Candid Chatter

Just Say It

One More Reason November 16, 2008

One more reason
why I love living in Florida


I get to watch Space Shuttles take off
from my back yard!!


Photo courtesy of Google Images
That is not Endeavour
and that is not my back yard
Just to be clear


The Fleegle Pet November 1, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 5:46 am
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Today is my baby shower. So in honor of Moms expecting babies all over the world I decided to write this post which has nothing to do with infants, but everything to do with being a Mom.

Meet Walden, Wubbzy, and Widget
(Widget is my favorite)
from the show Wow Wow Wubbzy.
My kids majorly heart this show!!

One day Wubbzy gets a pet. He names it Tiny. It is called a fleegle. He feeds his pet fleegle, Tiny, candy and Tiny suddenly grows to be 50 feet tall. In order to shrink him back to his normal size, Wubbzy and his friends have to feed him carrot juice. The moral of this story? Read the instructions given to you for your pet so you can properly care for him. So cute! Oh and carrot juice is better than candy. Ha!!

Brianna and Jeremy have this show and many other episodes from WWW on DVR. Thank God for that contraption/invention/what have you. Life Saver!!!

So the other day we’re eating our 2nd lunch together (yes, we have 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches and 2 dinners around here — my kids LOVE to eat!). Brianna (age 4) starts to tell me she wants a pet. I am not a pet person. Those days are long gone. So I decided to simply play along. Here ya go…

B: Mommy, what kind of pet do you want?
Me: I’ll take a hamster.
B: Jeremy, what kind of pet do you want — a fish or a bird? [she gives him a choice so it won’t take too long — he’s only 2 1/2]
J: A bird and I want to name him Tiny. [see where this is going, don’t you]
B: I want a fleegle.
Me: Where do you suppose we can get a fleegle?
B: From the trapper man.
Me: Do you know where we can find a trapper man?
B: In the truck, Mom. [like, duh, I should have known that]
Me: Ok, but I don’t think a 50 foot fleegle will fit in our house. Wubbzy’s fleegle got to be taller than our house, Bree.
B: Mom, I won’t feed him candy. I will only feed him sticks and grass and food that we eat, but not sugar.
Me: Is that right?
B: Yes, Mom and he won’t get big because I will take care of him like it says in the directions. [the girl is so serious and I am totally trying not to crack up at her]
Me: Bree, we live in Florida.
B: I know that Mom. So?
Me: Well, Wuzzleburg is the only place that has fleegles and Wuzzleberg isn’t in Florida.
B: Where is Wuzzleburg, Mom?
Me: In Colorado. [I don’t know, what would you have said?]
B: Where is that?
Me: In the coldest part of our country. You know how you hate cold? Well, Colorado is colder than Florida could even dream of getting. That’s where Wuzzleburg is. In Colorado. [ha — I fixed her]
B: Mom, snakes are in Florida. Can I have a snake? [she fixed me right back]
Me: No, snakes will hurt you and will eat my hamster and Jeremy’s bird, Tiny.
J: [starts to wimper] Not bird Tiny!! That bad snake won’t eat my bird!!!
B: Ok, then I want a dog. Dogs don’t eat hamsters or birds.
Me: Someday we might get a dog when you kids are old enough to care for it because Mommy does not do dog poop or dog baths or dog walks or anything else dog that is unpleasant or time consuming.
B: Jeremy, did you hear that? Mom said we can get a dog!!!!!!!!!

Yep, you saw it right here — I’m screwed! Kids are smarter than you think even when you think you thought you thunk it. Sheesh!!

Happy weekend kids!!


My Kind of Weather October 22, 2008

So I love summer. Darn good thing considering where I have chosen to live. Actually, that’s precisely why I love Florida so much — perpetual summer. But around this time of year I start missing Autumn. I miss that crisp air and the smell of it. I miss the leaves turning colors and wearing long sleeved flannel shirts. I miss bonfires and roasted marshmallows. I miss frost on the grass and the cold floor in my kitchen. I miss it for about a month and then I am back to fine in my tropical paradise. I have no affection for winter or spring. When I lived in that northern dreary town I would curse the winter and desire for spring to quickly dissolve into summer.

We are starting to cool off down here. From late October to about mid April I enjoy my Florida home the most. I especially enjoy it when I see the weather reports from around the country in January. While you northerners are bundling up and avoiding the outdoors we are spending time at the parks and having garage sales and picnics and festivals and evening strolls around our neighborhoods. It’s absolutely gorgeous in the winter down here.

You can tell me all day long how beautiful the snow is. My answer is “yeah, from your window”. It’s not beautiful piled up black and gray on the sides of the roads. It’s not beautiful when you’re trying like heck not to spin out or hit someone when you’re sliding uncontrollably through your neighborhood streets with your kids crying in the back seat while you grip the steering wheel in fear of injury to you or them or your vehicle. Snow is dangerous. Snow can knock out power lines. Snow is a nuisance.

