***

***

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wrap it up.

Finishing what I start is not one of my strong points.

Just ask my "vegetable" garden.
Also known as, my weed garden.

I have other things to blog about-- like our day at the beach, and Alex's dance recital. But I haven't finished Disney!
So for a quick wrap-up, here are some pictures with captions.
That will have to do.

My three favorite people in front of Splash Mountain. Which we rode many a time.


My princess in front of the castle. (This picture was taken while Derek and I were on the carousel. She had to sit out for having an attitude like a teenager. I have a feeling her actual teenage years will be rough.)


Two serious bugs waiting for It's a Bug's Life 3-D show in Animal Kingdom.


Someone had a birthday in Disney World! Alex turned 6 years old (sniffle sniffle, wipe tear). She opened presents on her bed in the morning, got a phone call from Goofy* and Mickey to wish her a happy birthday, and received a birthday button to wear. So many people stopped to wish her a happy birthday throughout the day. It was definitely a special birthday!


*I just have to mention that when Goofy started talking on the phone-- she thought it was Pat the Bunny**. Ha!

** I also have to mention that I was informed by my brother in law this weekend that Pat the Bunny tried to call us by dialing us up on her remote control.

I'm not joking.



This birthday shirt was one of her gifts. It has a big "6" on the back.

Which pretty much renders it useless for wear ever again.

Here we are in front of two big attractions-- Mickey's sorcerer hat, and my hair.
Unlike the hat, my hair gets bigger and bigger as the day goes on.

Humidity.

Yummy butterfinger cupcake for the birthday girl!

The boys on Splash Mountain.

A fun, fun trip!

Now we can move on in blogland. But not right now-- it's a busy day.
Gym, grocery shopping, doctor's appointment for Derek, and a dance recital!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Schtuff.

I'm interrupting the last installment of the Disney recap because I'm bored with it.

Unfortunately for you, I have nothing interesting with which to replace it.
So on with the randomness!

My gym motivation is at an all-time low. I'm not sure why, as bathing suit season is officially here. As a matter of fact, we are going to the beach tomorrow.

Yes, I'm pulling my daughter out of school again.
We are such naughty parents.

When I was a kid, it was my mother's greatest pride that my sister and I consistently receive the "Perfect Attendance" award at school.
It would literally take an act of active vomiting minutes before the bus came to allow us to stay home.
Mild fever? Tummy ache? Angst-filled teenage cramps?

"If it gets worse, you can call me from school."

Heartless, mother. Heartless.

In my defense, there are only 10 days left of school, and by Alex's teacher's own admission, they will be "reviewing and maintaining" for the rest of the school year.
I can help her review and maintain by counting seashells and spelling words in the sand, no?

Besides, Daddy has the day off and he is getting ready to leave for another trip in just a bit.

What's that you ask?
Wasn't he just gone for two weeks right before our Disney trip?
Why yes. Yes, he was.
Good memory.
Such is life in the Air Force.

After this next little jaunt, he will be home for a couple of months before the Big One.

I've been thinking about getting a Flat Daddy, so Josh can be in pictures during the months he's away. I can't decided if it's fun, funny, or creepy.
Maybe a combo ;)

While I'm at it, maybe I'll order a Flat Mommy. That way, when I'm going nuts, I'll just prop Flat Mommy on the couch and sneak off for a long bath.
 
In other news, the neighborhood pool is opening soon. So if you need me between the hours of 10-12am and 4-6pm, you can find me there. Mostly because it will be too hot to be anywhere else.

Random post concluded with random pictures.





Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Part Two

Picking up where we left off on our Disney escapades...

6) My daughter has no fear. If she was tall enough, she rode it.
Over and over again.
Expedition Everest, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Mission Space, Dinosaur, and the dreaded Tower of Terror.
She was ticked that she wasn't tall enough for the Rock-n-Roller Coaster.


(She made us ask for the front every time.)

7) My husband is so cruel. When he found out that Derek met the height requirement, he took my tiny infant baby boy on the Tower of Terror.
Twice.

