Monday, July 29, 2013

The World's Longest Yard Sale

Prayers please. I need your prayers. This weekend will be historic for me because I am taking my love of second hand to a whole new level. I am participating in the worlds longest yard sale. Although I would love to shop I'm going to be selling this year.

World's longest? For Real? 

Yes, for real. The tradition began in 1987 and the sale stretches across the 127 highway from all the way up in Michigan down to Alabama.

That's a 690 mile trail of trash treasure (depending on how you look at it). My little 20x20 space in all of that mess will be at Heritage Fellowship in Florence Kentucky. Sale starts at 8:00 am on Thursday, August 1 and runs through Saturday, August 3rd. I'm not sure when we'll shut down in the evenings, but we'll probably keep selling as long as their still shopping.

How did The Messy Mom get into this Mess?

The short answer is that the church I grew up at and currently attend is renting lots out.

And while I thought we got rid of tons of stuff before we moved

My popular Don't Just Drive "Buy" sign from our moving sale

we still had an excessive amount of excess. We rented and filled the biggest moving truck we could find when it came time to get what was left in Texas to Kentucky. In the past year and a half most of that stuff has been in storage. After watching each season go by, having a baby, and moving into an apartment it has become clear that we really don't need all that STUFF! So, we've pulled out the trailer, boxed, bagged, and tagged half of it up in hopes that we can get a few bucks for it.

The Prayer Part  

I like having yard sales for the most part.

You get to meet a lot of interesting people and see your beloved memorabilia find new homes. You are forced to haggle, which can be intimidating, but it's also empowering and gets the adrenaline pumping. Plus, you inevitable declutter, so it's always a win.

I am so nervous though. I am nervous about the magnitude of the event,
and whether I have the stamina to run my "shop" by myself for 11 hours a day all weekend long. I have read and heard so many legends of how well people do at this sale that I am worried about getting my hopes up. We are investing about $100 into the sale because of renting a space, buying materials, and gas. On top of all that J is taking 2 days off of this construction job that he has been doing. I wonder if this is going to be worth it in the end or if we would have been better off taking our stuff to Good Will and having the weekend free. I know that these fearful thoughts are not from God. It's just a yard sale! KEEP CALM right?

The Plan

I spent the majority of Saturday sorting and pricing. Wednesday night is set up, and execution begins Thursday at 6:30 am. J is going to swap with me briefly twice a day so that I can breastfeed. In Texas it was like things came to a halt at noon, but from what I hear, there is a steady flow of traffic all day long for this shindig. Once again, pray for me pleeeease. If things go well, we'll be getting a new TV with the earnings so that we can replace this one that is on the floor. We tried balancing all of it's back breaking heaviness onto our media table, but it was too big and there was a good chance that it would fall off and crush one of our children.

Nobody wants that. I make it sound like a charity case, but seriously we could also use some black out curtains for the kids room, and eventually we will probably get a  microwave too. Out with the old in with the new. That's my strategy.

 I will let you know how things pan (btw we've got pans at bargain prices people) out.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Orzo Salad With a Side of Rant

Summer Orzo Salad
inspired by Caity's summer Orzo salad


The Salad

16 oz Orzo
1 1/2 cups or 1 small package of cherry tomatoes
2 ears of fresh corn on the cob
8 oz of fresh mozzarella cut into bits
4 tablespoons of pine nuts (toasted optional)
1/3 cup of chopped fresh basil

The Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon of salt


Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside to cool
Boil corn for 4 minutes and slice kernels into a medium sized bowl
Mix all the ingredients into a large bowl
Whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients and stir into the salad
Refrigerate until ready to serve

Serve as a side, a light meal/snack, or even add grilled chicken for a one dish dinner.

This is my new favorite salad for the summer. I found the recipe on pinterest (of course) then I went to make it and the directions were written pretty much in paragraph form and there were no quantities listed. 

For example: "Lots of fresh basil, cut into chiffonade (Pronounced the French way—like “shif-o-nod”. Rinse and pat or shake the leaves dry. Pull them off of the stems and put into small stacks. From the short side of the leaf, roll the stack tightly, then with a nice sharp knife, cut as thinly as possible into beautiful, delicate green ribbons.)"

So I appreciate the recipe, but too much information (yet not enough). I had to guess how much to add of every single ingredient and I am not a natural in the kitchen, so I like to have an idea of quantity, especially when I am grocery shopping. That's why I decided to post my version. That way when I make it again I will remember what I modified and how much I need of each ingredient. 

