Monday, June 30, 2008

Got My Mind on My Money and My Money on My Mind

We made $652 (or is it $657--now I can't remember). Sold about half of the baby clothes, all the big items (Exersaucer, Jumparoo, chain saw, grill and even the lawn mower went -- thanks to Bret's "FREE!" sign because it didn't work), and lots of crafting stuff. Everything that's left over will go to Goodwill or be sold on eBay. I took pictures of all the eBay-able stuff and frantically listed things all weekend. Hopefully it'll sell -- I just want it out of my house! We're in negotiations about what to do with our cash...I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Everything Must Go!

The big excitement at our house is this weekend's garage sale. All 54 households on our street were invited to participate. I don't know how many people are joining in the fun, but judging from all the people sweeping out their garages last weekend, I'm guessing quite a few.

Garage sales were a major part of my childhood. Not so much going to them, but working at my parents' huge sale every year. They were big auction-goers and would clean up, fix and sell whatever they didn't want to keep. I got to clean out my closet and my room every year and sell whatever I wanted -- and keep the money for myself (my mother's way of getting me to thin out the toys, etc.).

My mother was a master at garage sale organization and execution. She handled publicity (our town's weekly paper and a dozen handmade signs stuck on street corners and stapled to telephone poles). Every item was cleaned, in good working order, priced fairly, organized and artfully displayed. In other words, she didn't sell crap. And everyone knew it. For three full days (none of this 9-noon stuff), we would have hoards of people at our house buying up everything in sight. I would like to think I learned a thing or two from her when it comes to her secondhand (or thirdhand) retail prowess. case you will be in the Cincinnati area on Saturday (Friday, too, but I won't be selling that day, so come by Saturday!), make your way to
Red Mill Drive in West Chester (45069) between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. (e-mail me if you want my street number). case you want to make a contribution to my family room makeover fund, you could take home one (or many) of these fabulous items:
  • 150+ items of baby girl clothing, sizes 0-24 months; several items still have the original tags and even more were washed but never worn; most are Carter's, Old Navy and Baby Gap; nothing torn or with stains (that stuff went to Goodwill!); most everything is $0.50-$1.00 and nothing is more than $3.00
  • Exersaucer (retails for $60-120; selling mine for $15)
  • Jumparoo ($20) -- looks brand new
  • Leapfrog Musical Table ($15) -- looks brand new
  • Tons of Stampin' Up! and scrapbooking stuff, including 32 stamp sets ($10-26), 38 stamp pads ($3 each), punches ($4-13), adhesives and demonstrator supplies. Everything is in excellent condition and many items are still in the original packaging -- never opened or used!
  • Weber grill, $20
  • Decorative housewares from IKEA, Target and who knows where (pillows, candle holders, tablecloths, mirror, lamp, etc.)
  • Chain saw and lawn mower (I'm lumping these together because I'm not sure yet how much we'll charge; Bret has to make sure they work first)
  • Black & Decker hand mixer ($5)
  • Black & Decker Gizmo cordless can opener ($5)
  • Whatever else I can find between now and Saturday

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Preschool: The Terror of Toddlerhood

Lauren's first day went as expected. She cried for a couple of hours, then was able to get involved in playing or reading, but continued crying on and off (I guess when she remembered we weren't there with her) the rest of the time. She wouldn't eat much, and refused to lie down for a nap. Bret said she looked a little shell-shocked when he picked her up.

I was a nervous wreck all morning, not because I was worried that she was in a bad place or not well cared for, but because I knew she was inconsolable all that time. I want her to have fun, not be miserable. I'll be the one taking her on Thursday so I'll get to experience her screaming in person.

I tried to prepare her for this by talking it up the last couple of days. I even bought a book about a little girl's first day at nursery school, which Lauren had me read three times last night, so I thought maybe she was catching on. I also bought her her first DVD -- "Elmo Goes to School" or something like that, but we didn't have time to watch it. Maybe we'll try that tonight.

The benefit to all of this is that I have had zero appetite all day (and if you know me well, you know that I could be bleeding out of my eyeballs and still eat). I have three quarters of my WW Points left for the day...usually by this time of day I've exhausted the vast majority of them and am trying to figure out what I can eat for dinner that's worth 2 points.

I keep trying to remind myself that the day will come when this seems extremely insignificant -- like when she's dating some jerk or... ugh, I don't even want to think what else. We will all survive.

Monday, June 9, 2008

We picked a preschool for Lauren. It is, indeed, the snooty-sounding one, but was not at all snooty. They really seem to have their act together, far more than the others we looked at. The chain itself is not new, but this facility is, so the building and all the equipment is only a few months old -- so clean! The directors and teachers seem very nice and dedicated to the kids. In Lauren's room there are only 5 kids now, with space for a maximum of 12, in a nice, big room. (At another center we looked at, they had 17 toddlers in a room that looked too small for half that many kids. There was nowhere to walk, let alone run around and play.) I think what sold me on the place was the tiny toilets -- each classroom has its own bathroom and the toddler room has a real, honest-to-goodness, porcelain, toddler-sized flush toilet. How cool is that?

Anyway, I now have a pile of paperwork to fill out and I need to talk Lauren's doctor into writing a note saying she has to have organic milk. I don't obsess about giving her an all-organic diet, but I am a freak about the organic dairy products. The connection between growth hormones given to cows to make them produce more milk and early-onset puberty in girls (not to mention the antibiotics issue) means that I'm not giving Lauren non-organic milk if I can help it. But I digress.

I'm so excited for Lauren to go to a wonderful school a couple of days a week where she'll learn so much and make new friends. (Maybe I'll make some, too. I could use more working-mom friends. People who "get it.") I know the transition will be tough for her, though. I already warned the assistant director that she's not going to be one of those kids who cries for 5 minutes and then stops when she gets wrapped up in an activity -- she's going to be the 2-hour sobber, I fear. Better now than in kindergarten, though, right?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Here are some photos from Memorial Day weekend. It was my nephew Caleb's second birthday and he had a (slightly) smaller party than last year when there were close to 50 people there. The weather was great, and Lauren had a blast. She's decided that she REALLY likes Caleb and she REALLY likes holding hands with him whenever possible.

The birthday boy:

His cutie-cute little brother Colin:

Riding off into the sunset: