We played Sequence For Kids the other day, and when I gave Jack his cards he held his hand with all the cards facing out. He played a few rounds like that before I fixed them.
He had the word gorilla in Gemiini this week…he often pronounces it “gorillilla”, which is super cute!
28 March Tuesday
I cut my hair by myself! I’ve been working up to this for a few days/weeks…psyching myself up, watching a ton of youtube videos. So since I’d prepared so thoroughly and decided that I should wait till Tj was around in case I needed some help, I did it on the spur of the moment just after he’d left for work, and during school time. Heh. It turned out pretty good, though. I tied a rubber band around my dirty, dry hair at the nape of my neck. I made sure it was straight both left to right and front to back, and then hacked away. It took a long time to get it cut through! I tied a bag around my neck with a big opening at the back to catch most of the hair.
When I was finished it looked good! It was longer than I wanted, and a tiny bit longer on one side, but I was more confident; the next time I cut my hair it’ll be even better.
I made an awesome salad for lunch with avocado, tomatoes and cilantro and we ate that over lettuce.
We went to the beach from 3:30-5:30. By the time we leave here I’ll be a lot more comfortable with parallel parking as well!
On the way back home we saw the truck that sits atop the concrete barrier on the bridge and moves it to change the number of incoming/outgoing lanes! I didn’t even know there were such trucks.
We went to Big Thyme for supper. I’d searched online for a Reuben sandwich, and this one was fine, but I wouldn’t go back. Now I want a really good one! The boys shared a good turkey, bacon, avo sandwich. While it was being made the boys played Mario Cart, and after eating the owner played it against Max. He told me that he wasn’t gonna let Max win everything like I do, he was gonna show him that you don’t always get your way. This made me chuckle since he’d already talked about how polite my boys were and said that his kids would just yell at him and demand what they wanted instead of asking. Yeah, I see how he shows his kids the way the world works.
We went home then and Jack jumped outside on the trampoline while Max showered. Then Max role played with his friend from Christmas Island while Jack got ready for bed.
I talked to Mom this morning and Papa is doing so well now. She said he’d spent the last 5 months in the bed, and it had been 6 months since he’d driven! I’m so grateful he’s getting more independent now.
29 March Wednesday
Around 10 Johnny asked me to come to finalize the paperwork to get a new stereo in the truck! While there I walked over to an ATM to withdraw the first payment. After I walked inside the bank, and the out to the drive-thru ATM and got the money, I walked the other way around the bank back to Johnny’s shop and saw the walk-up ATM. Heh. Oh well. I’m so excited about this stereo! And worried. And hopeful/excited!
We finished up school when I got back, and went to the beach again before supper. Before we went to bed we cleaned out all the stuff from the truck so I could drop it off tomorrow morning.
30 March Thursday
Johnny told me to drive the truck there at 10. I double checked that he didn’t want me to call first and he said no. Of course when I got there he told me he was the only one there and couldn’t leave the shop…he called his other guy and it would be about an hour before he got there. So why didn’t he call me 15 minutes ago and tell me this? Whatever.
I went to Sally Beauty to get some thinning shears for my next haircut attempt. On the way back home just as I’d passed his shop Johnny called to say his guy was there. I made a u-turn and picked Johnny up so he could drive my truck to his shop after dropping Jack and me off at home. Now we’re stranded, but I’m a hermit so it’s no biggie.
31 March Friday
At noon I got the truck!!! The pockets Johnny had weren’t the right size for the truck, so we still have components that don’t work there. Now the hard part…learning how to use this monster!
After Max finished school we cleaned the truck thoroughly. I’m sad we let the leather on the front seats crack so badly!
When Tj was available we texted back and forth about the stereo. He told me to call Johnny to fix the USB…apparently Johnny didn’t follow Tj’s directions about which cable we need since I have an android, not an iPhone. I went to his shop around 4 and instead of changing the cable out, he just installed 2 more! Although my phone connects to the stereo by Bluetooth for music, I have to plug it in to display the GPS. I sat in the truck trying to display it after Johnny added the cables. After a few minutes Johnny came out and got in my truck. I told him what I was trying to do and he seemed apologetic, but said that he didn’t think it would work like we thought. He seemed to think we’d have to order another part to ever display GPS. He went inside to his computer to research it a bit and I called Tj. He said he’d specifically picked this stereo for this, and we just had to work it out. It only took about another minute or two before we got it! I ran inside to tell Johnny and he was relieved.
I programmed Walmart into the GPS and off we went. I saw Aldi on the way and stopped there and bought way to many great looking foods. We went to Walmart next to get the things Aldi didn’t have, but on the way there the phone just disconnected from the stereo!!! Ugh!!! I reset it again, but missed a few turns again when it disconnected once more. I can’t wait till Tj comes home and helps me out of this fix!
