July 30, 2014

Barstool, Ovens, and Oils... Oh My!

Life as we know it is busy and blessed but not always all that interesting. With a full time job plus a toddler we have a pretty well established routine.
Yesterday I used my lunch break to pick up the barstools we ordered online. They are from Kirklands, and they are perfection! 

Thankfully, they were packed in well-sealed boxes so they are going to be safe in our construction zone. 
Also sealed in a box is my new Fall wreath. I typically like to DIY my wreaths but knowing we will move home around October I knew I would want one ready made this year. I picked up this gem from Kirklands online also and it just arrived. 
Isn't it lovely! I can't wait to hang it on my new front door. Sadly I haven't ordered or decided what color to paint it yet. All in good time though. 
After too many nights to count of AG not sleeping well I finally broke out the oils last night. I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner (said the perpetual skeptic)… I applied Valor and Lavender to her feet and diffused Peace & Calming and Lavender in our room and she not only fell asleep in less than 3 minutes but she slept ALL NIGHT LONG! Well, except a brief moment when I might’ve tried to steal the covers which didn’t make her happy but she went right back to sleep. I will be following this same oily regimen again tonight and hopefully we all sleep great again! 
Hubby got AG from school yesterday which allowed me time to visit our house and really look around at all the progress in the midst of the mess. I’ll post pictures soon; just know, it’s not pretty. I will NEVER again call my house a “disaster” or “complete mess” because I now know what that looks like. But despite the mess, I see beauty because when I walk around stepping over construction materials, I see home and I feel a peace knowing we will be in our home again soon.
It felt like Fall this morning which reminds me that it will BE Fall when we move back home and how glorious it will be to open up all of our new windows and doors and let the Fall breeze blow through. You should know that our old windows were the original 80s windows that were installed when the house was built and were a beast to open and just knowing I’d have to fight to shut them was enough to keep me from opening them most of the time. Unless of course I was roasting a chicken in our tiny oven that was too small for my roasting pan and it would inevitably start smoking despite my best efforts to clean the oven and construct a makeshift roasting pan using a jelly roll pan and mass quantities of foil. That oven was one thing I was happy to see go. I am currently in negotiations with the fine folks at Lowes over a set of double wall ovens. I will get them but I’m not in a hurry so I’m taking my time and working them down to a price I can comfortably afford. The promise of a pumpkin cheesecake baked in my new oven might also help sweeten the deal. If you ever need to get a better price always offer baked goods! It also helps to put on some makeup and do your hair, they’re lying if they say they treat everyone the same. 

July 29, 2014

Cabinets and Bad Dreams

The cabinets have been ordered! We went with Kraftmaid Marquette in Canvas. They are beautiful and I can’t wait to see them all installed.

 The downstairs “Jack and Jill” bathroom is now 2 separate full baths and I couldn’t be happier about that! Hubs and I will be moving downstairs to what used to be the guest room so the new bathroom with the big shower will be our master bath; it’ll be much smaller than we are used to but it will be very nice to have such a large shower.
This past weekend AG and I spent an inordinate amount of time at the Lowes with our new friends and ordered the new bathroom vanities, tub, shower, faucets, and shower fixtures. We also bought our new kitchen faucet and it is safely in the garage cabinets (formerly the kitchen cabinets – they look much better in the garage!)
Something you should know about me… I am very frugal and I am really very good at saving money and finding great deals. Just this last week, I saved over $400 because I found our new sectional on Craigslist; it even still has the tags on it! It is super comfy and reminds us of our family in Atlanta’s sofa which we have always loved. It will be perfect and will also seat enough people that we don’t have to rush into buying a recliner and can save up for the perfect one, or maybe the perfect pair because that would better suit my preferred layout.
Meanwhile, back at the camper… AG has rediscovered her paci, but she doesn’t use it in the traditional way. She likes to chew on it and it keeps her awake which is lovely. Two nights ago she woke up at 5am and I hadn’t even realized she was out of bed until I heard her in the living area asking for “sauce” (applesauce pouches). I sat up and stumbled in there and saw her wandering around the small space saying “momma, saaauuucce” in her sweet and sleepy voice. I gently reminded her that she had eaten the last of the “sauce” yesterday but how about we just go back to bed. She touched her fingertips to her mouth and asked for “fooooood” so I offered her a banana. She sweetly sat on the sofa and ate all of it, then hopped down, looked at me and said “nigh nigh momma” so back to bed we went for about another hour before we had to start our day.
Last night she had her first nightmare it seemed. She woke up when I came to bed and was mumbling “da da, lotion, wash it, oils” and then proceeded to really wake up and scream like she was hurt and scared for several minutes and I couldn’t calm her until I got her settled enough to have “milky” (nursing) and she still work up several times that night and would only go back to sleep on mommy or daddy’s heads. It was a long night but I kept reminding myself that she was scared or hurting (with teething) and to cherish every little snuggly moment. Based on the words she mumbled when I first came to bed and the fact that there was a sticker with a drawing of an ant in her new coloring book we played with right before bed, we believe she was dreaming about bugs, specifically ants. She is scared of them and when she gets a bite (or anything hurts her at all) she asks for oils. I’ve got to admit I am proud that my almost-2-year-old knows that the essential oils help her. But that’s a post for another day. We will be oiling her up good before bed tonight plus using the diffuser with some Peace and Calming blend in the bedroom and I expect it to make a big difference in our quality of sleep. 

