A Change of Plans (Again).

Last Thanksgiving we were going to go to Kentucky to visit Nate’s family. Then Jack got sick, Harper got sick, and finally Nate and I got sick and we had to reschedule.

In March, we were all ready for our next attempt at Kentucky! And then couple of days before we were due to leave Jack came down with a fever. Really? What horrible timing. So we gave it a couple of days hoping he’d get better but it was a stubborn fever so we caved and rescheduled.

So fast forward to today. Or yesterday to be more accurate. My mom was watching the kids and I packed 500 bags (holy cow kids have a lot of stuff) and about 15 minutes before dinner Jack started getting really clingy and when he came to sit in my lap and he felt like he was on fire! I swear at my mom’s house he seemed fine. We even went to visit Meg at work on our way home because she was out of town last weekend and wanted to see them before we went out of town for a long weekend. I took his temperature and it was 102.4. How unfortunate!

We talked about it after bedtime. We did NOT want to cancel again. We also did not want to take a sick kid in the car for 9 hours to visit other kids who could then get sick. So I crossed my fingers that as suddenly as it came on it would burn off over night. It did not.

Jack woke up at 5:20 asking to tinkle (which is unusual, I think he just already wasn’t sleeping well) and while he was up I took his temp. Back up to 102.7. SIGH. So no Kentucky for us. We sent Nate on by himself which is sad. I wish we could go too, Jack is pretty disappointed not to see his cousins.

And really I can’t believe he’s sick! He has no obvious symptoms right now, so we’ll see how it goes.

Reading is Fun (or something like that)

Every now and then when I remember that I have a blog I sometimes look at my categories. Sometimes I take it a step further and click on a category to see what kind of excitement is parked there for me to re-live. Today I clicked on “books” and was shocked to find there was only ONE post about books on it. Only one. Don’t get me wrong, I know I don’t read as much as I used to, but I have definitely read more than one or two books since 2009 when the last post about books was written.

As a matter of fact I’ve just finished a ridiculously long book called The Passage and I LOVED it. Lately the books I read are not long and really it’s for the better. When I read books I tend to get sucked in and have a hard time putting them down until I get finished with them and that’s really not convenient when I’m supposed to be watching my kids. But anyways, the Passage. Kindle said it was like 785 pages which almost made me pass out, but by then it was too late. I had purchased the book and made the commitment and I was just going to have to muddle through. And I’m SO glad that I did.

I don’t know if I could sum up such a long book in a short space, so please go to amazon and read the actual description. I will say it’s a kind of pre and post-apocolyptic book where medical experiment gone wrong released a virus turning people into vampires (think I am Legend vampires and not Twilight or True Blood vampires (not that I have anything against either of those having read all the related books and seen the movies/tv show right up until mid 5th season where it lost me) but even different from those). So you see exactly what happened to bring about this problem and then flash forward to a future where they start the journey to try to end it.

It’s book one in a trilogy. Book two (The Twelve) is out but I haven’t started it yet. I’m waiting for an upcoming trip to KY where I’ll be trapped in a car for 8 hours and hopefully some of those hours will manage to not involve trying to entertain my kids.

So if anyone still actually reads this blog, any good book recommendations?

Fun with Motion Sickness

Yesterday was supposed to be a super fun day. I was going to take the kids for a walk, then take them to the pool and it was going to be AWESOME!

Instead, Jack BEGGED to go to the park before the pool, and not just any park. He wanted to go to Kelly Road Park (which is unfortunately also the closest park to us that is the farthest from the pool). So we left for our walk at 8:40, by 9:15 we were at the park and then by 9:40 I was loading kids into the car to go to the pool (pool opens at 10).

We were pulling into the parking lot at the pool by 9:55 and all of a sudden as we were looking for a parking spot Jack started throwing up. In his car seat. I parked quickly on the outer loop of the parking lot and started to assess the mess. My first thought was we picked up a virus on our way home from Georgia on Sunday, but then it hit me. The tire swing. It was the last thing he played on before getting in the car. Spinning, and spinning, and spinning and spinning. Some people can take it, some people can’t. Jack comes from a long line of people who can’t take it and in hindsight I wish I had considered that before putting him directly in the car and driving to the pool.

Poor kid was a mess. I got him out of the car and wiped up the applesauce puke (thank god that was his snack) the best I could. I changed his clothes and wiped him down and then we drove home. He went immediately inside to lay down on the sofa and I kept Harper in the garage with me while I cleaned up the mess. I had to take the car seat out so I could take the cover off to wash. I had to wash the towel that was wedged under the car seat and 2 sets of clothes since he had to sit in the pukey seat on his way home too (but with burp cloths and stuff between him and the seat). I scrubbed the seat straps and the seat of my car. It was something else.

