LITERALLY Sick of Summer


“I want to punch you” my sister-in-law Jen says to me one day while I’m whining about being  a parent.

“I know, I know, we have it really good I’m just saying this is way harder than I thought it was going to be”. I try to justify myself.

My sister-in-law is the best. I scored big time! I’m not just saying that incase she’s reading this either its the truth. Anyone who knows her can vouch for that. Anyone who knows me knows I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.

She’s also totally justified in wanting to punch me for complaining. My husband and I live in our home town where we were born and raised.  When we first met I lived on “family hill”. My grandparents live right next to my parents, and I lived 3 houses down. My husband lived on “family court”. Lived in his parents down stairs close to his aunt and uncles houses but also one street over from my  aunt and grandpa. I swear our town is not as po-dunk as I’m making it sound.

Anyway when I went back to work after Rylan was born I was blessed with not having to find child care. Rylan was with my mom on Wednesdays, Thursdays my grandma and mother in law would share the day, Fridays she was with my dad. I’m shocked my sister-in-law still talks to me actually.

Jen lives in Chico and while she has family there (aunts and cousins) they all work full-time and don’t have the luxury of taking entire days off during the week to help her. So yeah, she’s allowed to hate me.

Friday of this week I got a sore throat. Like couldn’t talk, kind of sore throat. It quickly escalated to a runny nose and into body aches, hot and cold flashes, and an 80 yr old smokers cough.

I was pretty bummed it hurt so bad to talk because I was really looking forward to calling my best friends and singing Phoebe’s rendition of “Smelly Cat” in my sexy sick voice.

Not only did I have it but Rylan got it too. Which meant our weekend and the first Sunday football of the season was spent in bed being taken care of by my husband. Thanks to the TV in my room I got to watch my Raiders win. Thanks to DayQuil and Alieve I didn’t have to watch my Niners lose. I beat my other sister-in-law in fantasy so, you know, glass half full.

But come Monday Rylan and I were both sick and my husband had to go back to work. Never had I wanted to parent less in my life. I finally got a glimpse of what Jen deals with on a regular basis. Rylan couldn’t go to school because she was sick, my parents were both at work, Pats parents were both in Chico (well-played Jen haha), and I wanted to die. Not to mention no one wants to babysit a sick kid.

Of course my kid is sick but also has energy to run from her bed room to the living room, grabbing a bite of food, then back to her room to watch her show on her iPad. Yes she got it all day because I was dying. No mom shaming or Karma’s going to bitch slap you with my cold/flu.

Any way we survived on power aid, Dora the explore an over the counter medication. Oh and an offensive amount of essential oils. If you even walk by our house right now you might sneeze, feel, relaxed, and have your mood lifted all at the same time! Maybe give it some time though we were all just sick.

So ending the summer with the worst cold in history and sending Jen my sincerest apologies and promises to help more in the future. More trips to Chico, more taking her kids when I can, more nights out without the kids when she’s here. That last one just makes sense with so many babysitters in town we can have some much needed fun.

Side note: looking for cute sister-in-law quotes or pictures on Pinterest to add on here…. there aren’t any! They are all so mean! Once again bragging about how blessed I am. But thank you Jesus for two great sister-in-laws that don’t make me post horrible thing about them. So you got a picture of Rylan and her cousins instead.

 

 

Are You Ready For Some Football?!?!

ITS HERE ITS HERE ITS HERE!!!!!!  Football season is here ladies and gentlemen!!!!

If you aren’t a football fan its cool, we can still be friends. Here’s why. Football season is so much more than amazing chances to be competitive and feel truly apart of a group. Which is one of the things I love about. I love rooting for the same team, trash talking, getting dressed up, and cheering like we have any effect on the outcome whatsoever.

But more than that I like getting people together to watch the games. Unless it’s a really big game because all the men around me think I talk to much. But otherwise its fun to get groups together to watch the games and talk. Make good appetizers and have a few drinks.

Really any excuse to have a party or get people together is good with me. Part of the glory of having a tiny house is that we don’t have a lot of room to entertain. Our living room is good for football if all you want to do is sit and watch the game. So bright side we usually go to other peoples house for the games.

For a long time it was my brother-in-laws house. It was a blast. Then we had Rylan and while we could still go over there and tried a few times, it didn’t work out with an infant. She would cry when everyone would scream and yell. Which was a lot. As she got older I worried about the F bombs that would fly around game time.

I’m over that now. She knows not to talk like that and will soon understand that football means she gets to hang out with her friends and eat good food and have fun. Or relax at home if that’s what we are doing.

