Wednesday, July 27, 2011

So This is My Day

My mom made me some really cute crocheted beach bags.  With her being out of work again, she's trying to find things to do to occupy herself.  They are cute bags, made out of yarn for easy washability, lots of holes for sand to fall out and super stretchy.  But this is what Annabelle has been doing with them.

She's such a silly girl:)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Ghost Story

So last night Annabelle's getting into bed when she says she wants to tell me a scary story, said in a creepy, ghost-like voice.  Now I assumed it was just a ploy to stay awake longer.  She was not happy to have to go right to bed after coming home from Grandma and Papa's house (it was my mom's birthday yesterday).  But she actually told me a quick story, gave me some kisses and went to sleep.  Here is her story.

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.  She had so many ghost children she didn't know what to do.  So she fed them some bread without any butter but the ghost children cried and cried until the old woman gave them butter.  After the ghost children ate their bread with butter they turned back into people children and the little old woman who lived in a shoe was so happy that she danced and danced.  The End.

Obviously it was just The Little Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe with some ghosts and a few modifications but I thought she was being quite imaginative.  We just love watching her brain grow and expand and come up with new ideas and thoughts every day.  I am so proud of my little bug, even if it is just a small, silly thing.

Monday, July 25, 2011


I try to be pretty frugal.  I don't go crazy with money, I use coupons and adore a good sale.  I have been known to squeal with delight while going through discount racks.  So because of this, there are things that we sometimes do without.  We save our money for the fun extras in life, an occasional fancy meal out, a nicer vacation every year.  I try not to go spending crazy at Annabelle's birthday or Christmas.  I don't want her to be that spoiled kid.

Now I know that almost every kid out there has one of those Power Wheel motorized cars for their kids.  It's like a right of passage now-a-days.  Annabelle didn't have one.  I wasn't spending $300 on something that would just take up too much room in our house/garage.  My nephew got one for his first birthday.  His little legs weren't even long enough to reach the pedals.  My dad would use his cane (he has gout and arthritis and when it acts up he has a hard time walking) to push the gas and then ride Austin and Annabelle around the backyard.

Her first birthday!
I thought it was such a waste of money!  But my sister can do what she likes with hers and I'll do what I want with mine.  Annabelle would want to play on Austin's truck whenever we were at Aunt Heather's house.  By last summer, they had a total of three of those riding cars for her two children.  I still wasn't buying one of those things.  No way!

Then back in June, Mark's cousin was having a 40th wedding anniversary party for her parents and we were invited.  I already had plans so Mark took Annabelle by himself.  When he got home, he had a kid-sized 4 wheeler in the back.  Dawn had an extra one and decided to give it to us for free.  (I love free)  The battery was dead so we needed to buy a new one.  Other than that it worked just fine.  We finally got the new battery this weekend, and all she wants to do is ride around.

A quick pose.

Under the crab apple tree with Pooh along for the ride.
Man, this is the best free gift we have ever gotten :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

We Laugh

Last night, Mark and I were getting ready for bed.  Teeth brushing, face washing, one last trip to the bathroom, I'm sure you know the drill.  But the only difference yesterday was the laughing.  Usually we're quiet while getting ready.  Annabelle needs her door open to sleep and just being a wall apart means that she can hear us when we're up there.  We laugh together a lot, just not when we're getting ready to fall asleep.  But last night, I was laughing so hard I was crying.  I couldn't catch my breath and I was doing this weird hic-cup noise that I make when I'm trying to come down after laughing really hard.  It really unattractive but Mark seems to like it:)

So anyways, I'm in bed, jammies on and applying my Burt's Bees Lip Balm, when Mark starts acting like a crazy person.  His head is bobbing around like a crazed chicken, lips are pursed, eyes open wide.  Imagine this look while he has his nose strip on, mouth guard in.  I know girls, I am one lucky lady to get to sleep next to that every night.  Back off! :)  I just stared at him.  I mean what is he doing?  Is this some new mating ritual he head about on CNN?  No, it was a fuzzy, floating in the air.  It startled him and made him go slightly bonkers for a  moment. 

