Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I am really, really bad at multitasking

I know I haven't posted since...January? February? Whenever I posted the first half of last year's recap. And I know I haven't posted the second half of last year's recap yet; it's still sitting here in draft form, looking at me accusingly. I don't have a good valid reason other than when I have to do more than, say, three things in a day I get really overwhelmed. Hence the title.

I've talked about my back injury before, and now I have "graduated" from physical therapy and steroids and am trying to lose the weight I put on when I couldn't do anything without excruciating pain. (Shout out to you, too, emotional eating!) This is part of my inability to multitask: if I focus on working out and losing weight and basic "keep everything kind of running smoothly" stuff, nothing else can fit in my brain. And when I say keep everything running smoothly, I mean feed the kids three times a day and make sure they have enough clothes to wear something clean to school, even if they have to dig it out of a laundry basket. Cleaning does not happen on any sort of a schedule right now, which is slowly but surely driving me crazy.

Then I start thinking about finishing house projects. I've got a million of them, and I'm adding more every day. Then it overwhelms me to think about doing that AND doing the workout/weight loss stuff AND doing the most basic household tasks. Sewing or crafting? I'd love to sew clothes for Baby Girl or finish one of my million craft projects, but my craft room is a mess because we switched rooms again and I get overwhelmed just looking at it. How many times am I going to have to put all this stuff away? And of course to blog I need to have content, and that would require me to do more than just look at the project list or look at the house and acknowledge that, yes, these things that I have to do exist and now I need to go take a walk, doctor's orders.

But I'm trying to get things figured out. When will I be back? I don't know. I do know that we're planning a lot of back yard work soon, and even if I don't post about it until August, since B is involved it's a project that will get done and therefore something I can write about. As for everything else, including that second half of the 2016 recap? Let's take that a day at a time.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

What I didn't post in 2016, part one

When I started thinking about coming back, the obvious choice for a first post was a 2016 recap. So I looked back at the posts I published in 2016. There were only eight. Obviously that wasn't going to be super helpful. But it made me think: what did I do in 2016? I mean, there were lots of non-blog accomplishments. I spent a lot of time with my kids. My back/leg started getting better. Um...what else? So I decided to look back at the pictures I'd taken. There were fewer than usual since I wasn't writing on here as much, but there was still enough.

Of course the first thing I noticed was the billion pictures of Baby Girl.

Ok, so let's get these sorted out a bit more.

I actually did blog in January, twice! First was my Christmas post, then a post about connecting two Barbie houses. We've moved stuff around in the house and most of Baby Girl's toys now reside in the living room, so the Barbie house is temporarily in a box. I know she would like to have it back, so I'd like to figure out a way to get it back out. If we can get it in a smaller space that would be good, but we do technically have the room to put the full layout up.

I blogged again in February, listing five relatively easy things I wanted to get done. To date, I believe I have finished one of them (specifically #5, recaulking the bathtub). Of course, this was right around when I think I started to get more pain from my back, so I'm not surprised I didn't get any painting or baseboard done. Meanwhile, I put the kids to work shoveling snow.

In March I posted about Baby Girl's fourth birthday party, although it took place in February.

Nothing on the blog in April, but we enjoyed some nice weather.

I made a pie for a horror movie party, which I shamelessly copied from a Pinterest post that I can't find anymore.

And Baby Girl, B, and I went antiquing.

Apparently almost every picture I took in May was blurry, so here are Baby Girl and B examining our new digital picture frame. She loves this thing, we have pictures of all our relatives and all our pets in it.

I also started setting up an aquarium in May. Here is Poppy patiently waiting for fish.

Finally, the last month for this post, June. Not much happened this month. This was about the time (ok, past the time) that I should have gone to the doctor for my back, but instead decided to just take it easy for the summer and go see someone in August. This was not the correct choice, if you were wondering.

Baby Girl had her last day of school.

(The boys did too, but they were gone before I was awake enough to think about getting last day pictures.)

Baby Girl learned about design.

And Poppy continued to wait for fish.

