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Catching up (in a long long post) January 13, 2010

Filed under: baby!,family,holidaze,special occasions,travel — airingdirtylaundry @ 10:04 pm

So, here we are almost halfway through January, and I have yet to post ANYTHING this year.

Good thing my New Year’s resolution wasn’t to blog more, because obviously that would be a failure.  I’d have more success losing weight.

OK, maybe not.

Here’s a picture-filled recap of the last few weeks.

After we opened Maggie’s presents on Christmas morning, we kept an anxious eye on the weather.  We were supposed to be driving back to The Sticks to see my family but there was a big ice storm coming through PA and we didn’t want to get caught in it.  If it would have been just me and Mike, we probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it, hopped in the car, and gone on our merry way.  But with Maggie on board, I imagined brutal car accidents, or being stranded for days on end halfway between my house and The Sticks.  With that in mind, I packed the car full of bottled water, Maggie’s snowsuit, a million blankets, a bag containing way more formula and diapers than we could possibly need, and extra layers of clothes for Mike and I, along with gloves and hats and scarves.

After consulting NOAA, we decided we had a short window of opportunity, so we piled into the car and were on our way.  There was just a light drizzle at our house, but as we climbed into the mountains, that drizzle became a snowy icy mix.  Ugh.  I’m a real control freak about driving and like to always be the one in control, but I “allowed” Mike to drive (it was Christmas, after all, so I wanted to avoid a fight) and sat in the back seat with Maggie.  I had a 4 hour panic attack the whole way there, clutching onto Maggie’s car seat, yelling “suggestions” to Mike on how to handle the bad conditions (he loved that), and refusing to blink because I might miss seeing the car in front of us careening out of control.

We made it there safe and sound, and thankfully the weather in The Sticks was manageable and much less treacherous.  We spent the long weekend running around, back and forth from my grandparent’s house to my Dad’s house, into town to get fitted for my dress for my brother’s wedding this summer, and visiting friends. 

Maggie with her great-grandfather

Too. Much. Christmas.

listening to Great-Grandma

playing on the bed

with Uncle Dave and Aunt Abby


Maggie was an absolute dream.  She had her fussy moments, but she adapted well to being passed around, sleeping in a strange room, and being in and out of the car more times than we could count.  She was worn out by the time we got in the car to come home on Sunday, and slept the entire ride.  The weather had cleared up by then, so we had an uneventful trip home.

Mike had off work the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  I, however, had to work Monday through Thursday.  So on Monday morning, I was off to work while Mike and Maggie hung out all day.  After I got home we did a quick cleanup of the house and threw some laundry in . . . .

 . . . .because on Tuesday, Mike’s brother, his wife, and our niece and nephew arrived to stay with us for the week!

with Uncle Rob


This was the first time they got to meet Maggie and it was so cute to see the kids with her. 


just another gourmet meal at our house

you're really trusting this little boy to hold me?

um, hello? can ANYONE help me out a little here?

getting the hang of the whole "opening presents" thing



Forrest checks out the fireworks on New Year's Eve

The rest of Mike’s family came over on New Year’s Day for dinner and to exchange Christmas gifts. 


At one point, both Maggie and I were really tired, so we had some quiet time together on the couch.

But then the next day Mike’s brother’s family had to head home, so we said our goodbyes.  Our nephew had picked up on Mike and I calling Maggie “Magpie”, and when he said goodbye to her before heading for home, he gently touched her arm and said “Goodbye Maggiepie.”  It was so sweet!  I just wished we lived closer to them so that we could see them more often.

You would think all of the chaos would end there, but it didn’t.  Next up was Maggie’s baptism, which was during the 5:00 Mass last Saturday.  I had a million errands to run during the week leading up to the baptism, but we got snow almost every day around 5:00PM and then overnight, so my 8 mile commute to and from work sometimes turned into an hour (one way) and I gave up on the errands and concentrated on making it home to spend what little time I could with Maggie before bedtime.  So on the morning of her baptism day, I left the house around 8:30 and didn’t make it back until around noon.  My brother and his fiancée had made it there in the meantime, and my Dad and his fiancée arrived a little while later.

