Tuesday Confessional 10/29

Family Photos

It is that time of year again!  Every year in October for the past five years, we all get dressed-up and our favorite photographer takes our annual family photos.  (See the About Me page for examples from the past two years.) People who don’t have small children might see this as a fun-filled family event, but in reality, it sucks ass.  Seriously.  It is stressful, something always goes wrong, and the minute you put nice clothes on the little ones, it turns them into a dirt magnet.  Putting them in nice clothes with 1 hour until their pictures start is like playing Russian roulette with a paint gun.

The whole event starts with orchestrating the schedule to include the babysitter picking the kids up from school while I am at the hairdresser, and me providing instructions specifically for them to eat their snack BEFORE they get dressed.  I had pressed all the clothes for the four of us all before I left, but then forgot to choose Brie’s shoes and hair bow for her outfit.  Who forgets the baby girl’s hair bow- this woman.  So I had to call to tell the sitter what color of shoes and bow to choose and put them into a bag for us.  My husband could not find his cufflinks, which are apparently lost forever.  My son tore apart his clip-on tie, and I had to re-sew it back together on the way to the photo shoot.  My daughter has a very big cut below her eye and I have a busted lip.  So the photographer is going to have a job to do to Photoshop all of that out of our photos.  I was so glad when it was over.  The fact that we showed up on-time, clean and not screaming at each other was a huge accomplishment.  We’ll see how the photos turn out.  :)

 Halloween

We are getting ready for Halloween and excited about the holiday.  I got a mani/pedi on Sunday all painted in a bright orange for the holiday.  We also carved our pumpkin and I’ll make a separate posting for that.  I am hosting a big shindig (that means party) on Thursday and it’s going to be lots of fun!  I’m dressing as a unicorn and every time someone asks me “What are you?”, I am going to say, “I’m a unicorn, damn it!”.  I have no idea why, but I think that is funny.

A Wave of Change

I’m in the midst of some big changes in my life.  First and foremost, I quit my job.  I gave them notice and now I am moving in a different direction in life.  I decided to start my own business.  I have been thinking about this off-and-on for a few years but have not had the nerve to move forward with it.  Now I am confident and in a good place to take my best shot.

As if my life is not busy enough, I am now spending some sleepless nights taming the thoughts in my head to make sure I make the right decisions for this business.  I have hired a design firm to build a website for me.  I am also working on some contracts with various future employees.  It is quite and investment for me in time and money and it all comes with risk.

So I am asking all of my blogger friends to send good thoughts my way as I work through the details of my plan.  I will keep everyone updated.  If nothing else good comes out of this move…at least I will have more time to blog!  :)

Build a Fort!

One night a few weeks ago, we were bored and I couldn’t think of anything interesting for the kids to do.  I walked into my bedroom and got an idea.  Build a fort!  And the kids loved it!  I sent my husband along with the kids on an “errand” to get them out of the house.  While they were gone, I made this surprise for them.

Step 1:Find an unsuspecting four-poster bed to overpower.

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Step 2:Gather all the sheets you have in your house and start attaching them to the posts.

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Step 3:Have fun inside!

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An Interesting Fact About Jamaica

One of the things I loved most about Jamaica was the people.  Everyone was so open and so friendly!  Upon our arrival, the resort provided a driver from the airport to our hotel.  Our driver was very friendly and gave us a very interesting history lesson on Jamaica.  This is one of the topics he discussed.

Housing in Jamaica

Our driver instructed us to look around at the hillside views along our drive.  He told us to take notice of the homes on the hillsides and roadways.  As we looked, we noticed all the homes were in various states of construction.  As told by our guide, the reason is because the home loan interest rates in Jamaica are sky-high.  Whereas the US currently has rates around 2-4%, the Jamaicans only have access to rates above 10%.  So they invest-as-they-go into the construction of their homes.  And these homes are not small shacks!  They are all huge mansions.  Our guide explained it this way:

“The people here in Jamaica usually acquire land in two ways.  First, they inherit it.  Second, if they don’t have family land, there are very inexpensive plots to purchase, around $500 each.  They consider their homes their prized investments.  We have large families here, but we are spread out all over the world.  So the head of the family buys land and starts building a home, but they pay for it as it is done.  So they build the bottom floor, then decorate it, then the next floor, etc.  They live in the house while it is being constructed.  It takes anywhere from 6-15 years to build this house.  Meanwhile, their brothers, sisters, cousins, children, they all move all around the world.  When they come to visit, they stay in this large house.  When the family retires, they rent out floors in these homes to other people for income.  It is a very large source of income here.  So we build large houses which our family stay when they return and for income when we are too old to work.  These are all owned by middle-class families.  Would you believe that?”

Pictures of In-Progress Homes (people are living in these)

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Although it may not look like it, there are people living in the bottom floors of these homes while the upper levels are being constructed.  In several occasions we saw people sitting out on the lawn amidst the debris having bar-b-ques and entering or leaving to their cars.

Pictures of Completed (or Almost Completed) Homes

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For the picture above, the driver said this one was complete, except for paint.  It took 14 years to build.

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This picture above is not great as all the pictures I took were from a moving vehicle!

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