Yesterday we finally were able to get Hunter in to see a Pediatric Gastroenterologist.  I've asked his pediatrician for years about his weight, or lack of it, but was always told that I was little therefore my kid was too.

Last year I switched pediatricians and the first thing she said to Hunter when she walked in was, "Whoa- you are one skinny kid"- she saw it right away.  The first thing she did was send us to see a dietician/nutritionist.  All of that checked out, so the next step was the GI doc which took three months to get into.  I knew in the back of my mind what the diagnosis would be, but seeing it in black and white took my breath away...

Failure to thrive.

He is 4'10 and weighs in at 67#.  The doctor suspects that his stomach does not empty as fast as it should.  A large breakfast for him can hold him over until the next morning.  We saw for years that breakfast was his best meal of the day, but the rest of the day he barely touched anything to eat.  When he was in public school he was on high doses of ADHD and anxiety meds- all which have weight loss as a side effect.  For years we wrote off his low weight to that, but now that he's been home and off meds for almost two years we are still not seeing any weight gain.

He will be going in to have a nuclear gastric emptying test performed, followed by a endoscopy/colonscopy.  Not only am I complete wreck at knowing there is something wrong with my son, it is further compounded by the fact that we were dropped from our medical insurance when the strike went into effect.  Hunter being the good natured kid that he is said that maybe they'd find money coming out his wazoo.  I love that boy.

When it rains it pours, right?   But the sun has to peek out at some point...

Still Out of Control

This gives a much better explanation of what our refinery workers are fighting for...


Laundry room progress...

Since Travis has this chunk of time off due to the strike we decided to go ahead and finish out the laundry room.   This is a budget friendly redo and we didn't end up using some of the materials we had originally wanted.  The sink we were searching for never materialized, so we are going with a standard plastic utility sink, but we will frame it out and skirt it and I'm sure it will turn out just fine.

this was the sink we ordered from rejuvination.com but it was just too shallow.  They have the most amazing customer service though, and took it back with no hassle!

We started out with some planked wood...

The original walls were cinderblock.  This is the fire wall between the town homes, it has a subway-ish look to it, but I wanted something a little cleaner looking.  We decided to plank this wall along with the ceiling...

This is the ceiling planked.  There will be three small light fixtures in this room- one over the dryer and two over the washer/sink area.

Travis used 2x3's studs to create a base for the planks to attach to.

The planks are up, but a trim piece will be needed at the top to hide the not so straight wall.  Older home walls, heck even newer home walls, are just never straight!

Yesterday he worked on the dryer side of the room.  To the left will be the utility closet, similar to the one we built in our last laundry room...

To the right of the cabinet is the dryer.  We had to split up the washer and dryer because orignially the dryer was vented into the house.  Yes, INTO the house.  The only way to correctly run the vent to the outside was up and onto the flat roof over the garage.  This meant moving the dryer to the opposite wall.

I ended up selecting some lights from Barn Light Electric.  I've got several of their lights and they are my go to for style, function and price point.  At $30 a light this was a good choice...

The walls and cabinet will be painted out in SW White Duck with SW Iron Ore on the table tops over the washer and dryer.  Originally we were going to have the large slab of soapstone cut for this space, but given the strike and not wanting to spend extra money, we are just going to go with wood.  This can be changed later if we want to.  

So there you have it.  This little laundry room will always be known as the room the strike of 2015 built ;)


The nose knows...

Every once in a while I receive an email or IG comment asking me questions about our renovations, or where I found an item for the house.   This week I got an email asking me something a little more personal.  I'm an open book kind of person, and although I don't put it all on the blog I am always willing to share how I came to be who I am if asked.

"Laura" emailed me a question about piercing my nose.  I love that she is thouroughly thinking the decision through.  I'm a little more of a "eh, let's do this!" without thinking kind of girl.  She asked some great questions, so I thought I'd share them with you.

