***

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Drowning

Anybody have any gopher barky barky?
I'm feeling the need to build an ark.

It's been raining.
And raining.

And raining.

And then raining some more.
It's supposed to taper off tomorrow, which will be very welcome indeed.

Today the schools were on a 2-hour delay due to all the rain.
I was super excited about it, but apparently I didn't push the last button required to change the wake-up time on Alex's butterfly nightlight.

It was sad when she woke up at 6:45.
Very sad.

It just so happens that Alex has had a substitute bus driver during this rainy week.
And that driver has been quite sporadic in her arrival time.
So we've done lots of waiting in the rain in the mornings.

Today took the cake as we waited over 20 minutes past her normal bus time. Derek insists on "helping Alex get on the bus," which basically translates into 3 year old boy-ness jumping in puddles and mud.
I finally decided that the bus just wasn't coming at all, so we went inside. I had Alex stand in the door to keep a lookout just in case.
Sure enough, a bus approaches.
As we run outside, it sails past our house in a hurry.

Boo bus.

So we pack up and head to the school. But before we got out of the neighborhood, I saw the bus coming back around the loop.
I pulled my kindergartner out of the car and waved her in the air as an indication that we would like to utilize the bus services.

Apparently today was a new substitute who was not very familiar with the stops.

But I was super glad that I didn't have to take her to school.
Why, you ask?

Well let me tell you a little bit about how drop off and pick up work at Alex's school.
Today at 3:10pm, I dutifully pulled into the parent pick-up parking lot.
Which is not actually a parking lot.
It's a field.
A field that is a fair distance from the school doors.

For the first several weeks of school, it was mildly annoying. You couldn't walk to pick up your kid without breaking out in a sweat.
Such is life in September in North Carolina, I suppose.

But now that the field is more like a swamp, I've realized that a little sweat would be preferable.
Every wet afternoon, I have to drag that little puddle jumper through the muddy swamp, and pick up the princess, who cries when she gets her shoes wet.

Today I tried to keep the peace by carrying her piggyback.
She almost killed me.
She held onto my neck as if I had no need for air, while I had one hand pulling Derek along and the other holding up a green polka-dot child's umbrella.

If it weren't so stinkin' muddy and messy, it might have been comical.

Then I drove straight to her dance school, where I was hoping to be early enough to get a good spot in their lot.
But some moron was parked in the middle of the only 2 prime spots remaining.

Grrr.
More puddles and wetness.

It's been a very dreary day indeed.

But good news!
As I was typing this, I got a message from the school system.

2-hour delay, take 2!


The other good news?
This little guy is all mine.

Even if he does get lost in his sleep from time to time.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Slow Recovery

We're getting back into the swing of things here...slowly.

The 6:45 wake-ups, gym time, grocery shopping, after school pick-ups, house-cleaning (ish), meal making (double-ish), Josh at work before the rest of us are awake and home after the kids are asleep.

I'm tired. Is it too soon for another vacation?


Question.

Does anybody else have this much cupboard space dedicated to plastic grocery bags?


I fear I am not normal.

Well, I know that I'm not normal, but I'm just wondering how far off course I am.


While we were gone, my DVR decided it would be important to record 6 hours of this:


Is it just me, or does "Congratulations!" seem to be a bit over the top in that scenario?

No, we do not own a flat-screen TV. We have that huge old dinosaur of a TV that all the movers complain about when they come to move it.
Our current residence is it's 5th home.
We keep hoping that it will get dropped or broken in a move so we feel justified to upgrade.
But it never happens.

I found two rotting potatoes on my pantry floor.
It was unpleasant.


My van still needs to be cleaned out post road trip. Yesterday I noticed a few stray hamburger buns had taken up residence on the floor.
Derek tends to just toss those aside in deference to his love for meat only burgers.
He's kind of a weird kid.
About 5 hours into our drive home from Disney he piped up from the backseat:
"Are we going somewhere?"

