Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday evening birthday eve

I'm sitting in the dark, relishing the sunkissed feeling of my skin and the slightly sandy and salty feel in my hair and eyes. Today was a wonderful day. I'm just sorry to say that our camera ran out of batteries and we didn't get to record it.

Today was the day we took Kelsey to the beach and offically introduced her to our beautiful Atlantic ocean. It was in the '80's and overcast, so it was not scorching hot. All week long I've been prepping Kelsey saying "we're going to the beach!" and she'd repeat "beach!" back to me.

Well, we packed our snacks, put our suits on under our clothes and headed out to Pt. Pleasant. It was a perfect beach day...a little overcast for part of the day...perfect for a sand lounging session.

We pulled into the parking lot and were amazed that at 11:00am we were able to get a great spot up close to Jenkinson's Boardwalk. When Kelsey saw all the stuff that goes on at the boardwalk, she began to scream happily BEACH!!!!!!!!

Once safely on the sand, with our chairs, towels and snacks all set out, we slathered our toddler with sunscreen while she was happily filling her bucket with sand. Our girl thought she landed in a GIANT sandbox (which in essence, she did). She was absolutely perfect the whole day...she didn't even try to wander off (had the harness in case of that) but was very content to play in the sand with me and/or Kurt, or at our feet.

Kelsey wasn't interested in playing in the ocean...however, she liked it when Kurt gave her water to wet her sand with. Kurt carried her to the ocean's edge to put her feet in the water, but she was afraid (although at the end of the morning, I made her try it)

She loves the airplanes and helicopters that flew over the ocean. She's look up, cry airplane and put her arms out and make motor sounds with her mouth. She was facinated with the parasailing and the kites that were flying beautifully that day. Every boat she saw, she pointed out yelling BOAT and then JIMMY (her uncle Jimmy (my DB) has a boat and she rode in it) he loves that she makes that connection herself! Hehehehe.

We met a family sitting close to us that had a 16 month old and Kelsey visited "the baby" and enjoyed it. They loved meeting our girl too. Kelsey adored snacking on the beach, especially when the seagulls landed to claim a dropped cracker or a sandy grape. She was thrilled!

We had a boardwalk lunch (and ran into a former colleague of mine from CD) and then played a few games trying to win Kelsey some toys (we won barely anything) so we left and came home.

Saturday is my birthday...and while the number doesn't make me family does.

The photo above is from last summer, her first time on the BEACH! ;)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My daughter grinds her teeth in her sleep!

It is the weirdest (as in the funniest) sound I've ever heard! And she's a tosser and turner in as well. DH is going to change her crib into a daybed this weekend. We chose the weekend because if it doesn't work well, we can change back before he leaves again on another trip.

Kelsey and I went to my sister's today, because quite frankly I needed the conversation and rest! My niece and nephew ran Kelsey all over the house (thanks Mikey and Rena!) so she had a great time playing with her cousins. And today I noticed Kelsey's hair is exactly the same color as her cousins! BTW, both are bio kids with medium dark hair.

My Sister and BIL just completed a home reno, adding another bedroom, bath closets and 2nd floor laundry. They did their kitchen first. I have to say it looks spectacular! My BIL, Michael is an artist with home improvement!

While I love their whole house, I have a confession....I am green with envy (or should I say RED) over their new laundry room! It's so cute with a built in ironing board, TV and black and white checked floor. The cherry on top is their matching front load washer and dryer in...cherry red natch! And on the 2nd floor right by their bedrooms. MAJOR BIG SIGH. But the TV made me laugh...they are the only family I know that has more TV's than I do! ;)

We recently replaced our washing machine after the old one gave out, but we didn't buy a bells and whistles set...our unfinished basement just doesn't warrant a sexy w/d.

On a somber Sister's dog Sandy, a very sweet 12 year old cocker spaniel isn't well and the Dr's don't know what to do. She's breathing badly, drooling like mad and has been vomiting. Please say a special prayer for her...she's a great dog!

