vanityThat’s the best word to describe my day. Productive.

First thing, after dropping Ravenclaw and Gryffindor at school, I met with The Chosen One to re-decide on master bedroom and dining room paint colors. He had chosen two more samples, and they were home runs! Of course, that made it to 10 choices for the master bedroom, but at least we decided.

After meeting with him I did a full day of work (well, other than the time it took to drive Hufflepuff to the orthodontist, and then bring her from the orthodontist to the house). I actually had work to do, too.

Then I picked up take-out for dinner (shrimp Pad Thai), and picked up Ravenclaw from play practice. I dropped Ravenclaw off at the Little Purple House, kissed her and Gryffindor, picked up Hufflepuff, and drove over to the new house.

wallThe plumbers had been there earlier in the day, and they had installed the new vanity (yay! old one was hideous!) and two new toilets. A huge problem in that one of the new tanks was shattered and one had a big chip in it. The company will replace them, of course, but it’s a delay and it costs money for the plumbers to come again. Bah.

My friend SB had stopped in at work to grab my key, and she was busy doing the 2nd coat on the library when we got there. Hufflepuff had dinner, then I put her to work taping off the last wall of the family room while I started in on the dining room. I painted a section/swatch and sent a pic to The Chosen One to make sure he liked it before I did the whole room. Thankfully he agreed that it was awesome.

When SB was done with the library she and Hufflepuff finished painting the last wall of the living room and the big beam down the middle of the room, then did a second coat on the walls I had painted yesterday. When I finished in the dining room I painted a swatch in the master bedroom and sent that to The Chosen One. He couldn’t tell how amazing it was, but he said to paint a wall and send a pic in the morning. I really hope he likes it (and it dries well), because I lurve it. It went on looking like denim. I couldn’t stop saying how much I loved the color. It’s gorgeous. If we had to go through 10 samples to get that color, it was worth it. Yum.

M and SWhile I was drooling over the master bedroom paint color, Hufflepuff and SB started on the bathroom, painting it the same Eggnog as Hufflepuff’s room. Weirdly the paint was really thin. I don’t think we noticed it at first because we hadn’t painted any other rooms previously. It was super liquidy and hard to use. The first coat went on really poorly. We’re going to bring the gallon back to Home Depot and show them how liquidy it is and ask them to replace it. We’ll see how that works.

We did get a first coat up in the bathroom, but it’s a crummy first coat. And Hufflepuff gave up, giving me the paintbrush as soon as I finished with the wall in the master bedroom. This was my #cy365 prompt “Seize the Moment”. She really seized that moment! :)

Now to get some productive sleep and be ready to do it all over again tomorrow! I need to take a couple pictures of the paint in the daylight so The Chosen One can see it. Tomorrow night I’ll do a little more painting, and then I have helpers coming Saturday. Phew! I can see the finish line!

Anger and Joy

ConversationToday had some highs and lows. And a boatload of snow. We didn’t have a snow day, but after school activities were cancelled due to the snow. My mom awesomely saved me by picking up my kids so I could finish working. Gryffindor was home because the private school had a snow day, which we found out on our way there. Whoops!

Today’s #cy365 prompt was conversation, so I tipped over our conversation hearts and took a picture of it. I liked the pic.

Work was work. No big stories there. But it was my full day. I stupidly wore flats rather than boots and ended up with very wet and cold feet after clearing off my car. Thankfully the big snow stopped at 3, and I left at 4:30.

photo 2I got home to find Hufflepuff playing Minecraft and having a Skype call with her friends. And the front steps and sidewalk weren’t shoveled. So I shipped her off to shovel while I tried to unfreeze my feet. I’ll admit that I came home feeling very irritable, but finding her sitting wasting time made me angry. She should’ve shoveled the steps before I came home (her sisters went with their dad early).

My book club debated having the meeting tonight or not because of the snow, but we ended up having it. It was lovely – it was 4 of us for a couple hours, and then a 5th person came. A lively discussion about a wonderful book, The Night Circus, which was wonderful. Highly recommended.

photo 3At the end of book club they presented me with this basket as a wedding gift! It was wonderful! Definitely a Harry Potter theme, for some odd reason, plus chocolate from my favorite chocolate place! They seriously know me! It’s so incredibly sweet! Love my book club – it’s the bestest book club ever, and I’m so glad I was able to get there tonight!