Generally speaking, that kid is just along for the ride.
If we show up at Disney World, great!
If we stop at The Walmarts, that's cool.
If we're going home, can he close the garage door? Awesome!

He's laid back like that.
Mama like.

Speaking of food. (weren't we?)
Here are a few pictures of the non-rotting foods of which we partook while vacationing.

Huge lollipops @ Downtown Disney.
I may or may not have eaten two just like those.
I have a sweet tooth, you know.

Lots and lots of cotton candy.

Mickey ice cream bar and a strawberry popsicle.


Frozen slushie, napkin shrouded ice cream, mango milkshake, and that would be my cappuccino milkshake sitting all by it's lonesome while I took the picture.
It was my favorite drink-treat of the trip.

We also drank plenty of lemon icees.

And here, in an embarrassment of riches, we have:
2 itsakadoosie popsicles
1 pineapple dole whip
1 dole whip root beer float
1 package of ice cream dibs


Not pictured: funnel cake, soft pretzels, caramel corn, cookies, muffins, iced coffees, brownies, creme brulee cheesecake, and more.

Our snacking was rather obscene.

But you see, we were on the dining plan. And we had snack credits. And we had to use them.
If we didn't...
Well...
Well...
They would go unused.

And that just didn't seem right.

Monday, September 27, 2010

We brought the Ghetto to Asia

Our first day at Disney World was spent at Animal Kingdom.

Why?
Well, because I researched the best day to visit each park based on historical data, avoiding parks with special events, staying away from extra magic hours, and the alignment of the moon.


Glad you asked.

We had fun, yadda yadda yadda.

Here are the chicklets and I in front of the tree of life.


And here is Derek, fascinated yet again by bodily functions.

video

Here we are enjoying a nice lunch in Asia.


(The park is divided into regions: Africa, Asia, and the often globally overlooked, Dinoland. Discovery Island and Camp Minnie-Mickey have also not made it onto most world maps. I believe their actual location may be in the great white north of Canada. I tried to find out for myself, but it didn't pan out.)

If you take a closer look at that last picture, you will notice that we had brought along two strollers for our trip.
The large blue one was our very first purchase as first-time expectant parents. It was part of a travel system with an infant car seat.
To date, I have been unsuccessful in finding the perfect stroller. I'm convinced such an animal does not exist. But that big blue stroller is was remarkably easy to push and turn, despite being a bear to fold up. And with it's roomy basket and large sunshade, we decided it was Disney-worthy.

The other stroller was borrowed from a friend.
We used to have an umbrella stroller, but as it turns out, in a Stroller vs Minivan showdown, the Minivan comes out on top.
We planned to leave it folded, and stowed in the previously mentioned roomy basket, until Alex tired and requested a ride.

However, on this the very first day of our trip, as we unfolded the big blue beast, we decided that we probably should have looked it over before assuming it was ready for Disney.
Turns out that the roomy basket was broken.
And the back right wheel was a little...crooked.

But we pressed on.
Right up until this meal was over.

Because as we strolled out of Asia after lunch, that back right wheel just flew off the stroller and rolled itself under a bench.

It was only mildly embarrassing to have a stroller breakdown in front of a small crowd. After locating the wheel, but not the hubcab, we parked our ghetto stroller next to a trash can and snuck away.


That was the precise moment that Alex declared her legs too tired to walk any farther.

Guess who has two thumbs and visited The Walmarts in Orlando that night?
This girl.
(Picture me pointing at myself with my two thumbs.)

This is how we rolled for the rest of the trip.

And that, my dear friends, is how we brought the ghetto to Asia.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

We are home

Hello Interpeeps!

We have made it back from our visit to the wonderful world of Disney!
It was good, hot, fun, chaotic, tiring, exciting, and most of all, full of food.

Now we are home and faced with unpacking, laundry, fatigue, more laundry, a lack of groceries, and most of all, the intense need to catch up on the interworld.
Is it even possible?
To catch up on a week's worth of Facebook updates, blogs, and pointless inter-drivel?
I don't know, but I will give it my best shot.

