new room

In an effort to not let Piglet make the connection between a new baby and getting kicked out of her room and bed, we have been planning her new room together for the last two months.  When I first asked her what color she wanted for the walls, she said “black”.  I convinced her that was too dark and asked her again.  “Purple” was her next choice – I can live with that (and Russ is learning to).   Since then, whenever she is wearing something purple or sees something purple, she gets REALLY excited and says, “it matches my new room”….and I mean REALLLLLLY excited.

So today is the day that she officially moves into her new room after months of anticipation.  Her old room has been stripped bare so that it looks unappealing until July when it’s time to decorate again (who am I kidding, we’ll be good if I can wait until April to decorate once I know whether we are going for pink or blue this time).

Her “new room” (which is what she calls it every time) is really cute and all grown-up.  Russ is slowly getting accustomed to the extremely girlie nature of it, but he did play a part – he panted the walls purple.  So I give you the former guest room AKA Piglet’s big girl room:

The first place Piglet went when she got home from school was her “new room” (which she has apparently been talking about nonstop at school according to her teacher today).  I think she likes it!

We’ll see how her first night in her new room goes.

child labor

If you live in this house, you have to earn your keep.

Cooking Dinner

Clearing Limbs

But at least it was fun and she looked cute

Helping daddy carry a particularly heavy limb

MedSchoolMonday(on Friday): Heaven…I’m in Heaven

It’s less than a month until school starts back up, but I’m actually getting excited about cranking back up.  And a lot has been accomplished this summer–deck, finished sun room, painted house trim, etc.  A least the boss is happy.  Speaking of the deck, I now know what heaven will be like.  A couple of weeks ago, after the deck was completed, we splurged and bought a big bag of boiled peanuts and a gallon of tea from McAlisters.  We did up some of Dorothy and Russ’ make-you-wanna-smack-yo-mamma burgers and threw them on the grill.  Then all three us sat on the deck and ate peanuts and drank sweet tea.   We enjoyed the smell of cooking burgers and threw our peanuts shells into the backyard.   The little tater tot LOVES boiled peanuts and sweet tea; her daddy is so proud.  She couldn’t get enough.   We took pictures to document:

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Daughter and proud daddy.

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Where a foretaste of glory divine took place.

Hallelujah for boiled peanuts, sweet tea, and good company to throw shells in the grass. 

my husband is THE MAN

It’s been a while since my last post because all “free” time has been spent working on our house in super speed mode.   We finally got carpet installed in our office after our hot water heater flooded three months ago, so the weekend was spent moving back into that room (and trying our best to declutter so that the room was not as overcrowded as before).

Then Piglet spent the week at Grammy’s house so we could finish the sunroom addition without her making handprints in wet paint, stabbing herself with nails, or eating drywall.  I’m so glad it’s (almost) done!  Here’s our three year journey:

When we moved in three years ago, we had a horrible screened in porch off of our living room.  I use the term “screened in” loosely because the screens were all torn, probably by these two dogs that prevented me from going out onto the porch during the inspection and getting a good picture of the nastiness.  It was incredibly dirty and dingy – definitely not a place you want to hang out.


This is the view of the porch from the outside.


We decided, somewhat foolishly, that closing in the porch would be a great easy way to build some sweat equity…plus we wanted a playroom for Piglet since her bedroom is so small.

We started the process a year ago with the hopes that it would be finished before Russ started school in the fall.   That obvisouly didn’t happen.  The room looked like this until Christmas break.


After Christmas break, it was liveable so Piglet’s Christmas loot moved in.  But since it wasn’t completely done, all the tools hung out on the shelves.  Then when the hot water heater broke, all of the office contents got moved into the back half of the room.

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Then this week, we (mostly Russ) put the finishing touches (caulk, painted trim and doors, installed door hardware).  And voila:

house 005

Use your imagination to put cabinet doors on the lower half of the built-in and groovey decor on the shelves/walls and a snazzy new tv in the large opening – one day, maybe.

It took a long time, but Russ BUILT A ROOM – installed doors and windows, designed and created a built-in unit, brought the floor up to be level with the rest of the house, put down tile floor, installed remote control fans, hung siding, etc, etc, etc.   I’m impressed.   For my part, I cleaned up his messes – which were many.

So I guess if he gets to a point in his life when he can’t use his BA in History and English, his Master of Divinity, or his Medical School degree, he can fall back on being a handyman…because we all know he is not allowed to go back to school again.  ever.  

yard work

Lately, I’ve been wishing we hadn’t bought a house.  We bought right before the bubble burst and there were SO MANY more things that had to be done than we originally thought.  Money Pit.  It would also be nice for our free time to be free and not working on the house.  And the chaos that is our house stresses me out even more than usual. 

But yesterday, we worked in the yard on a beautiful sunny afternoon.  It was fun, and it felt great to see such a big improvement in just a few short hours.   And it’s something that Russ and I both enjoy doing together.  So yesterday, I was glad we have a house.

And Piglet was a big help as well.  She was good at picking up the string that held the pinestraw bails together, eating the dirt, running into the street, using the little gardening shovel as a spoon, and running through the water from the hose as I tried to water the plants.  But she was most helpful as Russ was trimming the tree.  She had a great time watching him work.  A limb would fall and she would laugh.  hard.


