More RV Renovations! Kerville Triathilon! And Attack of the RV Ants!

Jonah and I sanding stairs.  I now have little splatters of primer all over my ergo carrier.  Oh well, last baby!

So our goal was to finish the flooring and stairs in the RV before Joe’s triathlon in Kerville, TX on Sept 27th so we could take the rig with us.  We did meet that deadline!  Well, sort of…

 The PROCESS (Taking about 2 weeks)



We were able to get the living room complete, except for the slide part of the flooring, under the couch and dinning table.  We even finished them to the point of laying the quarter round down!  The stairs went in on Wednesday and look awesome! Jonah had a blast climbing up them and smiling real big all weekend!  We would then set him back at the bottom and he’d do it all over again…..and again.

So we feel pretty proud of ourselves for meeting our deadline!  However, there were some things we did not get done in time for the trip!  Like the flooring in our bedroom.  So that was just splintery flooring that was unfinished and Joe found a screw popping up through it with his foot too!  Good thing we don’t do much walking around in there.  Pretty much just room for the bed!  We also did not get the bathroom flooring done, since it requires us to pull the toilet to do it, and we didn’t have time for that!  In related bathroom news, our shower looks like this…

Something to do with a leaky skylight, taking off the old-super-weird-plastic-sliding-door-like shower curtain thing and still needing to replace that with our awesome new more homey shower curtain thingie.  Good thing RV parks have public showers to use!  Cause that’s what we ended up using this weekend. 

Everything went smoothly with the RV renos this weekend, except….. we did get a big scratch right in the middle of our new floor!  It happened while driving, we think by a screw that was hanging down out of the slide.  It was the movement of driving that caused it to scratch the floor and wasn’t something we could have predicted.  Being that I was imagining the new floor all crumpling in on itself the second we took the slide in, one little scratch didn’t seem so bad.  Really it just looks like another seem in the floor, if you aren’t looking for it. 

We pulled into  at about 3pm, to a well spaced spot and lots of amenities, like 2 pools, spa, river front, trails, playgrounds, etc!  We hardly end up using any of these, but were able to get a spot, backing to the river for $49 a night.  That’s a pretty good price for a “resort” park.  And even if they did charge me extra once I got there for wifi and cable (Boo!), they did not throw extra kid or pet fees at me, which I appreciate. 

So we set up, and quickly left to go get Joe registered for the race and pick up his packet, set out his bike, and drive the course.  This took HOURS!!!  I manned the kids and Joe focused.  He was a nervous wreck with this being his first race!  We finally head back to the RV and the rain starts coming DOWN!  I make dinner and we all are laying vertically before 10pm.  Terrible nights sleep though with the storm and coughing and forgotten sound machine.  I had forgotten how loud RV’s are!  If someone in your family breaths heavily, you hear it and wake up!  Hence the need for the sound machine!  Not only this, RV’s are not known for their high insulation ratings!  You can hear everything that goes on outside too!  So to the man in the RV parked across the road from us, SHUT UP!


Just before the Start

We all wake up at 5am.  Ugh!!!!  Get to the race at 6am.  Race starts at 7:30am.  We were doing the race with some friends of ours, who are not newbies to this like us.  Guys go in the water for their 500M swim and they’re off!

Joe getting out after the swim portion

It was a rainy, misty morning and we were all soaked by the end of it!  The kids were total troopers!  Especially Bean, who HATES to get wet!

I don’t know Joe’s exact times.  Maybe I should find out?  Okay, let me go find out….  K, I found out.

500 Meter Swim  15:04
15 Mile Bike  49.:25
5K Run  29:38

Total Time with Transitions = 1:40:59

He came in 13th in his division.  I was so freaking proud of him when I saw him come around the corner towards the finish line!!!  I was so excited for him, that I might have been so loudly screaming and jumping up and down, that the announcer may have made some comments about it, 3 times.  I mean, ME?, LOUD?!  Anyways, YAY JOE! 

The rest of our day was spent refueling our guys with food and hanging out at the RV.  Baby slept and everyone had a buddy, even Darby.  Happiness. 


We discovered the white noise phone app Saturday night.  Hallelujah!  Much better nights sleep!  But, we were starting to notice a lot of ants in the RV right before bedtime.  So many in fact, that we had to have the girls sleep on the couch, as their beds were covered with them!  As was the floor and bathroom, and by Sunday morning, even the walls!  It was total ant take over!!!  The only sort of safe zones were our bed (thank goodness), and the couch.  Everything else was covered!  Joe went out to Lowe’s to get ant killer of all kinds with the girls first thing that morning.  When he got back and started the massacre, he realized how many there actually were!  They practically covered one entire wall on the outside of the RV!  Looks like they were getting in mostly through the electric cord we had plugged in.  We got non-toxic spray, bait boxes, and poison.  Joe also filed down the nail under the slide before we wrapped up and pulled out (half an hour later then check out, but we had ants to deal with!).  In all of our travels, we have NEVER experienced an ant problem!  Nor had we had any kind of pest problem!  As a matter of fact, we were those RVers who would giggle at the travelers that would spray a ring of poison on the ground around their RV or sprinkle chemicals around every part of their RV that touched the ground.  “Look at those silly, scardy cats who are poisoning our Earth with their toxic chemicals, so they can avoid the rare chance of an insect getting into their RV!”  Well, call me a silly, scardy cat, but laying down bug poison is now part of our set up routine.  Never again will I almost be chased out of my RV by ants that can take over in 1 day!  It can happen so fast people!  SO fast!

