Saturday, August 30, 2008

See Ya Later, Alligator

Evan has been having a hard time since his older brother and sister went back to school.

I can't tell you how many times a day I hear "Mom, I'm hungry!"

I keep telling him he isn't hungry, he's bored. He then, of course, falls to pieces and in the whiniest voice imaginable (that no one on this planet can decipher) tries to explain to me that he is STARVING and that if I don't feed him immediately, he will die.

I caught him yelling at his 15 month old sister because she wasn't playing dinosaur the right way (as in, she was grabbing the T-Rex and waddling over to the garbage and throwing it in instead of sitting down and making it eat the triceratops).

So last week, Tracy and I decided to take him over to the park to go "alligator hunting."

There is a really great park close by that, never fail, supplies an abundance of alligator sightings.

Now, it was Tracy's idea to go do this. I am not sure why I agreed to it, as I am a big scardy cat and constantly in fear that one of my children is going to be eaten by an alligator. And at this park, you don't stand on the edge of the lake and stare out at the water, hoping to catch a quick glimpse of a gator. You walk out on raised walkways OVER the water as the gators swim around you.

As you are walking along, there are little "piers" that you can go down that take you even farther out over the water. Each of these little piers are covered on the end and have a picnic table. You know, so you can sit and eat a last meal before being devoured by a gator.

As we walked down the walkway, this is what we saw:

A big blob of dried mud.,.....? That's odd, right? Well, it led to this....

Now, call me crazy, but that TOTALLY looks like a gator decided he was sick of swimming and wanted to go for a little walk, right?? (Oh, and I assume all alligators are men because they are ugly and mean)

It freaked me out. I looked over at Evan, who was standing about 5 feet from me. HE looked like gator bait, to me! I made him get up on the picnic table as I investigated the gator track. Tracy was at the end of the pier, looking out at the water.

"Ha! Someone lost s shoe." she said.

That's when the light bulb went off! I bet someone fell in the water (a genius I'm sure), lost their shoe (and probably peed their pants) and tracked the muddy print (probably intentionally making it look like an alligator had done it to scare fraidy cats like me) as they slithered back to their car, sans one shoe.

We stood there for a minute and, out of nowhere, up pops this gator. He was probably about 5 feet long or so. He just sat there at first. Floating about 20 feet away from us. Staring at us (probably trying to figure out which one of us he should eat as the appetizer).

He started swimming towards us. I made Evan get up on the picnic table again. He stopped, about 2 feet away from us. He just sat there (probably trying to decide which one of us he should eat for his entree). Evan kept saying "There it is! I see that al-e-gator! That's my first al-e-gator." It wasn't. He has seen like a million of them. He's weird sometimes. I let him get down as long as he promised to stand RIGHT beside me.

Then, the gator started moving. He swam under the wooden pier we were on. We could look through the slatted bottom and see him. He swam directly underneath us. If my arm could fit through the wooden planks, I could have touched him. I made Evan get back up on the picnic table. He kept saying "I can't see it! I can't SEEEE it!!" I ignored him. Evan was not on the menu!

Ok, so I did actually end up letting him down, but only after Tracy practically laid down on the walkway to peer through the little slats (and get a good picture)

And I figured she would, at the very least, slow the gator down long enough for me to throw Evan back up on the picnic table if he attacked. And YES I did actually think all of this while we were standing there.

We stayed there and watched him for about ten minutes. Then we left and headed back home. The whole way home, Evan talked about how he had just seen his first al-e-gator. It was "al-e-gator this and al-e-gator that."

I was so glad he had had a good time and had forgotten, at least for a short time, about being lonely. We walked through the door at home and he was still talking about the alligator. He climbed up onto the couch and he looked up at me with his adorable, green eyes and said "Mom! I'm hungry!"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Apparently Kyle is 5, going on 15

While I was in Tallahassee, sitting in the dark, I called my husband on my cell phone.

We only talked for a couple of minutes. At one point, I said something to him (I don't remember exactly what) and this short conversation followed:

Me: (Something that I don't remember)
Jason: I didn't hear that. You broke up.
Kyle (in the background to his dad): WHAT?!?
Jason (to Kyle): It's mommy on the phone. She's with Drew and Marquesas.
Kyle (said with great concern in a high pitched voice): WHAT?!?!?! Drew and Marquesas broke up?!?!?!

Kyle is 5 (going on 15...because what 5 year old boy would ever come up with that??). Apparently, he watches too much iCarly.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hey, Who Turned Out the Lights??

