On May 28, 2012 · 2 Comments
i was super excited for my birthday weekend. i've been dying to see the hunger games ever since it came out - i got the trilogy for christmas and plowed through all three books in just a few short weeks. things kept coming up and we kept pushing back the movie outing, until i started to worry that it wouldn't be in theaters anymore! we finally made plans to see it the saturday before my birthday. i had a good weigh in that day, brought home breakfast, and then evan and i got a ton of chores done around the house. we both showered and put on some decent clothes and my parents came over to babysit for us. we went to california pizza kitchen in the fairfax town center for lunch, and it was awesome. afterwards, we sat outside in the sun and watched a bunch of kids play in the fountains. i almost wished we had ours with us! we headed across the street to the movie theater, grabbed some candy and drinks, and settled in to a mostly empty theater. the moment the movie started, i noted the shaky camera work, and my heart sank. i don't do well AT ALL with shaky camera work - i had to leave the blair witch project at least three times to splash cold water on my face and looked away from the screen any time they started running through the woods, and we ended up walking out of district nine a few years ago because i felt so nauseous. i remember being so angry that our date was ruined that day, and laying on my mom's couch for at least an hour after we got home, trying to recover. it didn't take long before i started to feel hot and queasy and had to make my first trip to the bathroom. it didn't help much. i made two more trips, missing probably ten minutes of the movie at a time, and then i noticed that it was bothering evan, too. i'm kind of glad it did, because if he had been fine, i might have tried to stick it out longer. as it was, i thought i was going to throw up most of the drive home, and i spent a long time laying on the floor when we got back. i still felt a little sick at bed time!
sunday was mother's day, and my 31st birthday. we met my parents at frying pan farm park in herndon around 9 AM. everyone enjoys it, so i thought it would be a nice way to start mother's day. the weather was beautiful, we saw lots of baby animals, and the boys were very good. after that, we headed back to our place for a cookout. we grilled beef burgers, turkey burgers, and hot dogs, and had potato salad, spinach dip, pasta salad, and pound cake dipped in chocolate for dessert. we put henry down for a nap at noon, and then had our lunch out on the screened in porch with stephen. after he went to bed, my dad and i played a game of cribbage, and then all of us watched the descendants. it wasn't the best mother's day movie - it was good, but kind of depressing. my parents headed home, and krystle gave me a call. i saw out on the deck talking to her for almost an hour - it was great! i sure do miss her, and finn, and gavin and i wish they could've spent the day with us. the rest of the night was pretty low key. it didn't end on the best note, but at least my day was perfect up until the evening.
On May 23, 2012 · 0 Comments
we had a good weekend. after work on friday, evan and henry took the hyundai to the dealership for service, and went over to ihop for an early dinner while they waited. then they went to nathan's for some ice cream. i think it was nice for them to have some one on one time together. stephen was still napping, so i curled up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and watched grey's anatomy & private practice, and enjoyed myself although i spent half the time sobbing! stupid medical dramas! when stephen got up, we watched cartoons and had dinner together.
saturday i went to ww (i am working on a long overdue update regarding my weigh ins), and brought home chic fil a breakfast. we all went to target and bought bikes and softball gloves for evan and i - we are really enjoying our big back yard, and the fact that our neighborhood is so well suited for taking walks, riding bikes, etc. we had already ordered a little trailer from amazon, and as soon as we got home, evan assembled it and attached it to his bike.
we took a ride around the neighborhood, and let me just say, riding a bike is a LOT harder than i remember! i felt unsteady, and a little scared when i picked up speed. we haven't bought helmets yet and i couldn't stop myself from thinking over and over again that if i wiped out, it was REALLY going to hurt! even though i work out regularly, my legs were on fire the minute we hit any kind of hill. the seat is small and my ass was KILLING me the next day, even after only a short ride! i've never owned a bike with gears, so i am still trying to get used to using them. we've been talking about getting bikes for a while, and i always planned to pull the trailer myself, to get some extra exercise. i've only done it once since we bought the bikes, and it was really tough! hopefully i can work up to it. in any case, we've taken a number of rides since the weekend, and the kids seem to enjoy it, especially stephen. i'm hoping we can make a habit of it this summer, so we can spend time as a family and i can get some extra exercise at the same time.
