Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial weekend...

Wow, what a fun, busy, busy weekend!

Saturday morning Peter played golf with one of his golfing buddy's, who is the brother of our neighbor. That evening to went to our neighbors house for a cookout and the give the guys time to hash and rehash their game! (just kidding)  It was a nice evening so we sat out on the back patio, I set Ainsley in the chair beside me and she was as happy as a clam the whole evening. I think she really enjoys being "part of the group". Since Peter's golfing buddy and I both had birthday's that week we had a carrot cake fixed for us. Yummy! And of course there was leftovers to take home!

Sunday we had some neighbors over for brunch and mimosas. I had the fleeting thought of fixing a breakfast casserole or omelets or cinnamon rolls, but in the end logic prevailed and I kept it simple. Scrambled eggs, bacon, strawberries, coffee, mimosas and cheesecake. They had given me the cheesecake for my birthday so we had that instead of pastries! It's hard to start a day off better than with mimosas!

 Later that afternoon we went over to some friends house for a cookout. It was another nice evening so we sat out on the lawn and ate and visited. Wythe and their little boy Jack played in the pool and ran around the yard. I hadn't brought a change of clothes for Wythe but my sweet friend was able to supply us with clothing and diapers! They cooked sausages on the grill, I hadn't had grilled sausages in so long, they were delicious! My friend fixed a lemon pound cake with an orange  flavored frosting drizzled with chocolate. It was so good, one of those cakes you just want to grab and run away with so that you can eat it all by yourself!

I would love to take Wythe to see Rolling Thunder. He gets so excited whenever he sees a Harley, I think his little head would just explode to see so many!  Maybe when he's a little older and the noise won't damage his ears. That is one reason I'm looking forward to the kids growing up, it will be fun to take them to see the parades and ceremony at Arlington Cemetery.

This morning I took Wythe over to our neighbors to swim with his little playmate. They have a little pool set up on their back deck. The nice part is the pool has a cover on it so the kids can be in the shade. It was really hot today so we were all trying to stay in the shade. Ainsley was too little to get in the pool but I would sit her in there from time to time to keep her from getting too hot.

This afternoon we went to one of Wythe's friends house for a cookout. They had a pool set up too so Wythe got to swim again. This time he had two girls to play with in the pool. He seems to be getting more used to the pool, he would sit down and splash around, looked much more comfortable. We had a great time visiting with our friends but when we got home this evening I could tell we had had a fun, busy weekend, we were all worn out!

Wythe, Abbie & Carson

Happy Memorial Day to everyone!

'til next time...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Birthday dinner...

Tonight we celebrated my birthday by getting a babysitter and going out to dinner by ourselves!  We went to Iron Bridge Restaurant in Warrenton. We had a very enjoyable time, it is not a place to take little children so it was a good choice for a birthday dinner. Peter had a steak and I got lamb chops. I really like lamb but for some reason am very chicken about cooking it. Whenever we are at a nice restaurant and they serve lamb I am always tempted to get it. This restaurant is actually a wine bar but ironically we didn't have much wine. I started out with a Bellini with our baked Brie, fulling intending to order a red wine with my lamb. But I forgot until it was too late. I did get a dessert wine with the Creme Brulee but I wasn't really impressed by that. It was a raspberry wine but I didn't think it was that good. I actually filled out the comment card and suggested that they serve "Noche" from Cooper Vineyards. It is a chocolate wine and would have been delicious with dessert.

It is so rare that we get an evening out without kiddos that that in itself is a treat.

'til next time...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Another year older...

Today I am another year older and I have to admit I'm not sure I'm happy about that! I'm kind of happy with the early-to-mid 30's range and would like to pause right here, for at least several years.

