Saturday, August 28, 2010

The boys are back in town!

Well, one boy, at least.

Hubs got home yesterday, but we knew it was going to be late, so Strip and I embraced our last day as "Just us Girls!" When she got off the bus, we headed over to her end-of-the-week surprise. Pedicures!

I told her she could pick whatever color she wanted for me and for her, so she chose a sparkly orange for me (war eagle!) and a sparkly red for her (because of dorothy, NOT UGA, Hubs). When our super sonic chairs were ready, we settled in across from each other. They started on me first, so Strip got a chance to see all the scrubbing, rubbing and toe tickling that was about to take place. She was sooo relaxed during the whole thing and looked too funny in the giant chair.

When she sat down, the girl said, "You wan flower? Flower on toe?" Well sure! I mean what 5-year-old girly girl wouldn't want flowers on her toes? After painting and primping and returning out shoes, I was ready to pay. I pulled out my stripper singles (side note: our parents always give us $1 bills for however old we are on our birthdays. It's cute when you're 8, it's funny when you're 15, but sometime in your 20's you begin to feel like you're getting the side eye when you whip out a roll of singles. When I was in college, the guy 3 apartments down was a stripper, and we all hated the management company who ran our complex. Stripper Neighbor, obviously made lots of singles during work, and one day we were chatting and he said he liked to pay his rent, all $240, with his stripping singles. He'd walk into the office and count out those bills in front of the landlady. One month, she said, "You must be a waiter!" Her replied, "Something like that." So now, every year on my birthday, when I get my $1's, and spend them in larger quantities than $10, I am reminded of my college buddy) and began to count them out. Guess what! Flower on toe = $5 extra. Should have known. And those stupid flowers caused her "thumb toes" as Strip calls them, to chip off. Boo.

We then ran some errands including the library to pick up a copy of The Sound of Music. I've been waiting and waiting to let her watch it because I LOVE the movie, and if she watched it and hated it or said it was boe-ring, I might have to ask her to move out. Next stop was Costco for margarita mix, which they are out of and aren't getting any more back in. BOO Costco. But we still got Strip a giant slice of cheese pizza and a churro because she's been itching to try one.

We got home, ate our dinners, got in our pjs and were ready for Maria. I honestly can't remember the last time I watched the entire movie, but I think it was high school. Shockingly enough, when you watch that movie enough times, it becomes a part of you, and you still remember every word to every song. And who can resist belting out Rodgers & Hammerstein classics? So, of course, as Maria begins to spin around on the mountain, I begin to sing along.

Strip knew this was my favorite movie from when I was little and was really excited to watch it, but when I got to, "My heart wants to beat like the wings of a bird that flies..." she looked at me and said:

"Just because this is one of your favorite movies, doesn't mean you have to sing along."

I came very close to vomiting I was laughing so hard! After gathering myself and trying not to join in with the end of the song, Strip looked at me again and said,

"Well, you can hum if you want to."

Hubs got home during the Solfege song and the dvd started to skip during the Lonely Goatherd, so when the Von Trapp children sang their goodnights, I suggested we do the same, promising to go by the library the next day to swap out the dvd for another one.

Hubs made the mistake of calling us during a layover to ask if he could take his girls out on a date. We gladly accepted and Strip has micro managed the day including a corn maze, ice skating and dinner out. Can't wait for our other boy to come home Monday (although Strip already asked, even before Hubs got home, if Hubs and Nugget could go away again some time soon. Guess girls week was TOO big of a hit!).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

At least she's honest!

Girls week!

It's coming to a close. Hubs will be back tomorrow, Nugget arrives with PaPa and Ma on Monday. So the obvious question posed to Strip is,

"Awwe. Have you missed your brother?!"

Tonight, Neighbor Chick's mother-in-law was in the 'hood and asked Strip the above question. Strip's answer, without hesitation?


We both stifled back laughs and asked why she didn't miss him.

"Well, when he's here, he always wants to race, and then if I win, he gets mad, and he messes with my stuff..." the list went on and on, basically describing every negative trait of a little brother.

"But it has been quiet, right? And he does make us laugh."

"Yeah. But I like girl's week."

Sorry, boys, looks like we need to put up a sign

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

2 AM ambush

This is not our bed. According to a google search, this is the world's most comfortable bed. So next time you're in Dubai, give it a whirl!

Hubs has been out of town. And Nugget is at camp PaPaMa's. So that leaves me, Strip and Zoe to fight over the five available beds in the house. For some reason, everyone always ends up in our bed (even though the most comfy bed award (in our house at least) would totally go to Nugget's or the guest room bed). With 2 gone, and one crated, a good night's sleep was looking pretty promising.

Strip decided the first night that she wanted to sleep in Nugget's bed because she missed him. Sleep all night? Check! The next night, she wanted to sleep in her bed. I honestly can't remember the last time she did that. The top bunk has been a way better sleep. So we gave it a try.

I peeked in before I went to bed to find her snoozing away. I slipped into my side of our bed, leaving Hubs' side tightly made, pillows in order, and crashed.

Several hours later, I'm jarred awake by screaming and kicking.

Most children come in to your room, tap you on the forehead, and give wild stories about bad dreams and wolves in the closet, and can I sleep with you? Not my kids!

Strip came in and just attempted to slip under the covers. Unfortunately, the bed on that side was made, quite well, so instead of slipping in, unnoticed, she became tangled in the pillows and taunt comforter.

Meaning, I said hello to 2 AM by her hitting me in the face and SCREAMING, "AHH! I CAN'T GET UNDER THE COVERS!! HELP ME OUT A LITTLE, WILL YA?!"

So subtle.

Monday, August 23, 2010

There is no "late" in "bus."

Strip has throughly enjoyed taking the bus to school, and I've been loving it, too! Since she's one of the first on and last off, it's like I get an extra hour plus every day! See, if school gets out at 3:00. that would mean I would need to be at the car line at 2:30, so I'd have to leave the house between 2:00-2:15. But, because she hops on the bus when school gets out, I have about 25-30 minutes AFTER that last bell until she gets home. Pretty sweet.

