MMMM + The merry-go-round never stops

Good morning, folks. Welcome to Monday, though it is dreary one here. I guess I should not complain because it was supposed to rain all day Saturday and it did not, thankfully. We had a lot of outdoor activities that day.

A mountain of work was heaped onto me around 1 on Friday afternoon so while Ash took a half day to himself, I worked my ass off. But that was fairly rewarding. I left only a little early and got the kids. I don’t really remember anything we did that night. My stomach hurt and I was still stressed out that I may have been on my way to kid #4. UGH.

I woke early Saturday morning and took a pregnancy test; NEGATIVE! Yay! I could go on with my life. And I did; I made breakfast and started cleaning and getting us ready for the 11:30 football games. Both boys’ teams won, which is excellent. Ell got a co-pull on a flag so that’s cool. I feel like he could do bigger things if he wasn’t overshadowed by the boys who have been on this team the last two years. Maybe next year. We had lunch and took naps before going back out to Hayden’s birthday, where they had a water slide and all the kids had fun. The adults mostly watched the nail-biter of an FSU game. We managed to eke out a win but man, it was nerve-wracking. That night, Ash and I watched Homefront, that Jason Statham movie. I tend to fall asleep in that situation (later at night, movie on, blankets) but I managed to stay awake… until I drifted off ten minutes from the end! Ugh. Oh well. It was a decent movie.

Sunday, I swear to you I did not sit down (if you don’t count driving in the car) until after 12:30. I just started doing stuff right from the get-go: getting bagels, making spaghetti sauce, laundry, etc. When I finally plopped down on the couch to watch football, it was magical. What I figured out this weekend is that my back feels better when I am up and about. If I sit for a while, it gets stiff. So, that means being at work is annoying. I will have to stand frequently. As always, I have a ton to do today but I am in a much better mood this week, despite the back pain. So, yay!

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Yay for freebie weeks! This first song I just learned about because a friend of mine posted on FB that he thought this was an instant pop classic. I’m not sure I agree but I do like it.

 

 

And this second song is an oldie but a goodie.

MMMM + weekend of sheer bad luck

I waltzed into the weekend in a great mood, despite being grumpy all week. In fact, I began multiple entries last week wherein I detailed my grump. Alas, none of them ever got published. The week was insanely busy and I just did not have time. I high-tailed it out of here soon after getting work done Friday; we worked out then went to Cracker Barrel. The plan had been to see Maze Runner but the time we wanted cost 14 dollars. It turned out it was because it was in IMAX but the automated stand to buy tickets did not indicate that. So we ended up seeing Expendables 3, which wasn’t bad! A lot better than the second one, that’s for sure. So we got the kids and I went to the store and it was a nice night.

Saturday began cool and I felt super motivated, crossing things off my list left and right (WD-40 squeaky cabinet, wash towels, etc.) About 8 or so, Isaac was just walking into the living room and he somehow got this insane splinter. I have no idea where it came from; all I can surmise is it might have been some kind of organic material from the kids’ shoes. It was deep in the center of his foot, causing a ton of bleeding… and we could not get it out. He was in utter breakdown mode and wouldn’t even be still long enough for us to poke at it. So we cleaned it and put a band-aid on and let him relax.

Around 9 , I went out to chop down the overgrowth on one side of the yard; Ash and Ell came out to help cart it away. When it got close to 10, I had to call it so we could at least get ready to take Elliot to football. It was clear Isaac wasn’t going. So, Elliot gets in the car in the garage and Ash is going to take just him. Ell forgets his water bottle and Ash instructs him to also take something else into the house. Elliot leaves the car door open, Ash doesn’t look and tries to get ahead by backing out, then… BAM! Side window shattered, door jacked up, metal frame for garage door all bashed in. After Ash came to terms with the fact that he was in a hurry and just made a mistake, we cleaned up the millions of tiny pieces of glass, got the door shut as much as we could and bungee corded it, then we caravanned to Honda. Sure, we could have called Geico and gotten a guy to look at it, only then to be sent to their approved body shop, etc. Or we could get it started on Saturday. I do still think I will file a claim for the window. I thought it was only for windshields but on their app, there are options for all the windows/glass.