It actually seemed like just another day until this evening right around the time of my birth. Peter and I were sitting on the couch looking at all my Facebook birthday wishes when Peter asked who one of my friends was. Now this friend uses a pseudonym on Facebook and as soon as he asked me who this was my mind went blank. I could remember that we worked together, where her desk was, what she did, what her son's name was, what her boyfriends name was, where she used to live, where she lives now, I reminded him of when he was looking for us at Shannon's party and we were hiding behind the drink machine with a 2 liter of Coke and a bottle of vodka....but I still couldn't remember her name. Then the fear struck....if I have lost that much memory just by turning another year older what is to become of me???   Fortunately, I remembered her name a little bit later and felt so relieved! So glad I'm not losing my mind (yet) and that I haven't forgotten my friends name!  Here's to you Sammy-Jo!

We didn't really celebrate my birthday today because Peter had to work late but tomorrow we are going out to dinner.

'til next time...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Daddy's little helper...

Wythe decided to dig in and give Peter a hand with the mudding of the Sheetrock. So helpful!

"ooo...finger paint...."

"mmm...can't quite identify the flavor...maybe vanilla?"

according to Wythe Sheetrock mud is deeelicious!

By the way, it took two baths to get him clean!

'til next time...

Addition update...

It has been awhile since I have posted an update. In April we had our re-inspection and passed! The only item that didn't pass was the shower drain, for the obvious reason that it isn't installed yet. That is one of those catch 22 things, you can't install the flooring until you pass inspection but we can't install the shower drain until we start setting the tile floor. The reason behind this is that we are doing an open shower in our bathroom, no enclosure, curtain, etc. To make it work the floor has to slope very slightly towards the drain, so that is why we can't set the drain yet. Once Peter explained this to the inspector he understood so he will come back to look at the drain with we get to that point.

So...since the inspection was passed the wonderful job of Sheetrock installed can begin!  Sheetrock and painting are very high on Peter's list of "Things I would be happy to never ever do again in my life". He doesn't mind as much putting the Sheetrock up but hates the mudding and sanding. But we are to the point that he can't put it off anymore...the walls must go up!  He has almost all the Sheetrock on the walls and has made significant progress with the first coat of mud. However, this can be a never ending process of mudding/sanding, mudding/sanding...etc.,etc. Once this is done then it is my responsibility to start painting. We are going to do most of the painting and then start installing the flooring. Peter will be doing hardwood floors like he has done in the rest of the house.

Progress is definitely being made but we still have quite a ways to go. The painting, flooring, trim work, etc. it all time consuming and I am not a fast painter these days so that may slow us down.

Looking from old laundry room into addition. The wall between the old laundry room and the kitchen will be removed creating an entrance from the kitchen area into the addition. The new laundry room is to the right. The door to the back yard is to the left. This door will go to a walkway that will connect with the back patio.

new laundry room

looking from the door of the bedroom towards the piano room, there will be french doors in that opening

Looking from the bedroom door, piano room (left) bedroom (right). There is an area in front of the piano room that is kind of like a foyer into the bedroom.

Looking from the "foyer" area into the bedroom. Piano room is to the right, and the doors ahead are the bathroom and closet.

Looking from "foyer" area straight ahead into bedroom. The bed will go in between those two windows.

Looking from the side wall of the bedroom towards the bath and closet. Bed will be to the right, the door on the left is the bath and the door on the right in the closet. Foyer area and piano room are to the left, out of view.

Bathroom - large soaking tub goes under the window. The toilet does not go there, it will be on the opposite side of the room. The vanity and sink goes where the toilet is sitting. The shower area will be in the far right corner.

Looking into the bathroom, the shower is in the back corner, the toilet sits kind of where the bags of concrete are but behind a half wall.

Looking from the bedroom towards the "foyer" area. You can see the closet door to the left. The bed will be directly behind me. The piano room is off the foyer area to the right and the bedroom door is to the left of the window straight ahead.

another view looking from the bedroom. This one you can see the bedroom door, you can also see that there is a little cutout in the wall to the left of the door. In that little niche I am putting a small love seat.

'til next time...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A not so "kid friendly" store...

