Fun, Not Fun

The past few weeks around here have been hell on wheels. Bean is one continuous teething monster of terror, and every day we hold our breaths waiting for the insanity to pass. The older Heathens had school testing, which is enough to make anyone neurotic, and now that it’s over, we have all those end-of-the-year projects to tackle, not to mention the state Social Studies Fair looming (dang over-achieving kids…grumble, grumble).

To make matters worse, my laptop contracted a catastrophic virus which required an entire weekend of saving what we could, then wiping and reinstalling every damn thing on it. (Object lesson of the day: do not let your antivirus subscription lapse…you’ll pay dearly, my friends)

My impromptu “hey, maybe I can earn some extra money by going freelance” idea is going better than I expected. I’m not rolling in the Benjamin’s or anything, but if I keep at it, we may clear enough to keep the Heathens in their good school for another year. The downside, I’ve learned, is that if you want to work from home, you actually have to work. Balancing my stay-at-home-mom responsibilities with my writing/earn money/learn-the-concept-of-savings ambition has been rough. Mostly, I’ve learned that everything takes longer than I initially thought it would, and time management skills are not my strong suit.

In the midst of all this chaos, we did have some bright spots. We’ve had a few family get-togethers, including an epic round of Clue at my sister’s house, which reminded us why classic games remain classics for a reason. We also hit the lake for a few hours of unplugged family time, and it was a welcome relief from the hectic mess we’ve been living in lately.

Hopefully, the rollercoaster we’re on will even out soon. If not, I’ll need a lot more booze.

And maybe some chocolate.

But mostly, just the booze, please.

Knife Projectiles, Subway Tile and Lessons About Manufacturers’ Intended Use

So, I have a knife problem. Other than a giant knife block of my fancy-schmancy knives, I also have several miscellaneous knives floating around my kitchen that I refuse to part with. A while ago, I posted about this magnetic strip, which I like, and seemed to be a great solution for us. However, that little strip has become a big problem. You see, my tiny kitchen has one really great feature about the walls: awesome subway tile, straight to the ceiling.

And I love that tile. The magnetic strip is supposed to be screwed into the wall, but I absolutely will not try to screw into the tile. When I first got the magnetic strip, I resolved the issue by mounting it with Command adhesive picture-hanging strips (which, by the way is NOT a recommended use for that product).

Three years and three brutally hot Louisiana summers later, the adhesive solution is failing big-time. The magnetic strip randomly falls off the wall, turning it into a deadly projectile. Now that Bean is crawling around, I can’t have knife bombs falling from the sky. That would be bad.

A friend of mind heard my plight and sent me a little surprise gift:

This is the Knife Dock. It fits in the kitchen drawer and will hold knives of all different sizes, in any arrangement I want.

(yep, I had to play with it for a minute)

And just like that, the knife-bomb problem was solved. I’m able to keep the knives easily accessible, arrange them exactly how I like and I don’t have to worry about them getting damaged from floating loosely around the drawer. Apparently, Knife Dock also makes a larger, deluxe model, and I may just consider getting that one too, and evicting the knife block off the counter.

If only storing the Heathens’ tsunami of toys was so easy…

A Vacation From My Vacation!

We’ve had a very eventful few weeks, and I’m finally pausing to catch my breath. We took a trip to Dallas for Bear’s 9th birthday, and it was two of the busiest days we’ve had in a long time. Since we rarely have the time or funds to travel, I always tend to overdo it when we do skip town. I feel like I have to cram as much into our vacation time as I possibly can, and I probably end up more tired and neurotic than when we left. But, that’s okay by me, if it means the Heathens get to explore something new. Culture is a good thing, ya know.

We managed to swing this trip by using our accumulated travel rewards to score a free hotel room, and I learned you can save a bundle on venue tickets if you buy them early.

We started at the Perot Science and Nature Museum, which was absolutely fabulous, even if it was a little too crowded for me. It was very hands-on and kid friendly, and I could have spent all day there.

 

 

 

 

We spent several hours exploring and I still feel like we didn’t get to fully see and enjoy a good portion of the museum. If I had the money, it would have been worth it to purchase a “membership,” because members can enter the museum a couple of hours before the actual opening time, and I bet we would have enjoyed the smaller crowds. Still, that was an outing that was just as much fun for my husband and I as it was for the kids. After the museum, and a dip in the indoor pool at the hotel, we headed to dinner. And ate. And then we ate some more. And maybe had a cocktail, but that’s beside the point.

 

The next day, we went to Legoland and Rainforest Café, and though the kids had fun, that won’t be something we’ll ever do again. Legoland was fine, but honestly, it’s more for 4-7 year-olds. We had about all the fun we could have there within an hour, and that didn’t justify the high price tag. As for the café, again, the extremely high price for mediocre food was painful. And I’m not a fan of the marketing ploy that required us to walk through a veritable toy store just to get to the restaurant’s entrance. Still, the kids had great time, so in the end, that’s what matters. However, my husband and I agreed that from here on out, if the vacation is kid-centric, we get to pick where we eat. That’s what you call compromise, right there.

 

 

Once we got home from the trip, I started kicking around the idea of doing a little freelance writing. The boys’ tuition is a painful, painful thing, and I’m hoping to alleviate some of the burden if I can. The good news is that I landed a couple of great clients right off the bat, but since then, I’ve spent every spare moment either writing, or juggling a demonic Bean. She has a big new front tooth, and the oh-so-pleasant disposition to match.

Be afraid…be very afraid…