The first week of school went pretty well, I like to be outside about 15 minutes before the bus arrives, giving us a little morning play time with Zoe and time to relax a little before she heads to school.

Monday was a different story.

She had recently asked why they couldn't watch tv in the mornings, and I reminded her that she needed to be dressed and ready for the day before the tv comes on, otherwise, we'd be rushed and crazy trying to get out of the door. One morning, I was reminding her to "hurry and get dressed so I can pull up your hair," when she asked me if we were running late.

"Sweetie, with the bus, there is no 'running late.' You're either on it, or you're not."

Monday, we learned that lesson. It was another exhausting day of doctor appointments, so I was trying to get everyone ready so I could take Nugget to a friends house, then run downtown for my iron infusion. Normally, the kids hop out of bed, scarf down their oatmeal and race upstairs to see who can make their bed the fastest. Of course, not today!

I say: She:

Eat your oatmeal! Stares off into space.

Go get dressed! Sits on her unmade bed in her undies

Come here so I can Cries because she wanted to
braid your hair! brush it first.

Make your bed Sits on the top bunk,
acting like a puppy dog

Go downstairs and Sits about three stairs down
put your shoes on! chatting with Nugget.

See where this is going?

After finding my two shoe-less Joe's sitting on the stairs, a little piece of Mommy Dearest started to come out.

"Strip!! GET YOUR SHOES ON NOW! Your backpack's on the chair! HURRY! The bus will be here any second!" I'm screaming while trying to get shoes on Nugget and myself. I breath a sigh of relief when I see her round the corner to grab her back pack...and see her shoes... IN HER HANDS!!!


As I'm punting two kids and a dog out of the back door, Strip manages to get one shoe on, and is still dragging her uni-shoed feet standing in the kitchen. That's when I hear it, the unmistakable screech of yellow, school bus brakes as they make the turn to our stop.


Doe, tee doe, lollie gag, not a care in the world.


La tee dah, lovely day, not in a hurry, why are my mom's eyes bulging out of her head.

Bus door closes. Bus puts on the left turn signal. Bus is gone.

Strip now runs.

I tell her it's too late, and to go get in the car. UGH. Shuffle everyone back inside, put Zoe in her crate, find my keys, buckle two kids in the car and we head to school. The good news was, because we were all up and ready and missed the bus by three seconds, we were on the way to school within two minutes. The other good news is when you're the earliest pick up, even when you miss the bus, you'll still be on time/early to school.

I'm just glad we learned the missed bus lesson early in the school year! This past week? Up and ready with 20 minutes to spare!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Well, that explains it.

My face is broken out worse than the 16 year-old version of me pre-accutane (I'm thinking this has to do with all of the iron coursing through my veins).

Strip slipped and fell on our tiled bathroom floor, resulting in a giant goose-egg bruise on her forehead.

Hubs spent the morning in a screaming matching with Nugget and the clippers attempting to cut his hair (the last phrase uttered before I went downstairs sounded something like, "This is why you pay someone else to do this..."). Nugget now looks like he's going to enlist in the army, but he still is rocking the crazy, Alfalfa-like cowlick.

What could cause these forces of nature to collide in the same weekend?

Ahhh! It's picture day for the church directory.

Say, "photo shop!"

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dinner is served

(And you'll see why in a minute)

Since Strip started school, and knowing Nugget and I will be back to school in a couple of weeks, I've been trying to embrace the crock pot. There are quite a few days where she'll get off the bus late, then we have something to do near dinner time, so we need to eat as soon as we walk in the door at night, or right before we go. Meaning, unless we eat hot dogs and anything else microwavable, I need to have dinner READY to go whenever.

First up was an italian chicken and tomatoes dish. Not bad, but kind of anti-climatic, too. Tuesday, I decided to try one of my favorite pork tenderloin recipes. I LOVE this one, but the recipe alludes to the pork cooking in 10ish minutes, which it never does, so I tried searing it, and cooking it in the crock pot with double the glaze for sauce. That way, we could have favorite pork, and the leftovers I could use on a spinach salad with the glaze as dressing. But, I think the pork cooked a little too long, and the glaze got a little juicy/runny. Again, not bad, but not as good as when I do it the real way.

Last night, to use up the last little bit of Bessie (we got a cow (for the freezer, not the yard), and are down to livers (ew), stew meat and a couple of steaks). I got Strip on the bus, Nugget settled in playing and assembled my meal. This is so easy! Just dump, stir, set and cover! After doing some laundry, I left to get a hair cut while Nugget played next door. As a thank you for keeping him, I treated everyone to Chick-fil-a, so went over to the neighbor's first. After lunch, Nugget and I headed home, and when I opened the garage, we were slapped in the face with the sent of stew.

When Strip got off the bus, we ran to the mall (Sephora birthday gift? It's a necessity! Plus some random things to tuck away for Christmas for the kiddos). We came home, showered, got in pjs and played Wii until Hubs got home. When he walked in the door, I walked over to the crock pot to serve up our delicious beef stew. It was then that I discover the amazing transformation that had taken place.

It looked like someone had filled the crock pot with dog food, then eaten carrots and vomited all over the dog food, replaced the lid and cooked it for 6 hours.

Aren't you glad I didn't include a picture?

I muttered to Hubs, "I'll preheat the oven, you go grab a pizza out of the freezer," but we served it and set the table. The kids take turns blessing dinner, and sometimes we end up with three prayers. Tonight, Strip offered to say a prayer from her heart. Her stand-by from-the-heart prayer is normally, "Dear God, thank you for this wonderful food. We hope we like it and we hope we enjoy it, Amen."

Last night, however, it really WAS from her heart. After looking at the plate, she folded her little hands, bowed her head and said,

"Dear God, PLEASE help up to like this food...." and I finished, "So there aren't any leftovers?"