So yes we love football in our house and everything that comes with it.

But wait there’s more!

Football season is also the season of fall and winter! I’m talking orange and brown leaves, cooler weather, sweaters, RAIN, Halloween, and the best of all… Thanksgiving.

So extremely grateful for thanksgiving. It’s like Christmas without the pressure of gift giving! Not to toot my own horn but my family has the best thanksgiving set up in the history of combined families. Every year my grandma does it at her house the Sunday before Thanksgiving so we all get to spend the day with the other side of the family and she is guaranteed to have all the kids, grand kids and great grand kid there with her. Beep beep beep beep!

Any way all of this is what football season means to me.

Not to mention my new introduction to fantasy football! What?!?! Yup that’s what I said. I’m in a fantasy football league with some girlfriends. A little friendly competition and yet another incentive to watch the games is right up my alley. I couldn’t have said yes fast enough.

Speaking of being competitive… Yes I am. Not with everything but with a lot of things yes. Mostly with things outside my control like fantasy football. I’m nothing compared to my husband and his friends. They take competition and superstition to a whole new level!

No joke. One year I invited my friend who I hadn’t seen in years over to hang out with me while we watched a playoff game. The Niners lost and they will not allow her to come over any more. On top of that I’m not allowed to bring anyone new to the house during important games. NO joke! It’s literally talked about at least a few times a year. Football and Baseball!

So while Sundays are a day of rest and family… in our house that means family, football, and food. Trying to keep it healthy this year so swimsuit season next year doesn’t suck!

Let the games begin!

 

 

Cold Showers

I don’t have much social media. I don’t do Facebook, I don’t have Snapchat, I don’t tweet. I have Instagram and that’s it. I like pictures.

I used to have Snapchat and I think that’s where I read an article about a 30 day cold shower challenge. My first thought was “what an idiot” which is exactly why I had to read the whole article. She mentioned that at first it was death then she would get used to it and her body would adjust. My second thought was “liar”. but none the less I kept reading and it kept my interest.

I have always taken offensively hot showers. Like I want my bum to be bright red when I get out of the shower. So the thought of taking a cold shower made me shudder.

Then I read that it would clear up body acne, make my hair shiny, and help speed up my metabolism. Okay.. Keep talking…I’m considering it now.

I came to work super excited about this new information and a coworker said she’d be interested in trying it out as well. Okay now I have a buddy to try this with. Moral support not actually taking cold showers together. Just to be clear.

So we started the 30 days of cold showers! Thank goodness it was the start of June and already warm out.

I started with just cooler water than I was used too. I tried going straight cold and was instantly mad at the world. I decided to ease into it. I don’t wash my hair every day because I don’t have to (thank you Jesus!) so when I wouldn’t wash my hair I would go as cold as I could.

It took a while but after about a week or two I started to really enjoy the coolness of the shower and was slowing inching the water colder and colder. Finally I didn’t

No joke I really did notice a difference. My skin was clearing up and my hair did look super shiny. Probably because the bathroom wasn’t so steamy and when I would blow dry it wasn’t creepy muggy in my bathroom. I didn’t notice a difference in my metabolism but that’s a whole other issue I don’t expect cold water to fix.

The biggest surprise to me is how crazy clean I felt afterward. Seriously deep clean. Probably has something to do with the fact that the bathroom isn’t steamy and humid once you get out. Either way its amazing to be clean and feel super clean.

BONUS of the cold shower? I got ready super fast! No steamed up mirror to work around. It was like a nice pleasant surprise every time I got out and could start getting ready right away.

I continue to take cold showers now and its super refreshing every time I hop in and I find that my body has started to warm up and it doesn’t feel that cold anymore. I really don’t think this is all in my head either because my coworker has also fallen in love with and has continued with it for the last 2 months.

So while its shocking and sounds ridiculous give it 30 days. I take it back… give it 2 weeks. Usually by then you’ll know if its something you could handle or not.

I’m not sure how I’ll do when winter hits but I’m excited to have one more thing that makes summer less like a few months in Hades.

 

Sweaters in 110 Degrees

I hadn’t planned on writing anything today but the most amazing thing happened to me!

I went into Ross and guess what was there?!?! SWEATERS!!!!!

Oh yes that makes me incredibly happy. Like celebrate with champagne and dancing happy.

I love sweaters. Cold weather clothing is by far my favorite style. Even when I was skinny it was my favorite. Which is saying a lot because most skinny people like to live in bikinis. Not me. Even way back then I used to love covering up.

