Saturday, August 19, 2017

Right Now

Reading: We are STILL reading the Big Book of Big Dinosaurs every. single. night. We always let the each of the kids pick a book to read before bed. Ayden has picked this same book, every night since Easter. My knowledge of dinosaurs is ridiculous. Did you know that a Tyrannosaurus Rex's teeth were 14 inches long? The Diplodocus was the longest dinosaur and the Sauroposeidon was the tallest.

Watching: We recently started a 30 day free trial of Hulu, just so we could watch This is Us. I watched the show when it was on before, but Tony decided he wanted to watch it too. Season 1 is just as good the second time around. I can't wait for the show to start up again this fall.

I'm also watching America's Got Talent. Have you seen the 12 year old ventriloquist, Darci Lynne? If you haven't, you NEED TO! Just click on her name (that I just typed) and it will take you to a video of her first audition. Incredible!

Listening: We've been listening to We Are The Dinosaurs (surprised? lol), by the Laurie Berkner Band. The kids both love this song! If you have a little one that is really into dinosaurs, find this song for him/her. Just do it. And then you can blame me for it being stuck in your head.

Drinking: Always water, but not near as much as I should be drinking it lately. Also, Minute Maid Light Lemonade, and Diet Pepsi. I don't usually drink a lot of pop, but we had company last weekend and there was a few cans left that hadn't been opened, so I treated myself.

Eating: Lately I've been stuck on Pirate Booty. The kids love it for a snack, and so do I. Too much actually. It's addicting.

Wearing: A softball senior all star shirt from back in my coaching days when I helped coach the senior all star games. It's dated 2009. It's just a few years old! haha! I'm also wearing a pair of softball pajama shorts.

Loving: When my kids happily play together. Listening to them giggling and having fun together is everything. They fight a lot over toys, who gets to go potty first, who sits in what chair... It's exhausting. But usually at least once/day, they play nicely together. Those moments make the screaming matches a tiny bit more tolerable.

Anticipating: Being reunited with my sisters again tomorrow! Last summer, Sis and I traveled to Montana to meet our baby sister, who we hadn't seen in 30 years up till that point. This year, Baby Sis is traveling here to Oregon with her family! We'll all be under one roof for an entire week and I can't wait!

The 3 of us from last summer: Baby Sis, Sis, and me.

Hoping: That the eclipse traffic won't be as bad as anticipated. We have 100% totality here, which is awesome, but also means chaos. Oregon is expected to have a million extra visitors for this once in a lifetime event. I'm hoping it doesn't interfere with our plans for the week, with Baby Sis here.

Following: The news regarding the eclipse. I've read a few articles about eye safety. We have glasses for watching it, but I am nervous for the kids, as they just won't understand that they need to keep the glasses on and not look at the sun. I've also been following the traffic news. So far, it doesn't seem as bad as anticipated, but it's not over yet, so we will see.

Wondering: If I will ever get motivated enough to actually make exercise and eating healthier a priority. I'm seriously not happy with my body. Yet, I can't seem to make that leap into making healthier choices. I just need to do it. Ugh. I'm embarrassed that I used to be a personal trainer. My life is so far from that now.

Trying: To work on my patience. It's a challenge. Three year old whining, crying, and fighting about everything grates on my nerves to no end.

Worrying: About Ayden's stutter. I've been meaning to write a blog post about this topic specifically, but I just haven't been able to sit down and put my thoughts into words yet. The short version is that Ayden started stuttering on the 4th of July. It progressively got worse for 3 weeks, to the point that he could barely talk. It's gotten a million times better since then, but is still a pretty serious issue. I'm worried that this will be a permanent thing. I'm worried about how it will effect him in school and with his peers.

Planning: To celebrate our anniversary! The in-laws will be watching the kids for a weekend. This will be our first weekend away from them ever! We've done a few overnight trips, but never more than one night. I am so looking forward to having two days to focus on us. It is much needed. Now we just have to decide what we want to do.

Contemplating: Going to bed. I really, really need to go to bed now.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Period Watch: 2017

I feel pretty stupid for writing my last post. My period finally decided to show up the very next day, ten days late. I mean, I knew it was an impossibility for me to be pregnant, but for some reason I just couldn't keep my mind going there anyway. Why? Why did I torture myself like that?

I'll tell ya why. Because we had sex during my supposed "fertile" window. Because I was TEN days late! Because while the thought of having another baby freaks me out on many levels, it would also be such a freaking miracle. Because I've had a touch of baby fever lately. One of my very favorite things to do is snuggling newborn babies! Ayden and Rylee LOVE babies so much. I have NO doubt that they would be ecstatic to have a baby brother or sister. They have never, ever expressed an ounce of jealousy whenever I've held another baby. No, instead they fawn all over the baby and fight over who gets to hold it next. They say things like, "she's so cuuuuuute!"

However, I really couldn't imagine keeping up with Ayden and Rylee while pregnant, let alone with the sleep deprivation that comes with having a newborn. Also, we are finally in a place financially right now that is somewhat comfortable. Not great, but we are at least not paycheck to paycheck and have a decent savings built up.

I gave up the idea of ever getting pregnant on our own YEARS ago, way before Ayden and Rylee ever came along. It's not something that will ever be in my reality. Plus, I'm almost 43 for crying out loud. I'm a frickin old lady with old lady eggs! Apparently that doesn't stop me from wondering what if though....

Period Watch 2017 (as dubbed by one of my infertility sister friends) is officially over.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Where is Aunt Flo?

Can I just say what a mind fuck it is for my period to be NINE days late?

Please excuse my language, but it's the only thing that I can think of to accurately describe what it's like for an infertile to have her period be 9 days late. I'm pretty sure I was about a week late last month too, but I don't really know because I wasn't really keeping track. I've always been pretty consistent though.

Years ago, when we were trying to get pregnant, I used a period tracking app on my phone. I'd been debating downloading it again, just so I could be more aware of my body and stop guessing as to when Aunt Flo would be visiting. After last month, I bit the bullet and did it.

And now I'm 9 days late.

And I can't help but wonder, what if.........?

I'm just a few months shy of turning 43. I have such sucky egg production that even with the maximum dosage of stims, IVF didn't work for me. Tony has really terrible sperm, in both quantity and quality. We were blessed with our two babies because we used donor eggs and they were able to spin Tony's sperm to pick out the best ones. This was after 12+ years of trying on our own. Pregnancy is virtually impossible for us.

And yet I can't help but have it cross my mind when I am 9 days late.

I have no doubt that this is really just the beginning of perimenopause. My mind knows that, but my heart is another matter altogether.