So today I was in town and had the brilliant idea of running into the ABC store to get some goodies. For those of you not in Virgina, an ABC store is not a kids toy shop or a shop that sells educational materials, despite the cute name it is the only place in the Commonwealth that you can buy liquor. Back to my brilliant idea....and yes, I had a 7 month old and a 22 month old with me, so with Ainsley strapped to the front of me and Wythe on my hip we entered a store that has nothing but thousands of expensive glass bottles stacked precariously in rows no more that 3 feet apart! I'm not sure who was more nervous, myself or the store clerk!!  I said lots of "Wythe, please keep your hands on mommy's shoulders" and "no touch, no touch" and we survived! The clerk carried my bag to the car for me and I'm sure went straight in and wiped the sweat from him brow. I loaded the kids in the car and wished I could whip up a martini right then and there. Later, when I recounted the experience to my hubby he mentioned that he doesn't think kids are even allowed in the store! If there was a sign to that effect I didn't see it, though it would make perfect sense!

'til next time...

Monday, May 24, 2010

"In my daughter's eyes" lyrics

This song plays on the CD that my children listen to at night. It is a favorite of mine and one I sing to my precious little girl, I thought I'd share the lyrics.

I believe the lyrics were written by James Slater and it was sung by Martina McBride.

In My Daughter's Eyes

In my daughter's eyes I am a hero

I am strong and wise and I know no fear

But the truth is plain to see

She was sent to rescue me

I see who I wanna be

In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal

Darkness turns to light and the

world is at peace

This miracle God gave to me gives me

strength when I am weak

I find reason to believe

In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand

around my finger

Oh it puts a smile in my heart

Everything becomes a little clearer

I realize what life is all about

It's hangin' on when your heart

has had enough

It's giving more when you feel like giving up

I've seen the light

It's in my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future

A reflection of who I am and what will be

Though she'll grow and someday leave

Maybe raise a family

When I'm gone I hope you see how happy

she made me

For I'll be there

In my daughter's eyes
'til next time...

A "first" not captured on camera...

Today I took the kids to Harris Teeter. Wythe loves to ride in the cart that has the steering wheel so when it is available I use that cart. Today for the first time I put both kids in that cart, Wythe and Ainsley, sitting side by side. They were too cute and I was so aggravated that I didn't have my camera to capture the moment. Ainsley loved playing with the steering wheel, so much so that she kept trying to play with Wythe's wheel too. Wythe would get mad and look at me like "mom, aren't you going to do something??"  Then to add insult to injury she kept grabbing everything from him. He seemed torn between excitement that his little sis was sitting beside him and frustration that she was being so annoying. I thought to myself, "buddy, if you only knew..."  I was the oldest sibling, I well remember the frustration of younger siblings! Maybe next time I'll get a picture just so I can show how absolutely adorable they are!

'til next time...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bathroom re-do...

I finally....and I mean FINALLY, got the bathroom painted. I had primed the walls a while back. (By "a while" I mean "months") and had never gotten around to finishing it. Painting is tricky with two little ones and after priming I lost the motivation to finish. But my hubby is currently working on the Sheetrock in the addition so....very soon I will have lots of painting to do. I figured if I didn't get the bathroom out of the way now I was going to be sunk.

So for the past couple days I have focused on painting. I worked really hard when the kids were napping and after they went to bed and when they were awake I played the part of the clown. Paint brush in one hand, shaking a toy/rattle with the other hand, singing silly songs and hopping on one foot, all to keep the munchkins entertained whilst I painted. The hardest part of the project was the stripes,  it took longer to tape for the stripes than it took to do all the painting. I first tried to just use a guide for the stripes because I didn't want a clean line, I wanted the edge to "bleed" a little. But my roller was pretty rough and instead of the edge "bleeding" it was just jagged. I tried to touch it up by hand but eventually gave up and taped.

I am happy with the way it turned out although it has a little but of a carnival tent feel to it. I wish I had a real "before" picture of the bathroom. I thought I did but can't locate one. This bathroom used to have a 4' x 4' window in the shower that looked out on the backyard. There was not a curtain or shade on the window and we had a glass shower enclosure, so it was truly a window to the world. We were used to the window and really didn't think about it but guests were usually pretty uncomfortable with it. I admit I did have a few potentially embarrassing moments in the shower. Twice while I was showering a neighbor came driving through the back yard on his tractor. I had to crouch down in the shower and hide until he left. Another time when I was pregnant with Wythe I was taking a bath. I let the water out of the tub only to discover that Peter and a neighbor were standing right outside of the window so I couldn't stand up to get out of the shower. There was no way I could maneuver my 9 months pregnant belly over the side of the tub and slither out so I just sat there, in the empty tub, for about 20 minutes waiting for them to move away from the window.  When the window was there I had the walls painted a pale yellow and it was a very bright and airy room, now it is now so completely different that it is almost shocking when you go into the room. The reason we no longer have the window is because of the addition, the closet in the addition is behind that wall now.

Before pictures
("before" meaning - before painting but after removing window from shower, re-tiling shower, removing glass shower enclosure, and putting primer over pale yellow paint)

After pictures

'til next time...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Georgia on my mind...

Last Thursday night we headed to Georgia. Normally the kids sleep well in their car seats so we had the great idea of leaving in the evening and driving through the night. I had this silly plan to be all ready to go on Wednesday so that on Thursday I could relax, take a nap with the kids, etc. Silly me!! In reality I was rushing around all day like a chicken with my head cut off. We planned to leave at 8 but we were a little late getting away, then we headed off towards Richmond. Wythe stayed awake the whole way there, that was an omen for things to come!  We got to Richmond, to my parents house and traded vehicles with them. They have a minivan and we knew it would make for a more comfortable ride. We got the luggage and car seats moved over and started out. Wythe was excited for a while, he could see all the trucks and lights and it was very exciting for him, so exciting that he didn't go to sleep UNTIL 4:30AM!!!  Unfortunately for us he cried a lot of that time, but he finally passed out.

Ainsley did better, she slept off and on and seemed to enjoy the car trip. She was a little mad to be in her car seat, she would have rather been in the front seat!

I would like to write the details of our trip but for now I'm just going to give the edited version. Unfortunately we all got sick on this trip, so parts of it seem rather fuzzy.
We stopped in Athens Friday morning and saw a Peter's sister, (we will call her Sister J) and one of Peter's  nephews. We were happy we got to see Sister J's house and visit with her and her son. After a short visit there we got back in the car and headed into Atlanta. We went to Sister M's house and got to see more family! Sister M, sister-in-law J and Sister R!  We were pretty tired having driven all night so we had a pretty quiet afternoon. Shortly after arriving we unloaded our bags, I wanted to get the playpens set up and see if we could get the kids down for a nap. The kids didn't want to go down for a nap, their schedules were all messed up already!  I tried taking them for a walk around the neighborhood but that didn't seem to calm them down.
That evening we had an adults dinner out at a charming little restaurant called "Feast". Sister M arranged for a babysitter so the adults were able to enjoy a "quiet" dinner. I was a little apprehensive about leaving the kids with a sitter, especially considering that their routine was all messed up but they did fine! They didn't sleep well that night though, poor Ainsley was sick and up coughing most the night. I had to walk around with her for hours because she would cry and cry if you tried to lay her down.
Saturday late morning we took the kids for a walk and went to the park. Wythe went down the slide once, but that was enough for him!

Wythe needing a nap, daddy trying to get him to relax on the porch swing

That afternoon was the party at Sister M's house to celebrate her graduation of her doctorate. They had a steel drum band, lots of food, great weather and about 125 guests, it was a fabulous party!


Sunday we headed back to Athens. We spent the day with Sister J and Sister D's family and then spent the night at Sister D's. That evening to realized we had a nail in our tire so Peter had to get that fixed. We ended up getting up early and heading home Monday morning. We were feeling so rough that all we could think about was getting home and in our own beds!