We left the house around 4:30 and met Mike’s family at the church.  I was a little nervous about Maggie making it through the entire Mass.   I envisioned a major uncontrollable meltdown, the kind where nothing would calm her.  Our church is HUGE and the Saturday evening Mass is packed. Any other time, I could just leave with her, but since she was the center of attention (and we were in the front row), I knew it wouldn’t be that easy.  I didn’t need to worry. She squawked a few times during Mass, but no one minded and the priest even made a comment about how excited she was.  She was an absolute angel during the actual baptism.  She was shocked by the cold, and jerked her hands up over her head all three times, but didn’t cry.  It was a beautiful baptism, and the congratulations from the congregation afterwards were overwhelming. 


my brother, Maggie's Godfather


Afterwards, we all went back to our house for dinner.  It’s rare that my family and Mike’s are all in the same room together.  In fact, I can’t even think of a time when it was just all of us.  They’re all at the benefit we have each year, but being in a crowded bar isn’t the same.  It was so nice for all of us to just hang out and relax.


of course Forrest joined in the festivities

On Monday, I took a half day of vacation  to Maggie’s 4 month appointment. She now weighs 16 lbs 10oz; still in the 95th percentile, which is where she was at birth.  She’s 26 1/2 inches long.  The problem with her soft spot closing early seems to no longer be a problem, and everything else checked out OK.  We were smart this time with her shots and gave her Ty.len.ol as soon as we got home instead of waiting until the fever (and the screaming) started, like last time.  She wasn’t fazed at all and was her normal happy self all evening.

And, now we’re back to “normal”.  No trips planned, no visitors, no running around like crazy.  Work has been hectic lately, so sometimes it’s a struggle to get out the door at 5:00 or shortly thereafter, but I’m slowly coming to accept that I only have an hour or so with her in the evening during the week and try to make the most of it.

Cloth diapering is going really well.  Not nearly as gross as I had imagined it to be, and I’ve gotten into a rhythm of washing them every other night and doing other laundry on the nights in between.  There was a little bit of trial and error when it came to figuring out how many inserts to use to make sure she didn’t wet through, but we were able to make it work.  I was mostly concerned about what would happen overnight, since she’s in the same diaper for 12 hours, but those diapers are so amazing that it wasn’t an issue.  She’s (thankfully) still sleeping like a champ.  There have even been a few nights where she woke up every hours and soothed herself back to sleep and we didn’t even  have to go in once to put her pacifier in!

So, that’s what has been going on in our lives lately.  Hopefully I’ll be able to blog a little more consistently over the next few weeks instead of doing such a massive catch-up post!


2008 in review December 29, 2008

Filed under: family,friends,holidaze,projects,travel,Vegas — airingdirtylaundry @ 4:02 pm

What a whirlwind year!  As it comes to a close, I can’t help but think of all that happened this year.  My first thought was “Whew!  Glad it’s over.  Let’s move on to the next.”  Then I realized that that’s not fair.  It’s not like 2008 was incredibly terrible.  I have a lot to be thankful for, a lot of good things going on.  But as always, the bad stuff sneaks right in there.  So I’ll start with the bad, end with the good, and hope that the good stuff continues and multiplies in the upcoming year.  So, in no particular order:

The bad:

1. Aunt Joyce’s death

2. Grandma’s death

3. Losing a baby

4. Losing Giz

5. Aunt Mary’s death

6. Sickness–mono, 2 bouts of stomach flu, The Great Cold of January thru February, various other colds, earaches, and ailments.  I haven’t been this sick in one year since I was a wee little one. Mike also had a gout flare-up.


The good:

1. Going to Vegas over the Fourth of July with Mike

2. Vegas in August with the girls

3. Vegas over Thanksgiving with Mike (can anyone guess where my favorite vacation spot is?)

4. Forrest.  There’s nothing like having a kitten in the house.  He’s now healthy and growing, and YES! declawed He’s a constant source of entertainment, amusement, and frustration.

5. Making headway on home improvement projects.

6. Our benefit for the American Cancer Society

7. Good times with friends and family–near and far.  A spa trip with Michele and the girls in January in Phoenix; Becky’s bachelorette party in Pittsburgh and wedding in New York City; trips to The Sticks; visit from Lori and Paul and their kids; going to see Amy and Jeff and their baby; book club every month; 3 trips to Vegas (oh, I already mentioned those?); trip to Indianapolis for the Indy Mini; vists to and from Mike’s brother, our sister-in-law, and my adorable niece and nephew; and more that I can’t think of off the top of my head . . .

8. Random dates with Mike

9. JLo’s and ACT’s engagement

10. Connecting with so many cool people on Goodreads and through blogging.  I never thought that I would have so many friends that I never met.

11. My brother’s engagement to Abby

12. Making progress on the baby-making front.  Support from our family and friends, a great doctor, and DRUGS–gimme the drugs!


Spontaneous November 20, 2008

Filed under: travel,Vegas — airingdirtylaundry @ 3:06 pm

Mike and I are going back to Vegas.


We booked our trip.

Sixteen HOURS ago.

It hasn’t quite sunk in yet.


Weekend in review November 11, 2008

Filed under: family,friends,travel — airingdirtylaundry @ 8:22 pm

Friday night we drove to The Sticks to have a quick visit with my family en route to Harrisburg to see a friend.  At 9:30 that night we pulled into the driveway of the new place that my brother and his girlfriend and her little boy just moved into a month or so ago.  My Dad and his girlfriend were there, too, so it was nice to be able to visit with all of them in one fell swoop.  Alas, I took no pictures.  Oh well.

We only got to spend about an hour with them before going to my grandparent’s house to spend the night.  It was already 10:30 and although they typically stay up until 11:00 or so, I didn’t want to force them to stay up to wait for us.  Grandma can’t have company walk in the door without feeding them, so Mike and I had homemade chicken soup and chicken salad sandwiches for “dinner”.  I’m not sure if it was that we ate so late that kept me awake most of the night, or if it was Mike’s snoring, or the fear of rolling over and making the ancient bed squeak.  Maybe “all of the above” on that one.

We had a huge breakfast the next morning and spend time just talking and looking at old pictures.  I always feel like my trips home are rushed because of attempting to see everyone in such a short amount of time, so it was nice to have a relaxing morning with nowhere to go.

Mike and I left their house early Saturday afternoon to go to Harrisburg to see my friend Amy.  I’ve known Amy since third grade and she’s truly one of my best friends.  She and her husband moved to Harrisburg a little over a year ago, and this is the first time Mike and I made it out there to visit.  Plus, Amy had a baby this summer, an adorable little girl named Phoebe who we finally got to meet.  Amy is what I call a “natural-born mother”–she’s always been a nurturer, a “mother hen”.  Especially when I’d visit her in college and we’d go to some kickin’ parties and she would end up holding my hair back as I threw up after drinking too much (good times, those).  And it’s not like it happened just once.  Now THAT’S a true friend.  But despite always knowing that she’d make a good mother, and despite her parents running an after-school daycare while we were growing up, and despite seeing her work at other daycares over the years and eventually becoming a teacher, it blew my mind to see her with her own child.  Even though she’s always been surrounded by children, it was such a different experience to see her with HERS!  She and her husband are such good parents.  I have a feeling that it won’t be too long before I hear from her that baby #2 is in the works.

Feast your eyes on this precious little girl:

We took a tour of a local brewery that afternoon, which was mind-boggling (and got Mike interested in brewing his own beer again. Blech.) .  I was so interested in the tour part that I almost forgot that we could buy samplers of the different beers afterwards.  Almost.  I highly recommend the Dreamweaver Wheat, by the way, although if you don’t live in PA or a nearby state, don’t bother to look for it

Phoebe had a great time, even though this was her second trip to Troeg’s.


Beer-tasting is exhausting work, so we went out to dinner and chowed down on wings and cheeseburgers while Phoebe conked out in her carrier.  i was too busy stuffing my face to take any pictures.

We had a great time that night talking and catching up in what’s been going on in everyone’s lives,discussing politics, and being silly.

Sunday morning Jeff and Amy made bacon and pancakes (from scratch–no Bisquick for them). I was sad to have to leave them to head back to Pittsburgh, but Jeff had some studying to do (for his very last Master’s class!) and we needed to get back to watch the Steeler game.

Sometimes I dread going away for the weekend.  After working and running around all week, sometimes the last thing I want to go is spend a large portion of my time off in the car and/or away from home. But I looked forward to this particular trip for weeks and it seems like it just flew by too quickly.  I’m already looking forward to my next visit with them!


Oh, the luxury . . . May 12, 2008

Filed under: travel — airingdirtylaundry @ 11:55 am

THIS is where we stayed when we were in Indianapolis at the beginning of May.  My bed at home is extremely comfortable, but this one was a close second.  It also had 500 thread count sheets, which far surpass the quality of the ones on our bed at home.

Our room had a 42″ plasma TV and an incredible marble bathroom (where I took the most decadent bubble bath).  The bathroom even had a little flat screen TV and a phone.  Seriously.  A phone in the bathroom.

I think I got a little spoiled while I was there. 


Vegas 11/20/07 November 26, 2007

Filed under: NaBloPoMo,travel,Vegas — airingdirtylaundry @ 11:18 am

One of the good things about going to Vegas during November is that I can totally milk it for NaBloPoMo for the rest of the month.  The bad thing for you is that you’ll have nothing else to read on my blog other than every excruciating detail about our trip.

I went in to work last Tuesday at 7, anxious to get out of there by noon.  Amazingly it was pretty quiet all morning and I was able to get the most critical things done.  At noon I headed home, quickly changed, and set the automatic cat feeder so that Giz was taken care of until Mike’s sister could get over to our house to take over the cat feeding duties.

Off we went to the airport about 40 minutes away.  We expected to get caught up in the earliest of the Thanksgiving rush, but much to our surprise there were no lines.  None.  We had already checked in online but still had to go upstairs to check our bags.  On our way up the escalator we looked down and saw that the security line wasn’t too bad.  We walked right up to the counter, checked our bags, and then headed to the alternate security checkpoint.  We were the only two travelers there.  We were stunned.

We made it to where our gate was, saw that the flight was still showing as being on time, and headed back to the Irish bar to have a Guinness–our vacation tradition.  After that we went back to our gate, saw that we were still scheduled to leave on time, and went to another bar to have another drink.  (I slept like a baby for about an hour on the plane.)

We boarded on time and were able to chase the sun as it set.

chasing the sunset

We got into Vegas on time, about 6:45.  Our luggage came down immediately (another shocker!) and we went to stand in the line for a taxi.  But there was no line–none at all.  When were were out there in March, we stood in the line for a cab for probably close to an hour in 90 degree heat.  This time it was 75 degrees, breezy, and there was no line.  We couldn’t have asked for things to go more smoothly.

We got over to our hotel and since Mike had talked with a casino host about our hotel room, we were able to bypass the lobby and go straight up to the VIP check-in.  Once again, no line.  We went up to our room and had a great (if somewhat blurry) view of the strip.

strip at night 

We threw our bags in the room and immediately headed back downstairs to go to P.F. Changs, which is our traditional first Vegas meal every time we go. 

After dinner we just wandered around our hotel, played the slots for awhile, and crashed relatively early.  I had been up for over 20 hours and was pretty worn out. We knew we would have a long day ahead of us on Wednesday.



9 1/2 weeks November 7, 2007

Filed under: friends,NaBloPoMo,travel — airingdirtylaundry @ 8:13 am

Oh, no. Today’s discussion (as one-sided as it is) is not about the movie 9 1/2 weeks , although I could write a post about that.  I went with my college roommate to her (much older) aunt’s house to spend the night and that was one of the movies we rented.  I don’t know if we just didn’t read the back of the box or what, but we had to turn it off due to extreme uncomfortableness (is that a word?).  Definitely not a watch-with-your-roommate-and-her-aunt kind of movie!

Ah, but I digress . . .

Nine and a half weeks from now, I will be in Arizona for a “girl’s weekend”.  My friend Michele is hosting quite the affair at a fantabulous resort, where there will be massages, manicures, pedicures, relaxation at the infinity pool, umbrella drinks, and good times.  There will be 15  of us–2 nights and 2 days of just “the girls” hanging out and being pampered.

The next weekend, Mike and I are going to NYC for a wedding.  The weekend after that is the Super Bowl (go Steelers!), and the weekend after that is our wedding vow renewal.   Suddenly, I’m looking forward to winter–this one’s certainly going to be a whirlwind!