Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I was moved to tears again reading The Sullivan Blog, take a look. This man's attitude and faith give me the chills...

Gratitude Day 3

I am on a roll, day if it was only this easy to stay on a diet....I would be one skinny little Momma, and clearly I am not...which is a subject for another post, but I really need to do something about it if I am going to strut around in a bathing suit in March with Brad to celebrate our 5 Year Anniversary...I put two flights on-hold today for Puerto Rico and we have a hotel room booked at a beautiful Marriott Resort. We are still unsure whether that will be our final destination, but booking saver award tickets on United to the Caribbean is nearly impossible so I snagged the first two seats that were actually open on our travel dates. Our goal is the Caribbean, on a United Flight, staying at a Marriott Resort = Free Vacation. Of course we will have to pay for meals, but our flights and hotel will be free!

Brad is traveling again tonight...he got home last night around 8:15pm and was gone again at 8:00am this morning, he spent the day in Northern Virginia, which means he was able to pick up my "Push" present Ring from our jeweler, I can't wait to put that beauty on my right hand.

I am thankful for:
  • My husband, who when he thought I was sick offered to come straight home from his trip...turns out it was a few hour stomach bug and I feel just fine now.
  • Riley, who is more than excited to see me every single day when I get home from work, now that is unconditional love.
  • The armed forces that protect us every single day and fight for our freedom. I was watching Army Wives this afternoon and cried my eyes out while Joan said her goodbyes to her family on her way to Iraq, I can't imagine as a mother leaving my children behind. I think about my friends Christine and Amanda...Christine's husband deployed a few weeks ago and Amanda's husband is getting ready to deploy shortly. They both have little boys Avery's age, and they will likely both be gone for 12-15 months. I am very thankful that my very best friend Beth's older brother Tolan is now home safe and sound, this was his second deployment, but he is home safe.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gratitude Day 2

While I am thinking about it I thought I would blog about how grateful I am for:
  • A daughter who wakes up ready to conquer the world, Olivia doesn't miss a beat in the morning you can't help but love her and start your day off with a smile.
  • A mother who drives over to my house at 6:30am to help me with the girls in the morning, despite me telling her it wasn't necessary, oh and I should also add that she pull the recycling to the curb this morning since Brad is out of town - Thanks Momma.
  • Colleagues who are willing to drop what they are doing to help me understand an Excel Doc that would make your head spin. And for those said colleagues, I am also thankful that despite asking a million and one questions, they don't call me dumb to my face, heck, they might behind my back, but at this point, I am totally comfortable with that, I am just learning the ropes.

Brad should be home tonight around 8:30 or 9pm. I was hoping Olivia would get to see him before she went to bed, but I am trying to back her bedtime up a little bit and get her in bed by 7:30-7:45. It helps now that its dark outside earlier, and last night I didn't hear a peep out of her. Of course that does mean she is bright eyed and bushy tailed (hence the first bullet above) a little earlier than I would like (6:30am this morning), but what can ya do?

Monday, September 28, 2009


My dear friend Dana reminded me of a practice I have let slip...back in the day while watching Oprah (D - did we watch it together?) I was inspired and starting tracking three or more things on a daily basis that I was thankful for, sometimes its was hard, depending on my mood, and other times I could have gone on for hours, but Dana reminded me that I need to spend more time focusing on the things I am grateful for and less time I am going to take her lead and post three things here that I am grateful for, I am going to try and do it with every post...I haven't done it since we moved to Richmond so I might be a little rusty, here goes nothing...
  • I am thankful for cream cheese and hot pepper raspberry preserves, eaten together of course...shallow, I know, but I am eating it right now and my tummy is very thankful.
  • I am thankful for my Mother, while at times she can drive me right up and down every single wall in our glorious house, she is a wonderful Mother and happens to be the best YaYa I have ever known, and I am also proud to report that with every single trip she makes down here she gets on one less nerve...that's progress for ya folks.
  • I am thankful for our DVR's because without it Brad and I would rarely get to enjoy our favorite shows together.
  • I am thankful that all of my agents are safe and sound despite the big storms that pounded Manila over the weekend.
  • And a Bonus: I am thankful for Dana for reminding me how important all the little things in life really are, and how if I spent more time focused on the good little things the big things likely wouldn't seem so big, or so bad...

As I type, Riley is stalking my cream cheese goodness and wanting and hoping that I will drop the plate from my lap so he can sneak a taste...not on your life you big eared moose, now go lay down.

Brad landed safe and sound in Philly despite being on a Prop, (Riley is now whining for the cream cheese) and had a lovely dinner with his North East Region Team and is looking forward to an early night filled with uninterrupted sleep (Jerk).

Also, I must report that I will not be going to Manila on Wednesday. The storms they have endured over the last few days have really flown them for a loop, their infrastructure while used to these storms hasn't had to deal with this much water in 40+ years, so its really struggling. All of my agents are accounted for and safe, but some have lost their homes, and are helping family members locate their loved ones, it isn't a pretty sight from the accounts I have heard. Please keep them in your prayers as they are expecting another storm on Wednesday. I was secretly looking forward to some good sleep...maybe I will have to sleep at my parents house for a night and leave the girls here with Brad...nah, that would be a horrible thing to do...Oh, but it sounds so wonderful.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Just another hectic Sunday...

