Sunday, July 30, 2006

A New Chapter in Picture Taking

The first time I took both girls to get their pictures taken, it was a nightmare. Ray was in Vegas for a real estate conference (I know, and he didn't even come home with any winnings) and Audrey was about a month old. My Mom was staying with me to help out. We had an appointment to get the pictures done on Thursday, so of course Tuesday night Ashley spends most of the night up with a fever. Same goes for Wednesday but I am determined to get the pictures done. So off we go, double stroller and all, to the mall to Sears. Everything ended up being a battle. Ashley refused to go in the stroller (it is one of those sit and stands strollers)wanting to neither sit nor stand, but instead wanted me to carry her the whole time. We get to Sears, and the lady doing the pictures was horrible. We kept bribing Ashley with chocolate to at least attempt a smile, but nothing worked and of course in the end, she had chocolate anyways. Audrey was crying (she never cries) so the only pictures I have her eyes are bloodshot. It finally ended, and we hurried home.

And then there was today. We went to Portrait Innovations, and what a change from the last experience. We had a main guy taking the pictures, and he would ask for help when he needed from the many people working there. They had great props (only unfortunately for us that included a white hat Ashley refused to take off) and both the kids did great. Okay, maybe not great, but we got some great pictures from it. I will be posting pictures from the cd they gave us all week. At the end, they had taken 86 pictures. It was so hard to narrow down, but I narrowed it down to 10.

Front Row

Back in September, I went and saw Rascal Flatts in concert. I bought the tickets on line and paid $200 a ticket for seventh row. I will never be able to see a concert from the "cheap seats" again after being that close. It was totally worth the money I spent on them.

So Friday night, we get there and low and behold, we have front row seats! I am totally getting spoiled (and so is Ashley). It was neat to be that close and not have to worry about someone sitting in front of us for the show. The show was actually entertaining for me as well as it was an actual magic show. Unfortunately, sitting that close I actually saw how some of the tricks worked. The other thing about this show, the Memorial Auditorium where it was held actually sold beer and wine during the show. Bottom line - Ashley loved it, sat still through the entire show and told Mickey Mouse at the end she would see him in October. What a great way to start the weekend.

Friday, July 28, 2006


So everyone that knows me well knows I am somewhat psycho about Disney. I plan every vacation to death and would even schedule bathroom breaks, but I think that Ray would divorce me at that point. So tonight, Ashley and I are going to Mickey's Magic show. I bought the tickets a couple of months ago. I knew they were going on sale on a Friday. That Thursday, I did extensive research on the internet and found a presale code and bought the unbelievably expensive tickets (this of course before we didn't sell the house in Virginia and spending money wasn't that huge of a deal). I think we have pretty good seats, if not front row. I don't really know since I have never been to this venue before. I just hope Ashley enjoys it. One of the reasons I am psycho about Disney - I love the look on Ashley's face when I take her to Disney World or just to a Disney show. She is utterly amazed at it all, that Mickey Mouse is actually in front of her. So I plan and plan and want everything to be perfect, hence the psycho-ness. Hopefully my family forgives me.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Very Rough Day

So this was what was written on Ashley's sheet from school today:

"Ashley had a very rough day. She didn't use her listening ears and told us no many times today. She had to sit out to 'relax' a few times today as well because she wasn't treating her firend or teachers with respect. She did have fun in centers pretending to go shopping and eating breakfast. And she was much better after nap."

I would be much better after a nap as well. So everyone who has a three year old has told me it's not the terrible twos I should have been afraid of, but the threes. Threes are so much more capable of bigger tantrums, stronger wills and larger messes. She just turned three on Friday. How can it be starting already?

And Audrey is drooling so badly, I think she could keep our grass watered for the next week. I sure hope some teeth break through soon. But other than the drooling, she isn't complaining. As always, she is a very happy baby.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Poop Again

We have no idea what is up with Ashley. She pooped in her underwear three times last night. Not to be graphic, but it's softer than her normal "stuff", so maybe she doesn't realize something is coming out. Ray of course uttered the word regression, which I refuse to say. I think she is just having issues. Hopefully they will resolve themselves soon. We will just stuff her with cheese and maybe that will help!

