Sunday, January 31, 2010

Funny guy...

Brayden is so happy to be home with Mommy these days.  He has gotten into his own swing of things in the new house, and seems to be loving every minute of his undivided attention he gets from me while Daddy is at work all day.  That's not to say he doesn't LOVE his time with Ron, as I am chop liver as soon as Daddy walks in the door at night, but that's okay with me my break time then...which is also good for me.

Lately Brayden has been loving sleeping in his own big boy room, in his very own bed.  He wakes up usually around 4:30 am about 4 nights a week and says, "Mommy-help!"  or "Shanny?  Shannon?  Nuggle me?"  He loves when I get out of my bed and go snuggle with him...and I don't mind, because I love it too.  I know...probably creating a bad habit for the future but I want him to feel safe, and that we will come when he needs I, or Daddy will go in and "nuggle" with him.  Occassionally he will just get out of bed and come into our room.  Our bed sits up too high for him to get in all alone, so he will stand there and say "Mommy, M-up, climb? nuggle?"  aka: Mommy Im up, Ill climb up and snuggle?  So I tell him to climb and pull him up into bed with us.  He usually falls back to sleep in like 2.2 seconds.  :-)

Every night when Ron and I tuck him in we talk all about what he did for the day.  He has gotten quite good at recalling the day.  He loves to have family hugs and tells us "I miss you" aka: I love you.  So we tell him we love him too! 

It's amazing to watch him grow.  He is talking so much lately.  He is so polite.  His manners are really sweet, and not forced from us.  I have always wanted a polite child, but never pushed the issue.  It seems to be something he has picked up and likes to use!  Good thing!  He says please, thank you, no thankyou, excuse me, excuse me sir, yes maam....I am impressed...and happy. 

His newest favorite meal is salad shreds with ranch dressing.  He will go to the fridge, pull out the ranch and tell me salad Mommy! 

It's feels good to be staying at home with him right now.  This is perfect timing.  Time that I don't want to miss.  Time with him to shape who he is, and that is so important at this age.  That makes me feel good.  I love being able to see his smiling face all day, hear him giggle, watch him learn, explore, talk and test.  He is just amazing to us.  We are so grateful for having him in our lives.  We love you Brayden!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hallway Redo...Part II

The hallway is getting there...slowly but surely.  It was A LOT more work than I had anticipated.  First...I had to crawl on the stairs on my knees to scrub them down.  2.  I re-painted all of the white trim from the top of the stairs, all the way down into the hallway, a window, doors, french doors, and front door.  I then had to paint the stairs and underneath molding brown. 3.  Then the floors needed to be scraped because they are an old icky hardwood that had paint droppings on them that was driving me crazy {not from me...from someone previous}.  4. Then I had to scrape the windows on the french doors because I got paint on the glass...{sigh} I intended to do it that way though...really.

Here is the so far progress.

I still have to make a front door curtain, a new window curtain, hang pretties in my hallway up the stairs...yadda yadda yadda...

                                    Before                                                                   After

                                  Before                                                                After

Okay...not a HUGE difference, but much cleaner looking in can totally notice it looks better.

Much better!

Here are some of the newest pics I took to show off all of my hard work. 
More to come this weekend.  Pinky swear!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Baby Steps...

As you know...we moved into a new house in December.  It still needs a ton of work, and I have tons of projects on my to do list I really don't know where to start.  I have started and finished some things, and am in the process of painting our stairwell/hallway/stairs and moldings right now.  The walls are a nice color, so they can stay, but the white molding seriously needed some fresh paint, as did the stairs that used to be carpeted.  Most everything is a work in progress, but I can't wait to show you the "after" pictures once this is complete.  Looks like our kitchen will finally be done here in the next week or so, and I am more than tickled about that.  Here are some icky before and mid process pics of our hallway-stairs etc.  Stay tuned for the after's coming along so nicely I can hardly wait to just get it done with already ;-)

First coat of white...

