OK people, I'm too emotional (and tired and lazy) to describe who everyone is so forgive me but I am speaking to my family and everyone who knows them, knows their names. I need to try and get this out before it stops making sense to me.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Over this month I've been getting everyone all caught up on their physicals, immunizations, and dental visits. Tristan and Brennan met their new pediatrician (as did we) and she's wonderful!! They give out books and promote other very healthy habits at the doctor's office. She was excited about our "Saturday's Unplugged" and five plus years of preservative-free cooking (except for bread). Tristan was in the 37th percentile for height and weight, Brennan was in the 18th. Tristan had to get 2 shots and he didn't even cry! He also told everyone we saw after that about getting two shots and not crying. I finally have real shot records for them! The pediatrician in Spain, while nice, was a little scattered and probably overbooked so she wasn't the greatest at keeping records. I had made my own and made sure she filled them out, but it's nice having them in a computerized "official" system so the military doesn't give me much more grief.
We all met our new family dentist. It's a little place near us in Southern Maryland called St. Mary's Dental and they have a wonderful, compassionate, highly skilled staff! Our dentist is the only one in this little building and she's amazing with children. All of them were great with our boys. Josh and I bounced from room to room while the kids got cleaned and x-rayed. They all have cavities, even Brennan has one. Guess they inherited my deep stupid molars :/ They were given prizes and a demonstration on proper brushing and flossing. I learned that soft bristles are best no matter how old you are (and DUH on my part). No wonder my gum line is so sensitive. Noah has a cross-bite so braces are going to be in his future.
Tristan was having bigger problems than everyone else so he and I went back (and are going back again on Friday) to get him all fixed up. He's been looking like he had a stroke for the past few hours, poor guy. He did an awesome job though! He never cried or acted scared. Of course, Dr. McCray and Miss Betty made sure he was not even remotely nervous during the procedure so that had a lot to do with it. We're very happy with this place.
I'm also getting a check-up. I haven't been to the dentist for a routine check-up since... the Army made me, and I got out in 2004. Whatever! I don't take care of myself, I'm a Mom! ;) As a pact to moi I've promised me to take better care of my body so I'm going to the dentist, and for a regular physical with bloodwork, and the damned girl doctor (whoopeeeeeeeee). Necessary evils... and not that evil.
Yesterday I successfully completed the 50 pages of paperwork necessary to register Tristan and Brennan for school. If Brennan gets selected, which he should given our very early registration, he will be going to half-day preschool. I am not even slightly nervous about this kid being away from me, interacting with others. He's very congenial and intelligent and adaptable so it shouldn't be an issue for him. Next Mommy is going to finish registering for her school. When I started doing it back in February it was too early to get in for Fall Semester, but now I should be a-ok.
Other than all that we've still been working on random things in our big beautiful wooded yard. Of note: Josh built me a huge compost bin and I've already filled about 1/3rd of it. I need more green matter, which won't be difficult given all this rain and rapid grass growth we've been experiencing. Just gotta get back out there with my big scissors and cut cut cut. We burned a few piles of dried out limbs we had cut and piled up last year. I've been studying up on my gardening a whole lot so that next year I will be prepared to expand. The boys found lots of new Spring critters, including 2 kinds of snakes, 2 kinds of lizards, bees & butterflies galore, caterpillars & spiders everywhere, and plenty of birds to eat them all.
The boys have been doing a lot of bike riding since they found this little ramp behind the shed. That's right, down the huge driveway and onto the ramp, sometimes slamming into the garage. Yes, my heart about explodes when I watch, but I don't stop them. They're careful. Plus, it's so hard to get Tristan to try new things or take and risks or get dirty so I welcome every opportunity with open arms.
He's been super awesome lately though, very grown-up. In fact he's gotten picky about his reading materials, claiming Mo Willems is for babies. I had to get him a book about exploding cows to appease his big boy sensibilities.
Brennan still spends his days pretending to be some animal or another, real or imaginary. I had a fun little bunny with me the other day.
He loves the Mo Willems books and makes me read them all the time. We get one new one a week. I'm glad he's written so many! Now the temperatures have dropped a little again and we're out of "free projects" to complete so we're biding our time. Soon enough we'll be back out there with our shovels.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I had a goal this Spring Break to see new parks and to get out and do something (or at least be active at home) every day. I even made a calendar of events, which covers all of April actually. If I was at home, I had to be accomplishing a task that I had been putting off, not just the normal laundry and dishes nonsense. Mission Accomplished!!
