Thursday, October 23, 2014

The One Where We Went to The Pumpkin Patch

We are lucky to live a very short distance from a handful of farms/pumpkin patches.  We usually try out a new one each year, but last year we had Bigs' birthday party at the mother of all the other patches. 

This one was rad.  They had a corn maze for adults and another one for kids, a hay bale maze with the bonus finale of sliding down "Ye Olde Chute."  They had a super slide {like at the fair}, a carousel of REAL ponies to ride, a giant bounce pillow, ATV rides, a haunted train ride, plus more!

The girls had been talking about riding those ponies all. year. long.  We knew we had to go back to that patch again and it did not disappoint.  In fact, if the girls had been impressed with last years pony rides, imagine how excited they were to see that this year they could ride...
A CAMEL!!  {I love that the camel looked at the camera and smiled for the picture.}
We totally won the Best Parents award for finding that camel behind the barns!

Of course we wouldn't be us if we weren't being inappropriate while the girls were riding.  There were actually two camels there for rides, so while we waited.  I nudged Hubs.  "Look,"
"camel toe.  Hehehehehe."
 
After the camel rides, Daddy went to the cashier to buy the tickets we'd need to have some more fun!  While he was gone, I tried to get a cute picture of the girls in some pumpkins that the farm had set out by the food vendors.
 
          
 
Bigs was less than helpful and Smalls' pants were photographing CRAZY!  {I forgot that stripes do that.}

Then I got a super cute one and thought God, my kids are cute!  You know, because THEY ARE!
 
Hubs came back with the tickets and Bigs made a beeline for the ATV rides.
"Ready Smalls?"
This picture cracks me up.  "Look, Ma, no hands!"
 
Obligatory "How Tall This Fall?" pics.  :)
 
This year we decided to let the girls do the hay bale maze completely on their own.  Normally, we'd stand on the cat walk and give them directions, but this year we didn't even go inside the barn...until they'd been in there for about 20 minutes.  They were so turned around by then that Hubs had to actually go down in the maze and lead them out.  Maybe next year they'll get it on their own.  Until then, look at these happy faces coming down ye olde chute!                                                      
                                           
 
   
We jumped on the wagon for a ride deep out into the pumpkin fields.  Hubs is convinced that that is where the "good pumpkins" are, and after seeing our haul, I am convinced that he MUST be right!
 
On the wagon ride out to the field we attempted a family portrait, but Bigs wasn't feeling it.

Smalls tried to help and ALMOST succeeded...

But just almost.

So we just pushed her out of the picture completely.  That's what loving parents do, right? 
When we finally got out to the field, Bigs stuck to our family rule:  You can have it IF you can load it.  She took her time and walked nearly to the Christmas tree farm looking for the perfect pumpkin.
Once she found THE ONE, she started the long...
 
and strenuous process of rolling that sucker out to the road where the wagon would pick us up.
 
Smalls had a much different idea.  She was in search of a very specific pumpkin too, but I'm thinking she must have spotted hers from the wagon.  All day she talked about how she was going to find Spookly, the Square Pumpkin {thank you, Disney Channel} and she did {she says.}  She walked straight over to it, picked it up and put it with the others on the side of the road-easy peasy.
 
Hubs found his, I found mine and we were done.  {Except I grabbed a few more while we waited for the wagon.}
We ended up with these beauties.  Now for the carving...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Where Have All The Pay Phones Gone??

This morning started off fairly normally. 

Bigs woke us up at 3:17 am. 

Actually, she woke Hubs up, but I wake up if somebody rolls over downstairs so I heard her come in.  I was aware of the fact that she started to wake me up, but thought better of it and went to Daddy's side of the bed. 

I felt the bed shake a little when she shook his shoulder. 

I almost laughed out loud when he bolted upright in bed and she jumped back in surprise.  {I don't know why some people startle when they are woken, but Hubs is TOTALLY one of those people and it. is. hilarious.} 

"WHAT?!"  He demanded of her.

