Just a Mom, trying to stay sane

Archive for November, 2011

Our First Tweet Up

So last night was the first time we had attended a Tweet Up. If you don’t know, that’s where you get together with a bunch of people you talk with on Twitter and meet each other in real life. Last night was the Bookmans Phoenix Tweet Up. The turn out wasn’t the biggest, the Mr, Tank and I were there, along with one other Tweeter and her 2 kids, and the woman behind the Bookmans Phoenix Twitter account, Yvette, but it was a really fun night. We got to talk about some of the things we’d like to see from them in the future. Yvette brought out a craft project for Tank to work on, so he wouldn’t be bored.

Here he is, with the finished ornament project. There was also coffee and some great snack from the Bookmans Mesa cafe. By the way, I’m now very jealous of them because those baked goods? Yummy! I should have grabbed a picture, but to be honest, I just forgot. I guess I really need to get the whole picture part of this blog down.

Anyway, it was a nice time. We munched on some baked goods, enjoyed some yummy coffee, had a great time chatting with the others, and found out some interesting things about our favorite bookstore. If you’re in Arizona, I strongly encourage you to check out Bookmans. They’re all about recycling and keeping things as local as possible. They also have amazing prices on books, movies, and games.

We actually had some store credit from the last time we sold books to them so we picked the kids up some new books.

Here’s Tank, reading Curious George for bed. Well, I read the story and then gave him the book, so he could go through it again. That’s what this is.

In other news, I just turned on the heat for the first time this winter. Today’s high is supposed to be 65 degrees, with a low of 49. I know it’ll be shut off before lunch, but the apartment is just a little too chilly to do without it. I’m in a sweater, pants and socks and I’m still cold. I’m just looking to take the chill out of the air so I don’t feel like I’m an ice-cube. This year, my joints hurt more than last year, so I’m going to avoid suffering, especially since we have a flat rate on our electricity. YAY! If I chose to make it 90 degrees in here this winter (yuck!), I could without worries. There are a few advantages to living in an apartment and this is one of them.

Alright everyone, I’m going to head out and see about taking Tank for a walk to the pet store across the street. He loves looking at all the animals and I love him doing all that running.

Question of the Day: Have you turned on your heater yet? How cold is it where you’re at?

Christmas Elf

So the morning show we listen to, Tim and Willy on KMLE 108, are doing a breakfast show at night this Friday. This is the last year they’ll be doing this, so they’re really trying to make sure those who want to go get to go. Well, one of their listeners, who has been to every BSatN, bought a bunch of tickets and was giving them away for free. Well, the Mr and I have been chosen to receive a pair of those tickets! So on Friday night, thanks to an anonymous Christmas Elf (as she calls herself), we’ll get to go to this show. We’ll get to meet Tim and Willy, David Dean who does the second shift and with whom my husband has a total bromance with, as well Twitter Kim. She’s one of the Twitter friends we have that we’ve never actually met in person. Well, we’ve never met Tim and Willy or David Dean, either. We’re pretty excited! Jordan Sparks and Lauren Alaina will be there, along with a comedian my husband knows of. Apparently it’s all kinds of fun, they’ve got skits and things they do. Most importantly, it’ll be a night the Mr and I have off from the kids, where we can do something outside the house.

Tonight we’re actually doing something, too. If you’re from Arizona, you’ve probably heard of Booksman’s. It’s a local bookstore that buys and sells all kinds of things, like instruments, sporting equipment, music, movies, books, games, etc. Anyway, they’re on Twitter and tonight they’re holding a Tweet-up at their Phoenix location as a thank you to their customers/followers. I’m not sure how many people are actually attending besides the staff, but the Mr, Tank, and I will definitely be there. One, it’ll be nice to get more involved in the Twitter and local community, and two, their our favorite bookstore ever, so of course we want to support them.

