Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wii wish you a merry Christmas

Hubs' big family surprise was a wii. He also got me a wii fit (because nothing says I love you like exercise equipment!). After the kids were in bed, the big kids got to play. I REALLY wanted to set up the wii fit people.

I was uploading Christmas pictures, so I let the boys go first. If you've never done wii fit, you have a mii (wii person) that you can make look like you. They all start out about the same size. Apparently, after you step on the wii fit board, they become more "your size." Hubs was the first one up. The scale shot up and Hubs' mii plumped up like the nutty professor a la Eddie Murphy. It then gave him a ridiculous goal weight. Even after Hubs ate mexican sushi on our honeymoon and spent 5 romantic nights in the bathroom (and could flick his wrist and lose his wedding band), he didn't weigh that little. So I began to feel a little nervous.

Then, UP stepped on the scale. His mii also plumped and it gave HIM a crazy number to shoot for. Now I'm feeling really apprehensive. But, it was my big idea to do this, so I step on the scale/board and watch my mii go. The weight bracket stops in Normal and my mii shrinks. It then tells me my goal weight would be to GAIN four pounds. Hubs then mutters, "I should have given you this stupid thing when you were fat," and I fall off the board laughing hysterically.

Wii Fit. The gift that keeps on giving. Oh, and here we are! Mommychick, Hubs and UP:

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Today was Christmas, and in the words of Strip, it was the best Christmas ever. And honestly? It was. Because of our families' food allergies I had given up on trying to do something big. Our normal menu was thrown out the window and I decided to do an herb roasted chicken with gravy, broccoli, sweet potato casserole and a wine herb rice. I also decided that I had no desire to get up at 4 am to start a meal and didn't want to cut Christmas short to slave away in the kitchen. So, Hubs got to work on his famous Christmas eve cinnamon rolls.

Christmas morning, we locked the kids in our room and all the adults gathered in the kitchen for coffee and cinnamon rolls


Then, we set up the camera and were ready for the kids to come downstairs. Strip caught sight of her doll house, and it was all over. Sweet Nugget? He came running down the stairs calling roll. "Mommy!! Daddy!! Papa!!! Ma!!! Uncle P!!!!' then ran to Hubs for a Hug. Next? He made a mad dash to the hot pink doll house. Oh well. The kids took their sweet time opening all of their gifts. The one thing Strip wanted was a Nutcracker (I'm sure so she could pretend she's Clara). I was super sneaky at Strip's ballet company's performance of the Nutcracker and swiped the LAST glitz covered Nutcracker, smiled to myself as I wrapped it in Santa's paper and waited for the moment her Christmas dream came true.

After going through her stocking, she started to unwrap it. Paper removed, I asked, "Ohhh! I wonder what it is!!" to which she replied, "It looks like the box that shiny nutcracker came in!" Seriously?! HOW would she know that?! They weren't even in the box!! Could she be the youngest child ever to give up on Santa?! Ugh. She's too smart for her own good.

After all the presents were unwrapped, Hubs fired up the grill for some yummy bacon wrapped shrimp and I made the kids Christmas shaped peanut butter sandwiches while they watched the Nutcracker on ice. Nugget went down for a nap and I started making "lunch." We are normally rushing and don't eat before two, but this year, we took it easy, snacked, drank coffee (out of our new Keurig coffee maker! Love it!) and ate when it was ready at 5:00

We all sat down after kids were in bed, dishes were cleared and wrapping paper was stuffed outside. I looked at the cable box and it said "726." I was convinced that it was the channel, but upon closer investigation, it was actually only 7:26 pm and we were all pooped! Now the only question that remains is where are we going to put all of this stuff?!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Joyful Noise

Strip is in the church's cherub choir. Although there are a couple of kids who are Nugget's age that "sing," I think he's too young and am waiting until next year to let him really be a part of the group.

One Wednesday night, they had a little Christmas music-a-thon where the Cherub choir performed. It was very low key, and when they asked the kids to come up, Nugget looked at me and said, "I in Cherub Choir," got up from the table and followed Strip up on stage.

Before I could stop him, they were belting out, "Go tell it on the Mountain," and Nugget was right in the middle of the group. They were on an elevated platform, so I guess Strip was nervous, so she kept a death grip on him the entire time:

If Hubs would have been with us, I would have yanked him off stage, but he was working late, so I figured, what the heck. And honestly, he was the most well-behaved and still I've ever seen! Maybe I have TWO little divas on my hands!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words? Well...

**Photo taken from's hilarious Christmas Card section. Not my image***

While perfecting the art of the perfect Christmas card (yeah, I did it, and no, I'm not telling you how...yet), I received my parents Christmas card in the mail. I was not surprised because I took the pictures, designed and ordered the picture card part of it, but was scared/excited to read the card part.

Ma sends out a ton of cards, and writes an update letter including a snippet from all of ourlives. She's also known to share medical info (although I'm pretty sure Hub's vasectomy did NOT get a mention --- It's never too late, Ma!), so I was prepped for that being my snippet. I literally laughed out loud when I read part of my part. I've already jumped to my own conclusion, but I want others opinions on it. Here's the section, then you can vote:

Mommychick's food allergy issues returned with vengeance in late January. She is allergic to almost everything!! Eggs, Wheat, soy, corn, all beans, peas, almonds and cotton seed among other more obscure things. She looks marvelous! She dropped 20+ pounds (luckily she was healthy enough to handle it), but has leveled off now that her body has adjusted and she's figured out how to get decent meals.

The part in bold wasn't really in bold, but I think that was the irked part. SO, vote. Is it just me, or did my mom totally just call me fat, via Christmas card in front of/to everyone we know?!

Please vote to the right, and Mom, you can only vote once, so no skewing the results!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kids + Christmas plays=awesome

This week was the kids' Christmas productions at school. Each class has it's own, intimate telling of the Christmas story. Nugget, being in the 2's class, had more of an interactive telling of the Christmas story where parents and kids explored the Christmas story together. It was nice, because Strip was in school that day, so I could focus my attention (and camera) 100% on Nugget.

On Strip's day, not the case. Last year's Walk was interesting because the director talked about how an angel came to Mary and asked if anyone had ever seen an angel. My creepy adorable child's hand shot up as she said, "YES!! I have!" and the director, like any rational adult, made a comment about how most of us have angels in our house at Christmas. Strip started to argue, but they moved on to music. Sixth Sense Strip had an angel for a good year plus who I am convinced is my dead grandmother whom I've never actually met. She doesn't talk about her much any more, but I'm pretty sure that's what it was. This year, she didn't talk about dead relatives, but Nugget was out of the stroller and way too comfortable in his surroundings.

I was able to keep him pretty well wrangled and was trying to get a sweet picture of Strip looking like a sweet angel praying. Instead, I got this:

Nugget hops up in the frame and LOUDLY blows his nose. He then says, "EWWWW BOOGERS!!" both loudly and very well enunciated. For a kid who doesn't say much, he sure says it at all the right times. Luckily, most of the parents realized they were there for a preschool Christmas program, NOT Dickens' Christmas Carol, so I only got the stink eye from a few parents. Maybe next year will be better...oh wait! She'll be in kindergarten next year.....I'm not going to think about next year.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

How to NEVER get invited back, in 7 easy step (kids edition).

My advance apologizes for those attempting to avoid getting out of parties if you don't have kids--this won't work without them (or a VERY willing spouse).

Let me just say that we did NOT go into this evening looking to shed friends, but that just may be what the end result was. How could things go so wrong, so fast? Let me break it down in 7 simple steps:

Step 1: Hubs. Hubs announces FRIDAY MORNING, "Oh yeah, we have a party a Friend's house tomorrow night, can you call the sitter?" Umm hey there late notice. Well, the sitters don't get out of the bus until around four, so I'm not going to be able to let you know until later.

Step 2: Can't get a sitter, but don't think it's an issue because you KNOW of 2 other couples who will be going to the party with their kids, so tell Hubs to suck it up.

