Saturday, July 31, 2010

Busy, Busy!

There's not a lot of blog posts for my dear boy Sean, so this one is just for him!  Here's what our little guy has been up to lately:

The title says it all, this little guy is on the move!  He's not officially crawling just yet, but really, really wants to!  He loves his toys, especially playing in his Bumbo seat and "driving" his little car set.  Anything with buttons or noise absolutely gets his attention.  He also wants to put everything in his mouth.....and grab everything he can get his hands on.  The other night, he grabbed the cordless phone out of my hand and had it in his mouth.  He very much wants regular human food, and if he can take it out of your hands, well, that would be that much more delicious!

Sean's also got really strong legs.  No really, I've got the bruising to prove it.  He loves to "stand" in my lap and see the world.  He is the "smiliest" baby; he wakes up with a smile in the morning and it brightens the house all day.   He already hangs onto Will's words, and loves to giggle.  Our sweet, sweet boy!  :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Christmas in July

It's become kind of a tradition for us to drive down to the Campground in Pennsylvania every July for their Christmas weekend.  People really get into it, decorating their campsites with Christmas decorations, Christmas movie in the lodge, and Christmas crafts for kids and adults alike.

  We decided to drive down Friday after work so we would be there bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the festivities on Saturday.  The drive wasn't bad....we got there around 11pm on Friday night, despite the rain.  And on Saturday, we got to see SANTA!!!!  I didn't get any pictures because I stupidly left my photo card at home.  I think Grandmom a good one of the boys on Santa's lap.  At first, Sean cried his head off, and Will was a little scared.  After Sean got a bottle, Will became less apprehensive and both boys sat on Santa's lap.  Success!

I should also mention that I almost upset the apple cart, calling "Santa" by his real name. (Grandpop)   Oops.  I always knew it would be me that slipped, too!  Luckily no little ears were paying attention to me,  thank goodness!  I don't want to be known as the Mom who Ruined Christmas!!  That would be quite a reputation to uphold.

And with the end of this trip, that marks the end of the VERY BIG TRAVEL SEASON for our family!  Between the four of us, there's been Myrtle Beach, Cleveland, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and now Pennsylvania.  Next trip is in October, just Brian and I, for our Ten-Year Anniversary!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Crazy Things Happen in Threes (Part 2)

After the tornado warning was lifted, we ventured home.  On Wednesday nights I go to a knitting group with a bunch of knitty ladies like me.  It's not a class, it's more like we meet at a coffee shop, chat and work on our projects.  I look forward to this every week!  After a quick review of the weather and noting that the sky was now even showing some sunshine, I decided that it was all right to go.  Which brings us to Crazy Thing #2.

I was sitting in my driveway, and I hadn't even started the car.  I was texting my friend Kim to tell her that I was still coming tonight.  Suddenly, I heard squealing of tires, and this sickening BANG!!  I looked up from my Droid and was horrified to see the car accident that had just taken place behind me, on my street.  I whipped out of my car and ran to the street.  People began to pull over, and run out of their houses to find out what had happened, and the air smelled like toasted car.  I saw a young woman in a green Mustang, airbag deployed.  I shouted out, "Are you OK??"  She said that she was.  I said that I was going to call the police.  I barged into my house and didn't say anything to Brian as I got to the phone.  He said "What the hell happened?"  "Car accident."  Then, after seeing the look on his face I was quick to add "Don't worry.  It wasn't me!"

Everyone ended up being fine from the accident, though I'm sure that Mustang is totalled.  Several police cars, a fire truck and one elderly passenger to the hospital for precautions later, the accident was cleared. 

So, do you think I stayed home after this?  No.   Other people would have, right?? 

Crazy Thing #3.  I was driving to knitting, and as soon as I crossed the line into the city next door (which is only half a mile from my house) I noticed a funny thing:  the traffic light was out.  And for the duration of the ride, I noticed that the entire city had lost power.  NO LIGHTS were working anywhere!  I have to drive through downtown to get to knitting, and boy let me tell you, that was a treat.  Every single intersection, including the very busy-already-dangerous-with-lights ones, were now four way stops.  I FINALLY make it to knitting.  Ten members of the group were there, but the place was kind of strange.  That's when I realized....they don't have power either!  Apparently we're a hardcore bunch, knitting and chatting in a coffee shop with no power.  Luckily, it came on later on, and all power was restored on the way home.

What a day.  I'm glad there's not more of them like that!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Crazy Things Happen in Threes (Part 1)

What a crazy day on Wednesday! 