To keep her safe, I put her in her stroller so she didn’t run into the street as Russ and I tried to figure out which limbs to take down and so she didn’t get hit by a limb.  My plan, however, was almost foiled since Russ almost took her out anyway.   Can you see how close that limb in by her front wheel?!


But she just thought it was funny.  She was such a cutie, sitting and watching.  And when I got my turn using the pole saw, she applauded (with just a little nudging from daddy) – that’s good encouragement.  She makes a pretty good audience.


We started out just taking out a few limbs, but Russ got a little carried away with his fancy (borrowed) power tool.  Our pile was pretty impressive 20 minutes later. 


All in all, a successful afternoon.  Trimming a tree.  Spreading pine straw.  Buying some decent $1 azaleas on sale to go around the newly trimmed tree.  And installing 6 solar landscape lights for $27 (with a 10% off coupon). 

just in case

Two Wednesdays ago, Russ called a “budget summit”, making us examine our budget and see where we could cut back so we could save some more money – just in case.  We are already pretty bare bones, but we raked over that sucker with a fine-toothed comb and squeezed out a few more pennies that we could save each month.

Then that Saturday, our hot water heater broke:

  • $249.11 for a new hot water heater
  • $48.51 for expansion tank and drip pan
  • $153.50 for installation

The leaking hot water tank flooded our carpeted office:

  • So far only $35 for the measurement/estimate
  • Probably close to $400 for carpet, pad, and installation

Then we had to take the car in to get the door fixed.  It’s been getting harder and harder to close – I have to give it a good heave-ho everytime, and it usually takes three tries.  So we decided to fix it rather than risk getting to the day when it wouldn’t close at all, or fall off completely.

  • $125 car door repair

Then Piglet got sick (or really sickER – she’s had a cold/cough for 6 weeks).  Thursday night, she hardly slept because she was coughing so much.  Then Friday, we got a call from the school because her coughing led her to throw up a few times.  We called the pediatrician and they told us to come in.   After waiting over an hour the doctor comes in a tells us that she probably has a sinus infection and prescribes an antibiotic.

  • $25 copay for visit
  • $10 copay for prescription

Then this morning, Piglet was sitting in my lap when I noticed that there was dried blood in her ear.  At first, I didn’t think anything of it because she has a tendancy to scratch herself with her claws.  But when I looked closer, I didn’t see any scratches – the blood was coming from inside her ear.  I told Russ, and he gets out his $500 otoscope that he had to buy for school to look in her ear.  It actually is handy having a med student husband sometimes.  Anyway – the verdict – busted ear drum.  Yesterday when the doctor was examining her ears, she had to scrape out some ear wax to get a good view – Piglet screamed a lot, but I just thought she was cranky from having waited over an hour then getting poked and proded – I know I was cranky.   But between the scraper and the scope, the doctor punctured her little ear drum.  So we call the on call nurse, who actually trusts Russ’ diagnosis and prescribes ear drops until we can get an appointment on Monday.

  • $35 copay for prescription
  • They may try to charge us $25 on Monday, but I’m going to fight that since they are the reason we are having to go back in.

So I guess it’s good that we decided to cut back because last week was one of those “just in case” weeks.  Too bad we had only saved $20 since our budget submit.  Hmmm….

this is what happens when I don’t blog for four days

Forgive me readers, it has been four days since my last blog – AND – we missed a medschoolmonday.  so sad.

Well, we have a fancy new hot water heater and expansion tank, which is aparently code now and an extra $40.  great.   The plumbers came on Monday.  In order to save money, we bought our own hot water heater on Sunday night.  But Russ forgot the drain pan and the expansion tank, so I had to go to Home Depot in the POURING RAIN on my way home to wait for the plumbers and pretend like I knew what I was actually looking for.  Then I sat on the couch and waited and waited and waited.   They finally showed up an hour late.  Why does that always happen?   I took time off of work to come home and wait and wait and wait. 

We also have a half-carpeted room waiting for us to go pick out new carpet and actually move all of the crap that sits on the half-carpeted section…it so much stuff, and I really don’t know where it’s going to go.  

But it is a good thing that we had to buy a new hot water heater and carpet.   Otherwise, we might have a dog.  What, you don’t follow that logic?  We went to the SPCA on Sunday with the youth group to volunteer.  There was one sweet little white and brown puppy – we fell in love (even my heartless husband) and we knew that Pigle would be in love.  But we were recently reminded very strongly that we couldn’t afford a pet.  So we left empty-handed.  It was the right thing.


We bought Piglet a potty last week just to slowly introduce it to her.  But in the last few days, she has said, “poopoo” before she poo-pooed every time.  Next time I think we may try the potty.  geesh.  it’s too early…she’s too little.  STOP GROWING UP.  But really, no diapers would be groovey.  Those suckers are expensive.


In other good Piglet news, it has been 7 days since her last bite.  I am pretty stoked, because I was starting to panic at the thought of her getting kicked out of her school and how could we find a new place that we could afford without the church staff discount.   Her teachers have really stepped up and started to watch her more closely and stop her before she bites, and now she is even making fewer attempts.  Hooray.  But I’m still praying that this is the end.  No one wants to be the parent of the biter in the class.


Also, I’m an big fat complainer.  As I was typing this post, I turned to a DHC program called “Deaf and Blind Triplets”.  OMG.  That is one amazing mother.  I just can’t imagine.  If your babies couldn’t see your face or hear your voice.  or anything else.   I’m sobbing now.   I need to stop writing.  Good night.