Friday, May 20, 2016

Happy Momma

I am a happy momma.
My heart is full.
I have 3 great kiddos.

This season of life as a divorced, cohabitating woman with 3 kids has been the best so far!

Kitchen Reno: Days 1-5

Day 1
I have a hectic commute schedule on Mondays. It only allowed me time to purchase organizer bins, boxes, etc. I shopped at the Dollar Tree, Goodwill, Samaritan Thrift Store, Salvation Army, and Compassion Center Thrift Store. Spent about $60 on organizing things for the kitchen and master closet.

Yes, there is a random life jacket. I couldn't pass up buying it for $2. Meili can wear it this summer and Maia can have hers.

Day 2
I pulled out all the baking and cooking ware. And removed anything that I had not used in the last year. Which was almost everything. I did keep the Rachael Ray cookware because it's nice and I bought it for Johnny as a Christmas present. I organized the remaining cookware and extra drinks into the 2 lower cabinets.

Meili helped cut out the black/white cabinet liner. As you can see, it's bumpy in the above photo. While it may not fit exactly, she was quite excited to assist me in this project. Having her help is WAY more important than a perfect fitting liner.

I posted the below photo and description of the cookware in a Facebook help our neighbors group. Within 5 minutes, I had someone who wanted it! I highly recommend doing this as a way to help our fellow neighbors/community members and to declutter your home of items you no longer use.

Day 3
I decluttered and organized the remaining kitchen cabinets. I threw away a few items. Saved most of it to donate to another person on the Facebook group.

I cleaned all of the organizers with soap, water, and disinfectant wipes. The soap and water removed the visible dirt. The disinfectant wipes removed the invisible germs.

The food closet is a major hub within the kitchen. I keep snacks on the bottom shelf so Meili can easily reach them. Even though she knows that she has free access to the food, she still always asks before getting herself a snack. However, she never asks before getting her little sister a snack!

Day 4
I tackled the unsightly, filled with paper peninsula. I made a system that makes much more sense and still allows me to keep papers until I'm ready to deal with them.

Really, there is no system. Instead of the papers stored randomly on the countertop they are stored in a neater pile behind a cabinet door.

Day 5
Took the day off!

Kitchen Renovation in 100 days

Now that I'm done with school for the summer, I have a plan in the works.

Kitchen reno in 100 days!

I did start on it almost 1 1/2 years ago. When I was on maternity leave with Maia. I was able to get the backsplash torn off and pantry (or food closet as the kids call it) repainted and reshelved. I bought a new oven and backsplash.

In March 2015, I had the 1990s faux marble countertops replaced with a plain, speckled tan laminate countertop. A new sink and pull-out faucet were installed by my dad. Johnny attempted to paint the walls. Alas that didn't work in his favor.

Now the plan is to declutter the kitchen, organize it, paint the walls blue, paint the cabinets white, install a backsplash, fix the under sink cabinet from previous water damage, and add crown molding to the cabinets.


Completely do-able in 100 days if you ask me.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

2015: A Year in the Rear View Mirror

I realize it's April. But, it's never too late to play catch-up.

Went back to work.
Started nurse practitioner school.
My sister is the new baby-sitter for the girls.

Celebrated Chinese New Year.

Celebrated Johnny's 30th birthday!

Celebrated Easter at Aunt Penny's house.
Meili started level 1 swim class.

Decided to try for baby #3.

Pregnant with baby #3!
ER visit #1 with possible miscarriage.

ER visit #2 with severe nausea, back pain, and vomiting.
Totaled my Mazda Tribute.
Said hello to the 7 passenger Dodge Journey.
Celebrated Meili's 5th birthday + my Mom's birthday.

Family trip to Chicago.
Baby #3 is a boy!
Started reproductive health rotation - driving 3 hours round trip 2x/week
Meili is a kindergartner at a Montessori school.
Celebrated my 35th birthday.

Rear ended in Johnny's new car.
Meili started level 2 swim class.
ER visit #3 with severe abdominal pain.
Celebrated Halloween.
Celebrated Maia's 1st birthday.
ER visit #4 with severe abdominal and lower back pain.
Celebrated Thanksgiving.
Hot water heater leaked into Meili's bedroom.
Rear ended in my new Dodge Journey.
ER visit #5 with severe abdominal pain from MVA.
Maia is wait listed at pediatric GI clinic for ongoing problems
Celebrated Christmas.
Replaced carpet and redesigned kids' bedrooms.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


I feel like a circus juggler these days. I've got balls in the air that I'm trying to keep going.


And I'm not doing a very good job at them. My Mom's advice: "Julie, just lower your expectations for everything... just pass your courses, keep your daughters safe, let the house go, and work enough to keep your job."

Interesting advice from the lady who I get much of my Type A personality from.

I did take the advice regarding school. It's not that I don't care about my courses. I just don't have the time to devote as much as I would like. 3 graduate level courses are a LOT! I'm trying to become a FNP (short for family nurse practitioner) and maybe get my Doctorate of Nursing Practice. My first exam in pharmacology went well - got 100%. Not sure how that happened. I have my first exam in health assessment tonight - hopefully a repeat performance.

The boyfriend is getting a housekeeper to clean my house once a week. He says that he wants to help out and doesn't like seeing me stressed (Reality... he just wants to score brownie points!).

I can't lower my expectations at work. It is just against my nature. And for being a Mom, well... that depends upon the day. Some days I am really organized, make dinner, and have lots of patience with the crying fits. Others we are eating fast food and the girls are in bed by 7 pm because I need a break.

But I guess that's how it is for any Mom. Being a master juggler. And just when we think we've got a handle on the juggling another ball gets added to our act.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Christmas @ my parents' house

My family had a mini-Christmas party 2 weeks prior to the actual holiday. Mostly just to get the grandkids together so my parents can have a photo for their card.

Trying to get 6 kids under the age of 5 to look and smile at the camera is... well, not possible.

My sister and her family got into the holiday spirit! 

Merry late Christmas!