Dere’s Uh Alligator In Dere

We finally made it home to good ole Lakeside, Ca. I drove in with the 4 kids about 2 hours after Thanksgiving had begun. I was really freaking happy to get to see all my family in one spot on return from my sojourn.

It’s funny the things one takes for granted in one’s environment. I remember when we first moved to Florida, pjdaddy and I were trippin’ on how flat it was. Not a hill in site. There was one area in our community called Fort Caroline Hills. HAH! Look at the picture of it.

This is the equivalent of a speedbump in California.

He and I missed the mountains. We missed the view, but mostly we missed the snow and snowboarding. We were really excited to leave the First Coast and return to the Left Coast.

When driving about town I don’t let the kids watch DVDs in the car, because I want them to look at the scenery. The drive across country was completely different. I packed every DVD we owned in the van. I was not going to listen to “are we there yet?” for the entire 2338 miles. DVD players in the car rock. The kids were strapped in their seats and I was able to force musicals down their throat for a good portion of the trip. These kids will be exposed to the classics if it kills me/them. Yes we watched Monsters Inc. but they wound up loving, “The Sound of Music” and “My Fair Lady” and “Annie” and “Oliver”. It was fun to show them that the nun in the first musical mentioned also played Mary Poppins in another movie. I even got to introduce them to Abbott & Costello. They were a huge hit. I’d never have been able to get my kids to sit down and watch these flicks any other way.

On the trip out to Florida years ago I’d bought the two oldest disposable cameras so they could take pictures of their trip and to give them something to do. I found them undeveloped as I packed for our reverse move. I learned my lesson not to develop their photos after I paid for 24 pictures of Tom & Jerry on TV.

I had this fantasy that we’d pull over at rest stops and have little picnics with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cheese sticks, hard boiled eggs, yogurt and juice. I was going to save money and we were going to eat relatively healthy. Hah, yeah right.

Screw that. We went thru McDonald’s and Jack in the Box’s. I even made them, yes I did, I’m gonna say it, are you ready? Pee in cups. I couldn’t believe it when my dad wouldn’t stop for us to pee on trips and we had to go in cups, but because I’m a kinder, gentler person than my dad, I at least stopped the car. It’s soooo much faster that way.

Luckily we had some fake internet friends Sohos and Count, who graciously allowed us to stay at their home in Houston. They couldn’t have lived anymore on our route if they tried. Hopefully we became real friends after meeting them even though I did steal their USB cord. It’s in the mail, really. Course Count is the man who told my children that if they sang, 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” really loud 3 times in a row they’d be able to fly. I only still love him because he took my kids fishing off his parent’s dock. Sohos couldn’t go because she has to work. She needs to quit so things like that don’t happen in the future.

 

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The kids had a blast. I wanna have one of those in my backyard.

img_3003How many times have I told you NOT to eat the bait?!?!?!

Graham put his bait to good use.

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Oh you don’t want me to take your picture Garren? Ok, I won’t. Oh hey wow, look at the bug mommy has on her camera lense!

img_3018SNAP!!! Gotcha sucka.

Count even took us on a little boat ride. Gavin was freakin’, well for about a second.

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We stayed in Houston for two days to wait for poor pjdaddy to catch up as he was still in Jacksonville painting over tiny hand and footprints on the wall to make our home rentable.

So off we go on the rest of our trip. Our friend Dan Coffey, who seems to show up every time we move, ready and willing to help, showed up again. Weirdest part is he never knows we’re moving……he just has bad timing. He even helped us on our original move from Arizona to Florida following us across country driving our rental truck. Dan followed us this time as well. He coincidentally had to be in California today.

In addition to my “side of the road picnics” I thought I’d have, I also thought I’d take a picture of my kids in front of each state’s welcome sign. It was dark when I left Jacksonville, so it was dark when I hit my first state. Alabama. I didn’t see the sign till too late and there was no way I was gonna make a U-turn and unload the kids for a photo op. Oh well, nother idea down the drain.

About the time we made it to New Mexico, I realized my bottom 3 children had either never seen a mountain or couldn’t remember ever having seen a mountain. What a weird thought to me. The mountains I cherish so much. I was cracking up at how amazed they were at something I took for granted my entire life. My mountains.