And now, for the update you have all been waiting for:
The answer is 2.

Originally it was 2.5, but I made myself some strong coffee and allowed it to do it's cleansing work.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's probably best to leave it that way. For those of you who do know what I'm talking about, I'm sorry if that was TMI.

I will not be giving a day by day recap of our week.
Mostly because my short-term memory is such that I likely would not remember what happened on what day.
But I shall regale you with stories of our favorite moments as the days go by.

For now, I just wanted to check in and say hello.

I came to a realization this morning as we started to settle back in here at home:

My life?
It must be pretty good.
Because despite the fact that we just left the "Happiest Place on Earth," I'm not sad.
It feels pretty good to get back to my own little place, with my sweet little family, with some fun memories.





Note: Lest you think that I decided to fix my hair that way on purpose-- it was HUMID and HOT.
No making fun of me!

Okay, okay. You can make fun of me a little.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Soup Nazi

This post has nothing to do with gazpacho or the getsapo.
 But I couldn't think of a post title, and for some reason that old Seinfeld episode popped into my head.

I'm so weird.

I'm also procrastinating. I should be packing.

I'll miss you when I'm gone inter-peeps. Disney resorts don't have wi-fi.
Can you believe that?
They make Mickey Mouse come to life, but they can't get you internet?

Well, we could pay for a wired connection.
But we wont.
Besides, it will be much more vacation-y to be web free for a week, don't you think?

So if anything important happens, you'll have to call Disney world and ask to be connected to me. I'll be in the funnel-cake place in Magic Kingdom for most of the trip, so try me there first.

Or you can call my cell.
Either one. 

And now I'm going to go pack.


I shall leave you with the obligatory video-post-for-the-grandparents.

Alex learned her first verse for Awanas, and she wanted to show everyone. And since everyone (who's anyone) reads my blog... ;)

video

Not to be outdone, Derek wanted to sing the song from his class...

video

Worry not. I am aware of Derek's butt-crack hair part. We'll be headed to the barber later today.


That is all.
Goodbye forever (or for a week).

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fat (Day After) Tuesday


So it appears as though I might have missed Fat Tuesday yesterday.
But never fear! I can be fat any day of the week!
It's a special gift of mine.

And now, for an actual report:

Erin N. Schore of Maryland Michigan Texas Idaho North Carolina, has reached her goal weight.

Yippee skippy!
For the first time I have managed to drop some poundage without being hungry, and for that, I salute you ColorFUEL.

Recently I've been adapting the system a little more to "normal" life-- sometimes I don't make one of their meal recipes, but I keep in mind the main principles while I make a meal our whole family can enjoy.
Then other times, I'll make one of the recipes just for me and Josh, while I feed our children balled up pancake innards.
Flexibility is a beautiful thing.

I do love the ColorFUEL snack options, and I keep the ingredients on hand so I can always grab something quick when needed. Among my favorites are eating half of a cantaloupe filled with cottage cheese and topped with (roasted, unsalted) sunflower seeds.
It's mighty yummy.
Too yummy.
Alex keeps stealing bites.

Or my new nightly ritual of eating plain greek yogurt with granola mixed in and drizzled with agave nectar (or honey). It's quite satisfying, and if you catch me on a good day, I'll even tell you that it's almost as good as ice cream.

Of course, I'd be lying.
But I don't have the post-ice cream regrets that I used to have. Like the "oh crud, did I just eat a half gallon of ice cream in two days?" regret.

Not that that's ever happened to me.

Anyway, I'm at my goal weight, but now I want more.
My greediness extends past my ice cream servings.

I'm happy with the number on the scale, but maybe just 2 more pounds.
2 would be great.

And there you have the Fat (Day After) Tuesday update.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A no good very bad...

Blogger.
Sorry.

