Thursday, May 31, 2012

a few things worth noting.

There have been a few new things going on in the Erwin house worth talking about...or maybe not... but I am going to anyways!

My phone broke.
It is stupid how crazy-reliable I am to that little piece of technology.
The phone itself would work but the screen was completely black.
I would have to ask Siri to call people for me and read me texts.
I used her to text people back, and now that my phone is working again-- I realize that her and I don't communicate as well as we could!
Lance's HS friend, Summer, had text me and I was so embarrassed as to what I replied back to her! (the word penis was used... and I didn't say that, I promise!)

I made an appointment to the Apple store and Peter (my Apple friend) was able to fix it in a flash!
In the past, I had thought that we couldn't go through Apple for our problems because our phones are still through a government account with the fire department, (and because Lance told me that) so I was thrilled that I didn't have to buy a new phone-- like I had in the past.  (I am kind of hard on my phones)
And FYI, all Apple products come with a one year warranty.  Who knew?!

Lance and I rocked out to some old-school music on the way in, and afterward, we had dinner at Chuys on the patio (with a couple frozen drinks) and dessert at Sweet Sammies.

I really enjoyed our night.

Speaking of phones, I am an official addict of Instagram.
It has always been a favorite app of mine, but until recently, I had just used the app as a photo editing tool.
I never knew that you followed friends, and liked and commented pictures, like Facebook.
This app is so addicting, because it is like a walking blog of your friends... although, I kind of feel weird re-blogging what you have already seen through Instagram.
But I do anyways.
You can follow me at livingtheerwinlife, if you want-- and we can be insta-friends!

Speaking of insta-pics...
My phone stopped working Memorial day night...
therefor I didn't get to make my collage and post it of our day out at my mom's...

better late than never!

On to other news...
I got accepted to the program I had applied to at UTA.
The first set of classes start in July, and though I really want to do it, I am scared out of my mind!
It is $30K from start to finish... which we will have to take out in student loans.  Until now, we have none of these little beasts, so it is something to throw into the pot of risk vs. reward.
I worry about my work schedule, which I have to continue to do, to pay our bills.  (I think people over-look my job because I do it on different hours than the rest of the world, but I actually do work 20-40 hours per week, depending on my call and weekend scheduling for that week) so I wonder if it will be overwhelming?!
I am scared to fail.... It has been a long time since I have been in school.  (Except the one class I dropped 4 days into) I never even contemplated failing the first go around.  But I was 18.  I lived at home.  And it wasn't my money on the line.
I have people in my ear telling me to do it... and others saying that it isn't worth it.
I do wonder if I am just chasing a title... but I do believe that I am smart enough-- and I feel like I will never feel complete staying where I am now.
I owe this to myself.

Moving on...
We can finally purchase our land.
We have had to put the purchase of our land on the back burner, because my parents own the neighboring land and they were fighting with Encore about power lines coming through their place.
They have given us the go-ahead, and I picked up paperwork from the bank last week!!
It will still be a process of having a survey done, and fencing and clearing brush and such... but we have a 3 year plan to build, and this is the first step to that goal!
I don't know that my Pinterest dream home with 87 kitchens will ever make it to our 8 acres... but sometime in the near future, we will call that place home!
It is so exciting to me!

And finally...

I am keeping my niece 2 days a week through the summer.
She is a sweet girl, exactly one year older than Maddox, and is actually my second cousin.
Amber, her mom, has agreed to trade out by watching my boys so Lance and I can have dinner together, in repayment.
Today is our 2nd day at this gig, and it is definitely a learning process all the way around.
She gets here at 8:00 and her belly is ready for breakfast.  My kids usually sleep until 9 or 10, so by the time they are eating their breakfast, she is ready for snack.
I assume daycare served lunch by 11 because she's ready for lunch, by then but my kids are just an hour or so outside breakfast, so they refuse to eat. 
Then it is dessert... and afternoon snacks... and more milk or juice-- which isn't new in this house... (Maddox is the king of snacking) but since no one is on the same schedule, I feel like I am constantly being begged for food!!