I wanted to grocery shop since we were already out, and I’d planned on having ice cream for supper the day I got the stereo, so we finally made it into Walmart. I just found a recipe for a Reuben casserole and I need meat and cheese for it. Ugh!!! This Walmart doesn’t have a deli counter!!! Stupid. I’ll have to stop at Von’s on the way home for the corned beef/pastrami.
I found a gas station on the way home since my gas light came on. Gassing up in CA is annoying…I looked for the cheapest place I could find, and didn’t see the note above the pump that they only take debit cards. That took a few minutes and a trip inside. Then the pump didn’t start, so I asked another customer for help…but he had no idea either. I started over and it finally worked, but there’s no lock for the gas pump, and I swear those pumps are tight! They’re much harder to squeeze than pumps in other states.
We finally made it home and I was the best mom ever for having ice cream for supper.
1 April Saturday
I made the boys chocolate chip pancakes for the second time, got them all settled in, and then cut my hair again. This time I used 2 barrettes to get my hair in about the same place as the last time, but more evenly spread across. With the rubber band cut the front of my hair was longer and angled down along my chin. It was good, but it didn’t look different from the front than before the cut. This time it was more a straight-line bob.
Jack and I went to pick TJ up at the airport around 5:15pm. We got to watch his plane land! I let Jack stand up on the console with his head out of the sunroof and he loved it! I told TJ before I went to get him that I had 2 errands to run, so we went to Home Depot and got a board cut to use as our door lock. Then TJ was hungry so we looked around for a restaurant. I said fried chicken was calling to me since I didn’t have my chicken craving filled the last time we had hot wings. He found the Streetcar Merchants of Fried Chicken and we placed an order for that sitting in the parking lot. It said it would be ready in 40 minutes! We drove to closer to where it was and then looked around for a grocery store for my second errand.
After I got what I needed we went and parked a block away from the restaurant and TJ and Jack walked down the street to get our food. We got back home pretty late and ate, and it was really good! I bought this monster chicken sandwich; I had to take half of the chicken off just so I could fit it in my mouth! There was a fried egg on it, coleslaw, fried chicken, and fried chicken skin! That chicken skin was awesome. I do have to say it didn’t have much flavor/seaaoning, so I dipped it in some buffalo chicken sauce we had here and it was amazing! We ate as much as we could, wrapped up the rest for later, and all got in the bed. TJ was wiped out.
2 April Sunday
We had a really lazy day today. I finally got TJ out of bed at 10:45. I made Reuben casserole, and everybody liked it. I thought it was okay, TJ says it would have been better if I put more Thousand Island on it before baking it. We will definitely eat that a lot more.
I bought a basil plant Friday night, and Saturday morning it was starting to wilt. By this morning it was ridiculously practically dead. I finally talked TJ into going to the store with me to exchange it, and he also wanted to check out the gas station situation for the bus. We left Jack and made a date of it. We also bought a whole lot more fun food than we should have. I was glad that they let me exchange that plant with no problem, and though I explicitly followed the directions with the new one it still wilted by the next morning. I guess that’s just the way it goes.
I made bruschetta for supper and it was heavenly! I forgot to buy garlic to rub on the bread, but it was awesome with just some minced garlic thrown in with the tomatoes.
3 April Monday
We got up on time and started school. There are only 19 more days of school left! I want to get this finished!
We planned to go to the beach today, so after we finished school, ate lunch, and took a nap we asked Jack if he wanted to go to the beach. He said no! I never expected that in a hundred years. We asked him again and one more time again, and he kept saying no! So we didn’t go to the beach. We walked down to the entrance and played at the playground there. We met a family with twin 4 year old boys. One of the boys played with Jack a lot, he and Jack seemed about the same mental age. He wanted to play hide-and-seek so Jack went to hide: he stood on top of a rock at the other end of the playground. Heh.
The other boy has autism, the mom told me later, and has a vocabulary of four words now. I have often been grateful that Max came before Jack. I know I was a lot more relaxed about Jack because of having had Max whose development was so typical. I would have been so super stressed if Jack had been my first child. And I know Jack benefits from having Max to watch and emulate. He absolutely wants to do everything that Max does now. It’s pretty sweet to see. But how funny to have twin boys that are so different. Either way, life is one big learning experience the whole time I think.
While we visited and the boys played together TJ and Max went around and did all the exercise stations that were there at the park. Then we all went on a family walk and went on an overpass and watched the traffic for a little bit. The walk back to the bus was a small dirt path between high grass on either side. It reminded me so much of all the summers in the pasture across the street from my house, bringing a book and reading out there, playing in the pine trees Pawpaw planted years ago. Good memories. Being on that overpass also remind me of the time we were driving home after church trip, I think to Six Flags over Texas, when some kids on an overpass threw eggs down and they went through the glass of the bus and landed in my hair etc. I think Greg Swanson was driving.