Outside of those two things, this week and weekend will be focused on doing a deep clean. You know, one of those where you scrub the walls, the ceiling fan, and the blinds. Yeah, one of those. Anyway, the apartment definitely needs it, especially if we’re going to put our big tree up. I’ve still got to figure out if we’re going to put that up or not. Here’s the thing…I’ve got an area it could go, except there’s a dead tv there. Yes, we’ve got a broken tv taking up a part of our dining room. It died a while ago and, if it was smaller, weighed less, or we weren’t on the second floor, would have been gone long before now. I’m hoping we’ll be able to get it out of here this weekend. We’ve got it sitting on an old comforter that needs to be thrown out, so maybe we can use that. What we could really use is 2 really strong guys to get this out of here. Hey, you know anyone that can help? Ha ha. I’m actually going to see if the complex has a moving dolly we can borrow. With that, we might be able to get it taken care of with just the 2 of us, though both of us will certainly be hurting after moving it.

Question of the Day: What do you have planned for this week and weekend?

Thanksgiving Wrap Up

I know Thanksgiving was a few days ago, but I’ve had a lot going on. Our original plan was to get up early on Thursday morning, meet my Mom at her house, and she’d take us up to the lake. Well, that changed about an hour and a half before the Mr got off work when I got a call from my Mom. She had been at the lake, with the camper, by herself, for 3 days and was going a little stir crazy. She asked if we’d come up that night and camp. Well, we love camping, so we agreed. In an hour I packed up just about everything I thought we would need to camp and for Thursday, then picked up the Mr, and met my mom halfway to the lake.

We got up to the lake about 6pm. The kids immediately went to stand around the fire (my kids, the pyros in training, ha ha), while my parents got started on dinner. We had steak, homemade pico de gallo, and chips. I made a pledge that, even though I was on a diet, while celebrating Thanksgiving, I wouldn’t worry about it. I expanded this to include the night before. Around 8:30, we got the kids ready for bed. They were going to sleep in the camper, while the Mr and I were going to sleep in my Mom’s SUV. So the kids and my parents (and the dogs!) retired for the night in the camper, while the Mr and I headed to our “tent”. Since it was only 8:30, we weren’t the least bit tired. We were getting great reception for our phones, so we decided we’d watch some 24 through our Netflix app. After watching it for a bit, I decided to go get something to drink from the cooler. I was headed to the camper when I heard what sounded like someone rustling around in the trash, looking for cans. I figured it might be a homeless person, and walked over to the trash to get them to leave. As I got closer, I could tell it was an animal, I figured it was a raccoon. Imagine my surprise when I rounded the camper and found myself face to face with a skunk! I immediately backed away, careful not to do anything to scare it.

The next morning was a beautiful, although chilly, start to the day. We made some coffee, the kids began throwing rocks in to the lake now that they could see it, and we started cooking the pies.

There’s Tank, throwing those rocks.

We didn’t actually cook the turkey and ham in the oven of the camper, we cooked them on the grill!

Here’s our turkey, during the cooking process.

We had a good time. We munched on a veggie platter while the food was cooking, and there was drinking…lots and lots of drinking. I only had 2 alcoholic drinks, I just wasn’t feeling the alcohol. However, all the other adults were double-fisting their drinks! Mom made Captains Coffee, plus everyone had a cold drink, too.

Mom with her coffee and sangria

My other Mom with her coffee and beer

The Mr with his coffee and mixed drink.

Eventually dinner was ready and we were all ready to eat! Well, except for the kids. They had been snacking nonstop all day, which is what they usually do when we’re camping and/or they’re with my parents. The rest of us, however, dug right in to this wonderful buffet of food.

We all ate so much, we didn’t have room for dessert before it was time for us to head home. We were taking Princess back to her dad’s that night, instead of on Friday like usual, and we wanted to get her back before too late.

My parents didn’t have a ton of room for leftovers, so we basically got everything that was left except for the meat. We certainly dug in to the leftovers that night, once our stomachs had a chance to empty. While it was a crazy, hectic day trying to get everything ready at the same time, it was delicious and, the most important part was we got to spend some good time with family.