I'll continue with the second part of the year next time. Spoiler alert, it's going to be more of me saying "I was in a lot of pain, so I didn't do much this month." I'm hoping for a different narrative in 2017.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


I've been putting off writing here because I've felt like I haven't had anything to write about. Then, after I wrote that sentence I couldn't immediately think of anything else to write so I read blogs for three hours. And then I came back to this, stared at it for a second, and clicked away for about a week. That's kind of how all writing has been for me lately. As I was trying to put this post together--and failing to come up with much--I decided that it was time for a break. I don't know for how long, or if I'll come back at all, but if I do come back I know that I won't be back until 2017. I am hoping for a full recovery for my back (and the leg pain it's causing) but until then I'm just not moving fast enough to sustain content here. I am on the road to recovery but I'm not there yet. I had a steroid shot in my spine a few weeks ago, and I felt better for a little bit but now I'm more or less back to where I was before the shot. My hopes are now 100% on physical therapy, and the things I'm learning there are telling me that I really should have gone last time even though I had to have surgery. This whole back thing has stopped me in my tracks for such a long time it's hard to remember when I was last able to actually do consistent work on the house, or on anything, really. I made two Halloween costumes for friends (the kids' costumes were all store bought) and a few costume pieces for myself, but those were the first and last things I've made in a while. I'm gearing up to make curtains for the family room, and we'll see what happens after that. But until then, the list of partially finished projects, and projects that I want to start but can't, keeps growing and growing, as does my frustration.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Two years ago, almost exactly, I found out that I had a herniated disc and that I'd need surgery. Well, the last few--um, several--months I've been having leg pain. It was different than last time in that there was almost no back pain, so I thought it was sciatica and just tried not to overextend myself. It was getting a little bit worse in May, right as school was getting out, and I thought "eh, I'll just tough this out over the summer and get an appointment in August." It got worse as summer went on, as these things do. The boys went back to school August 25. Baby Girl didn't go back until the 30th, but I was in the doctor's office on August 26. She sent me for another MRI and yep, I have a bulging disc. I suppose it's better news in that it's not herniated, but that doesn't mean it won't herniate.

I couldn't get in to the neurologist until October 11, and as I am not a doctor I can't be sure of what he'll say, but I feel like "you can't do physically strenuous stuff anymore" is definitely on the table. That would mean most DIY stuff will be out. I can't imagine that any doctor would recommend someone with a recent history of back problems bad enough to require surgery should go ahead and take down walls or rip up and lay down their own floors. If that's the case, most plans of what I wanted to do with this house and what kind of house we wanted next are out.

I've wanted to buy and restore an old house since I was a kid. I had planned to just do one and move to another one, then repeat until I got too old to repeat any more, but then HGTV and DIY Network let me know that you can flip houses too, and I thought that would be a great way to save even more old houses. That part was more of a "maybe when the kids are older" dream, but I always thought I would at least be able to find a house to restore for us. I can't say for sure at this point that all that is off the table, but realistically, it probably is. So I'm kind of pre-mourning the fact that I won't be able to save at least one old house, and also kind of wondering how I'm going to finish all the projects I have to do here. B certainly has no interest in doing any home stuff, nor does he really know how. Also, it seems like whenever I finish one project I have two more when I turn around, so even if I did somehow get everything done, it wouldn't stay done.

I had such big plans for this year. All three kids were in school and I was going to get so much done during the day. Now I'm just going to be able to do laundry or something. At this point I can't even comfortably bend over to pick up stuff off the kids' floors. It's making me even more sad just thinking about it. I never thought I'd be sad to not be able to clean.

On a non-related note, I am working on updating all old links on the blog. I thought I'd only have to do the ones from the time I had the .com domain, but it seems like maybe every link was changed from a blogspot to a .com? It's in progress.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Update those bookmarks

I am choosing not to renew my domain name this year, as I have done zero with it since I bought it. I'm not 100% sure when it's going to revert, so I will be removing the redirect and my domain name will once again be on August 31.

I took the summer off without really intending to, but I will be back. School starts August 25 here, and Baby Girl will be in full-day preschool this year. I have no idea what I'm going to do with myself.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Back soon?

I've been dealing with some health stuff--nothing terrible, just a reoccurance of my back problems and what is probably sciatica. (Note to self: call the doctor, should probably verify that or something.) I was also sick with sinus and throat stuff the entire winter, from about October to March. I think I've gained thirty pounds from eating nothing but mashed potatoes and oatmeal for six months. All of that has put a damper on me doing much of anything physical beyond what I have to do to keep us from living in squalor.