SO, Ash had called the garage door guy and he decided he still wanted to go to this card tournament he’d already signed up/paid for. I was a little annoyed but what good would his staying home do? I dropped him off and still got the kids lunch. The garage door guy showed up soon after and managed to bang the thing back into shape and replace a few parts. Ash is mad about how much I paid but I don’t think it was that much. Oh well; we all make mistakes, right honey? ;)

After naptime (well, Elliot and I worked on this science thing he has to do), we headed out to pick up Todd’s meds. Oh, did I mention that? Todd, our 10 year old Boston Terrier, has glaucoma. Wee! His meds run me about 20 bucks a month, so I won’t complain. But I will be looking to see if any pharmacies in town have it cheaper. After that, we returned to Tom Brown park to look for that kids only geocache that we couldn’t find before. Turns out we were looking on the wrong side of the path. We also interrupted this young couple’s quiet time on these little benches. The girl was breastfeeding what had to be an infant no more than three weeks. And we’re all chattering and looking for this damn box. BUT, we did find it and the kids each got a Pokemon card, spurring them into this excitement about buying more.

Luckily, Ash won his tournament and was able to get a ride home. Which was excellent because I was flat out exhausted by the time he got home (9:30) and the FSU game was on. I also stayed up to watch said debacle and was sleeepy Sunday morning. That day began a whole lot better: we went to Jenny’s (the exception to “good” being that Dakota spilled my just delivered hot coffee but no one got burned.) We took a long walk and the air was cool and I got lots done. But again, I was exhausted. I went into the weekend with a great many plans but some stuff just did not get done. And I have come to terms with that.

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This week’s theme is all about songs you might hear in a stadium/at a football game. Since I am owned by Florida State, here are a few from our famous Marching Chiefs.

FSU warchant!

Another of our chants!

 

Despite charges of pedophilia, Gary Glitter is a classic in stadiums!

MMMM + Early Fall cold, no more sleepovers, etc

Good morning! I feel absolutely awful! I’d been fighting off the funk since Dakota started coughing on Thursday – vitamins, rest, lots of water – but I think it’s finally taking me down. She was sick most of the weekend but not in an awful way. She played very well for hours at a time but then she’d start feeling like crap again and whine and fall over and just sob. She wouldn’t drink water from a sippy but I needed her to stay hydrated. She would, however, drink warm milk in a bottle. So there was that bit of reverting but eh, what can you do? She finally got a good night’s sleep last night (the two before were awful!) and she woke feeling well, except for massive drainage. They’re going to be wiping her nose all day.

Aside from her being sick, the major source of my stress was from Ell having his friends over. For the most part, it was fine. It was just very loud and very chaotic. Also, he and one of them were angry at each other on Saturday morning so there was that bit of typical sleepover drama. But for the most part, they all got along fine. We drove to the park at 10 where Ell and Addy had practice and Peyton’s mom picked him up as well. Directly after, Isaac and Ash went to a birthday party and I took the other two home. Elliot was in full-on post sleepover blues mode. I remember that feeling so vividly: I’d come home feeling just fine, almost on a high from all the fun, and when real life set back in, the let-down was too much to bear. I couldn’t find him as I was getting things cleaned up in the kitchen and then I managed to seek him out, sobbing in the rocking chair. He could barely put into words what he was feeling. Finally, he said it felt like his friends were only there for an hour. So he was just really sad. I convinced him to eat a grilled cheese sandwich and he was feeling a lot better. BUT, that’s when I got a text form Ash asking me to bring his swim stuff. Why he didn’t plan that in the first place, I don’t know. I couldn’t very well go there with Elliot and just leave, so I intended to let him attend the party too. It was hot and I was irritated and when I got there, Ash didn’t answer the phone so I had to get the just fallen asleep baby out of the car and carry her all the way inside to see people I had no intention of staying and talking to. Angry words may have spewed from my mouth when I finally saw my husband.

