Friday, July 30, 2010


my own horn for just a second...and I have to say its a little uncomfortable, but I just have to get it out there, because while its uncomfortable, I am also very excited...

I have accepted a new role at work...a promotion if you will.

I have spent far more time at work, dedicated to my career over the last 7 months than I am proud to admit, but at least there was light at the end of the very long, dark, felt like never ending tunnel. Promotions here at Capital One don't happen often, when I was at Careerbuilder I was promoted 3 times in my first year with the company...maybe that should tell me something...was I better suited to sell my face off and live on an airplane? Maybe so, but that clearly isn't going to happen...I need my girls and they need me! I have hated being the last one home for the last 7 months, Brad is always picking up the girls, and I am hoping this promotion and role change is going to help balance that out a bit, so I can play a larger role in our family life. Brad deserves a very large kudos, high-five, whatever you want to call it for being Dad of the year for the last 7 months...

I know what is most important, at the end of a tough day the perspective those little darlings give me, even if they are being little terrors, helps keep me grounded and focused on the right things. At the same time, I also want the girls to be proud of me, know that I work hard, and realize that balancing family-life and work-life is something that is important to me.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Doggie Loves Dora

Even our Master Pooch Riley Duke of Fenway is a Dora fan these days...the poor guy has been sporting this dome again since his ear surgery last Wednesday, so for about a week, not counting the week or so he wore it when he first broke his ear...he runs into the girls, runs into walls, and since its plastic, it doesn't feel great when he comes up behind you and clips you, he actually drew blood on me the other day, not fun. As you can see by the super duper gross photos it isn't pretty, it looks like they just quilted his ear, poor bugger.

(sporting the Dora stickers)

And yes, Riley Duke of Fenway is his real name...cute eh?

(This shot shows the "quilted" look)


(Look at all those stitches...yuck)

This morning I was running a bit late, Avery woke up before I could shower, I was home alone, so that meant I had to get the girls ready and to school, come back shower and then head into the office. So luckily Olivia woke up on her own but wasn't ready to really jump start her day, she was moving at a snail's pace.

So I commented:

"Olivia, we need to move, fast, fast, fast like a rabbit" - Me
"Mommy, I don't want to move fast today, I want to move slow" - Olivia....and slow she moved.

I took the little Esther Williams to Swimming Lessons today since Brad came home early and wasn't feeling well (He has the random high fever too, they are testing his blood for Lyme Disease - awesome eh? Fingers crossed its just that random 24 hour bug Olivia had). I have to admit, its hard to watch her so scared of the water...I clearly can't recall back to when I was 3 years old, but from the time I can remember I have always loved the water, I was a little fish, you couldn't drag me out of the water, and Olivia is scared to death. She warms up and by the end of the 30 minute lesson she is much further along than she was at the onset, but the challenge is its only two times a week, and she missed Monday because she was by the time we start again on Monday its almost like a clean slate, so she isn't really progressing and trying new things each week, its almost like they are starting over with her each and every class...the poor darling is just scared. I hate watching the fear on her face, watching her reach for me with her arms out while she does the silent cry...its heart-breaking to watch. I can't wait to watch her soar in the water, I was cheering her on from the sidelines, making a fool of myself with tears in my eyes, her smile when she saw me dancing around cheering for the good kicking job she was doing was sheer pride, I know she was working hard at not being afraid and she was so proud of herself, it was adorable.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Halloween in July?

So I started asking Olivia today what she wanted to dress up as on Halloween...I was hoping I could talk her into the Bumble Bee costume that she refused to wear last year...only if it fit of course, I mean I wouldn't shove her into it like a sausage or anything like that...of course not. I wouldn't even think of it. Its not one of those yellow and black stripped plush things, its almost all black...I should take a photo and share it with you because I am fairly certain she won't want to wear it.

She commented that she wanted to be a Butterfly...which would make Avery a very cute Caterpillar don't cha think? If Olivia can't fit into the Bumble Bee costume, maybe Avery could? If all else fails...

