***

***

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Drug Dealers and Dentists

Today was a busy first day at Grandma's house.

For me, it started at 5am when I realized that my sniffles of yesterday had turned into more of a "it feels like I'm swallowing razor blades" kind of thing. Yuck. Josh's mom has some spare Tylenol #3's that she keeps trying to get me to take. She claims that because she's not charging me for them it doesn't officially make her a drug dealer. Just an enabler.

Things haven't changed much since the first time I visited here about 9 years ago when Josh and I were dating. I had a bit of a cold, and his mom was offering me all sorts of expired asthma medication. Maybe I should have seen the warning signs and gotten out before I actually became a member of this family. Grandma, if you're reading this, please don't kill me in my sleep tonight. Thanks.

But the kids slept well and were happy to wake up and reunite with familiar fun toys, and the fact that Grandma will quite literally do whatever they ask of her. Really. Anything.

"Hey Grandma, can we play with these knives?"

"Well, I hate to say no, but I'm not sure that's very safe. You just wait right here and I'll whittle down these sharp edges so that you can have your hearts' desire."

Later this morning we watched my nephew play hockey at a nearby rink. So stinkin' cute to see 8 year olds out there playing like little men. (Connor's in the white & red)


After naptime we headed to my sister's house to go trick or treating all together. Meet Winnie the Pooh, Bumblebee, Aurora, and Snow White.


It's so fun to be able to have the cousins together doing things that "normal" families do when they're not obligated to move somewhere different and distant every 3 years.

The kids had a great time trick or treating, and Derek was the cutest little 2 year old in town.

I'm glad that guy gave him the treat and not the trick, because unless I'm mistaken, that's a lighter he's holding in his other hand. Take that popcorn ball and run, Pooh!


Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the Sweetest of them all?



Well, it's probably not Alex, but she's cute anyway.

And now the kids are in bed, and this mama says the day was a success:



Cha-ching!

I sense more drillin' & fillin' in my mouth's future.



Friday, October 30, 2009

We Survived.

Just barely, but we're here in Michigan now.

Highlights:

1) I managed to avoid the full-on ugly cry at the airport this morning. There were some tears, but not the kind where snot runs into your mouth and your eyes stay red for an hour.
Thank you crowd of people for keeping me from indulging in my sadness.
Josh was able to get a gate pass and come through the airport with us. Glad to have him just a little longer, but also dragging out the goodbyes. I almost lost it when I came back from the bathroom to find him crawling on all fours giving Derek one last horsey ride.
Ahem, I may or may not have just teared up typing that.

2) We were on our first plane for almost 5 hours and the kids did really well. I gave Derek a dose of Benadryl for obvious reasons and waited for the napping to commence. It did not. He pushed right through that tiredness and did not sleep one minute of our trip.

3) Our connection in Chicago was not very long. We made a pit stop, I changed Derek's diaper, we shoveled some food in. We arrived at our gate just in time for boarding and then the little man decided it was a good time to have a nice poop. Nothing better than changing poopy pants on an airplane.

4) The boy had a meltdown on the last flight begging for milk which we had none of. Three lollipops later we finally landed.

5) The kids are now asleep. I'm right behind them.

I still hate flying with my children.

Miss you already Joshie.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Rubdown

So I would qualify my massage today as An. Experience.

I love a good massage, or really just any massage. If they weren't so much work and prone to flinging poop, I would get a monkey and train it to give me massages every day.

But today's real, non-monkey, massage ran a fine line between pleasure and pain.

Let me start by saying that the masseuse was a young woman, who happened to be quite petite. I may have even made a preconceived judgement that it might be a light rubdown today because her hands seemed kind of small.

Turns out I was wrong. And if her hands weren't strong, those elbows sure were.
There was about 5 minutes that I spent gritting my teeth because she was trying to work out a knot in my lower back. A knot that I believe to actually be part of my iliac crest, also known as a bone.

Apparently I signed on for a more therapeutic massage than relaxation massage per se. After some getting used to though, it started to feel pretty good. Again my indecisive nature took over, and I couldn't decide if I didn't want the hour to end or if the hour was never going to end.

Overall it was a nice treat, and a good incentive to shave my legs.

So now I'm nice and relaxed before our big day tomorrow...at the end of which I will probably need another massage.

Pray for me people, I'm flying with my children again.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hours

So the weeks have turned to days and the days into hours.

One of the worst parts of deployments for me is the anticipation. I can put it out of my mind until about a week before he goes. Then all I can think about is how I'll miss snuggling up to him at night, miss sharing the funny stories of what the kids said or did during the day, miss watching him laugh out loud at the TV, miss watching football together...and on and on.

But mostly I feel sad for what he will miss while he's gone. As much as they drive me up the wall, if you told me that I had to say goodbye to my children for months I would have a total breakdown.