I am keeping the top of the step brown, but it's a lighter is coming along slowly...

Please excuse the yuck!  This is ONE of the three doors in this hallway that need painting. 
This door goes to the basement and side door...

This door goes into the livingroom, although its a great architectural door, its quite a pain in the toosh to paint, and the front door is exactly like this one...ARGH!
It is getting there though, and will look SO much cleaner, nicer, brighter when it's done.  I love paint.
The livingroom walls need to be painted next.  They are a horrible STARK white that I just cannot handle.  I need at least a cream color, or tan...but here is the Rob Sigler pics we had taken last year that I have been dying to display!  Ignore the white walls-they will soon be gone...but don't you just LOVE how this turned out?  It took me two hours to measure and hang these bad was like a comedy act.  Seriously.

Happy Decorating Ladies...and check back for some after pics this week!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Getting there...

Although I really hate to bring it up yet again...we are STILL in recovery from our move in May to Florida, and then back again, and then etc etc etc.

We are now moved into our home, and just as Christmas wrapped up and we were scrambling to unpack, decorate and relax...we got caught up with the DMV insurance snafoo thing {you can read Driving Miss daisy post below} if you missed that.  I have made a million phone calls, and wrote lots of "really important" and grammatically correct to our NY state senator with our plea for some assistance.  I had a meeting there last week and it went very well, and I felt good for pushing something that is unfair, and asking for some "important people" help ;-)  We should know more this week.

That has meant though that we are still unable to drive our cars until this mess is cleared up...that is IF it gets cleared up.  If not...we are house bound until April when I can put the van back on the road, and July when we can put the Pontiac back on the road.  The kicker is...we STILL have FULL COVERAGE insurance.  I don't think that because it was underwritten in a different state that it should show an insurance lapse for us...WE NEVER LAPSED!!!  We simply bought an insurance policy from a company who is headquartered in GA!  AHHHHHHHHHHH.  The worst part of all of it is the cost to get out of it. First...we have to keep our current insurance to maintain the terms of our car loans...which means paying a hefty insurance renewal for our GA policy in February of $250, just to turn around in April to pay another hefty $225.00 to convert to a NY insurance company.  Then...we have to pay over $200 in fines, as well as paying over $200 for new registrations and tags again, and new licenses as well.  Lord what a mess...and what a financial kick in the head that we DONT need right now.  We have HAD insurance the whole time...this is so unfair, and upsetting.
Okay....moving on....

The last three weeks Brayden and I have been virtually home bound with the exception of our family and some friends coming over to pick us up and drive us around. {stop laughing}.  Ron gets to get out to go to work so he is doubly blessed ;-)  haha! You might think it would be humiliating for us right now, but with all that we have gone through since our move, then demise...this is sort of a cake walk.  Okay, it's not a cake walk, but it's easier than what we have already been through this last year.

I am finding the good in it though.  Brayden and I have spent so much time together playing, dancing, singing, and talking.  He is fun.  I am no longer so busy running silly errands or going out...and that means more special time with him...which is our silver lining here.  Thank God...maybe he knew we need it after all that we have gone through.  He knew. 

I have also had lots of extra time to complete all of those little projects around the house that I have so longed to do for so long now.  Brayden gets to get creative with me too now, and he loves it....which makes me appreciate our situation even more right now.

This has also meant that I am out A LOT less than I used to be, which equals less money spent on stuff I dont really need...which means getting caught up on some major financial issues we incurred as a result of said move in May.  It's going to be a long haul for us until we are back to "normal"...but we are getting there.
I am confident in God's plan for us.  We still are hopeful and excited about having some normalcy again...and we are working our tails off to get back to life as we once knew it this time last year. 

I am so grateful, thankful and content right now.  I know everything happens for a reason.  I know that we have so much to look forward to, and I know how blessed we are in comparison to others less fortunate.  I really don't have any right to could be worse. 