So at least it wasn't a manic Monday, but it was a very hectic Sunday. The girls were up bright and early again and Avery spent the majority of the day fussing her pretty little head off, she just wasn't herself all day, poor thing. Olivia was down for a nap at 11:30 this morning, just in time for me to hit the grocery store and for me to put together the Paula Deen Mac n Cheese for Molly's Shower this afternoon and of course throw together the Meatballs...yum, both by the way, were a big hit. Then it was bath time for all...and then we headed over to the Koehler's House for Molly's Shower. It was great to catch up with all the neighbors, I haven't really seen much of Insley or Molly since we got back from the beach with our crazy schedules...

Brad is packing up and heading to Philly tomorrow for the night and I am starting to pack for Manila so there are suitcases out all over the place here. Brad gets back on Tuesday night around 8:30pm and I head out Wednesday morning.

Olivia is still stripping down at night and ending up sleeping in her own pee, its so gross I don't know how she stands it. Last night she cried out at 1am "Mommy, Mommy", so I went in, she was stripped down, soaked, laying in her own pee, so we got her up, washed her off, changed her sheets and back to bed she went. I am so sick of changing sheets at night, I don't know how to keep a diaper on this child. Tonight she is in zip up PJ's, so I am hoping that helps our cause, but she has gotten them off before. The key is to check her before we go to bed, because even if she has gotten her clothes off, she hasn't had a chance to soak the bed...again, just a phase, I know it, but seriously, when is this phase going to end, when is my child going to realize laying in her own urine is totally disgusting.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Snots, Snots and More Snots

I took Avery back to the Doctor this might recall that she came down with another "cold" while we were at the beach, and that the little darling passed it along to me the Saturday we got home...yeah, well she is still fighting that and its been a solid 10 days so off we went this morning at 9:15am. The Doctor, who we had never seen before (but they tell me he has been with the practice for over a year...good gracious they must have more Doctors than I thought if I had never heard his name before today), said it was a good thing we came in, while she was still moving air well, her lungs were a little too junky for his liking, so he started her on a ZPack and told us to administer Benadryl two times a day (morning and night) to help dry up her nose since she is a snot factory. So she had her first dose when we got her meds might be one of my least favorite things to do, Brad is 146% better at it than I am, but he had to work all day so I was on my own...

Donna is going to be thrilled that Avery can take Benadryl to dry up her nose because she is sick of all the snots walking around daycare (like its a new thing? She's been in this business for 20 years and just now the snots are getting to her? Is she kidding me?) Anyways...

My Mom stayed with Olivia while Avery and I went to the Doctor, she gave Olivia a bath, got her dressed and "did her hair". And I wish I had taken a picture, let me see if words can do the hair-do justice. So I walk in the door to Olivia who is wearing dark/hot pink leggings, a light pink top, a hot pink jacket, pink shoes and two different color pink clippies...that in itself is a sight to see. So back to the hair-do....and I should add, this is EXACTLY why my Mom made me have short hair my entire life and from now on I am going to cease complaining about it, because I think in hindsight she was doing me a really was that bad. So picture this...a strip of hair from the forehead back down the middle of her head pulled together in a hair tie and then one of the clippies on top of that, and she did some sort of twist action with the hair before she put it in the tie, well I don't think she really did, that's just what it looked like, so we have that clip, right in the middle of her head, and then about 1.5-2 inches below that she has pulled up the sides of Olivia's hair, with some of the longer pieces in the back and pulled it all together in a tie, and then put the other clip on that "pony". So she basically had two mini pony tails going down the middle of her head and then some extra, and by some extra, I mean a lot of extra long pieces just hanging out, kinda like a mullet, but not really. It was just a mess, hilarious, but a mess. Needless to say, when it was time to get ready for lunch I re-did the hair. I give her an A+ for effort though...I really wish I had taken a picture...

Okay, so after the hair was re-done, we all piled into the car and headed to Westchester Commons for lunch, a yummy lunch at Noodles & Company later we were off to Stride Rite to get Olivia a new pair of "Sneakers" aka "Tennis Shoes" (all depends on where you hail from as to what you call them). But let me just say, this child needs supportive shoes...she falls non-stop, biggest klutz I know...lets hope the shoes help. If they don't, we are seriously going to consider strapping horse blinders to her face, the world is just one big distraction for her, she can't look where she is going she is constantly just wandering around looking every which way...our little space cadet.

Brad left the house around 7am, oh and I should add that Olivia was up at 6:15am, and by up, I mean WIDE awake, talking a mile a minute...good thing that Surgery really sent her for a loop...NOT. And Brad got home around 4pm, he had a long day...a day full of casting for him with about 35 Doctors, sounds thrilling doesn't it?

The whole family headed to Don Pepe so Olivia could have an "Mexican Pizza" aka a Cheese Quesadilla and then we swung by my parents to say bye to GaGa as he is heading back to Northfield tomorrow morning, my Mom will fly back on the 10th.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bravest Girl

Olivia was so brave, and I must also report that I was pretty brave myself. We arrived at Johnston-Willis this morning at 6:45am, which meant we woke Olivia up at 6am and left for the hospital around 6:15am. Thank the Lord my parents were here to help out, they came over around 6am to stay with Avery until they could drop her at Donna's at 7am.

Olivia did a great job with all the preliminary stuff, but when it came time for them to take her from us, she clung on for dear life and screamed bloody murder, I did my best to hold back the tears and did until the very last second, I didn't want her to see me cry. We immediately went into the lobby after they took her away, my parents met us there and we waited for Dr. W to come out with the report post surgery.

