Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Crap, I blinked.

When you get pregnant, whether it's with your first or your fifth, people always tell you, "Don't blink!" As in "They grow up so fast!" and "You'll SO miss this!" Which is hard to appreciate and remember when you're going through sleepless nights or potty training.

I always tried hard to be in the moment and appreciate (or poke fun of) all of these milestone moments so I didn't feel like I "blinked."

A bit ago, Creepy Lizard met an untimely demise when his stomach exploded, and he was laid to rest. Strip was hysterical and NEEDED a picture, so I pulled one up on my phone for her. When she asked, "Where did you get that?!" and I responded, "the blog." she had to read more. She and Nugget were HYSTERICALLY laughing. Not at dramatic funny posts, but at the funny, every day, you are my kids and crack me up posts.

I need to write more down!  *Blink*

Long drives turn to story time. "Can I read stories from that Nugget and Strip page?" You've read them all. "Well, tell us a funny story!" I think you know them all! *Blink* I realized that the silly, every-day things I might not remember turn into HILARIOUS stories for the kids.

I should start writing this down again! *Blink*

The next thing I know, we're walking into a middle school. Not for a play for a friend. Not for a chorus concert. Not for a campus outreach project. For curriculum night. For Strip. Who will be in middle school. SOON.  Granted, we're not sure that she'll actually GO to said middle school (school zones/school choice/hardship/don't get me started), but we're going through the motions. Even though I told her I'm just going to hold her back for a few years because she can't be in 6th grade!  Thankfully, Hubs was in town for the evening, so we made it a family affair.  Strip cautiously wandered around making little to no contact with ANY of the booth reps, graciously taking a flyer (or not) and only talking to chorus, yearbook, and some other club that incorporates art and writing.

Nugget on the other hand? Gone. He spotted a static electricity ball (and his hair is QUITE shaggy at the moment), so he LOVED being "charged" and shocking others. 15 minutes later, Middle School whipped out the drone, and he was GONE. I'm a bit afraid that as we were encouraging Strip to "go for it" and "sign up for that," Nugget had applied to 19 different middle school clubs and he's in 3rd grade.

After the first lap, she met up with some 5th grade buddies, and Hubs and I may as well been in the car because she was GONE. Chatting it up, showing everyone around, encouraging others to find their group. It was so sweet. And sad.  And awesome. And scary. And wonderful.

And as I stood back from the t-shirt table where she was selecting her swag, and thought about having a 6th grader (A SIXTH GRADER). I blinked.

And it was awesome. Because blinking allows you to clear your lens and focus on what you are looking at instead of trying to focus through the clouds.  I can focus on a great, sweet, excited-about-life, fearless yet fearful, concerned about others tween who is embracing all of these changes and emotions and loving every moment of it. And blinking also allows me to clear the lens and find where in the world my over-confident, fearless, careless 3rd grader has wandered off to and scratch his name off of 6 committee lists and telling him to STOP playing with electrical currents.

And blinking also helps to effortlessly clear away tears as you realize that smocked dress wearing, picture-drawing for her bus driver, innocent little kindergartner has suddenly transformed into a beautiful, smart, caring, middle school girl.  Which I still can't wrap my head around because I swear Hubs and I JUST got married.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tale of Two Toms

Once upon a time, I splurged and bought myself a pair of Tom's. They were a little snug when they came in the mail, but after the first time I wore them, I knew it was love. Not because they were the most comfortable shoes ever or the most supportive. Mainly, it was because they were SO obnoxious and Hubs thought they looked horrible. And it would never fail that random strangers would say, "Oh! Love your Tom's!" wherever we went (driving Hubs even more crazy).

Like with all new shoes, small children's feet were attracted to them like a moth to a flame, and they started getting a little dirty from all of the, "Oops! Sorry! Was that your foot?" moments. And after a long summer, and a sprint through a rainstorm, they started to smell like death.

I found some Pins on the best way to wash them, but was still afraid I'd ruin them. Then, for my birthday, Hubs surprised me with a brand new pair! And they were the exact same, obnoxious orange and white! I decided I would do SOMETHING with my old ones. I definitely wanted to try washing them, but really wanted to do something crazy. Like paint them. Or mod podge glitter them.  SOMETHING!

Then 5 months happened, and I still had the smelly shoes in my closet.

Hubs travels for work, so I try to embrace the lonely nights with organization projects that trash the house, craft projects that involve glitter or anything that involves letting the kids get absolutely filthy.

A few weeks ago, we had some CRAZY rainstorms, so the kids and I took a nice little walk and jumped in every puddle we saw. Having checked filthy off the list, it was time to get the glitter. 

First, I decided to test out washing them.  You can't smell these badboys, and really the picture does NOT do them justice, but they were gross.

