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!