Saturday, August 17, 2013

It's the weekend TEN

1.  Last Sunday we had what I'd call an epic church FAIL.  We all got ready to go to a new church.  Service time 11:11.  It's the contemporary version of the Methodist church I attend bible study at during the week.  The boys LOVE their nursery because they have an indoor playground and always ask to go so we thought we'd try it.  When we arrived about 11am, there was a significant traffic jam and as we approached the building we realized we weren't the only ones looking for parking.  No, we were merely one of about 60 searching for a parking place and not a single person was leaving the premises headed home.  We gave it one go round the lot before we bailed and got out.  Realizing that all other church services had started at least 15 minutes ago, we were out of options for churching.  Talk about all dressed up and no place to go!  We ended up near the theatre and lucky for the boys, the 3D version of Planes was showing at 11:30.  Hoping we didn't set a bad example, we relented and put on our 3D glasses and enjoyed the show.  For the record, we will be attending our regular 5 minutes from home church this week.

2.  She ain't in ALABAMA no more.

 Texas claims to be in the south and the heat it produces rivals most southern heat waves but there are several distinct differences that prove Texas is not of the true South.
Sweet Tea.  Sometimes you find it and sometimes you don't.  What kind of yankee places doesn't boast sweet tea?
The Parking Deck.  I was recently meeting some friends when I texted them saying I was "in the deck."  She quickly responded, "you are where?"  The deck?  I told her I was in the parking deck.  She informed me that around here, we call that a Parking Garage.  Texans.
Shopping at the local HEB I went to return my buggy.  I asked a lady if she wanted this buggy and she corrected me saying sure, she'd take that CART off my hands for me.  Shopping cart/Shopping buggy.  Both mean big money at the checkout. ha!
I met a friend down in Houston recently.  I told her I was in traffic on the interstate.  She said she was just pulling off the freeway.  We were on the same road.  Around here, the interstate or I-45 is more commonly referred to as "the freeway".  My belief is that it stems from Texas believing they are the only state in the nation.  Therefore no "interstate" would be needed.

3.  Last week I joined the ranks of "the best mom EVER".  If only for a day, I was labeled that.  In an attempt to finish our 14 pools of the Woodlands tour before school starts, we had to double up one day.  We went to a neighborhood a few minutes away and spent a couple hours at the pool there before moving on to yet another pool.  The kids proudly boasted to their new friends that they had been to 2 pools today!  I'm sure that title was short lived.  It dropped off when we got home and I insisted they help put up the dishes or take their shoes to their room (gasp!) but it was fun while it lasted and I don't think they'll soon forget going.

4.  I sent my hairdryer to heaven recently.  As I was drying my tresses, it hesitated and then blew sparks.  I launched it across the room and didn't call for it to be resuscitated.  Nope, it got a DNR  and I quickly pronounced it dead.  Within the hour, an amazon order had been placed to move into it's spot.  It's new and improved tenant is a fancier version than I've ever had.  It should arrive on Monday.  I'll review it later but for now I'm stuck using the upstairs "guest room" hairdryer and my hair does NOT appreciate the low quality blow out it's been receiving.  In fact, good hair days are on strike until they get some heat.

5.  During the move, I had finished or tossed most of my cleaning agents.  It's not something movers like to move so we usually go ahead and finish them off.  Since moving into a new house, clorox wipes from costco have been doing a pretty good job but it was time to reinvest in cleaners and ones more specific for my new digs.  I needed granite cleaner for the countertops.  I needed stainless steel cleaner for the appliances.  I needed hardwood cleaner for the espresso wood floors.  And I needed glass shower cleaner for the shower door.  I never knew one needed so many cleaners.  I can remember the days when my grandmother used nothing but Top Job.  If there was a mess, Tob Job was the cleaner for it.  Maybe she was onto something.

6.  I've got a BIG trip coming up.
 I'm joining 12 of my former Army wife sisters from our beloved neighborhood in North Carolina for a reunion trip in Beaver Creek Colorado!  We are coming from ALL over to meet there and I'm super excited for a girls weekend AND to see Colorado!  I've been doing some research on places to visit and of course the best dining in all the land.  If you've ever been to Vail, Avon or Beaver Creek, I'm taking recommendations!

7.  I've got the POWER!  Mom bought me a portable iphone charger for those of us who can run down an iphone battery by noon.  I'm famous for that around here because only after living here for nearly 3 months have I finally figured out my way to the mall and back without using the GPS.  It will charge my battery 4 times on a single charge and its about the same size as the phone itself.  Worked pretty handy when we were navigating New Orleans by foot and didn't have a car charger nearby.  Who'd of thought my mom would ever be so tech savvy!

