Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sixty-Eighth Step - Yard sale etc.

Yard sales are such a strange phenomenon. It's like we are reverting back to elementary school, deciding to "play store" with the whole neighborhood. Come and see our little store, everyone, except instead of joyfully giving us play money you are haggling over 50 cents. C'mon people, we're sitting out here all day! We should be getting a little tip or something, not a constant questioning of what we think our junk is worth. :) I kept thinking, "What do these people WANT if they can't find it here? This is such great stuff! If I went to this yard sale, I would think it was the best one I've ever been to!" I know it's nothing personal, but I don't see how people could resist all the yard sale goodness we had goin' on (those ones who do a quick walk-through and leave, with or without saying goodbye/thanks). I cried each time, and screamed after them, "Didn't you see the maternity clothes? You're pregnant, you know!"

Now, of course, I did pick out (most) of this stuff in the first place for some reason or another, so it would be a buyer's paradise for me, if I were in the yard sale mindset of things that I "could use." But alas, I am in the mindset of "What's really happened in the last 7 years? Have I gone rollerblading?" And of course, the answer is no. So off "the blades" go into the sale, to be coveted only by a 9-year-old boy whose pleas were ignored by Mom. My poor forsaken rollerblades, not even wanted at the rock-bottom price of $7.50 (these are Roces, people! $279 new, I just googled and am shocked because an ex gave them to me in high school and I didn't know they were *so* expensive, but slightly too small for me anyway after having babies, because, you know, babies give stretch your feet, it all makes perfect sense). DH says I can get rollerblades if I ever decide to take up rollerblading again--pshah, like that will ever make the top of the list in the future. $279 on rollerblades, or groceries? "Sorry, baby, no dinner for you--Mommy needed new rollerblades..."

Another delusion I had to give up was that we would be an ice-cream-making family. It would be idyllic, and sweetened with fruit, and creative, dairy-free ice cream with almond milk would bring us all together. Sigh. No one bought that kitchen gadget, so now there's the temptation to snatch it back and revive the dream. Must. donate. soon. My dream of constant houseguests, opening our home to those in need, or family, or friends visiting, is also gone. Gone up in smoke, along with our lovely guest bed (guest room finally gave way to a playroom), a steal at $25. Someone said they just spent $160 on a full bed, not even new. There you have it, people--no one can say we were hoodwinking them at OUR sale. This bed was bought, unlike my grandma's dining room table, and loaded up by us. We even *delivered* a picket fence to someone, no delivery charge (and again, sadly, no tip). I kept praying for God to release my heart from this stuff, and the twinge when I thought of my kids playing with a certain toy, or wearing a certain outfit, or hugging a certain bear, grew smaller each hour. The more I looked at our yard, the more confident I was that we really didn't need this stuff. And the more confident I was that I would not want to do this again, as confident as the last time I said that. It was too emotional ("Are they going to buy that? Are they not? I hope they do, but they don't know the STORY behind that! Give me that back!"), and talking to people 2 days straight was exhausting. It was fun to have so many people come over, but I wanted Mom to call me in for dinner and say it was time to stop playing.

It was worth our time (money-wise, we made a respectable, not phenomenal, amount), except some would say staying up until 2 the night before and ignoring our kids for 2 days was a big price to pay (Actually, the kids did really well--next time they are stir-crazy, I will just put a blanket out on the lawn and dump a bunch of toys on it and tell them this is the last time they'll get to play with them. It worked great). It is a weird feeling, sitting there, feeling like, "Shouldn't I be DOING something? Oh yeah, I'm running my *store*. Phew. I can sit and enjoy the day, until I need to arrange the kids' clothes again." Truly it was weird though, to sit with DH and goof off all day. I eventually got the pears from MM's tree and started peeling them, which was tricky when it came time to receive money and get change from my pocket (after the cursory dollar or more off of each item was tallied). No takers on the nativity scene--where is your Christmas spirit, Newarkians? I thought that was a sure thang! I learned after accepting $2, $6, $3.75 from people that things can add up pretty quickly--and if I just spent less, I would make as much money as a yard sale pretty durn quick. Because, you know, each item was bought for like 1/4th to 1/20th of what we paid for it, depending on the miserliness of the buyer and the condition of the precious treasure he/she found on our lawn.