We will work on getting on the same track-- and I think they first step will be getting my kids to bed earlier, so they are ready to wake when she gets here.  (which is probably a good idea anyway, since Maddox will start MDO in the fall.)

Once schedules are straighten out, then we will work on the constant pestering, whining, tattling and saying my name!!

Today I made the big kids play outside while Beckham napped (which was the biggest difficulty of yesterday) and it worked well for everyone!

See!  We are adapting and by next week, we will have this down to a science!

No the real 'Finally', I believe Beckham is coming down with hand, foot and mouth.
I finally got my sweet boy back after his few weeks of hell, and then I spotted a blister by his mouth and a few on his soft pallet.
HF&M is a Satan-like virus, and I pray that it will be a very mild case.
Not only for him...
but because I am a much better mommy to well kids.

Friday, May 25, 2012

this week

We all caught a cold in Florida and still have full ears and wet coughs.
I sound like I traded voice boxes with a man...
the boys each had a day of fever...
and Lance is going to go to an Urgent Care center tonight, because he has had all that he can take of his ear pain.

I spent Monday doing laundry and attempting to clean the house that was destroyed while unpacking and reuniting with toys that hadn't been seen in 7 days.

Tuesday was most likely a repeat of Monday, since I can't remember a single thing from the day, except that Maddox stayed the night at Gigi and Pops that evening and got to go see Ellie's play.

Wednesday was a great day.
It was my little niece, Ellie's kindergarten graduation.

They sang songs and received their diplomas...
Maddox (rather loudly) pointed to each kid, and told me about their part in the play the night before!
After the ceremony, Randi and I took our kids out to mom's and let them play.
In the little pool...
The slide...
On the Gator...
And even in Pop and Gigi's closet, where they transformed themselves into super-heroes.

Mom made homemade salsa and a Mexican feast.

I got to spend the day with my SIL, Randi and got to see my other SIL, Jenn, too.
I really lucked out in the SIL department, because God placed some pretty awesome women in my life, who are funny, sweet-- and love my kids too.
I love them both.

Thursday, another really special chick in my life, came to play.

Candace and I spent the entire day at one of the pools in my neighborhood.
We packed lunches and had almost the entire place to ourselves, most of the day.

My kids stayed lathered in SPF 50...
but-- I am a lobster today.

Back to cleaning...
and blogging...
and laundry.

I work tomorrow morning.... (on Memorial day weekend?!!  --and I even make the weekend schedule!!) but I always enjoy my time there, and doubt it will be too bad.

Otherwise, I have no idea what we are doing over the holiday--
but I hope it is something fun!

or boring...

either will be fine!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Florida; the other post

...the better half of our vacation.

I finally realized that if we moved Beckham's crib into our bathroom, he could get the same effect he has at home.
Dark, cool and cozy.
Lance wasn't fond of the idea...
But I wasn't fond of him crying non-stop.

This divine enlightenment changed our trip.

I did actually take a few pictures with my real camera...
But call me lazy--
I am posting all iPhone pics.

Lots of them.


Wednesday evening, we went to a pizza place called the Red Elephant.
I had a crazy-good Greek salad, Tomato Basil soup... and pizza, of course.

Thursday was Lance's final day in class.

As soon as he was out, we headed to Clark's Fish Camp-- where we were told we were sure to find, real, live alligators.
It was was weirdest little joint-- packed FULL of fake greenery and stuffed game.
When I say "full", I mean thousands of tigers, cheetahs, elk, snakes, gators, giraffes and pretty much any other animal that can be mounted.
We chose to sit on the patio...
and since the entire restaurant in on top of the river, it was an amazing view.
A manatee swam right by our table...
The water was so clear, we saw turtles, tiny crabs, fish and baby gators too.

Friday, we woke early and headed for donuts at Krispy Kreme and were on the water before 9:00.
We spent time on the pier.
The boys splashed in the water...
We walked along the beach...

We ate lunch at a joint, right on the sand.
The food was great, and while eating, the music changed from quiet Jimmy Buffet type music,
to a loud booty- beat...
and on cue,
me and both of my boys started bouncing to the beat.
We just laughed.
They were definitely cut from my cloth... with dancing in their blood!!

