Mom's Morning Out

18 September 2017

As of two weeks ago our chickens are laying eggs - or at least three of them are laying eggs? maybe more?

After I spent two months checking the nesting boxes twice a day and underneath the tractor and the parked trailer and behind the crepe myrtles on one side of the house and the nandena on the other side of the house to no avail, Jacob found the first egg. Which he of course left there for a baby to find, because it just so happened to be our baby's birthday.

The freshly minted two year old came in mighty proud of himself and his "burday ugg. iss my burday ugg, mom!" and we promptly cracked it into his cupcake batter.

Worn out on his big day:
So the baby isn't so much of a baby anymore. He's two and he's in mother's day out two mornings a week along with his big sister and the big man's in Kindergarten,

Look at this coolio.
I feel like - in the course of a week - I graduated to a whole new phase of parenting - like I have one leg firmly out of the trenches. I don't know what to do with myself truly. I get to make annoying administrative phone calls in the calm of a morning instead of in stolen moments while locked in the bathroom hoping it doesn't sound too echoey on the other end. I don't have to overthink every single errand that needs to be run. I get to stop in at a coffee shop, stand patiently in line, and nestle in with my laptop...and blog!

So far I've loved it. I love the hectic mornings of making the lunches and watching people toddle into school with their backpacks. I've loved how they run to me when I pick them up. I love the alternate mornings of being home with just the little ones who are still content to simply dig in the garden and splash the watering can around. I've loved having a schedule that I have to work around, and times when I have to be out the door, and a reason to get out of my proverbial or literal yoga pants.
We'll see how long the high lasts. I've struggled with a weird narrative that I don't "deserve" to get breaks like this - even if I'm spending my "breaks" catching up on our business accounting, freelancing little jobs, or doing otherwise "worky" type things. I've become so accustomed to always feeling frazzled and behind on things and listening to my broken record of the "poor poor overworked overtired little mama." Now I drop little kids off and then get back into the empty van with sunglasses on and skinny jeans and ankle boots and I don't even know myself.

Having a schedule and seeing the week in chunks of time has really helped me find space. A few hours of personal space. Space in my week for laundry or for meal-planning or for reading a chapter book to the six year old during the opportune nap.

And more space in my heart for the same old shenanigans.
With that I must go. I'm at my town's beautiful old library which typically smells of equal parts  musty books and children's story hour, but someone has put on some potent and vaguely peach-scented lotion which is my cue.

Happy day and happy week to you!


Before and After: A Remodel Story

14 September 2017

The house was listed as a "charming cottage" and it had been all but abandoned for two years. 

Thankfully by the time we moved in the previous owners had removed all the stuff. The last fixer upper we bought was full of personal property that we had to deal with and it was such a time suck. You know that it's pretty much trash, but you don't want to accidentally throw away something super valuable. 

We punched out this wall to widen the entry from the living room to the kitchen/dining room. 

Walking into the kitchen and turning right we have the nook:
Kitchen Before:
Kitchen After:
Dining before:
Dining After:
Kids room before:
Old Master bedroom before:
We punched out that back wall to end up with this:

We took the third bedroom - which was too small to actually count as a bedroom - and expanded it into this:

And added a master bath:

Above is the side yard after we'd done a considerable amount of work on it. It had a deck that was rotted through and a "sauna" which had trees growing out of it. We got into so much poison ivy on the weekend of this picture.

So there you have the buttoned up version of what was a very grueling process.  

We'd planned on selling the house, but after the hurricane we decided to rent it out to some flood victims, which I'm really happy to be able to do. 

Even though the house survived Harvey with no damage, it was hit by looters who stole the appliances -and my banjo and Jacob's guitar - in the hurricane's aftermath. Looking at all these photos is bringing some sweetness back to the recent frustration of being robbed. I hope you've enjoyed them!
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