Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Little Friendly Favor

It's been a busy season here at the Nerdy home. The kids have been growing, we've been finding new friends, settling in to a new routine, and even starting new business ventures! As I was writing our Christmas letter yesterday I remembered how much I liked writing, and was lamenting to Nerdy husband that I didn't have a proper outlet for my writing. Apparently we both had forgotten about this humble little blog. So you can imagine how surprised I was when one of our new friends reminded me of my blog (how on earth did she know? I need to ask!) and asked me to do a review of her websites.

As payment for that welcome reminder, I'm more than happy to share her sites and tell you about them. The first is Collegiate Ribbon -  where you can find grosgrain ribbon emblazoned with your favorite collegiate and NFL team's colors and mascots. They also have totes, napkins and tablecloths for the die-hard fan. The ribbons looks like high quality stuff, ideal for crafters. I'm going to have to get my brains working on that one, I'm sure I can find a use for it that might bring in a little green at a craft show (one of the new business ventures I mentioned).

Her second site is - and at first I thought these were going to be like the decorative plates that my grandmother had up on her walls. (Ok, I have some too...don't ask me why but I really do love how old fashioned they are.) Imagine my surprise when I realized that they were real, every day dishes! Not just plates but bowls, mugs, even teapots (love!) and salt and pepper shakes (double love!). I think if my kids were older they would probably get a big kick out of a mixed set of the dishes, where we could all learn the verses together and probably even make it into a game of guessing who got what plate. Not to mention, mom could send some not-so-subtle reminders to the troublemakers, like "Love one another!" I John 3:23 or "Be still, I am God!" Psalm 46:10. Maybe in another season of life, when my kids are less clumsy and I'm less attached to my thrift shop china section (well, maybe not that second one) I could see us using some of these. Until then, I'll just enjoy the window shopping. 

I hope you friends are not too annoyed with this post, I know, it isn't what I normally do. But as a thank you for bearing with me (for the non-nerdy, please note that it is not 'bare with me' - that would imply communal nakedness) I am going to extend this promise: I will try, very very soon, to get a nice cozy update posted for you. With tons of photos. 

Until then, dear friends, goodnight.

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School

 No school day would be complete without a hearty breakfast. The kids and I easily polished off nearly a dozen blueberry muffins fresh from the oven. Normally breakfasts are eggs or oatmeal, but this was a special day. Andy did not mind the change of pace at all.

I would have preferred to purchase the curriculum that I've been drooling over for months years, but with the pay-cut we took when we moved, it just isn't going to happen. Since we are just beginning preschool, I feel pretty competent about putting together my own thing. We're going to work through the alphabet and start learning phonics using Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons. For now I'm going to do a letter a week (depending upon what pace he needs) and read lots of books.

 Today we read Chicka Chicka A, B, C , The Lady with the Alligator Purse, and The Tale of Benjamin Bunny. We practiced identifying the letter 'A', the 'aaaaa' sound, and made an alligator. 

While they worked on some fine motor skills tasks, I read the Beatrix Potter story to them.

 All in all, I had Jack's full attention for over an hour, and after that he was asking to do the pattern blocks. I had to say no to that since Andy is a climber and I can't keep him off the kitchen table! We compromised with a trip to the library for more 'A' and 'B' books. It was a nice, relaxed first day of school. No tears, no pressure. He loved it and I have high hopes for the year.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Finding The New "Normal"

Our summer was fantastic. We live so close to the ocean, and have a private beach on the base just 10 minutes away (and that takes so long thanks to the low speed limits and checkpoint). The kids have been turning golden brown and Andy's hair is blonder than ever. If only I could keep him from eating the sand.  

They have enjoyed their new freedom perhaps a little too much. One day, in a mere five minutes of unsupervised time (both parents thought the other one was outside with them) Jack managed to locate the craft supplies box (yet unpacked at that time) and paint his brother and half the front porch blue. And no, he hasn't seen Braveheart. These kids keep me on my toes.

Here's a mini house tour. I'm figuring out how to use the space, it has taken a little while but I think I'm catching on at last. I have grandiose plans to paint the kitchen table and chairs. I hope I will finally get around to that. I have plans for a lot of that clutter to disappear soon. Tomorrow I set up a pantry. Yep, I finally gave up my hopes of having a proper hall closet. Sigh. It would have been nice.