And then I got a call on my way home from Ravenclaw asking when I would be home (she and Gryffindor had been with their dad until 9pm). And that’s when I found out that the ONE THING I asked Hufflepuff to do she neglected to do. I asked her to have her sisters get into their jammies and get in bed to read. Did she do that? Nope. They were watching TV until after 10pm!  Grrrr! She had the gall to be asleep when I got home, but her younger sisters were not at all. So I woke her up to speak sharply to her. I’m incredibly disappointed. And it really makes me not want to do nice things for her. She’s going to Maine to ski tomorrow, and I’m supposed to get her long johns, warm socks, and warm gloves. So not what I want to be doing tomorrow after tonight. Bah.

Finally, to leave on a high note, I’ll leave you with Gryffindor’s homework assignment – she had to write a poem about the Holocaust. She chose free verse. A limerick or haiku would probably be inappropriate.


The young,

The old,

Scraps of who they were,

About to die.

Our demise draws nearer,

Our destiny is claimed.

Just another shoe in the mountains.





photo 2Today had two big things.

1 – Gryffindor spent the day shadowing a student at the private school she most wants to attend. She loved loved loved it.

2 – I took part in a blog hop. That means that many more people went to my Bento blog than usual. I was so excited and proud of myself! I got a lot of nice comments, too!

My #cy365 prompt for the day is Red, so I used an app to remove all the color then re-added the read hearts from Gryffindor’s lunch.

photo 3After the winterization gone awry issue, the plumber fixed the pipes in the new house. However, we got some dampness and a bit of mold in the walls, so the walls and ceilings in a couple of rooms had to be torn out. Yeesh. I stopped by to check it out and was a bit horrified at what I found.

The Chosen One says I don’t need to worry, he has everything under control, and all will be well. I’m having to trust him on this one, and it’s hard. But there needs to be only one point of contact for the workmen, and he’s the logical choice as he’s the one with the name on the deed. I wish we were in the same house (or even town!) so I could follow more of what’s going on, what the timeline is, etc. Communication is probably something we should work on. We have a lot of adjustments coming once we’re finally all under one roof.

photo 4

Even if everything is under control it’s still disconcerting to walk into your house and see the drywall taken off and see the innards of the ceiling and walls. I should also calm down because it’s only 2 rooms that have work being done in them. That’s not that bad, considering. I need to pray about this, as the stress of worrying isn’t good for me.

Timeline for today – get everyone up; drop Ravenclaw with my mom and drop Hufflepuff off at school really early; get Dunkin Donuts cocoa for Gryffindor before taking her to the private school for her shadow day; get to work early; after work run a couple errands, then pick up Ravenclaw from school and drive directly to the private school to pick up Gryffindor. After picking up Gryffindor we came home to find Hufflepuff on a phone call. She stayed on the phone until I forced her to disconnect at 9:15 so I could read House of Hades to the girls and we could get everyone to bed.

photo 1In between there we went to the book store to get sequels to the books they all just finished. It was a pretty good day.

I’ve now dozed off 3 times trying to write this post. Maybe my body is telling me something! Good night all. We’ll see what happens with the weather in the Northeast with the new blog home coming to us.

Young Women and Valentine’s Day

photo 3So, today was busy. As evidenced by the publishing time on this post.

I didn’t wake up exhausted! Woot! We’ll see how tomorrow goes, but it was a good start to the day. Work went fine, I got to the store afterwards with plenty of time to pick up Ravenclaw after school. She had a friend come over, and they played Minecraft on my iPad with Gryffindor on her own iPad. I don’t understand how Gryffindor burned down Ravenclaw’s house, but that became a big brouhaha.

All I wanted during that after school time was a little rest for a half hour. That didn’t really happen. Whoops.

