Children and Disabilities

Gregory piano playing 11:12

Recently, I’ve doubled my piano student load in order to pay the bills around here. Don’t worry, 15 students= 7.5 hours of work a week, with hardly any drive time since they all live in my town. I’m not going crazy…yet.

One of my new students is on the autism spectrum, recently diagnosed. The mom has talked to me many times about his issues, constantly apologizing for the way he behaves.

But you know what? He is quickly becoming one of my favorite students. Granted, I don’t have to get him to finish his chores or homework. But a 30 minute piano lesson can be a surprising pressure-cooker for behavior.

One of the things I noticed right away is that when he does talk, it’s whatever is on his mind, right there in the moment, hurtful or not. This is one of the things his mom warned me about, saying that he has a very difficult time understanding social situations and having any sort of empathy for others. Most of his therapy has been suppling him with memorized phrases to say in different situations, like, “I’m very sorry I hurt your feelings, I won’t do it again.”

I find his honesty a breath of fresh air, quite honestly. When I asked if I could write finger numbers on his hands, he ย looked down at the floor and said, “That is the strangest question anyone has ever asked me.” Haha, right? How many kids have THOUGHT that, but never said it? He’s never pretending to be excited, he’s never pretending to understand. We need people like this in the world, people who cannot pretend, who cannot feign emotion.

But I leave his house every week, thinking about the emotions associated with childhood disabilities. Many times, I’ve tried to put myself in the place of the mother of a child with a severe disability. Would I feel like I had failed him in some way? This thought had never occurred to me until I had kids of my own. When I look at AJ’s little hands and feet, I think, “my body GREW those!” It’s the craziest realization that I think can only belong to a mother.ย If he had a disability of some sort, would I grieve that somehow, my body had not supplied the needed ingredients to give him a normal life?

My kids have inherited many of my traits, both good and bad. I see this most clearly with Gregory. He has social anxiety issues, and watching him struggle at the library’s story time (he won’t sit within a mile and begs to go home) or shut down on a play date causes my heart to hurt. I was just like him growing up. Even once I learned to conquer my social anxiety, being around people was an absolute chore. In fact, it’s still a lot of work for me to attend social functions, parties and playdates. I am saddened because I know that Gregory will have a lot of the same work ahead of him. I am saddened that he didn’t get Jesse’s outgoing personality instead.

But I also know that this social anxiety as a child is what caused me to read all the time. While other kids were out making friends, I was reading every book I could get my hands on. I spent hours every day, locked in my room writing. It’s made me who I am today. So, perhaps my “disability” as a child one of my greatest assets. We need people in the world who are willing to lock themselves away and write, just as much as we need the ones who are always moving, conversing and getting stuff done.

From now on, I am determined to think of disabilities as opportunities instead.

The Scariest Thing of All Is…..

AJ sad face

AJ, my youngest child has a sensitive side a mile wide.

If someone yells in the room, he cries. If the vacuum turns on, he cries. If someone tries to let go and make him walk on his own (he’s 17 months old), he cries. If someone tries to play a game that he doesn’t like, he cries. If Gregory looks at him the wrong way, he cries. He’s scared of being within 40 feet of ocean waves, he’s scared of swings, he’s scared of dogs. He’s scared of shoes.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my son just as he is. His sensitivity makes for a very unique little personality. He wants to engage with anyone and everyone and thrives on being held and talked to. He’s the cuddliest of the cuddly.

I point this out to demonstrate that it’s been a lot of work for me to get to know his personality. I’ve been determined that I WILL NOT parent him the same way I do my firstborn. Just because they are both boys does not mean that they are going to do things together.

I’m about to embark on a taboo subject— TV WATCHING. Gasp. Yes, I let my kids watch about 30 minutes of TV a day. We never used to– I think Gregory didn’t watch a single show until he was 2. He didn’t show any interest, so I didn’t try.