Most of my internet time lately has been devoted to the over-zealous planning of our upcoming trip.
Once we return I will no doubt be back to boring you with the mind numbing minutia of our days.

For example:

My mad pancake-making skills are still in effect.


Usually I just peel off the burnt side and put that side touching the plate so no one knows. Unfortunately I burnt both sides this time.
I know, I know.

So I peeled off both outer sides, which left me with a pile of pancake innards. I then rolled them up into little balls and enticed the children with the "cool pancake balls!"

I need some help.
Professional would be best.

In other news, we bought a new printer.
We have hated our old printer for many moons.

We would try to print in black and white, but it wouldn't let us because we were low on yellow.
Well, who needs yellow to print in black and white?
Our printer.
But we never print in color, so how can we be low on yellow?
Oh, because we never print in color and the printer head gets clogged.
Then it needs to be cleaned.
Which uses all the yellow on a test page.
Then we replace the yellow.
And want to print in black and white.
But then it says we are low on magenta.
Arrgh.

So we bought a monochrome laser printer. Monochrome-- only black and white. No more yellow, cyan, or magenta.
Laser-- no more cleaning printer heads.
I like it.
And it's wireless, so I feel as though I've moved up in the world by being able to print from a laptop across the house.

Would all of you who have already been living in this century stop making fun of me?


Isn't it funny how once you get something new that you really needed, you wonder how you ever lived without it?

Like the DVR.

And the microwave.
We spent our first year of marriage sans microwave.

I don't know why.
We didn't feel it to be a necessary expenditure.

(We were frugal cheap.)

Next:

We've been 'ballin.
You know.
Foot'ballin.

It's that time again, and I love it.

Except when I have to watch Michigan play a close game and almost have a heart attack or two.
I take my football a little too seriously, methinks.

Also--
The temperature is cooling off a bit. Most days don't quite reach the 90's, and the pool water is actually a little too cold for swimming. We still attempt it though.
Well, Josh and the kids attempt it while I read a book on the pool deck.

Meanwhile, Alex continues to enjoy school.
Except for the part where they expect her to do work.

"Mommy. We have to practice writing our names at school. Do you know that my name is the very longest in the whole class? She makes me write Alexandra. Every time!"

She's very jealous of a little girl named An.


Josh has gone twice to her school to eat lunch with her. She loves it! Alex has a sweet daddy :)


Derek.
Hands in the pants is still going strong.
Also, he reports that he wants to do nothing while we're at Disney World.
He just wants to ride a train.
And he definitely, under no circumstances, wants to meet any characters. 


I will do a Fat Tuesday update tomorrow, and then I will continue planning my trip through the Disney Parks, one funnel cake at a time.

Anyone want to take a guess as to my weight differential between pre- and post-trip?
I know I don't.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Life is Good.

Busy, but good.

Now that fall is around the corner and school has begun, our days are starting to become more patterned and predicatable.
I kind of like it.

Other than the whole school bus comes at 7:13am thing.
That I could do without.
But then we have a bit of time to hang around the house before Derek and I head out to the gym. He pumps some iron while I play in the kids area.
Oh, wait.

Then we run errands or head home for lunch and naptime, and play until it's time to go pick up Alex from school.

She has dance class one afternoon a week, and both kids have started going to Awanas at a local church on Wednesday nights.
Last time, Josh was home from work during Awanas and we went out to dinner.
Alone.
Ahhhhhh.

We're hoping for a repeat of that tonight if he's off work in time.

Derek is going to a Mother's Day Out program one morning a week, so I can run errands on my own.
Again, Ahhhhhhhh.

So life is just swimming along, and we are feeling blessed.

Oh. And hold the presses.
THIS JUST IN:
My kid is completely potty trained. EXCLAMATION POINT.

We've only made it through half of the original box of pull-ups I bought, and he's now in big boy undies full-time. I still put him in a diaper at night, although most mornings he wakes up dry.

Can I just get a little hallelujah?
I mean, this is such a difference from the experience we had with Alex, and I am so delighted.

