Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Still August

I may have taken a few days off for Anniversary celebrations, but August isn't over until midnight, and I can squeeze one more post in for the month.

Look what I made this morning!

Spaghetti and Meatball Cupcakes!

And when I say "this morning" I am not kidding. I was piping the "spaghetti" at 4 am. I won't go into the details of exactly why David and I didn't get any sleep last night. The nutshell version is that the storage option we were using for a bunch- a BIG bunch- of the stuff we have accumulated in the last 10 years suddenly became unavailable at 6 last night. It took us all night long making multiple car and Jeep trips to bring everything over here. Sadly I can't park in the garage any more. But I have big organizational plans for Labor Day weekend, so maybe by next week I'll be back there. Anyway, I couldn't let unexpectedly being up all night affect my plans for my friend L's birthday today, so there I was piping away at 4am on no sleep and with no arm strength for piping chilled frosting (to maintain the noodle shape better) thanks to lifting so many boxes.

To explain the cupcake thing, its a simple Devil's Food Cake recipe sized for 2 dozen cupcakes, topped with piped vanilla icing (straight out of a Betty Crocker can. My favorite!) to mimic spaghetti, a Ferrero Rocher candy standing in for the meatball, and slightly thinned strawberry jam standing in for the sauce.

They may look a little weird, but (admittedly tooting my own horn), they were pretty darn delicious.
Oh yeah. Why did I make my friend L "Spaghetti and Meatball" cupcakes? Simple. Because she's a girl who prefers savory things over sweet (although she does appreciate my cupcakes!), but cupcakes are what I do. So at least they look like they're savory. Also, I've discovered that I enjoy making foods that imitate other kinds of food. Last summer I made a sushi cake for one of my friends. Well, technically it was supposed to look like a giant piece of spicy tuna roll, and it even included green cookie dough "wasabi" and Hershey's syrup "soy sauce" for dipping.

Maybe I can develop some weird little baking niche.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

10, TEN, the big 1-0

Happy Anniversary to my gorgeous husband!

He is a wonderful husband to me and daddy to our girls, and I am very lucky!

So, in case we ever lose track of just how many years we've been married, we have this:

It was actually a wedding present from my mom, and each year we take a picture on our anniversary, and add it to the book along with some notes on where we're living and what we've been up to that year.

One thing I've noticed in this book is that my husband has been consistently photogenic for the last 10 years, and my appearance...varies.

It's a good thing he loves me flaws and all!

Anyway here's the last 10 years of August 25th





2005 (Elizabeth is in this one also. Any guess where she's hiding?)

2006 (5 year anniversary weekend on Captiva)

2007 (a month and a half after Lilli's birth)


2009 (the first anniversary to be blogged about)



It's been a wonderful 10 years!

2 states, 2 apartments, 2 houses, 2 girls!

Not bad.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

For David

I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again at some point, but I have at least one song, if not an entire playlist that I associate with almost every person that I have ever met.

In honor of our anniversary tomorrow, this one is David's.

Here are my disclaimers:

1) I'm not going to give you the liner notes (unless you're David), you'll have to guess if you're wondering which parts of the songs fit and which don't.

2) For the most part I just picked whichever video wasn't obscene and would let me embed it. I realize videos go up and down on You Tube a lot, so I've shown the titles so you can check out the songs on your own if the links break

3) I always encourage people to go buy the song if they like it. I own a copy of all of these.

Disclaimers are done, here is David's playlist!

Can I Have this Dance- High School Musical 3

Mario Kart Love Song- Sam Hart (posted this one before, but I like it)

Lollipop- Sophie Green

Chosen Family- Leona Naess (only the first 3 or so minutes of the below)

Don't Let Me Fall- Lenka

Hold Me- Jamie Grace (feat. Toby Mac)

The Heat- Anjulie

Paradise- Ana Serrano van der Laan

Arms- Christina Perri

You & I- Ingrid Michaelson

Baby- Zeep

(Just Like) Starting Over- John Lennon

Lucky- Jason Mraz (feat. Colbie Caillat)- I recommend watching the official video, but the official video won't let you embed it. grumble.

The End of the World- Lenka (one note on this video, I picked the Sims version because I was entertained. Feel free to head to You Tube and pick a different one)

There. Those are some songs that make me think of my honey.

Ten years!!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Weird Day

What a day!

First I overslept, and after having to pack two lunches and figure out my breakfast, barely made it to work on time, but then forgot to clock in. Fortunately (or unfortunately) it isn't the first time I have forgotten, and whenever this happens I get an IM around 8 am that says "ARE YOU HERE?" I am lucky.

Then, I can't shake this cold, so I spent my lunch hour comparing supplements. I figure I clearly need some more vitamins or what have you.

Sometime after lunch there was this huge WHOMP!!!! that shook the whole third floor. It was kind of freaky until we figured out that a cubicle wall, a HEAVY cubicle wall had just...fallen over. It was mostly freaky because the last time a big WHOMP shook my building there were rumors around here that there had been some sort of covert military operation or there's been an explosion or... nobody knew. Eventually there was some sort of statement saying it was a sonic boom from a military flyover. Anyway, I heard that WHOMP and I ducked. Then I went to investigate. It wasn't until I was on my way home and heard reports of the 5.8 or 9 earthquake that hit the east coast today that I wondered if my office building had somehow felt a bit of that even though we are so far from the epicenter. Cubicle walls don't usually just fall over.