Side Note: Why do moms get all up in each other’s business about the TV? Because they’re worried that someone else’s kids will be dumb because they watched too much? Actually, if you think about it, if “so and so’s” kids are dumb, yours will have less competition in 16 years and a better chance of getting into college. The lesson is, we should encourage TV watching with everyone else’s kids except our own. Hand out mind numbing DVDs to all the kids. It’s the only way to get into Princeton.

Gregory very much enjoys a few shows right now, Thomas the Train and Winnie the Pooh, especially. I’ve noticed that his language skills have tripled, thanks to these shows. He has all sorts of polite pithy phrases, like, “Oh deary deary dear dear!”, “Bravo!”, and, “Oh, thank you mother, how very kind of you!”

So, naturally, AJ watches them too. He usually gets up after about 10 minutes, bored, but sometimes he sits next to his brother, trying to cuddle with a sibling who couldn’t care less that he’s there.

But I’ve noticed something very odd. You know how some kids get scared when the bad guy cackles? I’d anticipated this, so we skip all the pooh episodes with “heffalumps and woozles”, because I always found them scary as a much older child. But even Thomas the Tank Engine has a villain– Diesel 10, the jealous engine with a claw.

AJ, my super sensitive child, is never scared at these parts. He never seems sad– it actually makes him bored. Sometimes, he even laughs.

So, what gives? Super sensitive child, unaffected by anything on the TV? For a while, I thought he might be super smart and, at the ripe old age of 1.5, had already figured out that the TV was just a box with pictures.

In the past few weeks, I’ve figured out what scares him. And it scares him like nothing else.

Rocks.

Yup.

Rocks.

Whenever there’s a rock, rolling down a hill or getting pushed down a hill, he whimpers and cries and until I hold him. There’s actually one part of the Tigger Movie where the animals are all caught up with a boulder as it tumbles down into a pond. Gregory laughs hysterically, as it’s supposed to be funny.

AJ? He sobs and sobs, shaking with fear until I come pick him up. The moment the 2 minute segment is over, he’s perfectly okay, as though it never happened.

I thought it was just that part, but now I’ve started to notice that he whimpers and cries whenever there’s a rock! Someone throws a rock in a pond? Crying. A train sees rocks across a railway? Crying.

If this keeps up, it’s going to make for an interesting childhood. I can just imagine dropping him off at school: “Here’s his lunch, oh, and by the way, make sure he doesn’t see any rocks.”

Do they have a rating system for rocks in movies? It could be Rated SO for “sand only”, and Rated RE-13 for “rocks everywhere– wait until age 13”.

Whatever we’re supposed to do until he grows out of it, I’ll continue to love and comfort this little guy whenever he sees a rock. I mean, how could you NOT want to cuddle with this little munchkin?

AJ in booster seat

And for lonely days when I need extra cuddles from my baby, I’ll keep a copy of “Bob the Builder” on hand. Just in case.

Momma Fail

Pascha, 2011

Pascha, 2011

Let’s talk for a minute about a desperate place every Orthodox mother has been in.

You see, in our church, kids do NOT leave for the service. They do not have a separate kids’ sermon or kids’ school. They stay with us, in the church, for the entire 2, sometimes more, hours. We do this for a reason– kids can worship in their own way, even if that way sounds deafening half the time. And how else are they going to learn to love church if they aren’t with their parents in the service, ready to copy the adults around them? We all learn by copying, so the premise is that they should grow up imitating the adults in their life, not their peers in some separate room. They shouldn’t feel inferior, they should feel like they are part of the Body of Christ at all times.

But it gets a little loud and crazy. And every church I’ve been to has been especially considerate of this. One time, I took Gregory out because he was whooping and hollering (his version of singing). One of the deacons followed me out and said, “Oh, dear, I hope you didn’t leave because you thought he was being loud! We love it when we can hear the young ones. God’s Kingdom is especially for them. It brings tears to my eyes when I can hear them. Please bring him back in!”

