Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bad dream

You know the kind bad dream where you wake up and your heart is beating really fast? I had one of those last night about Lorelai.

It's too complicated to fully explain (and a lot of it doesn't even make sense), but the gist is that she got really sick and had to go to the hospital for surgery. Instead of getting better, she kept getting worse and no one could figure out why. I finally figured out that the blankets (or something?) they were using were made from peanuts, and she was having an allergic reaction. She was screaming in pain and I was screaming for someone to listen to me and get the blankets away from her.

In general, I've been handling her peanut allergy pretty well and not really stressing about it, since she's still in really controlled environments. Daycare is peanut free, and we completely control what she eats when she's home. Even though we do send PB&J sandwiches to school with the boys and some of their snacks are processed in a facility with peanuts, we're really careful about reading labels and making sure the boys don't eat their unsafe foods around her.

But apparently my subconscious has other ideas about how much her allergy stresses me out, if that dream was any indication. Thank goodness I'm not superstitious about dreams coming true, or I'd really be freaking out. It's just way too disturbing to think about something bad like that happening to this sweet girl.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fall freakout

So, I had a minor freakout the other day about the fact that it's almost fall. I had promised the boys I'd take them to the pool last weekend, and then Saturday turned out to be slightly chilly and rainy, and I started thinking we completely wasted our time this summer not going to the pool enough, and now it was too late.

I know we did other fun summer stuff, but for some reason, this whole pool thing got me really upset. Especially since the last time we went, Logan finally got up the courage to jump into the deep end and swim back to the side on his own, which was a big step for him. We totally dropped the ball by not keeping up his swimming motivation and momentum (if that's even a thing).

But then it was all good because on Sunday, it ended up being 80+ and sunny, so I took the boys to the pool while Lorelai napped at home with Adam.


Of course the water has already gotten cold again, which sucks, but it ended up being perfectly fine because I could relax on the lounge chair while the boys had a blast, blue lips and all.


I'm still not quite ready for fall, because it means putting away Lorelai's and my cute summer clothes, dealing with jackets, no more pool, and I'm worried it's going to be chilly at the end of September when we're planning to go back to the beach. Plus, I never ended up getting a tan. What's a summer without a tan?! :)

But on the other hand, Starbucks had pumpkin spice latte samples which started to get me excited about fall, and the thought of boots isn't so bad (if only Lorelai would wear hers, but she's "scared" of them!). If I can get a couple more pool weekends with the boys, I'll probably be ready to let summer go and embrace fall (and hope some of Lorelai's cute clothes still fit next year!).

Monday, August 27, 2012

Our next house...

Sometimes I daydream about what our forever home will be like. Big, open kitchen with nice cabinets and counter tops; bonus room for the kids' toys; huge master shower; flat yard with nice grass...and now I'm adding big porch to the list.

During a lazy, rainy morning last Sunday, Lorelai grabbed her folding chair and told us she wanted to go outside and watch the rain like we'd done before, so she and Raina spent a while just hanging out on the front porch while my mom and I watched them from just inside the door.


It was really soothing, and I would have loved to pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and just hang out with them, enjoying the fresh air (of course, I would have clothes on, unlike my girl).


Too bad our porch is tiny, so all I could do was dream from inside. We're not planning to move anytime soon, but when we do, I think a big old front porch or even a screened in deck would make at least a couple of us happy. :)


Sunday, August 26, 2012

iPhone photo dump {week 29}

Last week? Not super great. I've been in kind of a blah mood feeling bad about myself and completely uninspired (hence the lack of posts this week). Apparently I was also uninspired to take pictures this week.