Turns out both of her teeth were infected so it was a very good thing that we did the procedure so quickly and didn't let it sit for too long. He said she did great and they called us back shortly to meet her in Room 18. Just as we were walking down the hall they were wheeling her down the hall on stretcher, she was awake, a little groggy, but very awake and just reached her hand out to me and said "Hi Mommy", it was precious. Dr. W prepared us for her to be pretty upset and uncomfortable but it appears as though she got the best case scenario, she was an absolute angel. The nurses were amazed. She didn't even flinch when they took her IV out...

We cuddled on the bed, she hugged YaYa and after a few sips of Apple Juice we were out of there. YaYa and GaGa surprised her with a Fisher Price Laptop which she is already madly in love with, she played with it the whole way home.

All the Doctors and Nurses prepared us for her to be groggy and sleepy all day...not so much, she is still upstairs fussing around in her crib and has been running around wanting to play with each and every toy she owns. I am thinking I will have to go up and check on her shortly, I am betting she already has her pants off, since that is her new favorite thing to do...

I have a few pics from the hospital to post, but I haven't uploaded them just yet...stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Corolla 2009

Sunrise on our last morning in Corolla...

Shadows...Lala and I

So finally a summary of our week in the Outer Banks. We packed up and were ready to head on the morning of September 12th around 10am. Brian and Molly were hanging out in our yard with their Golden-Doodle of our lovely neighbors was out for a stroll with their "ultra friendly" Pitbulls, who proceeded to attack Grover and cause an emergency trip to Dr. Bill's (the vet). So I ended up calling the vet to let them know Grover was on the way and then I had to call and report the attack to Animal Control, its always something! So we were finally on the road around 11:30am. Rita, Stew and Baby Loralai came down Friday Night so they pulled out at the same time we did, Brian and Molly met us in Corolla after their trip to the vet. BTW: Grover was fine, just some meds and he was as good as new.

So we arrived in Corolla around 3:45pm, just in time to check in at Twiddy Rentals at 4pm. We pulled into our house in Ocean Sands around 4:15pm. The house was absolutely perfect. 7 bedrooms 6.5 bathrooms, a hot tub and a pool.

Each family cooked dinner one night, we cooked hot dogs and hamburgers one night and then we were all on our own one night. It worked out great.
Olivia loved the pool, she insisted on playing Tic Toc, which is a game we learned at swimming lessons, so it was nice to know the big fall at swimming lessons didn't scare her away from the pool. She was however very timid around the Ocean. She liked playing in the sand and managed to get it all over her, even in her eyes within seconds of hitting the beach. Avery too loved to paw at the sand, what a mess that was.
The other man in Olivia's Life...don't they look like an old married couple?

Everyone had mild stomach issues early in the week, our hypothesis is that the water was the culprit, so we switched to bottled water for all bottles and for drinking water, it ended up helping, but took a while for Avery's system to get back to normal if you know what I mean - WOOF.

I purchased a starfish pendant (below) that I happen to be madly in love with from The Mystic Jewel in Timbuck II. And we dinned on yummy fresh seafood from Steamers for lunch on Friday, it happens to our favorite restaurant in Corolla.

A 60 year old man went swimming late Sunday night and his body washed up on Thursday, turns out he was killed by a shark, scary huh? I feel horrible for his family, but the man went swimming at 9pm at night while the red flags were flying...what was he thinking?

Friday Night Brad, the girls and I headed to PDX Grill for dinner to meet up with one of my Mommy Friends and her family. Her daughter Alyssa is the same age as Avery, so it was great to get them together, and we are looking forward to meeting up with them in Raleigh in a few weeks for the NC State Fair. The weekend in Raleigh will be a big March Mommy meet up, I can't wait to get all the little ones together and meet all my "friends".

Avery came down with a cold on Thursday and ended up passing it to me for the ride home on Saturday, we are both still suffering from it today.

Olivia and Zack continued their love affair while at the Beach, they are adorable, but of course have the typical challenges with sharing their toys, oh yeah, and he slammed her hand in the sliding glass door, that went over well...but she bounced back quickly with just a few tears. Oh yeah, and Avery also went for a roll, right off the bed...and I will add that it wasn't on my watch...but I will just leave it at all. She too is A-Okay.
"Which way did he go?"

This paci sure tastes better with sand on it...

Engagement News

That's right folks, my dear friend, Allison is engaged. She and her boyfriend of a year, took a trip to Asia to visit her sister and brother-in-law, and he proposed in romance novel like proportions, a proposal that would make every girl jealous...she deserves it. Allison has planned other's weddings so I can't wait to see what she puts together for her own. I am hoping to spend a night in DC with her to celebrate over the next few weeks. Congrats again to one of my bestest friends.

Not Yo' Momma's Banana Pudding

3 words....TO DIE FOR. So good. We had a Pot-Luck/Chili Cookout today at much for the Let's Get Physical Challenge we have going on...

Here is the recipe:

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Prep Time: 30 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 12 servings

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.
In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Prayers Please

I was recently introduced to The Sullivans through another Blog I follow and I have been keeping them in my thoughts and prayers over the last few days. Their story is one for the books and one that will bring you to tears. Sara was diagnosed with Breast Cancer while pregnant, she delivered precious Chloe via emergency c-section a few weeks early, and a few short days after taking Chloe home Sara suffered a major seizure and was ultimately taken off life support and can read about their story here, My heart goes out to this now single widowed father, his faith and strength amaze me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cutest 4 Year Old I Don't Know...