I left Ell and I went home. I put her down for a nap (remember, she was not 100%) and I had a piece of chocolate cake and beer, then fell asleep watching Wrath of Khan. When everyone got home, no one seemed annoyed by me, so that was good. I ran to Costco and Publix with the baby and came home to everyone asleep – a bit late for nap but at least they rested. While I got everything out of the car, Dakota had the blow out of the century. So a bath and a massive cleansing of the carseat were in order. It was AWFUL. But I pressed on, making chicken tacos and mowing the lawn before putting her to bed. I knew I should not have overextended myself, on the verge of illness. Even yesterday, I woke feeling so-so but I made breakfast and Ell and I went to get some stuff for lunch. Honestly, I should have just rested. Elliot was still in a major funk. His two favorites sayings right now are, “Yeah, right.” and “No!!!” to every single thing I say. I’m sick and tired of it. He’s really disrespectful and I cannot figure out why. He’s not usually. I will say that when he does finally listen, he’s been much better about replying with “yes, ma’am.”. This makes me very happy.

SIGH. I was exhausted last night and had a hard time getting up today. My plan is to go teach and then get on out of here. Depending on whether or not this medicine kicks in (it’s knock-off dayquil but it “expired” a few months ago) I might swing by Michael’s for some rainbow loom bands for Elliot and a Fall decoration or two for me. Then I am parking my ass on the couch!

 

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FREEBIE WEEK!

I have some nice mellow tunes for you today.

I don’t know what it is about this song but I just really love it. The lyrics are actually kind of sad. So I present James Taylor, Her Town Too.

In the process of listening to a lot of James Taylor on Spotify, I discovered that I love the lyrics to this song, particularly the “frost on the pumpkins” line.

And here’s one more: Millworker:

MMMM + This weekend required beer

Hey, how are you? Good? Yeah, I’m ok too. I mean, for a Monday. And in 45 minutes, I have student conferences, which are always kind of nice but also, annoying as hell. But, ahem, let’s move on.

So Friday, I went home around 11 and Ash and I worked out (cardio; blah) but then we went to Texas Roadhouse (steak, sweet potato and Octoberfest beer). We were early for the 3 PM movie so we went to Kids Pointe and got 5 onesies/dresses for BG plus shoes for her, two pairs of shorts and a shirt for Isaac all for 23 bucks. Used is the way to go, I tell you. We saw November Man, which was ok. Nothing amazing. Got the kids and headed home.

Saturday morning we had flag practice for both kids so we had breakfast and did some light cleaning before heading to the park. Both boys did well, especially Isaac, since this is actually his first organized sport. He did really well almost the entire hour anyway. At the end, when they played sharks and minnows, he lost it when someone pulled his flag. We’re going to really need to work on manning up a bit. I mean, he understands that it’s a game and friendly competition but if he loses he just cries. Not conducive to being a helpful teammate. But he’s learning.

Since Sunday was football day, we got up early and took the kids to the playground and searched for some more geocaches. We also picked up pizza. We try to do some extra stuff for them during Fall Sundays just because there’s always so much other stuff going on that doesn’t involve them. They don’t like to watch hours of football and I am always doing laundry, cleaning, etc. It wasn’t a bad day but they alternated between playing just fine and trying to maim each other. By the time they went to bed, I was super exasperated.

I know I have a lot more to talk about but the coffee has not yet begun to course through my veins. So, onto MMMM.

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The theme this week is songs about trains! I’ve got a couple for ya; a slow one and a faster one.

MMMM + One of the better weekends I can remember

As I sit here, quietly sipping my coffee and enjoying the fact that NO ONE is around this week, I find myself both exceptionally grateful for the life I have and reminiscent. If you checked in on Friday, you may have witnessed my decline into stress/money-related whining. Well, all problems have – technically – been solved. Had I checked my email at 11:30 AM on Friday, I would have seen that my second online section got approved so money worries are over. I did not, however, check until about 7:45 that night and when I did? The boys and I had a mini screaming party. I was all like, “Yes!! Yes!!!” and then when I yelled in excitement, they yelled and used it as a reason to jump around like fools. It was a hell of a lot of fun and such a huge relief.

