Auntie

For the third time!

Mom and Baby are fine. Happy to be out of the womb. I can’t wait to meet the little booger.

Advertisements

Finale

Finale

The Clothes…

We have to have separate closets. We shared the closet upstairs for a while but it got pretty cramped so we split. Shelby took the closet downstairs and I took the one in our bedroom. (Given other factors, namely a broken shower, this divide made sense.)

This is the part where I vent about my husband’s addiction to online shopping. At least once a month I will come home from work to find a discarded box with thin plastic sleeves spilling from it. Further investigation will usually reveal 2 or 3 new shirts, maybe a pair of pants or a new pair of shoes, and almost always a handful of socks. We are not technically in financial trouble (though we don’t have a prayer of a down payment for a new house). I don’t mind that he treats himself to something that will make him happy. But there are two primary issues I have with this habit.

1)      He complains every month about the status of his credit card. We have a joint account that is used for the majority of our expenses but we each have our separate accounts (in separate banks) for individual treats. All of his monthly paycheck goes to our joint account. From my bi-weekly check, Net Amount X goes to my account, Net Amount X goes to his account, and the rest goes to our joint savings. That’s 2X per month! Sometimes 3X! The only thing I know of still being routinely charged to his account is his wireless expenses. There is no reason he shouldn’t be able to pay down his credit card but I still hear about how we haven’t paid off the honeymoon or he never gets enough money to pay it off. WE PAID $6000+ TO FIX OUR BATHROOM FROM OUR SAVINGS LAST YEAR! How can you possibly still have charges from 2 years ago? Is it perhaps charges from last month and that swanky pair of red pants I’ve not seen you wear once?

2)      He never gets rid of anything. I have worked through drawers full of shirts that don’t fit, socks that have never been worn, paint splattered shorts. Every time I ask if we can get rid of this thing now, he melts into a 3 year-old child that has just been told it’s bedtime. Sometimes I challenge him, he has a minor tantrum, and then we agree on 5 things we can donate or toss. He will never volunteer anything without being asked. His collection has gotten out of control.

He had to move out of the downstairs closet and took the big closet upstairs. Now there is no room upstairs. I keep buying more and more hangers and we keep not having enough hangers. Our pitiful washer and dryer can’t keep up. I am worried about the structural integrity of the closet rod. The middle is sagging pretty significantly and the bracing is starting to crack. The last thing we need right now is to have his wardrobe rip a hole in the wall.

So I’ve done what any wife would do, I’ve donated items without asking first. And if any of you tell him, I will be forced to hunt you down.

The Stuff…

PART II

Both of us have a sentimental side (some of us more than others ahem). There is a container somewhere that is full of hand turkeys and ornaments that I made when I was 5 through to Middle School trophies and pieces of debris I collected from every show I worked on in High School. 1 container. I’ve added a few picture albums and maybe another script or two. There is also some very delicious artwork created by a very delicious nephew. But it still fits into 1 container. He has smaller quantities of similar collections in, on, and under almost every surface in our house. I see the value in keeping some of it. But some of it has got to go. We don’t have a game cube anymore, we don’t need to keep the hand-made controller containment box. We don’t need the matchbook or movie ticket stubs from whatever first date that was. The box full of old membership cards from the days we actually used to go out and were required to “join” a club in order to get in can go. Not like the Golf Club of Sir Henry Michael Twittington, like a club called The Cave. Or Hell, remember Hell? Much as he’d like to believe our membership card will be prized memorabilia some day, it won’t. The memories of youth can live on without this clutter.

We have approximately 25 pieces of art that almost met their final destiny at the bottom of a garbage heap somewhere. Instead, they were rescued from certain death to live out a rather dull and depressing life in a stack in the back of one of our closets. We have plenty of hand thrown and painted pottery. We have masks home made by a friend in Paperhand, photos taken and framed creatively, and a variety of other crafts that were created specifically with one of us in mind. And of course, scripts. Everywhere there are scripts. Plays we have done, plays we have thought about doing, plays that were being given away.