 I have a new favorite candle.  It doesn't replace my former love but more ties with it.  I'm a total candle snob and I think these candles are truly the best. Not all of them but a select few will smell up your house within the hour. Tyler candles are always my favorite but I'm particularly fond of the French Market scent.  My new favorite is Platinum.  It was a little Friday night gift to myself when Jason was in Alaska last week.  I highly recommend them BOTH!

9.  Peanut Butter Cheerios.
 I don't normally keep cereal (besides homemade granola) in the house and THIS is why.  I can not keep my hands off this stuff.  It's like a slightly healthier version of Peanut Butter Cpt'n Crunch.  It's illegally good and I almost dare you to try having just one bowl.  You just can't stop until the milk is gone.  Now I'm not saying you should try them!  Nope, I won't be responsible if another one bites the dust but if you do, well, Cheers and you're welcome!!

10.  I was on the way to bootcamp at 6:20 Wednesday morning.  I knew it looked a little darker than normal and suspected rain.  I checked my weather app since I hadn't watched the news in days and read:
"Partly cloudy today with a HIGH of 65..."
my eyes bugged out of my head a little, 65!, What?!  Texas hasn't ever seen 65 in AUGUST!
Then I realized it's been quite a while since I've pulled up the weather app.  As in 4 months or more when I was living in Nashville.  Sure enough, Nashville had a high of 65.  Texas on the other hand had a high of 94 with heat indexes over 100.  That's more like it.  Then all day I hear of all the wonderful sweatless outdoor activities my friends are participating in while enjoying this "fall like" day.  I said goodbye to fall last year.  Permanently.  I spent most of the day inside (where it's cool!) being jealous.  Then I had to remember in December when I put on my flip flops to walk to school, you'll be looking for your coats and gloves so you don't catch a cold!  We moved here at the beginning of pure misery but I've been promised that all winter it makes up for this brutality with mild temps and only needing a cardigan sometimes.  Yep, I think I'm going to learn to love Texas!
{{But, for the seasons among many other reasons...I'll always always miss my Nashville}}

Friday, August 2, 2013

Get used to it! and other life events

1.  It's HOT in Texas.  No one will deny that.  In fact, it's so hot last year that Jason and I will forever have a memorable moment to laugh about.  He claimed last summer,  "sure, it's crazy hot but you'll get used to it."  You acclimate to it somehow.  I was NOT a believer.  And if you consider the temps in June, you can understand my disbelief.  But as I strolled through the Target parking lot today at noon and a balmy 101, I thought to myself, "Its hot, but I'm getting used to it."  Yep, Houston hot is growing on me.

2.  We have insurance!  This may not be big news to you but after all the run around we had to go through to all be covered under the SAME insurance policy, this is GREAT news.  For the last year we have had 3 policies.  One CRAPPY one for me, a great one for both kids and an ok grad school one for Jason.  If you think dealing with one insurance is fun, try 3 different ones.  Not only is this insurance cover us all, it seems as if it will do a mighty fine job.  Now my insurances standards are not what I'd consider high but this is the kind of insurance that when you have a sick child, you can call and get an appointment the SAME day, without calling into the "appointment lottery" and feeling like a winner if you score an after hours appointment at 8:30 pm!  (I know you Tri-care girls know what I mean here!)  This is a choose your own doctors, everyone accepts it kind of insurance and I'm truly thankful for it!

3.  It's that time of year again.  As a child I loved getting new school supplies.  What I failed to realize is that my mother had to search and PAY for said school supplies that I mostly just wasted drawing and pasting on while learning through workbooks paid for by our tax dollars! I also remember that what I really wanted was glitter pens and they were NEVER on the school supply list! Today I decided that it's something like a grown up scavenger hunt.  You get a list of elusive things to find and collect.  Some are super easy (and cheap) like 24 ct crayons.  I wouldn't even consider purchasing the target brand crayons when everyone knows crayola are the best.  But then you get thing like a 100 ct spiral notebook in light blue.  Well, not even addressing the color issue, have you tried to find a 100 ct WIDE rule notebook?  No?  Well let me tell you , the standard size notebook is 70 ct.  Not sure where they came up with 70 ct but it's a fact and the 100 ct. ones, those are all college ruled.  So do you have to choose?  Then a 10.5x5.5 pencil bag.  They come in 9.5x7 and 10.5x7.5 but if you happen to see one like I need, please inform me because not even Amazon could help me there.  I always wonder, does the teacher actually care?  My mom who teaches 7th graders says I don't care what they have as long as they come with a pencil and ready to learn.  I even have paper if they "forget" it.  So are teachers actually pleased when we come back with a completed list purchased from every store in town and amazon shipping what we couldn't find? Me and my amazon account  sure hope so!

4.  It's consignment season.  Twice a year consignment sales are all the talk in "mommy world".  Its where you can buy gently used children's clothes at a fraction of the retail cost.  I've made a habit of going and overbuying clothes for my boys.  I have BOYS, finding cute clothes is like a needle in a haystack.  I am finding the older Jackson gets, the harder and harder it is to find the kind of clothes I want him to wear.  I do not like character shirts and all sports wear.  Luckily for me he has no opinion and will wear whatever I tell him to.  I usually "work" a shift at the sale in order to shop early.  Better selection, less crowds.  This year I'm doing two different ones, that way I can decide which I like best.  Yesterday my two best scores were a couple of Hanna Andersson pjs, not for my babies but for my niece, Allie Gray and two matching pairs of Sperrys for the boys.  Now they both have some like daddy!

5.  We're going on vaca next week!  Separately.  Yes, we are going on two completely opposite trips next week.  Jason got an incredible chance through work to go to ALASKA!  You better believe his job got a lot better that day!  He's had a couple of "work trips" in his previous career.  None of them were to places one would consider fun, safe or even pleasant for that matter.  It's about time his work send him somewhere nice!  The boys and I will be visiting The Big Easy!  I'm getting the boys back from Camp Nanapawpaw by way of train.  They are taking a train ride from Tuscaloosa to NOLA.  We are staying on Algier's Point and will take the Ferry across to the French Quarter for sight seeing.  I've never stayed in NOLA but I'm pretty sure the food will be divine!  And let's be honest, that's what vacation is really about!  (blog to follow)

6.  How DARE they?  Right before I arrived at the grocery store, they saw me coming and placed 2 tubes of nestle toll house chocolate chip cookies out on clearance, knowing I couldn't turn them down.  I mean I like to save money, who doesn't?  So I bought both tubes.  One was "for Jason" and the other was "for the neighbors".  Ok, I may have had like one (3).  I came home from sushi dinner with girls to find that Jason had only consumed ONE cookie!  Wha?  I made them for him.  He needed to eat them ALL!  So I had to go about putting them away and trying to resist eating another one.  I got these totally cool (thanks, mom) bags at Target this week that are portion controlled.  They have the markings for each 1/2 cup, 1 cup etc.  It's great for the snacks I SHOULD be portion controlling but I had the hardest time making my cookies fit into them?!?!

7.  They say absence makes the heart grow fonder.  I'm totally buying that right now.  It's been longer than I expected since I've seen the kids and I'm finding myself sad and longing as I drive by the local parks and pools.  No, I don't want to go to the pools by myself.  I don't want to ride bikes alone and walk alone to the park.  What I've discovered is kids are a lot of the reason I have FUN.  Sure, adults are fun sometimes but kids are almost ALWAYS fun.  That's all they do is have fun. It's kinda like their job, which makes my job, well FUN!   Now don't think they have had any lack of fun as they have been on fun overdrive with my family.  Nevertheless, I'm ready to get them back so we can enjoy the last of the summer FUN.  We have big plans for pools, ice cream, parks, museums and just FUN!  Don't let anyone fool ya, kids are A LOT of hard work but a whole lot more FUN!

8.  New Fav:  I am a water only at restaurants kinda girl.  I mainly only drink water anyway but Jason almost always gets soda or something and I'll have a drink or two of his if I feel inclined (it's my wifely right!).  At my new fav taco stand, Berryhill, they have a mint lemonade that is a real WOW!  They knowingly make it FAR too sweet for most humans taste so they go ahead and give you an extra glass to dilute it with water when you get ice.  I almost always leave with a to-go cup.  Or two.

9.  As all of my TN friends are sending their kids back to school, I'm a little happy that we don't start back until Aug 26.  That's 3 more weeks at the pool for us.  Sure, I'll be jealous when they all have off two weeks in the fall and spring when the weather is not 106 daily but for now, we'll be keeping it cool in the pool.

10.  I'm off for a lunch date in Houston.  This girl and I have come a LONG LONG way "together".  We met in North Carolina through a mutual Hawaii friend at a "family" Thanksgiving celebration, military style. Since then we've both made some big life changes including one of us traveling to distant worlds while the other was just residing in the home of country music.  Either way, we both ended up here in Houston although I only see her about once every other month.  When you talk about houston, you might as well be talking about different cities.  She in sugarland and I in The Woodlands is about a 50 minute trip (with NO traffic, which doesn't happen) I'm just glad we make the time to see each other when we can!  Our boys fell in love instantly as little boys do and I hope we can get them together again before school starts.  My first thought was to go here.  I decide that may be better left to a "ladies only" kinda lunch.  We are opting for something a little more kid friendly.  I'm thinking Mexican, Mediterranean or Thai.  Good thing they aren't picky eaters.  We have eclectic tastes!