If you haven't seen this have to watch it. She is so stinkin cute I can't even stand it.

She is too sweet for words...

Belated 6 Month Photo Session

Avery's 6 Month Photo Session was postponed 3 times due to sickness, the poor thing was still a bit under the weather for this session at Sears but we didn't want to risk missing the 6 month mark all together. Please excuse the poor quality of the picture, these are from their website, I am going to pick up the actual prints today. And looking back now, I am not as happy with them as I was when I ordered, so we will see how I feel about the actual prints when I pick them up.

Welcome Mr. Heath McCoy Jones

Our very first nephew was born on Saturday September 12th at 7:21pm. Shannon had a long, long day of labor, she is such a trooper. It was a bit hectic on Saturday, us packing up and rushing to the beach, while Brad's Parents rushed down to Georgia to be there for Heath's arrival. More on our beach trip later...but I couldn't help but post about our darling little nephew!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Perfect lil Ticker per McHottie

We got great news today at the Pediatric Cardiologist...who from now on will be referred to as McHottie (seriously, he would give McDreamy and McSteamy a run for their money). Avery's PDA (what caused her some issues at birth) has closed and her precious little ticker is just perfect. She is a healthy, happy baby and no need to follow up with him. She does still have the Innocent Pulmonary Flow Murmur, but likely it will resolve itself and if it doesn't and our Ped is concerned she might want Avery to go back to McHottie when she is 3-5 years old, but its not a big deal whatsoever. I happen to still have an Innocent Flow Murmur, its rare for adults, but again, not a huge deal.

And in other news, Shannon (SIL) went back to the Doctor today, was checked again and while she isn't in "Active Labor" she is contracting quite a bit on her own...and I have a lot of other fun, gory details, but that isn't my business to share. That is just private talk between sisters! HA.
We can't wait to meet sure is fun shopping for a little boy.

We must never forget...

I can't even begin to describe to you the feelings I had on September 11th, 2001, but I am guessing they are quite similar to any other country loving American whose perspective on life was altered forever on that fateful day.

I am sure you all have a story, a strong memory of where you were, what you were doing...etc.

Here is mine:

I had just started work at Apex Systems Inc, in Annandale, Virginia (just outside of DC, a few short miles from the Pentagon) mid-August and was in my boss Rob's office talking to one of my candidates who in fact had an interview that afternoon at the Pentagon. I was prepping her for the interview, telling her where she was going to meet the hiring manager, and how to get inside that fortress when David Lewindowski (whose birthday it was) came into the office, said that a plane ran into the Tower in NYC (Background: His Dad worked for a top secret agency and had called David to give him the news before it broke on national radio and tv), at this point in time there was speculation it was an accident, but it wasn't long after he came into the office, and we told our candidate we would call her back, that the news broke that another plane had hit the other tower, it was then that I dialed my good friend Allison who was living and working in NYC, I was on the phone with her, she was sitting under her desk at work, I could hear the sirens, everyone had left our office to go find a TV, and then she says "The Pentagon was just hit" chills ran through my veins, someone was on the phone with a candidate that was on 395 just as it happened, turns out our Branch Managers wife was also on 395 right beside the Pentagon Exit (she has had years of therapy) and it felt like seconds later that Allison said "And now the White House" turns out the radio was reporting that in NYC because there was smoke coming from the Executive Offices, not sure how that rumor started, but it added to the terror. At this point everyone knew it was terrorism, planes were being grounded and we were being evacuated due to our buildings height and close proximity to Washington. The radio hosts told us to fill up our tanks, grab water bottles, because they weren't sure what we were to expect on the roadways.

During this time I had managed to get a call through to Megs, my roommate who had just moved in a few days before, she was at home studying for the CPA exam and didn't have the TV on, she had no idea what was going on, but did realize that it was awfully quiet at our house (Background: We basically lived on the Dulles Airport Runway, so quiet was a scary thing). I probably passed a total of 10 cars on my way home. Police/FBI was guarding Exit 10 on the Toll Road, stopped me, asked me where I was going and once I told them home, they asked me if I was okay the rest of the way by myself, I was, and on my way I went. I pulled into our apartment complex, Megs was waiting for me on the balcony. I was so thankful I had one of my closest friends there to share this wretched day with, her and I "cuddled" up on my bed for what felt like 24 hours. We watched news program after news program, I don't think coverage stopped for several days, and we were glued to it.

I talked to several friends from home who were worried about me, knowing that my job took me to places like the Pentagon. A guy I was "talking to" at the time had some friends that worked in the Towers and he was on edge not being able to get in touch with took a few days, but they were all accounted for. I remember IM'ing with some JMU friends that lived in NY that tried to detail the scene that day, they could hear building jumping from the towers, they could see bodies flying through the air, what a terrible sight.

I remember the days after September 11th we (all the other recruiters at Apex and I) were scared to call any candidates that worked in the Pentagon because we were terrified we would hear "I am sorry, but he passed away on the 11th", it was scary.

I will never forget driving to work in the weeks after September 11th, driving on the GW Parkway, entering DC listening to "Do you remember?" and all the other patriotic songs that came from that tragic day. It was moving to work in such a powerful city, but scary at the same time.

