Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Camp Aunt Julia

Last week as Jake was preparing to leave for camp several of my friends with older children had facebook status' that read something like this, "Both girls are at camp and we have a week home alone." "Just dropped the older boys at camp and the youngest is spending a week in Chicago with Grandma and grandpa."

I was feeling a little jealous/left out so I called my Sister-in-law, Julia, and suggested she have camp for Isabelle while Jake was gone and then I could have camp for her kids the following week. Well she was all about it and so I am enjoying 48 hours without Isabelle or Jake.

What to do, what to do???

My first, and main, plan was to get control of the toy situation. I started on Monday and got all the toy sorting done. Tuesday I fine tuned our family room, hung some hooks and finished up that area, organized Isabelle's bedroom with the new set of toys I am leaving in that room and organized all her craft supplies.

Sitting at her Dora table on Monday the day before camp.

I found new places for all my books on the bottom two shelves (4 different random locations throughout the house, will I ever find something again?) and moved her toys down there right at the bottom of the stairs. Good idea or bad idea, we will see.

Those 2 black shelves will be hung next to the bookcase low enough for her to reach but above the weeble castle and hello kitty box. I would normally hang those shelves but the last time they were hung John and I weren't speaking when it was done. Hopefully it will go better this time but I have been asked not to do it.

How cute is that. All set up to play house. Jake will now walk out his bedroom door each morning and immediately lay eyes on Isabelle's kitchen. Is this wrong or just preparation for dorm living?

I didn't want to leave Jake totally out of the decor so I slid a chair, tv and the gaming systems into a corner all his own. He is shopping for his own x-box 360 (we currently have taken over grandma's old x-box) and hopefully this will be an acceptable location to play it. Since Isabelle does have a princess game for the Wii she enjoys I guess it isn't totally his own.

Over the past 4 years I have carefully tried to downplay Isabelle's presence in the lower level for Jake's sake. I have kept things in one corner or stored in another room to just come out to play and then go away again. The problem is she doesn't want to play down there when her kitchen is hidden in a little storage room and she has to haul all the weebles into the family room. So then we had lots of toys in her room but they were just getting dumped out all the time because I didn't have room to store them properly. So now her room is for books, games and dolls and the family room is for everything else. I am sure everything will still end up dumped out at times but hopefully with this new system they can be more quickly sorted and put away...By Isabelle! Hopefully Jake can live with it, if not it will be just another thing he can discuss in counseling someday.

After that I dropped some stuff at goodwill, the church and with John's mom. Then I called John to see if he wanted to meet me for coffee. As we were chatting at Starbuck's we decided to run to Home Depot to pick up some supplies for another project I wanted to do, that led to the realization that it was dinner time which led to the realization that we were on a date which led to us seeing Transformers at the theater. Turns out that movies are matinee price on Tuesday all day. Who knew? We might have to move our regular Thursday date night to Tuesday!

Today I had wanted to paint more of the furniture in the gazebo but by the time the weather was ready for me to work I just wasn't feeling it. I did paint 2 more blue squares in my office, now I just have to get some green paint and complete that project. It may be taking forever but each step is rewarding and when it is done I will really appreciate it.

Here is a shot of the new blue squares. Note Isabelle's organized art supplies under the easel, do not note the other junk on the floor.

What I did end up doing was making some phone calls to the IRS, Health Insurance Company, car Insurance Co and to re-order Checks. I know it doesn't sound like fun but while I did have to work through the phone ques on most of those they all ended up to be very rewarding calls.

I found out from the IRS that we can amend our 2007 taxes and potentially get back a few thousand dollars in taxes that we over paid (very long story full of my own laziness and stupidity). I can't wait for my accountant to return from vacation tomorrow!

And from the health insurance co I found out that the guy I talked to in May about how our travel immunizations would be covered wrongly indicated that we had a $500 wellness coverage which would pay for them. However, even though it turns out to not be true they may cover it anyway. They are going to listen to our conversation to see if he mis-represented or not. I assure you he did. I would feel bad if it wasn't for the fact that in almost 10 years of coverage we have never met our deductible and therefore never had a claim paid. I feel well deserving of $2000 in benefits at this point.

I also discovered that my car insurance won't go up this fall when Jake gets his permit, it goes up with the license.

And I battled wits with the woman I ordered checks from and dodged her fast talking that almost cost me another $20 in unnecessary fraud and identity theft insurance.

I Rock! And what a relief to have finally made all those calls I was avoiding.

John is now at fire training for the next few hours and I am feeling a spa night coming on...


  1. We saw Transformers last weekend . . . um, what did you think? I honestly fell asleep during the last "fight" scene! I thought the flick was very loooonnnngggg. =)

  2. Great post Melanie. Love it.