Another time, we had a wild kid in the back, kicking and flailing. I don’t think he was participating at all, but the mother sure was trying to. He was getting so loud, he was drowning out the Priest’s homily! Everybody was staring at each other, awkwardly, wondering what they should do, if anything. I’ll never forget it, but the Priest’s wife, a wonderful mom of two, marched straight to the back. Everyone held their breath, wondering if she was going to ask the mom to leave. Instead, she picked up the kid and talked to him softly, calming him down. She figured that instead of complaining, she would pitch in and help so that the mom could participate in the service.

But I’ll tell you one person who minds the kids and their disruptions. It’s usually the one person who’s the least tolerant. It’s always the kids’ mom.

I’ve been that mom a lot lately. Mortified, hearing every squawk as though it’s on a megaphone, looking around to make sure no one’s staring. Gregory is going through a super defiant stage, where he purposefully walks straight up to the line and camps out. If we say no laying down and flopping on the floor, he will lay almost completely down on his elbows and stare at us, showing that he can technically follow the letter of the law without the spirit of it. Sometimes, if he’s feeling especially naughty, he’ll attack his brother at some random moment, causing them both to scream. Once, he tried to BODYSLAM his brother in church, missed, and fell flat on his bum (it looked like it hurt!). It was hard to feel too sorry for him, since he hurt himself trying to hurt someone else.

A few months ago, it was particularly bad. I took Gregory out for the bazillionth time that day, and tried talking to him. He wasn’t listening, that much was clear.

Something inside me snapped. I reached a desperate place.

“Gregory,” I said. “When you act like that, you make Momma sad. You make Dadda sad. You even make JESUS sad.”

His eyes popped wide. I had his full attention now.

“Jesus?” he said quietly.

I felt sooo terrible. My church behind me was preaching Jesus’ unconditional love and acceptance of the people He loves, and I was out here telling my son that Jesus was disappointed in Him. That might be an appropriate conversation for later, granted, because being respectful is a good skill to have. But all a two year old is going to hear is, “Jesus doesn’t like me.”

I tried to move on, but he told Jesse later, “Jesus is SAAAAD.” Jesse shot me this look that said, what the heck did you tell our son?

Total Mom Fail.

He brought it up for several weeks in a row. When somebody would ask him about church, he would say, “Jesus SAD.” It made me feel like a terrible person every single time.

A few weeks went by, and he stopped mentioning it. When he found out we’d be going to church in the morning, he would say, excitedly, “See Jesus? Kiss the cross? Cah-moon-un?” No mention of Sad Jesus. Whew.

This last Sunday, when I brought him out for the bazillionth time once again, I tried to have the talk again, ย taking a different approach.

“Gregory,” I said. “We come to church to pray to Jesus because He loves us. When you act like that, Momma can’t pray. Dadda can’t pray.” Then I finished with, “When we go back in, I want you to apologize to Dadda and Momma.”

“Yeah,” he said, “And JESUS.”

Ugh, there it was again. I ignored what he said and brought him back in. He acted eager, like he couldn’t wait.

And then I got a front row seat to my son’s tender little heart that I love so much. He marched straight over to Jesse and said, “Dadda, I sorry. You pray.” And then, without being prompted, he walked out to the center of the church, straight under the large icon of Jesus on the ceiling. I could just barely hear him as he looked straight up and said softly, “Jesus, I so sorry.”

Tears came to my eyes. For that moment, I got to see my son how God sees him. A tender soul, open, willing to apologize and be loved anyways. For me, church that day was a huge lesson. It’s so easy to go before Jesus and tell him what we need or want. We want him to fix everything. But we ignore the one thing that begins the path to fixing everything. Repentance.

It was so simple for Gregory to march in, look Jesus right in the eye and repent. I thank God for letting me see that, because he taught his mother so much about child-like humility.

Pascha 2

 

Cloth Diapering for 2 Babies under $86

Thanks, everyone, for listening to my rant about my crappy August. I went to bed feeling rather ashamed for complaining, especially considering everything going on internationally, but one can’t always live globally– sometimes it comes down to the smaller troubles in life and learning how to move on. Perspective is good, but not everything.