Right now, I'm just really tired of waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting..... for Aunt Flo to show up. Actually, truth be told, I wouldn't mind if she doesn't rear her ugly head ever again. But the unknown is killing me!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Microblog Monday: Summer Madness

This summer has been a bit ridiculous in how busy we have been. June was consumed with moving and getting settled. Ummm, kind of. We still have a lot to do in order to actually be considered "settled." We've attended four weddings so far and still have one more to go. We've had birthday parties to go to. We are on week five of six for swimming lessons, four days/week. Tony had two work trips to Brookings in July and has an upcoming trip to Minnesota for a few days. We have friends coming to visit this coming weekend and we're all making a trip to Wildlife Safari. In two weeks, my long-lost-but-now-found-as-of-last-summer sister from Montana and her family are coming to visit Sis and I for a week. We will all be staying at Sis's house for that week. Aunt D is coming for a few days at the end of August to help hang some pictures and organize our house a bit. The kids start preschool in September and we need to do a little school shopping. The local Consignment Sale that I always participate in is in September. There's a family reunion for Tony's family in September. Throw in a couple more birthday parties and our 20th wedding anniversary, and I think after all that, we just might have a free weekend in October sometime.

Are you tired yet? I am....

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

We Bought a House

We got the keys to our new house on June 15th, a Thursday. I spent the next several days painting. Lots and lots of painting. I did not realize how long it takes to paint! Seriously. There were a few nights that I was here painting until 1:00 in the morning, trying to get it done before moving day. We had planned on moving our beds and essential items on that Saturday, but we weren't even close to being ready, so we postponed and just waited for the movers to come the following Tuesday. We originally planned on hiring movers to move just our big heavy furniture items, but they ended up moving all the furniture and everything else we had packed and ready for them.

Moving day.

The day we got the keys, MIL came down and helped tape the dining room and living room area. Prepping for all the painting we needed to do was a huge project all by itself. I took the kids home for dinner, and then once Tony got home from work, I headed back over to our new house to start actually painting. I managed to finish Ayden's room that night, but was there until past 1:00am. His room was easy. Rylee's room on the other hand, most definitely was not!

Her room was ridiculously challenging. Taping all the windows and doors took a million hours alone, not to mention the actual time it took to paint the room. She has two windows, two doors, AND a closet! She also has a really cool wallIt took me Friday night, most of Saturday, and then all day Sunday to finish her room. I was so excited when I was done. Not only was I happy and relieved to finally be done, but I absolutely loved how it turned out! That excitement quickly turned into frustration when I started pulling the tape and the paint peeled off with it!!!! Oh. My. Gah. Pulling tape became a painfully slow process in an attempt to keep the paint from peeling off. This didn't just happen in one spot, but all over the damn room! So then I had to go back and touch up everything. EVERYTHING! This girl better like pink for a very long time, because her room will never be painted ever again.

Before I painted, the main color throughout the room was grey and this wall was bright orange and green. 

Tony did the majority of the painting in the dining room area and living room on Saturday and then again on Monday. We HAD to get the dining area done before the movers came that Tuesday, because our big China hutch was going to be covering one of the walls. He did most of it, but I did all the touch up work, which ended up being a big pain, because once again, the tape peeled off the paint from the walls! I have no idea why Ayden's room was so easy, but every other spot in the house we've painted so far has had this problem. Actually, we really only got 3/4 of the living room painted. We still need to paint the rest.

Our tiny dining room area.
We lightened up the room with the cream color on the left. You can see where we stopped and need to pick up to finish the rest.
Once the movers got everything delivered to our new house, we immediately started getting ready for our garage sale. We had some big items to get rid of that wouldn't fit in the new place, and I was ready to get rid of a lot of collectables that I'd accumulated over the years, as well as the typical junk you'd find at a garage sale. I thought it would be a perfect time to have our garage sale. The garage was 100% empty except for all the stuff we wanted to get rid of, and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to sell it rather than packing it up and taking to the new house to deal with later.

This meant, not only were we trying to settle into the new house, but we also had a ton of stuff to do for the garage sale. On top of that, we had to finish packing all the last little stuff left behind and needed to clean the old house and be out by the end of the month. Oh, and did I mention that we also had to keep two three year olds entertained during all of this? What a crazy, exhausting couple of weeks it all was.

Thankfully, I have the most amazing Aunt that comes to my rescue when needed! Aunt D came on Monday, the day before the movers were scheduled, and stayed till the following Tuesday (she lives 3+ hours away). She Was A Life Saver. Seriously. She worked her tail off! We took turns between staying at the new house with the kids trying to unpack, and being at the old house either doing garage sale stuff or packing/cleaning. Once the sale was over, my Aunt D was on a mission to get that house 100% cleaned out before she left. She did the majority of the cleaning and I cannot even remotely express how grateful I was for her help. During all of this, Tony did take a couple days off work, but mostly it was always one of us staying with the kids doing bedtime and the other one at the other house getting stuff done.

We didn't even officially own the house yet during all of this! We had to rent the new house for a few weeks until the sale went through. We actually were able to sign the papers and close earlier than anticipated, before the end of the month. We are home owners again! It only took us four moves to finally get here, but hopefully we'll be staying for awhile.

Our house.

People ask if we are settled in yet. The answer is a firm NO. There's still lots of painting that needs to be done. Lots of unpacking and hanging pictures on the walls. We are slowly getting things done, but we are very limited with a busy summer that's packed every weekend and it being near impossible to get anything done with the kids around. I'm looking forward to when the kids start preschool in the fall and being able to take advantage of those three free hours every day to do adult stuff!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Microblog Monday: I'm Back!

It's been almost two months since my last post! Sorry for disappearing. Life was crazy with having to move and buying a house. During that process, we decided to ditch our desktop computer and get a new laptop. I FINALLY just bought myself a fancy new laptop over the weekend! I have so much to catch up on, between writing in this space and reading my fellow blog friends' posts! I worry if anyone will come back and read my blog after so much time away, but then I remind myself that I need to just write for myself (and for my Aunt D, because I KNOW she will always be reading. lol). I love being able to look back and read old posts. I love reading about the babies' milestones, interests, and orneriness of the last three and a half years.

I will continue to write in this space regardless of if anyone else reads it. However, I'd be lying if I said it didn't matter. The friendships I have made through blogging have been priceless. So please, if you are still out there and reading, please leave a comment and say hello! Stay tuned, as I hope to make up for lost time and catch up with what's been happening in our little neck of the woods.

If you'd like to read more #MicroblogMonday posts from other bloggers, please click here.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Right Now

Reading: We gave Ayden the Big Book of Big Dinosaurs for Easter and he has requested it Every Single Day since, sometimes several times a day, with last night being the first and only exception. I love that he loves the book, but I am over it already! lol. Here's the thing, he has deemed me to be the ONLY person capable of reading that book to him. He won't even let his daddy touch the book. Our knowledge of dinosaurs right now is through the roof. I can even tell you which ones are carnivores or and which ones are plant eaters. I can tell you which is the fastest (Ornithomimus) and which is the biggest (Supersaurus). Ayden can also tell you these things. It's quite impressive actually. I mean, the kid is only 3.5 years old. Maybe he's going to be the next Ross Geller.

Watching: Just finished up watching the Women's College World Series for softball. The first game of the championship was an impressive 17 innings long! Wow! We're also watching the Oregon State Beavers in the playoffs and hoping they make the College World Series. Although, breaking national news about their #1 pitcher is putting a big damper on that. Outside of sports, we are watching a lot of Blaze and the Monster Machines. Ayden is obsessed!! Rylee is still a big fan of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Listening: Yesterday I found 52 Sing-A-Long Silly Songs on Amazon Prime and the kids and I had a dance party.

