Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spring Cleaning

Remember this and this?

Well we finally tackled the den this past weekend. The "den" has been a thorn in my side since we moved in. Too small to be a bedroom, and too awkward as it's just off the kitchen and hallway, with two points of entry. The piano that we love, takes up much of the room, the space has always had an identity crisis that we just can't seem to remedy. We had our computers in there, but then we got laptops and stopped using it as an "office" so it turned into a room of junk and piles of crap. We tore down my relic of a computer and threw away so much unused stuff, empty boxes, etc. So should it become a play room, another nursery come piano room until the new baby is sleeping through the night? Who knows, we are liking that it is clean/semi-empty, the house feels lighter in a way, but we still aren't sure what to do with it.

At least we're halfway there though, and stuck to a resolution!

And please ignore the falling down my hips pregnancy jeans, oy! I secretly hope Stacey and Clinton find me on the interweb to steal me away for a $5000 spree:)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

He's got a baby on his back and she's got a baby in her belly

Last Saturday was gorgeous (okay it's taken me forever to get this out, it was two Saturdays ago, forgive me). The curtains billowed in the gentle breeze, bright sunshine streamed through every window and the sky was as blue as ever. We borrowed the LL Bean kid carrier from my sister in law, packed up the other backpack with all necessary things such as sunscreen, diapers, wipes, bottles for Luke, water for us, the hiking book, baseball hats, and the ever elusive, often left behind in the craziness, camera. We drove The Bro (Bravada) out to Buttermilk Falls Road which turned into a gravelly dirt road for what seemed forever. I thought for sure the wheels were going to fall off and there we would be stranded. Yes I am more city than country, more conservative than liberal, basically a wimp when it comes to adventure. John agreed though, that The Bro currently isn't made for rough-roading it. But I digress, we made it there fine and The Bro is still braving the roadways.

Luke quite enjoyed the ride perched on his father's back. He grabbed on to his shirt with his little hand and we didn't hear a peep out of him the entire time. I on the other hand basically bitched the entire climb up the mountain. It just kept going up and up, a 300 ft. ascent. I don't know if that's steep or not, but for a woman in the early stages of pregnancy, who is essentially, sadly out of shape my heart was pounding. Pounding so loud I thought it might explode. I was part embarrassed and part nervous (wimp?) to push myself with this life inside me. Seriously though up and up and up we went. I was pissed at John for not stopping more (even though we stopped plenty and all he did was encourage me, sorry!) and pissed at the mountain for being steep and pissed at myself for not handling it well. We finally reached Inman Pond and well, it was snow covered in spots still, and not the most glorious of sites after all that hardwork. We did see what looked to be a 100 year old snapping turtle. I freaked. It's tail was that of an alligator all spikey and scary looking.

On our descent, Luke started to get cranky, he was over-tired and having a hard time trying to figure out how to fall asleep upright with a bobbing head. Poor little one. He managed though and slept most of the way back. Of course going down was a breeze save for dodging the mudslides of thawing wet dirt and leaves. It was a good feeling when all was said and done and I apologized for being so bitchy.

That night we were to meet John's friends who were in town and their significant others for dinner in Saratoga. We had 2 hours to feed Luke, get him ready for Grandma and get ourselves showered and dressed for going out. We did it all and fell asleep waiting for my mom to arrive. We had fun with our friends and enjoyed a nice dinner with good service (thankfully!).

That's more than we've done in one day in a long time. We've been complaining of the on-set of evening boredom. Scrabble games, tv shows, and laptops planted on our thighs have replaced evenings out, the freedom of who, where, when and forever long we want. Then we go out for an evening of fun in Saratoga and all we could think about was, "what is Luke doing? Do you think he went to bed okay? Did she give him a tubby? Did he miss us?" Our friends were regaling us with their stories of the recent Caribbean cruise they took, it sounded like fun, we felt a bit left out as our last trip was two years ago to Maine. Our lives are different, and while in a way a tiny part of us misses that life, we're so glad we're done. We talked about Luke the entire drive home. We'll take a little boredom since with it comes giggles, cuddles, discovery, and the biggest baby grin that can melt our hearts in a second. When I pick him up at daycare he squeals and crawls as fast as he can to grab onto my pant legs. It is too precious.