Kids sleeping on couch since beds were covered in ants.

And that was our weekend!  Fun!  Stressful!  Exciting!  New Experiences!  Friends!  Great!

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Exercise Plan for the Road

So, although we are not ON the road at this point, Joe and I have started exercising nearly every day, and have been doing so long enough (4 months), that I think it just might stick and have therefore worked up the nerve to write about it. 

What does this have to do with our RV trip?  Well, we both really love the way we feel.  It’s not crazy- different from how we felt before, but we do breath easier, play a little harder, and feel stronger.  Oh, and did I mention I can do a headstand now!?  That’s really added to my party tricks repertoire. 

And now back to what this has to do with our trip!  Well, as we learned from the last time we were out on an extended RV trip (5 months in 2012), working out while on the road can be challenging, especially if you have kids!  Why?!  Well for lots and lots of reasons!  Moving destinations every week or two means you don’t have a gym membership.  You might be able to pop into a gym or sportsplex or studio for a one time class, but you won’t get the childcare, and studios (yoga) can be expensive for a one time class!  And being the kind that really love small towns (I mean really small towns), there often isn’t any such place to go!  So…..  That mainly leaves home exercise and outdoor activities while RVing. 

1. Home Exercise

Can be great!  But there’s not much space in an RV to workout in.  Add to that 3 kids and a dog, or a baby sleeping and you are quickly pushed outdoors.  So I needed to find a exercise that was NOT too embarrassing, since I plan on doing it outside most of the time.  So far I’ve got 3 ideas!  1. Yoga.  I love yoga!  It’ll make you STRONG!  ….and teach you to do cool things like headstands.  Plus you don’t have to bounce around too much, so it’s low on the embarrassment factor when having to be performed outside, at say somewhere like a busy campsite.  For instance, Zumba, would not be a great workout for me to perform outdoors in places like this.  And I mean, perform.  Eek!  Plus, I think I can just about make up my own yoga routine and won’t need a video to watch.  Not every time, at least.  2. Hula Hoop.  I’m still working on this one.  As in, I can’t do it yet.  I’m trying though.  I try about every other day.  I could do it as a kid.  I know I can do it again!  Just hasn’t happened yet.  But I’ve got a great teacher!!!  Loralai.  She’s a pro at it!  I’m getting close.  I can feel it!  Hula hooping is also a great exercise with lightweight equipment, and cheap to replace and can be done while watching 3 kids….if I could just keep the darn hoop up!  …..getting there.  Plus, not too embarrassing to do in public.  And, can also lead to new party tricks!  Bonus!  3. I’m also thinking I could do jump roping.  But so far in my life, I have really hated doing this.  But I have deemed this the year of learning new things, so who knows?

It’s so EASY Mom!

2. Outdoor Activities

So last trip, I thought….we’ll hike and walk, or bike everyday!  And we did those things a lot!  But….our kids are little, and Loralai does not like to walk or hike, so she whines….ALOT!  This can create an aversion to walking and hiking after awhile.  And when we do walk or hike, we are often times moving at a snails pace; or a whiny 4 year olds pace.  Doesn’t really get the old heart a pumping, if you know what I mean.  Plus, sometimes we stay in places that are not conducive to family walks.  Like right off the freeway.  One thing that would have helped last trip was if we had had a good stroller, instead of the POS umbrella stroller we used.  I’m still mad at us for not upgrading on that trip!  So this trip will be a 1000 times better just because, we will have THE BOB!  It’s a jogging stroller AND a double!  We can even fit all 3 in there if we have to!  So not only will walks around town go better, but we can also RUN with it!  That’s right, we are running family now.  Never thought I would say that!  I’ve said that I hated to run all my life!  But desperate times, call for desperate measures.  And 3 kids, no time for myself, and at least 30 pounds to loose, are desperate times!  I needed something that burned mega calories, while also building muscle, could be done with zero equipment, anywhere, done in 30 minutes, and with or without kids in varying moods.  That’s running.  So for the past 4 months, we have been running.  It only takes 30 minutes to run 2-3 miles and make yourself feel like you’re gonna die.  Now that’s a good workout!  And it’s so short that Joe and I can take turns going if we can’t (or don’t want to) take the kids.  Darby is even a running dog!  She hauls butt for about the first mile.  Runs along side you like a well trained dog for the second mile.  And tries to lay down in the shade every chance she gets on the third mile.  But hey, she’s a stubby little chug and we all have our limits.  Besides, it’s rare that I run 3 miles or more (although I have!).  I usually run just 2 at a time. So she’s the perfect partner for me!

