Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Whoa. I'm a slacker.

So much so, that it took me two tries to log into my blogger account!

It's been a while since I updated, and I can't believe how many posts I haven't posted! So, I will do my best to back-blog and link back to this post so I can (hopefully) keep things in chronological order. But, for a teaser, here's a little overview of what's been going on in the lives of Nugget and Strip (and me and Hubs)!

I had a big birthday, that I somehow never finished the blog about (must be the old age!), Strip lost a tooth, Hubs ruined another relaxing beach vacation, shortly after Strip re-wrote a Berenstain Bears book, Nugget said the "F-word" for his preschool class, I re-organized the pantry, both kids started playing soccer, bought some new shoes and got put in my place at the running store, we ran (and FINISHED!!) a half-marathon, great-reader Strip discovered bathroom graffiti, we headed up to Tennessee for a sibling reunion and (almost) got some back-woods themed t-s to go along with the trip, I put a bunch of stuff in the consignment sale (and they lost our largest item!), Strip did her first diorama, we checked out the "super great" Children's museum in town, the Big Screen is back and we built a fire pit, the power went out and I had to get creative to get the car out of the garage, we went geocaching, the power went out again and I found a surprise in the garbage can, trick-or-treating sans Hubs, I almost got into a fight over some HDN's, my car got one-upped in the parking lot, Strip gets recruited on the soccer field, I got the most expensive oil change ever, I got the most painful eyebrow wax ever, Nugget dresses himself (using only 2 pairs of pants), Strip drops the F-bomb during family game night, Hubs and I took our second honeymoon, Felix came back, Hubs goes Grizwald on our house for Christmas, I failed at Christmas card picture taking, Strip (finally!) lost her second tooth, Strip and I got strep, took an acceptable picture and ordered cards just in time for a facial injury, Nugget touched Felix and Nugget put the smack down on politically correct Christmas songs.

Did you catch all of that? I've got some typing to do!

Friday, November 4, 2011

That's life!

After meeting with Strip's teacher, I learned that she needed a parent volunteer on Friday. So, I declared Friday as my day off and told her I'd be there when she needed me.

I was excited to show up for my first day. I love school (now that I don't go there) and this age is just SO much fun. The parking lot was packed, so I kind of made myself my own spot at the end of the row of teacher cars.

I hopped out, slammed the door, started walking to the office, reached back and hit the lock button on my keys and glanced back to make sure it actually locked.

And that's when I saw this.

Yup. There's me, on the right, proudly displaying my 13.1 sticker! And there someone (I'm 99% sure this is actually Strip's teacher's car) subtly one-upping me with a 26.2.

Just a reminder that there will always be someone in life who is better than you. That's a fact. Just try not to park next to them!

Monday, October 31, 2011


No, we didn't carve pumpkins this year. But I did carve a turkey and cheese sandwich! So needless to say, Halloween this year was just insane.

Hubs was out of town on the actual day, so we'd done a family trunk-or-treat at a local church. Halloween was on a Monday (boooo) but not just any Monday!

I went to work, left Nugget in afterschool, raced across town for Strip's parent-teacher conference (she's fantastic! Only concern is that she's "too nice" and might get walked all over), scooted over to a friend's house to pick Strip up (who went home with the friend, thank goodness because there was a miscommunication and my poor baby was waiting at carline thinking I was never coming), raced back across town to pick up Nugget, then BACK across town to our house.

Did I mention Hubs was out of town?

Since it's our first Halloween and it was a school night, I invited some friends of ours over for dinner and T-o-T-ing in our 'hood. They homeschool their kids, so no worries if they're driving home at 9pm!

But they were coming for dinner!

Toss the kids in the house, start boiling some Halloween noodles, and pulling costumes together.

Strip was Dorothy (thank you, ebay seller, for allowing my child to not look like a stripper) and Nugget was Capt. Jack "Spiro" (thank you, other ebay seller, for letting my child be Capt Jack in the old school original Disney costume, not the polyester, flammable, see-through one!). Two years ago, Strip was Fancy Nancy and June Bug was her posh puppy. Last year, Nugget was Batman and Zoe was Joker. So this year, we decided to let Zoe go with Strip's costume. I found a bat costume, be we tied on her wings and declared her a flying monkey!

And for me? I was Elphaba. Yup. The wicked, green witch. Thank you, Strip, for suggesting I would make a "Great Elphaba!"

I found a gothic, black dress, on sale, in the jr's department of Party City and bought some green make-up/paint at Target for $.90. LESS THAN A DOLLAR! Who wouldn't let their kids slather green all over her for less than a dollar? I topped it off with a long black wig.

Then I looked at the three of us. All in wigs. Me painted green. Nugget with a beard and mustache. And our dog wearing wings. Great way to meet the neighbors!

We had a fun night going around the 'hood, came home to count our loot, said good-bye to our friends and I hosed off the kids and put them to bed.

Then I attempted to de-green myself.

Here's a little tip. If you don't normally wear a lot of make-up, meaning you don't need make-up remover, and you buy green face/body paint for under a dollar, go the extra mile and purchase a little make-up remover. Or something. Otherwise, you will take three showers with dish soap.

And still find green paint in your hairline the next morning. You've been warned!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


As I mentioned, sometimes our power just goes out. For fun.

The kids and I came home today, and when I pressed the button on the garage door opener, nothing happened.

I got closer, and nadda.

I assume the battery's dead in my remote, so hop out and hit the keypad. Zilch.

Yay, the power's out again.

No big deal! I had "clean out my car" on my t0-do list, so we broke into the house, let Zoe out and the kids hit the yard. I gathered some trash and headed over to the toss it in the can. The trash JUST came, so there's not much in the can, but as lift the lid to toss in some carbage (get it? car+garbage!) I notice something odd.

So I open the lid a little wider.

That's odd... We just took the trash out, and there's so much loose trash in the can...hmmm..

At this point, I open the lid, shove my head in a little more

Ew! Is that poop?! Who just THROWS poop in a garbage can?! I mean, when we pick up Zoe's poop, we toss it in here, but "just poop" would mean that someone picked up poop with their bare hands! Who does that?!

Now I have my head and shoulders peering into the garbage can.

And that's when my eyes met the beady little eyes of this fellow:

Yes. We like Chick-fil-a, but that's not the point! Oh my raccoon!!!! In the trash can! One centimeter closer and that thing's clawing my eyes out and giving me rabies!

So I did what any rational person would do.

I slammed the door and screamed, "OH MY BATHTUBS!! THERE'S A FREAKING RACCOON IN THE TRASH CAN!!!"

Which of course means that as I go to get my phone to take a picture, the kids are stacking up the recycling bins to peer in and get a peek, causing me to scream, "Get down! That thing will claw your face off!"

I'm guessing the jerk raccoon was making his weekly stop in our can. Unfortunately for him, trash was delayed a day for the holiday and he didn't get the memo. So where there should have been some trash to eat, enjoy and get a boost back out, there was one measly bag in the bottom and he couldn't get out.