I figured I wouldn't clean up for you. There are no pinterest-worthy corners in my home. (Are you on pinterest? )We're working on selling our two desktop computers so that we can get a laptop. I can't wait to banish that ugly folding table to the garage, and bring it out only for festive banqueting purposes.

This is my favorite room. It's the spare room, and the only one I can 1) keep tidy 2) put as many pink flowery things as I want in it, and 3) display lovely little breakable things below arm-pit level. Now that Husband is back at work, I'm preparing to start our first real year of homeschool. These kids are itching for something to work their little brains and keep their hands out of mischief.

 Til next time folks!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

An Apology

I'm sorry nerdy fans. It's been too long. Life has been more than a little crazy these past few months and I have been avoiding you. On purpose. I promise I'll explain everything soon. We're all healthy and happy, we love our new home and since Husband has been on vacation for a couple of weeks and we have been taking things very easy. 

We have spent most of the past month chilling out at home, my kids have barely worn shoes and they have been in the backyard wading pool or the ocean nearly every day. The little blonde hooligans are brown as nuts and they love the freedom that a backyard provides. August 1st Husband reports for duty at his new unit, then he will have his 10 days obligatory house hunting / area familiarization leave. After 4 years of hardly being allowed to take any leave at all, he is enjoying his leisure. 

This fall Jack will be starting school! He is eager to learn to read, so I will be adding a phonics program to the preschool curriculum that I've selected. Are you familiar with Sonlight? We are going to do their P4/5 program this year, with their Kindergarten language arts and some supplementary mathematics, since he loves counting and the geometric puzzle game that we have. As a second-generation homeschooler (I was home educated K-12) I've been thinking about homeschooling my own kids for a while now. I was the oldest and I was the guinea pig for many educational experiments. I'm hoping that that knowledge and experience will enable me to be a braver, bolder, and more cohesive home educator. 

So, how has your summer been so far?
(Sorry for the lack of photos, I'm away from home for Husband's graduation. Next post will be prettier!)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

To My Husband, On Father's Day

Dear Darling,

Thank you for everything you do. You are a great Father.

Thank you for your patience; for always letting little hands "help".

Thank you for not being afraid to tackle a problem, even when you've never done anything like it before.

Thank you for your tireless efforts. For being willing to stay up late to fix a leak or balance the budget.

Thank you for reminding me to enjoy the sweet, messy parts of life, and spit out the seeds.

Thank you for never being too well-dressed for a good time.

Thank you for smiling at the camera even while the kids are sulking.

Thank you for the hours spent reading aloud, playing trains, building Lego houses, and cutting out paper mustaches.

Enjoy your nap, you definitely earned it!

I love you.

Your adoring wife,

Friday, June 15, 2012

House Tour

Our new home

We are finally settled into our new home. It took me a while to get internet set up here, but I finally did get it set up. After two weeks of waiting on and working with Verizon, I called Cox and had service at 10am the very next day! Now that is service. I'm relieved to get back to my blog! There are so many things I want to write about.
Enjoying the sunshine

This is the first house we've rented; we've always had apartments until now. And there was that time we lived in one bedroom at my parent's house. That was a hard year. We are really enjoying our yard and ALL THIS SPACE! The house is only 200sq feet larger than our apartment, but between the yards and the garage which we converted into a workroom for Husband and a playroom for the boys, we have a ton of space.

Yes. His underpants are on backwards. He dresses himself you know!
Jack and Andy helped us paint the garage, which was pretty grungy. We found a remnant of carpet at Lowes and the result is a nice play area for the kids. I can keep the kitchen door open most of the time to supervise. One the other side of the large bookcase is Husband's work area / storage.

They really like having a space of their own, and I quite enjoy not having all the toys in the living room. One of the reasons we chose this house, which is smaller than I wanted,  is the location. It is a short (VERY short) drive from Husband's new base, which boasts this:

A private beach. With free parking. And a real bathhouse. And lifeguards.

If you've ever been to Virginia Beach, you know that it is jammed with people ALL THE TIME.

