The Birthday Recap

Last Wednesday, I turned 36 and Cutie Pie turned 5.  We celebrated with a little party of close friends and family that night.  J put together an awesome get-together for us complete with our favorite pizza, the amazing Angry Birds cake for Cutie Pie and my personal weakness- a cookie cake!  Yum!

Earlier that day, my dad’s mom (my Nana), stopped by to wish us a happy birthday.  I love this photo of Cutie Pie with her 🙂

Cutie Pie was thrilled to finally have a kayak of his very own!  Now we’ll be a kayaking family!  J and I have a double adult one and both of the boys have their own now.  Since the weather has been so nice, we need to take advantage of it by taking the kayaks out.  Somehow we managed to skip right over winter and landed right in the middle of spring here.  Crazy!

Both of us got ridiculously spoiled this year.  It was so nice sharing our special day with everyone!

I got some serious gifts like this gorgeous original painting by our friend, Terri McCutchan.  My mom totally surprised me with that one!  I absolutely love it and have it hung in a place of honor on a wall that you see when you enter through our front door.  It fits perfectly with our style.

And I got some not so serious gifts like this one lb. Snickers bar.  A slice ‘n’ share!  Just what I need while trying to get in shape for our April trip to Puerto Rico!

It was a wonderful birthday and I’m so lucky to be able to share it with my baby boy!  I really don’t feel any older, thank goodness.  Age is a frame of mind, yes?  If that’s true then I’m holding at 25-ish 🙂

Cosmic Bowling

Cutie Pie and I have a birthday coming up on Wednesday!  J and I gave Cutie Pie the option to go anywhere he wanted to celebrate his special day in lieu of an actual birthday party with a bunch of kids.  On a side note, I’ve instituted the every-other-year plan for birthday parties.  Wildman chose to go to Legoland and it was so much less stressful than planning and implementing a party.  It’s nice to have a year off from that craziness.

Anyway, we told Cutie Pie we would take him anywhere he’d like to go: Disney, Sea World, Legoland, Busch Gardens, zip lining at the zoo…  He chose bowling of all things!  This is what he chose to do last year for his birthday too.  So, J looked into it and saw that our local bowling alley hosted cosmic games with the black lights, lasers and all on Saturdays from 3-5 PM.  J invited a few of Cutie Pie’s closest buds to join us and away we went.

The kids had a total blast bowling on their own lane with the bumpers installed.  Cutie Pie amazed everyone by winning with an even 100 points!

J, Big Red, Flash and I had our own lane next to the kiddos.  I bowled my highest score ever on our first game.  A 117!  I beat all the guys (J by just one point) and then proceeded to steadily get worse from there…  It could have been the bowling alley gin and tonics that were my undoing.  Big Red was the one who suggested that we have a round of G&Ts and set out to procure them from the sketchy looking bar at the back.  The first set were awful as I sort of expected.  I kept looking at my drink thinking something was not right.  Then I remembered a neat trick that I saw on Pinterest.  Tonic glows in black light!  The snack bar operator come bartender had made our drinks with club soda by mistake!  The drinks were not glowing.  Once they were remade, they tasted so much better and looked really pretty too.  Thanks, Pinterest!  You helped me troubleshoot my bowling alley beverage!  🙂

Beach Fishing

Our ridiculously mild winter carries on here in Florida and as a result, the beach fishing has been great!   We brought the poles down to the beach a couple of times last weekend and ended up with a few keepers- 2 whiting and 2 sheepshead.  The guys caught a bunch of tiny jacks that we released.  Big Red managed to reel in a sting ray.  We even ordered pizza one night for dinner from the only local place that is willing to deliver to a beach access.  I love living here!

Here are a few photos from our time at the beach:

And here are pictures of the pretty moonrise and sunset from Saturday.

To say that we’re spoiled living here would be an understatement.

Um, Merry Christmas?

I really have no excuse for why I’ve been an absentee blogger except to say that the holidays did, in fact, swallow me whole and just now spit me out the other side…  Do you feel that way?  We had some kind of craziness or activity every single day leading up to Christmas.  All good things but all serious time drains.  I’ve got a ridiculous amount of photos to share that I will now dump into this post.  I want to end this year by remembering all of the amazing things we did this holiday season yet I know this isn’t the most appropriate way to present this information.  But what am I gonna do?  I simply ran out of time to post each story individually…  Perhaps things will be better in 2012 in terms of blogging consistently?  Well, better in terms of everything would be really nice too.

Let’s see, I left off blogging on December 13th…  What happened next?  Oh, yes!  Our city’s annual Santa-on-the-fire-truck tradition.  He came zooming by our house at 9:30 PM on December 15th.  We’d been hearing him since 6:30 pm and had waited outside pretty much the entire time.  At 9 PM, I finally had the kids get into bed thinking he was not coming down our street after all.  Then the music and sirens got louder and louder.  The boys shot out of bed just in time to see Santa go speeding by our house!

I also invited Cutie Pie’s preschool class over for lunch during the last week of school before winter break.  We had a yummy assortment of preschool-friendly foods with plenty of pizza, salad and sangria for the moms 🙂  Then the kids camped out in front of the television to watch the new Ice Age Christmas movie on DVD.

Cutie Pie’s preschool Christmas program was on Friday, December 16th.  It struck me while sitting in the audience surrounded by all of the loving friends and family that this will be our last Christmas program at the preschool…  Cutie Pie will be entering Kindergarten in the fall and Eastminster will become a distant memory for him.  Bittersweet, indeed.  And see that little girl with the white fur trimmed dress in the first picture?  Her mom informed me that their entire family will be moving to Shanghai with her husband’s work in March.  It’s an exciting adventure for them but it will be so sad to see them go.  Wildman was in the three’s class with her middle son and Cutie Pie is now in VPK with her youngest daughter.  It’s funny how lives overlap and you get used to seeing the same familiar faces everyday and then one day they’re gone for whatever reason.  You realize how much you enjoyed their company over the years.

Saturday, December 17th brought the Satellite Beach Boat Parade!  It was our first time participating.  We were so excited to be a part of this cool Florida Christmas tradition!  We left the dock with Big Red, his kids and our across-the-street neighbors at 5 PM.  The parade began at the north entrance to the Grand Canal at 6 PM.  The weather could not have been more perfect- clear with wonderfully mild temperatures.

On Saturday night, after the boat parade, we quickly changed into our best vintage polyester and headed over to our friends’ Disco Funk Christmas Party!  What a crazy fun evening!

The Sunday before Christmas brought sugar cookie decorating with the cousins and breakfast for dinner!

We delivered Christmas goodies to the neighbors and hosted a little family party for Wildman’s 7th birthday on Monday, December 19th.  He insisted on an Angry Birds cake from Publix and was thrilled with all of his amazing gifts including a sweet child-size kayak from J and I.

On December 20th, we hosted a little beach bonfire for Wildman’s classmates to celebrate the last day of school before winter break and also roast s’mores in honor of Wildman’s birthday.

This post has grown much too long!  Looks like I will have to break it up into two.  Stay tuned!

I’m Back

I’m back from NYC!  Actually, I was back late Friday night.  It was a crazy busy, fun-filled girls’ trip.  There are tons of pictures sitting in iPhoto waiting to be blogged but the thought is quite daunting right now.  It’s the holiday season and I’m swamped. Just like everyone else, I imagine.  I’ll do my best to catch up on all that I’ve been up to but please be patient.

We’ve got Wildman’s first grade Christmas program at school this evening!  He’s got a speaking part that he’s been practicing for weeks.  I couldn’t be more excited to see him and will certainly take lots of photos.  All of the kids are wearing pajamas- how cute!

I’m off to help with Cutie Pie’s class Christmas crafts!  Write more you soon…  I hope!

Sad News

B’s mother-in-law passed away early Sunday morning per her own request to be removed from the ventilator and not resuscitated.  I spent the night with B and Flash’s kids on Friday night when it looked like she wouldn’t make it through the night.  She rallied a bit on Saturday but by nightfall things were looking grim again.  J and I received a phone call at 11 PM on Saturday night saying this was probably it.  J rushed over to be with the kids while I stayed home with ours.  By 4 AM on Sunday morning Flash’s mom was gone.

I am comforted that she is finally pain free and in a much better place but I feel so helpless.  As a result, I cooked like crazy all Sunday.  I delivered 2 meals complete with sides and pumpkin rolls for dessert.  Then I ran the causeway to burn off the rest of my anxiety.  I wish there was more I could do to console them.

I doubt B will ever forget her 40th birthday.  And not in a good way.  I brought over her presents and the decorations that I had been working on for her surprise party that never happened.  It saddens me to know that she was not able to view the giant cut-out 4 and 0 made up of old black & white photos from her past with joy.  And the “40 Sucks” lollipop bouquet kind of lost its funniness amidst such turmoil.

I hope that we will be able to celebrate one day when pain from this loss has lessened a bit.  For now, I’ll always be a phone call away.

Busy, Crazy Friday…

Today B and I are setting up for our city’s Founder’s Day craft fair.  The event is tomorrow but we’re able to set up our tables and display our goodies this afternoon.  A lot of our craft ideas have come from Pinterest which is the perfect website for people like me.  I am inspired by so many wonderful things on that site!  I found the cute little snowman wrapper here.

This craft fair could not be happening at a worse time though.  Cutie Pie is sick.  He threw up twice yesterday.  So all of the last minute errands that I needed to do for the craft fair have been kind of pushed aside to care for my baby.  Also, B’s mother-in-law is in the hospital with pneumonia and three cancerous masses at various spots throughout her body.  I received a phone call from Flash (B’s husband) last night at 10:30 saying that his mom had taken a turn for the worse and he needed me to be with his kids while he ran to the hospital.  B was already at the hospital since she was planning to work a night shift as an RN.

Flash’s mom stabilized during the night but she’s still on life support and no one really knows what’s going to happen from  here.  Flash woke me up at 6:45 am this morning so that I could go home to be with my family.  I’ve been in a fog ever since.  J let me sleep for a little while longer and took Wildman to school.  Cutie Pie is still home sick and is napping.  I’m so worried about Flash’s mom.

The kicker is that today is B’s 40th birthday.  What a way to celebrate this milestone.  Flash had a surprise party all set up for tomorrow afternoon after the craft fair.  But now those plans have been scrapped.  I’m hoping to still do something special for B even if it’s just taking her out to lunch today.

Gumball machine idea came from here.

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