We shopped along the surf shops,
and then headed in for showers.

That evening, we went to the outdoor mall.
We had been told over and over that it was worth checking out.
Lance bought a t-shirt at a marine store...
and then drove around trying to encourage me to shop a little too.

He pulled onto the street that held Tiffany's and Louis Vuitton and said I should get out and "look around."
I told him that they would smell the white trash on me and I didn't have any desire to go in either of those stores.
He kept trying to persuade me and asking me why I felt that way, to which I replied, "we're just not fancy enough for those stores."

Finally I hopped out to look around Forever 21, (directly across the street) and Maddox wanted to go in with me.
Just as we entered the store, the young girl said, "can I help you find anything today." To which, Maddox responded, "no thanks.  We're not fancy enough for this store."
I died laughing!!!

We came back to a prom in our hotel....
We packed up our hotel room and set our alarms for 4:00.  (3:00, home time) and called our vacation over.

Oddly, our 7 days flew past...
and I realized the vacation that originally was beating me down--
I was sad to leave.

I was sad to leave our hotel and the great breakfast we ate every morning.
I was sad to leave our room service that made my bed and tidied my room every day when we were at lunch.
I was sad that our early bed-times, all snuggled together watching tv, were over.
I was even a little sad to leave the front desk guys-- the one with the long eye lashes, who always seemed ultra-professional... and maybe a bit feminine.  The chatty one, who always asked about our plans for the day... and even the who talked with the (I am pretty sure it was fake) Matthew McConaughey accent.

Together, we said a prayer on the way in...
that our flights would all be on time...
that Maddox and I (flying on buddy passes) wouldn't get bumped...
and that Beckham would be good on our flights.

Our prayers worked, and both boys were showered with compliments by fellow flyers on all 3 flights.
Well, except over breakfast in Nashville.
Beckham was doing his point and scream, and I thought he wanted my phone.
Like a turd, he grabbed it out of my hand and threw it to the ground.
I sternly said "no. no.", while popping his hand.
Maddox, who never looked up from his biscuit, dryly said, "hit him hard."

Lance and I made eye contact and I was frozen by the many eyes around us...
and then everyone busted up laughing---
and an older coupled said they were all for a little popping and wish there was more discipline these days.

All in all, it was a good laugh.

We flew from Florida to Nashville.  Tennessee to New Orleans... and made it back to Fort Worth by 4:00 and had dinner at Babe's.
We all have wet, but non-productive, coughs and our ears are full of pressure.
Lance's, the worst.
We were in bed by 6:00...
And slept until 7:00am.

Maddox is running a low grade fever--
and Lance is threatening trying to pop his own ear drum to relieve the pressure.

Tomorrow I go back to work...
and the pager will be calling my name before too long.

Lance already returned to work today--

So here it is...
Life is back to normal.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Florida; the first post

I have been slow to post about our trip.

Mainly because I have been trying to think of the best way to document it...
without sounding...
like a brat.

But if I am not honest... I am not me...
so here goes.

So far this trip has been work.

We flew out early Sunday morning.
Early, as in we were up by 3:00am and out the door before 4:00am.

Our 6:10 flight wasn't too bad.

Lance was boarded first, and he held seats for Maddox and I.
We were the first seats on the plane (the ones with the extra leg room) and seated opposite the flight attendants.

They got a kick out of Maddox's excitement, and everyone got a good laugh when Maddox shouted, "we're above the clouds and so close to God!"
The sweet attendants even took him to meet the pilots, once we landed.

Beckham was decent.
Ignoring my iced caramel macchiato, that he kicked out of my hand, spilling into the floor-- I'd say he was better than decent.

We had a 2 1/2 hour lay-over in Houston and both of my boys were tired.
Or whatever word you use to describe the emotion beyond tired.

There were a few tears shed in Houston.

Lance bounced Beckham to sleep, once- but after about 3 minutes-- he tried to hand him to me, even despite me begging him to stay still-- knowing he would wake.
He woke.

Lance and I shared a few coarse words between each other in Hobby International Airport, to which I replied, "happy mother's day" "happy mother's day", "happy mother's day"-- as I chased the unruly tot again and again, as my only rebuttal.