Some good news coming:  Ron was accepted into our local college JCC for a summer semester EMT program so he can go back to school.  He was also accepted as a volunteer responder for the fire department which means they are paying for his classes.  He wants to change his career path from doing the cop thing to being a paramedic...eventually on a helicopter. {baby steps though right now}.  He is pretty excited about this upcoming opportunity.  He is also gearing up for City Rec Baseball again...and it looks like he will be coaching his own team this year...I think 8-10 yr. olds.  He loves it and is sooo great at it.  This will extend into him playing on adult league of course again, as well as coaching a baseball clinic at the college right now that goes all year, so he is feeling pretty upbeat about things...which is nice.  Its nice to see him smile again ;-)

As for me...I still have the opportunity to go back to college myself which is also totally paid for.  I am still trying to work out all of those details.  I am excited about it though.  I have also been toying with starting my own etsy business of all sorts of fun things creative, and this spring want to start refinishing/upholstering furniture {my love} and selling it for some extra $$$.  My biggest challenge will be letting go of those treasures once there made all pretty.  We now have health insurance again which means me getting off Prednisone...which is really great, and I am so excited about it. 

Biggest happiness:  We are together again as a family.  We are home with much of our family, and most of our closest friends on earth!  We are so blessed, and so loved, and soooo grateful.

I am so thankful we have experienced what we have this last year....but we are moving on...slowly...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Calling all Curtains...

So...I have tons of fabric laying around that are begging to have something made of them.  Curtains I am thinking.  I dont want to do valances, and have been lurking blogs and the web in search of some ideas that are a little more interesting.  I am bound and determined to get behind my sewing machine and start moving this weekend.  Here are some things I think I really LOVE.

These are so easy to make...but I think I will do these in my kitchen...and it's not quite done yet {being remodeled currently} those might have to wait.

I know...I have big plans, on no budget, and a lot of windows that need something special.  I'd better get to work ;-)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Eye Candy...

Now that we are getting settled into our new house, my mind is racing with ideas for decorating.  I have a new style I think.  I want to get rid of the old...and move the new in.  New ways of decorating for me, more color, less uniformity, and implementing things that are a part of our lives, my life, and personality.  So many neat ideas are available on the web.  Great pictures, great inspirations, great bloggers.  For some of these photos...I have linked their blog for credit...for others...I am so sorry-I saved the pics awhile ago and do not recall where they came from!
I love this room.  I love the table, the bright colors against the white furniture with the Black armoire...its so perfect and adorable and flirty and fun.  I <3 you.

You will have to go over and pay this womans blog a visit, and read her inspiring life journey as well.  She is amazing, and has such a fun way of decorating.  Her style is very much what I have been craving lately in my decorating, and is very similar to the types of decorating risks Ron and I like to take when finding uses for old things-on a budget. 

Funky Junk Interiors
I love the red and chalkboard paint.

Funky Junk Interiors
I love ladders.  I especially love ladders in bathrooms.  I need to find one now....this is just too cute.

Funky Junk Interiors
I swear I am not stalking her...I just love her home ;-)  I love the waste basket wicker different, yet so functional.  Jealous?  Oh yes.

Love this door, chalkboard paint, in a bathroom.  :-)  Awesome and so different...just my style.

LOVE THIS!  Old kitchen cabinets revamped into playroom storage.  I am on this ISO old cabinets.  Cute cute cute.

Better Homes and Gardens
I love these curtains and HAVE been stalking these at Walmart for months now.  I want them in my diningroom with this:

Okay-this is not my hutch, but I am going to paint ours black very soon, and hopefully it will look similar.  That with my diningroom table and chairs of course!  Can't wait.

I LOVE these subway signs.  They are eclectic, and I want one.  I will make one though...they are pricey, and too pricey for me.
Do you see all of my projects I have going on here?  Way too many.  I am so inspired though.

Love this wall too.  I did get a projector for Christmas...I could totally pull this one off I think.  Love it. 
Okay...I'll stop saying love.
BUT I do <3 all of these beautiful ideas. 