Hubs, of course, was out of town, but told me to leave that jerk in the can until he got home (we have some issues with raccoons. And armadillos. And burrowing animals). But I felt bad for the stupid thing. But not bad enough to do anything besides tossing a little bit more trash in there. Not to squish him! Just to give him a little umph to get out of the can.

And the next morning, I stood on the kids' stacked green bins, peeked in and nothing there! He escaped!

And I will be forever afraid to open our outdoor garbage. As will many others in my life, including my mother.

Monday, October 24, 2011


The kids had Monday off from school, so instead of having a lazy day in our PJ's we decided to go geocaching. I honestly can't remember where I came across geocaching, it seemed like a fun thing to do that was like a treasure hunt and would get the kids and dog outside for a nice long time, so off to the park we went!

I explained how geocaching worked, pulled up the app on my phone, leashed up the pup and we were off! 25 minutes later, we'd found nothing, so I figured someone moved the cache and we were off to the next one. Thorns, stepping in holes, tripping over logs, and kids letting go of the squirrel-chasing dog, we failed to find #2.

And the kids were getting cranky.

And honestly? So was I.


I told the kids we'd walk to the park (about a mile away from where we were!), and as we got closer, up popped another one.

I convinced the kids to look for this one as the description lead me to believe it was pretty big and the location stated that it was easy to find. How could we fail!

We tromped along many paths and came to a clearing where we all felt it HAD to be.

And then, we saw it!

The kids found it!! And Nugget, while leaning on the log to get a closer look, squished his hand in bird poop.

They looked at me and asked what was in it. Only one way to find out (insert silent prayer that there was nothing scary, dead, alive or inappropriate hiding in the ammo box...)


The rules state that you have to leave something if you take something, and all we had was a poop bag, so we signed the book and found a new hiding place. And the kids were hooked! As we set off down the trail, I refreshed my list and up popped another one that was "for kids only." I told the kids they had to find it, traded my phone for Zoe's leash and let them lead the way.

Once we got close enough that we were close, but every step we took got us farther away, we took a left and headed into the woods (getting many strange looks from people jogging/biking/walking on the trail).

Nugget spotted this one, but they worked together to dig it out of the stick pile.

And when they opened it up, Strip's reaction was, "They weren't kidding! This one IS for kids!!"

TONS of toys that both kids were going nuts over! But, since we didn't have anything to trade, I let them both sign the book and start looking for a new (close) place to hide it.

So after our first 'caching experience, everyone had fun, I got fussed at for not bringing toys to trade out and no one got ticks. Or poison ivy. Or bitten by a snake.

So all in all, a successful afternoon! Can't wait to look for caches all over town!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lights out

In the great state of Florida, we sometimes have storms. And sometimes, those storms cause power outages. And sometimes, the power just goes out even if there is no storm.

And that's what happened today.

The kids and I were at home, enjoying our Saturday, and I told them we'd head to the Halloween store to get some costume accessories. No sooner had we gone out to load up in the car, out went the power.


What's the problem?

The problem is that my car is in the garage. And our garage door needs power to go up, allowing my car to back out. Now, I know what your saying. Giant eye roll and, "Pull the red cord and lift the door yourself, lazy!" Well, that's exactly what I did.

Unfortunately, the garage door element that holds the door up when said power is out was not on/in/around/a part of our garage door.

So, I'd lift it up. It would fall back down. I'd THROW it up. It would come back down. It would remain above the ground about 2 feet, but my car is a little larger than that. So there's the problem.

I could hold the door up, arms extended over my head, and standing on my tippy toes, but that would leave the kids in charge of backing the car out of the garage. Not a good idea.

If Nugget were to stand on Strip's shoulders, they could probably hold it up high enough, but that probably falls in the "Not a good idea" category, too.

I was left with one choice; get creative.

And the results? Well, they speak for themselves:

Yup. Let's see... trash can! Hmm that's not tall enough... Trash can AND a hard cooler! Nope, still not tall enough... Oh! Rolling trash can + cooler + empty trash can= Open garage door!

After I stabilized my tower, I locked the kids and dog in the house, cranked the car and prayed nothing slipped. A few seconds later, the car was out of the garage, the kids were safely buckled, our trash cans were back in their spots, and we were pulling out of the driveway!

And so what if the power came back on as we pulled away....

Friday, October 7, 2011

Reader, reader, what do you see...

I see trouble looking at me.

Side note: Did you know you can buy public bathroom signs on ebay? Because you can.

Anyhoo, fall is here and that means it's time for the (almost) annual Hubs Sibling Reunion weekend in the beautiful mountains of Tennessee! We found a cabin two years ago in Pigeon Forge and it was PERFECT for our clan! We decided to rent it last year, but it was already booked, so we booked WAY in advance for 2011. Which meant we were traveling during the school year for a trip that we planned when the kids were in a different school system and one SIL was SUPER pregnant! Yay!

We got the kids at school pick-up and started making our trip north. If I were driving, we would make as few stops as possible, but Hubs was behind the wheel which meant we stopped for dinner 2 hours in and gas/bathrooms 1.5 hours later (because it would make too much sense to get gas and pee in the same zip code where you had dinner).

Hubs starts pumping gas, and I take the kids into the "store" to use the bathroom. We walked by a row of chain-smoking gamblers who were smoking (well, does it count as "smoking" if the cigarette is just dangling on your lower lip while smoke is swirling around you?) IN the gas station while playing the slots! Hello, middle Georgia. So nice to see you!

I corralled everyone into the Ladies room and found a stall to stuff everyone into. As I was helping Nugget to levitate around the grossness, Strip is looking at all of the writing on every wall of the stall.

Strip: Why would someone write all over the walls? 'Don't marry a man for his looks or riches, marry him for what's..'

Me: AHHH!! TURN AROUND! Turn around! Just stop reading and don't touch anything!!

Mind you, this was after the dinner stop bathroom discussion where she said, "Why would they have a trash can IN the bathroom stall with a sticker on it that specifically says, 'No Trash?' That seems silly! What do they want you to put in there?!"

If my sister-in-law could give birth at the cabin this weekend, we may win the prize for awkward moments.

Monday, October 3, 2011

13.1? DONE!

Disney wine and dine weekend!! WAAAHHHOOOOOO!!!

The moment we'd been waiting for since I stupidly given my credit card to Disney in April and booked our hotel room! Ma was in town to hang with the kiddos and pups, UP was finally finished with class, a work dinner and was at the house and we were on the road!

I'd booked us a hotel on property at one of the value resorts. I knew we'd only be spending a few hours in the hotel and I wanted something we could take the bus to and from the start/finish line, so All Star it was.

The drive seemed to take FOREVER! Even though it was 3 adults and we passed the time listening to/watching stand-up, I wanted to just wiggle my nose and be there. We opted to not stop and eat so we could just get there, only to discover that the food court closes at a certain time (aka about 15 minutes before we checked in). We ordered a pizza and headed up to the room. A couple of slices later and we were all tucked in, ready for a good night's sleep.