So in the peace and quiet of this warm and humid evening...picture me sitting in the dark, alone except for Kelsey quietly grinding her teeth for my amusement. I guess a ped dentist is in order!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Okay, I admit it. I'm blue, sad, in a funk, etc.... Why?
1) Kurt's away
2) still no job
3) 2 interviews for job told me I was too expensive. i said nicely, "you get what you pay for." (with 10 years of strategic marketing experience, am I supposed to work for free?!?) the other one...I have to do "assignments" for and turn them in to get to the next level. WTF?!?! 4) nothing is interesting to me on the job hunt today.
5) I am not a stay at home Mom type...maybe if we had the funds...but I need adults to talk to!
6) this weather sucks! I have to be fair least my part of NJ isn't flooded and it didn't really rain today.
7) I can't get anything done lately. Every flat surface we own is covered in clutter. It's not dirty, but the clutter is driving me crazy. I have a million projects I need to tackle, but when Kelsey is with me, then I really don't get much done beyond the kitchen and the laundry. when Kelsey is at daycare, I'm job hunting or trying to rest my back.
8) I am in the Mom "guilts" big time. I've been reading some of my favorite bloggers and they're happily reporting how they're schooling their girls. It never even occurred to me to try to do some kind of school for Kelsey to teach her little things like colors, shapes, etc. She's picking these things up on her own...but WHY didn't I think of this? Luckily, I did stumble on this and we're playing school starting tonight.
9) I'm sweating the small stuff...and the medium stuff...and the BIG stuff! it's not pretty :(
10) I'll tell you one thing the Y did give me...about 15 lbs back out of the almost 40 I dropped. Nice huh? That will teach me to work at a place where I sit at a computer all day except when I am lunching with a cute sized 2 26 year old! Just say NO! Grrrrr....I want to wear my cute blue suit again!

Here's a bonus one...
11) My birthday is less than 2 weeks away. Being the masochist I am, I always compare where I am this year to where I was last year. This job and heavier with a lovely child I adore...but less free time for myself, no time with Kurt and we're cranky about it. Last year...a job I was sick of working with people I didn't respect. 15 lbs lighter than I am now. A new Mommy trying to figure it all out.

Kelsey, this has absolutely nothing to do with you. The best parts of my day are when you snuggle up to me and say "hi" sweetly or say something new that completely knocks my socks off. Right now I am not giving my best to anyone...although you're getting the closest to best that I have to offer. I wish I had more patience or was more fun. I want Kelsey to have the best Mom I can be...she so deserves it!

Being a "temporary" housewife is HARD and me no likey!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Our Trip to Maine

Hi All,
Kelsey's napping and I'm doing laundry, so I thought I'd put up the next installation of our vacation. I still owe photos of Kelsey's birthday party, which came before the last post and this one, in addition to Heather's BBQ photos. Oh well.

After our China 130 reunion, we headed up to beautiful Maine. My brother Jim and his wife Judy have been married 11 years and Jim's lived in Maine almost 15 years now. He loves it and has definitely completed the transition to New Englander (without the accent, but in full beard)

Here's where I feel the need to apologize. I am not a photojournalist. My Dad was, and in fact, if he were still here, I'd call him and say "I get it!" My Dad wasn't really into telling family stories through photography, because it was his profession (and then he went into the photo chemical business)

It takes real planning and dedication to your art to be able to tell a story in photos. I think we did a better job in China, although still not great. I think I prefer to live in the moment than behind the lens. In fact, I had to head to my brother's job the morning we left because I thought we didn't get a photo with him and Kelsey. We weren't able to get even one of Judy. And I feel bad about that because I want photos of Kelsey will all her family members. Judy, I promise next time! :)

We arrived on Sunday evening, spent some time with Judy, Jim and Cassie. Kelsey was first afraid of Cassie, but warmed up quickly and loved her! Jim's remodeled his upstairs bathroom and it is really beautiful! (Jim if you want to send me a photo, I'll post it for my league of readers! ;) We had a great rib dinner and then hung out in the backyard where Kelsey had her first toasted marshmallow, courtesy of the Chiminea!

Jim took a few days off and we set out to see the sights. We took a cruise on his boat, which was originally our father's. Jim's really restored it and loves it. Dad's smiling at how much Jim loves that boat. Kurt, Kelsey, Jim and I headed out on a grey morning to Castine. I've always been a little queasy on that boat, but we didn't go into the ocean, so it was calmer and so was my stomach. Kurt, of course, being a sailor, loved it and Jim allowed him to drive it. Kelsey really didn't enjoy the boat at all. I think she didn't like the life preserver we made her wear and she didn't smile on the boat once. She even fell asleep up and back for part of the trip...which meant she was shutting down because she didn't want to deal.

In Castine, we stopped for lunch. This was about 30 miles south east of where Jim lives. Don't you know he saw an old friend of his on the docks of Castine? How ironic! We had lunch outside and Kelsey shook off her malaise and enjoyed the birds and lunch. That big old seagull in the photos really staked his claim on the pier, he was literally the "cock of the walk" and ate all the leftovers. Of course,you're not supposed to feed the seagulls (so not to encourage them). So we didn't.Then we headed back on the boat.

After going back to Jim's house, we chilled for a bit, then headed off to a kid's museum before going to visit his Mother in law Grace. Grace is a sweetie! We all headed out to this funny restaurant, which is really a truck stop called Dyserts! They made the most delicious lobster bisque and lobster roll I've ever eaten. We all ended the meal with incredible homemade desserts! Maine is famous for its wild blueberries. Everywhere I go in Maine, I try to eat as much lobster and blueberry as I can cram in :)

The next day Jim, Kurt, Kelsey and I headed to Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor is part tourist-y with tons of fun shopping and part incredibly beautiful scenery. I enjoy both, but there's not much hiking we can do with a two year old, so we headed off to some fun shopping and restaurants.

For our final evening in Maine, Jim treated us to his homemade eggplant Parmesan. It was fabulous! As good as our Mom's! and it is my all time favorite food. You will never ever see me order that in a restaurant because no one can make it the way our family likes it (take off the skin please! and don't breadcrumb it, egg and flour it!)

So, that was our trip to Maine. Kelsey did pretty well, thanks to the portable DVD player. Plus, either Kurt or I was in the backseat with her hanging out or entertaining her. She was much better traveler than I thought she'd be.

Enjoy the photos!


Sunday, August 12, 2007

I'm SO FAR Behind in Posts

Okay, I can blame it on my new job status (as in NOT) or the fact that I am really not the SAHM type (I really envy Moms that successfully make this is FREAKIN' HARD to be the full time Mommy to a toddler. Or I may be lazy. I have great photos and stories that I want to post for Kelsey, lest I forget the details...which may happen, because I am an OSAHM now...I lost my glasses for 2 days (Kurt found them burried in the couch cushions)

Anyway, let's start with our Travel Reunion. It was FABULOUS! Our host family, Kerry, Richard and Alexa outdid themselves. Their home is beautiful and the pool was very refreshing after a long hot drive to Ma. (CT took more than 3 hours to get thru!)

But the best part was the kids. Those little girls who were babies when I last saw them...are now walking talking toddlers with incredible personalities. It brings me to tears to think of it. They are all so happy and so dearly loved by their families. I got to speak to the friends we made on the trip and I wish I had 4 or 5 hours to catch up with everyone. And I am not forgetting those 2 precious baby boys who were 2 when we saw them and are now very very adorable boys. (I have my eye on Andrew for Kelsey! ;)

Everyone played nicely. There were a few meltdowns (after all, the girls are 2!) but all the kids were great! I especially was taken with Addie, who has the most compassionate personality. But Cheyanne has always held a special place in my heart....she is such a dear little girl with an old soul. It was fun to see whose face had changed, who had more hair, who was taller, thinner, and outgoing. And of course my adorable fashionista Emily...who didn't have a nap, yet was a real trooper!

Anyway, Kelsey, you had a great time at this party. You played well, with just a few screams of protest. I expect as these reunions go forward (please!) that they will become as important to you as they are to us...this is your legacy...your orphanage sisters!

Thank you again for your wonderful hospitality Richard, Kerry and darling Alexa!