Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Making Headway

It's been almost a month and I am happy to say that I am doing a good job sticking to my New Year's Resolutions.  It's so easy to say you are going to work on something and then let it slide, especially when there are not any repercussions if you fail.  Whose going to yell at me if I don't floss my teeth as often as I should except me and my dentist?

So on Sunday, I hit on two of my resolutions at the same time, woo!  Mark and I had a mini date, resolution #6.  We went to Soup Fest, which was tasty, awesomeness.  My friend Stephanie had won tickets to go but ended up not being able to.  She gave me permission to use her tickets to get in, saved us $10.  We just had to buy our soup coupons and then we were eating lots of yummy soup.  The average soup sample cost between one and two coupons.

We tried some really good soup too.  We didn't go to any of the restaurant stalls that we would eat at normally.  We've been to Danny's and Roadhouse Grill many times and we've eaten tons of chicken wing soup before so those types of entries, we stayed away from.  But I did get adventurous, resolution #5!  I had alligator gumbo, which tasted just like chicken.  It may have been chicken for all I know, I'm gullible like that.  Plus we had turkey pot pie soup, chorizio chowder, spicy pepper and sausage soup, black bean soup, pierogi soup plus a bunch of others that I can't remember right now.  There weren't any that I hated, though there were only one or two that I loved. 

It was so nice to be able to spend a couple of hours, just Mark and I.  It took quite a bit of finagling to find a sitter for Annabelle, but so worth it.  Having that time alone with Mark helps me remember how much I love my husband and why we are together in the first place.  Being married and a parent has it's stressful moments but when we are laughing together or fighting our way through the crowd for some free Univera soup tureens, it's easier to know why I fell for him in the first place.  It was a good weekend.

Monday, January 30, 2012

On the same page

At least Mark and I are.  On Friday we had some old friends from Mark's last job over for dinner.  They have two little girls right around Annabelle's age so we knew they would play well together.  Dan and Petra are from the Czech Republic.  They love to travel.  They go on a minimum of three big vacations a year, usually one of those vacations is to Hawaii. 

We hadn't seen them since the summer so we were discussing their vacations and Petra asked to see photos of our last vacation to New Orleans and the one prior to that one in Disney World.  Petra looked at our pictures, asked questions about our trips.  We talked so much about how much fun we had.  Then we asked about their vacations- Hawaii, Czech Republic, Croatia, and Arizona.  They focused on Arizona and all they could say was they saw cactus and mountains.  It didn't sound like very much fun.

Dan asked where we were headed to next, Disney again.  Our third time in three years.  I always said I wouldn't be one of those families, but it seems that maybe we are.  Daniel hates Disney and anything related to it.  He made me feel bad for wanting to take Annabelle back there again.  I stewed on it all weekend, my feelings hurt.  I want to take Annabelle to lots of other places.  I have so many fun vacations planned in my head over the next four or five years.  They may not pan out, money is tight. 

Right now, Annabelle still believes in the magic.  I know that one day much sooner than I'm ready for, she will tell me that Mickey isn't real, that Pooh Bear isn't important to her.  So while I want to go to so many places, Puerto Rico and the Everglades, and Arizona to see a mining town, Virginia Beach and California, we choose to live in the land of make believe as long as possible.

I eventually told Mark that Dan had hurt my feelings a little bit with his anti-Disney tirade.  Mark just looked at me and said, "He doesn't know what he's missing out on.  I love watching Annabelle and you, you're faces all lit up at Disney World.  We have made some of the best memories together there.  We have lots of time to make memories in other places when Annabelle is older."

I know Mark is actually very against our trip coming up in November.  It's very close to our hoped for trip to London the next summer.  But he also sees the benefit of going now.  London will wait for us if we can't make it in 2013.  Annabelle won't be this little forever.  I'm just so happy that we are on the same page.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I'm Evil

or at least my husband says I am.  I got up this morning giddy from lack of sleep and way to many Excedrin tablets.  When I'm fighting a migraine I'm either really low, wishing my head would just hurry up and explode or high as a kite on the caffeine in the Excedrin.  Either way, I don't sleep.