The next day, half-marathon day!!, we headed over to the expo. I had no idea what to expect. We parked, and started walking. We stood in a not-s0-bad line and were ready to check in, get our bibs and be official!

Except for one little problem.

I'd filled out all the paperwork, and I SWEAR I would have caught this, but I had all of our "what we're called" names put on our bibs. That's great for me (who goes by my real name) and UP (who goes by his middle name), but not so great for Hubs (who goes by a nickname of his real name no way incorporated on his FL drivers license).

And the blood pressure rises...

We all flash our ids and the problem started. It's not the name on the list! This name doesn't match! I'm not sure.....

OH NO. You can NOT tell me that we (well, the boys) have been training so hard for this, and now, because of a southern nickname, Hubs isn't going to get to run!??!

Luckily, the "cast member" sitting to the left of check-in gal, had a name tag with her city clearly visible; Charlotte, NC. Come on, southern lady! Help us out!

She sat nodding in agreement the entire time we were checking in, and eventually, the official check-in girl deemed us "legal" to accept our bibs. We crossed the tag check, verified our names and ages and off to pick up our swag bags!

I must say, our bag was quite nice! A clear bag for our checked stuff, some gu, some samples and a sweet little wine and dine running shirt. We decided to walk around the expo and that might have been the biggest mistake we made all day. I just wanted to get a Wine and Dine something to remember the weekend by. What we ended up getting? 2 wine and dine wine glasses, 3 bags of apples, a pair of chiquita banana sunglasses and 2 tattoos, a new pair of headphones for me, a new powerband for Hubs and a set of Cutco knives. Yes, we went to run a half-marathon and bought a new set of knives.

After impulse buying our way around, we headed to downtown disney for a late lunch/early dinner/last meal. Then, it was back to the hotel to rest.

And since I was with 2 of the girliest guys, we also had to pick out and try on our outfits. After our ensembles were assigned, we pinned on our bibs, drank some water, packed our after-race bags, drank some water, filled out our emergency contact information, drank some water, charged our ipods, drank some water, packed our gu and gatorade, drank some water and got dressed. And then we hopped on the bus! At 7:45! Yay for early arrivers!

One of my biggest stressors was knowing there were going to be about 200 port-a-potties and knowing there was about a 200% chance I was going to have to use one at some point during the evening. If you were paying attention in the above paragraph, you might have noticed we were drinking a LOT of water. So it should come as no surprise that after we checked our bags into the u-haul, grabbed another bottle of water and found a spot on the lawn to enjoy the preparty, I had to pee. NOOOOOOO!

Off to the line of port-a-potties we went. Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew.


I must say there is a really big difference in using a port-a-potty at a Dave Matthews Band concert, lawn seats, and using one just before a half-marathon. People might as well have been walking in, flipping the lock and pouring bottled water into the hole filled with blue water. Not too bad at all!

But we still had two hours before the race started.

So we danced, watched some crazies jumping around, met up with UP's friends, and I finally faced my other fear and ate a cliff shot block. Ew. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn't because it's like the shot block adheres to your stomach lining and there's nothing to puke. We then shuffled into our corral.

Somehow, we managed to get assigned to corral C. Right in the middle! The national anthem was performed, we all waited excitedly and BAM!




And about a minute later, we shuffled forward and repeated the process.

Finally about 12 minutes after 10, we were off. I mean, really off. The boys wanted to run together, and I was feeling a little wheezy so told them to go ahead and I'd see them at the finish line. They took off, and I started to try to pace myself. And then, something amazing happened.

I passed someone. Then another person! Then another group of three! And a few more people!!! I'm running in a half-marathon AND I'm running faster than someone (well 9 someones!)! If I can manage to not get picked up by the bus, I'll officially check my half goals off my list!

I clopped along down what felt like the longest road ever and finally came to the first mile marker. By the second mile marker, I could tell I was not running my best and was SO going to have to do one of these stinkin' things again. I kept trying to push myself a little harder, but kept getting caught up in the same group of slowpokes and could not get around.

The race was awesome though, and there were parts of the electrical parade all along the way, music blaring, character spots, it was great! And just when I thought I was never going to get there, I ran under the Animal Kingdom sign! YES!! Finally the first park!

And if I hated that park with a double stroller in 100*+ heat, it was 15 times worse at night with thousands of runners. I'd finally gotten up to a good pace and was feeling in the groove. I ran under a bridge, up a hill and knew the tree of life would be in sight at any momen---AHHH!

Well, the park is the same running. Just when I thought I was home free, the chick running in front of me (at a part where we were in a straight line) comes to a full stop, pulls out her camera and takes a picture of the tree.

I almost slam into her, manage to hop around her and the 12 others doing the same, and keep going. I kept telling myself, "You hate this park! If you stop now, it's going to take you that much longer to get out if it!" and somehow, I kept running! I made it past the point where the relay swap was happening, through a back lot and out into the parking lot, around the parking booth and I was on to the next park!

And somewhere around mile 8, I was running over a bridge and people were honking and I had to wave and smile. I was doing it! I was actually doing it! I was RUNNING a half-marathon! Oh if coach Sherman could see me now! The girl who could give everything for that one stupid mile it took to make the soccer team, complaining the whole way, was running a half marathon!

And at that point, it became a blur.

There was a green army man screaming at us as we climbed a hill to Hollywood Studios, my mind tried desperately to figure out where I was and suddenly I was at the Tower of Terror, I thought back to the race map, trying to think how much longer I had to go, and I was at mile 10. I was pushing, but had to stop and laugh at/with a cute couple next to me. I'd pulled my earpiece out of one ear for the water stop and I hear her say, "This. was. the. dumb. est. idea. I. ever. had." to which he replied, "Come on, baby! You can do it! We're at 10! Just a 5K left to go!"

Just a 5k! Shoot me now!

But suddenly, I was on the boardwalk then I could see parts of Epcot and before I knew it, I could see the finish line! THE FINISH LINE!! I knew the boys had finished way before me, so I slowed down a little to look around, hoping to see their smiling faces somewhere in the crowd. Not seeing anyone familiar, I pushed it on across the finish line, threw my arms up in the air and slowed it to a jog, then a walk. I went over to some awesome volunteers who put the (heavy!) medal around my neck. I did it.

I. did. it.

And because I needed to know, I looked back and saw a gaggle of people behind me. I did it. I wasn't last, the bus didn't pick me up, I finished. At that moment I wanted to cry. And throw up a little. And get some water. And pee. And sit down. And lie down. And find the boys. But my jelly legs just kept going where I picked up a bottle of water, grabbed a bag and some gatorade, a banana, a cliff bar, and some other stuff. Before I knew it, I was standing in line to get my official post-race picture taken. I did it! I'm holding my medal and I finished and I look great! (nope! No mirrors! I saw the picture, I looked like a sweaty mess.). I started to make my way over to the bag claim area and I saw them! The boys had finished, beating the 2 hour mark (amazing!), Hubs was 3 steps away from losing a toenail (which he nicely texted a picture of to me) and they were ready to party! We grabbed my stuff, changed (large open tent where I was pretty sure when I took off my shorts, I WOULD fall over) and headed into the wine and dine party.