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ode to a slipper

Right after we moved here, I went shopping to get some new clothes (since apparently South Florida winters are a little less harsh than they are here). I hit all the stores, but of course, spent the bulk of my birthday money at my favorite, The Loft.

I was shopping online and needed to hit some amount to get free shipping, so threw in a pair of slippers figuring I'd take them back to the store if I didn't like them.

I didn't like them.

I LOVED them! They are not the ones pictured above, but very similar. Soft sole, but not so soft I couldn't shuffle to the mailbox, but not so hard that they were uncomfortable. They were cute enough that when I I threw them on around the house, it didn't look like I had giant fuzzy slippers on, but the wooly insides were warm enough that my pigs didn't freeze.

I wore them all the time. Fall, winter, summer, didn't matter. Until a few months ago. Someone (this could have been either of us) scooped up a load of laundry and washed it. That's what I get for leaving them on the closet floor and sorting laundry there, too. Not a big deal. But then Someone (and this was TOTALLY Hubs) was changing over laundry and noticed the slipper. Someone thought it was best that it not go through the drier, so Someone just placed the slipper, wet sole down, on top of the washer.

I found it a when we came back from our beach trip with a lovely, fuzzy green sole.

So now I'm on the hunt for the perfect slipper before it starts getting chilly. I had fallen in love with the Ugg Roo slipper because it looks like you are shoving your feet into two, giant, hot baked potatoes. Unfortunately, Roo's have been out of production for years, so you can only find them on ebay, like the ones pictured to the right, but they are never in my size. I'm also digging Ugg's Dakota Slippers, but they kind of have a hard sole on them and I'm not sure how comfy they would be hanging around the house. Maybe I should grab a cup of coffee and take a book into Nordstrom's. Then I could cozy up with different slippers and test drive them before I buy :-)

Oh well. Loft slippers, you will be forever missed. And Hubs, you are forever required to NOT do the laundry.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

When planning a surprise, don't include a three-year-old

Photo by Strip

Hubs learned this the hard way.

I recently completed another lap around the sun. Sunday afternoon (after a nap. Geeze, I am getting old!), Strip and I headed to Costco and Target for some of our bi-monthly favorites. Nugget was taking a nap (so maybe I'm not getting old, I'm actually getting younger?!), so he stayed behind with Hubs.

When we got home, Strip ran next door to say hello to the neighbors who were playing outside. When I entered the house, with double loads of groceries, an overwhelming smell hit me.


Hmmmmm Something smells good!

Hubs poked his head from around the corner and quickly said, "Yeah, I tried to make fudge and it messed up."

Ok. Two things wrong with that statement. #1 who gets a wild hair and makes fudge in the middle of AUGUST? Middle of December? Yeah, who doesn't like a little Christmas fudge, but August? No. #2 When Hubs bakes, nothing gets "messed up." He may miss the mark on a few things, but making cookies, candies and fudge? Never fails.

Out of nowhere, Nugget appears screaming, "Come see er cake!! Come see er cake!!" while Hubs subtly tried to shush him. I smiled, sensing I was ruining something, and walked out of the door for load #2. While I was in the garage, Hubs told Nugget that, "Shhh! The cake is a surprise for Mommy! We want to SURPRISE her, ok?"

I opened the door to find Nugget standing in the way. Upon seeing me, he screamed, "A-PRIZE!! Come see er cake!"


Bless Hubs' heart, knowing I am allergic to everything looked around and found a recipe he was able to tweak to my needs. Not wanting to hurt his feelings, but also not wanting to renew my epi pen prescription for my birthday I questioned him about the recipe.

Me: Are you SURE there's nothing in there that I'm allergic to?
Hubs: (smugly leaning against the counter) Well, let's see. Can you have rice flour?
Me: Yes.
Hubs: sugar?
Hubs: Unsweetened coco powder?
Me: Yes...
Hubs baking soda?
Me: Yes
Hubs: salt?
Me: Yes.
Hubs: Warm water?
Me: Yes.
Hubs: vanilla extract?
Me: Yes. Well, what kind did you use?
Hubs: What do you mean? I used vanilla extract? What could you be allergic to in that?!
Me: Well, my baking vanilla that I use in icing that's clear, I can have, but regular has something in it. Corn syrup maybe?
Hubs: No way... (reaching for the bottle)
Me: I really think it has something in it, I"m not messing with you...
Hubs: (slamming down the bottle) SON OF A BIRTHDAY CANDLE!

I may have edited the last sentence.

After all that hard work, 1 tsp was going to ruin the whole thing. I decided to pull a Ma, meaning I was going to eat something I knew had something I was allergic to in it, but scrape off the part with the most allergens. Since Hubs put the vanilla in the icing, I had a tiny bite and felt a little tingle on my tongue. So I scraped off the icing/glaze and gave it to Strip who was devouring her piece.

The cake was actually delicious! Hooray for Hubs! He is now in charge of baking me a cake for every occasion when others will be eating dessert.

I opened presents, and even Strip got into it. She made her own wrapping paper and card and wrapped up "two of my favorite books," from her room. Too sweet!

Next time, Hubs, do your baking next door when you want to surprise me :-)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Medi week: day two (and four)!

**This is not mine, but it IS available on ebay, so happy bidding!**

Drip drip drop little liquid energy!

As mentioned before my iron levels dropped. Maybe plummeted. I, optimistically, would like to say they've scooped, because they are super low now, but hopefully, they are shooting back up, as I type.

When the nurse called to give me the numbers, I could tell something was wrong. I asked her to give me my original numbers, post-iv numbers and latest draw numbers. I made my cute little columns. She asked how I was feeling, which I totally thought was a trick question. I was going to say, "I feel lousy," and she was going to say, "Really? Because your iron is higher than ever!" But, as she read the numbers, my cruddy feeling was NOT due to the vicodin (not valium).