AJ in cloth

I’ve been wanting to write about our recent experience with cloth diapering for a while, but I wanted to wait a few months to work out the kinks in our system. For reference, we cloth diapered exclusively with G for his first 9 months, using only prefolds and Thirsties covers. It worked great with our top loader washing machine and good ole’ Texas water. When we got to CA, however, for some reason the stink built up beyond repair. I wasn’t able to make them work with our front loaders, and we all got sick of how bad they always smelled. I tried three different stripping methods, but came to the conclusion that I might be beating my head against a brick wall for not much gain.

We were also living with my parents at the time, saving all of our money for our down payment on a house. My mom politely BEGGED me not to keep cloth diapering during this time, so we signed up for Amazon’s automatic diaper shipments. And then I had a newborn to go with my 1 year old, and life got crazy.

Of course, after about a year of using disposables, it was hard to think of giving up that convenience and going back to cloth, but I got tired of spending the $60/month on diapers. So, sometime at the beginning of summer, we embarked upon a new phase.

My first criteria was that we not spend much more than $80 on the whole project, seeing as the boys don’t have much longer in diapers (fingers crossed)– AJ will probably only be in them another year or so, and Gregory, a matter of weeks (although I also said that 2 months ago!). I was able to include them in the monthly budget under our disposable diaper fund, with the hopes of being able to cross that item out in the future.

And….we did it! Cloth diapering for two boys for under $86! We have 9 Bum Genius Diapers that I got through Craigslist for $60. I got them so cheap because I was willing to replace the elastic on 6 of them. It was a daunting thought, but in the end it was so super easy and worth the $1/diaper elastic kit from cottonbabies.com. To replace them, I used this tutorial. It took about 2 hours total.

cloth diapers 2

To round out our stash, since I was doing diapers every 1.5 days, I just purchased a few econobum prefolds and 2 Flip diaper covers (they were “seconds” at cottonbabies, so they were only $7 each!). If I find that I’m still doing too much laundry for my liking, I’d buy a few more econobum prefolds in a heartbeat– they are much cheaper than the Bummis I used to have for G, and they are much nicer! We don’t need any pins or snappies this point– just a trifold stuffed in the cover.

cloth diapers 1

Here’s how we wash the diapers on an every other day basis:

1 rinse, cold water, with 1 cup of white vinegar for stink

1 hot wash, diaper detergent

1 hot wash, 2 scoops of baking soda (sometimes I use Borax instead)

1 cold wash/rinse, 1 cup of vinegar

Air dry covers on the line, 45 minutes of drying for the inserts

cloth diapers 3

When I stripped the used cloth diapers, I used this method (I found it somewhere online, but don’t remember where):

1 wash with detergent (unless they’re already clean)

2 hot washes using 2 tsp. of Dawn liquid soap (the blue, original formula)

1 hot wash with bleach

3 hot washes, no soap

That’s it!

Montessori-Inspired Playroom

Anybody that knows me also knows that I’ve been obsessed with all things Montessori since long before we had kids. Our first year living in Dallas, I worked at over 6 different Montessori schools, teaching over 80 piano students (yes, 80 individual students a week!). I got to see the good, bad and ugly.

As a result, I’m very cautious when I recommend Montessori schools, because while they can be a huge asset to a child’s learning (provided all the teachers are “certified” Montessori), they can also be a huge detriment, especially if they foster an indifference for respect. Most of the times though, sub-par Montessori schools are just a waste of money. They have the name and maybe a few of the “toys” from some catalogue, but few, if any, of the teachers are trained in the actual philosophy, making it just some daycare/preschool with an exorbitant price tag.

But I’m straying from the topic at hand. When I taught at these Montessori schools, I noticed that the Montessori kids universally outperformed their peers at normal preschools, especially when it came to dexterity, self-reliance and math. Ever since, I’ve self-studied the Montessori philosophy to figure out some of their secrets.