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Brayster...{some funny stories}

I have to share some funny stories of the Brayden Brayster these days.  He is learning so much, and is so smart {if I do say so myself} Ha!  Seriously...he amazes me with the new things he does, and the manner in which he expresses his own personality.

Tonight he walked his sippy cup over to me and asked for "caulkit milk mommy".  I told him he had to wait one minute while I finished doing something.  He quickly walked over to the fridge and brought me his chocolate syrup. I told him I needed the milk too!  He walked back to the fridge and grabbed the milk with both arms and wobbled over to me to set it on the couch.  He happily exclaimed "I did it Mommy, I do it"!!!
I asked him to please put them back in the fridge once I made his chocolate milk for him.  He took the syrup first, then made a second trip for the milk.  I was so excited and proud of him, gave him big hugs and smooches and told him thats what Big Boys do, and how he was such a good big boy!  He was so happy and proud of himself.  I admit...I quickly went over to the fridge a little fearful of what I'd find once I opened it, but he even put them back in their spot as perfect as can be!  Go figure?  What a quirky little guy he is sometimes.  I just love him.

He asks me for bbuy kisses {butterfly eyelash kisses} and lays his head sideways on me freely exposing his cheeks waiting for them.  It's so sweet.

This morning he climbed up in bed with us on Daddy's side of the bed.  Daddy got up to shower for work after turning Noggin on in the bedroom so Bray would just chill for a little longer.  Brayden soon started asking me for yellow-browns {what he calls reesie pieces}.  I {half awake} said "Bray honey, there are no reesie's up here".  He got off of the bed on Daddy's side to get down, and I listened to his little feet run over to my side of the bed.  I reached over and picked him up {eyes half open} and snuggled up to him.  He was sitting there playing, doing something as he watched cartoons.  I did not open my eyes until I heard him eating something.  I slowly opened my eyes, and all I saw was Bray sitting upright against all of the pillows, with the blankets pulled up on his lap, and a big bag of reesie's in front of him, just chompin away chillin out watching Noggin!  {Daddy evidently bought a bag and brought them upstairs lastnight to watch tv-I had no idea they were even there!}...stinkers.

Last week I went to get some coffee.  As I drove away from Tim Horton's, my lid popped off and I spilled coffee on my coat.  Under my breath I nonchalantly said  "nice Tim Hortons, way to put your lids on all the way".  Brayden says very sweetly " Mommy-copfee hot?"  Me: Yes, honey thats right, Mommy's coffee IS hot-you're right!  Bray: Oh...awe you okay?  Me:  YES baby I am okay, thank you for asking-that is very nice!  Bray: Ummm...awe you R right?  Me:  {in awe of his sweetness and of using these questions in the right context} Yes, I am alright Bray-thank you.  Bray:  {silence for a moment}  Mommy-How doin'?  Me:  {giggling at this point}  Im doing good, how are you?  Bray:  Good.  This conversation repeated itself a few times thereafter and I was smiling the whole time.  He is so nice.  I love that.  He loves his Momma.

His little comments lately also include:
-I tickle YOU!
-I bunny {funny}.
-I hiding, hiding seek.  He counts to 2 and says Here I come!
-He dances and says he has oco eggs. {loco leggs from Noggin}
-Base base, babbabababababa base base... {c/o Yo Gabba Gabba}
-Ankyou Mommy
-Peas {please}
-Wow really? {while pretend talking on the phone}
-Hi Mickey Mouse!  How doin? {talking on phone}
-No way! {while talking on the phone}
-Im gorgeous!
-I got this!
-Are you kidding me?
-I did it!
-Im happy!
-Kiss mommy, hug kiss....
-Come on bats! {after I tell him he has bats in his cave while trying to clean his nose}!
-Awe Maaaan!
-I fix it!
-Im helpin'
-Im cleaning
-I weep {sleep or sweep}
-Im up! 
-All better?
-I help you? {when he needs help}
-In a minute?
-Mommy, Daddy Wook!!!  {look}
-Mommy, I do it! {telling me I did it!}
-{my favorite}  Store?  Walmart peas?  Store Mommy?  {what have I done?}  haha.

