Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hey, look! I found my camera!

Yep, located the camera, but it's full; so, I haven't been able to take many pics and won't be able to take any more until I empty it. However, here's a few from yesterday afternoon and this morning.

We went to Lazy 5 Ranch today. It's about 10 minutes down the road, and it's AWESOME! There's a 3-mile drive-through path. I let the girls ride up front while we crept along at 5 mph. The number and variety of animals on the ranch is just amazing. It took us about 45 minutes to finish the ride, at which point we then boarded a horse-drawn wagon which took us along the same path, but this time the animals were within arms' reach. Feed buckets were provided, and we fed everything from pigs to emus to bison to giraffes. Just incredible. I wish my camera had held out, but oh well. We'll definitely be back for more, that's for sure. Until then, here are a few pics and vids...

I wish I could describe how big this cow was.
OMG, it was HUGE. Almost as big as the wagon.

All the cattle just held their mouths open for us to throw the food in.
Their breath was, um, unforgettable.

This was my first experience being soooooo close to giraffes.
I got to pet them and even got kisses. Raina wasn't too keen on their
invasion of her personal space. I loved it, though!

This is Lake Norman. You can see it from our rental house.
With the kiddos in tow, it's about a 5-minute walk.
It's sure to provide endless hours of rock-throwing fun.

Now for some vids...

This would be when my camera stopped working 'cause it was too full :(

Our greeters onto the ranch drive-through path.

Nowhere was it recommended to keep our windows closed, but I'm sure glad we did.

Kiddos loved the piggies.

Had a lot of "Um, excuse me!" moments.

And we end with throwing rocks at OUR lake :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

New beginnings

So. We're in North Carolina now.

For as long as I can remember, I have vowed to never live in North Carolina. Ha. No offense to the state...mainly just the fire ants and heavy drawlers. I'm old enough now to see remedies for both annoyances, hence my willingness to settle here.

We're in Mooresville at the moment, residing in a rental house on the fantastically named street of Stumpy Creek Road. Lake Norman is within walking distance...a spot that's sure to entertain the kiddos once it stops SNOWING. Yes. Don't get me started.

Across the street is a park with a playground and lots of running around space, though our backyard also offers more than adequate room to play t-ball and kickity ball.

Chris' place of employment is 10-20 minutes away, depending on route and traffic. Today is his first day. More than anything else, I hope he likes his job.

We start looking for a new house very soon. Going through all the mortgage apps this week. We already have a realtor here who's sending me e-mails with listings. I'm taking the kiddos for a drive this afternoon to check out one that has me salivating a bit.

Mooresville is full of STUFF. Just about every store you could think of is around here. Two Starbucks, though neither of them have the living space that the girls and I were accustomed to occupying in the Burgh. Oh well. That's a habit I need to break (cut down on) anyways. I like that so many of the restaurants/little eateries have outside seating.

I'll post pics soon. The camera is around here somewhere....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The calm before the storm...

In less than a month, we will be living in another state. Knowing me, it'll be another 6 months before I ever get the chance to post here again. Better get some now while you can...

Our new family "thing" - Bowling!

Another fun thing at the bowling alley...

Angry Birds - MY fun thing.

You do what you gotta do when it's too cold to play outside.

Eating at the mall.

I can hear her asking this when she's 15...and I can hear myself having the same answer :)

Raina's Christmas program at preschool. She's the giant in stripes :)

Playing x-mas morning

Something to go with our dress-up stuff...

Pheebs looking beautiful

A daddy, his iPad, and his girls

Christmas sugar high (which apparently reduces 4-year-olds to speaking in baby talk)

Putting the 20-m-old to work

Sisters playing together is like 2 cats grooming each other: It starts out all nice, but ends in a cat fight.

How Pheebs dries off her palms :)

What a mom does when she has no idea what to do with the kids, doesn't care about other shoppers, and needs diapers anyways. Sorry, ToysRUs customers.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mom-cation 2011

So, on Friday, August 12th, around 5 p.m., I said good-bye to the fam and traveled 15 minutes down the highway to the Courtyard Marriott where I had a room reservation for 2 nights. ALL BY MYSELF.