To be clear, I’m not officially trained. In fact, I don’t buy the philosophy whole-sale. One of my greatest pet-peeves in parenthood is when some philosophy comes along and preaches 100% adherence (attachment parenting is another one!). Every child is unique, and instead of sticking to one and falling flat on my face (sigh), I’ve tried to integrate them with my own instinct as a mother.

As a result, our homeschooling/playing room is not 100% Montessori. It’s not 100% academic (um, my oldest kid is only 34 months??). It’s DEFINITELY not 100% clean ๐Ÿ˜‰ Let’s be real here.

Without further ado, here it is!

Playroom 8

Playroom 11

Playroom 10

Playroom 12 Playroom 13

Here you can see the changing table (hopefully just for my 16 month old soon!) and Gregory’s handwashing station by the door. He LOVES this thing, and it’s one of my favorite take-homes from the Montessori classroom. It not only teaches kids personal hygiene, but it also teaches them control.

Playroom 4

For the actual handwashing, there is a small portion of water in the pitcher. Gregory is able to pour it into the bowl, rub his hands on the soap, rub the sponge on his hands (his FAVORITE part!), then rinse his hands in the water. After drying his hands on the towel, he gently dumps the water in to the big container below the table.

Playroom 3

I have a lot of faith in Gregory’s abilities to be precise and conscientious of details, and even I was surprised at how quickly he got the hang of doing things gently enough not to make a mess! Whenever we go anywhere now, he is asking to “wash his hands”, because he is suddenly very aware of how they feel after eating.

The chalkboard table in the middle is one of my favorite things. We got it for $5 off of Craigslist, and I painted it using some leftover khaki chalkboard paint and a Serena and Lily paint sample someone gave me a long time ago.

Having a child-sized table and chairs is super important to any homeschooling or Montessori room. Gregory knows where all his little activities in the room are and loves to bring them here.

Playroom 1

Playroom 5

Another thing I love about the Montessori philosophy, especially for preschoolers, is how much they focus on using three fingers to accomplish various tasks. They emphasize these “games” for months/years before ever teaching kids how to hold a pencil. I can personally attest that this aspect of the Montessori philosophy results in a huge disparity between the dexterity of Montessori kids and mainstream preschool kids. My piano students from Montessori schools have a much easier time with everything about the piano. This isn’t to say that mainstream preschool kids don’t catch up– they definitely do, in most cases. But the extra confidence at such an early age seems valuable, especially if it avoids frustration for the child.

We have just started “games” involving transferring objects using tongs and a spoon. Gregory found these acorns by himself in the backyard, giving the game an added dimension!

Playroom 2

Before we added the handwashing station, we had the table against the wall under our vintage alphabet cards. My guess is that most Montessori classrooms would find these too high or too “busy”. However, the Montessori goal is, ultimately, to create a peaceful environment without clutter that overwhelms the child. I am very sensitive to clutter, and I don’t find these to be distracting. We are also dealing with a space issue in our small room, so I had to stack them higher.

Also, I’m selfish, and I REALLY wanted an alphabet wall. Nuff said ๐Ÿ™‚

2013-08-31 01.12.45

Last, but not least, here is our children prayer corner. You can definitely see the mix of philosophies here– we don’t have ALL the icons at child height, simply because we want the boys to respect the fact that some things are special and shouldn’t be touched all the time. But Gregory does have two unbreakable icons at his height, given to him by his wonderful godmother ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, speaking of mixing philosophies– how many Montessori rooms have YOU seen with an Orthodox icon corner? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Playroom 7

Playroom 6

If you’d like to see any of my other playroom or preschool ideas, you can follow my Preschool Pinterest board!

That’s all for now!

Source List:

Handwashing Station: Soap, tray, bowls and pitcher– our awesome 99 cent store. The table was a find from 5 years ago in TX, probably Homegoods.

Alphabet Wall: A free printable fromย Handmade Home.

Banners: A free printable fromย Shanty 2 Chic.

