Category Archives: The Hubs

Handy Manny

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Thanks to some of Mother Nature’s fury, we’ve found ourselves with a big old tree stump in our yard. So the Hub did what any red-blooded, American father would do.  He promised the kids he’d build a tree fort on top of this stump for them.

Telling the kids that was a huge rookie mistake because now they think they are getting a tree fort tomorrow. Or maybe by Friday.  Saturday for sure at the latest, right?

Ummm…no. For various reason, it’ll be weeks until it happens, but my kids are completely undeterred by this. So, Scorch came up with his wish list for this fort:

> monkey bars
> rope ladder
> regular ladder
> 2 trap doors
> 1 hidden room
> a table
> 2 benches
> 5 windows
> a slide to be used to leave the fort
> 8 Nerf guns to be used to wage war on anyone who approaches

I can’t help but laugh because my husband is good at a lot of things, but he’s never built anything like this (or even a much simpler version). Are we building from scratch? Getting a kit? Hoping the kids forget he even suggested this? I have no idea what direction this is going to go, but I do promise it’ll produce a lot of stories!

 

 

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12 Years Later

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12 years ago today, I woke up at 6:30 in the morning before anyone else in my house did. My stomach was doing flips and there was no point in trying to sleep anymore. At 7, after a shower, I welcomed our hairdresser/makeup artist into my parents house and shared a quiet breakfast with him before everyone else start stirring. It was the last quiet moment I had all day.  By 7:30, my parents and siblings were up, the bridesmaids arrived and the house became this crazy den of excitement and laughter and jitters.  Before I knew it, the limo arrived and we headed to the church. I wasn’t nervous until my girls started to walk up the aisle, so I did what I always do when I get nervous- I started talking. My poor father was just trying to get us up the aisle and I wouldn’t stop running my mouth.  Until I saw the Hubs and all the nerves just went away.  I was getting married to him– there was nothing to be nervous about.

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Before God, our family and our friends we said our vows.  We promised to love, honor and respect each other no matter what. I said them then, and I’d say them again today.

We had two days without the kids this weekend and I’m always delighted in how much I not only love my husband, but how much I like him. He makes me laugh, we always have something to talk about and I just enjoy his company.  It’s not always sunshine and roses around these parts, but the good times far outweigh the bad and I couldn’t be happier living this adventure with the Hubs by my side.

The Pill Pusher

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Guess who has two thumbs and a husband with the flu AND mono?

This girl!

Yeah- it’s been a fun week here at the Heat Household. Monday morning both Scorch and I woke up with a cold. The doctor had told the Hubs when he was diagnosed with the flu last week that if anyone developed flu or cold symptoms, to call the doctor immediately.  So I did what any (lazy, procrastinating) parent would do and waited 24 hours to see if the symptoms would go away or turn out to be allergies. Tuesday came around and I was 1000x worse, Scorch was the same and Beaner was saying her throat hurt. I called both my doctor and the kid’s pediatrician and both said they wanted all of us on Tamiflu immediately.

Hmm…ok. No blood test? Nothing? Nope- just straight to medication. I was a little leery of this, but honestly after seeing how sick the Hubs was/is, I felt it was better to be safe than sorry and risk ruining the rest of our summer.

So now guess who has two thumbs and insurance that has a $250 deductible per person for name brand prescription medication? Yup..this girl! And now guess which $100+ medication doesn’t have a generic counterpart? Yup… Tamiflu!  And guess which medication, in liquid form, is said to be so disgusting that it’s made many friend’s kids puke upon taking it? Yup…Tamiflu again!  So after some discussions with our pediatrician, I got the medication in pill form for both kids.

Now, my fights with the Bean over taking medication is legendary in my family. Or, maybe just in my own head- but either way, getting her to take meds in the past has been a nightmare.  So now not only do I have to get her to take meds, I have to teach her how to swallow a pill. Scorch, bless his heart, already knows how, so last night he and I were talking up how easy it was to swallow pills, how it doesn’t taste like anything, how quick it was and on and on and on. When the magic hour arrived, Scorch showed Bean how to do it, narrating every single step. Then it was time for Bean to give it a shot. And she DID IT!

We all danced around the kitchen like freaking loons celebrating because you guys, my five year old can swallow pills!!!! Do you know how much easier and neater my life just became?!?! I have never once felt so successful as a parent!  The only downside is the Bean wants to take pills all the time now- so trying to convince her she can only take her medication once a day has become my new full time job.