If you said I had to say goodbye for a couple of hours, I'd have a celebration.



Oooh, speaking of which, tomorrow I'll be leaving them behind while I get an hour long massage. Can't wait! Just have to schedule some time first to shave my legs. Josh was rubbing my leg the other day and asked where I got my knee socks. Only I wasn't wearing any. Funny Josh.

This little girl has her last day of preschool tomorrow. Gulp.


I have her workbook from school and her teacher outlined for me the pages that the other kids will be doing while we're away. That's a relief, because you know if she falls behind in her letters now she wont ever get into Harvard and then her life is just over. Never underestimate the power of the alphabet.


On a totally off-subject* note, the kids have new hats for the winter. Got them on sale on Etsy and I love them!

* "on-subject" being related to deployments, massages, preschool, and hairy legs. Totally cohesive topics, right?




Well I'm getting some dirty looks from my husband, who thinks I should be cuddling him and not my laptop, so I'd better run. In a matter of hours I'll have more than enough laptop, and not enough husband!




Monday, October 26, 2009

Cuteness Warning: Extreme

Don't say I didn't warn you:



Alex thinks it's quite funny to say to people-- "Derek is going to be Pooh for Halloween" and see their reactions.

Leaving out the "Winnie the" is absolutely intentional.

Devious I tell you.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Too much.

What I need to take with me for a trip to Michigan that will last 'til next year.

Too much.

Coats and hats and gloves and boots. Snowpants and halloween costumes. Christmas finery and church clothes. Pajamas and socks and shoes. Medicines and makeup. Cameras and laptops, cords and chargers. Shot records and hair ribbons. Address book and loveys.

Too much.

Almost as extensive is the list of things to do before we go. Forward mail and give out keys. Arrange for Derek's formula to be picked up. Dentist appointment. Parent/Teacher conference. Preschool halloween party. Laundry. More Laundry. Clean the house.

Too much.

oh, and a massage and one last date with my hubby... that I can make time for ;)

Friday, October 23, 2009

I didn't start this.

His father did. I am powerless to stop it, so I just document.

video

I think Josh was trying to encourage some more manly fun. He gets a little uncomfortable with Derek's knowledge of all things princess.
Here he is singing a rather unrecognizable version of his favorite song: "Sing Sweet Nightingale" from Cinderella.

video

Don't worry Josh, I promise not to let him wear any tutu's while you're away.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Other People's Kids

Because I fear that I may overwhelm you with the sheer number of pictures of the Schore spawn on this blog, today I am spicing it up with pictures of someone else's kids.

These sweet little guys belong to my opposite-friend Nikki.

What is an opposite-friend, you ask?

Well, Nikki is the complete opposite of me: she's self-motivating, her house is always clean, she's very social, she wears non-elastic waistband pants while at home, and I've never popped over to her house and caught her without a bra on.

She cannot say the same thing about me.

Anyway, as I've taken an interest in photography recently, she's been willing to lend me her cuties as extra target practice. Frankly my children are getting just a little sick of me demanding that they look at the camera and smile. Photographic proof of that coming soon.

Meet Baby Caleb: In addition to sporting some beautiful blue eyes, his newest accomplishment is sleeping all night long. His momma's a big fan of that.

Big brother Jack also has the same blue peepers, and is one of Derek's best buds.


Fall colors make nice backdrops :)


No one can escape from my overuse of textured backgrounds. *evil cackle*



And my favorite:



Go ahead, click on it and make it bigger. Take in the pretty colors and sweet baby.
Ahhhhhh.
Thanks boys!
Tell your mom to relax a little and leave some dirty dishes in the sink once in a while.
It would make me feel better.





Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Consistency, Thy Name is Erin

As I went to throw a load of laundry from the washer into the dryer today, only to find a semi-dry load already in there (and smelling a little...musty), I remarked that I am an incredibly consistent person.
There are many things about myself that I can count on. Here are just a few:

1) As previously mentioned, about once every couple of weeks I can count on myself to totally forget about a load of laundry, until it reaches the point that it must be re-washed and dried.

2) As much as I plan to have Alex at school at the beginning of her 8:45-9:00 drop-off window, I will consistently be signing her in at 8:55.

3) As a result of #2, I will consistently be joining the rest of my kickboxing class at about 9:10, 10 minutes after everyone else has started.

4) At 9:55, I consistently think, as I gasp for breath, that maybe being 10 minutes late was a good thing.

5) I never fail to forget one or ten items on my grocery list while I'm shopping.

6) When I serve dinner, I can count on one or more side dishes being ready about 10 minutes behind the main course. I am unable to master preparing foods to be ready all at the same time.

I realize that this doesn't exactly paint me as a domestic goddess, but what can I say? I'm just an incredibly consistent person.