We are really glad that we went, despite getting sick. It was  great to see everyone and we are looking forward to going back and getting a good visit in!

'til next time...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mommy's little helper...

The other night I told Wythe, "pick up your shoes, take them to your room and put them in the shoe basket."  He was gone for awhile, when I went to check on him this is what I found.

I guess if you can't pull the basket out with one hand you just stack them up!

'til next time...

Monday, May 10, 2010

My slow internet connection has calmed me down...

I logged on tonight thinking I was going to write about the insanity that we call the stock market. The "mistake" last Thursday that caused the wild roller coaster ride of the past few days had me ready to jump up on my soapbox. But for some reason my Internet connection is slow tonight and while I was waiting for the page to load I started thinking about my "to-do" list and suddenly I lost steam for my intended rant. So instead I will bore you with some mundane details of my day...lucky you!

Today I took the kids to Harris Teeter to get a few of the specials. My little munchkins were behaving well but I always find it challenging to grocery shop with the two of them. Somehow between taking care of their needs/wants (otherwise known as "doing everything to keep them from screaming") looking at my shopping list, sorting through coupons, monitoring the floor to ensure we are not leaving a trail, etc, etc...anyway...even on the best of days it is not relaxing. So this morning I am pushing the shopping cart, my list in one hand, coupon box tucked under the arm, Ainsley's bottle tucked under the other arm, trying to keep Wythe from unloading the cart, when I see a woman heading towards me with a train of kids....7 to be precise!  And the 8th is due soon!  Wow....all of the sudden I looked at my two kiddos and realized how easy I have it!  Kudos to the mom of 8, I can't imagine being so brave as to bring them all to the store!

This evening I came in from planting a few plants and realized that I still hadn't unloaded the dishwasher. For some reason that I can't quite figure out, I find myself putting off unloading the dishwasher because "I don't have time". The strange thing is it really doesn't take anytime at all!  It actually only takes about 4 minutes to unload, and put away, the dishes! Of course, that is when the kids are out of the way, if they were up and about you can probably triple that time! So I guess I will make myself a little sign that says "it only takes 4 minutes...GET BUSY" more excuses! 

'til next time...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day...

Today was my first Mother's Day with both of my children. Sometimes I just look at the two of them and feel like I won the child lottery, how lucky am I to have these two precious children!

We had a pretty quiet day. I got cards from both kids and from their daddy. Peter wanted to do some work on the addition so he worked out there for a while. I needed to run into town to go to the kid's consignment store and see if they had a pack and play in stock, we needed another one for our trip. Peter needed to go to Home Depot so he went with me. We ended up going to a couple of stores, it was nice having Peter along to help with the kids in the store. It is so much easier when you can push two carts and not have to carry one!  I told Peter that since it was Mother's Day I was taking the day off from the kitchen and that if we wanted to eat we would have to stop somewhere. We ended up going to Chili's in Gainesville and eating a late lunch/early dinner.

'til next time...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Banana Muffins

I have been trying to come up with a recipe for muffins that has some nutritional value. These muffins are very dense and moist, so they are great for breakfast, very filling! My son eats them just plain but I will admit that I prefer a little butter with them, they need just a little something. I usually make a large batch of muffins and freeze a bunch, since they are moist and heavy they seem to freeze well.  I was going to try and tweak this recipe some more but I think I will leave it alone for now. If I do anything I will try and convert this to gluten free.

Banana Muffins
Yield: 60 muffins

2 cups butter
2/3 cup honey
1 cup yogurt
12 ripe bananas (the riper the better)
4 eggs
4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
4 tsp. baking soda
4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup flax seed

Cream butter and honey. Add eggs in, mix well.
In separate bowl mix flours, baking soda, cinnamon, flax seed and wheat germ.
In another bowl blend together bananas and yogurt till smooth.
Alternate adding flour mixture and banana mixture to butter mixture until well mixed.
Pour into greased muffin tins, fill 2/3 full, and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

'til next time...