**Update** - she did go poop on the potty at school, so hopefully her issues are over.

Audrey had her six month appointment yesterday. She is 15 pounds, 10 ounces (50% percentile) and 27 inches long (90% percentile). She weighs a little less than Ashley did at this stage, but just as long. They are definitely taking after Ray's side of the family for that trait.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Water Slide

Ray's parents bought Ashley one of those inflatable water slides for her birthday. All the kids at the party had a blast on it. When we got home yesterday, it was pouring down rain but that didn't stop Ashley from bugging us to take out her water slide so she could play on it. This is Ashley on the water slide on Saturday. We were afraid we were going to run Ray's parents' well dry from all the water we were using.
This is my Step Sister Sharon's daughter, Morgan. Sharon eventually ended up pushing Morgan down the slide, but she still liked it.

Ashley loved all of her gifts, and of course loved her Dora Dollhouse (she had literally been asking for the Dora Dollhouse for months) and wanted that opened as soon as we got home. And she is still sleeping with the stuffed Angelina the Ballerina doll that Dad and Diane got her.

Not to step on my daughter's birthday, but my brother bought me a brand new bassoon! He showed up with it at the party. I played bassoon in highschool and have been trying to find one used since they are so expensive. I don't even want to know how much he paid for it. I emailed my band director this morning, and he was as estatic as I was. Then he wanted to know if he and I could trade brothers.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Ashley's Birthday

Today, Ashley, you are three. It is amazing to me that you are three. I look at your face when you are sleeping, and you seem like you are still so little, and then I look again, and you look like you are so much older than you really are. Like you already know all the answers to the why questions you keep asking me lately. But I know you still need me, and the day when you don't need me anymore will be the hardest day of my life. I love it that I can pick you up and hold you to stop you from crying when a stranger yells at you. I love it that when I get really upset and cry in front of you, you tell me, "Mommy, stop crying." I love that look on your face when you are really excited about something, like going to the pool, and that tilt in your voice when you say, "the pool?". I love it that you give big squeeze hugs and you try to kiss Crazy Uncle Mike on the lips even though he won't let you. I love it that you call all the Grandparents by their pets' names (i.e. Grandma Mocha, Ray's Mom whose dog is named Mocha), except my Dad and Stepmom who are Grandpa and Grandma Fuzzy due to my Dad's hairy back. I love how social you are, always wanting to go outside to play with someone, anyone. And I love how much you look like your Daddy, but how you have my personality. And I really love it when you tell Daddy you are Mommy's girl. You will always be Mommy's girl, and I love you.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Here is Audrey, sleeping like a baby. She doesn't nap much, but when she does take a good nap, it takes all I have not to curl up next to her and sleep as well.

This is last Saturday after we had spent a couple of hours at the beach. She completely crashed out in the car for all of 15 minutes, and then woke up when we were at Sonic getting milk shakes. I guess she really wanted that milk shake.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Everyone Loves a Good Poop Story

First of all, we still do not have our DSL working after having 5 technicians at our house in the past couple of days. Our phone works, but DSL is still out. So no pictures, sorry.

And remember how we left the garage door open when we were gone all weekend? Well, we left the front door unlocked last night, and at some point it became open. Our only worry was that some creature has crawled in our house to make it his home......

Now for the poop story. I did not get to witness this as I was at work already. Let's just preface this with the fact that Audrey is teething badly right now. Yesterday morning, Ray put Audrey in her ultrasaucer while he and Ashley ate breakfast. He said she wasn't in it very long when Ashley walked over and said "I smell something." Sure enough, Audrey had blown out her diaper, poop had dripped down her leg and squished into her toes and of course got all over the ultrasaucer (which Ray banned to the deck until we can thoroughly disinfect it). Two baths later, Ray finally got the girls to school yesterday!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

6 months ago

Six months ago, we were in Virginia, at the hospital giving birth to Audrey. She was such an easy delivery compared to Ashley. She came out screaming like babies should and looked just like Ashley did. We were done with the delivery by noon after checking in at 7:00am that morning. Now, six months later, she is the happiest baby I have ever seen. She smiles at just about anyone and anything. Her smile is big enough to light up a room. Her eyes are precious and she has the longest eyelashes. She adores her sister and is very content to sit and watch her sister play. I couldn't be luckier to have her and Ashley in my life.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Brittney Spears

I am having to post at work again today due to issues we still have with Sprint and our phones. They came out Friday, only for me to get home from work to a note that says they checked outside and it must be our wireless router. Very interesting since our wireless router was UNPLUGGED. So Ray called and set up for them to come on Monday, today. Of course someone shows up at our house on Saturday when we were not there. Of course, we didn't know it, but they could have gone in our house as we left the garage door wide open all weekend long. We were sure we closed it when we left on Saturday morning, but I guess not. Everything was still there when we got home yesterday. Hopefully Spring can fix the problem today as I have plenty of great pictures from this weekend.

Ashley loves the beach. We took her Saturday while Mom and Ed watched Audrey. It amazes me how she will just play with anyone too. There was a little boy whose mom brought him to Ashley so she could go swim, and she happily dug in the sand with him. It is also really neat that Ashley is communicating so well with other children. When she was younger, it was a lot of parallel playing. But now she will actually ask her friend across the street if she can play on her playset or like at the beach, she asked the little boy (his name was Brice) if she could use his shovel. I don't know when this actually started happening, but it is nice that she now asks and doesn't just barge over and take toys. And the mom who pretty much dropped her kid with us? Well, we were leaving the beach before she came back out of the water, so Ray made sure he made it back to the umbrella that the rest of his family was at.

We made the trip in a little over 3 hours, both ways. I know, you are wondering how we do that with a baby and a 3 year old. The video keeps Ashley entertained and if we limit her liquid intake, we only have to stop once for a pee break. Audrey, well, we pull a Britney Spears and take her out of her car seat to feed her if she gets hungry. And don't worry, we keep her in the back seat unlike Britney. And this is totally legal according to NC DMV. Per their handbook I came to know very well, it states that the child can be taken out of a car seat "when the child's personal needs are being attended to." I even changed her poopy diaper with her on my lap yesterday on the way home. Yes, I am very talented.

The concert on Friday night was great but it was so freaking hot, sweat was pouring off of all of us. We were on a deck actually on Bass Lake, so the bugs were out in full force as well. We actually had a pretty big audience. Ashley was pretty cute, you could hear her above everyone else "that's Mommy!!". There were some rough spots in the music, and our first number we played was played faster than we have ever played it, but overall it went well. Here is a picture on the band member's wife took.

By the way, Audrey is now sitting up unassisted. She has been doing it for a couple of days now. And she will be six months tomorrow, Ashley will be three on Friday. Man, how time flies.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Phone Lines

We have phone service through Sprint, and yesterday when I got home, I could barely make out the messages on the machine due to the static. We thought it was the crappy phones we bought, but even the "good" phone in the house had a ton of static. Then I tried connecting to the internet, and the DSL line isn't working either. So a call was put in to Sprint (the guy was amazed at how bad the static was) and hopefully it will be fixed. In the meantime, I can't post pictures as they are all on my computer at home.

We are going to Myrtle Beach tomorrow for some beach time and hopefully a date night tomorrow night since Mom and Ed will be there.

I have my first band concert tonight. I am sure I will be flooded with memories of band in high school. I know most people have their own opinions of "band geeks", but I thoroughly enjoyed band. I was friends with some great people, of which unfortunately I am only in contact with one of them. I got to play some great music and go on some pretty cool trips (Sheila - remember lighting the room on fire in North Carolina to heat up pizza??) I hope my daughters fall in love with music as much as I did.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I guess I say "that's okay, though" a lot to Ashley. So much so, she is starting to say it all the time now too. She will do something she isn't supposed to do, and then tell me "that's okay, though." We really have to watch what we say around our kids. And a little update on Audrey - Ray normally drops the kids off at daycare and I pick up. Tuesday I had to work a little late so Ray picked them up. Ray said Audrey was just not acting like herself, but as soon as I got home she gave me the biggest smile and perked right back up. I guess she is used to the routine of Mommy coming to get her in the evenings.

I have my first band concert tomorrow night! I am pretty excited about it. It wasn't advertised too well (if at all), so I don't think too many people will show up.

We did finally get someone to rent our house in Virginia. We had this lady, then she backed out and now she is back in and actually has signed the lease. We will check her in next weekend when we are in Virginia for Ashley's third birthday. At least this will be some money in the door.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


First of, I seem to have misplaced the good Ashley that would eat anything you put in front of her. I even think she would have eaten liver if I just convinced her it was chicken. These past two evenings Ray has been working and it's just been me and the kids. Last night we had swedish meatballs and she wouldn't even try them. I didn't feel like fighting that battle then. But tonight, we had cheese ravioli, something she has eaten many, many times before. "I don't like cheese," she told me. Of course, this coming from the child that eats cheese sandwiches for snacks. I told her she couldn't play with her new water play thing until she had a couple of bites. She finally did, very reluctantly. But I now know the real reason she didn't want to eat. She really wanted a "banola bar" because I happened to buy the ones that had chocolate chips in them.

I was laying in bed with Ashley after reading books. She poked me in the eye, and I told her it hurt. She said sorry, but not very convincingly. I told her she needs to mean it when she says sorry. Then I asked her when she is going to learn remorse, not expecting an answer. She replied "I will learn it tomorrow in school about bears." She is learning about bears tomorrow, so maybe they will teach her remorse.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Bathtub shot

Here is a cute picture of Ashley and Max in the bathtub from when Max was visiting.

Tonight we were in Ashley's room getting ready for bed. Ashley was counting to ten and I prompted her to count higher. She got to thirteen and looked at me and said, "I don't have a thirteen fingers." She was right, but it definitely was funny. It's funny how a three year old's mind works!! (Yes, she is pretty much three, I am tired of saying she is almost three!!)

Check out I was published there as well.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


The weekend went by way too fast. I feel like it was just Friday. And this week is going to be a busy week for Ray and I. We both have various meetings (I am on the parent advisory council at daycare and Ray is going to some town meeting) plus I have my first concert on Friday night for the community concert band I am in.

We started Audrey on solids now twice a day. She eats solids for lunch as well as dinner time. And she actually pooped today (the pear juice helped). She is definitely not like her sister in that regards. Audrey can go a couple of days between poops. And it doesn't seem to bother her. She went a whole week when she was born. We finally took both girls to the pool yesterday as we had never taken Audrey. I think the water was a little cold for her, but she did enjoy kicking her feet.

Here's a picture of Audrey in her ultrasaucer from this morning. She loves being in it, especially when her sister is around to watch her.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Splashing and Remote Controls

I normally give Audrey a bath in her infant bathtub on top of the sink in the girls' bathroom. The last two times I have done that, she has gotten me soaked, the floor soaked, and water all over the counter!! I guess it's time to move her into the tub. I just hate leaning over the tub to give her a bath.

Today Ashley, Audrey and I were going to the park to meet Ethan, Wendy and Matt. I was packing the backpack (aka diaper bag) so Ashley packed her JoJo backpack as well. When we were in the car, I looked in the backpack just to see if Ashley had grabbed anything Audrey could chew on. In the backpack was the remote for the tv. I guess she thinks the remote is important enough to go with us on trips!!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


We love the school Ashley and Audrey are in. For starters, it is highly education based and the teachers are all friendly and easy to talk to. There is definitely an open line of communication between the parents and the teachers, which is always good. Anyways, when I went to the parade and party last Friday, I got to see a little of how 2 teachers handle 15 almost three year olds. After going inside, all the kids lined up to wash hands. While standing in line, they all started to get a little rowdy. Ms. Stanley, one of Ashley's teachers, immediately said, "Duck tails and bubbles!". See the picture of Ashley above. Then the kids all sat down and Ms. Courtney, the other teacher in her room, started passing out cupcakes. All the kids sat patiently in their chairs while waiting. I was kind of looking around like why aren't they all digging in? Well, they were all waiting to say their blessing (check out the other picture above). It was absolutely amazing. Ashley never sits that still at home while a cupcake is in front of her!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

4th of July

Happy 4th of July! I hope everyone had a safe holiday. We attempted to go to a kids festival in downtown Apex today, but with the temperature outside in the 90s and with the humidy feeling like it was over 100, the kids just didn't last long. So Ray took Ashley to the pool while I stayed home with Audrey. And since Ashley didn't have a nap today, both kids were in bed by 7:30pm. Ray and I actually got to sit on our front porch for some down time. Ray did teach Ashley that today was America's birthday, so she sang Happy Birthday to America. Ever since Matt's birthday, she has been fascinated with birthdays. Every day she asks "who's birthday is it today?". Plus with her birthday coming up soon, she is really getting interested in birthdays!!

Here is a picture from today with the girls' in their 4th of July outfits. Ashley got many, many compliments on her dress today.

Monday, July 03, 2006


I don't normally do a post like this, but I wanted to tell everyone the highlights from our weekend with the Pillows:
  • Heather and I enjoyed a few games of Scrabble (I know, we are geeks, but what better way to spend your time when the kids are napping/sleeping and the husbands are away?) and then we played Redneck/Ghetto Scrabble with the husbands (see picture above). For those of you who have not played this before, the only rules are you have to use your "word" in a sentence. And of course the more adult beverages that are consumed, the better the words. And don't worry, most of the time the words are some they Ray and I have actually heard in our lifetime, so we are sort of making fun of ourselves.
  • The Junior Banana Split at Sonic is really, really little. Just a warning. I think Heather ate hers in three bites.
  • Heather and I really enjoyed the waterslide at the YMCA pool (see picture above)!! Sorry kids, you have to be 48 inches tall! I kept telling Ashley she had to grow to go on it, so all weekend she kept telling me she was grown up.
  • Pullen Park in Raleigh is really nice, and you definitely get your money's worth on the carousel. I paid $1 per ticket, and I was so dizzy after getting off that thing. I think they let it go at least 4 or 5 minutes!
  • Don't let Ray cook ribs on the grill (sorry, honey).
  • The website was a hoax. (Warning - if you click on it now, it is an adult website). Click here to read about it The website is available in case anyone was wondering.......don't ask how we got there.....
  • Ashley is really getting scared of loud noises. The carousel was pretty loud and the fireworks she heard she was crying hysterically. Is this normal for her age?

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I am off tomorrow, we are planning on taking the kids to a festival in the morning and then the pool maybe in the afternoon. It is weird having a Tuesday off. I am really not going to enjoy going to work on Wednesday!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Good Weekend

Just a quick update - I promise I will put pictures up tomorrow night. Ashley had a parade and party at school on Friday. It was very cute and she did really well. Saturday she had a birthday party for a boy in her class. When we got there, one of her classmates (a boy) walked up to her and said "Hi Ashley, I love you." It was pretty funny.

Ashley and Max have been having a great weekend playing together. She is going to be sad when he leaves. Max and Ashley even slept in the same room, Max had a blow up bed that we put on the floor in Ashley's room. They did great. I guess Ashley is ready for sleepovers (get ready Ethan)!

Last night our neighbors put off fireworks, the ones you set on the ground and they make a ton of noise. Well, Ashley was pretty scared of them. I think it was just the loud noise she didn't like. I guess we won't be going to see any fireworks shows this year.