Once all of this was explained to me, I just couldn't. stop. laughing.  Oh and imitating his nuttiness over a fuzzy.  It wasn't even a bug or something worth getting crazy over!  But in the end, after I laughed like a hyena for awhile, I snuggled up to him and held his hand and fell asleep.  He may drive me nuts at least once a day but he is my very best friend.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Too Fast

Annabelle is growing up too fast.  I know that everyone told me and told me that this would happen but it sorta snuck up on me.  One minute she was constantly attached to me, on my lap, holding my hand, leaning into my body and the next... she was just gone.  Playing by herself, going to school, being her own little person.  But the one constant in the last five years has been Pooh Bear.  She got him when she was about 2 weeks old and he is still a constant companion. 

It used to be that we couldn't even leave the house without him.  I see that he's a little less important than he once was, but he's still her sleeping buddy and goes in the car with us everywhere.  Now he stays in the car though, instead of coming with us.  So you can imagine that the new Winnie the Pooh movie was high on our list of things to see.  It was cute, only a smidge over an hour.  There was lots of laughing and a small tear from me seeing my girl growing up.

"If there ever comes a day
when we can't be together,
keep me in your heart. 
I'll stay there forever."

I took this picture this morning as I went to wake her up.  Can you see Pooh peeking out from underneath her?  I know that the day she gives him up, I will cry like a baby.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Too Hot!

  1. I'm trying not to complain, but it's been near 90 degrees for the past few days and it will be staying there all week.  All we're doing is sweating and swimming!  I am not a hot weather kind of girl.
  2. Because of all of the swimming, Annabelle has her first ever tan lines.  That little, white bum of hers is cute!  I have refrained form taking a picture of it because she is 5 years old now.  It would be wrong!
  3. But you have no idea how bad I want that photo!  Back away form the camera!
  4. Annabelle's been going to Letters Camp the past 2 weeks.  It runs for 5 weeks but does it really need to start at 8:30am?  Having to get up at 7:30 is killing me even though I know it will help once she has to start waking up even earlier than that to start school.
  5. Speaking of school, 6 more weeks until my baby starts Kindergarten!  Time. goes. too. quickly.
  6. I have already bought all of her school supplies and saved $16 off the price the school wanted to charge me for the same exact items.  Take that Heim!  They were acting like the convenience of having the items picked out and shipped to my house would outweigh the cost.  I don't think so.
  7. My mom will be here soon with my niece and nephew.  She's watching them while my sister is at work.  I'm wondering if my sister will be thrilled with that idea since we are still not on steady ground with each other.  Do you think we will ever gt back to that point?  It's seems doubtful to me.
  8. Annabelle told me yesterday that her favorite girl in the whole world is... Mrs. Pierce.  Our next door neighbor.  Just stab me in the heart kid, really, it would hurt less!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

And what a long tunnel it has been!  Almost three years now.  You may be asking yourself, what is she referring to?  What I'm referring to is my deck.  When we bought our house, the inspector told us that we'd need to replace the deck in about 5 years, and after 6 years we knew it was really in bad shape.  It was green in one corner from never getting any sunlight and splintering badly, pieces were crumbling away.  I was afraid to have anyone over in case they ended up with a piece of our deck in their foot.  So In April 2008, we started ripping our rotting deck apart.

That's my MIL, FIL, and hubby taking down the railings.

My BIL.  Notice the awful condition of the deck.  Horrendous!
 That took some time.  After all the clean up, we realized that there was a small concrete pad under the deck that needed to be ripped up.  So $400 later, a big burly guy and his hugely pregnant wife came swinging sledge hammers and broke that bad boy up for us. 

