Friday, August 14, 2009

Can You Tell What's Been On Our Minds?

"The yellow snakes are adopting the red snakes." Kid announces.

If only it were that easy...

P.S. If any of you out there have successfully adopted I'd love to hear about it and get an agency recommendation. I'm think about an international adoption at this point. I really wish the process didn't take so long!


"I'm really tired, I'm going to bed soon." Mrs F tells Mr F after getting the kids down.

"Oh." Mr F replies somewhat shocked regarding the unusually early hour.

About a half hour later Mrs F returns from their room.

"Alright I'm going to bed. If you want to snuggle me I'll be in my boudoir." She says then returns to their room.

After a bit Mr F does finally come into the room.

The lights are on.

Mrs F is fully dressed reading a book.

Mr F lies down.

"Want to turn off the lights and shut the door?" Mrs F suggests.

Mr F does, then lies down.

Several minutes later realizing that the point had not been driven home hard enough Mrs F says...

"You can commence having sex with me."

"OH... well... um... you're kind of springing this on me." Mr F stutters.


Mrs F rolled over and went to sleep.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Some Excuses Are Legit... Aren't They?!!

Unless you are obsessed with watching that little turtle over there (where?... there in the sidebar) trudge slowly through the grass (or take a nap in the grass as the case maybe) I thought I'd give you a little weight loss check in.

You know you're riveted.

As soon as we got home from vacation I started working out. I made a vow to work out 40 minutes each night for the next month. I am 15 days down.



I made that vow for a good reason. My typical workout regime is more like 4-5 days of 60 minutes. But, as has become evident in the past year, I can sometimes feel boxed in by such a long workout. (so that's reason #1)

And having gotten myself significantly out of shape I knew I needed to ease back up or I'd be tempted to over exert myself, get injured, and then get discouraged. (reason #2)

But more importantly I made that vow to prove to myself that I really do have the time and energy to execise EVERY SINGLE DAY. I might not have the time and energy to exercise for an hour every day but I can do something. (if you are counting that would be reason #3)

It's very easy for something to come up and for me to feel like "Well I don't have enough for a full workout now... I guess I'll have to sit on the couch and watch TV" (hey I didn't say it wasn't crazy talk)

This 30 day plan is trying to break me off that. To prove that even when I think I don't have time I do have enough for a short workout. And that shorter workouts can still provide a good workout.

It's more of a mental challenge than a physical one.

Last night was the perfect example:

I was tired from a rough night the night before with Baby. I spent all day cleaning out the porch. Now in my head I was already starting to rationalize that that was the workout and I didn't need to get on the treadmill. (That is a fairly consistent excuse pattern for me.... and guess what?... if it were true than I wouldn't be trying to lose weight again.)

I mean I was really tired. Really. And I seriously contemplated throwing the towel in for just one day (but isn't that how it always starts?!).

Then I decided, just to keep my commitment to myself, I'd go down and hop on for 20 minutes. THAT'S IT. I told you I was tired. And I was.

I decided to kick out some seriously hardcore intervals for the full 20 and then cool down for 5. I figured I could pound anything out for 20 minutes. Than after my cool down I stretched and then thought "What kind of freaking fool are you? You are only 15 minutes away from your daily goal. You just hiked up a hill at 12% incline. Seriously? Seriously you are going to quit now?!! If this isn't sabotage I don't know what is!"

And, people, I got back on finished out the full 40. And proved to myself that I really can keep this commitment. Not just the 30 day commitment but the commitment to myself to move through this.

That even my A list excuses are... well... excuses.

Last night I, for the first time EVER since moving here, came up with some first class excuses... and then... I worked out anyway.

And it was good for me.

On lots of levels.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Extreme Home Makeover... Screened in Porch Edition

I've had a lot of plans for this huge space.

Originally I thought it could serve as an outdoor sewing room, play area, reading spot, sleeping porch and dining room. God knows it is big enough. (Interestingly it's roughly the size of the new smaller houses I've been looking at for next year.)

We've tried all sorts of stuff out there.

But more often than not we were left with the always attractive "shove all your weird shit on it's way to someplace else" decorating scheme.

And I wasn't loving it.

And because it was filled with random shit and toys that the kids didn't actually use (you know the lets give this thing one more shot before we toss it as if it's crappiness will become more interesting in a new exotic setting?) it was cluttered and ugly and the last place any of us wanted to spend our time.

The constant dust (dirt)... (someone tell me... is it coal dust??!!!)... and mildew have ruined TONS of things we've had out there to boot. So the idea of using *real* furniture out there was somewhat misguided. This past couple of weeks I've been working to move the wood furniture back in the house (or basement for storage) and bring our outdoor dining table in (since the mosquitos have kept us from using it since early June).

Not even a true BEFORE... mid clean out... and... YES I DID MOP THE ENTIRE PORCH... SOMEONE BOW DOWN TO ME!


I'm going for "less is more" out here now.
Our outdoor patio table & chairs.
A faux wicker loveseat w/ storage table & side table (matching chairs on front porch).
Kids' dollhouse (this will be brought in once it gets cold).
Kids' tumbling blocks and mat (which they do use and are weather proof).
A bin of outside toys: hula hoop, tunnels, baton, balls.
Plastic kid table & chairs.

