Friday, December 31, 2010

Surgery update

As most who read this know, I had surgery December 27th. While I knew I'd be in some discomfort, I still had big plans to do some painting and grading over my week-long break. I guess I underestimated the "discomfort" because I got a whole lot of nothing done. However, I'm happy to report that every day I feel a bit better, I'm back to being able to lift the kids, and I expect to be 100% in a couple more days (just in time to return to work!)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Night

After a morning filled with sugar and presents and a very long nap (for all of us), we headed to mom's to continue the Christmas fun. Aunt Helaina and Uncle Ron once again got the kids some nice loud presents :) Owen got a scooter that makes all kinds of fun noises, and Emily got her very own thousand piece band! Owen enjoyed playing the triangle:

Then moved on to banging the xylophone while Emily took her turn with the triangle:
Auntie Amber stopped by for a visit. Both kids love hanging out with Amber, and she made fast friends with Emily when she gave her some books.

Owen was obviously enamored too!
Later, Dan and Amber practiced their figure skating routine on mom's floors. For anyone who hasn't experienced the terror of mom's waxed glad. They have been the site of many an accident, including some stair falls (seriously...who waxes wooden stairs???)

Christmas Morning

Santa definitely arrived at our house!

Santa's gift to the kids was a kitchen. The two of them seem obsessed with household chores, and Emily loved playing with the kitchen at the dentist's office, so Santa knew this gift would go over well. It even has a grill so Owen can cook just like Daddy!

The mountain of presents for the kids seemed neverending!

Enjoying some donuts from their Christmas stockings...the first hits of a day long sugar high that would be driving me crazy by the end of the night!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Eve

It's the most wonderful time of the year! I love Christmas time, and this year was one of the best in recent memory. Christmas Eve was almost how I remember it as a kid...lots of family, very loud, and completely fun! After church, mom, Ron, Grandma, Aunt Sharon, Uncle Art, Matthew, and Holly came over to celebrate with us.

Emily and Owen opened their presents from Aunt Sharon and Uncle Art. While Owen was the one who got the drill (and safety goggles), Emily is the one who says SAFETY FIRST! She modeled the goggles so everyone could see how stylish safety could be.

Owen and Emily both love their aunt, and Owen gave plenty of hugs!

Grandma made her traditional brisket (yum...why do we only get this once a year???).
Owen posed in his Christmas Eve outfit...he's such a handsome little man.

And Emily looked beautiful in her sparkly dress and shoes. She's practicing her "cute" pose.

Monday, December 13, 2010

1st Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

This year, we decided to throw a Christmas party. It morphed into an ugly Christmas sweater party, and it was so much fun, I think we'll end up doing it every year! Some pictures....

Dan (who won third place) and I
Leesa (whose Christmas cactus sweater garnered her 2nd place) and her husband Shane
The Resetars and Fortinos...the boys plugged themselves in! Mike created the sweatshirts, which had actual ladies under each "Ho".
The Resetar/Fortino cute!
Team English!

Rocky Ridge Lights!

This year, we decided to head to Rocky Ridge to see the Christmas lights. We took mom and Ron along with us and had an amazing time! Emily was really into the lights and the entire experience this year. Poor Owen spent most of his time in the buggy, but we're hoping next year he's ready to love the lights just as much as Em did.

Mom and Ron showing off the kids:

Emily with Santa. She's still not sure of him, but she was brave enough to go up and ask him for the only thing she says when we ask what she wants: a unicorn Pillow Pet!
She could barely stay on the trail she was so excited about the lights.
Owen...not so much. But he had fun anyway, I think.
Em insisted on giving hugs to certain displays. Frosty almost fell over after her affections!

Friday, November 19, 2010

We like to Potty...

Or at least, we'd like Emily to like to potty. We've been doing potty training hardcore this week. It's time. It's ridiculous. It's embarrassing. She simply doesn't want to use the potty. We've tried other tricks, we've had mediocre success, so this week, we bit the bullet. Our little lady is wearing panties, and I am doing laundry every night.

Yesterday was our best day so far...only one accident. Today didn't start off well. All the poop she's been holding in this week came out. Not in the potty :(

I'm hoping that this will be over soon, and I can look back in a week or so and think, "man, that wasn't too bad." Here's to hoping.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

An actual conversation with Emily tonight:

Emily: Christmas is coming soon!
Me: Yep! Santa Claus will be here soon! He'll want to know if you're a good girl.
Emily: You tell Santa Claus I'm good. Tell him I stay in my bed.
Dan: Do you stay in your bed, Emily?
Emily: Noooooo. You tell him I do.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Quick Update

After only 3 nights in the hospital, Dan came home to us. I think part of the reason for the early release was because he drove the nurses crazy the last night...couldn't sleep, needed a fan, then an ice pack...they were ready for him to go :)

He's doing well...eating regular food for the most part and dealing with the pain well. He has some time off work to fully recover, and I've gotta say, I'm going to be a little jealous when I leave for work in the mornings and he's tucked in cozy in bed!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Surgery Time

I apologize for taking so long to get more pictures and whatnot up here. The past few weeks have been busy...3 weddings in October, Halloween, and now Dan't surgery. I promise to keep up better once he's home!

