Thursday, May 30, 2013

100 miles of yard sales

Dave and I went to the 100 mile yard sale on Friday while the kids stayed with Oma. Every year the "loot" from this thing gets sparser and sparser. Perhaps I should consider giving up.

This year I bought:
A big pile of embroidered pillowcases with crochet trim. There is a pair in each pattern except HIS, there was no HERS anywhere to be found.

A silver plated deer head candle stick holder. This thing is wicked cool. Can't decide if I should do something with it or leave it alone. Wish it had been a pair.
And another fruit of the loom printed quilt in a lovely 1940s green. This was one of a pair, but the other was in rough shape.

And that's it other than stuff for the kids.

It took me nearly 12 hours to make the trip and do the sale. I started feeling really, really, really awful at about noon time. I thought perhaps with the arthritis problem I couldn't ride in the car that long anymore or that my allergies were going insane or something. Head pounding, throat hurting, body aching EVERYWHERE.  By the time we got home on Friday I could not wait to pass out.

Turns out I had the kids' virus as I then spent the entire night burning up with fever and all of Saturday burning up with fever and in bed.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up Saturday and put my feet on the floor and my foot didn't hurt anymore. In fact, the only thing hurting was my pinky finger.

I saw the second rheumatologist yesterday. I liked him a LOT better, but I can see how this whole doctor thing is a bit like Russian roulette - which poison will you choose? He says that because the presentation of the joint pain is so atypical and because one of my tests is dead normal that he is absolutely not convinced this is RA.  In fact, he said there is a 15% chance it is not RA and that any one of 33 other things could be causing this.

He wants to look over my xrays himself (he said that after only three months of pain my pinky finger would be showing damage if I have RA and it has been hurting for six months already and the other guy said my xrays are totally normal). And I have instructions to go have another blood test done "if or when" the pain returns enough to be consistent for more than a week and bad enough that I would call a doctor again. Anyway, he says it might turn out to be RA or it might not. It might come back or it might not. But if it does turn out to be RA to not be in a panic because this type of presentation almost never turns out to be the very crippling, very serious RA. Most importantly he said, do not take those meds right now. If you are okay and can function then do not take medicine. If and when you start to be unable to care for the kids again we will talk about medicine. "You know your body better than we can." This is pretty much the COMPLETE opposite of the last guy who just said "yep you have RA, lets throw you into this study and take methotrexate and a biologic RIGHT NOW, stop nursing that baby and good luck to you."

So. I have chosen to not believe the hype and go with the second guy. Right now I am feeling okay. I am not 100%, but the massive fatigue is gone, the pain is mostly gone and I am feeling more like myself than I have in a long time. I have no idea how long this will last, but I am going to go with it. I realize I am in a perfect storm healthwise - I had two babies in less than two years, I already know I have a severe hormone deficiency which contributed to infertility, I have a genetic disorder which contributed to infertility, I am in the post partum/breastfeeding hormone craziness, I have a severe birth injury, I never get a decent nights rest and I am going to give my body some time to try and settle itself down a bit.

And I am going to focus on getting the injury repaired first.

And that's where things are for now.

P.S. I did pursue the lyme disease test through the specialized lab. I had an inconclusive test. I show activity on 2 bands and have an indeterminate third band, so not enough for a positive, but enough to show I have been exposed to "something." However, that something could be anything from e coli to a bunch of other stuff also.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Grant 8 months