But that was after Ash and I went to Cracker Barrel for lunch and saw Guardians of the Galaxy, which WAS as good as everyone is saying. Pretty awesome!

On Saturday we woke up and had breakfast, worked out, then I mowed the lawn. We went to Sonny’s for lunch, Target after, then once everyone went down for naps, Elliot and I went to the Goodwill bookstore. He’d been begging me for more books so he got 3 and it cost me… $5.50. Sweet deal! We all ended up napping, then having chicken tacos and watching Hobbit 2.

Sunday was also good: breakfast then more mowing  (Ash did his portion) and errands before having a quick lunch and going to the pool. It was cloudy on and off but we still got in a good two hours and everyone had fun. And I got to work on my tan. ;) We finished up the day with steak, mashes, and corn for dinner and the rest of Hobbit 2. After the minions went to bed, Ash and I watched Lone Survivor, which was not really very good but it did make me realize two things: 1.) I do not want my kids to join the military and 2.) I am very grateful for the folks who serve our country.

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This week’s theme: #1 Hits on the Billboard Top 40 from the Rock Era 1955-present

I chose to look at 1990-1993 because, as it came up yesterday, I used to sit and listen to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 countdown each week on the radio and record the songs I liked. So a lot of these will be similar and also, familiar to my teenage years.

Blaze of Glory – Bon Jovi – 1990

Ahh Scorpions – Winds of Change – 1991

And November Rain – GnR. I was a huge fan.

 

 

MMMM + How is my baby one??

By some miracle,  I ended up getting to go home by 2 on Friday and you know what I did? I took a nap. I think Ash got home around maybe 4 and we did one of our workouts, saving the 2nd for Saturday. He went to Magic and I made dinner for the kids. I took a different route with them: I just made food instead of asking what they wanted. I made some Kraft chicken and broccoli skillet and because they didn’t anticipate anything, they actually liked it! Weee! I managed to get BG in bed and then them and hour or so later and then Ash got home so our night was all couch sitting and and-of-week-rejoicing. Sadly, on Saturday, my children all woke up waaay too early.

BG was up by 5:15 and the boys by 5:45, which is earlier than a week day! Bleary-eyed, I made coffee and then their breakfast. By 8 AM, Elliot and I were at Target shopping the tax free weekend. I didn’t need much: just the supplies for Isaac to enter VPK and I wanted to buy Elliot a new pair of shoes. In the end, I spent about 60 but only paid taxes on 25 of it. Not bad! We went into Whole Foods for steaks (and potatoes but they were out of them!!) My morning felt so harried that I was kind of exasperated by everything. BUT, we had a nice big lunch and then everyone napped. Ash and I watched 300:Rise of an Empire (it was OK) In the afternoon, we played outside for a bit but man, it was pretty hot – about 95.

Sunday was Dakota’s first birthday! Since my parents are probably coming in a few weeks, we didn’t do any major celebration but everyone slept until almost 8 (Thank you, Lord) and we went to Jenny’s for breakfast. She loves her some eggs and we love that restaurant. They made it a bit nicer since the last time we went: a new wall mural and new tablecloths really go a long way.IMG_20140803_084602IMG_20140803_084123

Right after, we headed to the JR Alford greenway. In March, my mom and I went looking for the new Lafayette Heritage bridge that connects that greenway with Tom Brown park but we went the wrong direction so this time, I knew where to go. It was a nice walk in the woods: we saw lots of mushrooms and various bugs and the bridge views are amazing.20140803_094304

So that day was pretty good. We got things cleaned up in the house and watched some movies, played with toys and we gave Elliot back his video games. He was on a month-long ban but it only lasted a week. He did, however, articulate what his did wrong and why they were taken away (breaking a window.) In the afternoon, I took just the boys out for ice cream and we ended the night with spaghetti and reading/a Wrestlemania recap show. All in all, a great weekend!

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Ahh freebie week. I’m trying to pump myself up for work so here are some songs that are kicking me into gear.

MMMM + Ain’t nobody got time for that

Seriously, I feel like there’s just not enough time! BUT, we had a pretty good weekend all in all.