I went to Tallahassee this past weekend to visit with my brother (Drew) and his pregnant wife (Marquesas). It was his birthday last Saturday.

For those of you who can't read Drew's shirt, it says "Marquesas is so freaking hot!" Cute, huh?

We had a very interesting visit. As most of you know, I was preparing the beginning of last week for Tropical Storm Fay that was headed my way. The kids first day of school was even cancelled due to the threat of the storm. Well, the middle of the night, right before it was supposed to hit us, it turned sharply to the right and ended up coming ashore a few hours south of us. We barely ended up getting any rain that day. In fact, it was pretty much hot and sunny all day. So weird. So, TS Fay went across the state of Florida, out into the Atlantic, turned sharply to the left and then hit Florida again, going straight West through the panhandle of Florida....which is right where Tallahassee is.

So, my sisters and I drove up through the storm. I bet you think that sounds insane, right?? Well, it wasn't so bad. Oh, except for the frogs who we think must have been displaced because of all of the rain/flooding who kept jumping into the middle of the road, waiting until the car was right above them and then trying to jump again. Not only could you hear the thud as the poor critters lept to their deaths, smashing into the bottom of the car, but you could actually feel the thud from when the frog was big enough. It was unpleasant. Although, that was slightly less unpleasant than when we drove through the small town of Perry, which apparently is located down wind from a trash dump. I swear, the smell was so pungent you could actually taste it when you breathed through your mouth. I grabbed my pillow and stuffed my face into it. I figured if I passed out form not being able to breathe, at least we would be out of the stinky little town by the time I came to.

So, we got to my Brother's house late on Friday night. It rained pretty hard all night. We got up and went out to lunch the next day, which was my brother's birthday, and it was still raining, as you can tell form this wonderful shot out the windshield.

The wind was never really bad. The only thing we were really concerned with was the rain. It did end up starting to flood.
video
We went out to eat and then we went bowling. The first bowling place we tried to go to didn't have power. I remember thinking "ohhh, those poor people," because I am sure it was really hot inside that building. So, we went to a second bowling place and it was open. I suck at bowling. I think I bowled a 65. My sister, Jill, said she sucked too. Then she bowled a 128. Apparently, her version of sucking and my version of sucking are completely different.

After bowling, we headed back to my brother's house. When we got there. There was no electricity. We played games for a while. It started getting pretty hot and sticky. My SIL called a friend of hers. They had power. So, we decided to head out to a little pizza place for dinner. That way we could be in the air conditioning and wouldn't be sitting around sweating, making the house smell like Perry and, hopefully, would have power by the time we got back. While we were eating, the power went out in the pizza place. We left and the power was still out at Drew's too. Needless to say, we didn't sleep a whole lot that night.

Apparently my niece, Devyn, discovered that the dog, who normally wouldn't let her get near, was getting distracted by looking out the window and would sneak up and get a good rub in and yell "YEAH!" before the dog would run off. Since it was dark inside and light outside, it made a cool picture.

We got up and left Tally the next morning. The power was out until later that afternoon.

I had a good time, even if we didn't get to eat the peanut butter pie that Marquesas had made for Drew because we couldn't open the fridge door and let out the cold air that was in there keeping all the food from spoiling until the power came back on, which was well after we left. I bet it was yummy!

I am guessing it will be a birthday that Drew will not forget any time soon. :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

First Day of Kindergarten (AKA: A Big, Fat Mess!!!)

Yesterday was Kyle's first day of Kindergarten! I can't believe how big he is getting. *sniff sniff*

Kyle is a big chicken. I wouldn't even say he is shy. He is a chicken. He has been soooo anxious about this first day of school. He was scared he would get lost. He was scared his teacher would be mean. He was scared he might see his shadow and there would be six more weeks of winter.....I tried to do my best to get him calmed down about it. I wasn't very successful. However, there was a silver lining. He was SOOOOOOO excited about riding the bus. Last year, my daughter had THE BEST bus driver EVER. He let them sit in the back of the bus. He let them eat snacks. He dressed up like Winnie the Pooh on Halloween. He was awesome! Kyle couldn't wait to ride the bus!! I figured as long as I could get him on the bus, he would then be better at school and there would be no big scene where they were peeling him off my leg, screaming, as I walked away crying. It was the safest way. Or so I thought...

So, we got up yesterday and ate a delicious breakfast. We got dressed and headed out to the bus stop with our new backpacks, filled with all kinds of cool, new school supplies.







Seriously!! They are the cutest little elementary school kids EVER!!! (In my unbiased opinion, of course)

We saw the bus coming around the corner....