Question of the Day: How was your Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, yay! It’s one of my favorite holidays, wouldn’t you know? My absolute favorite is Christmas/Yule with Thanksgiving being right behind it. I love getting together with my family, and just hanging out. This is the first time since 2006 I’ll have actually celebrated Thanksgiving with my parents. In 2008, after Tank was born, we went to their house for pie, but I don’t count that as having Thanksgiving with them. The problem comes from usually having to share the day with my daughter’s dad and my parents usually go to their parents house for part of the day. It usually throws our day all off with timing and just doesn’t work out. This year, however, we’ve got my daughter the whole day!

Thanksgiving has become more laid back for my parents, especially since my sister and I moved out. This year, my parents took their camper up to the lake and that’s where we’ll be having our Thanksgiving. No TV for my hubby and step-mom to  watch the game on. Of course, downside means no TV to help distract the kids, lol. I’m not even entirely sure if we’ll be sitting at a table or in a circle on camping chairs. The Mr has to work on Friday, and Princess is going to her dad’s Thursday evening instead of Friday like usual since he has the day off, or else we’d probably wind up camping up there for the weekend.

This weekend I’m going to do some cleaning and figure out where our tree is going. I’m one of those people who just can’t bring myself to decorate or listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. The spot where we normally put it? Yeah, our desks now occupy those spots. The space where the desks used to be? That’s where the rat cage is. It’s entirely possible we’ll just be doing a table top tree this year. Princess was given this tree a few years ago, it’s about 3 feet tall, has some lights, is purple, and has Tinkerbell ornaments for it. If we can’t find a space for our big tree, we’ll just use that one. It’ll work, lol. If we do that, it’ll give me 2 more strings of lights to decorate the house with. Win-win either way!

Question of the Day: How are you spending your Thanksgiving? When do you normally decorate for Christmas/Yule/Chanukah?

Like a Pro

Today was Tank’s second day riding the bus, and his 4th day at preschool. Yesterday, when the bus got here, I actually had to carry him on to the bus, he was so freaked out by it. When he got dropped off that day, he didn’t seem that fazed by it and his afternoon bus driver (he has a different one in the morning) told me he’d done pretty good.  I was expecting him to have a similar reaction this morning, but when the bus pulled up, he said good-bye to me, grabbed the aide’s hand, and got on the bus with only a little hesitation. When I picked him up this afternoon, the driver said he was acting like a pro, which was good to hear. I sent him with his Puppy (his security stuffed animal) yesterday to help with the transition for the bus, but apparently it helped with in class, too.

During a regular week, there’s no school on Wednesday so, with Thanksgiving this week, today was his last day until next week. I’m a little nervous that, by the time Monday rolls around, he’ll be out of the routine, but there’s not much I can do about it. Now I have to get in to a routine with him being gone. Last week I was going to the gym, but I can’t do that the week I’ve got Princess. See, my gym has a daycare, which is awesome, but they’re closed from 12pm to 2pm, which is right when I need it. After this week I’m going to try going to the gym at 5 am the weeks we’ve got Princess. If that works out for me, I may just keep that schedule.

The Mr and I start classes on 1/14, so yesterday I sat down and worked out a schedule for those 4 months. During the semester, I’ve got my gym time set for 5 to 6am, since I’ll be using the time Tank’s gone to work on homework. If I can get in the habit of going at 5 now, it’ll be so much easier. When I was in high school, I used to wake up at 4:45 and my mom and I would go jogging from about 5-5:45, so while it’s been about 10 years or so since I’ve done that, I have done it before. I’ve got a couple of things I need to work on to be able to do that, which is why I won’t be starting this week. The first is I’ve got to try to go to bed before 11pm each night. I’m such a night owl, I’ve got no problem staying up until 12-1, unless I’ve had a really long, exhausting day. The second thing, I have to retrain my body to wake up that early. Right now I wake up around 7, if left alone (the price of having kids) and while I CAN wake up earlier, if needed, it’s hard if it’s not for something like a special breakfast or an appointment.

Alright, time to start getting dinner ready, the Mr will be home soon.