Drinking: Always water. I've also recently found that Minute Maid makes a light lemonade that actually tastes pretty good. I love lemonade but never drink it because it's so high in sugar. I also make it a rule never to drink my calories (not that I'm counting calories or anything right now). It's only 15 calories/serving and 2 grams of sugar. I can handle that for something as a treat other than water.

Eating: I just finished off the last of the leftovers from a chicken pot pie casserole I made the other night. Also, now that warmer weather is here, I've been eating a lot of banana popsicles. I know it's a ridiculous contradiction to trying to not drink my calories by eating popsicles loaded with sugar instead, but hey, it's better than not eating a huge bowl (or two) of ice cream every night, right? I really need to get a handle on my eating. Once we get moved and settled into our new house, I plan to tackle making healthier choices for myself.

Wearing: Black capri pants and a blue t-shirt. Nothing exciting, but at least I'm not still in my pj's.

Loving: Picking out paint colors for our new house.

Anticipating: Getting the keys to our new house next Wednesday! It won't be ours yet, but we are lucky to be able to rent it from the current owners until the sale is final, which gives us time to move out of here and get settled without a huge rush at the end of the month.

Hoping: That the sale of our house goes through without any major hiccups. So far it's been fairly smooth sailing.

Following: The Oregon State baseball team. They are the #1 team in the country right now and have been something of a dream team. Until yesterday. I sure do hate the media. The timing of this story coming out right now, at this point in the playoffs, is not an accident.

Wondering: If potty "training" will ever end. I know it will, someday. I use the term training lightly, because most accidents at this point are definitely NOT accidents. It's so frustrating. It's one of those things that make me think, "it's a good thing you're so cute." haha

Trying: To spend more quality time with my children and stay off my phone. I want to be more present for them.

Worrying: That we will get moved into our new house and for some reason the sale ends up falling through. That would be a nightmare. I cannot wait to sign the papers and have the sale be final.

Planning: Our move. I've been busy the last few days trying to coordinate everything. We get the keys on Thursday, and then I will spend the next two days trying to get the necessary rooms painted that need to be done before we move in. We have friends (more like acquaintances) that will help us next Saturday to move our beds, couches, and some essentials. Then we have lined up professional movers to help with everything else for the following Tuesday (we couldn't get them sooner). And then we are doing a garage sale here in our current house that weekend. It should be perfect, because the only things left should be the things we don't want!

Contemplating: What I'm going to do with myself while the kids are in preschool starting in the Fall! I'm looking forward to having the free time every morning, but I also might try to find a job for in the morning. The only thing is that Tony would have to take the kids to school in the mornings, and I'm skeptical of him being able to handle that. He has enough trouble getting himself out the door everyday, let alone the kids. Also, he sometimes has morning meetings and has to go out of town occasionally. How would that work???

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

House Hunting

Apparently it's a theme for me to not have time for blogging this time of year. Last April I didn't write a single post, because we had just moved in March and it took a bit to get our internet and computer set up. I wrote only one post in May, and then in June, we moved AGAIN. So apparently moving is also a theme for this time of year....

Here's an update on our house buying saga:

The sale on the house we are currently living in is still going forward. Our lease is up June 30th, and they close on July 3rd.

We still haven't heard from the VA on if the insurance thing was going to get approval in Brookings. If it would have went through, we would have gone forward with that major relocation. However, it could still be another week or three months before we have an answer on that. We made the decision not to wait indefinitely for that to go through and decided to move forward in finding a house here.

It is definitely a sellers market right now, because there isn't much available and when things do come up for sale that are worth looking at, they pretty much sell immediately. It's insane. We looked at one house and knew within seconds that it wasn't the house for us. Tony and I both had hoped it would be because the price was right, but no.

We have a friend that is moving to Oklahoma and they have been trying to sell their house. They had an offer almost immediately, but it ended up falling through because the potential buyer got a raise, which made them ineligible for the type of loan they were getting. Their house isn't ideal for us, but it is a nice house. I wasn't interested in it because I don't like the layout at all. In fact, I was adamant that it wasn't the house for us. Not only is the floor plan not my favorite, but we have large furniture items that won't have a home there. The problem was that time was ticking for us. If we didn't put an offer on SOMETHING, we would have been forced into renting a storage unit and living with Tony's parents. That would have meant moving TWICE (into a storage unit, and then into whatever house we did end up buying), and a three hour a day commute for Tony until we found something.

There was only one other house on the market that we were interested in looking at, but when we tried to arrange a tour, the buyers pulled it off the market. So at that point, I arranged for us to go see our friend's house. We knew it wouldn't last long before they had another offer, and we didn't want to keep holding out for something better and end up losing the opportunity to buy it. By the time we looked at their house, I had pretty much made up my mind that we were buying it.

It's actually a perfect situation for both them and us. They needed to sell quickly, because they are moving very soon (this Friday, in fact), and we needed something before the end of June. With them moving this week, that leaves the house available for us to rent from them until it actually closes and is officially ours (well, as much as it can be ours while we spend the rest of our life paying the bank). As of right now, we are set to start renting from them on June 15th, which will give us two weeks to get out of this house and settled in over there. Our plan is to spend the 15th and 16th painting and getting it move in ready, then have movers help us with our big furniture on the 17th. We'll have that next week to move things over "leisurely" and get settled in. Then on the following weekend, I'm going to hold a garage sale here where we are currently living and hopefully downsize a lot of stuff that we don't want to move. Then we'll have that next week to get this place cleaned up.

Hopefully, we won't have to rent the house for very long. Things have been moving quickly, so it looks like we'll be able to close early. Both the inspection and the appraisal have been done already.

While it may not be the perfect house, it's still a very nice house. It is by far the best house available in its price range. We could have gone a little more expensive, but there just wasn't anything out there available, and it would have been a really big stretch for us financially with preschool coming up next year. I had hoped we'd find our forever home, but the bottom line is that we simply didn't have time to wait and we really didn't have the money anyway.

Here's what we don't like about this house:

  • The living room/kitchen/dining room is all open and basically one room. I actually like open floor plans like that, but this space is kind of tiny.
  • We have to either sell our large, beautiful entertainment center or put it in our bedroom, which we really don't want to do. There is not a wall in the living room that we can put it without covering a window.
  • The dining room barely has enough room for our china hutch and kitchen table. The china hutch will also be covering a small window, but we have to keep it because the kitchen is small and doesn't have a lot of cupboard space.
  • We have to pay an HOA that we don't really get anything for.
  • The street isn't ideal for the kids being able to ride their bikes and scooters out front. We've gotten spoiled with being the last house on a dead end street for almost two years now.
  • We'd like to have a much bigger yard.
  • Having an upstairs kind of scares us with kids. We don't want anyone falling out a window.

