Shrimp and Veggies Over Rice

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bag of raw shrimp that is peeled
  • 1 bag frozen veggies of choice
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • seasonings of choice (I used parsley, garlic powder, Goya, and
  • 1 cup cooked rice (with Goya, parsley, Garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and turmeric to give it the yellow color)

DIRECTIONS:

  • peel shrimp and cook on stove top with butter, olive oil, and seasoning
  • When halfway cooked add veggies and stir
  • You could add pepper flakes for an extra zing, but AJ would have flipped out if I did that
  • After shrimp and veggies are cooked, serve over rice.

 

Reviews:

AJ: ate just about every bite of the dinner

Mommy: loved this recipe, cheap and easy, and perfect for our family of three

Daddy: loved it as well, but wish there was a bit more. 

 

I’m linking up with

 Lori's Culinary Creations

 Epic Mommy Adventures

Epic Mommy Adventures

January Fly on the Wall

 

FOTWWWW2

Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 9 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Participants:

Mommy: AKA Karen, me…the wife and mom 

Daddy: AKA Tony, husband and dad

AJ – our only child, a 7 year old boy who thinks he knows it all and is the one in charge

Bonus – our sweet and lovable adopted rat terrier 

I was arguing with Tony and he got a bit loud. AJ yelled, “You can’t be mean to Mommy because then you’re mean to me. I came from Mommy’s belly, so when you’re mean to mommy you’re mean to me. That insults me.”
Oh man why do they have to ruin movies with all this kissing.
Tony refused to take out dog. AJ turns around mid walk, puts hand up in hair, and says I’ll take care of this as he marched up to Tony. “You better take Bonus out, Mommy asked you.”
AJ got mad at me, because I was talking to him while he was searching for a show on Netflix. “See you got me messed up Mommy. Great Mommy, great job.”
While laying in bed with AJ during our nighttime routine. He began coughing and sputtering. “Mommy you are suffocating me with your bad breath.”
“What? I just brushed my teeth?”
“Well you stink.”
“That’s a lie, my mouth smells great.”
How dare I ask him to clean up before breakfast. I knew once breakfast was over we would only have a little time to get ready for basketball.
He repeated this about ten times. “You’re a big meanie. You’re the worst mommy.”
My father is talking to AJ and telling him to come pick up a bag and come to the door. AJ rolls his eyes and says “Okay, hold on, Sonny Boy.”
We brought AJ to a gymnastic activity place on a recent day off from school. He spent two hours there and loved it.
“So what did you do?”
“I did jumping, balancing, kicking, and yada, yada, yada.”
Tony and AJ are chatting, Tony is wearing a knit cap.
“Take off your hat, Daddy.”
“Why? Is it bothering you?”
“Well spring is coming.”
Tony laughs, “No, we are in the middle of winter. Spring is not here yet.”

Happy New Year

2017-01-01-00-12-51

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week, 13 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

secret-subject-swap-baking-in-a-tornado

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

My subject is:

Looking back at 2016, now that it’s finished, what is one thing you’d love to change about it?!  For just one event from 2016, you can rewrite history. What event do you pick, and how do you rewrite it?!

It was submitted by: http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

Great prompt! Sure there are a few things I would like to change in 2016, but I am afraid if I change one thing then everything else would be affected. I’ve always felt like if I rewrite history, make one change then all of the things and people I love would be different all because I changed one bad thing.

I do wish AJ had stayed up later on New Year’s Eve. I had hoped that if he stayed up later than 9:56 than he would have slept later the next morning. Though in reality, my son is an early riser, always has been, always will be. It’s nice to dream, though right? He woke up at 5:50. **sighs**

Our little family did have an awesome New Year’s Eve though. I planned lots of activities for each hour. That broke up a long night and made us interact as a family. It sure was perfect. We started off by having some picture fun.

picmonkey-collage

I saw a few ideas on Pinterest for kids during the New Year’s Eve night. A few different versions showed writing activities on strips of paper, rolling them up and putting them in a flat balloon, blowing up the balloon, then writing the date on the balloon. AJ had a blast taking each one down at the right time and popping them by sitting on them.

picmonkey-collage2

4 pm: AJ had to interview two people. He could have called up anyone he wanted, but he chose to interview us. We had to answer 1. What did we love about this year? 2. What do we wish we did? 3. What is a goal for 2017?