Josh and I went on a dinner date to celebrate 10 years of wedded bliss at the Cheescake Factory thanks to some wonderful friends. We also went to see a live 90's cover band at an Irish pub... how very appropriate for us! The kids had a sleepover with our fabulous neighbors and their 3 boys :) We have some of the most thoughtful, generous friends. Our anniversary wouldn't have been much of a celebration were it not for them!
We packed a lunch and grabbed everyone fairly early to hit up White Plains, the end of the Indian Head Rail Trail, for the opening day of rails-to-trails. For anyone who doesn't know what this is: America is systematically paving previously used railroad tracks and turning them into biking/hiking trails. It was a beautiful day!!
There were tons of people out and about. I don't know how many of them were there to celebrate opening day or how many happened to be there since it was the first warm, sunny day after some random snowfall and snain (I know it's sleet, I like snain better). Regardless, it was nice to see so many SOMDers (Southern Marylanders) getting their exercise, playing with their kids, walking their dogs. Good times were had by all :) Later on that day our friends came out for a sleepover before the festivities we had planned for Easter. Their daughter Kinsley got to color eggs with our boys.
Happy Easter!!! :D We had our friends over for an egg hunt and dinner and general funness ;) The kids had a great time playing outside since it hadn't rained yet. Josh and Brandon accidentally dressed all matchy matchy in KU colors, which is appropriate for these Jayhawks fans.
The kids stuffed their faces with candy when we weren't looking, hid the eggs a few times, and blew a lot of bubbles until it started to rain. Then it was on to naps, movies, and art projects. Noah drew a tree and it's so stinkin' awesome I just couldn't believe! This kid has some vision. Easter dinner was roast leg of lamb, stuffing, green beans, bread, and asparagus. It was delicious and we had a wonderful time.
Before Josh had to go to work and the weather got rainy, we thought it best to head out to Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum. It was a Monday so they were running a 'Memories' tour, but Josh wasn't interested. We self-guided instead :) We were there in time to watch the huge hourglass turn! Noah didn't want to leave the archaeology museum until he had completely put the ceramic pot back together. Mission accomplished.
We brought ourselves another picnic lunch and spent a few hours exploring the beach and the Indian Village. Tristan found almost an entire turtle skeleton. Brennan found crab shells and seashells. Noah spent most of his time trying to scrape barnacles off of the rocks and driftwood... he succeeded! The boys also tried to pull some pretty lame April Fool's jokes on us, which were mostly statements like "Mommy there's a tiger behind you"! Needless to say, we didn't fall for a single one. ;)
The boys and I packed up and headed out to a local park when we received a text from our neighbors. We ended up meeting at Gilbert Run Park in Charlotte Hall for a nice long 2 mile hike. The boys found all kinds of fun things outside and thoroughly enjoyed the playground.
It was ridiculously windy and felt cold, but once we got into the woods it wasn't as bad. I was glad to show one of my favorite parks to our friends. We're going to be hanging out here together some more in summer time!
We were on our own with Josh at work. I ventured a little further outside of our area to Prince George's County, which is technically central Maryland. There was a massive difference in road conditions and proper signage, but we somehow managed to find our destination: Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary and Visitor's Center. While the woods were beautiful I don't think we'll be coming back unless we have bicycles. This place is great for biking, but walking can be very taxing. The set-up is odd, with farms all over the property... I wasn't quite sure if they were private or not.
The trails are marked, but parts of them ramble off into open fields before picking back up in the woods. There were wild daffodils and huge vines growing all over the woods so it made for an interesting hike at least. We also found some cool trash from water runoff and stupid people dumping things into the creek bed AND a stray bone with obvious critter bite marks in it.
We spent our day on outside projects, trying to get some work done before the forecasted rain struck us. We are taking this year to prepare the yard for my ultimate garden. Little by little, it'll eventually consume my whole front yard. What's the point of having land if you aren't using it, I say. It's great living down a big hill where no one can see us :)
The boys were there helping every step of the way (except Brennan, he was off talking about magic spells and being a talking lizard). We ripped out all the shrubs and lowered the drain pipe that runs off of the driveway. We also got the smaller bed all sifted out and ready for planting. Not bad for a few hours of hard work!! Then it rained.
I had all kinds of plans, but the reality was that everything was far too wet for me to accomplish anything outside. Instead, I took the time to plant my seeds that needed to be started indoors and did a lot of reading and research on gardening. We also took the opportunity to go to the library, where I found a great book on organic gardening. I have a long way to go, but my sister and a lot of my friends have been researching and gardening for years now so they will be invaluable resources for me next year. I'm excited to start my compost pile finally!! We're building our own bin since we have so many dead leaves to compost (we're so lucky... really, we are).
Everything had finally dried up and we were off and running early in the morning to hit the Indian Head Rail Trail again for the christening of their new caboose, donated by the B&O Railroad. We didn't stay long because the wind was freeeeezing. The boys got their free sunglasses, a tour of the caboose, and a free doughnut and we were pretty much done.
Noah and I spent the entire day digging up the front garden bed and loading it into a ginormous pile to be sifted later. I was so proud of him! Unfortunately, later that evening was when Bosley died so our victory was short-lived.
I did nothing. Well, Noah and I dug a grave and he wanted to continue working out front, but I just wasn't up for it. Our friend Rudy was in town for work and surprised us with a visit. Best timing EVER!!
The boys climbed all over him all day long and he treated us all to dinner before we laid Bosley to rest, which he also helped with. It was great having him here with us while we were going through it. He is an awesome friend and helped comfort the boys and myself so much. I have been taking Charlie on walks and jogs and making sure he's always with us... he took it hard, but he's doing really well now. He doesn't sleep on Bosley's grave anymore and actually runs around the yard now! I gave him yet another bath yesterday and we've been training him to stay in the yard even when he's not fenced or leashed. So far he's doing amazingly well. It helps that he's a big teddy bear baby who's hopelessly addicted to us ;)
So that was our Spring Break!! All in all I'd say it was a successful allocation of fun vs work. A little sad, but a lot of good happened as well. We had a good break :)
Saturday, April 06, 2013
Ever since we expanded the fence line again we've had daily troubles keeping the dogs in our yard. Today was no exception. After they got out the first time, they came right back. Then they got out again and I went down there, found the spot and fixed it... along with a few more spots I thought they might try. Eventually Charlie came back. Usually Charlie gets home first since he's younger and taller. Then there was a knock at the door. "Do you own a brown beagle that wears this red collar? He just got hit by a car up by the stop sign" aka, Noah's bus stop. We walk to it every weekday and people go over 55mph down that road. I knew then, honestly. But, I didn't really believe it.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Grandparents!! :D HOORAY!!! Anytime grandparents come out you know it's going to be a fun time. A time full of hugs, doting, and spoiling grandkids and their poor battered-down parents ;) We had such a great time with Gpa and Gma B!
Did you know the National Zoo in DC is free? I didn't. It's just sitting there smack dab in the middle of town like a mall, but it's a ZOO. Awesomesauce. It was actually a nice warm-ish day! We saw a butt-ton of animals and the kids were so enamored with the zoo that they completely skipped lunch and hardly complained. We were able to provide a few granola bars and cookies, but I was still pretty impressed with them. Tristan was an absolute angel. He's been ultra super amazing lately. It's like a switch suddenly flipped and he's a grown child now. I promised them we'd be back again soon with our friends to explore even more, especially considering their stellar behavior.
I drove us all out to Annapolis to the US Naval Academy on one of the days Josh had to work. It was not warm-ish. The few minutes we spent outside traversing from one building to another were damn near arctic, but we survived. The museum fascinated the crap out of all the adults, but I fear the kids got bored pretty quickly looking at model ships behind glass. It all looked the same to them and when I told them "this ring was buried under water for 18 years until it was found and the family of the man gave it to the museum for their collection" or "this is a piece of the hull of a ship this submarine blew up during WWII" they are not even remotely impressed. All they wanted was buttons to push. The cannon room proved slightly more entertaining, but alas. Needless to say, the restless young lads and the nonstop freeze breeze pushed us along and back towards home much sooner than anticipated.
When Josh had a day off again we all went out to Fort Washington, which I had been dying to see. The temperatures by the Potomac were chilly yet again and the relentless wind made it seem much colder. Thankfully inside the walls of the Fort it was pretty bearable. Noah didn't get to join us because he had school that day, but Tristan and Brennan were pretty well-behaved the entire time. We all marveled at how advanced the construction was, especially the intricate brickwork and little iron embellishments all around. Most of the surfaces were covered in hardened minerals from groundwater seepage over the years. The ceilings were developing stalactites! I thought that was so cool! They were sure to keep the Fort authentic, from the colonial padlocks to the nails on the bunk beds.
Our last day we did some final grandkid spoiling and shopped 'til we dropped, finishing our busy day with a home-cooked spaghetti dinner. We all had a wonderful visit and were very glad to have them come and see us! :)