Of course it has to be cute cover up clothing. I don’t love baggy sweatshirts. Oh wait, yes I do! Again they have to be cute. But if I had to pick a uniform it would be sweatshirt and shorts.

Which brings me to my favorite weather. As a Pluviophile I love the rain but I also find joy and peace when its overcast and right around mid 60’s. Like cold enough to put a sweatshirt on but still rock some cute shorts.

Not the ass cheeks hanging out shorts that are going around now. I don’t care how hot you are or how amazing your ass is, I don’t need to see it in the grocery store. I give you a high five for working hard to get that has but I’m pretty sure Citizens, True Religion, or even Ivanka Trump has worked extremely hard to make ass covering shorts that will look cute without making me cringe.

Sorry that was an inevitable tangent.

Shorts and a sweater weather is the dream weather, and wardrobe. So while this trip to Ross made me feel incredibly happy for about 20 minutes it also was depressing.

It’s August. It’s the start of August and hotter than hades in this tiny little town we call home. It will be like this for a while and while I’m enjoying this summer way more than any other I still am not the biggest fan.

So continuing the quest to enjoy the make-up melting temperatures with more lake trips, a romantic golf trip up to Sequoia Woods with my hubby, pool parties, and sugar-free popsicle I’ll also be getting excited that even though it’s not here yet those sweaters are starting to hit the stores and that means it’s coming. Not as fast as I’d like…. but its coming.

Pluviophile in the world

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A Pluviophile is someone who loves the rain and finds peace and joy in the rainy days. This is me through and through. I love the word, I love the meaning, and I love my rainy overcast days.

Some days are hard with a toddler. We are teaching her how to be an adult. How to deal with frustration, how to soothe herself, how to recognize when she’s wrong and say sorry, and while she’s learning and so excited during the day to do things on her own there comes a point in the evening when she becomes my velcro baby. All she wants is her mama. Its hard when there are things around the house I need to get done and I find myself frustrated and growling (wow wonder where she got it).

She’s always been a good sleeper. The last two years she’s fallen asleep in bed with us and we easily transfer her to her crib. She loves to snuggle and get “comfy cozy” as she calls it. She’s just like me in that she needs something on her. She wants ALL the blankets on her even when its 110 outside. So we use the sheets and her thin baby blankets that she wasn’t into for a while but are making a huge comeback. Once she’s asleep we put her in her bed. Easy peasy.

The last week all she wants is me falling asleep in her toddler bed with her. Cramped because it’s still the length of her crib I shove myself in to snuggle her. I’m not going to lie the first two nights it was pretty comfy and special to hold her like that then escape to my own bed. It was like she was my tiny baby again.

Tonight it was hot and cramped. Have you ever waited for a toddler to fall asleep? It’s physically painful. It’s staying really still and keeping one eye closed. Its repeating “its night night time, close your eyes and relax”. Its getting poked in the eye because she’s making sure you are going to sleep too. Its feeling her start to drift off and moving at a glacial pace to get your arm out from underneath her without waking her up. Its hitting the floor like a bomb went off and crawling out of the room like a ninja when you hear her move before you’ve made your escape. Then that satisfying feeling of silence in the house.

Isn’t that the literal part of being a pluviophile though. Learning to find joy in the rainy days of life. Learning that tonight was rough and there were tears and raised voices and what that really means is we have a family who’s growing and learning together. Everyone enjoys and “likes” pictures of the sunny times that are easily captured by the camera and looks good to post. I do it too. I get a good picture and post it despite the fact that there were tears and flying shoes not even 30 minute before the smiles and posing. We do this because that’s what we want to remember. No ones wants to look back and remember the tears, yelling, pouting, and flying shoes. We want to remember that even though everything went horribly wrong and we all fought that we pulled together and were able to smile through it. Sometimes those are the best memories when things fall apart and come back together.

I’m thankful for my little family, in our little house, in our tiny town that’s hotter than hades right now. I’m thankful she still wants to cuddle with me for now because I know the days are numbered. If it was truly raining I’d be happier but I’m thankful our town cools off at night and I’m able to get cozy under a sheet and still snuggle with my husband.

Not every day is going to be my ideal rainy day. Some days we are going to melt and get sunburned. That’s why there is soothing lotion and essential oils to help us recover and get back to the lake.

Raining Cheerios

When is the best time to travel long disftance with a toddler? Answer: NEVER

Okay that’s a bit dramatic but seriously after 3 1/2 hours in a car with a 2-year-old thats my current suggestion.

