Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It’s my party…

So, yesterday was my 26th birthday. I’m officially on the fast track to 30 but, in the whole scheme of things, the 30’s are the new 20’s, so really, it’s like I’m only 16. But without all the worrying of who’s going to take me on my first date to see Titanic…for the 5th time. Don’t lie; I know that you all spent a good portion of your paycheck watching this movie 12 times in the theater. ‘Cause there is nothing like watching Leonardo DiCaprio win over Kate Winslet’s heart on a sinking ship!

I was feeling pretty good about my 26th birthday until my little niece called to give me birthday wishes. When I told her how old I was she said, “Whoa…that’s old.” To make it worse the next question she asked was what I was going to do for my birthday. I said that I was going to go out for dinner with Spencer. When she didn’t say anything in return I asked her if that sounded fun. She responded, “Not really.” Maddie, next birthday I expect you to decorate my front room, bake me a cake, and jump out from behind the couch and scream happy birthday. Then we will really party!

I really did have a good birthday though.

Brynlee and I meet Spencer for lunch at Bouillon Soup. Bouillon Soup is the Seinfeld Soup Nazi of my town. It is my favorite lunch time restaurant. If you have never eaten at Bouillon Soup I suggest you make plans to come visit me and eat lunch there. My favorite is the grilled pesto veggie sandwich with Hungarian mushroom soup. Delicious! Although, yesterday I ventured out and tried a different soup.

That night I got to open up the presents that Spencer had beautifully wrapped in that mornings newspaper. I tried to rip the paper carefully since I was deprived of my morning reading of Dear Abby, but Brynlee was too excited and had them all opened before I had a chance to save my daily reading. Spence spoiled me rotten with gifts and due to my new picture printer I now have no excuse for not printing off my pictures!
 My little sister volunteered to watch Brynlee for the evening, and we of course couldn’t turn her down. But don’t feel bad for Brynlee, Katie spoiled her rotten taking her to the park, the swings and over to the gas station to get a treat. Thanks Kate, you’re the best! And in the mean time Spence and I got to have a enjoyable meal at Red Lobster, without anyone climbing on our laps, spilling water down the front of us, or throwing a fit because she had changed her mind and no longer wanted chicken nuggets, but a corndog.

After Red Lobster we spent the rest of our babysitting time looking for a swing set for Brynlee because we live on the edge. Washing towels, taking out the trash, heating up mac-and-cheese, playing dolls, and searching out the perfect swing set for our two year old on my 26th birthday. It’s really just a matter of time before I have my own MTV reality show.

I have to thank all the friends and family that called, emailed and sent cards wishing me a happy birthday. It really did make my day that so many people remembered. Plus, you can never hear Happy Birthday sung over the phone to many times. I have some seriously talented friends and family! Let me just say, so far, 26 totally rocks.

BBQ’s, a Picnic and Demolition

What a beautiful weekend we had! And it was a good thing that the weather was nice, because we have started to do some construction on the kitchen. This means that all of my dishes, pots and pans, and other kitchen item are neatly organized in heaping piles on the Dining Room table and floor (okay, so maybe not that neatly organized but I was being honest about the heaping piles part). If it wasn’t for the beautiful weather outside I have to admit that my family would have gone without dinner for the entire weekend. However, we were saved by the sun an able to fire up the barbie for some grilled steaks and hamburgers. YUM!

On Sunday we decided it was perfect weather for a picnic so we spent the afternoon over at the park. Brynlee loved that we got to spend all day outside, and bawled the entire way home because the two hours that she spent on the swing wasn’t near enough.

After the picnic adventure I snuck upstairs for a short nap. (Watching Spencer push Brynlee back and forth on the swing for that amount of time would make anybody tired). When I woke up I found Brynlee outside sunbathing in her diaper. Don’t worry though, she did have her winter hat on so the beaming sun wouldn’t fry her hair. That little girl of mine, always a thinker!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Woody NOT Welcome!

Aaahhh the beautiful and peaceful sounds of nature. The chirping of a bird, the whistle of the wind, the serene sound of pristine water as it flows down the river, the ANNOYING sawing of a STUPID woodpecker as it hastily chisels away at the side of our house morning after morning. Please Mister Woodpecker we beg of you to find a different location to get your morning grub. Seeing how you keep returning, we have come to the assumption that threatening you with sticks and rocks has not successfully gotten our point across. First let me explain a little bit about property rights and ownership. The wood that makes up the exterior of our house has been purchased by us and therefore, IS NOT free for the taking. Also, by entering the premises of our property without our permission you are trespassing. Oh just wait until neighborhood watch hears about this. In addition, 5:00 a.m., really! Is that the latest you can wait for breakfast? For your convenience let me point out the acres and acres of trees that sit uninhabited directly in front of our house. What’s wrong with their bark? I reassure you that these trees contain many delicious insects for you to indulge on. Please Mister Woodpecker LEAVE US ALONE!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Trust Me I Do This All the Time

A few weeks ago (okay, really about 7 years ago, but it makes me sick to think how fast time goes) I was making a big move from my first college apartment into a duplex with my friend Kali Jo. Spencer volunteered to come and help me do the heavy lifting, plus he had a truck so I couldn’t help but accept. In the middle of our packing I looked over and saw that like a true man, Spencer had stacked my stereo and all of my speakers into on huge pile so he wouldn’t have to take any unnecessary trips to the truck. As he carefully made his way down the stairs I volunteered to take half his load in an attempt to save my stereo from any major damage. Spencer gave me a quick smirk and replied, “Trust me I do this all the time.” Within seconds my speakers were on the sidewalk and Spencer was trying to balance what was left of his load. From that moment on that became Spencer’s slogan, and if you ask me it fits him well.

