Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Weekend Recap

We had such a busy weekend!!  I mentioned that we now have kittens!!  They are so fun and these kitties are the people-iest (yes, I made up a word) cats I’ve ever encountered.  They constantly follow us around and love to be near us at all times.  W has especially taken to them and constantly picks them up, plays with them, etc.

Friday night, we also went over to my mom’s house for pizza.  I texted Susana and it turned out that she had the day off so she joined us.  I love this routine because the boys get to play and A and I get to relax a bit while grandma entertains the boys – it’s a win win!

Saturday consisted of errands and more errands.  A shampooed the carpet – unfortunately there are several spots from Addie still (and I don’t think they’ll ever disappear).  I wanted the boys to be out of the house while he worked so we went to the bank, pet store, Bath and Body Works, lunch, and grocery store.  They were such good company and good for the most part (except S in the grocery store… ahem).  The rest of the day was spent cleaning up and playing with kitties.

Sunday was our usual morning routine and then we headed to my cousins’ house for a cook out.  ALL of my cousins were there – all eight of them, plus spouses, aunts, uncles, etc.  About 35 people in all.  It was so great to see everyone, though it was a hot day and I felt like a sweaty mess after spending time outside.  Everyone brought a dish and the food was so yummy.  It made me wish we hosted more get togethers.  A great weekend in the books!

cousins <3

Monday, August 13, 2018


Our family is growing by eight paws!!  We’re so excited!!

During my birthday dinner, A and I started talking about how much we miss Addie.  I even got teary during dinner – I just miss her immensely.  A explained that he wasn’t ready for another dog, which I completely understand.  I’m not sure I’m ready either.  And A did most of the work – taking Addie out all the time, taking her to the vet, etc.  But then A said he would be ok with adopting a cat.  I had been saying that I wanted both a cat and a dog at some point so I was super excited.  I had been following a few different rescue groups/shelters in the area and had fallen in love with an orange kitten.  We like to name our pets after Cubs/baseball players/characteristics (hence Addison Ivy = Addie).  I also have an affinity for orange kitties.  So anyway, a local rescue group posted a picture of a little orange ball of fluff name Franklin.  Franklin!!  I loved the name, both because Franklin is a company that makes baseball gear and he’s a character in Charlie Brown - which is the only show/movie that both boys have watched and liked.  I also thought the name was super cute without its connections to baseball or Peanuts characters.  It just seemed like Franklin was meant for us. J

The following day, we filled out an application to adopt Franklin and then we waited.  We were supposed to hear back within 24-48 hours.  24 hours came and went and I was disappointed.  Had he already been adopted?  Were we deemed not a good fit?  And a small part of me felt like “gosh, I can’t even adopt a cat without being rejected and disappointed” and then I told myself not to be so dramatic. ;)  At the 48 hour mark, A’s phone rang.  We talked with the adoption coordinator and all was well until she threw us a “curve ball”.  She asked if we’d consider adopting two cats.  Another one wouldn’t be that much more work according to her, Franklin had a couple brothers, and that way, he’d have a companion.  I looked at A.  It was totally fine with my animal loving heart and I grew up with multiple cats.  A said it was fine.  Yay!!

After the phone call, we told the boys and they were both really excited about our new family members.

So.  Without further ado, introducing Franklin Banks and Theodore Clark (all names tied to baseball/the Chicago Cubs) or Frankie and Theo for short.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Birthday Weekend Recap

Friday was a long, busy day.  Both boys woke up at 5:45, which is way too early for them so I knew it’d make for a challenging day.  W had his final STEM class.  Let me digress here and say that we signed W up for a few different one week classes during the summer and he’s LOVED them.  STEM was no exception.  He built different contraptions using straws, toothpicks, marshmallows, tape, paper cups, clay, etc.  I was so impressed with this class.