Rylan has always been a good traveler. She would fall asleep in the car and be good till we got wherever we were going. Before she was 6 months old she had been to Santa Cruz twice, San Jose, Tahoe, Bucks Lake, and I feel like there was more but I’m recovering from traveling right now and can’t think. She is still a fairly good car kid. Around town she falls asleep when its nap time and transfers so great! My kid is amazing overall but that’s probably my favorite thing about her. If she falls asleep in the car 9 times out of 10 we can pick her up and get her in bed with out a fit or her waking up. Its like magic. (knock on wood…. seriously, please).

We normally travel with someone. Pat is always with us or my mom likes to plan stuff for us to do together. She’s WAY better at making sure we get to do fun stuff than I am. Especially in this heat. I have 0 motivation to do anything other than complain. Anyway this trip I decided to go alone. Pats family has a cabin at Bucks Lake. Right on the water and drop dead gorgeous view and adorable true cabin feel. They all go every year in July and my poor hubs can’t go in the summer because of golf course grass or something. I swear I’m a decent wife!

This year they planned the trip and I looked at mine and Rylans schedule and yes we could make it happen for a little bit. Not realizing that the road was closed to get there and we would have to drive an extra hour and half on top of the already 4 hour drive. Awesome. So to make the trip less cringe worthy my mother in law and I drove 3 hours to stay at her brother’s house before waking up to travel the last 2 hours.

We left on a Thursday night because we wanted to get there, sleep, wake up and finish the trek to the glorious Bucks Lake. If you’ve never been there I’m not exaggerating how amazing this place is. Add it to the bucket list STAT. So we load up in the car and Rylan is super excited to see her cousins and has no clue the amount of time her tiny bum will be strapped to that seat.

The first hour and half we listened to Toddler Tunes. She did great. Sang her songs, ate her fruit snacks, and was doing fine. My head was starting to hurt from wheels on the bus on repeat but overall was feeling pretty proud of myself.

Then things started to change.  *dun dun dun* She threw her water, which I can not reach while driving. She wanted the iPad, which we do not give her in the car because she’s never wanted it and didn’t know it was a thing until recently. No iPad meant she had to do something and asked for Cheerios. High fiving the crap out of my future self I had packed snacks and had them in the front seat ready to hand her pre-meltdown. Sounds like a good idea right? WRONG!

Still mad over not getting the toys of her choice and me not pulling over every 5 seconds to pick up all the things she threw, she took the open bag of Cheerios and dumped it all over her lap.

“Seriously Rylan?!?! You know better!” I swatted towards the back seat while trying not to swerve on the freeway.

Then it happened…. it started raining Cheerios in my Yukon! Yup you read that right. from all angles cheerios were flying! Down the back of my shirt, bouncing off the windows, even flying towards the windshield only to land down in the air vents.

Determined to make it to Oroville without stopping, I just stopped yelling. I stopped swatting at her while driving down the freeway cause, well… I choose life. I waited it out and was thankful that I hadn’t stocked the reachable ice chest with anything alcoholic. (I would never really drink and drive especially with my child in the car so hold the AA emails) But after experiencing a car cheerio rain storm I’ll also be withholding my judgement on drunk moms.

We made it to Bucks Lake. Right when we got there I could breathe easier. I opened the car door, took a look at that gorgeous cabin and lake, and took a deep breath. Then I put a beer in the freezer. That’s one thing I can appreciate about summer, when its miserable out (anything over 75 degrees) there’s always a gorgeous lake just sitting there waiting for you to come and join the higher elevation, and take a deep breath.

Of course Pinecrest is also beautiful and only a 45 min drive.

I’ve listened to podcast and read blogs on traveling with kids and tips to make it go faster and this trip has led me to give you advice of my own. Mother to mother. Are you ready, cause it’s really good advice? You should write it down. Here it is: Let dad drive and put on a sleep mask and noise cancelling headphones with a good audio book!

 

“Minimalist”

IMG_1155It’s a normal Tuesday afternoon, Pat and I are starting on dinner while Rylan is playing with her toys in 3 minute intervals before coming and wanting to help cook or help wash dishes. At 2 and a half there are a lot of things she can do. There are also a lot of things that I just want to get done because, honestly, who has 3 hours to do the dishes to then have to re-do them and clean up the water that’s flooded the kitchen while she was “helping”. Some days I do. This Tuesday was not that day.