The boys are in a different daycare for the next two weeks, as my regular daycare provider is on vacation.  The new person lives in a different part of town, a bit of a distance from the house.  (But it is just two weeks, so we will make it work!)  The boys love it there, she has a son that's Will's age so he's been excited to have someone to play with.  And Sean...well Sean's happy just about anywhere!  He's a happy, smiley guy, that one.  :)  I've been leaving work a little early to pick them up by 5:15pm, and was on my way there last night.  I was on the phone with an old friend who's just moved to Florida and driving along one of the main drags.  The sky is gray, and you can just tell that it is going to rain cats and dogs, eventually!  (And before anyone asks, yes, I do have an in-dash bluetooth so I wasn't holding the phone to my ear.)  I heard this strange noise and asked her to hold on.  It was this alarm-like sound.  At first I thought "Oh, the next town over must have a volunteer fire department."  But it made me uneasy just the same.  Having been in Wisconsin recently and having a discussion about "tornado alley" with our friends out there, I heard my friend Jen's words in my head:  "Oh, you can't miss a tornado siren.  They're very distinct." 

I turned on the daycare's street, parked in front of the house and got out of the car.  Suddenly I heard it again....and then my worst fear:  a recording on full blast:  "Attention!  Attention!  A tornado warning has been issued for _______  County!"  WHAT????????  First of all, I'm absolutely surprised that the city has a tornado alarm.  Second.....WHAT?????  I ran into her house, where my boys were playing and they had the news on.  I mean, this whole thing really freaked me out!  The illuminated map on the news showed our area, and I cringed to see that it had been spotted nearby.  We stayed put for a bit, and then the tornado warning ended very quickly.    Then came the rain......and man, did it rain hard!   It was difficult loading the kids in the car in such hard rain, but I got it done.

I'm so not thrilled that we brought this piece of the Midwest home with us!  I'll take a massive New England snowstorm any day!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"No Day But Today"

The fun continued from the girls night mentioned in the last post, to Saturday.  My buddy Maureen and I had tickets to see "Rent" at the Seacoast Rep on Saturday night.  And since it was going to be a late one, I got us a room.  Moms:  Imagine....dinner out, a play with an old friend and then SLEEPING IN at a hotel!  I're jealous.  :)

Rent is definitely my favorite play.  The soundtrack is in my car at all times, and Brian and I know every word.  It first came on the scene in 1996 and earned all kinds of accolades.  It's message of love and tolerance and fighting AIDS is still relavant and quite powerful.  This was the fourth time that I've seen it, and this production was great.  Seacoast is a small theatre, and I was curious how they were going to pull it off.  But they did!  

After RENT, we walked around downtown Portsmouth for a bit and got ice cream.  And then, 'cause we're old, we skipped the bar scene and went home, to knit and sleep.  Yeah, I said that.  Seriously, compared to when we used to tear it up, we're OLD!  :)    I hogged an entire bed to myself, and slept 8.5 hours.  Then in the morning, I knit some more, and took a long shower with no one banging on the door and begging to come in.  BLISS. 

Moe drove me down to Cracker Barrel to meet the fam, so Brian could bring me home.  Will spotted me in the parking lot, and when I was two spaces away Brian let him run to me and I lifted him into the air.  "Oh Mommy!  I missed you!"  Bliss again, returning to my family.  Funny how that works, from being happily by myself to even happier.  This weekend was just what the doctor ordered.

Annual Girls Night!

Girl Time!

Every year my college girlfriends and I have a get-together, dinner and drinks and of course, lots of laughs.  Last Friday was no exception in the laughs department.  Old friends are the best!  These four....they've been there for me through the years and I love our annual dinner.  One of them later became my sister-in-law.  :)  There's reminiscing, and keeping up with what's gone on since the last time we got together.  And then, there's the just plain silliness.  Conversations about dead people and ghosts give us the giggles.  ( Yes, caskets ARE available at Costco!  Load your milk and gigantic bag of pretzels in the casket to take them into the house!)   And when the waiter takes his sweet time coming back to the table to collect the bill...wellllll.......we didn't dine and dash  but the thought crossed our minds! 

Next year is going to be a bit different, we'll go on our first overnight!  Wherever we end up better look out.....

Thanks for a great night, ladies!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Big and Bad!

I've done it!  I finally finished this blanket for my friend Lexi, who's due to have her second baby, a boy, at the end of July. 