{alazycrazylife} iPhone photo dump {week 29}{alazycrazylife} iPhone photo dump {week 29}

  • Sunday was great: my mom had spent the night with my sister's kids, so the cousins had fun playing until lunch while we all relaxed and even had my mom sew a hole that Lorelai ripped on my favorite pair of jeans.
  • That afternoon, we had Adam's birthday celebration.
  • Lorelai is seriously hilarious. Maybe it was because she was hopped up on birthday ice cream, but she was crazy on Sunday evening. She put on Logan's Wolverine claws and a fuzzy (pimp) hat and started "vacuuming." When I tried to get her to smile for a picture, she pulled her hat down over her eyes.
  • She pooped on the potty three times this week! (No pictures, you're welcome.)
  • We went to the mall to get Lorelai some new shoes (two pairs at Payless for $16 thanks to a sale and coupon) and had an early dinner at the food court. Then we surprised the kids with ice cream at Sweet Frog because they all had such a good week (too bad we walked in right after an entire charter bus full of the Liberty University volleyball team--talk about bad timing).
  • I bought a $19 groupon for 10 Zumba classes, which happens to be at our daycare's gym right around the corner from our house, so it was a steal of a deal. The instructor is awesome and I'm so glad to get back into it!
  • We had our first conference with Aidan's teacher to discuss his progress so far this quarter, and the feedback was good. Thankfully all the focus issues Aidan's having at home are not happening at school.
  • More nice weather=more time outside. Apparently 76* is jacket weather to the boys. Weirdos :) 

  • Adam was out of town AGAIN this week which just sucks by itself. It sucks even more when the bus is late and I have to leave early for afternoon bus duty and end up having to do more work from home.
  • It's a really terrible feeling when you realize even your fat pants are tight.
  • It's also a really bad feeling to gain weight immediately after you start working out again :(
  • I'm stressing out at work, trying to figure things out with my new job.
I'm sure there's more I want to say, but the season finale of True Blood is on, and my mind is elsewhere (as it's been all week). Maybe this week will be better? I'm going to try to run some more this week, so hopefully that'll help my mood and stress. Fingers crossed!

Linking up with Amy @ a good life, who's got a bunch of cute baby pictures I'm drooling over.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Older and wiser (than me)

Happy birthday to my sweet hubby, who turned 33 today.


Very much like last year, his parents brought over burritos and cake for dinner, and we had a low-key celebration, just like he likes.

Also like last year, his sister, the boys and I added to his t-shirt hoard with an angry birds shirt the boys picked out (he needed one to match theirs!) and an old school nintendo shirt Anna got for him. The boys also insisted we find a PSP game for him so they could all play their handheld systems together (and they really like to watch him play). Gamer, t-shirt collector, mexican food lover and family man. That's Adam in a nutshell :)

I already mentioned we went to see Dralion for his birthday, which was awesome. What would have been more awesome is if I had actually surprised him with the tickets instead of him buying them himself. Wife fail.

Anyway, funny story: Adam got carded buying a beer at the arena before the show. The one who checked his ID mentioned to the lady at the other register that we had a birthday boy here. That other lady said "21st?" (as in, 21 years old?) and Adam responded with "no, 20th" (as in the date, 8/20). She looked over in horror at the lady who was serving him a beer, thinking he was underage, until I clarified that it was his 33rd birthday on the 20th. Her reaction was almost as funny as the fact that she actually thought he looked 21 :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

iPhone photo dump {week 28}

{alazycrazylife} iPhone photo dump {week 28}{alazycrazylife} iPhone photo dump {week 28}{alazycrazylife} iPhone photo dump {week 28}{alazycrazylife} iPhone photo dump {week 28}

  • I actually ran this week, as well as did a couple days of yoga and Pilates. I'm finally getting back into a workout routine (after like 4 months off) and I'm happy about it. I just hope I can keep it up!
  • Lorelai was super sweet this week, giving out kisses to everyone (and looking like she grew up over night when she walked around in my heels with her daisy dukes).
  • Lorelai is now an expert burrito eater, making her mexican-food-loving daddy super proud :)
  • The weather cooled off slightly (it was down in the 80s this week) so we spent some time outside.
  • The boys donned their cowboy boots in anticipation of cooler weather (and no, they did not go out in public with their boots and shorts).
  • On Saturday morning, we went to Bob Evans for Adam's early birthday breakfast where Logan ate a bazillion pancakes (but literally, 7, whoa!).
  • We stopped at the farmer's market on our way home where there were thankfully no puddles to jump in this time, but there was an "eggplant lady" that the kids thought was funny. We ended up getting a couple of sprite melons, which sound like they'll be yummy (we're just waiting on them to ripen a bit more). 
  • For Adam's birthday, he and I went to see the Cirque du Soleil show Dralion, which was really awesome. We've seen a bunch of their other shows, both in Vegas and traveling shows, and this was every bit as excellent as we had expected. Unfortunately, I couldn't get any pics because they didn't allow cell phones use while in the arena. But it was a super fun birthday date night (especially since we also hit up PF Changs for dinner before the show).  

