Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Whirlwind June!

I can't believe that my last blog post was over two weeks ago! Yet, in that time we have been sooooo busy. This'll be a fairly long post but it should get all our out-of-town family and friends up to speed with everything that has been keeping us so busy (with lots of pictures too)!

The beginning of June started with school's end-of-year activities, book club, MOMS Club meetings, my cousin Malina's wedding, David leaving to visit his mom in Indiana, me & David meeting in Windsor, Ontario for a "Maddie swap" so she could spend some time with grandma too, me bustin' my butt in the basement while David & Madeline were away, and Madeline's dance recital. Yes, the beginning of June was crazy enough but the hectic days have continued since my last post which was right after Madeline's recital.

On June 17th, I was thrilled to have met little Brody. Who is Brody?? Well, Brody's mom Lisa and I went to the same high school. Even though our high school was very small, Lisa and I never really knew each other back then. I think we hung in different crowds, mainly because Lisa was a year younger than me. However, through a mutual alumnae friend on Facebook, Lisa and I connected because Lisa was traveling to Russia to adopt her son. Since I went through the same process only a couple years before Lisa, I tried my best to give advice and help her be aware of things to expect through the process. Lisa and I spoke before she left for Russia and emailed each other several times throughout her stay there. I enjoyed following her journey on her blog along the way. Although Lisa lives in New Jersey, she still has family in Buffalo so, when Lisa came to town for a visit I was thrilled that I was able to meet Brody.

Brody and Madeline had a blast together! I pulled out a ton of toys and scattered them all over the place. The two of them had so much fun exploring. Lunchtime came and we all had lunch together. I pulled out Madeline's old booster seat for Brody to use and was amazed that Madeline fit in that at one point in time. After lunch Madeline and Brody played together outside for awhile and explored some of the toys in the garage. Madeline dug out a winter sled. After I pulled Madeline and Brody along on the grass for awhile, Madeline got a kick out of trying to drag Brody along. It really was a very nice playdate for both the kids and us moms too! I think my friend Kelly's son, Owen, might have a little competition going here for the arranged marriage. Let the dowry bidding wars begin....hahaha

The next few days were quite busy - filled with social outings, and birthday parties to attend (for Madeline's friends and parties for my friends too) I am totally okay with the birthday parties for Madeline's friends. My friends parties were a bit harder to handle though. Yes, obviously the Big 4-0 was being celebrated for many of my childhood friends. These were odd, of course, because that was a reminder to me that my own 4-0 was only days away.

After two birthday parties on the 19th, I also had my brother, Marty come into Buffalo to attend a high school reunion. I agreed to be Marty's designated driver for the evening so that he could have a few drinks with his classmates without having to worry about the 1/2 hour drive back to my house later in the evening. I had to tease Marty that he was offering me a trial run at what it will be like to have a teenager - that is, hanging out waiting for a phone call to come pick them up at the end of the evening.....hahahahaha! Seriously though, it was nice to see Marty. The day after Marty's reunion (6/20) was Father's Day and so I put out a breakfast spread (scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, sausage & "monkey bread") for David & Marty before Marty headed out on his 4 hour drive back home. After Marty left, David, Madeline and I had some family time in the pool and basically just a lazy afternoon together. (We are posed in front of a Quebec flag that we hang every year for our anniversary because we went to Quebec for our honeymoon)

Since June 2oth is also our wedding anniversary (this year was our 12th!) we got a babysitter in the evening and David and I shared a quiet evening together. . We decided to head into Buffalo's Elmwood Village for dinner. On our way there, we stopped by the Delaware Park Rose Garden (where we got married) for an early evening stroll. Afterwards, we walked around the campus of Buff State College. We both got our undergrad degrees there (finished them the hard way - as adults) and attended some classes together and we were amazed at all the changes going on around the campus. Afterward we enjoyed a quiet dinner together on an outdoor patio on Elmwood Avenue. At dinner, David told of what he had planned for my 40th birthday (only three days later).

June 23rd - Happy 40th, Mama-Dirtyfoot! (Grrrrrr!!!!) In the days between our anniversary and my birthday I was running around trying to get ready to leave town. On 6/23, David, Madeline and I hopped on a plane to Baltimore, to my sister's house (my sister lives about 30 minutes outside of Baltimore). We were able to celebrate my birthday at a cool Japanese steakhouse where they cook your food table side. My sister Margaret mailed in a light-up "Kiss Me I'm 40" pin to wear that evening and David supplied me with a big bunch of balloons to bring to the restaurant. Marysia and her family showered me with wonderful gifts - yes, I got stuck with the ongoing joke gifts of the clown, cat & anchor (click here for background story). And aside from a gift certificate to one of my favorite stores they also gave me a gift to remind me that, with age, I am quickly turning into my mom. I got a "duster" (aka housecoat) - yep, my mom wore them around the house all the time. Now all I need is some curlers....hahaha!''