after the kids went to bed, i picked up chiptole for lunch. evan and i have started sharing a burrito bowl and a side of chips, and it's a perfect meal. we gave both the dogs a bath outside, which was long overdue, and then everyone showered. the rest of the night was pretty low key.
we got so much done on saturday, i had high hopes for sunday. stephen and i did the grocery shopping and picked up subway for lunch. by the time we got home, i was starting to get a headache. it kept getting worse. when the kids went down at noon, i laid down on the couch. i ended up sleeping until at least 4. i got up when the kids did but i didn't feel much better. after we ate dinner, i went upstairs and laid down from 6 until almost 9. i got up for a little while, but went back to bed around 10 and slept the rest of the night. that was one bad headache! i was disappointed that the day was basically wasted, but we got so much done on saturday that the weekend still felt like a win.
life continues to be very busy, but i am trying to get back into the swing of posting. more to come!
On May 22, 2012 · 0 Comments
my baby boy turned three years old today, and it couldn't have gone much better. he woke up in a good mood, and went pee on the potty right away. we let him have sugary cereal and juice for breakfast. unfortunately, i had to go to work, but the boys had a great day. stephen acted nice and polite all day, and evan pretty much let him have whatever he wanted in the way of food, drinks, and tv. stephen didn't want to take a nap so evan let him stay up, and he laid on the bed in the basement watching pink panther and cracking up. when i got home, we had chicken nuggets and french fries for dinner, and then stephen and i made cupcakes. while those were baking, all of us took a bike ride. after we got back, stephen helped me frost the cupcakes and cover them with funfetti, and then we all ate them and stephen opened a few presents. we gave him a singing card, elmo stickers, a toy story t shirt, a curious george book, and a kids digital camera. he opened the camera first and he was so excited about it that he didn't care about anything else. we skyped with grandmommy and grandpa v for a few minutes, and then stephen went to bed. we're vacationing in massanutten next week with both sets of grandparents and several other members of evan's extended family, so we'll have a big birthday party then.
as i always do on their birthdays, i spent a lot of time today thinking about where i was three years ago, and of course i read over stephen's birth story. part of me can't believe it's been three years already; another part of me can hardly even remember my life before stephen came along. i know it sounds corny, but i've learned more and grown more and loved more and been more challenged in the past three years that i ever could have imagined. and stephen is turning into such a little man. he is sensitive - he furrows his brow worriedly when he senses i'm upset, rubs my arm lovingly, tells me not to sigh and not to cry. he likes to stack and arrange items, and can get a little OCD with routines. for example, each morning, we give him a sippy cup of milk and put a chewy vitamin on top. if we try to hand him the vitamin, he'll put it down on top of the sippy cup, leave it for a beat, and then pick it up and eat it. he loves to help, especially when it involves tools or cooking. he's been slower to talk than most kids, but it's clear he understands just about everything we say. he's finally starting to talk more, and is more willing to at least try to say new words. he's pretty good with his letters, and good at showing evan and i what he wants when he can't articulate it. he's peed on the potty several times in the past week, so we're finally making some progress there. right now he loves balloons, his favorite book is yertle the turtle, and he wants to watch the wiggles pretty much every day. he randomly kisses my cheek at night while i read him his bedtime story, and it melts my heart.
happy birthday, baby!
On March 22, 2012 · 0 Comments
all of that hard work culminated on saturday, march 10 with a dual purpose party to celebrate our new home and henry's first birthday (which was march 7). evan's parents, grandparents, and brother billy arrived on march 8. mom and i spent hours at costco and giant on march 9, stocking up on food and drinks. on march 10, there was a lot of cooking and decorating, and then billy picked up rob and kris at the airport. i'm so glad that evan's entire family was able to come! i had been hoping to get a nap, but by the time we got the kids down, there was still a lot of work to do and people were set to start arriving at 3. not counting all of evan's family, we had over twenty people come and go throughout the afternoon, and we only had a few no shows. we gave lots of house tours, visited with good friends, and ate lots of food! a lot of people brought housewarming gifts and birthday presents for henry. after he got up from his nap, henry went to town on a birthday cupcake. we didn't sing happy birthday because we were thought it might scare him. i was honestly surprised that he did so well sitting in his high chair with so many strangers watching him. he didn't really open any presents - he had been teething and although he didn't fuss, he was pretty sedated. he slept on my mom for quite a while. stephen was really good and not very shy, and he LOVED the elmo cupcakes. it was cute. martha and eric stayed until late evening, and we all played xbox after the kids were in bed. the party was quite a success! the best part is that we used our costco cash back coupon to pay for almost everything we bought, so it's almost like it was free. i told evan maybe we should make this an annual thing. 🙂 the only downside was that it wasn't really warm enough to spend time out on the deck, but it worked out fine. evan's parents unfortunately had to leave the next day, but rob and kris stayed until wednesday. i had meetings all week, but rob got to spend a lot of time with evan and the kids, and that's what was important.
