Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm 29 (again...) today

Today I'm celebrating my 3rd annual 29th birthday! Ha! Ironically, this year I'm not feeling quite as old as I did last year. 30 was a rough one for me, hence the "I'm not getting older, I'm still 29" denial thing I had going on.

My 30th birthday last year. Yes, my cake says "29 A" and I love my family
for humoring me in celebrating my second annual 29th birthday instead of my 30th!

It's a pretty big birthday milestone in general, but for me, I was literally feeling old. I was 30 weeks pregnant, and if anything can give you a glimpse into the aches and pains of old age, it's pregnancy, right?! Add to that the fact that I was about to have my THIRD child and we just bought a minivan the month before...yeah. 30 felt old as hell.

All that partying tires us old people out...

This year, I'm not totally dreading turning a year older. Only a little bit. (I'm still having a hard time saying I'm 31...29 just sounds less scary. Kind of like how $2.99 is a much better deal than $3.)

The boys surprised me with gifts and a card this morning, and Lorelai woke up earlier than normal, which was okay because of the extra snuggle time. My friends took me out for sushi and a sweet coworker surprised me with cake. I ended the day with an impromptu trip to the pool with the fam on this HOT day! It's been a low-key birthday for sure, but that's just because it's on a Wednesday and I had to work, not because I want to forget about it.

As one of my favorite bloggers said, "Here's what I think about birthdays: Celebrate them. Plain and simple. Whether you are two or forty-two. It's not a promotion. It's not a graduation. It's the anniversary of freaking life. And the older I get, the more I'm not okay with hearing people downplay their big day like it's no big deal." She's right, it is a big deal! Yeah, I may be older, but I'm also wiser and my life is more full from all the things I've experienced in my 31 years (not the least of which are the three kids I've acquired along the way).

So cheers to 31 years and many more to come (and this year I can totally drink to that, unlike last year)!

This is the funny card I got from my sweet friends today.
Thanks, Katherine and Mike!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

She's crawling!

Breaking news: Lorelai has finally decided to crawl!

Aidan and Logan saw it first, while Adam and I were cleaning up from dinner tonight. I thought they were joking, but sure enough, she was across the room from where I put her!

Sure, she's got to work on her form (what's that right leg doing??), but she's moving! She's been pulling up for a while, so I started thinking she might be one of those kids you hear about who skip crawling and go straight to walking. That would have pretty cool, but I'm ok with her just crawling for now.

Although, this means we really need to do some serious baby proofing. I was definitely dreading the crawling because our house isn't baby-proofed at all. We have outlets covered, but that's about it. There are so many small toys the boys play with that are total choking hazards. Yikes!

And here's some peekaboo with Lorelai while we were trying to get her in the mood to crawl.

Love that girl ♥

Friday, May 20, 2011

Adventures with snakes, the prequel

In addition to the run in I had with snakes earlier this week, we've had a couple of other close encounters of the slithery kind that have perpetuated my fear of SNAKES(!).

A few years ago in the winter, we were sitting down to eat dinner. Logan and I were already at the table, Aidan was in the bathroom washing his hands, and Adam was bringing our food to the table. As Adam walks over to the table, he sees what he initially thinks is a toy snake, on the floor next to Logan's chair. You can see where this is going, right? NOT A TOY! A frickin' REAL SNAKE had wondered into our warm house through our patio door which we'd inadvertently left slightly ajar for who knows how long.

I immediately jumped up in my chair screaming and crying like a crazy person. I yelled to Aidan to stay in the bathroom and close the door, while Adam frantically tried to figure out what to use to get the snake out. I think Logan was 2 at the time so he was buckled into his booster chair, but somehow I managed to turn his chair away from the snake.  Oddly, despite my hysteria, Logan turned around and waved to the snake. I probably would have found it cute, if I hadn't been freaking out so bad.