Anyway, after class and lunch, A took the boys for haircuts.  After that, we were supposed to go to our new church to take photos for their directory.  They offered a promotion where we’d get a free 8x10 photo if we went.  Here’s where I should have realized that NOTHING is free.  So W had a major meltdown before we left because he was so tired at this point.  He threw a fit because he wanted to change into his picture clothes at the church.  I told him that made no sense, but he could definitely change out of his picture clothes and into comfy clothes after the photos were taken.  Cue full on temper tantrum.  Somehow A got him out the door and into his car seat where he continued to cry and carry on.  We made the short drive to church and once we arrived, the location had changed so we found our way to the “old” church.  W cheered up as we found our way around.  The pictures went well, but the photographer took quite a few, which confused me.  Here’s the part where I’m incredibly naïve.  I thought she’d just take a family shot for the directory, but she took several family photos, pictures of just the boys, and A and I sans boys.  We then went to a meeting room to view the images.  So we’re choosing photos we like best and every five minutes the boys are asking if we’re done, telling me they’re bored, asking to go to the bathroom, etc.  And I’m getting stressed as the photographer is showing us different layouts, frames, even Christmas cards.  So we get to what I think is going to be the end of it, and she announces that our total will be $200+.  WAIT, WHAT??  I said umm, no.  I’m not spending that.  So she took out some of the photos and talked us into getting this framed piece with 3 photos.  And then says, “Do you want to purchase the photo CD?”.  WTF?!?  Had I known  this was an option, I would have just bought that.  I don’t know why I didn’t stop her right there and tell her that, but I do know the boys were done at this point, I was stressed, and I just wanted to get out of there.  So we got in the car and I told A I had no idea what I just bought, I have no idea why I agreed to it, and where the heck was I even going to put this giant framed photo.  I felt like such an idiot.  Blaming A too because he could have told the lady no way… he probably assumed I wanted the stupid overpriced picture.  So A suggests we just cancel the order and buy the CD.  Great!  Then I look at the receipt and it says orders are processed immediately, no cancelations.  Of course!  Because I’m sure they’ve scammed hundreds of people into ordering.  UGH.

After that disaster, it was off to Touch a Truck, where we all had a great time.  The boys loved sitting in various trucks.  W’s favorite was the garbage truck (of course!) and S’s favorite was the snow plow.  We grabbed dinner from a food truck, which was fun.  The boys jumped around in bouncy houses (I really hate those things), and we called it a night.

Saturday, was W’s final t-ball game.  It was so darn hot.  Mid 90s at 11am and I was not a fan.  But I am super proud of W for participating.  He had great hits all season and improved in the field.  And he was adorable in his baseball cap.

After that, I got my haircut and then Susana came over to watch the boys so A and I could go on a little birthday date.  We went to an amazing steak restaurant and stuffed our faces.  The food was SO SO good.  Wine, kale and artichoke fondue, filet mignon, mashed potatoes, mushrooms, and brownie with ice cream for dessert.  I ate so much.  But it was really great to eat delicious food and talk to A.  We toasted to a better year ahead and I’m really hoping that’s the case.

Sunday was church and Starbucks.  The boys made me a birthday cake, which was delicious.  I opened some fabulous gifts, including Ed Sheeran tickets – I’m so excited!!  The Cubs lost – boo.  And we finished the night with spaghetti from Olive Garden.  It was another really hot day and while I originally suggested a trip to the water park, it was nice just to have some down time.  It was a really great weekend and I appreciate my guys making me feel extra special.

Preparing for brighter days to come!

S only has eyes for cake!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Stitch Fix #20

It’s been way too long since I’ve done a Stitch Fix post.  And truth be told, I can’t even remember when I got this Fix – sometime in June.  It was my 20th Fix!!  While I love Stitch Fix, I haven’t really felt like I needed new clothes (I bought a few dresses from Old Navy and Loft earlier in the summer and recently found a few fall items during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale) so I haven’t been scheduling Stitch Fix deliveries.

The first item I tried was this Market & Spruce Penny Cotton Embroidered Eyelet dress.  At first glance, I really liked it.  The entire dress was made up of thicker embroidered material and I love navy blue.  While I liked the pattern/style, there was absolutely no give to the dress.  It just felt confining (snug) and impractical for outings with the boys.  I also didn’t think it was very flattering on so I decided to send it back. RETURN

Items two and three where the Q & A Barahona Lattice Detail blouse and Just Black Lane Skinny jeans.  My initial impression of the top was ehh.  But once I put it on, I thought it was really cute.  I liked the style and colors and thought it could be a great work top, but was also casual enough for weekends.  It was light and flowy.  I really loved these white jeans.  They fit well, had the right amount of stretch, weren’t see through, and just great overall.  BUT.  I rarely wear white jeans because KIDS.  When I do wear them, it’s usually a day in which I’m heading into the office.  I already have one pair and just didn’t see a need for another.  However, if you’re in the market for a high quality pair of white jeans, I definitely recommend these.  KEEP, RETURN

The fourth item tried on was this Market & Spruce Caitria Tulip Sleeve blouse.  This was just ok.  I didn’t love the pattern or the tulip sleeves.  The fit wasn’t perfect.  I tend to gravitate to florals, but this floral pattern just didn’t wow me.  RETURN

Finally, the Collective Concepts Eayers Embroidered Cold Shoulder top.  I know cold shoulder tops are on trend, but I hate them.  While I think they look cute on others, they’re just not for me.  I’ve decided I have slopey shoulders (lol) so straps often fall down and I really have no desire to highlight my shoulders.  I did like the seersucker material and embroidered flowers, but absolutely hated the fit/style.  This was a definite NO.  Goodbye.  RETURN

Only one item kept this time so my wallet is happy. J

Monday, July 30, 2018

Vacation Continued...

When we arrived back in Maryland, Monday evening, my uncle had homemade chicken soup waiting.  My mom’s side of the family is Polish and Irish so my uncle cooks quite a few Polish dishes.  The chicken soup had kluski noodles, which were different, but so yummy.  We were so spoiled with his cooking.

Tuesday, A and I headed to the All Star Game.  I was so excited for a night out with A and my first All Star Game.  I loved all the pregame action – we saw A Rod, walked around the stadium, high fived other Cubs fans.  I loved the fly over after the National Anthem.  The game was great also.  It was such a fun night.

The remaining days were spent in the pool, duck pin bowling, playing bingo, and eating my uncle’s cooking (sausage and peppers, BBQ ribs, sausage and sauerkraut, etc.).  The boys loved every minute and didn’t want to return home.  But all good things must come to an end…

Thursday, July 26, 2018

New York City

New York!  These streets will make you feel brand new… Big lights will inspire you… Hear it for New York… Is that song stuck in your head now?

We left for New York City late Saturday morning.  After stopping for lunch, restroom breaks, and even pulling over at a hotel in New Jersey because S was having a little meltdown, we finally made it to our hotel.  A and I spent quite a bit of time researching hotels and we couldn’t have picked a better one.  Hotel rooms in NYC are tiny (not surprising), but knowing that the boys would be going to bed earlier than A and I, I was really hoping to find a suite.  After reviewing photos and deals and locations, we decided on the Fitzpatrick, which was near Midtown/the Financial District (I think).  It was a beautiful hotel and our suite offered a separate little room with a sleeper sofa (preferred for the boys as it’s lower to the ground) and a television.  The staff was so nice and incredibly helpful and I loved the location of the hotel – close to all major tourist attractions without being smack in the middle of Times Square.  It was perfect.  After arriving, we quickly hailed a cab and headed to Times Square for dinner.  The boys LOVED sitting in the cab sans car seats (while I was holding on to them for dear life).  Times Square was so so crowded (per usual) so we headed to the Hard Rock Café for dinner.  I think the boys got a kick out of seeing SO many people, lights, sounds, etc.

Sunday morning, we walked to the beautiful St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  It was enormous and stunning.  I was caught off guard by our bags being searched as we entered and the presence of a police officer throughout mass.  I understand the need, just not something I’m used to.  Nonetheless, we enjoyed mass at such a huge church with such a diverse group of attendees.

After mass, we walked to Central Park Zoo.  S had a meltdown because we refused to buy him his own giant pretzel and he cried most of the way to the zoo.  He also did not understand why he couldn’t ride the horses attached to carriages outside of Central Park.  Once we got to the zoo, the boys were great.  And all things considered, they were troopers, walking quite a distance from hotel to church to zoo.  We enjoyed seeing the animals and there were even little stands set up where the boys would get stamps and have a little lesson on recycling, animal diets, etc.  So fun!

After the zoo, we walked back to our hotel (a long walk) and found the Love sculpture along the way.  Once we made it back, we asked for a pizza recommendation.  The staff recommended a spot just around the corner with NY style pizza.  So yummy!

Since it was still early, we decided to take the boys to the Empire State Building.  Because New York.  I have to mention that A is afraid of heights and I give him credit for being brave and heading outside to take in the view.  At this point, the boys were getting really tired so we grabbed a cab back to the hotel.

Monday morning, we checked out of our hotel and headed to Lower Manhattan where we hopped on a boat and saw the Statue of Liberty along with the Manhattan skyline.  After that, we met up with a friend in Bryant Park for lunch and then it was back to Maryland.

A and I were in New York City seven years ago and we were in such a hurry to see everything because we didn’t know when we’d return.  I think I enjoyed this trip so much more because we didn’t have a set agenda and the boys surprised me with how much they were willing to do/see.  Previously, we stayed on Long Island because I was there for work, but I loved staying in Manhattan.  Now, I want to return to the Big Apple again. J  I really enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the city – so many people, so many things to see/do, and most of all, I loved experiencing all of it with A and the boys.