I jumped on Mark in the bed singing at the top of my lungs- I'm sexy and I know it!  I work out, I work out!  That song by LMFAO has to be the catchiest song ever.  It gets stuck in your head the whole entire day if you hear it.  Now Mark says I'm evil.  *insert evil laughter here*

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mini DIY

We have a little cabinet over the toilet in our bathroom downstairs.  I used to keep cute little knick knack type things in there but then I had a baby.  And then that baby grew up into an adorable little girl, one who needed lots and lots of pretties for her hair.  

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to organize.  I'm starting small.  I needed to find a way to hide the mess here.  This is the bathroom that is used the most, by us and our guests.  I was pretty sure that no one needed to see the hair stuff and the tooth brushes and toothpaste and floss sticks.

I started looking all around, trying to find some inexpensive baskets or bins that would fit in this tiny space.  But I did want them to look cute and match the purple in the bathroom.  Just an FYI, finding anything in purple for a bathroom is really hard to do.  It must not be an "in" color.  So after about two weeks of casually looking around, I decided to just make something.  That way it would be the perfect fit, the perfect match, you know, perfect!

 So measured the space, found an old cardboard box and some duct tape, and started making my very own boxes.  Then after a quick trip to Joann Fabrics and $4 later.  I had some pretty cute boxes to hide my crap! 
They aren't perfect.  I 'm not sure if I love that they are the exact same size as the shelf, but for now, they are perfect.  I may go back and cut the boxes down some but I also may decide that I can live with them looking just like this.  So what do you think?  Do you have any cute, cheap organizing ideas to share?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I had a whole different post planned in my head today but today is not turning out quite how I wanted it to.  So instead I just want to complain!  The bus never picked Annabelle up today for school.  It looked like it was a sub bus driver that zoomed very quickly past our house this morning.  Normally I see the bus round the corner and that gives me enough time to get to the end of the driveway in time for the bus to stop.  But today, it's very, very windy so Mark decided to pull the car out of the garage and sit in there with Annabelle until he saw the bus.  We've done on a few occasions when it's windy or super cold, but the bus just passed us by.  So beyond annoyed!  I had to pack her into the car and drop her off at school.  We've never done it before and it's so annoying waiting for the other parents to s  l  o  w  l  y drop their kids off and get out of my way.

Then I get back home and about 30 minutes later, I get a call from Mark saying that a huge chunk of our flexible spending has been denied, almost half.  Now I have to call my chiropractor and Annabelle dentist and have them write me out an itemized bill that I can pick up today and get to Mark so that he can fax it over to them.  Stupid Paychex and their super exact billing issues.  We didn't have this problem when Mark worked at Azerty, grrr!  If they screw up this almost $400 I'm going to be mad.

So basically this means, no gym time and tons of running around so my whole day is going to be turned all around.  I am going to need a major stress reliever after this!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Play Time

A couple of weeks ago, we finally got some snow.  Annabelle was beyond excited and Daddy was just as happy to go out with her.  I am not a snow person, because I am usually freezing to death on most days.  It was decided that I would be official picture taker and here are the cutest ones I got.

I wasn't sure they would be able to get back there and open the gate.

She went straight to the back near our tree stumps.

Time to swing!

Trying out our new snowball maker.

It wasn't the right kind of snow so it didn't work too well.

Daddy making a little fort.

Now it's time for a ride.

Daddy you are too heavy!

Making sure it's up to her standards.

And then snow angels.

Soon after the snow angels, Annabelle's glove fell off and she needed to come inside for some hot chocolate.  See her cute mug?  It was mine when I was her age!  They are smaller than regualar mugs, just the right size for Annabelle.  We also have an elephant and a crocodile.  I just absolutely love them!
Annabelle had fun, Mark had fun, and I was glad to stay inside and watch.  So it was good day for everyone! :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dance Costumes

Every year, I am so excited to see what Annabelle's dance costume will look like.  So far the last two were very cute.

2010  Annabelle danced to Hey Mr. Postman and I danced to a spy theme.

2011  Hey Mickey!
I have been dancing at the same studio since 2000 and missed one year when I was pregnant with Annabelle.  I ended up missing the recital that year because I had Annabelle recital weekend.  When it was time to start Annabelle in dance, my studio was the obvious choice.  She already knew her teacher from coming to my class with me occasionally and I got a 50% discount as a mom dancer.  Win, win. 