Here's what we DO like:

  • It has air conditioning!!!! Hallelujah. This will be the first house we've lived in, in our 20 years married, with AC. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am about that.
  • It has a fully fenced backyard, so the kids will be able to play outside while I'm making dinner, etc.
  • It HAS a backyard. So many of the houses around here have barely any yard. The house we are in now has no grass in the backyard, as well as the other house we had looked at to potentially buy. This one may not have a large backyard, but it's big enough to at least put a swing set in and possibly a covered patio.
  • The downstairs may be small, but the upstairs bedrooms are big. There's two full bathrooms, one for the kids between their rooms and a master bathroom with a big walk in closet.
  • The laundry room is upstairs, so there will not be any running up and down stairs lugging laundry.
  • The kitchen may be small, but there IS a pantry, unlike the house we are living in now.
  • We love that we can move in early and that we won't be forced into getting a temporary storage unit.
  • It's in the same town we live in now. Having that proximity between houses while moving will be sooooo nice.
  • It should be easy to sell again, when it's the right time for us to upgrade to the house we REALLY want. Wherever and whenever that may be....

I had hoped to find something that would be more of a forever home, but really, we are becoming somewhat of professionals at moving. Seriously, this will be our fourth move in just two years! Our kids are just 3.5 years old and will soon be moving into their fifth house in their short lifetime so far. So what's one more move in 3-5 years when we decide to upgrade?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

And Just Like That...

The owners put this house up for sale last Thursday. The first showing was on Friday, and there was at least four more over the weekend. We were out of town, so they were able to show it at will. When we got home, there was four different business cards left on the kitchen counter from different realtors.

Sunday night I got a message that there was another showing scheduled for the next day at 5:45pm. Great. Right in the middle of dinner time. So I planned to make PB&J sandwiches and just take the kids to the park instead of actually cooking dinner.

I've been following a real estate app on my phone for the past several weeks that keeps me notified of new listings in the area, when sales are pending, and when sales go through. At 4:00pm, I got a notification that our house was now pending. Instant stress headache! I sent the owner a text saying congratulations, and asked if we still had to vacate for the scheduled 5:45 showing. She responded that she wasn't sure, but we should still plan to be gone just in case.

Of course the kids didn't mind going to the park! They gobbled down their sandwiches and played their little hearts out.

So here we are, we have exactly 45 days left in this house and we have no idea where we are going. We still don't know if the VA thing will be going through for the Brookings office. It could be a week, or it could be 3 more months before they give an answer. At this point, we are leaning heavily toward just staying put in the town we are in. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of houses on the market to choose from. The houses that are ones we would be interested in are flying off the market in a matter of days.

I mean, seriously, this house was listed on Thursday and they got an offer on it already on Monday. Just like that, we will be homeless in 45 days.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Still in Limbo

We are still in limbo land, without an answer as to whether we are moving to Brookings or not. It's too long and complicated to even try explaining, but basically the company proposed an idea to the VA and now we are just waiting to hear if that goes through. If it does, we are moving. If it doesn't, we will be staying here.

We are both torn on what we really want to do. There are so many pros and cons for both moving and staying and we were having an extremely hard time deciding what we wanted. Finally, we were able to agree that if this goes through, we will for sure take it. It's too good of an opportunity to pass up. I know that money isn't everything, but having the opportunity for his income to almost double is HUGE. If this thing with the VA doesn't go through, it's just not enough of an incentive.

Outside of the money aspect, taking over the Brookings office is something that excites Tony. He is totally motivated by the idea and challenge of building up that office. He fully believes that he can make the Brookings office one of the top five in the country. To have him be that excited about going to work everyday, is just as huge as the financial reward.

We've been thrown a curve ball in all of this though. We had planned to buy a house regardless of whether or not we decide to move to Brookings. It's been the plan all along to buy a house this spring or summer. Here's the catch though...

Our landlords have decided to put their house, you know, the house we are currently living in? They've decided to sell it! It's being listed and going on the market this Thursday. In TWO DAYS!

Insert curse words.

Soooooo, we had been looking forward to being able to shop the market and find the perfect house to buy. Now we are being forced into a position to just find a flippin house to buy that will be acceptable. Houses are flying off the market right now. We found a house that we wanted to buy and were even willing to give up the idea of Brookings for, because it was an amazing house that was way under priced. As soon as it popped up for sale, we called on it to schedule a time to look at it. Nope, it was already pending sale!!!

We are constantly keeping tabs on the housing market both in Brookings and here in Veneta, so that as soon as we get that answer from the VA we can jump on scheduling tours and hopefully get an offer put in on something.

In the meantime, I am also stuck with making sure this house looks presentable enough for potential buyers to come look at. Can I just say how much I hate that? Having to constantly clean up after two toddlers (and a husband) is not my idea of fun. My fingers are crossed that this house won't sell that quickly, but I think that is just wishful thinking with as fast as houses are selling right now.

We've talked about maybe just buying this house. It's a very nice house, but it's not exactly what we want. We also think they are asking a bit too much money for a house that doesn't have a heat pump, no grass in the backyard, and no storage. On a 75 degree day, this house easily reaches 80 degrees inside, and that's with opening windows at night and closing them when the temp starts to go up in the morning. The kids' rooms get ridiculously hot on hot days, and are also the coldest rooms in the house during the winter. If we decide to buy this house, we know that we will also be investing in a heat pump, an exterminator (for carpenter ants), and a little remodeling to add some storage space.

I guess time will tell. If this house doesn't get an offer right away, we might be able to barter the price down if we do end up staying. However, this isn't really the house of our dreams. Gahhhhh! Buying a house is stressful enough without the thought of potentially being homeless if the timing of this house selling and us buying doesn't pan out exactly.

Hopefully we will get our answer very, very soon as to whether or not we are moving to Brookings. In the meantime, we are just hanging out in limbo land.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Solo Parenting

Last week, Tony got asked to go on a mission trip through his work. He was asked on Wednesday and he left on Saturday. It was so last minute because someone else had been lined up to go, but then had to back out. It's a huge honor to be asked to go on these trips. What his company is doing is amazing. They are literally helping thousands of people to hear that have never heard before in their life.

When Tony told me he was asked to go, I was already feeling a little worn down emotionally. I mean, we had been gone from home every weekend for three weekends in a row, one of which was our trip to Brookings. Being in limbo for so long over our decision to relocate had been hanging over our heads for awhile, and I was just feeling DONE with toddler whining. The idea of solo parenting for 6 days was overwhelming to say the least, especially with such short notice.

Then I think of the people I know that do this all the time, like Non Sequitur Chica, whose husband travels for work WEEKS at a time, all the time. And I know there's many who are single parents and do it all the time! And here I was, feeling overwhelmed with the thought of just 6 days.

As it turned out, my AMAZING Aunt D was able to come for a visit and stay with us for 3 of the 5 nights he's away. She arrived the day Tony left, and left this morning. Now I only have 2 nights and 2.5 days flying solo. I can do this!

My sister and her family were able to come for dinner and a visit on Saturday, the first day he was gone. That helped Ayden and Rylee be distracted enough not to miss their daddy too much. They got to play with their cousins and our house was in glorious chaos.

Family is everything.

Ayden and Rylee have asked for their daddy several times over the last few days, but have accepted that he will be gone for a few more days. Now that Aunt D has gone home, we'll see how bedtime goes tonight.

For myself, I can at least say that I feel somewhat mentally refreshed after having her visit for a few days, despite us staying up way too late talking every night. I'm not feeling quite as overwhelmed and am ready to tackle this solo parenting thing head on, even with the colds that the kids have managed to come down with!