View out window. Close to all sorts of STUFF.

You can bet your bottom that the
do-not-disturb sign went up the minute I got there
First night: LONG shower, shaved (hence the longness of the shower), colored hair, painted toenails, plucked eyebrows, ate some dark chocolate, watched Dinner For Schmucks on HBO (giggle fest), read a little, and took some sleeping pills (which totally didn't work because of the all the caffeine I drank that night and the fact that I'm still recovering from a really bad UTI).

Saturday: Got out of bed around 10, went to a yard sale and then got seriously lost for about an hour (thanks to Pittsburgh detours that just kinda forget about you halfway through the detour), took a 4-hour nap (ahhhhhhhh), visited the new LA Fitness and got a visitor's pass so I could work out, read the paper and people watched in the hotel lobby, ate a Wendy's salad for dinner, saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes in the theater, read a book, and then took another sleep aid. Damn UTI again.

Oh, let's not forget the little "fight" with the hubby...
Hubby: "I told the girls you'd be coming home Sunday morning."
Me: "WHAT?!?"


Sunday: Took my precious time getting out of bed and packing (checkout was at noon, my ass was out the door at 11:55) and then proceeded to run errands until 3.

I learned a lot...

1. Pussy willows are awesome. Actually, I've always known that...I even have some in my home. I just always forget they're there, which is sad 'cause they're one of my favorite plants. I need to pay attention to and appreciate the small things.

2. I need to stop feeling bad for splurging on nice things every once in a while. So what if we can't pay a few bills this month or have to live on Ramen for the next couple weeks?!? $109/night got me a really nice room and maybe I deserved it. Um, right?

3. I need more friends. I felt lonely at one point and wanted to talk to somebody, anybody, maybe even go out for a drink, but the only number programmed in my phone was the hubby's work number. I had no computer, no facebook, no means of connecting with anyone. I cherished that at many points during my weekend, but when the moment hit that I wanted someone, boy did it suck to realize I didn't have them. I think I need to put myself out there more, make more of an effort to connect with people, stop perseverating on the feeling that I don't fit in anywhere.

4. I apparently have lost the ability to relax. All weekend I worried about what was waiting for me when I returned home. The laundry, the dishes, the dust bunnies, the monotony. I could not clear my mind of it all. I don't quite know how to deal with this one.

5. My Starbucks habit could pay for a gym membership. So, to that end, I have decided to break up with Starbucks and start a gym relationship. I visited 3 gyms with kid klubs, narrowed it down to 2, and plan to drag the kiddos to both of them this-coming week for a trial run and sign the papers by the end of the month. If I quit Starbucks totally, I'll actually be SAVING money by joining a gym. That's some fancy budgeting right there.

6. I love going to the movies by myself. I need to do it more. Perhaps put up a calendar and label one Sunday afternoon per month as Matinée Day.

Did I have a good time? Yes. HOWEVER...I think I went into the weekend with expectations that were way too high. I have to admit that I thought this weekend would fix me. That it would unscramble that part of my head and heart that has felt so funked up lately. That I would have an "ah-ha!" moment, find my patience once again, shed the elephants that seem to be forever roosting on my shoulders, see the chocolate container as being half FULL.

I didn't come away with any of that, but that doesn't mean the weekend was a waste (my god, at $109/night it COULDN'T be!!!). I feel as though my reserves have been filled. Maybe not to the top, but something is better than nothing. I can look back on my weekend and remember some pretty awesome things...the feeling of stretching out on a bed all of my own, the lack of a baby monitor whirring in the background, the novelty of living in a space with no toys or kid paraphernalia littering the floor, the freeness associated with total privacy...

Hopefully those memories can hold me until Mom-cation 2012...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dance recital

Raina's dance class has come to an end. Today was her dance recital. Pics and vids were not allowed during the performance :( you'll just have to make do with the pics we took right before we left (as we're running sooooo totally late!).

She has hair, people! Do you see??? Curls, curls, curls everywhere! I only had to wait close to 4 years :)

She did great at her recital. She added some cuteness at the end by being the last of her dance group to leave the stage...very, very slowly and with a mighty march. We will be spending the $30-some for the official video of the entire recital. We have to, right?!? Right.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Where does time go???

So yah...Pheebs turned the big 1!

We just returned from a vacation to North Carolina. It's our plan to move there some day, so we wanted to scope it out. I tried as hard as possible to keep the kiddos to their nap routines, and this is what I had to build in each hotel room in order to do so. I came prepared with twine and sheets.

Our hotel rooms very quickly came to resemble our home...

We visited the Lemur Center in Durham. It was when Pheebs should have been sleeping. She was cranky and throwing fits. I think it's pretty plain on my face that I'm wishing the darned tour would just be over already!

Got to visit some family. This is Aunt Sue, my Dad's sister. It was her first time meeting Pheebs and only the second time seeing Raina. Despite what the pic shows, Raina actually had a good time :)

I swear there were times I felt they were possessed. I think the trip was too long!

Also got to spend a couple hours with my mom. Can't wait until we live only a couple hours away...

While Chris was attending a security conference in Raleigh, the girls and I found a playground to enjoy. We got some stares. They probably thought we were albinos.

Poor thing was so over-tired for most of the trip.

While in Charlotte, we visited the Raptor Center...basically a little bird zoo.

We drove down in 2 days...back home in 1. These were the best moments... :)

Pheebs' safe place in the yard (no grass)...

On Mom's Day, I cleared off the porch so it doesn't look like a cross between a day care and a yard sale...but, of course, I left the water table (or "wa-wa [insert squeal]" as Phoebe calls it).

We got this playground last summer, but Raina wasn't really interested. She is now, thank goodness!

A few days ago, I bought this house off craigslist for only $25. On Mom's Day, I planted Raina's garden with the seedlings she started inside and also made her a vine tee-pee.

And this is my latest cake creation. A mommy friend asked for a globe cake with yellow flowers for her 2-y-o, who was celebrating her b-day with our planet. Check out mom's blog at She even wrote a piece about me :)

In real-quick other news...Pheebs has started standing on her own, but still no steps. I have 2 (OMG, 2!!!) cakes due the weekend after next that I'm actually going to make money from. And Raina is just the happiest kid alive now that the weather is nice and she can play outside. I look forward to a summer full of walks, playgrounds, play dates, and maybe even a little color to my pasty white self!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

This might be a LOOOOONNNG summer

I took my little princess (my youngest one :) outside today to experience the sun, warm temp, and crazy scary green stuff covering the ground.

She better get over this!!!

This is while watching her most favorite baby sign language DVD. She'll start out in a chair or by the couch, but within minutes, we're pulling her away from standing right in front of the TV.

Hanging out with Fozzie Bear

She was severely cranky today, which you can kinda see in her eyebrows here.

Feeling better with the green stuff not touching her

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pics and vids for the grandparents and lurkers

It's been a while...and I know these could cheer up a few of you out there...

(It's heavy on the Pheebs in honor of her upcoming birthday :)

Reading together...

Phoebe self-applauding every time she pushed the red button to pop up the panda.

Afternoon walk (which Raina was actually excited about)

Yay for consignment shops and $5 tunnels!

Hamming it up at the dinner table

Adding a little cheese...

And a little more :)

Practicing her spoon/fork techniques

They're finally starting to play's cute...but inevitably gets ugly!

The vid to go with the photo above...

I think it's a cruel trick that babies can go up steps before they can walk!

Our zoo friend

Ripping tissue paper with Aunt Emily

New toy

"Gentle" is not a concept she understands just yet...

At that dirty phase...

Ending with my favorite funny face :)