  • Hours of homework at night sucks for everyone. Is the expectation of an hour to an hour and a half of time spent on homework per night normal for 3rd grade?! Seems like a ton to me, and it sometimes takes Aidan even longer.
  • I hate how out of shape I am after not having run for the past 4 months. I'm kind of sore and really mad about myself for getting out of the habit, since it just makes it that much more difficult to start all over again.
  • Adam was out of town for work for a couple of days again this week. I hate when he travels :(
Other than that, it was a pretty decent week, thank goodness!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bitey McBiterson

Don't let the sweet face fool you—if you mess with Lorelai, she will cut bite you*.

*In the cutest, least Bon Qui Qui way possible, of course :)

Her teacher keeps sending home notes that she's biting other kids in her class (mostly one girl in particular, but apparently she branched out and bit a different kid the other day). The note asks us if we'll talk to her and tell her that biting isn't okay. Which we do, and Lorelai completely ignores. Because she's barely 2. She probably doesn't even remember this long after the fact. But sure, we'll keep talking to her. Even the boys are in on it. "No biting, Lorelai, we don't bite our friends!"

Who, me?

We've been through this phase before with the boys, but from what I can remember, the boys were the victims more often than the biter. I don't know which is worse, actually. Lorelai's only been bitten once so far (several months ago), but I feel so guilty and ashamed every time I hear she's bitten again. (We've had four notes so far, I think.)

I (and thankfully her teacher) know it's age-appropriate and she's really not doing it to be mean or aggressive. Although, she does get in there with the boys and play rough and has bitten them in the midst of some energetic play, so maybe that's why she's more bitey then they were. But I also think she's doing it for attention.

More attention? No one ignores that cute face for long!

Either way, I'm so ready for this phase to be over. I don't like it one bit, and I had a bite mark on my thigh to prove it! That'll teach me for cooking dinner instead of getting her milk right away ;)

Those teeth are no joke!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wise Words Wednesday: Happiness is an attitude

"Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same." ~Francesca Reigler 


We've got a serious case of the grumps in our house between the two boys. At least for Aidan, the novelty of school has worn off now that he's experiencing frustrations with his homework and has realized that third grade is tougher than second grade. And Logan...well, he doesn't hate school yet, but doesn't love it either. I guess he likes it ok, but I think his brother's attitude has rubbed off on him recently. Logan really doesn't like homework either, because it gets in the way of his play time after school (an adjustment, for sure).

At the end of the day when I tuck Aidan and Logan into bed, I have a quiet chat with each of them about their day. The first thing I ask is what the best thing was about their day. These days, Aidan in particular is hard-pressed to think of something (anything!) positive. His moodiness isn't a new thing, but school has pretty much always been a positive thing for him, so I really hate to see this shift in his attitude (especially so early into the school year).

I've had countless talks with both boys about how they can't possibly have a day where NOTHING good happens, so I refuse to hear those words. Even if it's something as small as "lunch was yummy" or "I didn't get in trouble," there is always something to be thankful for and a bright side to everything. Basically, at the end of the day, I pretty much require them to think of one happy thing, or one thing they're thankful for and focus on that.

I tell them that it's okay to be upset or in a bad mood sometimes—well all have those days, but being in a bad mood all the time isn't good for them, and it isn't good for the people around them.

As parents, we hate to see our children unhappy and we want to do anything we can to change it. But I'm struggling with the fact that there's only so much I can do to actually make them happy. It has to come from inside them, and all I can do is model a positive attitude and convince them that the bright side of things is a much better place to be.

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." ~Buddha

Completely unedited pictures Adam took of our post-storm sunset last week. Even if nothing else good happened that day, this sunset was a little bit of happiness to focus on instead. If only Aidan and Logan could think this way... (and if only we'd seen a rainbow, I might have had an even better metaphor :))

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Writer's block

Sometimes I really wish I had a teaching degree, or a magical ability to explain things in a way that just makes things click. I'm at my wits' end trying to help Aidan with his homework these days.