Now fast forward a year to August 2009.  Mark has planned the heck out of this deck.  It's going to be the greatest deck known to man-kind.  It bigger, both wider and longer.  He's making a fancy outer border, wrap around steps, 45 degree angled cuts at the corner.  A thing of beauty.  A masterpiece.  At least that is what I'm hoping for, because it's now been two summers without a deck and it's a pain.  So we rent a post hole digger and make some really big ass holes, 19 of them to be exact, 48 inches deep.  It's exhausting work for everyone. (I have pictures of this process but I can't find which folder I put them into.  Grrr!)  But we have holes!  Holes that some baby skunks keep falling into.  Skunks that need rescuing.  Stinky!

One of the big holes.

The two baby skunks getting a bath because they were covered in mud.

We had to call an animal rescue group to come and relocate them because they kept coming back and falling in.  One ended up dying which was sad because they have such cute faces.  But, ya know, stinky!  We eventually put in the posts, and fill the holes up with 10 gazillion pounds of concrete.  Those suckers are NEVER coming out. 

Fast forward another year, June 2010.  Have you been noticing how many years it's been now?  Do you think I had a reason to be cranky about this?  Just in case you're unclear, the answer is YES, Jaime you deserve to be upset by your husband's slow way of working on things.  It may end up being wonderful but is it worth the aggravation?  I'm not so sure.  Seriously, any time someone would ask be about the deck, I'd see red.  Everyone else thought it was sooooo funny that it was taking so long, but it wasn't impacting their lives now, was it?

Framing!  It's glorious!
Once all the framing was in, we bought the first of our composite decking.  Deep, dark walnut to be the outer border and the edging of the deck.  He put in a few pieces but then the weather turned and we went to Disney and then it was too cold to work on a deck.  So we are now up to Summer 2011.  Also known as The Year That The Deck Must Be Finished And Inspected Or Else.  Yeah, back in January we get a friendly knock on the door.  It's one of the town's building inspector's wondering if we forgot to have the final inspection done.  Do you know how embarrassing it is to tell him that it's no where close?  The look of complete surprise and then hilarity on his face about my husband's slow process.  We were told that our building permit would be expired in August and he left.

Working hard with his power tools.

See the pretty walnut.  See the border and fascia boards.  Can you picture the pretty?  I almost can!
So tomorrow, Mark is going out with my dad to pick up the last of our composite decking.  He needs just a few more of those walnut boards and the then he can put the teak down in the middle.  Luckily the store had enough because it's in close-out now.  Woo, we saved a little bit of money!  After he finishes with the decking, Which I'm hoping he'll finish before the end of the month, we just have to buy and install the railing, get it inspected, and we are done!!!!!  I will be having the mother of all deck parties.  I will finally be happy!  Then he can finish up the crown molding in the dining which I've been waiting for for 2 years.

See my one, lone piece of crown?  I would love to show off pictures of my super cute dining room but it's not yet finished!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Busy Little Bee

That's me!  Even with all the stress of having Mark gone and Annabelle sick, I've managed to get some stuff done.  We are now thisclose to having Annabelle's room finished, you know almost two years after we moved her over there. 

When we found out that I was pregnant, we ran around making her nursery perfect.  New windows, closets, doors, carpet, molding, a chandelier, furniture.  Everything.  Then I decided that she needed the bigger bedroom.  And when I decide something, I need to do it, like, now.  Except we didn't have time to rip out carpets and rearrange closets and install new doors.  That stuff is expensive and takes time, especially when my perfectionist husband is the one to do it.

I'm actually planning on using the money I made at our garage sale to buy closet doors for both closets and a new door for her room.  Right now they are hollow, cheapo doors.  I want all wood ones.  They look so much nicer.  After that it's the carpet which will be pricey but she deserves it.  So that was why I finally started finishing up things that needed to be done in her room.  I put in the closet organizer.  It doesn't seem like a big deal to most people but I usually just let Mark do it.  He's stronger and has more patience for that kind of stuff.  But again we're busy so I decided to tackle it.  And I did it!  All by myself. 