After about 20 minutes (it was also time consuming) he came outside into the garage feeling better. Aside from the fact that I made us take it easy for the rest of the day which involved playing inside and more TV than usual he had a pretty normal rest of his day.

So, important life lesson learned! Tire swings are just as awful and evil as I remember them being as a child, and Jack will not be allowed to play on them and then get directly into the car ever again!

Summer Fun (aka, Living at the Park)

Jack finished preschool a couple of weeks ago and all other regularly scheduled local activities have shut down to make way for summer camps, so we’ve been spending a lot of time at the various parks in the area. Also, I finally caved and bought a double jog stroller (which I tried jogging with and they should really call them “walk strollers” because anyone who can jog while pushing 55lbs of kid in a 30lb stroller must be WAY more fit than I am. Maybe someday, but until then we walk and I dread hills, both the ups and downs).

So today’s itinerary was similar to most of our morning summer plans, “let’s go to the park and take a walk on the greenway then play til we have to go home for lunch.”

We had never walked on this greenway before, so it was all new. I had been told it crossed the highway and before too long we were there!

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Overlooking the highway, the kids were fascinated but man was it loud!

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Then a funny thing happened on our walk… we found another park! Of course we had to stop and play for a little while. Then we headed back. Total we only managed 1.3 miles instead of the 2 I had hoped for, but we had to be back to the main park in time to meet GiGi and I didn’t want to miss a chance for them to play at this fun little park, so we cut our walk short.

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GiGi met us back at the park around 10 and Harper enjoyed climbing into and out of the stroller (among other things).

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A good portion of our park time was spent playing in the sand box. Although there was a field trip of some sort to the park which left some areas completely overrun by bigger kids, this corner of the park was sparsely populated so Jack felt safe getting out his sand toys (which he sometimes prefers to leave in the car so he can avoid sharing them).

Finally at 11:15 we decided to call it a day (plus it started sprinkling and due to the tropical storm out there it’s only going to get worse). And home we went. We drove through McDonald’s on the way home to pick up lunch, as I’ve found passing fries to the baby is a good way to keep her awake in the car.. alas we lost her about 3 minutes away from home. Since I’m a mean mommy I woke her up, fed her lunch and made her play til nap time anyways and now I’m just crossing my fingers that it won’t hurt her nap any in the long run.

Back Yard Upgrade (Part 127)

Or at least that’s what it feels like. When we moved in we had grass, and some plants and a tree.

Before - Back Yard Bed

Then we put in a patio on one side, and created a big pine straw area for the dogs to use the bathroom in (to keep the poop out of our yard, and also to spare the grass).

New Patio Finished

And expanded the flower bed on the other side.

Bird Area

Then we had someone put in rocks and sod (which I somehow don’t have an original picture of). (Also, that’s dormant zoysia on the ground there, with fescue coming up.)

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Then when we failed to sell the house for the second time we decided to put in a play set for the kids. Obviously we have a teeny back yard but we lucked out and found a really cool one to fit. So now we have a play set! And mulch, so very very much mulch. And now we’re questioning the need for the patio and the giant dog area, so there may be another update in the future.

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Tada! There are two slides (but no one likes the teeny slide so that’s kind of a bummer) and a climbing wall. Then a wooden phone and a steering column where Jack likes to “drive the car to the butterfly house.” It’s really been pretty fantastic so far.

(Almost) Meatless Monday?

So we keep hearing on the news about how everyone should try Meatless Monday and blah blah healthy etc etc and finally we’ve caved to the peer pressure and as of today I’m rolling out Meatless Monday at my house. We’re starting super easy with veggie burgers, but hopefully I won’t wind up stuck in that rut. Lucky for me, my uncle is a vegetarian so I’ve put out an email to him to start sending me recipes and due to my extreme Google talent I have learned there is a WHOLE FREAKING WEBSITE dedicated to Meatless Mondays so I’m sure they have a few suggestions there too. (Holy run-on sentences. I considered fixing them, but maybe next time.)

(Maybe.)

I’m guessing Jack will not be 100% on board with this whole thing because he’s 3. I’m cool with that though because really he’s only fully on board with dinner probably a couple nights a week so it won’t be anything new. Harper, on the other hand, is still in that nice phase where she eats pretty much everything we put in front of her. (Aside: When Jack was little I thought he was SUCH A GOOD EATER. I mean man that kid ate anything and I was so relieved I had avoided that picky eater (which I totally was and then some) and I think you can see where I’m going with this. Slowly he stopped eating things he used to love and now here we are. Whatever.)