Then I got home and my mom said to me "Lilli has something to tell you and I told her that YOU WILL NOT BE MAD AT HER". Turns out that while Lilli was supposed to be resting for her quiet time that she was playing with spare change she'd gotten a hold of. Well, despite being a big girl supposedly, she can't keep stuff out of her mouth. Except her fingers or a binkie back in the days when I was trying to prevent SIDS by giving her something to suck on. Those she wants nothing to do with. Anyway, my mom and Elizabeth were out in the living room reading when Lilli came out crying hysterically. It seems that she'd managed to lodge a quarter in her throat long enough that she started to panic because she couldn't breathe. Instead of running for help though, she was apparently self-possessed enough to REACH DOWN HER THROAT WITH HER TINY FINGERS AND GET THE QUARTER OUT. She was badly scared but otherwise unharmed. She didn't even throw up. And thank heavens she got it out on her own. I was furious (and had to work really hard at "NOT BEING MAD AT HER") but also really thankful and kissed her a whole lot tonight.

Despite her trauma she was pumped up for her violin lesson this evening, and I'm patting myself on the back because it went extra well. Her violin is a 1/8th size instrument. That's pretty tiny. And while she's a champ at the fingering and reading the music and pizzicato, she's really been struggling with holding the violin properly while she uses the bow. Her teacher said last week that he thinks the 1/8th size violin is still actually too big for her and that he thought she needed a 1/16th size. Well, I really don't feel the need to pay for an even tinier violin (can't find one to rent) so I assessed the situation. I decided that the problem was actually with her shoulder rest (too tall) not letting the violin fit under her chin properly, and after messing around with it for a while tossed it to the side. Well, in today's lesson we debuted what we have been practicing with- a kitchen sponge rubber-banded to the violin. It works perfectly. She can hold the violin properly so her arm doesn't get as tired, and her bow use improved dramatically. Ahhhhhh. Also, the sponge was less than a dollar. A 1/16th size violin? At least $60 for a low quality one, up to over $200.

THEN, after dinner and snuggles and stuff, the best part of the evening. Only it involves me bragging about Elizabeth a bit, so just skip this next paragraph if that bores you.

Still here?

Ok, so Elizabeth has a GREAT kindergarten teacher. She's new to Elizabeth's school, but not new to teaching, and she's super high energy, and she's not letting the kids get bored for a second, even this early in the year. She's got systems and plans, and all kinds of awesome activities and I adore her even though I've only met her twice. So, long story short on how and why we set this up, but tonight she came over to our house to talk about Elizabeth. Actually, we thought we were going to decide on a plan for E, but the teacher came over already prepared with a great one, so we are happy to go along with that. First, she showed us Elizabeth's reading assessment. We don't get to keep a copy, which is kind of a bummer, because I would splash that thing all over everywhere. I might frame it. She basically aced it. Perfect on everything, and she is super fast and accurate at reading. She got a score of 2.7, which places her at reading at the same level as a child in the 7th month of second grade. If you know me at all, you know how important it is to me that my children read, read well, read fast, and love it. Another reason why David is an awesome daddy is because he's taught both the girls to read. At any rate, I'm proud of her. She is smart in other areas, and she has a memory like a steel trap, but reading is her...specialty or whatever. So I am really happy to have her skill known. Her teacher asked the reading specialist person at the school what she would recommend for Elizabeth, and her suggestion was to move her to 1st grade. Well, that is nice to hear, but David and I and the teacher are all on the same page that she isn't ready for first grade socially, and I'd much rather have her be the oldest kid in class than the youngest. The part I want to brag about though is that her teacher said that she has referred her to the gifted program (where they apparently learn French and chess among other things- gotta love an Arts school!). She said that she never refers children before Christmas break, and this is only the third week of school! I am proud of my big girl and her brain. It may have funny wiring, but there's no doubt that she's a smarty pants! Her whole class is smart though, so she isn't going to be bored. They're all doing first grade work in a lot of areas, they're the only class that is doing vocabulary (glimmer! frantic! comforting! linger! intimidated! I'M INTIMIDATED), and they're the only kindergarten class that is doing addition. Like addition in the vertical style like big people have to do. Kindergarten is way harder than it used to be!

So it was a weird day, but it ended happy!

Monday, August 22, 2011


It's just a head cold.

It's nothing really. I've had worse.

But have I mentioned how much I hate head colds? I hate that almost burning constant twinge in the back of my nose, the raw throat, the headache in my left frontal lobe, the stab behind my eye, the general exhaustion. I especially hate that I wasted all the years of my youth when I could have lounged around in bed all day being coddled by my mom (major only child perk) by hardly ever getting sick. The sum total of my childhood illnesses that sent me to my bed was 8. That includes 1 bout of mono, 4 bouts of stomach flu, 1 case of chicken pox, and 2 regular flus. That was it. Since Lilli was born and took my entire immune system with her, I have not been the same. And now I'm grown up and have all these responsibilities. And I don't get to lounge around in bed unless I'm so ill I can't walk (and thanks to Lilli, its happened more than once in the last 4 years). So if I can walk I have to buck up. And eat soup in the lunch room and bring an extra box of tissues.

So most of all I hate staring at spreadsheets while I have a head cold.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Ok, that may be an exaggeration, but Tropical Storm/Hurricane Irene might be coming this way later in the week, so you never know.