We’ve been getting settled in. We’ve taken over my poor parents home until we figure out what we’re gonna do and where exactly we’re gonna settle here.

I took my kids to the park playground I loved as a little girl. There happens to be a lake there and I couldn’t get my kids to go near it for nothin’. I couldn’t figure it out till Gavin points to the lake and says, “Dere’s uh alligator in dere”. It took forever to convince them there weren’t any alligators here in San Diego County.

I’ve been trying to go everywhere and visit everyone since I’ve arrived. I feel like a dog. I need to pee on everything. You are my territory and I will mark you.

On one of our trips today, my bottom 3 kids started gagging like crazy. My daughter said, “oh mom, what’s that smell?”. It dawned on me that I have not smelled that particular smell ever in Florida or even in Arizona, but smelled it often in my hometown growing up. It was a skunk.

Welcome to California kids. It’s good to be home.

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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.

The Turtles Hatched! The Turtles Hatched!

On Sunday Pjdaddy and I were talking about the turtle eggs in our backyard. We figured they must have been a bad batch because it was taking forever. We didn’t know if turtle eggs could “drown” because they’d been submerged underwater for 3 days during Tropical Storm Fay. We’d been checking on the periodically, but hadn’t lately.

I suggested to Pjdaddy he go crack one open to see what’s up. He declined because he had no desire to smell rotting turtle. Spoil sport, but he and Graham did go outside and check them out. Graham ran right back in the house hollering, “They’re hatching! They’re hatching!”

My children had the wonderful opportunity to watch life begin.

Sadly that turtle didn’t make it. And no others hatched that day.

We checked the turtle hole on Monday, nothing. I checked it Tuesday morning, nothing. Graham came home from school and checked it himself and there it was, another turtle already out of it’s shell. Pjdaddy saw another turtle coming out of it’s shell and we saw two additional empty shells where the turtles had already escaped. I don’t know if toads eat turtles, but there was a big, fat toad hanging around.

^ That’s a turtle coming out of it’s eggshell. And below, it’s hard to see, but there’s two turtles in the tank.

They’re incredibly flipping cute and are about 1 and 1/2 inches wide.

[UPDATE]- I finally identified the type of turtle. Yellow eared slider turtles.

I Get To Do A Room Make-Over! Woot! Woot!

My 6 year old daughter Madeleine decided she wanted to get rid of all her toys and only have art type stuff in her room. She really wants to be a clothes designer when she grows up.

Now I have a clean slate for Madeleine’s room. She absolutely wants NOTHING princess. That’s too baby-ish for her. She recently had to get  braces and a palate expander.

 

This is akin to a medieval torture device, but she thinks it makes her look like a teenager and she so desperately wants to be one. Cuz it’s cool, you know.

I decided to go to the craft store to pick up some fabric to make a bedspread for her. The pattern requires the width of the material to be 45″ wide or more. Did you know the sumbitch manufacturers are shaving off the width of the material? I did not know this (course my sewing teacher told us about this, but I didn’t think it could be that bad, WRONG!). I bought all the material, preshrunk it and it turned out to be BARELY 41 inches. This sucks.

She wanted a Bratz themed bedroom and with ever so gentle prodding from me,   *cough,  I convinced her to have her room chocolate and hot pink. Ok, I admit it, I begged. Bratz dolls look like little hookers. I tried  to tell Madeleine they didn’t dress appropriately because their guts were hanging out.

In real life people can’t wear the clothes the Bratz dolls can. Most people’s bodies don’t look like a Bratz doll, they look like this:

COMPLETE AND TOTAL AWARENESS REGARDING BODY SIZE AND WHAT LOOKS GOOD ON ONE’S BODY FAIL!!!

I made the mistake of trying to tell Madeleine that girls who dress like that look naughty. 

Naughty? Naughty how?  What do they do?

Crap, fatal mistake. There’s no way in heck I was going to say they look like hookers or sluts because there’s no way in heck I was going to explain to Madeleine what those were.

Um, nevermind. It’s just not a very good look.

*prays this look will be out of style before Madeleine becomes a teenager, cuz she’s so not dressing like that

Man I get distracted easily, so anyhoo, Madeleine and I compromised. I’d make her bedspread hot pink on one side and chocolate brown on the other with brown and pink pillows and a brown bedskirt and I would put Bratz appliques on the pillows. Madeleine suggested her walls be painted chocolate brown with a wide pink stripe down the middle and two thin stripes on either side. Yes, she thought of that on her own.