I went and comparison shopped at multiple stores, bought it, and tore apart the closet which was stuffed with... stuff.  Then I painted it decided how I wanted to shelves and bars to hang and drilled and hammered and screwed until it was finished.  I was so excited and it looks so cute with her little dresses hung up all in a row.  Plus I have a place for her laundry basket and the comforter and her stool and so much more!  Can you tell that I'm happy?

One of her closets.  The other one I have plans to turn into a reading nook kinda thing.  Some shelving and a padded bench.  Her own little spot.

Tinkerbell flying along the ceiling.  I'm still loving the pixie dust that I stenciled:)

Even the light switch has to be decorated!

The dresser, book and game shelves, and doll house.  The other side has a full size bed, giant toy box that Mark made for her 1st birthday and hamper plus the two closets.  The girl has a big room!

 So how do you think I did?  Pretty darn cute huh?  Are there any projects that you've done that you're proud of?  Tell me about them!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Scaring Myself Silly

Sometimes my brain does some really strange things to me.  I don't know where the thoughts come from, but they well up and I can't stop them.  Mark is out of town, it's not a big deal now that Annabelle's feeling better.  So last night I'm getting ready for bed, making sure doors are locked, windows shut- that sort of thing. 

As I'm checking to make sure the sliding glass door is locked, I start imagining that there is someone out there.  Watching me.  He knows I'm alone.  He knows I don't have anything but our bat, Big Red, under the bed.  After I get started with those thoughts, I'm frantic.  Throwing all of the curtains closed, running up the stairs, slamming bedroom doors.  I hopped onto the bed, threw the covers over my head and prayed to just go to sleep and to stop thinking about it.  When I told Mark about it when he called, he just laughed at me.  I told him that I hope he gets bitten by a bedbug and to shut up!

I know that I can easily get myself worked up over nothing.  I have an overactive imagination, I always have.  This is the not the first time I've managed to scare myself and ended up getting laughed at by my husband.  I hope it's the last time though.  My heart can't handle it!

Monday, July 11, 2011

When it rains...

it pours.  Last week and this coming week are going to be hard on me.  So much stuff is causing me grief or going wrong!  Last week Mark was out of town for work.  I hate when he's gone overnight.  But we knew it was important for him to go.  That's not usually the end of the world but it was hard for some reason.  Annabelle started Literacy Camp and getting up so early in the morning was making her cranky with a capital C.  And she was constantly asking for her Daddy, I miss Daddy, when is Daddy coming home. 

We just found out that he could be losing his job in September because he will no longer have funding on the project he's working on.  He says he's not super worried but that's not stopping him from doing anything that they are asking him to do right now.  He's hoping that his security clearance gives him some leg up on some of the other guys there.  I'm worried though.  He doesn't make a ton of money but it's enough that I'm able to stay home and be a mom and wife first.  I was thinking of getting a part time job this fall after Annabelle's in Kindergarten but it would have been play money.  Not something that we would actually need.

Then on Friday, after I had to send her to her room because she wasn't being a good listener, she felt hot.  I took her temperature and it was 102.3, yuck.  We had fun things planned for Saturday with some of our friends, Pirate's Weekend at Olcott Beach and Carousel Park.  It sounded so fun and we couldn't go with a sick kid.  But I was just really upset that her fevers are starting up again.  Very early Saturday morning, Annabelle wakes up (1am-ish) with her fever sky-rocketing and police cars EVERYWHERE on our street.  It turns out that a drunk driver hit a 18 year old girl right at the end of our street.  He left the scene and was caught later on at a gas station. This man is a doctor, former board of trustee at Buffalo General (a local hospital).  The girl died.  She was getting ready to start college in a few weeks, all she was doing was riding her skateboard home from work.  It's just so pointless.

