As you know I rack up quite a few Delta miles on my trips to and from Manila, speaking of which I just booked another one (Nov 29 - Dec 2), so one of the perks of flying so many miles is getting to put those miles to good use. Being a Platinum Medallion Member (only 8K miles to go until I hit Diamond Status) I get to pick two extra benefits every calendar year. This year I selected a gift card to Tiffany's and I gifted Silver Medallion Status to Brad...and this is what I cashed in my gift card for...what do you think? Just call me Blair Waldorf.
Olivia and her class dressed up on Friday and Trick or Treated around their school, from classroom to classroom. It was adorable to see all the kiddos dressed up when I dropped Olivia off. Being that I was headed to the Dentist for a 9am appointment we weren't in a rush to get Olivia to school, but I left enough time so that I could snap some shots of her friends all dolled up. Olivia was being a goofball, so please excuse her, but the other little ones were so excited about their costumes.
And she came home with this....filled with candy. Just what every three year old needs...more energy.
I swear, her Pre-School teachers are the most creative people I have ever met
Your prayers must have worked...Kristin (I posted about her having a large tumor on her spine) got some great news yesterday. The tumor is benign, she does NOT have Cancer. She is still facing a very serious, intense surgery, likely at Johns Hopkins in the very near future, but she is Cancer free. So please keep the prayers coming as she consults with the Doctors and prepares for the surgery and of course please pray for her speedy recovery.
My mood that is...it really can turn on a dime, and I have come to realize that a lot of it is directly related to how prepared/stressed I feel. If I am running around like a crazy person, my mood tends to plummet. Last night the girls and I had a great night together, goofing around, I wasn't rushed, I wasn't worried about anything other than spending time with my sweet offspring. This morning...totally different story. Avery woke up at 5:30am (yesterday she was up at 7:20am, consistent sleeper...I think NOT). So that meant I had to shower and get ready with her basically in the shower with me, not an easy task, but not impossible either...so at this point I am mood neutral. Then I have to wake Olivia up, which to say that when you wake her up she wakes up on the wrong side of the Toddler Bed is an understatement, that girl likes her sleep. She had a Dentist Appointment this morning at 8:30am, so that meant we had to be out of the house at 7:40am, leaving us enough time to take Avery to school and get to the Dentist. On the way to school she started crying, she wanted to stay at school, she didn't want to go to the Dentist (who am I kidding, I couldn't blame her), but it was so hard having to take her into school to drop Avery off and then walk her back out, it was such a tease for her.
So we get to the Dentist, she is okay playing and okay as we walk back but totally shut down and freaked out when the Hygienist tried to do anything near her face, she wouldn't let the nice lady clean her teeth so we resorted to just brushing, but she hated the toothpaste, so we had to just brush with water, and then flossing, oh God, you would have thought flossing was the end of the world, finally when she gave in (after I had a serious talk with her, calmly of course) she realized it wasn't that bad, but it seriously took several tries to even get that floss near her...she reacted as though the women was throwing a snake on her. Then Dr. W came over to check her out and she lost it. She started shaking, I was sitting in the chair holding her and she was screaming her face off. He fought with her this time, which I am glad he did, the last two times they have just given into her behavior and let her off scott-free, but I wanted them to force the issue, make her realize it doesn't hurt. He checked her out, and when he brought the metal pick-thingy out you should have seen her jump, and the screams got louder and louder, and he didn't even touch her teeth with them. The poor thing, my heart broke for her, she was really terrified, and while it isn't rational...its real to her, so I have to deal with it like its real. He gave her a cavity free report, but said she will likely need braces down the road due to some skeletal issues, not sure if they are from the fall or from sucking her thumb, I will ask more in May, but that is several years down the road and I am not going to worry about that just yet...for now I am going to focus on helping her deal with her fear and holding her hand along the way. I was trying to sing to her to distract her, but I kept tearing up...I hate seeing her so upset, so naturally my reaction is to cry...just what she needs, to see her Mom cry when I am trying to get her to stop crying.