Anyway, I had thought of several (ok, three) possible explanations for my recent combination of exhaustion, irritability, and stomach upset. The only one I didn't think of was suggested to me when I woke up this morning feeling like I swallowed glass. Stupid sore throat! After a day of feeling progressively worse, I am not very happy with Kindergarten and Preschool germs. And I'm not looking forward to Monday at all.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

I heart Zumba

Today I participated in my first Zumba-thon!

It wasn't the first time I've done Zumba, I used to do it regularly and loved it. But this was the first time in a long time (It actually caused damage to my knee back then, and the doctor told me "no more of that!"), and I had really forgotten just how much I love it. It is super intense, but I love the music and the dancing is so much fun that you kind of don't mind the pain or the sweat dripping off you (boy does it drip) and burning your eyes. And it teaches you some mooooooves. I actually have a hard time not smiling the entire time which probably looks a little weird.

This was a 3 hour session to benefit the Alzheimer's Association, and based on the number of people there at $10 each, I think they did quite well! I did not make it the whole three hours, I only made it an hour and 45 minutes, but since I've never done more than an hour before and haven't done it for a couple years, I think that is fantastic. My poor two friends I was there with had never done it before and had no idea what they were in for. I looked back at my friend R about a minute into the very first song, and the look of horror on her face was awesome. They made it through the entire first hour, and I think they could have gone longer, but they reeeally didn't want to. They may not have adored every second like I did. For sure we will all be sore tomorrow. Heck, I'm pretty ouchy right this second. I can't think of a muscle in the body this doesn't work.

So I'm thinking I might have to take it up again. My knee was fine today, it didn't even give me a twinge, and both the gym I belong to and the girls' dance studio offer classes. I think as long as I'm careful on the turns I won't have a problem. Yes, I know that there is Zumba for the Wii, I looked at it tonight when we were at Target, and I'm thinking about it, but I think part of the fun is being in the group environment with everyone cheering each other on while we shake our backsides as fast as we possibly can.

Dancing makes me so happy! The exercise is just a bonus.

Who wants to come with me?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Most of the time I'm as sweet as pie...

...sometimes I'm not.

Conversation between me and occupants of giant SUV in the dance class parking lot that had parked so close to me that the only way to get the back door open enough to get Elizabeth in was to rest my door on their (giant) tire/wheel well:

Lady in the SUV: Excuse me, your door is hitting my car

Me: You're parked kind of close

Lady: I'm in the line (she was, but only barely, while I was perfectly centered in my space) and you need to be more careful.

Me: My daughter needs to be able to get into her car seat. And while my door is touching your tire, I did not "hit" your car.

Lady: (wisely backing off) Ok

Me: (Not letting it go) Next time you park, you might want to make sure there is actually enough room for your vehicle.

Was that super rude? No, not really. I don't curse at people, I didn't even glare. But I didn't exactly turn the other cheek. I could have been apologetic, it wouldn't have hurt me any. But I've been pretty cranky lately, and at the time I thought it was quite generous of me not give her an evil glare or hit her door with my door when it was my turn to get in. It must be getting time to break out the chocolate.


In other news, the invincible Lilli was struck down by a tummy bug. She has not thrown up for a couple of years (bless her for taking after me! We both hate throwing up!), and she threw up twice today. She actually was sent home from preschool, and it is a good thing because time number one would have happened right in the classroom. I think it would have made pick up time pretty awful. She must be feeling better already though because she was hungry before she went to bed and mad at me for not letting her eat. Also her fever was up to 102.7, and its back down to a tolerable 100. Yay for quick illnesses! I'm hoping she has a good night.


In still other news, I'm kind of sad I've gotten away from sharing Anniversary Anecdotes! That is what business and sleepiness will do to a girl. So here's a quick one, that has nothing to do with how we met, got together, got married or any of the rest of it. Saturday is normally my day to sleep in and Sunday is David's day. By "sleep in" I mean 8:30, so we aren't talking anything crazy, but it's necessary for two night owls and delightful. Well, due to various commitments I haven't gotten to take my day in a couple months. He'd get up with the girls, but I would have to be up also, and usually heading out the door by 8 or earlier. So last Sunday he let me take his day and I had some glorious badly needed extra hours of snoozing. I adore it when he's thoughtful like that!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This Little Missy Went to Preschool...

...and her Mama got to stay home!

Can I tell you what a wonderful day I had?

I think today was the most jealous I have ever been of my SaHM friends.

Of course I realize the life of a stay at home mom is not all sunshine and lollipops, especially when the kids are really little. I just don't get to do it very often, so I have always adored every second. Just usually I am off work for a reason that is causing me to run all over town all day long. But that was not the case today, and you would not believe the things I got done! Do you know what a joy it is to vacuum and steam mop the house on a weekday in the daylight? It is WONDERFUL. I get really tired of cramming my housekeeping into the hours after 8pm and the weekends. We clean the bathrooms every weekend, but today I polished the fixtures! They are so shiny! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

I got to do this of course, because Miss Lilli went to preschool today for the first time ever.

She was so happy to have a lunchbox of her very own:
And yes, it had Buddy Fruit in it.

This picture is kind of an inside joke with myself, only it isn't really that funny and I'm telling you about it so that kills the inside thing:
When we got to preschool the maintenance man was in the process of putting a new door on the place. This was the door we took Elizabeth's picture in front of last year, so I figured we should get Lilli's picture in front of it too. We also took one with my mom like we did last year, we were just missing Elizabeth who we'd already dropped off at Kindergarten.