Aidan's a smart kid--he tested into AIG in Kindergarten, he's well above grade level in reading, and he's on/slightly above grade level in math (fluctuating depending on the topic). Unfortunately, he's not a good speller, and he sometimes struggles with creative, thoughtful, descriptive writing. He's been known to end every statement in a paragraph with "It was fun." He's had a couple of really excellent writing samples, but overall, this is an area we've known he needs to work on.

Maybe (probably) it's related to his writing struggles, but so far this year, he's really been struggling with critical thinking, making inferences, and translating those thoughts to paper. Whenever he has to answer why or is asked to write any kind of open-ended answer, he gets extremely frustrated and has a total mental block.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Then of course I get frustrated because he won't listen to me when he gets upset like that, and he tells me he hates school, hates homework, and can't do it. The most frustrating thing is that if he didn't have to write down anything, he could tell me all about a story, answer my questions, and have a totally open-ended conversation with me about what he's read. So I know he understands what he reads (and that's part of his reading level assessments).

But how do you teach someone to think more deeply and less literally, and how to organize those thoughts in writing?? I've gotten some good suggestions I'm trying, and I'm going to bring this up during our parent/teacher conference in a few weeks, but I just want an instant fix because I hate to see Aidan so upset and discouraged about something he was so excited about just a few weeks ago.

If you've got a magic wand I can wave, send it my way!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

iPhone photo dump {week 27}

{alazycrazylife} iPhone photo dump {week 27} {alazycrazylife} iPhone photo dump {week 27} {alazycrazylife} iPhone photo dump {week 27} {alazycrazylife} iPhone photo dump {week 27}

  • We did some shopping at Old Navy on Sunday and scored some good deals, and on top of that, it was tax-free weekend which we didn't realize before. Then I did some more shopping at for some things we didn't find in the store. :)
  • There are still fire truck and balloon sword obsessions after our neighborhood event.
  • I had another quarterly movie outing at work, this time to Bourne Legacy. It was one of the best group decisions on a movie we've ever had. Although, my personal pick was Magic Mike. I was totally shocked I got outvoted by my almost all male coworkers! (Totally just kidding, my real vote was actually for Bourne Legacy).
  • Adam and I went on a movie date to see the Campaign, which was hilarious! (Two movies in two days, what?!) We had time to kill before the movie so Adam played the grabber game thingy and won me a stuffed animal on his first try.
  • Then we stopped at Sweet Frog where I enjoyed a dinner (yes, dinner) of maple bacon donut flavored frozen yogurt with a bunch of yummy toppings. It was awesome and mostly maple-y, not super bacon-y, in case you were wondering.
  • We finally got the van detailed after we brought home half of the beach with us a few weeks ago. The kids and I hung out at the farmer's market while Adam took the van to the Autobell down the road, and Lorelai thought the best thing to do was hang out in a huge puddle splashing innocent bystanders, despite my repeated attempts to grab her or convince her to look at pretty flowers! watermelons! bread! tomatoes! She wasn't into anything except the stupid puddle.
  • There were lots of scattered thunder showers this week, which was good because I didn't have to water. 
  • Plus, the clouds were crazy cool as storms blew by (Lorelai and I stood out in the wind to watch), and there was an amazing sunset on Wednesday. Adam and I had just put the kids to bed when the whole house started glowing orange, so we went outside to take pictures. Then I realized my neighbors were also out enjoying the sunset, and I was in a white t-shirt with no bra, so I went right back inside and let Adam handle the camera. Oops. I did go out back and catch the cool one above.
  • I had meetings like whoa this week. That was my calendar at the beginning of the week, and ended up adding several more meetings on Thursday and Friday. I have never had so many meetings ever. (At least they were all good, productive meetings for the most part, and lunch was provided for four days.)
  • Homework in the evenings has been really tough. Getting Aidan to focus while Logan is talking and trying to do his homework, and going back and forth between them answering questions, making them stay on task and not get's not fun. At all.
  • Adam was out of town on business for part of the week, so I was on morning and afternoon bus duty, which really sucks, especially when it means I walk into the building at 8:27 for my 8:30 meeting. 
That was my crazy week! How was yours?