Just some of the things he does to keep this Momma giggling and on my toes.  Love it.  Love him.

Driving Miss Daisy... {help!}

The year has begun, and apparently we need a chauffeur for awhile.  Anyone?  Takers? 
We have hit a brick wall of sorts, but I press on ahead.  Turns out-when we switched our full coverage car insurance over to GA when I was there over the summer {because our NY policy was ending & we were trying to move there}, we neglected to realize that since we still had NY plates and registration that were violating a state law in NY.  Insurance is insurance right?  We never switched over the tags and licenses because we ended up coming back to NY shortly thereafter anyways for Ron's new job, so we kept them. As for the insurance, we are covered no matter where we go.  Evidently...NY state does not recognize out of state insurance under any circumstances, and has therefore suspended both mine and Rons licenses and registrations...on both cars!  We cannot even pay the civil pentalty to turn the situation around because we are past the 90 day mark and NY shows a lapse in insurance coverage for us...even though

NY suggested calling GA to try to get a registration just to show to NY so they could dissolve all of this instantly.
 Good idea....but no dice.
  Since we were in GA for such a short time-staying with family...we never established residency, or proof really that we were there at all so GA won't budge to help us out-even though we would only need the registration for a day to take to NY dmv to get this cleared up.

I talked to my insurance guy in GA.  None of this makes sense to him, and/or to my insurance company.  They suggested they write a letter on our behalf with our declarations proving we had more than the mandated state coverage NY requires for it's drivers and this law of theirs.
  No dice...NY dmv still won't budge.

THIS is a mess, and is very complicated.  As it stands today....I get my license back after I wait out my punishment.  That's March.  I get my registration back in April.  Ron gets his license back in May, and the registration on his car in June. cars, no driving until then.

I am not done fighting this though.  I have consulted attorneys, called Insurance Bureau's, and have written a letter to our senator and others.  I could understand the punishment if we really lapsed and never had new insurance, but WE DIDN'T!!! 

So...I have managed to gain some headway on all of this throughout the last week.  I have learned SO much about the NY state DMV, and how all of this CAN be waived at there discretion. I just have to find THE person that CAN waive this....and work some magic.
 Time will tell.

There is never a dull moment with us!  Things should be interesting for the next few months if I can't get this figured out.  I feel like the punishment does not match the crime for us.  I feel our situation needs to be considered, because it is not the standard black and white scenario.  WE don't break laws...if we had known this law we would have certainly done something differently.  Looking at our past insurance and driving history's could prove our responsibilty level. 

The DMV said I could get a restricted license and drive someone else's car of course...just not mine...that's my punishment.  So....I can get in an accident in someone else's car that I am not familiar driving that could pose an insurance hazard for all involved???  Yeah DMV, that makes soooo much more sense than to allow me to drive my own vehicle that is FULLY insured, that FULLY insures other people I may become involved in an accident with while driving on a restricted license.  Is it just me or does that make...
 NO SENSE?  Just saying....

So...I will be sending out 100 letters today in my pursuit of getting this rectified.  Say a prayer for us....seriously....Say a prayer.  If you have any ideas...feel free to shoot them my way-I will try anything at this point.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Comedy of Errors...Year 2009

This year has completely been a comedy of errors for us.  Live and learn is the cliche' for that one though right?  First...let's review what I mean by comedy of errors.

{and grab your coffee and get comfy because this is a long one}...

First:  Ron and I anticipated and had been planning on moving to Georgia since October of 2008.  So he set up numerous interviews with Police departments in GA, and traveled back and forth a few times interviewing, but did not have any luck.  Thanks to his age, and a poor economy.  So...on a whim-he applied for a driving job in Florida and after a few hired!  We did not expect this to come through, and it totally threw us out of our plans to go to Georgia and redirected us back to we went {and quickly}.

