What’s Happening?

How was your summer?

Ours was busy. And, to my dismay, we didn’t make it to the beach (even for a day trip).

I took 2 classes over the summer; Algebra and Human Biology. Greg had to help with the Algebra; math just isn’t my thing (well, math that requires x’s and y’s and plotting graph’s, etc).

Amelia attended our county’s summer camp program and loved it! Such a huge difference in willingness to participate this year than last year. We picked a somewhat different program that had field trips every week and we also picked a different school (one by my office) and I think that made the difference. We’ll probably do the same next summer.

We bought a new (to us) car! Greg and I would daydream about our next car purchase. What did we want in the car, such as the size (sedan vs. SUV. vs minivan), features and options, and manufacturer. So many factors to consider! And, after this experience I’ve learned that I hate car shopping. Hate it! But, in the end of our adventure (that’s a whole other post to share), we got the car that fits our family’s needs and that we enjoy driving as well.

Sofia. My goodness is this girl getting big! I wouldn’t be surprised is she’s already 25lbs and 30 inches tall. I keep telling Greg that we need to move her into a bigger carseat, but he doesn’t want to give up the carrier (even though its ridiculously heavy with her in it). That, and it would admit that she’s no longer a ‘baby’ and she’s in her way to be a toddler. Sofia does have 2 teethe in and just last week, or the week. For, she’s begun crawling!

Well, this is all the time I have for an update. I have several drafts written…one day ill get to them.

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No Time to Rest

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So, so busy but it’s a good busy.

This past Friday, Lisa and I took the day off and drove out to Frederick, MD and checked out a new place for some all-you-can-eat crabs. Long story short, we weren’t impressed. Guess we’ll stick with our place over on the Eastern Shore.

We’re about five and a half months from our first family cruise!

This weekend, Greg is surprising Amelia and me with a new destination. All I know is that we’re still going to be in MD, but to somewhere we haven’t been before. I am very curious as to where we’re going.

On Sunday, we’re heading up to Fort Frederick to attend a BBQ and then on Monday we’re heading down to my Moms to hang out.

Lots of driving this weekend.

When I can’t sleep…

I blog. Sort of. And play Words with Friends.

Why am I up at 2:30am? It’s not like I had a lot of caffeine today. On the plus side, I don’t have to be at work until 11 so I will be able to sleep in… Amelia permitting.

May is such a busy month for us; it’s been non-stop weekends since the beginning and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. Eventually, I’d like to write about Easter, my promotion at work, Mother’s Day, Greg’s 33rd birthday, and other events but I don’t know when I’ll have the time (unless I stay up until 2:30am every night).

In other news, I’ve switched schools and I’m now a student of the University of Maryland! My first class begins June 1 and it’s accounting– should be easy, right?

Greg and I have enrolled Amelia into a Summer Camp of sorts. It’s a private school that offers a summer program and it sounds awesome! I hope there are a lot of opportunities for volunteers or chaperones! In addition to the summer school, Amelia is enrolled in Pre-K at the same private school. I can’t believe my baby girl is grown up!

We’re still on for the cruise in November and we’re hoping to get a trip to Ocean City, MD sometime in August before school starts.

Amelia has been asking Greg and I every week since October if we’re going back to Disney World. We tell her that we will go back one day. However, we have a plan: a surprise trip for Amelia’s 6th birthday! We’re totally going be like the Disney commercials where the kids are told once they wake up. Unfortunately, we have to wait a year and a half but that gives us enough time to save for a stay at the Polynesian or Animal Kingdom Lodge.

House hunting is coming along. We are meeting with the financial counselor in June to move on to the next step and we hope to have a home by next Spring at the latest.

So, there is a lot going on in my little world.

Update 1.7

You know you need a vacation when your dreams involve both jobs!

This weekend we are heading out to Western Maryland to spend some time with my girlfriend, Michele. It’s going to be a girls weekend while Greg and Amelia are going to explore the area.

…. …. …. ….

We are only 45 days away from our Disney Vacation! We still need to figure out how we’re getting to the airport and back, but that’s a minor detail.

I’m still looking at stuff to buy for the trip; I want to make this trip as memorable as possible … and not spend an arm an a leg. I feel an itch to do some craft-y projects coming on, but I’m not sure if I’ll have the time to commit to them.

… …. …. …

School is going well. There are only 2 weeks left of the current course and then I start a new 8 weeks course.

A part of me is curious as to how long I’m going to keep this (being a student) up; am I going to finally earn a Bachelors Degree or will I eventually stop due to a chaotic life (work, new baby, etc). I’d like to think that I am going to be able to finish this ‘project’, but I also don’t want to set high expectations. As for now, I’m still going strong and don’t foresee any reasons to ‘take a break’.

… … … …

iPhone 4. OMG! It’s breath taking amazing. It feels good in the hand, looks good to the eyes… It’s … Perfect. I love the glass front and back, it cleans so well! You can totally see a difference with the new retina display; everything is so sharp and clean!

Oh, and the 5 MP camera with flash (that actually works) is worlds better than the camera that was on the 3G. Also, the videos that are recorded are nice and sharp (I’ve uploaded several videos onto YouTube and Facebook).

If you’ve been on the fence about upgrading to the iPhone 4 — do it! You will not regret it.

Monthly Update

It’s (almost) Summer time which means POOL TIME!

I love swimming. Like,  borderline addiction, love. And, I am so excited that Amelia is potty trained because that means we will be spending every free moment at the community pool!

We took Amelia on Monday for her first swim. She didn’t care for it at first but with in minutes she was jumping off the side of the pool! See for your self:

Or, better yet, watch a clip:

As you can tell, we have a camera that we can take underwater. Actually, it’s a underwater housing unit that we bought for my point and shoot camera to use on the cruise but never had the opportunity.

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As previously mentioned, May was one helleva busy month. I had a photography gig and shot for 56Kay (all the pictures on their site were taken by me) and ended up meeting Matt Beilis (you should also check out his YouTube page; he’s awesome).

Matt Beilis and his band:

(I have a thing for drummers)

I love going to live shows; they’re so much fun. And, I get to meet and hang out with really awesome people.

………………………………………………………………….

School is keeping me busy… sorta. This particular course is kinda on the too easy side, so I don’t really pay that much attention to the lecture and breeze through the lab and quiz. I’ve maintained an A for the course without much effort. The next two classes that start next month are going to much more challenging as one of them is psychology.

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The photography gig at the local hospital is going well. The commissions are starting to roll in and each week is a nice surprise! It’s kind of funny (in the non-haha way), I’ve noticed that I generate more sales in the two days that I work than the other chick does in the 5 days that she works (and she’s been working as a photographer for 2 years). I don’t know if it’s because I’m more sociable to the new parents, or that I (possibly) take better pictures. Though, it’s not like I am complaining, but a thought of interest that occurred to me.

………………………………………………………………….

We’re 3 months and twenty some-number of days until we arrive at Disney World! Amelia is getting so excited about meeting all her favorite characters. I’m starting to get a little excited as well, though I think it will really sink in once we reach August…. which at the rate the  months are flying by, it’ll be here soon!

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We don’t have any concrete Summer plans. I was talking to my Mom about taking a girls trip to Ocean City, MD during the week at some point and she’s keen with that idea. The reason we’d visit during the week, aside from obvious reasons: cheaper room rates and low crowds, is because I have a shit load of vacation days to use; like in excess of 20+ days. And, it’s totally sad that I had a mild anxiety attack when I calculated and confirmed with HR how many days I have left… because I don’t want to miss work. I’m a freak. I know. It’s just that I hate having work pile up while I am gone. Because there isn’t anyone to replace me when I am out. Talk about job security, right? So, I’m going to have to find something to do and go to during the week to burn off some days. Joy.

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I’m enrolling Amelia in dance classes this summer!

While the Cats away…

… the mice will play.

Sorta.

Greg and Amelia are ‘at work’ (Amelia is at the babysitters and Greg really is at work) and I have the day off (getting used to these 4 day weekends). What am I doing with a whole day to myself? Well, glad you asked:

  1. Get car emissions done (no go – apparently the state is closed; will try again tomorrow)
  2. clean and vacuum car √
  3. find water shoes(socks) √
  4. stop at the pharmacy √
  5. run to Target for Internet birthday club gift exchange (for Amelia) √
  6. laundry – in progress
  7. clean kitchen √

there are other items to add to the list that Greg and I will work on together (packing list, double check the packing list, start packing, etc) when he gets home (hopefully soon).

By the way, all the tasks that required me to run around town were completed in less than 3 hours! Awesome! And, the farthest I drove was to the pharmacy; basically, I did it all by driving 8 miles. W00t for living in the ‘city’.

It still hasn’t sunk in that Greg and I will be leaving in 2 weeks for the cruise; I just don’t feel excited yet. Well, I do in the sense that it’s two weeks away, but not in the sense that I’m going on a cruise. Greg and I still don’t know what we’re doing for Amelia’s 2nd Birthday, and we have the wedding shower next weekend (as well as my company holiday party). It’s like I’m too busy to be excited.

Also, it doesn’t help that Greg has officially gone into ‘bitch mode’. He’s warned me about how controlling and anal about travel related things he gets; I didn’t see much of it when we flew to Michigan, but it’s definitely coming out now. I don’t know if I deal with him and ‘bitch mode’ for the next two weeks… this might be a challenge.

Speaking of the cruise, Greg booked our one and only shore excursion for the trip. This is what we’re going to do while at Cozumel, Mexico at the beautiful Chankanaab National Park:

  • explore the botanical gardens
  • befriend an iguana or two
  • Play with some dolphins by: Belly ride; Handshake; Dolphin kiss; Dolphin song; Touch the dolphin
  • and, do some snorkeling

I think I am most excited about snorkeling in beautiful blue waters (and breaking in my underwater camera housing unit).  Ok, Ok… I just became a little bit excited thinking about the snorkeling….

To distract my mind, I’m going over the 8 excel spreadsheets Greg just sent me over email; and I’m not exaggerating by saying there are 8.  We have a lot of planning to do before we leave…

Well, I’m off to fix some lunch….

Christmas 2008

Ours was nice; small and quiet.

Christmas Eve was a little stressful, as previously mentioned. We did get just about all the presents wrapped (ran out of paper) and Greg found a printer good enough to keep AND nicely priced (Canon Pixma).

So, lets get to the details shall we>

Christmas Eve:

Greg and I didn’t leave home until 8pm – way behind schedule. We stopped at Greg’s Mom first and hung out for an hour or so. Greg’s middle brother, Pat, was home and it was nice to catch-up with him. Greg and I also brought our gifts for his side of the family for them to open. Everyone loved their new quilts and duvet covers from Ikea.

As mentioned, we bought Greg’s Mom a one way plane ticket and she left for Colorado on Christmas Day, hense the reason we visited on Christmas Eve. To date, we know she’s on her way home – we spoke with her on Sunday and she had left that morning. She’s driving all the way back!

We left around 9pm and headed south to my Mom’s. We didn’t arrive until 11:45pm. I stayed up to finish wrapping presents while Greg went to bed.

Christmas Day:

Rough night of sleep; don’t like sleeping on an air mattress with Mr. RollsOverAlot. I believe we woke up around 7am-ish. We debated on waiting for my brother, but given his lack of punctuality we sorta waited; we let Amelia open her presents:

Christmas was good to us; Amelia received an easel set (still in Greg’s car) and accessories; a vanity set; lots of new stuffed animals (penguin, polar bear, mouse, bear, etc); toy pots and pans; toy food. Greg received a nice airplane book from my parents; a radio scanner and book of codes; a photography book (understanding exposure); DS Game: Personal Cooking (which is really neat); and lounge pants from my Grandma. I received a journey pendant; calendar (family tradition); DS Game; a couple of nice photo frames; a really nice Hallmark photo album;  Sealab 2021 – seasons 1 and 2; and Dark Knight on DVD. Greg also bought me (more of a wedding present than Christmas present) a new lens! It’s a 55-250mm lens, it takes great close up pictures (and all the pictures I’m posting were taken with the new lens – well, all but one); can’t wait to see how well it does during the cruise – hello food porn!

Mom cooked a nice breakfast for everyone:

and after breakfast we just chilled. Van left to get my Mom’s gift, which was at the ‘shop’. Mom hadn’t seen Dark Knight so we put that in and then watched a few Sealab 2021 episodes. After a while we decided to go outside and give Lucy a carrot. Amelia is fearless with this horse!

After a walk through the yard we went inside and hung out some more; Sean and Greg were glued to the TV

A little while later Van arrived with Mom’s big gift and needed Sean and Greg’s help bringing it in

See that big mass of blue tarp? That’s Mom’s gift. Mom and I watched from the window and tried to guess what it could be; we joked that it was some type of equipment, like a new industrial ice maker or something outrageous like that. Boy was my Mom surprised to see, as Van was removing the layers upon layers of tarp, that it was an upright Piano! My Mom, literally, was jumping up and down screaming with joy! My Mom has been wanting a ‘real’ piano for as long as I can remember and was over the moon with excitement; probably the best surprise she’s ever received (of course, not including when I told her I was pregnant). Mom immediately began clearing a space for the piano and then the boys started to bring it in. Amelia instantly fell in love with the instrument and did not want to part from it:

Greg had to work the day after Christmas, but I didn’t!! So, we left Mom’s at 6:30 and made our way home. Amelia slept on the way hope and didn’t fight too much once we were home. Greg and I stayed up pretty late and then went to bed.

Day After Christmas

While Greg was at work, I drove down to visit my Grandma (also known as GiGi) before she left for Florida (she and her husband, “uncle george” are snowbirds) for three whole months! I arrived before my cousin so we did our little gift exchange and I showed Grandma my bouquet and played ‘dollies’ with Amelia:

April and Olivia arrived and Amelia had to help Olivia open her present:

The rest of the day was spent chatting and … that’s all.

April did bring my copy of the CD with the Christmas pictures and this one is my favorite:

I wish we ordered some of these; but for some reason Greg really fell in love with this picture:

and that’s what we ordered (as well as our family picture – but I didn’t like how any of those turned out so I’m not going to bother posting them)

Saturday (second day after Christmas)

Greg and I didn’t do a damn thing and loved it!

Sunday (third day after Christmas)

Greg and I had to do some serious cleaning because Greg’s brothers were coming over to visit for a little while. I should have taken before and after pictures of the living room, cause it was a mess (and that’s an understatment!).

But, we did it and all was well. Greg’s brothers, Pat and Ken, came over and played on the Wii for hours as well as talked and all that jazz.

Funny story! Before Greg’s brothers arrived and while Greg was cleaning, Greg was watching Top Gear (his favorite show on the BBC channel) and was laughing hystarically. Due to Greg’s laughter, Amelia runs up to Daddy and gives him a big kiss and hug:

and tells Greg that everything’s going to be OK, and he’ll be alright (she thought Greg was crying!). It was so cute!

Whew! That took a lot of work! It’s been ages since I’ve done a photo heavy post!

Amelia turns 2 years old in exactly 2 weeks!! Three weeks from today I will be somewhere close to the Cayman Islands. It still hasn’t set in with how close we are to this trip; even though I have 11 workings day to go!

Well, it’s late (as usual) and I’m heading to bed. I am so thankful I have Thursday and Friday off (again) this week!!