You can tell me how pretty spring is with its budding trees and tulips and daffodils. Yeah. It is. But one day you’re hot, one day you’re cold, it rains and rains and rains and rains and [you get the picture]. No thanks.

Summer. I’m all about summer.


This weekend I am going to start baking. I love to make homemade pumpkin pies and apple pies. Yumalicious. I’ve already asked my Mom for a few “comfort food” recipes to make for dinner. I can hardly wait. I am finally, after 3 years, not hosting the holidays at our house so I get to just relax and enjoy them this year. What a relief! Shopping will begin soon for Christmas. I like to start and finish early. I can’t stand the crowds. I’d rather spend an extra couple of dollars on something rather than have to fight my way through angry and broke shoppers after Thanksgiving. Not to mention trying to find a parking spot at the mall. Jeepers!!

I am looking forward to the holidays this year. I can’t wait to drive through our snowless neighborhoods singing Christmas carrols and looking at the pretty lights and decorations. I am excited to put up our tree and decorate at our new house. I feel like a kid all over again.

Are you getting bitten
by the holiday bug yet?
What’s your favorite
season of the year?


Sunpass Snobbery September 23, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 9:20 am
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Here in Florida there is this magnificent stretch of road called the Florida Turnpike. It’s used by paying tolls. If you are a regular turnpike user, you can buy a Sunpass from a local grocer to save on tolls. Then you get to exit or enter the turnpike in the Sunpass lane, which keeps you from having to stop at the toll booth. You stick this device or sticker in your window beside your rearview mirror and wahlah you’re on your way.

I have become Florida’s biggest Sunpass snob ever!

I zoom right through that Sunpass lane and I don’t care who is meandering out of the toll booth lane, I wedge my way into the front. Such a snob. Such a brat.

I need to take it easy. I think if I’m not careful enough I might get a professional toll booth user beside me who knows how to play the merge game and then it might not be as simple as falling behind a car. It might cause a sideswiping accident.

Sunpass snobbery could get me in big trouble.

What are your
driving violations?


Summer Fun August 15, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 8:47 pm
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We have been unbelievably busy for 2 weeks solid. I have to take breaks so I can have time to clean or do laundry. Tomorrow I need to do a little of both plus pay bills plus run errands.

Yesterday and today we went to the beach. Wednesday we went to a local oceanographic center where the kids were able to pet stingrays (barbs & stingers removed).

The really super nice thing about Florida is that a lot of entertainment is FREE. You don’t have to pay to go to the beach. You have salt water and sand to deal with, but who the heck cares. It’s fun! My in-laws have a membership to the oceanographic center and so 3 generations under them get in free. Yahoo! There are playgrounds all over the place. There are these cool water fountains that shoot up out of the ground for kids to play in. No admission. Just come, play, and get wet. There is outdoor entertainment (music, festivals, celebrations) almost weekly somewhere close by.

Where you get into trouble down here is in the major tourist areas (Orlando, Miami, the Keys, Tampa, etc).

My kids have never been to Disney. I believe they are still too young. I think we might try Sea World before our littlest one is born though. They loved the oceanographic thing so much I got all Sea World excited for them.

We went to Orlando in May to visit some family of mine who had made the trip down from Ohio. We had a blast. On the way home, and for the next week, our 3 year old daughter kept telling me, “I love Orlando, Mommy”. I responded with, “and so far you have no idea how MUCH you love Orlando”. She had so much fun at the resort my family was staying in that she fell in love with Orlando. Wait until she goes to Disney. Ha!! She’ll be walking in the clouds that trip. Mmm Hmm.

So I have a killer tan going on now. Two+ hours Thursday; four+ hours today. Yeah, that’s 6 hours of hot Florida sun over SPF 50 or SPF 15 depending on what part of my body we’re discussing (50 on the neck, shoulders, and tattoo — 15 everywhere else). My kids have nice golden brown skin themselves. My son is no longer a brunette. Nope. Boy’s hair has turned a dishwater kind of blonde. Handsome tyke! My daughter’s hair is now even more blonde streaked with almost platinum. She’s going to be a heartbreaker, that one. So beautiful!!

The economy is harsh. Everything is too expensive. For the first time since we moved down here I have begun clipping coupons and watching for sales on meat and milk. I now buy my produce at farmer’s markets rather than the grocery store. I don’t overstock anymore. I get what we need and leave it at that. I have started to be creative. If you knew what my electric bill is (SR or TM, sshhh) you would pass the heck out. Florida summer = humid heat = a/c running A LOT!!

That trickles over into family entertainment too. I am not one who enjoys being at home all the time. During the first trimester of this pregnancy I think that almost killed my spirit. I love go go going. I was so sick I couldn’t get off the couch some mornings. Since all that stuff is out of my system I have been whipping it up a bit around here. But what about the cost to entertain the kids? Not a problem right now. I don’t need a pool membership. I have access to the biggest pool on the planet 365 days a year. The Atlantic Ocean is minutes from my house. And right now we are taking full advantage.