Was reading another blog and came across your comment, "...I'm 45, quit my teaching job, pierced my nose and I paint with our oldest daughter who has Down Syndrome." Hope you don't mind writing you.  I found your blog, and love your dedication to family and homeschooling!  
As I read your blog, I noticed you have a pierced nose and I just keep dreaming about one.  You're one step ahead having gone ahead and done yours.   Wherever I see your face and your nose stud, its just perfect in your nose and makes your face truly light up. Admit to a little envy.   I  love it.  
For me, getting my nose pierced  has been on my bucket list since college and now is # 1 as one of those  " Things to do before 40. Also, I'm preoccupied with getting a nose piercing:) Am I crazy? 
I've put having my nose on the back burner since college (FUNNY STORY AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST). I've always thought of as a tiny bit of self-expression, a smidgen of rebellion, and a sprinkle of hope that I’ll ...have a bit of freedom and independence that I so crave. Recently, I've had this dream with a sparkly stud in my nose. Unfortunately, when I woke up, it wasn't there! I've been trying to get up the nerve to do it. Have to admit that seeing your pretty face,  and cute, small nose stud has provided a sense of inspiration and realism to my quest. Am not sure what has spurned my dream nor strong desire to have it done. 
I  don't know if you had this problem., but I keep obsessing about getting a nose piercing and keep promising myself to just get it done. However, I keep searching for reasons that an almost 40 something  woman should get her nose pierced facing this dilemma, but still wanting to feel sexy and attractive to my husband. I've always really liked the idea of a small nose stud, but I never did it because I'm was afraid what others might think..
Wonder if maybe I'm a bit too old to just be getting my nose pierced. I'm 39. I know people my age who have them, but they've had them quite a while. I kept going through the tough question, "...am I too old?" Would this look like a mid-life crisis thing [?] I keep seeing others in their late 40's, 50's and even one women with all grey hair, cut short who must have been 60+.

Am searching for some advice when you had your nose pierced. I suspect you faced all these questions, so I hope you won't mind me asking:

What was the " tipping point " that made you finally go ahead and do it unlike me constantly obsessing about it?
Was there an event or person who influenced you to go ahead and have it done or " I had it done because____"

Well Laura, there is a story behind the nose piercing.  There are a couple of reasons I did it, but have not shared much here.  

A few years ago I quit teaching public school.  It was an easy decision for me because after five years of struggling to conform and fit in, it was apparent that my way of thinking and teaching was never going to fit the mainstream school system.  I believe that instead of taking a child and identifying his/her deficits, we should identify their strengths and build on that.  Public schools like to figure out what you suck at and then jam it down your throat until you not only suck at something, but you despise it as well.  I saw it first hand with my own children, and then from the inside as a teacher.  When I finally quit and pulled our youngest out to homeschool it felt liberating, and also like I'd survived a near death experience.  Trying to fit in and changing who I was took a toll on me.  A few years of therapy and the freedom to be creative and teach the way I knew it needed to be done fixed that.  

During the time that I was teaching our youngest daughter was going through some problems of her own.  I'm not going to go completely into what her issues were here, because it's her story to tell, but I will say that it was a very scary couple of years for us and I was so worried we were going to lose her.   While she was in therapy the therapist suggested that we do some mom/daughter bonding activities.  Anne suggested piercings.  I was thinking pedicures.  

At the piercing studio I kept looking at all the pictures of piercings and tried to imagine what would be "appropriate" for a forty something woman.  Whose to say what that is exactly, but  I had always admired nose piercings and thought that if I just put a teensy stud in then it would be hardly noticeable.  Anne held my hand as the piercer marked and pierced my nose.  It hurt, but not in a pass out from the pain kind of way.  Afterwards it felt like something was in my nose, but now I forget that the screw stud is even there.  

Why did I do it?  Well, for a few reasons. 

1. Because I could.  I was no longer expected to look a certain way for anyone other than myself.

2.  It was a cool bonding experience with my daughter.  I held her hand, she held mine- and it's cool that we got to experience that together.  It was one of the first steps to mending our relationship. 

3.  I felt that it was an expression of my artistic/non-conformist side.  I don't fit the mold and I am very okay with that.  

4.  If not now, when?  So what if I'm in my 40's?  It's my nose and I may rock this piercing right into my 70's.  

Did it hurt and how long have you had your nose pierced?

Yep, it hurt, but only for a little bit.  It felt like a shot really, and then nothing.  
Did you have it done with a needle or one of those newer piercing instrument that looks like a gun? Your placement is perfect on your nose.

The pierced used a needle.  He marked it and had a good eye for placement.  Go to someone reputable whose work you have seen firsthand. 

How did you decide left or right?

I chose the right side because I sleep on my left side.  I knew I would not wear a hoop, so I didn't want to be rubbing my face on my pillow and wake up missing the screw stud.  I don't take it off much, it makes me squeamish to mess with it, lol!