And a few short weeks later a big group of us took the Metro to RFK Stadium for the United We Stand Concert, the skys were still quiet in DC, the FAA had declared DC airspace a no fly zone, and I recall sitting in my seat listening to all the amazing performers and being scared to death that the stadium would be a target for another attack, a huge venue like that, celebrating our freedom and the ones that lost their lives on that horrific day. There were snipers on the roof, and since we had terrible seats, had it been appropriate I could have reached out and touched one. There were helicopters circling the stadium, and when one came a bit too close I felt my heart stop for a quick second...

It was strange having peace and quiet at our apartment, we were so used to the noise from the planes overhead, and when I saw we lived on the runway, I mean, when the planes were on the ground, we could see the pilots, that's how close we were. When the planes took to the sky's again it was a little erie. Megs and I would climb up on my bed and watch the planes come in at night, they started slow and then sooner or later it was back to normal...

I remember September 11th, 2002. The "Heaven" song that was created with all the little kid voice overs broken into the lyrics caused me to pull over in Ballston because I couldn't see where I was going I was crying so hard. That song got to me every single time I heard it, and to this day I try and find it online every year so I can remember just how many lives were changed forever by those terrible people.

So that's my story...It clearly put things into perspective for me. Live each day, Cherish the ones you love, Always say I love you, Always make sure those you care about know how you feel...and be thankful for each and every second we have with the ones we love.


I happen to think this might become one of my new favorite TV shows. Its hilarious and I love the performance aspect of it. It is on FOX, Wednesdays at 9pm. The lead actress, Lea Michele is not only beautiful, but super talented and has an amazing voice. Check it out.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Biggest Beach and Biggest Water...

That is what we have told Olivia to expect, "The Biggest Water" = The Ocean and "The Biggest Beach" = The Beach. We think she is excited, but we haven't told her much about it just yet because she doesn't have a concept of time so she would be asking us every single day "Biggest Beach Today?"
Avery had her 6 Month pictures taken today at Sears...I have to say, she was "workin it". She was crawling around like Cat Woman on a runway...the little vixen that she is. She did happen to resemble a sumo wrestler, but of course a tutu wearing sumo wrestler.
Tomorrow late-morning we will head out to the VCU Office at Stoney Point for Avery's Cardiologist Appointment, we are looking forward to some great news and a worry free week in Corolla. Brad just informed me that he has a Lunch Appointment in Williamsburg at 1pm, which means he needs to leave here around 12pm...MEN. And he just said "If it wasn't so important I would have moved it" me crazy, but your daughter seeing a Pediatric Cardiologist is at the top of my "Important" list right about now. I wonder if he hears these things coming out of his mouth?
Speaking of Corolla, I can't believe how much stuff we have to bring with us, its a little bit crazy. I am hoping to have most stuff packed by tomorrow evening but we shall see if that actually happens.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Obsession

So I painted Pottery today at Color Me Mine for a work fun-day, and I had a blast. Don't get me wrong, I was BEYOND horrible at it....

Leigh: This "T" just looks bad

Carver: Oh Hun, you should have used a stencil

Leigh: I DID...

That is how bad it was, she couldn't even tell I used a stencil...but I am going to give it a second try, if it wasn't so expensive I would be painting pottery for everyone on my gift list.

Olivia has now started throwing a fit every night after he bath when we try and put her PJ's on, she only wants to wear one pair, its tough to appease her when that said pair is in the wash, so I forced the "Cupcake" PJ's on her last night despite her protests of "Don't want it, don't want it". And the same protests were loud and clear tonight as Brad tried to get the PJ's on a lotion slicked body fresh out of the tub. If she had woken Avery up with her screams her name was going to be MUD. And she cried and cried in her crib, yelled "Momma, Momma" and I finally had to go up when she yelled "More Cuddle Time Momma". How can you really turn that down? We were chatting at work yesterday about what behaviors create bratty children, and giving in was at the top of the list, but I just can't turn down the "One Last Hug Momma" or the "More Cuddle Time" requests, I will give into those until the cows come home. I mean really, how would I live with myself if she didn't wake up the next morning and I didn't give her that one last hug...

Side Note: I think Megan Fox is a super freak and I am not happy that the 90210 writers are turning Annie into a bad girl.

Molly and I are heading to Costco tomorrow night for the Annual Beach Run...I cannot wait. Stew & Rita will be here Friday Evening and we will all jump in our respective SUV's Saturday Morning and head to Corolla aka "Heaven on Earth".

Shannon (SIL) is still experiencing contractions and has an OB visit tomorrow morning, can't wait to hear the latest update on how she is progressing and what the plan is for sweet Heath's arrival.

The girls bathroom is finally finished, well, the painting I should say, Painter Man came and finished it up tonight, I can't wait to hang the new towel bar and the new TP holder, I am still waiting on a piece of wall art and I have one already that I need to hang, I can't wait to take pictures and share the finished product with you guys. I am however, still having an internal debate over the window treatment, not sure what I am going to do about the small window...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back....

Welcome Back to all the High School Kids that get on the bus in front of my house at 6:26am...and manage to laugh, talk and....goof around with each other and wake me up. Oh how I did not miss that sound, and we don't even have the windows open yet. Urg.

This morning I went to get Olivia up for the day, she was busy changing her baby's diaper, which she happened to tell me at least 3 times before I finally looked up and said "Where did you get......" and then it hit me...she was wrapping her baby up in HER diaper, the one she wore to bed, the one that was soaked from a full night of pee...gross Olivia. It was hilarious though, she was just sitting there, naked as a jay bird playing with her baby.