Here she is getting to play with play-doh while waiting for the rest of the kids to arrive.
She climbed OVER the table to get to the play-doh so she could grab the pink before anyone else could. Stinker. She looks a little shifty don't you think?

After I dropped her off I went home and HAD TIME TO MYSELF!!

I tidied, I organized, I cleaned extensively, I let in the guy who was here to measure our windows for hurricane shutters, I went to the grocery store, I made myself a nice chicken salad for lunch, I even played Frontierville, and that was all between 9 and 1:15. I love productivity.

Then I picked Lilli up. She had a wonderful day too, her two complaints were that she couldn't remember the name of her new friend, although it might be Corina, and that she didn't have time to eat her cookie at lunch. That second one is a valid complaint if you ask me, because it was a chocolate chip cookie, and I made it, and I, if nothing else in my life, can bake.

Then we headed over to the elementary to pick up Elizabeth. We got there shortly after 1:30. We were the 17th car in line, and school doesn't get out until 2:15. It still took until 2:32 to get her into the car. My mom is a saint and a martyr to deal with that Parent Pick Up line every day. It was hideously boring. I ran out of things to do after the first 20 minutes. And I had brought both girls school handbooks to read through to make sure I knew everything I needed to know, plus I had Lilli's entire preschool folder to go through. By the way, after the gate opened at 1:45, we were able to pull up around the circle all the way to here:
That means nothing to you, but it means we did our waiting on the front end. The later you get into the line, the later it is before you can pick up your kid. So yeah, it took an hour, but our hour was from 1:30 to 2:30, not 2-3. I like that.

When the girls got home from school we had snack, homework for both of them, and then quiet time for both of them, and I HAD MORE TIME TO MYSELF. More gloriously productive minutes.

Of course all the relaxation and joyousness degenerated into my usual Tuesday night madness of violin lesson (35 minutes away), dinner, and visiting a lady from my church, all packed into a very short space of time, but I STILL HAD A COMPLETELY AWESOME DAY. Ahhhhhhh.

And of course more importantly, so did Lilli!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Preschool Eve: Is that even a thing?

So, there's this miss Sassy Pants with her hey there mama, you thought you'd take a sweet little picture of me in my sun dress, but I look all old and stuff face.

She starts preschool tomorrow. There should be a law against this growing up thing.

Is she experiencing one twinge of nervousness? NOOOOOOO. She can't wait. I've been treated to several run on sentences at top decibel, all about how excited she is and how she's going to make new friends and play outside and have a snack AND EAT LUNCH FROM MY HELLO KITTY LUNCHBOX, AND YOU WILL PUT A BUDDY FRUIT IN THERE, RIGHT MAMA????

I took the day off again. I figure I only have a shot at these milestones once, right? At least once per kid.

Speaking of kids, get a load of these two!

Back before we had children we used to go on these things called "dates". Ok technically we still go on dates, but rarely is there public cuddling and boutonnieres. Oh yes, and since we were in college still in the above picture, this seems to have been taken prior to the "Bradley/Patterson Spring Semi-Formal." In other words, it was before a dorm dance. Except not at the dorms. And with fancy dinners out and stuff.

Ok, only if you call Joe's Crab Shack fancy.

I may not call it fancy, but I do call it delicious.

Anyway, we actually attended 3 of them (that would be the Springs of my Sophomore, Junior and Senior years for anyone counting), and it wasn't until the last one that I looked older than about 10 in the pictures. I maaaay have pulled off a convincing 14 or 15.

Ten years of marriage (plus 2.5 years of dating) later, and I've got a few gray (actually metallic blonde, we could pretend I have weird highlights) hairs, and he's getting some smile lines. But from the comments we constantly get about how we "must have started young" (in regard to having children) it's pretty clear that we might get quite a bit farther along before we actually start to look our ages.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I get a pass...

...on blogging tonight because I just got back from Cirque Du Soleil: Alegria.

It was amazing!

And even better, thanks to wonderful friends, it was free!

And the best part? It was a date. And on a school night too.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Anniversary Anecdote Number I don't know it's late...

So this one time while we were dating we went to the Columbus Zoo.

I think it might have been the spring of my junior year at OSU so we were definitely in loooooove and stuff, and it was a double date so we had someone available to take my favorite kind of picture:

I grew up in Columbus so I'd been to the zoo many many times, but I'm pretty sure that trip was the first time I ever made out with anybody at a zoo.

It gave me a whole new perspective on that place.

Sadly, the couple we were there with didn't make it to the end of the school year, but you can't blame the zoo!

Good times.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Tuesday that feels like a Monday

Having Monday off always throws me out of whack. I have all the Monday headaches at work, but since it's Tuesday I'm one day closer to my deadlines, so AAAAAAAIIIIIEEEEEE.

As I say all the time, it's a good thing it's always worth the punishment I seem to suffer for having time off.

Hey! Guess what! I didn't go beat up some elementary aged children for harassing my kindergartner while she was waiting for her Grandma to pick her up from school today. Granted I had no idea who these kids were who thought it would be fun to keep hitting the back of Elizabeth's back pack even after she asked them to stop, but David and I both considered finding out and finding them and... You will be happy to hear that we've decided violence isn't the answer. Probably.

