Monday, July 13, 2015

Happy 15th Anniversary Honey, now can you comb all the lice out of my head please?

In sickness and in health right?  That's how we spent our 15th wedding anniversary, combing head lice that were discovered 2 days into our 3 day road trip.  Definitely unforgettable.  Also, adding this to list as quality that young brides must look for in future husband - willingness to comb long hair over and over and over.  Stupid head lice.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Things to do before a 3 day road trip

Financial:
1.  Check which credit card is currently offering 5% back on gas.  Usually in the summer there is one card offering this.
2.  Do all bills and take necessary disk drives or devices to continue doing bills during the trip.  This works for me, it may not be suitable for everyone but I find that it's just easier to have everything with me.  There is the risk of traveling with confidential information, but there's also risk our house could be robbed.
3.  Prepare a backup of sensitive information - like account passwords, living will & testament, etc and hand to trusted family member so it's not sitting in your house in case of an invasion.

Vehicle:
1.  Oil change/fill tires with air/fix any nail punctures
2.  Rain-X on front/back windows and exterior mirrors.
3.  Evaluate everyone's comfort and upgrade accordingly.  For us it meant adding a fan that clips to the back seat because it takes FOREVER for the van to cool down and we are headed to one of the hottest places on earth - West Texas in July!  We also got sun visors that suction cup to the windows for days when the sun is setting directly in your window and it's blinding you or your tiny one.

House:
1.  Mow lawn, weed garden, etc
2.  Take out all trash and place in pick up bins for your helpful house sitter/cousin/brother to put curbside while your gone.
3.  Have heard from another blogger to change sheets so the beds are fresh for your return but if I have to do one more thing I will scream!
4.  Clean fridge of all food that will perish during trip. 
5.  Do all dishes.
6.  Do all laundry, for us this was necessary because we didn't have enough clean clothes for all family members to reach 7 full days so clearly some kids need more options in their wardrobes!  This part drove me half batty because it's hard to feel progressive about packing when one is up to a full set of jammies but missing 2 shirts and 3 shorts. 

Packing:
Part I Food
-- Dry snacks bag
  • Peanut Butter
  • Bagels
  • Mini Croissants
  • Coffee - for making Iced Coffee
  • Graham Crackers
  • Applesauce Packets
  • Filters for making iced coffee
-- Cooler Food
  • mini cooler packed with all blocks of cheese in our fridge - TIP mini cooler got really wet because it's insulation absorbed the ice water in cooler so might try just a square container with lid to hold things that I don't want submerged
  • cheese sticks - only 1 kid ate them and some days they were thrown onto the floor :((
  • cottage cheese - did not get touched
  • plain yogurt (because I hate hotel breakfasts)
  • 1/2 loaf of pumpkin bread (because I hate hotel breakfasts)
  • cream cheese icing for pumpkin bread (because I'm spoiled)
  • milk (for my iced coffee so I'm not obsessing over Starbucks on the road)
  • Iced coffee in thermos
  • container of leftover baked pasta just in case we are hungry at night in a hotel room with a microwave (okay this was overboard)
  • bag of apples and oranges - did not get touched
  • hummus - picked up mid-trip from Whole Foods, it was wonderful for quick dinners and snacks on naan bread
  • chicken on a stick - picked up from Whole foods with the intention of making quick meals but it was really disgusting to pull off the stick in a parking lot with nothing to really wash with but baby wipes
  • Go Gurt - very popular, worked well for snacks every day
Part II Luggage
  • Parent suitcase - took 10 minutes, husband and I are just that easy when it comes to travel
  • Kid suitcase - divided it into 3 sections with cardboard tabs and stacked the following categories:
    • Pajama's 7
    • Day Clothes 7
    • Socks 7 (forgot to pack shoes and they only wore sandals so this was pointless)
    • Underwear 7
    • Nighttime & Daytime pull-ups, enough for 3 days but still ran out mid-trip on the one wearing them all day
  • Baby suitcase
    • 3-4 days of diapers
    • night time lamb
    • Pajama's 7
    • Day Clothes 7
Part III Bedding (since our family of 6 exceeds 2 queen beds of hotel rooms)
  • Pack N Play for Evie - most hotels will have this but we will be staying with friends and family that do not have baby accommodations
  • Toddler blow up mattress from our camping gear with noisy mini generator to blow up mattress
  • twin size sheet and small blanket
Part IV Entertainment
  • Mama
    • Embroidery box - this probably needs a post in itself!  I've learned that doing embroidery in long car rides is relaxing so I've got a portable box that's fully packed and easy to travel with
    • One book - real!  Not kindle.  Mom gave me a gift card for my birthday so it seemed like a good time to use it.
  • Kids
    • One small backpack each with whatever toys they can cram in
    • One box of entertainment with books and doodle pads
    • One electronic device each (including my Kindle which must rotate so each kid can watch movies).  Each device seemed to rotate daily and sometimes multiple times daily.
  • Dad
    • Busy driving so don't need anything for road.
Part V Pets
  • Send dog to Aunty's house where he'll be well loved
  • First take cat to the vet the day before trip and find out why she's pulling hair out, get her medicated, then arrange for cousin to stop by frequently to check on her because she will get even more upset if we move her to another house
Finally, hit the road!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Father's Day 2015 - Part 2

I stayed home to feed the baby while the family left for Sunday school.  While feeding her I decided to get caught up on some bills and in doing so, realized our health insurance had been canceled by a misunderstanding with the Maryland Exchange.  I was paralyzed with shock and numbly gathered baby and headed to church.  As I pulled into the parking lot dread settled over me like a smothering blanket.  I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  My dad died 11 years ago so I kept thinking why bother even going inside, I don’t have a dad.  This service is just going to be about dads and everyone will be super happy and I’ll get even more depressed.  But a small voice said just go, you’re already here.  Just go inside.

The service ended up being the most healing and precious time I’ve ever spent inside a church.  Someone, I don’t know who, had arranged to play a recording of a song that my dad was well known for singing.  I was stunned to hear his voice.  His song was “Jesus is more than enough”.  More than enough to handle my insurance debacle?  More than enough to handle my anxiety over my trip to Florida?  To cover me while driving in Florida on the crazy busy 95 highway with 6 lanes when I’ve gotten used to 2 lanes? 

I left church feeling comforted and my anxiety lifted to where I felt like I could breathe again. 
 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Gay couples can now marry, Bristal Palin is Pregnant, Escaped Convict shot and Trump continutes his crazy attack on all immigrants

Every once in awhile there are just so many headlines that jump out as historic and downright crazy at the same time that I thought today's mix was worth listing out - for my own reference later in life when I say to myself - oh yeah way back then on June 26, 2015.

Let's start with SCOTUS - I didn't know what this stood for until today.  I've heard POTUS used more frequently this year and even FLOTUS but SCOTUS had me a bit confused so it took me a tad bit longer to figure out what was going on today then probably everyone else.  Apparently it means Supreme Court of the United States, because just saying Supreme Court takes way too long to type.  Anyway, they finally got around to making the decision for same-sex couples to marry.  It's historic and that's all I'm going to say about that.

The next announcement is that Bristal Palin is pregnant, out of wedlock, again.  Who cares?  She's apologizing to her family and I just don't get it.  She's an adult now.  It was like a big deal when she was a teenager and her mom was running for vice president but no one cares now. 

Then we find out the escaped convict who had one of the most interesting escapes in ages got shot and killed.  I want to know why?  But the article just says he's dead.  Did he fight back?  I want details!  It's like a live action movie with no information.  Boring.

Lastly, Trump continues his crazy attack on all immigrants and even goes so far as to say he will shut down all trade with Mexico to bring back jobs to the US.  He would make the worst public relations president ever.  It's so much fun to watch the crazy unfold and he's completely unapologetic.  In fact when challenged, he gets even more aggressive!  Could you imagine being his handler? 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Father's Day 2015

I don't get excited about Father's Day because my dad passed away in 2004 and I really miss him.  This year I was extra stressed because of an upcoming business trip, my 2nd since having baby.  I'm so out of my traveling routine.  I get worried about having dishes done, laundry folded and put away, bills finished because if I die while I'm away I don't want anyone to have to deal with any urgent bill issues right away.  I get a little over dramatic sometimes in imagining the worst.  Saturday was like that.  And Saturday is my husband's day off to mow the lawn and get stuff done around the house but I guess he could see I was not doing well.  He stopped what he was doing and told me he was going to spend the day with us.  And that's the dad I hope my son is some day.  A man who will give up his only day off to make sure his wife has less anxiety.  A man who will try really hard to make her laugh when she's got that worry wrinkle on her forehead. 

I got my packing done early so we went to a movie.  It was really nice to do something as a family since I'm to be gone for 3 days. 

So Father's day came the next day and I thought to myself, I've picked the best father I could have picked for my kids.  He's selfless and caring.  I only hope we give him enough love in return.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

730 days in Maryland - that's 2 years!

Hard to believe we tumbled out of our minivan and truck/Filmore trailer 2 years ago to relocate in Hagerstown, MD.  I'm astonished to see I never blogged about the move although I did tweet about it here.  Check out this awesome trailer my husband made to move our stuff. 


Filmore has become a shed since moving to Maryland.

It's been wonderful to live near family and work from home.  I treasure these two years and after seeing the news about these poor young kids getting bit by sharks in waste deep water I don't even miss the ocean.  When we lived in FL, I'd get heart palpitations every time I took our crew to the beach because how fast they are to want to jump right in and they want you to go out far into the water and keep them safe on a boogie board.  Not fun at all!  So no, there's absolutely nothing about Florida that I miss at this point.  Even winter has not deterred me from enjoying our new life in Maryland.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Working With Babies is Impossible


6:55 - it's way too late to be still working but I'm not done and no one has come to deliver a baby.  It's surprisingly quiet, I'll just finish these last few concepts that have been sitting in my inbox for 3 days.

7:04 - a baby is dropped into my lap with the statement "I'm sorry dear but I can't make dinner, she's being - difficult".

I manage to upload one more concept in the next 10 minutes whilst juggling her from one arm to the other as I shift and save.  I can't remember why it requires so much juggling, must be due to her attempting an angry downward dog and my attempts to wrangle while fervently continuing to upload my files!

Baby escalates unto crisis mode because she does NOT want me to sit at a desk.





She's 5.5 months old and my 4th.  I've rarely had much success with holding a baby while working so I fully believe it's not possible unless they are sleeping and preferably not on me!  Glad my husband is a stay at home dad or my productivity would be in the toilet!