last weekend we sort of took it easy. on saturday morning, my mom and i got pedicures at the red door salon and spa in reston. the pedicures lasted almost an hour, and were awesome! after that we had lunch at cpk, and had some really good conversation about kids and things. it was an awesome, much needed girls day. on sunday morning, we met my parents at frying pan farm park. a lot of animals were born within the last few weeks, so we got to see piglets, lambs, chicks, etc. the weather was cool but comfortable, and the kids were good. we spent some time on the playground before heading home for naps, and then relaxing the rest of the day.
i really wish we could take some more weekends "off", but i feel like we need to push through and get the repairs to the townhouse finished first. hopefully evan can make some progress this weekend!
On March 20, 2012 · 1 Comments
let me start by saying that i could not be happier with our new house. literally every single day, i'm struck by how thankful i am for at least some aspect of it. sometimes it's the quiet, tree lined streets where we pull the kids in their wagon, with every single car that passes us taking the time to wave hello. sometimes it's the enormous back yard where we can go out to play after dinner on a warm evening. sometimes it's my giant laundry room on the top floor, making it so much easier to deal with the laundry of three boys. sometimes it's when i'm driving home at night after a late meeting, and i have to use my brights just to get down our street, and i can see every single star in the sky. the few negative aspescts, like our enormous electric bill and the cost of lawn maintenance, can't make even a small dent in my happiness to be there.
all that being said, i feel like evan and i have hardly had a momemt to breathe in MONTHS, especially since the move. i almost can't believe it was only three months ago, because we've done so much during that time. we've unpacked virtually everything, hung up pictures and curtains, had blinds installed, had the fence put in, bought a dining room table and office furniture, wall mounted the tv and shelves so the kids can't reach anything, put up a bird feeder, ordered and received several custom area rugs, made countless trips to lowe's and home depot and target for everything from bathroom accessories to touch up paint to lighting, had the paino retuned... everything is basically in it's place. stephen's room is the only room that really looks unfinished, and that's only because we are looking for some new "big boy" stuff to decorate with. i feel like we've made this house into a home in a very short time, and i can already envision us here for many years. the thought of my boys growing up there gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling.
we even found a landscaper and a housekeeper (!). we had the house cleaned several weeks ago, and it was the first time we've ever used a cleaning service. it. was. AWESOME. the house smelled great, everything had been vacuumed and dusted, the fridge and microwave were spotless, the bathrooms were clean and sparkling... when i took a shower the next morning, i realized that they had even wiped down my body wash container! after seeing what a mess the townhouse was when we moved out, evan and i agreed we should get someone to clean every two or three months, just to do the things that we have a lot of trouble keeping up with. thoughts after their first visit are that this will be totally worth the money.
we've also had to worry about the townhouse. at this point, all the carpet has been replaced, tile was installed in the bathrooms, and the entire interior has been repainted. the place looks good but i have to say that when i saw it, it looked so small. i think i'm already used to all the space in the new house. there are a number of smaller maintenance items left to take care of. hopefully evan (and some helpers) can do that in the next several weeks, and then our realtor can start looking for renters. that will be a big item checked off our list, although then the landlord duties will begin. hopefully we can get some nice, long term tenants, and it won't be too much of a hassle.
to be continued...