I'm hoping for an early and easy bedtime tonight and that the next few days go by quickly!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Easter Recap

On one of our trips to the library when we were in Brookings, I read a book to Rylee called Honey Bunny Funnybunny. I also mentioned something about the Easter bunny coming that weekend, which she didn't think much about at the time. Then when we checked out of our hotel, the gal at the front desk asked the kids if they were going to get to see the Easter bunny and if it would be coming to their house. Rylee really latched on the idea of the Easter bunny after that and started asking when the Easter bunny would be coming.

We made it a point to take the kids to the local Easter egg hunt, specifically because the Easter bunny would be there. When Rylee saw the Easter bunny roll in on a firetruck, she started jumping up and down, pointing, and screaming, "the Easter bunny is here! The Easter bunny! Mommy, look! The Easter bunny!" She was beyond adorable!!!! Ayden thought it was pretty cool too, but Rylee's reaction was like it was the best thing that she'd ever seen in her (short) life.

The Easter bunny had just arrived.

So excited to meet the Easter bunny.


After the egg hunt, we went to my sister's to celebrate Easter with my family. Normally, we do it on actual Easter Sunday, but this year my brother wouldn't have his kids that day, so we did it a day early. We hadn't had all the cousins together for a very long time. It was so much fun watching them play together!

My favorite picture from the day

Hunting eggs

All the cousins, plus a friend of my oldest niece.

With my brother, my mom, and Sis.

My family!

From there, we headed to the in-laws house. Tony's brother, wife, and kids would be spending the night there as well. I think Grandma and Grandpa's house is pretty much Ayden and Rylee's favorite place in the entire world. They got to see the cows, pet the pigs, and best of all, see their horse Lucy.

Grandpa showing them how to feed grass to Lucy with an open palm.

Bil and family didn't arrive until 7:30, so the kids didn't get to bed until really late. They had so much fun playing with their cousins! Because of the late bedtime and no nap, the next day ended up being a bit rough, especially for Ayden. It was still a fun day though. We just had to fun between the meltdowns. lol

We all went to church together, and then went back out to the farm to have a brunch with a few other family members that joined us. The highlight was the kids getting to ride Lucy.

Easter Sunday

Going out to round up Lucy for a ride.

They didn't want to leave their grandparent's house that afternoon. Rylee was upset because she wanted to ride Lucy again, and cried because she didn't understand why Lucy couldn't come home with us. I convinced them it was a good idea to go home so we could see if the Easter bunny had come to our house. On the way home, they were still upset that we couldn't have stayed at the grandparents. We talked about how we had to go home so we could eat dinner and sleep in our own beds. Rylee asked if the Easter bunny would be joining us for dinner! We explained that the Easter bunny probably wouldn't still be at our house, but he (she?) might have left a surprise for them. Before we had left home Saturday, I had set out their Easter baskets so they'd be ready for the kids when we got home.

It was so fun to see how excited they got over their Easter baskets! A week later, they are still talking about each item they got:

"The bucket that the Easter bunny brought me."
"The Easter bunny gave me this book!"
"The Easter bunny brought me these bubbles!"
"The Easter bunny gave me these slippers, and Santa gave me this water bottle."

We had our last Easter party the Tuesday after, at our Community Playgroup. This was egg hunt #3, so the kids racked up quite a bit of Easter candy! That is not good news for Tony and I, as we are the ones that end up eating most of it! The kids are very good about getting only one piece of Easter candy at a time every once in awhile after meals.

Digging into the goods.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Day in the Life: Spring 2017

Once again, I'm cutting it close to the deadline to join Julia's DITL link up on her blog, My Life in Transition. For some reason, my computer suddenly decided tonight that it wouldn't recognize any new pics on my phone, so I had to download them from a round about way through iCloud instead.

Tony saw my scribbled notes yesterday, documenting our day and questioned what I was doing. Even though we've had the same conversation with past DITL posts, he still didn't quite get it. He teased me about how detailed I was. Eh, I don't care. I love these posts! I enjoy going back and reading the past DITL posts and comparing how much things have changed in such a short period of time. I also enjoy reading about how other people spend their days, too. It's fun to see similarities and also get new ideas from other mommy's.

Wednesday, April 19th

Tony: 44 years old
Me: 42 years old
Rylee: 3 years, 4 months old
Ayden: 3 years, 4 months old

This is how the day went down...

10:45pm the night before - fast asleep.

12:30am - Ayden wakes up crying. Turns out it's because he can't find his toy turtle. We find said turtle (on his pillow!) and he goes back to sleep. While I'm up anyway, I go in to see if Rylee needs to go potty. She does. After getting her tucked back into bed, I also go potty.

12:38 - Back in bed, but Tony is snoring. I nudge him a few times, but after about 10 minutes I decide to move out to the couch.

4:30 - Ayden cries out again. I wait to see if he will go back to sleep. Instead, he walks out with his blanket in hand and crawls onto the couch with me. I briefly think about putting him back in his own bed, but decide not to and we both go to sleep.

5:38 - Rylee wakes up fussing. I'm pretty sure she has to go potty and hope she will get up and go on her own, because I don't want to disturb Ayden, knowing he would never go back to sleep. Instead, she falls back to sleep.

6:10 - Tony's alarm goes off and it's the loudest I've ever heard it! He doesn't turn it off and I am blowing steam out my ears. Ayden starts stirring and is awake after 5 minutes of the alarm going off, but is content to just lay with me for a bit. The stupid alarm continues to sound for a full 15 minutes. How the F can he not hear his alarm!??!?

6:26 - I take Ayden into the bathroom to take his pull-up off and he goes potty. Then he goes into our bedroom and wake his daddy up. I hear Tony say, "you're the best alarm clock ever!" Ayden comes back out to the living room and I turn Super Why on Netflix for him to watch on the tv.

6:35 - Tony is still in bed. I go in and tell him his alarm went off 25 minutes ago! Then I went back out to the kitchen to get (watered down) juice for Ayden and a cup ready for Rylee when she wakes up. I discover Tony's phone sitting on the kitchen counter and realize why it had been so loud and why he never turned it off. Ugh.

I start making my notes of how the night went, knowing I planned for this to be the day I document my Day in the Life.

6:45 - I send Ayden in to tell his daddy to get out of bed. He finally gets up and jumps in the shower.

7:00 - Rylee wakes up. Tony's alarm goes off AGAIN!! I turn it off and then take Rylee in to go potty. She's still dry. Yay! Then I get both Ayden and Rylee some dry cereal. Rylee sucks down her juice in about 45 seconds and then I refill both their cups with water.

 7:25 - Tony leaves for work. Lots of handshakes, knuckles, and high fives get passed around before he heads out the door.

7:35 - Rylee spills her cereal on the floor. Ayden helps her pick it up by eating it, which she complains about.

7:40 - Ayden goes potty and I help him wash his hands. They both want more cereal, but I bribe them by saying I need to take a picture first.