I was thinking Avery might make a cute little devil?

Or maybe an octopus...cute eh?

I can't believe I am already thinking about Halloween, I already have big plans that weekend since Brad will be competing in the Tidewater Challenge in Williamsburg, its a surprise though so I can't share it with you all just yet since I haven't told Brad my Master Plan...and that just wouldn't be fair now would it?

Welcome To The World Nate Davis!

My very sweet, love her to death friend Maura and her wonderful husband Aaron welcomed their first child to the world this afternoon, the little man was taking his sweet time, Maura was keeping him safe and sound in there, he clearly didn't realize that he was a week late for a very important date. I was hoping he would be born on Olivia's Birthday, but no such luck!!

Nathaniel James Davis was born at 2:20pm weighing in at 9lbs 3oz, measuring 21 inches long. They are going to call him Nate. Maura and Aaron are going to be wonderful parents, Nate is one lucky little man to have been blessed with parents like the two of them. I think he looks a lot like Aaron in the photo above...

Look at this sweet little man, isn't he precious? And look at that charming little smile he is sporting...

Side Note: I put Olivia down at 8pm, its now 9:45pm and she is having a full blown conversation with Diego in her bed...she is singing to him, probably reading him books...this child is one funny bugger.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Of Course....

So I thought Avery was the one that stood a chance of staying home today due to her not feeling so well yesterday, but we got a call around 10am from TCH, and Olivia was running a fever of 103.5.  Brad was able to pick her up as I am in super duper important meetings today and tomorrow, but of course she now has to stay home tomorrow and that leaves us up creek without a paddle, so Brad is having to change his out of town plans and I will adjust work as much as I can to keep her home's to hoping she can go back to school on Wednesday and that Avery stays healthy...she did however have a snotty little nose this morning, and I should also note, she arose at 5:35am, of course...on my morning to get up with her, while all weekend she slept until 6:30am for Brad.

Now if only it would rain....then I could say, when it rains it pours.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Home Sweet Home

It is nice to be home...and at this point I am going to be home until we head to the beach on August 14th. I am looking forward to a few weeks at home without big plans.  I am hoping the temps drop a little and we can actually spend some time outside with the girls in the evenings and on the weekends. Today was brutal. Olivia and I tried to play in "da Beach" for a little while this morning and within minutes she said "Its too hot out here Mommy, I want to go inside", so inside we went. So we took the girls to the mall so they could play at the inside play area, we grabbed lunch at Chipotle and we picked up the girls pictures at Sears.

We are working hard to ween Avery of her morning nap, yesterday Brad gave in because he knew her afternoon nap would be cut short so they could pick me up at the airport. They were so cute, Brad dressed them in their matching Brown and White dresses, too stinkin' cute. So this morning we kept Avery busy, and around 1:45pm we got the girls down for their afternoon naps. Avery woke up screaming about 30 minutes later and screamed for 45 minutes straight, then she finally gave in and I was able to put her back down, I am afraid she is getting sick, she isn't acting like herself...fingers crossed she is a-okay when she wakes up in the morning.

Riley is a mess, his ear looks horrible, it looks like they quilted it, its so swollen and its caked with blood, its just gross. Olivia isn't as scared of him as she was when he first came home from the "Doggie Hospital", but she isn't thrilled when he gets too close, its almost like she thinks he is a different dog because of the way his ear looks.

Last night when I got home and showered we headed over to the Harris's house for a "Cookout", but since it was blazin' outside, Brian used his noggin and decided it would be a better idea to just get a 91 foot sub instead of grilling out, excellent idea.

I finished our Book Club Book...Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb. It was painful until I got through the first 5 or 6 chapters, I didn't think I was going to get through it, but it turned out to be a page turner just as soon as I got through the first 6 chapters. I loved it. I didn't want it to end. I highly recommend it. Next Up:  Promises to Keep by Jane Green. I absolutely LOVE Jane Green, I chomp at the bit just waiting for her next book to come out, so I am excited to crack this one open.

