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Friday, August 31, 2007

Sorry for the delay!

I've been lacking for the last week or so - sorry for the delay. I have no excuse other than forgetting and being busy.

My work has had me busy on a new project since my last post so I haven't had much time to make entries. It's nearly done so I'll be back to more regular updates soon!

This week we FINALLY got our basement re-carpeted. You may remember my post about my finished basement flooding earlier this year. Well... we finally saved up enough money to get it re-carpeted.

My husband's new job is awesome. The pay raise is nice... but we won't see it until January or so. We sat down last night to go over our new budget and found that due to his vacation in October and our vacation in November we have to save up money to cover his pay those weeks as he's still a contractor and won't have vacation time. So due to that and christmas we won't see any increase in our savings or debt pay off until January.

Arianna is doing well - turning into a real drama queen and she just makes us laugh. This coming week is the last week with our nanny Janice. I'm sorry to see her go as having her has been wonderful for us but I'm also looking forward to getting our permanent nanny Sarah - we have many things planned for Arianna this fall - Kindermusik and baby gym classes etc. I hope she enjoys them! We're still not walking or anywhere close to it. I'm out of ideas on how to help her with that. She'll walk holding both our hands but even that is touch and go as she usually turns into 'rubber legs' laughs and sits down... advice needed please!!

We got our new cat Misty and are slowly introducing her to the house and our routines but she's still very spooked. They're installing the carpet today and Misty is in one of the rooms in the basement so I imagine she will be VERY spooked when I get home.

Have a great weekend everyone - I hope to update more on Monday!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Today is the 7th anniversary of my internal Implanted Cardiac Defibrillator (ICD).

Where did the time go?

Monday, August 20, 2007


We took Arianna to get her picture taken at Sears this weekend. It was not the photo session I was hoping for... she was awful. Wouldn't sit still and wouldn't smile for ANYTHING!

But I did get a few shots that I liked and to see the difference just a few months has made is nothing short of amazing...

Here she is this time last year (doesn't she look glouriously chubby?!):

Here she is at christmas (not so chubby *sob*) :

Here she is at her birthday in March:

Here she is today:

Where did my baby go? I don't remember giving up my 'mom-to-an-infant' status. The only 'silver lining' is that she is starting to look more and more like me...

I miss cradling my baby... yes baby, not toddler. I'm really not ready for this new independance! I need a baby, goshdarnit! (yes, I think that means I'm 'ready-to-try-again').

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

We are adding to our family...

No, not in the way you think! hehe

We're getting another cat, I think.

We've been casually looking for another siamese to add to our family. When Arianna was born we had two cats, Katrina (aptly named) and TiSan. Katrina did not like Arianna and would defecate and urinate on her bedroom rug and clothes. I woke up one night to find her laying on top of the baby despite knowing it was off limits. So when we moved into our house this time last year we returned Katrina to the rescue and she was adopted by a nice lady and lives in harmony now. TiSan misses having a companion though. He tells us this by being SUPER DUPER ANNOYING! He wants constant attention, which is a siamese trait (and why we love them!), but its been really bad lately. We just need to get one that doesn't beat him up like our last two cats have - he's a big push over...

Arianna is getting so much better with TiSan. Earlier this year she would get very excited when petting him and pull his hair - he's so great about it though, he just walks (or runs!) away from her. Now, after patient teaching, she pets him and is very gentle with him. So we feel it is safe to add to our family now.

One of the volunteers I've worked with for Siamese Rescue is starting her own rescue in Connecticut and she has a lynx point siamese rescued from NYC that needs a home.

I'm totally NOT ready for another cat - I simply put the 'feelers' out to my siamese group volunteers and wound up with the word on this cat.

Our requirements for a new cat are:
* female
* local, so we can 'interview'
* over 3
* good with young kids
* good litter habits
* gets along well with other cats
* not a bully
* not long hair
* siamese

So enters Misty... she looks super scared in this picture.

We're going to visit her on Sunday and see how she fits in with our family. Arianna will come with us and hopefully she will get along with Misty as well as she does with TiSan!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

New Orleans

I've got a 26 page journal on this trip so I'll try to get a good synopsis...


Up at 4 AM. 4:30 breakfast 4:50 leave for airport. Stand outside of airport for 30 min. to check my bag - baggage handler wanted a tip - WTF?? At 9 AM the airline gives me a small cookie. I'm hungry. At 10:15 I get 8 mini-pretzels on the second flight... still freakin' hungry...

Wait at the airport for 4 hours for everyone else to arrive. Almost finished my really good book - Split Second by avid Baldacchi. Traveling takes the fun out of vacation...

All the flights come in and we get "super sketchy and WAY too eager to drive us to our hotel" cab driver. The French Quarter is much farther from the airport than I anticipated...

We arrive at our hotel - the Royal Sonesta, the only hotel on Bourbon Street. I imagine that not alot sleeping is done here, far too noisy. The hotel gave away the rooms we received (double beds) and 'upgraded' our rooms to king bed with balcony so now the two occupants need to share a bed... fun! My roommate for the weekend is Karen's friend Kerry. Together we are the only two with kids - we don't know what sleeping in is (or sleeping at all for that matter) so this hotel will be fine for us.

After setting into our rooms we decided to go for a walk around the French Quarter. We walked a long way and settled on drinks at Margaritaville in Jackson Square. Architecturally this area is beautiful, lots of buildings with georgeous balconies! Margarittaville was really fun! We went to the bar on the 3rd floor where the seats around the bar were tire swings! It was fun trying to eat nachos and drink my margarita (with extra salt of course) while trying to stay in the swing.

From there we did some more walking and ended up on the other end of Bourbon Street and passed a bar that had these specialty drinks called 'hand grenades'. They tasted like Ecto Coolers mixed with Midori Sours - very yummy, but very strong!

From there we checked out some shops and then ventured back to the hotel to wait for Karen's local friend, Lenore, to arrive so we could start our night of fun.

We had dinner at the ACME oyster house. I was trying to eat relatively healthy and thats not easy in 'Nawlins' I ended up having red beans and rice w/ sausage and was disappointed I spent calories on it but it did fill me up which was good considering how much I would end up drinking that night.

This place is surreal. It totally transforms intoa wild street party at night. Karen was wearing a gold tiara and a red sash w/ blinking lights to show off her 'bachlorette' status. She got lots of attention...even if she didn't want it. We went into lots of clubs and did alot of dancing and drinking. Karen even did some mechanical bull riding - she lasted tons longer than anyone else there and she was wearing a dress!

Lots of creepy guys in those clubs - its been so long since I've been in a club that I sort of forgot about that side of it. I had one guy come up to me grab my hand and massage it really creepily just before he licked it. I wanted to burn my hand.

About 1 AM I was running out of steam. Being up for 22 straight hours will do that to you. About 2:30 I headed back to the hotel with Kerry and the others stayed out to close the clubs.


Kerry and I were up at 8, which is sleeping in for us. Knowing the others wouldn't be up for a while we decided to head to breakfast. We went to a little place called Cafe Beignet and had breakfast sandwhiches. Remember my 'eat healthy' promise? Even this sandwich was dripping with grease... add a cafe au lait and it was quite yummy though :)

The others were still asleep so we hit the tourist shops were I found shirts for Shawn, Arianna and myself as well as the obligatory fridge magnet. I nearly lost my camera in the process, forgetting it at one of the stores. The others joined us at this point and we signed up for a cemetery tour only to find that all tours were canceled due to the extreme heat - 105 degrees. I thought I'd bitch and complain about the heat but it wasn't bad at all for me.

So Marissa and Kerry went shopping while the rest of us went back to the hotel for swimming! We even enjoyed $10 pina coladas poolside! They weren't worth $10 though... I left them at 3 to head back to the room for a nap. The others said the bachelor party that was in the pool with us (and drinking very heavily) didn't get out of the pool for hours... wonder how they managed to use the toilet with all that drinking huh? Ya, we did too, so we didn't go back to the pool after that...

I napped until 6 and then we all met up to go to dinner. We decided to do a 'normal' meal and headed out to the Garden District, where Karen lived when she was there, to have pizza at a good place she knew. We thought we could take a trolly car but they haven't run since Katrina so we ended up grabbing a cab to Rocky's pizza. I got a "French Market" pizza with vegetables, the closest to healthy I got all weekend. It was yummy! We caught a bus back to Bourbon Street and the hotel - I jumped in the shower quickly and then we were ready to head out on the town!

We ended up walking around alot more this night - just meandering up and down the street. Karen had a bachlorette T-shirt that had a list of 'chores' she had to get guys to do for her:
  • One guy stripped in the middle of the street and gave him her boxers!
  • We had a hard time finding a guy with a 6-pack to fill on requirement...
  • We also had a VERY hard time finding a guy with a condom to fill that requirement...
  • We think NO is full of fat, out-of-shape guys who don't have sex...
We have lots of very incriminating pictures that will last for eternity.... *evil grin*

Toward the end of the night we ended up at the Cat's Meow for karoke... we danced and sang and eventually got up on stage to sing Madonna's like a prayer.

By 4 AM we were ready to go, the crowd really shifted all the super creepy guys were out. We were walking down the street and they were literally grabbing our arms to pull us with them - super scary. We had some MAJOR disinfecting to do when we got back, our feet were nasty from people either puking or spilling beer on them and just the general nasty dirty feeling had to be washed off. As a matter of fact I threw away the sandals...

In bed by 4:30 am sure to be up in just a few hours... I hate that feeling...


Yep we were both up at 9:30 and took showers AGAIN. The water smells funny in New Orleans. We had to check out at noon so we met with the other girls in the lobby and checked our bags with the bell hop and went to Bubba Gump Shrimp Company for lunch. I got a salad, yes, something healthy! It was quite yummy! From there were did some more window shopping and I got two more shirts and a couple of magnets for friends/family. Then we stopped at Cafe Du Mont so I could finally try a beignet, yes it was yummy but there was no way I could eat 3! We walked back to the hotel and got our bags and waited for the cab back to the airport.

I tried to sleep at the gate for either of my flights but it was just too hard. I was exhausted and just wanted sleep but the noises and people made that too hard.

My flight got into my home airport at 11:10 PM (20 minutes early) and I had to wait an additional 40 for Shawn to show up. There were SO many flights coming in that he couldn't even pull up to the curb so that I could get in the car, he had to keep driving around until a spot opened up. I was very annoyed. Got into the car and all my annoyance drifted away as I saw Arianna asleep in her car seat. I didn't truely realize how much I missed her until I saw her sweet face.

When we got home Shawn took my bags in so that I could put Arianna back to bed. We took the long way... she woke up and I had to have some smother time. When I put her in her crib she finally got a good look at me and her eyes got real big, she broke out a HUGE smile and lifted her arms above her head for me to pick her up... I relented and spent a few minutes just loving on her. I love being her mom.

The low-lights:

Travel - Travelling take the fun out of vacation.

The food - it is close to impossible to find something healthy. I can't say I really enjoyed ANY of the food I had there

Bourbon Street - this is a high and low light. It's a fun place to do once or twice... but after a while you get tired of drunk creepy people. I couldn't imagine living/working there!

The heat - its Nawlins in August so I should complain but boy o boy was it hot and humid. It did make me appreciate New England more though :)

The high-lights:

The architecture - the buildings in the French Quarter were beautiful! The balconies are a site to see!

The local bands - there is great entertainment on bourbon Street with each bar/club having one. Preservation Hall had some fabulous jazz acts. Next time I go I really wan to sit in there and really enjoy them.

The shops - there are TONS of touristy shops where you can purchase just about anything!

All in all I'm really glad I went and would gladly go again but not in the summer, not at Mardi Gras and not for more than a few days. Next time I'll see more jazz, stay in a hotel further away from Bourbon Street and go on some tours.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Congratulations are in order!

If you have a moment please stop over to say CONGRATULATIONS to Jennifer and Tony. They are 'pregnant after preemie loss' with what they hope are only twins - they can use all the good thoughts the internet can gather!

Keeping you in my good thoughts Jennifer and Tony!!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

My Pride and Joy

I have so many things to be proud of, but today I am very proud of my husband.

He is finishing up his last few days at a job he loves and has enjoyed for 4 years. I can't believe how fast the time flew!

He is very sad to leave but for a variety of reasons (mostly professional development concerns) he knows he needs to move on.

His new job will require a much longer commute and more responsability but the pay raise more than makes up for it!

He is aprehensive and not super excited about starting a new job but he is getting ready with quiet anticipation.

I know embarking on something new is never easy and I am oh so proud of him for taking this leap!

Now onto my joy...

It couldn't be more obvious that its my daughter - she is the reason I wake up in the morning and the reason I rush home at night. She is the most amazing thing to happen to me since January 4th, 2003 (my wedding day) and although my life is so different I wouldn't want it any other way.

She's starting to talk up a storm now and is getting closer and closer to walking - she pushes stuff all around the house we're just waiting for those first few steps of freedom!

She knows all she has to do is hold her hands above her head and look at mommy and say 'oOooo!' and she can get whatever she wants - even better if she lets us sleep 'til 7 AM!

Another joy is my first weekend away from her!

Tomorrow morning I take off for New Orleans and I can't wait! I'll have pictures for everyone when I return! Have a great weekend, I hope I do!

Monday, August 06, 2007


Arianna is in a new communication stage... one that I do not like at all. Screaming.

She screams whenever she wants something or something is not going her way. On the plus side, in this stage she is finally 'mommy's girl' and wants to be near me vs. anyone else. Normally this would bug people but Arianna has always been daddy's girl or grandma/grandpa's girl - never mommy's girl... so that part is nice. But the problem is that if I put her down to do something she screams... a high pitched, shrill scream.

It runs up my spine the same way seeing a snake cross my path does. It gives me a headache and I can't help put want to scream back at her. I'm trying to do the whole 'use your inside voices' thing but my patience is running thin...

Anyone have experience with this?

On a whole this summer has been amazing with her - she's growing by leaps and bounds and is in general a pretty happy kid. She's definitely a girl though.

My friend Megan has two cute kids - Brendan is her oldest and he's a great kid, very laid back and social. Katie is a few months older than Arianna and equally as cute, but she's definitely a girl... Meg, you'll laugh at this. After she had Brendan Shawn asked how many kids they'd have... Meg answered with 'as many as possible!'. After Katie was born it was changed to ... 3 kids, we want 3 kids. At Brendan's birthday party she joked that they wouldn't have any more kids because if they had another girl her husband would just about die!

I had to chuckle when she said this. Girls can be a handful. I'm not saying boys can't be, but the majority of parents I've talked to have said boys were just easier as infants...

That's the only hope we cling to in the thoughts of having more kids... that the next one is a healthy (not preemie!) boy...

Of course, thats if we dare try again...