The following day (6/24) we left Madeline for her first time overnight. Madeline stayed with Marysia and her family while David and I took off for a 2 night get-away! On our way out of town we stopped, shopped and had lunch in Annapolis and then we continued on to Chestertown, MD for two nights at the Brampton Inn Bed & Breakfast. OMG!!!! What a relaxing two nights! The first night we dinned waterside and then stopped out for a drink (and yes, felt *really* old among the "young crowd") after dinner. Day two we shopped in town, had a leisurely lunch, lazed around on the inn's porch swing while its cat "Slipper" kept us company and then in the evening headed out for an "old-fashioned" dinner & movie (We saw Grown Ups). (Old-fashioned because it was like what we used to do many moons ago - burger & beer at some hole-in-the-wall bar.) On the way back to Marysia's, David and I stole a little more quiet time together by just strolling a mall near Marysia's yet, nevertheless, it was time to re-enter reality.

Although we enjoyed our time away, we also missed Madeline very much! Madeline was happy to see us, yet I think Marysia, Mike & their kids (Tommy, Lauren, Andy & Julie) kept Madeline so busy and occupied with fun activities that Madeline didn't have anytime to dwell on missing us too much. For the remainder of the weekend, we spent time with Marysia's family by heading to a soccer game together (Julie was receiving an award!), chowing on Mike's yummy grill cooking, the group of us went to see Toy Story 3 (in 3-D) together, hot-tubbing and I also had a chance to do some shopping alone with Marysia.

On Sunday night (6/26) David, Madeline and I gave Marysia & Mike their house back. David had a conference in Baltimore for 2 days and so the 3 of us moved to a hotel in Baltimore. On Monday, while David was working, Marysia drove out to Baltimore and she took Madeline and me to the Inner Harbor. Today, Tuesday, Madeline (aka Mermaid Lynn-La) spent the day at the pool.

Tomorrow, June 30th, we will spend part of the last day of this hectic June traveling back home. Once home, I will have just enough time to do laundry and pack up for some July travels. I will try to keep more up on my blogging in the next month.....

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dancing Queen

Today was Madeline's dance recital. Madeline did an awesome job! If I can figure out how to transfer video of her performances I will post them online. In the meantime, I will post photos of her dressed for each dance. The top photo was for ballet, where Madeline danced to "Best of Friends" from "The Fox and the Hound". The middle photo was for tap, where Madeline danced to "The Tiki Room" by Hilary Duff and followed by a group (tap) photo of Madeline's class. Finally, the last photo was before Madeline danced in the recital's finale. By the way, all the poses in Madeline's photos (notice they are all pretty much the same?) are all of Madeline's own doing.....yes, she is becoming quite the ham. Despite her "ham tendencies", Madeline did great and we are very proud of her!

Friday, June 11, 2010

While You Were Out...

Mama-Dirtyfoot has had the house COMPLETELY to herself for the past three days! Although I missed David and Madeline, it was at the same time rather enjoyable. How was this possible, getting the house to myself?? Well, every year for the past 20+ years, David's dad and sister have gone on a road trip to Texas to visit David's Uncle Charles (and previously his grandma too). Since David's mom's stroke, David's dad and sister needed help with mom while they were out of town. David's brother and David took turns covering the time that Dad & Carolyn were away and David was away from Sunday until today (Friday). We wanted to have Madeline go with David so that she could also visit again with Grandma since Madeline does such a great job lifting Grandma's spirits. The only problem, however, is that Madeline needed to be home for a stage rehearsal (for her upcoming dance recital) that was a mandatory rehearsal on Monday. So how could we manage both??

David left for Indiana on Sunday. Madeline and I held down the fort at home on Sunday and Monday and Madeline was able to attend her stage rehearsal. On Tuesday, Madeline and I hopped in the car and drove to Windsor, Ontario (just across the border from Detroit and 1/2 way to David's parent's house). David met us there, the three of us had lunch, David and Madeline continued on to Indiana and I turned around and went home. The round trip was close to 500 miles for me.....but I was enjoying the open road with no one to worry about but myself. I cranked my odd assortment of music and sang at the top of my lungs.

David was quite busy tending to mom, tending to Madeline and also tending to work responsibilities from a remote location. However, despite the hectic rigors of the week, David was enjoying some quality time with Madeline. (Photo above was texted to me today. It was from their roadside picnic they had while on tonight's drive home)Why didn't I go with them??? Well, it was decided that I would take advantage of some time alone by tending to some things that I just can't seem to get to with Madeline around.

Upon returning home on Tuesday, I quickly got changed into some slop clothing and was able to finish staining the pool deck....just in time for it to start raining for the next two days. (I assessed the deck today and it fared just fine, so that chore is now complete!) But the biggest project that I had weighing on me was the basement. Our basement, I guess you could say, looked like a ransacked warehouse. It was FILLED with boxes that still needed to be opened and sorted through since we moved in last August. Although it is still not complete (it took us years to accumulate this stuff so I guess I won't get rid of it over the course of 3 days), I took 2 car loads over to Salvation Army, set aside a whole bunch of items that I will be giving to a friend's daughter who is getting her first apartment, filled a few boxes for trash and organized a bunch of the stuff that we are keeping. Like I said, I am not done but I definitely made a dent.

Finally, I took one section of the basement and created a play area for Madeline for when I am down there (in the dungeon) doing laundry or ironing. We do not have a finished basement. Although we plan to eventually finish it, we probably won't even begin to think about tackling that project for another year or two. So, in the meantime, this make-shift play area will have to do....quite an improvement from the ransacked warehouse look!

David and Madeline are now home. It is, of course, great to see David and have him home. But. the hugs I got from Madeline were absolutely priceless.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wedding Re-Do (photo, that is)

I got hold of a better wedding picture! It is much clearer than the cell phone pic I snapped at the reception. Here is a picture of the bride, my cousin Malina, with her dad, my Uncle Tom (my dad's brother) Like I said....beautiful bride!

Two things, however.... (A) My Uncle Tom, who is....I wanna say 16 years (?) my dad's junior is looking more and more like my dad did. At times the resemblance is uncanny. Regardless, as my Aunt Sue (his sister) pointed out, Uncle Tom was dancing as though he was 18 at the wedding....so fun!!

And (B), like my mom always used to say, "Why is everyone else getting old while I am staying the same"? Despite the fact that I'll be turning the BIG 4-0 this month, it feels like yesterday that David and I got married (it was actually 12 years ago!) and were going to the weddings of all our peers. I am not exactly sure how old Malina is, mid-20's?? Yep, I guess time has passed. Yet, I feel no different. The only "slap in the face" regarding my age was the fact that I was teaching the "young ens" the Electric Slide on the dance floor. Not because I was the "hip one" that knew all the new dance moves (which used to be the case) but rather because the young crowd was too young to know how to do the Electric Slide.....OUCH! Oh yeah.....not to mention that my cousin Luke (28) referred to a Michael Jackson song as "a song from *your* generation". But, hey, I think I am up to date now...I already knew all about the ChaCha Slide and I held my own learning the Cupid Shuffle (yeah, okay, the song is 3 years old but I don't get out as often as I used to!!)

When I was in my 20's I was the girl out on the dance floor having a good time. NOW, I'm the crazy old lady (that mustn't get out much) on the dance floor. Regardless, I love to dance! I love to have a good time! Like my mom used to say, "Life is not a dress rehearsal"! So, I want to know, who caught the bouquet at Malina's wedding because I want to be a part of the next reception!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wedding Bells

Last night, David and I went to the wedding of my cousin, Malina, to her new hubby, Eric. I was so bummed that I forgot my regular camera. Cell phone cameras just don't cut it for wedding pictures. I am hoping that wedding pics get shared on Facebook so that my siblings can see them. I can say though, that Malina was a beautiful bride. Her dress was so elegant. I loved the bridesmaid dresses and Aunt Mary Grace looked stunning in her dress.....I LOVED the green!

I have to say that I am a sucker for weddings. Yes, the whole love story bit that goes along with weddings is cool but what I really love is a night out on the town. You know that for the evening of the wedding you get to dress up, be with a bunch of people you know (be it friends and/or family), have a nice dinner out, a few cocktails and an evening of dancing. Malina's wedding was a blast. The locale, food and party's special details were wonderful but what I enjoyed most was the ability to have a fun evening with my family (dad's side) that I just simply don't see often enough. Loads of laughs and fun times filled the evening and of course, if you know me, you know that I was on the dance floor pretty much all night. Best wishes, Malina and Eric!

The photo above is a shot that I took of me and David. The photo below is very, very, VERY poor quality (damn, I wish I remembered my regular camera) because it was taken by my cell phone, but nevertheless, you can still see that Malina made a beautiful bride. Hopefully more pictures will be shared on Facebook soon.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Last Day of School

Yesterday, Madeline had her end of the year party at school. She is now officially on summer vacation. I am not quite sure that Madeline truly grasps the idea that she will not go to school again until September, especially since she loves school. Yet, I am pretty sure her summer will be action-packed and thus she will quickly get used to her new summer "schedule".

Not much new to report here. We are trying to take advantage of this lull in the action to catch up on some house/yard work before the hectic days that are ahead of us later this month roll in. In the meantime, I thought I would share a picture of Madeline heading out for her last day of school (top). I have to giggle when I compare that photo with her apprehensive look in her 1st day of school photo (bottom).