Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wood to Money

We ran out f oil and firewood last year - our only two sources of heat. We were determined NOT to run out this year, so since we turned off the oil, in like April, we have been putting a set amount of money per month into a savings envelope - as we cant be trusted with it in the bank, to pay for oil and firewood this coming winter. We also realized, after buying firewood last October, that prices rise the closer it gets to winter so we wanted to buy early. Well, this past weekend, we bought our firewood. Last year we only bought one cord, thinking it would be enough, it so wasn't, so this year we bought two - for a pretty good price and free delivery.

I guess we were lucky last year, the guy who delivered unloaded the wood piece by piece by throwing it over the fence so it was at least in our yard. I didn't realize how wonderful that was. This year, different guy - two cords of wood - no chance of it being unloaded directly into the yard, so I moved my car and two cords were dumped on the street in front of our house. A cord is stacked wood measuring 4'x4'x8', so we had two of those. The men had the kids for the day so they were unable to help, and craftymama, well, she is 7 months pregnant so can't really help all that much either. So it was up to me.

I started by bringing loads in a (borrowed) wheelbarrow to the back, and then stacking. This went on for a while, about 1hour before a nice lady drove by asked if I was doing that on my own, and then got out and helped me. Duncan really does have a good community! She brought the wood to the back and I stacked it. We got about 1/3 done the entire thing when she had to go. It was about 5:30p, and we had been working for about 4 hours. There was no way I was going to get this all to the back of the yard and stacked before it got dark, so I changed my plan. New plan: get all the wood in the yard! So i just started throwing it over the fence into the front yard, Craftymama helped a bit by the end to when my aforementioned knee started to really hurt. So by the end of the day it was at least all in our yard.

Then craftymama had a great idea! Last year it was a whole family affair, everyone helped with the wood. So why not have the kids do it, and if they did it all we agreed we would pay them $5 and give them a movie sleepover night downstairs - this is big for our kids, they don't watch tv or movies ever. (Grandparent's house aside) They were stoked on the idea, they have really been getting into money lately.

I will admit I never expected them to move it all to the back. But...

Within two days they had moved the remaining 2/3 of two cords of wood about 100' to the back shed. It's all now waiting for me to stack - damn kids and their creating work for me!

I am so impressed with them. They actually enjoyed doing it, and not just for the money. Being that physical is great for them, and I wish we had more chores or something for them to do around the house that were physical like this - when they are bigger I am so teaching them how to chop firewood - but that's a ways away yet, no heavy sharp objects for our slightly clumsy little kids.

So we gave them their $5, with the promise of a movie night before school starts (in about two weeks), and they were thrilled. The girls are with NanaJ today, but the boys went to the store to shop!

They still had to follow our house rules - no movie characters, but that didn't seem to bother them, as they both wanted the same thing:

CARS! And buy their cars they did. This was their first actual purchase with money they have earned. They apparently were quite impressed with the whole buying procedure.

Yes we could have taken this opportunity to teach them about saving their earned money, and BigR already kind of gets it as he is saving his money that he finds/gets from adults because they think he is cute lol, for a special surprise. But its hard to teach savings to kids younger than BigR - they just don't get it. They think we are preventing them from spending their money.

Craftymama are a bit at odds as to whether we will introduce every day chores for money - otherwise known as an allowance. We both feel that they should help around the house because it is their house to, but the fact remains, that they don't. Providing a small allowance might encourage them to help out more, I don't know - I'm not in favour of it. But that's just me.

Do you have allowance in your house? How do you encourage your young children to help around the house and do basic things?

The one exception is always K, she ALWAYS wants to help out. She folds her own laundry now, and puts it away - often folding the other kids' laundry as well. She just loves to help out, which is wonderful, I need to have more patience with it and stop thinking that it would just go faster if I did it myself. By not allowing her to help I am depriving her of those skills, I don't want to do that.

But anyways, yay firewood, yay heat. I do not look forward to having to chop all that wood in the rain again this year - chopping wood in the rain in the dark is not fun.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pre Masters Papers

I haven't written a paper for University in a long time, think like 6+ years. I have nearly forgotten how. Couple that with the fact that I have never written a higher level paper, just bachelors papers.

I'm sure it's mostly me doing it, but I am so stressed out about this paper and how good it needs to be. I read over another paper from last semesters group and it seems so smart and intelligent and mine, well, mine just seems average. Granted, it's not just my paper, it is a group paper (and presentation) but I just feel like ours is falling short, like it should sound smarter given the level of learning we are at. I feel I have worked hard on it, and whatever grade I (we) get, I deserve, but I just wish I could find a way to make it sound more advanced. Perhaps if I had opportunity to start working on it before like 9:00p every night that might help, but such is life. That's when my time allows me to start working on school, so I need to adjust.

