Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

We had a wonderful Mother's Day this year. We went with my Mom, my sister, brother-in-law, and two of my nieces to pick strawberries. We took the ferry across the James River and got really lucky to get right on, considering the two largest ferries are both out of commission. It was a beautiful day to pick strawberries! Not too hot and a bit overcast, so we were very comfortable. Strawberry picking in Virginia can get really hot! The picking wasn't perfect because Friday and Saturday were very busy days at the farm and we had to look pretty hard for strawberries that were totally red, but we managed just fine. Sydnee and Hannah were especially good at finding really red ones.

Mike, Me, Tricia
Shauna, Hannah, Gramma, Tatum, Sydnee

After we had over-filled our baskets, we headed off to the barn to pay for them and get some homemade strawberry ice cream cones. The ice cream was incredible! We had a ton of fun, with lots of laughing and joking round. My Mom suggested that we make this a Mother's Day tradition, so I hope the weather cooperates next year.

I asked Tatum if I could take a picture of her with her basket. She refused until I told her that it was for Wrigley and she ran right over to do it! She and Wrigley have become best buddies.

Shauna, Hannah, Gramma, Tatum, Sydnee

The only down side to the day was that when I got out of the van upon arriving home, I could barely walk. I have Plantar Faciitis and it was acting up, big time. This is the worst I've ever had it and I had to use a crutch to get from my bed to bathroom (about 10 feet) that night. In the morning, I was forced to call work and tell them I couldn't come in. This was my first sick day and I hated it! I wanted to go to work, but there was just no way I could possible carry the baby around and do the things I need to do for her. Luckily, by the next day, the pain had eased up quite a bit and I was able to go back. My bosses are the greatest! They offered me the use of a wheelchair, which I, in complete Denise-style stubbornness, refused. I did agree to take it easy, though. I was off on Friday, as they were going to a conference, and I started having quite a bit of pain, again, that afternoon. As of today, it is better, but still painful at times. I really need to get new shoes and some good arch supports. I plan to do that this week before we go camping next weekend. More on that later.

Hannah and Shauna

Tim and the Girls

Friday, May 13, 2011

Quotes of the Day

These are both Stephen B. quotes of the day, I seem to get quite a lot of these.

Stephen: "Mrs. S., look at my fly, it's broken."
Me: "That is a sentence I never want to hear again."

Me: "Drive carefully and don't speed."
Stephen: "I won't. I promise I'll go zero miles per hour on the ferry."

Ice Cream, Anyone?

Shauna was texting a friend. She asked, "Is it Baskin in Robins or Basket of Robins?" I was laughing too hard to answer, but after a minute or two, Alex was able to get out, "Neither, it's Baskin-Robbins!"

Hmm, I guess we need to go out for ice cream more often. I wonder if Basket of Robins has an early bird special?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The BIRDS are so annoying this yearrr! Ugh

The title of this post comes straight from Alex's Facebook status. He posted that a couple of days ago and after doing a bit of talking back and forth, Alex, Shauna, and I realized just why the birds are driving him crazy. It seems that some woodpeckers have pecked a hole in our house, in the eaves, right between Alex and Shauna's windows. They have, apparently, pecked completely through and are now residing in one of our attics. Mikey will be thrilled to read this, as I haven't told him about this yet. We just figured it out last night.

Shauna texted me this morning, telling me that she didn't need me to wake her up, since the woodpeckers had already done so. We talked about it this morning and Shauna's ideas were: 1. Call Animal Control. When I explained that Animal Control wouldn't come out to remove woodpeckers from our attic, she said, "well, what the heck are they there for, then?" (Good question, as there is a lot they won't do!) 2. "Dad can go in the attic and close up the hole. He can just swat at the birds if they try to attack him. Maybe he should use a pillow for head protection."

I'm thinking that Alex's ideas for getting rid of the woodpeckers might include poison and BB guns, seeing as he is losing quite a bit of sleep. As a teenager who can never get enough sleep, they are really making him suffer!

A post about Mother's Day and why I took my first sick day from work yesterday to follow.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

And the Capitals lose...

Mike had tickets for the Capitals playoff game this Saturday. However, they had to win at least one of four games in order for the game to happen. Unfortunately, they lost all four games! That means instead of spending a romantic weekend with my husband in DC and enjoying a fun Caps game, I will be staying in Williamsburg and doing projects around the house. Ugh! The bright spots are that I will save the gas money I would have spent driving to DC and I will get to spend Mother's Day with the kids. We are going to take the ferry across the river and go strawberry picking with my sister, her husband and kids, and my mom. Should be a fun day, unless it rains!

Luke has been getting very few hours at work lately, since his store decided to hire way more cashiers than they need. He is interviewing at a different store today. Hopefully, he will get the job and more hours.

More Birthday Party Pictures

Mikey, Janine, Jack

Luke, Drew, and Jack, enjoying their stuffed pizza. Andrea is in the background, hiding from the camera!
Mike and Michelle

Drew and Luke

"The Twins" Jack and Mike

The Family Room and Kitchen

Shauna, Hannah, Sydnee, and Tatum

Another view of the decorated family room

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Please don't faint!

What a great weekend we had! Mikey had his 50th birthday on the 25th, but he was in DC that day. Jack, Janine, and Andrea were coming down for the weekend, so we planned a surprise party for him on the 28th. Although he had some suspicions, he had forgotten about them by the time he walked in the house on Friday. We decorated the house and six of the kids were there, plus my mom, sister and her kids. I ordered pizza from Giordano's in Chicago and that was a huge hit. Pizza from Chicago is the absolute best, no matter what is said about New York pizza! While I would have loved some delicious thin crust, as well, stuffed is the only kind that can be delivered and it was delicious. We also had a delicious yellow cake with milk chocolate frosting which is Mikey's favorite, thanks to Janine. I made Jenni's Cherry Cheesecake (if you're reading this Jen, I make this quite often and everyone loves it!), although we had strawberries and blueberries on the side, instead of the cherries. We all pitched in a bought an ipod, docking station, and itunes card for Mike. Unfortunately, the ipod went through China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Alaska, and New Jersey before finally arriving in Williamsburg four days after the party. I will post pictures that our official birthday photographer, Janine, took for us.

My job is going great. I cannot express how much I LOVE it! I take care of a now-15 month old baby girl and she is awesome! I had a feeling I would like this job, but I had no idea that I would fall completely in love with this little girl and that she would become like part of my family. Her parents are fantastic, kind, and wonderful. They are so understanding of my family issues and so considerate of my needs. Whenever I need time off, I can have it. Whenever I need to schedule around doctor, orthodontist, or other appointments, they find a way to accommodate me. I could not ask for a better place to work. The best part is when the baby, L, practically jumps into my arms when she sees me and puts her head on my shoulder and gives me a giant hug each day! No matter how much stress I am going through at home, I can walk into work and have an instant stress reliever in my arms.

We also do fun things at the office. There are three other women who work there. They are all very nice. The doctors bring lunch in once a month and take us out to a nice restaurant for special occasions, such as some one's six year anniversary working there and Administrative Assistant's Day. We have also begun doing holiday exchanges. Normally, I would hate that. It is so stressful, trying to find things for someone you work with when you don't really know their preferences too well. However, our exchanges have fun rules. We have done Valentine's Day so far and today is our Easter Exchange. We pull names and then pick a date for at least a week after the holiday. The rules are that the gifts cannot cost more than $6 and they have to be purchased on clearance, after the holiday. They must also include at least some candy. It is so much fun to shop around and find the bargains!

The kids are doing well. Drew moved to an apartment, with two friends, in Richmond about three months ago. We miss him, but he is doing great and loving living on his own. I have to admit that although I miss him, things are a lot less stressful, for me, now that he is gone. It is really hard to have an adult child living in the house. They want to do their own thing and make their own rules, which don't always mesh with my rules.

Jack is loving his job in Philly and has been there almost a year now. Janine is set to graduate from Radiology School in August and then start a mammogram program.

Steven is still in jail (not sure if I ever blogged about that!). He has been in since June 23rd and is doing fantastic! It was amazing to watch his transformation, as his brain slowly began to clear, the longer he was away from drugs and alcohol. He has been in the "good behavior pod" since early September and has been working 6 days a week in the kitchen. He just got approved for work release last week, which means he will be allowed to go out and work at a regular job every day, returning to jail when he is done. He has a couple possible jobs in mind, we are just working on the details at this point. When he is released, which will be either in the beginning of August or the beginning of September, he will go straight to a long-term rehab program. He will be there for 14-18 months. He hates it when I say this, but getting sent to jail is the best thing that has happened to him.

Alex is still very busy with his drama. He just finished the high school play and is involved in two more productions at the moment. He is almost ready to get his driver's license and is taking Spanish and American Sign Language at school.

Hannah's behavior has improved in many ways. Her rages are becoming much further apart, instead of daily, as they used to be. She is slowly (very slowly) learning how to control herself and monitor her own behavior. We have a lot of ups and downs, but she is more and more often showing us mature, rational behavior. She will never be "normal", but I will take as close as we can get!

Shauna is as sweet as always. She has been having issues with severe abdominal pain and missed three days of school last week. She was diagnosed with a reflux disorder and has been doing better since being on medication. She is also a teenager and has her moments of talking back and getting mad at us, but she is still on the low end of "the teenage moodiness" scale. She has a ton of friends at school and has really started to go out a lot more to hang out with them. For those who know her, I have often had to put a few sticks of dynamite under the couch, just to get her to actually move off of it!

Time to get ready for work now. (Smile!) Did anyone notice that I didn't mention how I haven't blogged in forever???? Yeah, just thought I would jump right back in and pretend that I blogged yesterday.