My Dearest Ginty,

8 months old already big boy!
And what a cute little elf you are.
What are you up to right now?
*You got a tooth! Your first tooth exactly on your eighth month birthday.
*You are quite adept at picking up finger foods already. And man do you love food.
*Still not a great sleeper. The crib thing? Still a work in progress.
*Sitting up well.
*Reaching for toys.
*Crying for toys you want that the other kids have. Particularly the iPad, Ahem.
*Growling, laughing and little bit of babbling.
*Just starting to imitate noises I make at you.
*Love peek a boo.
*Hate hate hate being left alone.
*Weaned. Sniff. At least it was done on YOUR terms and not some stinky doctors.
*Still a little bit of a leaner to one side. And still a little uneven in your cheeks.
*HUGE. 21+ lbs yesterday. Only about 4 inches shorter than Sam. (Who weighs 22 or 23 lbs on a good day.)
*Wearing 18 month clothes which I swear shrink every night. 2T is in the near future.
*Definitely think of yourself as part of a "herd". This is most interesting to mama who had Jack as an only for so long. In L O V E with your siblings. You think they are the bees knees man. Even when your sister bangs you on the head with a rattle a leeetle too hard. Oy.
*The light of my eye, my littlest boy.

Love you,

P.S. Yesterday was another first for you - double ear infections. Burning up with fever, limp and oh so sad. You slept all day long. Three doses of magic antibiotic and you are back to your usual smiley self today.

P.P.S. At the antique fair on Monday someone looked at you and Sam and exclaimed - "OH MY GOODNESS! They are like a pair of perfect kewpie dolls."  Awww.

Monday, May 27, 2013

It's gypsy caravan time

Every year on Memorial Day the St Louis Symphony  holds a big flea market as it's yearly fundraiser. It's fun to go because you get to see a lot of junk type stuff you don't usually get to see. Last year it was WAY WAY too hot to go. But this year it wasn't bad, so off we went.

A few things to note about this event - parking is hard. You have to park really far away and ride buses in. That makes buying things tricky. It is very, very, very crowded and therefore hard to shop.  The booths are just wall to wall people and you have to stand in short lines to even get into a booth. And last, but not least, it's getting expensive to just get in. $10 this year after 9 am, $20 before 9 am. Per person. When you factor in the crazy high price of the goods inside? Well, usually I go just to look.

What did I see that I didn't buy?

Hello pinterest books carved into letters.
Vintage ornaments. At this point my collection is large and the more interesting ones were $3+ each.
A strange feather tree. I really thought this was a craft project (gone wrong perhaps), but next to it is the box!
Locker fronts. Fronts only.
This was THE MOST AMAZING vintage wedding dress ever. I couldn't get close enough to take a good picture. The skirt was like silk flower with those beaded flowers on top of a tulle underskirt. AMAZING.
The perfect dresser for a bathroom vanity. The wrong price.
An awesome vintage camper.

I didn't get a pic of it but there was an amazing vintage yo-yo quilt too. Some woman was fondling it. And debating. And fondling. And debating. And then she says "this THING is interesting." And then I had to walk away. This thing? sigh. I knew what it was and I wanted to fondle it and photograph it.
Lots and lots of booth spaces were empty this year. Maybe they raised the price of booth rentals too?  Other people commented on how empty it seemed. This event really has the potential to be amazing, but it seems to be falling shorter and shorter every year. They have tried moving locations, monkeying with pricing etc. I hope they go back to a more winning combo soon.

So what did I buy? I am surprised I bought anything. We got there fairly late (around 10, plus we had to wait for and a ride a bus in). And we had all the kids and the double stroller!
A strawberry trash can. Bit rusty on the bottom, need to wire brush that off.
A whole box of super cool vintage pipe cleaner froggies. Ribbit.
A tiny child's cupboard that Sammi is already playing with.
The biggest surprise - a basket quilt. Finding a quilt I could actually afford out there? Miraculous. It has a hole and is tattered, but very sweet.
Yellow and blue baskets. ($20 in case you are wondering. And still there at noon.)

We did the 100 mile sale on Friday without the kids. I bought just a few things, will be back later this week with those.

*Also, people are driving me a bit nuts with the two little people already. They get hot. When they get hot they get red. It is NOT sunburn. It was NOT 100 degrees, it was in the 80s. Yes, they were red. Yes, they were okay. EVERY SINGLE PERSON stops me to tell me they are dying or they shouldn't be outside. Ummm, okay? They have sunscreen, they have water, they are quietly riding in the double stroller just taking everything in, Grant fell asleep for a little bit. I assure you world if my kids are unhappy they HOLLER very loudly and everyone knows they are unhappy. You, and everyone within one mile of us, will know when they are done. Pinky swear.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Last day of second grade

 Ahhh, the last day of school. The end of second grade.
 Look how tall Jack is next to the tree now!