I am rather looking forward to our funky art tastefully displayed throughout our home, intermingled with the more traditional pieces. Who else will ever have a cabin boy painted on a kitchen cabinet door (Cabinet Boy) to proudly decorate their home?  I like that we have such a variety of mediums, paint on canvas, charcoal sketches, and marker (?) on wood. I don’t like that we have no room to keep them, no room to display them, and the collection keeps growing.

This is to say nothing of our CD, DVD, and VHS collection. And video games for Xbox and Wii. And books! With one paltry bookshelf which itself is a handmade piece of crappy furniture with shelf height and depth specifically designed for DVDs. Woe is me.

We need a bigger house. We need better furniture. We need to lead an adult life. End of.

2 Steps Forward, 2 Steps Back

I have been on a mission to de-clutter the house. Not only to make it better to live in, but to free up storage space, get the tax credit for donations, and make it within the realm of possibility that we can show it at some point. My husband is adamantly opposed, subconsciously.

PART I

If I’m remembering this correctly, a friend of my sister was ready for some new furniture so she thoughtfully sold my sister a few of her old pieces. These included a full size bed frame and a cat scratched saggy middle couch. That was about 10 years ago. I still have that couch. It still sags in the middle, and it has now lost a foot. And I have the taped together bed frame with cross boards that don’t quite fit. It’s in our guest room. I nailed the boards down as best I could, but who knows what types of shenanigans our overnight guests get up to.

Add to this the pink chairs. These are swivel rockers in the shape of recliners but don’t recline. Like at all. I nicknamed them the tin soldier chairs because you have to sit like a tin soldier. They had some history in relation to my Brother-In-Law but ended up in my possession once the two houses joined. They’ve been joined for about 7 years now, and still the pink chairs reside with me.

At a similar time, I also inherited a small “dinner” table and 3 matching chairs. I seem to recall that these were rescued from a dumpster, hence the 3 chairs instead of 4. I tried getting rid of the table a few years ago, but something in me only threw away the legs. We still have the table top. Cuz you never know when that will come in handy. 2 of the 3 chairs are still with us, though one of them is so wiggly, we don’t allow guests to sit in it. It really serves as the “holder for our junk” as we enter the house. Cuz the other crappy table (which I haven’t even mentioned yet) isn’t good enough for that. Actually, the wiggly chair is also partly responsible for my poker/thumb debacle of last weekend. It should feel lucky that I didn’t chuck it immediately.

Among the other pieces of crappy furniture are the aforementioned entryway table which is a hand me down of my parents, 3 remaining stools of the original 5 that were also parental hand me downs, a coffee table I stole from summer camp when I was in college, a desk that my boss almost threw away but didn’t, a dresser I stupidly bought from Craig’s list that hardly opens or closes its drawers correctly (and has cat face drawer pulls which I didn’t see until I brought it home and showed the Huz),  and another curbside dump rescue dresser with cardboard drawer bottoms, mismatched drawer pulls, and two drawers we can’t open.

We can get rid of these anytime we want. We have curbside service. We simply place any of these items on our front lawn before our Tuesday garbage pick-up, and the special notation is made for a bulk truck to pick up that item on Wednesday. Some of these things even fit in our industrial trash can. We don’t sit on the couch, we don’t use the chairs for anything more than a cat perch or junk collector. We can live without these things.

But apparently, my husband can’t. He wants to keep everything or replace it now.

We are locked in an irresolvable debate. Both sides make too much sense. On the one hand, we can clear out a bunch of unused furniture and give our home the illusion space which is necessary for selling. We can buy new furniture that matches our new home; but then we have to add the cost of new furniture on to a new house. And though we don’t really use it, we do occasionally have guests that would like a place to sit. If we lose the pink chairs as seating options, we had better put something else there for our guests to rest their buns upon in the event we don’t magically sell our house incredibly quickly. On the other hand, we can start to shed pieces now and replace them with pieces we prefer, pieces that make us feel like responsible grown-ups instead of really old, poor, college drop-outs. Pieces that would be attractive in the sale of a house; but that doesn’t resolve the issue of lack of space when looking to sell.