How did you find a piercer?

I went to a local piercer who has a very good reputation.  Anne had several of her piercings done there and the guy was very nice.

Did they numb your nose?

Nope.  And they don't do that as a rule. Part of the experience of tattoos and piercings is the pain.  I'm not a fan of pain and this one didn't hurt much.

How did you chose the size of your nose stud (yours looks great)?

I literally went with the tiniest nose stud I could find.  Anne jokes that it is a "diamond flake".

Was your husband supportive of your decision?

Absolutely- and he is very honest with me.  I'd love to actually get a nose job one day and he always tells me no.   Piercings and tats are okay in our family.  (but apparently me having a smaller nose isn't!)

Was it worth it?


Would you do it again?

Yes, I would.

How did friends and family handle it? Were they supportive?

My 87 year old dad told me it was a phase and I'd outgrow it.  No one else really commented on it.  I didn't make a big deal out of it so they didn't either.

How  did you feel and are you still happy with the decision?

At first I felt a bit self conscious about it, because I just wasn't used to seeing anything on the side of my nose.  The starter stud looked HUGE to me, but once I was able to put a smaller one in I hardly notice it now.

Ever thought of wearing a nose ring vs. stud?

I'm not a fan of the nose ring.  It looks so pirate like to me.  I love the nose studs and have admired them since I was a little girl.  I'm not a big jewelry person, so the tiny stud fits me.

Seeing how cute your look with your nose pierced, have you inspired other women to get their noses pierced too?

Laura, if you pierce yours then yes.  Other than that I don't think any of my friends have run out to pierce anything!

Am I  crazy at almost  40 wanting my nose pierced?

This wasn't my first body piercing.  I had my belly button and eyebrow pierced when I was in my 20's.  In high school I was that punk rock girl with the pierced lip.  Whose to say what age is okay for what type of self expression?  I like my little nose piercing- it fits me and my personality.  I really don't give a flip what someone else thinks of it, so in short, no you are not crazy.

Tricia, You seem to have mastered the difficulties and suspect your are still loving your nose stud. Am really wanting of a nose ring, but will settle for a teeny, tiny, diamond stud to feel special and pretty and feminine.
Thanks in advance for any help.


So tiny you can hardly see it ; )

I hope that answered your questions, and I really hope you just jump in and do it!  How we dress, wear our hair, the jewelry we choose- all of that is an expression of who we are.  Be true to YOU and don't worry about what the rest of the flock are doing.  Chances are they are all looking at you wishing they could be a little more expressive ;)



My husband's company is on strike.  You may have heard a bit about it in the news.  We got the call last Saturday at midnight.  I'm not going to lie- it's been stressful and my head is a bit foggy.

We have spent the week staying busy- me with homeschooling and Travis has been playing handyman for one of my dear friends.  This woman was so sweet to message me on FB and ask if Travis wanted to earn a little extra money.  Honestly, I value the fact that his hands and mind are busy over any money he could earn right now.  He is pretty emotional about all of this, and strangely enough I am playing the part of the calm one.  (don't ask me how!)

I just checked my comments a while ago and someone, anonymously of course, was kind enough to point out that I had misspelled a word in my last post.  Thank you for that.  I think it's good to remind myself that I'm not perfect, because I'm not.  (i before e, except after c!) 

Travis has been working his shift on the picket line, and we both participated in our first rally yesterday.  I gotta tell you,  I was never in a sorority or group in college, but this feeling of solidarity and rooting for something bigger than yourself?  Well, that was just plain cool.

I've had a week to put in the books.  A few "friends" spouted off their opinions of unions to me (which really, fine- have an opinion, just don't voice it to the girl whose husband is out of work due to a strike!), we do not have health insurance right now which means I will probably get the worst sinus infection of my life (kidding, sort of), and I have receieved a few hate comments on various social media sites.  Nothing like kicking someone when they are down, right?

But it's all good.   On the flip side, the week also brought me laughter with one of my best friends when I really needed it, a part time job offer for me that would be flexible and still allow me to homeschool,  lazy mornings with my husband and conversation over coffee, and so many supportive and lovely messages from IG and FB friends.

We may go ahead and start our laundry room build- may as well get a few to-do's knocked off the list since Travis is home.   Do me a favor- go out today and build someone up- we have enough tearing down going on right now.