Archive for August 2011

Day 21: Sunday was very relaxed.  Bill’s mom brought Jackson back home and we went shopping.  She bought me this really pretty purple dress (yes, a dress!).  I can’t wait to get it hemmed so I can wear it.

Day 22: Monday I had to work but I spent my spare moments thinking about what in the heck Bill had planned for my birthday.  He was really good about keeping it a surprise.  I just knew that we would be getting up early and getting home late.  I love surprises and adventures so I was ready to go.

DAY 23!!!!!  The Big Day!  I am officially 30 years old!  I don’t feel any older.  I love birthdays and don’t dwell on the fact that I’m getting older.  We all do, so why not just enjoy it!  We woke up at the butt-crack of dawn to leave.  Literally, it was dark outside and the moon and stars were very clear.  I was pretty awake though because I couldn’t wait to see what Bill had in store for me.  I really wanted my tea, but Starbucks wasn’t open that early.  We stopped at the WaWA and got coffee.  I usually only drink it on the weekends, but in this case, if I was going to keep conscious, I needed a little help.  We headed up 64 and as we passed different cities, I narrowed down my thoughts of where we might be going.  We finally found a Starbucks open in Williamsburg.  I was SO ready for that tea!  It was delicious!


After we passed Richmond I kinda figured we were going to DC.  From there I wasn’t sure what he had planned.  I’m glad he kept the surprise going.  We hopped on the Metro at Springfield and headed to Capitol South.  I don’t know my way around DC pretty much at all so I just followed along.  He made a secretive phone call and then we continued on.  When we got to where we were going he told me that our friend David, who he used to work with at Starbucks, was going to give us a private tour of the Capitol building!  David works for Congressman Bobby Scott and has given a few tours when he was an intern.  I was happy to see him, but even more excited to walk around.  I had watched that special on CBS about what all was in the building, but it’s nothing compared to when you see it in person.  They aren’t kidding when they say that place is a maze.  It was cool because David would tell us little factoids you probably wouldn’t get in a regular tour.  We got to pass by tour groups too so I felt kinda special. 🙂  It was, however, my birthday.  There were lots of “old-white-dude” statues and such.  Every time we went in to a new room, I would scope out the women’s history marker and make a b-line.  For example, he showed me this statue of Jeanette Rankin, the first female congressperson, who was from Montana.  She was the only person to vote against WWI and WWII.  She said “I cannot vote for war. If I can’t go, I’m certainly not going to send anyone else” (I’m paraphrasing a little).  Can you imagine the courage she must have had and the pressure she must have felt to take a stand like that.


We also saw a replica of “Freedom” which is on top of the Capitol building.  Throughout the day I noticed that women were present in the building, but mostly as figures like “freedom” or “progress” etc… and very often showing lots of skin.  I know this is not news, but I was just struck by the juxtaposition of these female (mythical) figures next to all these old white dudes who ran our country.  The female form is used to represent things like “justice” and “freedom” while women had no say in the matters of state).  I have to admit I was aggravated, but I know our history and it wasn’t a shock to me.  I guess it bothered me because it was right there in my face.  Talk about getting inspiration to reveal women’s history to the world!  I left there thinking I was going to re-read my women’s history books, and I will.  I just hate that there’s so much of our history that we’ll never know because it wasn’t thought to be as valuable as men’s history.  We’re sort of like a side note or a foot note and yet you know women were there living their lives right along side men.  I want to know about their lives.  This is why the whole idea of a blog appeals to me.  Maybe only a few of my friends will read it, but at least a portion of my history is out there for the world to stumble on.


We went through this really cool educational area that had all kinds of pictures and artifacts on display.  Of course, you couldn’t take pictures in that area.  I saw pictures from the Women’s Suffrage Movement.  I saw their parades and their protest outside the White House.  I’ve seen these pictures before, but I guess it was the context of where I was that made it so powerful.  There was a mural and a sculpture dedicated to the Women’s Suffrage Movement that I really enjoyed seeing.

I thought the quote was a great choice

Hangin' with the ladies who made it all possible

For those of you who don't recognize these glorious faces

We were able to actually go inside the House floor and sit while David pointed out a few cool factoids.  No cameras allowed in their either but I will tell you I wonder how the heck they fit all those people in there for State of the Union speeches.  Not long after that David showed us a portrait of Shirley Chisholm.  I was so excited about this one!  I just love the pose they have her in.  It’s kind of sassy.  She was the first black congresswoman and ran for President in 1972.  Amazing woman!

You tell 'em Shirley!

We saw a lot while we were there, but that was my favorite part.  The building is very ornate in spots but pretty photogenic all over.  I had a blast taking pictures.  Here’s a few random ones:

Where lots of broadcasts are held by members of Congress

A great view pretty much out of every window

I see you Washington Monument!


This place was made for having its picture taken!

Just beautiful

You never know what you'll find when you look up


Me and my honey

From there we went to lunch at this great little place called “Good Stuff Eatery”.  They had the BEST burger and fries!  OMG delicious!  I just got the cheeseburger, but it was so well seasoned and juicy.  And the fries, wow!  I wish they had one of those around here.  It’s owned by Spike somebody who was on one of those Food Network competition shows.  I didn’t think much of him on the show, but I liked his food this day!  After lunch Bill told me we were going to see the Niki de St. Phalle sculptures at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.  I have been wanting to see these sculptures ever since I found out they were on display.  I learned of this artist in my Women in Art History class when I was still an undergrad photography major.  I fell in love with her use of bright colors and full figured women.  Never in my life did I think I’d get to see them in person!  I tried to go see them when they were up last summer but never made it.  I’m so glad I have a husband that pays attention!  On our way there we walked through the outside garden at the Botanical Gardens.  The day really was beautiful.  I couldn’t ask for a better day weather wise.  We walked along the National Mall and saw people flying kites and riding the merry-go-round.  I saw a little girl jumping off a step while her daddy held her hand.  She was so happy just to be jumping, even if it was just a foot high.  I guess I got caught up in the simpleness of that moment or either the sensory overload that is DC because I totally missed the earthquake.  I didn’t feel a thing!  It wasn’t until Lisa texted me “Earthquake!!!” and I looked up and saw people streaming out of the IRS building that I realized there was something going on.  I thought maybe it was a fire drill or something.  We don’t get earthquakes in Virginia!  Bill and I kept walking to our destination but noticed a drastic increase in the number of people on the street.  We heard the word “earthquake” several times as people told their stories of how and where they felt it.  I couldn’t believe it!  How did I miss an earthquake?!  Everyone was being very friendly which was nice, but as I looked up I noticed that I was surrounded by tall buildings and was definitely not in the best place to be in case of after shocks.  I worried that we should walk back to the Mall since it was in an open area.  However, I had waiting a long time to see those sculptures so I was going to walk over there if it hair-lipped everybody in Boykins!  We were only a block or two from the Museum anyway.  As we rounded the corner by the museum I saw the statues displayed in all their glory in the street median.  Being that it was still a beautiful day outside, it made for great picture taking.  The statues weren’t as big as I expected, but they were still much taller than me.  I forgot all about the stupid earthquake while I walked around looking at the sculptures.  10 years since I discovered this artist and here I was standing in front of my favorite of her sculptures.  I was pretty damn happy.  Now, that’s a birthday present!  I didn’t even care that now the Museum was closed for the day because of the earthquake.  I had seen what I really wanted to see.  I can come back another day to see the rest of the Museum.

Seriously? An earthquake on my birthday?!


My favorite pieces!


It was a mess getting home.  We had to take the Metro out to Springfield to our car.  We were packed in there like sardines.  I was worried about after shocks and could barely reach the ceiling or any of the bars to hang on and it was only going 15 mph.  But, everyone was friendly and we made it out alive.  On the way home we stopped Angela’s Italian Restaurant which was delicious but I’d never heard of before.  We also stopped at a rest area on the way home and they had this random art installation.  It was the perfect way to end our trip.  One of the songs in our wedding was “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles and this day and this photo proves, that’s still all you need after 12 years together.

Love you Bill!

Now, you know this means that since I technically got half my birthday adventure that I’m going to have to extend Birthday Month by at least half a day.  Also, with this hurricane a-comin’, I’m thinking Birthday Month will go til Labor Day.  Batten down the hatches people!







Jackson says that when we take him out to run errands and such.  In this case, it’s been a very busy week for me, but all fun related to my birthday!

Day 17: Wednesday was, of course, knitting day.  We had a small group this week, but it’s always nice to catch up with the regular members.  Afterwards we went to have dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant, La Parilla, with Stephanie and Brad.  Since Steph is an August baby too, I count this as our birthday dinner together since she wasn’t able to come to my party and I didn’t see her on her birthday.  We always have a good time hanging out with them and Jackson always does lots of cute stuff with them.  He did not disappoint.  Emily, who works with Stephanie, joined us as well.  Jackson blushed/flirted for most of the time and then warmed right up to her.  He does this thing where he sits in Stephanie’s back seat.  Well, this time, he wanted Emily to sit with him.  He was so sweet.

Day 18: My friends from work Erin, Morgan, and Meghan started a book club.  This is why I was reading that book with the weird potato title.  This was our first official meeting of our book club.  Before we went over, cousin Katie and I ate dinner at Perfectly Frank’s.  They have great bbq sandwiches and crinkly fries.  Tasty!  Katie and I have reconnected after spending our early years together.  Her family moved to Franklin when I was no 6 or 7 so we lost touch except for a few times when we would randomly run into each other.  She was actually an RA in the dorm next to mine when I was in undergrad.  We saw each other a few times, but didn’t really reconnect until we both had jobs on campus.  Since then we’ve become really good friends and I love having her there to talk to.

We were the first to arrive to book club.  It was at Erin’s new apartment this time and she was finishing up cooking when we arrived.  Lisa, Ashley, Christina, Morgan and Meghan came later and we ate bacon wrapped potatoes, veggies and dip and peanut m&m’s with wine and/or soda.  Thank you Erin for being a great host!  We decided on the “rules” of book club, sorta like the rules of fight club but without the violence and we CAN talk about book club.  We had a great discussion about the book and we all liked it.  My favorite quote from the book “I learn so much better when I’m laughing” (or something like that).  So true!

Day 19: Friday was the only day I didn’t have something planned after work.  That was fine with me because I just wanted to stay home and relax.  After playing with Jackson and putting him to bed, I watched movies and Bill watched football.  I watched Bride Wars (filled with stereotypes! waste of time! why can’t actresses get better movies instead of playing up to the stereotypes about women?) and Mansfield Park (loved it! strong, smart woman who stood up for herself and was rewarded for it in the end.).

Day 20: Now THIS was a busy day!  Jackson and I went to my mom’s house, picked her up and went to Wal-Mart, bought Noah a birthday present, got gas, went to Noah’s 1st birthday party for an hour and a half, dropped Mom off at her house, took Jackson to my dad’s house, and turned around and drove back home for MY birthday party.  Lisa and Kevin, Suzanne and Trey, Cathleen and Robin, Erin, Katie, and Dawn all came over to help me celebrate!  Bill grilled chicken, shrimp, and veggies all in different marinades he came up with.  TASTY!  He also baked me a delicious dark chocolate cake.  Mr. Hall put on his cabana boy t-shirt and made watermelon margaritas, also tasty!  We all sat around talking and laughing.  It was so much fun just visiting with all of them.  I think I was constantly laughing for like 2 hours straight.  It’s wonderful to be connected to and surrounded by wonderful people!

Jackson, me and Noah

Lisa and Erin


Suzanne and Trey


Cathleen, Dawn & Robbin


Bill did an excellent job putting together my birthday party!


Mr. Hall


Thanks for helping me celebrate my birthday ladies!

Day 14: Sunday was a very relaxed day.  We did go to Lowe’s and showed Jackson the vacuums which he loves.  Even if he’s making a fuss, if you show that boy a vacuum he’s immediately in an excellent mood.  I can’t get over it, but I love it!  Let’s hope that continues.  Hey, maybe one day he’ll love washing dishes!  I let him help me put clothes in the dryer every now and then and he enjoys that too.  But the boy is obsessed with vacuums.  My friend Lisa told me about this show on TLC.  I think it was called “Obsession Collection” or something like that.  They had a 20 something man with a house full of vacuums.  I can see Jackson doing that in a few years. Oh gee! LOL  The rest of the day we played and while he napped I watched “You Again”.  It was pretty good.  I love it when the main characters are female.  However, I don’t enjoy seeing all the fighting.  But I get it.  High schoolers can be cruel, so it’s good that it talked about bullying and also friendships.  But there was mostly always a guy involved in the reason for the fighting.  Not cool.  Nothing’s perfect though, right?!