They did NOT want me to take a picture. Ayden held his book up just to block me, the little stinker.
This was the best they'd let me get for my bribe.
7:45 - After getting them more cereal, I go to the garage to get bagels and a loaf of bread out of the freezer. Then I make our bed and put a load of dirty clothes in the washing machine. And I steal some Easter chocolate from the kids' egg hunt stash.

8:00 - I start making some scrambled eggs and cut up a mango.

8:10 - The tv gets turned off.

8:23 - While the kids sit down for breakfast, I clean up the kitchen. After they've eaten most of their food, I pour them some milk.

8:41 - They finish breakfast and I wipe their hands and faces clean. Then I get their dishes in the dishwasher. They run off to play and I take the clothes out of the dryer so that the fresh load can go in when it's done. I start folding the clothes, but have to take a break when motherhood calls and I need to go wipe a poopy bottom. I finish folding clothes and get the next load ready to go in. Every once in awhile I have to stop because I need to mediate toddler arguments.

There was a mountain of horse hair that needed to be picked off their clothes from riding Lucy on Easter. Rylee "helped" me do that.

Ayden "racing" around the house on his scooter.

Pretending that she is riding her horse, Lucy.

9:20 - The kids helped pick up the living room and I got the vacuum cleaner out.

My helper.

9:51 - Put the vacuum away and got us all dressed.

10:20 - I give Ayden and Rylee a kid's Clif ZBar for snack. While they eat that, I get the clothes out of the dryer and folded.

10:25 - I fill their water bottles and then get their hands and faces wiped clean.

They're about to outgrow this zebra! I mean, Lucy.

10:35 - Move the clothes from the washer to the dryer and hang up the wet clothes that need to air dry.

Ready to head out the door!

10:50 - We're all loaded in the car and ready to head to the library for story time.

10:52 - Arrive at the library. We live only a half mile from the library so usually we walk, but I have to run a few errands afterward today. We have time enough for just a few minutes in the children's section. Ayden picked a book for me to read to them. Usually they like to play with the toys instead, so this was a change.

11:00 - We go in the designated room for story time. Rylee is in full form and shouting out all the answers to the teacher's questions, and pointing out all the animals loudly that are in the book. Ayden goes back and forth between being enthused and then not thrilled to be there. The theme for the day is how plants/flowers grow, in honor of Earth day this weekend. Class always ends with a craft of some sort, and today's activity is planting seeds. Ayden and Rylee both really enjoy this part, although they really don't understand the concept of having to wait for the seeds to grow. They want their carrots now!

11:45 - We leave the library and I make a few stops around town to pay some bills.

12:05 - Arrive back home. We all go potty, wash our hands, and then sit down at the table for lunch. It's a very uninspired meal of hot dogs, applesauce, and milk for them. I'm not actually eating yet.

12:25 - They each get to pick one piece of Easter candy and they both choose a tootsie roll. They are mad when I bite each one into two pieces for them, which ends up being futile since they put both halves in their mouths at the same time anyway.

12:32 - Get them cleaned up from lunch.

12:35 - They reenact Dory searching for her parents with little Nemo and Dory "eggs" they got from an Easter egg hunt. Ayden gets his stuffed Hank to complete the reenactment. While they are busy with this, I put the clothes away that are still on my bed.

12:50 - I help them both get their teeth brushed, then let them play Dory and Nemo for a few more minutes.

1:00 - We say some prayers and sing a few songs together.

Nemo, Marlin, Dory, Dory's parents, and the toy turtle Ayden couldn't find in the middle of the night last night, are all going to sleep for nap time as well (according to Ayden).

1:10 - Both kids are tucked in bed for naps. Rylee goes to sleep within minutes. Ayden plays and sings loudly for a long time. I lay on the couch, playing on my phone and fight falling asleep myself.

1:40 - Ayden finally falls asleep. Hallelujah!

1:50 - I force myself to get up and reheat some leftover veggies. Then I get on the computer and check to see if any new houses have come on the market in Brookings. I spend way to much time doing this. Tony calls to give me a heads up that he's been asked to go on a mission trip. He'll be leaving Saturday and coming home on Wednesday. It's very short notice because they had someone back out at the last minute.

2:35 - I start working on a blog post that I had started a few days earlier. I had hoped to finish it during nap time, but now I'm not sure I'll have enough time.

3:37 - The kids still aren't awake, and it's waaaaaayy past time to get the kids up from nap. I still don't have the blog post done yet, but I really need to get them up if we have any hope of a decent bedtime. I wake Rylee first, then let her go in and wake Ayden up.

3:45 - They go out to the living room to wake up Nemo, Dory, and the turtle from their naps.

Ayden says he needs to go potty, so we go into the bathroom. I discover that he has already peed his pants. I clean him up and get him new pants and undies. I'm pretty sure he woke up dry, but I check his bed sheet just in case. Dry. I go back out to the living room, only to discover a puddle in the exact spot he was squatting in the above picture. WHY??? After months of no accidents? I am not a happy momma. I get the puddle cleaned up, then mop all the floors. They needed mopped anyway...

4:05 - I give them a G0-Gurt for a snack. This is a fairly new snack to them, so they need a little help eating them.

4:20 - Rylee is trying to tell me something she wants to do, but I cannot understand what it is she is wanting. She ends up having a meltdown. I tell her it's okay to be mad, but she needs to go to her bedroom until she can compose herself enough to talk to me in a big girl voice again without whining/crying.

4:30 - I finally figure out what she has been trying to tell me. She wants "animals on a paper." Meaning she wants ME to draw animals on her paper. This is a new request, which is why it took me awhile to figure out what she was telling me she wanted. We get the crayons out and draw/color for a bit. I draw them both some animals (I am not good at this). I help Ayden practice spelling and writing his name. Rylee colors in her Minnie Mouse coloring book.

It's a work in progress trying to get them to hold crayons/pencils the correct way.

He's drawing snakes.

She is really starting to love coloring, and doing it with purpose!

4:45 - Ayden goes back to playing with Dory and Nemo. Rylee continues coloring.

4:55 - I put another load of laundry in, and then get them a few animal crackers.

5:10 - We read the new Big Book of Big Dinosaurs that Ayden got for Easter. He LOVES this book! We have read it several times a day, every day since Sunday.

Matching their dinosaurs to the ones in the book.

5:30 - Start getting dinner ready. The kids decide they need to practice using their scissors, so now they are cutting up all the beautiful kidding! animals I drew them earlier. I take the garbage out while the leftovers are warming up.

5:40 - Ayden and Rylee go potty, then we all sit down for dinner. It's spaghetti, green beans, cottage cheese, and milk.

6:00 - They both pick one piece of Easter candy and I give them their vitamins. I work on doing the dishes while they eat their candy and vitamins.

6:10 - I get them cleaned up and they are off to play.

6:11 - Tony pulls into the driveway. He eats dinner really quick, then plays hide and seek with the kids. I take the opportunity to sneak off to our bedroom and be on Facebook for a few minutes.

6:30 - It's time to pick up the toys. Tony gives them a bath while I rotate the laundry, fold the clean clothes I just took out of the dryer, and put them away.

7:00 - Baths are done. I help Rylee get her pj's on and comb her hair. Tony gets Ayden in his pj's.