All day Saturday and all day Sunday Annabelle's fever was high.  She was eating next to nothing and going back and forth between Motrin and Tylenol wasn't doing much for her.  The while her hot, little body is sitting on my lap, the TV makes this loud popping noise and the screen goes black.  There was still sound but no screen.  Now we have to buy a new TV!  We don't have $1000 just laying around.  We can afford one but that just means no quick long weekend type vacation for us this year.

And now Mark is again gone until at least Wednesday, maybe Thursday for work.  Luckily Annabelle's fever broke during the night, though she did throw up all over the couch this morning.  So fun.  I'm just hoping things will be getting better this week or I just might cry!

I swear I'll try to write something happier for tomorrow:)

Friday, July 8, 2011


Now don't get dirty on me here, but everyone has them.  They can range from XXX spicy to puppy dog pure but do they ever really compare to real life?  No matter what you're thinking or obsessing about, it usually falls flat when or if it actually comes true.  I can dream all day long about being with some really hot guy or movie star crush but when I'm thinking about them, they are perfect.  I imagine them being romantic and thoughtful, tons of fun.  There is never the reality that they will throw their dirty underwear next to the hamper and not in it, just like my husband.

Mark and I were together for 7 years before we got engaged.  My idea of what marriage and all the grown up stuff that went with it was never part of my dream.  I thought of all the fun and romantic stuff that we would do together.  Vacations and I thought that decorating our new house and having a baby together would be like living on cloud nine.  It didn't take long for my bubble to pop.  Balancing check books, laundry and cleaning toilets became my reality.  Not quite enough money to decorate the house the way I dreamed was my reality.  A colicy baby and an anxiety-ridden husband, who spiraled close to out of control, was my reality.  It was hard.  I cried all the time.  But we made our way through it, together. 

After almost 8 years of married life, 16 years together, we have weathered mnay storms.  The ups and downs can make your head spin, but we now are on a pretty even keel.  My fantasies lean more toward the mundane, a maid to clean my toilets for me, a trip to Disney to see Annabelle smile or Wsahington DC to get a history fix.  Don't get me wrong, I still plan on those trips to Europe and Egypt and Africa in my head.  Some of them will actually come true.  I still have my crushes that I make into the perfect person but I still have some great fantasies that I get to actually act out with my husband.  And they tend to turn out really great:)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Trip to the Naval Park

On Sunday Mark, Annabelle and I went to visit the Buffalo and Erie County Naval Park.  Now I know that most people that live here in Buffalo have visited the Naval Park at one point or another in their lives, boy/girl scouts, school field trips, etc. but I had not ever been.  I know, tragic.  So I thought it seemed fitting that we should go and tour the ships that fought for our country's freedom on Fourth of July Weekend. 

Now first off, we thought it would take an hour, maybe an hour and a half tops to go through the 3 ships.  Boy, were we wrong.  We weren't dawdling through.  We didn't stop at each little placard describing all the rooms, twists and turns and artifacts that we passed, but a little over 3 hours, one blister on poor Annabelle's foot and me losing my flip flop later and we finally finished.  We left the house around 11am and got home at 3 pm.  Needless to say we were all hot, a little bit cranky and basically starving to death! 

OK I'm going to put a little bit of history here and if you're not interested, please skip ahead to the photos.

First we went through the 2 museums set up, honoring local War Veterans.  They both dealt mainly with WWII.  After that we toured the USS The Sullivans, named after 5 brothers who lost their lives when the naval ship they were on, sunk off the Solomon Islands.  The Sullivans is supposed to be haunted by on of the brothers, George.  Pictures of George aren't supposed to turn out but all of mine did.  Plus there is the random sightings of a naval crewman on board, that conveniently disappears and all kinds of scary bangs and noises.  We didn't encounter any of it fortunately/unfortunately.

The second ship was the USS Little Rock.  This ship is the biggest of the 3 boats, holding 1400  enlisted men, officers and marines.  Because it had the most space, there were lots of rooms dedicated to different military divisions and background information about the Korean War.