Step 3: Show up at the party right.on.time. UGH. I hate being the first one at the party, especially when I've un-grown my entire wardrobe and LITERALLY have nothing to wear.

Step 4: Be the ONLY ones with kids there. Yeah, everyone else had a sitter. Even the family with four under 6. Yeah. They got a sitter. So who were the schmucks with kids? Yeah. That's us, party of 4.

Step 5: Let the kids play it cool. Show the party what awesome kids you have, building false pretense. Let the eat, drink out of big kid cups, go to the bathroom, go ahead, feel proud that your kids are hanging with the big kids. Celebrate by putting a movie in for the kids so you can enjoy a little adult conversation.

Step 6: See Hubs give the "wrap it up" signal, showing it's time to gather the shoes and head on home.

Step 7: EAT YOUR WORDS. Good Lord, this is when it hits the fan. I was chatting it up with three other moms and 2 kidless ladies when I uttered the craziest words ever: "Yeah, I LOVE having my two, but in my heart, I just feel like we should have had 4-6 kids."
Open up gateway to crazy, because we have a one-way ticket. No sooner had I uttered those words, Strip turns around (from innocently looking a a nativity scene with Hubs), and a friend says, "What's on her face? Is that chocolate?" Nope. That's blood. Not dripping from her nose, POURING from her nose. Bless her heart, a fountain of blood is now pouring out of one of her little nostrils, and she is FREAKING out. I scoot her into the bathroom, joking, "It's a good thing you wore your red dress," and try to get her cleaned up, and the bloodbath turned off. I'm chatting with her, making sure she didn't bump her nose, and asking her what happened, and she tells me, "I felt like my nose was running, but when I looked down, there was red on the dvd case." CRAPPER. I open the door and yell to Hubs (who has a bottle of Resolve and a roll of paper towels) to check the Snow White dvd for blood. He's on it.

FINALLY, the bloodshed ends, and I emerge from the bathroom victorious, only to be met with many sets of shifty eyes. Someone mentions, "I think you have another problem...." and I look at Nugget. Poop. Literally IN his big boy pants. Bless the kids heart, we must have been so involved with Strips clot-less nose, that no one noticed him crouch behind a chair and poop (and he must have been too scared from the blood trail into the bathroom to even ask). So I clean him up and give Hubs the less-subtle version of the lets go sign, apologize profusely to everyone involved, and we load in the car.

THEN I bust out into a full on asthma attack on the way home. And where is my emergency inhaler? In the coat closet. Awesome. We make it home, I get a couple of puffs, hose of the kids and put them to bed. I'm planning on writing a very nice note to the Friend Fam and making Hubs take a tin of his yummy homemade fudge to work on Monday.

So the above scenario mixed with the 48 Hours special about fake adoptions, makes me think we were destined to be a family of 4 plus dog, and REALLY makes me hope our friends can look past all the blood and poop and still want to hang out with us. Ugh, who am I kidding!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

She's onto you, Santa.

It is FREEZING today. Right now, I'm looking at a snow storm with 27* temp, not taking into account the wind chill. Unfortunately for Nugget, I needed to shop today. After Story Hour at the book store, we headed to out little outdoor shopping center, where (what do you know) there was a front row parking spot at the Loft. It was like I was meant to shop. So we went in (sans stroller) and Nugget did really well. I needed black pants and a black top for a concert I'm singing in, so I ended up trying on EVERYthing black in the store. Sweaters were BOGO FREE (go now! That's a great deal!), so I grabbed one not in my size and planned to swap it at the other Loft later.

Nugget was so good, I told him I'd make hot chocolate for him and Strip, so I scooted home, put the hot chocolate in to-go cups and we crawled through the snow to pick up Strip from school. I didn't want them spilling h.c. all over the car, so I told them they could drink it when we got to the mall. Well, when we pulled onto the mall road, there was a homeless guy with just a shirt, carhartt overalls, scarf, thin hat and boots on. Definitely not prepped for the cold day. Heck, I had my seat warmer on HIGH and I was still chilly. So before the light turned green, I rolled down the window and offered him one of the cups of h.c. which he was beyond grateful for. The kids? Not so much.

"Whose was that?! Was that mine?! I want my hot chocolate! AHHHHHH!!!"

So I reminded Strip about how we needed to decorate our hearts for Christmas and giving something to others who didn't have anything was a great way to do that (and my little Mother Teresa went into a bible story about Jesus and the fish and loaves), and I told Nugget how proud I was that he gave his hot chocolate to someone who needed it more than we did, promising to get more.

Their little hearts warm with Christmas love, we strolled into the mall and made it to the Loft where the Christmas spirit soon expired. The hot chocolate that Strip was sharing with Nugget soon ran out and she started to lose it. In an attempt to distract her, I promised we'd go to the Disney store if I could just try these two sweaters on, but she was still whiney.

So I went on to the old stand-by. Santa.

Me: Hey, do you know who I saw on the way in the mall?
Strip: No. Who?
Me: Santa!
Strip: I didn't see him.
Me: Well, on our way to the Disney Store, we can look for him together.
Leave the Loft and head over to Santa Land
Me: OooooOOooHHhhhH! Look! Who is thaaaaatttt??
Strip: ::Blank stare::
Me: Look! Over there! Dressed all in red...sitting in the chair... wearing the hat?
Strip: blink blink
Me: It's Santa!!!
Strip: Hmmm. I don't think that's really Santa. Santa has a white beard, and that guy's beard is kinda greyish. I think that's just a guy dressed up like Santa.

Umm. Ok. Regardless, it was a good thing that wasn't the real Santa, because after leaving the Disney Store and getting in the car, Strip pointed out that she put a tinkerbell phone in the bottom of the stroller. Oops. I don't think Santa's a fan of stealers. Looks like I'll be making a trip back to the Disney Store tomorrow....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

When a Jeopardy champ gives you advice, take it.

A few weeks ago, my Facebook status read something like this:

is thinking of building an outdoor kitchen solely for the purpose of frying bacon.

One of my replies suggested cooking it on a George Forman Grill. I thought this was a FANTASTIC idea, and I could even stick our panini grill on the back porch so NO bacon-y smell would enter the house. What a great idea!

So did I listen? No. And that was not the only mistake I made earlier this week.

1. Taking two kids grocery shopping with me
2. Grocery shopping at Super Target where I RARELY grocery shop
3. Taking two kids grocery shopping with me

I realize these are mistakes as it's happening, but it doesn't really hit me until I'm making Arroz con Pollo for dinner, and step one is "Fry 4 strips of bacon in a dutch oven." Forgetting Aunt B.'s Jeopardy champ words of wisdom, I start heating up my big old pot on the stove. As soon as the first strip of bacon hits the pain, I realize mistake #4.

When making a mexican dish, do NOT use maple smoked bacon.

Too late to turn back now, and too late to take both kids back to the grocery store, I carry on, and about 45 minutes later, when the sweet savory smell of maple hits the cumin, oregano, cilantro and cayenne pepper, my house smells like a mexican house of pancakes. And the beautiful thing about bacon is the smell permeates EVERYthing in your home. So even after a good vinegar wash down, I still smell IHOP meets Taco Bell whenever I walk in the door.

Sorry, Aunt B. From now on, I will NEVER ignore your advice!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

He's baaaaaaaack!

Returning home from Thanksgiving Travels, the kids were delighted to see Felix. Felix is our elf on the shelf. He appears with his book (and a little gift for the kids) and keeps an eye on the kids while they are awake. Then at night, he goes back to the North Pole to report back to Santa on how the kids were doing. Three days into Felix's arrival was also three days into the grandparent detox, so honestly, note even Jesus himself could have improved my kids' behavior. They were tired, nutty and insane.

Strip is at the age where she "gets" Felix, but I was thinking Nugget was too young. Then, one night over dinner, everyone was talking at once, and Nugget announced, "ShhHHHHH!! Daddy! Felix is watching," while cutting his eyes to the left and pointing to Felix perched on his John Deere tractor.