And Derek liked it.

8) The Princesses. Need I say more?






Alex still believes that she is meeting the real Belle, Ariel, Cinderella, Snow White, etc. She clams up in the presence of royalty, but always has the biggest smile as she walks away.

9) Snack Time





Notice I did not take any photographic evidence of my indulgences. But it's a safe bet that I had a funnel cake. And a dole whip or two.


10) A preview to a decade from now:



Derek was so excited about the "driver's license" he got that he spent the whole time turned around trying to show Daddy.

All for now. One more post and we should be done with the recap and on to the many other interesting things I blog about.
You know, like plastic bags, bed wetting, sassy kids, and the weather.

Try not to lose any sleep in your excitement.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Disney Part One

We're back! We had a great trip to Disney World. The kids were surprised and delighted, and Josh and I enjoyed our time together with no work talk or computers getting in the way.

(I think Disney might have the last hotels in America to not have free wi-fi, but I'm actually kind of glad. I spend enough time in the interworld at home that the break is a good thing.)

The "Disney Recap" is always a challenging blog post (or ten).
I'm going with the list format, and we'll keep plugging away until I get bored. 

Here we go!

1) The drive from here to our resort takes about 10 hours. Our kids are road warriors and we have no problem getting it done in a day.
Even when we get a flat tire and have to putz along on a donut spare to the nearest place open on a Sunday to buy a new tire. Ahem.

2) There was a Schore family miracle that happened on both of these car trips!!
45 minute naps! Can you believe it? I still can't.
The same kids who didn't sleep one minute on the trip from Idaho to North Carolina actually managed to doze off for a little while.

We told them it was naptime and they must keep their eyes closed for 20 minutes, whether they slept or not.
This is Derek trying to be obedient.


And this was taken about 2 minutes later.


They are so sweet when they are asleep.

3) The big reveal.
So the kids had no idea that we were going anywhere, much less to their favorite place on earth. When we woke them early and took them right to the car, we told them that we were going on a surprise vacation. We said we would be staying at a hotel with a big swimming pool and many parks nearby. Technically the truth.
Then when we were about to travel under the big WDW sign...


...we let them in on the secret.
video

4) The weather was incredible! The first several days were actually cool out at times, and we loved every minute of it. Our last two days in the parks were more typical of May weather, and made us even more grateful for the low temps earlier in the trip.

5) EPCOT
Here we all are in front of the "big ball."


Test Track was a favorite of the kids. The first time we rode it, I deemed in necessary to hold my little guy's head in place since it's quite a jerky ride. After that, he insisted that Josh or I hold his head in place every time we rode it.
Here's a picture of what happens when both kids want to sit in the front. Also known as, Erin gets stuck in the back in between some random men.


Derek mid-jump in the Imagination play area


Outside of The Seas pavilion


Inside Bruce the shark's mouth

Drumming in Africa in the World Showcase




We'll pick up with #6 tomorrow...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Last Minute Hodgepodge

I still have a couple hours left of Wednesday to sneak in a Hodgepodge.

Make sure to check out Joyce's blog to see how other folks answer this week's questions.



 1. How many times in your life have you moved house?
 
I'm not sure I can give an accurate count for my entire life, so I'll answer based on my married life. We will celebrate our 10th anniversary next month, and in that many years we've lived in 5 different houses.
 
 
2. What subject would you study if you had a year to devote to it?
 
Definitely a foreign language. French or Spanish. 
Maybe pig latin.

3. What in this world breaks your heart?

There are so many things that break my heart. And almost everything I think of comes back to kids enduring situations that I would rather die than have my own children go through.

4. What is one item that symbolizes the times in which we live? Why?
 
I'd have to say the DVR.
My 3 year old requests that I pause his cartoon if he needs to go throw something away in the trash can. 
We wait for nothing, things wait for us. It's a life of instant gratification. 