 This year went way, way, way better than first grade. Last summer I was pretty sure I should just homeschool Jack. This year? Yea, no. Academically it is still very, very easy. But he had a totally different style teacher this year and they worked together so much better. He has shown a lot of true social growth and maturity this year.  He even got in trouble once with the substitute! (A miracle for Jack who would never before act out in any way in school. It was over something silly - a dot on someone else's paper, but it really shows how much his teacher's focus on fun helped him step out of his shell.)

My passport to public speaking was a success too. He is doing so much better at answering people and speaking to people out in public instead of just hiding.

So the verdict on second grade is a total win.

He is going to ican bike camp here in two weeks to learn how to ride a bike (still a real challenge for him) and I am hoping that will give him an even greater sense of freedom and independence. And I am hoping to get him going on some tougher academic stuff this summer to stimulate that part a little bit too.

Now it's onward and upward to summer time!

(I am working a little bit every day on the yo-yo quilt. And making progress! It almost looks  like a quilt again.)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Not terribly exciting, but useful

My kids are security blanket kids. The very first thing I bought for each of them when I was pregnant is a "dandy" from pottery barn kids (the chamois stroller blankets). Two of them (you MUST have two security objects and rotate their use frequently, don't you know?)

Usually they don't get it until one year, when I start putting it in the crib with them.

But Grant was sleeping exclusively in the swing, so he was already cuddling his.

When I tried transitioning him to the swing I suspected he was missing chewing on his blanket.  But he is too little to sleep with such a big blanket. And there was no way in hell I was cutting up a $40 blanket.

Enter Ebay.

This is the same pattern as his Dandy, but different in color (his is orange). There are always outlet rejects on Ebay (usually from monogramming gone wrong, as seen here).

So I bought it for $20 I think.
And then I cut it up into four little dandies. Small enough so he can safely sleep with them, plus two back ups for rotation purposes.

I TOTALLY wish I had thought of this many, many moons ago. Because 1) I could have saved $$ and only bought each kid one blanket and 2) these are a much nicer size for dragging all over tarnation, leaving all over the house, etc.  and 3) you would have FOUR to rotate out instead of two (there is always a panic when one goes missing, even with two).

I realize this is not really great blog craft fodder, but I mention it in case someone is having a baby or thinking of a baby shower gift.  If you are in the market for a security blanket these blankets are the bomb diggity. Eight years later and Jack's is discolored but still completely intact - not a single hole in that thing. And it has been EVERYWHERE and then some.

*I am too lazy to unpick the monogram (or even attempt it), so the fourth one is now a dolly dandy.
**Despite thinking this is a way better idea when Ginty turns one he will get the big orange ones. I would never hear the end of it otherwise. "Why are their dandies bigger than mine??"
***Yes, Jackson still drags that cotton picking thing everywhere. In fact when the storms were raging here last night he made darn sure he had them BOTH and would not be parted with them because "if this place blows away these are irreplaceable." :-)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Flea market Monday

I went to several "garbage" sales on Saturday. As in, nothing but garbage here people why did you even bother?

As I was making my way back home I was thinking "you know, it's about time for my favorite yard sale to start up again." (She has a yard sale about once a month. I think she must buy out estates or something because it is a MASSIVE yard sale with different stuff every time. And it is always cheap.) It's pretty close to home and what do you think I saw on the way home? My favorite yard sale!

The day was saved.

Hats bought for the millinery flowers.
Which Sammi promptly tried on.
A whole box of teeny, tiny, tiny shells. I have been wanting Dave to make a Sailor's Valentine for years, but the shells are crazy $$$. (Martha did it in her mag several years ago, you might remember them on the cover?) Now we have plenty of shells!
Some Christmas. Or, in the words of Sammi - "I see ho! ho! I see 'soflakes'. I see star. Ohhh, I like it."
Chemical bottles. (Woohoo!)
Big pile of old dollhouse furniture that I have not even looked through yet. This is a long weekend and I hope to get the living room shelving sorted out since I bought myself another dollhouse too.

