Thursday, June 30, 2011

Annabelle's View

This week both Mark and I are sick.  Ugh, I feel awful!  Head cold with sore throat, runny nose, body aches, fluctuating body temps, the whole 9 yards.  So because of this Annabelle has been kinda on her own, playing by herself while I lay hacking on the couch near by.  Monday I was feeling so-so.  We spent most of the evening outside.  Annabelle was running around the backyard playing while I read a book in the hammock swing.  I had the camera out with us, though I honestly don't remember why, and Annabelle decided she needed to use it.  Here is our backyard from Annabelle's perspective.

Self portrait

Our pool and fun noodles

The neighbors pool

crab apple tree

One of our pine trees

The sand box and hammock swing.  I love the lighting!

A ball on the picnic table

Her shoe

Some sort of artsy shot.  A clover on her playhouse.

Mom, show me your book and smile!

The playhouse and swing set in the background.
Overall I was impressed with her shots.  Last year they would have all been close ups grass or my bum.  She's starting to get the hang of how to see what you want to shoot in the view finder.  I'd give her an A+.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

All Me

I've been in a rut lately.  Looking at myself in an unflattering light, focusing on my flaws.  I won't enumerate, but suffice it to say I am feeling down on me.  I try to hide my feelings from others, my husband, friends, family, and especially Annabelle.  I hope she never feels like I do, even though I know almost everyone feels like this sometimes right?  I am determined to get myself back on track, for me.  I'm always thinking that I'm working on myself for other people, to look better for someones party, so that Annabelle won't pick up on my self hatred, so that my husband will think I'm beautiful.  I want ME to think I'm beautiful.  So I'm going to work on that.  On me.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Last Sunday, Father's Day, we went out to do some strawberry picking.  The season would soon be coming to a close and both Mark and Annabelle were jonesin' for some home-made strawberry jam.  So after brunch at my mom and dad's house, we took a drive on over to Greg's U-Pick for a few hours of strawberry fun.  I ended up with sunburn and a rash all over my arms, Annabelle fell down and scraped her leg up, but we ended up having a really fun time.

Hitching a ride over to the strawberry fields.

She got right in there, picking away.

The perfect strawberry!

Dad, can we go soon?

All of Annabelle's berries.

Heading on back so that we can pay.

14 quarts and $40 later.

We ended up making 13 ten ounce jars of strawberry jam and 4 sixteen ounce jars, plus a huge amount of sugared strawberries for strawberry shortcake and 36 ounces of strawberry juice.  I'm pretty sure we are going o be all strawberried out but it was all worth it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Garage Sale Weekend

I'm having a garage sale at my home this weekend.  I think I just might be nuts.  A friend and I have loaded all of our old stuff into the garage with the hopes that the weather will hold out enough for us to make a little bit of fun money.  Right now they're saying rain but they have also claimed it would be raining all day today and the sun is shining and we're planning on a quick dip in the pool.  So if you're in the area and need any baby items, toys or clothes stop on by!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I have mentioned my GNI (Girl's Night In) girls before.  There are 8 of us and while we are very different from each other, our dynamic just works.  We have girls that are very outgoing and others that are more subdued but these girls have been there, officially the GNI girls since October 2003, just 6 days after my wedding.

Normally we get along just great.  Our monthly get-togethers are full of fun and laughter.  We can talk about everything and anything, and we do!  I'm sure our husbands would cringe at some some of the knowledge that the others girls have learned. :)  We had our last GNI for the summer this past Saturday ( July and August are just too busy to try to get enough of us together).  All was going good; laughter, great food, catching up on the past month's news, that is until the very end of the night.

One friend mentioned that she was talking with her husband and they thought we should try to get together with the husbands too every month.  Now it's hard enough to get just the girls together, now we need to throw in the men and possibly kids, because it can be hard to find a sitter.  If everyone of us is there, that's 30 people!  It's hard to find a house with that kind of room.  So we all just said we can try but it can't be monthly.  At that point it really went downhill.  The friend with the suggestion, thought we had shot her down when we really just wanted to let her know that it couldn't be a regular thing.

Fast forward 30 minutes or so later and me and two other girls are outside (everyone else had left already) getting ourselves upset over our friend being upset!  We stood outside talking for over an hour going over everything.  The reasons why we couldn't always get together, the reasons we should try harder.  The husband, I guess, mentioned that we only get together (everyone) one or twice a year.  Well we figured out that between kid's birthday parties, the Halloween and St. Patty's Day parties, our GNI Christmas party, that it ends up being between 9-10 times that we get to see each other.  Plus add in the occasional game night, beach outing, Sabres/Bills game party, we see each other a lot!