And I need to report, the Vaseline did NOT, I repeat did NOT come out, she looked like Slick Rick all day today, lets hope we put a dent in the grease tonight with the bath, if not, tomorrow night I am going to use a little Dawn...since it is the grease fighter.

T-Minus 4 days until we pack up our entire house and head to Corolla for a week. I cannot wait. I am however dreading the car ride, at least now Olivia has a small attention span for TV, so that should help, but last year it was brutal she didn't nap at all, 7 hours in the car...urg. We are hoping she will nap this year and that the trip will be cut in half, since everyone is back in school that should mean that "Family" vacations are over and its just single people and young families still hitting up the beach mid-September.

So while I generally don't post a lot about Politics I just have to say, what the heck was the big deal with Obama's Speech? I just don't get it. I tried to do some research so I would be informed and frankly I just can't see what the big hoop-la was about. Sure, it likely wasn't super exciting for the young kids, they had no clue what he was talking about, BUT the message was motivation and inspiring...right? Can anyone really deny that? It doesn't matter who you voted for, even Laura Bush endorsed it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lazy Labor Day

Labor we did not...

We were however up bright and early. Avery woke the house up at 5:00am, Olivia curled into bed with me until 6:30am when Riley came into the bedroom and woke us both up, just as Avery was going down for her first nap of the day, Liv and I hung out on "Momma and Dadda's Bed" until 7:30am when Avery woke up for the day. Brad headed out for a morning ride around 6:30am and rejoined the family around 10:15am, just as Avery was going down for her second nap of the day. We all got dressed and headed to the West End to pick up some "free Lala food" from one of my former C1 colleagues whose Stepdad is a food broker, CHA-CHING. Olivia hit the money load. We then headed over to Johnny Rockets for lunch, which I have to say was a bit of a disappointment...we likely won't be going back anytime soon.

Both of the girls fell asleep on the way home and didn't transition into their cribs well at all, so needless to say the afternoon was sleepless and full of tears. Avery screamed for an hour straight and then finally settled in for a quick 20 minute power nap. All while Avery was screaming and Brad was outside, Olivia managed to get into a jar of Vaseline in her dresser drawer, she was a MESS with a capital M. All in her hair...smeared all over her face...YUCK.

We headed over to The Koehlers for dinner (Pizza from Sal's...our favorite) with Brian and Molly, Olivia couldn't go a whole day without spending some quality time with her boyfriend, her love affair with Zack happens to be one for the books.

We are looking forward to a quick week and are hoping that Avery's appointment with Dr. A, the Cardiologist goes well on Friday so we can leave for the beach on Saturday Morning without a care in the world.

Riley will likely go see Dr. Lauren this week, he has been an allergic mess the last week or so, and after a $40 round of antibiotics we have seen no improvement.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Good Morning Avery...

Molly's Shower

(Molly & her BFF Ashley, who is also pregnant)

So after Brad and I rushed home from Brunch, I jumped back in the car, left Olivia screaming in my dust (sad, I know) and headed to the West End for Molly's Baby Shower. I felt so bad, I was 15 minutes late and I HATE HATE HATE being late, but I couldn't help it, I also didn't realize until inputting the address into my GPS that it was 35 minutes away, WHOOPS. Molly got a lot of nice things, and she looked beautiful in her cute lil' maternity dress. I can't wait for Sweet Baby "Camel" (as Olivia calls her) to arrive, but we all know she has a several more weeks of baking to do. She is putting the finishing touches on her organs as we speak and will be ready in just two short months. Molly is going to be a wonderful Mom, Olivia is likely going to be super jealous of Baby Camel because right now Molly might be one of Olivia's favorite people. She asks for Molly to come over and play all the time. She is always asking me if Molly is home? "Go see Molly". "Play with Molly" and she actually asks to give Molly a hug when she leaves, its too stinkin cute.

Overnight Date

Brad and I hit the road just after lunch on Saturday. We drove straight to James River Cellars (, they were hosting a Wine Festival with 3 other wineries present. It was a beautiful afternoon, a little warm, but still gorgeous. We tasted out way through all 4 wineries and ended up sampling a few glasses of the Peachy Pear Sangria from Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery, which by the way, has very unique tasting wines, true to its name, all the wines are fruit inspired. I believe we ended up buying a Pear Table Wine that just to die for. And while we are mostly a White Wine family, we really enjoyed the Workboat Red wine from Belle Mount Vineyards, and since we purchased two bottles we got their recipe for Sangria, yum. And last but not least, our favorite wine from Cooper Vineyards was the Rhapsody. In total we purchased 9 bottles of wine, ended up drinking one there and brought the other 8 home with us.
Recommended Wines:

Cooper Vineyards:
Rhapsody, a sweet White
Sweet Louisa, which is actually a chilled sweet Red
Noche, which is a chocolate desert wine, also the vineyards best seller
Coopertage Blanc, which is a blend of Chardonnay and Viognier, its a teeny bit oaky for me, but I still really enjoyed it.
*I wish they would have had their Viognier to taste, but they didn't...guess that means we will have to take a trip to Louisa, Virginia to get in a taste.

Belle Mount Vineyards
Workboat Red, great for Sangria
Chesapeake Light, very cool bottle, yummy White Wine...they were sold out already so we weren't able to purchase this one.

Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery
Little Heeler, a sweet blueberry wine
Pear Table Wine
Pyment, concord grapes and honey
Rockfish River Cyser, apple and honey blend

We enjoyed a bottle of wine on the picnic table and listened to the Kevin A Kelley Band, it was a wonderful afternoon to just sit around and enjoy the sunshine, music and wine. It was a very family/pet friendly event, so next year we are looking forward to bringing the whole family. I have to point out, there was a 205lb Mastiff there named Ortiz, he was HUGE.