I think we are going to like it here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Chaos! Mayhem! Panic! (and thrift store show and tell)

Chaos! Mayhem! Panic! That was me, yesterday at 5:05pm. At 4:59pm I received a call from the moving company, to confirm that the movers would be arriving Friday (as in, today)! Incredulously I asked the woman if there was some mistake. She put me on hold for a moment and then said she would sort it out and call me back. Two hours later I hadn't heard from anyone, I couldn't reach anyone except the lady who came out to do the estimate, and she couldn't reach anyone in the office either! Meanwhile, I'd been preparing for the worst-case scenario, and we didn't even stop to feed the poor children until 9pm. Poor kiddies, that's an hour after their normal bedtime. Husband, the ole softie, treated them to happy meals and fetched me the most delicious gyro. Finally the kids went to bed at 10:30pm (Jack was super excited to pack his clothes up and fill his backpack with his favorite toys). Husband checked his email at that point, and discovered that the coordinator had emailed him instead of calling me. They switched the packing date to the 21st, they'll be here between 8am and 10am. 

While mama was busy cleaning out the pantry I found a bag of marshmallows and helped myself!

Sigh. I am so tired today! But we got pretty much everything done, hooray! Now we just have to live out the weekend in a house that is turned upside down and inside out. :/ Jack woke up bright and early, dressed himself to the shoes and put his backpack on, before coming into our room to bounce up and down crowing "wake up!" and "let's go!". Poor kid. I promised him a special treat today. I think we'll go to the store and pick out duffel bags for him and Andy, I forgot that I don't have anything like that for them, and I ended up tossing all their things in a garbage bag (labeled "NOT GARBAGE!!!!").

So. All my work that I had planned to do today is done. That is the bright side.

Note the bag of cereal in the background. SHOCKING! I guess I have to turn in my WAPF membership card now, huh?

Before I spend 5 hours running around in a blind panic last night, I had a delightful day. I felt productive and useful and I even went to say goodbye to my favorite thrift shop and found some treasures. It was 30%off Thursday, and I saved $10.80!

Pyrex Cinderella bowl in Pink Gooseberry (a little damaged, but worth $2.10 to me), a  Stanley thermos w/ stainless steel inside in PERFECT condition ($14!) and one of the mushroom crocks that my sister collects ($3.50).

I also found a gorgeous green and white button-front blouse ($1.40) that is going to go beautifully with the white tiered skirt I plan on making with the sheets ($4.90) I found. There is enough material to easily make two maxi-length, fully lined skirts. I think I even have a little eyelet lace in the fabric stash. Now if only we were already moved and settled in! My fingers are itching to get at the sewing machine again.

I'm toying with the idea of selling a few odds and ends (an "upcycled" skirt perhaps?) via etsy or maybe a little shop right here on my blog. Thoughts? If I were to sell some things, what would you be interested in buying?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Are 'Sposie Diapers Really Easier?

You want to put WHAT?! on my bottom?

My goal is to have all the things we are moving packed and ready by Friday evening. I want to enjoy our second-to-last weekend here in the area without worrying about the movers coming on Monday. I am looking forward to a ladies-only afternoon on Saturday, as a friend has invited me and two other friends to take a fermentation class together! I'm really excited about the class, mostly because I'll be be able to have adult conversation without the constant distractions and interruptions of a dozen or more kids running around. (Ok so there would only be 7 but it feels like dozens.)  Sunday, following Sunday School, our church is hosting a potluck in our honor - very special, yet very sad day. We've been attending this church since Husband and I began dating 6 years ago.
Both my boys in cloth diapers - right before Jack mastered the potty
 In an attempt to compromise in order to maintain my sanity, I purchased paper plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, and diapers. We've been using paper towels for napkins, since on a normal day it takes me months to use one roll and I have a case of them in the store room. Mostly, we keep forgetting to use the disposable dishes and napkins, but they are there for later in the week. I might have to tape over the cabinets to keep us out of them.
8 days old - first cloth diaper. A fitted diaper that I sewed.

I did start using the paper diapers and wow. I have not used these things in a year (since Andy was 8 days old) and I completely forgot how horrible they are. They leak, they get torn up, he rips at them and pulls them off so I have to put pants or a buttoned-crotch romper on, and don't get me started on poop-up-the-back!!  And yes, I got the right size, but I bought a cheap store brand. I miss being able to stuff an extra insert into the diaper when we are going out (I had to do TWO on-the-road diaper changes today...grrr!). True, I haven't had to wash diapers, but I've had to wash poopy clothes for the first time in a looong time.