So now I know he "gets" Felix, but really couldn't care less. Unfortunately, the next day, we forgot to move Felix. So when we stumbled downstairs and the first thing Strip announces is, "OH! Felix is in the same spot!" my response was, "That tricky elf! He hid in the same place thinking you wouldn't look there!" Hubs' response? "Guess he couldn't go back and face Santa after you two were misbehaving so much." Should we be saving for college or therapy?!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Nugget is now 2.5. Traveling has slowed down a bit and I thought it was time to really start potty training. I told him we were not wearing diapers and he's been doing surprisingly well.

Strip was pretty easy to train, especially since she's a girl, and I'm a girl, I kind of felt like I knew what I was doing. But boys?! Stand up? Sit down? What do you do?! I figured it would be easier to just teach him to pee standing up than to have him sit, then learn to stand later. So with a case of clorox wipes in hand, the potty training began.

One day, I was cleaning the kids' bathroom and Strip came in and asked if she could use it. I told her sure, but to make sure she checked the seat.

Strip: Why do I need to check the seat?
Me: Well, you know, boys pee standing up, so they lift the seat up.
Strip: Yeah.
Me: And I'm still working with Nugget, so he sometimes forgets to put the seat down.
Strip: Ok...
Me: And if you sit down with the seat up, you're going to fall in the potty.
Strip: Ok!

A week or so later, I'm in the kitchen when Strip runs up from the basement making a dash for the bathroom. A few seconds later, I hear the distinct sound of a four-year-old falling into the toilet. Then I hear Strip muttering...

"UGH! Boys! They just don't think!"

So young, yet so wise.

Monday, November 30, 2009

We have enough babies in this house.

As mentioned before, we were spending Thanksgiving with SIX kids under the age of SIX. But add one more baby to the list.

Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Hubs wasn't feeling well. He asked what I thought and I told him he was probably just exhausted from all the traveling and it was finally catching up with him. He asked me again what I thought and I told him to just go to the minute clinic so they could either tell him nothing was wrong with him or give him something for whatever actually WAS wrong with him. Two hours later, he calls.

Hubs: Hey
Me: Hey.
Hubs: So I have H1N1.
Me: (feeling kinda bad I blew him off) Oh. Really? Well, you're not old, asthmatic or immunocompromised, so I'm sure you'll be fine. What did they say?!
Hubs: Well... They did the test, and it actually came back negative.
Me: So you don't have H1N1?
Hubs: He said there are a lot of false negatives...
Me: And?
Hubs: He gave me Tamiflu
Me: Ok. So I'll see you in a little while?
Hubs: Yup.

So glad we survived Swine '09.

Gobble Gobble!

It's that time of year again! Thanksgiving! Which means we do the great Georgia Family Tour. Last year, we had a nice, quiet thanksgiving with BIL and SIL. We knew we would be either moving, just have moved or not moved yet, so we didn't make any plans to travel, but invited whoever to come hang with us in whatever state we were in.

This year, we took some time off of work and went to see all the fam. Hubs' side included an Awkward Family Photo shoot. No, there were no head tilts, collar pops or odd animals (or cabbage patch kids) posed with us, but there were a heckofalot of people dressed in black tops and denim bottom standing in a cotton field. When I was packing our stuff, Prissy Miss Strip walked in and said, "What is THAT?!" pointing to the black sweater. I reminded her that we were going to take a family picture while we were in GA and this was what she was wearing. After an extremely heavy, dramatic sigh, she said, "Well, can you pack me something else to wear for after the picture? Black is so boring." Thanks, Fancy Nancy.

Next stop was my family which included the challenges of an actual Thanksgiving dinner. I'm allergic to everything, and Ma is allergic to everything else, so planning meals is difficult to say the least. We finally decided the easiest thing to do would be to deep fry a turkey in peanut oil. Hubs was in charge of the deep fryer, and not only did he make a delicious turkey, he managed to NOT burn the house down or have to go the the ER. Woo to the hoo! We also had my cousin and her kids over which meant we had six sweet stair steps; F (5), Strip (4), C (3), Nugget (2), B (1) and G (newborn). I was really hoping that this day would make me want to kiss the doctor who performed Hub's vasectomy on the face, but it made me want to kick him instead. I held that sweet baby for six hours straight and had so much fun watching all the "older" kids play together. I was really hoping to stuff them all in the back of our car, but no dice. I was a breath away from snagging G, but the empty car seat by the door blew my cover. Oh well! Maybe next time!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Meet Nugget

Or as we like to call him, Goat Boy. This morning, as I was making them oatmeal, he asked for an apple. I washed one and told him he could have it after he finished his oats. After wolfing down his bowl, I gave him his apple. He's come a long way in the apple eating world. At first, he would get apple slices, chew them up, suck out the juice then spit apple pulp out all over the table. Lovely. Then he wanted to eat an apple like his Big Sis, but couldn't get them started. Now? He's good to go.

So I hand him his apple and tell him to eat it at his little table. I put dishes away from breakfast and go in the laundry room to change over clothes when I hear the pitter patter of footie pjs. Nugget walks in holding the apple stem which is attached to a TINY piece of apple. He looks at me, spits three seeds out and says, "Done!" I go to look for the core, and there is nothing on the table (and the dog is outside). I ask where the rest of his apple is and he holds up the stem. I ask again where the REST of the apple is and he opens his mouth wide and points.

He ate the ENTIRE apple. My child is a goat.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm not a big fan of V-day.  I apparently am alone in this feeling.  How do I know, and why am I posting about this in NOVEMBER?  Because Strip, aka social butterfly, has not one, not two, but THREE birthday parties THIS WEEKEND.  I'll give you a few seconds to do the math...
Get it?  

One on Friday, one on Saturday, and one on Sunday.  Looks like we'll be hitting Target this afternoon!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


It was just one of those days.  Everyone woke up a little cranky.  We (I) stumbled down stairs, waved goodbye to Daddy and started our day.  I reached in the fridge to get the milk and....whoops.  Sorry kids, Mommy needs that for her mocha.  Who wants juice for breakfast?  (fail one).

Next, I reach into the pantry for the oatmeal packets.  LARGE box filled with...air.  I thought I had scored because there were two, no wait, THREE packs in the bottom of the box.  But, when I pulled them out, into the light of the kitchen, there were two originals and only one apple cinnamon.  UGH.  So each kid got an original flavored with a 1/2 pack of apple cinnamon to which Strip replied, "The oatmeal tastes funny.  Well, not funny, just not good."  But, we DID have 2 full jars of vitamins, so maybe this day's looking up?

Shuffle everyone upstairs for showers, dried and dressed.  Shuffle everyone back downstairs, and CRAP!  Special Agent Oso's on?!  We're running late!  Double crap!  I need to pack 2 lunches!  I grab 2 (fresh from the dishwasher) thermos cups, fill with water/juice then retrieve lunch boxes from the closet.  On the way back, I hit the pantry.  Graham crackers...nope, empty box.  Craisins...nope, again an empty box.  Suddenly remember why I normally do grocery shopping on Sunday nights even if I can stretch meals through Tuesday.  UGH.  Now we're running late and my kids have no lunch.

LUCKILY, we pass 2 grocery stores on the way to school, so I have the grand idea of stopping in for 2 lunchables, or as I like to call them, a box of salt.  We pass the sucker station and Nugget starts begging.  "No, buddy!  We don't have time!"  And as we pass the Starbucks kiosk, he said, "Mommy?  You want coffee??" in hopes of getting a chocolate milk.  Nope!  In and out.  I then realize, because I've never actually purchased lunchables, I have no idea where in the store they are.  I assume they are near the bacon and I was right!!  AND they are on sale!  Woo hoo!   I grab 2, and turn to leave as Strip shouts, "COOL!  THey even have a Butterfinger!"  UGH!  Turn around.  She's in the class with the peanut allergy, so I quickly scan the shelf for the one with Skittles.  Score!  ANd when I scanned them, they were on even MORE of a sale!