And then you have the darling husband who is traveling all week and forgets to do silly things that add up and stress me out...things that should be on his plate, but are now on mine, like mine wasn't full enough. And while we are on the topic of my darling husband, lets just say next Dentist Appointment....he will be there, no getting out of it at the last minute. And while I am on the subject of the next Dentist Appointment, I think I am going to schedule it for late in the day, so that it would be acceptable to have a glass of wine when I leave there, this morning folks would have likely frowned upon my desire to kick back a few glasses of Governor's White at 9am, but really...it started my day off so rocky, why set myself up for that again?
How precious is he? He happens to belong to a couple that I work with, Gauri and Jen. His eyes are just perfect, and he has an excitable personality to boot, he's adorable. Gauri, Jen and Riyaan came over for dinner last night and the little ones all bonded, I think Riyaan made out with Riley a few times (he also has a big dog at home, so he went right up to Riley and wanted to give him a smooch). We had a great time hanging out, and will have to do it again soon. They are headed to India for a few weeks, God Bless them on that flight with a 16 month old...
So Brad left this morning on a tour of Virginia with his Sales Manager (who lives in Boston and flew in for the week). He started in Richmond this morning, is in the Dulles area tonight, was planning on heading to Roanoke in the morning, back through Richmond and then onto Virginia Beach on Thursday..some of his plans have changed a bit, but he is still basically seeing the entire state in 4 days.
I just thought this photo was funny since its Avery sitting in Olivia's chair...it just looks funny.
The girls and I miss him terribly, we are so sick of how busy our lives are, and how we are never all in the same place. Its amazing how well the girls deal with being bounced around so much, maybe its good for them to learn to just roll with it, but I pride myself on family dinners and family bedtimes, and we haven't had much of those in the last few months. I feel like starting in August, before our beach trip we said "I can't wait for September to be over", and now we are saying "I can't wait for October to be over" because our weeks are just so crazy. When will it stop? Jeesh. On a positive note, we are so very thankful to have great jobs that challenge us and keep a roof over our heads, so we shouldn't complain, but everyone needs a break now and then right? Help a sista and brotha out, will ya?
Lord help us
Teacher Olivia - reading Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse to her "students"
The girls have a busy week at school between the Fall Carnival and their Halloween Parade on Friday, lots of fun outfits to wear, so lets hope I don't flop and forget to take photos. Olivia has a Dentist appointment tomorrow morning and for those of you that remember last September when she had to have two root canals...the Dentist is a little stressful for everyone involved, it will also make for a very hectic morning trying to get Avery to school and Olivia to Dr. W on time...fingers crossed everything goes smoothly and she gets a great report at the Dentist. Needless to say, we are looking forward to the weekend. Friday night we plan to carve Jack (Jack-o-Lantern) and just hang out, and Saturday Brad will spend the day in Williamsburg at a Mountain Bike Race while the girls and I hang out here, and Sunday is the big dance, the day Olivia has been looking forward to for what feels like months...finally "Halloween Day" (as she calls it)
Have I mentioned lately how thankful I am that my Boy BFF Adam married an absolute doll? I adore her, I could count the ways, but I am a mother of two small children, I don't have the time...lets just say, I am so thankful to call her a friend and so thankful that Adam brought her into my life. And let's be honest...she is pretty darn good looking too isn't she? It isn't like he had to slum it to find a great life partner - HA. Here's to making new friends...and keeping the old.
Avery is obsessed with my purse, she carries it EVERYWHERE. We went to Red Robin at the Town Center for dinner last night and she managed to carry it around the mall for a solid 20 minutes, everyone thought she was adorable, and when her one arm gets tired, she moves it to the other side, nothing is keeping this girl down. And I have told you about her shoe obsession, well its still in full force, so its a sight when she is clomping around in my shoes and lugging my purse...this photo above just captures Avery perfectly...our colorful hot mess.
My dear college friend/roommate April's little boy Ben turns two on October 29th (he shares a birthday with my BFF Megs, cool eh?), so we celebrated with him and his family today at his "Choo-Choo" themed Birthday Party. April did an amazing job with all the decorations. She found the theme on etsy.com and just put it all together, but heck, I think she did a bang up job, etsy.com or not, she worked her party planning magic and it was fantastic. I wish I could find the listing because it was great, and I did a horrible job of capturing it on "film".
Avery just before she fell off and whacked her head for the first time...
Avery and Ben "sharing" the car
Don't you just "love" her?
And, how could you not "love" her?
Avery hiding in the train...sucking on the poison free red spray paint - HA.
The "Choo-Choo" cake
The Birthday Boy
Avery enjoying her cupcake without getting her hands all messy...silver lining people, silver lining.
Today was the girls last swimming lesson and for now I am looking forward to the break. I love enrolling the girls in activities but enough is enough, I think our family has reached its breaking point, we have too much going on, and its taking a toll on the family, so that means we need to adjust and build in more downtime into our schedule. Works for me. But isn't it funny how I have to build in "do nothing" time...kinda pathetic, but you do what you gotta do.
Avery riding in the boat...just chillin.
And being that I am an honest blogger, I can tell you that my Mommy Feelings were hurt today. Olivia got her "report card" from swimming...let me set some context for you. Its a 3 year old Pike swimming class, I don't think my daughter is the next Michelle Phelps, it isn't competitive, its at the YMCA for crying out loud...and when we enroll her again we had planned on her repeating the Pike class for a third time, she just isn't comfortable enough in the water to move up. So with all of that context...lets see how you would feel...so I get her report card, a few of the "should be able to do" boxes weren't checked off, no big deal at all, didn't phase me, her teacher even wrote the word timid next to a few sections, again, didn't phase me. Then we get to the "Comments" section and she writes "Olivia missed a lot of classes"...excuse me lady? She missed the first class because we were in Northfield, she missed last weekend because Brad was in Bassett and she missed one other class because we were having a Yard Sale and she didn't want to go...people are busy, give me a break. She could have written "In light of Olivia missing a few classes, I think it would be best if she repeated the class, so she could get more pool time" or something like that...soften the blow lady, do I really want to put that report card in her baby book now? I was so fired up, I had to speak to someone, so I went to talk to the Supervisor, I framed it up like "I am not sure how to take that comment, or what it means, but it isn't something I would like to have front and center in Olivia's baby book, what is she going to take away from that?" The supervisor is about twelve and didn't know what to say, so she just looked at me. And on top of that...Olivia's teacher was giving out Halloween Bags of candy and Olivia didn't get one. Olivia kept asking me..."Where is my bag?", so I brought it up to the Supervisor...and she gave Olivia a bag. I felt like one of "those" Mom's but I just couldn't help it, I don't think I have been that protective of my child yet, and man was that emotion a strong one, it almost scared me how upset I got for her, I was sick about it the whole way home...
For those of you familiar with CaringBridge you know that its full of moving stories that depending on the day leave you filled with hope and inspiration, and then again, on other days, leave you asking the million dollar question...why?
If you haven't been introduced to CaringBridge I hope its because your life hasn't needed it, but what are the odds of that these days? I feel like every other day someone else we know and love is getting a diagnosis they are far to young for...but in all seriousness, CaringBridge is a website that allows individuals and family members to essentially blog about their health struggles, its a great way to keep a journal of their days and keep family and friends up to date on their progress as well as their struggles.
Last Friday, so a week ago today one of our friend's Mother's lost her battle with Cancer, so I naturally thought I was done with CaringBridge for a little while, I could take a break from the daily check-ins to see how Maryellen was doing and whether she had left us for a better place, but no such luck. Brad grew up with a kid named Dustin, his parents and Brad's parents were and are the best of friends. Dusty lives here in Richmond and a few years ago married a lovely girl named Kristin, just this past week she got some shocking and scary news. She has a large cancerous tumor growing on her spine. She is too young for this, Maryellen was far too young to lose her battle...I feel like every time I turn around another Cancer story is touching my life, and while their passion for life, courage and strength move me, frankly, I wish I could find something else in my life to move me that way and that these people could be spared the pain and suffering that this bloody disease causes. I hate it. There is no other way to describe how I feel about it, no big words, no powerful statements to make, I just hate it.
You can follow Kristin's story here if you want, I know she could use your prayers...
I happen to love that song by BOB and Hayley from Paramore...have you heard it? So I am finally back at the hotel, packing up and getting ready to head to the airport, all those steps get me closer to the little ones waiting for me at home. I am missing them something fierce. I hope to have some photos of the girls to share when I get home, I can imagine its been fairly boring checking in on me...without shots of the lil buggers to keep your interest.