Ron had to start within two weeks of being hired...which meant he left and I stayed in NY getting the house packed, while he worked {stayed with wonderful and gracious} friends of ours in Florida, and searched for a new house for us.  In May Brayden and I drove to Orlando for our big move.  A move without our things since Ron's uncle decided at the last minute he could not do it for us. {the start of our demise}.

That's not to say it was not a TON of fun though.  We hung out with wonderful old friends we had in Florida, ate up all of the sunshine, went to Disney, flea markets, garage sales, went side of the road digging for furniture we could use until we got our things, dreamed about our futures, and really had a fun Florida sabbatical.  Reality eventually hit though as we realized this was not going to work long term, and we decided to head back to NY and start over. 

So we did just that.  It was harder than we thought it was going to be.  So...we played with the thought of going back to original plan of moving to Georgia.  So...I went with Brayden and myself packed into the van-and drive solo to Georgia to find work, a house, a life....etc.  I stayed with family and Ron stayed with his family in NY with our dogs while looking for work here.  We said whoever got a job first-that's where we would go.  I looked and searched for work, interviewed, and had NO LUCK.  Feeling totally exhausted and defeated {and missing my hubby}....we drove back to NY for a few weeks to visit and try to work on Plan B, or C, or was that D at this point???  I've lost track.  Ron found work this is where we decided to plant roots...again ;-)

I then drove solo again to GA with Brayden to get all of our things that we had brought there!  After my last {and 7th roadtrip this year} back to NY...I have sworn off driving any long distance again for AWHILE.  I did manage to surprise myself though-traveling over 800 miles with a 2 year old alone is scary, and hard.  I feel strong for having accomplished it so many times this year.  Accomplished or stupid...I still don't know...but it feels kind of empowering if I say so myself. 

It was a hard 7 months to say the least.  Those 7 months though taught me so many things.  I found an inner peace and strength I never knew I had before.  The unfortunate time away from Ron was hard, but showed us that we are a team and can pull through even the hardest of times with eachother.  We pressed on when we both felt defeated and scared.  We found a higher appreciation for simple things we took for granted just 7 months earlier.  Thank God for the family and friends that helped us pull through all of this-we are forever indebted and grateful to you.

So...we found a new house in NY and moved in early December.  However-it is in mid remodel mode, and as of right now we have NO kitchen.  Drywall is up-and cabinets are ready to be installed, but as of right now we are using a make shift kitchen in our diningroom.  First we go from having a kitchen and new home with none of our things to having no home, to having a home with our things, and no kitchen!  It's quite funny and ironic though huh?  We perservere ahead.

We are happy and grateful to have our lives back.  Not that we ever lost our lives, but it sure felt very difficult at times throughout the last 7 months.  We are still on the road to recovery though.  Financially-all of this moving killed us, and it is going to be a long time before we feel settled and secure again.  I am not complaining though, I am just trying to clear the road for us to have some peace again. 

This new year brings with it many exicting opportunites for us.  Ron and I are both going back to school this year.  Ron is planning on coaching city rec baseball again this summer {which is always fun}.  I have a whole new place to decorate and do all the fun projects to that I have been dreaming of for months now.  We have our health insurance back finally-which means positive strides for me and all of my needed medications and health.  We are toying with the thought of baby #2 perhaps health permitting.  So many good things to come and so far it looks as though things will go well for us in the coming year.

This year I am going to do a few things differently.  I am not one for resolutions, never have been, but this year there are changes that need to be made.  I am making a concious effort to find happiness in days even when I don't feel like being happy.  I am going to savor the simple things, because now I realize when they are gone-you have nothing.  I am going to be more creative, and spend more time with my friends and family.  I am going to try and show the people in my life just how much I love and appreciate them.  I am going to thank God more and more for everything in my life, the good and the bad.  I have found peace in things I never saw before I experienced this last year of events.  I am grateful for them. 

2010 should be a year of growth and contentment.  May it also be for you!  Hugs!