A teeny cuckoo clock. I am going to paint it and replace the guts so it is a working clock for the kids playhouse.
A 2 foot tall box of garland. Tarnish proof is a bummer actually,but its on string. I *think* I might try trimming it so the tinsel part is shorter. We will see if I have the guts to do it.
And pottery. Yes I said I was taking it down. But it was 25 cents. COME ON.

And yes, Sammi's fingers are in nearly every single photo. Ahh, 2 year olds.

My kids are all sick. Hacking, snotty, sick. The week before memorial day. We should be swimming soon. Not drowning in kleenex. Stupid weather.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Found on a Friday

Yesterday I locked myself out of the house when I went out to get the bus. THANKFULLY I had both the babies with me. It took Jack and I a good 30 minutes to break in. Being locked out spurred my angrily cleaning out my very messy garage. Three hours later my garage is a garage again! I can actually walk through there to put poopy diapers in the outside trash 18 times a day again. :-)

I bought all this stuff last weekend at two garage sales. The flea is just really bad this year and targeting certain garage sales seems to be my luckiest bet.

These are child sized.
Two whole ornaments. :-)
These are also play sized. The cookie sheets say "cooky" on them.
The world's tiniest measuring cup.

I think this might be the top to a butter dish? Either way it's a good size for collecting whats its in places where that kind of stuff collects.
I really never buy old portraits...
But I was COMPLETELY smitten with this baby and his father. The way he is looking at that baby is just so sweet.

I paid a little more by targeting a yard sale, if they advertise it they obviously know what they have. BUT it saves me from driving around aimlessly. Which I tried too. And only bought one thing. It is a super awesome thing though, must get a photo soon.

And praise Jesus that it is finally Friday. We are taking all of the kids (nieces and nephews too) to get a portrait done tomorrow for my parents of all the grandkids.

THAT should be entertaining.

Wish me luck. LOL

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I turned 38

 Yesterday was my birthday.

And for the first time in 8 years I didn't even bother to blog about it.
 I am so over life right now.

Jackson actually cried and carried on because we didn't have cake.
 But I don't want cake.

And I surely did not feel like partying in any way.
Nor did I feel like changing 18 poopy diapers.

I keep filling out these stupid forms in doctor's offices that ask things like - suffering from anxiety? depression? fatigue? insomnia? how able are you to do the things you enjoy doing?

And I keep telling people, you are kidding me right? I am suffering from all of the above. Plus I have two kids in diapers, one baby that wakes me up all night long, one two year old throwing tantrums, one 8 year old that is every bit as difficult as he was at 3 weeks or 3 years, too much pain to do anything enjoyable, a house to keep up with, and me? My give a fuck is broken people. BROKEN.

I cry over  not being able to open the orange juice for the kids (why are those caps so damn hard?). I cry over drama over the school party (I don't sign up for room mother stuff because I already know it's too much for me right now, and yet somehow I find myself with a plate full of room mother stuff today.) I cry over the constant work of juggling child care so I can go to yet another doctor's appointment.

I cry because the baby.never.stops.crying. I have no clue what is wrong with him, I have tried every damn thing under the sun and still that boy is the fussiest boy.

I cry because there is something on the calendar every single day until the fifth of June again.

So yea. I had a birthday and did not give one fuck about it.

When today dawned  I hauled the kids out in the yard. Sam did some painting (must find some watercolors), Grant rolled around grabbing the yo yo quilt and I worked on putting it back together.

Because I CLEARLY need something that gives me a sense of purpose and accomplishment right now. 

21 more days until the calendar is open again. NOTHING else goes on that son of a bitching thing. Nothing until August.

I swear I will burn it if I have to.

Until then I am going to just try and get through each of these days and squeeze in a little yo yo time.

Can only eat the elephant one bite at a time...