TJ made 50/50 Burgers, half bacon and half filet mignon. They were super awesome, and super messy as always.
We watched 2 episodes of lost. Jack has cried twice now while we’ve watched that…we can’t watch anymore with him, poor bug. Too many people getting beat up! Until now he just hadn’t been very aware of what was going on in the show. I’ll miss the show, but it’s a good step for him!
4 April Tuesday
We checked out around noon and headed to Seal Beach. We gassed up on the way, and thankfully everything went smoothly.
After we checked in we sent the kids over to the playground and washed the bus.
5 April Wednesday
Got up at the usual time and the boys started school. We adults got ready and we all headed out to Hollywood. We saw the sign on the drive in. We went to the movies and saw Beauty and the Beast. We walked almost a mile to a little restaurant and had poutine for lunch. One original and one w pulled pork, bacon and gravy. We ordered 2 meal sized poutines and she also gave us an extra box of plain fries. There was so much food! I’m excited to take our leftovers and see if I can get them to taste almost as good as the gooey fries we had at Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant.
We had Ghirardelli ice cream for supper at 4. It was in the Disney store so we looked around a bit. We sat at the bar facing the street and watched people paying to take photos in a car…a Lamborghini if I remember. Heh. We were both disappointed with the ice cream. It was fine, but no better than Blue Bunny. I don’t think I’ll be tempted by them again.
We headed home and dropped the boys off at the playground while we went for a walk. The boys had pb sandwiches and Tj had garlic naan with cheddar for second supper.
6 April Thursday
We did school, had meats and cheese for lunch, and then went to Medieval Times. It was good, but not as good as Dixie Stampede. The same sorts of things went on…mostly skill with horses, but I think there was more story here to follow, which is hard…it was hard to hear/understand the storyline. With Dixie Stampede it was more skill, a person balancing on two horses, etc. One thing I think we haven’t seen with Dixie Stampede was this place had a trained falcon flying around at one point.
We went to cold stone creamery, then to WM for a clasp for my bracelet and a few groceries. We got home around 9:15pm.
7 April Friday
My new phone came in!! Tj plugged it in to charge and we headed out to the La Brea Tar Pits. That was a fun place…so funny and interesting to see tar bubbling up right there in downtown LA! It was cool looking in the ‘fishbowl’ at the scientists sorting through bones they’re still finding in the pits. We watched a 3D show about evolution/tar, and walked around a bit till we were ready to go.
Then we headed to In and Out Burger for some plane watching. I’d read about it on FTF…we ate at the outside tables at the restaurant and then took a picnic blanket across the street to a little green space and watched planes land next door at the airport. They were so low!! I got a great picture of one right overhead.
8 April Saturday
Since we skipped school yesterday we did it today. Max made a C on his math which isn’t the best, but he was acting like it was the end of the world. We started going through the problems and lo and behold he confessed to having been using the calculator! Since Christmas!!! I remember him asking me if he could use one and I said no, so this was a really big deal. Tj and I discussed what to do while he went back to work.
Last night Tj found us a Korean place for lunch today. We went there and I signed the page on the clipboard to keep our place in line. We’d decided to order a meal for 3 since Yelp reviews said there was way too much food. At the end Tj decided to also get bimbimap…and the reviews were spot on. We walked out with enough food to feed us all again. I loved the variety…that’s usually my favorite thing to do…have a little bit of a lot of foods. The octopus was my favorite, along with the vinegar sauce they gave us to dip the beef in.
We headed home and got Tj ready to leave in the morning. The light over the sink has gone out again so I asked if he would fix it before he left. He looked online to find a replacement and there was an RV place close by with the part…and also lots of RVs to look at!!! We’d love to get something a little better suited to the fulltime life, so we spent way too much time looking at new RVs.
After that, surprise! Tj found us another ice cream place! We went to the beach part of town and had some wonderful ice cream for supper.
When we got back home and the boys were getting ready for bed I started heating up the poutine for their supper. When TJ went outside to dump so he’d be ready to shower in the morning he saw that we had hit the bollard with the slide out! How could we not have seen that??!!?? We debated over what to do…it was barely touching our slide-out…and we were cranky…we needed sleep! Tj had to get up super early in the morning so we really needed to go to bed, but he couldn’t leave us with this mess. In the end we moved the bus about a foot forward…but that meant pulling in all the slides and supports. We didn’t unhook anything so I stayed outside making sure nothing got run over. Fun.
9 April Sunday
We left about 4:30am to bring Tj to work. He’d found Randy’s doughnuts and put it on our big bus trip map, and since it was pretty close to the airport I ran over to get some after we dropped him off. I was really low on gas again so I found a place to fill up nearby. I’m using my phone on my dash again until we get a new cable…we found what worked for my old phone, but my new phone uses a USB-C cable so here we go again. I was worried about filling up in this area since it was still dark out, but we got it done and headed home.