7:05 - I help the kids get their teeth brushed.

7:10 - Bedtime stories.

Ayden is not pictured because he is on the floor looking at his dinosaur book again. 

7:25 - The kids both go potty again. We all say bedtime prayers together, and then Rylee and Ayden do their crazy nighttime routine of chasing each other and wrestling around. Then Tony and I each say our goodnight's to each of them individually.

7:40 - Both kids are tucked in. We sit down to talk about Tony going on the mission trip, possibly moving to Brookings, and the kids.

7:55 - Rylee hollers out that she has to go potty. Tony takes her in to go potty. When she's done, she has to come out and give me kisses goodnight.

8:15 - Rylee hollers again, this time saying she has to go big poopy. She goes potty, but no poop. Get her tucked back in bed.

8:20 - Again, she says she has to go big poopy. She has lots of gas, but no poopy. I know she's not just playing games and stalling bedtime. The poor girl still just has some constipation issues.

I can still hear Ayden in his room singing, but he falls asleep shortly after.

8:45 - I take Rylee potty again, and get her tucked back in bed once again, telling her this is the last time.

8:50 - I get changed into pj's and put the clean towels away that are still sitting on our bed.

9:00 - I steal a few more pieces of Easter candy, and then sit down to finally finish my blog post about our trip to Brookings.

11:25 - Finally finish the blog post!! I'm hungry again, so I toast a bagel and sit back down at the computer to eat it and read a blog post from one of my favorite blogger friends, Risa at Risa Kerslake Writes.

12:08am - I turn the computer off and go to bed after checking on the kids. I know it's way to lateeeee!!!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Our Trip to Brookings

The kids knew something was up when I dug out the suitcases and started packing on Friday. After our recent trip to Disneyland, they know those suitcases mean we are going somewhere! I just told them we were going on a surprise trip.


We left  at 6:45am, and the kids were so excited! We had a special stop planned for on our way to Brookings, but we didn't tell them about it until we were about 10 minutes away, otherwise they would have whined the entire 3 hours it took to get there! No thank you.

Our first surprise was a stop at Prehistoric Gardens. This was a special stop for me, because I grew up going there as a kid. My great-grandparents lived right across the road from it, so I have lots of memories of this place. As we got closer to it, we finally told the kids we were going to see some dinosaurs! They were both sooooo excited! Actually, Rylee was excited, but she was also a little nervous and kept saying she wanted to stay in the car to see the dinosaurs. She wanted to see them, but she wanted to also keep a safe distance. lol! Once we arrived, she realized she would be okay though.

Life size dinosaurs!

Rylee may have been nervous before we got there, but once she realized the dinosaurs weren't going to eat her, she wanted to pet them all!

The Brachiosaurus stands at 3 stories tall!

When we finished there, we continued our drive to Brookings, which was another hour away. Once we arrived in Brookings, we drove around checking out the neighborhoods and some of the houses we had seen online that were up for sale. What we quickly came to realize was that everyone had done a phenomenal job of taking pictures, because the curb appeal wasn't quite what we had hoped they would be. The lots were extremely close together and most had very little yard space. We met with a realtor that afternoon so we could officially become a client and he will keep us notified as houses become available. There are nicer neighborhoods (what we would consider more normal), but we are going to need to be willing to spend more money than what we had originally hoped. We also need to be okay with buying more of a fixer-upper, and then turning around and selling it in a few years to get into a house that we REALLY want. We kind of expected that going in, but now we KNOW we sort of have to. The cost of housing is just so much higher there versus here in the valley.

After we finished with the realtor, we got checked into the hotel and Tony took the kids swimming. I was extremely thankful when Tony volunteered to take them swimming himself, and said I could stay in the room and just relax!  Woo hoo for not having to put my swimsuit on!

The pool was heated, but they all froze to death when they got out! Another reason I was so happy not having to get in the water!

View from our hotel room

We went to Pizza Planet for dinner and discovered that Brookings at least has a good pizza place. That wasn't really the name of the restaurant, but the kids had been watching Toy Story in the car, so they wanted to go to Pizza Planet. haha! Ayden had reached his limit for the day and was extremely cranky, so it wasn't the most relaxing meal we'd ever eaten. He also peed his pants while we were there. Something that hadn't happened in months!


Sunday was a family day. Our plan was to play on the beach, but that didn't work out very well for us. The kids were not fans of getting sand on their feet, and both were afraid of the water. Ayden got a little too close trying to throw a rock into the water, and a wave came up jussssst far enough to get him a little wet. He was not a happy camper. I didn't really blame him. It was chilly outside and the Pacific Ocean is most definitely not warm!

We decided to pack it in and go find a park instead. We found a very nice park with a wooden playground and spent a few hours there. We chatted with a very nice older lady that had retired to Brookings four years ago with her husband. She absolutely loves the area, loves the weather and how safe the community is.

Taking a snack break.

After letting the kids play, we walked around and explored the park paths. There's a Frisbee golf course (which excites Tony), a small amphitheater, and a nice flower garden.

After that, we drove around exploring more neighborhoods and trying to find more parks. There's a really nice playground at the elementary school, but it is fenced in and locked so we weren't able to play there. We googled playgrounds for the area, and decided to head to Harris Beach. We didn't end up staying there very long because it was super windy and cold. Rylee was not happy that the wind kept blowing her hood off! lol. There's supposed to be a playground there, but we didn't stay long enough to find it.

Tony and Rylee went back to the car right after the above picture was taken. Ayden had found a few rocks that he wanted to throw into the water, so we walked down the path to the beach so he could throw them in. We stayed far, far away from the water and didn't actually step foot on the sand. The rocks didn't quite make the water, but he was happy.

From there, we found another small playground for the kids to play at. It was a nice, completely fenced in park. I loved that both parks weren't a muddy mess, despite all the rain they had recently. Very unlike the parks in Veneta. There were a few other families there when we arrived, but we stayed long enough that we ended up having the park to ourselves for awhile.

We went to Subway for lunch, but ended up ordering to go when I discovered that Ayden had peed his pants again. Ugh! We took our lunch back to the hotel, where I could clean him up and change his clothes. After we finished eating, we all took a nice nap.

We found a Mexican restaurant for dinner. The food was good, but the kids thought the fountains at the entrance were the best part. After dinner, we took a drive across the state boarder to Crescent City, CA. It was pouring down rain, so it wasn't a pleasant drive, but we wanted to check it out and see if there would be anything there that would up the value to us moving. It's another pretty small coastal town. My grandparents and my mom, and her siblings actually lived there for several years when they were growing up. From what I understand, it's kind of a crappy area with a fairly high crime rate. We didn't see any magical beaches that we would want to go to, but they do have an aquarium that might be worth visiting every once or twice a year. We wouldn't be doing any shopping there, since they have sales tax, but Oregon doesn't.

We got back to the hotel at 7:45 and we all got ready for bed. Getting Ayden and Rylee to go to sleep in a hotel room, in the same bed, is a bit of a nightmare. They play, and play, and play. And talk, and giggle, and scream. It makes me go insane. But they finally fell asleep around 9:30pm.