Yesterday Dan went in for an open bowel resection. Basically, they cut out the right side of his colon and about 2 feet of small intestine, then joined up the remaining "stuff". This is supposed to get rid of the part that was very diseased from his Crohn's disease. We're hopeful that he can stop living in pain and discomfort and start living a more normal life.

Dan's doing well, all things considered. Yesterday after surgery he was in quite a bit of pain, which I think he expected, but I don't think he realized how much it would hurt. He also dealt with nausea that came and went. Luckily, today was better. He was up and walking, he felt better, and his pain wasn't as bad. He's still on ice water for his meals (yep, just ice water) and he had an unfortunate catheter removal experience that gives him the shudders to retell, but overall, it was a good day.

On my end, I now realize that I do not have what it takes to be a single mother :) Being in charge of both kids is exhausting and sometimes downright impossible. My mom has been helping out a ton, which I'm so grateful for, but there have still been tears shed from all three Bilodeaus.

We're hoping Dan gets out of the hospital in the next few all depends how well his body does at taking other liquids and foods. While he still will be out of commission once he's home, I miss just having him around and can't wait for him to be back with us!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New York State of Mind

The first weekend in October, Dan and I went to New York City for two nights. The occasion? One of my friends from Elizabethtown was getting married; it's the only time the four original Etown girls seem to find time to get together, so Dan and I decided to go up early and make a weekend out of it. After battling traffic to get there Friday evening, we checked into our hotel and went to dinner. I must talk about the dinner. I have dubbed it BDE: Best Dinner Ever. The die for. The main course (baked shrimp with mashed potatoes, some weird corn sauce, and spinach)...amazing. I was so full, but I ate the entire was honestly one of the best dinners I've ever had in my life.

So Saturday, after recovering from BDE, we hit the sightseeing. Here I am in F.A.O. Schwartz, where I was in love with all the Wizard of Oz stuff. Couldn't resist posing with both the good and bad witches...
Dan and I had croissants in Central Park, then wandered around for a bit. The best part that we discovered was this pond beautiful in the middle of the city!

The restaurant where BDE occurred (Sequoia if you're interested in finding it) overlooks the water and the Brooklyn Bridge. So pretty!

Our hotel looked directly out onto ground zero. We were literally right next to it. In fact, when we checked in, our desk guy told us that construction happens 24/7, so we may need ear plugs or a white noise machine. While they were doing construction, there wasn't any demolition, and it didn't bother us. We were mesmerized, though, by what was happening. Here is the WTC building going up...they were up to 34 stories while we were there.
This is the area with the reflecting pools...the pools are basically the foundation areas of the former towers. The entire thing is very sobering, and it's amazing how quickly the area around this has been built back up.

As for the actual wedding...well, I have no pictures. I forgot my camera at the hotel. However, it was beautiful, it was fun, and the four of us aren't sure how we're going to get together again since we're now all married :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

York Fair

So one of the things I look forward to in fall is the York Fair. I love the smell of funnel cakes and Italian sausage sandwiches, I love people watching...I even love looking at the fruits and veggies in the Horticulture Hall. There was only one downside to the fair this year...the new birthing center. While I don't want to get into the horror I witnessed by complete accident, I will simply say that the miracle of birth is best left to my imagination. No one needs to see that stuff up close and personal.

So...some pics of our 2nd trip to the fair this year with mom, Ron, and Grandma...
Owen and Dan were twinsies :)
Mom got off the Dover Carnival, she and Emily rode this slide easily 15 times.
The best part of the day...Grandma decides she's going to throw darts. Even though she has never done this before, she shows no fear...

And her first throw lands her this prize for her cat! LOVE how excited she was about winning!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Missing You

Today was the one year anniversary of my grandpa's passing. I still miss him a lot, and this weekend was especially difficult with memories. I'm reminded of him all the time, especially when I think about what a kick he'd get out of his great-grandkids. In the short time he knew them, he became a different person, and I know he's still watching over them and marveling at how they grow. Miss you and love you, Grandpa.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Back to School

It's that time of year again...back to school. This year I returned to the English classroom, which I've been dreading ever since my first day in the guidance office. I loved my job so much last year, and the year before, I'd had an awful time in the classroom, so saying I wasn't looking forward to returning to the classroom is an understatement.

It's been...interesting. In some ways, it's like I never left. I sort've fell right back into the routine, and that's been okay. In other ways, I feel like I've been gone forever. It's been just about 18 months since I've taught. Last year I was a guidance counselor, and the year before, I left in March to have Owen. So I feel super behind and overwhelmed in some aspects, especially the technology I'm now supposed to use. But...I'm thankful I work with such awesome people and friends; they've really helped me out.