This was tonight's homework- "sort silverware, sort laundry". I understand that sorting is a beginning math skill (although I feel the need to point out that both of my girls are already quite proficient at addition and subtraction. Elizabeth can just use bigger numbers than Lilli can. Tear of happiness!). However it seems like kindergarten is also going to encourage Elizabeth to learn more household chores, so I am liking school big time!

I was kind of worried that after almost a month off violin lessons due to vacations and double booking (on my part), and admittedly insufficient practice (I'm busy and I don't trust my newly turned 4 year old alone with her violin) that we'd be set back to the beginning of this process. I do pay for these lessons after all. Happily Lilli learned the notes of the A string without any issue, and seems to be finally getting proficient with her bow, so my worries were for nothing. We'll see how she does next week when her lesson is on her first day of preschool. I predict a complete lack of attention span!

Would you like to know what I had for dinner? Since I went straight from work to taking Lilli to violin to visiting a lady from my church, I was forced to have a tuna sandwich. Fortunately it was delicious since I made it the proper way: tuna, plus miracle whip (NOT MAYO), plus green olives, plus crumbled Doritos. In a wrap. YUM.

For today's Anniversary Month Item, I would like to dedicate the following (oldish-2008) song to my husband (if I did this correctly), as it sums up our relationship in several ways:

This Randomosity was brought to you by nobody in particular this week, it's just what you do on Tuesdays in my circles.

Monday, August 8, 2011

First Day

This little cutie pie went to Kindergarten today:

She nicely posed with her sister (who seems to have grown a few more inches while I wasn't looking) before we left for school. Which just for the record, is about 2 minutes from our house. That was MAJOR attraction of this house. Besides the fact that we love it I mean. Anyway, sisters:

We were able to park the car (long story, but we didn't know if we could) and walk her to her classroom. She was in a big hurry even though it was a bit of a hike:

After a quick (begrudging!) kiss, she was off into her room without a look back:
Not sure you can tell from the photo, but this is the kind of school that instead of having one big building with internal hallways (like I had back in Ohio) has blocks of classrooms connected by covered walk ways. This picture was taking at the exterior door, and if you look through the opposite door you can see through the teacher workroom on into another classroom. I kind of like the set up which is why I mentioned it.

After we dropped Elizabeth off at school and David had some breakfast (he chose a bit more sleep over breakfast when the girls and I had it), we ran a couple quick errands and took Lilli to Pump it Up. So if she looks like she's in a giant bounce house getting tickled by daddy, she is:

We took Lilli to lunch (Moe's, one of her favorites), made a brief stop at Target to pick up more of my new obsession- Ciao Bella blood orange sorbet (No! Not pregnant! Just hadn't had that flavor before and now can't stop), and then went to pick up Elizabeth.

Her day ends at 2:15, we were in the Parent Pick Up line at 2:10. And then we didn't move. When we finally started moving it was slowwwwww. When we actually got to the turn into the school (the winding road in back of the school actually), this is what it looked like ahead of us:

This is what it looked like behind us:

We didn't get her in the car until 2:50!

Despite thinking we were maybe not coming back for her, she greeted us with "I HAD THE BEST DAY OF SCHOOL EVER!!!!"
She told us all about her great day (which apparently included playing freeze dance- I knew I liked this school!), we went home, she had a snack (one of the blueberry muffins I made her this morning that she was too excited to eat) and she buckled down to her homework- 20 minutes of reading (to or with someone or independently) and her name written "creatively". The is a "school for the arts" after all. She ended up writing her name with bits of ribbon that she cut to size and glued onto paper. That works and it was cute.

Hopefully day 2 is just as great for her!


Did you think I'd forgotten my Anniversary Anecdotes?

The only reason I have such familiarity with the Atlantic Ocean is thanks to David. I had been to the Gulf of Mexico in 8th grade (Galveston, TX visiting a friend), but I'd never seen the ocean. His family started vacationing on Hilton Head when he was about 8. First they did time shares, and they were still doing that when I met David, then they bought a condo, and then eventually his parents retired there to a beautiful home they built on a piece of property they bought either their first or second visit to the Island. At any rate, they were used to going for Spring Break, 2 weeks in summer and a week at Christmas every year, and friends were welcome. And, that first summer after we started dating, as the Most Serious Girlfriend so far, I was definitely invited. I fell in love with the Island on the spot and fell even more in love with the guy who'd taken me there.

If you can see past the horrible quality of the below photo, ignore that we look like 10 year old kiddos playing dress up, AND ignore whatever the heck was going on with my hair, you might be able to see that we'd cleaned up alright for a fancy pants dress up date to a really nice restaurant during that first trip.

It should be no surprise that is where we decided to Honeymoon.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

On the Eve of Kindergarten...

...Someone is super excited!

Today started out great for Elizabeth, because yesterday she let me pull out her (second) loose tooth and so last night the tooth fairy came.

And all the rest of the day she has been sooooo excited to go to school tomorrow.

I'm not sure I'm quite as excited as she is(my baby! *sniff*), I'm actually feeling just a touch overwhelmed. David and I both took tomorrow off to be there to drop her off and pick her up from her first day, and to spend the morning with just Lilli (which doesn't happen very often), so that's good, but for some reason I'm all nervous that we'll over sleep or that I'll forget her lunch, or SOMETHING.

This is a big milestone though, so yay!

But also kind of blech.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Vacation: The final post, aka, the one about Mini-Golf

You probably thought you'd gotten to the end of the vacation posts. Not so, friend, not so! I just had better things to do with my Friday night. But Saturday night is a whole different ball game, especially at 11.