We borrowed tables from a certain unnamed compound, and they were suh-weet. Really, the whole thing was a thousand times better than the really pathetic one we had in the spring, on a day it was pouring down rain and we had our porch stuffed to the gills and clothes spread out on the living room floor. I didn't like strange people coming into our house all day, and told myself and my husband and anyone who would listen that I would never do that again. But we had to make one more attempt of course, this fall, before *really* getting rid of everything we didn't sell. Inviting them into our backyard was much more fun, and it only rained about an hour after the sale was over, giving us enough time to race everything left back into the garage before it truly started.

We *are* keeping a few items to try to sell other ways. Motorcycle helmet ($40), sit-n-stand double stroller ($75), Fujica camera (I dunno), victrola (too much for anyone who must only get functional items for their family), and now that I looked up those rollerblades, I'll try Craig's list or e-bay for those. Also have a new Bluetooth for $20. ANY TAKERS? I'll take a dollar off if you're extra nice.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sixty-Seventh Step - Field trip and P.E. Park Club

Wow, there is so much freedom as a homeschooling mom. Sometimes I'll have to rein it in a little! Yesterday we did a field trip to the zoo, and learned more about animals informally, but also talked about animals with backbones some more (there aren't too many without backbones there, actually--even snakes have them! Didn't realize this until I started taking Kindergarten again, for the 2nd time). :) Nana came and had a good time with the kids I think, even though I was kind of crabby. It didn't start raining until we were about 100 yards from the van (well, actually, it started while we were in the gift shop, but there was a brief reprieve). We saw lions, a tiger, and a bear. Oh my, traffic on the way home wasn't bad at all, even though we left at 5 and had to take 270!!

I can't wait until Clare can read the signs at the zoo (and, you know, books and stuff), and understand more of her science book. I think some of the concepts are a little too complex right now, but we'll keep on keeping on with what we can understand. I say "we," because I was looking at a couple experiments that show how flight, air pressure, lift, drag work, and I was like, "Um, I'm not sure I totally get this, and I don't think I can explain it to a 5-year-old!" Ah well. I'll probably only do the actual book a couple times a week, depending on how fast the coop is moving.

We had P.E. Park Club today, our first one, and I think it will be really neat! A great chance to see other kids, and other MOMS! Yeah! I am going to teach a soccer session in November--hopefully it will be nice enough to be outside. I am a bit leery of doing soccer inside a church sanctuary--something is bound to get broken! Especially with my massive soccer skills--I just can't control the power. Can't stop it.

It was WINDY though, and my face and ears are kind of raw. Did NOT bring winter hats--is it time to change out clothes again ALREADY?? Yikes-a-daisy. Oh my, where did I get that term? Did I pick it up from my husband, the Ahia boy? Anybody else say it? Please??

Come by our YARD SALE, this Friday and Saturday, 9a-4p. We have lots of goods! Discarded, unwanted, but really good goods!! (They didn't make the cut in our house, but maybe you have lower standards! Isn't that what a yard sale is, ultimately?) Just kidding. I mean, we have "different seasons," and "different tastes," and "babyproofing and this is impractical," and "we have absolutely no space for this after 3 kids and wow that was nice when we were newly married but now everything must be purely functional or it gets the boot" times in our lives. And this is one of them. Oh yes, 1500-square-foot house, this is one of them.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sixty-Sixth Step - Be an Auntie Again

Had a nice talk with my sister-in-law (the Utah one) yesterday--she is due any day now! She and my brother are excited to finally see "chickpea," and know that she is a girl but are waiting to share her name until afterward. Well, actually, they are waiting until they meet her to decide between 4 or 5 names. Michael said they might say each one and see if she responds, which I didn't have the heart to tell him that he's not gonna get a response from her for at least 2 or 3 weeks...and even then she might just have gas. But whatever works, if it helps them choose, then more power to them. Maybe she really will like the sound of one. I can't wait to hear her name for the first time! I only heard a really early list of names, and I'm sure it's changed a lot since then.