PS: I'm @alazycrazylife on Instagram if you want to follow me.

Linking up with Amy @ a good life.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fire truck! Fire truck! Fire truck!

Let me first say that I'm really glad Lorelai doesn't have any issues pronouncing "truck" because that would have made for a very obscene evening on Tuesday.

Our neighborhood hosts an annual National Night Out event where there are fun things like balloon animals, face painting, a raffle (which we didn't win), and ice cream. The biggest thing though, is that the local fire department brings out fire trucks.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

I've never seen the ladder on a truck go all the way up before in person. We were all mesmerized.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Lorelai was very excited about them from a distance and kept saying "fire truck" over and over (and over) again. But when we asked if she wanted to go see them up close and talk to the firemen, she would say "I'm scared." Good thing Daddy was there to protect her. :)

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Sometimes we'll get a police car or a motorcycle the kids can look at. This year, we got an ambulance. For the record, this is the only time I ever want to see these dudes in the back of an ambulance.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

But I think aside from the balloon swords the boys got, the biggest hit, as always, was the fire hose. Lorelai even got in on the action this year. (After she almost jumped into the line of fire once. Oops.)

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Lorelai got pretty soaked, but we all went home happy. And miraculously, the balloon swords are still going strong!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Oh the joys of home ownership

On Sunday night, minutes before True Blood was about to start (bad timing!!), Adam noticed that there was a huge puddle of water under our fridge. I was hoping that maybe one of the boys spilled a cup of water, but no such luck. It's leaking from somewhere, and it's looking like it's not from the water line to the ice maker. Suckity suck. Now we have to call a repair man.


That got me thinking about all of the other issues with our house:
  1. We've got some MAJOR stink coming from our sink because we're somehow missing a p-trap. I begged Adam to get me one as my birthday gift. Guess he thought I was joking?
  2. When we replaced the floor in our foyer, the new floor is lower, so we were left with awkward gaps under our door jambs, including one that somehow goes straight through to the outside at the front door. Looks terrible. Plus, snakes could get in! I stuffed it with cardboard until we can figure out how to patch it. Klassy.
  3. There's something wrong with the duct work in our attic, so our a/c doesn't work like it should in our master bedroom.
  4. The plumbing in the master bath shower is backwards. Whoever plumbed our house originally is an idiot, and makes me wonder what else they did wrong... 
  5. I don't think there's enough (or any??) insulation in the flooring of the guest room over our (uninsulated) garage. It's a sauna or an ice box in there depending on the season. Good thing we don't have many guests.
  6. Some of our windows are going bad--rusting/flaking between the glass. We think they're still under warranty, we just need to measure and make the call. One of these days.
  7. A couple of sections of our fence are loose, and we never got around to evening up the posts and install fence post caps. Thankfully the HOA forgot all about us.
  8. Speaking of the HOA, I'm expecting a letter at any point telling us to repaint our mailbox post again. For some reason, we can't keep it from molding.
  9. We never stained/sealed our deck so some boards are warping.
  10. We've got stubborn mold on the exterior and will need to repaint that section if the pressure washer brush doesn't work. It's our last hope, fingers crossed.
  11. I think we may have about 3 blades of grass in our yard, total. The rest is just weeds and bare dirt.
  12. Our kitchen cabinets are still not painted.
  13. All of our bathrooms suffer from major builder-grade fugliness: cabinets, fixtures, linoleum floors, laminate counters. 
  14. I've always hated our ugly foyer light fixture, but since it's a 2-story foyer, we can't change it out on our own, so we've never bothered to do anything about it.
  15. Our garage is a mess with not nearly enough vertical storage.
  16. One of our smoke detectors went crazy because of a power surge. We have to replace it ASAP.
  17. Probably the suckiest thing is that when we re-financed earlier this year, we got royally screwed on our appraisal. Based on other neighborhood comps, our house is worth way less than it should be based on improvements we've done (including adding an entirely new room/extra square footage). And just to kick us while we're down, our tax value, last adjusted at the beginning of this year (just a couple of months before our appraisal) is 30k+ more than our appraisal value. Yuck.
BUT! As much as I have to complain about, at least I have a house (lest you think I'm an unappreciative complainer--I'm actually a very appreciative complainer). It's clean(ish), safe(ish), but far more importantly, it's a home. And you know what they say: "What I love most about my home is who I share it with."

