Saturday, May 29, 2010

If you're not first, you're last -- Ricky Bobby

**Photography Credit to Hermano (yes, I've been watching WAY too much Arrested Development these last few days) **

Pops had a big birthday this year, and to celebrate, Ma wanted to do something special; The Talladega Superspeedway Racing School experience. My first reaction when Ma told me was, "Geeze, why not just get him a coffin, because that sounds like a SUPER way to kill him!" Trying not to be a party pooper, I checked out the website and saw and accolade from a man whose 83 year-old father had the "birthday of a lifetime" at Talladaga. Ok. Maybe we wouldn't kill him.

Pops set up the date for his race weekend, and he, Ma, Hermano (aka Uncle P) and the pups headed on over. I couldn't even be at home knowing that he was racing. I was a ball of nerves. Hermano snapped a pic of Pops in his racing gear and texted it to me. I showed it to Nugget who exclaimed, "WOOOW! PaPa's a REAL race car driver!" (Please, God, don't let him die!).

I took Zoe for a run and came back to get the report that he not only survived his birthday present, but he had a GREAT time!

They apparently put you in groups of 20 for training, then let all the newly- trained Lightening McQueens out on the track TOGETHER. That's just asking for a disaster if you ask me. They take everyone out to the track and get them suited up in their racing gear. The majority of the group was living out their dream, but there was one guy out there who, I guess, lives in his dream world. He brought his own fire suit! And I giggle at the people at the bowling alley with their own ball and shoes! Whoa!

They were hoping to get a Disney Cars car, but none of the three could remember who the main cars were (and they don't really let you pick your own), so Pops got number 13.
It was blue a
nd looked like Dinaco King, which I thought was great because the King is kinda the old dude of
the race track. They snapped a picture of Pops sitting on his car, then popped his helmet on.

He then, gingerly slipped into the car.

And the pit crew so nicely helped him in **SMACK**

He was then off! Or was he? After Pops was getting settled into the car, the peanut gallery
noticed someone working on the back of the car...with something that looked like a roll of duct tape? Oh well, ignorance is bliss right? Oh! I should say that the night before the trip to Talladega, Pops also did some googling to get a little more information. He also found an article about a 80 something year-old man. His article started with, "83 year-old man lives out his dream at the speedway," but followed up with, "but during a turn, his front right tire exploded, sending him into the wall. He died later from his injuries." Enjoy the ride, Pops!

All taped up, Pops was ready to ride! There is a guy that rides with you, but Pops said he couldn't turn his head to see him, he just saw his gloved hand giving signals throughout the ride.

He clocked in at 157 mph and even passed a guy!

So congrats, Pops!! You survive your birthday present! But don't worry, I'm working on something else for Christmas that's sure do you in!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A bad case of the dropsies

Did you know there is an entire website dedicated to fake food, AND food that looks like it's spilled but really hasn't?! Check out this site for more. It's hilarious!

What's not hilarious? The horrible fight we've been having (and losing) with gravity around here. I remember when Nugget was in the nicu and I had to pump for him. They had the tiniest little bottles and one fell over, spilling about 1.5 oz of milk. I wanted to CRY it looked like so much. It is amazing how much more of something there is when it's all over your floor.

That came back to haunt me this week.

Tuesday, I mopped my floors. No, not mopped. Scrubbed. Hands and knees cleaning. Just as I finished them, I looked out to see it raining. Bring on the muddy foot and paw prints! Oh, but if only that were the abuse the floors had to endure this week.

Wednesday, Nugget scaled the pantry shelves looking for a snack resulting in a Costco-sized (read 42 oz) bag of plain M&M's being dumped all over the floor.

Thursday, the kids wanted cereal as a snack, so I pulled out the tupperware tub of rice crispies. Strip insisted that she could pour it, so I supervised. Great job Strip! A few minutes later, I scooted upstairs to take a shower and get ready for a meeting I was going to that night. I come down to find Strip had re-filled their bowls..and the table...and the chair...and the floor with rice crispies.

Friday morning, I fixed myself a mocha and PUT A LID ON IT based on the week. I was working on some stuff for work and Strip squeezed in next to me to see what I was doing. I reminded her to be careful that my coffee was right there on the table (where she was swinging her arm around). She took this as an invitation to stretch out, punching my coffee cup with lid off the table causing it to EXPLODE all over the floor.