Most years I'm pretty happy with our costume selections.  Sometimes I'm not completely in love with them but I've never hated one.  But, right now, I'm just not really very sure about Annabelle's costume for this year.  It's a beautiful costume, it goes well with the song she will be dancing to, "Dance With My Father"  but it seems too old for her.

It's the dark blue one, right in the middle.
Maybe it's because it is shown on an older girl, but I'm having a very hard time picturing it on my five year old.  There is absolutely nothing I can do about it.  The costumes were ordered months ago but.  I just talked about feeling like my baby is growing too fast and this costume isn't helping.  I've spoken to some of the other mother's in Annabelle's class and they are feeling the same way.  One of the co-owners of the studio, my dance instructor, mentioned that she spoke with Miss Jackie, inquiring if it was appropriate for 5-7 year olds.  Am I over reacting?  I'm sure once I see it on Annabelle I will be fine, but right now?  She's too little for it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Slipping Away

This morning, Annabelle asked to go out to the bus by herself.  I usually walk her to the end of the driveway and watch her cross the street and wave good-bye.  But today she did it all by herself.

She's growing up so fast.  It feels like it was just yesterday that she was a tiny, little snugglebug, wrapped in my arms and now... she's in Kindergarten.  She doesn't need me like she once did and while I love seeing her growing up, it still stings.

Over the last couple of months, I've noticed little things that Annabelle does or says and I can see her in the future.  A tilt of her head, an expression, a phrase and I can picture her at 16, 21, falling in love.  It startles me. 

I remember being little and always looking for the next thing.  Time moved so slowly.  A day took a year and that next birthday, holiday, vacation seemed so far away from me.  Now, time moves at a blink of an eye.  I laughed at Mark when he tried to convince me that he was 33, when in fact in about 4 months he'll be 35!  Time seems to be moving too fast for him too.

I'm trying to cherish all of her 5 year old-ness right now.  Because I look into my future and she's slipping away.  She'll always be my baby but... I miss her.

Monday, January 16, 2012

One of those friends

When you have a good sized group of friends, there is usually a role that each one plays.  There are the ones that you go shopping with, the ones you can talk dirty with and the one that you know when you get together- you are going to talk sh!t with.  I know in my group of friends who each one of these girls are. 

I went out to lunch a few weeks ago with one of my friends and we talked the whole time.  Everything that may have or did bother us about husbands, friends, kids, all of it.  It was good to talk about some of the things that bother me to her, because I often had the impression that she felt similarly to a certain situation as I did.  I remember Mark being concerned about what we would talk about together all alone.  We had never done anything one on one before and she said that her husband had said the same thing.  But we, or at least I, had a nice time. 

The only thing I'm regretting right now is that I told her my biggest, darkest secret.  The one that no one else knows anything about except my sister, Heather.  And I told my friend more than what Heather knows.  I'm just hoping that it won't bite me on the butt later on.  I so should not have said anything and I don't know why I did.  My friend can be very passive aggressive when it comes to certain things.  I just hope I don't end up on her bad side.

Friday, January 13, 2012

And then there was today...

We woke up this morning to 6 or 7 inches of snow.  Blowing, gusting winds and cold, cold, cold. 

And of course Annabelle is having "beach day" at school today.  The whole day the kids will be wearing their bathing suits and sandals, doing beach themed, learning activities.  I hope they will be blasting the heat in the classroom today!

Just another crazy winter in Buffalo!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's January, People!

And this was what Annabelle was doing after school yesterday!  Climbing the Japanese Maple tree in our front yard while I took down all of our Christmas lights from the trees and house outside. 

As a native of Buffalo, NY, January tends to be the coldest month around.  Highs in the 20's and bone numbing wind chills.  Plus add on the snow that has fallen over the past one to two months and January tends to be bleak.

But yesterday the high was near 50, and Annabelle thought that she should be able to take off her coat and wear sandals!  Not quite yet, little girl!