We know that this particular couple doesn't like having even a moment of free time or they're bored but I am not like that, and neither are most of my friends.  We're unsure if this has anything to do with the fact that they get jealous when other people from the group get together without them or what, but it is getting annoying to me.  Trying to get 16 adults to confirm one date to just hang out aka drink to much, is hard to do and I don't really want to, I'm not a big drinker.  I know that this will blow over but right now, it's really bothering me.  Blah!

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Little Graduate!

Friday, Annabelle graduated from Pre-K.  I know that it is a completely stupid thing for the schools to do, but at the same time I was so proud of her.  She sang all her songs and did all of her dance moves so well!  After the poems, that made me cry just a little, and the DVD presentation and the songs and dancing, they introduced each individual and said a little bit about them.  When they anno0unced Annabelle, she stood up so tall and proud.  This is what they had to say.

If Annabelle could be any animal, she would be an elephant.  Her favorite store is Target.  That is where she buys all of her Rapunzel toys.  When she is 10 she will marry Josh (a boy in her class and we're going over to his house soon to use the hot tub) and live at Disney World.  They will have a black cat and have 4 kids, 2 boys and 3 girls.

Obviously, we have to work on her math skills.  I can't let her just be the pretty girl:)

I believe she's singing I Caught a Baby Bumblebee.

Uno, Dos Tres Amigos, with cues from Miss Amy

Her own time to shine

After the ceremony

The proud Mommy and Daddy

These were Annabelle teachers.  Miss Jackie, Miss Amy, and Miss Andrea.  She misses them so much already.

She was so proud of herself!  That Pre-K diploma will definitely be going in the special box for her to look back at her special day when she's older.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Obsessing Again!

This week is so crazy busy!  I can't wait for next week when things can (hopefully) calm down.  Between Annabelle's last day of school,her graduation, driving to Pittsburgh for the NKOTBSB concert and 3 kids from her class asking for play dates (all whom we've never had a play date with before), I have too much going on.

But I learned that Disney has opened up their 2012 pricing.  Gah!  What is a girl to do when she has an idea in her head but the hubby seems reluctant?  I know he'll come around, he always does.  I've spent the last 2 days on Disney's website pricing out different dates and months.  I know that there is no way that I'm booking anything until at least the spring but I just need to have an idea of what we'll be spending. 

This time my mom and dad are going with us.  When I mentioned possible prices for next October, my mom was totally on board and said that my dad was thrilled to go to.  I want to stay in the new Arts and Animation Resort so bad! It looks so awesome and it's still a value resort! We're thinking of getting one of the family suites which will be fun.  So I hope that my ideas come to fruition.  I'm definitely not going to talk about this anymore because who wants to listen to anyone jabber on about their upcoming vacation?  Not me, makes me jealous, even if I've just gone or planned one myself.  But right now Disney is in my head and it has lodged itself pretty firmly in there. 

In about a week or so, I will have shelved Disney World and all it's wonderful-ness because there will be so many more things to be thinking about.  Play dates and amusement parks, the Erie County Fair and getting ready for Kindergarten, plus Annabelle will be going to a language arts summer camp for five weeks.  It's to help her brush up on her letter recognition.

But yeah, the obsession will kill me if it goes on too much longer.  I'm going to try to stay away from all things mouse related until I have some more details, free dining, major hotel discounts, things of that nature.  Then the obsession will grow again:)

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Cute Chick

I have mentioned before that Annabelle is a crafty kid, so I thought I would show off some more of her work.  About two weeks ago we pulled out the Play-Doh and sat outside and made some little characters.  Mark was working hard on the deck and had to keep stopping to check on Annabelle's progress (and mine).

Annabelle's little birdie creation is on the left.  It's a Mother Bird and her Baby in their nest.  Mine is on the right.  A nest with two eggs and a Mother Bird.

A close up.  I love the big fat legs.  They are my absolute favorite.

She was so proud of her little birdies.

Then she insisted that my eggs needed to hatch, so I made a Baby too.
We had such a fun time using our imaginations together.  I am amazed almost daily on Annabelle's artistic abilities.  My grandmother can draw really beautiful pictures and my cousin Emma is going to college to become an artist/animator.  Her dream is to work for Disney some day.  It looks like the artist vibe is going to continue with my Annabelle. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dance Recital!

Annabelle danced to "Hey Mickey" this year.  It was cute but I preferred her number from last year.  Maybe it's because the class was smaller so she was easier to see. 
I took some video but it's so bad that I won't bother you with it.  Mark's video on the camcorder was better but the darn thing doesn't want to upload onto our aging computer right now.  So I'll just show off a few pictures of my sweet girl.  She did a good job considering that she didn't even want to dance anymore by midway through the year.  She just wants to take ballet, tap is out.  I guess we'll see for next year, but if I even get a hint that she's unhappy with her class, we're done.  I'm not wasting another $400 if she's not enjoying herself.

