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 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!