This was the one disappointing part of the night.

It's the WINE and dine. And what do they hand me? A skunky beer. Boooo. But they did give us all a $10 gift card, so we wobbly made our way around the world to Italy where I was able to get myself a glass of wine and the three of us could pose for a picture with the epcot ball in the background.

We did it! We actually did it!

And I must say, the bling at Disney is so fantastic, I think we're hooked. Counting down the days until the next wine and dine! I think it's an annual thing now.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What has 2 thumbs and buys new shoes the week before a half marathon?

This gal!

(and the above shirt is available at zazzle. Where I found the pic.)

So Hubs bought himself a new pair of shoes (and some gu and a shirt or 2 and maybe some socks) a few weeks ago. I was toying with the idea of splurging and buying ME some new shoes, but just hadn't gotten around to it.

But there we were, having lunch at a pizza place with Nugget on a random Wednesday and the running store we love happens to be next door. My phone had a full charge (which meant a solid stint of angry birds for Nugget), so after eating, Hubs convinced me to stop in.

Our store is owned and operated by runners. They know their stuff and are awesome, but they still aren't full of themselves enough to look at people like me, roll their eyes and push the most expensive shoes in the store. I sat down and kicked off my flip flops and fully admitted that my current running shoes were purchased solely because they were on sale and had the hole in the bottom where I could put my Nike chip. Store dude gave me a sympathetic smile, equivalent to a pat on the head, and gave me a pair of neutral shoes. He then lead me to the treadmill, set my pace and told me to start jogging.

I then ran, with my jeans rolled up to my knees (with a belly full of lunch, mind you) for about a minute. And if that weren't awkward enough, we THEN got to watch a video of my fat calves and flat feet slapping the belt.


He determined how much my ankles rolled and what negative arches I have, excused me to the chair and disappeared into the back. He appeared moments later with an armful of boxes and let my piggies play goldilocks in some new kicks.

I narrowed it down to two pairs. One was a puma that was so ugly, I'm convinced they would have made me run faster purely so people would not be able to look at my feet. But they felt like I'd shoved my feet into giant marshmallows.

The other pair was a delightful pair of brooks that felt a little like heaven and guaranteed that I'd never set sock in my nikes again.

And the boys all waited, ever so patiently, as I ran around the store in the first pair. Then the second. Then the first again. Then the second. Then the first on my left foot and the second on my right. Then the other way around.

Oh this went on for what I'm sure was hours in annoying-customer time until I finally decided on the Brooks' and went up to pay. It was then that Hubs pointed out the (as Nugget would say) ginormous poster behind me of Store Dude. Running. In the olympics. Nice.

They told me I should be fine as long as I put about 20 miles on my shoes before the 1/2, so the challenge was on.

And the next week (as in the week OF the 1/2), I went back into the store to get Hubs a few shirts to pick from for the weekend. He, not shockingly, didn't like the majority, so back to the store I went! I decided since I was already there I might as well treat myself to a little something.

Like a new pair of shorts.

And if you give a mouse a cookie...

20 minutes later, I was decked out in a comfy pair of shorts, a sports bra and running tank.

As I ran around the store in my new wine-colored ensemble, I struck up some half-marathon chat with running chick. She'd done Disney before, so she had some great advice.

Running Chick: Oh! You are going to love it!! Disney races are so much fun!

Me: Oh good! This is my first so I'm pretty excited!

RC: First half?

Me: Yup! And first 5k and 10k...

RC: Whoa!

Me: Yeah, I'm an idiot. So any words of wisdom for a first timer?

RC: Yes. Smile, enjoy yourself and smile for the photographers. They are all over and pretty easy to spot. Plus there's all the character picture spots, too!

Me: Yeah, but if you stop for a picture, your time keeps going right? I mean, if I stop to take a picture with Mickey, and it takes 5 minutes, that adds 5 minutes to my time, right?

RC: Yeah. But can I ask you something?

Me: Sure!

RC: Are you going to win?

Me: What?

RC: Are you planning on winning the half-marathon.

Me: Umm. Probably not...

RC: Yeah, so what's a few minutes for a picture?

OUCH! Umm. I'll take my purchases and go now. Thanks for the pep talk!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The F-word

Strip is my talker.

If I pick her up from school (or in our previous life met her at the bus stop), by the time we get to the house, I know what everyone had for lunch, was wearing that day, what color they were on and then some. I can get a verbatim play-by-play of the entire 8 hour day, usually in one breath.

Nugget? Not so much. He will talk and talk and talk, but gives me NO information about what's going on at school. How was school? "Good." What did you do? "Nuffin'." What was your favorite part of the day? "Snack" (which I pack him). What was your favorite part of after school? "Eatin' lunch" (which I also pack him). What was your favorite thing about school that DIDN'T involve food? "Goin' outside."

So, I had to really control my excitement when, after getting in the car, Nugget said without prompting:

Nugget: Oh! Mom!! GUESS what happened at school today?!

Me: Hmmm Captain Jack sailed the Black Pearl onto the play ground?

Nugget: Noooooo You'll never guess!!

Me: Ok, what happened?

Nugget: I said the F-word for de WHOLE CLASS!!!

At this point, I am trying my very best not to drive the car off a bridge and also not freak out. Nugget thinks everything is hilarious, and the last thing I needed to show him was some crazy-freak out reaction to a four-letter word as to encourage him to say it again.

But my mind is racing.

No one said anything to me, but car pick-up doesn't lend itself to chats with the teacher, and another teacher put him in the car, so there wasn't really a chance to talk. No one's called me. No one emailed me...yet.

But more importantly, how does he KNOW the F-word, and on top of that, how does he know to refer to the F-word as "The F-word."

Stay calm.

Me: Really Buddy?

Nugget: Yeah, I said it really loud and good for de whole class!

Me: bracing myself Can you say the F-word for me?

Nugget: Sure! Fffffffffffffffffffff-ARM! FARM is an F-word!



It turns out that the letter of the week that week was F. And when they introduce the letter of the week, they write letter words (in this case, F-words) on the board and the kids get to help think them up. Nugget had raised his hand and come up with "farm" on his own (no teacher hints like, "Old McDonald had a....), and the teacher was SO proud of him. She doted on my little buddy and it was right before pick-up, so it was fresh on his mind.

So glad I don't have the potty-mouth kid in school and will not have to write multiple letters of apology to all of the parents in Nugget's class!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bad News Bears

***Warning! This post contains offensive language! ***

This year, part of Strip's homework is to read at least 10 minutes per day. So that's like requiring Hubs to watch college football every Saturday. CAKE! But, something about the pressure of recording every.single.book was getting to me.