And while I am on the subject, I often find with these online food creations that the ingredients, back stories, and personal preferences are all intermingled in the blog post, but I really just want the recipe. The other day I was creating a meal off of a blog recipe and I had to scroll down constantly (with icky gooey cooking fingers). The reason was because they had huge pictures. Pictures of EVERYTHING. Add 2 eggs and there was a picture of the eggs going into the bowl. Scroll down, now add a dash of salt, along with a photo of salt sprinkling onto the eggs. Then add two tablespoons of water and I am not exxagerating THERE WAS A PICTURE OF A SPOONFUL OF WATER. It was really annoying. If you were to print this recipe it would have been 12 pages long!

I remember totally botching up another online recipe one time and J was wondering what had happened. My response, in defensive tired mom tone, was "If I didn't have to read an interjection in the middle of the recipe about how the cook was planning a birthday party for her one year old who already likes steaks etc. etc. then maybe I wouldn't have skipped that part!!!" 
That was my excuse for the night and obviously I  have a pet peave. I like to look at blog recipes the same way I would find them in a cookbook, but that's just my personal preference. That's why I chose to leave all this rambling for after the recipe in case someone else looks up this summer salad and gives up because of my longwinded rant about not liking blog recipes. Huff puff. So, as I was saying, it's a really good salad. 

***If the the cooks that created this recipe happened to trace the link back to this post just know that I like to joke around, but your blog, photos, and format are all wonderful. I would hate to offend someone just because I am grumpy and in a hurry. :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tomorrow I Am Going To Stop Procrastinating

My friend used to have this sign in her room.

When I was looking for the above image online I found this next one, which says it all.

The reason I am talking about procrastination is because I am starting Fly Lady again. I have been putting it off, but now I am ready. If you aren't familiar with Fly Lady think of it as Weight Watchers, but for house keeping. I have done it some in the past, but this time there is a chance that maybe I just might be really serious about it, I think

The apartment we are in is about 800 square feet. That's half the size of our old house, so that means half the cleaning. This should be easy right? Well, there are advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage is that there aren't as many places to keep things, which makes organization more challenging. That is why I am super committed to getting on a schedule and being more structured than ever, because there isn't much wiggle room around here. Being a little laid back about cleaning could turn into a big head ache fast. So I am turning to Fly Lady to keep me straight. I hope it works. So far (as in yesterday) it's going well.
I was vacuuming one night and SJ went and got the dust buster out. She followed me around everywhere (and it's a real vacuum so she was actually being productive). It was adorable and J took a couple snapshots on his phone. 

The program has come a long way since I first read the book Side Track Home Executives back in the dark ages. Now you can sync all of the Fly Lady routines with your iCal and Cozi app ( I am an avid Cozi user thanks to a comment left by one of my readers.) So I've got an online system that is compatible with all of my other digital calendars, which makes me very happy, and nerdy, but it doesn't matter. Anyway, here is what Fly Lady had to say about this week's zone which is the master bedroom 

"Your bedroom should be the cleanest room in your home. Many of you still use yours as a garbage/clutter disposal for the rest of the house. If your bedroom is clean and clutter free, then it becomes an inviting haven for building your relationship with your spouse..."

When I read that it was like I had just realized my shirt had been on backwards for the past 13 years. I know my bedroom should be clean, but the truth is, my last house was a long ranch style home with the master in the back. My mindset was to clean front to back. If we ever had company obviously the most important areas to have clean were the places people would see. Reading this made me think about things differently. Even on a deeper level. We all air out our dirty laundry with the people we love the most and I think it's good that we can be real. I also think sometimes when we put our best foot forward for our "guests" we put our family at the bottom of the priority list and they get our exhausted ugly left overs. That's a shame. So I am committing to making the master bedroom the cleanest room in the home.  I want this to be a reflection to my husband of just how much of a priority our relationship is to me. 

Time to get back to my routine. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Cows and Fish

We're still getting settled into our apartment. It's been a bigger project than I anticipated. MUCH bigger. But I know it is all coming together. I probably wont be posting many pictures until it's complete, and when that happens get ready for a thorough, over the top tour, with more details than you ever cared to see. I just have a feeling with all the time and energy we are putting into customizing our tiny space I will be able to write a book about it. I just might.

It's not all about moving though and I've got lots of photos to prove it. There is a summer to be had and little ones to enjoy it. First off let's hear it for the red white and blue.

Here is SJ, Z, and one of their cousins at our church's annual celebration.

Then I had to take a couple pics of Z with his twin friend. 

They get along so well, and while there are obvious differences when you know them, a quick glance could make you think that you're seeing double. 