Cloth diapers make a cushy landing spot for my crazy antics.

But how about physical effects? Andy has NEVER HAD DIAPER RASH. Ever. But now, after only 5 days, his bottom is red. And - no lie - today he bruised his bottom. He's used to falling and catching himself on that big, cushy, adorable cloth diaper butt. (Husband nickname for him? 'Stuntman') There is no padding in a paper diaper. So now I'm wondering if I can splurge on Chlorine-free diapers. Because it's more convenient...or is it? If I didn't have to deal with washing diapers in my mom's machine (where she uses all sorts of things like fabric softener that will funk up my dipes) for 10 days, my baby would be back in cloth tonight. If his rash doesn't clear up in the next day...I might just have to figure it out anyway.

Sigh. I love my cloth diapers. They have saved me so much moolah! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Emptying the Nest and a Reading List

Now that I'm well again, I'm in the throes of moving madness. I'm feeling overwhelmed and teetering between manic and depressed. Ahhh life. If you are out there reading, I could use a prayer or two. I'd love to say I do well with change, but that would just be a lie. I'm a planner by nature and I hate change. Why do I love Mondays? It's my back to the routine day. I know. I'm nuts. My husband already told me that. :)

In lieu of a proper post I though I would share some recent gems I've run across on the internet.

And now you have a pretty rounded look at the dozens of blogs on my Google reader. :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Moving, Sickness, and Disposables.

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a little while. It's been a bit busy over here, as we are getting ready to move to a new house and a new town 200 miles away in just a few weeks! May 21st the movers (luxury of a military move) are coming to pack us up...oh goodness...I am running out of time!!!! PANIC! MAYHEM! Someone, quickly, pass me a paper bag! Deeeep breaths. Yes. Okay. 


To further complicate matters I injured my back and it's been slow to heal, and of all wonderful things that could happen, one of the short people decided he wanted to share a nice stomach bug with all of us. Yuck.

As you might be able to guess, blogging isn't high on the priority list. Wait - where did my lists go? PANIC!! (Just kidding. Not.) But here I am, feeling peaky and watching my 3 year old eat his way through my house (oatmeal, a ton of yogurt, strawberries, apples, cheese, popcorn, FOUR homemade almond and cherry larabars, an oatmeal cookie). It's nauseating. I bet he's planning on outgrowing his shoes again. Sigh. Just hold on until the dust settles in our new home, okay kiddo?

We take possession on the 1st of June, and we'll camp out for a few days until our stuff is delivered by the movers. Now that I am dealing with sickness, lack of energy, and a general sense of dread and panic, I am feeling my earlier plans for hauling our reusable camping dishes around was a bad idea. I think I might get paper dishes and plastic utensils and forbid the use of any of our dishes (except coffee mugs. There is no way I'm going to get Husband to drink out of paper cups.) On one hand it really clashes with my thrifty and Eco-friendly selves, and on the other I think my workload could use a little lightening.

I planned on moving Andy into disposable diapers for a few days while we stay with my mom and get settled in (and buy a washer). Now I'm thinking, hmm, wish I had some 'sposies on hand right now. Good news, smiling suppresses the gag reflex!

I wonder if I can do something about the rest of our laundry, but so far the only thing I've come up with is this: "Dear family, from now until we are moved in and unpacked, we will be nudist. Love, mom."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Gratituesday: A New Phone

What is Gratituesday? Gratituesday was started by Laura at Heavenly Homemakers as an opportunity to publicly express your thankfulness to God.
Yesterday my new cellphone came! I am so thankful to have a working phone again. I had been limping along with a busted screen for six weeks. I would search the contacts list by memory, and dialing was like Russian Roulette - who was going to answer? My sister or my long-neglected, talkative, overly enthusiastic Pampered Chef rep?
This time I bought a very simple phone. Husband was laughing til the tears came, because one of the pre-programmed shortcut buttons was for a "Pill Reminder". Yes. I am very thankful for my octogenarian-friendly phone. Not only does it work well, it was a great price (ebay!), has good reviews, and it will definitely be a great joke worth a few laughs with some of my technophile friends and family. 
And if your granny is in the market for a phone, tell her to consider the Pantech Breeze III.

PS - due to my own mistake, I lost all my contact info. So if you know me and have my number please send me yours!