On Friday, I met Ash at home for our half day, but of course we did T25 first. It’s a good feeling to get that over with. Our plan was to go to Ray’s Steel City, which is right across from the mall, and drink beer with our food and walk over to the movie. Well, we got there and they were closed! It didn’t say Shut Down or anything, just something about “circumstances beyond their control” and also to follow their facebook page. There, the last post is something about their last menu “at that location”. So maybe they’re moving? Either way, kind of disappointing. At a loss, we drove across town to Texas Roadhouse but decided not to go in because it was packed. SO, we actually ended up at Outback, where we had not been in probably 3-4 years. That used to be our place; before kids, we went there, like, twice a week! But the quality had started to decline and the prices rose while portion sizes shrank. Well, we gave it a shot. It wasn’t bad: I had a crab stack appetizer that was lump crab meat on a layer of avocado with tomatoes and a lemon aioli sauce on top. Ash had the steak and he said while it was good, it just wasn’t what it used to be. Also, with a couple beers, we spent near 40 bucks – for lunch!

At that point, we’d missed a movie so we just went ahead on to Costco where we got frozen yogurt and new pillows. LOL. It was actually kind of nice to just hang out that day. We napped and then got the kids. Elliot’s friend came home with us and we had pizza then watched a movie as a family once his friend left.

Saturday morning began bright and early, with Baby Girl waking around 6. And at 8, the Lowes delivery guys called to say our fridge was on its way! Yay! The guys had to take the doors off to get it through the kitchen entry but it worked out fine. Sure, we had to remove some of our ugly wall paneling where the door opens on the left but hey, it’s an amazing new refrigerator! I took the kids to Chik-fil-a for lunch because Ash went out, then the afternoon was spent moving food into the new fridge and also, cleaning the playroom up so we could move Isaac in there. He and Ell were sharing a room and it’s gotten to the point where it’s best they have separate spaces. Isaac needs to learn how to cope on his own sometimes. The boys fought a lot when they were working but when it mattered – like at lunch and when I was making dinner and requesting they take baths, etc – they were surprisingly good.

On Sunday, I was kind of annoyed by everyone and their lack of help. I was washing dishes and the  boys wanted a snack. Well, you want to help me do dishes, you get a snack faster. Otherwise, you have to wait. I know Ash hates when I get like that, when I keep saying how “I do everything”. Which is not entirely true but sometimes it feels like it. I was just in a bad mood and then Elliot’s ear problem flared up again so I finally called the doc, got him an urgent care appointment by 3, which was when we were supposed to BE at my friend’s house. It all worked out though: took him, got out by 3:45 then drove out to their place to watch soccer/eat/hang out. Ell has really bad swimmer’s ear, as it turns out. The otc drops weren’t working because it had progressed beyond the “you have excess water in your ear” phase. Sigh. Always something!

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This week’s theme is favorite country and/or rock n roll male singers. Easy!

That’s all I have for today because I cannot think of any rock stars  like right now AND I have a ton of work to do!

 

MMMM + Holiday weekends rock

Hi, how are ya? Happy Monday! Ok, it may not be a happy Monday for you but let’s make the best of it eh?

Let’s see, my long weekend was pretty darn good. On Friday morning, we did our two workouts and then I did a bit of weeding. We went out for hibachi and then we took naps. Well, I don’t think I did. I cleaned my house because around 3, we got prepped to have my friend and her family over. They came around 4 and the kids played on our new Slip ‘n slide and we had races and dragged almost all the yard toys out. We watched the end of the 4 o’clock soccer game and grilled and had cupcakes. It was awesome. They didn’t even leave until quarter to nine! It’s always funny how my kids always want everyone to stay when it’s time for them to go. We made plans to watch the final soccer game next Sunday at their house so the boys are stoked about that.