While we were on vacation we decided that the girls were old enough to go play mini-golf for the first time. No offense to our friends who took their 2 and 3 year-olds to play, but we actually find mini-golf kind of boring and we don't find small children with golf clubs adorable enough to wait for them to run around all over the putting area, not listen at all, whack their balls into the water hazards repeatedly, and throw a hissy if you try to move them to the next hole. A 4 year old and a 5 year old may not get the lowest score their first time holding a club, but they will follow directions and don't throw themselves down on the ground in despair if they can't get the ball in the hole right away.

Even though it was boiling hot and muggy beyond belief, they were quite cheerful the whole time.

Here's Elizabeth looking cheerful with Nana and Papa:
She was really happy about that green ball.

Here's miss Lilli:
No surprises, her ball is pink.

As the youngest member of the group, she did really well. The first hole took her a bit, but once she got it she got it. Sure, she got plenty of 4s and 5s, but she was on or under par on several holes.

And then there's Elizabeth.

Her first 4 holes were nothing special. I think she got 4s on all of them. But then we got to hole five, and I had screamed and hollered for Lilli who only took two shots and made it. And Elizabeth walked up, lined up her ball and got a hole in one. All three of us wahooed and jumped up and down, and celebrated. Then David and his parents, who were still at the last hole for the moment of triumph, caught up and Elizabeth said "I GOT A HOLE IN ONE I GOT A HOLE IN ONE I GOT A HOLE IN ONE! WATCH!!!!"

And she did it again.

Here she is after her success, apparently giving credit to the ball:

And by the way, on hole 7, she did it again.


Sorry to leave you hanging about the MRI! I am happy to report that it was normal.

I'm actually more than happy to report that, I'm outright over joyed. It means that her issue is a pure wiring issue, and not something with a physical cause like a stroke. Or a brain tumor. So on the advice of her neurologist, we started her right up on medication last night.

So far so good!


I also didn't mean to skip a night of Anniversary Anecdotes, but I was spending time with the subject of those anecdotes and figured that was the higher priority.

For my 20th birthday, David threw me a surprise party. At Chuck E. Cheese. Now that I have children I have kind of grown to hate Chuck (although I do love his "every game 1 token" schtick), but I loved it when I was a kid. And I still loved the thought of it when I was 20 even though it had been years. And my sweet hubby knew that I would. So he set it all up and, while he's not so great at keeping secrets, so I knew something was up, I was not expecting that AT ALL, and I was thrilled. I'm not sure that the staff was so thrilled about having a birthday party group with about twenty-five 19 and 20-year-olds, or about having to bring out the mouse to wish me a happy birthday, but it was an awesome party, and I'm kind of bummed I didn't repeat it for my 30th. But, as I mentioned, C.E.C's isn't quite as much fun as it used to be.

Probably because I'm following around a small person and handing her tokens instead of playing Skee Ball myself!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Vacation: Cousins

Well hello there internet!

Have you noticed that I'm stretching out my vacation for a whole extra week? It's meant to distract me from all the other craziness in my life this week, and it kind of works.

Anyway, tonight's vacation topic, Cousins:

The girls have exactly one cousin (I am an only child, and David has only one sister who has only one child), and his name is Kai. He is 10 months older than Elizabeth, and although the kids haven't spent much time together for cousins (he was born in Australia, lived there until he was 3 or so, and now lives in North Carolina), they are really fond of each other. He is not always the best example in my opinion, but the girls think he is amazing.

No really, I listened to Elizabeth say several times (in a very dreamy voice I might add), "Kaaaaaai, you're amaaaaaazing."

Anyway, here's some cousin pics for you.

Elizabeth and Kai with Gary Maurer, the magician whose show they were in:
Oh yeah, and Kai is crazy tall. Elizabeth is tall for her age, but Kai has both 10 months and practically 10 inches on her. He's got a super tall dad that he takes after.

Digging a hole:

Cousins hard at work:

Cousins in the bath:
I am a total party pooper and made everybody wear their swimsuits. My girls are not naturally modest, they like to be naked and they are completely uninhibited, but I do draw the line at being naked with their almost 7 year old cousin. Gotta draw the line somewhere after all.

And then I'm giving you three of the "officially posed" cousin pictures.

First, Lilli looks adoringly at Kai:

Second, nice smiles on everybody:
Did you see how much my girls look like Kai? To everybody who says Lilli looks like me, here's your proof that she gets her face just as much from David's side of the family.

Aaaaand, cousin hug! It kind of looks like it hurts:
I'm glad they got to visit!


Next on my agenda, EEG and MRI updates.

We didn't get the best news this morning, Elizabeth's EEG was abnormal.

I was pretty much expecting that, so it wasn't a shock, but of course I was still hoping it would be normal. Of course if it was normal there would have been some other explanation for her "episodes", and that could have been worse. Now her neurologist thinks that the fainting might not have been just fainting after all, and might be related to what he is now definitely considering a seizure. He actually wants her to start medication pretty much immediately. David and I still have some talking to do, but I think we'll go for it. It's a very safe medication, they main side effect is that it can alter a child's mood, but I'd rather have a cranky non-seizing Elizabeth, then a happy Elizabeth who has a seizure that causes her to walk out into traffic or something. I'll have to give you more updates as I get them. The neurologist told me a lot of things, and I took notes, but they're pretty much a blur at the moment as it has been a really long day.