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5 pm: AJ had to make a New Year’s Eve ball. We used a blown up globe and covered it in wrapping paper. It was amusing and festive.

img_1238

6 pm: We each had a sheet of paper with 11 things to find in the house. We all had the same list, just in a different order. It was fascinating hearing what each other found.

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7 pm: We each had to use a straw to move 10 M&Ms from a napkin to a bowl. I’ll admit I was a bit competitive and wanted to beat Tony, which caused Anthony to feel awful since he only got one in the bowl. Tony and AJ played again and I made sure I helped AJ beat his Daddy. Next time I think we should do it with 40 and set a timer for one minute.

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8 pm:  Balloon Volleyball was hysterical. Not only were we playing with a balloon, but we had to keep Bonus away from it. She wanted to kill it and when she finally got a hold of it she scared herself by biting it and popping it.

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9pm: We each had to draw 5 things we think will happen in 2017. This was sure fun to not only draw, but share our predictions with each other.

img_1245

AJ fell asleep at 9:56, two minutes after telling Tony he was excited about the 10:00 balloon. After setting my timer for 11:55, I fell asleep as well. I woke up both guys, Tony yelled at me and Anthony was confused and just gave dirty looks.

After I “forced” them to watch the ball drop, Tony grumbled back to bed and Anthony went back to sleep only to wake up at 5:50.

All in all, I think we had the best New Year’s Eve in a long time. I need to make even better activities for next year. Looking forward to having another quiet and entertaining night with my family of three next New Years.

img_1246

Fly on the Wall

FOTWWWW2

Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 8 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes

Participants:

Mommy: AKA Karen, me…the wife and mom 

Daddy: AKA Tony, husband and dad

AJ – our only child, a 7 year old boy who thinks he knows it all and is the one in charge

Bonus – our sweet and lovable adopted rat terrier 

Trying to teach AJ that when the mean kids and bullies say mean things to him, he should just look at them, roll his eyes and say “Whatever.”

I would like him to say, “Seriously? Are you so miserable and get shit attention at home that you have to come to school and be huge dicks to everyone? Too bad your opinions mean shit to me. Oh and if you touch me, I will punch you back three times as hard, so make your decision now dumbass.” But maybe when he’s older.

bbb

AJ is eating a croissant and a piece of it falls to the floor. Since he loves them so much he steps on it with his bare, unwashed feet, to prevent Bonus from getting it. Then quickly puts it in his mouth.

I stared at him in horror and after a second he looks at me and cringes. “I didn’t mean to do that.” As he runs to the garbage to spit it out. 

“Perhaps if you just let Bonus have it you wouldn’t have eaten your own foot stink.” 

He laughs at the foot stink and takes it to heart for about five minutes…then it’s back to silly boy behavior again.

Tony is with AJ in the mornings and at times has epic battles to get ready for school. Since someone was a zombie in front of the TV, he walked over and calmly told him, “Put your shoes and socks on.” 

My snarky kid responded with, “Well obviously Daddy, I have to put my clothes on first.” 

Tony said he had to take a deep breath and walk away. Of course he came back to a 7 year old standing in front of the TV fully dressed SANS socks and shoes. ***eye twitches*** 

As Tony was dropping off AJ in the car line AJ was complaining about getting out five cars back. Tony told him he has to wait till they are the 2nd car, no excuses. AJ did not like this and was complaining the entire time. When they finally were the second car, AJ jumped out and screamed, “Thank God, fresh air!” Of course the custodian and police officer who handle drop off heard AJ scream, I mean how could they not? They looked at Tony and smirked. 

I had a talk with AJ about. He of course thought it was super funny. I had to keep my poker face, but I have to to agree with him. It was hysterical. I would have loved to been a fly in that car.

Scrolling through Netflix, “What’s this show, Mommy?”

“Oh that’s Bob Ross. He painted on TV and we all watched. It was really calming, it was relaxing to watch him paint.”

“Well that’s weird. you just watched him paint. You adults watch weird shows” As he puts on some animated, mind sucking, stupid cartoon crap.

ross

mansion

“What would you do if you won the lottery mommy?”

“I would pay off all of our bills and buy a house I never have to worry about a payment on the house.”

“With lots of bedrooms like a mansion?

“No I would just be happy with a three bedroom house. I would put a lot of money into your future for education and and to buy a home.”

“Well if I win the lottery I’m going to buy a big house with more than three bedrooms. Though some of my seven kids may need to share a room, but they won’t share a bed. The will have bunk beds.”

“Well that’s a great plan you have there. I hope I get to babysit your kids.”

“Of course, you are my Mommy.”  

bbb2

I don;t have to share my marshmallows with anyone else, right?

Nope, you are an only child, so get extra and don’t have to share them with any other kids.

 

He only wanted this for the candy. Next year I’m just buying him the flipping candy and saving myself the stress of putting it together.

bbb3

 

July Fly on the Wall

FOTWWWW2

Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 13 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes

Participants:

Mommy: AKA Karen, me…the wife and mom 

Daddy: AKA Tony, husband and dad

AJ – our only child, a 7 year old boy who thinks he knows it all and is the one in charge

Bonus – our sweet and lovable adopted rat terrier 

AJ:

As I dropped him off at the Boys and Girls club for summer camp, the assistant director said to Anthony. “You need to tell me a story.”

Why am I not surprised, he tells the best stories with his Italian hands moving all around.

While play wrestling with Daddy, “Take it easy, I’m just 7 years old.”

 

“Oh man, my fart stinks so bad.” then laughs hysterically

AJ never lets me rub his head, back, or kiss him unless it’s on his terms. Of course, when he’s sick or hurt kisses are must and back rubs are essential for a good night’s sleep.

So the other morning I said to him. “At least Bonus lets me kiss her.”

AJ: “That’s because she’s a dog and can’t wipe off your kisses. She doesn’t know she can do that.”

Well excuse the F out of me dude.

penis post

This then led to another question during a nature show. An animal was giving brith, I don’t remember what mammal, but Anthony looked at me and said. “I though babies came out of the stomach, that baby didn’t come out of the stomach.

I knew were this was going.

“Yes, well when animals give birth the babies come out of the mommy’s vagina.” He looks at me in a combination of shock, horror, and disgust.

“What? But I came out of your stomach.”

“Well that’s because they had to cut you out because you were born early. Sometimes that happens and other times they come out of the vagina.”

Thankfully no questions about how the babies go tin there. Though if they did I would have had no issues in giving him direct answers that are

I have been trying to be more patient with AJ and not raise my voice. Today during his haircut he asked for a lollipop. Since it was not yet 12 noon, the barber said are you sure your mom will be okay with it. He swore I would be.

Of course I told him he had to each his lunch first. He groaned, but once we got int he car I knew I was going to hear major begging.

“I need to eat it now.”
“No, you have to have lunch first.”
“But I’m starving and I really want it.”
“I gave you my answer and the conversation is over.”
“I want it now!”
“Asked and answered.”
“I WANT IT NOW, MOMMY.”
“Asked and answered.”
“But, Mommy. I want it now. It’s mine and I should be able to eat it now.”
“Asked and answered.”
“Stop saying that. I want it now.”
“Asked and answered.”
“OH MY GOD, STOP SAYING THAT MOMMY. I AM GOING TO SAY THAT TOO NOW. ASKED AND ANSWERED. I WANT IT YOU MEAN MOMMY. IT’S MINE. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.” Then he screams at the top of his lungs and glares at me. Five seconds later we are pulling into the driveway.

He DID put it on the counter and eat all his lunch first. I told him I was proud of him for not opening it anyway and eating it.

 

 

 

Fly on the Wall April

FOTWWWW2

 

Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 13 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes

 

Participants:

Mommy: AKA Karen, me…the wife and mom 

Daddy: AKA Tony, husband and dad

AJ – our only child, a 6 year old boy who thinks he knows it all and is the one in charge

Bonus – our sweet and lovable adopted rat terrier puppy 

AJ:

rolling eyes

lego bad guys

While AJ’s building with Legos… “These are bad guys and this is their hangout. They have fun and make bad decisions”.

AJ was walking with me as I walked Bonus. I told him he would be too tired after being at the playground for two hours. Of course his exhaustion hit him half way into the walk.

“Is there anywhere I can lay down?” Then proceeds to sit on the sidewalk as Bonus does her business.

I was trying to help him with his seat belt issues he was having. Tony was driving so I couldn’t lean back and across like I normally do. “Don’t worry, Mommy. I have my ways.” Apparently he does, but he fixed it all on his own.

Comes out of his room as Tony was grilling burgers and hot dogs. “Are you grilling? I love these days. It smells so good.”.

Anthony saw me watching a movie about a couple getting married.

AJ: “Eeeeew!”
Mommy: “Why ewwwww?”
AJ: “Because I don’t like that stuff.”
Mommy: “Oh that’s right. You don’t like kisses and marriage.”
AJ: “I’m only into shooting stuff.”

He stayed over his Aunt Julieann and Uncle Adam’s house when we celebrated our anniversary dinner out. In the past he refused to eat eggs, but after Uncle Adam introduced him to a frittata, he loved it. So I had to get the exact directions and made “Adam’s eggs” for him.

PicMonkey Collage3

Poor guy got sick with strep throat, so he only made it to one day of Karate Jedi Camp. Thankfully between my dad and the sitter, he is in good hands. According to AJ…

“The best thing about being sick is getting lots of fruit and ice pops.”

PicMonkey Collage2

AJ & Bonus:

AJ had off this week, but Tony and I didn’t, so AJ spent three days with my parents on his “own vacation” and Bonus was with pet sitter. Needless to say both had LOTS of fun.

PicMonkey Collage

Bonus:

Such a spoiled little girl. All the extra attention has worn her out and she just fell asleep while I rubbed her belly.

spoiled bonus

Fly on the Wall March

FOTWWWW2

 

Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 12 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes

Participants:

Mommy: AKA Karen, me…the wife and mom 

Daddy: AKA Tony, husband and dad

AJ – our only child, a 6 year old boy who thinks he knows it all and is the one in charge

Bonus – our sweet and lovable adopted rat terrier puppy 

AJ:

AJ didn’t win the pine derby race, but he had a blast. It was an interesting experience for us all. An older cub scout said to him. “It’s okay, now next year you make work more on your car and make an upgrade.”

I told him next year he should make a sketch of what he wants his car to look like, then him and daddy could create that.

84477a6d-d6bf-4584-a08b-d8ded0fe7d1b

He got his green belt in karate!!!! I am so proud of him. It’s a tough test as it requires him to exercise before and during the test. It’s harder tests from here on out, but he did it. I think he liked being with the older kids and doing the harder test…even though it wore him out.

finished

senseii

Seven belts down (including the green belt). Now he has to earn his green stripe, 3 different degrees of brown belt, then he can start training for his black belt.

belts

AJ was taking a long time in the bathroom one morning. So I asked, “Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, I’m just daydreaming.”

“Okay, well I do that all the time. Lots of people daydream, it gives them great ideas.”

“I’m daydreaming about why I’m not a superhero and don’t have powers.”

Please don’t go in the bedroom yet, I just put the light on and Daddy is waking up. Poor guy needs a few minutes to wake up.

Laughing at me, “Mommy, poor guy means he has no money, not that he is sleeping.”

“Well, it also means when you feel bad for someone. Like poor guy broke his leg and is in a cast for three months. You have to hear how it’s used to see if it;s about money or feeling bad for someone.”

We’re reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In chapter 3, Harry Potter is sitting down for breakfast at the Weasley’s house after being rescued from his evil aunt and uncle.

Anthony: Why did Ginny run upstairs?
Me: She’s embarrassed to see Harry at the table. She likes him.
Anthony: Oh maybe she wants to marry him.
Me: Maybe, but they are only kids
Anthony: When they are older, she may want to kiss him and marry him.
Giggle snort…little does he know

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anthony: What is that number called again, where they need to go?
Me: 9 and 3/4, they need to walk through it. Remember?
Anthony: I think someone a spell on it so Harry couldn’t go to school
Me: Who do you think did it?
Anthony: You tell me. You already know
Me: I want you to discover it for yourself
Anthony: I think Snape because he didn’t like him, even though he protected him. It could be Voldemort, because he doesn’t have a body and doesn’t want school protecting him.
Me: Those are some great guesses.

Anthony playing with Legos after being inspired by a Lego Documentary. After a while the building turned into his typical boy playing with sound effects.

Anthony saying goodnight to Bonus. Yes he’s talking about Africa and Antarctica, he’s a bit obsessed with them lately.

AJ had to create a leprechaun trap for school. It may not have been the prettiest, but once the little guy gets in there, he will have a hard time getting out.

leprechan trap collage

Since he had to leave his trap in school, we created another one for our home. The cheeky little leprechaun painted happy faces on walls and doors and painted a mustache and bear on Anthony’s school photo. At least he left him chocolates and coins.