"I-I...Can I watch Mom's Kindle?"

"No, Bigs.  It's...{he fumbled for his phone} it's 3 am.  You have, like...{he computed the math in his head} I don't know...a couple more hours to sleep."  {Something clearly went awry with his computing...LOL!}

Bigs went back to bed and Hubs rolled over.  They both went back to sleep instantly.  Not me, though.  I stayed there staring at the clock for the next 33 minutes. 

{This is where Hubs gets confused with my sleep problems.  "Why don't you just go back to sleep?"  He'll ask as if I can just turn off a switch a rest peacefully like he does.  "I CAN'T."  I tell him over and over again.  My brain starts going and it won't stop.  Things like ISIS, Ebola, and the Duggar girls have all made me lose sleep in the last few months.

{Yes, the Duggar girls.  I was worried because it seems like they've all decided to get married at the same time.  They have these big weddings and then you hear nothing at all about how they are adjusting to married life (and I'd assume it would be a HUGE adjustment.)  "It's like they go into their new husband's bedrooms as virgins and don't come out until they're these crazy, weird SEX FIENDS who've gotten knocked up."  I told Hubs.  "Well, there are worse problems to have."  He assured me.}

Anyway, none of that is what kept me awake this morning.  This morning I realized I had fallen asleep during last week's Parenthood, so I got up to watch it.

Everything else was pretty normal.  I got the girls up and dressed.  I made lunches and breakfast and around 7:30, got my first two kids to watch.  We spent the 45 minutes before school hanging out, playing games on the Kindle and watching Mickey Mouse.

By 8:45, Smalls, the OG {my first baby sitting baby, aka: The Original Gangsta.  Formerly known as Baby Boy or Little Boy...you know what?  Just forget it.  I obviously need to do a post where I introduce you to the itty bitty people that I hang with all day.}  So, Smalls, the OG and I were in the driveway watching a small tractor?  {Backhoe?  Skidder?  I don't know what it was called but it was something like that.}  Move dirt from a neighbor's back yard to the front yard.  {Look, I can't be sure about what they were doing or how they were doing it, but there was dirt in a bucket thingy that moved around on these track-like wheels and the OG was OBSESSED with it.}

{Can I just tell you that the above ^^^^ is exactly how I would describe the situation if I were talking to Hubs.  That man deserves a medal, not only for actually being ABLE to communicate with me, but for not throwing his hands in the air in frustration at my ignorance.}

Then--THEN is when our morning took a turn for the worse.

I pulled the OG from the sidewalk up to the house and started to unlock the front door when I realized that I couldn't find my keys this morning and had grabbed the spare key for my car when we left.  I went back to the car to use my garage door opener to get into the house, but the garage door opener wasn't in the car.  That must be where the opener on the kitchen table came from, I thought.  My last option was to hope that the door from the garage to the back yard was unlocked--it was not.

We were locked out.

I turned around and looked at the kids who were happily playing tag in the street and had no idea that anything was wrong.  {It's a cul-de-sac, they were totally safe.}  "The window is open."  I slowly remembered.  "THE WINDOW IS OPEN!"  I went back to the front of the house and sure enough it had been stuffy that morning and I'd opened the window so I wedged my key under the screen and tried to pop it out, BUT IT BENT MY KEY!

Now what? I thought.  I decided to call Hubs, not that there was much he could do.  He was at work in another city, but I hoped he'd have some ideas for me.

Back at the car, I couldn't find my purse to look for my phone.  I searched frantically before I looked through the OPEN HOUSE WINDOW THAT I COULD NOT ENTER and saw my purse in the living room with my phone right next to it.

"Seriously?!"  I said to no one.

I found exactly 4 quarters in the center console of the car, so the kids and I went in search of a pay phone.  I just needed to call Hubs, explain my situation and then he'd point out the obvious thing that I was missing and I'd be able to get back into the house.