They were so freaking excited!! You would have thought we just told them they were going to Disney World!!! (Unless they were Evan, who, when asked the other day if he wanted to go to Disney for his Birthday replied, "Yea, sure," all nonchalantly.)



They grabbed their backpacks, swung them up and onto their backs and watched as the bus drove straight past us.......

I called the school and told them. They asked if I could just drive them to school and then come into the office to verify that I had the correct bus stop location. I said "ok." But I KNEW that this was going to make things much harder.

So, we drove to school and had to fight a MASSIVE crowd of people that all felt the need to drive their children to school on the first day. I decided I would drop Kaily and Kyle off in the drop off circle instead of trying to find a parking place. Plus, I figured it would be easier to get Kyle to separate from me this way. So, I did. They took Kyle out and I watched them walk him into his building. I then proceeded to drive around, looking for a place to park that was within a mile of the office since I had Laney and Evan with me.

I found a spot and then went and got in the line at the office. As I was standing there, I saw a woman walking towards me. Kyle was holding her hand, sobbing. I left the line to see what had happened. It was just another mom that had him. She had found him wandering around the 4th grade building, crying. That means not only did he get out of his classroom, but he then got all the way OUT of the Kindergarten building!! I couldn't believe it. I then spent the next 40 minutes trying to get him calmed down (while holding Laney on one hip and constantly having to tell Evan that he couldn't wander off as he was exclaiming "I'm going to school now! Where's my lunch box??" I didn't get Kyle calmed down. Eventually, they peeled him off of me and I left.

I went back to the office and they said I was at the correct bus stop (DUH! I knew that already) and that they would make sure the bus driver knew where he needed to drop them off.

Fast forward a few hours....

Here's Evan, waiting for the bus to come.



He's pretty darn cute, too....if I do say so myself.



We stood and waited. My phone rang. It was my husband. He says:

"The bus driver dropped them off at the wrong stop."

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?

Apparently, he had pulled up to the stop. Kaily told him he was in the wrong place and they weren't supposed to get off the bus if I wasn't there. His response:
"It's not my fault your mommy isn't here. This is your stop. You have to get off the bus now." And he left them there, standing on the corner. ALONE!!!!! (He's lucky he was a little, old man when I met him the next morning or I would have opened a can of you know what on his hiney!!!!)

A neighbor saw them wandering around and called one of the numbers (my husband's cell) that I had pinned to Kyle's backpack. I went and picked them up. They were fine. They were drinking Lemonade Capri-Sun's and were disappointed because the woman was going to get them a bag of chips, but I showed up. (Go figure!) I, however, was NOT fine. I completely flipped. I started shaking and I immediately called the school. When I confronted him about it this morning, he was SOO rude to me. This story is so long you have probably already fallen asleep, so I will spare you those details. I wish there was someway I could get his old, wrinkly butt fired, but apparently they are hard up for bus drivers, so chances of that happening are slim to none.

So, instead I will have to do the next best thing and give him a lump of coal for Christmas this year. Enjoy your smudgy, black fingers you crotchety old man!!!!!

Besides the whole being passed up by the bus and the whole escaping and getting lost in the morning thing and the whole kindergartner being dropped off on the side of the road, ALONE, fiasco.....Kyle really had a great time and was excited to go back today (ON THE BUS!!).

(Disclaimer: I DO NOT feel that ALL old people are crotchety. In fact, I love elderly folk!! They rock!! I would be just as upset if the driver were a crotchety young man (or woman).)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Finicky Fay

I just got back from a weekend away (during which I turned 29! Woo Hoo!). I would love to blog about it, but I am currently trying to get ready for Tropical Storm Fay who can't decide if she wants to hit us or not. Wish me luck!! I'll be back asap!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Play-Doh(n't)!!

This past Tuesday was trash day. The trash truck tends to come pretty early in the morning. We can't take the garbage out the night before because of these guys (or girls or whatever):

Raccoons suck. I bet you all know that, though. And they are really smart. But, I bet you all know that, too. They come out of the woods behind our house and get into ALL of the garbage cans. It doesn't matter if you have a lid or even if that lid locks, they still get into it. They kind of remind me of a toddler in that way.....
So, we can't take our garbage out the night before because the darn raccoons rip it to pieces. Our stupid neighbors (who are obviously not as smart as raccoons) haven't figured that out yet and about once a week we end up with their garbage spread across our yard.