The last ship is the USS Croaker, which is a submarine.  It is small, miniature.  I can't imagine over 80 men living on this sub during WWII, but they did. 

An outside view of the 3 ships.  the Sullivans is the one farthest to the left, the Little Rock is in the middle and the Croaker is front-most on the right.

Posing on the map of Western New York.

They had an army tent/camp set up with some pieces of clothing to dress up in, old army trunks with provisions inside, maps, and personal effects of local war heroes from WWII.

I had to take a picture of the Air Force clothing.  My grandfather was a tail-gunner on the B-17 planes during WWII.  I have always been immensely proud of his small role in keeping our country safe and free.

This plane was built nearby in Niagara Falls for the War.

The propellers from The Sullivans.  They were HUGE!

Playing with guns.

Working hard!

She's got the guns.

The stairs were super steep and this was the only way Annabelle would go up or down them.  It's a good thing her Daddy loves her so much:)

These were the bunks on the ships.  It reminded me of Dachau, one of the concentration camps in Germany.

I love me a water fountain, even if they don't work.  It is called a scuttlebutt on the ships.  I don't know why.

More guns and Annabelle hanging like a monkey.

Pretending to wash her hands in the company bathroom.

Heading onto the next boat.  I love her pose, the little popped foot, the dress.  Too cute!

Long range missiles.

An enlisted man's locker.

Once we found out about her blister, she got some extra carrying around by Daddy.

She makes the funniest faces.  Do you think they just ordered a bomb to be deployed?

You could look through the periscope and see the inner harbor and light house.

These were the nice rooms.

The hatches between the rooms were only about 4 feet high and 3 feet wide.

A shark bomb.
Overall we learned a lot of interesting things, saw some neat ships and learned that it takes a lot of time to get through everything.  But if you're ever in the neighborhood, check it out,  If you're a history buff like me, you'll love it!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Embarrassed? Not Me!

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Pittsburgh with two of my friends, Joleene and Stephanie, to see the NKOTBSB tour.  Now I know I had complained about it some, the week was so hectic for me that my head was just spinning, but as I suspected we had a great time!  We had our matching shirts and twizzlers for the car ride.  We talked non-stop for the three and a half hour long trip about everything from our families to Disney to our favorite TV shows.

Once we found a place to park near the arena, we made a mad dash into a Barnes and Noble to pee and change into our concert outfits.  Joleene got her flirt on and asked the parking attendant for restaurant ideas and we headed out to find some food.  We ended up at this total dive bar but it was less than half a block from the arena and there was a sign outside welcoming all NKOTBSB fans so we thought, hell why not!

It was a very good choice!  I got a pulled pork sandwich that was quite yummy and only $7.  Jo and Steph's meals were similarly priced and equally tasty.  But the best part was... the jello shots!  They were only a dollar and mixed drinks were only $4!  Let's just say that we partook, is that a word?  The owners, a man that looked just like my dad and a woman with a southern accent seemed to think we were just adorable, catering to everything we asked for.  Even setting aside jello shots just for us.  We met 2 guys that played with a traveling church music group and made them have a jello shot with us.  We were probably annoying, but hell we had a blast!

Our first of many jello shots of the night.

Oh did I mention there was a shot girl?

It's been a few hours and many drinks later.  Can you tell?

Drunk Twittering Donnie Wahlberg:)

These are those church boys, they may never be the same.

Waiting for the show to start.

Donnie, Jordan, Joey, Jon and Danny!

Lone shot of Joey (I think) and the crowd.

A curtain of sparks.

Now add in BSB

Finale.  Boston was just about to win the Cup, BOO!

So I know that most people out there that may come across this post will think that we're losers or stupid for going to this concert, but you know what?  I don't care!  We had such a good time.  We met other girls there that had such a good time.  I don't say anything about others people's loves or obsessions or whatever.  I loved every minute of it and I know if New Kids tours again, I'll be there:)