Christmas Cheer

Come on guys, we’re gonna go Christmas caroling. Won’t that be fun?

Do we get paid for it?

Um, yeah, that’s the Christmas spirit.

We do?

NO!!! How is that spreading holiday cheer if we get paid? We sing outside people’s homes to bring joy to them. We do get cookies and hot chocolate afterwards, however.

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pjdaddy with my mom and graham and madeleine. Garren is with, who else? Mariah.

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We had a pretty good crowd show up. It’s funny because we went down the same neighborhood my youth group and I used to carol on when I was a teenager. There was less of us back then, so we were able to be towed on a flat bed and sit on bales of straw. Very cool.

There was probably about 100 people there on this night and it was neat to see all the people come out of their homes so they could listen to us sing. One house, that just happened to be my Godparents’, knew we were coming and had hot cider and brownies waiting for us.

img_3137A photo of the crowd with my family

img_3138Here’s everyone scattering because of cars. Bruce, the guy with the guitar is my old youth group leader and one of the kindest souls you’ll ever meet.

We finished and went back to the church social center for cookies and hot chocolate. It was  a lot of fun. I’m hoping  that it’ll be a good memory for my kids and when they’re older maybe they’ll pass on the tradition to their kids.

Home, Sweet, Home

Now that I have my foot in the door at my parental’s home, it’s time to take over make myself a little more comfortable.

Our new home is my parent’s garage till we get settled and till pjdaddy starts working and then we can see where we go from there. There’s a hiring freeze at his old job here in Lakeside, but they’re weasling him back in, so it’s a bit slow to get started. Worst case scenario is one month. Totally ok. I’m adaptable.

Right now we’re nestled cozily between cement mix and a saw, but pjdaddy is working hard weatherizing the joint for us. (if you’re nosy like I am, you can click the picture to make it bigger)

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My oldest two kids had their first day of school on Monday. Not on purpose mind you, we went for a tour and the principal asked them if they wanted to stay. Believe it or not, they jumped at the chance. This is the school I went to as a little girl.

Back in May, I’d come home to Lakeside for the funeral of a very dear friend, when I was upstairs in the room the reception was to be held, I looked down on the schoolyard watching the children running around at recess wistful in the knowledge my children would never have the opportunity to run around throwing paper airplanes like these kids were doing. Or so I thought, BOOYAH! (yes they were throwing paper airplanes around, how cool is that?)

God works in mysterious ways. Seriously. There’s no way this could have all come together except thru God’s hands. Pjdaddy and I brought the kids to the school and we were able to get a scholarship for the two of them for 3 months. That’s about the time it’ll take to get some sweet, sweet moola flowing in again, hopefully. They have a used uniform dealie and today I’m taking the kids to get their uniforms for this woman who keeps them for the school. Aw, I forgot to mention it’s a Catholic school, hence the need for uniforms. Oh and what better time to start at a private school than December? Hello? Christmas plays and programs and goodies and children’s choirs? Oh be still my beating heart.

Funny thing about where we’re living is my parent’s have another house on the property that they just rented out TWO WEEKS ago!!! Is that too funny or what? It’s the house I grew up in and my parents are renting it to my cousin and her hubby. If only we’d known we were coming sooner huh? Course they’re really cool people and they have a 5 year old boy that Garren will have a good time playing with. Or hate each other like my cousins and I often did when we were young because we were together too much. It never lasted long.

However, rumor has it my cousin’s hubby hates spiders. Wouldn’t it be just awful if that house suddenly became infested with spiders? hhhhhhmmmmm? *cough, uh, um………just teasin coz, you know I love you.

My two little ones are used to having the big TV on the wall, apparently they feel they can’t see it now because we’re borrowing the one in my mom’s guest room till pjdaddy can install ours in the garage.

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They’re trying to edge each other out to get the best spot in front of the TV.

[UPDATE] as I was writing this, pjdaddy went to drop off his application for his new job. The main manager Jim was there and he pulled him into his formal interview on the spot. We’ve been told he starts December 29th. YAY!

I’m so excited to be in my hometown again. I’m like a dog and have had to pee everywhere to mark my territory again. The old frozen yogurt shop I used to visit, the best Mexican food place, the park, my aunt cathie’s house.