Finally boarded the plane, Maddox was asleep in minutes-- and snoozed our entire flight.
Beckham fought like hell...
randomly screamed, and was turning into handstands, just to keep from sleeping.

The flight attendant on this flight was hysterical over the intercom, and very friendly too.
She brought me a vodka and cranberry, telling me that "it is 5:00 somewhere", and asked Lance to stand with Beckham and walk him.
He embarrassingly obliged.

I drank before noon.
On a Sunday.

Finally landing in Jacksonville, we found our rental car and made it to our hotel.

Together we took a nap as a family and then awoke for dinner--
but were quickly back to bed.

Well, everyone but Beckham went back to bed.
He wouldn't sleep in the crib in our room-- however, unlike his leach-of-a-brother, he's never been a fan of co-sleeping either.
It was a fight.

He finally cried himself out, and slept across the top of our heads, feet entwined in my hair.

Monday, we were all awake by 6:00.
(5:00, home-time)
Lance took the car-- leaving me and my terrible two-some to soak in our 200 square feet together.

The hotel has a great breakfast place and we have eaten breakfast every morning, there.

Maddox is like blue healer; a ball of energy-- begging to be released.
Beckham; just bad.
He refused to nap, but instead cried and cried and cried and screamed and threw fits.
And wants to nurse like a newborn... not like the weaning 12 month old, that he is.

I developed a productive cough and my voice sounds like I am on 'roids.
My ears are full of pressure and I have had a headache since we landed.

So far, the vacation was far from a pleasure.

Rain kept us from doing much when Lance got out of class on Monday, but we did find a nice little diner to which I filled myself on vegetable soup and as many home-style vegetables as I could order. 

Monday night, Beckham fought sleep again.

Finally, against Lance's judgement, I made him cry it out in his crib.
And 10 minutes was all it took, before he gave up.
And slept.

Lance picked us up for lunch yesterday where we tried "the best BBQ in town".
They have nothing on Texas BBQ.
Not even close.  ;)
But it was nice to get out and to meet the people in Lance's class.

After Lance got out yesterday, we headed for the Atlantic ocean.
Minutes after pulling in, it started to rain.

We ignored it.

Finally, this travel across states, seemed like a vacation.
We were going to make the most of the sea.
And we had fun!

Because of the rain, however, I didn't change the boys into their swimwear, but since we were all smiling and having fun-- I ignored my normal structured personality, and let them play.
Salt-water-soggy-diaper and all.

Maddox laughed and kicked and squealed the entire time-- smothered in smiles across his face.

Beckham was such a dare-devil and would run straight into the water, laughing the entire way.

My hair quickly curled up beside my ears, and within minutes we were all wet and covered in white sand.

We came home for showers and then tried a local Mexican food joint that was absolutely magnificent.

Maddox crashed against Lance last night, and I was able to move him into his crib without waking him.

Today, has been trying again.
I have not seen another child, one, in the hotel-- so I constantly feel like we are a side show at the circus, amongst all of the suits and business-folk around here.

We haven't ventured to the hotel pool...
because neither of my kids can swim,
and standing in water-- with a kid on each hip--
just standing...
doesn't sound too appealing.

Maddox has been okay... other than me feeling sorry for him.
He wants to go home.
Where he can play with his friends and he keeps clarifying with me that this isn't his real home.
Rocking my socks off.
Part of me wonders if this feeling I have for him right now, is that feeling that postpartumly depressed mom's have to their newborns.
It is terrible to admit...
but he is awful.
I don't understand how he can go 11 months with a certain (easy, passive, calm) personality--
and them BAM!, he's the world's worst baby.
Just like that.

I don't know why I can not make him happy and it is probably the most empty and emotional feeling that I have ever had.
I don't know what I am doing wrong...
and worse,
I have no idea where to begin, so that I can fix it.

I have looked through these pictures again and again...
before pressing "publish", and I know I have a lot to be thankful for.

I know that we are blessed to be 'here' and not home... where life is just normal.

But I like normal.
Where life is 'easy'.
Because this....

This is not easy.

It is exhausting.