pro

First of all...for those not in the know - PCS stands for 'permanent change of station'.  This is what we call any move for an assignment lasting over 6 months. 

Some of you may know that I am a military spouse which means that I have a unique perspective on moving. In fact, I have had a total of 3 cross country moves in 5 years.  Not the most I have ever heard of, but that is mostly because I do not move unless the assignment is going to be over a year.  My husband has moved 13 times in the last 6 years to give you an idea of how crazy it can get.

What I have learned from those cross country moves as well as the MANY do-it-yourself moves I have done over the years (8 total) are the following tips to make moving as painless as possible.  It's a long one...

1.  Book the truck as SOON as possible.

How many times have you gone to book that lovely orange and white UHaul only to discover that every branch in town is sold out?  Do NOT wait until Friday to book a truck for the weekend - instead book at least 2 weeks out to give yourselves more options.

2.  Hire, and/or beg extra help.

I am a firm believer in 'many hands make light work'.  There are many moving services that are connected to UHaul and can also be booked in advance.  How many times have you run into issues because all the people who said,  "sure we'll help you move" don't actually show up on moving day and you are suddenly stuck trying to haul a 42 inch TV down 2 flights of stairs by yourself.  So hire a couple or few professional movers for a couple hours and save yourself the headache.  If your friends also show up for the free beer and pizza you promised - GREAT.  The more help means a shorter day for everyone.

3.  Pack well in advance.

No one realizes how much CRAP they really have until they have to move it.  So my advice, start packing at least a couple weeks before you plan to move.  This gives you time to go through clothing, etc and make several trips to Goodwill WITHOUT feeling like you have to stuff everything into a box and take it with you.  Plus this will cut down on the very real possibility of needing to dumpster dive for boxes the night before and staying up until the WEE hours shoving things into toilet paper boxes.
4.  Hire a babysitter on moving day.

Find a reliable sitter and hire them to watch your kids on moving day.  It's worth the money so that your kids are out of the way, and not wreaking havoc because their new trick is to build a tower of blocks in the middle of the floor or opening and closing all the doors.  Save yourself the headache and let them have a fun playdate away from the action.

5.  Move all boxes to a staging area

This makes moving SO much faster.  If you move all the boxes you have packed in advance to a staging area like a garage or empty bedroom, the movers can clear them out SUPER fast which makes getting to the large bulky furniture items that much faster.

6.  Label AND take inventory on all irreplaceable/expensive items

Take the advice from someone who lost 12 boxes in her last move.  Movers didn't take the correct inventory and mislabeled some of the boxes, and now I am in the midst of a loss claim from hell for irreplaceable items like heirloom Christmas ornaments, business supplies, and collectible books.  Take inventory and move these items YOURSELF if possible.


Spend the 20 bucks or so and GET the insurance on the UHaul truck.  Many a time I have heard horror stories about the condition of the rental truck - big surprise they are not kept up like you would your car.  So save yourself the headache and get the insurance.

8.  Leave yourself at least a full day to clean the home you are leaving/or hire a service.

Need to turn in the keys on the 31st?  Well then don't MOVE on the 31st.  If you want any hope of getting back the potentially HUNDREDS of dollars you paid at the beginning for a damage deposit - make sure you have at least a full day to clean your previous dwelling.  More if you are responsible for cleaning the carpets.   Or save yourself the work and hire a cleaning service like Molly Maids.

9.  If at all possible, move your pets to the new location (or to a quiet pet-friendly hotel/pet daycare) BEFORE the movers arrive.

Moving is EXTREMELY stressful for pets.  Boxes start piling up, things start disappearing, new smells, etc.  This can make even the most easy-going pet really nervous.  So do your pets a favor and move them over to the new place BEFORE the movers come.  Secure them in a spare bathroom or somewhere else where they will not be disturbed by the movers.  If that is not a possibility - consider a pet daycare or having a friend cat or dog sit for the day.

10.  Buy a bottle of wine (or two...or three) and party trays so you will not have to cook for a couple days while you unpack.

Where the heck did the dishes go?  Have you SEEN the box with the silverware?  It's the end of a loooooooong day, your back is aching, your feet hurt and you are STARVING.  Save yourself the headache and get a couple of meat/cheese and fruit party trays so that you can grab a bite without having to figure out what box anything is in.  And crack open that bottle of wine or two and toast to your new place.

And finally a BONUS ....

Immediately upon arriving at your new home - Build and make all the beds.  This way at the end of the day when you can't lift your arms, you can just fall into a freshly made bed and sack out.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

So you think you can start a blog...


That was the sound of an idea hitting me a couple weeks ago whilst in the middle of an picture editing jag from HELL.  (All pic editing jags that are over 2 hours will hence be referred to in this manner.) 

Hey!  I should start a blog. 

Totally original idea I know.  Not an original idea for me as I have attempted this before and frankly kinda lost interest.  I mean I know I'm awesome and everything, but I just couldn't maintain a blog talking about my awesomeness all the time.  Tres boring!

So I let it fall by the wayside and it really wasn't all bad - I had some book reviews, movie sarcasm, pics of new projects, home improvement extravaganza, was good ideas.  Just not a lot of readers.  I think most of my readers were pity readers. 

Oh look - how cute is that?  Leah is trying to be a writer.

For the record, this is why I don't try to make my living as a writer.  I would starve.  And I really like to eat, and cook, and buy boxes full of sparkly whatnots...and so I write for fun.  Without the looming doom of paying my mortgage over my head.

But try, try, TRY again as they say....

So here I go.  Please join me for a magical ride into Leah land.  Keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times. 

And don't forget to tip your server.