Signed, 
I might poke fun of it but I can't live without it in North Carolina

5. Share a favorite bumper sticker or t-shirt slogan.

When I was breastfeeding, I had the idea for a shirt that would say, "Do not pet. Working Breasts."
Get it?
Like you're not supposed to pet working dogs?
 
I totally should have gotten a patent.

6. How do you like your spaghetti?

My friend Ashley makes the best homemade sauce. So I like it when she cooks it. 
Hey Ash, one of those days I'm going to request the recipe. 

7. What is one piece of advice you would give a recent, or soon to be recent, graduate?

I wouldn't make the mistake of giving them advice. Don't you know that they already know everything? 
Besides, they don't want advice, they want cash.
 
8. Insert your own random thought here.
 
Our Disney trip is right around the corner! I'm super excited to see the looks on the kids' faces when they realize what's going on. It's so hard to keep it a secret!

Coming out of the Closet: Box Day

So.
I'm just going to come out and say it:

I have purchased some homeschool curriculum. 

There, now I'm out of the closet. 

I know this might surprise some of you. 
I don't have long hair or denim jumpers, but I think other homeschool moms who do will be totally understanding of the fact that my hair gets really stringy and gross when I try to grow it out. 
And we all know that denim just doesn't suit me. 



Some of you might recall that I've hemmed and hawed over this decision before. 
And then after hemming and hawing, I did some more hemming and hawing. 
Then I sent my daughter off to public school kindergarten.

And it's been great. She's loved it. 

But then I started hemming and hawing again.

As I may have mentioned a time or ten, my dearly beloved will not be home for most of the next school year.  Apparently his mad war-fighting capabilities are more useful elsewhere.


This leaves me and my little lovelies alone in small-town America, chained to the school schedule. 

Or does it??
There is an alternative... 

And so I began my research.
(In the interest of full disclosure, there is nothing that I research quite as in depth as our Disney vacations.)

I looked around at all of the websites for curriculum. My criteria was that it be a Christian-based program and that Alex's schooling not consist of a bunch of worksheets.
Boring.

Well, I found what I was looking for in Sonlight curriculum.

To be honest, I was hoping I wouldn't like Sonlight. I'd heard that they were more expensive than some other programs. And you guys know I have a tendency to be...cheap.

But I couldn't help it.
I loved their concept of learning through great literature.
And there is a complete instructor's guide that has the entire school year scheduled out, along with everything I need to teach her. I don't have to plan anything. I don't have to come up with comprehension questions, I don't have to look for the answers. It's all right there, in a huge binder, ready to start each day.
Since I'm trying this as a temporarily-single parent, that alone is worth the extra cost.

Yesterday our box arrived.


Book after book was pulled out and exclaimed over.


We'll be studying world history with these bright and colorful books that are full of pictures.

There are lots of readers for Alex to make her way through.


And then there are oodles of read-alouds-- books that I will read to her. I think a little girl who is missing her daddy might enjoy a lot of time cuddling on the couch reading with mommy.


Or maybe I'm wrong and all she'll want to do is play the Wii.
The verdict's still out.

My plan is to get started with the basic "core" during the summer. That way, if I I feel like it's just not for us, I can still put Alex in school in the fall.
And Sonlight has an awesome return policy.

(Pat the Bunny, are you doing okay? I waited to break the news until you had a new grandchild to hold. That way if you're scared that I'm ruining one, you'll have another as backup.)


If we like it, then I'll add math and maybe science for the fall.
And I'll pull this out of the closet.



Happy Wednesday, interpeeps.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dia de las Madres

Today the children woke up at 7am.
They did not get the memo that it was Mother's Day and my one wish was to sleep in.

So I did what any good mother would do.
I gave them a juice box and a pop tart.
I turned on the Disney channel.
And I went back to bed.

Surprisingly, it worked.
No one came to tell me that they needed to go to the bathroom. I did not hear any fist fights breaking out. Derek didn't even bring me his empty juice box when he was done, as is his habit.

(Sometimes he confuses me for the trash can. I haven't figured out why.)