We were plowing through her bedroom library and she's rocking the AR tests, so when we met a friend at the local library to grab some soccer hand-me-downs, I told Strip to grab two books. She went off on her own to find what she wanted, and I grabbed Stone Soup and a beginning reading book for her to buzz through that night. The beginning reading book was The Berenstain Bears' Family Reunion.

As I've said, Strip is a great little reader. Her only problem is that when she's tired, she just makes up the story based on the first letter she sees resulting in sloppy reading. We try to do tested reading earlier, but she just loves to read before bed and REFUSES to write a book that Hubs and I read her in her reading journal. She sat on the kitchen floor reading the first half of the book while I cooked, then insisted on reading the rest before she went to sleep.

So here's a tired Strip on a Thursday, eyes rolling back in her head, reading to me.

Strip: We SHIT, we..

Me (interrupting): Whoa whoa whoa. Let's try that word again. What's at the beginning?

Strip: S-h. A blend. SHHHHH.

Me: Good! covering the s-h and what is that word?

Strip: Out.

Me: Great! Now just put the blend at the beginning...

Strip: Ohhhhh! Sorry. We SHIT OUT..


And while I tried, unsuccessfully, to hide my hysterical laughter, she asked, "What's so funny?!?!" Nothing, I replied. You just make me so happy!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Polar Opposites

Strip is a thinker. And because she is a thinker, she is a worrier. That child worries enough for our entire extended family and then some. Nugget, on the other hand, is totally my kid. Not a care in the world, does what he wants doesn't care what anyone says, does, thinks. It doesn't even occur to him to worry about anything!

I signed them both up for soccer and it starts this week, so we were talking about the last minute things we need to get before practice. Nugget got a football jersey from Ma for college game day (woo hoo! Welcome back fall!), and wanted to know if he could wear his #3 jersey for soccer.

Me: No, buddy, you can't wear your football jersey. But I think they will give you both a special soccer shirt.

Nugget: Can I be #3?

Me: No, I don't think so. They assign everyone the numbers, so I don't think you get to pick.

Strip, AKA worry wart: Umm. Do they give you the numbers based on how good you are?!

Me: No, sweetie, they just give out the numbers.

Nugget: I wanna be zero.

Oy. Maybe they will rub off on each other and even themselves out a little!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Wanna be OCD

Yes, I realize the correct phrase would be, "Want to HAVE OCD," but the "be" just flows better.

And yes, I have a pinterest board named that :-)

PaPa and Ma were visiting for college game day weekend and took the kids to their first "college" football game. I use the quotes because the team was Ma's alma mater, not mine or Hubs, so it doesn't really count :-)

The kids had a blast. Nugget was convinced that HE was going to get to play because he had a jersey. Strip started having a panic attack the minute that saw the teams warming up asking UP, "Won't they get hurt when they run into each other like that?" UP pointed out all of the pads and the helmet and she seemed to be OK. Nugget, still convinced he was going in, warmed up with team then promptly fell asleep near the end of the second quarter.

The kids enjoyed the game and since it was a holiday weekend, Papa and Ma grabbed the kids for a night on the Bus, leaving Hubs and I home alone!

What to do?!

Impromptu date night on the town? Nice dinner out and a movie? Go have coffee somewhere and chat?


I cashed in some Bed Bath and Beyond coupons earlier that day, so while Hubs was watching football, I put the laptop on the kitchen counter, started streaming a little Netflix and reorganized my pantry.

Yup. Impromptu date night, and I'm organizing rice noodles!

Like I said, I want to be/have OCD, but it's always been a swing and a miss. I stumbled across a blog of a woman whose junk draw makes the most organized spot in my house look like Hoarders. So I channeled my inner neat freak and got to work.

First off? I HATE our pantry. Yes it's much bigger than the one we had in our old house, but it has wire shelves (which I hate) and it's just wide and awkward and full of wasted space (which I hate).

Second, I'll show you the before and afters, but keep in mind, the before picture was probably the WORST it's ever been. We'd been in and out of town, and the pantry became the dumping grounds. So please imagine that my pantry's before picture is kind of like the latest weight loss girl's before picture; kind of chubby, but you can totally tell she's sticking out her belly in the before and sucking in for the after.

After checking expiration dates, shuffling noodles, flour and sugar and arranging things by height, I finally had as close to an organized pantry as I was going to get.

Drumroll, please!


AHHH!! We're hoarders and there are probably some animals in there!!!!

And after:

You can hear the angelic voices singing from their acrylic pop lid containers!

Now what's the over under on it STAYING like this!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Adding to our kids' stability.

It's not enough that we rip our kids out of their lives every 2 years and move, once we settle in the place Hubs says is for good (or at least a little while), we take them out of school the second week!

Yup, Summer came and went and life was just crazy. We were shopping for #2 pencils before we knew it and we really hadn't spent much quality family time together. Because of work schedules, we had a certain window we were aiming for to get away, but we also knew we couldn't monetarily travel too far or stay somewhere too crazy. So when some dear, dear friends said their beach house was retable for a week, we jumped. When we found out it was the week after school started, I hesitated.

We were going with our friends T and J and their kids L and A (Strip's BFF). They had no problem going that week because they homeschool! As much as I hated to miss an entire week of school before it was even September, we had to weigh the pros and cons. Sure, it's Nugget's last year of preschool and Strip's in 1st grade, but how much are they REALLY going to do during that second week? Especially when the first week isn't really a full week? And yeah, we could always plan ahead and go next summer, but next summer, we wouldn't be going with Nugget and Strip. We'd be going with kindergarten Nugget and second grade Strip.

So we got the week's worth of school work (which Strip finished in 5 minutes), packed up the car and headed for paradise.

And OH was it paradise! Secluded beach, plenty of room for all 8 of us (and then some), private pool and no reason to put on anything other than a bathing suit and some SPF.

Hubs and I have taken quite a few trips, but we've always had one problem. Any time it's just a relaxing vacation, he gets very sick and/or has to visit a doctor. Honeymoon? Lost 20lbs after eating sushi in Mexico and I thought he was going to die. Ski trip? Totally fine. Family reunion vacation at the beach? Loses a tooth eating a Milkdud at the movie theatre resulting in an emergency dental visit. Huff and puff through Disney World? A OK.

Hubs had been traveling the week+ leading up to the beach, so when he said he wasn't feeling too well, my response was, "Don't EVEN start!" I told him to up the OJ and try to get more sleep. When we got to the beach, he upped the brews and we stayed up late playing cards.

So, a few days into our trip, he said he REALLY wasn't feeling well. My loving response? "Yeah, well, you're probably dehydrated and need more sleep, stop complaining and drink some water." Later that day he asked me to look up where the nearest urgent care place was, to which I said, "Umm probably back home. We're in the middle of nowhere!"

But it looked like the Public Health Department was taking walk-ins and wrote out the address for him. And before ANYONE throws the "Bad Wife" card at me, need I remind you that I drove MYSELF to the emergency room while in anaphylactic shock.