We get there, and like every Tuesday, it's like herding cats.  Finally get in to school, deliver kids to their rooms, hug, kiss, goodbye, and welcome to a few hours of freedom.  Like a good mom, I checked the weather before we left and it was supposed to be in the mid-high 60's today with a slight chance of rain, so I just sent the kids without winter coats.  I cruise on home and curl up with the dog and Sunday's paper to plan meals for the next two weeks and clip coupons.  An hour later (after having mashed potatoes for breakfast), I walk outside to head the the grocery store when, WOOOSH! Cold burst of air hits me, and there's not a single drop of water in the sky.  My poor children have no coats, and they WILL be playing outside today.

Craptastic breakfast+no milk+horrible lunch+no coats+high of 55=horrible mother.

Good news?  Tomorrow is another day.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I think I'll start my own business.

Nugget needs practice with sitting and staying, so we headed up to the local bookstore for story hour.  And when they say hour, the mean hour.  And when I say bookstore, I mean a two-year-olds' personal hell.  All those books, toys AND a train table, and you want me to SIT?!?

Anyway, we'd been up there before and I discovered it was a great place to meet nannies.  No moms or dads were there, just kids and nannies.  The first time, it was really encouraging.  So many kids playing and loving care givers there wiping noses, holding hands, singing songs, etc.  Today?  Nanny hell.  Oh if the parents could have seen their kiddos today.  One nanny, very young with her booty hanging out of her jeans as she sat on the floor, was caring for twins who were VERY young.  It was almost frightening how incapable she was of handling these babies.  As a mom, I understand that we all have "those days," but at one point, she just passed Twin A over to another mom (yes, there was ONE more mom there) while she tended to Twin B.  Do people not watch Dateline?  SVU?  CSI?  I'm a people person, but people are crazy!  Don't hand a baby over to someone you don't know!!  I repeat, PEOPLE ARE CRAZY (and before you say, "Well she may have recognized her from being there before," she didn't.  She even flat out said, "Wow, he normally hates strangers!  I can't believe he went to you!").

Then when story time was over, two nannies sat at the train table (while the older (4 year-olds) kids wandered around the store) and bad mouthed parents, kids, discipline techniques, etc.  At one point, a tiny boy (11 ish months) started making an "EHH!" noise.  As I sit there and cooo along with him, the other nanny (not his)  leaned over and said, "EHH!  EHH!!  I can do that too.  I can make that noise, that's not special."  

Oh.  One of my other favorite lines was, "Are you a live in?"  "GOD no!  If I were a live in, I think I'd kill myself."  AWESOME! 

So  I think I'll start a nanny spy company.  Let me know where your nanny and child(ren) will be, and I'll casually drop in and see how things are going and what they are saying about you.  Nanny Spys.  When nanny cams just aren't enough.

Friday, October 30, 2009

It snowed!!

In Colorado.  And a little in Alaska.

But here?  It snowed leaves.  As I was shopping for my Christmas present Hubs was busting the rake getting the yard looking nice.  Two days later?  This:

See my feet?  They are there.  And just to prove I didn't stand in a pile, here's a pic of the yard....

Yeah.  We've got leaves.  Hubs casually mentioned how nice it would be if we could rake on Thursday because it was supposed to rain today (which it did) and he wanted to get them all up before they were soaked again.  Ha!  I went out, with the kids after Nugget's nap and couldn't find the rake, so I started to sweep off the deck.  Hubs came home on the ninth pass of the broom and said, "I got it."  

I ASSUMED he went to the garage to get the rake (which I SWEAR I couldn't find anywhere).

However, a couple of minutes later, I hear a motor roaring and the kids squealing with delight. 


When you have a leaf blower, who need a rake?

Merry Christmas to me!

(excuse the coupons, but hey, It was Sunday.  That's what I do)

One reason for the lack of blogging is we've either been traveling or had a revolving door of company.  Last week, our old neighbors from Florida greatest friends ever (better, Steph?) came up for their fall break.  And boy am I glad they did!  It was great catching up and letting the kids play, but because we had to show them all that God's country had to offer, we took them to the apple orchard.  And because we took them to the apple orchard, we had to pick apples.  And because we picked apples, we HAD to get some apple cider.  And because it's October, we had to get a pumpkin to carve.  And because we were getting one big pumpkin to carve, all the kids had to get little pumpkins to take home.  And popcorn.  And some apple butter.

And because we had 4 kids hopped up on cider with us, we were going to let Hubs finish paying before Nugget knocked down the entire display of caramels.  And because I had on my skinny jeans and can't fit anything other than my booty in my pockets, I handed him our camera.  And because Hubs was juggling all of the above, he dropped my camera.


Bless the little Coolpix's shutter, the only thing I really liked about it was that I could slip it in my back pocket (depending on the pants).  So this raised the question.  Spend $200 on the same camera I don't love, or take this as an opportunity to upgrade?  I consulted my financial advisor and camera guru in Alaska, and the answer was simple.  UPGRADE.  

I stopped by the camera shop to confirm my hopes/fears that it would cost more to fix than replace, then I was taking the kids back to the orchard to pick apples.  I called C to get her thoughts and she said she'd start googling.  45 minutes later, she called me all excited about what I HAD to get.

I dropped the kids back at the house, consulted with Hubs, and he said to go back up to the store, sans kids, and figure out what I wanted.

Less than an hour later, I called Hubs to tell him the "deal" I selected and he said, "Ok, Merry Christmas!"

Woo to the hoo!  Later, while I was putting the kids to bed, he wrapped it all up and we opened it together.  I.LOVE.THIS.CAMERA.  Apologies to friends on Facebook.  If you thought I posted a bunch of picture before, you ain't seen nothin' yet!

Here's a sample from the album I like to call, "I have no idea what I'm doing!"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Insurance, how I love thee. Let me count the ways.

Oh, I don't.  That was easy.

I'm not sure what is more work, having health insurance or having home owners insurance.  With both, you pay a nominal fee to INSURE that you are taken care of IF you needed it.  Then, when you do need it, something is coded wrong, some paper didn't get filed correctly, or a date is mistyped (none of which you, the insured, had anything to do with). 

For example, when I was pregnant with Strip, I was doing a 24 hour.  This was the 87th time I'd done one while under our insurance provider's care.  I was pretty surprised when I got a EOB stating that my testing was not covered, and I owed around $300.  Maybe they only go up to 86 jugs of pee?  Not sure, so I called.  I gave all my numbers, SS, Hub's SS, maiden name, dob, dos, etc. and the customer service agent replies, "Oh yes, I see it right here.  I'm sorry Mrs. Mommychick, we don't cover that type of psychiatric testing."  Hmmmm.  I peed in a jug for 24 hours.  I didn't know that was psychiatric testing.  If so, my nephrologist has been lying to me for a while....if she really IS my nephrologist!  CS's response?  "Oopsie! Something must have been coded wrong!  Sorry about that!  Don't pay anything!"  


Anyway, our just-turned-a-year-old front-loader washing machine morphs into a rocket ship every time it hits the spin cycle, and because it's a day and a half over warranty, we had to call in for a home owner's claim.  The nice man came out and looked at it, declared it needed a complete overhaul and showed me what the bill would be.  I fell over.  Then I got up.  Then I told him I could probably pay for a new washer AND dryer for what it was going to cost to repair.  He agreed, but said we had to go through and submit the claim (which they denied) and see what the insurance company wanted to do with it.

Here is our washer:

With pedestal and just imagine the dryer which looks exactly like it, sitting to the right.

I was IN THE ROOM when the repair man listed the make/model/serial number of our washer.  So imagine my surprise when Scott, from claims, called me to say, "Great news!  We're offering to purchase you a new washing machine.  Here's the number for it.  Just go to the website and type in this number, make sure the dimensions work in the space you have, and give me a call back.  We'll order if for you!"