Bookshelves: Walmart, Baskets from Ikea, Wooden Chalkboard labels from Etsy

Teepee: Poles from Home Depot, full sized bedsheet from Walmart

Rug: World Market

Table and Chairs: Craigslist for $5, painted in Serena and Lily’s “Sprout” paint

Easel and paints: Melissa and Doug

Changing Table: Changing Pad cover– Pottery Barn, Diapers– Econobum and BumGenius, I Love You printable– free from I Heart Naptime

Gregory’s Playground

2013-08-31 11.33.37

Inside the house, the boys have quite a lot of room to play.

Our downstairs bedroom is entirely devoted to toys and crafts (better pics coming, someday). ย Our living room is pretty large and usually set up with trains or animals. The conversation/fire pit currently houses the train table extravaganza. And then they have their bedroom upstairs, which is free for the taking since we don’t use a baby gate (Anthony *only* had one or two major tumbles while he was figuring it all out…we like to live on the edge– er, hurtling ourselves down the edge, whichever way you look at it…).

But outside….our sideyard was still awaiting something fun for the boys. I’ve been TRYING to get Jesse to agree to buy a “big kid” playground made of wood for the boys to grow into, but he has firmly put his foot down about that one for now. The thing is, he makes a good argument, in many ways. So many people spend hundreds on a playground that their kids refuse to use, simply because whatever you don’t have is what you want. In other words, the playground at the park will always be more exciting.

And then, you take into account my boys. Gregory is adventurous, but only when he knows what the outcome will be, down to the most minute detail. I get it, because he inherited this from me. Move across the country? Sure, I’ll be brave, but only if you let me research the idea within an inch of its life.

And there’s AJ….AJ, who, at 16.5 months, still refuses to walk. Or stand on his own. His language abilities are off the charts for his age (he speaks in full sentences!), but he’s not the adventurous, fall-on-your-face type.

And don’t even TRY to get either of them on a swing. I’ve tried multiple times over the years, because what kid doesn’t love swings? But they get this strange look on their face, as though they are turning as red as a tomato and about to puke all over. And the whimpering…Swings are synonymous with torture devices in their book.

Now that I think through it, sadly, they both inherited that from me too. I get SO motion sick, that even swings are off limits for me ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

So, given all that, is it worth the hundreds of dollars to buy a playground right now?

Probably not.

But that doesn’t mean we gave up on an outdoor play space for G. We inherited EVERYTHING, even the sand (I’m not a huge fan of “plastic” play things, but free is AWESOME in my book!), and Gregory hasn’t stopped playing with them since! *Seriously*. I can send him outside, watch from the dining and kitchen windows, and he will play for 1-2 hours straight. He collects all sorts of treasures from the yard, including acorns, feathers, and various rocks, and stores them in his “house”. He climbs like a monkey all over that thing. The slide is the perfect speed for him. NO SWINGS either.

2013-08-31 11.30.32 2013-08-31 11.31.07

Really, this is just the thing for us at this point in time. Playgrounds are supposed to be fun and full of adventure, giving the kids the means to explore the outdoors on their own (I’m such a fan of “self-lead” learning, simply because they have fun and I get stuff done! Win-win!).

I foresee many more happy memories for the boys in the coming months ๐Ÿ™‚

my boys

One of my favorite things in the world is to cuddle with my boys first thing in the morning, especially if they wake up at the same time (7:45am today, thank God! Gregory has been getting up in the 6am hour lately which is driving us nuts!!!).

Turns out, it's super hard to get a selfie of all 3 of us, especially when one of them (ahem, Gregory!) is flailing about

Turns out, it’s super hard to get a selfie of all 3 of us, especially when one of them (ahem, Gregory!) is flailing about

I cannot say enough about how much joy these two bring me. Anthony, in particular, is SO cuddly since he stopped nursing a few weeks ago. He makes the sweetest little sighs when you hold him. He gives the biggest kisses, saying, “Tss! tss!”

