Monday, December 27, 2010

Throwing in the towel. Or blanket.

Finn has had trouble sleeping on and off for the past year or so. Getting him the "big boy" bed of his choosing helped for awhile. Heck, he would even tuck himself in and drift off to sleep without so much as a peep. Then, he'd get a cold, or cut a tooth and as with all toddlers his sleep would be disrupted. He'd climb into our bed, or we'd spend the night camped on his floor. Then suddenly he wouldn't go to sleep by himself. He'd have to have one of us sit next to his bed for a few minutes and chat about what we were going to do the next day. But then he'd be okay with us leaving and go to sleep after singing to himself or stroking the life out of his beloved seahorse. Then he progressed to not wanting us to leave at all, which is what we're still doing. One of us sits there for up to an hour while he ever so slowly fidgets to sleep. And sometime over the summer he added horrendous night terrors into the mix. He'll be soundly asleep for an hour or so and then just start screaming. High-pitched, blood curdling screams and sobs that scare the absolute crap out of me and Steve and any other adult that happens to be around. He's completely inconsolable when he has one. He's awake, but not really awake. He has no idea where he's at, who we are, and has no concept of his surroundings. He'll scream for things that he's already holding (his blanket, his baby), shakes like a leaf and works himself up so much that we're always petrified that he's going to pass out. His shortest episode has been about 30 minutes, but generally they last closer to 90. In reading up on night terrors this morning, every article seems to recommend leaving him alone when they happen, as trying to console him can make the episode worse and last longer. But how in the hell do you let a terrified 3-year old sit in the dark by himself, crying so hard that they make themselves sick?  I don't know anyone that would be up to that task.

So, I did a little digging this morning and found a pediatric sleep program at Children's North. It seems like an extreme measure to take, but with at least one episode a week and a toddler that is scared senseless of falling asleep I have no idea what's left to try. We booked the earliest appointment for an initial evaluation, and it's over a month away. I'm hoping they can give us some insight on how to help him because I can't bear seeing his little eyes glazed over in tears every night.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Midwife meet and greet.

Met up with Ellen this morning. I was a little anxious that I wouldn't "click" with her since she was kind of quiet over the phone the first time we chatted. I'm a terribly self-conscious phone person myself, so it was an awkward conversation to say the least. But, she showed up semi-unannounced this morning ( I thought she was calling before she made the drive here) and the fact that she was unfazed by 70 pounds of dog beast hurtling at her full speed won her points right away.  She's much easier to chat with in person, which is a huge relief. I feel like I should have a had a huge list of questions for her, but then again I didn't want to be one of "those" women that have a mile-long list printed off and drill her with no-brainer questions. I did think to ask how long she's been practicing (over 30 years, which is staggering since she certainly doesn't look that old) and how many babies she's delivered (about 850. Holy babies!) In chatting I also found out that she's a mom of 5, including 2 sets of twins, all born at home. The "two sets of twins" thing might make her a candidate for sainthood, as far as I'm concerned. She works a lot with the Amish in the area, which I found super intriguing. I guess she even has a separate house for the Amish women to labor in, in the case that they have a lot of family coming and going at their own homes and want a little privacy. Besides the chatting, everything else was essentially like my appointments at the doctor's office. Except that Finn could run around and be as rambunctious as he wanted. He was super curious and had to investigate the sphygmomanometer (still one of my favorite words of all time) and learned to say "stethoscope".  He loved that when she used the Doppler to hear the baby's heartbeat he was allowed to crawl up next to me on the bed, something that's a big no-no at the doctor's office. And of course he delighted in showing off all his "mad skillz" for her, as he does with anyone new.  He also demonstrated that he has no filter concerning what he should and should not tell people. He regaled her with the story of how he peed in his favorite boots a few weeks ago and that's why he only wears one of them now. Complete with sound effects.  Luckily, she's used to this sort of thing and just laughed her head off.  So, all in all, I'd say it was an excellent visit.  The final decision will happen after Steve and I talk tonight, but I was certainly happy with how things went today.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

So, maybe I'm losing my mind. Maybe I just need to get this out of my system and exhaust all possibilities. Maybe it's just hormones. But, lately I've been really freaking out over giving birth in a hospital setting. I swear every other blog I read is posting amazing home birth stories these days. And not just run-of-the-mill home births, but HBACs, something I would, by all medical smarty-pantsness, be nutso to consider. I read all of these women's stories and I get teary-eyed, I get all smooshy thinking of new babies, and I get all sorts of thoughts of "Well, why not me?"

So, I've spent the morning scouring every midwife database I can for even semi-local midwives in private practice.  Of the two closest, one didn't have any contact information listed (but I managed to find a number listed under her name) and one I'm not so certain about just based on it's location (it's a mere 6 miles from us, and I'd really like to think that if we had midwives that readily available I would have known about it. But, man would that be convenient.) I e-mailed a home birth service based in Erie, even though we're 10 miles south of what they list as their coverage area. And the drive from Erie to here is an hour and a half in good weather, so late February to mid-March could be sketchy. But, I'm determined to start somewhere.

Edited to add: According to our doula, the first midwife I came across seems quite nice and does attend VBAC's. So that's definitely good news. I'll be giving her a call later today. And the home birth service that's super close to us seems to be two doulas, one of which also states that she's a Direct Entry Midwife and the other is an assistant midwife. I didn't see anything about whether or not they attend VBAC's. But based on their website I think they're a little too fanatically religious for me.  Their proximity would make them ideal, but I don't think they'd enjoy my profuse use of the Lord's name in vain while in labor.
Thought? Words of wisdom?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bump Watch: Week the 28th

I should take a new photo, since this one is from 26 weeks, and I am undoubtedly more round by now. But, now is break time while Finn and his buddy Harper nap, so blogging after over a month is the most activity I'll be doing at the moment.

Cab is growing quite well (as illustrated by my expanding midsection) and on the whole this pregnancy is just as uneventful and average as the last one.  I did have to go in for a third ultrasound so another attempt at seeing his spine could be made, but once he cooperated everything proved to be just fine. The only things vastly different this time are that I have a toddler to chase around (which equals extra sore back and extra frayed nerves at the end of the day) and Steve is working at a much, much busier shop, so he hasn't been able to make it to any of my appointments.  His work schedule has also thrown Finn into a loop since he only gets to see him for a couple hours between dinner and bedtime. Add that on top of whatever teething/growth spurt/realization-that-he's-not-going-to-be-the-baby-anymore thing that he's been going through, and you've got yourself a recipe for a great time (read: at times impossible to deal with little boy).

That's all for now. Time to revel in the plushness of the couch. Which really means that I will sit down for 10 seconds and then panic that I have laundry to switch, a butcher to call about a half hog I ordered a week ago, dinner to start prepping, and million other little things.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's amazing.

Just a few little things that wow me.
1) Obviously, this little man. And his dimples. I love how you can see all four of his dimples in this picture.One in each cheek, one in his chin ("Dimple on the chin, devil within", right?") and the one I like to call his "thinking dimple" right along his hairline in the middle of his forehead.  He was actually quite crabby this day, but at least I got one good, big dimple-y smile out of him.

2) Finn's rate of learning. It more than wows me. It blows me away. He quickly learned his whole alphabet by sight, upper and lowercase. And his numbers 1 through 10. His sentences get longer and longer by the day. He can have pretty full conversations with people and loves to tell stories about his day. We just recently started going over the sounds that each letter makes. Today while waiting in the car for Nana, Finn pointed at a sign and said "Look up there! It's a 'D'! What does 'D' say? Da-da-da-da!" I was speechless. We spent the rest of the car ride with him yelling out letters and their sounds.

3) Also, with Finn's sentences growing longer, he's taken to telling people all about his baby brother. It goes something like this: "There's tiny baby in mommy's tummy. So tiny. Is my baby brudder. Calloway! He's sleepin' *insert snoring noise* He's warm. He has a blankie."  The first time Steve heard Finn say "Calloway" I think he nearly cried. Adorable.