After the wine, we headed over to Thai Gourmet for some yummy Thai food before checking into Virginia Crossings Resort. It was our second stay at Virginia Crossings, I surprised Brad and took him away for a night for his Birthday, which was also the first time away from Olivia back in 2007, so it was fitting this was our first night away from Avery (by choice, not including work trips)

We rested in the room for a few hours, watched some TV and then decided we REALLY wanted some Movie Theater Popcorn, so we checked out the local Regal Cinema to see what was playing, turns out there was nothing out that we both were dying to see, so we did something we have never done before...we went to the theater, bought a Medium Popcorn and then left...we brought it back to our room and watched a Hard Knocks on HBO and were both sound asleep by 9:45pm. Wild and Crazy Kids...

Brad and I were up by 7:45am, so much for really sleeping in. Too bad we woke up STARVING and didn't have Brunch Reservations until 11am. Urg. It was horrible, we had to raid the vending machines for a Pre-Brunch Snack. And turns out Brunch was a little bit of a let down. So let me lay the ground work here...we have been to this Brunch 2-3 times was always set up in the Foyer of one of the buildings, several impressive spread. Well, Wyndham took over Virginia Crossings (the Resort) last Fall sometime...and from there, it all went down hill. I would have been okay with a smaller, less impressive spread, but when you take away the selection and downsize the Brunch big time one would expect the price to come down a bit too...not so much. And Brad ordered two eggs over easy...and they didn't have any toast...who doesn't have toast when you are serving breakfast food? Seriously People! And then our desserts were FROZEN, so after mentioning that to our server we ended up with 25% off our bill. Too bad we still won't be going back there...The Jefferson here we come.

Welcome Bina & PawPaw

Bina & PawPaw arrived Friday afternoon around 4pm, just in time to see the James River AC Sales Lady give me a quote for $7K, which I politely said thank you to and helped her to the door...not likely that we are going to drop $7K on a new AC unit for the 3rd floor anytime soon, but we wanted to get an idea of what we were looking at....YIKES is all I have to say about that.

We then all headed out to Olive Garden for dinner. The girls were angels and the food and company were perfect!

Saturday Morning we had pictures scheduled at Sears at 10am, we were there right on time...without any of our outfit changes...shucks, we forgot the bag at home! Turns out they were short staffed and after waiting for 30 minutes Olivia had a complete meltdown and we ended up leaving. So while I was all fired up about forgetting the outfits, turns out we didn't need them anyways. We are going to try and reschedule for one evening this week, but that is usually Avery's worst time of day, so who knows what we will end up with.

Welcome Miss. Rhodes Florence Martin

Alex and Kristen welcomed 7lb 14oz Rhodes around 8:30pm on Friday Night after a long day of laboring. Turns out they went to the hospital around 4am, so it really was a long day for Kristen, but while I haven't spoken to her, the report we heard was that she was radiant and simply glowing. So I am guessing the long day of labor didn't really phase her once she laid eyes on that darling daughter of hers. We can't wait to meet the little tyke, but it likely won't be until we get home from the beach, hopefully before my trip to Manila...Welcome to the Family Rhodes!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Labor Day Weekend...full of Labor

That's right...Brad's Cousin, Alex and his wife are currently at the hospital right now laboring to welcome their little darling into the world. Kristen was due Sept 11th, but they headed to the hospital early this morning. Brad's Mom called to give me the exciting news at 7am this morning. We can't wait to hear that Baby Martin is here. And I am extra excited about this one because we don't know what she is having, nor do we know their name actually made me seriously consider if we have a third child that we would hold off on finding out the gender. We shall see though, I don't know if I could really do it when it comes down to it, but I love the idea of it.

Brad's Parents should be here this afternoon between 3-4pm to spend the weekend with us. Avery has her 6 month pictures tomorrow morning at 10am and then Brad and I are going to head to James River Cellars for a Wine Festival and then to Virginia Crossings Resort for the night. Hubba Hubba. We will get up, eat Brunch and then head back early Afternoon because I have Molly's Shower at 1pm.

Craig, the Painter will be here at 12 noon today to finish painting the Girls Bathroom and then the room can get put back together. Phew, its spilling into the 2nd floor hallway and making it tough to get around. And then we have Joel, the Painter coming at 4:30pm today to give us a quote on all the work we want done, and then the HVAC folks will be to give us a quote, lots of quoting going around, too bad all that quoting requires money to make it a reality...depressing.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


One of my dear Mommy Friends just had to send her husband off to war this week. Christine has been so brave and so strong throughout all of this, I frankly don't think I would have handled it as well as she has, I admire her strength. Her son, Brayden is the same age as Avery, and it breaks my heart to think that he will go a solid year without seeing his Dada. I can't imagine what a little 18 month old will think of a man he hasn't seen in 12 long months. They had beautiful pictures taken before her husband left, I was full on crying looking at them, but I know they will bring her comfort during his time away. Please send your prayers out to Christine and her family, pray that James will be kept safe and sound over there. I am so thankful for the job he does, while I wish all of our soldiers were home safe and sound and that not a single one of them had to miss the birth of their first child, or their first child's birthday, I appreciate the sacrifice they are making for our freedom.

Every Second Counts...