HOW could my iron levels be LOWER now than they were 6 weeks, an iron iv, 42 multi-vitamins, 126 iron supplements and who knows how many burgers and steaks ago?!

As Carol says, "We need to do a double IV of iron as soon as you can," I coyly reply, "Well, that's no shocker, I've always been a double shot of espresso kinda gal," while internally, I start to freak. After checking schedules and setting up appointments at the marrow transplant center, Carol and I start to chat. I ask her if we're slapping a band-aid on something that needs stitches and she asks me to elaborate.

Me: Well, we keep pumping me full of iron, but obviously, something's not working. Should we be looking at other things? LIke maybe I should be doing more, dietary wise, to up my iron intake? Or something??

Carol: Well, regardless you need iron, NOW.

Me: Umm. Ok, but like I said, is there something else I should be looking at? Worried about?

Carol: Let's just get this iron in you first. Then we'll pull labs and if these two didn't work, Doc. T will have you see a hematologist.

Cue medical googling. OMBATHTUBS! I have stomach cancer! Or intestinal cancer! Or celiac! AHHHHH!

So I email my medi info to my bestest buddy who also happens to be fighting breast cancer, and kicking it's butt if I may say so! I didn't want to burden her with my wahh wahh's, but she is a nurse AND she's had iron infusions, so I thought she could offer me some medical insight. She medically advised me to step away from the google. Point taken.

Anyway, I excitedly purchase a book for the double and head downtown. As I mentioned before, the place isn't what I expected. A u-shape of recliners and a nurse station. I guess misery does love company. Anyway, as miserable as you may feel, it's guaranteed that the guy or gal sitting in the chair to the left is probably feeling a heck-of-a lot worse (except for the guy or gal sitting to my right).

The nurse asked if I needed an IV, and I joked that no, I'd take it on the rocks. She prepped my arm and I bragged about what great veins I have. We even joked that she could close her eyes and poke, and she'd probably get a good one. So what happened? Poke and roll. My BEST vein in my left arm rolled, and she chased after it with that needle. No re-sticking, just digging around with that needle until she got it. That's what I get for bragging.

I had planned on chatting with the nurses about my iron and the connection to my back problems thinking the low iron was affecting my back, but Thursday was SUPER busy. Instead, I tried to pour myself into my book. Problem? I hated it. I'm sure I just didn't give it enough time, but I just couldn't get into it. Also? I was cold?

About the time I was breaking down and unplugging myself to do some pole dancing, a girl my age, her two kids and her mother walked in and took a seat two chairs down. Mom was there for chemo, daughter was there to drive her and the kids were there because they had nowhere else to go.

I shuffled across the room to the blanket closet which happened to be right next to the little girl and her mom. I notice the little girl (Strip's age) checking me out. Not only was the only one with my own, natural hair, but I was also the only one with tar dripping into the iv. I overheard the mom say, "It's just her medicine, like grandma has, and it goes right into her body to help her." When I glanced over, I could tell they were both staring at me and looked away, uncomfortably. I smiled and told her, "It's iron, but I like to think of it as my energy drip! It's going to help me have more energy and be strong, like a superhero!"

Part of me wanted to tell her it was because "I didn't eat my broccoli and spinach as a child, and now they had to grind it up and shoot it into me with a GIANT needle, so eat your veggies, kid!" but I figure any kid who has to hang out hear while watching their grandma fight cancer didn't need that kind of lie from a stranger!

But, Mom and I got to chatting, and it was really nice. She got the ear she needed to listen to her, and we shared funny stories our kids. We talked about cancer and kids and exhaustion and faith and school and Jesus. Overall, a better 2 hours than I could have ever spent in a book.

Today, I came prepared with a new book and grabbed a new chair. My vein rolling nurse was on again today, so I told her I was just going to keep my mouth shut this time! She got me on the first stab, but MAN did today's hurt. They even slowed the drip down and gave me a heat pack, but OUCH did it hurt today. Luckily, it was pretty quiet, and I could pour myself into my book.

The minutes ticked by, but soon, it was time to go. And so the clock starts ticking for the next two weeks. But just incase the drip wasn't enough, I stopped for a burger on the way home. Then ate a spinach salad :-)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Medi week: day one

First up was the spine doc.

I specifically wore pants and a shirt so he could have full access to my spine, however when the nurse led me to exam room 3 (after weighing me and asking, "Is that normal for you??" What's that supposed to mean!?), she instructed me to strip down and put on the gown. I immediatly second guessed my underwear choice that day.

We go through all the medical history and then he starts pulling my legs and poking me in the back. He then tells me to flip onto my stomach and point to where the pain is. I tell him that it's super low in my back, almost in my hips/pelvis area. So he starts poking around.


He then pushes really hard on my left butt cheek and POP!

Please do not tell me that I have been shuffling around for a month, cracked out on vicodin (not Valium, thank you!) and in pain when all I needed was for someone to crack my butt.

Thankfully, the pain was still there when I stood up, although I had already planned to fake it through the rest of the appointment. The x-ray tech came in to snap some pictures, then it was back to my little room to wait. The doc came in and pulled up my photo shoot on his computer (I kind of miss the old-school films on the backlit wall). He then points out the curving of my spine.

Do you have scoliosis?

Doc, WHY are ASKING me this? First, shouldn't it be, "Oh! You have scoliosis." And second, don't you think I would have mentioned that in my medical history? Going to the spine doctor and having scoliosis would be something to note over having tubes in my ears and an appendectomy, don't ya think?

I told him I had never been diagnosed with scoliosis (but immediately flashed back to middle school when I carried a 45 lb (yes, we weighed it) book bag on one shoulder because it was "cool." Here's to hoping curved spines are all the rage soon).

He decided my pain was probably something with a disc and prescribed flector patches for inflammation and physical therapy.