We've also been mostly at a standstill on almost everything house-related because of a) the aforementioned health problems, b) the yearly "should we sell" debate, and c) needing to get the foundation fixed before we do anything else. We finally got a home equity line of credit, so we should be able to resolve C soon. The answer to B is probably going to be "no" again, like it always is (nothing we like on the market, as usual), and A...well, A might be the sticking point. But if I work slowly--even more slowly than I usually do--I might be OK. We'll see what the doctor says. As soon as I call her. I am feeling a little bit better, though, learning my limits etc etc. So I have a little bit of hope that I might be able to get back to doing stuff around here soon and, consequently, posting on the blog.

As for what I've been working on, or what I've been planning to work on, I'm redoing at least Baby Girl's and Mr. Man's rooms. Yaya's room doesn't really need a full redo just yet, maybe a minor refresh, but I don't know if/when I'll do anything substantial in there. We did move his loft bed out and put his old bed back in, but that's about it.

We might get to do some work in the backyard and put up our pool this year; it just depends on how much the foundation ends up costing and how much it will cost to cut down the trees back there. I want to cut down all the trees on our property (only four--a black walnut, a pine, a honey locust, and a maple that I think is a silver maple--but all of them are very tall, in stupid places, and very messy) but I doubt we'll be able to get to the front two (the pine and maple) this year. We need to cut down the two trees in the back and jackhammer up the patio to put in the pool. I'm not sure it's required, but I'd like to install another outdoor outlet for the pool. That might require us putting in a new subpanel inside (I think that would run about $1000), I'm not sure. The garage is wired mostly with an extension cord (thanks previous owners!), but there is an outlet that seems to be properly installed--it's not GFCI, but it is in an outdoor outlet box--but it's on the wrong side of the garage so maybe we could just get that moved. Of course that will involve digging a trench and stuff, but that's got to be cheaper than installing a new subpanel. We will have $3300 at the most to do all that, which is why I'm not holding my breath on getting everything done. I'm not even going to add "put a cute wooden cottage fence around the front yard" to the list.

We're also planning to switch rooms in the basement (again, for the millionth time) and fully finish the basement. I can't imagine that we'll get to the finishing this year; I just don't see it being in the budget or my schedule of maximum two hours of physical work a day, including cooking, cleaning, and child care. It'd be nice to get the basement finishing done before winter, but I'm not holding my breath.

I'd love to do a quick kitchen refresh, too. Nothing much, but I'd like to finalize the footprint in there and replace the floor (again) because I hate the one we have in there now. Amusingly (or annoyingly, whichever), when I was going through the tool area yet again, I found an entire box of the discontinued tile that prompted me to put down the hated floor I have in there right now. (I went to look for a post about the new kitchen floor to link here, but apparently I hate it so much I never wrote about it. That seems right. You can see a picture of it on Baby Girl's fourth birthday party post, though.) I had completely forgotten I had any tile down there--there were actually three boxes of various tile there. So...oops.

That's enough of a list to keep me busy for a while. I feel like I've lost a few years, but I guess that happens.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Baby Girl's fourth birthday party

We had Baby Girl's birthday party three weeks ago a month ago and I haven't been able to focus on writing long enough to sit down and finish the post about it until now. (And then I got halfway done with the post and got busy again until now, so let's hope I can get it done today.)

On the kids' birthdays, we let them pick out a piece of cake from the bakery. Baby Girl chose carrot, much to B's dismay. I don't know why; carrot is my favorite, and apparently hers, too. Now I want carrot cake.

Her party was a few weeks after her birthday. We get fewer and fewer people at the kids' parties each year. I don't know, next year maybe we'll just go to Chuck E. Cheese. But anyway. It was kind of train-themed and Baby Girls' favorites-themed. So train-shaped cookies, popcorn with candy in it, strawberries, and "train cars" of Oreos and more candy.

For her cake (chocolate this time, sorry Bub), my mom sent me a picture of a cake with mini Thomas trains on Kit Kat tracks so you know I had to do that. I made a waterfall out of a cupcake (vanilla, for Yaya because he doesn't like chocolate cake) and some Oreo crumbs on the back to be dirt or rocks or something.

Someone has been in the strawberries.

Stealing either strawberries or Oreos, or maybe both.

Present time! Bring on the Thomas track sets.

Aaaand party's over, time to play.