 

 

I’ve Had Better

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We just returned from our annual camping trip.  I really wish I could tell you it was as relaxing as years past, but frankly, this was the worst trip we’ve had in as long as I can remember.

First, there was the weather. Hello rain and cold temperatures- you’re not welcome this week.  We arrived on Saturday to the camp ground and within an hour, it started to rain. And it didn’t stop until 4 pm on Sunday.  While we do have a pop-up camper, you still have to get out in the rain to walk to the bathrooms, get food, talk to others, etc.  So we spent Sunday at a local (30 minutes away) mall seeing a movie and wandering around.  Thankfully that night was gorgeous, so we were able to go back, have dinner and a much needed campfire. Monday was lovely, but cold so we drove an hour to this cute touristy town full of great bars and adorable shops. You know- just the things a 5 and 7 year old want to spend their days doing.  Thankfully there was also a 2 hour boat ride to help pass the day along.

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Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday were picture perfect beach days so we did get to soak up some sun and relax.  But the weather was supposed to take another nasty turn Wednesday night, so we packed it in after a day at the beach and headed home 2 days early. That about broke my heart, but there is a very limited number of things to do when the weather is bad and we did ’em all.

The second strike against our trip was the Bean. Or more specifically the Bean and her mighty attitude.  Her sass turned to down right rudeness and for the first 2 days of our trip I really wondered if I gave birth to the spawn of Satan.  She was rude, she was demanding and she made me feel like the biggest parental failure on the earth.  Thankfully after Day 2 (and countless time outs, loss of privileges and discussions), she came back around to her normal self.

And lastly, my husband.  Last week before we left on vacation, he went to the doctors because he thought he had strep throat. That was negative, but he didn’t feel much better before we left. He was a *trooper* on vacation- taking turns getting up with the kids, taking them fishing, playing kickball/baseball/lacrosse- but he clearly didn’t feel good. We got home around 8:30 last night and he was back at the walk-in at 9:15.  Turns out the poor guy has Influenza-B.  In July. While we’re on vacation.  Only him!  Here’s hoping the meds kick in soon.

All that said, the trip was not a complete bust. The kids had a awesome time, despite the weather.  We had a great time with the kids making fun memories on the boat ride and on our first fishing expeditions.  We laughed until I cried around the camp fire at night telling stories and reconnecting with the family and old friends camping with us. The days at the beach that we did have were gorgeous- pure sun shine, clean water, gentle waves.  We ate like kings and I had a blast watching my kids get more self-confident and self-assured navigating their way through camp site life.  We started to teach Scorch how to ride his bike without his training wheels and I taught both kids how to play a mean hand of Uno.  The bad never outweighs the good- I mean, we were on vacation and that can’t suck no matter how hard it tries- but I can’t wait for our do-over next year!

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Things I Wonder About

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Today, thankfully, nothing has broken, been peed/puked/pooped upon and/or ruined. I’m calling that a success! The good thing about horrible days is that they set the bar so low that anything seems great in comparison.

I have a lot on my brain, but none of it substantial enough to make up a blog post (I know, right? When has that every stopped me?!) so today you get snippets:

> Is This My Life: A few weeks back, Scorch was taking part in two different sports during the same week. That meant that I washed that boy’s sport-specific socks and jock strap every. single. night.  I kept telling myself as annoying as it was, it was just a week. But then in dawned on me- it may be a week now, but in a few years, that’ll basically be my life when Scorch starts playing school sports. *sob*

> Is This My Life, Part II: Scorch got an MP3 player this past week as a belated birthday gift from some awesome family friends. He loves it- we downloaded about 20 songs on it and 3 approved Harry Potter videos and he’s in heaven.  The downside? He’s got those stinking headphones plugged into his ears all the time- so I’m talking to him or trying to get his attention and he cannot hear me. It’s maddening, so we’ve had to set limits on the thing.  This is a fight we’ll be fighting from now until Scorch moves out.  When did my 7 year old morph into a teenager?

> Puppy Love: We celebrated the Bean’s birthday this past weekend and one of her oldest friends brought her a bouquet of flowers he picked for her out of his garden.  He showed up with his hair combed just so, holding those flowers out and in search of my little girl to give them to. You want to see a bunch of adults melt into big piles of goo? Just watch them watch true puppy love in action- it’s adorable.