I did get everyone to have Taco Tuesday after Ravenclaw’s friend left, and then we went off to the church.

photo 2

The activity for the older two today was New Beginnings, where they welcome the upcoming Young Women (girls turning 12 in 2014) into the program. This time they did a “Values Mall”, someone had a faux shop that linked to a YW value (there are 8). Each of the 8 people presented material well, kept the kids engaged, and gave them swag. They came home with bags filled with loot. It was really cool. The kids got really excited for this, and I’m in awe of the folks who organized it. So much effort put into it! Wow.

The sugar scrub at right was a big hit here. Gryffindor got all excited to use it in her shower tonight, and when it was Ravenclaw’s turn to shower Gryffindor yelled at her not to use her sugar scrub. So cute! (and this was my “Retail Therapy” prompt for #cy365). Meanwhile Ravenclaw made valentine cookies and decorated them in her group. Her cookies came out really cute!

LuvdiscAfter we got home I had to create lunches and write a fancy blog post. This is my first time being a part of a blog hop, so I really wanted the lunches to be good. I had used a lot of my good ideas already, but I did get two good lunches created and posted. Gryffindor’s lunch is Luvdisc, a Pokémon character.

Tomorrow Gryffindor is shadowing a student at the private school she really wants to attend. We’ll see how that goes. She’s so introverted that I worry. Also, she’s supposed to have a two day shadow, but Thursday we are allegedly getting a snowstorm, which will put a kink in that plan.

Now for me to sleep. We need to get up early so I can get Gryffindor to the private school – I’m dropping Ravenclaw off with my folks, and Hufflepuff will just get to school really early, which is fine by her.

It’s still winter

Snowy table

That’s the post for today’s #cy365, and that’s definitely part of today. It’s cold. It’s snowy. And the snow gets packed down and turns into ice. It’s pretty, like in the picture of the little table in the front yard, but it’s not always what I most want to deal with.

I woke up exhausted today. I’m going to write to the doctor tomorrow about the beta blockers, because this isn’t a great side effect. It makes it hard for me to get anything done at all. And I really need to get moving on packing and cleaning. And I’m even behind on baking! That never happens!

I did get to work, though, and got work things done. It was nice to actually have work to do at work. I really prefer that to having nothing to do. We had also dropped off thank you notes with Legal Seafood gift cards to my folks and my boss, and they were both very appreciative. It left me feeling really good, too, which is always nice.

After work I had to run to the grocery store and to Whole Foods. When I got home I had to lie down for a little bit, but I didn’t get much time to do that before I had to go get Ravenclaw from her play practice. Then we went and bought tickets for the Lego Movie at the theater across the street from our house.

Because I was exhausted much of the day (except for right now of course) I doctored frozen pizza for our dinner – added extra cheese and some toppings. Then Hufflepuff’s friend came over and we all went to the movies. The girls have been broken – they know to go to the regular store to get a drink (or bring seltzer from the SodaStream) and candy, then just buy popcorn at the theater. It so much cheaper.

The movie was in the “screening room”, which means there are chairs at conference tables. Very cushy chairs! It was nice. The movie was great, too. Lots of good messages, some good acting and great voice acting. And a song that is stuck in my head. I’m glad I hadn’t seen that it was a Will Farrell movie, as I don’t always love him. I had read nothing and had seen no trailers. I’m glad I went in cold – I loved the movie, but I might not have wanted to see it based on trailers and reviews. It’s not my typical movie. Now, the trailers before the movie were awesome – can’t wait to see The Muppets, Rio 2, and How to Train Your Dragon 2. Mr. Peabody is a movie I think I could wait until it’s out on DVD rather than seeing it in the theaters. The Muppet movie opens the day before my birthday, so that’s a lovely present! By then The Chosen One will be living with us so he can join us for movies. I missed him today when we were watching The Lego Movie. He would love it. I’ll have to go see it with him, too. :)

In other news after we dropped off Hufflepuff’s friend, she and I went to the new house to turn down the thermostats and check it out. The upstairs bathroom is now fully functional, but there are holes in the walls and we need to have more holes in the walls to get rid of mold from water leaking from the burst pipes. Yay. Ugh.