During a blizzard.

Off to the PHD he went and a few ivs and an antibiotic later, Hubs came back and crashed for the rest of the day and most of the next.

I'm thinking I should go ahead and book us some high impact something for Punta Cana. Otherwise, one of us might not be coming back!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's all downhill from here!

Found this adorable gift on Pintrest! You can read more about it HERE!

So the big 3-0 is here! I had grand plans of how I would celebrate this day; weekend trip to Vegas, day trip to Chicago with Hubs, the very least a night out with the girls at my favorite downtown piano bar! So how did I celebrate? Work, take Strip to ballet, back to work, and dinner at the kids' favorite restaurant because it was late and they were exhausted.

Was it the night I planned? No. Am I upset? Not really. I think I would have been more disappointed had I wasted the almost 11,000 other days of my life worrying about plans I'd made instead of enjoying the life I was living.

So in honor of me crossing that birthday off my list, I thought I'd celebrate by compiling a list of things I've done in the past 30 years (what's the opposite of a bucket list?). Here goes:

  • was born!
  • Hit all of my normal milestones
  • embraced total kidney failure
  • rocked dialysis
  • got the old kidney's working again
  • learned to water ski
  • sang my first solo in church
  • graduated kindergarten
  • learned to snow ski
  • took ballet
  • took jazz
  • took tap
  • felt my way through elementary school
  • wandered into middle school
  • got braces
  • performed in Carnegie Hall (finger cymbal duet, thank you!)
  • braces off!
  • performed in Constitution Hall
  • braces back on
  • traveled to London and Paris
  • High School
  • made the boys varsity soccer team
  • Opera company? Sure!
  • toured Germany
  • braces off
  • drivers license
  • Met Hubs
  • Learned to drive a zamboni
  • Accepted into colleges (yes, that's plural)
  • graduated High School
  • off to college
  • met a pot-luck roommate who could have been my twin
  • took some classes
  • took some classes
  • took some classes
  • Started working at a jewelry store (with grand plans of moving to NYC and working at Tiffany's while starring on Broadway and winning a Tony)
  • Adopted June Bug
  • declared a major (because I was running out of classes to take)
  • Received my GIA diamond certification
  • Finished up BA
  • Started dating Hubs
  • Internship
  • Graduated!
  • emergency appendectomy
  • Hubs proposed!
  • Off to Prague with UP for 2 weeks
  • got a job as a parapro
  • moved into an EBD classroom...
  • wedding plans started!
  • party, party, party!
  • married Hubs!!
  • Honeymoon in Mexico (Don't eat sushi down there. Ask Hubs why if you REALLY need to know).
  • moved to NC
  • Had Strip
  • Moved to South FL
  • Impulse bought a house in a city we'd never set foot in
  • met some fabulous people
  • went to Disney World
  • got a job
  • went to Disney World
  • Had Nugget
  • Went to Disney World
  • promoted (or working more hours!)
  • Went to Disney World
  • moved up North (bought our second house in a city we'd never set foot in)
  • met some more fabulous people
  • went to a pumpkin patch (a real one!)
  • picked apples from an orchard
  • got a job
  • first visit to Chicago
  • visited our first Christmas tree farm
  • went into anaphylactic shock
  • discovered I'm allergic to all food
  • played in the snow
  • taught my daughter to ride a 2 wheeler
  • promoted (or working more hours...)
  • continued hanging with fabulous friends
  • sang at a wedding in Disney World
  • 10 year high school reunion
  • more apples, more pumpkins, more Christmas Trees
  • Taught myself how to sew
  • volunteering at preschool
  • Said good-bye to June Bug
  • Said Hello to Zoe
  • Fought off a mouse in the house
  • started teaching preschool
  • Taught my kid to tie her shoes
  • Survived my child taking the bus
  • Settled into life and enjoying it
  • Taught my other kiddo to ride a 2 wheeler
  • Curve ball thrown and we're moving. AGAIN
  • Impulse bought our THIRD house in a city we'd never lived in
  • Went to Disney
  • Got a job
  • Met some MORE fabulous people
  • Went to NYC with my favorite 5 year-old
  • signed up Hubs, UP and myself for a half marathon
  • Went to Disney with just the kiddos (and lived to tell about it)
  • Started working more hours and a second job
  • Went to Disney
And I wouldn't change a single bullet point. Because changing one would mean changing all the ones after it. So, I'm really looking forward to seeing what the next 30+ bullet points have next to them!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Tooth Fairy has landed for the second time in our house!

Second visit, first missing tooth.

Yes, only my child could have Santa deliver presents to her baby doll AND try to trick the tooth fairy. A few months ago, Strip found a small, white rock that looked like a tooth, so she thought it would be a GREAT idea to stick it under her pillow and get see if the tooth fairy would leave her money.

The tooth fairy DID come, but left a note basically saying, "Nice try, that's a rock, I'm sure I'll see you soon."

And we finally had a wiggler! Her BFF lost a tooth a few weeks before (the very same tooth!), so I was hoping Strip would rip hers out, but no.

She wiggled.

And wiggled.

And wiggled.

I remember letting my teeth get so loose they would twirl and still not letting my dad pull them. And it looks like my kid is going to be the same way.

BUT, tonight we were over at said BFF's house having dinner when the girls got to chatting about their teeth. BFF was telling Strip how she pulled her tooth herself, but Strip just couldn't do it. You could SEE the permanent tooth almost all the way in behind it, the tooth would flip all the way forward, but she would not pop that last root.

So, I suggested BFF give it a tug. And little miss nurse washed her hands and got to work! First she watched as Strip wiggled it to see how loose it really was. Then she gave it a couple of tugs, but it wouldn't budge. BFF's mom reminded her that she had a piece of toilet paper to grip her tooth, so off to the bathroom they ran. They came back, and I had my phone ready. Armed with a square of Charmin, BFF grabbed that little wiggler, twisted and pulled and...


Strip didn't even know the tooth was out, but BFF, looked down with shock as she was HOLDING STRIP'S TOOTH!! They both looked down, squeal-screamed and ran to the bathroom to look at their matching grins.

And Strip wrote a letter to the tooth fairy asking if she could keep her tooth (my kid is creepy!), but still get what BFF got.

The TF delivered! A sweet note, a tooth left behind, a crisp dollar, a travel tooth brush set and a new DS pen with the reminder to STOP CHEWING ON THEM!

Can't believe my BABY is old enough to have grown-up teeth!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Blogging A.D.D

Here are some bright colors to keep you focused on this post :-)

Last night, I logged in to write about our recent mishap with the car GPS. I like pictures, so was looking for one to start the post.

Not finding one I liked, I googled "lost" to try to find an image.

And that reminded me of a funny email/blog post UP sent me a year or so ago.'

So I started searching my email for it and ran across some hilarity from www.damnyouautocorrect.com.

And because I had not looked at that site in a while, I clicked on over for some giggles.