So, the MRI.

I think I was more nervous than she was about the IV stick. They had the obligatory child life specialist (Caroline this time) come in to talk to her about her "medicine straw", only this time they gave her a little "straw", a length of tubing, and a syringe and let her squirt all the nurses (and David and I) with water. Oh yeah and she got to take that apparatus home. Grrrrrreat. But she loved that. And she got to watch Sponge Bob, which is not on her approved list here at home, so she was actually in 7th heaven for a while, at least while the numbing patches were doing their thing. Because the ER had such a hard time getting in the IV, the sedation team put patches on both her wrist and inner arm in case one spot didn't work, and these were heavy duty patches that actually seemed to help this time. Oh, she screamed plenty (as my mom and I clutched each other off in the corner and daddy held her hand), but her nurse (Rachel! High five for awesome Rachels!) got the IV in on the first try. When Elizabeth was all hooked up I asked Nurse Rachel if she accepted hugs from strangers and hugged her without waiting for a reply. Totally invaded her personal space. Hah! But she didn't seem to mind.

Anyway, Elizabeth, even while screaming, had held her arm still, and I had told her if she did she could squirt me with her syringe thingy IN MY FACE. So I made good on that, and she was delighted. Shortly afterwards they hooked up the sedative and moved her bed down to the MRI unit. She was practically out by the time we got there, and it didn't take long after we arrived before she was completely sedated. David had to go back to work, but my mom waited with me. The pediatric intensivist who was leading the sedation team came to talk to me a couple times, and the time went by pretty quickly. They ended up giving her an additional sedative because the original one puts you to actual sleep, like nighttime sleep, and it turns out that she tics in her sleep. And also talks. And also moves around a lot. So she needed to be deeper under than they originally thought. But she did great, her vital signs stayed perfect the whole time, they got all the pictures of her brain they needed, and although she's in bed now she hasn't seemed to have had any problems with after effects of the sedatives other than being really sleepy and having a bit of a stomach ache (a side effect of the second sedative). The doctor said that although he isn't a radiologist he sees a lot of MRIs and there did not appear to be any kind of large mass in her brain, so that's a good thing. I have to say that the way he was phrasing things did lead me to believe that there might be small abnormalities with this scan too, so I'm looking forward to talking to Elizabeth's neurologist again tomorrow.

Oh yeah, her hospital booty? A stuffed bear, a stuffed snoopy, a bouncy ball from the "prize tower", the syringe and tubing thingy, apple juice, teddy grahams, and her name bracelet. She was a happy girl. And she got the movie she has been asking for for the last 6 months (Thomas the Tank Engine Misty Island Rescue) from me. There was a happy girl on my couch tonight eating popsicles (clear liquid) and watching her movie while cuddling her new friends.

Love that big girl of mine!


Do you mind if I mostly skip my Anniversary Anecdote tonight? I'm wiped. I will say though, that David is an awesome daddy. He did what he had to do today to be there for Elizabeth when they put her to sleep, even though he thought he wasn't going to be able to leave work. I know it's pretty much a general good daddy thing to be willing to walk through fire, drop anything, throw yourself in front of a bullet for your kid, but he would, and I love that about him.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Vacation: Sisters

You know what's sad? I took around 300 pictures on vacation last week, and I took exactly 4 of the girls together.

These four:

The girls outside Nana and Papa's church:

The girls in the pool:

The girls at the top of the Harbour Town Lighthouse:

The girls by the stuffed bear they wanted to stand next to:

That's it. What kind of mama am I?

I know that part of the trouble here is that we have a man-to-man parenting style. David is usually with Elizabeth and I'm usually with Lilli. I don't know how we'd switch to zone defense if we ever had a third child, because we're used to this. That's how we put them to bed, that's how we wash them in the bath, that's how we get them in and out of their car seats when we're all together. So we divide up the children when we're exploring, and even though we switch I usually just focused on one kid at a time. So it makes sense, but I'm still kind of grumpy about the lack of sister pictures.


Anyway, in other news I have an EEG update! Elizabeth's EEG was this morning and while we don't know the results yet, the procedure was fabulous and didn't stress her out (or me either actually) at all. We went in the room, the technician had her lay down on the table and turned on the Cat in the Hat. She measured and marked Elizabeth's head up with a red crayon, then attached a whole lot of electrodes with paste stuff, and then wrapped the whole top of her head in gauze. This was a "sleep-deprived" scan, so we had to keep her up until midnight last night and get her up at 4 this morning. So she wasn't the only one who was feeling sleep-deprived. They needed her to fall asleep on the table so they slowly dimmed the lights and had her blow for three straight minutes on a pinwheel. That was actually funny because she was so sleepy that as she blew the pinwheel would get closer and closer to her mouth, it would touch her and she would startle and start blowing more fiercely on the pinwheel, and then start to doze off again. Wish I'd brought my camera that's for sure. They observed her for a good 25 to 30 minutes (I fully admit that David and I had a bit of a snooze in the dark and quiet), and then roused her enough that she could react to the strobe they started flashing in her face. We got up and got to see her brain reacting to the lights. I don't know if her reactions were good or bad, but it was fascinating to see the lines going crazy. After that she got to get up, and got to take home the pinwheel, a slinky, and stickers, and since she'd had a bit of a nap she was super cheerful.

