in a sea of boxes…

That has been our life for the past month or so.

We hit North Carolina early in August, and the movers arrived about a week after we did. Unfortunately for my sanity, we have the amount of stuff to fill a 1600 sqft apartment with 2 garages, and only have a 1200 sqft apartment. Needless to say, it’s been a bit cramped. We were loathe to rent a storage unit, not knowing how much stuff we’d need to store, and what my new job would be (or pay). But we lucked out. I start my new job on Monday, Dru starts his new daycare at the same time (though he went for a test day today), and we rented an unattached garage in the complex to put our overflow in (and maybe even a car! GASP).

So this means that soon (SOON!!!) we will be able to close our closet door, and sit in the dining room without staring at cardboard. I’m very excited.

On the daycare front though, I have a couple of complaints.

1) When did daycares start having entire weeks off???? You’re not really a school people, you can’t close for the entire week of Christmas!

2) Why don’t they post their fees online? I mean, this is not a case of “if it’s not listed, you can’t afford it” (though in some cases it is). Every single place down here does this. It’s a set rate based on age and FT/PT status, so why can’t they post the same sheet they hand you on your tour? I ended up having to call about 20 different centers before narrowing the list to a few within our price range, then further narrowing to those that weren’t closed ALL THE TIME, then taking tours of the last couple left. We’ve settled on a very nice facility, and if you need a place in the Cary area, I’d be happy to let you know which one it is. But really. I did not need to waste both mine and the center staff’s time calling places that wanted $2000 a month in daycare costs! If it had been posted online, I would have been able to say “No thank you crazy people, NEXT!” Instead, I had to enter a contact request, wait for someone to call me back, then…they want to give you the spiel before they’ll tell you the price. Guess what people, at that price, unless he gets to stay 24/7 and I don’t need a bedroom for him, it isn’t happening. I could have saved everyone a lot of time (and them from having to hear my exclamation of disgusted horror) if they would just post their stupid pricing schedule online.

In other ranting news:

Dear Fred Thompson: Oh how the mighty have fallen, from a long acting career, to a run for President, to selling reverse mortgage schemes to vulnerable old people on TV…You poor man. If you hadn’t run for President, you’d have enough money to retire, and not have to debase yourself promoting that horrible product.

Dear Insurance Companies Ad Agencies: Get off your gender role crap. The nagging wife making the dumb husband get insurance, and him being too stupid to do it without being handheld is degrading to both sexes and frankly, it’s annoying.

Dear Ad Agencies in general: For the most part, your ads suck. Get on that.

I’m sure there’s more, but Dru decided to try and rupture my eardrums with the sounds of an angry pterodactyl while descending into rage-filled psychosis this evening, so the headache forming on the left side of my head is telling me to run away into my bed.




2012 was not a good blogging year for me.  We had a number of changes occur in our lives which I could have blogged about, but I was wrapped up in living them, not writing them.  So here’s the year in review.

January – tutoring for the year begins.  Had a ton of fun with my students.

February – I decided to try my hand at becoming a health insurance agent.  I took the training and got licensed.  Then I remembered I hate doing sales.  That was a bust.

May – my car got totaled and we replaced it with a newer one.

June – one of our closest couple friends got married.  Kris was best man and Dru was ring bearer.  Much fun was had.

July – HamJam #10 and our decision to move to Michigan.

August – the move to Michigan and Kris’ aunt’s wedding.

September – school starts for.  First time working out off the house FT every day in almost 2 years.  Dry gets to hang out with his papa all day.  Kris begins working from home.

October – Kris’ birthday and our 5th anniversary.

December – lots of birthdays, including Dru’s 3rd.


Looking forward to 2013, it also promises to be a busy year.  My sister introduced me to loom knitting, so I’m going to be trying my hand at that.  On top of that, school starts back up on Jan 7th.  It’s crazy how many times I see kids I know at the grocery store now.

Dru is getting bigger and smarter everyday.  Hopefully he’ll be potty trained soon.  He’s almost got peeing fully down, just not pooping.  We’re considering preschool of some kind just to give gin some socialization, but not sure yet where.

Kris should be finishing his degree in the fall and I’ll be going back to further my education at that point.

So big things are in store for this year, and I hope to be better about updating, but I make no promises.

Hope everyone had a happy and healthy year in 2012, and we’ll see you in 2013!


How do you explain to a 2.5 year old the concept of death?

While getting ready to go to our dear family friend Terri’s memorial service, I tried to find a way to explain to Dru what was going on.  Then I realized that my sister-in-law had given me the perfect explanation.

Saturday, when Kellie was sitting at the table upset over the news, Dru came up and the following conversation ensued.

Dru: “Aunt Kellie, you’re sad.”

Kellie: “Yes, Dru, I’m sad.”

Dru: “Did you bump your head?”

Kellie: “No, my heart hurts.”

Dru: “Oh, my heart hurts too Aunt Kellie.  Hugs?”