Me: Great! So physical therapy should get me back to normal.
Doc: Well at least functioning. And this will probably come back.
Me: Uhmmm, great?
Doc: Yeah
Me: oh, and about this curved spine, scoliosis thing? Anything to be concerned about?
Doc: Nah.
Me: unless I notice I'm standing, leaning to the left a lot?
Doc: Yeah, then we'd need to look into it.
Me: So scoliosis isn't a big deal?
Doc: no, your not really growing anymore. I'll tell the physical therapist to look into it when she works with you.
Me: great?

And on that note, I'll leave you with a video that a friend posted on my facebook wall in honor of me falling apart (excuse the ad at the beginning and mild, foul language). Enjoy!

So much for being organized.

This week has been nuts with a side order of crazy.

If you follow me on twitter (Mom, you don't need to, I promise), you would have seen the tweet:

It started a few weeks ago when I messed up my back and went to the medcheck place. They happily prescribed pills and sent me on my way, but the pills didn't work, so they called in something stronger. Something stronger didn't work, so finally picked a general practitioner, who couldn't see me, so I saw her nurse. Her nurse was awesome and she referred me to the spine doctor and sent me home with Vicodin.

The vicodin didn't work either. Oh! I should take a moment here to add that on about day 3 of taking vicodin, I started saying, "I'm on Valium," and not ONE person stopped to say, "Really?! You're on Valium! I didn't know you had anxiety issues. And what does that have to do with your back?" until I mentioned something, jokingly of course, to Neighbor Chick.

"Well, if the kids get crazy, you can always come shopping in my medicine cabinet for a little somethin' somethin' to take you away! I've got lots of fun things to pick from now; painkillers, muscle relaxers and Valium!"

"Valium! Isn't that for crazy people? You mean vicodin, right?"

Right. Does this mean the majority of people think I'm crazy? Don't answer that.

Anyway, in the meantime, I'd had blood work done to check my iron levels to see if I needed to be topped off before school started. Good thing I did, because apparently, I bottomed out, so they ordered double iron ivs (not surprising as I've always been a double or triple shot espresso gal).

I quickly organized a game of pass-the-Nugget because my week turned into

Wed- Spine Doc
Thurs-IV iron
Friday-Physical Therapy
Monday- IV iron

And so the fun begins.

I thought I had everything worked out until I showed up today for my PT apt a confident 20 minutes early, only to discover I was actually 40 minutes late. I rescheduled around the rest of the crazy week, hobbled to the car, pulled out of the parking garage when my phone rings.

Voice: Yes, is this Mommychick?
Me: Yes....
Voice: Hi! This is the office guy at the PT's office! Your therapist's 10:00 just cancelled, so if you want to come back up, she can see you now!
Me: YAY! I'll be right there.

A quick u-turn back into the parking garage (almost hitting a gaggle of geese) and I hobble back into the PT office.

2 minutes later, the PT comes out. I hop (as best I can) out of my chair and she says

Don't get up. It's not my 10:00, it's my 10:30 that cancelled. Do you think you can stay?

I start doing verbal math to figure out when that puts me picking up Nugget (and meeting a stranger for a CL drop) and she interrupts.

Oh! That's my 10:00 (points to a lady walking in the door). This won't take long, and she's early. We can make this work.

I promised to be a quick bender and then waited my turn. Again.
She started off the session by going over my medical conditions. There are quite a few things wrong with me in general, so after going through all of it, she says, "Other than that stuff, you're in good health?" which kind of made me giggle.

PT went well, and she was quite impressed with my flexibility (take that, old age!), and I was actually still on time to sell our old dyson for $100!

This day's looking up!

Pick up Nugget and scoot home to make him lunch. After that, he curls up on the couch with me and falls asleep. I'm chatting with a friend on facebook when i notice I'm getting sweaty with him sitting on top of me.

Like a puddle of sweat.

Oh, that is so not sweat. Just when I get caught up with all the laundry, my kid falls asleep and pees on me.

So much for this day looking up.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

And the first day was....

A success!

I was feeling good after the little meet-the-teacher thing. Strip picked her outfit, a dress and a giant white bow. When we walked in, her teacher said to the other teacher, "Oh she reminds me of B!" After exploring the room, Strip and her teacher, Mrs. C, struck up a conversation.

"Oh she reminds me so much of my daughter! She use to wear frilly dresses and big bows to school every day!"

SCORE! You are going to love my child!

I thought I would get the kids up early on Monday as practice, but decided to hit the snooze instead. Who wants to get ready for a bus that isn't coming. Plus, if it went smoothly on Monday, that would guarantee us oversleeping for the real deal. You never want your dress rehearsal to go too well. When we walked downstairs, Strip said, "We've missed the bus." I promised her we'd be up for the real deal.

The next day, I shot out of bed without even hitting the snooze once! I got myself ready, then went to wake up the kids who both slept in their beds ALL NIGHT LONG!

Strip took a little nudging to get up. Her first response was, "My body is just too tired! I can't get up!" I offered to make some hot chocolate as a special treat for the first day, and that got her up and eyes open. She then looked out of the window and said, "AH! It's still the middle of the night!"

We stumbled downstairs and perked some coffee and coco. I had opened the back curtains so we could see out and watch the sun come up. Strip made the comment that she must have slept in her bed all night because THIS is the time of night she normally comes into our room for a snuggle, and since she was already awake, she didn't need to. So, as long as we got up super early, she'd always sleep in her bed all night. Suddenly extra bed-mates are sounding much more appealing. Just as the kids were finishing breakfast, Nugget looked up to see a bus go by.


No worries, it was just the high school bus, but a good reminder to get up and going! We ran upstairs to get ready, and were at the stop in plenty of time for a first day of school photo shoot!

As the bus pulled around the corner, I gave her one more big hug and kiss. I handed her the picture she made for the bus driver and off she went! It was like she had been doing this for years! I could hear her chatting with the bus driver, Ms. M, when she gave her the picture:

Ms. M: Awe, thank you! What's your name?
Strip: Strip!
Ms. M: Ok, then Strip, come here. Sit right her behind me.

In the bus driver's good graces? Check!