Great!  Scott, however, had beeped in while I was on the phone with Ma who was telling me about the Hobby Lobby they were getting, so when I clicked back over, we started talking about the next subject.  Meanwhile, the multi-tasker that I am, went ahead and looked up the washer so I could get the ball rolling and the rocket in the laundry room could blast off.

Ma:  Oh!  Ok, next thing.  I am officially finished shopping for your kids for Christmas!

Me:  Ha!  Can I get that in writing? (Papa and Ma can make Santa look like scrooge at Christmas).

Ma:  Ha, ha.  No really, but I want to tell you a couple of things, so the first is this...


Ma: kinda confused  ummm what....?!

Me:  Sorry, not you.  I've got to call you back.

Just as she was about to rail off her Christmas findings, I click to find my NEW washer:

Ummm.  It's white, and it's a front loader...but that's about all the two have in common.  I'm going to let Hubs handle this one.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The problem with a helpful child...

Is that she sometimes find your surcee's.

I didn't get the good out of my kid-free time today, so I had to race to the grocery store after I picked both of them up.  Nugget wore big boy underwear to school for the first time, and to celebrate him still being in his original pants, I told them we'd go get a cookie (which they have for free at the grocery store).  Normally, I don't take the kids with me, but I had my list and was determined to get in and out.

While cruising down the Manager's Special section, I noticed a basket of dvd's and with a quick glance, noticed there were some Word World dvds (which both kids love).  I grabbed 2 packs (that's 4 dvd's for $9.78!!) and stuffed them in with the bread figuring I could put them with Christmas stuff, or have them in the closet for when we needed something new and fun.  

When we got home, the washing machine man was waiting for us (somehow in the YEAR that we've owned this washer, it's turned into a rocket ship, or at least that's what it SOUNDS like), so the groceries got piled on the counter.  Strip was begging me to let her paint, but I had just said no because we didn't have much time and I needed to get all of the groceries put away.

"I'll help!" 

She grabbed a bag of groceries, looked in it and said, "All this stuff goes in the pantry.  I'll put it away."  A few minutes later, I hear,  "OOOOOOooooooHHHHHhhhhh." but just think that she's found the build-a-bear fruit snacks.  She then walks around the corner holding the 2 sets of dvd's.  Whoops.

"Are these for me?!?"

Yes, you and your brother, but I bought them for when you two have been super good or when you sleep in your bed all night, every night for a week.

"Ok.  I'll act surprised when you give them to me later.  But can I watch one now?!"

Ugh.  Trying to be sneaky and needing coffee do not mix.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Are you there blog? It's me, the author.

Can I get my money back for October?  I didn't realize October had started, much less was almost OVER!  Needless to say, we've been crazy busy.  And I'd love to take this opportunity to recap, but Strip has changed her mind, again, on what she wants to be for Halloween, so it's off to the fabric store.  I am attempting to make both of their costumes today/tonight.  Hubs has a work thing tonight, so the kids are going to bed, and I'm having a hot date with Bernie.

Whew!  Updates soon, I hope!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Reunited and it feels so good!

What happens when you mix 8 adults, 5 kids and a backwoods mountain home together? Hub's Sibling Family Reunion (or HSFR for short!). Hub's older sister had the idea to get all the "kids" together for a fun weekend in the mountains. Unfortunately, the weekend the other siblings could go was the weekend AFTER my high school reunion. Because of travel and the cost of the reunion, we didn't think we'd be able to go, but the ball was dropped on the reunion and so was the cost, so we grabbed our moonshine and headed to Tennessee!

I'll admit, I was a little apprehensive. I'm a control freak, and like to do the planning, but Hub's older sister handled everything. No one had actually SEEN the house we rented and after comparing virtual tours to actual houses while house hunting, I was a wee bit worried. Also, the thought of all those people (and kids!) in one place for an extended weekend scared me more than a wee bit.

We met up with two of the siblings "downtown" and made our way toward the house. It should come as no shock that Madge had no idea where we were (and even if she did, I refused to listen. I'm still convinced she wanted us to drive off a mountain. She's out to get me!), so we were following the rental company's directions which included, "Turn left at the blue house on the corner," and "take the dirt road all the way back."

The first part of the drive was lovely. The mountains were gorgeous, the leaves were changing, the kids were pretty happy. However, after turning left at the blue house, I could hear the Dueling Banjos from Deliverance playing in my head. I locked the doors and told Hubs I was glad that we were driving in during the daylight hours.

And then, the house! It was....not like the pictures. At. All. And there was a creepy stone slab that I was convinced was some sort of burial ground. BIL's wife and I got out to look around and discovered that there was another dirt road that extended beyond the dirt road we were on. We told the boys to drive on and we'd walk. Down a hill and around a curve, and there it was! Like a beautiful oasis in the middle of the desert! I still felt like it would be a great setting for a scary movie and was convinced some mad man was going to cross the stream and cut off all our heads while we slept, but kept it to myself and tried to enjoy the weekend.

And can I just say that we had a GREAT time. All the kids got along, there was this giant outdoor pavillion where the boys could go drink beer and build a fire, the girls could stay in the main house with the wii and the kids. The weather was gross enough that we didn't want to go anywhere, but not so gross that we didn't go out and enjoy walking in the stream. The house was very newly refurbished, and even though there was quite a few of us, we weren't on top of each other all the time.

And the best part? All the girls there. SIL (mother of three), me (mother of two), SIL (elementary school teacher) and other SIL (nurse). So basically 4 women who are completely in sync with taking care of other people. One would be entertaining the kids while another would be cooking while another was sweeping the floor and another washing towels. It was like a ballet. At one point, I said, "You know. I'm thinking I could get really into the idea of sister-wives." BIL asked what I was talking about. "You know. Like on Big Love. All the sister-wives working together. This is really nice. EVERYTHING gets done and there's no nagging, reminding, begging or complaining. We all just know what needs to be done and we do it!" Then BIL reminded me of one tiny little complication. "Yeah but who ELSE would want to be married to Hubs?!" Touche, bro. Touche.

Monday, October 5, 2009

To infinity, and beyond!

I am walking out of the door to take Strip to movie #2, Toy Story double feature in 3D!  Woo hoo!!  She has no idea, and wants to be surprised as to where we are going, so she'll figure it out when we get there.

However, now I'm thinking I should have told her, because I'm betting that when I tell her what we're going to see, she'll say, "But we just watched that at Ma's!"  And I'm worried she'll hate the 3d part.....

Oh well.  I'm sure the glasses won't fit her anyway, and who doesn't love seeing a favorite movie in the theatre?! This should be interesting!

Ballet Drama, Part II

Because I'm now chillin at the dance studio, I tried chatting it up with one of the moms (who does speak English).  She asked which one was mine, and I pointed Strip out.  She pointed  out a tiny blond as hers and my first thought was, "I wonder how old she is."  Strip is a jolly blond giant, so I forget what "normal" kids her age look like.  Mom asked me how old she was and I told her her birthdate.  She said her kiddo was GOING TO BE 4 the end of October.  Wow.  The majority of the kids in this class are already 4/turning 5, so I braced myself for the inevitable phrase, "She's just really advanced," which came out about 7 seconds later. 

Well this last week, something went down during the bean bag dance and the advanced kid CHUNKED her beanbag into the mirror and lost it.  The teacher handled it really well, but I was kind of curious what happened.  When we got in the car, I asked Strip if anything happened in class and she said no.  I told her I heard someone crying and asked what that was about.  

Strip:  Oh yeah.  They yellow haired kid?
Me:   Yeah, what was up with that?
Strip:  She threw her bean bag across the room really hard and hit the mirror.  Then she started yelling at the teacher and she had to sit in time out, but she got to do tap with us so it was fine.
Me:  Oh.  Hmm.  Why did she throw her bean bag across the room?
Strip:  I don't know.  I'm not her, how am I supposed to know why she does something?