I drove past Safeway looking for a set of pay phones that used to be next to the soda machine at the gas station.  They were gone.  I drove down the street to a medical complex.  They used to have a pay phone out on the street corner.  It was gone.  The hospital is up the hill from the medical complex so I drove there thinking there HAD to be a pay phone in the waiting room of the ER or in a hallway.  Nope.  Looping back towards my house I decided to drive around the mall, maybe there'd be one outside of one of the entrances.  There was not.

It was now, 9:40.

I went back to Bigs' school.  I've been on the PTA board for a few years now and I volunteer at least once a week-I was due back to volunteer at 10:10!  I felt comfortable going there to use the phone in the staff lounge, but I couldn't figure out how to make the call go through.  I pushed 9...nothing.  I dialed a 1 before my number...nothing.

At this point, the kids are starting to figure out that something is up.  The OG started whining that he wanted to watch Thomas.  Smalls had used up every last bit of patience she had and was literally running laps around the table in the staff lounge.  Being "good" and quiet was just not an option for them anymore.

I decided to go home and rip the screen from the window.  I wasn't just going to rip it, I wanted to throw a pumpkin through it or take a box cutter to it!  {Apparently I had used up every bit of my patience, too and that stupid, friggin' window screen was mocking me from a mile and half away.}  I was ready to KILL it-kill it DEAD!

Just as we were leaving the school, the secretary and I made eye contact for a second. 

"Hey Lucinda, can I use this phone for a quick second?"  I asked.  Then before she had a chance to say anything I blurted out the whole ordeal and how I'd driven around to the mall and the hospital for crying out loud, looking for a pay phone, "but you know who doesn't have pay phones anymore, Lucinda?  FREAKING AMERICA, THAT'S WHO!"

Lucinda dialed the number for me {apparently she had to put in a secret code to make it call long distance.}

Finally--FINALLY I get Hubs on the phone and I lay it all out for him and you know what he says?  He says, "what do you want me to do?"

"I want you to..."{I don't know what I want him to do.  I WANT him to come home so I can go back to bed and start this day over because 3:17 am is starting to feel like a REALLY long time ago!}  "I guess I need..." {Suddenly I am overwhelmed again with the need to break that stupid window screen.  I was SO. MAD. at that damn screen!}  "Nothing."  I finally say, "There's really nothing you can do, Hubs.  I'll just rip the screen and have Smalls climb in--"

"No!  You can't do that.  Those screens are expensive.  I guess I'll have to leave work to bring you a key.  Gosh!  I can't believe this.  I'll miss about two hours of work by the time I leave here, get to you and then come back."

"The screens are expensive?  How much do they cost?"

"For one that size, probably around 30 bucks."

"30 BUCKS?!  Are you kidding me?!  Hubs, I'll give you 30 bucks and just rip it.  Trust me, it's worth it!" 

He was adamant that I should NOT rip the screen, so I agreed to wait at the school until he got there or it was time for me to volunteer, which ever came first. 

Sooo, the kids and I colored in the office until they got loud, then we went into the hallway and sat in each of the 50 chairs that line both sides off the hall, then we went back out to the car to read a couple of books, then we "walked the beam" also known as walking one foot in front of the other on the curb until it was time for recess, which is when I was volunteering.

Then, just as we were walking to the school from the field, my knight in shining armor drove up in his ugly little work car and saved the day.

"I put the garage door opener and your phone in your car.  You need anything else before I go back?"

And that's the story of this morning...

Monday, October 6, 2014

The One With The Haunted House

Saturday night was Girls Night.  I met up with a couple other mamas and we went out for drinks then to a haunted house.
Photo Credit:  "Savannah"
I had been a little nervous all day.  The last haunted "house" that I'd been to was when I about 10 and went with a friends family on a haunted walk through the woods-not just any woods, either.  It was the Redwood Forest.  You know, the ancient forest of G-I-A-N-T trees in Northern California.  {That's where I grew up.}  Anyway, the only thing that stuck with me from that haunted walk was a guy with a chainsaw who stepped out from behind one of the giant trees and chased us up the trail a little. 

It was terrifying.

