Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Busy Busy

Well I am a total loser at blog updating lately. Yikes! Not that life isn't busy as usual, but I just haven't had anything out of the ordinary to talk about. My birthday was the 18th, and it started raining the day before, and rained for about 8 days straight. So needless to say, there were lots of new "lakes" and ponds around here for a few days. We're getting a nice break from it now, but it's still a possibility of rain for the next 7 days.

Daughter has approximately 11 days left of school. I can't BELIEVE I am the mom of a soon to be first grader! Time truly does fly and I can't believe how much she's learned in one year. Her school is most definitely awesome. Son's speech is starting to pick up, some days he nearly babbles all day, and then some days he just busts out with random words like applesauce and rainbow- things he's seen around the house, but that we haven't coached him into talking about. Truth be told, I think he's just stubborn and will talk when he feels like it. ;)

Memorial Day was nice- we had a break from the rain and we were able to go swimming all afternoon. Son has made a complete 180 from last summer. He can tolerate the pool a lot longer, and he LOVES to swim! I don't think we're going to have any problems teaching him. Daughter has not learned yet. You can definitely tell the difference between the kids who have always lived here, and those that haven't. The ones that have always lived here can swim better than I can it seems! Then like us, we only went to the pool once a year- on vacation. The pools in our neighborhood in WV were quite junked and full of some interesting folk, so we never went. Hence why daughter can't swim- she's taken lessons, but not enough. Son LOVES to float in his arm floaties, holding totally still and just smiling SO big, he's so proud of himself and it just melts my heart!

The family will be here Friday to watch daughters dance recital. 5 people at my house. Only 3 are staying here though. This week is really busy for us. I have 5 separate days that I have to have daughter in full dance costume, hair done, and makeup. She has two separate picture days, 1 rehearsal day, and 2 recital days, with her usual gymnastics class squeezed in there as well. Needless to say, I will most likely be over the whole dance thing by the end of the week. 5 days of hair in a bun is a bit too much for this mama to deal with, it takes at least 20 minutes to get it "perfect" each time. ;)

So anyhow, the family arriving on Friday kicks off what I officially like to think of as a very busy, but hopefully fun, summer. Between all of the busy stuff, we plan on just hanging out in the pool in our neighborhood all day. The family leaves here on June 1st. Husband will be out of town the 10th-20th. A week of summer camp in there somewhere for daughter. Then my mom will be back here on the 25th-28th. Then on July 12th, we leave for family vacation until the 18th. Then on the 23rd-26th, I take a short cruise to the Bahamas with the kids, my grandma and mother in law. Daughter goes back to WV with them to visit, and comes back on Aug. 9th. Then she and I leave Aug. 18th to go to her Jonas Brothers concert- which she still doesn't know about, I'm giving her the tickets for kindergarten graduation. Then back home the next day, and back to school the 24th. Then I have about a one month breather before my girls cruise.

Are you tired yet? ;) It's definitely a lot of traveling, but it's something that I love to do. Of course I hate the mess and laundry afterwards too ;)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy (almost) anniversary!

The end of this month marks one year since we moved here to FL, and I honestly cannot believe it's been that long already. Do I feel settled? Not completely. Moving somewhere as adults, and fitting in, takes time. It's nice to go outside and actually TALK to our neighbors now. I would say about 50% of people we encounter here are standoff-ish, and some just downright not friendly. But there are good ones that make up for it. Things take time. This major change in my life is trying to teach me patience. I've gained some, but not a lot ;)
Some days I feel like I've made my place in life- we've moved away, we've proved we can do it on our own. And some days, I feel like I'm just temporarily here, waiting on husband to drop the ball and say "we're going back". I know that that all rests on my shoulders- I get the feeling that he will never truly be content here, but he will never leave unless I say so (and I have no intentions of any such thing).
My major hurdle is still the lack of friends- it's a hard thing to do when you're not working, and not in school. I am hoping to get involved in the mom's groups this summer and meet some moms my age. There seem to be few of them. Most people are older, with kids our age- maybe that's another difference I hadn't thought of. Apparently there are other things to do in FL as a teen then get into trouble and/or have sex- thus, mostly older parents, and not younger like I encountered in WV ;)
So without further adieu, here are things I have learned and noticed in my first year as a FL resident (gotta love those Disney discounts! ;) ). This obviously doesn't cover them all, but my intention is to only SLIGHTLY bore you to tears ;)

#1- There are no native Floridians here. We have met about 2 of them. Everyone else is from some other state, which leads me to believe that people who grow up here can't wait to get the hell out of here, and the rest of the country can't wait to get here.

#2- The schools suck. For anyone who ever considered moving here, the schools suck. You basically have to look at the state of FL, pick the good county school districts (few), and then pick a place to live near one of them. There is no such thing as moving, then just going to whatever school you live near, it could spell disaster. Florida ranks 50 out of 50 states in public school funding. Hence the reason we moved out of the city a bit, because the schools were junk in our area. Now we're a bit further out, but in a fabulous school. Love it!

#3- The water here is the nastiest liquid thing I have ever encountered in my life, other than beer. ;) Seriously. Lots of sulfur water. It's a real damper for someone who hasn't lived here forever because I walk around knowing that I stink like that water- and so does everyone else, but I guess they're just used to it. So yes, we stink,but at least we're just like everyone else. I go through a TON of fabric softener- liquid and sheets- to cover this up. It's not smelly everywhere, but it is here. The worst is getting a fountain drink- you can totally taste it. ugh.

#4- The power bill is outrageous, and food is through the roof. Publix, a wonderful super market- I'm sure no one could ever beat them in customer service, but they are on average $.20- $.50 higher on EVERYTHING. It adds up when you have to do a lot of grocery shopping.

#5- However, house prices (at this point) are much lower than where we were in WV. I still can't figure out why, because there was nothing to offer in our area there, but home prices were ridiculous.

#6- It's bathing suit and flip flop season pretty much year round. I had on flip flops at Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The pool does not shut here- ever. There's no waiting until Memorial Day weekend to go to the pool. There is no time to get in shape for bathing suit season, because it's ALWAYS bathing suit season!

#7- On that same note, it is perfectly normal to see people outside in a sweater or long sleeved shirt when it's 75 outside. You wouldn't believe me if I told you, but there are days that 75 feels COLD. It's amazing how fast your body adjusts. When we first moved here and I saw people in long sleeves I thought they were crazy. Now I am also on of those crazy people.

#8- We have weird, hard, sharp, grass. It's called St Augustine grass. and it hurts!

#9- There is a serious lack of furry creatures here. I don't hear a lot of birds chirping (I think mostly because they are in the water), I have seen 2 deer since we moved here a year ago. Which is nice, because I don't have to worry about plowing them with my car ;)

#10- The lack of furry creatures have been replaced with a surplus of reptiles, much to husbands horror. There are at least 10 frogs in our yard or on our driveway each night. They are all over the roads. There are lightening fast lizards all over the sidewalk and house. They constantly run in the house and they are a pain to get out- especially if husband vacates the premises as soon as one comes in. Gators 'o plenty, and snakes here and there. I've been told there are scorpions as close as 15 minutes away,by husbands friend who got bit by one. Which I am sure means they are here too- hopefully they do not come here.

#11 Having "the bug guy" at your house is not a bad thing like it was in WV- having the bug guy there was like "Ohmygosh! What do they HAVE??". Here, the bug guy comes every other month, for everyone. You wouldn't want to live here without him. Bugs O Plenty as well- spiders, earwigs, LOTS of ants, etc etc.

#12- There are 2 seasons here- Summer, and February. It's the only time of the year that it cooled off, and we actually saw some frost and freezing. You should have seen how people act when it freezes here- quite amusing :) The leaves did change and fall off- about the 3rd week of December, and it was a very fast process that lacked the really vivid leaf changing colors. It did happen though. :) I still wouldn't call it fall, it was too warm :)

#13- It's perfectly normal for my air conditioning to run ALL day at home. When I get up at 7:30 and it's on, you know it's hot ;)

#14- People here use their garage as a second hang out- our neighbor has his TV, beer, huge fan, and nudie posters in his. He has it made I tell you! But he's not the only one. Either there are a lot of bad husbands who have been banished to the garage (or gone there voluntarily), or there is something cool about the garage that I just don't know about. All of our neighbors have their football parties in the garage too. I guess at least the house stays clean..

#15- People driving around @ 7am with their convertible car tops open, totally normal. Did I mention it's damn hot here? Also totally normal to go to Walmart/Publix/store of your choice and see at least 2 or 3 people with their bathing suits on under their clothes/dresses. It is nearly constant tourist season after all ;)

So there you have it. I've become quite knowledgeable of totally useless things in the last year. I'm hoping that this next year coming up is much better than the first part of last year. ;) I'm off to pat myself on the back for (almost) one year survived!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Post-Mommy Day

Hope that all of you mommies out there had a fabulous Mothers Day! My day was quite nice- I slept until 10:30 (nowhere near late enough for me, but it beats the usual). Then we poked around the house, before getting ready and heading out for the afternoon. I did a bit of shopping, mostly for the kids, but it just feels so good to get out and do what I want. Husband chauffeured me around town and stopped at wherever I pointed to hehe ;)

The real kicker was dinner- oh, dinner. Ugh. In husbands defense, he wanted to take me somewhere really nice. But, given the last incident when we ate at this place, I didn't think they were ready to see us back anytime soon. We drove around for a bit, thinking about where to eat and noticing that of course everywhere was packed out. So we settled on-

Golden Corral. OMG.

I seriously hate public buffets. Not only are they full of germs, they normally also have quite a mass of not-so-clean people (who coincidentally probably spread most of the germs). don't get me wrong, for families with young kids, sometimes it's the only way to go. Son is wild and sometimes sit down dinners with a waitress are just not going to happen. We need to go somewhere where we can shovel it all in, and flee to the car before a meltdown happens. But a special breed of people were out in full force yesterday, that's for sure. The place was gross, the food was blah, just...ugh. Quite an experience.

But, the gifts were much better. Husband got me a bike- something I have been wanting but wasn't expecting. Obviously in FL there are no hills, so our neighborhood makes a great riding place. Daughter and I have been taking evening bike rides which is nice. Hopefully once husband gets his bike, we can put a baby thing on it and all go together. I also got some very cute handmade cards from daughter, and son even signed them with his custom "gurkles" (circles). He also got me a cosmetic bag from Juicy, so all in all I'd say they did quite well. Of course he gets a double whammy since my birthday is Monday, so it's double the trouble of figuring out gifts ;)

Other than that, the weekend was pretty low key. It's been in the mid 90's since Friday, quite hot. It is quite funny when the meteorologists talk about our "cold front" moving in, which will send a chill tomorrow- a high of 79. Oh BRRRR ;) Daughter did a spa day for Girl Scouts on Saturday and then we went to the water park, only they closed half an hour after we got there, but I'd already promised her we would go in, not knowing that. So, I paid $40 for 30min of water play. ugh.

It's another hot day here today, but we'll be out in it. At 2:00 son and I are riding down to the beach, with hopes that the sky is still as clear as it is now so that we can see the Space Shuttle launch. :)

Friday, May 8, 2009


Simple title, huh? ;)

Long before I ever planned on having kids- but funny enough, not so long before I actually did- I always said I wanted two kids- both boys. Of course when daughter was born, I couldn't imagine myself having anything other than a girl. So then I got pregnant again 4 years later, and decided at that point that I wanted another girl, and had a boy. And of course, I couldn't imagine life without him :)

I've always heard how different each child can be, but I never imagined just HOW different my two kids would really be. Daughter was so content as a baby to just sit and play, read books, and to go out with me. We'd spend hours outside or at the mall, and she was wonderful. She could talk plain as day around a year old.

Son, is wild. I'm fairly certain that there is none other on the planet like him. In fact, I know there isn't. There can't be. He has no interest in sitting still, ever. He's constantly high flying off of whatever piece of furniture is most close to him at the moment. He refuses to behave when we're in public,he beats the crap out of his sister (yes, we try to stop it).

Son turned two last month, and I meant to give him a post dedicated to how he truly is a blessing in my life. I have a really strong bond with him, he's 1 of my two favorite people in the world- daughter being the other ;)

Then, I wanted to talk about how son makes me earn my money. Not that I'm getting paid- in anything other than hugs or kisses of course (and totally worth it!). But if I were getting paid, I would not be making nearly enough.

Take this year for example- and mind you, this is only May. Starting with early 2009,son meets our coffee table head first- courtesy of the dog, and ends up with 5 stitches in his cheek and 4 in his eyebrow. February, we have tubes put in each ear, and his adenoids out. March and April were semi normal, and then we met the past two days.

Starting with Wednesday night, we're all outside playing. Daughter has recently learned to ride without traning wheels, and she FLIES on her bike. She's riding along, and son steps out in front of her, and she PLOWS him on her bike. He falls to the ground and goes to scream and cry, only he doesn't. He holds his breath, and then he passes out. Fabulous.

Husband didn't freak out like I thought he would, suprisingly. And son recovered in about 10-15 seconds, all was well.

Fast forward to tonight, just son and I having a mommy and son dinner, while husband and daughter are out Mother's Day shopping. He's running around in the kitchen having fun, and trips on something and falls, pounding his head on our lovely tile floor. Ugh. He does cry immediately which is good, I'm certain it hurt him bad enough that he *almost* lost his breath again and I almost thought he was going to pass out again. Once a lifetime is enough of that, thanks.

I'm fairly certain that there's no concussion or anything like that- I hope. I'm keeping an eye on him and hoping that we go injury free for a long time from now!

And so on this Mother's Day weekend, I'm thankful for the two rugrats that I have, for the chance to be their mommy. I screw up often, but I really do try. I'm also thankful for my new pink bike that husband got me, since I have been wanting a bike since we moved here. I hopped on it tonight, and let's just say I'm a little rusty ;)