Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Let the adventure begin!

Well, we miraculously were able to shove everything in our house into one, giant moving truck, said goodbye to every room in our house and hit the road! We were left with a final snowy night and a little snowy drive, and were at PaPa and Ma's in time for a late supper. Hubs and I were hitting the road on Saturday, but weren't in any big rush. That is, until we were ready to go.

Hubs started getting antsy about getting a move on, but really had no good reason, just, "I wanna get there's dark?" So as we were loading up (again), Ma announced that she needed to run a quick errand and she'd be right back. Cuz had just dropped off her 2 year-old to play, so we thought it best not to leave them all unattended. So we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Ma returned, I had to run a quick errand before we left town, and we were on the road! THAT's when it hit Hubs. We did a remote closing on our new house, so our realtor had dropped our keys in Hubs' po box. And our po box is at a place that closes at 5:00 PM. And a place that's not open on Sunday. Sunday would be the day the truck was arriving to the house we had no keys to, and according to Garmin, our arrival time was 5:04 PM.

We called the Postal Place, and the girl said, "No worries! Take your time! Call me along the way, and if it's after 5:00, I can just scoot back over. I live RIGHT around the corner." Now, if I owned a mail place and had someone coming just after closing, I would just stay until they got there, but whatever.

We pulled into the city limits and gave her a call. After 4 rings, the call went to voicemail. No problem! She probably didn't recognize the number. We left a message and continued toward the mail place. When we pulled up, we were greeted with the CLOSED sign and dark windows. So we called again. Not only was there no answer, her voicemail was full.

Uh oh.

Luckily there was a bonefish nearby, so we decided to hang out there while we waited. As we enjoyed a celebratory chardonnay, we started weighing the cost of a locksmith vs breaking a window. Then we remembered that ALL of our closing paperwork was with the keys, in the po box at the now closed postal place. And seeing as we had out-of-state licenses and out-of-state cell phone numbers, it was going to be hard to convince a locksmith to open a strange house on a pinky promise that it was ours.

Finally, after figuring out what window to break, the girl called us back and we were able to free our keys! We drove over to the house, walked around and figured we'd scoot over to the grocery store to pick up some staples to tide us over. $96 and a redbox movie later, we were ready to go! We turned right out of the parking lot and the blue lights start flashing.


I was digging around through the glove box looking for the registration (which, since it's a company car, I'm not even sure it had been put in Hubs' name yet) and we were both trying desperately to figure out what law we'd broken after coming to a complete stop and driving 5 mph. Turns out, when Hubs had his oil changed that day, they hit a reset button and triggered his automatic lights so they don't come on any more. WHEW! He made sure we got the lights on, waved and said, "Welcome to Florida!" and we were off.

PaPa and Ma lent us their 2 twin air mattresses, and we bought a crackling duraflame log, so we were ready to spend our first night in the new house. We blew up the beds, got the fire going, plugged in my computer and were ready to watch a movie and relax. However, we had forgotten pillows and blankets. Oh well! It can't be that bad!

I fell asleep very early into the movie, but woke up at some point to Hubs saying (or I thought he said, anyway), "Move over, my mattress deflated." I'm not sure our two kids could share a twin air mattress comfortably much less the two of us, so needless to say, that first night's sleep was not the greatest. But I just thought about how much nicer our 32 year-old mattress was going to feel in the morning. Well, imagine my surprise when my alarm went off to glance over and see Hubs' mattress FULLY inflated. I asked him what the heck he was doing on my mattress and he said, "No, I didn't say it was deflated, I said it felt like it was deflatING." Ugh.

We made a quick trip to Starbucks and loaded up on espresso. We met the truck at 8 AM and worked non-stop until 5. We somehow managed to get just under 4000 sq feet of stuff into a just over 2000 sq ft house, and had about 80% unpacked and settled! We treated ourselves to dinner and were going to see a movie, but ended up back at the house and dead to the world before 8 PM!

And, as if we didn't have enough "stuff" in the house already, we spent Monday driving all over looking for two additional pieces of furniture and after finding them, treating ourselves to a new mattress and boxspring (Merry Christmas to us and thank you Costco!).

We tried to make up for lost time on Tuesday and finish getting everything in place. I had a job interview at 2:00, so was watching the clock. At about 11:00 AM, as we were changing out a ceiling fan in Nugget's room, the power went out. We called to report it (after I totally blamed Hubs) and found out there was a tree down and they had no clue when power would be restored. And there I stood in a t-shirt, scrub bottoms having not showered. And I needed to be clean and pretty in 1.5 hours.

The good thing about having a husband who's lived out of a hotel for the past 2 months is you can call and get a room for an hour with little to no problem. I checked into the Hampton Inn at noon, showered, got dressed and thought about calling in sick to the interview and just taking a nap in the luxuriously quiet room, packed my stuff and checked out at 1 PM. The marathon interview ended at 5, and it took me 20 minutes to get on the interstate. Not because traffic was bad, just because I kept missing the ramp. Home for 40 minutes, we loaded the car and were on the road.

LONGEST CAR RIDE EVER. We were both SO tired, but were pulling off the interstate at midnight. That's when I looked at Hubs and said, "You did get my green suitcase out of the closet, right?"

Umm no....

"But that's the suitcase I brought outside, wasn't it?!!"

"No, that was mine! You didn't get yours?!"

"I thought that WAS mine!"

So as I type, I am literally wearing Mom Jeans (as in my mom's jeans) and am thankful we threw all of our dirty clothes in a giant trash bag to wash here.

We're hoping when we welcome the kids and pup home, there will be a little adventure.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Eh, nobody's dying.

We're closing in on the last few days here, and since the weather outside is frightful fabulous and snowy, we've been doing play dates at the bookstore. The one on Monday was so fun, the girlies decided they wanted an encore yesterday. So as soon as Strip got off the bus, she changed into her ballet clothes, I whipped her hair into a bun and we were off! The moms grabbed a cup of coffee in the cafe, then we headed back to the kids' area to play. Nugget went straight for the train table and the girls hit the books.

And it was time for me to get some sweet baby lovin! Friend Mom (FM) has an adorable baby boy who was born in October and I take every opportunity I can to get that sweet baby sugar.

I was standing up next to the trains, swaying back and forth (because you just HAVE to do that when you are holding a t-tiny baby) when an angry, older lady, came barreling past us to the computer to look up a book for a customer. I kindly stepped out of her way and continued chatting. The girls came over closer to us, and Strip knelt down to look at a book on one of the displays. Angry Lady started walking back to the customer and tripped over Strips slightly extended stabilizing leg. She caught herself, and turned to give us all the angry eye. I quickly apologized (not that it was our fault she wasn't aware there were CHILDREN in the CHILDREN'S section) and told Strip to watch her feet.

That was not enough.

Angry Lady turned to walk away, stopped and turned back to us. Glaring, she was desparatly trying to think of something to say. Unable to, her gaze shifted to the kids' sized picnic table where the girls had set up a Pinkalicious and dragon tea party with about 9 of the mini stuffed animals. BINGO!

"NO! NO! You need to clean this up! YOu can't do that! People can't even get to the table because of that mess NO NO NO!!!"

And she stormed away.

I was dumbfounded. We were the only ones in the back of the store, aside from the 86 year-old customer Angry Lady was assisting, and I'm pretty sure if she wanted to sit and read, she was going to opt for a comfy chair in the adult section over folding herself into the pint-sized picnic table. And it's not like we were leaving. We were sitting there, reading, drinking our coffee, enjoying the afternoon. Now before you start yelling, yes, I've worked in retail, and I know there is NOTHING more infuriating than setting something up only to have kids (or adults even) destroy it and leave. So, had she said, "Oh girls! Make sure you put those back, please," I would be fine, but YELL at MY baby? Oh no you didn't.

As she stormed away, I looked down to see a quivering lip. I quickly knelt down and assured Strip, "You did NOTHING wrong. That lady was not looking where she was going and tripped over YOU. And because she made a mistake, she had to find something to get mad at you about. You are NOT in trouble. That said, these are not your toys, so why don't you and buddy put all but two back."