God is good. Life is good. Pjdaddy and I haven’t always, meh, let’s be honest here, we pretty much hadn’t ever worked as a team in our relationship, but after a long arduous road, we’ve come together and it’s funny how life is coming together as well.

[UPDATE] I spelled cozily wrong. It’s fixed now.

The Pajama Momma Family Is Going Home [UPDATED]

We’re going back to San Diego. We’ve had a good run in Florida, but the pool market has run it’s course and we really, really, really miss SoCal.

Pjdaddy had an awesome job here in Jacksonville and we’d like to thank the pool company for hiring him and “hellfire” and her husband for leading him to this wonderful opportunity in the first place, but it’s time to go home. One of pjdaddy’s old companies didn’t have a job opening, but they wanted him back so badly, they “created” one for him. We’re very excited to have been given this opportunity.

I am sooooo freaking excited to go home. I’ll miss my “hood” and “Ms. D”, but I’m not allowed to call her “Ms. D” anymore cuz it’s a totally lame name. She’s “lil hot momma” and that’s the truth. It was a blessing to have met her because she made the last few months here palatable. “Lil hot momma” is fun…………in fact, it’s her fault you guys don’t see me on the net much anymore. Blame her. Sorry to throw you under the bus like that “LHM”, but seriously, it’s your fault.

Anyhoo, we’ve had 3 full years here and I’m done.  I look forward to introducing my kids to the crazyness that is my family.

We’re packing up the house, leaving Friday or Saturday and hoping the property management company can find someone to rent our house. I expect to be home in time to consume every single pie my mom has made for Thanksgiving dinner. Sorry kids, find your own pie.

Then:

alligator

Now:

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for shame, for shame, I didn’t include Garren’s buddy in the photo so I updated it with Drewsicle. Look how sweet he is.

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Seriously, I Have The Coolest Neighborhood In The Whole Wide World

It was a gorgeous afternoon yesterday and pjdaddy asked me to sit outside and visit with him while he bundled up some wood in the front yard.

I took my yarn and crochet needle and planted myself in my neighbor’s driveway so I could watch our kids ride bikes with the neighborhood kids.

Garren picked this color out because it’s the color of Thomas the Tank Engine. I have yet to finish one crocheted item because I keep screwing up.   I think this is finally the one. You know how excited you feel when you go on a date and absolutely everything clicks? Well, this is nothing like that, but I’m pretty happy nonetheless.

^ That’s my precious angel *cough pushing poor Talon off the bike because he wasn’t getting off Gavin’s bike fast enough I guess. Gavin is going to have a rude awakening when Talon finally realizes he’s a whoooole lot bigger than him. Hah, yes that’s pjdaddy right there. Totally oblivious.

It was a crisp, beautiful fall day. For me, the new year always begins not in January, but the fall. I’m sure  it has to do with the start of school and the start of all the holiday season.  It’s my favoritist time of year in a melancholy/sentimental stay up till 3 in the morning listening to Enya while I wrap presents and reminisce sort of way. Everything.  was.  perfect.

Then I hear it, the ice cream man. This man is a huge fan of the next door neighbors. Somehow they can afford to spend $800 in ice cream every time he comes around. I cringe when I hear his little song playing, it seems like he parks outside my home for HOURS torturing my children. As soon as I hear him, I blast the TV hoping they won’t, but it doesn’t matter, it’s like some sort of dog whistle for kids.

Yesterday was their lucky day because Graham used his own money and bought his brothers and sister a treat. The neighbors got their ice-cream and Graham got them theirs making sure they were fully aware they could only purchase the $1 treat. I wish I’d gotten a picture of it. All the kids lining up at the truck picking their flavors.

Everyone resumed riding their bikes and eating ice-cream, when the next truck showed up in our “hood”. Tomorrow’s trash day, so  the “junk guy” will cruise neighborhoods looking for scraps to recycle or resell. My neighbor “Honor Roll” (no that’s not his real name, he’s commented here before using that name) just happened to have some goodies for the man, so he backed up into HR’s yard and started loading up the bounty.