So if anyone has any vegetarian meals that they love and want to share with me, please do! Especially if you have a small person that also likes to eat that food.

UPDATE: The veggie burgers were actually pretty good. Both kids ate them fairly well. They were also kind of small so Nate had a turkey hotdog in addition to his burger, and next time I’ll know to make him 2. Jack also had a turkey hot dog because we had one leftover in the fridge and he only had half a burger because I underestimated how much people would eat. Next time it will be Completely Meatless Monday I hope!

Another Reason not to Let Me Out in Public

So.

Yesterday after everyone’s afternoon naps we had to go to Petsmart to get cat chow and Target to get a few groceries. When we got to Petsmart we made a spur of the moment trip into AC Moore because who doesn’t love AC Moore? And also because I wanted to get a St. Patrick’s Day flag for my front flower bed and Jack needed to buy a pinwheel located conveniently next to the register.

Then off to Petsmart to stare at pets. This type of outing is always a hit with both kids. Jack walks, Harper rides and everyone enjoys looking at animals. This time we were in a hurry so we only did one pass by each type of animal (fish, cats, rodents, birds, lizard/snake/things).

Hi, kitties!

Hi, kitty!

We also picked up a giant bag of cat chow. Usually I push a cart around but today I just had the stroller because it was cold outside and I didn’t want to have to take a cart back up to the store after putting the chow in my car and they have no cart corrals. So I stuck it in my stroller basket and off we went back to the car so we could drive to Target (in a near by but not close enough to walk parking lot).

I went to pick the bag of chow up and all of a sudden there was chow everywhere. A river of chow. Chow was POURING out of this bag and I just sort of stood there stunned. Well SHIT. So I adjusted the bag to stop the hemorrhaging and sort of wound up with the stroller tilted sideways some so I didn’t continue to drop chow, all the while telling Jack to get in the car. Get in the car! GET IN THE CAR FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CHILD to which he was like “no, this is Harper’s side of the car” and SERIOUSLY. so I finally convinced him to get in the car while still holding Harper at an angle and trying to figure out how to get the chow and the baby out of the stroller without spilling all of my chow.

Then a nice lady and her kid stopped by and asked if they could help.

YES PLEASE!

I asked her to hold the stroller at an angle so I could get Harper out and into the car and then I could go from there. So she did, and I thanked her and off she went so I set the stroller on its side and POP! the chow set itself on the ground, out of the stroller problem solved-ish. Except for the giant pile of chow in the parking lot next to my car.

Oops.

Fortunately I have 500 random cloth shopping bags in my car and I was able to get the chow bag into one of them without spilling more chow and I got the kids strapped in and was about to get in the car myself when an employee came out and offered to swap out the bag of chow.

How’s that for service? It’s freaking awesome is what it is.

And off to Target we went!

Now, if I was lucky, this is where my story would end. But alas, there is more.

At Target I returned an unopened container of formula because I over purchased and Harper is weaned and thank goodness they take stuff back! Anyways, I carried the formula into the store in a small USO bag. This detail is kind of important. Anyways, we went on to buy eggs, kraft singles, a 4 pack of baby yogurt, 2 of those baby food pouch things, a box of graham crackers, bananas, a bag of apples, and a container of blue berries. At the check out the cashier asked if I wanted to use my bag and I said yes, but that I didn’t think it would all fit in one bag so I also wanted plastic bags.

Do you see where this is going? After scanning my credit card and getting that taken care of I went over to collect my bags and she was trying to stuff my eggs into the top of the VERY FULL very SMALL USO bag. She had not used more than 1 bag. So I told her I would just skip the egg bag and I put the bag and the eggs in the back of the cart where Jack was sitting (Harper was in the front) and off we went.

And then as we neared the exit I noticed that we were leaving a trail of blue berries.

I wish I was kidding.

My bag was leaning, but only slightly so I checked and the blue berry container was OPEN sitting at the top of the bag kind of on its side (there were SO MANY berries at the bottom of the bag when I got home). I should have looked before I tossed the bag in the cart, but I just wanted to get out of there. So I started scooping up blue berries because I felt too guilty to just leave them. I mean people could have stepped on them and that would have been pretty gross. I didn’t want to be a total asshole, but I pretty much felt like one by then!

So a very nice employee walked by and helped pick up the berries. He said I could trade the container out at customer service, but I said no thanks. First the chow and now the berries, I didn’t think I deserved another free pass, plus it wasn’t that many berries. And also I wanted to get back to the safety of my home because obviously this was just not my day for shopping.