Ooooh she rubbed me the wrong way! I looked back at FM and said, "Can you believe that woman?!"

I know. Nobody's dying.

I gave her a confused look, and she continued.

She went on to say that she thinks everyone should work in a nursing home or hospice care for a time in their life. It gives you a whole new outlook on your day. So after coming into work everyday to watch someone die and comfort grieving loved ones, retail stress just rolls off your back. 'OH! This display looks HORRIBLE!' Eh, you can fix that easily. 'These prices are WRONG!' We'll just re-do them. After watching someone struggle to take their last breath, you can pretty much deal with any bother in life.

So true.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Think before you type.

**I didn't take this picture. It's a google image from access Hollywood. There ya go**

I managed to snap a decent picture of the kids and Zoe for our Christmas card and didn't even need to photoshop it this year! As I was designing the card (and by designing it, I mean dropping my picture into pre-made cards online), I was trying to think of some way to combine moving announcement with the card.

I've got it! Adorable picture of the kids and dog, ribbon running across the bottom middle of the card with the phrase, "We'll be (in a new) home for Christmas!" an obvious play on "I'll be home for Christmas." However, on second glance, it looked more like an announcement that HUbs and I were shipping the kids and new dog off as a packaged deal to a new home and we were done with them.

Think before you type!

On a similar note, Hubs has been back and forth, so we haven't been able to watch Glee together. A week or so ago, Gwyneth Paltrow was on and did one of Hubs' favorite (as of recently) songs, "F-You," or as they cleaned it up, "Forget you." The more Hubs would sing it, the more it got stuck in my head, so when GP Gleeked it up (and if you missed it, you can see it HERE) I immediately thought of Hubs (who was in some random city the night it aired).

Tonight, a friend posted the video on her facebook page. After listening to it on a loop, I thought, "Oh! I don't think Hubs ever saw it!" So, instead of emailing him the above youtube link, what did I do? Posted it on my page with the caption, "This is for you, Hubs!"

Hmmmm. Who dedicates the song, "Forget you!" to her husband via Facebook?! Just so you all know, that was NOT an announcement of our relationship status. It was just me, failing to think before I typed.

Off to download the Glee 4 soundtrack!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nugget says the darndest!

These are Martha Stewart's cupcakes. You can learn how to make them HERE. I didn't make these or take the picture.

But, I DID pick Nugget up from school today and noticed the remnants of a bakery box of cupcakes on the pickup table. We got in the car and were chatting about his day when I said,

Me: Hey buddy! What did you have for snack today?
Nugget: Cupcakes!!
Me: Ohhh That's special! Was it someone's birthday?
Nugget: Yes it was my friend JESUS' birthday!

I had no idea he was in their class!

Anyway, we head to the outdoor mall (because it was snowing, and I wanted to walk around a little) and were heading to a store where I wanted to check out something for the kids for Christmas. We get to the entrance and Nugget stops and says, "Hey! I can read that sign! It says, 'Balls!'"

Close buddy. Close.

Felix is back!

Felix is our Elf on the Shelf and he arrived back at our house on Monday. The kids were SO excited to see him, and I was excited to see the, "Shhh! Felix is watching!" behavior that inevitably follows.

While Felix did bring the kids a couple of surcees, he seemed to have left his magic behavior wand at the North Pole. So, Felix did what any good elf would do, laid down the guilt trip.

Because of the move, we weren't really going to be able to decorate for Christmas, but Monday night, while the kids were asleep, Felix filled the house with Christmas cheer (and decorations!). The kids awoke to find Felix atop a Christmas tree on the mantle, and with him was a note. Felix explained that the first report he had to give Santa was not so great, but he told the big guy all about our stressful Thanksgiving and upcoming move, and he and Santa agreed that they needed a little Christmas cheer in the house. He also asked that the kids sign the back of the note to confirm where they would be spending Christmas so that he could submit his paperwork to elf relocation and meet us at PaPa and Ma's.

So, last night, the kids signed their names and went to bed. Nugget went to bed easily, Strip, not so much. Overtired, over stuffed with dinner, she screamed and yelled about anything she could think of, "I need another book! This pillow isn't right! I can't see out my window if it snows! AHHHHHHHH!" Lovely. Hubs was packing for another road trip, so I was hanging out upstairs with him watching last week's Glee episode. I was about to go to bed when I remembered that my blood pressure meds (yes, I'm really 72) were downstairs. Hubs said he had to go downstairs in a minute anyway, so he'd get them.

No, it's fine, I have to move Felix anyway.

I'll do it!

So Hubs finds my drugs and comes back upstairs. We go to bed and he gets up to leave before the crack of dawn. A few hours later, I wake the kids up, we make our beds, get dressed and get ready to find Felix. Hubs ALWAYS finds the best spots for him.

Guess where he was?

Still on top of the tree. Holding the note. I text Hubs is Felix Fail, and quickly try to cover.

Well, Felix only has a certain amount of time to get to the North Pole and back. Maybe he was waiting until you settled down last night so he could give Santa a GOOD report, and missed his opportunity to leave and get back. So he just stayed?

Strip sighed and said, "here we go again..." Thinking she meant, "LIES LIES LIES!" I asked her to elaborate.

"Here we go again. Another day trying to be on our best behavior."


Right at that moment, Hubs called, and as he was talking to Strip they discussed Felix's non-movement. I could hear Hubs saying something about how he left SUPER early, in the middle of the night even, and he SAW Felix coming back down the chimney. Ugh, we have GOT to get our stories straight. After they got off the phone, Strip filled me in on the Felix spotting.

Me: Well, that makes sense. If Felix was coming back in when Daddy was leaving, he probably got scared and just hopped right back on that tree, not having enough time to get to a different spot. And then I bet he was scared to move because he didn't know when we'd be coming downstairs.

Strip: Yeah, and he probably didn't have enough time after giving Santa that looooonng report about how we were acting up in the restaurant last night, and then me not going to sleep, so I bet he just brought the note back and will give it to whoever tonight when he goes back.

Me: You are exactly right.

Whew! That was a close one!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanking God for road blocks

Hubs and I married in April of 2004, and to say our life has been a whirlwind would be an understatement. I've always thrived in a chaotic, stress-filled life. Growing up, I was involved in as many extracurricular activities I could pack into a 7-day week. In college, I took as many hours as possible, while working at a local jewelry store and doing other random stuff like coaching a girls soccer team or singing for a local church in a quartet.

When Hubs and I started dating, I could see our life plans falling into place. We'd chat about life and love, and I knew happily ever after would be a breeze with him. The Monday after Father's Day, I awoke to the worst stomach pains of my life (no, this is not an "I didn't know I was pregnant" story, I promise). After being admitted to the hospital and running some tests, an emergency appendectomy was in order. Hubs rushed into town to be with me during my recovery.

He apparently was also asking Papa (then, just my dad), for my hand in marriage. A few days later, while still under the haze of pain killers, on one knee by my make-shift bed in the playroom of my parents' house, Hubs asked me to marry him. I had never really picture what my proposal would look like, but THIS for sure wasn't it!

We make plans, God laughs.

The following week, Hubs went back to work in his sales territory. We knew his company was making cuts, but figured he was safe. I mean, a company who makes its money on sales HAS to keep its salesmen, right? Wrong. Not even a week after I said YES, Hubs found out that managers were being moved down to sales, and the sales guys were out. Now wedding planning was put on the back burner as we took a deep breath and prayed for something to work out. I had no idea we'd be looking at in sickness and in health, good times and bad, richness and poor all in the same week (and 9 long months before we even made it to the alter!).

We make plans, God laughs.

Hubs found a good job and started the day of our engagement party. A few months later, we married in a beautiful ceremony, surrounded by family and friends. We spent our wedding night at the Four Seasons and flew to Mexico for our relaxing honeymoon. We arrived at our all inclusive resort and settled quickly in to our sun and fun routine. The second night, while enjoying a Japanese influenced dinner, Hubs had a few sushi rolls. Hubs then spent the following four nights romantically hugging the toilet in our room, while I sat in the in-room jacuzzi watching the Simpson's en espanol to drown out the sounds of Hubs' vomiting while pondering if I was going to have to take him to a Mexican hospital while fearfully envisioning him dying on our honeymoon. I had never really pictured what our honeymoon would look like, but THIS for sure wasn't it!