I'd so rather play scrabble at home and climb a mountain with my guys than whatever the alternative is. This is "it", right here at home.

PS. I feel totally completely spoiled that we get to go on vacation this summer and the place is called Twinkle by the Sea. Isn't that the cutest name for a story book beach front cottage in Maine? Thanks Mom, I cannot wait to sit Luke's little bum in the sand!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Junior Bees

Precious cousins having fun. The shirt, I'm sure, will be worn by Luke in the near future. The innocence of it as just a t-shirt in the eyes of a child and the warm message it sends to the world, break my heart and fill it with memories of love all at once.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Babies need routines? Huh?

Our regular sitter has been out of town due to some family sickness so Luke has been passed around to family and East End neighbors the past few weeks. The sitter we have is wonderful and keeps him on the best schedule, routine is the name of the game. The East End neighbor ladies think if they keep him up he'll sleep for us. He'll sleep alright! During his dinner he can barely keep his eyes open, it is too cute, but so sad at the same time. One night he had a fitful time getting settled in his crib. When we checked on him he was in a deep sleep, snoring quietly and on top of his blanket. Poor baby.

He's starting to regulate the ladies into his routine. I've left the routine, written out instructions to help them plan their day. Follow it. He likes it!

Vent over. Pray for our sitter. I need her.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Good Will Hunting

We're not sure if it's the pregnancy hormones (oops..I haven't *really* publicized that yet! Surprise!) or just pure sap, but we've been watching Good Will Hunting this evening and tearing up left and right. This hasn't happened before while watching this movie. We own the dvd, it's one of our favorites, but for some reason tonight it's making quite the impact on the Stevens household. Whenever Sean (Robin Williams) speaks of his beloved wife and the love they shared, we exchange teary-eyed glances and blow kisses from across the room.

Perhaps it's completely pure appreciation for all that we have and all that we've been through with losing parents and working hard towards realized goals.

We're truly blessed.

SEAN So if I asked you about art you could give me the
skinny on every art book
ever written... Michelangelo? You
know a lot about him I bet. Life's
work, criticisms, political
aspirations. But you couldn't tell
me what it smells like in the Sistine
Chapel. You've never stood there and
looked up at that beautiful ceiling.
And if I asked you about women I'm
sure you could give me a syllabus of
your personal favorites, and maybe
you've been laid a few times too.
But you couldn't tell me how it feels
to wake up next to a woman and be
truly happy. If I asked you about
war you could refer me to a bevy of
fictional and non-fictional material,
but you've never been in one. You've
never held your best friend's head
in your lap and watched him draw his
last breath, looking to you for help.
And if I asked you about love I'd
get a sonnet, but you've never looked
at a woman and been truly vulnerable.
Known that someone could kill you
with a look. That someone could rescue
you from grief. That God had put an
angel on Earth just for you. And
you wouldn't know how it felt to be
her angel. To have the love be there
for her forever. Through anything,
through cancer. You wouldn't know
about sleeping sitting up in a
hospital room for two months holding
her hand and not leaving because the
doctors could see in your eyes that
the term "visiting hours" didn't
apply to you. And you wouldn't know
about real loss, because that only
occurs when you lose something you
love more than yourself, and you've
never dared to love anything that
much. I look at you and I don't see
an intelligent confident man, I don't
see a peer, and I don't see my equal.
I see a boy. Nobody could possibly
understand you, right Will? Yet you
presume to know so much about me
because of a painting you saw. You
must know everything about me.

