Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beautiful Boy

Leyton has been sick with a case of pink eye and an ear infection.  We've spent the last few days together making each other various degrees of crazy and happy.

He's been really interested in his dog lately and wants Whisky, or as he calls him "Boys" to come with him everywhere.  It is so much fun for me to watch them both bond together and I know that bond will only get stronger.

I captured this picture with my phone of Leyton with his squinty pink eye crusted eyes and Whisky lying together on the floor.  I can't stop looking at it wondering how I got so lucky to have such a beautiful beautiful boy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Steep Raving Cabins

This past weekend the hubs was going to be out of town so I asked my girlfriend Wendy if she wanted to take a road trip with Leyton and I.  I wasn't sure at the time where we would go.  Maybe the city, maybe the ocean, maybe a theme park.  I realized right away that I wanted to go to the ocean.  I figured we could make an overnighter out of it and find a place to throw up a tent and sleep.

I'm not super familiar with camping on/near the coast and have only stayed one place.  The Steep Ravine Environmental Cabins near Stinson Beach.  It was the first place I thought of and knew that while they have cabins that are impossible to get, they also have a camp ground.  I felt like we would be safe there so I went online to ReserveAmerica to see if a camp site was open.  Much to my surprise a cabin was open for Saturday night.  I have been trying to reserve a cabin for over 10 years and never have seen an opening.  I jumped on it and Saturday Wendy and I spent the night there with Leyton.

It was perfect, just like I remembered it (only with new and improved bathrooms) when I was younger.  The cabins are wood with no electricity and no running water.  There is a wood burning stove inside each one and elevated platforms for the bed.  Each cabin has a large window facing the ocean that opens wide up to let in the fresh air.  They are gorgeous.

I'm so happy I got to experience this with Leyton and I hope it's not another 10 years until I get to go back!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Can you help me Judge Judy, it's me Stacey?

I know you have all been waiting with baited breath to hear what the final verdict was on getting our deposit back from the landlord.  I can sum it up for you with one picture.

Bullshit.  When we did our final walk through everything went great.  We chatted about things that were going on in the house, chatted about things we had done to the place and overall just had a pleasant conversation.  Martha was in a Dr. Jekyll mood that day and left telling me how thankful she was to have good tenants, how clean we kept the place and while there were repairs to be done...none of them were at our hands.  I could expect the deposit right away.

On day 21, the final day in which it can show up, the check above showed up.  Our original deposit was $875.  She provided an itemized list of what needed to be done, which I will share with you here.

1. Late charge for May rent.  This is valid as I was hoping to vacate earlier and was waiting for an answer to that question.
2.  Tub repair.  Removed 6 rubber strips placed on the bottom of the tub, strips took off the porcelain.  Valid, there were 6 strips and when we moved most of them had ripped off removing the porcelain underneath.  However, I am not 90 years old and have NEVER put these sort of adhesive strips down anywhere I have lived.  I don't have a trouble falling in the tub.  When Leyton was born the only thing I put in the tub was a no slip mat that SUCTIONED to the bottom of the tub.
3.  Extra paint and labor required to cover yellow paint in the kitchen, vibrant turquoise in back bedroom and a very dark dark blue in the front bedroom.  We lived in our house for almost 13 years.  In that time she painted one room, the living room in 2005.  The one other room I tried to get painted was Leyton's bedroom before he was born.  The wall would get serious mold growing on it and a HUGE section of paint had fallen off the wall.  You can see pictures of this by clicking here.  By April she had not painted, I was due in May, so I hired a painter myself, all of which I paid for.  I had that same man come back and paint this room again, a darker blue in 2011 as well as the kitchen yellow.  After 13 years she is claiming that because she has to paint those rooms it is my responsibility to pay for them.  She is going to paint nothing else inside the house....after THIRTEEN YEARS.  Lord help the next tenants.
4.  One key not returned for the side garage door.  She is charging me $1.50 for this.  No mention to the fact that the key she actually gave me was for the INTERIOR garage door which was not on the list but was returned.  Also, this door knob does not work right anyway so if she did have a key she couldn't lock it.
5.  Labor to replace hole placed in middle of living room/dining room wall at a height of four feet above the baseboards.  Comcast updated all of the old cables in the house and moved our outlet closer to the tv.  They did put it high right behind our tv.  We could have fixed this for less than $5 before we moved if she had mentioned it being an issue in the walk through.  She is charging us $40.
6.  Tenants cut an additional hole in the front bedroom wall for their computer.  Rather than repair the hole a white plastic cover was placed over it.  This was also a Comcast cable...not a HUGE hole.  We removed the wire, filled the hole on the outside of the house and into the wall.  The inside had been painted and we didn't want to put a big white putty mark so we instead bought one of those wall plates to put over it.  Now, the other hole is $40 to fix...this one $20.  It's the same damn hole.
7.  Broken ballast in front window above hole in the wall, part only.  This is wear and tear.  We did nothing to make the window break.  It still went up and down, it just had an inner piece that would slide out.
8.  Broken lock on sliding door.  This will lock, it just will sometimes automatically fall locked if you close the slider hard.  This is wear and tear, we did not cause this to break.
9.  Cleaned: Stove, stove vent, wall and flour surrounding stove, removed acid food stain from side of stove. Cleaned all windows and ledges and window tracks.  Cleaned two bread boards one of which was damaged with a knife.  Removed contact paper from nine drawers.  Cleaned outside of all cabinets and inside too.  Front closet.  I don't even know where to being here.  The place was clean, in fact I PAID someone to come clean it.  The stove is over 40 years old EASILY and is her prized possession.  It's gross, it's yellow, it doesn't even work right.  I didn't put contact paper in anything, I actually HATE contact paper. Oh, and last time I USE A KNIFE ON A DAMN CUTTING BOARD!