However… when I parked in the driveway I wasn’t paying attention to the fact that it’s snow packed on top of ice. And the car got stuck. I tried to get out, Hufflepuff tried to dig us out, nothing worked. So we called AAA. They came and towed us out. With huge flashy lights and a big truck with a winch that pulled my little car up onto the truck bed. I now wish that Hufflepuff had taken pictures, but she was cold and worried we were disturbing the neighbors. I want to reassure them that we’re nice people. So we had the front yard dug up to turn off the water. So I got my car stuck in the driveway. Other than that we’re normal people! We promise! Nothing exciting ever happens to us.

And now to wind down, help Gryffindor finish her homework (she’s reading Night by Eli Weisel, definitely not bedtime reading), and go to sleep.

Snow Day

Front walkWell, this was one of the most needed snow days I’ve ever had. I had been exhausted for days, and it meant I could nap and just be slothful. It was lovely. Other than making meals for the girls, I did almost nothing other than read. Which was great. I’m getting really into our book club book (though somehow I was in the mood for a romance novel, so I’m rereading a couple I love), but I’m about halfway through the book club book, so I should be able to finish it without a problem in a week.

Unfortunately, the girls’ father is sick and didn’t take them tonight, so I suddenly had to make a meal I wasn’t expecting. Blerg. I noticed that I never get a sick day, but he’s taken several.

I am hoping that someday I can have The Chosen One make a meal or two for the girls. Or that the girls will start to cook for us, something that they do for their dad and grandparents. Or both. I have high hopes for once we’re living together. Low expectations, but high hopes.

The #cy365 prompt today was from the top, hence the picture of our front stoop taken from the warmth of my bedroom.

Today was supposed to be movie night, but M is sick, so that was a no go. Maybe next week.

After I shoveled the front walk I went out to shovel out my car, and our neighbors were walking past and helped me out! So nice! Out of the two times I’ve had to shovel out I’ve had someone snowplow for me, and now had three people help me shovel out! I don’t trust my luck though, I need to buy more shovels so the girls can help. I’ve got to utilize the teen energy in the house! However, we’ve had a bunch of illness battles in the house, so I didn’t want them out in the snow anyhow.

Overall a good day, other than the girls’ dad bailing on them. I’m glad I had some food in the house! I need to get some more food. Or money. Or both. I really wanted to buy pizza today. Maybe tomorrow.

A Return to Sushi-Making Dinners

Sushi dinnerToday I used the same picture for my two photo prompts. The prompts were “Return” and “Dinner”. This photo marks my return to sushi-making as a viable dinner option as well as marking our dinner tonight.

The rest of the day wasn’t anywhere near as interesting as the sushi. I had work, my headache peaked to an 8 right as work was finishing. Yay. I took “rescue meds” and drove home. I got a nice little break when it was just me and a quiet, sick Hufflepuff in the house, and then I drove over to pick up Gryffindor. She doesn’t expect to be picked up, which makes me all the more willing to pick her up. (Ravenclaw was going to a friend’s house, so I didn’t have to pick her up)

The rest of the afternoon went swimmingly. Gryffindor actually did all of her homework before she had to leave for her church activity! Woot! Ravenclaw was late coming home from her friend’s house, so she wasn’t able to finish before leaving, but as she tends to have a lot less homework than Gryffindor, I’m not very concerned.

While they were gone I got to have a very nice, long chat with my sister-in-law. It was lovely! I miss her – she and my brother live just outside of NYC in their new-to-them house in Connecticut. I’m hoping to visit them soon, but moving into our new house is going to have to take precedence. :( I’ll ask for pics the next time my folks visit, though. I only know how the house looked before.

The Chosen One and I are still looking for HP readings for the wedding. I came up with a few that he didn’t love, so now we’re searching again.

I did make a nice batch of rice pudding tonight, in addition to the sushi, and it’s warming me up as I feel worn out and headachy. Just plain rice pudding with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. Yum.

Here’s hoping tomorrow has a lower headache rating than today, and that Hufflepuff’s fever has broken so she can go to school tomorrow. Oh, and that The Chosen One’s cold goes all the way away. And that we can get heat in the new house soonest.