> Nosy Neighbors: As I bellowed at my kids while standing in front of an open window, telling them to go to bed for the 1 millionth time tonight, I wondered if my neighbors can hear me.  And I wonder if they judge me. I really hope not because they don’t see them 10 minute ramp up to me losing my cool or the 20 minute bedtime routine before that. One of our neighbors have kids of their own, so I’m sure they at least can sympathize (unless they, or their children, are saints) but the other couple is a childless older couple. I have no idea if they like kids, if they come from big families or if they get the craziness that is bedtime- but I sure hope their only impress of me isn’t as the crazy, screaming mom. Because that would stink.

> The Full Monty: To celebrate my birthday, the Hubs took me to see The Full Monty at a local theater. For the record, this isn’t something the Hubs would ever agree to had I not pulled The Birthday Trump Card on him. He’s not a fan of theater in general, but especially not of musicals about men learning to strip in particular. But the Birthday Wish wins, so we went.  And we loved it. It was so well done, so funny and so enjoyable that I’m flat out disappointed it took us 12 years of living in our town to discover this gem of a theater.  So here’s to getting older and expanding horizons!

 

Seriously? Today Stunk.

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I had a big blog post planned out in my head about my recent birthday. It was a good one- I promise. But then, today happened.

Freaking Mondays.

First, we had to take our car into the shop for the state inspection and an oil change. The mechanic’s have wi-fi so I figured I’d sit there for an hour, work and come out only about $50 poorer for my troubles.  Yeah- not quite. On the way to the mechanic’s I rolled down all 4 windows and when I tried to roll them back up, only three made it- the 4th was stuck.  So my quick and cheap visit to the mechanic ended up taking 2.5 hours and costing me almost $300.

But, you know what? Things happen- what can  you do? We didn’t have a choice but to fix the window and better it happen today when the garage had the parts. We were supposed to get rain tonight and I didn’t want to have to jury-rig some redneck window cover to tide us over, so fine- we can deal.

Sure enough, this afternoon it started to rain on my way to get the kids from school. Then, very quickly, the rain turned into a wicked storm with huge thunder boomers, lightening, winds and torrential rains. I had drugged our dog, Crazy, before I left (she’s storm-phobic) and let her out to pee. I was going to be gone 30 minutes tops, so I figured she couldn’t get into too much trouble.

I’m an idiot.

This is what we came home to (along with a lake of dog pee & a huge pile of vomit that went down our heating vent- didn’t take a picture of that. You’re welcome):

Those are scratch marks in my door jam and wall taken by light of the flashlight because we lost power.

Those are scratch marks in my door jam and wall taken by light of the flashlight because we lost power.

The poor dog had gotten herself stuck in the bathroom and completely lost her damn mind. It was something out of a horror flix.  I had to close the door of our bathroom and clean up the entire mess in the hot, damp room by the light of the flashlight.  Seriously people, I didn’t sign up for this when we got this mutt.

But damn it, I’m an optimist. It could have been worst- all the damage is repairable. The vent and floors can be easily cleaned and at least it was limited to this one area of the house. Yes, I wanted to vomit now myself (but couldn’t because no power = no running water, so I couldn’t flush the toilet).  Yes, I needed a full shower after stepping in unmentionable things (but couldn’t take one because of the no running water situation).  Yes, it was hotter then hell inside our tiny, windowless bathroom and I was sweating like a pig while breathing through my mouth.  But things could have been worse.

They got worse.

This is what I saw when I went to let the dog out after cleaning the mess from hell:

Yes, that is my patio table smashed to a million pieces.

Yes, that is my patio table smashed to a million pieces.

 

I freaking, fracking give up. I’m DONE with this day. D-O-N-E. Done.  The wind picked the table up, literally flipped it over and this is what’s on my back porch now. So after I got done cleaning up the dog pee and puke, I got to deal with this.  At this point at least the Hubs was home to help out.  I wish I could say that we handled all this with grace, as a unified couple- us against the world style. But, let’s be real here.  All we did was bitch at each other, biting each others head’s off, sniping over the whole freaking mess all the while yelling at the kids to STAY OFF THE DECK so they didn’t step on any glass. All of which caused Scorch to have a mini-panic attacked worried that he was either going to catch his sisters cold, get sick from the smell of the dog puke or end up with glass in his foot.  Which, at least that didn’t happen. No child, parent or dog ended up in the ER today, although one of us may have threatened to tie the dog deep in the woods tonight and leave her.**

So- how was your Monday?

**And no- we would never hurt our dog. We may fantasize about it on days like today, but if we haven’t sent her over the Rainbow Bridge yet, I think she’s safe from us.

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Sometimes on Monday (or any other day, for that matter), all I’m good for is thought fragments. Today is one of those days:

> I sent Beaner to school today wearing: leggings, a skirt, a sleeveless Hawaiian print dress over her skirt (so you could only see like 1/2 of the skirt) and a cream colored crocheted sweater that went down to her knees (covering her dress and skirt), two braids in her hair AND a sparkly purple headband. And it wasn’t even wacky dress day- it was just how she chose to dress herself.

> For almost 7 months now, the Bean has been asking to color her hair. She 1) is four and 2) goes to a private school, so I said no. But I did agree that when school was over (this week), she could put a few color streaks in her hair (done via our hairdresser).  Nothing obnoxious- it comes out in about 10 washes and it won’t damage her hair at all.  Like many things, I swear I told the Hubs about this, but he says this week is the first he’s hearing about it and he’s throwing a fit.  He and I have very different philosophies- I say hair can always grow back/be changed, he says says I’m setting the Bean up for a life time of delinquency. We’ll see who wins this one.

> This morning, as I’m looking down our stairs at my dog, she looked right back up at me and promptly peed on our landing, all over the Bean’s boots. After calling her a few bad names, I put her outside, cleaned up and went to the vet for a few vials to collect her urine in tomorrow morning. I need a dog with a UTI like I need a hole in the head.

> Scorch has decided to start keeping a diary/journal.  If we needed more proof that he was my kid, there you go.

> He’s also started sneaking in extra time to read. I had to explain to him last night that if he was going to read after lights out, he at least had to stop laughing his butt off at Bad Kitty so loudly because that’s a dead giveaway.

> It’s officially driveway chalk season- which may be my favorite season of all.

Please note the realistic depiction of some of the Power Rangers in the top right, as well as her writing skills!

Please note the realistic depiction of some of the Power Rangers in the top right, as well as her writing skills!

Walking Disasters

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That about sums us up today…

This morning we got up and out a little earlier then usual so we could attend a fundraiser breakfast for the kid’s school. The kids were excited and I was thrilled because there are few things I like better then breakfast out.  But, we didn’t even make it out of the driveway before the drama started. Scorch wanted to bring two lego figures with him to breakfast and asked me to get him a good guy and a bad guy.  All I could find were two bad guys and he was Not Pleased. At all. So he generally threw a fit the entire 10 minute drive over.

When we got to the restaurant, Scorch dropped the hat to one of his lego guys into a crevice of the car and he couldn’t reach it.  This normally wouldn’t be a huge deal, but the Hubs was dropping us off and there was a line of 4 cars behind us waiting to get out while Scorch tried (unsuccessfully) to reach the freaking hat. The Hubs and I finally ended up yelling at him to get him to move out of the car before the folks behind us started honking.  So that’s why I walked into breakfast this morning with a 4 year telling me in a sticky sweet voice how good she’s been and my 6 year old crying. Awesome.

The kids and I got a table, I got Scorch calmed down and we went up the buffet line.  The Hubs wasn’t there, but I decided that we’d be fine. I’d hold the Bean’s plate along with mine and Scorch could hold his.  So I’m ordering my food while constantly muttering “use two hands” under my breath to Scorch. I swear I only took a 2 second break in  my mantra, but that was enough. Scorch got distracted and that big china plate tumbled to the ground, breaking into a million pieces.  Now, if there is anything Scorch hates more then calling attention to himself in a negative way, I don’t know what it is. So suddenly I’m juggling two full plates with a 6 year old burrowing into my side all while trying to help clean up a mess and apologizing left and right.  That was fun.

But the mess got cleaned up and we made it back to the table with our food- just in time for the Hubs to arrive. Finally- man on man defense. So we all dig in and make it 5 whole minutes before disaster strikes again. Just as the Hubs got done warning the Bean to move her cup to the inside of the table, he knocks his OJ to the ground- and, in the process of cleaning that, he dumps the Bean’s water.  As this point, all I can do is laugh. I mean- come on. It’s not even 10:30 in the morning.  I bet the entire wait staff (all 6th graders and parent volunteers) let out a huge sigh of relief when we left.

I wish I could say the day got better, but it really didn’t. The Hubs got a migraine, I was that mom putting her kids in timeout in the aisles of Target and Scorch managed to spill half of my much-loved Starbucks hot chocolate.  But our evening was spent with friends, the Hubs is feeling better and both kids are sound asleep.  Here’s hoping tomorrow is much, much less eventful!

 

Well, That was Awesome!

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And it was. It, of course, being Christmas!  All the shopping, wrapping, stress, anticipation and craziness was more than worth it for all the fun we’ve had in the past 8 days.

To recap, we have:

> Celebrated Christmas 7 times since last Saturday: 1) the Hub’s Dad’s side of the family, 2) the Hub’s Mom’s side of the family, 3) my immediate family (parents, siblings, etc), 4) my Dad’s side of the family, 5) just the 4 of us, 6) Christmas night hodgepodge at my aunt and uncle’s and 7) my Mom’s side of the family. And we still have one more celebration to go!

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> Taken over 300 new pictures.

> Celebrated my brother’s engagement!

> Gone through 3 rolls of wrapping paper and 3 rolls of tape.

> Unwrapped all those hard-wrapped presents in under 20 minutes each time we’ve exchanged gifts.

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> Eaten more food in one week then I have in months- and enjoyed every bite of it.

> Spent 2+ hours sledding.

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> Driven well over 400 miles doing round trips to various family members homes.

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> Gone on one date night, had one breakfast with friends from high school and had one girl’s night out with my sister and mom.

> Watched Scorch put together 7 lego sets and meltdown approximately 100 times when said lego sets fall apart when moving them around.

> Had a billion lightsaber fights since we are now the proud owners of 7 lightsabers (you can never have too many, you know).

> Watched 4 movies with the Hubs- only one of which I’d recommend (Trouble with the Curve).

> Enjoyed each and every day of this vacation as both the Hubs and I have been off since the 24th!

All in all? This has been one amazing holiday!

 

 

Man vs. Tree, Christmas Style

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Last weekend it was time to get our Christmas tree.  Heck, if it was up to Hubs, we’d have our tree in Oct. But since we get a live tree, that just isn’t feasible (thank goodness!).  We didn’t have time to make our annual pilgrimage to the local tree farm- you know that place in the middle of no where you drive to, spend 2 hours walking around and end up selecting the first tree you saw at the bottom of the hill? Yeah- that didn’t fit into our schedule this year, so we went to the picturesque lot right in the Burger King parking lot.

We were looking for a specific type of tree (Concolor Fir) and this lot only had 4 of them. None of them looked that impressive to me- they all looked a little short and not terribly full, but we had to get a tree that day and we didn’t have the time to drive all over God’s green earth to look at another lot. So we picked a tree.

As the Hubs was walking it over to the car, I noticed that the tree towered over him. Given that the Hubs is over 6 feet tall, it started to occur to me that perhaps the tree was larger then I gave it credit for.  The very nice guy who ran the lot offered to trim the trunk for us- so  he, and his awesome chain saw, made quick work out of lopping at least 8 inches off the bottom.  Perfect. On to the car it went and we took our tree home.

The next day it was time to put the tree up.  It became apparent very quickly that all that trimming we did wasn’t nearly enough. Yes, those are branches bending over b/c they have hit my 9 foot high ceiling.

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Never mind- that’s not anything that another quick trim can’t fix. On to decorating we go! This is the first year ever that both kids were super psyched to help us decorated AND were actually helpful.  Having kids is finally paying off!

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Things were going swimmingly until it was time to put the star on the tree. After we had the kids fight it out cage-match style to figure out who got this honor, it was time for Beaner to put  it on (she’s small, but she’s strong*).  That is, until she completely freaked out over being that high up on the Hub’s shoulders and flat out refused to try to put it up.  We gave Scorch a shot and he maned up and got the star on there.  Only there was a small problem:

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Yup..when we gave our tree its haircut, we didn’t take into account the height of the star.  The words that came out of the Hubs mouth when trimming our tree for the 3rd time were neither family friendly or in the holiday spirit.  But we did it!

I give you the Griswold Family Christmas Tree:

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Now, let’s all say a quick prayer that 1) no woodland creatures emerge from it and 2) my cats don’t knock it over. Amen.

 

 

*Name that movie.