Just like my main man Michael Buble said, "I wanna go Home". It is Tuesday Morning here, 11am to be exact and I cannot wait until Thursday Morning at 7:50am when I board that plane bound for North America. I am very much so missing my family and I can't wait to see them on Thursday Night. The girls are enjoying their Bina & PawPaw time, they sure are lucky to have such great Grandparents. Avery has been having a tough time settling down at night, when I call to talk to Olivia I hear her screaming in the background, breaks my heart. Olivia danced her little heart out today, she tapped her toe AND her heel...impressive, right? HA. I have eaten like absolute crap since I arrived. I haven't eaten a ton, but what I have eaten just hasn't been good. So on Monday the diet starts all over again. I am hoping to be able to lose 10 pounds by Christmas...fingers crossed its possible.
So Brad told me that on the way home from his Parents house this morning Olivia had to go "Potty" and it was an emergency, so he had to pull over on the side of the road...as he was holding her up, helping her pee, she said "Daddy, I look like a Doggie". Funny Girl!
Typhoon Megi that is...is headed our way. Right now its expected to hit land as a Category 4 strength storm, with winds around 150+ mph. Its expected to hit 300 miles North of Manila, but the projected path isn't confirmed until it actually gets a little closer, right now they are looking at landfall late Sunday Night or early Monday Morning. Not ideal conditions for sure, but our Corporate Security folks didn't pull us out, so they must be pretty confident we will be safe and sound. Apparently our hotel is one of the safest places on the island, so we are in a good spot.
We just got back from a late dinner at The Hard Rock, Manila, there was a live band that played everything from Sting to Eminem, quite diverse, and very loud. I am headed off to dream land right now for a few hours and then we will head to breakfast and then for a morning of shopping. Its 2:06am here, and we will head to work tonight around 9pm, so trying to figure out when to sleep has been a bit tricky.
I am missing the girls and Brad like crazy. I hate these long trips...have I mentioned that before? The silver lining is, this is likely the last trip of the year, fingers crossed.
I am back in Manila and this trip is going to be a long one.We arrived here on Thursday Night local time and will be here until Thursday Morning local time. Much longer than the 2 day trip in July, and I hate it. I hate being away from the girls and Brad for so long, however I can tell you, that its good for me. Within a few hours of being on the plane I start to put things into perspective and I always get into long thought conversations with myself about how fortunate I am and how blessed I really am to have them in my life.
We just had lunch with one of our vendors at a Japanese Steakhouse, lets just say I ate some rice...and that was about it. Woof. I am thinking about getting some sun this morning, its 3:22am right now, so I will likely take a little nap and then head down to the pool around 8 or so, for a swim and hopefully some sun, but it will all depend on the rain, and its the rainy season right now, so who knows what the weather will be like.
The flight was great, from Atlanta to Narita we were on a 777, so we had individual Business Class Pods, which helps with the comfort level on a 14 hour flight. I dined on Crab Cakes for dinner and then had scrambled eggs on an English muffin for breakfast. I watched a total of 5 movies:
Knight and Day - Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise - great, highly recommend it. Just Wright - with Queen Latifah and Common, loved it, but I love cheesy basketball movies Back Up Plan - with Jennifer Lopez, cute, but glad I didn't spend any money to see it, but it entertained me. Our Family Wedding - America Ferrera and Forest Whitaker, so-so, again, glad I didn't spend money or valuable time watching it, but it did entertain me. She Got Moves - its a movie about step dancing, so I loved it, but very cheesy...and glad I didn't try and make Brad watch it, Megs is likely my only friend, outside of potentially Brian Harris that would have liked watching it with me.
I am already looking forward to a few more cheesy movies on the way home. I slept from Narita to Manila to try and catch up on some sleep.
Random - I am having more issues with my right eye lid, its always dry and gets red and itchy sometimes, I put Aquafor on it, but I can't figure out what triggers it. I would think if it was make up, it would equally impact my left lip, but it doesn't, its isolated to my right. Very strange huh? Any ideas? And so I am boycotting eye shadow and I feel like I look like complete freak without it, but that way I can keep it lubed up with Aquafor in the hopes it goes away, its annoying and ugly.