Along with running 3+ times a week, we will also still aim to hike and bike as much as we can!  Loralai is working on mastering the bike riding and we have two seats on the backs of our bikes for the littles.  Add to that a hiking backpack and ergo and we are ready to hike too!  Probably have to bring some cupcakes too to bribe Loralai with.  Kind of like dangling a carrot on a stick for a horse.  I seriously might try that!!! 

Also, Joe is participating in his first Triathlon in one week!  If all goes well, and he likes it, we could look for other triathlons or 5ks or 10ks happening in cities around the country to participate in!  Something to aim for!

Plus, we could look for running groups on in different cities that we could go on runs with!  Could be a neat way to meet locals while on the road and keep in shape!  I read this once full-time RV blog where the wife was really into running and she did this type of thing.  Of course, she was like a lifer, long distance runner (totally NOT me!  but never say never.).  Anyways, it’s good to have goals.

Here’s another picture of me doing a headstand, cause me after a run is not as pretty!

So there you have it!  Our exercise plan for our RV trip!  In the meantime, we’ll be getting stronger, trying to memorize yoga moves to do on our own, learning to hula, running further and faster, and working on getting Loralai to be an ace on two wheels!

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2013- The Year of Jonah!


What a SWEET and SURPRISING year!!!  I’m 8.5 months late writing this summary of our 2013 year and considered just skipping writing anything about it at all.  But then I started thinking, “What did happen in 2013?” and after a tiny bit of thought, realized that it was too important of a year to miss.  So albeit brief, mostly due to my memories fading over the past 8.5 months, here was our VERY IMPORTANT 2013 year as a family!

Jonah.  Joe and I started out the year with a parents-only-cruise for one full week around the Caribbean.  We had a fabulous time with my sister and her husband and met lots of new friends!  It was such a nice get away for us!  That was the trip that also weaned Juliet from nursing.  My baby!  Well I should have known better, but that trip was also partly responsible for the conception of our Little Jonah Boy!  Jonah makes our 2nd Valentines week conceived baby.  2nd!  From this year forward, Joe or I will leave town for the entire week of Valentines Day.  Seriously!  So I spent 2013 pregnant.  It was a great pregnancy, filled with 40lbs of weight gain, water aerobics, waddling, feeling baby kicks, and in the end, high blood pressure that resulted in an induction, 6 days before my due date in a hospital.  His birth was unmedicated, although I had enough tubes and monitors hooked up to me to make you think otherwise.  He was my easiest birth yet!  And PERFECT!  Absolutely PERFECT!  And a BOY!  Sweet from the very beginning and totally in love with his family!  So this year began with Jonah, and ended with us all cooing over his little newborn sweetness!

In other news….  This is the year that Juliet took dance!  And loved it!  She went to Dragonfly with her friend Gram and spent lots of time at Nana’s, including her first sleepovers at Nana’s house!

Loralai took Gymnastics and learned to hula-hoop!  And started 1st grade with Mr. Stuemke!  Her reading and writing really took off this year!

We also gained another family member, Ms. Darby Penny Shaw, born April 15th, 2013.  Our sweet little Chug puppy!  So as you might guess, lots of this year was also spent cleaning up messes and throwing out chewed shoes and toys and going to training classes.  We love her SO!!!  And she loves us right back!  All of us!  Loralai smothers her with cuddles, Bean hates for her to get anywhere near her play things, and Jonah thinks she’s a riot and loves to grab her ears!  She is my constant companion and lap dog, and she doesn’t listen to anyone as well as she does Joe! 

Somehow, amongst all this, I managed to break new records with my Real estate business and sold over 5 million in properties!  My best year yet!!! 

We joined the mini-van club, and love it!  Total luxury and ROOM!  Although, I am aware that our cool points have gone down.  But we can afford to spend some cool points to have a sunroof and heated seats!

We had my little brother, Cody stay with us for the summer and took a family vacation to The Smokey Mountains for 2 weeks (see prior blog posts).  And had a mini Prosser reunion and spent lots of time with family!

We took lots of mini trips with friends to Enchanted Rock and Fredricksburg, TX, and New Orleans!  We spent many evenings at our neighborhood lake, or over at friends or family’s houses.  The kids played and grew and swam and cried and laughed.

And those are the highlights of our 2013.  It was an amazing, family defining year!!!