Nugget and I went back inside and Hubs left for work. I spent the next 1.5 hours fielding phone calls from relatives and other Kindergarten mommas sharing in how the first day was going (so far). I tossed together dinner and turned on the crock pot, uploaded and overshared pictures on Facebook, then Nugget and I packed our lunches and headed up to the preschool for some pre-planning and room set up time with my co-teacher. Time flew, and before I knew it, it was 1:00!

We headed over to Costco to pick up THIS:

Can you hear the angels sing?! We have the original dyson, and it's served us well, but after 6 years together, Hubs thought we needed to get a new one. More trouble than it was worth to fix the old one. Just glad it's Dyson and not me!

Anyway, I rush home to make sure I have enough memory on my camera card and wait. And wait. And wait! How is it that being home for 2 hours can DRAG! Couldn't imagine sitting at home all day waiting for her!

Nugget and I joined Neighbor Chick in her backyard to wait for the bus. It ended up being almost 30 minutes late. I was SO grateful that I had Neighbor Chick to hang with, otherwise, I would be chewing off my nails! Then I started getting worried. They put the kinders on the bus early. So she was on the bus early and now is 30 minutes LATER getting home! She's going to wet her pants! I told Neighbor Chick, it was probably good that it was SO hot outside. Maybe she would just sweat out all her excess fluid!

FINALLY, we hear the bus coming around the corner! I had my camera all prepped to take that perfect picture and of course, it was blurry. She was all smiles as she bolted from the bus and said she had a great day, but she was THIRSTY! We tumbled in the house, and I fixed everyone a snack while I got the school day scoop. She bought her lunch, and it was wonderful. She also made four friends, but didn't learn their names. And on the way home, she got to sit where ever she wanted.

I asked what color she had (green=good, yellow=warning, red=thinking chair) and she was green all day. As we were knuckling it up, she added, "But it's the first week of school, so even if you're bad, you get to stay on green." She said everyone made good choices, though.

After an ichat with Ma, we piled in the car and raced across town to get a celebratory slushie from her favorite little store, then back home to get ready for her first day of ballet. I sat Nugget on the couch while I pulled Strip's hair up in a bun (did you know they get graded on their appearance? I did not, so last year, while her hair was always out of her face, some days were braids and some were just ponytails. You can bet your bobbi pins that kid's going to have a slicked back bun EVERY WEEK this year.). I take Strip outside for a first-day-of-ballet picture and go back in to get Nugget.

He's asleep, sitting up, on the couch.

I load Nugget, aka sack of potatoes, into the car and race over to ballet where we are now running a little late (but she looks fantastic!). I sat Nugget down on the floor, where he promptly laid down, so I could help Strip with her shoes. She opened the door and the class erupted in squeals of her name. Such a fun sound to hear! Two friends from last year's dance class and one friend from preschool 2 years ago, and her two teachers from last year! Yay!

I hoisted comatose kiddo up and put him back in the car. I'm going to have a LOT of reading time (double iron infusions) this week, so figured I'd grab a new book to keep me company. Book purchase made, we scooted back to ballet to watch the last bit of class. She had lots of fun, and we raced home to put the finishing touches on crock pot dinner.

More chatting with family, dinner, bath, pjs, story, prayers and up in the top bunk she went. I checked on her before I went to bed and she had not moved at all. When I went in to wake her up this morning, she was still in the same position!

She told me she had "wonderful dreams last night," but was still a little slow moving in the morning. Too tired to eat her oatmeal, but awake enough to terrorize her little brother. I have a good feeling we are going to thoroughly embrace the weekends now.

Monday, August 9, 2010

ADD trumps emotion.

Happy back to school week!!

Strip is starting kindergarten, and I can hardly believe it. I knew this day was coming, so I've been preparing. Shopping! New backpack, new lunch bag (which when she saw it, she said, "That's cute, but I'd prefer to just buy my lunch."), new clothes, new shoes, and of course, the first day of school outfit.

With everything ready for her, there was only one thing left to do; Kindergarten Parent Orientation. All summer people have been asking me if I'm ready or sad. Why would I be sad? My baby is 5, and she's emotionally, physically and mentally ready to take her first steps into real school! I think I'd be sad if for some reason she WASN'T ready to go to kindergarten! Plus, it helps that she's SO darn excited about it. She's been "ready" since she saw the neighbors catching the bus last year. Now, if she were a crying, screaming mess every time someone brought it up, then I might be a little more stressed, but she's golden.

Hubs and I got a sitter so we could go together. I wanted him to see the school and hear about how kindergartners ride the bus so he'd feel a little better about it. Afterwards, we were going to grab some dinner. We didn't take the kids because it specifically stated in her paperwork, "This meeting is for parents. Students and siblings are welcome to join us for an ice cream social on Sunday."

As I waited for Hubs to get home from work and was cleaning up, I thought back six years. Could it really have been six years ago this month that I was waiting for Hubs to get home from work and frantically cleaning, but with five positive pregnancy tests lined up in the bathroom?! It seems both so far away and just like yesterday all at the same time. And yet, here we are, 3 states, 2 jobs and 1 more kid later with a kindergartner! Maybe everyone was right. Maybe it will finally hit me tonight and I'll be a sobbing blubbering mess.

Hubs and I arrived right in time, still able to get a good seat, but with a few minutes to spare to scope out the crowd. I was looking for preschool parents I knew. Hubs was checking everyone out.

Hubs: Those are the oldest kindergarten teachers I've ever seen.
Me: What?!
Hubs: Look how old those three are!
Me: Um. I'm pretty sure those are the principal and vice principal. And there are at least a couple of young teachers because I met one when Strip had her testing.
Hubs: I hope there's a hot one.
Me: Shhh!