On Saturday, it was Ash’s birthday so I picked up bagels and let him sleep in. We went to Sonny’s for lunch and I baked him a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. At night, I had planned a babysitter so I put Baby Girl to bed and Ash and I went to Longhorn and then saw Transformers. We’re both long-time fans of the cartoon; it was an OK movie. I’m a geek about the Dinobots so those alone made the almost three hours worth it but there IS such a thing as TOO much action. Chase scene after chase scene gets old. I love the Sunday of a three day weekend; I appreciate it a lot more than normal weekends. We started the morning slowly but then got out to Lowes. We have to replace our water pipes so the plan was to buy a new vanity and tile so we could finish our bathroom at the same time, since the plumber would already need to rip stuff out. Well, the longer we looked at stuff, the more we were convinced that the project could wait. Ash said all the plumbers he spoke with were surprised we were replacing them. Yes, the galvanized pipes are breaking down, but they aren’t completely busted. So instead of going over budget to get it all done, we decided to buy a new fridge. Ours was thrown in with the house when we bought it nine years ago and it’s a.) small and b.) not a great design, with a water dispenser INSIDE the door. As in, you have to stand in there to fill your cup. So, we found one at Lowes marked way down due to two tiny dents!Standalone_1175X1290

 

I can’t even begin to explain how excited about this I am. We have to break down a small cabinet in order to fit it in, height-wise, but that space is useless anyway. Who puts a cabinet above the fridge? Dumb. It gets delivered next Saturday and before then, we’re going to clear a spot in the garage for the old one. We may keep it for extra storage. So yeah, yesterday was nice. Got laundry done and went to Target in the evening then we capped everything off by watching this show on NatGeo about the 90s. It’s subtitled “The last great decade?” You know, they might be right. So far, not impressed with the 2000s.

I didn’t get much sleep last night so this morning, I have a large Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, which is great but I’m a little bitter; my debit card was compromised somehow last week so I cannot transfer funds to my DD perks card. Sigh. It happens. I just have to wait until they send my new one. BUT, it’s a new week and I get excited about new beginning so hey, let’s all be thankful.

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It’s a freebie week and I was on Pinterest this morning, thinking about my childhood, prompted by that show last night. I started looking for my favorite theme songs and here are a few.

I watched a lot of soap operas growing up and this one has always been a favorite. Throughout college, I would play this for Ash; it became a joke of ours. (Poor quality but this was the best rendition of it.)

And the One Life to Live one, the one with Todd, who was totally hawt.

Why not; let’s go for Y&R too:

Let’s move onto great TV themes:

Here are a few more great cartoon themes:

MMMM + Didn’t want to work today

For the most part, I am fine being at work but a tiny part of me just really enjoyed being off this weekend. With the exception of having to deal with Dakota being off on Friday, it still worked out fine. Ash and I got our workouts in then got the boys. He went out that night but I took them all to the mall where we ate Chik-fil-a and walked around. It was nice, except for when Isaac kicked Elliot’s drink out of his hand in Children’s Place and it spilled. I made them go to the lady at the counter and ask for paper towels. She was exceedingly kind and patient with them and they learned a good lesson. Took ‘em home and promised that if they took their bath while I put baby to bed, they could watch a movie. And ::shock:: they agreed on one and everyone was happy! It was a damn near miracle.

On Saturday morning we had a birthday party for Beau, one of my friend’s kids. He and Ell have been friend for a long time. They had a big bouncie/water slide, snacks, and pizza. One of the girl on Ell’s soccer team two years ago lives near my friend so their families became friends. Well, Jen (the mom) has four kids, her youngest being nine months, so she and Dakota had a little baby party. That wore everyone out so we took naps, which was excellent. It’s hot this year, seemingly hotter than normal in June, so it’s nice to lay around in the cool dark of our rooms in the middle of the day. We went to the grocery store in the afternoon and then before I made a big steak dinner, I mowed the backyard and cleaned up some. I felt really motivated to with the new neighbors and all but let me tell you about that:

When I got home on Friday, I noticed a lot of people in their backyard, then saw a little baby, maybe one, and a boy Isaac’s age. So I let the dogs out and used that as a way to break the ice. The woman I spoke to first is the daughter-in-law of the old folks who actually live there. So from what I can gather, the old people have two sons here with their families, that include kids and grandkids. They have two great grandchildren who are one and then the boy, who is four. The sons seemed pretty nice as well and we had a pleasant conversation about the neighborhood and the old neighbors, whom they never met. I feel a little better now about them, especially considering that the old old lady came over and did say hi, though she wasn’t that talkative. So the best I can hope for is that when they visit, Edward can play with Isaac. Also, the reason they were all outside is because they put up a fence. See, my old neighbors had a wooden fence on only three sides; they left our chain link between us so we could be neighborly. The only barrier they had was a fence around their little patio where the Jacuzzi was. Well, the new people ripped that up and put a wooden fence between us. To be honest, it looks nice and I actually kind of like it there. I can tan in my yard without anyone seeing me, so that’s a plus.