In a nutshell, we had a conversation, she was ridiculous (Mr. Hyde) as usual and I am taking her to small claims court.  At this point, while I'd love the money back, it's not even about the money.  It is more about the fact that she is insulting my character by saying that I did all of these things and not paying attention to the fact of ANYTHING I did do.  You can see pictures of what it looked like when I moved out by clicking here.

I'm sick, I'm disgusted, I'm insulted, I'm sad.....and I am ready to fight.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I still got it.

I started swimming when I was about 7 and swam for most of my life until I was in my mid twenties.  A shoulder surgery stopped me and I never quite got back in the pool on a regular basis.  More surgeries and weight got in the way and made it easy to put swimming on the back burner.  I taught water aerobics each summer, but that was a different kind of pool activity...not the lap swimming that I was used to.

West Sacramento has an amazing rec center and last night my girlfriend and I joined.  When I woke up this morning I decided that I was going to take Leyton to daycare early and go swim.  From the moment that decision was made my worry began.  What if I couldn't swim well anymore.  I'm much heavier than I was before.  I've had shoulder surgery, knee surgery and a c section.  I'm also 10 years older than I was back then.

I made myself a goal.  I would go to the pool and try to swim 500 yards, twenty total laps.  Shit, more worry set in though.  What if I couldn't make it that far?  What if I was too tired.  I broke it down even more.  I'd swim 500 yards and if I did stop for breaks it could be no more than every 4 laps and I HAD to do swim turns.

Seriously, I hadn't even gotten into the pool yet!

Once there I suited up, put my cap on, threw on my goggles and dove in.

It took me 4 arm strokes to realize how ridiculous I was.  It took me 20 laps of breathing every four strokes and doing flip turns at each wall to realize...I still got it.  It wasn't hard, I wasn't killing myself.  I was in that pool swimming like my 140lb 20 something self.  I got into my meditative state and just kept going.  I was no longer the out of shape fat girl.

I did a total of 1500 yards first days in years.  I've never felt more proud and good about myself.  I might feel old sometimes, I might be fat but I will always be able to swim.  I just had to take a couple baby steps to realize that I don't need baby steps.

I can't wait to get back in that water.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I recently read on a blog Girls Gone Child about a company called Wittlebee.  The idea is simple, you create a profile for your child and they will send you a box of clothes each month based on their needs.  The cost $40 for 8 items.  There was a GREAT discount code on the blog so I decided to give it a try.

On Saturday my box came and it was love at first site.

This company is NAILING the marketing right on the head.  From the printed bee on the box to the cute tissue and sticker inside.  Then I started unpacking the clothes.  Brands like Carter and American Apparel.  I got a mix of 5 shirts and 3 pairs of shorts.  There is not one item in the box that I didn't like.

Today we put together this outfit for Leyton using a shirt and shorts from the box, the hat we already had (although I'm happy to notice that Wittlebee has added accessories!)

If you want to try out this site, click this link and get a $10 discount off your first box.  That's $30 for EIGHT ITEMS!!!

I'm in love.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Height Ruler DIY

I've known since before Leyton was born that I wanted some place to measure him.  We have all of the measurements of Bill from when he was growing up and it just seemed like a cute thing to compare.  Since we don't own a home I wanted to make sure it was portable.

I saw this idea on Houzz and it was love at first site.  I pinned it right away.  I thought about buying it over and over again.  Then I realized...why am I not making this?

I did just that this weekend and figured I'd show you how to do it as well!

I picked up a board from Lowes that was cut to the perfect size, 6' tall x 8" wide by 1" thick.  I also got some wood stain, a paint brush and some stencil numbers (found with the street marking supplies) and a large sharpie.  I also used some varnish that I had on hand from my paint supplies.