We have upgraded a few things that gave us little spurts of energy, but have only highlighted our minor hoarding tendencies. We bought and assembled a beautiful computer cabinet. It has a display shelf where we’ve placed wedding memorabilia, family pictures, and a few respectable trinkets. The Huz’s original apple computer is tucked away happily inside. (Another thing we could get rid of except he has no way to extract his extensive iTunes library from that monstrosity.) This was meant to replace the desk my boss almost threw away but didn’t, but instead that got moved into the guest bedroom. We bought a few “adult” lamps and immediately developed a hatred for our bedroom furniture. (My first ever grown adult purchase was a queen bed and 1 matching bedside table when I first moved into my own apartment. Since I didn’t make much money, I went with one of the cheapest. Both pieces were about $500, including the mattress and bedsprings. It’s not what I would pick out today.) Shoobs wants a king bed for us, keep the queen for a guest room, but won’t let us get rid of the full because it would be good for another guest room. So we haven’t done anything about that, cuz where are we going to put an extra bed right now?

Anyway, this back and forth is really exhausting. How do we move forward when we can’t let go? I’ll tell you right now, it’s going to be a pretty hairy spring cleaning this year.

Cheers for the Weekend

Some friends of ours moved to Asheville at the end of the summer. This weekend though, they came back! Shoobs and I have been nominated the most responsible and the best hosts, so they stayed with us. I have no idea how we became the most responsible and the best hosts, but there you have it.

I spent all week completely obliterating our house before dismally attempting to have it guest ready. I took down Christmas, repacked everything, reorganized our closets, filled two boxes for the goodwill, vacuumed, and laundered, even wiped down the counters and stove tops. We got all of our Christmas presents put together and functioning. We cleaned out the junk drawers and filled Rubbermaid’s for storage. I even rearranged some of the artwork. All, mind you, while still attending rehearsals nightly for my current project. By the time our guests arrived on Friday, I was exhausted.

Friday night we stayed up late and chatted. They had things to do in town Saturday so we went our separate ways. I went to yoga (I am quite proud that I still go to yoga every Saturday possible) and when I got home, just spent most of Saturday relaxing. Apparently a tornado hit somewhere in our town. Didn’t come near us that I could tell. We had rain all day, but it’s been raining here for like a week, so it went by unnoticed.

We hosted a poker party Saturday night. Everything was going just grand until about 11:30. I stubbornly refused to listen to my husband and continued to lean backward in what was already a dangerously shaky chair. Of course, I fell. And maybe broke my thumb. (Exaggeration again. I can still use it so it simply isn’t broken, but I can’t use it for anything that requires too much pressure, like opening a jar of spaghetti sauce, and the entire thing is black and blue. So some damage was done.) The rest of the night is kind of a blur of agony and kicking butt at poker before being wisely sent to bed. $5 buy in and I walked out of the game hours before it was over with $11. Shoobs walked away with $22. All in all, great night for us!

And then Sunday. Shoobs wanted to say goodbye to our guests when they left so he set an alarm for 8:30 despite having come to bed at 4am. But I was already wide awake. I had gotten the text an hour earlier that nephew number 3 may be making his debut. He eventually decided it was too cold and he could wait a little while longer. A few hours later mom and baby were sent home the same way they had arrived, as one.

The rest of Sunday we cleaned up after the party, washed the sheets for our new guests coming on Saturday, napped, and enjoyed each other’s video games. The huz fancies a casino trip in our future and has been practicing Craps online. We each have a profile set up in one of his Christmas gift Xbox games (Assassins Creed) and so we rotated 15 minutes on the computer, 15 minutes on the Xbox. It was fun.

And now it’s Monday, my thumb still hurts but the swelling has gone down. Rehearsals begin again this evening. And I suppose I should answer some of these phone calls before voicemail. 