Look at that sassy face!

She had those hip shakes down. 

Half of the class

Hey Mickey!


Annabelle and Mama before I went on stage.

After we got home I took a picture of her with some of her loot.  Two bouquets of flowers and some dark chocolate, her favorite!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Please, Please, Please

We are on day 3 of fever watch 2011!  I'm trying to think positive.  I'm being glib, but I'm actually terrified inside.  It had been over a year since Annabelle had one of her fevers.  We had the non-stop ear infections from December to March but at least we knew what it was.  There was a diagnosis, treatment, medications.  I can live with that because it has a name.  I can say she has an ear infection, sinus infection, etc. 

No one else can understand how hard it is to know that your child is sick but they don't know what is wrong with her.  Even after all the tests, they never could give me an answer.  Why every three to four weeks would she get soaring temperatures, 102 sometimes reaching as high as 106?  The helplessness that a parent feels when there is nothing you can do is awful.  The absolute worst.  I had just learned to breathe normally again.  I stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Last night at 4:30am Annabelle called me.  She had to go to the bathroom.  She is only 5 and scared of the dark , so that wasn't the big deal.  The big deal, the thing that has made me afraid again after so long, is that she was too weak to walk.  Her head hurt, she was dizzy.  I had to hold her on the potty, wipe her.  Things I haven't done in a very long time.  She thought she might have to "spit" and her heart beat was racing, her body shaking uncontrollably.  When I took her temp, it was 103.2.  Too high! 

I worry about what all that heat is doing to her little brain.  The anxiety that this causes me is off the charts.  I've spent so much time trying to figure this out with no results.  Doctors told me it was an immature immune system, that she would grow out of it.  And after a whole year without a fever, I thought maybe they knew what they were talking about.  But now I'm scared all over again.  Worried about what will happen next.  Will she start getting sick again?  Please, please, please, I pray that the answer is no.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Mind is Too Full

This past weekend was crazy busy!  Friday was Annabelle's birthday so we went to the Aquarium at her request after school and out for dinner at Red Robin.  Saturday was my nephew Austin's birthday, he's less than 24 hours younger than Annabelle.  His party was at a park under a shelter.  It seemed like such a good idea when my sister came up with the idea.  But it ended up raining cats and dogs on Saturday!  Holy cow!  There was lightning and thunder so loud the pictures on the walls were shaking.  Luckily it stopped right around when he party started but it was still much colder and wetter than anyone wanted it to be.

Both Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, Annabelle and I had our dance recital.  Saturday was such a long day for both of us.  Mark let her stay to watch me dance, which wasn't until almost 9pm.  She had a minor meltdown because she was so overtired.  Sunday she did much better having me up on the big stage, hanging out with 2 of my girlfriends who came to watch.

Yesterday was all about running errands.  I had to go to Sears and Penney's and I stopped in at VS and actually found some new bras that fit and don't have six miles of padding!.  Plus I had to go grocery shopping, cancel one gym membership and switch to another.  Once we ate dinner, Mark got to work on the deck until almost 9pm.  Unfortunately, Annabelle was feeling warm and she had/still has a fever.  No school for her and no gym time for me.  I was really looking forward to going to the buttz and guttz class.  Annabelle seems to be doing pretty good right now but it's more likely that the Advil is making it's presence known. 

On top of all that my insomnia is back with a vengeance.  I finally broke down and took a sleeping pill last night.  I usually wait until I've had 3 or 4 mostly sleepless nights before I cave.  I'm usually OK after a night with the sleep aide but today I'm so foggy.  Not good if I really want to get anything accomplished today.  I have no clue what to make for dinner and I really wanted to start painting the family room.  (Mark doesn't know that I'm painting yet.  He's in for a surprise!)  I have this idea of how great it's going to look once it's finished.  I got the idea from the new bedspread I bought for our bedroom.  It cream with turquoise and hints of springy green.  I seriously couldn't get the color combo out of my head the other night, so I'm going to put it on our walls.  Then we will finally be done with any remodeling/reworking of rooms until we gut the kitchen (which is quite a few years away) or buy a new couch for the living room which is more than likely quite a few years away.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Dear Annabelle Rae

Today you turn five years old!  I can remember the day you were born like it was yesterday.  I had been waiting forever for you, it seemed.  Oliver Grandma kept telling me you would be born today and then you were.  I don't know if I can remember a day where I've been happier.  The minute I heard you cry, I knew my life was going to be so much better than I had even imagined. 

I haven't always been the best mommy to you.  I know that there are times when I don't give you the attention that you want or that I yell too much sometimes when all you need is a moment to be heard.  But I love you more than I knew you could love another person.  I feel like you've always been here.  It's like I can barely remember a time when you didn't exist, even when you were just my heart's biggest wish.