My friend "D" is going through a tough time right now, her FIL is losing his battle with Cancer and they have called in the Hospice Angels. Please send up your prayers, please pray that these angels work their magic and bring him peace and keep him comfortable.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Holy Moly

What a trip. I am finally here, about 12 hours late and sans my luggage. However I should note, that now as I type I do in fact have my luggage, however it didn't join me on the plane and arrived about 12 hours after I did, and several hours after I had to go to work, so I had to march myself across the street to Mercury Drug and pick up the essentials before I went to work last night.

I had a hot oil treatment yesterday afternoon when I got here, which basically means they coat your hair with hot oil and give you a wonderful neck/shoulders/upper back massage. My shoulders were a mess, the guy was working out knots the entire time. I am scheduled for a massage this morning at 10am, its 8:45am as I type. I can't wait to get the kinks worked out and hit the hay, I am exhausted and I have to be up and ready at 6pm for a business dinner. I had hoped to find time to work out, but I have been doing work since I got back from the site.

I have to admit, I am having a hard time eating well, there just isn't enough to choose from to choose well. In Amsterdam I went to McDonald's, heck it was the safest option I saw, and healthier than the big chunky pizza options, so I dined on Chicken Nuggets and Fries...not the worst option, but clearly not Weight Watchers Friendly. I didn't eat much on the plane(s), as the food was kinda icky and I drank water the entire time, no soft drinks...

Since arriving here I have dined on Broccoli and Prawn Tempura, not the best option, but heck, I had been traveling for 3 days, I didn't have my luggage and I was having a pity party for myself...and I just ordered some "breakfast", I order the "morning breads" basket and french fries, SHAME ON ME. I am so ashamed of myself, horrible choices, but I just can't trust a lot of the other stuff, so I am not sure what to eat and I was starting to feel icky. And for lunch earlier (which was eaten around 1am) I had a creamy/garlicky pasta dish that the site ordered for me, I didn't have a choice, it was that or gross looking pizza. I just need to get home and get back on the wagon, I don't have much time before I need to squeeze myself into two bridesmaid dresses and look presentable and at this rate things aren't looking good...

Movies I watched on the Plane:

The Bounty Hunter - cute...I love Jennifer Aniston
Valentine's Day - loved it, cried again when Julia Roberts wraps her arms around her son
Leap Year - cute, not as bad as I thought it would be, but predictable
Date Night - hilarious, Tina Fey is a very funny girl
The Blind Side - goes without saying - great movie

Out of all of my trips to Manila I slept the least on this trip...not sure why, guess the timing of the flights didn't work out as well. This was my first trip landing during the day, usually I land at 10pm, so maybe that was it.

I can't wait to get home and wrap my arms around my darlings....side note, Olivia started swimming lessons on Monday, its going so-so, I can't wait to take her next week and watch her do her thing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chase Your Dreams Now

These are the bracelets for Jill's Memorial Fund, please visit to learn more. Olivia sure is a big supporter...who wouldn't be?

Sunday - Sweet Liv's Actual Birthday

(Off on a Bike Trailer ride)
(Enjoying the Pool on Sunday)

(Fast Friends)

(This one is for Adam, Jayden ended up wearing Olivia's PJ's to bed so Kear could do a load of laundry, it was adorable and Adam was furious, which of course made me giggle and want to post this photo all over a billboard in Times Square)

Happy 3rd Birthday Liv

(The Birthday Girl - what a horrible shot of her, but she didn't sit still all day, so this was the best I could do)

(I caved...we went with a Dora Theme)

(But we kept it classy with the flowers)

(The favors)

(Olivia and Avery's Favor Bags)

(Dora herself)

(The Birthday Girl's Little Sister)

(Avery was madly in love with Damon, our neighbor)

(She was also in love with the Chocolate Chip Cookies I made)

(The Birthday Girl and her cake)

(Blowing out her Dora candle)

(Ta-Da, I hope her wish comes true)

(Cheese Ball loves her cake)