We make plans, God laughs.

A few days stateside, Hubs was 20 lbs lighter, but feeling better. We started our new life in a new town and started making plans for the future. I was dragging my feet looking for a job, hoping Hubs would be promoted to open his own office in a different location. We enjoyed being newlywed, going to dinner whenever we pleased, visiting friends and family and decorating our tiny house. While making plans for the future, we decided a tour of Europe was in order (especially considering I got slighted on the whole honeymoon thing), and we made the bold statement that we wouldn't have kids until we'd done Europe together. What came next? Two pink lines (well, actually 10 pink lines. I was convinced I was getting false positives).

We make plans, God laughs.

We welcomed Strip into the world in May (13 months after we got married, for those trying to do the math). I was feeling my way through being a new mom, and we were still waiting for that promotion. Hubs finally had enough and started looking for other jobs. He gave himself the deadline, saying if he had not found a new, good job by x, he was just going to quit and we'd move back to his hometown where he could farm with his dad. I've never prayed so hard in my life! I was standing in a Babies R Us bathroom, changing diapers with Alaska buddy when I got the call that Hubs got THE job, and we were heading to south Florida.

After suffering from sticker shock while house hunting, we found a place to call home and began feeling our way through our new normal as a family of three in SWFL. We celebrated Strip's first birthday and planned our first trip to Disney World. The discussion of kid number 2 came up and we starting thinking about expanding our family. Apparently, that's all we have to do, because we were soon staring at two pink lines, again (actually this time, it was four pink lines and the digital read out saying "Pregnant"). I had JUST accepted a job. We were just getting things settled.

We make plans, God laughs.

A long, vomiting 36 weeks later, Nugget arrived. This c-section was going to be different. I requested a mirror so I could watch and eagerly anticipated going to recovery with my tiny baby boy. After a quick hello over the blue drape, Nugget was taken into another room and we waited. And waited. And waited. He was not breathing well, so instead of wheeling us to recovery together, he was whisked up to the NICU and I was taken up to my room without my baby.

At this point, I've gotten the gist. I'm not making plans.

We busted Nugget out of the NICU a few days later, and thankfully, he's been fine, overcompensating for his quiet, still start in life by never stopping! Shortly after his first birthday, we got the news that we were moving up to corporate. And even thought I KNOW I said I wasn't making plans, this was something I had been envisioning since Hubs took the job. We found our house, our church, Costco, Trader Joes, friends and friends who were more like family. I slowly started to let my guard down. We were nearing the two-year mark on living there.

We started planning.

Planning for our future there. Planning on how Nugget would be riding the bus in a few years. Planning Strip's first performance in the Nutcracker next December. Planing for winters to come by buying winter coats a little on the big side. Planning for that European vacation. Planning on how we'd re-do the kitchen. Planning.

So it really should have come as no surprise when we had to put our house on the market almost two years to the day that we closed on it. I put on my brave face for the kids, focused on all of the positives for us, our family, our life.

But I was mad. Sad. Bitter. As my mother would say, I had my butt on my shoulders. We had it all planned out! WHY are we having to do this AGAIN. I once thrived in chaos and commotion, but I have kids. I wanted stability. For once, I wanted to do something to our current home, not impulse buy another one.

As the shock wore off, I've started to look forward to this move. This was going to be good. This was going to be good for HUbs and I as a couple and good for the kids. We spent last weekend with Hubs' brother and sisters and all the baby cousins. I smiled thinking about how many memories the kids would now have with their cousins instead of the few scattered memories mixed in with holiday travel.

We took a road trip to our Next Stop so the kids could see their schools and the new house. We were on our way back and were in the middle of nowhere. We were stopped at a light, and I was fixated on the car next to us. It had broken down and was on the shoulder. Two t-tiny dogs were playing next to the car and a tow truck was preparing to load it onto the large bed. I caught the light change out of the corner of my eye along with the steady crawl of a Mac truck pulling through the intersection in front of us, and continued to watch the puppies hoping they wouldn't run out in the road and debating whether to roll down my window and tell the lady sitting in the passenger side to put down her cigarette and pick up the dogs.

That's when I heard the crunch.

We looked around and noticed the blazer on our left was now scooted into the intersection and an older gentleman driving a sedan had plowed into the back of him. And I mean PLOWED. No breaks squealing, no swerving, just full speed impact. We made sure the man was ok, and the tow truck quickly went to work clearing the cars. We continued on our way. About two hours later, my neck was still hurting just thinking about the wreck when it hit me.

Thank God for the blazer.

Had that Blazer not been waiting at the light, that older man would have continued into the intersection at full speed, hitting the mac truck, head on, more that likely killing him instantly. And while I'm sure the driver of the Blazer wasn't thinking he was at the right place at the right time, I'm glad he was. Thank God for that road block.

And that got me thinking. The road my life, our lives, have taken has not been without it's own roadblocks. Illness, job loss, unexpected children, moves. All things we didn't plan on, but hit head on. And while I'm still not doing cartwheels about this change in our life, I'm trying to have a new appreciation for it. What would we miss if this didn't happen? What will we experience in the coming years? What new joys will we encounter?

When we head back home, we'll be embracing these last few days. Our good-byes will not be without tears, and it will not be easy to follow that giant truck. But as we thank God for our road blocks, I'm not planning for anything , just praying for happiness in our new normal. And while life has showed me that we make plans and God laughs, one thing I also know is that when we pray, God always answers.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Super moms

Yup! This is an actual iphone case available at

One of the things I love most about being a mom is listening in on other moms' knowledge sharing. Today, I got another slice.

Three Super moms were standing around chatting about Evil School and how their precious babies are now always sick.

Mom 1: I KNOW it's the school that's making him sick. We don't go ANYWHERE!
Mom 2: You know you're right. We don't go anywhere either. It MUST be the school. All those germs!
Mom 3: Ugh. Tell me about it. We don't go anywhere either, and SuperKid has been sick twice this year.

Ok, pause. You don't go anywhere? ANYWHERE? You child has never sat in a cart at Target? Grabbed a sucker out of the sucker basket at the grocery store? Sat in a highchair at a restaurant? Set foot in a public restroom? Played at a park?

I see a problem right there.

So they continue to enthusiastically nodded at each other about how the real world is slowly killing their babies. At that very moment, SuperMom 1's kid stuck his head in a trash can. Entire head. In the can. And as if it couldn't get any better, SuperMom 2's kid picked up a random shoe and LICKED the bottom of it!

But school is totally the problem.

As a side note, when we pulled into the parking lot, Nugget unbuckled, leaned over my seat and as I turned to see what he wanted, he let loose a juicy sneeze right in my eye. Immune systems hard at work!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fun with House Hunting Day 2

Needless to say, after the first day of house hunting, I didn't sleep well. I told the realtor if it was in our price range and wasn't on fire, we'd go see it, so our day was filled with the second string (which was frightening considering what our first picks ended up looking like. Yikes.).

We got up early, and after spending the night looking at MLS pages, I was spending the morning looking at school websites. Hubs told me to hop in the shower and wandered over to see what I was looking at. When he saw the emblem for the Expensive Private School, he asked me, "Why are you doing that to yourself? You know we can't afford to send the kids there!"

And I lost it.

Well, first, I slammed down the computer and stormed off to the shower. Then I got out, started getting dressed, put on mascara and lost it. I was glad the kids weren't with us because (1) they would probably need to be vaccinated for a slew of fun diseases and (2) Momma needed to have a nervous break down.

Cue Veruca Salt's polar opposite.

Instead of the "I wannas," I let loose a string of "I don't wannas!"

I don't want to move here. I don't want to live in a house we can't afford. I don't want to live in a house we can't afford and have to do a lot of work to. I don't want to find something that will "just work" for a few years, and then deal with the stress of having to try to sell it on our own. I don't want to live in a new construction house with no yard. I don't want to pull the kids out of their schools to move here, and I don't want to uproot them again in a few years when we can afford to move to a nicer neighborhood. I'd rather live in a 600 sq foot town house, paying rent and send them to a private school just so they could have one FREAKING piece of stability in their life, something we haven't been able to give them in the past 6 years!