SO, Sunday. I felt the cleaning bug early so I got vacuuming and laundry going while Ash mowed. We had burgers for lunch and then attempted to go to the pool but it was apparently closed for an all day meet. I guess I should have checked their schedule but it was like, the only time they were closed. SIGH. But we made the best of it by going up to another one of the city pools. In all honesty, Forest Meadows’ pool is a joke but we still had a good time. The boys didn’t want to just go in a normal pool, after missing out on the fun activity pool but it turned out they had fun anyway. So we did that for a few hours then came home for tacos and started watching The Hobbit. These boys can watch those movies time and again, I tell you.

All in all, a good weekend. I am hoping to put something together with friends for Friday but I won’t hold out hope. We always try to get together and it’s just hard to do. Anyway, got to get working here but let’s tend to the theme this week, which is celebratory songs, in honor of Independence Day! (And then songs that describe you, which is pretty hard to do!)

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You know me and Jimmy Buffett so here’s a good one in the vain of Prince’s 1999:

OK so now, songs that describe me. How about this one that exemplifies how I feel?

And this is cheesy – I KNOW – but I always consider myself loyal and, well, this song is perfect for that.

MMMM + Vacation recap; glad to be home

Man, I tell you what: I have never been so thankful to be back in my own home. Though I was gone only a week, it felt a lot longer. I’m not sure we can do this vacation anymore. It’s kind of stressful with Ash having to work long days and I have to take care of the kids alone all day. Granted, we’re at a hotel that is paid for and all, but it would be better if we could all enjoy time off together. BUT, let’s backtrack. (Bear with me; these details are as much for my records as they are simple blogging)

Ash, the baby, and I left last Sunday for my parents’ house around 10 AM. Uneventful drive; she somewhat behaved. Got into town and she took a nap while we reacquainted ourselves with those boys. I really did miss them that week! We all went swimming before having tacos for dinner and relaxing. That first night, the baby did NOT sleep well and it was kind of rough on us. The next morning, we left there about 10:30 to check into our hotel. I was pretty stressed that day, not gonna lie. BG’s eyes had flared back up with the pink eye and wouldn’t you know; I forgot her drops. So while we traveled and checked in and moved bags, I was going back and forth with the doc trying to get them to call a local CVS. I looked them up online and they all said CVS/Pharmacy, except I went to two locations that had NO pharmacy at all. SO, by the time that was even straightened out and they called, it was 3 PM and I said screw it and went the next morning. Ash had meetings and set-up until 6 and then we went to Chevy’s, which was ok. We waited for our food a long time but my veggie quesadillas were damn good.

BG didn’t sleep well that night either so the deprivation was beginning to mount. The second morning – Tuesday – Ash left early to tend to his conference and the kids and I set out for the CVS and a grocery store. Smallest in-room fridge EVER, but we had to have snacks. After that, we went ahead and walked to Downtown Disney, because it was only about half a block from our hotel. That worked out pretty well: we rode a carousel and walked in the shops. The boys played at the T-Rex store and with other little toys and we had a slushie before heading home to nap. They were not too keen on hanging out in the room while the baby slept or while I did some work but it had to be done. They weren’t always impatient about it but a lot of times they were, and that also stressed me out. Plus, we had a lot of rain so the pool was out.

On Day 3, they played ok in the AM but then got to the end of their rope JUST before my sister and Justin got there so that was a close call. We decided to go back to Downtown Disney and it was just as good: went in different stores and on a train and ate just before getting rained on. But it worked; the boys were passed out soon after everyone left. We went out to a local pizza place that night – which was actually really good – and had ice cream afterwards. BG was still waking up on average three times a night and her normally tame cough had mounted due to, well, hotel air. I always sleep like crap in hotels and she’s apparently the same way.

