My Week(178) in iPhone Photos

March 30th, 2014

As of RIGHT NOW if someone knocked on the door I wouldn’t be ashamed to let them come in. All the general living areas of the house are in fairly decent shape with no visible disgusting messes. Except the basement. The basement is full of water.  Hopefully it stops raining before the whole house floats away and no one gets to see my nice clean kitchen.

Sunday:

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Aquarium day

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Mr. Ray says hi

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Peas in a pod enamored with technology

Monday:

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Despite the face, she was very excited about the flower

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Scanned and Artkived 6 months of kids art so I could THROW IT AWAY

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Hugging the bump

Tuesday:

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I got an emissions inspection, he built a castle

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Comparing our big bellies

Wednesday:

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Happy to be in a second session of swimming

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Pretending it’s spring

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Drive-thru dinner makes me happy too

Thursday:

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Hats

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Getting their namaste on

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Thank you Aunt Sara! Unicorn is their new favorite!

Friday:

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ALMOST warm enough to be outside

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Helping Brutus be brave

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All of us doing things we love: Caroline is napping, Evan is building, I am watching HGTV

Saturday:

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“Reading” me the info about her first dance recital!

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Father-son bonding over blowing shit up

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I spent 2 hours last night trying to pick a font for a new header. You probably didn’t even notice.

This is going to be a crazy week leading up to Evan’s birthday party on Saturday (FIVE! FIIIIIIIIVE!!!!!) but I’m excited. The weatherman is promising it will warm up, there are crocuses blooming in my yard, and my house looks like it’s been attacked by pirates. In a good way. They left a lot of hats.

I also have big plans to get my eyebrows done. I live a very exciting life.

I was also accepted to promotion for that new Disney Pirate Fairy movie that means I HAVE to go buy it the day it comes out and the kids HAVE to watch it. Considering they both scream their heads off every time the preview comes on it shouldn’t be a hardship. Like my friend Sara said, Disney basically buys ad space on the inside of parents’ eyelids, but in this case they’re also paying me to make my kids wicked happy. Blogging is still cool, even if I’m not super good at it anymore.

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Yo Ho Ho And A Pirate Treasure Map Cake

March 27th, 2014

Ok, for real, officially, this is the LAST YEAR of the Epic Birthday Party for Evan. I think 5 years of big fancy at-home parties is enough. He’s at an age now where he’d probably rather go somewhere fun like the bowling alley anyway. Plus this year I had to make an all-or-nothing decision on inviting school friends. I went with ALL (13 kids) and have gotten three RSVPs so far. Fingers crossed the five kids who didn’t RSVP and still show up don’t bring a dozen siblings. Fingers also crossed it’s warm enough for the dig-for-treasure station to be outside so all that sand doesn’t end up on my living room floor. In preparation for the party, I had a very deep discussion with Evan regarding cakes.

Me: Evan, what kind of cake do you want for your birthday?
Evan: A pirate cake!
Me: Right, OK, I figured that. But what KIND of pirate cake?
Evan: A BIG pirate cake!

Our trusty local grocery store didn’t have a pirate cake in their book so I begrudgingly decided to make one. My previous attempts at fancy cakes have not gone well and 10 minutes on Pinterest made it clear most pirate cakes are FAR, FAR outside my ability. Luckily there are easier pirate cake ideas than a 3 masted tall ship complete with fondant pirates.

Like a pirate treasure map cake!

pirate treasure map cake

  This weekend the kids and I picked up some candy and frosting and made a “practice” cake. Although, is there really such a thing as a practice cake? It’s cake. It’s ALWAYS time for cake. But I’m glad I did it because I learned a few valuable things:
1. The correct order for frosting is white frosting, “sand”, blue frosting. The sand is actually graham cracker crumbs and it was impossible to keep it off the “water”.
2. Candy is bigger than it looks. It’s hard to draw delicate lines with big chunky candy. For the next cake I might do more in frosting.
3. Sticking stuff on the cake is harder than it looks. My pirate kept falling over until I put some frosting on his feet. I’m glad I didn’t try to add the palm trees I had imagined.
4. K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, stupid! It’s a cake for a birthday party – as long as it involves frosting the kids are going to be THRILLED.

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Materials: Cake (from a box!), graham cracker crumbs, icing, gold sprinkles, frosting (I whipped one container with blue food coloring in my mixer), yellow M&Ms, root beer barrels, Twizzler bites, and Captain Hook and Tick Tock Croc stolen from the toy box. The root beer barrels crack me up because I think “But why is the rum gone?!” every time.

pirate treasure map cake

pirate treasure map cake

I added the pirate flag and sword from my extensive collection of pirate stuff I’ve purchased for the party next weekend.

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Both kids’ mouths might be stained blue for the next month, but it’s worth it for my little pirates!

pirate treasure map cake

 

From the world of Peter Pan, check out the all-new Tinkerbell movie, Disney’s The Pirate Fairy. Available on Blu-ray and Digital HD on April 1. And you can learn more about the Disney Fairies on their Facebook page.

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Baby #3 – 24 Weeks

March 25th, 2014

Oh hey, want to hear about my pregnancy?

It’s good! I am ready to officially say it’s good.

In fact, I have absolutely nothing unusual to report. Hurrah for a totally normal, boring baby!

This is the first time in a while I’ve felt able to write much about it, for fear of jinxing things. At my 19 week ultrasound the tech was a little concerned. My placenta was lower than they wanted to see and I had high fluid levels. Apparently that’s a soft marker for a lot of birth or genetic defects, so they wanted to get me in to a level 2 ultrasound soon. Unfortunately “soon” was a full 3 weeks later.

It wouldn’t have been quite such a nerve-wracking three weeks if the doctor hadn’t made a super casual, off-hand remark about how if something WAS tragically wrong we’d want to know sooner rather than later. 3 WEEKS IS NOT SOON. If she had just left out the part about the teeny, tiny chance of a fatal or life threatening problem I could have just complained about my heartburn and sore hips and never-ending morning nausea. Instead I lay in bed every night and thought about…possibilities.

I DID keep myself from Googling though. Mostly since “high fluid levels” turns up way too many results to process, let alone freak out about.

ANYWAY. At my level 2 ultrasound the tech and the special high-risk doctor both declared my baby perfectly fine. My placenta moved up and my fluid levels are only on the high level of normal, not actually high. The baby looks healthy and my screenings came back with very low chances of a genetic issue. I am extremely relieved.

I didn’t want to talk about any of this until I was sure – or as sure as you can possibly be before the baby becomes an outside baby – that things were fine. Plus also, thinking about what MIGHT be wrong reminded me of how many things COULD go wrong and what a crazy delicate thing pregnancy can be. Tomorrow I am 24 weeks, which is viability (technically). So now I am ready to complain about all the trivial stuff.

That might take FOREVER, so let’s start with the big one.

OMG MY BUTT. Not, like, the delicate unspeakable parts. All of it, from my back down to my thighs. The internet says the horrible stabbing pain is sciatica, but I had what I thought was sciatica with previous babies. This is WAY worse. This is like the difference between a paper cut and having a finger chopped off. The other thing the internet says is that the best ways to treat it are “stretching” and “resting” and “maybe some acupuncture”. I have no time for this “resting” thing and I can’t spend my days in child’s pose, so at my next OB appointment I guess I’ll be asking about alternative treatments. I feel extremely lucky I can spend a lot of time on the couch or lying down when it gets too bad, but until the children can do the grocery shopping and errand running themselves there are going to be painful days.

I’m just hoping I don’t get SPD on top of it. That’s the one where you feel like you’ve been kicked in the crotch with a steel-toed boot. Even rolling over in bed is enough to make you cry, so THAT on top of THIS would probably land me on a motorized scooter for the next 16 weeks.

And now, some blurry, generic ultrasound photos I took pictures of with my phone!

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Based on no actual info besides those pictures, I’m currently predicting “girl”, since the profile looks just like Caroline. Both kids are on team girl but E is swearing it’s a boy. Oddly, I am not in the least bit tempted to find out anymore. I’m SUPER excited about waiting until the delivery room and being surprised along with everyone else.