On February 26, 2012 · 0 Comments
week 42 - down 0.2
i am currently down 31.4 pounds, and 17.4 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. i continue to struggle every day, but at least i'm still headed in the right direction. i'm proud to say i've worked out at least five days per week for the last three weeks. it's mostly been too cold to run, but i am alternating using my elliptical, doing my 30 day shred dvd, and trying my new fitness game for the xbox, your shape fitness evolved 2012. i also finally bought a heart rate monitor, the polar FT60. it was my reward for hitting thirty pounds, and so far i really like it. the heart rate strap is comfortable, the watch is cute, and easy to use. you can enter your weight and fitness goals, and it will develop a training program for you. mine told me to work out 4 hour and 55 minutes and aim for about 2500 calories burned per week. i usually work out about 2.5 hours per week, so at first i thought, no way! but damned if i haven't found myself struggling to make that goal! i've upped most of my workouts to 40 minutes instead of 30, and even worked out the past few saturdays. for some reason, that watch is motivating me! it also tells me what heart rate zone i should be in for weight loss. my heart rate is usually too high, but i like keeping an eye on it and trying to get into the right zone. another thing i like about it is that there is a GPS accessory you can buy to track distance and pace when running outside - i'll probably use that as another weight loss reward in the future.
evan helped me quite a bit last week, by reminding me to track my food even when i was eating more points than i should, and by taking care of the kids so i could get a few extra workouts in. i really appreciated that. my goal this week is just to keep tracking and keep working out.
On February 18, 2012 · 0 Comments
today was an awesome day!
- went to weight watchers.
evan and i both got to spend time with the kids, got to spend time to ourselves, and now we're spending time together. the best part is that this is a three day weekend, so we have two more days to enjoy.
today was sunny and 60, and yet tomorrow it's supposed to snow. i kind of hope it doesn't, because my parents are planning to come over and help us finish a few more things around the house, spend some time visiting, and maybe go out to dinner.
lots of fun stuff coming up - jim gaffigan at the warner theater next weekend, gaelic storm at the birchmere the weekend after that, and henry's birthday/housewarming party the weekend after that! should be a fun month.
On February 15, 2012 · 1 Comments
i requested a vacation day yesterday. i have three board meetings this week and evan and i wanted to make our annual trek to olive garden, but we didn't want to wait in the lobby for two hours with two kids. so, i figured we'd get to spend the day together and then we could go out to eat in the middle of the afternoon. my boss asked me to order 10 dozen gourmet cupcakes from the shop near my house and pick them up. she offered to let me work a half day without using any vacation time, and that sounded fine to me. it turned out a large project i was supposed to complete monday wasn't finished on time, so i had to work on that feverishly on tuesday anyway. i was starting to get awfully stressed and annoyed about being at work by the time i finally left around 1 pm.
i must say, after that, we had the perfect valentine's day. we got the kids up from their naps around 3, put some nice clothes on them, and headed out the door for olive garden. we had to wait about 5 minutes to be seated even though there were a lot of empty tables, but that was fine. the food and the service were both very good, and the kids really couldn't have behaved any better throughout the meal. henry quielty noshed on breadsticks and milk the entire time. stephen played with henry, ate some bread and grapes, and people watched out the window. he also took a few pictures with my iPhone, which he LOVES to do now. we asked him to take one of us, which he's never tried before, and he did pretty well!
when we got home, i gave stephen and henry their valentine's day gifts -they each got a balloon, they shared a musical snoopy valentine's day card, and they shared a chocolate cupcake. they loved it! evan and i had agreed not to buy each other gifts, since we've been spending money it's going out of style, but evan got me roses and a gift basket anyway, which was really sweet.
after the kids went to bed, we both had dessert and i had some wine. we watched a little tv, and then headed to bed. a perfect valentine's day!
On January 24, 2012 · 0 Comments
i can't believe it's been so long since i posted about weight watchers... my last post was at the end of october! here's a recap of the last few months:
week 29 - oct 29 - down 0.2
so, i am currently down exactly 30 pounds, meaning that i have lost 2.8 pounds in the last 13 weeks. i guess i could look at it and say crap, i only lost 2.8 pounds. and sometimes i do. but more often than not i am choosing to look at it and say hey, i made it through the holidays and didn't gain any weight. i've been struggling really badly to get back on the wagon and last week was the first time i was able to force myself, kicking and screaming, to track my food five out of seven days. i also worked out four out of five days, but for some reason, that's never been nearly as difficult for me. anyway, saturday we had some snow and a little ice on the ground, and i was devestated at the prospect that my meeting would be cancelled. once i confirmed it wasn't, i braved the roads and went to weigh in. my efforts were richly rewarded and i was very surprised at how much i lost. woohoo! i'm hoping that gives me the boost i need to keep going. i didn't track over the weekend, but i am back at it today. this is pretty typical for me even when i'm really sticking to the plan - i'll sort of eat what i want over the weekend, then track my food during the week and assume that my extra 49 points are gone.
i have 18.8 pounds to go to my pre-pregnancy weight and it's very doubtful that i will make it by henry's first birthday (march 7 is only about 6 weeks away), but that's okay with me. having less than 20 pounds to go feels more manageable somehow, and as long as i keep heading in the right direction, that's all that matters.
On January 23, 2012 · 0 Comments
i have been looking forward to this christmas since at least christmas 2010, and maybe even before that. i knew 2011 was our year to stay in virginia (we spend every other christmas with evan's family in georgia) and i felt confident that the mulligans would spend christmas in virginia too, since they stayed in colorado in 2010. i couldn't stop thinking that we were going to have "a fun old fashioned family christmas", christmas vacation style. as the months wore on, the dream became a reality. evan and i planned to stay in my parents basement with our two kids and two dogs for several nights, while krystle, gavin and finn would be sleeping in the guest rooms upstairs. i think everyone except me had some serious reservations about what a total nut house it was going to be - i was too excited to consider even the possibility that the whole experience wouldn't be awesome.
the mulligans flew in on tuesday evening, december 20th. they came by my office on wednesday so mom could show off her grandbaby, and i was SO excited to see them all! i couldn't believe it had been 8 months - too long! i took thursday and friday off. we headed over to my parents thursday evening and stayed there until the following tuesday morning. we met everyone for one last dinner on tuesday night at copper canyon, and then the mulligans flew home on wednesday.
things really couldn't have gone any better! stephen and finn played really well together. last time they were together, they were a little curious about one another, and played near each other, but they didn't interact a lot. this time, they interacted a TON! they laughed and talked in toddler speak, tickled each other, chased each other, and evn exchanged some adorable hugs and kisses. there was a little bit of hitting and snatching of toys, but far less than i expected. henry and stephen slept together in the main room of the basement, with henry in the pack and play and stephen on a futon. they slept through the night almost every night and did very well at nap times too. i got to go out to lunch with mom and krystle, and then krystle and i also had one lunch just the two of us, followed by a little bit of shopping. that was great - i really miss our girl time. the boys helped bake molassas cookies, went to the playground, and helped hand crank ice cream. we all got to watch christmas vacation together on christmas eve, which looked a little questionable with all the kids sleep schedules. there was tons of eating, reading, tv, and words with friends. christmas day itself was pretty crazy. the pile of presents was larger than it's ever been, which i suppose makes sense as this is the most people we've ever had together, three of them being children! we did stockings and presents and it took hours. the kids were all pretty well behaved. henry couldn't have cared less about his presents, so stephen opened a lot of them. towards the end, the boys were so interested in all the new stuff they'd gotten, and the grown ups opened all their presents. my only complaint is that there was so much stuff and so much going on that i didn't get to see even half of what everyone else received. if i had it to do over, i might suggest that we do all the kids presents first, and then have an "adult" christmas later, maybe when they were napping, so we could go slow and really see what was going on. anyway, the boys of course got way too many toys and adorable clothes. i got speakers for my ipod/iphone, some jewelry, VS pink sweats (good job, evan!), clothes, books (devoured the hunger games trilogy already - loved it, although it left me kind of depressed), christmas ornaments, and a xbox (and probably a lot more things that i am not remembering right now). i have the xbox setup in the extra room in our house, which is turning into a workout room for me, basically. my elliptical is in there, as well as some hand weights, tv, dvd player and workout dvds, and the xbox. i can't wait to try some of the fitness games.
after our final dinner together, of course i was sad to see the mulligans go. i told myself i wasn't going to cry and i was doing pretty well, but then finn started to cry and call for "baby" (his name for stephen). finn and stephen had been chasing each other down an empty aisle in the restaurant for at least 30 minutes, and i'm sure finn just wanted to keep playing. i highly doubt he understood that playtime with baby was over for another nine months or so, but it still tugged at the heartstrings! i did get a bit misty after that, but not too bad. honestly, the visit actually felt pretty long and satisfying, which made saying goodbye a little easier. i felt like we got to spend so much time together and so many different things, probably because we stayed in the same house for five days and didn't have to worry about trying to make plans together and meet up places. christmas was everything i had hoped it would be, and more.
now time to focus on planning our fall trip together to new hampshire! 🙂
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