Get that cleaned up, re-make my coffee. 45 minutes later, I hear the fridge open followed by a drop, slosh, oooooooOOOOoopppppPPPpps. Strip was getting a sip of her milk and I guess it was heavier than she thought resulting in MORE spilled milk on the floor and in the fridge.

This morning, I come downstairs to a puddle of pee from Zoe by the front door.

I refuse to mop again (I did clean up the pee. I'm not on that big of a strike). It just seems like my floors are rebelling against being clean. Why try to fight it?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Hubs has a tendency to find very interesting cards for me. They are either borderline inappropriate or in spanish (I don't speak spanish).

Mother's day card fell into the borderline inappropriate category.

So I'll share it with you:

Har, har, har.

So after reading the card, I tucked it into the envelope. A little while later, we were going about our day and Strip picked up the card.

Strip: Awe! Look! It's you and daddy kissing! Hahaha! Look you're in love! Hahaha

Then she flips to the naked page

Strip: Oh! They must be on their honeymoon!

SO many things are running through my head at this moment. How do you know what a honeyomoon is?! How do you know what people DO on a honey moon (except for us. Hubs ate sushi in Mexico and spent a romantic four nights kissing the toilet, not me)?! Where are you getting this information?!?!

I calmly respond.

Me: Oh? Why do you think they are going on their honeymoon?
Strip: 'Cause they love each other and they have their suitcase. See this black box right here? It's their suitcase.

Duh! And whew!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What a week!

Seems like an insane blur, probably because it was. So here's a recap:

Made some last sales on Craigslist, putting us over the top for the swing set. Woo to the hoo! The family piled in the car with snacks and lemonade, headed to the lumber store and picked everything out. Hubs borrowed a truck and brought everything home. He got up nice and early last Sunday and spent the day cutting all the wood between rain showers. By Sunday night, we had a doghouse for Zoe, or the top of the playset, and that was about it.

Monday started my last week of preschool volunteering. Super easy execution, pain in the rear set up and planning.

Tuesday was Strips birthday dinner a Chuck E Cheese. Ick.

Wednesday, more preschool volunteering and Margaritas with Moms for Strip's class (LOVE her preschool!).

Thursday was a full volunteer day and we were getting carpet back in the basement. Strip's birthday party was on Friday, so I had a nice full afternoon filled with baking 48 cupcakes, assembling 25 party favors and shopping for her preschool party and the family dinner party. I
started icing cupcakes at 8:42.

At 10:00, I realized that the flood had washed away my wonderful buttercream icing recipe. Thank goodness my cake buddy lives in Alaska, so when I called her, it was really dinner time there. At 10:30, I realized that I had a giant bag of granulated sugar, not the 10x confectioners sugar I needed. Super Hubs ran to the store for me while I googled recipes and softened butter.

At midnight, I had all my little princesses
and frogs all ready to go. And no, there weren't 48 kids invited to her party. BUT, she has one little girlfriend who is a tom boy, and we knew would prefer a frog cupcake. So then I started
thinking about, "What if ALL the kids want frog cupcakes and no one wants princesses, and I only have 12 of each?!" So I did a batch of Frogs and a batch of princesses just to be on the safe side.

Friday was party day! First, we had to head over to the elementary school for Strip's kindergarden testing. With that out of the way, we headed home to clean and get everything loaded up to go to the bounce place. I called Hubs at work to make sure he was coming home. Then I asked if he was coming to the party or if he was going to stay home and work on the swing set. He asked Strip what she would rather have, and she said she'd rather have her daddy at her party than a swing set at the dinner. Sweet girl!

Once Hubs got home, we headed to the party. It's two towns over, which sounds like a road trip, but it's really only about 15 minutes away.

Or it should have been.

We were at a stoplight when some flashing light pulled out in front of us. Hmmm what is this?
Oh. It's some sort of torch relay race with 5 runners, three bikers and 2 cop cars. And where are they? Two cars ahead of us. Going 4 miles per hour. Fan.tas.tic. And 10 minutes later, while cruising in neutral, the need-gas light comes on. Yay.

We finally make it there, kids are already in their socks ready to go, so Hubs starts unloading, and I start signing waivers and getting things started. Kids kept flooding into the party room to dump shoes, so I grabbed the party hostess for a check of the head count. I had 15 rsvp's for yes with the potential of 25 actually showing up. We hit 23. Insanity!