Yes, they are sitting on my kitchen table and I immediately sterilized it after snapping the picture.

Knowing I would need to wait until they were dry anyway, I started brainstorming what I wanted to do once they were clean.  I looked at real Tom's that are hand painted, and they were fabulous. There are some impressive (and frightening) customized Tom's on etsy, too. We are surprising the kids with a Disney trip this summer, so after some brainstorming, I decided I'd go with something Disney themed. With glitter. Because honestly, the only thing more obnoxious than their original state would be covered in glitter and representing something WDW.

Meanwhile, back in the wash...

I was excited to see that they came out of the washing machine (oh yes, I just tossed them in) still resembling shoes. They weren't just like new clean, but I'm sure given some elbow grease and another spin 'round the quick wash cycle, they would look better.

But I had a vision, and it didn't matter too much how they looked dirty/stained-wise.  I thought about going RIT on them, but then worried I would be sweating around Disney and the dye would rub off on my feet. The orange was kind of bright, and I didn't want to use 89 layers of fabric paint to hide that. Remembering a super nice Master's half-zip jacket that was RUINED by a tiny splatter of bleach, I reached for the big guns.

I gently scrubbed a little Clorox on the orange with a toothbrush and... nothing.

So, I got a bowl and filled it with bleach water. Then I carefully dipped the toe of one Tom into the solution and... still nothing.


At this point, I am tired. So I filled the kitchen sink with bleach water, tossed them in and went to bed.

The next morning, I woke up and peeked into the sink. I had them sole up and half expected the bleach to have just eaten the soles or canvas right off. The soles were still there, so there was hope this worked! I carefully fished them out of the sink and... nothing. Seriously?! Someone team the National up with the Tom's people because these things are pretty much indestructible.

I gave them a really good rinse, stuffed them with paper towels and set them outside in the sun. When I got home from work.... change! Finally!

Ick. Now they were just a Clemson orange. Bleh.

But, they WERE lighter, and the kids and I HAD done a little shopping at Hobby Lobby, so I decided it was time to get my glitter on.

After looking at all the super cool, awesome, creative Tom's out there, I was struck with the realization that I cannot draw, I can not paint, and I cannot draw or cut a straight line to save my life. So I was left with the option of doing something abstract or with a stencil. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of Disney stencils on the market (or at least in Hobby Lobby on the random Tuesday I was there). Faced with no stencil and no artistic ability, I did the next logical thing.  Grab a cookie cutter.

I didn't want them to be one Mickey/one Minnie, and I knew I couldn't recreate the castle or anything, so I decided to split a Mickey head between them, so they looked kind of swirly when apart, but made a Mickey when together. Thankfully, my Mickey cookie cutter fit (almost) perfectly, so I traced the inside and didn't have to resort to matching and tracing random bowls.

Once I had my Mickey penciled out, I stuffed the shoes with newspaper and poured myself a glass of wine.  The second step is not necessary, but I just seem to craft better with a little vino.

The fabric paint had a pointed tip to the bottle, so I carefully traced along the half-a-head with red.
Not too shabby! Then I took a little spongy brush thing and pulled the paint from the outline into the center of the half-a-head, making it look like this:
Then I squirted some red paint on a paper plate and filled in the rest of the half-a-head using the spongy brush.  

Next up was the outside. Same thing, just using a silver color. Outline first, then drag the paint around.

I was feeling pretty good that the red paint covered the orange so well, but was a little worried about the  silver. It went on just fine though! A little tricky around the Tom's tag on the side and back, but not impossible.


But they needed a little something more...

GLITTER! The silver that I used is actually called "tin foil" and it has a little sparkle to it. But I wanted to test out the glitter (because I'm taking on some t-shirts next), so I (carefully) sprayed and smeared the glitter paint spray on one,  
and left it to dry over night. 

Guess I wasn't as careful as I thought-- Mickey needs a shave there on the right. 

I could see a glittery difference, so I sprayed the other one and after another night, they were set! Just to make sure they were really good to go, I left them stuffed and set them back out in the sun to help the paint set. And while I'm not about to open an Etsy shop, I think they turned out pretty adorable. And I wouldn't have guessed that they were once bright orange and white! They are now hiding on top of the fridge until we tell the kids about the summer trip. Can't wait to see how well they wear and have fingers crossed that I won't end up with a red Mickey stain tattooed on my feet!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Older than I look

**I found this sign on the Indiana beverage retailers site. Fun times! Go get one **

We live in a college town.

So the other day (read; MONTHS ago), I was in Target. I needed a few random things, and Hubs called to say we were having some friends over for dinner. I was happy this Target had recently turned SUPER Target, so I could snag a few last minutes additions to our dinner menu.