I'm going to soak in the "warm" weather while I have the chance because those cold temps are predicted for this weekend, brr!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

And now back to your normal programming

I posted lots of nice New Year's Resolutions but maybe I should have added try to blog once in awhile to the list!  I was so ready to back into a routine with Annabelle being back in school, no holiday stresses and parties and craziness that happens in December.  But getting back to the gym after taking a whole month off (I know so bad, and one of the major reasons I gained 4 pounds last month) was tough.  They have a new schedule and some of the classes that I loved taking are at weird, inconvenient times now, Grrr!  Then to top it all off, Annabelle has strep throat.  Two days off from school, last Friday and then yesterday, plus a volunteer day on Monday.  I'm pooped! 

But I went to the gym today and it felt good to use my muscles again.  Hopefully I'll get into the swing of things again.  It will make everything so much easier. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I am not huge fan of resolutions, if you want to do something, then do it.  That being said, I do like to start things on Mondays.  I don't know why, maybe it's a new week; new beginning.  Every other year when I've vowed to start something, usually getting into better shape, it hasn't started until after my birthday in February.  It's like, I've eaten lots of cake now let's get started.  But this year I am making some resolutions.  Ones that I hope I will be able to stick to.  I know that there will be much falling off of the wagon but hopefully I'll climb back on relatively easily.
  1. Get a physical, blood work and all.  I haven't had one since I was pregnant.  I'm not a huge fan of my doctor but I need to know how I'm doing overall.
  2. Take my vitamins every day.  I'm OK at taking my multi vitamin but my calcium, I always forget.  I need to strengthen these bones of mine.
  3. Drink at least 9-10 glasses of water a day.  When I'm being good with the water drinking I have a much easier time managing my weight.
  4. Lose that last 10 pounds, at least 5 by the end of February.
  5. Be much more open to new things, take adventures.  Even if it's just trying a new food or forcing myself to look at something with new perspective.
  6. Try to find more time for just Mark and I.  I think that we could try to do a mini date once a month.  Something where our parents could watch Annabelle for a few hours during the day so that we could go to a movie or shop or eat dinner together.  It's much more do-able than a sleep over every time we want to be alone together.
  7. Organize, organize, organize!  Our house is overflowing with stuff and most of it, I don't know what to do with.  Drawers are stuffed to capacity, space is non-existent in the basement.  Once things are put in their organized spot, I'm good about keeping things in their places.  It is just that I don't even know how to start going through everything.  I made Mark pinky promise that we would try harder on this one and he actually agreed!
  8. Lastly, try to see if there is a way for me to make a little money to help out.  I don't know if it will be a part time job or something from home or what.  I simply know that we have big bills and big plans for the future and they cost mucho deniro.  If I could even make a couple thousand dollars in a year, it would help out so much.
I'm feeling motivated already.  I may be periodically checking back into this post so that I can keep myself on track.  Here's hoping for an amazing 2012!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Eve

Every year, friend's of ours have a New Year's Eve party.  It is usually adults only, except this year the party was kid friendly.  So right when Annabelle would normally be heading up to bed, we were in the car, pajamas on, in for a very long night.  We weren't sure how Annabelle would do because she had never been up that late before.  We figured we would wing it and knew there was a slight chance that we would be leaving before the ball drop.

There was food and Wii and the Sabres game was on TV.  Scott and Joleene, our hosts, made up a homemade board game about past parties that was fun but annoying at the same time.  The kids ran around and there were only one or two of those kids that broke down into tears, which is good for our parties:)  By 11:30, Annabelle asked to go home but then the kids started playing hide and seek so she was all smiles again. 

Then about five minutes before midnight, we all gathered together around the TV.  Each family snuggled up next to each other, adults with champagne and kids with sparkling grape juice.  It was very nice to look around at my friends and their families and then look at my own little family.  That is until two minutes before the ball dropped.  Annabelle was  D O N E!  She started crying about how tired she was, she just wanted to go home.  I didn't blame her, it had been a long night.  She calmed down in time to count down the last ten seconds.  We all yelled Happy New Year, kissed, hugged, drank our drinks and then got out of there.  It was the perfect way to welcome in 2012.

Our last family picture of 2011.

The kids all got hats and glasses, beads and horns.

Annabelle and I toasting.

And one last 2011 picture of me and my hunny.