Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fondue Fun

Last night we had some friends over for fondue.

If you don't know this already, Trent and I are the fondue masters!

We ate and ate and ate and laughed and laughed and laughed.

It was a serious good time!

And a serious silly time!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

She's Starting to Crawl

As of this morning, Rya is mobile!

And she joined Baby Bootcamp to get in shape for swimsuit season.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Memorial Day Weekend to Remember

For Memorial Day Weekend we went to Florida to visit Mimi and Papi. After an 8 hour drive (including 2 bathroom breaks and 1 dinner stop at Hooters), we arrived at 2AM on Thursday. We spent Thursday relaxing, recuperating and reacquainting Currier and Rya with their grandparents. On Friday Papi and Trent went golfing while Mimi and I took the kids to Uncle Donald's Farm.

This place was great. We took a hay ride, milked a goat, pet a pig, held a bunny, and fed every farm animal imaginable.

Of course Mimi and Papi fell in love with Rya—and she with them!

On Saturday we met my Aunt Joanie (my dad's sister) and Uncle Ricky at the happiest place on earth. Joanie and Ricky both work at Disney and got us in for free, were the BEST tour guides and were a big help with the kids.

We did/saw way more than we thought we would. In addition to shopping, eating lunch and meeting characters we did the Swiss Family Tree House, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, The Country Bear Jamboree, Pirates of the Caribbean, Minnie's Country House, Mickey's Country House, The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm, and Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. The day was packed with fun, happiness, smiles, excitement and not one temper tantrum or breakdown! It truly is the happiest place on earth! Thank you Aunt Joanie and Uncle Ricky for giving us such a happy memory!

You would think we would go home and pass out after a whole day at Disney in the hot sun, but we Balents are rockstars! We went straight to Trent's sister Kathy's house in Winter Springs for an authentic Paella dinner with all the cousins.

After dinner we swam in the pool, drank LOTS of beer and celebrated Currier's 3rd birthday with an ice cream cake. When we finally put Currier to bed at midnight, Trent and I declared that we had just had one of the best days of our lives.

On Sunday the adults woke to hangovers and eight kids screaming to go swimming. We spent a majority of the day in the pool before heading back to Mimi and Papi's for our final night in Florida.

Back at Mimi's house, she had a delicious Colombian dish called Ajiaco Bogotano ready for us and yet another birthday cake/celebration for Currier (Seriously, this kid is spoiled and is going to think that birthdays last for weeks!). This time Lolita (Mimi and Papi's yellow-headed parrot) sang happy birthday to him—so special.

Just when we thought the weekend couldn't possibly get any better, Aunt Carrie shows up from Tennessee to partake in the good times!

And then we headed home but not without stopping to buy a bushel of Florida oranges to take back to South Carolina with us. You can't go to Florida and not buy some! So it's fresh orange juice for us all week. Life is so good!

The Happiest Place on Earth!

We got home late last night from a weekend in Orlando. I'm working on organizing the hundreds of pictures I took. Stay tuned for a blog post on our fun filled weekend.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dear Three-Year-Old Currier,

You turned three years old today. Does that mean that the terrible twos are officially over? I really hope so because our recycle bins are always overflowing with booze bottles and the neighbors are starting to talk about your Mama! No seriously, it wasn't that bad but I will fess up that in addition to some of the happiest moments of my life this year also brought some of the most frustrating moments. The whining, the defiance, the temper tantrums—you certainly lived up to the legend of the terrible twos! And at the same time you surprised me with how gentle, smart, funny and kind a two-year-old can be!

Your personality is budding and it's so cool to see the person you're becoming. I not only love you as my child but I really like you as a person. You're easy to like—even when you're being a total pain in the ass! It's funny, sometime this year I stopped watching you and starting "hanging" out with you. I enjoy your company. We have actual conversations now and you talk and talk and talk—I'm afraid you got that trait from me! Actually, you are a lot like me. You're super sensitive. You're a touch obsessive-compulsive. You're a bit of a big mouth. You're silly to the core.

You are my best friend, my favorite lunch date and the funniest little person I know! I can't wait to see what this next year has in store! Happy birthday little guy. I love you.

All my love,
Mama

An Interview With My Three Year Old Son

video

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What's Cooking?

