Living among the Living...

Wow, that was a long blogging break.  Not intentional at all, but between moving and my babies, it's just been hard to find extra moments.  And then our laptop got a virus, so blogging has been on the backburner.  But I miss it.  I like having a place to record little snippets of our little family life.  

I have been loving our new home and tiny town.  I'm surprised at how well I have adjusted up to this point.  It is suiting me much better than I ever could have anticipated.  I have to say though, the hardest part of living here, is living among so many living things (or things that were once living).

Oh. My. Goodness.  I never knew so many bugs, beetles, and insects could possibly be around one little home.  And figure out so many creative ways to weasel their way into a home.  I hardly bat an eye at some bugs in our house that once would have had me in a fit of panic and trying to cover it with tupperware until Brett could come kill it.  And we can't forget to mention the mosquitoes.  My children have been looking like tiny pimply little teenagers with all the bites they have been accumulating (and yes, I do use repellent too!) all over their faces.  In fact, one Sunday I was ready to stay home from church with Landon because he was surely breaking out into a contagious rash...until Brett explained that they were just mosquito bites.  And indeed, at church, many of the other little children's faces were also covered in bites.

Here are a few encounters I have had with other living creatures in my short time here:

- A snake in our carport right next to the door to our house.  We had only lived there for 3 days.

- A dead squirrel in our front lawn that I did not see until my foot was hovering over it and I nearly stepped on it.  Heart attack followed.

- A bat flew down our chimney and into our house.  My brother caught the footage (he was visiting) on his GoPro.

- A large "thing" was flying around the patio, and I blurted out, "Oh my gosh, what is that?", to which my nephew replied, "It's a hummingbird!".  I can assure you, it was most definitely not a hummingbird, but it was the size of one.  Brett later told me, it was a Tarantula Hawk, named appropriately, seeing as they prey on tarantulas.

- Threw something in our outside trash can, to see a rodent with a long tail, hopping through our carport, right by me.  Brett told me it must've been a Kangaroo Rat, also named for obvious reasons.

- Attended a church campout where they beheaded and hung a rattlesnake they found from a tree.  You should know, that those things (dead or alive and with or without heads) will move around for at least an hour or so, writhing up their muscles back and forth.  It is awfully eerie.

- If you turn on an outdoor light when it's dark outside and then walk out there, be prepared for beetles to dive bomb your face.  I still shreak...every time.  There is no getting used to that!

- Found a massive centipede in our house.  Doesn't sound too bad at the end of this list.  But those things are gross, and can actually hurt you too.

I am probably forgetting some of the memorable moments, but this list will do for now.  Maybe this should be a "series"?  Ha!  Doubt this list will be the extent of my encounters with non-human living things.

However, we do have a dog that we quite like.  His name is Rex.  And we think he is a pretty fun non-human living thing to have around.  Landon loves petting him, watching him sprint around the yard, and watching him drag his tummy across our lawn.  Vivienne's eyes stay fixated on him while we play in the backyard, she just adores him.  And Rex loves licking her toes (I do not love it, but he sneaks it and I don't catch him until it is too late and her toes are smothered in slobbery dog kisses.  I just have to remind myself it won't kill her, and dog kisses are part of childhood, right?).  We also will probably be getting some kitties next week!  They are so cute, plus they eat mice.  And who wants mice around?  Not us!  And if mice aren't around, then the snakes don't usually come around.  It's a win-win in that way.


Beach Bummin' 2014

Before we made our big move, our friends, the Mertz's, suggested we take a vacation together and hit the beach.  We are so glad we joined them!  We stayed in a hotel suite, and split the cost.  It worked out great!  It was a really affordable and fun break.

I'm going to get real here, though.  Roadtrips with babies aren't always for the faint of heart.  On our way to California, it was baaaad.  As in, 3 hours in, I told Brett to turn around and go home, because this just wasn't worth it.  Vivienne screamed for over 2 solid hours.  Not fussed, whined, or whimpered--full fledged screaming.  We stopped 3 times in that time frame for me to hold her, soothe her, feed her, change her, etc. I was sitting in the back seat this whole time, and still, couldn't calm her.  At one point, Landon, Vivienne and I were all crying in the back seat.  It wasn't my finest moment.  Finally, in a moment of total desperation, I turned on Pandora, to a lullaby station, and it was like magic.  She sat listening so concentrated and then after a while drifted off to sleep.  I think I will be buying this pronto.

Thankfully, the trip home went much smoother.  We stopped once for gas and for all to eat, and eeked out enough good behavior out of those kids the rest of the way home.  I mean, I was singing overly-enthusiastic songs of the "itsy-bitsy spider" and what-not for the last hour, to keep them distracted.  But Brett typically prefers my obnoxious singing to children screaming, so it works out.

Also, we were thankful for toes and stickers, which occupied much of Landon's time while he was carseat-bound.  And we discovered Vivienne also loves books, so I held a board book in front of her face the last hour and turned the page every minute or so, to give her something new to look at (I didn't read it aloud to her, since I was enthusiastically singing!).

Enough talk about the travelling, once we were there, it was great!

We stayed up late hanging out with James and Jenessa laughing our heads off at stupid lists on BuzzFeed.

We hit the beach one day, and it turns out, the beach is my children's "happy place".

We recently got this foldable wagon, and it was a lifesaver for the weekend!  Doesn't take up too much trunk space, heavy duty wheels, and really roomy.  We loaded Landon and all of our beach gear into it, to walk to the beach.  Then, while at the beach, we laid a towel down in it, and used it as a bassinet for Vivienne.  She took two of the longest naps of her whole life while in the wagon (I'm sure the ocean noise helped her too, she needs white noise to sleep for long periods of time during the day, I discovered).  Landon just needed a few snacks, and a few beach toys from the dollar store--and he was in heaven.  Seriously loved the beach.

Nursing Vivienne, before her first long nap...beaches are perfect for babies

Kaeti (James' sister) also joined us and is introducing Landon to seashells

The next day we hit the Orange County Swap Meet, napped, walked around Downtown Disney, and went out to dinner.
James showing us some hat tricks

Thanks for the good time, James & Jenessa, Kaeti (and Sam).  Until next time...!