And YES we're still rocking the outdoor window treatments... that's the best idea I ever came up with.

THAT'S IT. Nothing else will be kept out here!

The wide open space is always more inviting to play in than a toy and housewares war zone.

I've really put a lot of thought into our new toy choices. Previously we had the kids' play kitchen out here with ALL THE FREAKING PLAY FOOD, shopping cart, and cash register. We had the tumbling stuff and then a hodge podge of lame B list toys. The kids never played with the kitchen. And inside they have 3 dollhouses. It occurred to me that when I send them out to play out there that I had made the wrong choice. The kitchen et al took up tons of space... but it is a social game. Kids always want to make something and serve YOU... they do not play with it on their own (mine don't anyway). The big dollhouse has been in our living room. It's super attractive and we don't mind having it around where we constantly see it.... but... they have other dollhouses they can use. And you know what the dollhouse is good for? Independent play. And really that's what I want out there. We drastically cut down on the play food and stored it in an attractive woven basket (that I glued sheets of felt on the bottom of to prevent scratched floors!) next to the wooden kitchen and brought them into the living room where the dollhouse had been. And you know what? They play with it constantly. Cash register & shopping cart hit the dirt and are down in the basement until we can sell them.

So now we have the physical play stuff and one appealing independent play draw (the dollhouse). Instead of feeling like I need to fill every corner out there I'm leaving at that and our legitimate outdoor furniture.

The wooden table and chairs (my original apartment dining set) we had out there have been cleaned off and brought into our living room in front of the fireplace as a game table/craft table. In one week it's had more use than it did in the full year it was out there. It also helps fill up and define that awkward space in our over sized room.

Now tomorrow I'll have to tackle this:

Yep. All the crap I brought in out of the porch (minus the junk that hit the trash in a covert operation so as not to be seen by little eyes) is now taking over the office.

Woe is me.

At least that job can be done in the air conditioning.

Mrs F 's Viewing Preferences Revealed

"So is okra like a squash?" Mr F asks.

"Opah is ike Pawya Dean." Baby answers.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Don't Rain On My Parade

I've been trying to make a video for you all addressing our new life plans... but... I keep going over my alloted 10 minutes. And a nude keeps entering the shot making me have to start over.

Unfortunately I don't have the 4 hours it would take for me to formulate a clear, concise, write up either.

I thought I'd start with my whole thought process but I'm over it. Here is the long and the short of it...

In Spring '10 we are going to put our house up on the market.

Should someone be interested in paying us what we paid then we will sell. We are not in this to make any money... we just don't want to lose any either. At this point because we don't have to move we can take our time. I think even in this market that we should be able to recoup our costs on this house. It's a very nice house with a very nice yard (now fenced) in what is still a very desirable neighborhood (just not to me).

We are then going to RENT a farmhouse with acreage. Or a farmhouse with a little land surrounded by someone else's acreage. We are looking at areas a fair ways out from the Asheville area. Mr F has agreed to commute up to an hour each way (hey we were NYers so really that's nothin'). That distance allows us to get to some pretty beautiful areas which would allow us to draw on the city services (library, park, etc) of another city (Brevard, Waynesville, who knows??) which I may find to be more family oriented. I have always wanted to try living in a more rural setting ever since we left NYC and now is the perfect time to try it. I also look forward to the girls having a lifestyle that allows for more freedom and exploration of nature... and hey being able to see more than 10 stars a night would be good too.

We are also going to homeschool Kid next year. We're finishing out this year (probably) as we've already signed our contracts (and you are legally bound to a full year's tuition) and because Kid is, at this point, expecting it. Homeschooling is something that has been of interest to me (on many fronts) for the last 4 years. I have researched it, thought about it, what if'd it, gone to curriculums... and well... I have never stopped wanting to try it. When I imagine my *perfect* ideal life I always imagine that I'd be homeschooling. I think it will be a better fit for our family and I am very excited to move forward and finally do it.

Both of these changes take us from netting about $50 a month after our living/schooling expenses to being able to save close to TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR. Seriously folks it's a no brainer. Even if it turns out we don't like rural life (rental remember) or that homeschooling isn't a good fit we can always put Kid back in her current school... and that one year off will have given us a decent savings fund.

I'm incredibly excited and nervous about the year to come. And that is a GOOD thing. That means I'm taking chances and risking failure in the pursuit of happiness. That means I'm challenging myself and listening to myself and believing in myself.

I don't want to live my life with these dreams and what ifs floating around only to miss my opportunity at being fulfilled in my everyday life.

And that's not even counting the financial turn around. I can't even begin to imagine what it will be like not to have to worry so much about our grocery bill, gas, utilities, mortgage... not to have everything be so down to the wire.

So that's it in a nutshell.

Oh and I also want to adopt... but... we'll need that 20 grand first.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Baby Better Watch Her Back

"I did want a sister... but... I wanted one my age." Kid reveals.

"Well, unfortunately for you, you didn't come out a twin." Mrs F replies.

"We could always adopt a girl my age from an orphanage." Kid suggests.

"True, you just have to convince Dad first." Mrs F says.

"And it takes a lot of dollars to adopt a child from an orphanage." Mrs F continues.

"Especially to get one... and... to drop one off." Kid adds matter-of-factly.
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