I gave Karin the labor pep talk ("Remember, they work for you"), and some of my special tips and mysterious secrets. Haha. I can't wait until I can be involved somehow in the birth world! Alas, this is not the season to be running off for 10 hours any time of the day or night. Sounds heavenly though, ha! I told Karin about my mantra (revelation) about the uterus and pain that really helped me with Charlie, which I won't go into here I suppose. They have a doula, so that is really good since they want to go for a natural birth.

We'll get to meet Chickpea in December, Lord willing and the creek don't rise. I can't wait! The kids only have one other cousin, so I'm excited for them to meet their new one. Too bad she will live so far away!

We went to Bluegrass, BBQ and Boom tonight at our arboretum, and it was a nice time. Abri introduced herself to everyone in the vicinity, and cruised around their legs. Ah, to be one again and have no inhibitions. I guess that won't happen again until I'm 90 or so. She sure was a friendly little thing. And then she had to be facing the other way with her head on Daddy's shoulder and his hand over her ear once the fireworks started. It was neat with the orchestra, but the music ended a little early and the finale was done during silence, which was different. And we didn't get a really good clap in for the orchestra. Ah well. I'm sure they are still crying!!

Well, have some things to get together downstairs. Still working on a sewing project for the new mommy, and "nesting" with my homeschool spaces, seeing what works. I got out THE LAMINATOR so I guess it's official now. I'm, like, a teacher of my children.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sixty-Fifth Step - Stop Homeschooling

Don't have a heart attack--I just mean stop for the weekend. :) It really did feel weird not having school today! Kind of a relief, but I was like, "Maybe we can just read a story or something?" What we did do is get Abri's 1-year pics at Sears. She did a great job smiling too! I was nervous that she wouldn't sit still long enough to get snapped, but I think we got some good ones. Then we played in THE JUNGLE with our friend the E-man. Abriana went up the big tree slide all by herself! Not down it, though, thankfully. She slid down on her belly backward (with me there) and said "eeee!" (wheee). We also went to the arcade and rode the carousel and won some sweet prizes. And MM caught a delicious bass.

KIDS SHOES were ON SALE at Sears for 0.99/pair! I was floored--I am *never* in the right place at the right time like that. So Clare's shoes for next summer are all set, and so are the baby's. :) Baby got some light-up princess tennies too, since used tennies aren't my favorite thing. Well, boys' used tennies mainly. Somehow little girls' feet smell better?? Anybody second that?!? Well, they are sugar and spice and everything nice...

I am pondering much about homeschool styles and philosophies. I can't wait until we discover our "learning style" and become those "lifestyle learners" that sound so neat. I can't wait to be able to say, "Well, what's worked for us is..." and I know that may change for different kids, but to at least have some idea. All I know is that after 3 days of concentrated "school" effort, Charlie can say, "C stands for in cat!" and "D stands for in dog!" with a big smile on his face. And Clare can say "C'est l'heure de s'habiller!" (it's time to get dressed). And the time together has been really neat. A friend was saying she does better with more structured time with her kids, and I think I am that way too. It is hard to be gentle and patient in the middle of chaos. And I realized this week, our space being neat, clutter-free and organized makes a big difference with being able to "do school" and focus. By Thursday some things had congregated in the living room with us, such as two tents and two sleeping bags and some upstairs/basement toys, and I felt like the walls were closing in on us...it was a good learning experience. And I didn't scream like I was in a horror movie.

Anybody else not like both kids leaning on them at once? Even one sometimes is too much--it's hard enough to hold my own body up with my core the way it is!! "You're young and strong, children--sit up tall!" Cuddling can be nice, but I have to be in the mood. And have done t-tapp that morning so my core is sufficiently awake. T-tapp hasn't been done since I was sick a week ago, and my back is hurting! This is why the plan is to get up at 6, and get 'er done. Hear that? Up at 6, get 'er done.
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