No sooner does the “junk truck” arrive then another truck comes along and stops when it sees pjdaddy bundling wood. The driver asks him a couple questions and I see it’s a tree removal truck. *sigh We get one of those trucks every couple weeks, but the prices they charge to remove our trees are just too expensive for us.

Not this time. These guys offered to take down the tree that causes us the most trouble for $185. WHAT?!?!?!? That’s insane! This tree was at least 40  feet high. We’ll take that deal. No more sap on my car! WOOT! WOOT!

We gathered up all the kids to make sure none of ’em got squished by falling branches and to watch this really cool event.

The guy put spikes on his feet and with chainsaw attached, climbed it like Spiderman.

 *visions of luau in my head   Oh if only there’d been coconuts up there!

He took the tree down.

Bit

By

Bit

While the other guys chopped and stacked the wood in the street for pick-up.

Even the toddlers got involved.

This is Talon our next door neighbor.

I counted the rings 3 times to try and figure out how old the tree was. I got a different answer 3 times. I gave up.

They did such an awesome job at clean-up we gave them $200.

As pjdaddy and I sat letting the kids ride their bikes around one last time before we called it a night, we saw the local drug dealer walking across the street and heard him yell at his friend, “Those ni&#$rs are talking crazy, let’s get the fu$k out of here!” We watched them run and get into their vehicle and speed away and I thought to myself, yep, it’s the perfect end to a perfect day in our neighborhood.

Puppies, Maggots and Snakes Oh My!

I work one day a week at my local gym. It’s good for me because it saves me the cost of my membership every month and I get a couple extra bucks spending cash.

I was hired to torture kids in the gym’s Kid’s Club. Garren, my four year old has found himself a friend there.  We’ll call him “Little D” unless his momma “Mrs. D” tells me it’s ok to use his name.

Now Garren having a friend means one thing to him and another thing to me. To him, he’s found himself a kindred spirit, to me, I need to clean my freaking house so I can have them over for a playdate. All right, I’ll admit it, Mrs. D is pretty cool to hang with too.

I asked pjdaddy to get my floor scrubber out of the garage for me so I can attempt to clean up the joint. Ok gnarly. Apparently this thing hasn’t been used in a while. My bad. Guess I’ll have to take it outside and hose it off. Know what comes out of things that have been stored in the garage for a long time?

^ THOSE! Those come out of your scrubber when you hose it off. Here in Florida they’re called, “Palmetto Bugs”. Palmetto Bugs my ass, those are roaches! COCKroaches. hhhhhmmmm, cock, that’s interesting, but I digress.

I got control of myself and I dealt with it. I finished cleaning that baby because I want to make my house all nice and purty.

I leave the scrubber outside to dry and come in and attempt to recover emotionally……….that is until Garren tells me there’s a worm on the floor.

A worm? That’s weird. Worms are icky, but I can deal with that. After stumbling upon, “The Nest”, I can handle anything, or so I thought. It wasn’t a worm on my floor. It was this:

Ok, there’s a possibility the maggot might not have been that big, but at the time, it sure seemed like it.

Gah. How the HELL am I supposed to clean that up? I do not want to get a papertowel and have that thing within a micromillimeter of my skin. {{{SHUDDER}}}

I scan the living room for ideas of what to do and that’s when I saw it………..my dear sweet puppy brought a little gift into the house.

A.Maggot.Infested.Snake.Carcass.

OMFG!

How am I supposed to get rid of that? I’m surprised the neighbors didn’t call the police with all the shrieking I was doing. Hey, wait a minute, now that I think about it, I’m going to go yell at the neighbors for not calling the police!

^ This man could have been raping me! It would have been just awful. Don’t………….stop! Don’t…..stop! Ok, don’t stop.

Sorry, I had to slip a palate cleanser in there before I went on, now back to the snake. *sigh

I had no freaking idea how I was going to get that out of the house. I opened the back sliding glass door and the puppy decided to help me out. She picked that snake right back up and bounced out of the house, shaking maggots out the whole way.

I come back in the living room to survey the damage. There’s a good 10 of them on my living room floor. FUCK! Seriously, FUCK! This is just waaay too nasty. What the heck? Why does pjdaddy have to work? I need him for this.  I grabbed the vacuum cleaner and sucked them up.