I reapplied the mascara and we decided just to see what happened. If we didn't find anything, we didn't find anything.

We headed to starbucks where I decided I needed a venti mocha and a preemptive Tylenol (or 2). Somehow Hubs' name = Jim. Again, way off from his actual name.

We flipped through some real estate magazines, then decided to visit the schools and preschool. A MUCH better start to the day. After lunch, we met up with Realtor, put on our happy places and set out to see what we could see. The first house was ok. Nothing spectacular, but nothing we wanted to put an offer on. On to house #2!

As soon as I saw the pictures for #2, I remembered the first time I saw it. It was the very first MLS listing Realtor sent us, but somehow it became lost in the shuffle. We pulled up to the house which was located on a cul de sac (hmmm. Cautiously checking a box!). The house is as old as the one we have now, which means lots of beautiful, mature trees (could that be another check mark?) and the outside looked great. VERY well maintained. Looking MUCH better than the day before.

We walked in, and the house was adorable! Formal dining room meaning I wouldn't have to kiss my china good-bye! Nice sized kitchen and breakfast room. Great little family room with a fireplace (yay!!). Instead of a screened in porch, this one had an actual room off of the family room, separated by french doors. Smaller than our 1100 sq foot basement, but would make a great little play room for the kids (and as I reminded Hubs, as they got older, their crap is going to get smaller. Gone are the days of giant swings, push toys, learning tables). The master bedroom was a good size, with a closet I'm sure Hubs will take over in no time, and the bathroom was great. The kids' rooms are smaller, and their shared bath is smaller, but they would work. Upstairs was a perfect room for Hubs' office. Still in the house, but above all the noise of the kids. The backyard was even bigger than the one we have now, just needed a fence. AND, we noticed that the driveway extended back beyond the garage. When Hubs walked over, he found there was a plug-in for an RV (Next year, we WILL totally be Christmas Vacation!).

Downsides? The kitchen is very outdated, but still usable. Also? The washer/dryer are in the garage. When I made an, "Ergh" face at that, Hubs said, "But really? How big a deal is it to walk out here to do laundry?" Umm for the person who is doing the majority of the laundry? Kinda a pain. BUT, I'm not walking to a laundry mat, it's not like I have to go outside, and it won't be snowing and freezing in the garage, and maybe this will just encourage us to keep the garage clean and organized.

We kept it in mind and visited a few other houses, but decided that this was the one. We decided to sleep on it and see what we wanted to do the next morning. We took my step-grandma out for dinner, then headed back to the hotel where we both slept MUCH better. We were leaving town the next day, but wanted to visit the school the house was zoned for and go look at the house one more time. We looked again at the stats.

On the market for over a year. Last price drop was a while ago. Figuring they weren't going to get much more traffic, we were going to wait until we got back home, had all of our numbers in front of us and make an offer. We drove to Hubs' sister's house feeling pretty good. Enjoyed a delicious dinner out with her, headed back to her house, exhausted, and crashed. Saturday morning, we got up early, said our goodbyes and started driving home. About 4 hours from our house, we get a call from Realtor saying a couple was going for a second showing at "our" house.


I whipped out my phone and found where the nearest Kinkos was, ready to fax over an offer. We were able to submit a verbal offer to hold them off, but still raced to Hubs' office to fax over our real offer. We breathed a giant sigh of relief knowing we'd just have to watch the clock until 6 pm Sunday. Now it was just a question of how many counter offers it would take to get to an agreed amount.

Sunday morning, I got a call from Realtor. Excited, I answered the phone, pretty much expecting to hear, "Congrats! They accepted your offer!" Instead, I heard, "The other couple submitted an offer as well."

This was not good. Really?! The house has been on the market for how long? And it's kind of the ONLY one in our price range that will work for us. And of all the houses, someone else comes along and fall in love with it, too?!? ARGHHHH!!

We upped our offer and sat back, waiting for the clock to strike 6.

And oh how those minutes ticked by.

At 5:45 PM while watching Toy Story 3 with the kids, we FINALLY got the call saying we got the house.


Now we just have to figure out what to do with half of all our stuff. Craigslist, here I come!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fun with house hunting Day 1

Last week, I flew down to our soon-to-be home sweet state. I had done as much internet stalking of neighborhoods and houses as I could, and had a whopping list of 11 houses to see (and that was stretching it). There was really one house that we really liked, but i figured we throw in a few others.

Hubs picked me up from the airport and asked if I wanted to drive around a little before it got dark, and I said sure! He then told me, "'Your' house in under contract."

Crapper. That's the pool house. Now what are we going to do?! I sure hope our realtor has a few other options. We drove around a little and decided to hit a local wine bar to celebrate new beginnings.

The next morning, bright and early, we headed to the starbucks near the hotel. As we placed our order, the barista asked our names. Before I could answer, Hubs gave her our real names. As our drinks were being made (and double cupped for Hubs), I told Hubs about a little game my buddy, Iv, plays when she goes to starbucks. She gives them a TOTALLY random name and watches to see if they flinch, question or giggle at her made-up name.

"Double cup grande vanilla soy latte for 'Cuip?'"

We exchange glances, look behind us and realize that the barista had BUTCHERED Hubs' name and turned completely normal into Cuip.

Cuip and I scooted back to the hotel, met our realtor and were ready for the fun!


When we moved up here, the world was our oyster. We looked at about 38 houses in a DAY, and totally had our pick. We could say things like, "I don't really like that carpet, " or, "This lot is small," KNOWING that any house we looked at WOULD work for us, it was just a matter of IF we wanted it to work for us.


First house was in Pool House's neighborhood, and here's what it had going for it:
* End of a cul de sac
* Less than 4 numbers in the address
* Great school district
* Great curb appeal
* 4 bedrooms
* bonus room for an office

Could we find a winner on the first look?! Hubs and I stood on the front porch as Realtor got the key out of the lock box.
Man this yard is really overgrown...and the porch looks horrible. Is that post rotting....

And then the door opened. Horrible does not begin to describe the state this house was in. After carefully entering bedroom number 2 (while thanking God I had the smarts to toss TWO things of hand sanitizer in my bag), I looked at Realtor and asked

Me: So this one is a short sale?
R: (looking at the mls sheet) Ummm. Nope.
Me: and what's the list price on this one?
R: $70,000 more than the lovely home you now reside in (ok she really just gave me the number).
Me: Yikes.
R:Yeah and it has it's original roof and a/c units.
Me: So we're looking at another $20,000 on top of that?
R: Pretty much.
Me: Good gravy. It's nice to know you can let your house go to crap and still ask a ton for it.
R: Yeah, I had a guy, from your state actually, come down a while ago to look at houses. After looking around, he decided not to take the job. Hahaha!
Me: Yeah, we don't have that option. Let's move on!

Next stop was the pool house, and the owners were home. And it's a short sale. We went to see it both to put it out of my mind and to see it in case the offer fell through. It was lovely and exactly what we needed in a house, but we moved on because we couldn't wait around on a short sale even if there wasn't an offer on the table.

I should also add at this point, the 11 houses we were going to look at? 4 had offers and one was pulled from the market. So we're down to 7. Minus the pool house offer, 6.

They got progressively worse.

We saw the Jetson's house (super modern updated house). Unfortunately, ONLY the kitchen was updated, the house was filthy, there was an uneven roof overhang that even I would hit my head on when I walked outside on the deck, the wood floors must have been laid by a drunk, there was no light fixture in the half bath, there was a long hallway that I fully expected creepy twin girls to be standing at the end of, but instead, there was a chihuahua. No really. Renter (not owner), had her t-tiny dog chillin in a back room.