Fortunately the snake was very lethargic since it was winter, so it didn't go far while Adam found they boys' toy bug net to corral the snake outside. He ended up killing it (I begged him to) because we didn't know whether it was poisonous. Plus, I didn't want him to come back and bring all his snake friends with him. Yes, I actually said that to Adam.

Turns out it was an eastern kingsnake, so not poisonous, but I'm not any less freaked out that it was IN.OUR.HOUSE!

Eastern Kingsnake (source)

I'm not even sure I finished dinner. Instead I pulled all the cushions of the couches, had Adam lift up each couch, and I pulled back all the covers on every single bed before I was convinced that there were no more snake surprises waiting for me.


The next run-in with snakes at our house fortunately wasn't by me. We were having our exterior house painted and gutters cleaned a couple of springs ago. One of the painters was at the top of his ladder cleaning out the gutters on our two-story house when a snake jumped out and scared him so bad that he literally almost fell off the ladder. His supervisor said he's never seen a man come down off a ladder so quickly. They never finished cleaning the gutters (understandable) and it took us until this winter to finally get someone to finish cleaning them (bad homeowners!).

The irony is that I was talking to the painters that very morning about them having to leave the front door open while the paint on it dried (it was going from blue to red so they needed to do several coats). I said I was worried that a snake may wonder into the house based on my previous experience of leaving doors open and snakes wondering in. He basically looked at me like I was crazy for being so paranoid and said he seriously doubted a snake would come anywhere near them or the house. Famous last words...

But yeah, I totally worried that we had snakes in our attic that got in from the gutters. (I'm still hoping we don't—I never actually checked).

BTW, the snake in the gutter escaped so fast down the downspout and out of the yard that the painter never got a good look at what kind it was. Not sure if copperheads are good climbers or not, but we're kind of assuming (hoping) it was "just" a black snake.


I wouldn't be surprised if googling snakes for this post give me more nightmares tonight. Maybe I need therapy...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm never going outside ever again. Ever ever ever.

And after Aidan witnessed my complete meltdown, I'm not sure he'll ever go out again either. Parenting fail? Oops.

I should preface this by saying I have a very intense fear of snakes (no matter whether they're poisonous or not), although ideally I'd like to not pass that fear along to my kids (a healthy respect, of course; intense fear, not good).

So Tuesday afternoon, I went out to the back porch for a minute with my camera while Aidan stayed inside to do his homework.

The scene: our back patio and deck

I closed the patio door behind me (which I don't always do because it's a PITA to open/close) and took a step up onto the deck when a SNAKE (I have to type it like I'm yelling it because that's how I feel when I think about them) slithered past me towards the patio door under the grill. Thank goodness I closed the patio door because he might have accidentally gone into the house!

That's about how close it was to me (the grill is directly to the right of the chair)

So naturally I screamed like a crazy person and ran to the far side of the deck, where I promptly look over and see ANOTHER SNAKE slithering into the wood pile by the fence away from the deck.

Duh, wood pile=snake haven. We have plans to move it ASAP to work on our flower bed..

I'm terrified because there are SNAKES! ALL AROUND ME! (oh the drama) and I can't get back into the house through the back patio door because in my mind, the SNAKE under the grill is going to jump out and get me. I know, I know, they're supposedly more scared of me than I am of them (WHATEVER, I'll give 'em a run for their money in the scared as crap department) but you never know when you're going to encounter a stupid snake who runs into you our your house in the process of getting away, or a very angry snake who's pissed because his last meal got away from him and your cute little pink toes look like a yummy replacement. Yes, this stuff goes through my head.

Trapped outside!

So I decided to walk all the way around to the front of the house for Aidan to let me in. That is, until I saw ANOTHER SNAKE(!!!) in the flower bed, coiled up with his head up, looking at me, plotting his strike (I think he was the "pissed cause his meal got away" variety).

I wish I had thought to get a picture of the snake coiled up and staring at me,
but I was too busy being hysterical.

Unfortunately, I'm in near hysterics at this point and Aidan is witnessing the whole thing. I'm trying to talk him into opening the patio door for me so I can make a running leap into the house and close the door quickly behind me, but he's too scared to open it. (Hmmm, wonder why?!?)

Between the SNAKE to my right, the SNAKE to my left and the SNAKE in front of me, I had to get out of there so I made a mad dash inside. I had a sick-to-my-stomach feeling from getting so startled and scared, and it took me a while to calm down. By the time I calmed down, I just happened to look out on the patio and saw a SNAKE frickin' AGAIN!

I was so traumatized that I had several nightmares about snakes that night. I'd wake myself up, heart pounding and freaking out, only to go back to sleep and have more nightmares. It was bad for realz.

For the record, these were the "harmless" black snakes, so at least we weren't dealing with copperheads (which Adam has killed in our yard, BTW) and I know they serve a purpose so I'm not on a mission to hunt them down or kill them or anything. I just want them out of my yard and I don't want them on the kids' playset.

It looked like this black rat snake (source)

Also for the record, despite my title, I did go back outside to take pics for the blog (do I get points for dedication to the blog? No? They'd probably be cancelled out by my lack of blogging lately anyway...) but I did carry a big stick and banged on the grill with it to make sure nothing was hiding under there.

I'm ready to fend off any snakes that try to attack!

PS: I know our flower bed, yard and "grass" look like crap, but we've got terrible soil so aerating and reseeding has failed twice for us. I had plans to get out there and weed, patch seed and create a new flower bed, but based on the SNAKE incident, I can't say I'm all that motivated to get out there...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mother's Day and all the priceless things.

All of the bad attitude and temper tantrums are {almost} worth it when I get a sweet smile and a kind word or gesture from my kids. That's why Mother's Day is so great—because they're forced to be nice to me and give me thoughtful handmade gifts! Ha, I'm joking. No one can force my kids to be nice, evidenced by the fact that Logan refused to smile or wish me a happy Mother's Day on Sunday morning until he got a major meltdown out of his system. Apparently "Daddy was mean" because he told Logan to wish me a Happy Mother's Day. Not sure if Logan wanted it to be all his idea, or if those words hurt his mouth for some reason, but whatevs. He eventually gave me a smile as was sweet as pie to me for the rest of the day.

All in all, I had an absolutely wonderful (yet crazy busy) weekend, which included 4 soccer games, a movie, grocery shopping, mounds of laundry, and a yummy family lunch at my in-laws.

It started on Friday with some BEAUTIFUL flowers Adam had delivered to my work from the kids.

I took a half day vacation from work to do some shopping for my mom and then go to Aidan's school for a Mother's Day Spa event that the first grade classes were hosting. His class spent days getting ready for this event, including decorating a cupcake especially for me, and making fruit kabobs as refreshments. Let me tell you, all the money in the world couldn't have bought a better manicure than the one Aidan gave me. He was precisely trained in how to apply the salt scrub, how to rinse it off ("no soap allowed, Mommy"), how to massage the lotion onto my hands, and he even painted my nails (which CLEARLY he wasn't trained to do, but it could have been much worse, lol). I didn't originally want to paint my nails so I didn't bring any polish, but he was disappointed, so I told him to borrow some polish from a classmate. He chose bright red. He was so proud of his work, and the smile on his face was priceless.

When I picked up Logan from school, he was all smiles as he gave me his handmade gift and card. The pride he had for what he created was priceless. He told me he just knew I would love it. And I did, without question.

On Saturday, after two soccer games (with some grocery shopping by Adam and the boys in between) and a 5-minute quick change, we headed to the movie theater (side note: both boys say theater with an emphasis on the long "A" like thee-A-ter instead of thee-uh-ter...not sure where they got that from, but it's cute) to see Rio while my mom babysat Lorelai. Cute movie and I loved having a movie "date" with all of my boys. Although, they were waaaayyy less than thrilled to stroll through Urban Outfitters and the new Crate and Barrel afterwards. Logan literally took me by the hand and dragged me out of the store. Oh well.