As we were heading out the door, with Dru all dressed in his navy suit for the memorial this evening, he asked where we were going.  I told him we were going to see Uncle Keith and that he would need hugs.  Dru asked if he was sad, and I said yes, like Aunt Kellie, his heart hurts.  He then asked if everyone here’s heart hurt, and I told him yes, because Aunt Terri went away and wasn’t coming back.  He told me he was sad too, and when we got there, gave Keith big hugs.


I don’t know if this is the recommended way that we’re supposed to handle death with a toddler, but it seemed to work for him.  It was something he could wrap his brain around, and the empathy he showed was very sweet.  Despite the fact that we’ve had no trouble at bedtime (or in the night) for the past month or so, it took him about an hour and a half to fall asleep tonight.  He kept telling me he was sad and that I needed to come back.  I think he picked up on all the emotions that the many people at the service were feeling.  He was super sweet to those he knew, but you could tell he was picking up on the general sadness.


On behalf of our family, Terri, you will be missed and always loved.  You touched many lives, and the turnout today just confirmed that for everyone.


So after talking with my mom about her solution to my little sister’s night terrors – having a sleeping bag in their room for her that made it so she didn’t crawl into bed every night – Kris and I decided to try something similar.  Two nights ago, we brought Dru’s little Cars couch upstairs at bedtime and have him help us put it in our room, telling him that if he got scared in the middle of the night, he could come and sleep on it.  Well, he decided that wasn’t going to be the plan.  Dru instead demanded we place it on his bed.  Figuring it couldn’t hurt, we did.  Well, he woke up around 11 pm for about 30 sec, then went straight back to bed and slept through the night.

Last night, we put him down, and he didn’t wake up until this morning at 7:15.  Despite the fact that apparently we had a wicked storm including hail last night.

So what I’d like to say is: THANK YOU to the makers of that little couchbed thingy.  Even if it’s not a permanent solution – I’ve gotten two straight nights of full sleep.  So I call it a win!

You can’t see the couch very well here, but it’s the bright red thing he’s sitting on


I don’t know how many of you out there have experienced night terrors, either as someone who’s had them, or as a parent.  I’ve been on both ends – and they suck for everyone involved.  For those of you who don’t know – night terrors are nightmares where you can’t shake the fear even after waking up.  I had them for years as a kid, and sporadically as an adult.

Well, it seems that Dru has them as well.  He’s been having issues sleeping since late May/early June.  In contrast to his former sleep patterns of 10-12 hours straight at night with the occasional nap, he started only sleeping 7 hours at night and skipping naps altogether.  He was exhausted, I was exhausted, but he was terrified of sleeping.  After a couple of weeks, we finally managed to find a routine that made bedtime not a war.  At first it took him almost an hour to fall asleep, even with the new routine (we’d read his story, say his magic anti-monster words, then Kris or I – usually me – would sit in the chair in his room reading by a booklight so he could see that we were there).  Then he was still waking up 1 or 2 times a night.  The night after HamJam he actually slept all the way through the night, and the same with the night after.  Kris and I were doing little happy dances over that.  Then they started again.  And they seem to have gotten bad again.

We’ve scoured the programs he watches, the games he plays and the stories he reads.  He doesn’t seem to be afraid of any of them, so we’re really struggling to determine what it is that’s causing the terrors.  And of course, he’s so scared that he can’t express the problem.

Last night, he was apparently quiet about the whole process though, because I woke up at 6am and almost did a happy dance, because he hadn’t woken us up.  The first thought that went through my head was “WOOT!  No terrors!”  But alas, he had just ninja’d himself into our bed at some time during the night and fallen back asleep in between us on the bed.

I feel so bad for him, I just wish I knew how to fix it.  Because how can you not want to fix everything for this face?

Look at that face!


HamJam 2012 has now come and gone. It was the 10th one, and also happened to coincide with a number of milestones. There were people hitting different decade marks for both birthdays and anniversarys, so on top of the usual celebrations, we got to fete them all.

Despite the fact that it was about 1 million degrees outside, we had a good turnout.  There was a water fight, food, and music.  Dru actually got to run around playing this year, and he was loving it.  It was a nice ending to our almost 2 week trip.

Playing in the water table during HamJam










It was also the first time Dru fully slept through the night in about a month.

And of course, the night before, my parents provided for LobsterFest2012.  We initiated a couple of new people into the club this year, and I really do like watching people try and learn to crack open a lobster!  There was much carnage – though Dru still refused to try any.

The carnage










We also got Dru his first ice cream cone – which was actually mine, just HUGE.  I ordered myself a medium, expecting something much smaller than what I received.  Raspberry ice cream with sprinkles (the closest I could get to my favorite combo).  Since it was ginormous, Dru got to share with Mommy.  He LOVED it.

Dru helping with my ice cream cone.










And to round out his week of firsts, Dru saw his first fireworks show.  We took him to the local display on the 3rd, and he was immediately entranced.  To the extent that both Kris and I have downloaded fireworks applications on our phones for him to enjoy.  His face when the first burst went off was classic.











It was a good vacation.  If only it had decided to be a bit cooler, and Dru had been sleeping reliably, it would have been perfect.