Thursday was starting to feel like we’d been there just too long. We tried to go to the pool early on because the rain was coming but Isaac was cold and wouldn’t get in the hot tub and then it got too crowded for Elliot so we went back in. Ash stopped by the room on his lunch break and that is when it hit me: I had to get those kids out of there. Ash and I conferred and I decided to call in a favor with my dad. I debated it, sure. He and my mom spent all the week before caring for my feral children and then the week we were in the hotel, caring for my dogs. I called and he said it was no problem at all. By 4, he was at the hotel and we were loading all things not Ash’s and going back the 40 minutes to their house. In all honesty, it was for the best. Ash got to go out with some friends from work and relax after a ten hour day; I watched the Heat/Spurs game with my dad and the boys got a good home-cooked meal. My mom was at the beach with friends so it was actually kind of relaxed. BG slept really well that night and I flat out passed out.

Day five, Ash had to work a half day so in the AM, my dad and I took the boys to the Audubon Birds of Prey center in Maitland, which was pretty cool. We tried to ride the Sun Rail but the next one wasn’t coming for an hour from when we arrived and well, I didn’t want to wait with three nutty kids. It worked out though: Ash got home a bit after noon, we ate while the kids slept, then Ash slept, and we all went swimming. My mom got back around 4 and by 6, we were all out eating yummy Mexican food.

At this point, I was really starting to feel like it was time to go home. My boys were good for the most part but if they started to melt down, the end result was an emphatic, “I want to go home, mommy!” But they held in there long enough to go to EPCOT on Saturday. I knew my dad wasn’t coming with but then he offered to stay with Baby Girl while we went, which was a total lifesaver! We got there a little after 9, bought our one kid’s ticket (my mom can get three people in only) and we were on our way. The coolest thing is that we got to see quite a few characters, which is what Isaac missed out on last year at Magic Kingdom and last week at Animal Kingdom. We got to see Pluto, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Chip and Dale. I was stressed about getting in line for long rides but Ash reminded me that we were there for them and it all worked out fine. We hit Spaceship Earth and then that character spot and The Land, then got in line for Test Track. It was an hour wait (fast passes were already for 6 PM and we didn’t want to stay that long). We were almost to the front when it had technical difficulties, setting us back another 20 or so but it was worth it; kids had a blast. At that point we headed to Mexico and ate at the Cantina. It started to rain so we dove into Mexico and did the boat ride. Still raining, we headed into Norway then made our way around the World Showcase. We had frozen thingies at the little trading outpost area, pastries in France, and drinks in England. Then we did Imagination and then hit the Soarin’ line. We had fast passes for six but waited the 50 minutes anyway. I liked it but felt like the movie could have been longer. We headed to Nemo and that was when the kids were DONE. In fact, they didn’t even care to go into any shops!

Though a bit wet, we made it home just fine, had sandwiches, and the kids got in bed by 8:30. The last night there, we all slept pretty well, knowing our time was limited. We left on Sunday at 10 and when we got home, I was just so thankful. I went straight to the grocery store and I just felt comfortable there; MY Publix. Started laundry and the kids played with their toys. Shocking, right? They even offered to help do things. Elliot vacuumed out Ash’s car and Isaac helped me with laundry. What a great evening. By the time the baby was in bed, I’d cleaned and washed and ordered Bonefish for Ash’s father’s day meal. He and I watched Game of Thrones (OMG!) and then end of the game: GO SPURS! I drifted off to sleep as they celebrated their win and when I awoke, I was honestly so disoriented that I wasn’t sure if I was in the hotel or my parents’ living room or what. I think this was an indication that I’d been away far too long.

I am ever so thankful for today: took the younger ones to daycare and Elliot to camp and now I am blissfully in my desk chair, back to my Jimmy Buffett playlists and answering emails. Vacation is nice but I love my routine.

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Today’s theme is Rock and Roll legends so here are a few timeless rock songs that I think everyone should hear: