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Part 14 of the Dumpster Diaries: Finishing the Back Room AND Bye Bye Dumpster! (plus other updates).

I *thought* I had a half finished blog post draft saved, but when I went to find it, it was gone.

It’s been SO BUSY around here that I have had barely enough time to think, much less write.

I am NOT going to post more pics of the back room til I get more decorating done- most people are shocked currently by the incredibly orange walls LOL! It has to be entirely finished to understand… I am doing a hippie dippy music theme melange in there. I feng shui’d the CRAP outta that room, to boot.

Here is a rundown of what happened:

~Finished the back room drywalling and painted the walls/ceiling.
~Added an area rug that the neighbors didn’t want anymore
~Moved the sofa bed from the front porch(!!) to the back room
~Assembled and set up the desk
~They took away the dumpster(and I miss it already)

We still have to:

~Finish decorating back room
~Move the rest of our clothes from the back room closet to the master bedroom walk in closet
~Get all of Sam’s crap that’s piled to the ceiling out of the dining room
~Hang the Ikea Kirp shelves for his video games and books
~Wait for the art to arrive from Thailand

What else I did (mostly purchases for back room):

~Ordered curtain panels from India

ordered 4 panels of these ganesha elephant curtains

ordered 4 panels of these ganesha elephant curtains

~Ordered white wooden plantation blinds for the windows

plantation blinds

plantation blinds

~Ordered some awesome throw pillows for the sofa

I admit, I ordered this one because it appealed more to me than it would to my son

I admit, I ordered this one because it appealed more to me than it would to my son

this album isn't his fave, but I love the quirky cover art

this album isn’t his fave, but I love the quirky cover art

The dumpster was taken away last Friday… I must admit, I am really sad to see it go.

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View from my porch… it was almost TOO full by the time they came to get it

bye bye dumpster...

bye bye dumpster…

We will probably be renting another one in a month when we start the downstairs bathroom renovations. This thing was almost TOO full by the time they took it back. R and the rest of the guys spent the last day filling it with refuse and junk from the basement and garage. They didn’t even bother telling me what they were tossing out- I told them not to.

Sam leaves tomorrow for the Pax Prime convention in Seattle and will be gone for a week. My dad has cataract surgery tomorrow morning and will be spending the night here because it’s closer to his doctor’s. Connor and Maisie’s birthdays (and my dad’s) are coming up in the next 2 weeks- and school starts on the 8th!

I have to devote my time to finding birthday presents, planning parties, getting back-to-school supplies, AND CLEANING THIS F*CKING HOUSE UP! I am toying with the idea of hiring some of the cleaning out at this point.

2 of our Dyson vacuum cleaners decided to die within a week of each other. The last one started going out 2 days ago. This is not good when you have 3 giant, perpetually shedding Newfoundland dogs.

Also, last but not least, Maisie is finally starting to walk!

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Maisie’s Newest Silver Baby Bracelets from Claire Lush Designs!

New Silver Cuff Bracelets from Claire Lush Designs!

New Silver Cuff Bracelets from Claire Lush Designs!

 

Got more baby jewelry swag in the mail today from Claire Lush Designs!

In today’s package, she received a V-shaped silver cuff and a heavier silver patterned cuff, plus two thin silver cuffs for a friend’s daughter.

They look ADORABLE on Maisie.  I had to move the Puravida bracelets over to the other hand, which is no mean feat when you have a squirming 10 month old.

A happy Maisie with Papa (my dad)

A happy Maisie with Papa (my dad)

My parents were here visiting, so photos were snapped with the kid only in her diaper and jewelry. She’s going through a “MAMAMAMAMAMAMA” phase and doesn’t want anyone but me usually, so it’s a good thing when people visit and she goes to them- gives me a slight break, which I sorely need.  She refused to nap for 2 days and finally went down for one this afternoon.

She only seems to have 2 speeds lately:  “Pick ME UP!” or “DANCE TIME!”

Here is a video of her dancing with my parents in the background:

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Parenting After 40: Nostalgia and Raising Baby on the Front Porch…

View of my hammock and front porch... where we spend most of our time

View of my hammock and front porch… where we spend most of our time

Raising a child these days is so different from when I had my ‘first brood’ of three sons 26-17 yrs ago. Life is so much faster, more ‘plugged in’ than it was when my boys were young.  All of the ‘mommy friends’ I have now are about the same age or a wee bit older than my oldest son. We make playdates, talk online, or text on Facebook. Other mothers discuss phone/tablet apps and other electronic entertainments for their kids- which leaves me a bit overwhelmed. I remember a slower, more face-to-face time- and I miss it.

I live in a huge 102 yr old house on the corner of a semi-busy residential street- not far from the beach and downtown. I’ve owned this house for many years and raised Maisie’s older brothers here. It is always in flux, always in a state of renovation or some sort of pleasant (and sometimes unpleasant) chaos. We have very little yard, so I utilize every square inch of it, gardening even the city tree lawn. I grow veggies in raised beds and roses everywhere else. We own three lazy, gigantic Newfoundland dogs who are always snoring away in some odd corner.

Miss Maisie with Tiberius, one of our newfs.

Miss Maisie with Tiberius, one of our newfs.

My favorite part of this house is the wide front porch-where people who visit sit, smoke (if they smoke, because I don’t allow that in my house), drink coffee, and chat till late in the summer evenings. Maisie plays on it and has a small swing she loves. I have a hammock addiction and hung one in the front, too. I love to lounge with the baby there on warmer summer days.

this is how Maisie meets new friends- she calls out to the moms pushing their strollers down the street...

this is how Maisie meets new friends- she calls out to the moms pushing their strollers down the street…

People ask me why I’d spend so much time in the FRONT of my house, where it is so public… I like people watching (and I also have no backyard to speak of). It reminds me of my childhood, when people were not so hidden away from each other.

sharing bread from the farmer's market up the street with her grandfather

sharing bread from the farmer’s market up the street with her grandfather

My family is loud and friendly and argumentative and we spend most of our summer days and nights out there, probably to the chagrin of our neighbors. Nowadays folks cloister themselves away in their houses or backyards, unless they’re walking dogs or pushing strollers. My family is one of the few in my neighborhood who use their front porch as a living space.

where most of the action happens

where most of the action happens

When I was a child, I grew up not far from where I lived now. In those days, it was common to see people outside on their porches in the evenings. Children played on the sidewalks, rode their bikes.  Parents and grandparents worked in their gardens. Neighbors laughed and talked after supper. Women would hang their wash in the backyards. Everything was noisier and more ALIVE.

I still do most of those things. Most folks do not. It makes me sad.

The stillness and silence of these neighborhood streets is so unnatural to those of us who remember how it used to be.

the town I live in- and where I grew up- circa 1950s-60s.  We used to have a very famous amusement park here.

the town I live in- and where I grew up- circa 1950s-60s. We used to have a very famous amusement park that was torn down in the early 1970s.

Only when our town has festivals or fireworks or something similar does it come alive again. Our population swells with the FIPs (that’s Michigander for “Fucking Illinois/Indiana People) and out of townies who become weekend/vacation residents. A lot of people complain about these times, but I don’t. I love it when I can see humans out and moving and not hiding away inside their homes like Mole People.

Maisie and one of her front porch fashion shows

Maisie and one of her front porch fashion shows

I love raising Maisie on our front porch, watching her try to interact with her grandparents and friends and other family members.  Our world is so different now- people are less connected, more plugged in to the virtual world. I want her to learn to socialize and to say “Hi!” and wave to the folks who pass by on the street. I want my child to understand what life can be without the internet and iPads and all the other things that children these days rely upon for entertainment.

I think this is one benefit of being a mother over 40.  I remember what childhood used to be like and want my daughter to celebrate and enjoy the simpler things- like connecting with loved ones on summer days on a front porch.

Other new parents over 40:

How do you think your parenting style differs from younger parents?  

Feel free to leave a message in the comments section.

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New Silver Baby Bracelets From Claire Lush Designs

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I am so excited! Claire, from Claire Lush Designs, sent this photo of her newest silver baby cuff bracelets!  I can’t wait to see which ones Maisie gets!

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Restaurant Review:  Sandbar & Grille, St. Joseph,MI

 I am not much of a burger person, but Chef Kimmie Hanks at St. Joe’s Sandbar & Grille changed all that for me.

Today we sampled the Parthenon Burger, as described on their Facebook website:

“THE SANDBAR Proudly introduces The PARTHENON! A Greek Seasoned burger With a delectable blend of Feta, Kalamata Olive Aioli, Pickled Red Onions, Cucumber ribbons, Lettuce & Tomato on a Hand packed Burger”

It was delicious and far too much for me to eat in one go.  It was like biting into the juiciest, most delectable gyro ever.   Mine was served with their amazing sweet potato fries, which promptly were stolen by my almost-10 month old daughter, Maisie.

Maisie got her usual:  the Whiskey Gold chicken wings (the sauce is slightly spicy and made with Jack Daniels)- always a favorite- and the mac n cheese bites.

Every burger special we’ve tried here has been phenomenal, which says a ton for a non-burger lover like me!