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My Week(177) in iPhone Photos

March 23rd, 2014

I did more stuff this week than I’ve done in ages. I might die. Luckily (hahahahahahahaha NO NOT LUCKILY) we’re supposed to have a snowstorm this week so we’ll probably get a weather-related vacation in the middle of the week. I would rather we have gorgeous, amazing weather and I just take a day off to lie on the couch and let my hips recover, but it looks like instead we’ll be trapped in an eternal winter. I blame Frozen.

Sunday:

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This is all we did Sunday. Alllllll day.

Monday:

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REALLY EXCITED ABOUT SOMETHING

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Yo ho let’s go

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Father-son computer game bonding. Or something.

Tuesday:

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Solo shopping with a coffee is like vacation.

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Now they can stop asking when it will come!!

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Hello baby face

Wednesday:

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The last patch of snow (until #$%&*@# Tuesday)

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Caroline is wearing a bathing suit, I don’t let her go out without pants on a regular basis.

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Where did Evan go????

Thursday:

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It’s spring, time for butterflies! (says Caroline)

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I made the closet a fort, which means I’m her hero

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Dr. Seuss & jammies night at Evan’s school

Friday:

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If he REALLY minded, he would just move

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360 freeze frame camera fun

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Evan’s favorite part of the science center

Saturday:

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Newborn session!

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Watching Frozen extras and editing photos. My Saturdays are EXCITING.

I am going to actually write works and things on my blog this week. Stay tuned for much excitement.

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Never Boring {$100 Giveaway!}

March 20th, 2014
Before I had kids I was bored a lot. I don’t think I realized I was bored – I probably thought I enjoyed taking long naps and sleeping until noon and spending all my money on shoes. But it turns out I don’t actually enjoy any of those things all that much.

Well, I mean, obviously I still like naps. Everyone likes naps (except the children who actually should be taking them).

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The first year after I got married we lived in Virginia Beach. Despite being young and thin (siiiiiigh) and living directly on the beach, I HATED it. It felt like there was nothing to do. All the guys E worked with either had kids or were trying to have kids (as a 23 year old with no children I was sort of an anomaly in the MilSpouse community). I remember going to a lot of street fairs or walking down to the cheesy beach shops or driving past the aquarium and thinking “If I had kids, this would be way more fun.”

Here in Connecticut I hear a lot of the younger, single guys complain about nothing to do. But since I have kids, I STRONGLY disagree. We have memberships to the aquarium, the seaport, the children’s museum and the science center. We walk to parades, or the library or the cheesy little carnivals downtown. My kids have favorite restaurants and favorite stores and favorite playgrounds. They go to school and take lessons and have a way more active social life than I’ve had since I was in high school.

I LOVE it.

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I’m not someone who is ultra-motivated by nature. If I was still only responsible for myself (and my husband, I guess, although he’s not quite as helpless as children), I would spend a lot more time sleeping and feeling lonely. Kids don’t let you do that. They keep you up, they’re ALWAYS talking, they demand you go outside and see the world. You can’t avoid talking to anyone at the grocery store or wear ear buds all the time or even avoid smiling. I am nicer, friendlier and happier now that I have kids, and it has definitely made me a better person.

Last week after swim class, I took the kids to Panera for an early dinner and “special treat” for both being brave and learning new skills (Caroline can retrieve things from the bottom pool step, Evan learned how to do a sitting dive). I herded them into line where they both placed their orders with no help from me, then stormed the dessert counter to choose their cupcakes. The teenage girl behind the counter said “They’re so cute. I bet having kids is never boring.”

I smiled and said “No, I am never, ever bored.”

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To celebrate the hilarious and heartfelt comedy Delivery Man, starring Vince Vaughn, being released Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD March 25, BlogHer will be awarding to one of my readers a $100 Visa gift card.

To enter, just leave a comment telling me: How have your kids changed you for the better?

You can pre-order your copy of Delivery Man today or check out the Facebook page for more information on the film, which chronicles the story of a man who unexpectedly discovers he has 533 children. (And I thought just having a THIRD baby was a big deal!)

 

Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 3/20/14 – 4/19/14. Be sure to visit the Delivery Man page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

 

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