Spaghetti with a little meat-a-ball.

Six Months Old

Dear Rya D.,

I can't believe you're six months old today! Time is flying by. I wish I could press pause on life right here right now because you are so perfect. So easy. So small. So lovely.

Last week I stopped breastfeeding. Something that makes me a little sad and a little psyched. Sad because I will never experience that beautiful bond ever again and psyched because my nipples will never leak in public ever again. I lasted as long as I could and considering the problems I had with low milk supply, I'm pleased to have lasted six months. One day you will be a mother and you will understand the beauty and sacrifice of breastfeeding. It is awesome.

Oh, to be a mother is awesome—and a privilege. I know it's totally cliché to say but you have made my life complete. Last week I was shopping and bought some silly, little ceramic tooth boxes for you and Currier for when you lose your teeth. When the saleswoman was wrapping up the pink and blue boxes, it hit me that I have a boy and a girl—the perfect (and lucky!) combination—and I felt so complete. So happy.

I lost my mother when I was a young girl. Losing her taught me to appreciate my relationships and to love with all my heart. It was Mother's Day last week—a day that for many years symbolized loss and sadness for me. But now it symbolizes fulfillment and sheer joy—thanks to you and Currier. You are beautiful proof that life goes on.

Rya Diane, you are named after the mother I lost and you are a constant reminder of everything I have. I don't want you to ever grow up and yet I can't wait for you to grow up so we can be best friends. You are my second chance at the mother-daughter relationship that I missed out on. You are the daughter I always wanted. I love you. I adore you. Thank you.

All my love,
Mama

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fun Filled Weekend with Uncle PJ and Eliza

Uncle PJ and his girlfriend Eliza arrived late Thursday evening for a quick weekend visit. We stayed up late Thursday night talking and laughing and didn't go to bed until every beer in the house was gone!

Friday we nursed our hangovers at the pool all day and then rushed home to prepare for Currier's 3rd birthday party at the Mount Pleasant Fire Station that evening (we celebrated 2 weeks early because the fire station was booked for his actual birthday).

It was great to have PJ and Eliza here for the party. They were a big help—Eliza with holding Rya during the entire party and PJ with catering. The menu included Cajun Crab Stuffed Peppers, Green Bean Shrimp and Feta Salad, Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets, Boursin Cheese Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes, and a Fruit, Cheese and Cracker Tray. Pretty fancy fare for a 3-year-old's birthday party!

The kids had a great time. They crawled all over the fire truck and squirted the fire hose. The Mount Pleasant Firemen have the patience of saints and were wonderful with the kids. Currier said that it was the best day of his life—Aawww.

On Saturday we headed downtown Charleston for some shopping, sightseeing and lunch at the Charleston Crab House where we ate fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, raw oysters and crab legs.

Saturday evening we ordered pizza from Mellow Mushroom and lounged on the couch with the dogs and watched Madagascar 2.

On Sunday I woke to a huge Mother's Day breakfast cooked by PJ and fresh squeezed orange juice made by Currier. After a leisurely breakfast we packed up the car with a picnic lunch and headed to the Isle of Palms for the day. About 30 minutes into our day at the beach a huge thunderstorm rolled in so we packed everything up and made a mad dash to the car.

After a long Mother's Day thunderstorm nap (the best kind of nap!), PJ cooked a fantastic gourmet dinner that I can't stop thinking about! PJ and Eliza left early Monday morning and we miss them already.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Rya cheers...

"Give me a P. Give me a J. Uncle PJ is here. Hip Hip Hooray!"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

First Meal

Rya had her first taste of solid food this morning. She ate oatmeal out of the same dish that I had my first meal 35 years ago and Currier had his 2 1/2 years ago. She gobbled it all up and then took a long nap. Now I'm off to Whole Foods to buy some organic baby food in bulk!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Massholes

A fellow Newburyporter just moved to town! Stacey graduated a few years ahead of me and her sister, Kim, was in my graduating class. Stacey contacted me through facebook a few months ago to let me know that she, her husband and three boys were moving to Charleston. Coincidentally they bought a house in our neighborhood! We are complete trouble together! We went out last night and what started as an innocent evening of appetizers and a movie ended with us doing shots and dancing at a biker bar! Our neighborhood will never be the same with all these Massholes moving in.