The party went well and the kids had a blast. In an effort to ease some butterflies and tears from one of the kiddos, I kicked off my shoes and hopped into a bounce house. TOTAL backfire. The kids quickly deemed me the tickle monster and I spent the next little while going from bounce house to bounce house being attacked by 5 year-olds. We piled into the party room and
had pizza and cupcakes. Because I had enough for everyone we just let the kids pick frog or princess. Guess which one Nugget picked...I'll give you hint. He had a purple tongue after eating it!

We got home and Hubs went to work on the swing set. We were all exhausted, but started getting things together for the outdoor movie party that night. Unfortunately, LARGE clouds came rolling in followed by the threat of tornados. Awesome. We watched the doppler and finally decided at 5:30 that it was going to rain like crazy, so I started making calls.

It rained for a whopping 11 seconds at 7:04. Even though we didn't get a twister, I was kind of glad we postponed the party. It was super windy, and I'm sure we would have spent the evening saying, "Was that rain? Did you feel that?!"

So Saturday morning, Hubs was up before dawn, bundled up and hard at work on the swing set. After bringing him another shirt to layer and a second cup of coffee, I checked the temperature.

32. THIRTY-TWO degrees?! IT'S MAY! Ugh. I called to reassure everyone that the party was still on, then went digging through bags of clothes looking for anything with sleeves. Hubs put the final screw in the swing set at 7:04. Our first guests
arrived at 7:06! The party went well,
and all the kids had a blast. We set the movie up on the big screen which was awesome. The kids were sprawled out on the lawn with full audio and the adults could huddle around the fire pit with beer, wine cigars and enjoy adult conversation on the deck. Everyone left tired, full and happy, so it was a hit!

This morning, I looked out in the backyard and it looked like we had a college keg party; random hats, socks, shoes, cups and plates littered the backyard. I went to work and came home to a well-rested Strip (she apparently slept until 10 am), some sweet cards and my mothers day gift! A program for my computer that will organize all my recipes for me. Woo hoo! Now if I could just figure out how to use it.

We spent the afternoon playing on the swings. Hubs still needs to put up the monkey bars and some accessories and possibly stain it, but we still had fun on it! Even Zoe climbed up to the top.

But she was too scared to go down the slide, so she just jumped off the side of it. No more climbing for Zoe. Junebug had one titanium leg, I don't want to contiune the trend of bionic dogs in our family.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Worst night's sleep ever. A Timeline.

This is not my hippo. This photo is from a blog filled with lists. Who knew! There's a blog about everything!

Let me preface this by saying we had a l-o-n-g week. Hubs was out of town, I was busy juggling our newest addition, preschool, work and subbing. So when Friday rolled around, we were pooped! Of course, the kids went to work with me from 9-2:30, then raced home for a playdate/meet Zoe at 3:15, so it should come as no surprise that after our friends left and while we were picking out the movie for Family Movie night, Nugget did this:

He actually fell asleep on the couch, but I was moving him and put him down for a second and he turned into road kill.

So let the timeline begin!

6:15 Nugget falls asleep on the couch/floor.

6:30 Move kids upstairs for a bath. Nugget is crying for his bed, so wrangle him into his Toy Stroy pjs, tuck him in and toss Strip in the tub.

6:50 Strip out of the tub, pjs on, make a pizza and fight over a movie to watch (Strip wins, Jungle Book 2 it is).

8:30 move's over, Hubs takes Strip upstairs. Strip sees neighbors out and pokes her head out to say hello. Hubs scoots her upstairs. Strip remembers she wanted to tell neighbors about how she was looking for a movie in the basement with us and stepped on the exposed tacks that are awaiting new carpet. Hubs says no. Strip begins to cry. Hubs stands his ground. Exhausted Strip falls apart. Mom steps in and takes her upstairs. Hubs says goodnight and goes to take a shower.

8:45 Strip in bed, making shadow puppets, calming down. I tell her I'm going to take pictures of the birds nest we found today and Hubs is in the shower. She asks that he comes in to tell her goodnight. I agree.

8:50 I go outside to look at the nest with Zoe, but can't get a good shot. We notice the neighbors are all hanging in the cul de sac, so I put Zoe on her leash and take her down to meet the other pups in the hood.

9:00 Hubs comes outside to join the conversation at the end of our driveway.