So while Pat and I take turns distracting her from each other so we can get stuff done, I’m also trying to clean out and reorganize the whole kitchen. Not because this sounded like a good idea but because for the last 3 months I’ve got this wild hair up my bum that we are going to become….wait for it…. minimalist!!!!” (me with a giant smile and jazz hands, *cue husband eye roll*)

So I’m doing dishes, working on dinner, rearranging cabinets, throwing things away and trying to entertain a toddler. Looking back I can’t believe my meltdown didn’t end in a hospital visit with some bad ass drugs. Okay… .Deep breaths… just keep going down the list. Start clearing off the table. There’s no room for anything until we get the new smaller table with hidden storage.  I had successfully cleaned out one area and dinner was in the works when the sink started to back up. Meaning I couldn’t do dishes.

I slam my hand against the faucet turning it off, dry my hands way harder than necessary and slam the paper towel in the trash can. Super reasonable reaction. I then start slamming drawers and literally throwing things in the trash not even caring that I was still using that spatula. Minimalist now we only need one anyway. Pat comes in from being outside on the BBQ and just stops in the doorway. He gives me that look like knows whats coming and even though we’ve only been married for 4 years he really does know me that well to know it’s not safe in our kitchen.

“I hate this kitchen. I hate our tiny house. I hate that we aren’t trust fund babies who only work for fun.” I’m still slamming things and throwing things away but he doesn’t comment on that. He simply takes Rylan back with him to the BBQ so I can meltdown in private. Which of course makes me feel like a total psycho! Awesome. Just once when I’m being completely irrational I’d like him to come in and start screaming with me and get in on the meltdown. Couples who lose their shit together, stay together. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that on a hallmark card. Then again I’ve always thought I should do the writing for them…. sorry I’m back.

So I’m in the middle of melting down while my husband is being all reasonable and supportive (ugh), when it hits me…. I don’t have to do this right now. I really don’t. I can only do so much and quite frankly I’m killing it when I am rational enough to actually think about it. I work 3 days a week as a human verbal punching bag (I mean receptionist), I teach Les Mills classes on the days I’m not at the hospital, I’m starting a blog and trying to start a podcast, I have a toddler, and trying to reorganize our whole lives. Not to mention trying to work out our budget and follow the Dave Ramsey plan. Nope I don’t have to do this right now.

My very wise sister-in-law once told me that I should put a timer on for 15 min each day and work on a certain area for that 15 minutes and only 15 minutes. So that’s what I’ve been doing and in the last week I’ve made some progress. I’ve gotten my closet organized to the point where I can close the closet doors (don’t judge me, I’m making changes), the foot of our bed is no longer a disaster, and the bar in our house if finally cleared off. Although that’s a daily task that takes a lot of effort on all of us.

Luckily for me Rylan has Aunty Jen’s genes and likes to be clean. For a toddler she can be super helpful when it comes to keeping her toys in her room and wanting to take baby wipes to clean the baseboard. Yup my kid cleans the baseboards and I still have a cluttered house! I’m actually judging myself so don’t worry about it. She’s good at her tasks it’s when she wants to help with mine that I lose patience and become snippy mom.

I’ve subscribed to a few different podcasts to help with the daily motivation of staying clutter free. The truth is when I can walk in my bedroom at the end of the day and see my nice pretty bed made and walk around to each side without having to dodge a Barbie, dog toy, or even a pair of my shoes, I can breathe easier. When I walk into the kitchen to start dinner and the counters are clean and there’s no dishes in the sink its like a weight lifted off my shoulders. Even better when I open the cabinets to find whatever ingredients or cooking utensils I need and its right there, easily accessible! It’s not quite better than sex but its towards that end of the spectrum.

Its becoming clear to me that this is not something that’s one and done. My new “minimalist lifestyle” is an ongoing, constantly changing beast of its own. I was never the best at keeping my room clean but now as adult I am learning that I can breathe easier and am more productive when things are clean and organized. One of my favorite podcast does audio classes on Minimalism for Real People and High Five To Your Future Self. Seriously the best thing for me. Its sparked that fire and has truly been so helpful. When I think of giving my future self a high-five it makes me want to prep my coffee, lay out clothes, do all my dishes the night before and get everything prepped for the next day, week or even the next few hours.

So hopefully between a super helpful husband and child, podcast motivation, and the general drive to give my future self a high-five, I’ll be on track to having a nice clean grown up house. Until then the journey is super fun and while I hope there’s no more tears in the kitchen I’m sure there will be. That’s what makes its great.  I’ve listed some links to podcasts that I really like and that have helped me. But if you come over and my kitchen is a mess is my fault not theirs 🙂

Picture is our house the first christmas we moved in. We are in fact “tiny living”. We do have half an acre and since then my husband has gone full blown Clark Griswold.

Girl Next Door Podcast Link

The Home Hour Kitchen Episode