Even... Aunt Flo... comes to visit at the same time each month. At least, I think so. I consistently forget to write that down on the calendar. Sorry boys.

Oh, and according to spell check, I was very consistent when I misspelled "consistant" throughout this whole post.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Morning Photo Shoot

Despite her best efforts to never produce a real smile for my camera, I tried again for some pictures-before-school. We were actually running on time today (I heard that gasp!) so I was able to avoid making any inappropriate jokes during our little picture-taking endeavour.

It helped that Alex was sporting a new dress, had the privilege of choosing her own tights, and most importantly, wore her new flowered headband.



I finally found some long-sleeve dresses, so Alexandra's happiness during the winter season is now a possibility.
Well I should say, I finally found some long-sleeve dresses that were in a price range I was willing to consider for a 4 year old. This one in particular was $6.30 from Target. Nothing special, but at that price it's a nice play dress to have on hand.


You didn't think you were going to get away with seeing pictures of just normal backgrounds did you?

When I get hooked on something, it's all or nothing.

Like the Internet.

Or the new 90210.

And of course, textured backgrounds.


So now you know not to offer me any drugs, because I could be a serious addict.
Something else I'm hooked on?
This guy:


Ahhhhhhh. Love me a little Derry-fix.



Sunday, October 18, 2009

Laundry

I couldn't think of a title for this post, so I named it "Laundry" in hopes that it will remind me to actually do some.

Soon.

Before I have to turn underwear inside out.



We've been enjoying a fabulous, laundry-free, fall weekend. We had a visit from a good friend, the temperatures have been warmer, the leaves are turning beautiful colors, and we weren't forced to watch the Raiders play football today.

Alex had her very last soccer game, and hopefully she took away the lesson that we finish what we start, even if we don't enjoy it.

Of course that's probably wishful thinking on my part, she probably didn't take away any lesson other than mom and dad are mean for making her run* around with boys of all people!


*term used very loosely, there was precious little running done by our daughter


I haven't had a chance to upload any pictures from the weekend, but here are some more shots I took in the park the other day.











Here they are threatening to beat me with sticks if I take any more pictures.


We're off to soak in some more family time together before Josh leaves.


Happy Sunday!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Punkins

I have an intense and driving need to blog right now.

The kind of need I feel when the DVR is taping 2 shows @ the same time and there's nothing recorded that I want to watch.

You know, that kind of nothing else to do so why not blog need.

As advertised, here are some pics from the pumpkin patch field trip on Tuesday.

Remember? That field trip that takes away a morning of preschool, requires parents to transport their children, and is TWENTY FIVE miles down the highway.

Is that really the closest pumpkin patch? If so, next fall I'm making my own patch in my backyard. I'll spread the word to all the preschool parents and I've no doubt they will demand to remain local for the field trip. Think of all the money I'll make...

Maybe even enough to cover the insane amount of dental work I supposedly need. But that's a story for another time. And believe me, I'll be bringing it up again shortly.

Back to the pictures...

Here is where Alex spent 90% of her "field trip." That's Josh making another trip to the van to remind her that if she so desired to get out of the van, all she needed to do was to apologize for her poor behavior that morning, and put on a happy face.
The apology wasn't the problem.
She felt it an impossibility to allow a smile to crack her sour face.


Just as everyone else was packing up to drive home, she finally conceded to being happy.

Now hurry up and pick your pumpkin so we can turn back around and drive a half an hour home. Wonderful family time.

Here she is doing her best to not smile at the camera, despite the best efforts of her cool, funny, and hip mom. Obviously her brother thinks so.



Derek found this little squash and determined that it was destined to be his to hold and love.



And later leave to rot in the car. Where it remains at this very moment.


And lastly, I had to include these 2 shots I took at the park today. I'm on a textured-background kick right now if you weren't aware.


And this, I think, might be one of my favorite pictures ever of Alex. Not sure what it is about that sweet expression, but I just love it.






And wish it had come along to join us at the pumpkin patch.
Regardless, she's still my little punkin.





Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Plan B

First, an update-

1) My dad is out of the hospital now, though he's still being watched closely to ensure that his labwork continues to show improvement. So that's good news :)

2) The crud is starting a painfully slow escape from our house, just in time for the long weekend to be over.

and

3) all of my previously laid out plans for the next few months have been flushed down the toilet.


The kids and I are no longer striking out on our own, just us and a minivan against the world. We have been heckled to death by well meaning family members who cannot stomach the thought of us driving through the mountains in the winter.

Like angry chickens they have pecked and pecked until yesterday when I finally conceded defeat and agreed that we will fly out to Michigan, and our visit to Texas is not to be.

You win chickens. You win.