Question of the Day: What time do you normally wake up in the morning? Are you more of a morning person or a night owl?

First days

So on Thursday Tank had his first day of his new preschool. I stayed there for the first 30 minutes, which is pretty much where they take everyone potty, then get settled to eat lunch. Tank was all about exploring the room and didn’t really care if I was there. Well, until his teacher made him actually stop what he was doing. It was time for him to put up his backpack and sit down for lunch. Well, he wanted nothing to do with it. It probably didn’t help that I chose that time to leave. According to his teacher, he actually did pretty well for a first-timer. He’s never been in daycare or preschool before. The first 30 minutes after I left he cried, then he fell asleep. After a quick nap, he was joining everyone in their activities. So while the first half of the day was kind of a disaster, the second half went much better. On Friday he went again. This time I dropped him off at the gate, like the other parents. I gave him a hug and a kiss and sent him on through. He went on just fine, grabbed his place in line, and went off with the other kids like he was an old pro. When I picked him up that afternoon, his teacher said he’d had a good day, so he seems to have adapted to school pretty easy.

Today is Monday and not only does he go back to school, he’s taking the bus, too. Here’s where I start getting really nervous. See, the thing is, Tank hates, hates, HATES SUVs and trucks. I mean, like screaming bloody murder when he’s in one type of hate. They scare him so bad. Usually, if I’m riding with him, I can get him to calm down after like 5 minutes. If I’m not riding with him, it takes longer, sometimes 20. His bus ride is a little under 30 minutes, so I hope, for the driver’s sake, he doesn’t scream the whole way there.

Ms. A, his teacher, said the driver is really good and plays all sorts of silly music. She also said it may take him up to 2 weeks to get used to riding the bus. I’m hoping, since he’ll be riding it 2 times a day, 4 days a week, that he’ll get used to it pretty quick. My other hope is, he’ll see the other kids from his class on board, notice they aren’t having problems, and take a cue from them. Of course, he could surprise us all and not even be bothered by it, though I’m pretty sure I’d faint if he did that.

We’re T-minus 2 hours until pick up. I keep going around saying “Yay school! Yay bus!” hoping to kinda get him in a “oh this is fun!” mind set. We’ll see what happens. Wish all of us luck!

Preschool

So Tank (I didn’t like the way Goat sounded) starts his developmental preschool tomorrow. He’ll be taking the bus to and from preschool every day he’s there, except for this week. See, when I was getting him set up for daycare, I was supposed to call the transportation number to get the bus all set up. With the thousands of things I was doing that week, it completely slipped my mind. This is kind of a win-win. I’ll be able to drop him off, which will help my momxiety, and his teacher said I could stay for a few minutes, see the class, that sort of thing. I’ll be taking him and picking him up Thursday and Friday, possibly Monday as well, but he should be taking the bus by then.

Last night we went and picked his new backpack. We found him a Lightening McQueen one. We put it on him, to make sure it wouldn’t be too big, and he wouldn’t take it off. He kept it on throughout the store, even through the checkout lane. Thank the Gods they have scanner guns, he was NOT going to take that off until he had to. As soon as we got home he put it back on. It’s just too adorable!

See what I mean? He just loves it!

Tomorrow will be an interesting morning. I’ll have 2 1/2 hours to myself, though I’m not sure what I’ll do. I’m thinking about heading to the gym, take my mind off him being in class. I’m pretty sure there will be tears, on my part for sure, possibly on his part.

Either way, it’s part of him growing up. As I’ve said before, it’s possible he’s the last child I’ll have, so I’m extremely aware of all his milestones. I may never go through this, again. Oh, well I’m a bit of a mess this morning, aren’t I? I’m going to sign off for a bit, get some stuff done to keep my mind off everything, plus to try to clean up. Oooh, that’ll be another upside to having no Tank for 2 1/2 hours. I can clean, uninterrupted. Obviously I’ll still have Princess when she’s here, but the time Tank is gone is during nap time, so most of that time she’ll be asleep.

Alright ya’ll, I’ll catch you later.