As soon as I saw the pattern for the Big Bad Baby Blanket in Stitch n Bitch, I knew that I was destined to knit it for her.  I started back in April, and the pattern kicked my ass more than once.  It originally started out in pistachio and white Babysoft yarn, held together to make an interesting marble-y pattern.  I cursed and frogged so many times, and eventually threw it down. (And may have even dramatically stomped a little on it, but I won't admit to it.)   Later on, I chose this mossy green yarn, and instead of holding together two baby-weight yarns, I settled on worsted weight.  And it came together, slowly.  After a while, the pattern actually got repetitive and boring, but I forged ahead.  There's plenty of mistakes, but I am very proud of this blanket.  It shows stick-to-it-ivness, and I rose above!

Now for some INSANE math....there are 126 individual stitches in a row.  And there are 208 rows in the pattern.  126x208=26,208 individual stitches!  I don't think I've ever had that many of ANYTHING!  Also, note to self:  Do NOT run those kinds of numbers mid-project!  

Baby Hatchling II will be a summer baby, and will of course not have use for a Big Bad Baby Blanket right away.  But this will be perfect for those chilly autumn Maine nights!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fabulous Wisconsin Vacation, in Photos

Wisconsin was fantastic!  Good friends, good food, good times.  It was more of a laid-back vacation, which is just what the doctor ordered.   We hadn't seen the Ratties in about two years so there was a lot of catching up to do!  (I've been meaning to post pictures since we came back, but the Internet hasn't been entirely cooperative)

Both boys LOVED playing with Gilli.  As I was posting this, Will kept telling me how "cool" this photo was because Gilli is in it!

Trevor climbing up the rope maze.  He and Will sure did have fun together. 

Will playing on the swings at the coolest playground that we have ever been to!  It has an all-rubber surface and is designed for everyone, including kids with disabilities, in mind. 

Livvie is the Queen of the Castle!

Sean, waking up from a nap at the playground.  He really enjoys being outside.
Will and Liv getting ready for the pool.

Me, Will and Gilli playing in the pool.  Gilli spent a lot of time playing with the boys this week and they loved every minute of it!  Will kept forgetting her name and would just call her "the girl with the glasses."  :)

Sometimes we give Daddy the camera, just so there's proof that Mom goes on these trips, too!  Posing with the boys at the fountain, Lake Geneva.
We got some eats before we boarded for our ferry tour of Lake Geneva, or the "Newport of the Midwest."  This is a "Chicago-Style Hot Dog."  It was a monster!  Delicious, and something I'd definitely have again. 
Jen and I.  A hot and humid day at Lake Geneva!

Will was a little tired and under-the-weather from all the traveling.  Here he is, being carried by Scott before we boarded the ferry.
The boat! 

Daddy and his (sleepy) boys on the ferry.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Soft Spot

As I've said before, I've got a soft spot for preemies.  That's because I was one.  (2lbs 2oz, December 1976)  Plus I have a friend who had a preemie (she's now three and a total spitfire) and know of others.  So, in my quest to "knit for good," I thought that some preemie hats were in order.  It's also a family thing, my sister-in-law has made oodles of hats for a preemie support group, and shipped to a group collecting hats in North Carolina.

Hats are something that the parents of a new baby tend to hold onto.  I still have Will's hat from when he was born.  Oddly enough, I didn't get a hat for Sean when he was born, just this sweatshirt thingy that tied closed at the top that ended up getting destroyed.  And sweetly enough, my Mom still has my preemie cap:  a little white bonnet with a red yarn tie, being so close to Christmas and all.  I believe that Mom told me that one of the nurses crocheted this hat especially for me, since none of the hats that the hospital had would fit my little head. 

So, in the weeks leading up to and then during our vacation, I've now got eleven preemie hats to add to the donation pile (making 23 hats total) and have two more on the needles.  Not too shabby, considering those are all "in beween" bigger projects.  Not to mention, when it's really hot, who wants to be working on something bigger and have that yarn in your lap???

Quips on the Road Trip

We took it a little slower on the way home with the kids.  At first we thought about traveling to Toronto for the last two days of our vacation, but after realizing it was eleven hours away and remembering the drive TO Wisconsin, it was decided unanimously just to take our sweet time getting home instead.  For the most part, the boys did pretty well on the trip home, though there were some figurative bumps in the road. 