I started by staining the board.  It only took one coat and looking back I probably would go with a stain just a bit lighter if I did it again, but overall the stain I chose goes well with the wood in my house.  Once stained and dried I used a tape measure to make all of the inch lines.  I started at 5 inches because I knew this would hang 4 inches off of the ground.  You could play around with this depending on where you want your ruler to hang.

I used a large sharpie and a level to make sure my lines were perfectly straight.  Every third line was longer than the others.  Once the lines were on I taped the number stencils on the board next to the appropriate foot line.

I used a sharpie to fill these in as well and did two coats to make sure they were dark enough.  Once I peeled the stencil off I filled in the numbers to make them solid (instead of leaving those little stencil separations.)

I finished up with one coat of the varnish and mounted a picture hanger on the back.


My plan is to mark Leyton's height directly on the board with a metallic paint pen.  If you wanted your board to stay clean on the front you could also mark heights along the edge.  If you didn't want to hang you could also start your board at 0" and just prop it against a wall.

Overall it was a fun easy project and cost me about $8 to make...which means that I saved almost $80 not having one shipped to me!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Leyton's Room

When we first moved I had a brilliant idea that I would transition Leyton into a "Big Boy Bed" at the new house. I knew I wanted to put a bed in his room regardless so we would have a place to sit and read books and I'd have a place to snuggle with him on the nightmare nights. I thought it would just make sense to have that also be the place he slept.

 I was so excited when I found a friend giving away a set of bunk beds for free. When I picked them up I realized that if not put together, I just had two twin beds. Not only that, but if I kept the upper bunk I had a bed that I didn't have to buy child rails for. It was perfect!

The bed was white and I spent a couple days painting it dark blue. I got some cheap $20 bedding from Walmart with trucks on it (his current favorite) and found a matching vinyl wall art set and matching night light at Target.

 Unfortunately, the idea to move to a big boy bed was a BIG mistake. Too much change for a little guy so we brought the crib in. It fits perfectly in the room but just means that the updated lockers that I want to put in there will have to wait for a while. I still have to repaint them anyway!

It's nice that Leyton has a room and a place to play. The build in cabinets instead of a closet are GENIUS and all of the bottom cabinets are being used for toy storage. Next up, the office.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Take a tour!

Our house is really coming together so I thought it was time to start giving you a tour around the house.  Some rooms are still works in progress while others are finished.  I'll start with the finished ones and hopefully by the time I get to the works in progress the others will be finished!

When I first looked at the house and saw the animal print wall paper in the bathroom I thought "eeehhhh."  It seemed so not my style.  Since it was a rental though I was going to have to live with it. The more I got in the house, the more I liked it and thought with the right art it would be perfect.

I found some AMAZING prints on Etsy and knew right away that they were perfect.

I'm happy to say this bathroom is one of my favorite rooms of the house.  I love the way the pictures and the light blue shower curtain kind of toned down the loudness of the wall paper.

Tomorrow, come back for a peek into Leyton's bedroom!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weekend Fun!

This weekend was a BLAST.  So many things on the calendar, some of which I will be talking about later!  Leyton and I spent the weekend checking out some of the local attractions in West Sac.  We knew there was a park with a water feature near by so on Saturday we went to check it out.  Of course, we had to stop at Target first because we were out of sunscreen.  Leyton has definitely figured out how to use the camera on the phone and I'm having fun making a collage with the photos he is taking.

We made it to the Bridgeway Lakes Splash Park and it was awesome!  Leyton loves laughing and screaming when the buckets would dump their water.  He's still nervous around water so I'm hoping this changes soon.  The funny thing is if you give him a hose he will spray himself like crazy but put him near a water table, kiddie pool or water park and he's hands off!  He did accidentely stand underneath a bucket when it was dropping and thankfully didn't freak out too much.

After the water park we headed to Wicked West Pizza.  This is a small pizza place down the street that has a mini Chuck E Cheese inside.  Leyton loved all the lights and hit the jackpot on a Frogger game winning 500 tickets!  He literally sat on the floor and just watched the tickets come flooding out.

The older kids were SUPER jealous.  He scored himself a football, two cars, an echo microphone and a couple Sponge Bob tattoos.

It was so much fun discovering some of the new places that we can go together.  Next up is the aquatics center!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Tweet Tweet

The laundry list I could give you for why our new house it so much more wonderful than our old is long. At times it feels selfish for I am sure others are happy with far less.

Yesterday I was trimming the tree out front and discovered that a dove was residing in a nest above my head. I absolutely love doves and was so happy to see her up there.

I have decided her name is Eloise. I hope she has some babies that I can listen to.