Including spinach. 

And wine.

And being the classy folks that we are, I thought I'd splurge on the nice box o'vino. Which Target just happened to have on sale. Yay!

So, I walk up to cashier number 10 and start emptying my cart. I wasn't working that day, so was slumming in a snazzy pair of jeans (purchased at Costco), T-shirt, hair pulled up in a ponytail and no makeup. 

As the associate started to scan my cart-o-random, she picked up my box of wine and glanced at me as she scanned it. Then she said,

"Can I see your ID?"

Nice! A Starbucks on the way in, no kids to jump in and out and in and out and in and out of the car while shopping, AND I get carded buying wine in a box?! Yup. I still got it. This isn't my normal Target and I totally look like a 20 year-old college student attempting to buy a cart of random and sneak in my vino. Woop woop!

As I dig through my wallet, I smile and coyly say, "Sure, Here ya go!" as I turn over my ID bracing myself for the shock that will wash over this gal as she figures out the math of my birth year compared to what is legal.

Target gal takes my ID and looks at me as I say, "Thanks!"

"Oh no!," she says as she snatches my ID, "We have to run them all through with the barcode on your license. Otherwise, the computer won't let us complete the sale." 

Which I translate as, "Based on your greasy hair and massive bags under your eyes, I'm guessing your, like, waaaaaaay over 21, maybe like 70. But this silly machine with the drawer of money we never use, won't let me click the next screen without scanning your ID. Make no mistake! I think you're old! The computer just can't see you!" 

Oh well. Maybe I don't still "have it." But you know what I do have? A box o wine. 

Boo yow! 

PS yes I know it's been a while. BlogHer dropped me, I forgot my log-in, and this posting format looks completely different since last I typed! 8 million things have happened since I posted last, so I'll do my best to fill in the gaps as I post. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Whoa. I'm a slacker.

So much so, that it took me two tries to log into my blogger account!

It's been a while since I updated, and I can't believe how many posts I haven't posted! So, I will do my best to back-blog and link back to this post so I can (hopefully) keep things in chronological order. But, for a teaser, here's a little overview of what's been going on in the lives of Nugget and Strip (and me and Hubs)!

I had a big birthday, that I somehow never finished the blog about (must be the old age!), Strip lost a tooth, Hubs ruined another relaxing beach vacation, shortly after Strip re-wrote a Berenstain Bears book, Nugget said the "F-word" for his preschool class, I re-organized the pantry, both kids started playing soccer, bought some new shoes and got put in my place at the running store, we ran (and FINISHED!!) a half-marathon, great-reader Strip discovered bathroom graffiti, we headed up to Tennessee for a sibling reunion and (almost) got some back-woods themed t-s to go along with the trip, I put a bunch of stuff in the consignment sale (and they lost our largest item!), Strip did her first diorama, we checked out the "super great" Children's museum in town, the Big Screen is back and we built a fire pit, the power went out and I had to get creative to get the car out of the garage, we went geocaching, the power went out again and I found a surprise in the garbage can, trick-or-treating sans Hubs, I almost got into a fight over some HDN's, my car got one-upped in the parking lot, Strip gets recruited on the soccer field, I got the most expensive oil change ever, I got the most painful eyebrow wax ever, Nugget dresses himself (using only 2 pairs of pants), Strip drops the F-bomb during family game night, Hubs and I took our second honeymoon, Felix came back, Hubs goes Grizwald on our house for Christmas, I failed at Christmas card picture taking, Strip (finally!) lost her second tooth, Strip and I got strep, took an acceptable picture and ordered cards just in time for a facial injury, Nugget touched Felix and Nugget put the smack down on politically correct Christmas songs.

Did you catch all of that? I've got some typing to do!

Friday, November 4, 2011

That's life!

After meeting with Strip's teacher, I learned that she needed a parent volunteer on Friday. So, I declared Friday as my day off and told her I'd be there when she needed me.

I was excited to show up for my first day. I love school (now that I don't go there) and this age is just SO much fun. The parking lot was packed, so I kind of made myself my own spot at the end of the row of teacher cars.

I hopped out, slammed the door, started walking to the office, reached back and hit the lock button on my keys and glanced back to make sure it actually locked.

And that's when I saw this.

Yup. There's me, on the right, proudly displaying my 13.1 sticker! And there someone (I'm 99% sure this is actually Strip's teacher's car) subtly one-upping me with a 26.2.

Just a reminder that there will always be someone in life who is better than you. That's a fact. Just try not to park next to them!

Monday, October 31, 2011


No, we didn't carve pumpkins this year. But I did carve a turkey and cheese sandwich! So needless to say, Halloween this year was just insane.