PicMonkey Collage

Bonus:

Walking Bonus has been embarrassing. She is now obsessed with marking EVERYTHING. She just can’t enjoy the walk and get exercise. Nope, she has to keep trying to pee and poop every five feet. It’s exhausting and annoying. She is like a mad woman and nothing stops her.

There goes me trying to get exercise by waling her. I mean who has heard of a rat terrier who doesn’t want to take long walks.

Don’t Be a Jerk

jerk

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week, 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Secret Subject Swap

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**

My subject is: What do you do when you are in a public place and see someone treating a waitress/cashier, etc. rudely? Do you do/say anything or just wish you did?

It was submitted by: http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

Most often I want to just scream WHAT THE F*CK IS WRONG WITH YOU???? Hell, I want to scream that a few times each day. I usually just scream it in my head and wish I could be like Nilma from Raising Helen. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that every time someone is rude, smug, arrogant, or takes advantages of others.

I usually just make snarky comments about the situation to the person who was verbally attacked.

Both Tony and I have said, out loud, to wait staff, clerks, and cashiers how bad we feel for them or can’t believe they were treated like that. We don’t speak directly to the crazy people. You just never know these days, but passive-aggressive, snarky comments always work.

Sometimes Tony will make ask for an insane favor or just say I thought it was your job to do be treated that way, to make the person laugh and try to make them feel better.

I normally am a nice person, despite what Tony may say. I try to treat everyone respectfully. The problem is my inner thoughts and feelings show on my face. I really can’t hide I feel, because it’s written all over my face. Outraged, angered, confused, amused, curious, or surprised…you can see it all.

Or maybe I can be like Mrs. Weasley and destroy all the crazies? Love her crazy, mama bear, don’t mess with me face at the end.

If my son was in charge, he’d sing this all day.It’s pretty darn true. I should start singing this when people are rude.

 

Fly on the Wall February

FOTWWWW2

 

Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 12 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes

Participants:

Mommy: AKA Karen, me…the wife and mom 

Daddy: AKA Tony, husband and dad

AJ – our only child, a 6 year old boy who thinks he knows it all and is the one in charge

Bonus – our sweet and lovable adopted rat terrier puppy 

AJ:

My dad came with me to drop AJ off at Karate for sparring and class afterwards. While all decked out in his sparring gear, my dad joked with him.

“How are you going to pick your nose with those gloves on?”

AJ gave him dirty look then looked at the other kids and whispered. “Don’t embarss me Pop Pop.”

While working on a puzzle. “Don’t just stand there, help me mommy.”

All I can do is laugh. I love his snarky comments. This is one of the things he gets from me and I have to say I’m pretty proud of that.

puzzle

All decked out in his Cub Scouts outfit. This coming week will be busy. One one night we will have his karate test for his green belt, then have to rush to get to the weigh in for his pine derby race. I hope we can make it in time as it ends at 8 pm. Though I am worried if the car needs to be fixed to meet the 5 oz I won’t know what to do…since Tony can only take for the race the next day.

cub scout

Bonus just loves AJ. It looks like he is hurting her or forcing her to stay, but in reality she loves being curled up into him. She will stay under him lavishing in his attention until she hears someone in the kitchen.

bonus and anthony

AJ loving his look for MISMATCH DAY at school.

mismatch day

Tony:

Tony has been repeating “Chicken parrm. It tastes so good.” Apparently it;s from a commercial. Now Anthony has been repeating it as well. Like father, like son…and mommy wants to cry.

Tony puts away cleaned utensils. “Look I’m putting away utensils. Do I get husband points?”

“No, You’re doing your fair share. I’m not thanking you for what you SHOULD be doing.”

I get a ‘once again I’m wrong look‘.

Tony complains after I tell him to leave the bathroom light on while I put AJ to bed. I don;’t want to come out to a dark living room.

“Man, it’s tough to live in this house with all the rules.”

“It’s tough living with a man-child.”

While getting AJ ready for bed, he said to me. “You’re suppressed to put my pajama pants on first.”

“Well someone stole them…ahem.” I look at Bonus.

Tony calls form the bedroom in a hurt voice. “What? I’m being blamed for that now too?”

“What is wrong with you? I’m obviously talking about Bonus.”

I am trying to get Bonus to stop biting feet, socks, and clothes to get attention. THen I see TOny letting Bonbus nibble on his feet. “Why are you letting her bite your feet.?”

“I’m playing with her.”

“She’s a dog, not a kid. She needs to know biting your feet is NOT okay.  You’re teaching her to bite people’s feet. Please use your brain.”