And I do really love my new kitchen counters and floors! We just really need to get on the rest of the issues...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

iPhone photo dump {week 26}

This week I've got a super-sized photo dump to make up for missing last week. Although, I hardly took a single picture during the week before our vacation. Oops!

iPhone photo dump {week 26}iPhone photo dump {week 26}iPhone photo dump {week 26}iPhone photo dump {week 26}

  • First, the obvious big ones: The beach! The aquarium! Aidan's birthday! Lorelai's birthday
  • Lorelai got to wear her gorgeous party dress twice since we didn't have her party on her actual birthday. Maybe not the most appropriate outfit for the aquarium or a car trip, but whatever. 
  • When we got home from our trip, Lorelai was tired of having her party dress on, so she stripped down to her birthday suit--how appropriate :). (Thankfully, she hasn't managed to pull of her own diaper yet, even though she tried.) 
  • During dinner, Lorelai has been working on some new funny faces. My favorite is the sinister look where she cuts her eyes at you. I didn't capture the full look on camera, but I got one that came close. I told you she's full of personality. 
  • She also devoured an apple straight from the core. (Do I lose points if it was originally Logan's apple but he was done with it after a few bites? Sharing is caring and we'll worry about the germs later...) 
  • Knock on wood, but Logan has been much better this week. He's even been excited to do homework; his assignment the other night was to practice tying his shoes, and he's almost got it down. 
  • Adam pressure washed our patio. I had no idea how nasty it was until he started. It looks pretty great now, thanks honey!

  • I think Lorelai is sensitive to the caffeine in the chocolate frosting that was on Aidan's cupcakes, because she would NOT go to sleep on Saturday night, and was wide awake at 10pm. I held her while we watched the Olympics in the dark hoping she would fall asleep, but no luck. I finally had to take her into be with me and Adam. When I woke up at 12:30am, she had finally fallen asleep so I was able to move her to her pack n play. No chocolate for her, ever again (which won't really be much of a problem anyway since she has to avoid most of it due to her peanut allergy.)
  • We've got some mold on the side of the house behind where we had a flowering vine growing, and it won't come off with the pressure washer. We may have to repaint that section of the house, which would suck. 
  • I hate car trips, so the long (ok, not too bad, only 2.5 hours) boring drive home from the beach was not my idea of a good time. At least Lorelai (and my mom) napped, and the boys were content to watch their movie the whole time. 

And now, let's go all the way back to two weeks ago, so I can brag about the play kitchen we got for Lorelai for her birthday. I had visions of trying to DIY something awesome, but when I saw this on Amazon, and the price dropped to $129, I couldn't pass it up. Seriously, this thing is prettier than my real kitchen!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Highlight: Lorelai LOVES it and so do the boys, actually. (The other highlight up there is the Target snuggles during last-minute shopping for her party.)

Lowlight: it took a long time to put together, and then the power went out halfway through. That caused the smoke detector in our bedroom to completely wig out, so we had to fix that before the kids woke up and ruined the birthday surprise. Ugh.

And of course I have to share the pics I instagrammed of Lorelai during her party. My 2-year-old cutie!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Linking up with Amy @ a good life, who's anxiously await her second baby...any day now!

Friday, August 3, 2012

"Party" time

I'm so lucky that Aidan is pretty easy to please when it comes to birthday parties. We've done a couple of friend parties in the past which have been fun for him, but he's just as content to hang out with his family and chow down on pizza and cupcakes to celebrate his birthday. Add in some presents, multiply by the beach and aquarium, and subtract the stress of putting together a fancy party, and you end up with one happy birthday boy and one happy momma.


Bonus! The happy momma looks like an overachiever when she remembers to bring a couple of streamers, some random balloons and a happy birthday banner down to the beach to "decorate." Haha!