I'm a bit nervous about tomorrow though, because tomorrow she has her MRI and she will need to be sedated for that, and when we were in the emergency room with her last May she had a HORRIFIC experience getting an IV in. They couldn't get the needle in her tiny vein and I lost count of the number of times they poked her. And the screaming. I might never get that out of my head. Immediately afterwards she was totally cheerful like nothing had happened, but I was a little bit scarred by that, so I'm really worried it won't go well tomorrow. The IV part I mean. That's the only part I'm worried about. If I should be worried about the rest of it don't tell me. Anyway, supposedly the sedation team who will be working on her tomorrow does nothing but children so they are used to tiny veins, and I hope that's right. Or I might be forced to raise my voice at someone.


And on a happier topic, ready for today's Anniversary Anecdote?

David's and my first official date (we had been dating for a bit by then even though he'd never actually asked me out- that might be tomorrow's A.A. although he hates that story- but we'd never actually gone Someplace Specific and Semi-Date-like) was at Johnny Rocket's. 12.5 years ago it was still kind of a novelty, at least in Columbus, Ohio, and it was super close to the movie theater. Perfect! After grilled cheese, fries, ketchup smiley faces and milkshakes, the waiters got up to dance like they did every half hour or so, and David got up to dance with them. As he serenaded me with a ketchup bottle microphone to (randomly) "New York, New York", that's the moment I first started thinking long term about us.

You hear a lot about balance in a relationship. A messy person and a clean person balance each other. A frugal person and a spendthrift can balance each other. But you can't have a silly person with a non-silly person. The non-silly person would just not understand the weird things a silly person does, and the silly person would always feel self-conscious about what they're doing. I burst into song constantly, and they often aren't real songs, they're just whatever I want to say to whatever tune is in my head. I will dance in the grocery store with the girls if the Muzak is playing something good (I can't tap dance, but I enjoy pretending I can). I am kind of obsessed with cook books, My Little Pony, and American Girl (only two of which are respectable obsessions for a grownup).

David is just as weird and silly as I can be. We have discovered, for instance, that a frightening number of the expressions we use on a VERY FREQUENT BASIS come from the movie "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me". When I randomly sing something at David, he sings back. He knows how to do a super dramatic movie almost-kiss with me, the kind from the 30s or so when the couple looks passionately at each other, swoops in real fast and just presses their cheeks together as they look towards the (non-existent in our case) camera (you might have to see us in action to get what I'm talking about). He will Merengue (not sure I spelled that right, just go with it) with me anywhere.

We know perfectly well we will embarrass the girls one day and we are kind of looking forward to hamming it up and seeing just how far ahead of us they are going to want to walk.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Vacation: Elizabeth

Tonight was Elizabeth's Kindergarten Meet and Greet (sob! School starts Monday!), so tonight's vacation post is about her.

She also had a blast on vacation. She spent a lot of time playing with Nana's Lincoln Logs up in the bonus room. Not sure why we don't have Lincoln Logs at our house, but we don't, and they provided endless entertainment:

Here she is at Market Street Cafe, which is one of my favorite places to eat on the Island. David and the girls like it just fine, but I'm the one who loves it because they make the best Chicken Souvlaki I've ever had, and I try Chicken Souvlaki anywhere I am that has it. Perfectly juicy chicken cooked perfectly with the peppers and onions, just the right amount of lettuce, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce, wrapped in the perfect slightly crisp pita. DELICIOUS. Anyway, Elizabeth had pizza, but she looks almost as happy as I was:

And here she is basking. This was right before she met a giant Golden Retriever named Darwin that she fell in love with, so she had a really good day.

She also got to get good and soaked playing in a fountain. What kid doesn't like that? Oh right, Lilli, who refused to get her clothes wet and sat on a bench in a grump. Kids.

More pizza! Giuseppe's has a fun kids' menu though.

We saw a magic show that was part of the tourist season entertainment (Gary Maurer, "South Carolina Magician of the Year"), and Elizabeth and her cousin, Kai got to be in the show. Here she is introducing herself and telling where she was from. She was pretty cute up there.

At the beach. She was blissfully happy. She discovered boogie boarding and was pretty devastated when her newly acquired board had to be left at Nana's when there wasn't room in the trunk to bring it home.

At Harbour Town. I don't have a scanned in picture, but I thought this was kind of nice because I have a picture of myself in these very chairs that was taken on my honeymoon (which, in case I wasn't clear, happened on Hilton Head).

Being cute while watching the Smurfs. The original Smurfs, not the weird new movie.

Annnnnd, finally, at Aunt Chilada's on our last day. She was super happy to discover that she could get ice cream for simply coloring in the logo. Coloring and ice cream are two of her most favorite things ever.
It was chocolate.


Ready for another David story here in the Month Before the Big One Zero?

I thought I'd just tell you that the first time we held hands was during the Ohio State v. Michigan game. We weren't dating yet, just kind of flirting around, and it was VERY COLD at the game, and there was only one blanket, sooooooo...there was just a bit of snuggling. And some tentative hand holding. And now I have made it sound that we acted like a couple of five-year-olds. Good grief.

But of course it turned out just fine.

It also happens that we (OSU) won the game, so of course everybody rushed the field (they also rioted whether we won or lost. Cars a-burning on 15th avenue!), and then promptly got tear gassed. But not us, because we were too busy cuddling. Saved from swollen eyes by awkward giggly lovey stuff!