I know I sound mean, but sometimes I would like to not be the only adult in this house.

BONUS:

She loves to look out the window and feel the sun’s rays.

bonus sun2

I had to close the blinds and curtain one day, since it was getting cold and windy…and was leaving. She was pissed off and she let me know it. Heck she will let us know when she’s mad or insulted. She even told off Tony for getting her in trouble with me…refer to the biting his toes incident above. 

bonus sun

Do We Stay or Do We Go?

Untitled

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.

I’m using:

one ~ without ~ two ~ stretch ~ three ~ result
They were submitted by: http://Bakinginatornado.com   

So, as we complete our fourth year renting our apartment we have to make a decision. Do we stay in a small 950 square foot apartment or do we try to look for something bigger and more expensive?

Sure with only one child it is easier to live in a small space, but we are making due without a bigger kitchen, bathroom, and playroom for AJ. Yes, we have two bedrooms, but, but we have limited room to stretch out and really find our own personal space. With three people and a dog it can get crazy and cramped, as a result I often want to crawl through a hidden portal and get away for a few moments. Now I REALLY wish there was a hidden portal in the bathroom. Maybe there is and my son and dog are checking to make sure I don’t find and use it.

My brother in law helped hubby and I reorganize our finances and plan for the future. Knowing we can save more if we stay put is a big factor, but there are MANY negative and positives of living small. On the flip side more space is nice, but is it worth it? I listed all the positives and negatives of staying or going. What do you think?

 

The positives:

  • CLOSE TO TOWN – There is no need to drive to events happening on main street. nearby stores, library, or movie theater. We can just walk there.
  • LESS POWER OUTAGES: In our location we have few power outages than those neighborhoods further away from main street
  • BIGGER DRIVEWAY: Makes it easier for company, parking, just hanging out, and having a barbecue
  • LESS RENT: The bigger the place, the more the rent. So having a smaller places keeps us from paying too much…which means more money in our savings.
  • BACKYARD: While it’s not level or private, it’s still there. We can still do a few things in the yard…gardening, digging… (any other ideas?)
  • STORAGE: Lots of storage. Though this is bad for hubby as he has over done it. We are going to have to work on cleaning some of it out!
  • LOWER LEVEL ENTRANCE: No stairs to go up and down. I remember when we lived in a condo with stairs. I had to lug a new-born AJ into a carrier and lug him across a parking lot, just for Balboa go out. Most times Balboa had to go out at the worst times. Now we just take Bonus right out the door, so much easier.
  • CLOSE TO AFTER SCHOOL PLACE: Next year he’ll finally be able to join the after school place near our apartment and his school. He can walk from his school to the club, then on nice days I can walk to pick him up. The walk will be great for all of us, including Bonus. This place is also open on half days, teacher PD days, and when the school is off for both winter and spring recess-perfect for working parents.

The Negatives:

  • LOUD AND RUDE RESTAURANT ON THE CORNER: At least in the summer we have an AC to block out the noise. In the winter, now with their fire pit they plan on getting, they can make incredible amounts of noise. It was so loud New Years Eve I can hear what the band members are saying between songs. NOT FAIR AT ALL. YES we have called the police, though the restaurant seems to get away with it. Strange, don’t you think?
  • SUCKS IN THE SNOW – When there’s a lot of snow, the road plows block the spot where we put our garbage cans making the cans overflow into our driveway…making it tough to get in our driveway. We are on a busy street, so stopping to move them is impossible. PLUS, snow gets piled up in our driveway making it difficult to turn our cars around in the witter. I HATE IT.
  • VERY SMALL; Yes it’s small for three people and a dog. One of which is a loud boy who likes to jump, run, and scream. At only 950 square feet it’s a challenge to make sure everyone has their own space.
    • Our kitchen is TINY and the door opens right into the kitchen. There is no hallway, the door literally opens and you are standing in the middle of the kitchen. having a door poking you in the back makes it annoying when cooking. A small kitchen means no storage or counter space at all
    • No play room for AJ. While AJ will play in his room some times, I don’t want to banish him to his room all the time. He wants to be with us and hang out in the living room..which makes a small space even tiny when filled with toys.
  • OLD APPLIANCES: Our fridge was replaced with a new one about a year ago which is lovely. The stove is going to break down soon, I just know it. The washer had to be repaired and I’m sure in the next few years both the washer and dryer will need to be replaced or at least repaired again.
  • BUSY ROAD WITH A STOP SIGN; We are on the corner of a busy road, right next to a stop sign. Which means cars either zooming by after making a turn onto our road or waiting in a long line to stop then go. That means it’s impossible to get out of the driveway most times. Seriously, people will very rarely let us go even when they are just waiting to sit at a stop sign.
NEW kitchen collage

OUR TINY KITCHEN. Yes, that’s it. The fridge and door is out of the pic to the left. It looks messy, but I was getting ready for work and had everything all set to be prepped and bagged.