4) Though we see him only for a short time at night, Steve is also pretty awesome. He works so hard for our little family and I can't express how much I appreciate it. Because of him I get to stay at home and see my kids grow up and teach them to be good, hardworking boys too.

5) I'm happily amazed that I'm about halfway through this pregnancy. 

6) I'm in love with the fact that the baby's tiny jabs have become full on kicks and headbutts. Steve felt him for the first time last night, which is always neat. I'm fairly certain he was perfecting his Charleston in there.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Meet Calloway

Hooray for the awesomeness of ultrasound. I could never be one of those folks who wait until the baby is born to find out whether it's a boy or a girl or a t-rex. Plus I think it's super neato to finally see what's been growing inside of me. And today confirmed what I was worried about, it's not a kraken or a walrus. Just a normal, healthy human baby. And a boy baby at that. (And there was much rejoicing in the exam room.) The tech had some trouble at first because I had drank the prescribed 20 ounces of fluid beforehand, which ended up squishing the baby into a little ball instead of making things easier to see. She managed to get all the needed measurements on the heart, the brain, arms and torso. But the legs were tucked up under the bottom to the point that she couldn't get a measure on them at all, let alone see what was in between them. I got shooshed off to the bathroom and got rid of some of the water (quite possibly the best bathroom break ever. Making a pregnant lady drink copious amounts of fluid and then forbidding her to pee for an hour is on par with torture.) Baby had some room to stretch then and ta-da! Boy bits.  We got a lovely shot of his little bum, his long legs and his teeny boy parts. And of course his little hand groping the bits. The one thing the tech was unable to see was his spine, so I'll be going back again for another scan in hopes that he'll be more cooperative.

As for his name, originally we were settled on Bixby for either a boy or a girl. Then Steve decided it sounded to girly. I decided Steve is crazy. But I made up an alternate list, consisting mainly of traditional Irish names. Not that either of us is Irish, mind you. But Polish names are fairly awful, German names aren't any better and Italian names sound like the names of bizarre internal organs. So, since we obviously have one child with an Irish name, I stuck with that. We narrowed it down to a small handful of choices and figured we'd wait. And then we were putting laundry away one night, listening to a jazz and big band mix, and Steve blurted out "What about Calloway?" I immediately thought it was a genius idea. I've loved Cab Calloway since I was a little girl and he was on Sesame Street. I'm not big on the nickname "Cal" so we'll be calling him Cab for short. Perfect. The middle name has yet to be picked but I have a few in mind.

So, yay for new boys!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Do you hear that?
That's the silence that only occurs when you don't have a 72-pound dog beast sitting next to you licking his nether regions. Sweet, sweet silence.
Harley went to the vet yesterday to get his 2 year vaccines and stayed overnight to get neutered this morning. I'm to give them a call around noon to check in on him and he'll be rescue by Steve this evening once all the sedatives have worn off.  But right now, I'm just enjoying the decreased level of crazy in our house. Ahhhh.
We have great hopes that getting snipped will calm him down a good deal, or at least keep him from going bonkers when our neighbor's dog goes into heat.We shall see though. I do know that not being able to clean himself while the stitches heal is going to drive him mad. And I also know that seeing him with the "cone-of-shame" is going to provide us with hours of laughter and plenty of funny pictures.