Monday, June 04, 2012


I was so proud of myself moving into the new house and getting everything unpacked that first weekend.  Even though it was organized and still didn't feel like home.  I knew that it was because we had no pictures.  Nothing on the walls meant a lack of personalization.  I had one goal in mind this weekend....hang photos!

I spent Sunday doing just that.  I had Kate come over to give me advice on where to place things.  I still have prints I am waiting on since a few rooms will have new art, but overall I am in LOVE with how things fit into the space.

The top left is the main hallway.  On the left hand side are old family pictures.  Pictures of my Mom and Dad and Bill's Mom and Dad when they were young.  More will be added to this wall, I just need to get frames.  There is a S above my side of the family and a B on Bill's side of the family.  For Severson and Ball or Stacey and Bill...however you want to look at it.  I have discovered an interesting use of the letters S, B and L since Bill and I came together but that is another post for another time.

The middle left is the Leyton's room.  I hung some of the existing art he had but found these cool truck decals at Target.  He loves trucks and it makes it a nice piece of art that is easy to remove later.

The bottom left is our Donner Lake print in the dining room.  It's AMAZING how small that picture looks... it is actually MASSIVE.  The big right photo is our office which is a combination of music and racing.  I tried making it a very Bill friendly room.

Hanging pictures really makes it feel like home.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Just me and the kid.

This weekend the hub went to Tahoe with some friends and I stayed behind with my little man.  He was still having some trouble adjusting to the new house so I didn't want to uproot him to a new place and then come home again.  We had a fun weekend planned with a birthday party on Friday and a Cook Off on Saturday.  I wanted to be sure we kept busy since this was going to be the first time that he was without his Daddy.

Saturday was off to a raging start when Leyton realized that he had access to all of his toys in his room and DEMOLISHED it.  He even discovered some unopened toys from his birthday and brought out a construction set.  The best part of that set was this

Him playing handy man.  The worst part is that right there on the box it claims SEVENTY PIECES in all its capitalized glory.  This really just meant 70 piece pick up for Mommy.  Not a fun game at all.

When we got to the Cook Off Leyton was a bit shy around the strangers and other kids.  He stuck close to Mom and the only time he went exploring was in the house.  He wanted to look from room to room.  He discovered the office and had a good old time standing and dancing casually to the music that was playing in there.  It was hilarious to just watch him checking things out.

There was a bounce house at the party and at first he had no interest in going in.  After a couple hours he finally decided to check it out, but went right inside and then came back out.  A bit later, he went inside and sat in the far corner just watching the kids bounce...and then came right back out.  A bit later he found his bouncing legs and I could barely get him out of that thing!  The big kids came in to play a round of dodge ball and Leyton just bounced around in between them.  I kept waiting for him to take a ball to the head but we managed to come out unscathed.

Overall it was a great weekend alone with my dude, he was a great little party animal!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Sled Dogs

I've filled this blog with so much ranting and raving lately I thought I would cheer you up a bit, give you something to laugh about.

The new house is very close to where Leyton attends daycare.  This is wonderful because I can go home after work, walk over and get him and then we can walk home together.  The first day that I did this I was soo excited and figured that I might as well take Barley with me so he could get some exercise.  I was going to leave Whisky at home because he has a lame shoulder and doesn't know how not to be crazy on the first part of a walk so by the time we reach the end of the block I am dragging him along.  At heart, he is very lazy.

Then Whisky saw me get the leash and the excitement could not be contained.  I knew I had to take both dogs.  I was trying to figure out how this was going to work.  Two dogs and a two year old that typically doesn't like to stay with Mom.  The images of what could go wrong were running abundant in my head but I was excited and I was committed.

I took the dogs through the garage and realized that I didn't bring a poop bag.  My dogs NEVER poop anywhere except for home but I figured I better take a bag or this would be the one time they did and I lived to regret it.  I knew I couldn't take the dogs back inside and they wouldn't stay put in the open garage.  The only option left was to tie them up.

I figured that the lawn mower would be perfect so I wedged a wheel and tied them to the handle and ran back inside.  I could hear Barley barking the moment I left.  In the minute it took me to get back, the site I returned to was enough to make me pee my pants.  Two dogs in the middle of the street with a lawnmower on its side, a lawnmower bag strewn about the driveway and a lawn mower wheel sitting on the curb.  Oh, and a Honda Accord patiently laughing waiting for me to get the dogs out of her way.

Needless to say the dogs became sled dogs and were so freaked out by the lawn mower that was chasing them that they really took off and yep, the lawnmower is busted.  Score one for the idiot mom.

Thankfully this was the most traumatic part of our walk, the rest was absolutely enjoyable.  I also found the perfect way for Leyton to stay with me, he gets to walk Barley himself.

Win, Win!


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