I kept reassuring myself that this was a haunted HOUSE.  It didn't make sense for there to be a chainsaw wielding madman in a home {haunted or not.}

So, we go out for the drinks and I order a Lemon Drop.  I very rarely drink so when the waitress came back with my fancy ice cup with the sugared rim, I was impressed and drank it pretty quickly.  Then I ordered another one and drank it equally as fast, so Lucy {one of the other mamas} poured some of her huckleberry Lemon Drop into my cup.  It was good so I drank it up.

{You see what's happening here?}

By the time we got to My Morbid Mind {the haunted house}, I was feeling pretty...warm. 
Photo Credit:  My Morbid Mind Facebook page
We got out of the car and our ears are instantly assaulted with blood curdling screams of terror.  "Oh my gosh, you guys.  I don't know if I can do this."  I say.  "Come on, it'll be fun!  Let's go!"  They said pulling me by the hand.

As we got closer, I saw him. 

My heart stopped, but miraculously my legs kept moving.

My breathing was altered, faster than normal.  Much faster.  I kept my eyes on him as if I could prevent his eyes from scanning the crowd and finding mine with my non-existent telekinetic abilities.

Then, as if in slow motion, he turned around and our eyes locked.  He instantly started walking toward us.  A burlap-sack-mask-wearing man on a mission armed with nothing but a CHAINSAW.
Photo Credit:  My Morbid Mind Facebook page
RUUUUN-RUN-RUN-RUUUN-RUUUUUUUN.  He revved up his chainsaw. 

We screamed as loud as we could and RAN into the safety of the lit up barn.  Little did we know, there was no "safety of the lit up barn."  No safety at all...

He followed us into that barn where we ran to a group of high school kids and literally climbed right into the middle of their cliquey little huddle.  I don't know why he left the barn.  There was screaming-so much screaming-and blinking lights.  Suddenly, my friends said they had to pee so I was alone in the barn, with the high school kids.

I sat on an old, filthy plastic chair and pulled out my phone.  I was halfway done texting Hubs when the chainsaw man chased another couple of screaming girls into the barn.  I was caught off guard with the sudden commotion, so my only defense was a I've-seen-the-devil scream...with my eyes closed.  {I'm very tough.}

Finally the barn got quiet again, I hit send on this text:
My friends got back with stories of having been in the Honey Bucket while the chainsaw guy shook the port-a-potty and revved his chainsaw outside the door.  {That, dear friends, is my nightmare!}
 
Did I mention this is all BEFORE WE'D EVEN PAID!
 
Once we started going through the house, it really wasn't THAT bad, I guess.  {I mean, I thinking I was crying as we actually went through it, but in hindsight, it wasn't THAT bad.}  There was lots of gore, which doesn't really scare me, a couple of hockey mask wearing people that jumped out at you.  There WAS one time that I almost lost it; I was going through the maze of the house with my two friends in front of me.  I turned to look behind me when I thought I heard a noise and THIS was following me:
Photo Credit:  My Morbid Mind Facebook page
TERRIFYING!!
 
Needless to say, I don't foresee anymore haunted houses in MY future!

Friday, October 3, 2014

The One With All The Shopping

Hubs thinks I shop a lot. 

It's not true, of course.  He considers my weekly trips to the grocery store "shopping trips." 

I've tried to tell him {in my best Chandler Bing impression} that he couldn't BE more wrong.  I've definitely told him that "If it were up to me, I'd never-EVER exchange good money for something as subpar as bologna!"  But, he insists that since I do, in fact, make weekly trips to Safeway where I go in and exchange money for goods, it COUNTS!

Over the course of our relationship, we've agreed to disagree on the situation.  The problem with that though, is that we've never really negotiated what shopping entails for me.  I get that I have to grocery shop, school supply shop, Christmas shop, birthday shop, etc., but when does Mama get to shop for Mama?

I'm gonna tell you something that N-O-B-O-D-Y tells you about being a stay-at-home mom.