Next up we have our 4th year to dress up for Chic Fil A's cow appreciate day.

For 3 of these calves it was their first year to participate.

My mom made these adorable costumes for all of her grandchildren.

Oh and this shot shows off Z's absent front tooth.

Next up, it's time for swim lessons!

Z insisted that he would not ever need to know how to swim and he would just use a noodle to float on for the rest of his life, but we told him he had to and he has been coming along. SJ on the other hand LOVES to swim.

They have lessons twice a week and on the days they don't have lessons SJ puts on her suit and goggles and signs "SWIM". Sometimes I just put her in the tub to get her water fix. 

 Maybe it's just a phase, or maybe she will be a swimmer. She has a long way to go before she can actually swim on her own, but every one comments (her instructor included) on how fearless she is. It scares me a little, but it does not surprise me one bit. She is my little adventurer. I'm anxious to see where this trait takes her in life.

I can't believe July is almost over, but there is still plenty of summer left and since this will be our first year to be in school FULL time I plan to make the most of our break. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Here's What Happened at 8 Months

Ezie is 9 1/2 months now, but I never did an update about his 8 months milestones (I see a trend here). Let's forgo the excuses about why and get right to the baby talk. 

At 8 months Ezie started holding his own with table food. Here he is eating right alongside his brother and sister.

He likes chicken, fruit, bread, and mashed potatoes. Unlike my other two he never did warm up to baby food, so we just skipped the jar stuff altogether. He still nurses a lot though.

He babbles all the live long day. He can mimic some words too. He has said words that sound like hey, yeah, bye, and mama (although this one is rare). His favorite words are da da and Ezra (his name). He still hasn't said what I would consider his first real word. 

At 8 months he also started clapping and he was trying to get around a bit more, although not full blown crawling.

He still has a very sweet, laid back temperament, but he is DEFINITELY shifting into the separation anxiety stage. Here is having a blast with the family at the creation museum.

 Lastly, he still has those baby blues. When Ezie was 2 months old I blogged about how his eyes seemed strikingly blue, more than just the blue all babies are born with. I waited to see if they would change, but as each month passed it looked more like the color was here to stay. Sure enough he has blue eyes just like his name sake. I guess they could still change, but it is highly unlikely. I am going to officially announce that we have a blue eyed baby boy.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Why My Ohio Drivers License Looks Like A Mug Shot

I have been employed by major international corporations. I have a legal marriage. I've flown overseas.  I have owned a home. But of all of these things, I think that maybe the most scrupulous screening process I've gone through was for my Ohio drivers license. Before I begin my rant, let me just start by saying I think it's great that the government is doing what they can to ensure our safety and catch criminals and terrorists, yada yada yada. God bless the USA. Seriously. I mean it. But now that I've gotten that out of the way let's start with the eye exam. 

We did our research (or so we thought) and found out where we needed to go and what we needed to do to change our Kentucky license to an Ohio drivers license. So the five of us (kids included) went to the DMV where they sent us to another office, which is also run by the state, where they conduct the eye exam. We decided this would be easier to do without the kids so we went in one at a time while the other parent stayed in the car with the kids. We took turns getting the eye exam, filling out some papers and after that was all done we drove over to the place where we actually get our ID. 

I can see J from the window, waiting in line with his big manilla envelopes. Once it was his turn he started unloading all of the paperwork that he was asked to present and after looking it over they were ready to give him a drivers License. He comes out tags me and gives me a blank check, because they don't take debit and he can't remember the exact amount that I'lI owe. When I get to the counter I begin to pull out all of my papers. They needed to see
My old drivers license- check 

My Social Security card- check 
My birth certificate- check
My marriage license (because my name on my drivers license is not the same as my birth certificate)- check
Then they want an energy bill, which is no problem. Even though we just moved in we made sure we had something like that. The problem was that it was addressed to J and the lady tells me 
"I'm sorry this won't work for you because I need a piece of mail with your name on it"
 I tried to be really calm, because I know that they're just doing their job, but I said 
"I have my marriage license and I live with my husband."
 The problem is it's not good enough. They needed to see mail with my name on. She asks me 
"you don't have anything that you've received in the mail?"
We JUST moved here and I don't know about other house wives, but I don't get a ton of mail. I'm not exactly the paperless queen, but it is 2013. Come on.