In the past year, I have watched you grow up right before my eyes.  You started school and learned so much!  All (well most) of your letters and numbers.  And you can draw so well.  Nobody believes that you can put so much detail into your little work of art, but you do. You've learned how to share much better and think of other people's feelings before your own.  You made so many new friends and even a best friend.  You are so much more adventurous than you were even 6 months ago, willing to try new things.  I see how caring you are, how you love to touch babies, oh so gently, cupping their little faces in your hands.  You have decided what you want to be when you grow up, a zoo-keeper.  And even though I know it will probably change a million times, it's the first time that you grasped that you have such a big future ahead of you.  You are emotional and truthful, almost to a fault, but I love it.  Seeing your smile, makes me the happiest I could ever be.

I am so proud to be your mommy, Annabelle.  Everyday is a new adventure that I get to experience through your eyes.  I knew early on that I wanted to be a mommy.  I just didn't know I would be blessed enough to be the mommy to such a wonderful, smart, beautiful little girl.  I am lucky every day to love you.  When I look into the future, I see you being even more wonderful than you are today.  You can make a difference in the world with just your smile.  I love you big girl, I just hope you will always remember how much. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Smart phones are everywhere these days.  Most of the people I know either have one or are planning on getting one in the very near future.  I, on the other hand, despise them!  I know that I'm low man on the totem pole for this but I really hate them. 

I hate that people don't think that it's rude to constantly have their phones right there with them at all times.  When I'm hanging out with friends, and they keep checking their texts or answering their phones in the middle of our conversations, I see RED!  It's like what I'm saying isn't important enough for them to actually pay attention to.  Or because they have instant access to the web/FB they feel the need to be on it.  Especially if they are on vacation.  I've seen status updates  from people on their honeymoons.  Really, is your new husband or wife not interesting enough to leave the "real" world for that week?  Do you think that maybe you could be doing something else?  I know what I did on my honeymoon, but maybe it's just me.  When I'm on vacation, I don't think about any of you!  Not even a little bit.  I don't think about friends or family or FB or blogging.  None of it.  I'm soaking up being on vacation!

OK enough of my rant.  I get it that cell phones are not going away.  I don't want them to.  I think of the emergency situations that I was thankful to have mine.  My cell phone by the way doesn't text, doesn't surf the web.  It's about 10 years old.  It does it's job but if you try to call me on it.  You won't get me 90% of the time.  the ringer is too quiet, even on it's loudest setting for me to hear it in my purse.

But don't you think that people are getting a little bit TOO connected here lately.  I used to be somewhat addicted to FB.  I would check people's statuses 10-20 times a day.  Now I check in the morning and maybe once or twice in the afternoon.  I've been going whole weekends without checking even once.  It feels good to not have my every move tracked by people, even if they are my friends.

So while they are necessity, to most people, they aren't to me.  I hope I don't ever become one of those people.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Celebrating Almost 5 Years Old.

This past weekend we celebrated Annabelle's 5th birthday with our family.  She will be having 2 more parties, one with her friends from school and one with our "friend -family",  both next weekend.  All of these birthday parties are confusing her a bit but she is enjoying her moment(s) of glory.

Monday was hot and humid, hovering near 90 degrees but we won't complain after a record breaking spring for rain.  The kids ran around like monsters and played so nicely while the adults hung out in the garage and sipped a cold beverage of their choosing.  Having both my family and Mark's family all together always causes me extreme discomfort.  They are so different from each other, and while they both deny it, the Grandma's both are competing for attention.  It doesn't matter from whom, me, Annabelle, whatever.  But they both want to win.  Luckily everyone played nice (though they always do), and we had a great time.

One sweet pose with the cousins, Austin and Anya.

Did we really need more Polly Pockets?  Yes we do!

Thanks for the new horn for my bike Uncle Keith.  (Mommy doesn't thank you though, lol!)

Oh the face!  Can you even stand it!  She was opening her new scooter that she'd been asking and asking for.

My sweet girl is all ready to go fishing with Daddy.

Again, the face!  I'm in love with it!  She's all set to swim in her new pool that mommy, daddy, Oliver grandma and papa got her.

The first try on the scooter.  She thought she would get it immediately and was disappointed that it was harder than she thought it would be.  We have to practice.

Then it was cake time!  If you look closely you can see that the tower is propped up with shishkabob skewers.

Here's a close up of the Rapunzel Tower cake I made for her.  It was so cute!  And then it fell over and was kinda ruined.  At least I got one good pic before hand.

Birthday girl gets the tippy, top tower.

It was a happy and messy birthday party!
We had a fabulous Memorial Weekend.  We spent lots of time with friends and family and simply enjoyed ourselves.  I think that there is no better way to honor then men and women who fought for our country than this.  I hope your weekend celebrations were just as wonderful as ours!