Saturday, July 24, 2010

Two year olds, flat screen t.v.'s and more

Three years ago I asked my husband if we could buy this house. He said he didn't care, as long as whatever house he lived in he could have a flatscreen. Done! haha (a great house in exhange for $2000 t.v.? SOLD) (I love my husband - he is a Newfie at heart - layed back, never asks for anything, accommodating and very very funny!) The t.v. and Will are... I mean, were, roughly the same age. (Will turns 3 in 3 days) Unfortunately the t.v. will never see another birthday! Will got slap happy a couple weeks ago. We let him live! lol In keeping with the challenge I went on Kijiji (second hand online site) to look for another flatscreen (I admire those families who go without t.v. We are NOT one of those families, but when this story is all said and done, we wondered if the Universe was trying to tell us something!) I found a beautiful 46 Aquos Sharp. It was thin. It was light. It was beautiful. It worked great when hubby bought it. It broke sometime between getting it here and setting it up!!! It was $800. I didn't even know what to say. My husband said he'd have gotten more joy out of driving down the road throwing hundred dollar bills out the window. It would have brought someone happiness. We really debated what to do then. We didn't want to make an unwise decision and buy another one off of Kijiji - because the only other one was older and not a good brand. We slunk ed into Sears and walked up to the electronics department and told our sad story. She was very informative and reassured us that these t.v.s ARE very fragile. She then led us to one that was almost bullet proof (she literally banged on it. I cringed. what if she broke 'our' t.v.?!) Jamie said he'd take the hit and we could blame him for breaking the challenge. I was desperate and agreed. But then she told us it was a demo model. (and had only been for a few weeks) I raised my eyebrow and hubby and I looked at each other, and signed on the dotted line.
I can't be sure if we broke the challenge or not. Technically it WAS a demo model, but I think we fudged the spirit of the challenge a bit. I've found a lot of grey areas with this challenge. I am learning that it is a balance between smart, thoughtful decisions, and not stressing out if we stray a couple times throughout the year. After all, it is OUR challenge. Not the media's or the naysayers. It started out as ours, and will end as ours and we are the ones who have to live with the decisions we make. And having their mother in the loony bin for the next 5 months because she's had no down time while the boys watch Treehouse,(commercial-free cartoons 24/7) simply isn't good for the boys! ;)


I bought pillows. 5 of them!! Two for our new arrivals (I mean, nothing says 'Welcome to our home' than a new pillow, towels - Oh yeah... I bought towels too!!) And three for the boys because we finally bought proper covers for them and the mattresses. (second-hand from the salvage centre) I've tried to go the cheap route over the years - which meant PVC leaking sheets that probably ate some of their brain cells, (or they would know how to listen... I'm sure of it! haha)stunk up the house for days and ended up ripping when they jumped on the bed. (Yes. Boys jump on the bed. I let them. It is what they are supposed to do) So a few nights ago I trapsed off to Walmart to go to the non-food part of the store. I was giddy! Looking behind myself, waiting for the 'I thought you weren't buying anything new' Police to tap me on the shouldar with one of those raised eyebrow looks, I confidently got a cart and turned right to 'stuff' instead of left to food. Having not shopped for new for quite a while, I luxuriated in it. haha Went over all the details, trying to make the best decisions for my pocket book as well as Mother Earth's.
To be smart in this challenge I've learned to own it for our family and not for the details that will spur the naysayers on. Yes. I bought new. My family doens't need to sleep on pillows that have been peed on, (remember, boys. 3 boys!)blood from nose bleeds (boys) and boogers! (sigh... boys) And I am not welcoming my MIL with a pillow in the same condiiton!
I bought 3 waterproof pillow case covers (and of course the pillows) two waterproof mattress covers to prevent the mattresses from soon ending up where we took the old ones today - the dump. I'm not convinced that they are the best environmentally - but until those become readily available to the regular consumer, these will have to do.
At the end of the day I got inordinate pleasure from buying the most simple and basic of things - things that are behind the scenes and hardly exciting! (but after nearly 7 months of not buying anything new, it satiated my 'buy-bug'!)

Marilyn, my mother in love is moving in!

We have the extraordinary privilege of being able to open our home to my husbands mother and her bf - moving all the way from Newfoundland. A HUGE move for her, who has lived her entire life in one place and had never been on a plane until we flew her here in December last year. It had been 24 years since Jamie had seen his mother! Anyway, this presented me with a challenge! Develope a nice living space for them. We had a bed and armoire already, but had to buy another one for the renter we have living with us as she had to give up her room to accommodate the new arrivals :)
The Salvage Centre is my saving grace! It is a place kinda like a garage sale/second hand store. People drop things off that they don't want anymore, and people take what they do need for a very low price.
I have managed to get a bed for our renter (no a frame yet) and dressers, chair for MIL's room, frames to spray paint and make her an art gallery wall (pictures of her family is what keeps her happy) and a bedspread set, as well as some little things to decorate her new room with. I know I have gotten other things, but they have been rolled into our stuff already and can't remember what is 'new' anymore! haha Perhaps if I muster some smarts, I will take a picture when it is all done and post them here to show how easy it is to make a beautiful, comfortable, 'new' room for next to no money and very little resources. It does take time, creativity, planning and an assumption that you will get what you want and need :)

Update of Andrew's resource training...

If you remember, Andrew desparately wanted a certain book from the school book orders. Obviously we could order it. So plan B went into action. We DID find it at the library, but not OUR library. They ordered it for us from another library and we had it in a few days. Read it. And returned it. Andrew is a hungry reader, but like me, once a book is read, it is time to start a new one. There was no point spending $6, costing the earth more resources and missing out on a valuable experience of learning to be more resourceful. Challenge for the win!

I suck and I am sorry!

It has been quite awhile since I last wrote. I haven't even opened my blog since may or June or something! Things have happened here and there, but I guess I wasn't taking the blog part seriously after all the hype died down. I honestly expected to see the 'follower' numbers drop drastically, but when I cautionously signed in a few days ago, I saw that the number actually rose!! So I guess I better suck it up and get reporting on how our adventure is going....