Sunny 9 for 2009 August

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[Comments] (2) Something smells fishy : Last night we went out for Maryland's famous crab cakes and seafood for dinner with Mom while she is in town. Lily said she wasn't hungry and didn't want to order anything. She kept asking me what that smell was. I told her it was the fish. She was like 'I know, but what's that bad smell?' The fish! 'But something smells stinky.' Trust me, it's the seafood.

After we got home and put the kids to bed Lily bemoaned "I'm hungry". Sorry kiddo, you don't eat dinner (there were chicken nuggets and hamburger on the kids menu for crying out loud) then you don't eat. So she was all upset and told me angrily "You shouldn't have gone to a stinky fish restaurant for dinner, I didn't like it." I'm such a mean mom. ps I have had oysters for the third and last time in my life. bleah

[Comments] (7) It's about time...: To write about whats been going on. How we are so glad Aaron is back, and what we were up to with him gone (lots of trips to the gym and pool). I asked Aaron to write his own blog post about COT with pictures and commentary, but he just sorta laughed. Some of the pictures are cool so if I have time to get around to it, I will do it. This blog is about me, ME, me so my number one priority is to blog about me and my trip to Paris first. But first a quick word on Aaron.

He's come home a new man! I haven't seen a change in him this big since he came home from his mission, in where he gained 20-25lbs and started growing facial hair. Not kidding, he still can only grow a sparse goatee and random hair along the jawline. He looks great and happy and a little more buff than before. The man never works out and still has huge arms and so you can imagine what his arms look like after a few push ups. haha But seriously, his countenance is glowing despite telling me over and over how much he didn't like COT; I can't help but think a part of him found it rewarding and fulfilling.

We are very happy Aaron is home. Very. So happy that when he started his first day on base yesterday and when the kids asked why he was absent again and I told them work, Lily was near tears saying I thought daddy was all done with work. No, now he works here and will be home every night. His first couple days have been fine, no big surprises, or accidents on his commute. Mainly just getting paperwork done. He can't wait to get a hold of a patient and hand piece again. Soon...

So while Aaron was away for almost 5 weeks, I took a little trip without him. It was spur of the moment, really. As much spur and moment as you can get with a European vacation anyway. Michelle was in London for an internship for 8 weeks and I, having a list of travel desires a mile long, cooked up a haphazard scheme to get myself to London to see Michelle. And we threw in Paris for good measure. Hey, why not? What's a little more at that point, right?

I knew it was a long shot, but I figured if I never asked it would never happen, so I went out on a limb and asked my dear friend Rebecca Cook if she would so kindly watch my angels for 7 DAYS. She said yes! She initially turned me down on paying her, but I insisted and forced her to take my money, and I think maybe she was glad at the end of the week after all the work was done that she was getting paid. Just maybe a little bit even though she was willing to do it out of the goodness of her golden heart. My 2 kids and her 4 kids=6 kids and she handled it like a champ. So impressed. Totally not surprised, she's awesome.

So I hurried and got my passport. It came with plenty of time to spare, only took two weeks and didn't have to pay for it to be expedited. I found a good ticket to fly into Paris and then fly out of London. Did my research, figured out where and what to see on my lonely nights with Aaron gone. Everything worked out awesome with only a few bumps along the road.

My kids also did great Rebecca said. Lily was no problem, actually loved being Bryn's little sister, and Gunnar had his issues, but for the most part behaved nicely. Besides Gunnar missing me so much, they both had a great time too with some bona fide bike riding cuts and running around bruises to show for it.

My mom overlapped my trip in London for a couple days as well. I got home before her and she had a layover in DC so she just scheduled to stay for 2 1/2 days to hang out with us and see where we lived and all. We had lots of fun going downtown and seeing the FDR Monument, Air Force Memorial-with a great view of the city skyline and Arlington cemetery, and Pentagon Memorial. We loved it, and the kids were good sports but after those 3 things Lily asked "What are we doing next, and if you say another monument I am not going to be happy." We also had the company of my mom's Aunt-in-law and cousin-in-law who are delightful people.

We went to dinner at a place called Blue Bay for authentic New England seafood, and we also had lunch at a local Greek diner in Arlington. Such a busy day--one of many skipped naps for Gunnar lately and us going out to eat. The next day I was able to get a babysitter so Mom, Aaron and I went downtown again sans kids, to a delicious Thai place and Cold Stone, then drove the National Mall with everything lit up. So beautiful! It was very relaxing and fun. And I found the best babysitter EVER! I didn't know 16 yr olds like her existed.

Anyway, we look forward to Mom (and Ben) coming out to visit again maybe in Oct, and David and Ashley coming out to visit next week. That will make our 4th visitors in 2 months. Any other takers before our calendar gets too full?! haha ...more on my trip to come.

I'm tired: But I'm having fun with many new adventures with David and Ashley here. The end for now.

[Comments] (8) Head check: K, so in the car this week we were driving to the commissary and I was zoned out thinking about something, and I hear in the back seat from Gunnar "I like this song mama, what's it's name?" I give a listen...it's the song by Cobra Starship-Good Girls Go Bad. Nice. Real nice. How am I going to explain to my 2 yr old what "I make them good girls go bad" means? So I told him "Good Girls".