Years later we saw a shirt with Spencer’s motto on it and because of the irony we were forced to buy it. Whenever he wears it, it’s guaranteed that somebody will say, “That is such a Spencer shirt” or “Where did you get that? That shirt was made for Spencer.”

The other day Spencer and Brynlee were playing outside and I was inside trying to work my magic and mix up something for dinner. I heard a lot of noise from the backyard area, so like any mother would I dropped everything I was doing, grabbed my camera, and headed out to see what was going on. This is what I captured…you can’t tell me that Spencer doesn’t have that “trust me I do this all the time” twinkle in his eyes!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!

Let me just begin by saying that I am usually a woman of my word (some people call it hard-headed or stubborn I like to call it determined). If I make up my mind to do something, it happens. And by the same token, if I make up my mind to NOT do something, I won’t! Period, end of discussion and don’t ask again.

Well about 6 years ago (during our dating years) Spencer came down with a bad bug. I insisted that he go to the doctor. He insisted that if he had to go I had to accompany him. So I did. I got his paper work filled out and off he went with the nurse for what we hoped would be a quick check-up.

In the meantime, I found myself nestled in a waiting room chair between two rowdy young boys watching an episode of Spongebob Squarepants. The first episode wasn’t too bad, although the little guys laugh did drive me nuts!! However, when one episode turned into six and then seven I was ready to scream. I found myself slouched down in my chair with both hands covering my ears, and my eyes watering at the sound of his annoying cackle. At that moment I vowed to NEVER EVER EVER watch another episode of Spongebob Squarepants!

Today when I was trying to make my way through the playroom picking up books, toys and crayon-scribbled computer paper, I picked up about the 13th Spongebob Squarepants Happy Meal Toy and had to pause for a second. I started feeling a little nauseous to my stomach when I came to the realization that I REALLY dropped the ball on that one.

Let me just say that Spencer loves Spongebob and, therefore, Brynlee loves Spongebob. She doesn’t really watch the show (it is a little to old for her), but she loves it because her daddy loves it. She points out everything Spongebob in the store and can call all the characters by name.

I am cheap (I refer to it as being frugal) when it comes to kids meals. When we get fast food I seldom buy Bryn a meal. I know she won’t eat it all and it helps cut down on my french fry intake if I just share a few with her. Plus, you can get the exact same chicken nuggets on the dollar menu. However, if the fast food adventure is ever at Burger King Spence insisted that we do the kids meal thing. Because you can NEVER have to many plastic Spongebob Squarepants kids meal toys, right!

Spencer doesn’t get to watch Spongebob all that often but every once in a while they will have a Saturday Spongebob Marathon. When that does happen you can rest assured that Spencer, Brynlee and I are snuggled on the couch watching an episode or two.

Everyday Brynlee climbs up on the kitchen counter to point out Spongebob, Patrick and Sandy on our calendar in the kitchen.

And to make it even worse here is Spencer and my Halloween costume from this year.

Before you point, laugh and call me weak let me just say that Spencer loves Spongebob Squarepants. I love Spencer. So vicariously I love Spongebob Squarepants. You can’t win every battle, what more can I say!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Taking Requests

Upon popular demand I am posting more pictures of what we've gotten done on our house. There is still a lot more to do (always), but we have actually gotten quite a bit done in the 10 months that we have owned the house. We have gone through AN ENTIRE WAREHOUSE of paint and have made A DISGUSTING AMOUNT of trips to Home Depot and Lowe's. Let me just add that I have a very talented husband. One Saturday I sent him to a tiling class at Home Depot and within a few months he has tiled two bathroom floors, the bathroom counter top, and the entire entryway and laundry room floor. Next I think I am going to send him to a cooking class and after that probably Laundry 101!
Upstairs Bathroom

Guest Bedroom

Dining Room

Living Room

Our $15.00 Chandaliar. Seriously, $15.00!!
Main Level Bathroom

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Explaining the “Bump”

For those of you that have seen me or pictures of me lately and found yourself having the” is she or isn’t she debate”, the truth is out….I AM!

Spencer and I are expecting Baby #2 in late September which makes me about 16 weeks pregnant. Here are some question and answers for those that are interested.

Are you showing?
Yeah, barely! It would be hard to tell I was pregnant if you didn’t already know. I have an itty bitty tiny bump…YEAH RIGHT, if only. I feel H-U-G-E! My “fat” pants are already getting snug. My belly’s getting big, my checks are getting big, my backside has doubled, and I’m not even going to talk about my thighs. And, I am only 16 weeks along. I am SO excited for what’s about to come.

Are you going to find out what it is? You’re kidding, right? I am a planner. I wish pregnancy tests had a blue positive sign if you were having a boy and a pink positive sign if you were having a girl. 20 weeks (which is when my doctor does the ultrasound) is way to long to wait.

Do you want a boy or a girl? I love when people ask you this question. Like if it comes out the wrong sex you are going to kindly ask the doctor to put it back. With all joking aside, we are indifferent. It would be fun to have a boy just to prove that the Nolan (insert maiden name) family CAN have boys. Yet, it would be very convenient (and cheaper) to have a girl. We are already stocked up with girl clothes, toys, bedding and stuff.

*Just some fun facts about my family:
On my side of the family my parents have 6 kids and 4 grandkids, only one is a boy (and don’t feel bad for him…he loves it)
On Spencer's side 7 of the last 8 grandchildren have been girls. And the boy has a twin sister so that only counts for .5 for the boys.

Have you been sick? Yup, but on the positive side I’ve had a few clues that the end is near.
  • I stayed awake all day for the last two days! Which is quite a feat seeing how the last 3 months I have taken a mid-day nap with Brynlee and have called it bedtime no later than 9:00pm.
  • I have made dinner the last three nights with nothing coming from a box, can or a take-out menu. My morning sickness starts at about 5:00pm right when it’s time to prepare dinner and smells REALLY bother me. I knew this from my last pregnancies so to be prepared I made a ton of frozen meals so all I had to do was put it in the oven at dinner time. It didn’t help; it turned out the sight of a frozen block of something resembling Lasagna also made me queasy. Go figure.
  • Yesterday I did all the laundry (including all the bedding), dusted, vacuumed and even cleaned out the refrigerator and freezer.
Speaking about being sick I have to take a moment to complement Spencer! Thanks for standing by with a can of Lysol, carpet cleaner, and a scrub brush. You are the best husband ever.

Have you thought of names yet? Again, I am a planner (and addicted to lists). I have an excel spreadsheet with about 20 boy names and 20 girl names organized in alphabetical order (just in case I have a litter or something). Sick, I know. I think that covers the basics. We are excited for our new addition and the fun and challenges that a new child will bring.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Weather Gods are Against Me

Seriously, somebody needs to inform the weather makers that it is April 7th and time for a little spring weather!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

It's Potty Time!

So as of Friday we have officially started potty training at my house. For those of you that have already been through this soul-draining process I am sure you are fully aware of what I am about to deal with on a daily basis. By this I am referring to the daily struggle of diapers vs. bodily waste on your floor (always the carpet, never the tile); and the gut wrenching decision to let a toddler have the power when they decide they need to go “RIGHT NOW” even though you have a Racecar Cart full of quickly melting groceries on aisle 12 which is the aisle furthest from any restroom.

First, let me be clear. I am MIT (mother in training)….not one of those supermoms! By this I’m telling you that Brynlee WAS NOT completely potty trained at 16 months nor am I going to have her potty trained in one day. It’s just unreasonable for me, so don’t expect it. Although I have to admit at 16 months she loved to sit on the potty as evidenced in the picture below. Yup, that’s Bryn utilizing her comfy potty seat chair for a relaxing foot soak in the toilet water.
As you can see in this next picture we have made little improvement. Let me introduce the toilet training seat tutu.
Here’s the thing about potty training. It is the great equalizer of motherhood. Whether you taught your child to read in the womb or you let them play with fire at 6 months, you have very little control over when they will decide to not “go” in their pants. Even Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie have to have urine stains somewhere in their homes. Now granted they probably have a Nanny and some high dollar cleanser to clean it with, but it’s there because they have toddlers who will have to learn to use the bathroom.

So here goes nothing!! I have official made the potty training chart and have it proudly hanging on the fridge. Brynlee is working very hard to get the princess to the castle (Princess Brynlee as she calls her) and already has four well earned stickers on her chart. Two for potty successes and two for giving it the old-college-try.
For those of you that have already gone through this process just smile and wish me luck. And those of you that haven’t, don’t point and laugh…you too will have your turn.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Our New Floor!

We finally got our entry way floor done (by "we" I mean Spencer)! He's actually had it done for a couple weeks now, but just yesterday we got the thresholds in....so now it is official!

We saw the marble tile at Home Depot on a way good deal so we bought all they had. We ended up with not enough to do the entry way and kitchen area, but to much to just do the entry way. We decided to do entry way/laundry room and will probably use the rest in the master bathroom upstairs. The kitchen is going to have to wait for hardwood, which will probably be our next project.

Here are the before and after pictures.
The before floor!
Daddy's little helper lending him a hand.
Spence hard at work.

The after!!

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