Friday, October 26, 2007

God Give Me Patience but Please Hurry

Rant of the Week

Let me start with I don't have a clue how you can manage with more than two children. In fact, I am not quite sure how you manage with two children. No matter how much patience I gain (and I have definitely come a long way) it isn't ever enough.

Jaley is at the age where sitting equals torture. Strap her in the buggy at the store, she screams. She keeps on screaming until she uses some Houdini move to break free of the seat belt. Then she stops screaming - a very good thing. But, then she starts bouncing, climbing, wiggling and dangling precariously over the edge of the shopping cart - a very bad thing. The manager at Sam's (yes, I was back there again), came over and begged me to get Jaley to sit down. The manager was a nervous wreck thinking Jaley was going to crash to the floor any second. She escorted me through most of the store and bribed Jaley with about a dozen cookies. That didn't work very well, because Jaley can easily bounce, climb, wiggle and dangle while chomping a cookie.

And with all my attention directed at Jaley, that allows Sarah carte-blanche. Is she three aisles over? Why is the free sample tray empty and her mouth full? Is that my eldest screaming "The Wheels on the Bus" at the top of her lungs? Why is the man on the intercom saying "clean up on aisle 4?"

By the time, I am through the check-out and driving home, I am covered in a cold sweat, gathered evil stares from 4 customers and 8 employees, have lost my temper way more than once, and am starting to understand how ulcers start. So I pray again, God give
me patience, but please hurry.

Life in the Stroller Lane
The rest of our life is pretty much the status quo. Scott was in town this week and on the road part of next. The girls are doing well. Getting into trouble, but only enough to keep things interesting.

New tenants moved into one of the houses. I had the place prepped and ready in 36 hours - a new record. I am not sure if I am getting faster getting the places cleaned and turned or just less picky. Either way, they are moved in and so far haven't called to say anything is broken. The other rental had a garbage disposal issue this week. I got a hands on lesson in plunging a sink and unsticking the disposal. We will see if my skills hold up, if not, it's time for a new disposal.

The construction continues on our porch. It rained this week (a blessing since we are in a major drought), so progress was slow. They are making up for it today, working on Saturday morning.

Today we are having our annual block party. I have 80 hamburgers at the ready. All we need is for Scott to fire up the grill and get to work. The party starts at noon, if you want to join the fun.

That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of Love.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I Sold My Soul to the Warehouse Store

Now that's a pumpkin. We won't be carving it up, but the pumpkin patch we stopped at let us pose for a few pictures!

Rant of the Week
Pick your poison, Sam's, BJ's, or Costco, they are all the same. The sucker you in the door with milk at $2.99/gallon. The next thing you know you have so much stuff that you have to leave a kid at the store just to fit it all in the car.

For us, it has been a slow slip into the world of warehouse stores. We didn't even join until Sarah arrived. And then it was out of "necessity." I honestly don't think I would have made it this far as a parent if I couldn't purchase diapers by the gross. We paid up our $35 and never looked back. But, membership comes at a price. They last time I was in our local store, I remembered I needed a few rolls of toilet paper. But they don't sell just a few rolls, so I went on to purchase 48 "super" size rolls of Charmin. Good news, if I need to use the facilities. Bad news, if I want to put anything else in the closet for the next six months. I have toilet paper stashed all over the house, I think I even stored some in the attic.

They may be large and out of control, but at least my purchases are for household staples. Scott, though technically a member, is banned from the store. I am afraid he is going to come home with 2 gallons of milk, a pack of diapers, and a dozen plasma TVs. You go in for a gallon of milk (conveniently located in the very back corner of this monstrous store) and you can pick up just about anything else along the way. Want a 3-carat diamond ring - grab one. Want a $200 pair of Seven Jeans - grab one. Want a dune buggy - grab one. Somehow you go in planning to spend $3 on milk and you come out with a carload of crap and $300 Visa bill.

You used to sell your soul to the company store, but it turns out I sold mine to the warehouse store. And when they ask me in November if I want to renew my membership, you better be sure that I'll hold out that Visa card, say yes, and smile about it later.

Life in the Stroller Lane
Luckily since the last installment, there have been no more ticks in my bed. I guess my no cleaning policy is really working. Overall things around here are pretty good. Actually, really good. I had a weekend away with a couple of girlfriends last weekend. Nothing eases the stress, like a glass of wine and some good gossip. We chatted for two straight days. We ate breakfast and chatted, we went to lunch and gossiped, we had coffee and chuckled, we drank wine and laughed. Basically, we crammed about two years of "girlfriend" time into one weekend. And what exactly did we spend all that time talking about...You will never know. The rule is what was said at the beach stays at the beach.

This is an equal opportunity home. Scott is off with the guys this weekend. I am sure they won't chat as much, but I will never know for sure. The same rules apply for the guys as the girls and they don't have to divulge the secrets of their weekend. Though from the luggage he took, I am sure there will be golf, poker, and lots of beer.

On the home front, we have started into a construction project. And by "we," I mean the contractor. We moved into our house six years ago. Five years and eleven months ago, we started wishing for a screened porch. So after a bit of a wait, we are making it a reality. And real it is. The back yard is a war zone and the banging starts at 6:45AM. However, next summer we can enjoy the great outdoors without all of the problems of actually being outside (mosquitoes, flies, ticks, to name a few).

The girls are also doing well. Everyday, Sarah asks when it's time to trick-or-treat. Our recent field trip to the pumpkin patch only excited her more. So if you run into us at the store and the girls are in costumes, don't ask why.

That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of love.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I swear I clean this house

Rant of the Week I grew up in Florida, where the roaches 3 inches long and fly. Creepy crawlies don't tend to freak me out. I must say I am still reeling from last Saturday night. It is one thing to have a tick jump on you when your camping. It is something else to find one in your home. But, it is on a whole other level to find a tick crawling around on you just as you are lying down to go to sleep.

Yes, I found a tick crawling on me in my own bed. And since I know two friends that have been treated for Lyme's disease in the last couple of years, I must say that just plain freaked me out. I couldn't go to sleep for a really long time and when I finally did drift off, I dreamed of ticks all night - YUCK!

I swear t
hat I all I do clean this house. Laundry, dusting, dishes, sinks, I am cleaning and sanitizing every day. In fact, I had just changed the sheets that morning. But even if my cleaning isn't up to par, we pay the bug people to spray lots of toxic stuff around the house to keep all those critters outside.

So what is the moral of all this. I should just give up cleaning and enjoy the mess. The bugs are coming in whether I want them to or not. The only thing I really need to do is remember to put Frontline on the cats once a month (it had been 6 weeks - oops). It is really simple, if there are no ticks on the cats ,then there are no ticks in the house, and, hence, no ticks on me (or in my bed where both cats sleep all day).

Life in the Stroller Lane Things are good here. We have been trying to do a little spring cleaning in the yard (about 6 months late). You know the routine - trimming and mulching, aerating and seeding, weeding and de-thatching. It is the way most suburbanites spend their weekends. And at the end of all that sweat, is a yard that still looks half dead. Oh well, at least we try.

Scott is on a two-week travel tour. He is raking in the frequent flier miles with back to back trips to San Jose. Since most of the airlines are in bankruptcy, we enjoy the knowledge that all those miles to be worth absolutely nothing in the near future.

On the real estate front, the renters beat the buyers. So we are re-renting #1 to a family in a short-term lease. The plan is to rent to home one last time and then put it on the market to sell next spring. That is if there is still a mortgage industry left by then. Come to think of it, the airline business looks healthy compared to the mortgage market.

Sarah started taking a dance / tumbling class this week and starts swim lessons Saturday. I am putting the Mom Taxi sticker on the back of my car next week. I need a separate organizer just to keep track of Sarah's social calendar. We had to turn down a birthday party this weekend, because she was already double booked. Oh to be as popular as a three-year old. What fun.

Jaley is more fun every day. She, however, has no fear. I found her up on the counters yesterday. Luckily, she choose to dump out the salt shaker instead of exploring the land of knives and stoves. She pushed a chair over to the counter and hoisted herself up - all in the time it took me to go pee. I, guess, I need to do a new round of baby proofing. At this point, I can't put things any higher, because with her new access to the counters, she can reach higher than I can. So onto Plan B or C or X (I can't keep count).

That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of love.