I love it here.

I plan on keeping all of this up until Brianna starts school the first week of September. Then what? I don’t know. But I’ll figure something out. Guess me and the boy will be doing a lot of cool things while his sister learns new things.

Summer Fun!

What are you doing
to have fun this summer
despite the economy?


Bigger Than I Thought July 27, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 9:32 pm
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So my precious 3 year old spitfire just got her little ears pierced and she’s doing great. She’s a darling child. Very smart. Very assertive… at home.

I found out on Thursday of last week that she has one chance at voluntary pre-kindergarten (this might be a Florida thing, so bear with me). One. She turns 4 on the cut-off day. I wanted to keep her home another year. She is academically ready. Socially… well, not so much. She backs all up inside herself when in groups of unfamiliar kids/adults. She gets instantly timid. In gymnastics class, where she was the youngest, she would always get pushed to the back of the line even when it was her turn. If another girl wanted to go, she’d back off and let her go. It’s not out of kindness. It’s out of shyness. Into her mouth her fingers go, doggy-eyed like she might cry, and if I was there she’d hide behind my legs. Timid.

My husband and I went round and round about this before we decided several months ago to keep her home another year. Truly, that decision was made with only her interests in mind. We would rather she be the oldest in the class, not the youngest. This might not seem like such a big deal right now. But as she gets older she may develop slower physically than the other girls. Being a small-breasted girl before I had kids, I can tell you how miserable it is to be teased in school by boys and girls alike when my boobs didn’t go past an “A” cup and it seemed everyone else was in a “D” cup. Not only that, but peer pressure for a girl who is younger than everyone else might be harder to fight. She would drive last, graduate at 17, and so on. Use your imagination… remember high school… and if you weren’t the youngest, try to imagine had you been. It makes me want to vomit!

You can come up with the idea that we could hold her back a year. Sure we could. But then she watches all her friends move up while she stays behind. Done early enough it might have very little impact. But, then again, it could hurt her deeply.

My options are these…
1) Keep her home and just shove her head first into Kindergarten next year. No preschool.
2) Send her to preschool this year so she’s better equipped for Kindergarten next year.

That’s it. No other options for us. I am not the homeschooling type (even though I’ll give a standing ovation to those who are).

I was not prepared for this. I am so upset over it. I am trying not to let it get to me. But I am really upset.

I have to teach her how to wipe her butt by herself (for #2, she can do #1 alone) in about 3 weeks. I have to decide where to send her, visit the schools of interest, fill out the county paperwork, visit with a person at the Early Learning Coalition, get her approved at a school, and finalize it all in about a week. Fine. I can handle that.

Then I have to drop off my child who has never been in a daycare center or at anyone’s house for more than 2 hours without me or daddy or her brother, and trust some people who I don’t know to protect her and teach her and care for her a few hours a week.

I am not ready.

I am not ready.

So in one week my precious 3 year old has changed into this preschooler with earrings. What am I going to do when she starts liking a boy other than Spiderman?

I am SO not ready for this.

If I had known this when I scheduled her c-section, I would have picked one day later. One day and I could have kept her home another year. Unbelievable!


Beyond My Front Door June 2, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 7:10 am
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We moved to a new neighborhood less than 3 months ago. Truthfully, it seems longer, but it’s not quite 3 months yet. A couple people we know from our church live in our immediate neighborhood and quite a bit more live within 3 miles or so from our new place. We love it here.

One of our neighbors brought us homemade sugar cookies and dollar store gifts for the kids. So sweet. Another brought us homemade banana chocolate chip cookies and the kids didn’t like them, but unfortunately I loved them. Yeah, I ate every last one. Took me a few days, but still. They were SO good! Others have stopped by to say hello and introduce themselves. They all love our kids and oooh and aaaah over them. It’s Norman Rockwell around here. Pleasantville.

There is no homeowner’s association, no severe deed restrictions. The funny thing about that is you can be driving down our street and see homes built 20 years ago, homes built yesterday, homes with 2 bedrooms, homes with 5 bedrooms, ranches, 2 story “hotels” (as Brianna calls them), very pretty yards, very ugly yards, and so on. It’s funny. It’s wonderful.

Before my pregnancy drama happened last week and I was told to take it easy for awhile, I would stuff the kids in the double jogger stroller and we would walk almost every morning. Some days we’d count boats. Other days we’d count blue houses or pink houses or peachy pink houses or yellow houses. Some houses in FL come in very funny colors. Blue might seem pretty until you see a house that is pool stick chalk blue. Or one that is teal green. Or lime green trimmed in yellow. Or peachy pink trimmed in purple. Every person with their own style. So funny to this Ohio girl. On our walks, whenever we’d see someone they would wave or smile or say hello. There is an older gentleman that walks every single day for 3 miles around our neighborhood. My guesstimate is that he’s around 70+. He is very proud of his walks and very sweet to me and the kids.

Beyond my front door it is friendly, warm, and welcoming.

What is your neighborhood like?