With our usual road trip music queued (The RENT soundtrack, Brian develops a nasty cough during  the curse words)  We left Wisconsin on Thursday morning, driving through Illinois, Indiana and stopped for the night in Bryan, Ohio.  On Friday morning, we headed back onto the road after breakfast and trudged across the rest of Ohio, stopping for lunch in Erie, PA and then into New York.  Brian didn't want any more than 300 miles left for Saturday's drive, so we could relax a little on Sunday and unpack, etc before the reality of Monday slapped us in the face.  However, as we neared the 300-mile mark, we were having trouble finding a hotel with a room for us for the night.  The first hotel had no vacancy, so after a brief disagreement on which direction to go to find another, we got back on Rt. 86 east in NY to find one.  That's when we realized....there was no more Rt. 86 east.  We were on some country bumpkin road.  No wait......we were driving into the future!  That is, we were driving on "Future Rt. 86."  No seriously, that's what the signs said.  No wonder why we couldn't find anywhere to stay, we were time travelers! Then we really started seeing some remote areas, and to keep going in the right direction we just listened for the banjos playing.  :)  No hotels in this area, more like if you stopped at the gas station for directions to the hotel the attendant would say "Well, you can stay on the couch in my mom's house.  She's makin' pot roast and taters for dinner!"  (no this did not really happen.)  BTW, as an aside, the "Future Rt. 86" signs were the second-funniest sign that we saw on the trip.  The first was a huge billboard as you enter Wisconsin that said "Bong Recreation Area Ahead, Next Exit."  I would've taken a picture but we were moving too quickly.

At our third hotel, I was feeling pretty discouraged, and not at all looking forward to sleeping in our car.  I had been eating M&M's, and I had dropped a couple in the passenger seat.  As we were pulling onto the hotel parking lot, I realized with horror that I had dropped two M&M's down my shorts!!!  I tried to shake and shimmy, but only one came out.  Let's add insult to injury and get melted M&M on my only pair of shorts, YES!!!!  I got out of the car and it immediately plunked onto the driveway, and I was so relieved.  I started to walk towards the hotel, when Brian called me back to the car to tell me something.  And what he told me made me laugh so hard I could barely walk.  So hard, that it just kept running through my head and making me laugh inappropriately as I booked our room for the night at the front desk:

"Hey honey?  M&M's melt in your mouth, not on your ass!"  :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

6 months old!

Happy half-birthday, Sean! can't believe it's been six months already! We love you, Little Man. :)

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

techy test

I'm on vacation with two other Droid owners and we're amazing ourselves! man....what can't this thing do??? if I find out that it can do laundry or remember to defrost hamburger, I might just marry it!

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Trip to Cheese Country

Hello from Wisconsin!!

We're vacationing with some friends, the fabulous R. family!  It's gorgeous up here....nice weather, a very pretty town, and lots of things to see and do.  The drive...welll...........not terrible but it wasn't the easiest thing in the world.  First I should start with the week before.....

It was a very stressful couple of weeks in our house.  First, Daddy was in Cleveland.  And while in Cleveland, we got the call that Brian's grandmother had had a stroke.  A day after Brian came home from Cleveland, she passed away.  Grandmom was very  special and will be missed.  She was a sweet, incredible woman who raised eight kids, nurtured 16 grandkids and then went on to have six great-grandkids. (and two more on the way) 

We left Wednesday morning for the services, and after they were over on Thursday we continued on our adventure Midwest.  Then we hit a snag in the road--the DVD player in the car broke!  No way were we going to make it all the way to Wisconsin without one, so we bought a replacement.  I honestly thought we'd be sleeping somewhere in western PA that night.....and getting the kids in pajamas in a Dairy Queen bathroom was certainly an adventure.  However, we rolled into Youngstown, OH close to midnight and checked into a hotel.  Will fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow, but Sean had other ideas.  Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep before heading out onto the open road the next morning. 

We crossed the rest of Ohio and into Indiana next, and then into Illinois.  Then.....traffic!  Sean cried the rest of the way, from outside Chicago and into Wisconsin.  Poor buddy.  Both kids were very much ready for bed upon arrival in our condo rental.  The next day Will was very lethargic and not at all hungry.  We went out to breakfast before Jen and family got here, and on the way back Will threw up on the hallway.  BTW, if you're looking to make friends (even as a toddler) "Hi, I just threw up!" is not a great opening line!! 

We're having a wonderful time on our well-deserved vacay, eating, chilling, swimming, and later, going to the movies to see Eclipse!  The ride home will certainly be another adventure, but I don't want to think about that right now.....:)