 So I leave the office defeated. However, there was a glimmer of hope as J looked through the stack of documents we wrangled up he found renters insurance that had my name on it! At this point I scoop up all the papers which are no longer neatly in the envelope  and head back into the DMV. Just then a gust of wind comes through. So right there in the parking lot a blank check, my social security card, and birth certificate just go swirling through the air away from me faster than I can catch it. People started helping me gather all the flying paperwork, but I kid you not when I say I would catch up with one thing and another thing would fly out of my hands. Imagine trying to catch a flock of Geese. Or imagine gathering the 5 most valuable pieces of information that you have on paper and then throwing them over a bridge. Eventually I had it all gathered and as I clutched it to my chest I marched back into the DMV. After waiting in line I slam my papers down onto the counter and show them that I really do live where I really do live! Needless to say I wasn't feeling all that chipper when they counted to three and snapped the picture. 

Ahhhhh! A day in the life

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Spoken Blog? This is experimental.

You'll never guess where I am right now. Really. Right now I'm driving. I know, texting and driving is bad. but blogging and driving is REALLY bad! Don't worry though, because I'm not typing. It's been a week since my last blog post and I have really wanted to update, but just as I had predicted I haven't had the time. So since I have a new phone upgrade I thought I would put one of my favorite new features to good use and write this post with the voice to text option. So here I am just blabbing away as usual only this time I am multi tasking. I feel very Jane Jetson here talking to myself while the phone transcribes. Hopefully I'll have time to actually sit down and type again. For that matter hopefully I'll have time take shower because it's been a while now and I keep on thinking I will have a chance to get to it later. But the good news is I can slick my hair back and my bangs will stay back without a headband. Yuckers. Not quite that bad, but yes it's bad. 

We have officially moved to Ohio, but we are up to our eyeballs in boxes. I have not had a single moment to myself. So, so busy with all the packing, and unpacking, and sorting, and setting up. Anyway I'm at Target now. I am about to go in and pick up some shelf liner, so I'm going to sign off and maybe add some pictures to this blog and that'll be that. Well...this has been... fun.

My new phone and otter box. I went from an iPhone 3 to a 5 so it's been a major upgrade. I am not one to care about having the latest and greatest, but I have been LOVING this phone! 

 Back at my brother's house packing up. SJ thinks this calls for tea time. 

Also back at my brother's house J spends the last two weeks there working on furniture for the apartment. I say I want cubbies like at Chic Fil A for the kids to put their shoes in, and J delivers! 

The night we moved in SJ escaped from her fully tightened car seat and got into the pantry supplies. As you can see by the trail of tears running down her baking powder laden face, she was upset. What you can't see is that so was I! I went to a car wash to use a commercial vacuum and wet wipes, but I still have a huge mess in my backseat. 

And here we are in Ohio. Yes we did get an apartment without hardwood floors, but you can't keep a good man down. I'll explain later.

***Full disclosure here, I had fun with this experiment, but for the record I did do some editing at home before I posted it. The phones accuracy was actually, not bad, but I ramble a lot so I cut out some and added just a couple sentences. I never actually said the word "yuckers"either, but I liked it, so I kept it that way. ***

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Confessions of a Summer School Mom on the Move

"I am so sorry I am late. Please tell her teacher that I will not be late like this during the school year. It's not something I am in the habit of I promise you. It's just, we are in the middle of moving, and you know it's been so difficult. Thank you for understanding.

Oh, and one more thing, SJ is wearing boy underwear and baby pants. I've got to run, see you at noon."

These were the words I had for the advisor of SJ's summer school program this morning. The good news is they are so cool and understanding. Every time I think I am just over the top, out of my mind crazy, they tell me a story about another crazy mom some time before me and I feel much better. Today's story was about a mom that brought her naked toddler into the deaf school wrapped up in his dad's sweatshirt. She set him down in his class along with a pile of his clothes because he had been taking his clothes off and she didn't know what else to do. I get that.

To give a little background, last night we stayed in our apartment which is still pretty much empty. The air mattress wouldn't blow up and I had forgotten to bring pillows so we slept on the floor with sleeping bags, that's it. To say I have a lot on my plate right now would be an understatement. Last week I had my birthday, the kids were all sick including SJ having pneumonia, and we've been trying to gradually move into the apartment. The day we plan on moving all of our stuff is currently predicting 100% chance of thunderstorms. So, I don't know what we are going to do, but if the blog seems quiet lately that is why. I've got a lot on my mind. I have been writing though. I have a few blog posts ready to crank out whenever I have the time to edit, tweak, or finish them. In fact I would love to show you what J has been working on to make our little apartment cute and functional all at the same time. You will be amazed. Be on the look out for all that, but if you don't hear from me soon I am probably just off searching for my head so that I can screw it back on.