But the whole idea got blown thru the roof because of cheap manufacturers. It has to be at least 44inches wide so there’s no seam in the middle of her bed. Luckily I was able to take the fabric back because I hadn’t cut it. So Madeleine and I went hunting for new fabric for her bed. We could not find the right size pink and brown, so we had to settle for a new design idea.

Ya know how hard it is to find fabric 45″ wide anymore? VERY FREAKING HARD!

After about a half hour looking at fabric, this was a Joann’s Super Store, so there’s a lot to look at, she finally found the one she wants.

 “That’s it! It’s very adult-ish I want this and a zebra striped bedskirt

Adult-ish? bwahaha hahaha haha, awwwww, so cute.

Turns out fabric is 44 inches wide. Perfect enough. I take it home wash it and lay it on her bed and read the words on it. “Vogue” Exquisite” “Lovely” “Treschic” “Teasing” “Glamorous”……wait, rewind…..TEASING? Teasing? Are ya serious? At first I thought it said texting which is just as bad, but teasing? Why on earth would they put that on that fabric. I mean, I know it’s “adultish” and all but teasing? The whores win again. Might as well send Madeleine to school in a pair of shorts with the word, “hottie” across her bum.

There’s a word after the word “Teasing” but it’s covered by a “little black dress”. Please someone tell me “teasing” is part of some sort of French fashion phrase my ignorant little self doesn’t know about?

So this is her “before” room………there’s no after yet, just got the material last night.

Her room is so tiny it was too hard to get a full shot of the closet and door from inside the room.

When my good internet friend lauraw found out about Madeleine wanting to only have “designing” stuff in her room, she sent Madeleine a big ole box of fabric bits and notions and beads, buttons and bobbles. The coolest box of goodies a girl that’s into that kind of stuff could ever want. Madeleine has no toys now, only the stuff from lauraw and her Bratz fashion head.

My intention is to put a drafting/craft table to the right of her little storage thingy. I saw this on craig’s list and I want it, but can’t seem to talk the chick down any. My girlfriend Mrs. D sent me this picture from Ikea that looks pretty awesome as well.

Mrs. D also suggested a zebra rug. Faux of course.

Any decorating ideas and suggestions will be gladly taken and secretly scoffed at. No seriously, anyone have ideas go for it. I love the help.

Monster Quest

My oldest son Graham and I love to watch, Monster Quest, it’s a show on The History Channel and this is how their website describes their show. 

From Bigfoot to Swamp Beast, Monster Quest reveals the truth of legendary monster sightings around the world. Deploying the latest in hi-tech equipment, each episode scientifically examines the best evidence available, from pictures and video, to hair and bones, as well as the eyewitness accounts themselves. From pilots to policemen to ship captains, a number of seemingly credible people have seen things they can’t explain. One part history, one part science and one part monsters, Monster Quest discovers the truth behind these legendary monsters.

A couple weeks ago we were watching an episode about man-eating fish.

I think it was people in some sort of Amazon village being interviewed and one was talking about her cousin being eaten, not by a piranha………………..but a catfish!

Catfish? Wha?

Legend has it there’s some catfish big enough to eat a small child in Alabama.

Well you can just forget the idea of me setting foot in any freshwater lakes again. Yeah right, like I’d do that living here in good ole Florida anyways. Not interested in being gator bait. Unless of course the gator was a football player. Relax pjdaddy, you know I’d never leave you for a college football player, they’d have to be pro.

Now I won’t ever say that things like Big Foot or aliens aren’t real because I just don’t know, but you know how all those crazy scientists are, they’re pretty certain nothing fun exists.

I beg to differ.

Imagine my surprise when I saw the youtube video below of a fish swooping up and eating a duck whole. If there’s a video of a fish eating a duck that big, who’s to say there isn’t one that could conceivably consume a small child?

[WARNING] The following video is not for the faint of heart, in other words, those of you who are freaking crybabies. [UPDATE] please don’t let your kids watch the video till you’ve seen if first, so you can see if it’s age appropriate for them.

h/t mesablue

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.