My little thinker is also really annoyed with the song "Tomorrow" from Annie.  

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, Tomorrow!  Strip's thought:  That doesn't make any sense.  How can she love tomorrow, today?  She doesn't even know what is going to happen yet!

I was right.

It did get messy.

Our first stop ended up being Costco, because I needed a couple of things, and you can get lunch there for $1.49.  After our hot dog, Costco samples and getting our necessities,  I asked Nugget if he needed to go to the bathroom.  Yes!  And he was still dry!  Hooray!  After a sucessful trip to the public bathroom, the toilet wouldn't flush.  Awesome.  There happened to be a Costco employee in there who heard us attempting to flush and started screaming, "You have to hold it up for 5 seconds, then push in and down!"  After trying to flush for the 18th time, I pushed the kids and giant cart out of the bathroom and tried one more time.

Success!  Followed by a wooshing sound.  Followed by water pouring out of the toilet.  Awesome.  The employee was standing right there, and all I could think to say was, "I promise he just peed!"  So the first time out in big boy underwear and we flood the Costco ladies room.  Great!

We ran the rest of our errands, and I needed to stop by the library but didn't think to make him go before we left the mall.  Two minutes before we got to the library, I hear, "Oh!  I pee pee!"  Oh no.  "Did you pee pee, or do you need to pee pee?"  "I need to pee pee.  Mater's dry."  Awesome!  We'll be there before you can sing Wheels on the Bus.  Unfortunately, it takes very little to excited a 2 year-old, so when we rounded the corner and Nugget caught sight of the  library, I hear, "SUE!!!  LOOK!!  Lie-berry!  Look Sue!! Flag!!  SUE....uh ohhhhhh.  Mater wet.  Oh no Mater, oh no."

Sure enough, Mater was wet, so we just cranked the car and headed home to hose off.  Oh well!  It was a good try!

Friday, September 25, 2009

This could get ugly.

Or messy.  Or both.

Today, we had a stay at home day planned.  Then I remembered 6 errands I needed to run, so we've started our day.  Because the original plan for today involved NOTHING, I had Nugget all hyped up to wear big boy underwear  And now that we are going out and about, he's decided he wants to wear "queen pants," today (and that would be MCqueen, not girlie undies).

The first stop is the fabric store, which coincidentally is the first place Strip went diaper-free.  She was very successful her first trip out, so we'll see how Nugget does.  I have back up clothes packed, but it's also raining cats and dogs, so if we do have an oops, maybe people will thing he sat in a puddle?

Potty training is the best!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ballet Drama

Strip has ballet one night a week.  I've been lucky that Hubs has been getting home early on those nights, so I don't have to take Nugget with me.  There is a large window where you can look in a watch the class, but I don't like to stand there where she can see me because I want her concentrating on the class.  So, I convinced myself to have a little "me" time and go to B&N to do a little reading.  I wandered down to the book store, found a book and a comfy chair, then have this overwhelming feeling that Strip was going to get kidnapped.  It's a dance studio, not a hospital or school, so really, anyone could just walk in and grab her.  

After trying to read for about 20 minutes (unsuccessfully), I went back to the studio and peeked in the window.  Strip is pretty easy to spot because she's one of 3 blondies in her class, but I didn't see her.  I peeked down to see if she was sitting on the wall putting on her tap shoes, but nope.  The door was cracked, so I peeked my head in the room to see if she was sitting in a blind spot.  Nope.  Scanned the room again, and nothing.  That's when I almost wet my pants.  I didn't want to run in the room screaming like an idiot so I glanced around the moms group.  The two I recognized are fluent in Russian, so that was a no-go.  I power walked up to the front desk to ask the volunteer where my baby was, but she was talking to a new mom out prices and class times, so I sprinted to the bathroom, where she was, happily washing her hands with the teacher's aid.

UGH!  I will now be visiting the library before ballet and never letting her out of my sight!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The five words no mother wants to hear from her 2 y.o.

"Mommy, look!  I up high!"

Yes, Nugget has a bunk bed.  It's a twin over full, and he sleeps in the full, bottom part.  The ladder is tucked away under the bed, so he's not tempted to climb to the top bunk and flip off of it.  He really had not shown much interest in the top bunk, but when he would ask, "I go up dear?"  I would just tell him no and that he had to be 5 to sleep up there.   "Oh.  I two."  Yup.

Until yesterday.  I was organizing their closets (again) and had gone into Strip's room to put away some things for next season when I hear the 5 above mentioned words.  Sure enough, I walk into his room and he is on the top bunk, no ladder needed.  I foresee a trip to the er and a cast in our future.  At least swimming season is over...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hating me when she's older is inevitable, right?

So dressing her thematically will just give her something else to talk about in therapy?

Oh good. Because I am.

I posted earlier and apparently lied when I said I probably would not make Strip a dress for our big movie date. I just couldn't help myself. I had a couple of kid free hours on Tuesday, so I took myself to browse fabric. I found some cute gingham and some red sparkly fabric, and some solid red to make the straps and lining. And a few hours later, I had this:

In the words of Strip, "AH TAH!"

These dresses are crazy-easy to whip out and it's almost silly NOT to make the reversible. So after gathering my supplies for the Dorothy-ish dress, I wandered around waiting to be inspired. It had to be something that would go with the red, and it just felt too early to make Christmas outfits. Then I stumbled upon some adorably retro apple and pear fabric, and wouldn't you know, Strip is going to pick apples tomorrow for school, so the flip side is...

Woo hoo! Happy apple picking in your apple-dorable dress!

And yeah, I think I've mastered this pattern and need to branch out to something else. Otherwise, she's going to have 18 versions of the same dress.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm so excited!!

And for some reason, I can't even say those words without thinking about THIS saved by the bell.

Anyway, it appears I'm behind the curve in a preschool rite of passage; going to a movie.  Some people take 2 year-olds to movies.  Honestly, the only way I would take my 2 year-old to a movie would be if my 4 year-old were DYING to see something.  Even then, I think I'd find a sitter.  So here Strip is, almost 4 1/2 having never seen a movie.  And because I've waited so long, I feel like it needs to be something awesome that she will always remember (yes, I'm probably over thinking it).  My other challenge is that she watches movies with a running dialogue.  "Mommy, did you see that?  Why did she do that?  What happened to her shoes?  She had earrings on in the cartoon, but now that she's a real person, she doesn't have earrings.  What happened to her earrings?  Who is that? Are they in love?  Are they going to get married?  Did you see that?  I have to go to the bathroom, can you pause it?"

Needless to say, I've been waiting for the opportunity to arise.  A few weeks ago, Hubs and I went to see Harry Potter at the IMAX theatre (yes, I'm a dork.  A 3d IMAX dork), and there was a preview for the ONE NIGHT ONLY RE-RELEASE OF THE WIZARD OF OZ!!!!!!! Perfect!!!  She's seen and loves the movie, she knows what's going to happen, so she won't be scared and it's a perfect, classic "first movie!"  I bought our tickets tonight, so we are on for a girls night!  I'm so excited, I'm tempted to whip up a Dorothy costume for her to wear... but I won't.  Because I can hear your voice, Ma.  "Don't sew another stitch until you make Nugget that matching outfit I sent you fabric for!"

And I say "another" because this weekend, I slapped together this reversible dress (great buddy who lives in Alaska (read limited shopping) is taking her kids to see Lion King next weekend and wanted something animal print for her 3 year-old that didn't look trashy, so I did a 2-for-1 Halloween and Lion King outfit....and I monogrammed it in hot pink, so she HAS to go get the hot pink fake uggs from Target to match.  You are welcome :-)  )

I can't wait!!  

Friday, September 11, 2009

Report card time

Not really, but we did survive our first week of preschool.