In non-dog related news, I had a check-up on Tuesday. My mom tagged along to help wrangle Finn if needed. I really wanted him to hear the baby's heartbeat. And he did, but he was massively unimpressed with the whole ordeal. He was pretty angry that I was laying down on the exam table though, yelling "Mommy get up! Mommy get up right now!". Because heaven forbid Mommy lay down while Finn is awake. Sigh. All is well with the developing kraken as far as we can tell. Heartbeat is very strong and fast, much like Finn's. And I've started feeling bits of movement as well. It took a few times for me to be certain that movement was what I was feeling. I expected the first moves to be similar to Finn's: small, sweet swishes and flips. But this one has somehow already acquired the pointy jabs and pokes that Finn had past the 23 week mark. Clearly I have feisty one on my hands.
Last evening we had a meeting with our doula, Amy, which went stupendously well. She won Steve over, which was my only worry. I had asked him many times if he was okay with having a doula there, and if he would feel like he was having his toes stepped on in any way. He assured me that he would actually be relieved to have someone else there that had a better understanding of everything and who could be extra emotional/mental support. But I still worried. It's what I do. But he got along with Amy very well, and seems really excited to be able to kind of take a step back when it comes time to actually have this baby. He's decided his job is to keep my water filled, sneak me granola bars, and tell me I'm gorgeous even if I'm drenched in sweat and wearing ugly slipper socks. Good man.

Big ultrasound appointment on Monday, so hopefully I'll have exciting news to announce then. Hooray!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bump Watch: Week 16

I've read dozens of times that with each successive pregnancy you "show" sooner and get larger. But I'm still shocked at how much more bump I have this time around. When I was 12 weeks pregnant with Finn I shot a photo set with Alissa Brunelli. I looked amazing. My stomach was teensy from 3 months of constant vomiting. My boobs looked cartoonishly disproportionate. My butt was darn near perfect from all the running I had been doing prior to discovering I was pregnant. I may have felt like death slightly warmed up, but damn if I didn't look awesome. This time though at 12 weeks, I was poking my belly, turning this way and that trying to discern whether it was a bump I was seeing or just a "food baby" from the extra large banana split I had just consumed in 2 bites. This week I ripped our house apart in a frantic search for a  bellaband that has apparently disappeared into thin air. The only thing keeping me out of ugly maternity pants at this point is the fact that my favorite jeans are cut much lower in the front than the back. Thank you, Levi 504's. And see that striped shirt. I have two of them. And I live in them. Chances are if you see me out and about, I'll be wearing one of them. I have other shirts that fit (that aren't empire waisted circus tent maternity tops), but I've developed some sort of dependence on these two Old Navy shirts. I really should have purchased more of them.
Right now I'm just looking forward to the big ultrasound appointment in a few weeks. I'm dying to know what exactly is in there. With Finn I had kind of a feeling that I was carrying a boy. But with this one, I have no clue. It could be a kraken or a walrus for all I know (I'm kind of hoping for a kraken). We went through a little debacle over the unisex name we've had picked out for two years, which lead to coming up with an entirely new boy's name. A boy's name we've been keeping from my mother, which is apparently killing her. I've promised to tell her once we find out if it's a boy or a girl, so I'm exciting for the appointment just to put an end to her constant digging for hints.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


We had quite the exciting night last night. And by "exciting" I mean "terrible, no good, very bad."

We had Finn in bed early. Relaxed, played some Yatzee (which I won, for once), and had a delightful evening leading up to grown-up bedtime. Because of the heat Steve and I were already sleeping restlessly, when Harley came bounding back the hallway. And then he ran full speed back to the living room. Repeat this several times, with some pausing to shake in between. We assumed the obvious, he had to pee, so Steve let him outside for a few minutes and then brought him back in. We'd just settled back down, when Harley started the whole routine over again. He positively would not calm down. Determined to have a few hours of sleep, Steve contained Harley in his crate. Just as we drifted off to sleep, he did his pitiful whining. So back out of the cage he came, only to repeat the running of the hallway again. At this point, I start thinking maybe he's pulling a Lassie-esque "Timmy's in the well!". So I jump out of bed to prod the completely dead-to-the-world toddler awake, just to make sure he's okay. All was well, and after Finn gave me the stink eye for waking him up we all went back to bed. Harley continued his running. We tried to ignore  it, thinking that giving him attention for it would just encourage him more. This lasted until he bounded into our room and slammed his entire front half into the bed. We stuck him outside on the run, hoping he would wear himself out and fall asleep on the porch. Thirty minutes later he was crying his head off and was brought back inside and put in the crate. Either he was so exhausted that he gave up or we were so tired that we passed out without noticing any more antics. I'm not sure.