I guess the moral of that story is that if you’re out by yourself with 2 small children and the people at Petsmart say “do you need help out?” you can totally say yes. The fact that you’ve done this 500 times before with no problem does not guarantee you won’t spill a giant bag of cat chow all over the parking lot next to your car. Holy freaking cow.

I Just Spent 20 Minutes Looking for the Monitor

Both kids are napping. I put Jack down at 1:20 and Harper down at 1:45 and then I did some dishes left over for lunch and then I went to find the baby monitor and realized I had no clue where it was. The last thing I remember about it I had just taken it away from Harper. She was wandering around the kitchen with it pushing buttons and I’d prefer it did not break. So of course the problem was I could no longer remember the super safe place that I put it so that she could no longer get it (that kid is getting tall).

Here are some of the places I looked:

  • Kitchen (on all surfaces)
  • Living room (also all surfaces)
  • Foyer (all surfaces, under things too)
  • Upstairs bathroom
  • Downstairs bathroom (in all doors and drawers)
  • Upstairs playroom
  • Downstairs playroom (formerly the dining room)
  • Master bedroom (on dressers, under the bed)
  • Master closet (on shelves, under laundry on the floor, in the laundry basket)
  • I snuck into both kids’ rooms after they were alseep just in case

This is where I started wondering about the part where I “put it somewhere safe” and started to consider maybe I had put it “somewhere” and then maybe I got distracted. Did actually even I take it away from her? I’m pretty sure I did. I think.

So then I checked the pantry. (I once found my cellphone in the pantry on the snack shelf. I didn’t even know it was missing at the time.)

BINGO!

Was it on a shelf, the snack shelf maybe? No way!

It was on the floor.

Turned on.

Not actually monitoring either of my children though because I would have been able to hear one of the noise makers from their rooms and that would have been too easy. So she managed to turn it to a channel that we don’t have a camera on. (We have 3 cameras, 1 in Harper’s room and 2 in Jack’s room. 1 camera monitors his bed, one catches the area in front of his bed including his door so we can watch him when he’s in time out and make sure he isn’t destroying things).

Will my brain ever work well again? I’m starting to have doubts.

Well, Now the Freezer has been Defrosted…

Today Nate came in and told me that our chest freezer in the garage was turned off.

Umm, what?

Wednesday night I got some veggies out of the freezer to use for dinner and everything was cool. That was the last time I can remember getting anything out of the freezer. Apparently sometimes between then and today the outlet had tripped and needed to be reset and we didn’t notice so the freezer was more like a fridge and a lot of things had thawed out. Fortunately, not everything had thawed out, and everything was still really cold, just not frozen any more. So some things were tossed, some things were moved to the inside freezer and we’re having chicken BBQ tonight because it was the first thing that came to mind to do with the chicken breasts that were now thawed.

The good news? We had been meaning to defrost that freezer for ever now. There was thick ice building up on the side and it thawed enough that the ice fell off the side (but did not thaw, just became unattached which made it super easy to clear out).

I’m bummed about some of the stuff I had to toss, but I’m glad some of it was salvageable, and now I don’t have to figure out how to squeeze it all into the inside freezer to get it cleaned out!

So now I need to train myself to look for the light on the freezer when I come into the house from my car so that we can avoid this happening again. How sad!

Holy Cow, I Still have a Blog?

I keep meaning to post. I think of things all the time to post about, and then it’s nap time and I come to the computer and my brain is empty and I stare at the screen and think “it will come back to me later.” Except it doesn’t. Surprise!

So yesterday I started uploading some Christmas pictures to Flickr and realized that I hadn’t even uploaded the beach trip pictures to Flickr and that was back in SEPTEMBER! When my sister got married.. and I have not uploaded any pictures since then. What the what?! So I’ve been uploading. As of now they’re all uploaded (and private) and my goal for today is to get them sorted into sets. They’re in a ridiculous order in my photostream, but I don’t think I can resort that so it is what it is!

One of my New Years resolutions was to blog more.  My other one was to exercise more. I’m happy to say I am exercising more. (which means I’m exercising, period. more than none at least, but maybe not quite as much as I would like. still trying to get into the rhythm of it.)

So here I am, and it’s less than 2 weeks away from Jack’s third birthday and just over a month away from Harper’s first birthday and I can hardly believe it. Maybe I should do one of those posts that talks about all the milestones the kids are hitting or something. Maybe?

And now I have to go take a shower and brush my teeth because I’m running out of “first nap” time!