Strip seems to love her class.  I get the run down of everything they do, so I feel like I'm there.  She is, however, quite accident prone.  My kids are experts at dusting it off, but because it's a new school year, and maybe some parents are drama llama's, they write up little incident reports.  I think I will bring a pack of paper in so we're not wasting the school supplies.  Day one was ok, but day two, she got pinched by a wiggly toilet seat and had to sit on an ice pack during lunch.  Day three, she was selected to be line leader, but after leading the line over to a fence, she leaned against it and scraped against a random screw, resulting in a back boo boo.  If it's not broken or bleeding, I'm sure she'll survive.  But it's nice to know the teachers are pro-active!

Nugget is only there one day a week, and happens to go one day that Strip is there.  The first day was great.  Aside from trying to kill himself by climbing and jumping off everything on the playground (and also giving three random teachers a heart attack), he did really well.  His teacher said he transitioned really well from each activity and was the first one to sit down and finish his craft.  He does have a screamer in his room.  She was screaming when I dropped him off and she was still screaming at pick-up time.  Apparently, he got to sit next to her at lunch.  He looked at her and said, "Why you crying?!"  then leaned over and gave her a little hug.  Sweet boy!  He was excited to see me when I picked him up, but was way more excited to see Strip and show her, "I make!" which was his craft.

To celebrate, we hit a delicious little shop that I have never been in, but now will never be able to drag myself away from.  They have the most delectable (safe for me) chocolate which makes beautiful mochas.  They also have little kid sized slushees.  I had seen pictures of a friend's kid drinking a BRIGHT BLUE one and just made a mental note to grab some OxyClean on the way home, but I was happy to see they had lemonade ones, too (read light yellow so drips almost clear).  The best part?  The slushees are about $.88 each.  Woo to the hooo!

The hardest part about the week was day two when Strip got to go to school and Nugget didn't.  He seemed to do ok when we dropped her off, and after our long night we just went home and watched Cars.  The bad part came when we went to pick her up.  He suddenly realized that he did not go to school that day and started screaming, "I'M A DUCK!  I'M A DUCK!!!"about as loud and dramatic as "Soylent Green is people!"  It was really ugly and to make matters worse, Strip's class seemed to be the last to let out, so the entire preschool got to share the joy.

Over all, it was a good week.  Next week is Strip's first field trip and I've been asked to drive.  When I was telling her who would be in our car, she said, "Oh, we have GOT to get some more car seats."  I told her it wouldn't be a problem and that all the other moms would bring and install the kids' car seats that morning.  She sat for a few seconds and said, "Do you think you could get me a new pair of shoes and that pink booster seat by then?  This one is just brown and boring and I do NOT want my friends to see it."  

Sorry, kiddo.  Safety first.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beauty: It's in the eye of the beholder

What makes someone beautiful?  

Nugget, Strip and I had to run some errands during our super busy day Tuesday, and one stop was to the cell phone store.  Both kids were EXHAUSTED and AT&T wireless was not on their list of fun activities for the day.  We just had to exchange something for Hubs, so we had a nice pep talk in the car about how we weren't going to touch anything and we'd be in and out and eating cake balls in no time.

We walk in, and the lovely greeter girl greets us at the door.  I tell her what we need and she gets a guy to find the screen protectors Hubs needs for his new phone.  I get the kids settled on a bench, but Nugget is having way too much fun trying to flip off the back of it.  Dude finally finds what I (think I) need, but there is a difference in pay, and they owe me, but they can't give me cash, yadda, yadda, yadda, and I'm running back and forth between the bench with my cirque du soleil  offspring and dude with the screen protectors.  Greeter gal tells me, "they are fine!  Don't worry, I'll keep an eye on them!" so I finish my business and gather the monkeys.   Greeter Gal lovingly tells the kiddos bye and we are walking out of the door.

Strip:  She was lovely, wasn't she?
Me:   Yes, she seemed very nice.
Strip:  I bet she makes lots of good choices and NEVER picks her nose.
Me:  Umm yeah.  You are probably right!

What's your special job?

Another long day in this long week, and shocker, everything was the end of the world for Strip.  I was exhausted myself as Nugget woke up at 2 am screaming that there was a rocket in his room (the cd player hubs put in his room when he stole the Bose one is a horrible one with an alarm; you can set it to wake up to "soothing ocean sounds."  However, to a 2 year-old at 2 am, soothing ocean sounds are closer to a rocket ship lifting off.  And to top it all off, when he woke up screaming hysterically an hour later, I think I broke a toe.  LONG. NIGHT.), so a screaming hysterical Strip was not high on my list of wants and needs.

After 3 chapters of Fantastic Mr. Fox and two prayers, I was trying to get her smiling before she fell asleep, so I started asking about school.

Me:  So are there special jobs at school?
Strip:  Yeah (sniff sniff)
Me:  Is there a line leader?
Strip:  Yessss
Me:  Is there a snack helper?
Strip:  Yeeessss
Me:  Is there a weather person?
Strip: yeeeesssss
Me: (trying to get her to laugh) Is there a nose picker?!
Strip:  No, but there is a kid who always puts his hands down his pants!

I thought I was going to fall off the bed laughing.  I hope they don't rotate that position!  I said that was kinda gross, and she (thankfully) agreed. She asked what I would do if I were her and some kid stuck his hand down his pants, and I told her, I'd probably tell him that wasn't a nice thing to do in school and he needs to go wash his hands.  She said, "That's JUST what my teacher said!!!!"  Glad I had the right answer!

Thank YOU, HomeGoods.

When PaPa and Ma were here, the girls (and Nugget) made a run to my favorite place, HomeGoods.  After browsing (and for Nugget, eating) around the store, Ma was checking out with a cutie new cupcake server that doubles as a votive holder that looks like a spider web.  The kind lady behind the counter asked if we wanted to donate a dollar to help beat cancer.  Ma handed Strip a dollar, Strip handed the dollar to the lady and the lady handed Strip a yellow and red donation house so she could write her name on the line.

The problem with this is that my child is an elephant and never forgets, so when the nice lady said, "And we're gonna hang this up and you can see it next time you're in here!" I knew we were in trouble.  Sure enough, last weekend, we were shoe shopping and ended up at HomeGoods (I know they don't sell shoes, but like I said, I love it there!).  As we were on our way out, Strip noticed a large poster behind the counter with the little house papers on it.

"Oh Mommy!  Let's look for my name!" 

2 issues.  #1, they gave her the tiniest point pen to write her name on the line (why did they not have a bright pink sharpie?!) and #2, this is what the posters looked like:

but front and back.  Times 8.  We finally found her name on the very last poster as we were walking out the door.  So much for a quick trip into HomeGoods!

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's Fall, Y'all!

I knew it was coming because a couple of weeks ago, when I got home, our patriotic American flag had been replaced with our SEC house divided flag.  Because we live a few states away from our almae matres (that's plural for alma mater--I know, I looked it up), we have the problem of not being able to watch the games on our local stations.  We also have the problem of not feeling like we are at the game unless we are watching football at a tailgate.  Solution?  Read on.

Step one was to order the game package.  That was the easy part.  We love our neighbors and hang out with them most nights/weekends.  So a few weeks ago, we were discussing how awesome it would be to be able to broadcast the games on a big screen.  Then the boys went crazy.  The next thing neighbor chick and I know, we are the proud owners of an HD projector.  Great.  After collecting a few things from around both houses (cable, cable box, bose radio, and a step ladder), Hubs and neighbor hubs were ready to test their new toy.  We shot the projector on our inside wall and it looked great.  As I was leaving for work, the boys were discussing how the needed a tarp or something (Hubs was already looking into ordering a white tarp or screen to shoot it on, but they needed to test it out NOW).  I stupidly reminded him that our king sheets were white, and the spare set was in our closet.  Big.  Mistake.