So glad Aidan is also easy to please in the decoration department. I should really add a "Pin it" button for this hotness. :)

Aidan was glad Grandma brought her presents for him down to the beach. (Lorelai was too, and had a mini-meltdown when she realized they weren't for her.)



How do you salvage a really crappy photo? Put a heavy Photoshop filter on it.

He actually got two rounds of presents and two birthday celebrations, since we did family presents and went to Moe's on his actual birthday.

Aidan's funny faces on his 8th birthday

Well, technically it's four if you count the present from Aunt Anna during Lorelai's party and the special Monday birthday shopping trip with Grandma and Grandpa. Now it's easy to see why he was totally cool with a low-key party. Homeboy was already spoiled :)

Hex bugs are mesmerizing.

Part of me worried that I was shortchanging him somehow by not doing a "real" party (and overlapping with Lorelai's birthday), especially since his cousins couldn't even come like they did last year. But then I remembered that we were giving him exactly the birthday celebration he asked for--at the beach and aquarium. He was happy, and I just needed to go with it.



He did get a little grumpy before bed, but I just think he was exhausted after a full day of playing hard on the beach. Overall, he had a great "party" and I hope his birthday wish comes true.

And now, for some photos we took on his birthday. Love!




Thursday, August 2, 2012

Aquarium adventures: the Lorelai birthday edition

The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher is about an hour south of where we stay on Topsail, so we packed up first thing, sang Happy Birthday to Lorelai, made lunches and hit the road with a quick pit stop at Bojangles on the way (where Lorelai made a scene when we finished the fries and Adam took the tray away--it's her party birthday and she'll cry if she wants to).

I think I was more excited about the aquarium this year, because I really thought Lorelai would be at an age where she would enjoy everything so much more, since she could get out and walk around and really go up to the tanks.


Turns out, she was a little scaredy cat this year. But it makes total sense, because when you're only 2, you have no idea that the big fish swimming right next to your face in floor-to-ceiling tanks aren't going to jump out and get you. As soon as I carried her close, she death-gripped me and said "I'm scared." Quite a change from last year when she was blissfully unaware and too young to really be scared.


Funny enough, she wasn't really scared of the alligators that we saw. And Logan wasn't either, unlike last year.



Maybe it was because it was bright out there, maybe it was because they weren't moving.

The albino alligator is really cool!


The boys weren't scared of anything. They touched horseshoe crabs and starfish in the touch pool, and were completely mesmerized by the giant tank that actually had scuba divers swimming around checking on the fish.


They even got eaten by giant crabs, ahhh!



At one point near the jelly fish tanks that were up higher, Lorelai was walking around in front. A random lady turned around and literally reached down to attempt to pick her up to see. Sweet...but no way lady! I explained that she was scared and we moved on in a hurry.


I really wish Lorelai hadn't been so scared because there were so many cool things to see.


She was much more happy to watch from a safe distance with her boys at her side to protect her.


Although, there was a baby shark touch pool (not sure what kind of shark) that the boys were all into, and Lorelai got right up there after she saw what fun Aidan and Logan were having. I even stuck my hand in to touch one of them!


Then it was time to leave and that's where things started to fall apart. Logan got mad because we wouldn't buy him anything from the gift shop and said "then why didn't we even come here anyway?!" Really?? Ungrateful much?!

We walked past a super nice play area on our way out, that was completely metal and completely in the sun. Hello, who designs these things? Why not put up a canopy so it's not a safety hazard? We wouldn't let her play, so she got mad and was not in the mood to cooperate with the only thing I wanted all day--a family photo on my daughter's second birthday. Apparently that's too much to ask. My daughter, who is constantly attached to my hip saying "hold you, mommy" would NOT let me hold her. asjdksf!

Therefore, these are the best pictures we got.


I proceeded to carry Lorelai out to the car, literally kicking and screaming, totally regretting our decision to go to the aquarium. Of course that was just a heat-of-the-moment reaction that I don't believe now, but I just hate ending such a fun time on a bad note.

Even though there were some grumps involved and Lorelai didn't enjoy it as much as I thought she would, I'm still glad we went, and so are Aidan and Logan. 2 out of 3 ain't bad. :)