My wife used to turn the alarm clock
off in her sleep. I was late for
work all the time because in the
middle of the night she'd roll over
and turn the damn thing off.
Eventually I got a second clock and
put it under my side of the bed, but
it got to where she was gettin' to
that one too. She was afraid of the
dark, so the closet light was on all
night. Thing kept me up half the
night. Eventually I'd fall asleep,
out of sheer exhaustion and not wake
up when I was supposed to cause she'd
have already gotten to my alarms.

Will smiles, Sean takes a beat.

My wife's been dead two years, Will.
And when I think about her, those
are the things I think about most.
Little idiosyncrasies that only I
knew about. Those made her my wife.
And she had the goods on me too.
Little things I do out of habit.
People call these things imperfections
Will. It's just who we are. And we
get to choose who we're going to let
into out weird little worlds. You're
not perfect. And let me save you the
suspense, this girl you met isn't
either. The question is, whether or
not you're perfect for each other.
You can know everything in the world,
but the only way you're findin' that
one out is by giving it a shot. You
sure won't get the answer from an
old fucker like me. And even if I
did know, I wouldn't tell you.

Do you ever wonder what your life
would be like if you never met your

What? Do I wonder if I'd be better
off if I never met my wife?

Will starts to clarify his question.

No, that's okay. It's an important
question. 'Cause you'll have your
bad times, which wake you up to the
good stuff you weren't paying
attention to. And you can fail, as
long as you're trying hard. But
there's nothing worse than regret.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Scar the children why don't you!

We celebrated my birthday (again) at The Harvest Sunday evening with my sister-in-law, nephews, mom and the three of us...it was quite redeeming from the night before. You can't go wrong with Harvest pizza and a salad, seriously I don't know what they do but I love their salads even though it's nothing more than iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cukes, and onions, it reigns supreme.

As we were enjoying our meals, Luke was happily throwing all of his toys on the floor and thoroughly loving being doted on by his big cousin Jake. I tried to hand him a bottle in the hopes that'd he realize he would need to lean back to suck the milk out. He hasn't quite figured this trick out, he needs to be held or laying on the floor to properly take his bottle.

So there he sat, playing with the nipple and soon enough he was biting it and ripping it out of his mouth with such force that you could hear the *thunk* of rubber being pulled from his teeth.

We all laughed and John shouts out, "this is why Amy doesn't breast feed anymore!!"

My poor innocent nephews, Jacob's face sort of contorted at the comment. The thoughts they must have had running through their little boy heads.

Oy. Sadly, it's true. I was utterly thankful he was torturing the bottle and not me.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Bistro Schmistro

We dropped Luke off this afternoon at my brother and sister in law's for a sleep over with his cousins. Delighted to have an evening to ourselves, a romantic dinner, and some quiet time in our toy-free (read: picked-up) living room, our expectations for fun, reconnecting and relaxing were on the high side. Really all we wanted was a nice dinner, some dessert to share, maybe catch a movie, maybe not. We arrived at Luisa's Italian Bistro a little after 6pm. There were many empty tables, we didn't have a reservation and were not in any hurry but they showed us to a table in the corner off the room, near the door and bar, it was cozy and we didn't care. We were out alone, which is rare, we just wanted to chat and laugh. We were given waters quickly and ordered an appetizer. The app came and was awesome, we ordered our dinner and gave the "waiter" our salad dresssing choices. All the tables began to fill up as did the bar. It was getting louder and darker and we were whispering and laughing and not caring what time it was. Our salads weren't coming but we thought, eh, we're not on a schedule, it's nice that we're not being rushed.

Then one by one everyone else not only had been served their salad but they were onto their main entree. Our waters were empty, no one seemed to notice us, they just walked by us non-stop without a thought of checking in to see how we were doing. John tried to stop the "waiter" and he gave us an "I'll be with you in a minute" finger. Totally freaking rude. Finally he came back and we asked if our salads were on the way and could we get some more water?? Oh, he said, hadn't anyone been by to take our order? Um, YOU DID! I said. Apparently he told whoever our "actual" waiter was what we wanted and well, that guy lost the order so, um, it would be out really soon.