In between frantic texts from my work about picking up more shifts, even though I have said no multiple times, dropping off packages for work at various businesses, and wanting to be with my family whom I don't feel I've seen much recently, my group is texting me asking where I am, when I can meet etc, and as soon as I can meet, as I did want to stop to say hi to the kids, they decide they are all too tired to meet. Now we have to meet tonight at 8:30p, even later than the meeting would have been yesterday, to finish up this project due tomorrow. I'm so stressed out by this, I have no idea how it's going to go, and worry about it.

I'm even more worried about the final, as I really have no idea what has been discussed in this class. He goes off on tangents and talks about random things, no core substance. I hate having exams based on classes like that. I hate not knowing what it is I am supposed to be learning. But my exam isn't until next week, so for now I am just going to worry about this paper and presentation due tomorrow.

Friday, August 9, 2013

B's and Knees

So I finally, FINALLY, got my economics mark back. Somehow in the grand scheme of trying and learning I passed the whole course with a B- grade. I am so impressively proud of myself. I honestly tried my hardest, and for the first time in a while I feel like I actually earned that grade, I worked for the grade. As I said, school comes easy for me in most cases, but not economics - economics was hard. So I have an A and a B- so far in my courses.

I have also registered for my fall course, I will be taking The Effective Manager, this sounds both interesting and exciting. I have no idea what a course like this entails but I am hoping it's a good one. I'll only be going once a week starting in September so my schedule will be a little bit more normal thankfully.

In other unrelated news, I saw my orthopedic surgeon today regarding my recurrent knee issues. He is almost positive I have torn my meniscus - maybe both of them, and as such will need surgery again. My surgery date is January 14th 2014, though I did put myself on a short list in case people cancelled. The sooner I get it done and over with the sooner it's done and over with.

In terms of exercise, he told me to never trust it, even when it's feeling good. He said to not push it too hard, but that I should try swimming as it will help loosen things up in there, and will be good exercise for me. Now only if I a) had a bathing suit, b) felt comfortable enough to wear a bathing suit in public and c) actually had the *time* to exercise in the first place.

I used to love going swimming, its a great cardio workout, or it was for me, though seeing as how it's been ages since I've done it, I'm sure it'd be quite the workout again.

The recovery time for surgery will be off of it completely the next day, and then 3-5days on crutches, and then it won't fully be back to normal for about 6 weeks. It's better healing time, obviously, than my ACL surgery was, but it still sucks. We will have a new baby, I will be in school and working, and I have no idea how I am going to manage it all while being a gibble. I mean, I know I will because I'm too stubborn not to, but why do I have to keep having issues with my knee?

I'm over it.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Pregnancy Nesting

So craftymama is definitely nesting. She needs to knit all the things, and is already out of projects. On top of that is all the renovation projects. The only thing left on her original list is painting the stairs and upstairs landing. We have already painted the living room (I say we, but I really mean her), the boys' floor, finished the playroom, and I'm sure other things. So, with no immediate renovation project - as the stairs need to wait for the kids to be away, she found another one, and it's a doozy.

We are now turning what was the unused office/crap collector into a pantry. We have already moved the fridge in there, and craftymama is working on a layout that will contain counters, shelving and a whole host of other things I'd imagine. I am so excited about this project. I have wanted to turn that space into a pantry for the longest time but didn't think it was feasible. It only took craftymama suggesting it to turn it into a reality. Originally we were going to take down some walls but then we discovered that this space was an add on, and the wall we wanted to take down was the old exterior wall, so that's a no go unless we pay someone to do it - which we can't afford to do. I will post pictures of this progress when I have some.

I also need to post pictures of the playroom but Craftymama states it's not ready yet, it needs some pictures on the wall which will be quite cute.

The living room looks amazing, and I really need to post pictures of that change. It went from a blood red to a hazelnut cream white. The ceiling looks taller, the room is brighter, and it looks so much cleaner. It's amazing what a coat (or 6) of paint can do for a room. The red is dead as craftymama would say and it's a good thing.

We had a midwife appointment the other day, and it was great. She finally heard the heartbeat with her version of a fetoscope - as we aren't using a doppler, I've been hearing it off and on for a while now, though now I don't need to hold my breath to hear it. It's so much louder. Craftymama is measuring right on track at 25weeks, and all things look great and normal. Ziggy is growing and kicking all the time. I can't believe we are getting so close!