So, we wake up this morning and start to get ready to leave. As I'm in the bathroom, Steve yells "Ashley! Get out here!" I lazily wander to the living room, assuming this has something to do with SportsCenter. Nope. Harley's neck was scratched raw to the point that it looked like someone had tried to slit his throat. I fetched a cold washcloth and cleaned him up as best as I could. We both thought his harness had irritated him and he had scratched at it profusely. Then as I cleaned further down, I saw huge red welts on his chest. And behind his front legs. And on his front legs. All over his belly. Covering his doggy junk. Ugh. I honestly had no idea dogs could get poison ivy. Somehow Steve did know this though.  I just know our furkid looks miserable. We've been giving him children's benedryl to help with the itch, but he still looks mighty pitiful. I gave him a nice long scrub this afternoon to get any remaining residue off of him, which hopefully keeps us from getting it and keeps it from spreading on him anymore.

A few pictures of his itchiness:
Front leg

Neck (these are the sores he had scratched open last night)

More of the neck bumps

Even on the paws

And the worst. His belly. I feel so bad for him.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Picture-y pictures

A few pictures from this summer:

Finn makes this face. A lot. Usually in conjunction with his favorite phrase "Whatchoo want?"

We had to start buying mini-marshmallows because he likes to cram two or three big ones in his mouth at a time. It'd be one thing if I could get him to say Pudgy Bunny, but nothin' doin'.

We took an impromptu trip to the zoo with Nana. Really impromptu. We were supposed to just be going to the park.

And I've been watching this gorgeous little ginger, my friend Bethany's son, this past month. Finn can't quite decide if they're friends or archenemies. He's always very excited when he wakes up, exclaiming "Harper's comin'! Harper be here soon!"  But once Harper is actually here, things can go either way. Some days they get along fabulously, and others I have to keep them separated in different rooms. They're both pretty scrappy fighters.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm having a baby, my baby and me.

Well, I've put this off long enough I suppose. Here it goes.

I'm currently 13 weeks pregnant.

Some of you might recall that Finn's birth was, let's just say, a less than ideal delivery. You may have heard it straight from me. You may have read it here or elsewhere. It left me with some serious emotional scars, and no matter how much I want to remember the day my little man was born as a happy one, I can't.  So, it's no surprise that when we started thinking about having a second child, I wanted to plan for a completely different scenario. And when I discovered I was pregnant and had the appointment to confirm the pregnancy, you can imagine my horror when the following transpired:

Nurse:  So, are you planning on having a scheduled c-section or on having a vaginal birth?

Me: Well, my son was born via emergency c-section but I've been planning on a VBAC for this one.

Nurse: Oh, that's not going to happen.

Me: (Now in tears) Excuse me?

Nurse: Well, I don't know who you're planning on seeing, but the doctor that works with our office absolutely will not let you attempt that. And I'm certain that the doctors that deliver at Butler won't let you either. They'd be crazy to. There's just too much risk.

Me:  (sobbing) Are you kidding me?!

Nurse: Was the problem that you were tired afterwards? Because with scheduled surgery you won't be tired.

Me: (jaw on the floor) Of course I was tired! I just had a freaking baby! Being tired was NOT the problem!

I exited shortly thereafter completely unsure of what to do. I was hysterical. I was furious. And I couldn't even call my mom to vent because we hadn't told anyone yet.  Adding to the frustration was having to deal with sorting out insurance and figuring out which doctor's office I could actually use. Butler County is insanely complicated with this and it took 4 weeks to get coverage and book an appointment.  And this appointment was just to fill out an hour and half of paperwork and to have some initial bloodwork done. Luckily, the nurse I had at the maternal services office was an angel. She took weeks of fretting and anxiety off of my mind by informing me that the nurse at family planning was full of bullshit. That their office would actually encourage me to attempt the VBAC, not tell me I was crazy and book the operating room for the day I hit 38 weeks.  Of course, more sobbing ensued (I'm an emotional pregnant lady). And I somehow managed to restrain myself from hugging Jan-the-best-nurse-in-the-world.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm fully aware that babies have their own plan. That no matter how much I "plan" for his or her birth, things can quickly change.  But, I also know that Finn's birth taught me to be more assertive with voicing my needs and wants regarding my medical care during labor. To not get mowed over by medical staff and pushy, jagoff doctors. I'm also looking forward to having the support of  Amy, a doula that I met though Finn's playgroup. I think having her there will also be a huge help to Steve who I think was very overwhelmed last time by my mom and the staff.  I remember looking over at him and seeing him with this startled, blank look on his face a lot. Luckily, he came to his senses when we were in the OR together and was leaps and bounds ahead of me in the sanity department by then.

So, here's hoping that this time around, things go a little better.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hiker's high

Over Memorial Day weekend Steve and I dropped Finn off with Pap and went on a mini-date to McConnell's Mill. Somehow in the nearly four years we've been together I'd failed to take him to our biggest local tourist spot. Clearly this had to be fixed. We had an excellent time, hiked more than we planned, and vowed to do it again. I haven't been hiking in years, and I got such a buzz from just our short little hike that day. It felt so amazing.
So this past Sunday we went back again, with our friend Jeb in tow, to hike the entire 7 mile Slippery Rock Gorge trail. The previous time we'd hiked a bit of the Hell's Hollow portion at one end and the Kildoo Pass loop that hooks onto the other end, so we had no idea what was in store for us in between. This is what was what we found:

We interrupted a lanky blue heron's breakfast.
We pondered whether or not this was the spot a hiker died last month.
The boys decided to investigate. (and finding bits of crime scene tape on the way up did not deter their climbing)
Finally at the top and deciding that, yes, indeed someone died here.
After 3 miles we stopped for lunch and to clean ourselves of the layer of mud encrusting us from the knees down.
And I looked sweaty and happy.

I wish I had pictures from the last half of the hike. I really do. But that trail kicked my ass so much that my hands would not have functioned properly. Which is a pity, because we had great fun pretending we were on  a Goonies-style adventure (with all the mud, ravines and waterfalls it wasn't hard). And we took a most excellent side trip into Hell's Basin for some wading and splashing. It all ended at Hell's Hollow Falls where I could have happily spent the rest of the day, splashing in the cold knee-deep water (which worked wonders towards numbing my feet.) 
Definitely a trip to be repeated.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Update: Part the second.

So we returned safely from our Canadian adventures to a garden that desperately needed some planting. Steve had tilled it up before we left, but that's about as far as we had gotten. I planted a mesclun mix near the back door for easy salad pickins and those shot right up:
But the actual garden needed a bit more work. We expanded on last years plot and threw in some new crops as well. Our lovely raised beds now include: Bibb lettuce, Bright Lights swiss chard (which is gorgeous), Deep Purple and Nantes carrots, Amish Paste, Jet Star, Summer Taste, Big Boy , Sun Gold 100 and Brandywine tomatoes, Sweet Chocolate and Wisconsin Bay Sweet peppers, Cyclops (because how could we refuse a pepper called Cyclops), Hungarian Wax, and Tequila Sunrise hot peppers, some jalapenos, Walla Walla and some random red sweet onions, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, green beans, one zucchini (that will still produce more squash than any family can eat) and four rows of corn. Plus a separate bed of nasturtium, dill, parsley, and cilantro.
I should note that the plant pictures are now a month old and oh, how they've grown. The corn which was just starting to sprout in the above picture is now nearly knee high. And the swiss chard is now lovely and crunchy. Seeing the bright shoots of color in a salad is fantastic.

And what has our darling son been up to? Funny you should ask.
He's helped in the garden and met some new friends.

He's been really excited about bathing.
He attempted to hone his hockey skills. (He has none yet.)
He did his best to look innocent.

He finally got his new bed/fort. Sleeping is much improved for everyone.
He fell in love with the park.
And he's spent a lot of time not wearing pants.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


The longer I put off updating this darn thing, the harder it gets to do so.  So much has happened in the past few months. I swear we did more in the past two months than we did in the whole of last year. I'm gonna hit the highlights here in an attempt to catch up.

Firstly, in mid-April we ventured sans toddler to the suburbs of Buffalo, NY to see our amazing friends Kent and Paula tie the knot. I had the privilege of being the photographer for the big day and let me just say, it was a blast to shoot. So many awesome shots from that day. I had so much fun and I know Steve did too.
The day after the wedding we migrated north to Niagara:

before heading to our final destination of Toronto. Steve and I share an enormous love of Toronto. And judging by how most of our trip was spent, we also share a large love of food.
We started our first evening there with dinner at Sneaky D's where we met up with some yummy nachos and my favorite little lady in the world, Martini.

The next day Steve and I wandered through Chinatown and grabbed some grub at a Szechuan place that we'd heard great things about. I was a bit disappointed in my dish, but Steve's chicken with garlic and chilies was delectable and I could have drank a gallon of their hot and sour soup.

We did some more wandering around after I bought more pastry tips and chopsticks than I will ever use and ended up in Kensington market. After a couple of hours there we were hungry again. How, I'm not sure. And it just so happened that Steve's food nirvana was on the next block. Jumbo Empanadas.

I restrained myself and just had a mini chicken empanada and a cheese one.  Steve, as you can see did not.
Later on, Kent and Paula arrived to join us in our food adventure.
We ended up at some crazy Japanese tapas place for dinner and then after a disappointing attempt at late night entertainment, we had drinks and snacks at Sneaky D's before crashing back at the hotel.
The next day was my birthday! Hooray! We spent it shopping, sightseeing and of course, took Kent and Paula to Jumbo Empanadas. Steve consumed more food than I have ever seen a human eat in one sitting. Later on we all got gussied up and headed out to Trimurti for my birthday celebration. We were joined by aforementioned favorite little lady, Martini, and a close second in the race for favorite Canadian, Karen.
The night ended way too soon. I miss those gals so much already. With any luck, Martini will be spending a bit of time at our place this summer, so I'm looking forward to that.
The next day, we packed up early and headed home. The looooong drive home. While it had been pretty darn nice to spend some adults-only time, I missed Finn like crazy. Next time we head north, he'll definitely be coming with us.

This entry has ran long enough. More in the next update!

Friday, April 9, 2010

A few pictures from around the yard:
Words can not express how giddy I was when I saw this bleeding heart sprouting up by the garage. I purchased it on clearance at our weird local hardware store last year on a whim, thinking it would never grow. Not that it had a chance to, since Steve mowed it over with the weed whacker. But, lo and behold, I saw little purple shoots springing up a last week and it popped up super fast. It's still tiny (maybe 5 inches high), but it surprised me even more when I checked it out yesterday and saw:
It had started blooming! Woah! The hearts are miniscule, which just adds to their adorableness.

Cursed ferns. I hate these things. They're in a bed filled with cacti on the edge of the driveway. Apparently the family who rented this place before us for 16 years were obsessed with Southwestern/Native american culture and decor. And landscaping. It's terrible.

The snowdrops finally sprang up. They need to be on their game a little better next year.

If you look closely you can see Finn off in the distance. He likes to stand by the pine trees and taunt the cows next door. He wiggles his bum and yells "MOOO! MOOOO!" Sometimes I worry about him.

I'm taking a litte break right now from the pre-vacation hustle. We're leaving bright and early tomorrow to drop Finn off at Nana and Pap's and then heading to Buffalo from there. Part of me is sad we're not bringing him with us, but the other bit of me is overcome with excitement at the thought of four nights of sleep. Plus, I think making small children have a passport is ridiculous, so seeing as he'd need one for the second bit of our trip, he'll be staying behind this time. How in the world do you get a two-year old to sit still for a passport photo, anyways?

Okay, break time over. I still have a few things to pack and dinner to finish up. Updates later next week, with tons of pictures.