Gregory, in particular, is turning into SUCH a little boy lately. He’s definitely showing signs of leaving the toddler stage and entering the preschool stage full-on. He talks to his belly when he’s full (“we gobbled up the food!”), gathers tons of acorns like a hoarder, buries things in the yard, dumps sand on his head at any opportunity, and loves to explore. Jesse is really loving this new stage with him, and I do too, most of the time (the independence, at times, makes me sad, but that’s why I have my barnacle Baby Anthony!).

I love my boys and I love spending time with them. I dread the day when they leave to start families of their own ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Anthony would NOT smile, so I joined him.

Anthony would NOT smile, so I joined him.

Our New Stroller

I’ve been wanting a double stroller for the boys for quite some time. The problem is that most double strollers are a complete waste of time and money. Once you put over 60 lbs. of two kids into them, they are impossible to steer and an absolute pain to push. And don’t get me started on how much trunk space they take up! Courtney and I used to joke that she’d need an extra car just to drive around her stroller.

I’ve heard great things about the BOB stroller line, but I’ve always hated the price tag. Lately though, I’ve been finding myself wanting to go on walks. We live just a 5 minute walk from our main grocery center in Atascadero, and it’d be fun not to use the car every once and a while. We have no sidewalks, however, being out in the country and all, and our roads are quite steep and often mostly gravel.

We also have a day trip to the Midstate Fair planned for tomorrow, along with Big Sur next week. I convinced Jesse that if there were ever a time to get a double stroller, now would be it.

In turn, he reminded me of our commitment to staying on a budget. $400-500 doesn’t exactly fit in, you know what I mean?

But there’s this thing called determination. When I want to buy something, I find a way. I move mountains if I have to. It’s both a very admirable quality, and also a little scary. Why can’t I have this kind of mad perseverance when it comes to prayer?

But I digress. I knew that the only way to get a stroller was to raise the money myself. So, with the help of my sister (who pulled stuff out of my parents’ garage for me), I listed EVERYTHING that we’ve had lying around. Does anyone else have a few things in their garage that they “might want to sell someday”? After 3 moves in the past 2 years, we have a lot of them.

In FOUR HOURS, I made $260.

Hooray, I thought! Now I can go on Craigslist and buy the first BOB stroller I see!

Wrong. I didn’t factor in the fact EVERY SINGLE STROLLER LISTING was written by rude people who never answer their phones or check their email.

I emailed dozens of people over the course of 3 days. Only ONE reply, telling me the item was sold (the listing is still up as we speak. Why are people so rude???). ย How hard is it to text back, “No, I want more $ than that”, or, “Sorry, sold”???

I got pretty fed up. So I posted this little number:

Jogging Stroller

Did I really post that? Yes. Was it un-Christian of me? Probably. I do feel bad about it, somewhere deep down under the blind determination that I feel when I want something for my babies. Also, there may or may not have been some PMS crazy affecting me too. And I’m semi-insane without Jesse, who’s been working at the Midstate Fair until 1am the last couple nights.

Whatever. No excuses.

But it worked!!! Within 30 minutes, I got an email from a woman who had been thinking about selling her BOB and got on Craiglist to price compare. My ad was the first that came up.

We met at the park 3 hours later and voila! We now own a like-new BOB stroller for only $60 out of pocket cash!

We went on a walk tonight, and I can already tell that this thing is worth EVERY LAST penny. I was able to turn it with one hand. The boys were super comfy and made up songs together in the seat while I jogged along. Did I also mention that the stroller only take up half of our trunk? And I can fold it up with one hand? Wowza! It’s like the wizard of all strollers!

Alls well that ends well.

July Walk 2013 5

Here were a few pictures from our walk tonight. We live in such a gorgeous neighborhood! I guess I didn’t quite realize how nice the streets are around us.

July Walk 2013 1 July Walk 2013 3 July Walk 2013 4

However fun the walk, it’s always nice to come back to our home sweet home on a hill. ๐Ÿ™‚

July Walk 2013 2