Weight Frustration

I used to be a big girl. People wouldn’t call me fat, but those people were being polite. Just before we got engaged when I was doing the “if you like it then you better put a ring on it” song and dance, I hopped onto the weight loss bandwagon and in the course of 12 – 18 months, I made it to my goal weight and took off a few more pounds just for fun. I lost a total of 50 pounds through a combination of dedication and stress. I also had another sister’s wedding to be in and felt an awkward need to fit in with the college rugby crowd. 😉 I watched calories. I made smart decisions about what to buy and when. I didn’t stop eating anything. I just watched the quantity of what I ate. I didn’t join a gym or do any special exercises, I didn’t follow South Beach or Low Carb or Atkins, I just stopped snacking.  I have no idea how healthy I was, I was just thinner.

Shelby is still a big boy. He’s stabilized at a respectable weight, but for a minute there, even the Wii Fit couldn’t classify him. When I met him, a combination of depression and a lack of money had dropped him to 170, a tiny stick of a thing. Let’s just say that comfort and 2 sources of income have done nothing for his waistline. He also knuckled down a bit leading up to the wedding (because he wanted to, not because I made him) and ate what I provided to him. He stopped eating fast food and snacked on carrots instead of candies.

We both have gained some weight back since the wedding. I’ve been hovering about 15 – 20 pounds heavier. I’m honestly ok with this, when I’m clothed. I still fit into the same clothes mostly. I may have a little extra top on my muffin in one or two pairs of jeans but all in all, I’m OK. I keep up with the yoga I have been doing for years so I credit some of the “heavy” to a buildup in muscle mass in my arms and legs. I credit the rest of the heavy to the bread and wine that are adding a layer of chub to my belly. I know it’s only January, but I’m kinda freaking out about the thought of bathing suits anywhere in my future which is just sad, because I want beach time this year.

And so I am trying. This time, it isn’t my goal to lose weight. The goal is to manage the weight I am carrying into a more toned package. Which means that in addition to actually trying a little harder to tone my belly, I should also take another look at my caloric intake, which due to illness got an unexpected jump start over the holidays. I skipped cookies. I didn’t have much candy. In fact, if it wasn’t a cough drop, nasal spray, or over the counter medication, I had a hard time getting much down. But that didn’t stop everyone from sending them home with us. And now others are starting their 2014 New Year’s Weight Loss Challenge and are bringing even more junk food over.

And so I am getting frustrated at the sticky buns and pumpkin rolls and sugar encrusted cashews that are all over our house. And the Huz is getting frustrated that I keep throwing away all his fudge and pound cake and Hershey’s kisses. And we’re both frustrated in our lack of meal planning because we are both involved in plays right now so it’s either a trip through the drive thru or another bowl of crunch berries. And he doesn’t want to be “fat” so he tells me I have to make him eat better. But then he gets cranky if I don’t let him have what he wants, so then I let him have what he wants with the casual reminder that he told me yesterday not to let him have this thing today. And then he eats it, gets heartburn or something, and then gets cranky at me for letting him eat the thing he wanted or didn’t want or can’t make up his mind about(so hard to keep up!).

And do you know how difficult it is to manage two wildly different diets in one house? It basically requires a trip to the grocery store every other day! Shelby won’t eat what I have around because mandarins and bananas are sooooooo not appealing when there are still cookies and cakes to eat instead. I’m trying not to eat as much so food is starting to go bad. Or, that thing that I really wanted for lunch but restrained myself saying I could have it for dinner in a few hours is totally gone because it is one of five things in the house that he will eat so he ate all five. Frozen veggie burgers aren’t cutting it for him anymore, and I don’t want any more pizza!

I’m finding the lack of actual motivating circumstances a hurdle as well. When you are going to be stared at and photographed by everyone you know (and some people you don’t know) and those photos are going to be cherished and displayed for years to come, looking thin and tall and young and lovely seems very important. But when your fat husband loves you just the same whether you’re a size 2 or 20, how can you possibly say no to the parmesan bread poppers he buys just for you? Or the cheese and bean burrito he spent the last half hour making (and frying?)? Or the second dinner and glass of wine he has prepared to share at 10pm when we’re both tired and dirty from a long rehearsal?

I can’t. So look out obesity! Here I come!