{INSERT BIG SECRET HERE}

Lean in close, I don't want to have to say it too loud.

The thing that nobody tells you is that you are...BROKE. 

Like, flat broke.  Ain't got two nickels to rub together, BROKE!  Even when the family has money for everything they need, you don't have cash in your wallet unless you were given some. 

If it bothered me enough, I guess I could ask for money, but what's more demeaning than asking your husband for $5 so you can stop at Starbucks?  I'm sure he'd give it to me, it's just not my style to ask.  My approach is to just tell him that I purchased things for waaayyy more than I actually did.  {"Hubs, I picked up some new ballet tights for Smalls.  They were $37.  Crazy, huh?  The price of living is sure going up..."}

Look, you and I both know that ballet tights cost anywhere from $5-$15.  Crap, HUBS probably knows it too, he's not stupid!  What he is, is a good man so he gives me the $37 for "tights" and doesn't say a word when I come home with a new scarf or another bottle of nail polish.

Why am I telling you this?  Because I'm about to tell you my biggest secret EVER!

Are you ready?

Last week I bought this outfit:
Forgive my less than stellar picture taking skills.  Smalls tried to help me, but all she managed to capture was one blurry shot of my legs and about 10 of my hand trying to take the phone away from her.
Anyway, last week I bought this outfit {the thermal printed shirt, the black cardigan, and the jeans!}for LESS THAN $37.

What?!

I know, right?!  It's true.  The cardigan was $12.88, the thermal shirt was $7.88 and the jeans were only $15.88.  That's only $36.64 for the WHOLE THING! 

Wanna know how I did it?

I follow this page on Instagram called WhoaWaitWalmart.  These two women shop at their local Walmarts a few times each week and take pictures of their favorite finds then give all the details like the brand names and the prices. 

I took this screenshot of their Instafeed tonight.
They post everything from beauty products to office supplies, baby/kids clothes to work out clothes, accessories to furniture. 

I never used to look at the clothes at Walmart, but when I started seeing the cute plaid tops these girls were finding {for less than $15!}  I had to go check out what my Walmart had and I'm glad I did!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The One About Today

Today was a good day.  {If you just read that in Ice Cube's voice, you are my Person.}  We woke up, Hubs went to work, Bigs went to school, and Smalls and I did homeschool.

Yeah, I just said that.

I'm homeschooling Smalls this year and it's going REALLY well!
Her first day.  Sept. 10, 2014

We just started learning about Fall so she was sorting leaves based on size.

Then we made maple scented play dough and she. LOVED. it.
We also made a thumbprint leaf counting book, read a couple of books about what forest animals do in the Fall and played a math game based on the song "5 Little Ducks."

After homeschool, we went to a furniture store.  Smalls is in the market for a new bed and we're trying to figure out what style she likes.  She based all of her yeas and nays solely on the color of the comforter on the displays, so we left.  Not before she trampled all over a sign that said "please do not climb on the top bunk" on her way to the top bunk, and she touched the hands of a clock then watched as the hands fell limply to the 6.

We went back home, ate lunch, and Baby Boy came over to play while his Mommy and Daddy worked.  He wasn't much fun though.  He fell asleep as soon as he got here and stayed that way for the next two hours.  Smalls napped too, so I watched an old Dateline.

When Bigs got home, she and Smalls fought over BB while I tried to save his life by swatting them away.  I found that if I sat on the floor between the girls and BB, he could happily chew on the couch or the Baby Hippo book, AS HE WANTED TO, and the girls could "ooh and awe" from a distance.  {He's teething.  I normally don't let guests chew on the furniture.  For him, I made an exception.}

After BB went home, Hubs got home and I remembered that Bigs had Girl Scouts in an hour so I threw some leftovers in the microwave for her, helped her get ready and dropped her off. 

Hubs and I had been throwing around some ideas for how we wanted to re-do our downstairs bathroom.  He surprised me by bringing home some paint and got started on the whole project, but that'll have to be tomorrow's post.  Parenthood is on now!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Real Life Moments

Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 9:06 p.m.