I come home to find our king sized flat sheet NAILED (with 36 holes) to the side of the neighbor's screened in porch.   As I approach my taut linens, I look at Hubs and neighbor hubs (who look as proud as the day their first borns arrived), and say, "Seriously?!  Nails?!"  To which Hubs replied, "I know, but we wanted it to look good, and I told neighbor hubs if it was messed up, I could fill in the holes, no problem!"  No, my dear, I was not worried about the neighbor's porch.  I was kinda more concerned with our now perforated sheet.  

It does look pretty fantastic, though.  Here's a pic of Strip showing it off:

But that just wouldn't do.  I mean, it's big, but it could be bigger, right??  Of course right.
So we projected it on the side of our house.  It's like we are there.  As the two hubs' were taking in the beauty of our giant screen, the wives were getting ready to run to get milk and other necessities from the store.  So I come home from work to find my sheet nailed to the side of the house, and as we are leaving, I hear, "Well, it would be perfect if it weren't for that tree limb..." followed by, "Oh, that little guy?  I could cut that down no problem.  Go grab your clippers!"

I'm surprised they didn't just rip the cedar siding off the side of the house.  I'm sure they considered it, but instead, sometime this week, UPS will be delivering a 15 x 10 foot white tarp and the boys will be constructing  our new screen.  We are all pumped and enjoyed watching Saturday football on the side of the house.  The only problem is seeing food commercials that big.  Wow!

My only other issue with the big screen project (I mean aside from ruining a perfectly good sheet and changing the landscaping to accommodate) is the fact that my corner kitchen spinning cabinet:

is messed up and takes the force of a bull to actually spin around.  This little project has been moved to the bottom of the honey do list for the past 7 months.  But operation turn the side of the house into a movie theatre?  Mission accomplished in less than a week.  Gotta love men.

Side note, it is pretty awesome.  I'm not sure what was more fun, watching the game, or watching all the extra cars come through the neighborhood to looky-loo at us!  And we've already made big plans for joint family movie nights, halloween movie parties, slumber parties with the big screen, Super Bowl, the possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It was an honor to be nominated

Our revolving door of guests just keeps spinning, and this week, it's PaPa and Ma!  And they couldn't visit without a Ford full of surcees, so both kiddos got some loot.  As Ma was going through the goods with Strip, she pulled out a Care Bear and a Care Bear movie.  Strip said, "Fanks for the Care Bear, Ma, but you already gave me this movie!"  Strip was totally right.  So Ma said we would go to Target and let her pick out a new movie.

Strip decide she really wanted Princess Protection Program.  Earlier in the week, she was really wanting to Redbox it, so I asked her what it was about.  She replied, "It's a story about a princess from a small kingdom and a girl from a small town.  When live brings them together, they learn what friendship really means!"  Way to memorize the trailer!  I need to turn the tv off.  So we headed to Target today to get it.  Care Bears -- $5.99.  Princess Protection Program; BFF Extended Edition -- $19.99.  That's what I call an upgrade, Strip.

Anyway, the PPP BFF EE (did you get all that) looks like this:

Yup, that's a BFF necklace that's FREE with purchase!  I told Strip what it was and that you gave one half to your BFF and the other, you keep.  So when we got home, I opened the dvd and handed her the necklace.  She gave ME one half!  Woo hoo!  About 20 min. later, I had to run to work for a meeting, and when I came back, the movie was just finishing.  I leaned down to give her a hug and she noticed my necklace.

Strip:  Did everyone think your necklace was beautiful?
Me:  Oh, yes!  They did!
Strip: giving me a hug - Your my best friend forever...until someone else comes over that I like!

Well thanks, sweetie!  At least she likes me now :-)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I could so enjoy the pool if it weren't for other people.

My kids are fish.  Strip had the advantage of spending a couple of years literally in the water year round because we lived in FL.  Nugget was also a water baby, but because he was much smaller, he really didn't remember swimming.  So the first time we hit the pool, he had a death grip on me.  We played and splashed and sure enough, he was all about the water in no time.  Still not as comfy in the water as Strip was at his age, but getting there.  Here's Strip the fish at 15 months:

Whoa.  And yeah, you can call me mother of the year.  There she is, middle of the pool in nothing but a swim diaper.  Klassy.

Anyway, earlier in the summer we met a buddy at her pool.  As Strip is swimming laps (for real) across the pool, Nugget is happily playing on the steps.  I knew if I could wrestle him into a manlier version of the float pictured above, he could kick it in the middle of the pool and I could help Strip if she needed it, seeing as the two lifeguards who were being PAID to watch the pool were too busy texting/flirting/checking out the other high school eye-candy.  I managed to get him into the float and was trying to get him to see that if he stepped off the step, he would be fine.  But he's strong willed.  And because I'm his mother and know him, I looked at him and said, "You're fine.  I'm right here, go!" and plopped him about 5 feet from the steps.

Cue the screaming child and death stares from other mothers.  Nugget is screaming, "No, Momma!  No, Momma!"  AS he is kicking and float swimming to the steps. Meanwhile all the other mothers who were reading their magazines or chatting on their phones while their kids were wrapped in swimmies and life vests allowing them to be totally ignored by their parent, were now dialing DFACS as fast as their manicured fingers would let them.  Nugget makes it to the step and says, "No, momma, no mom...I DID IT!"  and jumps off the steps to kick in the pool some more.

Fast forward to yesterday.  We head to the pool for one last swim before summer is officially over.  We walk in the gate, and Nugget walks right up to the steps.  A month ago, he just took off his float and has just been swimming with no assistance.  He is 2 however, so he doesn't look like he can swim.  I am putting our stuff down a step and a dive away from the pool and tell him to come over and take his shoes off.  Strip has stripped and jumped in already.  Nugget sheds his shoes and walks back over to the steps.  He looks over at me and says, "Momma.  I et eeeen?"  [Nugget speak for, Mother would it be alright if I got in the pool now?]  I reply, "Yes, just remember that you can't really swim."

My mistake.  I watch as he takes two steps in and sits down to splash.  I turn to face the chair and spread out the towel.  I look back to see him stand up and walk to one end of the c curved steps.  I spread out Strip's towel.  I turn back and see him jump under water, swimming along the steps which he is fine to do on his own because he can always just stand up.  Apparently, it was my bad for not informing the entire pool of his swimming abilities.  As I am smiling at my little fish and thinking how far he's come, I see a flash of blue out of the corner of my eye and hear hysterical screaming.  (Remember, I am standing RIGHT by the steps).  I look up and there is a woman (another mom) SPRINTING toward me screaming, "He's under water!  He's under water!!" and she is taking her swim cover up off.  I get a little scared for her thinking her kid fell in or something, and since the lifeguard is at the other end of the pool, and I'm right there, I look to the pool ready to save her kid for her.  But the only kid I see is mine, happily swimming on the steps. So I'm confused and look back at the Great Blue Blur who is still screaming hysterically, and has now gotten right up to me and is pointing to Nugget screaming, "He's under water!!!!"  Nugget stands up with a big wet grin on his face, and I look back at BBB finally putting 2 and 2 together and say, "Ohhhhh!  No, it's ok! He can swim!"  BBB apologizes and walks back over to her seat (at the edge of the pool near the deep end) and I call back, "No, thank you for being concerned!"  

She kind of continues to give me the stink eye like she really doesn't think Nugget can swim and I just got lucky that time.  I glance over at her kids, the youngest I'm guessing is about 7, who are clad in so many flotation devices (all three of them) I'm surprised they weren't walking on water.  I get in the water and Nemo Nugget counts down, jumps off the steps and swims halfway across the pool to me.  BBB kinda shrugs like "Oh I guess he CAN swim," and goes back to watching her bubble kids.  

Friend (who is now pregnant, YAY!) gets to the pool and comments on what a great swimmer Nugget has become since that first float incident at the pool.  I fill her in on the BBB.

Me:  So three months ago, I'm getting the stink eye because I'm making my kid swim, and now I'm getting the stink I because he CAN swim!

Pregnant friend:  You can't win!

Me:  Welcome to motherhood!