So, since we can't take the garbage out the night before, we have to get up early enough to get it out before the truck comes. My husband usually does this before he leaves for work, but this past week he was out of town. So, at about 7:30 I remember that it was trash day. I looked out the window to see if the truck had come yet. It hadn't!! Woo Hoo!! So, I took the garbage out. I figured the truck was coming soon, so I wouldn't bother actually putting the lid on the can. (I bet you are guessing where this story is headed, aren't you?? Well, keep reading because you are wrong!)

So, I went back inside and was getting my children dressed for a church activity we had later that morning. About 20 minutes had passed since I put the trash can out. I heard a strange noise outside.
"Oh crap!!!!" I thought. "I bet those freakin' raccoons are tearing up the garbage!"

I peaked out my front window. I couldn't see the garbage can because of where my van was parked. Something across the cul-de-sac caught my attention. It was something big.....sitting on the roof of the house across from us. In fact, it was four or five somethings big.....



Can you tell what they are?? Immediately after noticing these nasty, feathered beasts sitting on the roof, I saw something move in the neighbor's yard that is to the left of my house.



Eek!! Vultures!!!! I had seen them in other people's yards, but we had never had a problem with them before. I knew I needed to get the lid to my trash can and get it on before they had their way with it.

I slipped on my shoes, ran out the garage door, grabbed the lid and headed out and around my van. I noticed one of our bags of trash, sitting at the end of the driveway, ripped open.

"You stupid birds!!!" I yelled at the birds sitting in the neighbor's yard. "Don't you have an armadillo you should be fighting over somewhere??"

I rounded the van to head for the garbage can and, much to my surprise.......



I came face to face with more than 30 Vultures!! They. Were. Everywhere!!!!! They were in the road, on the rooftops, in my yard, in the neighbors yard. They were everywhere!! I ran towards them, full speed ahead, screaming (after I went in and got my camera, of course). The majority of them flew away and onto nearby rooftops and you'll never guess what happened.......They sat there, watching me. I cleaned up our garbage. They waited. I cleaned up neighbor number one's garbage and flipped their lid closed. They waited. I cleaned up neighbor number two's yard and flipped their lid closed, and they ALL flew away.

Oh, oh, and you want to know what it was that was sooo irresistible to them.....?? Was it the chicken bones?? Nope. The bacon grease soaked paper towels?? Negative. It was.....Play-doh!!!!! I'm sorry, but I see these nasty birds ripping apart dead rodents on a daily basis and they are going to rip into my garbage for.... PLAY-DOH?!?!?! Seriously?!?!?! I thought they were carnivores! Makes me wonder what exactly they are putting into play-doh these days. Hmmmmm, maybe I should reconsider letting my children play with that stuff.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Time to Refuel My Tank

I had to go to the store today. As I was leaving, I glanced across the parking lot at the gas station. Gas was only $3.69 a gallon!!!!! (Down from more than $4 a gallon a few weeks ago)!!! I was so excited I think I might have actually peed my pants if it wasn't for the fact that I was still suffering from dehydration, thanks to the virus from H-E-Double hockey sticks!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Aftermath


So, this is what a couch looks like after 6 people have just been taken hostage by a nasty stomach bug. It totally kicked our butts!! I kept up with the washing (mostly blankets and towels), but the folding.....forget that!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

In The Last Week....

I have been a really bad bloggy friend recently. I haven't done much reading and have done even less commenting. Although, I promise you I have good reason. In the last week, I have......

Talked on the phone with a nurse at the doctors office 3 times.
Woken up, on 2 separate occasions, to find 2 different children with their eyes crusted shut from the green ooze seeping out of them.
Taken about 197 temperatures.
Gone to the Doctor's office 3 times.
Cleaned vomit out of my van.
Given about 94 doses of assorted medications.
Cleaned vomit off the bathroom floor.
Held down a child, 2 times, for shots.
Worried about a psych evaluation my child was having (only to get a phone call the morning of, saying it needed to be rescheduled because the doctor was "called out of the office unexpectedly" and the appt. couldn't be rescheduled for before school started, so she would have to miss her 3rd day of school for it)
Washed my hands about a gazillion times.
Washed vomit out of my child's hair.
Washed my child's vomit out of my hair.
Done about 18 extra loads of laundry.
Gone to the grocery store ZERO times (hence the empty fridge).
Started changing an icky diaper, only to discover the poor baby had a yeast infection from all of the antibiotics she had been taking for the last week.
Gone to the pharmacy three times.
Slept a combined total of about 12 hours.
AND
Ate an entire bag of Peanut Butter M&Ms!

So, forgive me. I promise I will get back into the swing of things soon.