Hubs was out of town on the actual day, so we'd done a family trunk-or-treat at a local church. Halloween was on a Monday (boooo) but not just any Monday!

I went to work, left Nugget in afterschool, raced across town for Strip's parent-teacher conference (she's fantastic! Only concern is that she's "too nice" and might get walked all over), scooted over to a friend's house to pick Strip up (who went home with the friend, thank goodness because there was a miscommunication and my poor baby was waiting at carline thinking I was never coming), raced back across town to pick up Nugget, then BACK across town to our house.

Did I mention Hubs was out of town?

Since it's our first Halloween and it was a school night, I invited some friends of ours over for dinner and T-o-T-ing in our 'hood. They homeschool their kids, so no worries if they're driving home at 9pm!

But they were coming for dinner!

Toss the kids in the house, start boiling some Halloween noodles, and pulling costumes together.

Strip was Dorothy (thank you, ebay seller, for allowing my child to not look like a stripper) and Nugget was Capt. Jack "Spiro" (thank you, other ebay seller, for letting my child be Capt Jack in the old school original Disney costume, not the polyester, flammable, see-through one!). Two years ago, Strip was Fancy Nancy and June Bug was her posh puppy. Last year, Nugget was Batman and Zoe was Joker. So this year, we decided to let Zoe go with Strip's costume. I found a bat costume, be we tied on her wings and declared her a flying monkey!

And for me? I was Elphaba. Yup. The wicked, green witch. Thank you, Strip, for suggesting I would make a "Great Elphaba!"

I found a gothic, black dress, on sale, in the jr's department of Party City and bought some green make-up/paint at Target for $.90. LESS THAN A DOLLAR! Who wouldn't let their kids slather green all over her for less than a dollar? I topped it off with a long black wig.

Then I looked at the three of us. All in wigs. Me painted green. Nugget with a beard and mustache. And our dog wearing wings. Great way to meet the neighbors!

We had a fun night going around the 'hood, came home to count our loot, said good-bye to our friends and I hosed off the kids and put them to bed.

Then I attempted to de-green myself.

Here's a little tip. If you don't normally wear a lot of make-up, meaning you don't need make-up remover, and you buy green face/body paint for under a dollar, go the extra mile and purchase a little make-up remover. Or something. Otherwise, you will take three showers with dish soap.

And still find green paint in your hairline the next morning. You've been warned!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


As I mentioned, sometimes our power just goes out. For fun.

The kids and I came home today, and when I pressed the button on the garage door opener, nothing happened.

I got closer, and nadda.

I assume the battery's dead in my remote, so hop out and hit the keypad. Zilch.

Yay, the power's out again.

No big deal! I had "clean out my car" on my t0-do list, so we broke into the house, let Zoe out and the kids hit the yard. I gathered some trash and headed over to the toss it in the can. The trash JUST came, so there's not much in the can, but as lift the lid to toss in some carbage (get it? car+garbage!) I notice something odd.

So I open the lid a little wider.

That's odd... We just took the trash out, and there's so much loose trash in the can...hmmm..

At this point, I open the lid, shove my head in a little more

Ew! Is that poop?! Who just THROWS poop in a garbage can?! I mean, when we pick up Zoe's poop, we toss it in here, but "just poop" would mean that someone picked up poop with their bare hands! Who does that?!

Now I have my head and shoulders peering into the garbage can.

And that's when my eyes met the beady little eyes of this fellow:

Yes. We like Chick-fil-a, but that's not the point! Oh my raccoon!!!! In the trash can! One centimeter closer and that thing's clawing my eyes out and giving me rabies!

So I did what any rational person would do.

I slammed the door and screamed, "OH MY BATHTUBS!! THERE'S A FREAKING RACCOON IN THE TRASH CAN!!!"

Which of course means that as I go to get my phone to take a picture, the kids are stacking up the recycling bins to peer in and get a peek, causing me to scream, "Get down! That thing will claw your face off!"

I'm guessing the jerk raccoon was making his weekly stop in our can. Unfortunately for him, trash was delayed a day for the holiday and he didn't get the memo. So where there should have been some trash to eat, enjoy and get a boost back out, there was one measly bag in the bottom and he couldn't get out.

Hubs, of course, was out of town, but told me to leave that jerk in the can until he got home (we have some issues with raccoons. And armadillos. And burrowing animals). But I felt bad for the stupid thing. But not bad enough to do anything besides tossing a little bit more trash in there. Not to squish him! Just to give him a little umph to get out of the can.

And the next morning, I stood on the kids' stacked green bins, peeked in and nothing there! He escaped!

And I will be forever afraid to open our outdoor garbage. As will many others in my life, including my mother.