The girls and Brad are at his parents house through the weekend. I know the girls love their time with Bina and PawPaw, they were very excited about their trip. Avery is still PawPaw's little girl, she follows him around everywhere and Olivia just loves Bina's house...I am so thankful they have this time with their grandparents. They are two lucky girls. And I also love that Brad's parents are there to help him, he works hard during the day, its tough to be with the girls straight for a week along, so I am so thankful they are there to help him out.
Happy Columbus Day!! I happen to be a big fan of this holiday, namely because I get the day off, perk of working for a Bank. So Brad was a doll, got up with Avery at 5:30am (I have no idea what is going on with her sleep schedule these days, she is waking up screaming during the night, and waking very early). and let me sleep in, he also got Olivia up and got them both off to school so I could have a leisurely morning. I have a long list of things to do today to get me ready for a trip across the globe and get the girls ready for their trip to Bina and PawPaw's house. I am very hopeful this is my last trip of the year. Traveling has become more difficult for the girls, saying goodbye gets harder and harder every single time, when they were younger it was harder on me and didn't phase them, but now it hurts us both equally.
I got ready and headed over to The Children's House to play with Avery for a little while, what a mistake that was. She was a mess from the time I got there until the time I left. She just wanted to go home with me, and she wouldn't calm down long enough to realize I wanted to play with her, she just screamed and screamed.
So I snuck upstairs to catch some of Olivia's second dance class, as soon as I got there she clamed up, she participated in all the group activities, but she wouldn't do the individual activities, I felt so bad that I ruined it for her. Her teacher said that she was great last week and it was just because I was there this week...I hope that's true and that she is really giving it a shot, she can be so shy and stubborn sometimes.
Playing Ring Around the Rosie - please note, Olivia is the only one in actual Dance Clothes...funny.
I then ran to Petco and Target to pick up a few things, and while this is "don't spend money on things you don't need" month, I did pick up a few Christmas Presents for the girls. And then on the way home, I stopped at Sheetz to get gas and a sub, and rammed the front of my Yukon into the big red barrier that blocks the gas pumps...awesome. So now there is a huge red scratch on the front left fender, so annoying. So now I have to find time to get an estimate to get that fixed, I shouldn't have a problem fitting that in....NOT.
Movie Recommendation: Life as We Know It, starring Josh Duhamel and Katherine Heigl, great movie. I cried my eyes out, and at the very same time found my new fake husband. Man oh Man is Josh a good looking man, and he can wear those sweatpants, boy, I tell you what, can he wear those sweatpants. Molly, Insley and I went to see it yesterday afternoon, and its funny because the three of us spend a lot of time talking about our own deaths and what would happen if we died, etc, so this was an interesting movie choice for us. I think about it a lot, someone else raising our girls if something happened to us, and just the thought brings tears to my eyes. I can't even imagine.
The girls, minus their attitudes seem to be on their way back to normal. Avery ate better today, but still had a nasty diaper at school and they said she had a low-grade fever this morning of 99, but that it was normal this afternoon. Olivia had a great day at school, and didn't want to come home with me this afternoon.
I am the sick one now...and I am hoping that the worst is behind me, I am feeling better as the hours progress so I am hoping that is a good sign. It sure is amazing how the germs spread like wildfire with these two small children.
We are trying to get Olivia into watching movies, so we can broaden her horizons and get her interested in something other than Dora...its a work in progress. Right now Madagascar is in, but she isn't a fan...so it looks like we will resort to Dora before bedtime as a way to wind her down...
The girls are both sick, and I mean puking sick. Avery's sickness started on Thursday, she threw up on Brad and hasn't been the same since, she isn't eating and her diapers are a mess, and not to mention she is Queen Fussy Pants. I think the only word I have consistently heard come out of her mouth is NO, and very loudly. She doesn't know what she wants, she wants you to pick her up, but she doesn't want you to sit down, she wants you to cuddle her, but not with a blanket over your legs, she is just a little sick monster...and then onto Olivia. Last night she woke up around 11pm and said she had to go potty, which isn't normal for her, she usually just goes in her pull-up, so when I helped her back into bed, she asked to sleep with me, I told her she needed to sleep in her bed, but that I would check on her...turns out the little bugger had a plan to get what she wanted. She decided that if she threw up more than humanly possible I would be forced to sleep with her...so the throwing up started at 11:18pm, and oh boy, it was bad. I set up camp on her floor, got some pillows out and a blanket or two and her and I snuggled on the floor for the rest of the night. She threw up every 30-45 minutes until 6:30am, and she has been puke free since then, thank the Lord.
We did however take the girls to see Miss L this morning at Chippenham Peds, we adore her by the way. Turns out its just a bug and there isn't anything we can give Avery other than Flourostor, which I need to get at CVS this afternoon. I just can't seem to muster the energy to go to the store, I am exhausted from a night of holding Olivia's hair back, cuddling her as she moaned, but ya know what, that is what being a Mom is all about and there isn't any one's hair I would rather hold...she is precious, even when she is sick.
Avery woke up from her Afternoon nap far too early so she is outside with Brad as he gets everything down from the garage loft for our Yard Sale this weekend, I am so stinkin excited. I can't wait to clean everything out.
I read about Leslie on another blog I follow, here is a quick summary of her story, but her blog can give you more details: Leslie Joy Evans
She married a man named Mark who just 2 years ago lost his wife to Cancer after having 3 beautiful children with her. So that made Leslie a step mom to those 3 beautiful children. Leslie wanted to share in the experience of having her own children as much as she loved Marks, so over Memorial Day weekend they found out they were pregnant with Twins. She went into premature labor at just 19 weeks, the doctors stopped the labor, but not for good and at 21 weeks the twins were born, neither survived, and during the "after birth", Leslie went into cardiac arrest and was down for 17 minutes before they revived her. She is resting in a coma and the doctors are not very optimistic, as her brain activity isn't where it needs to be. Stories like this make me shake. This poor man, he must be one strong man for God to test him like this...please pray for Leslie and her Family.
So Brad and I have declared October...only spend money if you ABSOLUTELY have to spend money month. We just paid off my Yukon and now we need to work on getting some of that money back into our savings account and that means...no more unnecessary spending. We figure this will give us an idea of how much money we spend when we are watching our expenses, and give us an idea of what we do with our money. We are really looking forward to having our formal living room turned into a first floor home office, but contractors and remodeling doesn't come cheap, so that means saving up and being responsible...three cheers for us.
Why is that when we make the decision to stop spending I think of all these things I want/need. Like a book on how to raise a toddler that doesn't want to listen to her Mother, or a toddler that uses the word NO like its going out of style (separate toddlers by the way). And of course DSW sent me a $20 off coupon...such a tease. And Brad is going out of town a few nights this week and that usually means I take the girls to McDonald's for dinner one night, but I guess that isn't going to happen. Our goal for the month is to pay our bills, buy groceries and only spend money on things we really need, lets hope we learn something from this exercise and that we don't go hog wild on November 1st when the month is over. Wish us luck.
Oh yeah and side note: We are having a Yard Sale on Saturday, I can't wait. I can't wait to clean EVERYTHING out of the garage and everything that doesn't sell is going straight to Goodwill. AMEN.
Avery has been sick since Thursday when she puked all over Brad (in his words, it was more puke than even an Adult would puke)...she hasn't really eaten all that much and while her mood was okay this morning, after her nap she was a complete train wreck. She just couldn't keep it together. I had to be holding her to keep her quiet, she did however enjoy some mashed redskin potatoes this evening, but only a bite or two...lets hope she gets to feeling better soon, because the ladies at school aren't going to take kindly to a blowout like the one at church and you know what that means...I will be leaving work to pick her up, because Brad is going to be on a "work-trip" tomorrow night...that is, if he can get his bum off the couch or out of our bed. He has spent the better part of the day in the bathroom as well and he just seems to be going downhill as the hours progress, I don't think he has said more than 3 words all evening and he just lays there, the poor thing.
Olivia announced that she was just starting to get sick, but wouldn't be really sick until tomorrow...lets hope she was just yapping her gums and there isn't any truth to that...with my luck I will be home with one or both of them this week, it always hits at the worst times. I just got back from traveling, Brad has a busy travel week and next week I leave for Manila, which I am dreading BTW.