Next was a lovely home, again, with an updated kitchen. This one could have worked, but the floor plan was super weird. The backyard was awesome, but it was filled with random plants and pieces of what looked like a greenhouse. It was almost like someone who owned a nursery went out of business and said, "Crap! What am I going to do with all of this stuff?!" and his buddy said, "No problem! I'm moving! Toss it in my backyard." And while the roof was new, there was some sort of giant lime tree, literally growing into it. NEXT!

This one looked promising. Lake front view! Man cave! Fenced backyard!
Oh, MLS, how you stretch the truth. You can view the lake if your sitting on the roof, the wind blows really heard, all the trees in the lot across the street fall over and that house burns to the ground, there's the lake! Man cave (which we hoped would work for Hubs' office) was an open room three steps down and off of the kitchen. Also in the man cave? The washer dryer. Also, while not listed, it was fun to see the smallest sink EVER in what would be the kids' shared bathroom. Looks like someone got a great deal on a piece of remnant marble and just under-mounted a salad bowl. The backyard WAS fenced, so one point for that.

We saw some beautiful new construction, but they had smaller lots than we wanted.

I had a really good feeling about this one house on the east side. It had over 2.5 acres and looked really nice. Silly me! What have we learned about looks and real estate. 2.5 acres, yes. Probably infested with poison ivy and snakes. The farther back you walked, the creepier it looked. We noticed it had a shed for an rv, so that could be fun for papa and ma. Then I noticed what looked like some sort of animal grave stone peeking up from next to a large tree. Creepy. We walked into the sunroom and noticed the siding was different from the rest of the house. Realtor, who has lived in this town her entire life said, "oh! That's the siding that was involved in a class action lawsuit recently." WOW. Enough said.

The last house on our list looked a lot like our previous Florida house, but brick instead of stucco. New paint! Fire pit! Updated kitchen! The new paint? It was on the floor. Yes, the previous owners ripped up the carpet in the bedrooms and painted the cement slab. BUT, they left the carpet in the closets, so that was nice. The updated kitchen? Painted cabinets that they tried to "antique," but instead just made it look like someone swiped poop all around the edges. There was a pit in the backyard and I'm guessing you could toss a fie in it. The only good thing I could find in the house was a light fixture in the family room, and it was installed incorrectly.

The house was so bad, we had to drive around to see something, anything, just to have THAT house not be the closer of the day.

This was not going to be good.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Life's full of one-uppers

What did your pumpkin look like? Yeah. That's right. Snow White is one of FOUR that Hubs carved. Boo yow!

Tuesday, my Mommy dropped me off at the airport, and I prepared to take my flight to do a 72 hour house hunt (once again, in our house, pancake mix requires a lot of thought, but a house? Yeah we give it three days tops and just buy something. That's how we roll). I boarded my flight, and settled in for my quick trip to Atlanta where I would catch my connecting flight. I settled into my seat next to the Culligan man (for real), and got ready to people watch.

Airport security was patting people down pretty hard, so I was taking in my surroundings to see if I needed to prepare myself to kick a little booty mid-air. Everything was going well, and I noticed a well dressed woman walking past me. She noticed a buddy.

Lady 1: Oh! Look who it is!
Lady 2: Oh my! Well, what are you doing here? Oh! I should have known! You're going to...
Lady 1: France! And that's right, because you're going to...
Lady 2: Italy!
Lady 1: Right! How long are you going to be there?
Lady 2: 2 weeks, you?
Lady 1: Only 10 days.
Lady 2: Oh, I just needed that extra time.
Lady 1: Well enjoy!
Lady 2: Thanks, you too!

Water boy and I exchanged glances and giggled. I'm not sure where his final destination was, but I'm quite sure we were both one-upped.

Last Sunday was Halloween, and although my blog poll showed an overwhelming majority to the Capri-Sun/water handout (thank you! All six of you!), Hubs trumped the vote and bought candy (Almond Joys. Guess what kids don't like? Almond Joy. Guess what we have a lot of left in the candy bucket?).

So we go trick-or-treating, and we come to the other house on the north side of the 'hood that gives out beverages and guess what? All the kids squealed with delight.

Look!!! Can I drink it now?! I wanna save mine!! What flavor is it!? Help me open the straw!!

Not even the full-sized candy bar house got that kind of praise. Hubs had already headed home to set up the bon fire and big screen, so I shot my I-told-you-so dirty look to a mail box.

But guess what! Capri-sun house was one-upped.

What could one-up Capri-Sun?

It wasn't the full-sized candy bars.

Not the "take as much as you want!" house.

It started with a neighbor who had affixed a 8x11 sheet of college ruled paper to their door with the simple, scrawled message: Come next door.

As we walked next door, we noticed two adults manning a card table and small fire. The kids neared them and said their Trick-or-Treats, fishing through a bowl of candy. After they found the good stuff, the guy looked at me and said, "Would you like something?"

Me: Oh, no thank you!
Dude: Are you sure?
Me: Yeah, I'm allergic to 99% of all candy. Thanks though! Have a great night!
Dude: No! I mean something to drink!
Me: Oh I'm ok, it's kind of chilly anyway.
Dude: I know. Want a beer to warm you up?

Total one-upper.

And to that, I say, THANK YOU!

Friday, October 29, 2010

So hard to say good-bye

**first, just to clarify, for the t-o-ters, juice for kids, water for adults. Don't forget to vote!**

As much as THIS moving process has been hurry up and wait, the first "real" move-related
thing happened yesterday. The last time we were living in Florida, Hubs had a company car, so he sold his car. When we moved up here, he had to turn in the company car and we had to impulse buy another car. Since I had been driving my car since college, we decided Hubs would drive my car and we'd get me (and the kids) something newer (funny because we actually bought a car that is a year older than my jeep! HA!).

Now that we are heading back south, Hubs gets a company car again, so we were suddenly a three car family. The logical thing to do was to sell the Jeep.


I'd like to take this moment to say that 5 may be the death of me. My sweet, funny, caring, adorable, well-mannered baby has transformed into the biggest drama llama ever. EVER. She has a break-down crying hissy fit every time the wind blows.

Pouty Pants!

Prime example? Thursday, as we were heading out to the air port to pick up Uncle P, we were all loading up in th
e car. Nugget rides in the backseat, drivers side, Strip backseat passenger
side. As we were piling in the car, Nugget noticed the Jeep on the other side of the garage.

Nugget: Oh! Daddy leff is car ear!
Me: Yeah, but remember, he has his new truck in Florida, so we don't need that car anymore.
Nugget: Wha we gonna do wiff dat car?
Me: We'll have to see if we can find a nice family who wants to buy it.

At this moment, Strip closes her car door and erupts into tears and screaming. Convinced that she's slammed some appendage in the door, I unbuckle, hop out of the car and race to her side.

Me: What's the matter?! Are you ok!? What happened?! Where does it hurt?!
Me: W
Strip: Daddy's caaaarrr. We didn't get to tell it good-byyyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeee!
Me: You mean that car right there? (points to the other side of the garage.
Strip: (Sniff)(chuckle) Haha! I thought it was gone already! hee hee!

Bi-polar drama llama.

Anyway, yesterday we had the Jeep picked up. Knowing how attached Strip seemed to be to the car
, I reminded her that it would be gone before she got home from school (cue hysterical crying!) but told her if she hurried to get dressed, we could take it for a spin around the cul de sac before the bus arrived.

We all piled in Kermit for one last spin, and I'll admit, it made me kinda sad too!

I got the car when I was in college. It helped me move home after college, and got me to work safely every day. It delivered me to NC to visit Hubs when we were engaged. After we got married, we piled in all of our wedding gifts and drove it up to NC to start our new lifetogether. When I got pregnant with Strip, it took me to numerous doctors appointments and to fetch
whatever I was craving (Caribou Coffee and spicy chicken sandwiches at Jam's Deli. Yum! I wonder why I gained 55 lbs with her...). We put our precious sweet baby girl in it to drive safely home from the hospital and pack her and June bug in for many road trips to visit family.

Although we lost the battle of the airborne stick on the interstate, I somehow managed to steer Strip and I off to the side of the road, unharmed and continue to drive 85 miles home with the aid of a little duck tape covering the windshield (I have a picture in the basement that won't scan, but just imagine a gaping hole right at face level that a stick, going 70 MPH, plunged through. It was awesome). In Florida, we put TOO many miles on it. Then, came Nugget! Old Kermit provided numerous cup holders allowing me to carry a big fountain drink (which I craved) and an empty cup to puke into (which happened almost daily until he was born. Shockingly? Only gained 15 lbs with that one!). I cried when we left the hospital empty handed, and rejoiced when we brought him home soon after. It helped me safely evacuate during hurricane season and delivered me safely to my happy place (great aunt and uncle's beach house).

Two years ago, we loaded up the valuables (kids, silver, jewelry), the liquids (cleaning products and wine) and other un-movables and made our way north to the new adventure! Hubs made
it safely to work, even during a horrible snowstorm, and I moved on to drive the mom mobile. I remember one night, driving the jeep to work because Hubs needed the car with car seats. A song came on the radio and I was INSTANTLY taken back 7 years. It's amazing how something so small can spark such clear memories.

So we all enjoyed our law-breaking ride around the 'sac that morning. We all (for real) gave the car one last hug good-bye. And after Strip got on the bus, Nugget and I stood in the front window and watched a strange man load almost a decade of memories onto a flatbed.

If saying good-bye to a car that you had for almost 10 years was hard, what's it going to be like to say good-bye to a house, neighborhood and friends that you thought you'd have for just as long?

I'll let you know soon. Realtors come in the morning.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All's fair in trick or treat. Or is it?

Not a lot to do with the post, but I find this picture hilarious! Captain Specific insisted on not only being Batman, but he had to be the blue batman with muscles. Mission accomplished!

Anyway, our first Halloween here, both kids got TONS of candy, and we had some left over. Last year, we put out a bowl, and I fully expected it to be GONE when we got home, but there was a ton left.

So, thinking ahead to this Halloween, I'm trying to get smart. I can't eat any of it, the kids don't need to eat all of it, we'll be busy getting things ready for the move, so my brilliant idea? Pass out drinks! Well, just water and juice boxes, but still, that could be cool, right? Right?! There is one house at the other end of the neighborhood who does this, and the kids (I thought) loved it last year. So, I brought it up with Strip.

Me: Hey! You know what I think we should give out this year for Halloween?
Strip: What?!
Me: Drinks!
Strip: Huh?
Me: You know! Bottled water, juice boxes, capri sun, whatever.
Strip: Oh mom, that is SO not fair.
Me: What do you mean?
Strip: We are going to go to all the houses, and we're going to get candy, at all the houses, and we can't just give out a drink to everyone else.
Me: Wow.

Here I am thinking we can not only give something out that's cool and fun and consumable as you go door to door, but any leftovers would TOTALLY be used up before the packing started. Guess I was wrong.

So, do me a favor and let me know what YOU think. Click to vote on the side bar (right hand side, scroll down a little) on whether we'll be the rockin' cool house, or the one getting egged.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Report card time (for real!)

Or not really.

It was Fall Break, marking the first report card/progress report that Strip brought home from Kindergarten, aka the big leagues. I knew this day was coming and was totally NOT sweating it. She is sweet, smart, funny; there was nothing that was going to shock me on this card.


What if I have a classic case of, "My kid is SOOOOOO advanced," and after the long bus ride, she just sits like a bump on a log all day an is a total dud?! What if (even though we know she can count to 100+) she only makes it to 11 (side note, in her 3's progress report, she could only count to 13 and when I asked her why, knowing she could count higher, she told me, "I just got tired of counting for my teacher." Awesome)?! Ahhh!

Well, the card came home, and she verified what I already know. She rocks. Hard core.

I only have 2 issues with the report card, which is a scale of 1-4 (1=no concept, needs work; 4=Awesomesauce):

1. She got a 3 in rhyming words. That kid could rhyme the pants off of anyone. She's been rhyming since she was a baby. She ROCKS at rhyming. Should have been a 4.

2. She did receive one 1 on her card.

When we picked up Uncle P at the airport and he was asking about it, she said, "I got a 1 in one thing. It was years of the month."

So yeah, we need to work on "years of the month," specifically making it months of the year.

I'm not concerned. I can have her saying them in French by Wednesday. I was happy to see she got 4's in social skills. Can't teach that in a day!

Hubs is ticked and thinks the Kindergarten should have given us a goal list. Strip asked if I was disappointed that she got a 1. I assured her that it was a mommy fail. When she asked why, I reminded her that I taught her everything on that list, just totally forgot about months (she knows what month her birthday is and what month other family members are in, but can't list them ALL and in order), so it was more my fault for not teaching her than hers for not knowing. I told her I was sorry and we'd pick out a calendar. Uncle P vowed to teach her all of them, but quickly decided it was easier to teach her to cross the monkey bars by herself (mission accomplished!).

Hubs is mad. He blames the school for not telling us we needed to teach her that by fall break. Now she has a one on her permeant record. So Harvard, if you're reading this, it's not her fault! It's ours! Don't judge the slacker parents!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Things you hear yourself say; stressed out crazy version!

I made a short list of mommy-isms a while back, but thought I should revisit that theme with a crazy, stressed out version (but wait. Isn't that the definition of being a mom??).

Anyway, there are times where you catch yourself saying something that in ANY other circumstance would make no sense at all. Example?

Ugh! Why couldn't he have just been shot in the head?!

Don't worry, Hubs is safe, and I'm not about to be featured on the latest episode of Snapped. This was actually said about a friend's H. He was injured in a helicopter crash while serving our country in Afghanistan in early 2007. He's a rock star who has been fighting his way out of a coma with the help of his awesomesauce wife (Ry). Anyway, I was visiting with Ry and her hubs when a guy walked down the hall. Ry explained that Guy had been shot in the head about two months prior, and was getting ready to be released. We looked at her Hubs, who still had all portions of his brain, and I sighed, then said the above phrase and had to laugh! (Side note: Ry and her Hubs are getting ready to move into their new home! We are so excited for them and hope they settle into their new normal easily! You rock, Ry and S)!

As you can imagine, being told you are going to move to a new town in about 6 weeks can be a tad stressful. I can't do much from here besides stalk the MLS website, so that's what I've been doing. I have the area where I think we want to live because of schools, so I find one in our price range, stare at all of the photos, study the sales history, google map street view the address and "walk" around the neighborhood, then get directions from the house to various places I think I'll be going on a weekly basis.

Last week, while Hubs was out of town, I watched The Lovely Bones. I read the book a few years ago, so I knew what was going to happen, but my heart was still racing and by the end of the movie, I was looking up every sexual predator in our zip code and thinking about putting both kids in our bed. When Hubs got home, we were sitting around the fire pit with the neighbors and Hubs was talking about a neighborhood that he really liked while he was driving around, so I started focusing on that area in my stalking.

I found TWO great houses! One the realtor had sent us before and the other, I found. They were cute, great yards, waking distance from a really nice church and one was on a cul de sac! I emailed Realtor to get some more information about the houses and started "walking around" the 'hood.

Then it hit me that I hadn't checked for sexual predators in that neighborhood yet, so I did a quick search using my favorite house. Here is what I found:

Ok, yes, this is actually a before picture from Proactiv, but have you looked at the sexual predator's map of Florida?! Geeze!

And there was a big, red dot practically on top of "my" house. Not wanting to write off the house just yet, I clicked on the dot. I mean, if it's a guy who was 19 and convicted of having sex with a 17 year-old, that's not going to bother me as much. That could be more angry girl parents than sexual predator.

Yeah! This could still work! This house is going to be ok!

And then the page loaded.


Um. No.
Followed by:
Produce Direct Promote Sexual Perform. by Child


Just then, my inbox dinged. Realtor sent more information on said house and noted:

I've shown this house before the only real negative is that the pool takes up most of the backyard and there are lots of trees in the yard therefore making the pool a maintenance issue.

I emailed her back, "Also negative? There's a child molester living 6 houses down."

So that one was out. I then pulled the address from the other house in the neighborhood.
It was across the street from the guy I just typed about. AHHHHHH!!

I looked around the neighborhood figuring there had to be something. And I found:

* Lewd or lascivious conduct victim under 16 years old
* Use Internet to solicit/attempt solicit etc. a child for sex/lewdness etc
* Lewd or lascivious molestation victim 12-15 years old offender 18 or older
* Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors
* Lewd or lascivious battery victim 12-15 years old

This was all in the same neighborhood.

I shook my head, stared at the computer and said, "Oh why couldn't you just be rapists!"

Needless to say, the house hunting continues.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Letting the cat out of the bag. This could get long!

I'm not going to beat around the bush. I'm just going to go ahead and say it.

Yes, this is a women's long-sleeved t-shirt that is available to purchase. And this bad boy will run you $30. Really?! Who is buying these things? Although, I'm one to talk. I recently purchased a "funny" shirt for UP's birthday (you are welcome in advance, P. Sorry, but you own most of the apple store. What else could we get you?).

Anyway, the real reason for this post is to announce the latest crazy in our crazy life. We're on the road again! Yup. Two years ago this week, we closed on our house here. Within the next two months, we will have packed up and hopefully have sold it so we can be closing on our next house down south. Don't you just love it when you get all your ducks in a row, and God blows a duck call and they all just scatter?! For goodness sake, I JUST learned our home phone number!

Let's back up, shall we? A couple of months ago, Hubs told me that a position had opened in Texas and joked about us moving. It was at that moment that I realized I was SO not ready to leave here! Not just because I had no desire to live in Texas, but also because we were just starting to feel settled, making future plans for here, planning to upgrade the kitchen.

Friday before last was then end of another week of Hubs being out of town. We had planned to do an extended family movie night with the new Tinkerbell movie on the side of the house and invite some friends and kids over to hang out. Hubs got back home early, but had to leave for a late afternoon meeting with his boss.

He got home about an hour before our guests were to arrive.

I could tell when he walked into our bedroom that something was up. Then he said those magically words, "We need to talk."

I completely could not read his tone. It didn't look as devastating like, "I've lost my job," but not excited like, "we just won the lottery," and I was pretty sure it wasn't an, "I'm having an affair," considering he just came from a work meeting with a man. He told me we were moving, but this time we got to pick from two territories.

We sat in shock staring at each other.

I made the decision to simply put on our happy faces, not even talk about it, let it sink in and we'd start the discussion in the morning. So we did just that.

The next morning, we started looking at our choices. One choice was NC, the other was FL. This was a no-brainer. We'd lived in NC. We LOVED NC. I've always said we'd move back to NC tomorrow if we were given the chance. So I did the very responsible thing and googled "City, NC Trader Joes Costco." Two for two! Time to look at houses! But the more I looked, the more I worried. What if City was too close to the edge of his sales territory? What if they made us live in Small Town, NC? And Hubs was traveling all the time?! And I had to drive 45 minutes to everything again?! I can't go back to that!!!

When we moved here from FL, people asked if we would miss it or would ever moved back. I think I said we would when hell froze over. Or if we were moving to Orlando because I was working for Disney. We would not be moving to Orlando, nor am I working for the Mouse, so bundle up down there!

But the more I looked at it, the more FL made sense. We'd be a few hours from Hubs' parents, an hour more to mine, 2 to the beach, 2.5 to my great aunt and uncles and just a few short hours to Disney. Hmmmm. Throw in the fact that now is the time to buy real estate in Fl, and I think we have a deal. We agreed to wait until the work week when Hubs would have a chance to talk to some work buddies and get a better feel. In the meantime, I realize there's no Trader Joe's near our new location. Crud! Better stock up on wine and bbq sauce on our way down!

Hubs called me Monday afternoon to say that from a work perspective, he thought the FL choice would be better. We agreed to keep things quiet until we had more details from relocation, but working was killing me. I felt like I was living a lie, so Hubs agreed that it was fine for me to go ahead and call my boss. I came in Wednesday morning, completely prepared to break the news and the boss's office was dark. I asked the secretary (S) where she was.

"Oh! Remember? This is her daughter's wedding weekend! She's out until next Tuesday! I'm going to see her tonight, though. Want me to tell her anything?"

Crrruuuuuddd. I sucked it up and headed home to get my clean on. When I got back to school to pick up Nugget, I had the perfect three minutes alone to tell my co-teacher. After that, I figured it was the perfect time to tell S what was going on, since co-teacher could keep the kiddos busy.

That afternoon (between patching holes in the wall, painting, and finishing the rest of the 2 year-old honey-do list), I asked Hubs when we should tell the kids. After all, Hubs was starting the new job in 5 days and they were bound to catch on to something. So, we just decided to go for it.

Hubs: Hey guys. We need to talk about something. It looks like we are going to be moving.
Kids: Ok.
Hubs: Moving farther away.
Kids: Ok!
Hubs: But we'll be closer to all the family...
Kids: Ok...
Hubs: And I'll get a truck!
Nugget: YEAH!!! And it back up it go, "Beep. Beep. Beep!?!"

So far, so good. But Strip was still just doing her little worksheet, and I guess Hubs wanted to make sure she understood.

Hubs: So, that means we won't be living in this house anymore.
Strip: Ok.
Hubs: And you'll go to a different school..
Strip: Ok...
Hubs: And cul de sac kids won't be our neighbors anymore..

Cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I think it's always tough to see your baby cry. It's really hard to see them cry when you know you're a factor in the tears. Sure, I've seen them cry during strep tests and shots, but watching your baby dissolve into tears because of something you are saying and doing is just gut wrenching.

Hubs went to hold her and she punched him. Repeatedly. I gently removed the bobble-head skeleton pen from her hand, allowing her to continue to punch without puncturing or tattooing his shoulder. We tried to reason with her and focus on the good, but she just kept crying and saying she didn't want to talk about it. After a good shoulder sob, I pulled her in my lap and pulled out the computer. Who doesn't love google maps. I showed her the line between our house and Papa and Mas. Then the line between our house and Hubs' parents' houses. Then the line between our house and the beach, AC, UB and Snoozie. Then the line between our house and our old house (aka FL neighbors). And finally the line between our house and Disney. Next I showed them where our new house would be.

The lines were so much shorter.

And, that day, Strip brought home a beautifully written sentence, so I promised her we would get her some special stationary, and she could have lots of pen pals to write to up here.

After she got it together, she told me she thought we were moving. I mentally ran through sneaking around internet house searches and talking without talking about the move when the kids were around, and thought we were being pretty good, so I asked her why she thought we were moving.

Strip: Because we were getting the house looking nice.
Me: laughing So the only time mommy cleans is when our house is on the market?
Strip: Not clean, I mean fixing holes and stuff.

Note to self: Do the fixing up when we move in, not when we move out.

We are hoping to stay here through the end of this semester, for the kids' sake and for mine. In the meantime, if anyone would like to buy a lovely home, Jeep grand cherokee and four fantastic seats to Wicked for the day after Christmas, let me know. And if you have an idea of what to get Strip for Christmas that's BETTER than a night out on the town and her first broadway musical, I'm all ears.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I love people.

**I don't know these people. Nugget took this picture at a concert last week. But I figured using this was better than stealing something off the internet. PS if you want to google image "people," don't. Or just make sure you're not on a work computer. Yikes.**

Today was spent spring cleaning. Yes, I know it's October, but it felt like spring (well, summer, really) and it needed to be done, so Hubs and I got to work. Hubs tackled the outside and I tore into the inside.

Sometime around 2PM, I was crashing. I was sick of hearing, MOOOOOOoooooOOOoomMMMMmMMM" every 11 seconds, and I was just getting cranky in general. I grabbed my keys and told Hubs I was heading across the street to grab a coffee and a paper.

After paying for my treat, I was heading out the door. I turned to look over my right shoulder and say goodbye/thank you to the greeter man, and noticed a woman barreling toward the exit as well. I took the automatic door closest to me and when I stepped outside, I began to saunter toward my parking spot. As I walked a little to the right, I wasn't really paying attention. Between the nonstop clean-a-thon and some other stuff weighing on my heart and mind, I was kind of in my own little world.

I was brought out of it by hearing some angry muttering/talking behind me.

As I "came to" I could hear the word, "RUDE!" which made me giggle because it made me think of the Bon Qui Qui skit. With a smile on my face, I turned over my left shoulder to see an angry old woman catapulting a cart away from me.

She was talking about me!

I stood a little dumbfounded trying to figure out what I had done. All I could figure is I stepped in front of her when we walked out of the store and because I wasn't cartwheeling toward my car on this lovely Sunday afternoon, someone got a little cranky.

I slowed my pace even more to see where she was going.

Oh, she was going to that brand new Lexus. Parked sideways. In a handicapped spot?

Judging by the pace she was keeping in those stilettos, she could walk just fine. She quickly threw her purchases into her car and sped away, leaving her cart in the middle of the handicapped spot she wasn't occupying with one of her four luxury tires.

Now that's rude. But thanks to the Handicapped Stiletto heeled lexus driving old lady. You brightened my day with your cranky pants!

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's Fall Y'all!

Since the kids are starting pumpkins in school today, we decided to do our glitter pumpkins last night so the kids could bring them to school. Normally we wait to do this when Hubs is out of town as he has a fear/hatred of glitter. But, we were pressed for time and tried to sneak it in while he was working outside. He caught us, but was a very good sport. He even helped me funnel the extra glitter back into the glitter jars. That is, after he suggested dumping it in the trash can, and I gave him a look that said, "Are you kidding me?! Martha Stewart glitter does NOT go in the trash!"

After carefully transferring the glitter from the plate to a piece of news paper then into the jars, I happily said, "See! Now we have plenty left for next year!"

Hubs was thrilled.

The kids love to glitter their "Fancy Nancy pumpkins" as we've come to call them. Just look at the concentration in Nugget's tongue!

Everyone wants to know how we do them, so I thought I'd give away my secret; Michael's 40% off coupons.

Yup! That's it! Martha Stewart has a little kit that you can buy at Michael's that comes with three different glitter choices (this year was black, green and orange) and special glitter glue. Simply paint the pumpkin with glue, dump on the glitter, and ta da! Glitter pumpkins!

Martha does the big dog pumpkins, but we stick to the spunky's. Not only are they easier for the kids to handle, it makes the glitter kit last much longer!

The only problem has been that Nugget now thinks it's time to slap on his Batman muscles and heckle the neighbors for candy. The kid cannot accept that Halloween is at the END of the month. According to him, every day in October is, "Halloween Day!"

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have green and orange glitter to clean out of the kitchen counter grout.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ground Shipping

When we lived in Florida, we visited Disney World. A lot. One time we LOVED to go was during the fall and would try to hit a Mickey's not-s0-scary Halloween party. We all fell in love with the Boo to You music they played on a loop during the parade and as you walked around the park.

I could have SWORN that I'd asked when we lived there if they had a cd of the music and they never did.

Anyway, last year was one of the first years we weren't able to make it to WDW, but as we were doing Halloween crafts and pumpkins, I somehow googled the music and had it blaring out of the computer as we got in the Halloween spirit. The smart gal that I am, I bookmarked the site so we could listen to it again this year. Only problem? It's no longer at that site!

I emailed a buddy of mine who works for the Mouse, and he told me to call the merchandise people. Well that would be too easy, but I decided to give it a shot. When I described the cd to the woman on the phone, you would have thought that I said, 'Hey, yeah, do you have anything with like a Mickey logo on it?"

So yay! They had the cd, and I could order it! Friends of our are heading down that way in the next week, so I toyed with the idea of having them pick one up, but decided not to burden them with that responsibility and called back to order it.

Somehow, Disney had my name, address and phone number still on file. They do still love us! She asked if I wanted it shipped ground, and I said sure that was fine.

Great! I'm placing your order and it should be to you in the next 10-20 days. Thanks for calling Disney and have a magical day!

TWENTY DAYS?! Does ground mean someone is physically walking it from Disney to our house? The clock is now ticking and I'll be interested to see if we get it before Halloween!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Take my privacy

Nugget has funny phrases.

Yes her do!
Here my mam!

And my all time favorite?

Take my privacy!

I think he's heard Strip say, "Give me my privacy," when she goes to the bathroom and just Nugget-ized it. So now, when he's using the bathroom, or wants to be alone, he says, "Take my privacy!"

Anyway, today, Neighbor Chick and I were hanging out with the kiddos after the bus dropped off. All the kids were outside playing except her napping baby. At one point, Nugget walked up on the porch and was going to head into the house. I stopped him.

Me: Oh no, buddy, you can't go in there.
Nugget: I gotta go to tha bathroom.
Me: ok, we'll go home (a whopping 40 yards).
Nugget: No, I gots ta poop. I go in der house.
Me: No, Baby is sleeping, we'll go home, it's ok.
Nugget: No, I ok...

And he runs off. I figure he really just wanted to go inside because Neighbor Chick has all the good food and toys, but keep an eye on him in case he started doing the pee pee dance.

Not two minutes later, Nugget runs two laps around their play set and starts heading for our side of the yard. Toward a tree. A really big tree. And then he disappeared behind said tree.

Oh no he didn't.

I hop up from the porch and sprint to the tree, peek around the corner hoping for the best, and see my child, my baby, my last born, with his pants and McQueen undies around his ankles SQUATTING behind the tree. Like a pro.

The only thing that would have made this better would have been if he had dug a hole first. Clearly he has some things to learn before becoming an expert camper.

Thanks for sparing us the visual, buddy, but if you scroll back up, you'll notice that from that side of the tree, there's nothing between a pooping child and the public but God's green earth and a split rail fence.


Luckily, I caught him before he fertilized the lawn, tossed him over the fence with the instructions to go straight inside and poop IN THE POTTY.

And to think, I imagined my life as the mother of all boys.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mixing business with pleasure

This picture has nothing to do with this post. But if you do a google image search for the above title, the results are frightening. So instead I give you this. I was cooking dinner tonight and Strip came upstairs to see what I was doing. Zesting a lemon. She asked what we were having, then asked if her "daughter" could eat with us tonight. I told her that was fine, but I only made enough for our fam of 4 and leftovers for me, so she'd have to fix her daughter's dinner. She came up a few minutes later with the above; lemon (zest) pepper chicken! And it looks like Alice fell asleep at the table.

On to the post!

I normally keep this blog about me, Hubs and the kids, but teaching preschool just gives me too many funnies NOT to share. Also, I have a sweet friend who is on hospital bed rest who could use a few laughs, so this one's for you, B!

Our group comes one day a week. But there are 12 of them each day. So 36 different littles a week. Some are potty trained, some are not and some are trying. The first day of school was nuts anyway. One little cutie had on his file "potty trained," so when he told me he needed to go, we scooted to the bathroom.

We'll call him B (not the same B who is chilling in an antepartum wing). B is adorable! And the first day of school? All decked out in his adorable duds. Tucked in little shirt, cutie shorts, a belt, oh he was just too cute! Flash forward to, "Teacher! I have to go pee pee!" We race to the potty and that adorable belt? Not so adorable in the heat of the moment. I get the buckle undone, and me, being the pro kid stripper that I am, grab his undies and shorts at the same time to save us some precious seconds. One problem. Kid's rockin' a onesie. No wonder he stayed so tucked in!

As I'm cursing the adorable clothing line in my head and praying that I don't have someone pee on me the very first day, it hits me; this is exactly the feeling Nugget's teachers must have had his first (50) days of school. Sorry, teachers!

And for the record, no one peed or pooped on me, so I call it a good day.

Today, one of my other adorables, we'll call M, was a little shaky at drop off. He pulled himself together and had an awesome day. Sometime around lunch time, M pulled me aside:

M: Ms. Mommy Chick!
Me: Yes, M?!
M: I not crying any more!!
Me: I know! (hug) I'm so proud of you! What a big boy! Isn't school fun?!
M: Yeah!
Me: And you've had a fun day today?
M: Yes!
Me: And we still have lots of fun things to do, right?!
M: Yes!
Me: and next week, when you come it, I bet you won't cry at all!
M: Well, I'll probably cry a little.

A man with a plan. I like it!