No more diapers! No more swimmies! No more pull-ups!
I could totally write a song about it.

But I wont.
Consider it a favor to you.

In other news of the happy, we leave soon for our trip to the Mouse's House.

Do you know what manner of Disney World geek I am?
Allow me to tell you:
I'm a geek. A nerd. A groupie.

Call me what you will, but when I go to Disney World, I have a plan.
Actually, I have 4 plans. One for each park.
And my plans list the order we will tour as well as the best snack and meal locations.

When you reach a particular ride that has two lines, I know which one to get in that increases your odds of getting on that ride faster.
Best way to use Fastpasses? Yep, I know 'em.
Height restrictions? Check.
Want to know the best "secret locations" for a parade? Well, don't ask me cause I don't like no stinkin' parades. They get in the way of my ride plans.
But I can tell you everything else.

So I have been plugging away on the disney travel forums, lurking and watching while geeks of a higher level than I discuss which resorts have the highest-ply toilet paper.

I wish I were joking.

But I will have my fun. Mark my words.
And no children will be permitted to become ill and make me deviate from my plans.

Ahem, Derek.

So there you have it. Life is Good in the Schore house.
We are thankful, and hope Life is Good in your house too!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Random Thoughts: Hurricane Edition

1) It's go-time folks.
Earl is headed this way, and I for one am planning a hurricane party.

Okay, not really.
I don't like hostessing.

But I did fill my gas tank, buy some extra water, and a few more non-perishable food items. There I go being a rule-follower again.




We're about 90 miles west of the "purple zone." Things shouldn't be too crazy here-- probably just some strong winds and rain.
However, as a precaution all of the jets at the base are being sent away to a safer location.

"Leave the women and children behind, get those planes outta here!" 


I guess I am not the precious asset I once thought I was.


Luckily for us, Josh has an upcoming briefing that conflicted with the "hurrevac" so he gets to stay home. Yea!
But seriously Earl, you're ruining a lot of folks' Labor Day weekend plans, so if you could just take a right turn and skidaddle on back from whence you came, it would be appreciated.

2) I took a spin class this morning. It was extreme.
Like the purple zone.
You know you're getting a good workout when you contemplate whether or not you may lose your breakfast 30 minutes into the class.

Yep. Nothing like a good workout.
I didn't vomit.

3) In news of the finally, I got my hairs cut.
One of the things I like the least about moving frequently is trying to find a new hairdresser. 
This girl was okay, but she's no Chelsea if you know what I mean.

And most of you don't.



4) Alex is loving school. I dragged out of bed this morning to get her up, and she was already coming to get me. Complete with princess slippers and fairy wings.
Her energy knows no bounds.

Mine knows several.

Here are pictures from days 2 and 3.





Then I decided that it was getting to be a little much, and put the camera down.

Step away from the camera, Erin.
Step away.

And the school is supposed to be getting a fifth kindergarten class soon, since all of the classes were over the state limit with the number of students. So that's good news that soon the classroom will be a little less crowded.
We (Josh) spoke with the assistant principle in hopes of keeping Alex with her current teacher. She seemed receptive and hopefully that will pan out.
I know that no parent wants their kid to be moved after getting settled, but Alex has had to deal with so much transition lately so we thought we would do our best to see that she gets stability whenever possible.
5 years old and 4 different homes is kind of a lot.
Oh, and she still hasn't recovered from us bringing her home a sibling.

I'm starting to doubt she ever will.

One day in the future she will be on a therapist's couch relaying that everything in her life was just perfect, until Derek came along.

5) College Football.
Enough said.

caveat: If Earl interrupts my ability to watch college football this weekend, then he and I are going to have a little heart to heart.

But really, I just hope that the storm doesn't cost anyone their lives and doesn't do too much damage.
Stay safe coastal peeps!

6) That picture on the sidebar of me in a winter coat has been making me hot all summer. Soon I shall do something about it.

The end.