So I have been debating whether to post this story for a few days...its heartbreaking, tragic and beyond sad, so I completely understand if you can't watch it. I will tell you upfront, its about a precious little baby boy named Thomas. He was born with a genetic disorder and lives only a few short days, so for those of you that are pregnant, you might not want to watch it...but I had to share it because I can't stop thinking about it.

As I sit here and wallow in the many doctors appointments we have coming up in the month of September this video reminds me just how very lucky we are, and that I need to appreciate every second I have with my girls, just as these parents did with their son Thomas. ... 9/thomas2/

I sobbed while watching this, and sobbed the moment I picked the girls up at daycare and hugged them tight. A lot of people can't watch stuff like this, and can't imagine something like this happening to their little one. Call me strange, or even "a little off", but I have to watch stuff like this, I can't stop, Brad always tells me to "turn it off", or says "why do you do that to yourself" when he sees me bawling my eyes out. But for me, it gives me perspective, it helps me cherish every laugh, every knee scrape, and every hug. I need stories like this to remind to be the best Mom I can be every single second of the day. This is what its all about. Work really doesn't matter, its all about the lives I am forming every single day. I need stories like this to remind that a referral to the Cardiologist, while scary, could be a lot worse, and that I need to take every day as it comes. I need stories like this to give me hope and inspiration. I need stories like this to remind me that I am blessed, because in the crazy life I lead, I am ashamed to admit that there are times I lose sight of this, and I never want that to happen. I always want my girls to feel the love I have in my heart.

Let me know what you think...

Ring Around the...OH MY GOODNESS


Molly and I ventured out to the Ring Around the Rosy consignment sale last night. Holy Cow was it a zoo. I was super overwhelmed as was Molly. I did however find a few cute Fall/Winter things for Olivia. I can't believe I am already buying 3T clothing for her, where does the time go? Granted she just turned 2, but buying 3T makes me feel like she is really growing up. And I bought her a pair of Size 8 very own Big least she comes by it honestly, I have two canoes at the end of my legs.

And I am happy to report that the Girls Bathroom is FINALLY painted, is with a heavy heart that I tell needs another our great deal turned into just a so-so deal after the extra coat charge. He hopefully can come out in the next few days to finish it up so I can put the room back together. And the towels are I just need to find a few more things for the walls...and we will be good to go. I can't wait to see the final product.

Tomorrow is Friday...Shannon has YET to have lil' Heath, so as it stands now Brad's Parents are scheduled to arrive tomorrow afternoon. Avery has her 6 month pictures scheduled for 10am on Saturday and then Brad and I are going to head out. We have reservations at Virginia Crossings Resort for a little alone time. We are planning to hit up James River Cellars on the way and possibly a winery in New Kent. We are looking forward to some quality time together sans the girls, but of course will miss them terribly. Then Sunday we will have Brunch at the resort before heading back to Richmond for Molly's Shower at 1pm. I can't wait to celebrate lil Baby Camel (as Olivia calls her).

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

God Bless James River AC

I happen to be a huge fan of James River AC, the two service technicians they have sent to our house have been fabulous, and it isn't often a girl like me takes to blogging about her HVAC they came out today, fixed our leaky mess of an AC Unit...a few hundred dollars later everything is back to normal. We talked with the technician about the crazy heat on the 3rd floor and how the 3rd floor is basically useless to us during the Summer months, he did a quick inspection and while its working properly, it just isn't a big enough unit to support the size of the 2nd and 3rd we are having a Sales Technician come out on Friday afternoon to give us a quote on upgrading our 2nd unit...we are guessing its going to go at the bottom of our "To-Do/To-Buy" list, but at least we will have a ball park figure to work with...we are guessing $4-6K.

Painter Update #54

Who knew there would be so much drama associated with just getting our tiny ol' Guest Bathroom painted? Well, Original Painter who was a no-show last week contacted us today and is coming tomorrow to paint...why are we giving him a second chance you ask? Because he is so darn cheap, he is only charging us $89 and that includes all supplies. Can't pass it up. But Joel is coming on Friday afternoon to give us a quote on all the other areas we want to have painted.

6 Months and Another Referral

Avery had her 6 Month Check Up today...lets compare her stats to Olivia at 6 Months Old.

Lets recap:

At Birth: 10lbs 9oz
At 4 Months: 16lbs 8oz
At 6 Months: 18lbs 15oz
Length at 6 Months: 26 inches - 90%

At Birth: 9lbs 12oz
At 4 Months: 16lbs 8oz
At 6 Months: 19lbs 13oz
Length at 6 Months: 27 1/4 inches

Bottom Line - AVERY IS A TANK. The little darling is wearing 12 month clothes now. She is still wearing mostly Olivia hand-me-downs, but I have a feeling that is about to change, being that most of Olivia's 18 Month clothes are for the summer, not winter and she will likely be wearing 18 Month clothes by Christmas, if not before.

Avery had 4 shots today, one being the first dose of her flu shot, she will go back in 4 weeks to get the second dose. Her heart murmur is still present, so we will be seeing Dr. A, the Pediatric Cardiologist on September 11th at 11:15am. I have to say I am a bit numb from all this medical drama over the last 24 hours.

And did I tell you all that I am having Christmas Outfits made for the girls? I can't wait to see them on the girls...

And we scheduled Olivia for her flu shot late September. September is going to be a busy month with all the appointments and all the work travel for Brad and I, I can't wait until October 10th when both Brad and I are home.