Landscaper Lady

Not in the provocative early 2000′s way, but in the dirt under my nails.  Okay, two stories, here is one of them…

1) When we took possession of our new home we had about two weeks to do a lot to it.  From the mundane, termite tenting to the glorious, new wood floors.  I was project manager and yes, I did bring it in at budget, thank you.  So, there is a little clubhouse/ man cave structure in the back yard at the top of a hill. It’s a little rickety and according to our inspector is going to be eaten to dust by termite as a big tasty, uninsulated little morsel in about 2 to 3 years, but in the meantime I’ve made it the art room for the kids and the place where Mark and I can hang up our vanity.  You know posters of cancelled shows, promos for cookbooks.  Things that say we have had brushes with accomplishment, but would make our house feel like a tavern if we put them in our actual home.

So, I had budgeted for my termite tent and for a few pieces of eaten up wood to be replaced. I was leaning into the floor guys ( tough job, not me, them) because no point in tenting until after the floor is down and I was trying to hustle so I didn’t have to pay anymore rent. The termite guy sends me an email that they can NOT tent because the plant that is poking out of the rafters of the clubhouse is from our neighbors and even though they signed releases that in effect said, “spray away”, the termite dudes won’t go near it.

“There has to be daylight between their plant and your structure.”  Here is a pic, though it doesn’t do it justice.  It was deep, dark, thorny.  Staring at it I felt like Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now.   I called my landscape gardner friend.before

“I need someone to cut this thing.”  It was about 8 feet deep and 3 foot wild of gnarled mass.

“Probably $300.”

Gulp…over budget!

We had the added pressure as well that since the termite tenting had not been done during escrow our lender withhold a considerable amount of money until there was evidence the work had been done.

I started to chop.  Not much success.  Plus both my kids needed my attention from time to time.  Then, one of our new wonderful neighbors said she would take Vivien ( she also has a daughter) and lent me a really good cutting device.  Gloves on I yelled a rebel yell and went in while Rex busied himself nearby with dirt, balls, whatever.  20 minutes in I was bathed in sweat.  I really doubted I would be able to finish. Thank goodness Rex was not feeling needy, because I was able to push forward for 2 and half hours.

How did I do it?  I told that thorny shrub that I was going to make it my bitch.  I did.  Chop, chop, chop.  I was obsessed. My arms throbbed ( screw the gym) and I took a few water breaks and to make sure Rex was alive, but I did it!  Except… for three branches at the top of the structure I could not get to from any angle.

Then right on cue, Mark popped home.  He climbed on top and chopped the last few.  I was glad that he showed up, but was a tad jealous that after all of my hard work he got the “mission accomplished” moment.

I took a picture and sent it to the termite guy. after In effect saying, “Get your tent and your poison here”.

Now, clearly, it’s not looking that pretty right now, but saving $300 never felt so good.

Second story tomorrow.

My commercial!

You know what a fan I am of the commercial that stays with you for years (Tarnex anyone?).  Well, I hope my commercial for Packit has some lasting power.  Packit was invented by two single moms and they are hoping to go big time with their invention by making a direct marketing commercial.  They asked me to be the spokesperson.

Here is the commercial.

In a nutshell, it’s a lunch bag that keeps food cold for 10 hours and collapses in your freezer when you aren’t using it.  I do put yogurt smoothies in Vivien’s bag now that she has one  ( she loves the pink polka dot one).  My mom takes her lunch to work in the red one.  She eats very healthy so taking her own food to work is a good fit for her.

Check it out and Pack it!

( by the way I got a flat fee for the commercial. If they sell one or one million I won’t get anymore, but I like the gals that created it and I like the product)

Es-press-o

C’mon, Monday morning can hit you like a wet towel across your face when you thought you were getting a hug. I am always behind the eight ball on Monday mornings.  It’s post weekend, it’s back to school and work and it’s also after one of the crowded house nights in our home.  And I don’t mean the ’80′s band (though let me say that their hit “don’t dream that it’s over” is a big fave of mine and yes, always makes me think of the Sheena Easton/ Don Johnson romance on Miami Vice).

So, Espresso should help, right? As I consume ever more amounts, as the mother of a toddler who still can wake up at night, sometimes I exhibit symptoms similar to Parkinson diesease.

But, I keep going back to the same cure.

And the winner is…

For the past four weeks I’ve been running a Cool Mom Snacks giveaway (you can see the videos here, here, here, and here) looking for the most creative ways to make eating healthy fun for kids.