Day 15: Monday I had to give a presentation at work and I did a good job (as Jackson would say) so that made me happy.  I also got to hang out with one of my volunteers who’s awesome so that was nice.  Erin and I were talking toward the end of the work day and she mentioned that she didn’t have dinner plans so I invited her over for dinner.  Bill made a chicken in the crockpot with lime, cilantro, cumin, and coriander.  It was tasty!  He also sauteed zuccini, Squash, and red bell pepper.  I requested this meal so I was very appreciative that he made it for me.  Daddy also made butter beans and potatoes which was delicious.  You put bacon in/on anything and it’s delicious!  After we played with Jackson and ate dinner, Erin and I went to see “The Help” with Mom and Aunt Linda.  There is a lot of controversy around this movie, and the book.  I am reserving making a statement about what I thought until I’ve had a chance to read some articles about it.  I wanted to see it for myself and then read what others were talking about.  It’s a Hollywood movie so of course it’s not gonna be what it could be.  However, I’m told, by people who study race in the media, that there are deeper messages that we need to pay attention to.  Now that I’ve seen the movie I’m going to find out what they meant by that.  I don’t claim to know everything or have all the answers, and I allow myself to change my mind as new information/perspectives presents itself.  After I’ve read the articles and digested the movie I’ll post about it.  In the mean time, I will say that the hardest part of the movie for me was how that momma treated her baby girl.  She basically had no part in her life and let her sit in her messy diapers until “the help” came and cleaned her up.  When the momma fired her, I cried watching that little girl beg her not to go because she was “her real mommy”.  Oh, how could anybody not love their child like that woman.  She also teased her, a two year old, about being fat. Ugh, I wanted to slap that woman.  Obviously that wasn’t the focal point of the movie, but being a mother of a two year old, and someone who’s done a lot of research on body image, it pissed me off some kind of bad.  However, I did enjoy the time with family and friends.  I was supposed to go to Stephanie and Brad’s house after the movie to watch the Gloria Steinem documentary, but the movie went almost 3 hours and I missed it.  I will have to find another opportunity to watch it.  Steph said it was really good.

Day 16: This evening I had dinner with my best friend from growing up, Melissa.  I love Melissa.  She’s so fun and easy to talk to, and I just love being around her.  She can get crazy sometimes, but I love that.  You just can’t be grumpy around Melissa.  In fact, I made the mistake of drinking decaf iced tea this morning and was sleepy all day until Melissa walked in the door.  We ate at Red Robin and they gave me a free dessert because she mentioned my birthday is next week.  Good ol’ Melissa, always looking out for me. LOL  Needless to say we had lots of giggles.  Her little baby Noah turns 1 tomorrow and we chatted about how quickly they grow up.  It seems like yesterday that Jackson was that small.  It will be fun to watch our next one follow in his steps, whenever that is.

So yeah, I’m behind again.  Daily posts are hard to make if you don’t set a time to do it every day.  So, I hope you will read this whole post because there’s some good stuff in here, even though it will be a little long.

Day 9 (Tuesday): This day was the birthday of two very special people in my life (Stephanie & Gayle), and I was told by Gayle that I couldn’t have this day.  So, I took a little break.  However, Bill told me “I need you to leave work a little early on Friday and I can’t tell you why and you can’t ask me any questions.”  I LOVE surprises so I was happy to play along.  This gave me something to at least think about my birthday since I was told I couldn’t officially celebrate.  It kept a smile on my face. 🙂

Day 10 (Wednesday): Wednesdays are always knitting days, and this day also happened to be the second Wednesday of the month…Cake Day!  Cake Day is when we celebrate all the birthdays in that month of our Stitch A Bit members.  Since I’m in charge of getting the cake and it’s my birthday month,  I got my favorite cake from Catering….Chocolate Mousse Cake!  And it was cheaper than usual so…birthday discount!  Needless to say the cake was delicious and we had 11 folks at knitting so it was a happy evening.

Day 11 (Thursday): I had lunch with my bestie Lisa which is always fun. We got caught up on our various goings on and then talked a little about my birthday party next Saturday.  I am looking forward to that!  Bill’s mom made us meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and string beans.  It was nice to have dinner ready when we got home, especially home cooking like I grew up with.

Day 12 (Friday): So this is the day I had been anticipating!  What in the heck had Bill come up with?  He didn’t used to be good and surprising me, but he’s learned well.  Even as we were driving I had no idea where we were going.  Turns out he was taking the long way to get there to throw me off the scent.  He said we were early so we stopped at a Starbucks and got me my favorite tea (venti sweet black iced tea).  I wasn’t sure if we were going somewhere to eat or what so I just got a tall.  We sat there and chatted for a bit.  We were next to my favorite restaurant, Carrabba’s, so I thought we were going there for dinner and got pretty excited.  Well, then he says “Let’s go!” and we get back in the car.  Hmm, ok he’s really got me fooled at this point.  Again, not something I’m used to.  I can usually figure things out pretty good.  I just went with the flow and before I knew it we were pulling up into a bowling alley.  I LOVE bowling!  Alright Bill!  Then I hear “hello, dahling” and realize that Lisa and Kevin were there too!  Now that’s a great surprise!  We had a great time and I got one strike and broke 100 the second game. We got a fried sampler plate.  Sweet potato fries, salted fries and for the others jalapeno poppers and fried spicy onions.  It was delicious eats but sooo bad for you. LOL  They told me I could pick the place for dinner and of course I chose Carrabba’s.  We called ahead and only had to wait 5 minutes.  Good idea for the future.  Of course it was delicious, I got the Chicken Bryan (grilled chicken with goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, and basil) as well as their ceasar salad and blackberry sangria.  Tasty!  I had a great time.  What a wonderful birthday surprise!