My classes aren't terrible either. Two of the three are really fun to deal with...and the other is a bit more challenging, but nothing like what I had in fall 2008. So, while my ultimate goal is to get back to the guidance department, I now know I'll survive.

On a completely unrelated note, I got some new ink.
Since Em was born, and even more after I had Owen, I've considered getting their initials tattooed on me. It's been about 6 years since my brother last did anything on me, and I was more than a little nervous. But, after thinking about it long and hard for awhile, and after a push that came in the form of one of my good friends braving the tattoo needle, I decided to go for it. So...the kids are now permanently a part of my skin :) And the most surprising of all was how much this location DIDN'T hurt. Nothing like my lower back, at least!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hitting the Playa

I'm a beach girl. Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows I love going down the shore. Back in my single, child-free days, I used to hit Ocean City to see Amber quite a few times during the year. Before that, I'd head to Avalon with my college roommate. However, in Mexico, we hung by the pool. The storms from a few years ago have made the beach unacceptable to me. Well, maybe not the beach as much as the ocean. The beach had beautiful beds and umbrellas and soft white sand. But the water...oh, the water. The sea grass that is in the water is plentiful, to put it mildly. The resort rakes the beach several times a day, and they do their best, but it's just floating there. If you aren't skeeved out by the sea grass wrapping around your ankles and hanging from your hair, there is the ocean bottom to trick you. For about 2 feet, it's sandy. Suddenly, your unsuspecting feet are torn to shreds by the rocks which continue on the bottom until you're way out. Still, Dan and I braved the ocean for the following pictures. Be grateful :)

This is looking in from the ocean. Notice those beautiful umbrellas! The big building in the background houses 2 open air restaurants: The Lobster House and The Grill.

This pier looks out into the ocean, and apparently there are weddings held on it. We didn't see one wedding the entire time we were there, which was a change from our times in Jamaica where we saw several every day.

You can see the sea grass that has washed up on the beach. This is very minimal. Trust me when I say that as we walked the beach and passed areas where resorts didn't rake (or where there were no resorts) this stuff was enough to build entire villages.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hola Mexican Michael Jackson!

For anyone who's been at an all-inclusive before, you know that the evening entertainment is not usually as fun as one would hope. We've gone to two different resorts prior to this one, and both times, the nighttime entertainment left us a bit disappointed, or confused, or both. Before going to this resort, we heard the Michael Jackson tribute show was amazing and should not be missed. So...after a night of international dancing (which was pretty lame...sorry) and a night of watching Grease reenacted (which was better, if only b/c the guy playing the sidekick was giving 200%), we had higher hopes for MJ.

We watched a 15 minute video first detailing his life growing up through music. Then...suddenly...Mexican Michael Jackson! This impersonator was crazy good...I was blown away. He had the dance moves down, he "sang" the songs was just mesmerizing. So...some pictures:

He ended the show with "Thriller". Right afterwards, the annoying MC rattled off God knows what in Spanish, and at the very end, we heard that the cast would stick around for 5 minutes for pictures. My butt was out of the seat before Dan knew what was happening :) So...the picture I'm most proud of from the entire vacation (if only the little worker girl taking it would have zoomed...): our pic with Mexican Michael Jackson.
And I will add this...when I was little, I wanted to marry Michael Jackson (don't judge me). This moment, although I knew he was just an impersonator, put a smile on my face for hours afterwards.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Excellence Riviera Cancun

From August 6-13, Dan and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary a little early in Riviera Maya Cancun. We stayed at the Excellence Riviera Cancun resort, and it was completely amazing! All we did was worries...and it was the best week we've had in a long time. Of course there are tons of pictures, but I figured I'd try to post them in some sort of category to make looking at them easier.

This is a view from our balcony in the evening:
And the same view in the daytime:
We got an oceanview room, which was so wonderful...we looked over 2 of the 6 pools, and the ocean was behind that. Definitely happy we did the was so amazing to wake up each day to this!

This is on the other side of our room (the door side). Pools and lazy rivers wound through the property. We always laid at the main pool since we liked the music and activity there, but there were many other quieter pools throughout.

And this is where we relaxed every day...under our very own palapa. Not sure what we'd have done if someone got "our" spot before us, but luckily Dan's an early riser, even on vacation, so he'd make sure we had our area :)

Would we go here again? I think definitely. Although...the resort chain has 2 other properties (one in Mexico, one in Dominican Republic) and they're building one in Jamaica, so we may try one somewhere else. More to come!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Brookgreen Gardens Part 2

Some more pictures from Brookgreen Gardens...

While waiting for the shuttle, the kids (and dad) got a bit bored. Ignoring the crazy heat and humidity, dad decided it would be a good idea to take the kids on "rides" in a buggy type contraption that was sitting nearby.

Both kids and dad were all smiles, however, I think dad breathed a sigh of relief when that shuttle finally showed up :)

Emily decided to be an Alligator Hunter...