The principal (one of the "old ones" and she is not really old by the way) then got to speak. Ok. Here we go. Cue the emotions, this is real. My baby's actually going to-

Me: What?
Hubs: Ugh. Gross! Look! Right there. Two people in front of me.
Me: What? I don't see anything.
Hubs: Look! Oh. Nevermind. This lady sitting right there, had her BARE FOOT sitting in the chair in front of her.
Me: Ew.
Hubs: Yeah. And there's someone sitting RIGHT NEXT to her bare foot. Uck. But she put it, OH NO, oh NO!
Me: What?
Hubs: She just took her bare foot, scooted the chair BACK so it was closer to her and propped her naked, bare foot back up again next to that guy.
Me: Oh I see it! Oh gross! Glad we're not in the front row.

The nurse gets up to speak and I notice the couple next to me feverishly taking notes. Really? Is this rocket science? If your kid is sick, don't come to school. If you pump your kid full of tylenol in the morning, it wears off and he spikes a fever, the nurse WILL call you to pick him up.

Ok. Focus. Here we go. Teacher intro.

As each one stands and waves, Hubs takes mental notes. We don't know Strip's teacher yet, so we're looking at all of them wondering. The 4th one to stand's name is Mrs. S.

Hubs: Heck yeah! A hottie!

And Mrs. S will actually be out for the first part of the year because she just had a baby...

Hubs: And she puts out!
Me: Seriously?! Shut UP!

We gather our composure and the principal gets back up to speak. She's talking about this acronym they use to make sure everyone is using their good behavior. She's going through each letter and talking it up. She gets to "A" and describes what it stands for, but follows it with, "That one's new this year. We had a different A last year." Hubs and I exchange glances and start giggling uncontrollably thinking about what A they had to drop? Attendance? Attitude? What A word could be so difficult they had to kick it out?

If our own thoughts weren't distracting enough, apparently 85% of kindergarten parents can't read, so there were kids and siblings everywhere. I know, I know, not everyone can afford a sitter, some parents have to work, blah blah blah. But, I'd rather not come to the orientation and risk not getting some face time with the teacher than bring my kid and younger siblings and and be a distraction to everyone. Better to not be known than to be remembered for being that annoying kid whose little sister was ripping things off the wall. Also, when a baby is letting out one of those long, monotone, "Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" sounds, do NOT start patting your hand on her mouth. They like that noise and will continue to do it.

Before we knew it, we were off to find Strip's classroom. Guess what? 100% of parents who can't read are in our class. Yay! We settle into our tiny chairs and look around the room. Very nice! Then a mom, dad, kindergartner, grandma and two other adults come in and sit with us. Really?! I know we're all excited, but couldn't ONE of you keep the kid at home? Not trying to judge. Just trying to understand.

The teachers do there chats, and at the end, Mrs. S reminds everyone to check their child's name tags.

Mrs S: We'd hate to be calling your son James when he really goes by Jim or Jimmy and then he's crying because we don't call him by the right name! Just make sure whatever name your child wants to be called is on his or her name tag!

Kid:I want to be called "James." (I glance at his name tag and not only is his name NOT James, his real name contains none of those letters).
Dad: What?
Kid: I want to be called James.
Dad: That's not your name!
Kid: She said to write what we want to be called. I want to be called James.

Hubs and I exchange wide eyed glances and try not to laugh in this kid/parent's face. Ok Strip, you're at least a little smarter than ONE kid in your class. You're going to be ok.

She then opened up the floor to questions.

Random Dad: Yeah, when they go to lunch, do they just go or are they in a group.
Hubs: (Hubs whispering, aka half-screaming) Oh good Lord, did he NOT go to elementary school!? Does he really thing they just open the doors and let the kids just take off?! NO! You walk in a line, 2 by 2, everywhere you go.

Random Mom: Can they eat with other grades?
Me: What?! They eat at like 10 am. Did you see the size of the lunch room? They eat by grades. Does she think that the entire school eats at 10 am?!

There we a few other, "Really?!" questions and then they were wrapping things up.

Mrs S: Ok. I think that's about it. Any other questions? Comments? Anybody want to throw something at me?
Hubs: Oh, I'll throw something at you.

Thanks, Hubs, for reaffirming that you can make anything sound dirty if you say it the right way.

We head to dinner at a new restaurant (for us) and are completely underwhelmed. Our server wasn't that great either. His wine suggestions were bad, his sides suggestions were bad and his voice was kind of grating.

We shrug figuring at least we tried it and have pretty much decided we're not going to be back. Hubs ordered a wedge salad which they serve in a soup bowl. You need room for a wedge! I thought he was going to have to dump half of it out on the table and eat it in shifts. Before he can rest his fork in his bowl, our entrees arrive.

Me: Well, they got those microwaved in a hurry!
Hubs: Hush, it's fine.
Waiter: Can I get you anything else?
Hubs: Yeah, can I get a lemon?
Waiter: A lemon?
Hubs: (motioning to his scallops) yeah, a lemon.
Me: I am going to laugh if he brings out like a whole freaking lemon!

I guess the waiter had the last laugh, because this is what he brought:

It's hard to tell with the art deco plates, glistening table top and phone camera quality, but that is a tiny, dehydrated slice and the butt of a lemon. You couldn't squeeze them into your water, much less squirt them on your scallops.

We dig in anyway, and after trying one of Hubs' scallops, I decide to try his potato thing. As soon as I swallow, I realize there was probably flour in it to thicken up the cheese sauce. I can feel my throat swelling up as I try to swallow a bite of my steak. It gets stuck.


I give Hubs the look, and rush off to find the bathroom. It's on the OTHER SIDE of the restaurant and it takes me a little while to dislodge my filet, so I'm thinking both about how I'm going to finish my meal and how to let Hubs know I'm ok, no need for epi and I'm not dead on the bathroom floor.

I figure if he gets too worried, someone will come looking for me. I maintain my breathing and swallowing and walk back to our table. I see him on his phone, thumbs flying.

Me: Are you tweeting?
Hubs: Maybe.
Me: Awe.

I pick up my phone to check it expecting it to say:
Hubs is sitting alone at the table hoping I didn't just try to kill my wife again.