Scene:  Hubs and I are watching T.V. upstairs.  Survivor just ended so he's flipping through channels.  He stops on The Bucket List.

Me:  "What is this, The Bucket List?"

Him:  "Yeah."

Me:  "I just added something to my bucket list the other day.  Hmmmm...what was it?"

Him:  "You have a bucket list?"

Me:  "Yeah, well, it's just that one thing.  Whatever it was, I must have thought it sounded pretty cool to make a whole bucket list for it.  I wonder what it was..."

5 MINUTES LATER

Me:  "I can't stop thinking about it.  I have to go see what I put on that list."

I go downstairs and pull up on the computer what I'd typed last week.  I laughed out loud and went back upstairs.

Me:  "Oh. My. Gosh.  You're never going to believe what it was!  Are you ready for this??"  Then I burst out laughing and couldn't stop for a very, very  long time.  I finally composed myself.  I cleared my throat.  I wiped the hilari-tears from my cheeks and I looked at him--only to start laughing all over again.  Every time I thought I had it under control, I'd just think  the sentence I was trying to say and it would start all over again.

For like, 10 minutes.

Me:  "Okay.  Okay.  I'm ready now.  Sorry, you know I giggle when I'm tired.  Okay, here it is:  I wanted to buy a really tacky-I'm talking really ugly-sweater set and leave it...{Pause for another outburst of laughter.}...on Joan Rivers' grave.  You know, as a gift!"  The hilari-tears came quickly now and when I was able to breathe regularly again, Hubs was just looking at me with a blank look on his face.  "Because she was on Fashion Police and she was always so nasty about everyone."

Him:  "Where is she buried?"

Me:  "What?  I don't know."

Him: {pulling out his phone} "Google, where is Joan Rivers buried?"  "No, not married.  Argh."  "Google, where is Joan Rivers BURIED?"

Google:  "Joan Rivers is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, CA.  Rivers was born on..."

Him:  "That would be something easy to cross of your list."

Me:  "I don't know how much of a list it is.  I mean, it's really just that one thing.  It's just kinda funny though, ya know...because of Fashion Police..."

Him:  "I'm just sayin', it's not that far away."

Me:  "..." 

***********************************************************
 
In other news, The Nester is hosting her 6th annual 31 Days Writing Challenge.  I joined last year and wrote for 16 {fairly} consecutive days about livin', {or how WE do it anyway.}  I wanted to join again this year, but I could NOT figure out what to write about.  Eventually, I decided to go with no theme.  No boundaries, no rules, no neat little category to fit into. 
 
I'm going rouge!
 
My only goal is to write everyday for 31 days.  Today is day one, so I give you...Real Life Moments {Part One, as I'm sure there will be about 25 more days this month when I can't think of anything else to write about.}

Friday, August 29, 2014

The One With The Back To School Fashion Show--3rd Grade Edition

Back to school shopping with Bigs was surprisingly easy this year. 

{Dare I say, gone are the days of "that's too ugly."  "That's too froofy."  "That's too...boy-ish."} 

In contrast to all of that, she wanted everything this year.  Her size or mine--she didn't care, SHE WANTED IT ALL. 

So while I had to remember to be patient and just accept the fact that she'd try on 2-3 definite "NO" outfits to every 1 "YES" outfit, it all worked out in the end and she's sure to be one of the best dressed 3rd graders this year.

Without further ado, I give you, Back to School--The Third Grade Edition:
Can we just talk about the cell phone in her hand for a second?  Everyday, she grabs this old phone of mine and says, "Mom, is this a REAL phone that REALLY works?"  I have been instructed to reply, "Yes.  It's a real phone that really works."  She smiles and says thank you.  It has become a ritual that is recited before we leave the house.



 
Umm...the pose and the sassy non-smile, all her.  The only input I gave this year was an occasional "location" idea.


"Oh Mom.  I LOVE this outfit!  Can I wear it on the first day of school?  And picture day?  And on my birthday?"