Capturing my 365

CaringI haven’t taken many photos today, and most of the photos I took yesterday were blurry ones of Gryffindor’s performance, so I’m inserting my #cy365 photos into the post, despite them not really being relevant to much of my day. Yesterday’s was “Caring”, which I showed by petting our cat on top of a quilt made by my grandmother. Today’s prompt was “Vivid”, which was captured by taking a pic of some of the colors we’re considering for the house.

If you’re reading this and you’re LDS, you need to watch this video: General Authorities eat a Reese’s Cup.  One of the speakers today used this parody to open his talk, and it grabbed everyone’s attention. Especially my kids, who are seriously motivated by chocolate! :) I just watched the video, and the impressions are spot on. He did a few more, and it was perfect. Loved it! So perfectly captured the tone of these leaders.

Last night my friend S called to say that she and her husband were sick, and could I please take her daughter, ML, to church with us. I was so happy to say yes! S and her husband have done so many things for us, it was great to be able to help them! Plus, ML and Ravenclaw are BFFs, and we haven’t gotten them together much lately, so that was good. I offered to take her for the afternoon, too, so the two girls could hang out. As a bonus, it would keep Ravenclaw busy while I ran some boxes over to the new house.

My original plan was to have Hufflepuff help me move things over to the new house while Ravenclaw & ML played and Gryffindor was in her school play. That plan kinda fell apart. I got one load of my little car (4 tubs, 3 cardboard boxes) over to the house and got a basement window somewhat duct taped, but I didn’t get much more done. Why? Well…

VividIt’s really cold in a house with no heat in January in New England. My poor toes were frozen. My 7 year old Emus (Ugg knockoffs) finally gave out on me, and I didn’t have warm shoes on. Plus, Hufflepuff was sick, so she couldn’t help. Like actually stuck in bed with a cough and lost voice sick. She ended up vomiting later in the evening. Yay. I ended up taking a nap rather than making another really cold run. I’m hoping to make another run tomorrow, though.

Ravenclaw and I dropped ML off after her parents had a good 9 hours of sleeping/feeling crummy. I felt like I was really helpful for the first time in a while. Of course, now I worry that ML will catch whatever Hufflepuff has, but they weren’t even on the same floor, much less in the same room. She also wasn’t interacting with Gryffindor, who ended up spiking a fever after her play.

Gryffindor had texted me that the play was over and she was at the cast party and they were eating pizza and cake, and could she come home? Of course! It sucks to watch people eat some of your favorite foods and not be able to eat it because of being gluten-free! :( I ended up making pizzas for the family tonight (though Hufflepuff didn’t eat any) to help Gryffindor feel better after the cast party.

So, I’m surrounded by sick people. Ravenclaw is getting better, both older girls can’t go to school tomorrow, and The Chosen One was sick all weekend. Awesome. My headache was even manageable this weekend. I’m feeling pretty lucky. I don’t have time to be sick, but that doesn’t usually mean I won’t get sick. Oh, and the girls’ father was sick this weekend, too. He ended up not being able to go to the play, which really upset Gryffindor. :( Thankfully my parents were able to go, so she wasn’t performing without family in the audience.

Tonight is an early-to-bed night for everyone, including me, and then tomorrow is back to work, with Ravenclaw returning to school while the other two lay around feeling crummy.

An unplanned day

UpsetAs I’ve mentioned, we planned to go to the Aquarium today. But, no one wanted to wake up. As you can see to the left (for my CY365 prompt “upset”), Gryffindor didn’t want to wake up at all. Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw wanted to wake up even less. I couldn’t fight it, and given my headache, I gave up.

However, the fact is that we’re still moving. And we’re still closing on Wednesday. So I still need to pretend to get things done.

That meant that Ravenclaw and I went out to Target to get bins. When we went over to look at bins, though, the two sets of bins on sale were all out of lids. I asked a sales person, and she found bigger bins in the back that were on clearance for less money! Score!

Cat in a bucketSo, I got 5 bins, figuring 1 each plus one to start. I figured they could sift through their stuffed animals – every stuffed animal they don’t sleep with must fit into the box. So, of course, Hufflepuff stuffed the kitty in the box. Yuki just looked around, she didn’t try to jump out, but she was soon released.