What his tweet really said:
Hubs just found out Strip git the hottest K teacher. I was never so lucky.

Thanks sweetheart.

And as we're paying the check and thinking dinner can't be any better than this, we hear screams coming from the ballroom adjacent to us. The waiter walks back over and notices that we noticed.

Waiter: Yeah, sorry about that. We are hosting some revival thing. They were filming an infomercial in the lobby earlier.
Me: Ahh! Did they bring snakes?
Waiter: No, but we do have to staff extra people for clean up.

Apparently, expelling demons is quite messy, and extra catering staff is required to clean up the vomit. Awesome. So glad we'd already finished dinner when you mentioned that.

So, what was the point of this post? Oh yeah! my baby's starting school. Focus, mom, focus!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Thinking ahead

Since seeing Toy Store 3 at the beach, Nugget has been all about Buzz. When he jumps off the diving board at the pool, he stands at the end, presses his nipples (to activate his wings) and say, "To in-bin-ity. And DEYOND!" Then he jumps.

So when magazines started arriving a few weeks ago with Halloween costumes in them (hello! We were still in July!), the kids started discussing what they were going to be. Strip is wavering between Dorothy (who she was supposed to be a couple of years ago) and Jasmine. I would have put money on Nugget wanting to be Buzz, but he's been saying Batman.

Last night, he wore his batman pjs, so this morning we had this conversation.

Me: So what do you want to be for halloween?
Nugget: Batman!
Me: You don't even know who batman is!
Nugget: Yes e do. Batman Spiderman.
Me: Ok, who do you want to be? Batman or Spiderman? They are different people.
Nugget. Batman.
Me: Ok, who is Batman?
Nugget: I am.

Guess that settles it. Wonder if I can find a Robin costume for Zoe.

Loooooong weekend.

When hubs and I got married, we moved to North Carolina. Well, he had been there for 6 months, but same thing. LOVED NC. Almost went to school in NC. It was beautiful, green, friendly people, close to the beach, close to the mountains, just lovely.

His job had him working good 15 hour days and on call 4 nights each week, so needless to say, he was busy, making it hard to make friends as a couple. And somehow in that crazyness, I managed to get pregnant with Strip, so then we were on the hunt for couple friends with kids. We never really found our niche in NC, but throughly enjoyed living there for almost two years.

Hubs' cousin and his wife live about 40 minutes from our old house, so we loved spending time with them. Since we've moved (twice) we haven't been able to get together with them much, so we just decided to make the trip! It happened to be Cuz's birthday, so we used that as our excuse.

It's a beautiful 10 hour drive.

I couldn't see spending the money for the 4 of us to fly, plus we'd have to get a rental car or have Cuz or Cuz wife come get us, and our kids are such good travelers, we figured what the heck!

We tossed everyone in the car and headed out. Before the beach trip, Hubs upgraded to a new GPS, since I had told him MULTIPLE times that the Madge was trying to kill me and we didn't have our backup MA-gellan for this trip. Hubs loves the new GPS because he can make her speak with a british accent. I still don't trust her.

I'd already pulled out our route on my iphone, so gave Hubs the play-by-play of how to get there. He said he was cool. 3 1/2 hours in, it was finally close enough to lunch time to stop for a burger. Hubs got some gas, drove through McDonald's, and we were on the road again.

However, Garmin wanted us to go back the way we came, on the boo-lei-VARD, but that made no sense. So Hubs just kept going, and Garmin quickly calculated the new route.

"Turn right in .5 miles."

I'm looking at the glorified dirt road she wants us to turn down, and just as I'm about to laugh with Hubs about how "that can't be right," he jerks the wheel and away we go!

Two miles in, I dig through my bag for the vicodin. It's about one lane, up and over hills, cutting around corners in the middle of nowhere. Hubs is laughing about where in the heck are we, so I go to check the iphone.

No service.

At this point, a little voice behind me calls, "Ummmm. I don't really like this...."

Why Strip?

"It's too up and down-y and back and forth-y!"

Couldn't agree more. We dodged two oncoming trucks and Hubs told me to "take a good look around because we will probably NEVER be on this road again!" At one point, through a clearing, I could see the interstate we SHOULD have been on. It was like Cars, and we were lost in Radiator Springs and could see route 66.

Hubs claimed it was a shortcut, but it looked like we just tacked the 1/2 hour we had gained back onto our trip.

We made it safe and sound, but it was COLD that weekend. And it rained, so no swimming and playing outside. Cuz and Hubs still managed to play golf Sat and Sun, but the kids were nuts Sat from being in the car all day on Friday. Then Sunday, we took a mini road trip to visit our old house, and Monday we left. So I felt like mommy dearest with my cooped up crazy kids! I wouldn't be surprised if Cuz and Cuz wife NEVER invite us back and never come visit us because they probably think our kids are crazy, and I am a horrible mother.

I told Hubs no matter what, the next time we take a weekend trip that involves more than 5 hours in the car, we are flying.

On the plus side, we did have an AWESOME time visiting Cuz and Cuz Wife and adorable Cuz baby (who is SO no longer a baby)! AND I took the kids to visit all of our old favorites including our first house. So, I present, the Original Casa de Mommychick:

I loved our little shoebox! I remember right after we got married, we bought a Dyson, and I told someone, "It's great! I can vacuum the entire house without unplugging it! Hmm. That probably speaks more to the size of our house than the length of the cord!"

It looks like they've fenced the backyard (which I SO would have loved with June Bug there, but the landlord didn't seem keen to that), and the mailboxes are on the street now. That was one of my favorite things about this house! The mailboxes were on the house, so I saw and spoke to our mailman almost every day. And he was so sweet!

Strip asked if we could knock and see if we could look around, but remembering the large amount of homeless or crazies who came knocking, and the car that was set on fire in front of it, I figured they wouldn't be big on opening the door to strangers.

Maybe next time :-)