I got so many great ideas from you all.  I think the overriding theme is PRESENTATION.  Skewers, muffin tin, and food coloring being the most original “I never thought of that” ideas.

Renee, love the food coloring idea and will do it as my daughter’s favorite book is Pinkalicious and she just might go for it.

I also liked Julie’s emphasis on a vegetable, which I hate to say I sometimes drop.  I always have a fruit, but other than peas, lately Vivien won’t eat anything else.  I will see if dips make a difference.  

Suse, thanks for the skewer idea.  I could try that with Vivien, although I will worry if they get near Rex.  He is a little dangerous!

So, I am going to pick the winner on not only one that I thought was good, but also got favorable comments from you all.  And that would be Alexandra of Good Day, Regular People for her idea of a muffin tin snack bar!

I am going to try it and video it next week. Congrats!!!!

Thank you all who participated for these food for thoughts and check back next Thursday as we’ll be kicking off another Snacks giveaway!

funniest flipping thing…

I have seen in a long time. It takes about 90 seconds.  A must see, “what to expect when you are expected”.  The author use to write for The Daily Show.  A great sendup of “what to expect when you are expecting” which has an annoying and undeserved market share of pregnant readers. I haven’t read the book, but the trailer is a riot.  At least we know it’s a good premise.

Brother, Can You Spare a Ride?

I’m a tad stressed about Mark’s surgery and all the logistics that entails for a husband going through major eye surgery who cannot drive in a car for weeks, let alone help with the baby like he usually does. So I don’t want to say I’m not getting the desired support from certain family members when I need it. I’ll just say that someone who gave birth to someone who is not me sort of irked me today…

This person… has been saying she wants to help, so I called today and said could she please take Vivien to school since Mark has to be at the hospital at 8am. I will take Rex with me. I said we would need to leave by 7:20 at the latest.

Her: “Well, I couldn’t get there by then. I’ll come about 8:45.” Whaaaaa? She lives 1.5 miles away. Now, my stepson will be here, but he is 15 and not a natural babysitter. I explained that if there was a few minutes where only Oliver was in charge it’s ok as he could call 911 if the house was on fire, but he will not be waking Vivien up with a hug and making her breakfast and getting her dressed.

“Oh, yeah, that’s true.” She asks me again when we are leaving. Still 7:15 to 7:20. “I can’t make it by then. I will be there more like 7:45.” I don’t know what irruption in the space time continuum has occurred that one can arrive a one time and not 25 minutes earlier when there is not change in traffic flow or weather conditions between these 25 minutes, but there it is!

I thought of pressing the issue, but then why bother? If someone wants to be passive aggressive they can. And I thought, she was late to to our house the morning I gave birth to Rex.

Mark called this unnamed person and in a very nice way offered her a wake up call.

You could snap my muscles with a spoon. I don’t care what Stephanie Wilder-Taylor say, tonight I’m having some wine.

My sister-in-law Leslie is driving hundreds of miles to come down this weekend to be helpful. Bless her heart.

I also have to arrange a follow up doctors visit for him on Wednesday when I have to go to work for a short time and then take Rex to get his shots. Of course they don’t give us times beforehand because it’s so much easier to twist in the wind.

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The other day I got such a nice little gift out of nowhere. A hello from my friend Stacie. We used to work together, and she knows I had my arm acne problem from pregnancy. Pretty, oh, pretty and if the water police aren’t around, I’m a bath whore. So she sent me french lavender bubble bath and lotion from EO. It’s all organic and all that jazz, but all I know is my itchy skin doesn’t explode after I use it, which is rad. And the smell makes me feel pretty.

A play on the old ad… “EO lavender bubbles, take me away”

They also have hand sanitizers, which I will be dousing us with as we enter and exit the hospital… but avoiding the eyes.

Mommy Need a Drink?

While the French and Italian mom’s to be are sipping their wine we are are forced to go to club soda. They do think we are over thinking this this no drinking thing. Amanda of mommymandy.com wrote about Margarita Mom Mocktails. So cute. Is that not the best baby shower gift for your fun girlfriend who is knocked up or what? Also nice for the 12 stepper friend. I am a big believer in driver drinks. Just cause your sober doesn’t mean you don’t want a fun fruity taste.

First Margaritas of the Season!
Creative Commons License photo credit: OctopusHat

Amanda’s site is part of Mommies United. Not an English soccer group, but a fun website with some of the cutest graphics going. And they are giving away a cupcake carrier! Check it out.