Remembering I had a post to write, I went back to my email where I was SURE I'd found the link.

But it turned out to be a Josh Groban funny. I had not watched it in a while, so I watched it, giggled, showed it to Hubs, then we watched it again. Here is is for your viewing pleasure (and because I need an excuse to watch it one more time!):

I finally broke down and googled the blog I was looking for and found it:


I read it and cried I was laughing so hard.

At that point I was too tired and had forgotten completely about the post I was supposed to write.

Oh well! Maybe I can focus on actually writing tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We've got ourselves a wiggler!

Last week, we were on the way to a friend's house for family dinner/movie night. We stopped at Publix to pick up a few things to add to the menu and Strip mentioned that her teeth hurt. I immediately jumped to CAVITY!

I asked which tooth hurt and she pointed to the lower middle two.

So not a cavity.

"Oh! I wonder if you're getting a loose tooth!"

She told me that was something that a friend of hers at camp said, so I told her when Hubs parked and ran in the store, I'd crawl in the backseat and take a look.

She pointed to the "hurt" tooth and I put my pointer on it. And, shockingly enough, when I moved my finger back and forth, the tooth moved, too.

I couldn't believe it.

I knew she'd have a loose tooth eventually. I knew the movement they came in, she'd lose them, but I was NOT prepared for this.

Because I was sick as a kid, there are a lot of things I don't remember. Brains are awesome in that they can block out traumatic events, unfortunately, they take birthdays, Christmas's and First-days-of school's with them. So when I felt that tiny baby central incisor give when I pulled my finger a little, I was transported back to Mrs. Timmerman's class when I JOYFULLY announced to the first grade that I had my first tooth, and they smiled permanent or toothless grins and said, "So?"

My baby isn't a baby any more!

We called UP and PaPa and Ma to spread the word, then Strip started to lay into me.

"You know, Mom. When this tooth fall out? I will NEVER have ALL of my baby teeth again. This could be like, THE last time I have all of my baby teeth. Because when this one falls out, I'll have holes or big teeth, but never JUST my baby teeth."

Yeah, we got it! I called the photographer and set up a "last baby teeth" shoot for next week and instructed Strip to stop with the wiggling and NO eating apples! She said she wasn't going to eat anything hard because she "wanted to draw this out so she could enjoy eating corn a little longer."

Oh another note, what's the tooth fairy paying these days for teeth? She only brought me Susan B. Anthony dollar coins.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's all about the Hamilton's, baby.

I took Nugget and Strip (and two additional kids) to a birthday party at a bounce place today. 11:30-1:30. We made it another hour+, then I hit my wall and we had to GO. I dropped the additional kiddos at their house, then headed over to Hobby Lobby (I need some camo face paint for work (don't ask!) and HL seemed to be the ONLY place that had any in stock).

Both kids were over tired (and so was I), so I'd called ahead to make sure they had some. I told the kids we were going in and right out, so as soon as we walked in the door, I asked the cashier where we could find it.
Oh! You just called didn't you? See those two ladies right there (pointing to a sign on the back wall)? Just head right there and you'll see it with the kids paint.

As we walked to the back, Nugget kept saying, "Der are two ladies! I don't see the paints, though..." every time we passed two women shopping. We found the paint and started making our way to the front of the store, but I wanted to look for a shadowbox frame for something I want to do for the house. As we walked by some frames, Strip looked down and spotted a $10 bill crumpled on the floor.

Strip: Oh! Mommy, look! $10!
Me: Is that real?! Yup it is!
Strip: Can I keep it?!
Me: What do you think the right thing to do would be?
Strip: Umm kee..save...umm I don't know?
Me: Well, if you dropped $10, would you want someone to just take it, or turn it in?
Strip: Turn it in, I guess.
Me: Remember when you lost all your tickets today? You were sad because you couldn't get your prizes, but then that lady turned them in and you got your stuff? That felt good, right?
Strip: Yeah. You're right.

We went to check out and Strip told the cashier, "I found this money on the ground and wanted to turn it in just incase someone lost it."

The cashier was stunned.

"I have no idea what to do with it! WOW! Ummm hang on, lemme find the manager and see if she knows what to do..."

At this point, the guy in line across from us piped up with, "I think she should get to keep it!"

The manager came over and KeKe explained what happened, and the manager was flabbergasted. She didn't know what to do with Strip, either! KeKe took Strips hand and asked her what her name was. She told her that was the nicest thing she had seen and since she had such a good heart, she thought Strip should get to keep the money.

The manager agreed and said, "I think you should pick something special out and spend that money!"

No thanks! I'm going to take it home and put it in my savings!

Double stunned faces again.

Thanks, Hobby Lobby! We are now ten bucks closer to an over-priced American Girl tiki hut!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


When Hubs and I got married, we attended premarital counseling. The first thing we had to do, really before the counseling sessions even stated, was to take a test. I'll admit, I am a HORRIBLE test taker, so even though this scantron was all about us, I was still a little angst-y. Most of the questions, I breezed through, but I did pause when I got a few questions into it.

How many children do you want to have?

Crap! I knew MY answer (4-6). I come from a family of 2 kids and always wished I had more siblings. Hubs (fiance at the time) and I had talked about kids, and while I knew he didn't aspire to be a Duggar, I knew he wanted more than 1. But what if I put 6 and he puts 2? Or what if I put 2, because I think that's what he wants, and he puts 6, because it's what I want, and our numbers are WAY off and we have to spend half of our sessions discussing children we may not even be able to have anyway AND explaining that I lied on our test because YES I want more than 2?!

So I split the difference and just put down three (which would have never worked. I like even numbers).

And Hubs? He was having the same dilemma. So what did he pick? 3 as well.

We were lucky to have Strip and extremely lucky to have Nugget. After many shed tears and many chats with all doctors concerned (including a last minute, 12 hours before surgery emergency call to my nephrologist), we made the decision to end our biological family at 2 kids. Any more, and we'd be facing earlier preemies and possibly permanent damage/death for me.

Seems like a pretty slam dunk decision? Looking at the options of 2 more kids or 2 failed kidneys, you'd think closure would be the least of your worries. But I grieved the loss of 2-4 kids I never had for about 3 years. The solo Disney trip did wonders for me. Being a mom of 2 was very manageable. Taking vacations are easier and more enjoyable and we look forward to doing more fun things now that the kids are older (snow skiing, big city fun, cruise, etc).

But there was still that empty little hole. That "what if" spot.

Since moving, it seems we've stumbled on MANY friends who are either about to have a baby or just have had one. And that little what if spot started to turn into a gaping hole.

I'd already checked and our insurance covers nothing for adoption. ZERO. We can grow a baby in a petri dish, implant it into a friend or stranger and they'd cover a good chunk of it, but help us get a baby that's already cookin'? Forget about it! (NOTE: Anyone struggling with IF, please do not read this as a knock. I'm glad our insurance, and others out there, covers and assists couples struggling with this! It's an extremely costly and emotionally exhausting journey. But, it's not something we would pursue seeing as how I can get and stay pregnant, it's the whole carry them to term and not have failing body parts I struggle with).