Thanks for caring, though I'm fairly certain that I would not have gone careening over the side of a mountain. And if I have a terrible flying experience, you may never hear the end of it.

Coming soon to a blog near you are pictures of this girl's field trip to the pumpkin patch.




During which she spent most of the time in our van because she has an attitude problem so large that it should be reserved for teenagers.

We're in trouble.

And lastly, in photo editing news: I've been having fun learning more about photoshop, but it turns out that my problem with indecision is causing some trouble. I don't know what I like. And quite frankly, I'm afraid that I'm over the top on a lot of my choices.

Take for example, "Derek in front of stone wall"


I just wanted to sharpen it up a little, maybe add some warmth. But I just kept playing around with it and ended up with this:



I can't decide if I like it. I think I over-edited it, and it doesn't feel any warmer to me. So now I'll go back and play with it more, and then I'll save it again. When I'm done, I'll have 5 different versions of the same picture and have no idea which one to print off.

So I wont print any. Then I'll turn off my computer and cry a little. Then I'll decide that I'm not going to be so indecisive anymore.

But then I'll have to decide when I'm going to start being the new me, and it all begins again.

It ain't easy being me.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Crud

So I've been a bit neglectful of the blog lately, because when you can't breathe, you can't blog. And I can't breathe people.

All 4 of us have varying levels of "the crud." The crud is worse than a cold, but better than the flu. It's achey, stuffy, coughy, and mildly feverish but thankfully minus any gastric symptoms.

Hopefully tomorrow will be the day we all turn the corner and can start to enjoy this long weekend.

I've also been a little preoccupied with the fact that my dad is in the hospital right now. With my Google degree I have diagnosed him with:
Idiopathic Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia

Oh, hey Dad. Do you mind if I share your personal medical information with the internet?

I know some of you might doubt my diagnosis based on, well, an utter lack of qualifications, but the good news is that my kind of degree comes with zero debt.

Anyway, my dad is doing okay right now, but it's always hard to be far away when family is going through a hard time. Plus I'd like to be there to point out how much better I would be doing than his nurses. Since who wouldn't want a nurse who's been out of work for 4 years to sit back and criticize my employed counterparts.

So Dad, know that I wish I were there with you and I'm praying for a quick recovery!

Love, your daughter,

E. Schore, (Google) MD

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Firsts

This past week marked a few rather, umm, unpleasant firsts for me as a mother.

There was the first time that I walked into my child's room at naptime to be met with a boy who had made a...deposit...into his diaper and decided to reach in and check it out.

Two days later it was no longer a first and was officially a second.

Along a similar line, the next first was when that aforementioned child decided to remove his diaper in its entirety during "naptime."

Here's how that exchange went down:

Me: "Derek are you done with your nap?"
D: *pointing to the floor* "Oh no, mama. Oh no."
Me: "Is that your diaper on the floor? Did you take your diaper off?"
D: "Yesh."
Me: "Derek, that's naughty! We don't take our diapers off."
D: "I pee on da wall."

Yep, he peed on the wall.

We now have a rule that Derek does not go down for a nap without a onesie on to prevent further...exploration. And marking of territory.

Wish us luck.

There was actually one positive first that occurred today. The boy who will not touch fruit actually ingested some apple. Of his own free will.

I had to document this marvel.







And I just threw this picture in for good measure. Because he looks like a little tough guy.



I ate an apple. And conquered the playground.


Now the next pictures of the girl are not firsts at all. These pictures show you a daily occurrence at the Schore home.


Without fail, upon returning from school Alex disappears into her room for about 10 minutes and reemerges in her outfit of choice.

It is always includes many layers, with special attention paid to details, such as hair clips.

Quantity is of the utmost importance.



And footwear is not to be neglected. But this particular outfit proved to be troublesome the other day. See that water she's drinking?

Well a little while later that water had filtered through and Alex realized she had to use the bathroom. Unfortunately, all of those layers proved too hard to get off in the moment of need, and I found a crying Alex standing in front of the toilet with those yellow shoes in a yellow puddle.

Guess we pay a price for fashion.






Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Plan

Hello Internet.

My name is Erin.

I am 30 years old. A wife, mother of two, Air Force veteran, and unemployed nurse. I have an insatiable sweet tooth and uncanny ability to win baby shower games.
I am skilled in procrastinating, napping, and eating. I enjoy football, writing lists, and have a strong dislike for making phone calls and confrontation (except when provoked).

Now that you know me, I have a confession to make.

I think I might be just a little crazy.

You see, we are approaching another deployment soon and I have a plan.

A plan that involves me, the kids, our minivan, and many, many miles. Every time I mention this plan to someone, an odd look comes over them and I get the distinct impression that they find me to be a little... insane? unstable? off my rocker? You get the idea.

And so I want to know what you think. Crazy?...



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Or ambitious?