The bad part of my plan was forgetting that stuffed animals are pretty squish able. So there weren’t a lot of animals culled. More coming soon, though.

Ravenclaw has decided at 10 that she’s too old for Barbie. So she wants to give them all away. I asked if she wanted to keep them, y’know, for her own kids or something, and she is insistent that her kids would never get Barbies. Ummm, I was pretty insistent about that, too, but the world worked against me. I held the line on Bratz, though. I had wanted them to get into Monster High Dolls like Cassie, but they didn’t. :(

4 buckets

Anyhow, the stuffed animals are sorted into bins, and all of Ravenclaw’s American Girl Dolls are in a bin. The clothes are all in there, too, but Hufflepuff and Gryffindor’s dolls will have to go in a separate bin. I’m hoping to put up shelves in their rooms for those dolls, and use a better system for storing the clothes than a bin under the coffee table.

We did a nice Family Home Evening tonight on “Divine Nature” and being spirit children of our Heavenly Father. Last week we did “Faith”. Those who have spent time with the Young Women’s program of our Church may recognize that these are the first 2 of the 8 Young Women’s Values. We’re planning to go through all of them. It’s nice to have a theme planned out for when I’m exhausted and barely able to make Family Home Evening happen.

I got fed up with the girls today and told them I was at the end of my rope. Gryffindor’s comment was “well, then climb back up it!” She reminded me of that at the time for family prayer tonight, too, in the hopes that I will have a better day tomorrow, I think. And now it’s time for me to go to bed. Lunches are done, bread is out of the oven, and I’m wiped out.

Today was better

CIToday was lovely, relaxing, and fun. Well, The Chosen One might not think I was much fun, but the girls and I are having fun.

I woke up at The Chosen One’s house this morning actually feeling somewhat rested. I was a little groggy, but pushed through it and actually got all my shopping errands done without much problem. I enjoyed our routine.

We also spent time looking at paint colors, bookcases, and other house-stuff. I’m enjoying this planning time! It’s really cool that The Chosen One has a 3D rendering of the house, so we can see different paint colors on the 3D walls and see how the rooms look together before we’re in the house. It’ll be nice to finally have the keys to the house, but for the next few days it’s nice to have planning time. We have the walk-through on Tuesday evening and closing on Wednesday, with my headache doctor appointment on Thursday. It’s a busy week! (Somewhere in there we need the plumber to put in a new boiler so we can have heat. It’s going to be cold this week, too.)

Happy PlaceOne of today’s prompts was “happy place”.  The other was “pose”.  I have several happy places, but the one I’d choose would be Children’s Island, the camp the girls have attended. Above are the younger two girls standing on one of the rocks on the Island.

However, as I can’t go out there in the winter, I thought about the Happy Places in my heart. I took the picture at the left on the train home. In that picture is The Chosen One, my girls, my memories of 3 family vacations, and joy. The purse was bought for me by The Chosen One on our last trip to Cape Cod. The engagement ring was given to me after the proposal on our trip to Orlando. The candies remind me of family trips to the UK when I was a kid. All those memories packed into a small picture!

PoseThe other prompt for today was “pose.” Unfortunately, I didn’t see the girls until dinner time, so the older two weren’t in the mood to pose. Ravenclaw, though, will always pose! Isn’t she cute? She and Gryffindor had gotten into a snowball fight before coming to the house, and she had gotten so wet that she needed to change into her jammies.

We’ve had a nice dinner of sketti and sausages (and tofu for Gryffindor the vegetarian), and now we’re watching Our Neighbor Totoro together. Hufflepuff usually leaves when we start watching a family movie, but because this is her favorite movie, she’s willing to watch a movie with us.

We also got some rain today, which then turned into snow. It was fun to watch and beautiful to see the white coating, but unfortunately I hadn’t brought a hat, gloves, or boots. I was a bit damp when I got into the car after walking from the train!

Tomorrow will be church, and Hufflepuff is coming with us. I really love it when the whole family is together!