So I enjoyed snoozing until around 9am, when I realized that I should probably turn the television off.
I don't often advocate hours of TV on end, but I do believe there is a time and a place for everything.

We had a pretty good day. We go to church on Saturday nights, so Sundays truly are relaxing mornings for us. I got all productive and washed everyone's sheets. Then I made all the beds up fresh and clean.

So naturally Derek wet his bed at naptime. An impressive feat when you consider he was wearing a pull-up.
I haven't figured out why that happens either.

We got together for our Bible study, despite the fact that all of our husbands were missing. It was a nice time to chat with the other girls though, while a babysitter kept the hoodlums out of the way.

We've had a nice weekend, I hope you have, too!

Happy Mother's Day to my mom. Thanks for having a second child, even though epidurals weren't widely available.
I'm totally worth it.
Right?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Baby talk.

I'm an aunt again! Josh's sister and her husband welcomed a sweet baby boy into the world yesterday.

His name is Caleb, and he will now be the third child to fall victim to the incredible spoiling force that is Pat the Bunny.

It's times like these that it is so hard to live far away from family.

I want to be there to hold that smooshy baby while he's little and floppy. 
I want to see if he has hairy ears and marvel at the size of his tiny diapers.
I want to witness the glazed look on the faces of the new parents as they begin to realize what sleep deprivation really feels like.

And then I want to laugh at them.

Ha! I'm joking!
I don't want to laugh at them.
I want to tell them that one day, they will sleep for five hours. In a row.
And they will feel like brand new people.

And then I'll tell them that one day, that baby, who looks like innocence wrapped in perfection, will cause them to have to walk out of the room lest they act on their impulse to cause him some physical pain.
It will happen.

For me it usually happens at bathtime.

Because the room is small, hot, and loud. And they are no longer innocence wrapped in perfection. And someone is always on someone else's side of the tub, and someone will always splash someone else, and there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth when someone takes the coveted cup from the other one.

I kind of got off topic.
But I really would love to hold my new nephew.

When I saw this picture of him today:


It totally reminded me of when my Derek was newly born, and laying in his blue boppy:


Which reminded me that I don't think I've ever shared the way that I deceived the medical community into inducing my labor with said child.

So now I shall tell you.

Warning: This story contains words like dilated and effaced. Feel free to disengage now if this makes you uncomfortable. 

Many moons ago, I was great with child.
Very great.
Like 40 lbs great.

It was about a week and a half or so before my due date, but all of the doctors were surprised he hadn't made his arrival yet, because I had been fairly well dilated and effaced for quite some time, and he was head down and low.

My mom, who was desperate to be present for the birth (she wasn't able to be there for Alex's delivery), had moved her tickets up because she was so sure that he would come early.
Well, come he did not.
We tried all of the tricks. Including the one that I am now convinced was invented by males and is a total fallacy.
Ahem.

As we neared the end of my mother's visit, I had my weekly appointment.
They took my blood pressure and it was mildly elevated. The doctor decided I should go over to the labor & delivery unit to be hooked up to the monitors for an hour and get more frequent readings.

This doctor was brand new to the base clinic, and I did not offer all of the information that I could have. For instance, the blood pressure machine they used at my appointment always gave high readings. It needed to be repaired. In the past, after getting a high reading with that machine, they would retake my BP w/ a manual sphygmomanometer* and the results would be normal.

*This is the actual term for the instrument that takes your blood pressure. Don't say you never learn anything here.

So I was fairly confident that after an hour at L&D, I'd be packing up and heading home.

But I'm a tricky sort, and I quite wanted that baby to come out that very day.
So as I laid there in the bed, every time the blood pressure cuff would inflate, I would bear down and strain my arm muscles.

I know, I know. I was totally using my nursing knowledge for evil.
*Head hung in shame*

About 2 readings later, they came over to admit me and start the pitocin.
I won.

Derek was born about 2 hours later.





Welcome to the world, Caleb!