So I got to thinking. I wondered how many songs I witness my kids listening to, nay-have my kids listen to, that make sexual references and other distasteful language throughout the song? The next song on the radio was "Poker Face". To my absolute surprise Gunnar shouts out "Hey sissy, it's Polka Face!" Oh my gosh, I'm a terrible mother. How on earth does my 2 yr old know the title to that song? How am I going to explain "and baby when it's love, if it's not rough it isn't fun" to him? Why on earth do I listen to this crap? The next song after that, Outkast, went "Don't want to meet your daddy, Just want you in my Caddy. Don't want to meet your momma. Just want to make you come-a." Are you kidding me?! These are songs I have heard a thousand times. If you just sit and listen to the lyrics, most songs on the radio are laden with sexual innuendos, flat out speech about sex (you don't have to be a genius to figure out what they are really saying), and sexual metaphors. I did a test, 3 songs in a row.

Then you hear about "kids are exposed to such and such by age 9". Well, they're 2 and it's by their mama. Hello? What are my priorities? To keep up to date on the latest in the music industry? At what expense? What do I do? Not ever listen to the radio? Is that extreme? Will people think I'm crazy? But these are my kids. MY CHILDREN. He's 2, she's 4. I am subjecting them to this filth. It's not like they are "picking this up from their friends at school". I am their advocate. I should know better. What to do? Where to find balance?

It's a mad MAD world. How am I supposed to raise children in this sin infested, pleasure loving world? "Freak out!" And le Freak was not Chic. What's a mom to do? I know, I know. Stay close to the Spirit. Pretty sure the Spirit doesn't jam out to stuff. I am so over Old MacDonald and Wheels on the Bus. I'll have to find new clean music both of us can agree on. Makes me very sad though for my kids. It was tough 15 yrs ago, and it's worse now. Let's just have the earth be hit by a big fire ball already and get this over with.

[Comments] (1) So big!: Lily's 5 years old today. This morning she woke up and came downstairs and told me that 'today's my birthday'. She has been counting down the days. For her birthday I brought her class cupcakes. When I picked her up from school, her teacher had made her a birthday crown.

It's a tradition in my family that for your birthday you get to pick whatever meal you want, and mom will cook it for you. So I asked Lily and she chose spaghetti. But when Aaron got home from work, he told Lily she could choose wherever to go to eat. Of course she opted for that. And where else but McDonalds. Yuck. So we took the kids to Micky D's and they played on the playground and had happy meals. I decided not to eat there and to go to Girls Night Out at Carrabbas after the kids went to bed. Much better!

Lily was dying to open up her present before dinner so we let her. Aaron and I got her a princess locket at Disney World while we were there. She is obsessed with a locket I have and always wants to wear it. She loves that I put a picture in there, and she has always wanted one. So now she has one. She also got a Littlest Pet Shop from Aaron and me, that Aaron picked out, for her friend party.

I seriously can't believe I have a 5 yr old. What's even tripp-y-er is that Gunnar is almost 3. My youngest is 3, almost! Crazy.

August is a birthday month...me, David, Lily, and now Vivian. I have to give a shout out to Viv since I haven't already. She was born the 18th--3 days late. Julie was scheduled for an induction that morning, but she ended up going into labor on her own the night before. Crazy I know! So now I have a new niece I can't wait to meet. She is a lot like Lily. Both made their mama's really sick, both made their mama's retain ridiculous amounts of water, and both were little chunky babies within 2 oz of each other. Viv had an extra day in, so she was 2 oz bigger. Can't wait to see you Vivian! Happy birthday to all the August buddies out there!

[Comments] (4) You know you are old when...: You say to yourself in the McDonalds as you survey the dining room with teenagers, kids these days... with an eye roll. I sound like my dad! Well, I am eating my words with a scoop of ice cream on the side. I am loving my aging. Or you could say maturing. Seriously, the older I get, the more I like myself and am more comfortable with who I am. For me, this is the age of, I am going to do with my life what I want to do and not let fear get in my way. My mom has a quote on her fridge that says something like "Don't go through life trying to "find yourself", decide who you want to be." I love that philosophy.

I can't wait to experience my 30's. I mean the wrinkles and age spots are no fun, but I really like the knowledge and experience that comes with age. This added number really isn't a huge change for me, mostly because I have been 28 in my mind half the year anyway. I have a hard time keeping track of my age and I sometimes seriously thought I was already 28.

This year has mostly been such an awesome year for myself and my family. Aaron is finally done with school! I mean he is in a residency, but we hardly call it school. He gets home no later than 4:30 every day, sometimes earlier than that. It might change when he does more clinic work, but still. Dental school was easier for us than it was for other people. Having said that, now looking back I can see how much things sucked compared to how it is in the real world. Did I mention a paycheck? That's nice too.

So there's that, and the fact that we live in this amazing place that I love with fantastic friends that I feel like I have known a lot longer. I have accomplished a lot of really empowering goals this year too. And I can't forget to mention all the fabulous vacations I have been on recently. And my kids just keep getting cuter and more endearing. Aaron and I keep finding new and better ways to show our love, and respect each other as individuals. This year has been so amazing. I am afraid to think that since this year has been so great, that we are in for a doozy next year. I know there are bigger, better things in the future for us, but I am so appreciative of life right now. I am so grateful to be alive and able to experience all these wonderful things.

It's not to say I don't have trials, and that my life is so awesome and nothing ever goes wrong for me. This isn't a "Seriously, so blessed" type of post that seems so generic and standardized. I go through lulls and highs just like everyone else. I have my off days, sometimes many in a row. Part of the awesomeness of this year has been out of the overcoming some of the hard balls in life. Or maybe more accurately said, the wisdom that comes with age that makes the trials more bearable. There is still a lot for me to learn. But seriously, 2009 has been divine. 2010 is going to be zen.

Happy birthday to ME!

p.s. Mom-thank you for birthing me in the heat of August. Sorry for coming 10 days late- and coming the day you dropped grandma back off at the airport. That was a really bratty thing of me to do.


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