YES, I know the living room is messy, but at least it’s better than it usually is with AJ and all his toys.

living room collage 1

Now we have a long run from the kitchen to the living room. The round kitchen table is in front of the basement door (between the bedroom doors) and will only be taken out to a larger area if all three of us are eating.

living room collage 2

Having this long space now gives Anthony and Bonus to move around, run, and play…especially on cold winter days.

 

“We CAN try to find something bigger. I mean bigger is better, right?”

Positives of renting a BIGGER place:

  • MORE SPACE: AJ will have more room to play, spread out, and for privacy. Maybe even a second bathroom for guests and a spot for a pee pee pad for Bonus instead of taking her out in the middle of the night.
  • BIGGER KITCHEN: That would give me more counter space and a larger fridge. I could do more cooking, keep more fresh food on hand, and not feel cramped when cooking.
  • NO NOISY RESTAURANT: We could finally get away from that awful restaurant that makes too much noise.

Negatives of renting a BIGGER place:

  • MORE RENT: The rent will be higher, I mean what we are paying right now, is great and I don’t want to spend even more on rent (that goes into nothing) just for more space.
  • NEW SCHOOL???: Will AJ have to go to a new school? I rather stay put for four more years just so he can stay in the school he knows and loves. IF we have to move I rather wait till he starts middle school. Maybe by then we can find something we can afford and still stay in the same school zone…which will be bigger since there are only TWO middle schools as opposed to FIVE elementary schools.
    • On a note, two of those five middle schools are out of the questions. One Tony works in as a custodian and the other has the team who denied AJ any services while he was in day care as a three and four year old. I refuse to let them get their hands on him after the team at his current school is amazing.
  • TOO FAR FROM TOWN: We would have to start driving into town and parking in over-crowded lots. I know that doesn’t seem bad, but lately there are NO SPOTS anywhere.
  • UNKNOWNS: The evils you know are better than the evils you don’t know. We could have awful neighbors, more power outages, limited storage, terrible roads in the winter, or a horrible landlord.
  • MORE TO CLEAN: I hate cleaning as it is and feel like there’s too much even with our tiny place. Imagine how much there would be to clean in a bigger place?

 

“If we commit to staying, then we have to start living small instead of cramming big living into a small space.” 

IF we stay, we’ll need too…

  • REORGANIZE AJ’S ROOM AND CLOSET: I’m going to have to “lose” some of his toys he doesn’t play with or are broken or have missing pieces. I’m going to hang all his clothes in the closet (except for undergarments, socks and pjs). We’ll put that extra and now unused dresser in storage.
    • One less dresser means more room to play and spread out. Now that he is older, he can easily use a stool to get his clothes.
    • Down the road…when he starts middle school…I’d like to get him a bunk bed with a desk, chair, and dresser underneath. Right now, I can see him jumping off the bunk bed and breaking both his arms and legs.
  • KEEP FURNITURE OUT OF THE WAY WHEN NOT IN USE.  We have a basement and do use some of it for storage. Though it’s not furnished nor is it safe to hang out in for long periods of time. We use the back of the door and shelves at top for a makeshift pantry and catchall. I have moved the small round dining table that folds down on both sides near the door. We only move it out when we are eating. There is only one chair there, two are stacked up near another wall, and the fourth is in AJ’s room. We only move the table out when we need to eat or play board games. By having it against he wall, we now have a long path from the kitchen to the end of the living room.
  • TALLER ENTERTAINMENT STAND: The key to storage in a small apartment is building up not out. Therefore we will have to look into a taller entertainment stand. I don’t want to have more stuff, just know it will get everything up off the floor to give us more living space.
  • DOWNSIZE WARDROBE: Really downsize it.  I know there’s lots of tips on how to have a capsule wardrobe and I need to work on that when I’m on February break.

Any advice or suggestions?

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts