Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Annual Bowling Fiasco!

It seems like in the colder months, there'd be plenty of Saturdays for lobbing duckpin balls down an alley, but the reality is that it ends up happening once a year.

Like last year, a group of us bought the Living Social deal to Stoneleigh Lanes when it came out a few months ago and then coordinated schedules until we came up with a date we could all manage. Sadly, Atticus came down with a fever the day before said Annual Bowling Fiasco and was unable to join us this year. This might mean that we make it more than once since they will undoubtedly want to use their deal...

We met Jess and Todd and Erin, Ryan, Brody, and Addison at the lanes at 11:00 and after shoe-ing up, the kids got down to business. After a few hundred gutter balls, someone had the bright idea to put up the rails. That's all it took for Hannah to start rolling her balls straight down the center. Her and Addy rolled simultaneously down one lane (in spite of numerous adults repeatedly reminding them to wait until one ball hits the pins before rolling another).

The girls picked up this arms-crossed-while-observing-the-path-of-the-rolled-ball stance.


Since the girls stuck primarily to the lane on the left, Brody enjoyed having the next lane over mostly to himself.

His ball-watching stance was more of a self huddle.

Pizza time for the kids meant the adults got to sneak in a few rolls without pins being unexpectedly reset right at the exact moment that the ball was about to leave the hand. It also meant that the adult-rolled ball made a solo journey to the pins and did not have to share the lane with a wayward kid ball that was lobbed before anyone could yell, "wait!"

Post-pizza time inspired more Ring Around the Rosie than bowling--an interesting choice for bowling alley games.

It also inspired snuggle time with daddy-o. Since Hannah was snuggling, Addy wanted in on the action too. This is a thing with them (maybe with all kids???): a few weeks ago at Brody's birthday party, Addy ran up and gave her uncle a huge hug, and as soon as he had put her feet back on the floor, Hannah was jumping into his arms for a snuggle of her own. Yeah, we hang out with them a decent amount, but I'm pretty sure Hannah has exchanged few if any words with Addy's uncle. I find this let's-go-hug-someone bandwagon highly entertaining. It's also really nice, but dwelling on that puts me uncomfortably close to being cheesy so we'll leave it at entertaining.

And then our hour was up, and although I thought an hour wouldn't be enough time (pretty sure we were there closer to 2 hours last year), it was actually perfect this year. The kids had lost interest in bowling and had taken to raiding all adult pockets of quarters and dollar bills to pump into the game machines, and the grown-ups were going broke and growing weary trying to keep them wrangled and deny their repeated requests for ice cream and more money.

I snapped my Annual Bowling Fiasco group kid shot and then we suited up and hit the road.

Okay, fine. I also snapped a shot of us girls (women????). I was thinking I would not broadcast this one to the worldwide web because I'm feeling terribly blah-zay and unattractive in it, but Jess and Erin look great so I'm going to suck it up and deal. Anyway, I pride myself on not being one of those people that freaks out about looking bad in a pic and insists that it be erased from existence. And also, I have been terrible about posting belly shots during this pregnancy, so here's an idea of how large and in charge I am if any of you are wondering.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Princess-ed out

I just uploaded pics from our annual bowling fiasco and found this one of Hannah and Addy all princess-ed out at their last playdate a few weeks ago. I love that Hannah has reached an age where when you say you want a picture of her and a friend, she leans in, puts her arm around her friend, and cheeses.


Alright, back to sifting through my blurry bowling pics in search of some that are postable...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hannah celebrates MLK Day at The Walter's Art Museum

Hannah and I had big plans yesterday to meet Terrill at The Walters Art Museum to partake in their Martin Luther King Day celebration and all the family friendly art activities that it included. Unfortunately, a family emergency compelled me to drive back to Hagerstown that morning and it was not a Hannah-friendly emergency. Since MLK day is a Government holiday, Eric was home from work, but him and Joel were heading to Home Depot to buy supplies for the book shelves they're building me in the dining room. They agreed to let Hannah tag along, but she was less than thrilled with this option and (very loudly) asserted that she wanted to go to the museum. I don't blame her. Lumber or paintings?? brainer.

So I called Terrill to cancel/gage her interest in taking Hannah without me. Fortunately for us, she was more than happy to get a little QT with The Banana and quickly agreed to come get her. I hit the road then, upset, but relieved to know that Hannah was in for a fun morning. Check out Terrill's Hannah-centric pictures and stories from their artsy-fartsy fun day on her blog.

I am bummed to have missed out on the fun, but I'm super grateful to have amazing friends like Terrill in my life and love that we are providing Hannah with an awesome community because that's the number one thing I lacked growing up and the one thing I always wanted to provide for my children, long before I even had children.  When the weather gets down to 20 degrees like it is this week, I get so tempted to head south and wonder what on earth I am still doing in such a cold climate zone, and then I remember that this is where my community is, and friends like Terrill make this frigid weather a little more bearable.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Having a home birth!!!

It's official: little brother will be born at home, in "the green house" as it is so lovingly referred to by Hannah. I watched The Business of Being Born AGAIN a few weeks ago and started getting really bummed about the idea of having another hospital birth. Since this pregnancy is more than halfway over, I figured I can do something about it now or just get over it.

Assisting with a home birth is illegal in Maryland, and the climate against home birthing midwives has been extremely hostile lately so finding someone wasn't easy. The only one I could find is located about 5 miles south of the Delaware state line which is about an hour and 15 minutes from the green house....this is problematic for a person like me who thinks that anything farther than about a 15-minute drive is too far. Sure, she comes to us during the birth, but I'd have to go to her for all appointments and in the end, when you're checking in weekly...well, I knew that wouldn't work for me so I dismissed the idea and returned to the midwives who delivered Hannah and have an office 5 minutes from our house. They're great midwives, and Mercy has a new fancy-pants labor and delivery center so it's a fine option; it's just not my ideal option, and since  we don't intend to have any more children, I really, really, really want to do everything I can to have my ideal birth. 

I decided I owed it to myself to at least fully explore the home birth option before dismissing it based on location, so I contacted the midwife up north again and set up an appointment to test drive the drive and meet her. I had fingers crossed that we wouldn't connect, and the decision would be easy, but I loved her. The drive really was too much though, and in addition to that, we couldn't afford the fee. I had no idea how expensive a home birth is! When I was pregnant with Hannah, a home birth midwife quoted me $1,800. Apparently that is not the norm. The norm is a little over $4,000. I get why it costs that much, but we definitely don't have that sitting around.

Although we didn't go with her, she was able to refer us to another home birth midwife who is a little closer (about a 45-minute drive) and who bills insurance. Hannah and I went to meet her on Thursday and loved her. The drive is still a bit much, but manageable, and our out-of-pocket costs are $2,000, also more manageable.

Today I had my last appointment with the other midwives and was relieved that everyone in the office was incredibly supportive of my decision. I have copies of my records and an appointment next month with the midwife who will help us deliver this baby boy right here in the comfort of our own home. Wahoooo!!!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas with my dad and the start of a new year

We rang in the new year today by tearing down and packing up all the holiday decorations and deep cleaning the whole first floor of the house for the first time in about a year and a half. We even mopped the floor. I swear we haven't done that since the summer of 2011. When we were about 3 hours into it and pulling pile after pile of dried up food out of the microwave it occurred to me that the true sign of getting old is when you spend New Year's day cleaning instead of recovering from a hangover....hello geezer-ville.

My compulsion to ring in the new year fresh is carrying over into the blog. I'm probably not going to get around to posting the pics I took on my phone when we went to see The Nutcracker at the BSO  or the pics from Addison's birthday party (none of which are that great anyway), but here are pics from our third and final Christmas at my dad's house and, aside from the previous mentioned, our last pics from the old year.

We drove back to my dad's a couple days after Christmas, the day after all that snow and Hannah's debut on TV. It was beyond freezing, but that didn't stop Hannah and Pappy from hopping on the tractor for a ride.

Hannah and Pappy and Grandma Sondra did a ton of building after defrosting from the frigid weather. They bought Hannah these super cool Twig blocks.  Sondra made the blocks in the foreground of the pic below--she is incredibly handy with a wood saw! They are Clay's present, but he hadn't been over yet so we got to play with them. She also used her woodworking skills to make Hannah a really nice wooden puzzle.

When Hannah started losing steam and curled up on the chair with Pappy, I took a few pics and then we hit the road back to Baltimore.

Au revoir to Christmas--all three of them--and 2012! Happy New Year all!!