So when a co-worker of mine needed someone to watch their baby baby today, I jumped at the chance. Hubs had taken our two kiddos to visit his dad and family, so it was just me and Zoe. Their sweet girl is a little over 2 months old, and she is sooooooooo cute.

I prepared myself for baby fever. Heck I was ready for baby malaria. For the mom and dad's sake, I'd hoped the afternoon would go well (nothing more stressful than leaving your first born with someone you've only known for a few months!), but for my sake, I hoped she would scream hysterically, puked on me, poop all over herself, me and whatever we were sitting on and leave me frazzled.

She didn't go my route. I told mom and dad to enjoy an early movie and grab a bite to eat if they wanted. Enjoy this fun day date! Sweet Pea and I settled into watching ceiling fans, looking at ourselves in the mirror, bottles, tummy time, cleaning bottles, changing diaper and basically getting nothing done. She was hanging with me for about 4 hours, and I was able to fold a half of a load of laundry and drink 2/3 of my cup of coffee. That was it!

I could see myself spending the rest of the afternoon mocking up blueprints on how to expand the house, contacting lawyers and greeting Hubs with my wild plans of how to expand our family. But when she left? I was ok. I played with the pup (who would go to the door every time she made a noise as if to say, "I think it's barking? Should we put it outside?!)", made dinner and did a little work to prepare for the week. I thought about my kiddos and thought about our future as a family of four (plus a dog) and was ok with it.

And while I think that "what-if" spot will always be there, I don't think it's going to rule the rest of my life. I'm not going to keep start aggressively pursuing adoption or be tempted to ask strangers for their kids. Would I turn away a baby or four left on my doorstep? Absolutely not! But I'm not going to let my family suffer because of something I can't control and will never be.

So thanks, little friend, for being a sweet baby, but also for reassuring me that our family of four is perfectly complete!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How do you unwind?

After the solo Disney trip and sans-Hubs camping trip. It would have been nice to unwind, right? Oh if only! The kids went to Camp PaPa and Ma's and I got busy on a project at work. I'm part time, so normally bill about 48 hours per pay period. Between the added project and the added part-time summer job, I billed a little over 100 hours over my normal.

Yes you read that correctly.

Hubs was out of town, so we were ready to get the fam of four back together, celebrate our great work weeks and relax. I had penciled in "Run away from home" on my calendar and was ready to go out of town.

If you were in my shoes, how good does the above picture look?!?

But that's Tahiti. And we are in FL. And that's a long drive. I was thinking beach, but Hubs suggested....

The mouse.

I booked a last minute hotel and we packed up the car and kids. I was SO SO SO tired and out of it, half-way down, I thought, "Wait. What day is it? How long are we staying? Did I pack enough clothes for us?!"

Luckily, I can Disney pack in my sleep, so we were ok, but "Disney Vacation" in this house is an oxymoron.

We got down there Friday after lunch. I was thinking we'd hit DT Disney or just hang out, but Hubs? "Who has late hours? Let's go to a park!"

Yikes. I twisted his arm and convinced him to at least go into the room, drop off our stuff and make sure everything was ok before we hit the parks. And Magic Kingdom? Ghost town. We walked on to every ride with no wait. It was creepy. I kept flashing back to when we went in 2008 over the 4th of July and vowed we'd never do it again. I knew the crowds were coming.

The kids and I only had one day left on our non-expiration tickets, so on Saturday, we headed to DT Disney. We got there just before lunch service, so hit the T-Rex restaurant. How anyone can finish an entire entree there on their own is beyond me! We got our tickets, wandered around and headed to Hollywood Studios (the park formally known as MGM) and hit some of the favorites. We then went over to Epcot to wander around the world. We were waiting on friends of ours to come over and watch the fireworks with us, anticipating an early night. They texted us later in the evening, and the boys (Hubs and Friend Hubs) decided it was better if they just went over to Magic Kingdom and we met them over there.

So for those of you counting, as we hopped on the monorail, we'd conquered DT Disney, MGM, Epcot and were about to take on Magic Kindom all in one day. Now how good is that Tahiti picture looking??

And to add to that, we were delayed on the monorail because they were doing the special 4th of July fireworks a day early. We made it into the gates just as they were finishing. Friends texted us that they just got fast passes for Buzz Lightyear at 10:35. I looked at the clock, then at the crowd, and said we MIGHT make it to Tomorrowland by that time.

Cue Disney 4th of July Crowd:


Here's our texting conversation for the hour:

Yeah. It was awesome. Nugget fell asleep and Hubs and I befriended the only other non-angry family in all of Main Street who also happened to have a double stroller. We played a mean game of red rover and won. SO many angry people! The guy in front of us was SCREAMING at the poor girl attempting to direct traffic. How can you scream at an 18 year-old with a lightsaber and a giant Mickey-hand glove?! It took us about an hour, but we finally made it from Main Street to Tomorrowland. We rode some rides with our buddies then called it a night. Or morning? not sure at this point!

The next day was the 4th, and after seeing that crowd, Hubs embraced my idea of hitting a water park (something we'd never done with the kids at Disney before). We loaded up a cooler with lunch and drinks and headed to Blizzard Beach. We had a BLAST! The park is so big that even the rides (slides?) with lines weren't that long. My biggest angst was wandering around in a bikini all day, but after walking in the gates I immediately felt good about myself. WOW! So much skin and so little material. I'm 100% sure the first girl we saw at a pool was wearing a lacy bra and shorts and when we were in the Ski School pool with the kids, there was a woman just wearing a regular cotton tank top. Crazyness.

They do have delicious ice cream. Something about swimming all day just makes ice cream taste so much better! We all got a Pail (literally a sand pail full of ice cream and every topping they have in the shack), but Nugget was concerned that he wouldn't get any chocolate.

So this was his:

He finished it in about 3 minutes.

We showered off after a day at the "beach" and went to the Transportation Center to watch the fireworks (and saw an angry father almost get arrested because he "wanted to sit on the grass, damnit!") then went to hang out at Friends' house for the evening.

We hit DT Disney again the next day and took the kids to Disney Quest. I wasn't all that impressed, but they had fun! The biggest highlight was learning to draw Disney characters. I thought it was just going to be a coloring station type thing, but they have classes ever half-hour or so and everyone draws on computers. Hubs and Nugget got to draw Donald while Strip and I were writing and recording a song in the sound booth, so after paddling down a Dino-infested river and winning all the pirates gold we could capture, all four of us sat down to draw Pluto.

Nugget working hard at the animation desk.

The finished product: Donald, holding hands with Mickey (who is holding a balloon).

Strip's Pluto (with added sunshine) :-)

We headed home, and I was happy to have a couple of days off of work! I don't think I recovered from work on our vacation, but we had a blast! Now, who has a vacation hut in Tahiti we could use....