I give up.  This is my 400th post.  It was supposed to be the one I started last week and lost.  I’m STILL working on that one, but since MY laptop will only connect to the internet if it’s in the kitchen…..and none of the other computers have my photographs on them….I’m having a really hard time finishing that post.  It would have been a good 400th post.  Maybe next week I can get around to it.  (Right now I’m using Jim’s laptop as my blogging laptop.)

Anyway, to keep you posted on my happenings….here’s a snapshot of what’s going on right now with us….

1).  Air Conditioner.  We have to move our air conditioner before the end of September due to another complaint to the county about us having it 30″ too close to the neighbor’s fence.  (Backstory: we purchased an air conditioner last summer- debated which side of the house to put it on- decided to put it on the side of our house where our sideyard is the biggest- where our bedrooms are and where the neighbor’s garage and family room is.  We intended to put it 3′ from the fence line, but ended up putting it only 22″ from the fence line (it sits at an angle so the corner is only 22″ from the property line).  I couldn’t find any placement requirements on the county website, so we thought we were OK.)  Had we put it five-feet from the property line it would have been approved by the County. Anyway, our neighbor was concerned it was too loud (even though we purchased a quiet model) so the first time we fired it up someone (we don’t know who- but it’s easy to guess) filed a complaint with the county…and they came out to measure and determined it’s “too close” to the property line.  (We chose to put it along the fence line because we knew that “some day” we might add on at that end of the house- and we needed it to be away from the gate opening.  Anyway- now that our addition is done, we can move it up against the house and away from the fence (which really wasn’t ever going to be the plan).  It will be a full day project and cost a few hundred dollars in materials to move it- grrr.  Our bad I guess.  It will be right outside our bedroom windows, against our house, about 12′ from the neighbor’s fence.  We have a complication with timing though.  Jim works a couple Saturdays this month and the other days are busy with soccer games.  Yikes!

2).  Back to School!  The kids are running crazy with excitement and anxiety.  Brooke not so much- she doesn’t seem to get nervous.  Riley just gets excited, but Trevor seems to be all messed up.  I know he’s anxious about going to Middle School and meeting new kids, having a totally different school format, etc.  He just started football, too.  His first soccer games are starting in a week or so…..so he’s just completely wound up and can’t figure out how to harness that energy.  It comes out with wrestling his sisters, throwing balls in the house, playing soccer in the house, firing Nerf guns at his sisters…basically just being an energetic boy.  Which is hard to deal with when I’ve got babies and toddlers running around witnessing this stuff!

3).  Sports sports sports.  Trevor has football 4 nights a week.  He also has soccer 2 nights a week, but right now the football practice has priority over soccer so he’s simply missing out on practicing with his team.  His first soccer game is the Saturday after Labor Day weekend.   Games this year will be all over the Portland Metro area- including Camas WA, Keizer OR, Newberg, NE Portland, etc.  Yikes.  Did I already say that? Riley is also doing soccer- 2 nights a week, games on Saturdays.  And Brooke and Riley are both taking a dance class.  Riley is tentatively signed up for piano, but I think we’ll slide that to the back burner for another month or so.

4).  Business changes.  For now Jim’s job is stable, but mine sure isn’t!  I had two part-time families sharing a spot- both left at the end of August.  One due to maternity leave, the other due to scheduling difficulties (they needed me to stay open later than I can).  So that’s an opening I have to fill.  I was targeting filling it with a 3-4 year old to make our preschool program a little more exciting this year.  A few days ago, however, I received notice that one of my long-time families is leaving- and they have 2 kids here so that’s 2 more openings.  One of which can be an infant.  Skipping ahead a couple weeks- the only kids I’ll have here all day long are a 5 month old baby and a 3 year old boy.  I have a Kindergartener who will be here at lunch time for the remainder of the day, and of course Trevor Riley and Brooke after school each day.  Here’s where it really gets nuts.  The calls I’m getting are for babies or twin 2-year olds. Picture that: a 6 month old baby, a 3 month old baby, twin 2 year olds and a 3 year old.  Calgon take me away! It will make for a challenging year, but it will make for an awesome group the following couple years since they’ll all be at a preschool age plus the babies will be close in age.  I don’t have anyone signing yet- but those are the calls I’m getting.

5).  Doctor appointments.  So the kids all got their teeth cleaned (cavities for Brooke, none for Trevor or Riley- but Trevor needs to clean his gum area on his lower jaw better- the area under his braces).  Trevor had his 12 year check-up complete with a Tetanus shot and Flu-Mist.  He measured in at 57.75″ (50% for height) and 77 pounds (25% for weight).  The doctor isn’t concerned because since age 3 he’s been steadily tracking that same path- sometimes a little over, sometimes a little under- but still those same chart lines.  Projection is for him to be 5’10” as an adult…..but you never really know do ya?

6). Couponing.  I haven’t had the time to really keep up on it.  Right now I just file away the weekly coupon inserts (I don’t even look at them) and once or twice a week I check the couponing blogs to see what super-deals are available.  Last week it was Bugles corn chips for FREE at Albertson’s.  I stocked up and bought got 6 bags.   I’m finding the hardest part is when the month rolls over- having to clean out my coupon inserts of all the expired coupons- because not ALL the coupons expire at month end!  It would be easier if they did all expire at the same time.  I haven’t been listing any on ebay lately.  I sold about 8 batches in the beginning, another couple batches a few weeks ago….but I’m certainly not making any money on that.

7.) Summer Water Fun.  Trevor didn’t take any swim lessons this summer, Riley took 1 round of lessons, Brooke took all 3 rounds of lessons at our neighborhood association pool.  As a result, at the end of the season Brooke was able to take the swim test and she passed!  She can now go to the pool with her siblings (no parent supervision required) and she is now able to go in the deep end as well.  There are 2 lifeguards at the pool….and although she can go in the deep end they aren’t letting her which I like.  I’m just glad she can go to the pool with her brother and sister.  I’m not able to take her during the work week otherwise.

8.) Remodeling/Addition.  I finally ordered some window treatments for our 3 new windows- they should arrive sometime in the next week or so.  Stil haven’t ordered our closet door.  No jamb/trim up yet for that either.  Hall closets are still empty and bare- need shelving, door jambs, doors hung, etc.  Trevor’s closet doors haven’t been hung either.  Riley finally got a desk in her room with some wall mounted cubbies to keep stuff organized above her desk area.  Trevor still needs shelving to display his trophies and miscellaneous knick-knacks.  We still have some landscaping to do on that side of the house, and we still need to paint window trim and the porch cover.  And no time to do it in!

Anyway- I think that catches you up for now….