Thursday, April 30, 2009

No candy?

Lyla says, "Uh, Mom, I think you forgot something..."

New chairs

The McHusband and I have made do with a hand-me-down patio set for several years now. We got it from our old neighbor, NASCAR Jeff, who was moving with his family back to Illinois. Prior to that, we briefly "stored" Chelle and Jeremy's patio table and four wonderful chairs on our deck while they were living in the apartment before they moved into their house.

The day they came to take that stuff back was a very sad one.

Anyway, I now have my own awesome patio chairs. They're bouncy and new and oh-so-comfortable.

Here's a close-up of a chair. See that circle about halfway from front to back under the seat? That's my favorite part because it makes the chair rock just enough.

Thank you Chelle, Jeremy, Terry, Vickie, and Kim for two of the chairs and to everyone else who contributed to my chair fund for my birthday. You'll need to come over and sit in what you got me.

The McMom got me this plant stand thingie last year. You just thread the pole through the too-much-water hole in the bottom of each pot and they sit on each other and tilt in opposite directions.

"Huh?" I know that's what you're thinking.

I'll be sure to show you what it looks like all assembled and then you'll go, "Oh yeah, it looks exactly like she explained it." You'll see.

If you go back to the picture with the table, you'll see something on the far side of the table. That's what's left of a green pot that fell into the biggest green pot and broke into many pieces. I was so bummed, and then of course Home Depot didn't have another one so I ended up with the white pots instead.

It's so hard being me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Me and Dolly

Workin' 9 to 5
What a way to make a livin'
Barely gettin' by
It's all takin'
And no givin'
They just use your mind
And you never get the credit
Its enough to drive you
Crazy if you let it

We had a groundbreaking yesterday for one of the buildings we're developing. I created the construction sign that's behind us and while it certainly isn't going to win any awards, some of the attendees liked it. I heard several "Nice sign" comments so that made me feel all warm and glowy inside.

I make that hard hat look good, don't I?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Here kitty kitty

Lyla was fascinated by the cats. Tori's not too bothered by people, but she just doesn't know what to make of kids. Since Lyla's mobile, she's become a kid to Tori instead of just a blob of flesh.

Do you hear that choking sound when Lyla gets close to Tori, just before she waves her hands around? That's her "I'm excited!" noise.

Don't you love her signature gimpy crawl?

Surprise! Part II: Party Prep

Sorry for the long delay between posts. Let me get straight to the important stuff before something comes up to distract me.

Everyone chipped in to get the house presentable and the party plans in order.

The McDad vacuumed and the McMom got stuck with toilet duty. Sorry, McMom!

Calvin even got in on the action, slicing veggies and filling balloons. Tucker served as quality control.

Looks like a decent number of balloons passed the Tucker Test.

Bri and Shannon worked on the food. I think this was them doing the layered bean dip. And, of course, you can't have babies visit for the weekend without a counterful of bottles.

Once the McMom finshed with the grunt work in the bathrooms, she was allowed outside to do something a little more fun. And she had a great helper.

"I think you need a few more stones in this one."

Hmmm, seems like someone's missing out on all the fun. Who haven't we seen yet?

Oh yeah, Gma and Lyla. Well, where were they during all the party prep?

Busted! They were hanging out in the dining room, "supervising."

All the hard work paid off. Here's the kitchen table full of food, and my hole decorated for a good time. Hmmm, that didn't sound right...

Stay tuned for the gorilla pics...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Surprise! (Part I)

Most of you who read this probably already know what happened to me on Friday. Something that's been in the works for a couple of years now finally came to fruition: my mom, sisters, and the McHusband have been conniving behind my back (and getting my friends in on the deceit) to put together a surprise part a week before my 30th birthday.

And it was a success! I had no idea what was going on.

Here's everyone trying on their Stephanie faces. (Thank you, Sara, for picking the skinny one.)

They saw my car pull into the driveway so they're anxiously awaiting my arrival.

The way they kept me from coming straight home after work was to have my friend Vanessa ask me to help her find a dress for her husband's company dinner. Guess what? There's no dinner, but we did find a really cute dress. Vanessa, I think you owe it to me to go back and get that dress.

In typical Stephanie fashion, I was momentarily distracted by the food before looking back at the crowd and seeing some familiar but not recently seen faces.

This wasn't just any party - it was a fiesta!

My friend Krista had me open my gift at the beginning of the party because she got me my souvenier "30" glass.

More party pics to come. You haven't seen the margarita glasses the size of Owen or the singing gorilla who came to the front door. Yes, really.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with these pictures of the kitchen and den (taken Saturday morning) AFTER we'd cleaned up. Apparently, this is some of what I have to look forward to when we have kids.

Thank you to everyone who worked to pull this off and to everyone who came. I really appreciate everything that went into this party, from starting to plan it at the Kenny Chesney concert two years ago to cleaning and decorating my house to attending and making me feel special. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Friday Funny

My friend Bronwyn forwarded this video to me and I thought it was too cute not to share.

Happy Friday!

Dog Days

The McHusband and I are taking Morgan and Tucker downtown tomorrow for the K9 3k Dog Walk benefitting the SPCA. Morgan and I did it last year and had a great time so the whole family's going back this year.

The weather's supposed to be beautiful tomorrow so I'm looking forward to being outside without it meaning yardwork or bathing the dogs (although that may happen too).

If anyone feels so inclined, our team is still accepting donations. Let me know if you're looking for a tax deduction, and I'll get you the info.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's raining

Wanna know how I know? I took the dogs on our long walk tonight and about halfway through, when I'm almost as far from home as I can get, it starts raining. Not a drizzle, not a downpour, but enough to get us all more than sufficiently wet. I can't photograph wet dog smell, but I think most of you can imagine it. I hope I smelled better than that, but I sure didn't look much better.

Happy Belated Easter Part II

Bri had my mom, Shannon, and Owen over for an Easter lunch this past Saturday.

Owen and Lyla got Easter baskets, of course. While Owen was distracted, Lyla decided to check out his basket.

"Hey, Owen, what's your elephant looking at?"

"Ha ha, I knew he'd fall for it!"

"Okay, you got me!"

My mom had gotten bunny ears for each of the babies. Lyla doesn't like to wear things on her head so it was no surprise that she wasn't exactly cooperative.

Owen didn't seem to mind having the ears on.

Looks like Lyla's favorite part of her Easter basket was part of the wrapping. Isn't that how it always works out?

Later, Owen borrowed Lyla's scooter. Things were cool at first - Lyla showed Owen some of her favorite things.

I don't know what happened next, but Lyla didn't take it well.
Wish I could've been there!

Happy Belated Easter Part I

Chase spent time in Charlotte last weekend so that Kevin and Jenny could celebrate their anniversary sans baby. I told Jenny that I admire how she and Kevin make "them time" such a priority, and I gave her the go-ahead to bonk me over the head when the McHusband and I have a baby and are in need of "us time" but not taking it.

Grammie pulled out some of those plastic Easter eggs, and Chase had a ball with them.

In case there was any doubt about how he was feeling, here's a close-up.

Wait until he's a little older and can appreciate that most of the time those plastic Easter eggs = candy.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Workin' on the car

The other night, the McHusband called me in the house from the garage. He wanted me to come out and take a picture of Tucker, who had decided he was tired of wandering around the garage and would just lay next to his daddy while he worked on the Cobra.

He sat up after he heard me take the first picture, but I was able to get one more.

Tucker has a long history of helping out in the garage.

"Hey, Dad, which size socket did you need?"

All that work sure makes a puppy tired.

Trip to VA

I spent Easter weekend in Virginia visiting my friend Bronwyn and her family - husband Mike, son Gavin, and mom Kathy. I wasn't the only one taking advantage of the long weekend - her brother Kristian was there as were Mike's brother and his wife. Luckily, they only had to make room for Kristian and me and, unfortunately for Kristian, I got the only spare bed in the house.

Oh, and you know what's funny? All of us visitors live within about 30 to 40 minutes of each other here in the Raleigh area. We should've just caravanned up there like a military convoy.

Gavin is 18 months old and he's all over the place now. Between him and the three dogs, there's rarely a moment of stillness to be had.

Here's Gavin with one of his favorite toys. It makes lots of noise and seems much louder at 7 in the morning than it did at 7 in the evening.

You might notice the shiner on his forehead. Gavin learned a tough lesson about gravity while I was up there when he fell down some of the stairs. It might've been his first lesson about the forces of the universe, but it definitely won't be his last. Wait until he runs into love - now THAT will leave a mark.

You know what else is funny? Gavin had his mom, Kristian who works for child services, and me, a washed-up semi-professional babysitter hanging out with him, and he STILL managed to fall down the stairs.

As you can see, he recovered quickly.

He was totally flirting with me. :)

What a happy boy.

I think Gavin was absorbing energy from the rest of us, especially Uncle Kristian, who was able to not only fall asleep in the middle of everything, but fell so deeply asleep that he was snoring.

I had a great time with everyone up there and am already looking forward to our next visit, hopefully before they move to Kentucky (fingers crossed for you, Mike!).