I’m still debating whether or not to set the vacuum on fire.

Luckily, although not for Garren, “Little D” and his family have gone out of town for a month. This means I have a little more time to clean my bug infested home prior to any play dates.

“Mrs. D” however, found this little ditty in the Skymall magazine on her flight out and emailed it to me:

A bug vacuum.

Oh man, I know how to mow the lawn, I’ve got my little toy *cough, all I need is that bug vacuum and a jar opener and pjdaddy’s gonna be obsolete.

Tropical Storm Fay Is Saving Me Money *cough*

[UPDATE] Hi, karekare here (PJM’s lil sis)…I was just informed via cell phone that power is out. The sky is not falling yet…but not sure when she’ll be back.

PJdaddy and I are looking to get a pool this winter. We’ve got a boatload of trees that need to be removed from our backyard for this and in our front yard we need to get rid of them because I’m flippin tired of them sapping all over my car. There’s nothing worse than being in my standard morning rush to drop the kids off to school, I’m late, I’m barefoot and braless and praying my car doesn’t break down because I don’t want anyone to see me like this and I grab my minivan’s doorhandle and get a great big gob of sap in my hand. I hate that. I want those trees gone. And besides that, they’re a hazzard because if an actual hurricane hit, those puppies would destroy our home.

Tropical Storm Fay has been kind enough to help me with some of our tree issues.

TIMBER! This is a tangled mess of 3 trees that have fallen in our backyard. They’re resting every so gently on our back fence.

This is one of those sappers! Good riddance! If you listen real close, you can hear the tree calling to it’s comrades. I hope the tree fairies don’t kill me tonight because I celebrated when they lost one of their own.

I had to sleep with every single one of my stuffed animals on my bed because I was certain that if one was forgotten on the floor it would get all jealous and kill me in the middle of the night.

I actually got to see this particular branch fall because I was outside checking out this other branch that I’m expecting to fall on top of our house any minute now. The neighbors came running outside when they heard this branch fall. I’m pretty sure they thought I’d backed into one of their cars again.

This is the “pool” I let the kids dig back in February. The dirt in our backyard is actually sand, so it normally just sucks any rainwater right in. The hole is a little over two feet deep and is completely filled with rainwater. I’m pretty sure it’s going to look like this any day now.

The kids won’t be swimming in this……………maybe.

Notice our turtles are still there? Unless they’ve washed away, or have hatched and have been imprisoned in their little white trash shelter. Kare-kare says they’re prolly in there banging their little tin cups against the prison bars.

Messy, messy.

The outside of my house is starting to look like the inside of my house. C.H.A.O.S. (if you’re a flylady, you know what that means)

Tropical Storm Fay is slower than molasses in the winter, she’s just not going away. Oh yeah and she’s defied all sorts of stuff that the weathermen have predicted…yadda, yadda, yadda. Don’t they say that with every big storm?

On a related note, Abbadon goes kite surfing this week while on vacation in Florida.

[UPDATE] Two more branches down

Seriously, we’ve probably saved about $400 in tree removal so far.

Summer’s Finally Over, My Kids Went Back To School And Tropical Storm Fay Decides To Show Her Bad Self

Monday the clouds open up and sunshine from heaven rained down on me, my kids were going back to school. Tuesday evening we load up in the car to get our school supplies, turn on the radio and hear school’s gonna be closed on Wednesday and Thursday because of a possible hurricane. My kids rejoiced, I wept.

MUTHER EFFER! What the hee haw heck? I cannot win can I?

Last night about 6 or 7 households gathered up in my neighbor’s driveway and we had a “hurricane party”. No, we were not sitting there as the hurricane passed over us,  in fact, it’s not even a hurricane, it’s a tropical storm. We just used the coming storm as an excuse to have a party because no one had to work the next day. Everything’s been shut down.

Vodka and I are not on speaking terms today and there seems to be a run on Advil at the local grocery store.

We just got the electricity back on after 3 and a half hours and have three trees down total (two were from the storms we had a couple days ago). So far we’re doin pretty good and it’s not a hurricane and there’s no flooding at the moment for us,  so we’re lucky…………….and, I must admit, as long as my kids are safe and warm, I’m pretty ok with the fact that they’re home with me.