9:15 Unbeknownst to us, Strip has become angry that Hubs hasn't come in to tell her goodnight. She storms into our bathroom, no Hubs. She storms downstairs to the kitchen. No parents. She storms out the back door to look for us in the yard. No parents. She.flips.out. (not that I blame her!). She then runs upstairs to wake a sleeping Nugget and they both come EXPLODING down the the driveway toward us. I scoop both kids up (Strip crying, Nugget stumbling around saying, 'Why everybody outside??") and carry them in. Hubs follows.

9:20 Extremely confused Nugget. He wants to "Go downstairs. Eat oatmeal. Eat gummies. Drink Nilk." I tell him it's not morning, it's still night time, so he is insisting on putting on his pjs (which he has on). I give in and change him out of his pjs and into a new pair, get him settled, but he's now convinced that he woke up because he wet the bed and is insisting on sleeping in the guest room. Get him settled and go to Strip. OH the weeping and gnashing of teeth. Hubs and I alternate between kids. Finally Strip is down and Nugget is snuggling with Hubs.

10:00 I go downstairs to clean up a little, check email and wait on Hubs.

10:30 I realize Hubs has fallen asleep with Nugget, so I lock up and take Zoe upstairs to bed.

11:30ish Nugget falls out of the guest room bed, wakes up Hubs.

12:30ish Strip wanders into our room

2:30 Nugget wakes up screaming. Into the bed he comes (the king bed feels much smaller with 2 people, 2 kids and a dog).

3:00 HORRIBLE storm. Lightening, thunder, sideways rain, wind. Hubs, aka Jim Cantore, hops up and scoots downstairs to track the storm and see if we need to get in the basement.

3:30 Hubs/Jim tracks the storm but deems it safe to still sleep upstairs (or so I assume because that's where we all stayed).

4:15 Kerplunk! Strip falls off our bed. Scoop her back up and toss her in the middle of the bed while I cling to the edge of the mattress, rest my head on the bedside table and receive a deep lumbar massage by some preschool piggies. Ouch.

6:30 Nugget is awake.

7:00 Strip is awake.

7:15 Nugget poops his pants.

Someone recently asked me what I hoped to get for Mother's Day. My answer as of this morning, is an ambien and an empty hotel room. Tonight has to be better.

This post is rated R for Ridiculous.

But first, guess what we just paid cash for....that's right! A BRAND NEW SWING SET!!!!!

Woo to the Hoo! Now if the weather would just co-operate!

On to the ridiculous.

Hubs and I are enrolled in some debit card reward program. Whenever we use our debit card, we get points. We'd been saving them because I wanted to redeem them for a wii, but Santa Hubs took care of that, so we've just been racking them up. When we went to Chicago, we decided that would be a good time to cash them in for 2 $100 gift cards. We didn't know it, but they apparently enrolled us in two separate accounts, so after jumping through hoops, we each got one mailed out in our names.

Of course, they finally arrived in the mail the day after we got back from Chicago.

Anyway, we went to the lumber place today to buy the swing set materials and realized that if we wanted to use them, we'd have to activate them. We paid with our cash, Hubs went to get the truck to load everything in, and the kids an I went home.

I called Bank to activate the cards. One is in my name, one is in Hubs' name, but both have "a gift for you" written on them, so there is no way to tell whose is whose. I called the 1-866 number and activated the first one, then pressed 0 to speak to the operator hoping I could just activate the other one while on the same call.

When the operator picked up, he was a lovely man who had English as a second language. Grrreat.

Me: Hi! I just activated one of my gift cards and would like to activate my second one, or do I have to make a separate call?
Banker: That will be no problem. May I have the 16 digit number on the front of the card?
Me: Sure. 123456789...
Banker: And your name, ma'am?
Me: Mommy Chick
Banker: I apologize, but that is not the name I have associated with this card.
Me: Oh. Ok, that one must be my husband's. HIs name is Hubs.
Banker: I am sorry, ma'am, but I will need to speak to the card holder.
Me: He's not here.
Banker: I am not able to activate this card without speaking to the cardholder first.
Me: Ummmm. Ok. So I can just call back and go through the automated registration activation?
Banker: Yes ma'am that is correct.

Really? I get the fact that they would want to validate who is activating the card for security purposes, but when the automated system will activate with no questions asked? Ridiculous.

I hung up, called back, did it the automated way, and voila! Gift card activated! Thanks Bank! You are crazy.