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RV Renovations, Full Speed Ahead!

She’s coming along nicely! 

Side Note- You know, we’ve never named our RV.  Doing all this work on her makes me think it’s about time she had a name.  She deserves one now!  So, we are taking name suggestions. 

We put our 3 day, Labor Day weekend to good use and made some major progress on the RV!  Joe’s been working on her for a couple of months now, here and there.  But when it finally came time to paint, that’s where I entered!  Once I was in there though, working side-by-side, I realized there were a lot of reno projects I could help with!  Thank goodness for cloudy days, which kept the temps in the 80’s-low 90’s (not bad for August in TX), since we needed to leave the doors and windows open while painting for ventilation.  Mom watched the kids for a few hours each day and our weekend went just like this…

Here’s how she looked before we started this weekend.


Did nothing.  We’re bums.


Sanded and primed and painted all of the  new shelves Joe has built in place of the TV center that used to be in the RV.  This was my job!  Don’t think it was a simple one either, just cause it’s painting!  It was about a 5 step processes to first sand, ,then wipe everything off, then prime, and paint and paint again.  Whoo!

Step 1- Sand

While I did this, Joe built the new steps to the master bedroom, installed the new wall frame that goes behind the desk, and okay, okay, he helped me paint a little too.


We only had about 2 hours to work on the RV this day.  I did some touch up painting and second coats, rehung a cabinet door we had taken off to paint, and caulked a few holes for future painting, as well as did the chalk board paint.  WE LOVE CHALK BOARD PAINT!  I made a small chalk board for me that I can use to write our plans for the week, or our menu, or use as a board to help when teaching the girls school lessons.  There’s another chalk board that will be under the desk, that the girls can use to draw on whenever they like. 

It don’t look like much, but to us, this is some major progress!

Joe put up the wall that faces the bedroom.  Cut the wall that will face the living room (which means something new for me to paint), and insulated the wall as well.  He also finished the hinged stair toppers. (Now that the stairs are built, I have those to paint as well.)

Good thing I like painting!  We’ll see how long that keeps up.  I will say that  now that we have started painting, it makes me want to paint the whole RV, or at least all the wood cabinets.  I love how the colors came out!  Gives it an accidental cottage look.  And I LOVE the cottage look! 

Here are a few tips for anyone renovating an RV, or anything really, that I picked up this weekend…

1. You will get paint on everything you are wearing.  In other words, don’t do what I did, and “just know” you will not get paint on you cause you’re so careful.  YOU WILL!  RV spaces are even smaller and bumping into wet paint or dripping on your pants is inevitable.  So wear something  you don’t mind getting paint on.  However, do not wear PJ pants.  See following tip to see why…

2. You will take way more trips to Home Depot than you plan to.  We took our first trip and once in the parking lot discovered that we did not bring the samples to compare to flooring and paint.  At least we got lunch, and Jonah was sleeping.  So we head back home, grab samples and head back for our 2nd round.  Inevitably, we get the wrong sized board for the steps and Joe had to return Monday for that.  So 3 trips in 2 days.  Really not too bad, but definitely a reason to not wear PJ pants while painting. 

3. Do as much work as you can OUTSIDE!  It’s small, and cramped, and hot in an RV!  If there’s a wall or cabinet you can paint outside before installing back in the RV, do that! 

4. You’d think we’d know this by now, but USE LATEX paint and primer!  It is such a pain to clean brushes with mineral spirits that you used to paint on oil based paints.  So we end up throwing a lot away.  Latex paints do not create this problem.  They also do not require you to rub paint thinner all over your skin to get it off 

So after this weekend, we are feeling pretty proud of ourselves!  There was a moment in the RV that we were both working together and listening to good music, and it just felt awesome!  We are getting there! 

And get this!  While on one of our 3 trips to Home Depot, we discovered sticker backsplashes! This is so HUGE!  You can’t do traditional backsplashes in RV’s cause they move too much and they are heavy!  So we were looking at painting or doing metal, or just leaving it in it’s current ugly state.  Then we stumbled upon sticker backsplashes!  As happy as we are to have found these, you’d think they would be cheap right?  I mean they are stickers!  If you bought this for a house, it’d be like buying something that looks like a backsplash, but really isn’t.  Like an inflatable that looked like a stone statue or something.  Well fake, it may be, but they are NOT cheap!  One little single sqft is $8.  I said $8!!!!  Who, besides anyone renovating an RV would buy these?!  But, of course we will, cause the area we need to cover is tiny and this will make it look so good!  Excited!!!

Stay tuned!  Lots more renovations to come!  About 4 more months until our planned departure date of January 4th-ish.  Our current deadline is to finish the desk area, bedroom wall, and flooring in time to take the RV to Joe’s triathlon race in Kerville, TX the weekend of Sept 27th. 

Full Speed Ahead!

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