Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring has sprung and the Monkeys are jumping

Spring is here! Finally some warm weather. We are all so very excited, it has been one long, cold winter. The boys have been playing outside for the past two days, but today they could actually wear shorts. And we brought the bounce house outside for some jumping fun. Santa brought it for the boys for Christmas and we have been putting it up once every few weeks since the garage. The thing is huge and unless I moved all my furniture out of the dining room or living room, there was not a room big enough with tall enough ceilings to hold it. Bummer because we had to turn the heat on in the garage and it took quite some time for it to warm up enough to be out there without shoes.

So everyone here is happy and healthy, well except for the small fight inside the bounce housewhere G bit N on the chest. It was apparently pretty painful, it left a big mark, broke the skin a bit and N laid down and kept an ice pack on it for almost an hour. Normally N is not still for more than 5 minutes during the day. Sigh, I thought we had outgrown the biting stage. Yet another "good behavior" to add to our chart.

I'll have to post about the chart some other time. We used them when N was 3 yrs old and it worked great and hoefully will be as effective with G's desired behaviors. So far he is working on listening, no throwing (he gets mad and throws anything he can at N), picking up toys, keeping our shoes on at school and in the car, and no bad words (G likes to toss in a "stupid headed" every now and then).

Ok, back out to the nice warm weather.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


N is just growing up way too fast. We just called this week to confirm his registration for Kindergarten. And at the end of the month, we go for registration and orientation. And school starts July 27th! WTH? Its a year round school, which I love but I can remember going to school when it started the Tuesday after Labor Day.

I am loving the school he is going to. Its a STEM (science, technology, enginerring, and mathematics) Center, with a focus on Science for N's first year. Its really neat how this school works. First, it is seperate from any other county school. Different schedule, different curriculum and different registration. I was not aware of this, but people actually camp out the night before registration begins (March 1) to make sure they get their kids in, it is a first come first serve basis, no lottery. There are no buses, all kids must be dropped off or picked up. Its in a bit of a rough area however it is not zoned, so if the neighborhood kids want to attend, they have to register, and apparently most of them dont as they are zoned for a different school.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

T Ball Practice

Just a few pics from Nick"s t-ball practice yesterday.

Nick is the one in the gray/black shirt and black baseball pants.

He tried out two positions, left field and shortstop yesterday. Not sure it really mattered, he was running in front of the pitcher to get the ball most of the time anyway.

He did hit the ball really well, especially for a little guy, probably hit it further than anyone.

However his running was slowed down because the batting helmet was about 6 sizes too big. It had to have been huge for it to be so large on his big ol' noggin. But he did love running those bases. In fact, he loved running them so much that he just did not stop until he realized there was someone on his team already on that base, then he ran back. Good thing he likes to run.

Greyson was not overly impressed with what was going on at practice. He was also fairly pissed that he was not playing.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ebay and summer clothes I have never been so glad to finish anything, well except maybe labor, as I have been to finish selling the boys old summer clothing and shoes. Yikes, it was a mess. It literally took weeks from start to (almost) finish.

First, I had to dig through 5-6 large containers of clothing to decide between what the boys can still wear and what they cannot. Then going through the "cannots", I had to decide what I wanted to sell on ebay and what I wanted to donate and what I needed to toss due to stains or holes or tears.

Then I had to launder the ones I was going to sell and also the ones to donate, a minimum of 14 loads of laundry, I am not kidding. Now I confess, I did not iron or steam the donated clothes, call me lazy or thoughtless but I say "tired already" are better words. So then I did the ironing and steaming of "selling" clothes and bagged the "donating" clothes. I just tossed the bags back in the attic until I can go through my clothes as well to donate.

After ironing and/or steaming, I then had to match up the clothes, some were complete sets, some just went well together, and some I put together to create lots. This is lazy selling, I could have probably made more by selling, say a group of Gymboree or Ralph Lauren shirts separately but then, I would have to list them separately and it was just not worth it.

So after grouping them and separating them and all that, I had to photograph them.

Ugh, I took over 500 pictures. Let me just say that it is hard on ones back, laying the clothes out, arranging them to look their most attractive, then rearranging them to show more detail.

After the pics, I then had to list them all on Auctiva. I use Auctiva because for 9.95 I can list all my auctions at different times, whenever I have a few minutes and set them to go off when I want, all in 3-5 minute increments. It took me about a week or so to list 97 auctions, as I listed them whenever I had the chance, day or night, while the boys' were sleeping or at school. It takes a while because I have to describe each item, list any imperfections, and add the photos that I took.

Then I scheduled the auctions to go off on 4 consecutive nights.

Sounds like an ordeal, right? Well it ain't over yet. During the 7 days between when the auctions start and when they end, I had to answer 169 questions. Questions about shipping charges, requests for cheaper shipping, measurements (these were my least favorite as I had to actually get out the measuring tape and measure the foot bed of a shoe or the shoulder to crotch of a romper), and if I will ship internationally, though I clearly stated that I would ship only to the US and Canada (why I don't know, I HATE shipping to Canada).

I confess to obsessing over my auctions, watching them daily and then when they start ending, being glued to each auction during its final minute, watching, waiting and hoping that some overzealous bidders will get so excited they will pay huge amounts of money for my clothes. And some do, but mostly they all get great deals on very nice clothing.

After all the auctions end, I send out invoices. I wait until they are all over so people can take advantage of combined shipping. Unless of course they ask me to send one earlier.

Then the real work begins. Bagging clothing (I put each outfit in a zip-loc freezer bag so weather cannot damage them), putting multi auction winners boxes and bags together, printing out packing and shipping labels, bagging and boxing them in the mailing envelopes and boxes, praying that I don't make too many mistakes on shipping: just 3 this time, not too bad, one on shipping charge where I did not charge enough to Canada (did I mention I hate shipping to Canada), one where I left out an outfit and a pair of socks to someone who won 10-12 auctions, and a big one, mailed the wrong outfit to someone. She is shipping it back and fortunately the person who won that outfit was very late paying (like 2 weeks late) so I don't feel too bad that it will take an extra few days to get her stuff to her.

And now I am in the process of waiting to see that everyone gets their items in a timely manner and that they like them. So far so good, no one has emailed me asking where their items are or complaining about a stain or fade that I missed.

Next I will go back to the clothing I have set aside for this year and launder them, then place them in the boys' closets so they will be ready for spring and summer.

So that's it, my ebay experience as a seller. And crazily enough, I do this twice a year. While I don't love it, I love that I can recycle clothing. Do something good for the environment and the economy at the same time. Plus make some money to buy the boys' new clothing. That way I will have more stuff to list next time!