July 28, 2014

Flood Update & Recap

Well, we’ve finally done it. We have made a decision on both flooring and cabinetry! Its starting to feel like we might actually move back home one day. One day in the not so distant future.As in, October. As in, 3 more months. We have made it 2.5 months so far and lived to tell about it so I really don’t think 3 more months of camper life is too high a price to pay for our dream home. Perhaps I should back track…
About 2.5 months ago we were forced out of our home by a flood. The “100 year rain” they called it. We got 3.5-4 FEET of water inside our home and even more in the garage. Praise God, we have a 2 story home and without going into the details (because I’m not at this to write a novel…) it’s because of that second story that our lives were spared that night. The wee-one slept through the whole ordeal, including us having to spend all night trying to convince the 70lb dog that, yes, he did need to stay upstairs despite what he had been taught previously. That’s a good dog, willing to go down into flood waters to obey the training he’s received. We ended up using the tie from my bathrobe as a makeshift leash because we couldn’t get into the water to try and locate a real one, the power was on the entire time so it was a major electrocution hazard. Just like making the dog stay upstairs, it was equally as challenging to keep the hubs from swimming for his beloved golf clubs. It took some convincing but he eventually accepted that his life is in fact worth more than even the best clubs, which his are. And in case you’re wondering, they cleaned up quite nicely despite a few rusty spots. We didn’t sleep much that night and had a couple homeless days where we lived like vagabonds bouncing from place to place until some very dear friends who might as well be family offered us their camper for as long as we need it.  And to make it even better, Hubby’s aunt and uncle have a large piece of land where they board horses so we were offered a spot complete w/ RV hookups and we promptly accepted. It has been a blessing to live on this beautiful piece of property and to make it even better hubby’s cousin rents the trailer on the property and he was already keeping the pup for us. So we even have him right there with us. He won’t know what to do when we get back home and he has his very own space under the stairs and gets to live freely in air conditioning again.
As I long for the day when we return to our 2,300 sq ft homecomplete with plumbing that I don’t have to manually empty almost daily, I need to remember to focus on enjoying every day and not getting lost in the process of getting home… one thing that comes to mind is the beauty of our view, which is just stunning, that I actually get to wake up to every day, I’m really going to miss the lake and the horses and the pastures and AG’s little voice saying “eyes!” when I open the blinds and the sun hits her eyes. As I focus on enjoying this time I don’t want to miss out on the fact that the wee-one is turning into a big girl right before our very eyes. In this 29’ camper she has started putting words into sentences, clearly sharing her opinions and needs, and even trying to dress (and undress) herself, and she’s even enjoying using the potty even though we aren’t really trying to transition out of diapers yet. For the 4th of July we went to a pool party about 45 minutes away. I had told the wee-one earlier in the day that we would be going swimming later and kept mentioning this throughout the morning. When we were literally walking out the door she exclaimed “floatie!” and proceeded to run and got her floatie because she remembered that we were going swimming and that she isn’t allowed to swim without it. I am still so impressed that my not-quite-2-year-old did this.
I wrote all of that for a couple reasons. One – I want to remember the details and I know me, I have a terrible memory and if I don’t write it down I am bound to forget; and two – I want to never forget that despite the less than ideal living conditions, we are making memories that will last a lifetime. And regardless of where I lay my head at night, home is where my family is. We will be just fine so long as we are all together.

Update: Here are some photos from that night:

Notice the deck floating in this one:

This one was all over the national news and still comes up when you google "Pensacola flood":

And here are some of the early cleanup process: