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Monday, May 25, 2015

Are Those Yours?

Those who know me, know that there are a couple of things that I just don't like to do.  It is very unfortunate that these two things come together every weekend. Shopping and cooking.  
I missed out on those genes. I do not have them. 
Don't get me wrong, I like "stuff" and I LOVE "food". But I loathe having to go out for the "stuff" or the food. I would have been a terrible cave woman. No hunting. No foraging. I would just have my raw meat delivered. 

But every week I ask for input, I make a menu, which turns into a list, and then that turns into a map that I take to the store. Not because I am super mom (but thank you). Not because I am a super chef. (They'll vouch for that). It's because I need to have a plan. I have to know what we are having because these henchmen we call children wake up asking "What's for dinner tonight?" Every morning. Without fail. 
There is no "winging it". No plan used to easily lend itself to "I'll run through a drive through. " And while we may not be the healthiest squirrels on the planet, we do steer away from fast food as much as we can. 

I even keep a notebook so that i can reference what we have had in past weeks. This serves two purposes. It keeps us from having the same thing too close together while also giving us ideas from meals we've already had. 

Often times I take one of the NSLs (Not So Littles) with me to man the cart while I dart in and out of the slow people.  They also hold the list, pick up heavy stuff, load bags into the cart, and then into the van. They come in pretty handy. 

Every once in awhile The Mr. goes with me. He also holds the list, picks up the heavy stuff, loads the bags into the cart, and then into the van. He also drives. And sometimes takes me for a coffee- so he's a pretty good choice for the trip. 

Today we got a late start. We try to get in and out early, but today was a little slower. He even helped me find two new recipes. So we got all the ingredients compiled into a list and got ready to go. Since it's rainy and crappy outside, I decided to go with the comfy jeans and hoodie combo. It's a classic. It was also easily accessible because it was in a basket of unfolded laundry. 
The hoodie also makes it easy to keep up with my pen for the list and the coupons.  

My game plan is to always do any HBA first, then I go towards the back and start on the food. Meat is always next to last and bread is always dead last. I have a fear of bacteria growing in my meat while I push the cart around looking for other stuff and then we die later. And I hate it when my bread gets smushed because they will act like they're dying if their bread is an odd shape. Other than that, I navigate through  aisles based on slow families and people I am trying to avoid because I don't want to talk to them. 

I have my standard items that are ALWAYS on the list- lunch meat, cheese, waters, coffee. Then there are those items that are specific to a certain recipe- cilantro, pesto, certain shredded cheeses. 
Today we decided to check out some healthy snack alternatives since the NSLs are going to be home more. I thought it would be good to look at some granola or fruit bars. That way they get a little sweet- but not full on candy sweet. 
I don't think I've ever read the nutrition info on a granola or fruit bar, so I had The Mr.  grab a box so we could compare. 
We are standing there in the granola/ cereal aisle comparing calories, sugars, and portions. I had to put everything in my classic hoodie pocket so my hands would be free to hold more than one box. He leans over to grab a box from towards the bottom shelf and says "Hey, what's that?"
I look down at my feet to see what he's talking about. 
My eyes focus. It appears to be a mint colored cloth. 
"Are those underwear?", he asks. 
Yes. Yes, they were underwear. 
"Are those yours?"
"Did they fall out of your hoodie?"

I stuttered. I stammered. And then threw out a quick "No! I don't have any mint undies!"
We stand there for a minute while he asks again and again if I'm sure. Like I'm going to pick them up and check!?! Like I write my name in them!?! 
He throws the boxes of granola bars that we both have in our hands into the cart and says, "Well let's move away from here- who knows what's been going on!" So we moved on down to the end of the aisle to pick out cereal. 

Ya'll know what I'm getting ready to say, don't you? 

He was right! They were either caught inside my hoodie and fell out when I weighed it down with all the stuff. Or they were in the pant leg of my comfy jeans and just shimmied their way out while we were walking.  
Either way- the ONE pair of mint un"mint"tionables that I own got swept away by a stranger at the grocery store today! A woman KNOWS her underwear!!
I couldn't tell him they were mine. I just couldn't. Ya'll will laugh WITH me- he would never let this go!! NEVER! Thank goodness one of the NSLs wasn't with me - I could only imagine the scene!!!
Can you imagine being the next person who ponders over which granola bar to buy? The next conversation to be had in front of the fruit bars? "Hon, what's that? Are they yours? Are you sure?"
In a tiny (very minuscule) way I feel bad for not being honest with him - but it's not something I won't get over pretty soon. 
We made it through the rest of trip without me losing any other under garments. But, Lord, I was nervous! I kept looking behind me just to be sure I wasn't leaving a trail!

As tense as it was, at least it was more exciting than normal. Usually the most exciting thing is the price difference after she takes off the coupons!! 

So what's our take away today, folks? 
Make a list. Plan ahead. Take a shopping buddy. And fold your clothes!!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Squirrels and Mr. Brightside

Happy Weekends, Friends! We made it through Chickadee’s graduation. (My goodness, what a proud moment.) I have been to countless graduations and always tear up and feel emotional for the other families. There has not been a prouder mommy moment for me.
She is ready to work hard this summer and start her classes in the fall. The rest of us are just ready for it to be summer vacation.

We are done. School is over. We know that it is officially summer because we have our summer pool passes (Thank you Grandma Susan!). I picked those up on Friday so that we would have them for the weekend. Our public pools always open the Saturday after the last day of school- so today was the day.
I was soooooo ready, too!

There were a few things to take care of during the first part of the day, but I knew that I would make it there eventually today- with at least one of the NSLs.
The pool doesn’t close until 6pm; I knew we had some time.

Once Littlest NSL made the choice that he was going with me- it was just a matter of getting out the door.

And this is where it starts.

I had to hide out in the bathroom for a while, let’s just say that my legs were “less than ready” to be at the pool. After that madness was over, we had to make sure that everyone’s suits from last year fit.(No one has been shopping yet).  He was lucky. His went right on! Mine on the other hand, has apparently been secretly replaced with a size smaller than I wore last year. I will have to check all CCTV footage to see who broke into my home and did that- I will get back to you with the results as soon as I know.
I found my cover up- whew- so that was a little relief.

Once we were confident that no one was going to break any laws for indecency (barely), we had to get the bag ready.
We had everything but sunscreen. No problem. We can stop at the store on the way there. Let’s just get in the van and get in the sun!!

I decided that rather than having to hide my purse in the van and risk having my lipstick melt in the process that I would just grab my wallet and toss it in the pool bag. Gotta make sure that I have my ID with me, right?

We stop at a little store on the way there, grab some 50SPF and we are on our way to glorious sun and water fun!

We make it there. Yeah! I am soooooo ready.  {At this point there are 2 hours left until the pool closes. But that’s okay- we are going to get in the sun and we are going to get wet!!!}
We pull in and there aren’t very many cars- yeah! More room for us!

As we are walking towards the entrance (he is in front of me with the chair and bag), I look down at my keys and realize that I never attached the little passes with the bar codes on them that the sweet little lady at Parks and Rec gave us. There is a card for each person. So that means that I should have 5 on my keys.

I have zero.


They are in my purse. The purse that I decided to leave at home. So I call him over and tell him to come back over to the van for a second. I explained to him what I had done. (Or had not done, depending on how you look at it).  So we are going to have to pay cash. No biggie- except I hardly ever have cash- because I use my card for everything!

Lucky for us- it is after 3pm- so it is only $3 a person. 3 x2 =6  Wanna guess how much I have in my wallet? Yep. NOT 6. I had $5.

No biggie. Hop in the van- lets run to this little gas station and use their ATM.  We back out and hear a weird sound. Then we see a kind gentleman walk towards the van- that’s when we realize that neither of us put the chair in. It was just leaned up against the van while I checked the cash sitch.

Ok, now all the people and furniture are in the van and we are pulling away from the pool. {Wrong direction} But never fear, we will be relaxing in the cool of the pool in just a few.
We head down to the gas station. I hop out- in my gorg cover up and flops- and walk over to the ATM that is going to charge me 50-11 dollars in fees because it is not my bank. It says to insert card and remove quickly. I followed directions. It gave me a BIG RED X and said my card could not be read. I tried again and again and again.

UGH! SO I get BACK in the van and explain to him that we are going to have to go farther away from the pool and use a different ATM. We head towards our bank, ride through the drive through ATM and BINGO BANGO DUNZO- we get some cash!

Relieved that we now have about an hour to enjoy the pool, we start on our way back over.

We pull up, unload, and pay our way in. At this point there are only about 11 people left at the pool. I think there were more lifeguards than there were swimmers!

Feeling very safe, I disrobe- careful not to make eye contact with anyone who is there as I do it- because then I would feel the need to apologize to them for exposing them to such trauma.

We spray each other down with the SPF 50 and make our way to the water. Oh wait, did I say “water”? What I meant to say was “glacier run-off”. Yes. I am pretty confident that our local pool has a direct line to arctic aqua. Pretty sure the water I was in had just recently flowed past a little polar bear booty.

At this point there are now 6 people at the pool and we are 2 of them. He throws on his goggles and is like a fish back and forth, off the diving board, in and out of the water and begging me to do the same. However, I am in the 3 ft. on the baby side of the floaty blue rope and bobbers because I can’t walk in any farther for fear of organ failure.

We look over at the clock by the snack bar and notice that the pool closes in 10 minutes.  {Insert “ugh” face here}.
We get out, dry off, pack up, and head back to the van. (Where we were just a few short minutes ago.)
And we head to the hacienda.

Somehow in all this madness, my wonderful, loving, compassionate, caring, understanding, patient, fun, and sweet as can be son says, “We can always come back tomorrow.”

Yes, Mr. Brightside. We will go back tomorrow.

( I have already attached the cards to the keys, I have the sunscreen in the bag. And I have made sure that NOTHING will come between us and that pool tomorrow!)

Hope you are enjoying the start of your break or are getting pretty close!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mother's Day Presents and a Confession

Hello! My name is Squirrels and I neglect my blog. I say I won't - but I do- again and again. 
It's just so easy to use Instagram to post a quick pic- and I'm just so swamped and overloaded that I don't have time to sit down and write a whole post. 
Okay, so I have been enjoying work free evenings. I've done a lot of crocheting. I've watched a few new series. I've napped on the couch. I've stayed up all night stalking through 42 weeks of people's Instas.  (Very careful not to like anything older than 2 weeks). So, I have "done" stuff if you're getting technical. 

I DID get productive with the NSLs (Not-So-Littles), for the MIL's Mother's Day and Birthday gifts- and that's the original reason for the post. 
Her bday is on the 12th of May and a few times it actually ends up being on Mother's Day. 
Over the years we have separated them - because they are two different days and we wanted her to feel special on both days. But this year- she's gonna have to go halfsies with us- 
Maybe she can feel special only til noon on Mother's Day and then wait until after noon on her birthday? Because this year her gifts are serving as dual tokens of our love and appreciation. #cheaters

The MIL is a very unique and special woman- in the best way possible! Some of you have seen her 12 Days of Christmas that she does for us each year- or her other very inventive ideas.
And since we know she is so creative and thoughtful when she celebrates a holiday with us, we want her to feel that we have put just as much thought into her! And she loves, appreciates, displays/uses everything that we send her!!
We picked three handmade items to make for her this year- that way each of the NSLs had something special to make. We scrolled through Pinterest and googled. And these are what we came up with. They were all pretty simple- but it was the fact that she would actually use them that made them stick out for us. 

One of them was the gardening apron that is made from old jeans. She has lots of flower and fairy gardens, so we thought she could get lots of use from this one. We used a tutorial from YouTube. He picked out the buttons and ribbon - she loves red, black, and white! 
It was his first time to use a hot glue gun- he only burnt me once, so that's good. He even modeled it for me for this pic afterwards! 

I did add the buttons without his help. Sometimes the hot glue gun is a little uncomfortable for a bit - but needles will stab you and make you bleed. I thought better of having him attempt it. We added three buttons because these are The Mr. 's old jeans and I wasn't sure how she would need to adjust. 
The whole apron cost just under $5.00 to make! 

Chickadee chose to make the Lemon Sugar Scrub. I made it before with my firsties, so it was familiar. She used the simple olive oil, sugar, lemon juice recipe that we googled. We had the chalkboard contact paper and only had to buy the jar and the jute. ANOTHER present for under $5.00 that she will love and use. 

Littlest Not So Little made these adorable magnets for her. I have also made these in the past- not as a class- just because I saw it on the internet and I was probably supposed to be doing something else.
They are very VERY simple. The circle dictionary entries were printed for free from scrapbook site a couple of years ago. I couldn't find these exact ones when I searched the web- I don't have that computer anymore. But there are tons available for free!
We just used modge-podge to stick the circles to the bottom of these glass decoration pebbles. After they dried, he stuck the magnets on- they are even adhesive backed magnets- so no glue gun needed.

To put them together as a gift, he just put them on this mason jar lid, put in the bag, and tied with ribbon! Bingo Bango Dunzo! We had most of the materials here- just needed to pick up the magnets in a pack of 18 for $3.00! Now I know I listed about how much each gift cost to make- And yes, technically, we did make all of these for less than what it cost to ship it to her! She always says "Don't spend your money- just send me a picture!" I happen to know that she secretly adores DIY/CRAFTY gifts from the NSL- and I end up looking like MaGyver Mom because we racked up Grandma points with a paper clip and a roll of ribbon! HA!

I think my favorite part of her gift is her card! We went to the porch and laughed like crazy because there was one distraction after another to get them all to look at the camera. Not sure if you can see, but in one of the pics everyone is freaking out over a frog on the porch! (He lives in one of our flower pots- so technically I guess we were on HIS front porch, too)

Maybe you have a last minute gift to make- we have a history of being last minute kind of people. I am very excited that we got this all made, packaged, and mailed off in ONE DAY! Easy Peasy- Lemon Scrub Squeezy! 

One day I am going to take a picture of all the notes that I write down for possible blog posts. Posts that inevitably ended up being one shot Instagram posts. Maybe I should change my blog name to Land of the Lost Posts. ( I find it very hard to type this without emojis to help add feeling to my words! Just picture the Laughing/crying/tears/emoji)

Hope everyone enjoys their Mother's Day weekend! Til next time~

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