Ayden woke up at 6:00am, which didn't bode well after staying up so late the night before. Tony went down to eat breakfast while I got the kids dressed for the day. Then we met him in the breakfast room. The hotel offered a very nice continental breakfast, which made things so much easier for us! The kids sat at the table with Tony while I dished up their plates. Then he went back to the room to shower and get ready for work. We had to drive him to work, since we only had one car with us.

After dropping Tony off at work, the kids and I drove around for a little bit. I planned to take the kids to check out the local library later, so we found where that was, which happened to be very close to Tony's office. Then we went back to the hotel to kill time before it opened. I really wanted to take them to the park or do something more adventurous with them, but it was still raining. We watched some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on tv. Thank you hotel for having the Disney Jr. channel! Then we made a trip back to the breakfast room to have a little snack while it was still open, before heading to the library.

The library opened at 10:00 and we arrived shortly after. I learned that they do story time on Wednesdays, so we wouldn't be able to do that on this trip, but I was happy to hear that they have children's activities. They also do a music class once a month. We hung out in the children's section of the library and the kids played with two other toddlers while we were there. I talked with the moms and learned more about the area. I learned about a program called Redwoods Nature School, that meets twice per month in different places around the county, letting kids explore and learn about nature. This is something I would LOVE to do with Ayden and Rylee!!! I also learned that one of the local gyms offers a tumbling class for toddlers once/week.

I took the kids to Dairy Queen for lunch, and let them have an ice cream treat when they finished eating. Then we went back to the hotel for naps. I put them in separate beds in the hopes that they would fall asleep easier. Ayden went to sleep fairly quick, but Rylee took so long to fall asleep that I didn't think she was going to. She ended up getting a short nap in, but then I had to wake her up. It had stopped raining and was actually nice outside, so I wanted to get them back to the park so they could play.

We went back to the small, fenced in park. There were a lot of parents and kids there when we arrived, but they slowly dwindled away as it got closer to dinner time. There was one mom left with an incredibly sweet 11 year old girl that played with Ayden and Rylee. I visited quite a bit with the mom. They had just moved to Brookings in December from Hawaii. They had yet to find a place to live and had been staying at a motel the whole time! They moved to the area because after doing research, they learned it was such a great place to raise a family and was basically the safest place to raise kids.

Tony sent me a text at 5:40 to let me know he was done with work. I loaded the kids up in the car and we went to pick him up. We went back to the hotel so Tony could change out of his work clothes, then we went to the restaurant across the street from the hotel. It was a pretty nice restaurant, although we didn't actually get to sit down for very long at a time. It didn't take long for Ayden to suck down his water. And boy, did we pay for that. I am not kidding when I say that between Tony and I, we took that kid to the bathroom a good 10 times. Throw in a few more times with Rylee, and we barely sat down at the table. It was exhausting and not an enjoyable dinner experience. And my clam chowder wasn't very good either. Boo!

Once we were done with dinner, Tony went back to the office. His plan was to count all the patient files so he could get a more accurate idea of what the income potential would be. While he did that, I took the kids back to the beach by our hotel. It was a really pleasant evening and the kids enjoyed it. This time we all kept our shoes on. Ayden had a lot of fun finding sticks and making a "castle," and Rylee enjoyed poking sticks into the sand, making holes for rocks. We also had fun throwing rocks toward the water, but weren't at all close enough to actually get them into the water. I was more than okay with them wanting to stay dry!

Ayden's castle.

We went back to our room around 8:00 and I got them ready and into bed. Did I mention how much I hate trying to get them to go to sleep in a hotel room? It wouldn't be so bad if they played and whispered quietly, but they are so loud! Ayden actually rolled over and went to sleep when I told him to, but Rylee didn't go to sleep. She was still awake when Tony got back to the room at 9:30pm. I was so frustrated. She finally fell asleep around 10:00pm.

Tony wasn't able to gather the information he wanted to in the files. Nobody had updated the files in years. He talked to his boss while at the office, and the company is going to run some numbers to find exactly the info Tony is looking for, which is the office potential.


Ayden woke up at 5:30 in the fricken morning. I brought him over to our bed so that he wouldn't wake up Rylee. I was hoping he would go back to sleep, but he of course didn't. He did do a pretty good job of keeping quite though. Tony woke up around 6:30 in a panic because he had to be to the office earlier that day, something he never told me! Otherwise I would have woken him up, since I was awake anyway! He had forgotten his phone at the office the night before, so didn't have an alarm set. He got dressed and went down for breakfast while I got the kids dressed and ready to go.

We dropped him off at the office then went back to the hotel for breakfast. The kids did a great job of sitting at the table while I got breakfast plates dished up for them. I finally got my breakfast dished up and joined them at the table, when wouldn't you know it, but Ayden had to go potty. I had stopped in the lobby bathroom before taking them in for breakfast, in the hopes of avoiding this very scenario! I shuffled them both to the bathroom again, and hoped that nobody cleared our table before we could get back. I also hoped nobody poisoned our food while we were gone.

After breakfast, we went back to our room and I turned on the Disney channel to keep them occupied while I packed everything up. Because Tony was in such a hurry before work, I had to pack all his stuff too. I wasn't very happy about that. It didn't take long before the kids got bored. I pulled out some new little travel coloring books with stickers and crayons to keep them occupied. It worked for a few minutes....

I had to make three trips to the car to get everything loaded. Of course it was pouring down rain again. Check out was at 11:00. From there, we went to the library again. Thank goodness they enjoyed playing there! We stayed for about 1.5 hours, and then went to Subway for lunch. After that, I took them to Dairy Queen again for ice cream to kill time while Tony was at work. His last appointment was scheduled for 2:00, so he thought he'd be done around 3:00. Once we finished our ice cream, I loaded them into the car and drove around looking at more neighborhoods and trying to get more of a feel for where we would want to live. The kids fell asleep and were sleeping hard! I ended up driving to the office and just parking. Tony finished up at 3:30. We got the kids out and all went in to use the bathroom one more time before hitting the road. They were not happy campers, but settled in to watch a movie once we were a ways down the road toward home.

Two hours into our drive home, we stopped for dinner. The kids were super excited about the big fish tanks and that there was Dory and Nemo fishes! We made sure to limit their water consumption so we wouldn't be stopping a million times the rest of the trip home.

We pulled into our driveway that night at 9:30. The kids, especially Ayden, were so happy to be home and sleeping in their own beds. They fell asleep instantly.


Our trip to Brookings ended up being inconclusive. Unfortunately, we still don't have answers. Tony's boss ended up in the hospital and needing surgery while we were gone, so the numbers still haven't been ran. There are things about the area that are exciting to us, and there are things we aren't so excited about.

I love that they have a great library and the nature school sounds amazing. I love that it's a safe community to live in. I could stand to wake up and see the ocean every single day. It's beautiful. 

However, the housing market stinks and there is no rental market other than vacation homes. And the obvious down side to moving is that we would be further away from family.

If it will be a lateral career move for Tony, then it's not worth it. If the increased income gets cancelled out by a higher mortgage payment, then it's not worth it. But if it means a substantial increase in income that allows us to raise our kids the way we want to, with a solid and secure future, then it most definitely is worth it.