Also priceless was my first Mother's day with my sweet baby girl. I felt bad that she couldn't be a part of our movie date, but we would have been crazy to take her. Plus she got some quality play time with my mom (they even had an impromptu occupational therapy session—that'll be a future post).

On Sunday, we did stuff around the house in the morning (apparently dirty floors and laundry don't cease to exist just because it's Mother's Day, darn!). Major props go to Adam for doing the grocery shopping, mopping and laundry-folding for me, another priceless gift.

Then we headed to the in-laws for a family lunch.

I only got a few pictures before my camera battery died, but at least I was able to get the important ones of me with the kids, and us with our moms.

Speaking of our moms, I already gushed about my mom, but I need to gush about my mother-in-law, too. I hear all these horror stories about "monster-in-laws" and I thank my lucky stars that I have an absolutely fabulous one! I even worked with her for several years before she retired. She's the whole reason I have my job. (Nepotism at its finest, folks! Although technically we weren't related at the time since Adam and I weren't even engaged yet. We'll just call it a really good reference.)

We ended the day with two more soccer games. Aidan and Logan both had games at 5pm, but luckily the grandparents, Adam's sister and 3 cousins came out to watch so I could split time watching both boys and they each always had someone cheering them on (and picking them up off the ground when they took a ball to the face courtesy of the other team's coach—poor Logan!).

Whew! What a weekend. Exhausting but fun, and I truly enjoyed my special day with my special sweeties. Yep, priceless.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My mom is da bomb

First of all, Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and moms-to-be, and especially to my wonderful mom.

Mom and me (May 2010)

{I know I've been slacking on the blogging this past week, but it's been pretty crazy around here. I haven't had a chance to do much with any of the pictures I've taken this week, and I really don't like to do posts without pictures.}

Anyway, on to the point of this post. In honor of my mom on Mother's day, I have to gush about how totally awesome she is. She's the Supportive, compassionate, dependable, wise, loving, and the list could go on. She was always there for me growing up, and she's still always there for me, no matter what I need. She's always willing to babysit, sometimes changing or rearranging her own plans to do so. I'm never moving unless my mom moves, too, because I don't ever want to lose our babysitter!

But seriously, I have to give her props for successfully raising two girls, because I know it wasn't easy. I can only hope that Lorelai and I have the kind of relationship my mom and I have. She's shown me what it means to be a good mother, and I am what I am because of her. I love you, mom!

My (pregnant) younger sister, Mom, and me (May 2008)
Mom and Me at her surprise 60th birthday party (May 2010)

In other Mother's Day related news, I had a wonderful but extremely jam-packed weekend (including FOUR soccer games, OMG)! I'll post more about it later, once I get my camera back from my in-laws.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Our Easter

Our Easter this year was filled with a beautiful girl in a beautiful dress on her first Easter...

handsome boys...

cute cousins...

My sister's son Shaun (top left); my sister's daughter Raina (bottom left);
Adam's sister's son Isaiah (bottom right)

egg hunts and plastic eggs galore...

toes in the grass on a warm spring day...

too much candy...

The kids LOVED the fake teeth they found in some of the eggs!

and most importantly, family time!

That's my mom with Lorelai. My sister is in the light pink and her boyfriend
is on the top right. Adam's sister is in the hot pink. My uncle and cousin
are in the background. 

I didn't take many pictures inside, so I'm cursing myself that I didn't get pictures of the entire family who gathered for a wonderful Easter dinner at my mom's house. And it was quite the gathering of family! My mom had us five over, along with my aunt and uncle and two of my cousins, my sister, her boyfriend and her two kids, Adam's youngest sister and her son, as well as Adam's parents and two grandmothers. I'm so lucky that my family and Adam's in-town family can all spend holidays together.

It was a wonderful Easter.