We got home and amazingly Jack fell asleep! Of course he only slept about 10 mins, but it’s obvious he needs to catch up on his sleep after these few days of sightseeing.
When we all got up and the boys had breakfast Max started working on school again and Jack and I headed out to Goodwill. Max’s school will take a bit longer now…he has to do all his math by hand in his notebook and then enter it into the computer. The bad thing is that means I have to review all the math he does, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
I may have lost my Goodwill mojo, or it may just be that I can’t buy much since we live in such a tiny place. Oh well. We had lunch and then took a nap. Lovely. After supper we watched What’s in the Bible for Church. We decided we’ll watch it all the way through from the beginning to the end, and of course next week is Easter. Heh.
10 April Monday
I called around looking for a dentist on Wednesday or Thursday of last week. It only took the second call to find someone who had openings for me and the boys! I was able to make an appointment for Jack for today, and Max and I have appointments on the 27th. When I’m there with Jack today I’ll ask if there is any way we can move that time up. That’s during the time that TJ is home, and I prefer to get this done when he’s not here.
The dentist’s office is beautiful, lots of large windows. They say on a clear day you can see the Hollywood sign, and of course it’s hazy today. All the technicians and dentists are super nice and they’re now all in love with Jack. The dentist asked if she could take him home :-) She got x-rays done, and his teeth cleaned and flossed. I’m going to start flossing his teeth a couple times a week. I need to get him and Max in a habit of flossing. When I was checking out I mentioned to the receptionist that Max and I were hoping to move our appointments up, and she has two appointments for tomorrow morning! I’m so thankful we’ll get this taken care of now.
11 April Tuesday
Max and I went to the dentist this morning, and both had pretty good checkups. I have five not quite cavities, but will become cavities sooner if I don’t do something about it now.
I’m teaching Jack to floss tonight and I tell him take your flosser and go stand in front of the mirror please. He goes into the dark bathroom, doesn’t turn the light on, and starts flossing in front of the mirror that’s too tall for him to see himself in. After a full minute I went in there and told him he had to find a mirror where he could actually see himself.
Also tonight as he was showering he was in there so long I finally went and checked on him. It’s a good thing I did; he was sitting in water that was about half an inch from the rim of the shower stall. I can’t wait till he can tell me that we need to dump, or any other common sense thing.
12 April Wednesday
I’m still not taking flonase! I really wonder how much longer this can last, it’s probably been about a month and a half since I stopped.
I thought today would be a stay-at-home day, but I needed to go get our packages. The USPS doesn’t deliver here on base so that was my first stop, to pick up my phone case and screen protectors. I hate using my phone without a case! Not only do I worry about getting scratches on it (which affects resale value), but I press all the buttons all the time! Then I had to drive out to Compton to get our other packages. On the way home we stopped at Goodwill and I blatantly used Jack to make my way into Goodwill bathroom. After that we hit up the Walmart for groceries and Easter goodies.
TJ got his schedule today so we started planning our route up through San Francisco to see some redwoods and then out of California. Planning is so tricky, I’m grateful that TJ generally does all of that!
I think my new cord works; I hope and pray it does. It got me all the way to Goodwill, then to Walmart, then home. I’m still working all the bugs out…it really is just figuring out how it all works. Thank goodness though that I can actually see the screen. The first several days of using it the screen was dark enough that I couldn’t wear my sunglasses and see the screen. I think we figured out that I have to keep my headlights off in order for the screen to be bright enough to see. That’s a small price to pay for such a nice convenience.
I saw a list like this on FTF and thought I’d give my take. The benefits of staying in a spot for a month:
Easier on the budget; usually a two week stay costs about the same as a month long stay. Lower fuel costs than if you travel weekly.
Settled feeling that doesn’t come when you move every couple of weeks.
More of a comfort level with the roads, stores, and communities.
Longer window of time for mail and packages to catch up to you.
Disadvantages: don’t cover as much ground; but have the opportunity to go deeper with exploring.
Sometimes being familiar quickly turns to boring depending on location and perception.
13 April Thursday
Jack says Han Sulu instead of Han Solo.
We stayed home all day!! I love that. There’s no school tomorrow for Good Friday, so Max and I had to get all his work caught up. After today he has only 10 days left!!! Hallelujah!
14 April Friday
Jack just fell out of bed at midnight! I was still up watching Mr. Robot. I’m staying up tonight out of rebellion…since we’re in such a tight place with no outdoors where Jack doesn’t need lots of supervision I don’t ever watch my TV shows during the day.
When I told Max I was going to make him a milk jug Easter basket like Monmom used to make us, he said there were milk jugs when your grandmother was alive?