Project Big Boy Room

February 26, 2013

Now that Caelan is coming up on the big 0-2, we are planning to move him out of his nursery and into his new big boy room. His new room is currently the guest room (aka the green room, aka the black hole). No guest has ever stayed in that room and it is basically just a dumping ground for things that have no other home. So, obviously, before Caelan can move in there, we need to clean that room out.

There’s a lot of junk that I’m hoping we’ll just be able to get rid of, but there are some things that actually live in that room – like our luggage in the closet, a dresser that stores linens (since the brilliant people who designed our house neglected to include a linen closet), and a set of drawers/shelves that hold my craft supplies. But the thing that takes up the most space in that room (other than the full size bed) is my gift wrapping arsenal. I realize that most people don’t have an “arsenal” of wrapping supplies, but I do 🙂 It takes up 4 large plastic bins that cover nearly all of the floor space under that bed. I know it’s not practical to keep such a large collection so I will pare it down to just one box. My problem is that I’m not sure what to DO with the stuff I’ll be getting rid of. Anyone want any wrapping supplies??

The plan is to clean out the room, repaint the walls, buy a twin bed and a dresser, and add some accessories. The goal is to have this room ready to go at some point in May. I know that’s a little vague. We’d like to move Caelan in there around his birthday, but we’d like it to be ready before that so he can have a little time to check it out, play in there, etc. He’s never even set eyes on this room before since we keep the door closed 100% of the time, so we want to ease him into it.

There will be several posts about this room as it evolves, so check back! Here is a preview pic to see where we’re headed 🙂

Canvas

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The TV Experiment

February 13, 2013

This month, we’re conducting an experiment. We are trying to go without watching ANY live TV. The plan is to stick strictly to Netflix, Hulu (Plus, maybe), and what’s available on the internet. If this experiment is successful, we’ll consider canceling our satellite TV.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law did this and, at the time, I thought they were insane. Cancel TV?? What madness is this!? But when I actually think about it…99% of my TV watching is DVRed shows (likely available on the networks’ websites) or Netflix. Caelan has never even watched “real” TV, only Netflix. Maybe it really wouldn’t be that different.

There are a couple of downsides. For one, we wouldn’t be able to watch any live sports. We made an exception for the Super Bowl, but really, we don’t watch a lot of sports so this wouldn’t be a huge downside for us. Although, I’d like to watch more sports, so I’m not sure how I feel about eliminating the possibility all together. Maybe we could stream them from somewhere – I’ll have to look into it. We wouldn’t be able to switch on a Sunday afternoon movie (National Treasure for the 1 billionth time? I love that movie :)) or see what’s on the Food Network or the DIY Network.

My sister actually just inadvertently clued me in to an advantage of this set up. She was surprised that I haven’t seen a Valentine’s Day commercial for some creepy, giant teddy bear. But since we aren’t watching live TV, we aren’t watching commercials either!

About halfway through our experiment, we’ve cheated a couple times. I don’t think our internet connection via Evil Company #1 is fast enough for us both to watch something on 2 separate devices. So occasionally, I’ll be watching Netflix on my iPad and Bill will end up watching regular TV (sorry hon!). Of course, either he or I or both of us could choose to use that time (Caelan’s precious nap time) to do something productive around the house instead of watching TV. But generally we don’t. Nap time may be as short as 30 minutes, and we like to relax during that time. We may need to switch to Even More Evil Company #2 for a faster internet connection. That’s another downside.

I think this experiment will have to extend into next month as well. We’ve yet to even try our new set top box that would allow us to watch our regular shows online rather than DVRing them. It’s in the basement and right now we mostly watch TV in our bedroom. We’re gonna have to switch that up if this is going to work. I’m still on the fence, but it would definitely be nice to save a bit of money every month by not paying that satellite bill!


I Don’t Drink

February 6, 2013

I hate that phrase and I generally try to avoid saying it, but it is sort of the truth. We’ll go out to a nice restaurant and the server will hand us the wine list and we’ll hand it back and order a soda and an iced tea. Or, when with a larger group of people who are ordering drinks, the server will just forget to take our drink order at all because we said no to the bar. Then we get the side eye. The same thing happens if we hang out with a new group of people and we’re the only ones not drinking. People think it’s weird.

Here’s the thing…I’m not against drinking. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with drinking socially and in moderation. I don’t even think there’s anything wrong with drinking a bit more heavily, on occasion. I don’t refuse alcohol because I am trying to be self-righteous or for moral or religious reasons. Here’s why I refuse alcohol: 1) it’s expensive and I’m cheap, and 2) I don’t like the way it tastes. It’s really as simple as that. Why would I spend $10 on a glass of wine that will most likely give me a headache? So my friends, family, and strangers at a restaurant won’t give me weird looks?

Now here’s the thing. I was raised in a family of wine drinkers who all but shun me for not liking wine. I don’t know how I became the odd one out, but that’s how it happened. And it’s not that I don’t like ANY wines – there are some sweeter and lighter wines that are okay, and I do like sparkling wines. But if you ask my family, those aren’t “real” wines, so I can’t win with them. (Sorry guys, but it’s true!) However, I still can’t stomach the sickeningly super sweet wines and even as a non-wine-drinker, I turn my nose up at them. As for beer, well…again, I’m just not a fan of the taste. There are a couple of (light colored) beers that I will drink, but it is not my first choice.

The drinks I do like are champagne, sangria, and margaritas. I love all of those and I will drink them, but those tend to be occasion/cuisine-specific drinks – not as ubiquitous as a glass of wine.

Here’s the funny thing. I wish I liked wine and beer, I really do. And it’s for the same reason that I wish I liked potatoes. It’s so normal. Everyone likes wine and/or beer (and potatoes!). The whole “relaxing with a glass of wine” or “drinking wine with girlfriends” is talked about all the time and it just never applies to me. Same with touring a winery. It sounds like so much fun, except for the wine part! And you know what else I’d love to do? Sit on my back deck with some friends on a summer evening and have a few beers. I don’t know why that image makes repeat appearances in my mind. Again, it seems comfortingly normal to me. But maybe it doesn’t matter what we’re drinking. Maybe I just want to invite my friends over more often – they’re not really big beer drinkers anyway 🙂