(She wanted the Dora on top)

(Adam & Kearstin)

(Baby Campbell and Molly - whose necklace I would steal if we had the same monogram)

(Olivia going to town on the frosting)

(Adam waiting to attack Justin with water balloons)

(An unsuspecting Justin)

(Jayden popping one on Olivia's head)

(Jayden coming to get me, water balloon in hand)

(Olivia and Jayden drying off)

(Going in for a smooch)

(Here comes a wet one Liv)

(Open mouth kisses at 3...not sure how we all feel about that)

(The passion behind the kiss knocked them off their feet)
(Happy Birthday Olivia, your very own bike....without pedals)

Her first comment once Brad brought the bike out was "Where are the pedals?", which I thought was very appropriate.  Brad has purchased this bike in the hopes that she will improve her balance and go right to a two wheel bike and bypass the training wheel stage, apparently that is how they roll in Europe.

(How cute is this face?)

Welcome to Richmond - Harrington Family

(Olivia and Jayden playing together Friday afternoon)

(An Avery Taco courtesy of Adam)

(A Jayden Taco - doesn't he have a great smile?)

(Taco Combo Meal)

(Riding in the Boat - Saturday Morning)

(The whole crew)

(Jayden cooking it up)

Slight Change of Plans

So I am clearly not on a plane bound for Japan right now, I am sitting at my home computer downloading the photo's of Olivia's Birthday Weekend....why you might ask are you not dining on a Bento Box on your way across the globe? Well that's because my flight was delayed past the point of no return, so I am taking a 7:10pm flight tonight to Detroit, then Detroit to Amsterdam, then Amsterdam to Manila, I arrive in Manila at 8:45am MNL time on Wednesday Morning. Urgh. I am not overly thrilled with the itinerary change, but not much I could do about it, I don't seem to have much pull with the weather gods these days.

So Much to Say....So Little Time

I have so much to catch you all up on...but so little time. As I type I am sitting at the Richmond Airport waiting to board a plane headed for JFK with a final destination of Manila.  I will arrive in Manila on Tuesday at 10:10pm MNL time, which is 10:10am est, so I essentially spend 24 hours on the plane and then lose another 12 with the time change. I promise to upload the Birthday Bash photos just as soon as I get home, which will be late Saturday.

All in all, we had a wonderful weekend, filled with great friends, great family and a very happy Birthday Girl. I was so thankful that Adam, Kearstin and their son Jayden were able to join in the weekend fun, it made the weekend having them here, I hope we can make a tradition out of it, thinking back I never really imagined the day that we would have children the same age that could play together, but it was a great feeling watching Olivia and Jayden become fast friends just like Adam and I...maybe its the start of another beautiful friendship!!

And I should note, I am more sad that usual today, I don't know why, probably the mixture of saying goodbye to Adam and his Family, as well as saying goodbye to mine.  When I dropped Olivia off at school today I went in to give Avery one last smooch and I just lost it, and when I put her down and she started screaming for me "Momma, Momma" my heart broke into a million little pieces, I sure am going to miss those girls.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"I love M&M's"

That was the key to "success", and I use the term success very loosely, we didn't hit it out of the park by any means, but we did show signs of promise, that there is light at the end of the "I would like photographs of my children and I would like it not to be a constant battle between the children, the photographer and myself" tunnel.

We took the girls to Sears on Thursday evening to get Olivia's 3 year photographs taken. Thank goodness YaYa had arrived earlier that day, she was a lifesaver, she was also a Dora Pillowcase Buyer...but more on that later.

Olivia was cheesing it up....BIG TIME. We couldn't get a real smile out of her to save our lives, at least she was sitting still...for the most steps, I know, I am asking too much...sit still and smile for real...get out of town lady that isn't going to happen until you can really bribe them. So the only way we could get Olivia to give us a real smile was to get her to say "I love M&M"s" instead of "Cheese" worked, but we forgot about the most important variable...a strong photographer...we lost in this department, she was a dud.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's a Party...