It was now 8pm. I had to pee. I made my way through the crowded bar and back, and when I sat back down this rush of freezing cold air was blowing on my back. What the hell? John said that they had come by and opened the windows...it wasn't hot in there, what the hell? So I stood up to close it and John said that actually the people sitting behind us had asked to open them. GRRR. I put my coat on. Happy birthday to me. This was beginning to suck.

Our salads came. They were good as we were starving. We switched seats since my teeth were chattering, John tried to shut the window but it was stuck. Still no service from the "waiter". Luisa herself made the rounds at all the tables and asked us if we had eaten yet and I said, actually no we haven't, we've been here for two hours though. Oh, well did you tell someone, she asked. UH yeah!

The "waiter" never made eye contact with us. I stopped him and asked if our meal was on the way. He wasn't sure, he'd be back. He came back a few minutes later and said it'd be next. We saw more food delivered to other tables and finally it arrived. I asked him if he could also shut the window.

Oh, sure. Sorry. This was our first "sorry". He tried, it wouldn't budge. His answer was that we would have to move as he was the strongest worker there and if he couldn't move it, no one could. So we moved seats.

Ironically once we moved the waitress girls were all over us, but when we were in the corner we got nothing. I looked over at our old chilly table and there was and older couple noshing on salads already. OMG.

John had wanted to leave 90 minutes into the dinner (with no dinner), but I was sure our meals would more than make up for the wasted time and really it wasn't wasted time, we were having fun despite being forgotten by the entire staff. Well the food pretty much sucked. I had a seafood special and it tasted as if they dumped out the salt shaker on the food, I couldn't eat it. John had the lasagna and it was really sub-par. Not really much resemblance to lasagna as in it wasn't really layered in anyway.Just kind of a ton of hamburger in pasta sauce with one lasagna noodle and some cheese on top. Odd.

So no apology for the 3 hour tour, the fact that they ignored us and forgot about us. and then the food didn't even redeem the experience. We were really burned. We hardly treat ourselves to anything more than Panera Bread or a lunch date now and then, this bill was over $60 and while not outrageous, it's a major treat for us.

The company was priceless, the conversation wonderful and that of course made up for the disappointment. We left a tiny tip, a suggestion for better service on the bill and headed for downtown Glens Falls for some dessert.

I'm still baffled that they didn't offer us anything or throw us some kind of bone to make up for it. Oh well. Now we know.

Thanks for the date hon, regardless the main course of conversation and laughter was a 10 out of 10.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

As We Change

I'm turning 32 this Sunday and really it's not bothering me that much. I'm happy where I am in life, a wonderful, supportive marriage and the very proud mom of a happy little guy. Life is good, I'm content with all aspects.

Luke and I made our trek to the mailbox this evening, our "mailbox" is really a slot in our garage that the mail gets slid into with a bin on the inside that it collects in. Today it was overflowing with magazines, catalogues, our mortgage bill, and an early birthday card.

Sweet, I love catalogues and magazines!

We got back into the house and I flipped through the loot only to find one of the catalogues entitled "As We Change" with the image of two middle-aged women in "slimming and figure-friendly" bathing suits.

What?! I thought, is this for me, or the previous homeowner, it can't be for me. I'm not going through "the change". What kind of lame title is it anyway? Sounds like a pre-teen guide for changing adolescent bodies, or clearly as the name suggests menopausal women. I am neither. I'm a happy, spry 32 year old.

Wrong. Yup, addressed to moi.

One of the lines on the inside front cover says that the things in this catalogue are for "women like us (not our daughters!)".

What? Is 32 really the new 62? How did I get on this mailing list?

PS. It is officially spring according to the Stevens family. Yes, our stick fell today! Yay! Spring is here!