Me and Lisa at the bowling alley

Day 13 (Saturday): I finished reading “The Gurnsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society” this morning.  It was a great book!  My friend Erin chose it as the first book for our new book club.  Now that I think of it, we need a name for this group.  Reading something like that with that kind of title as the first book, you just have to have a name.  Wonder if the rest of the women will feel the same.  Not that I have any ideas in mind, but it might be fun to come up with one together.  After we did some stuff around the house we went to the country to get Jackson from his Meme’s house.  He showed us all her vacuums (this boy LOVES vacuums, I have no idea why but it’s cute).  Then we went over to Aunt Gayle’s (Aunt by love, not blood) to her birthday party.  I was good and didn’t talk about my birthday, only hers.  She made some delicious salsa (corn, black beans, black eyed peas, tomatoes, onion and green pepper with I think Italian dressing).  We’ll have to make some of that soon.  Maybe at my party next weekend.  Bill is planning kabobs and I’m very excited.  He’s a great cook!  Since Jackson hadn’t slept he fell asleep 5 minutes down the road and didn’t fuss when I changed him into his pj’s and put him to bed.  Such a good boy.  He was so friendly and talkative today.  There were new people he talked to and ones he’d seen a few times before.  But he would wave and say hi and show them his toys.  He’s the best!  I love being his mommy!

Finishing up the book while drinking a Malibu Bay Breeze. Perfect way to end the day!

Today was filled with birthday celebrations!  It started off with lunch with my new friend Suzanne at our regular Mexican restaurant.  Of course we have other options, but who doesn’t want Mexican food whenever possible?  I’m glad she feels the same.  We had a nice chat about random things going on with us and also about my birthday month.  I never thought about why I celebrate so much, I just always have.  She pointed out that it might have something to do with the time of year.  Her birthday is right after New Year’s and always seemed to be on the first day back to school after the holidays.  In August, people are happy it’s summer and pretty much looking for any reason to party.  Plus, my birthday was always right before school started so it’s the perfect time for a last hoorah.  Whatever the reason, this lunch turned into part of my birthday celebration. Of course! 🙂

After I got back from lunch the UPS guys brought me a package from LUNA Bars.  Their the ones that started LUNAFEST which we’ve hosted for 4 years.  It was a gift of appreciation for hosting a successful event this year.  I got a hat that’s good for runners (something I don’t do much of but Bill might like it for working in the yard) and three Luna Bars!  One of them is Chocolate Dipped Coconut!  My favorite!  Thank you Luna!  You might has well have just said Happy Birthday on the card. 🙂

This day just kept getting better and better.  I found out that a local theatre was showing Bridesmaids, the funniest women’s movie in forever.  I’ve seen it but it’s one of those movies you have to see at least a second time.  So, I contacted all my girlfriends, long time and brand new, and 4 of us went to the movie and met a fifth for dinner at my favorite restaurant, Azar’s.  Sooo tasty!  I just love their chicken kabobs and the hummus is amazing.  The movie didn’t disappoint and at dinner we had lots of fun talking about everything from reality tv to Christmas books.  It was at this point that Erin’s drink cup started moving on it’s own.  She made this freaked out face when she realized what was happening that made me giggle.  It was the same face she made when we were driving to lunch in my car and my breaks made a horrible screaching sound.  I simply said “Don’t worry, they work, they’re just loud.  Just pretend like it’s my horn and wave at people if they look at us.”  We got such a kick out of that.  Maybe you had to be there, but it’s pretty funny for me to think about driving down the road and then waving to everybody when I stop.  I couldn’t stop giggling there for a minute at dinner.  It was so much fun and I want to thank Dawn, Ashley, Erin, and Meghan for hanging out with me.  After all, girls just want to have fun! 🙂

When I got home I found that the book I had ordered for our new book club had arrived.  “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  I plan to start that one at lunch today.  I’ve only got a week to get it read!  I need to figure out which book I will pick when it’s my turn to host.  I’m leaning toward a Sarah Addison Allen book.  I’ve read two of hers so far and they are hard to put down.

Day 5: Fridays are always good during birthday month, even if you don’t do anything in particular birthday related.  It is a sigh of relief that you don’t have to wake up and rush off to work the next day.  The work day itself was relaxed and I got a few things off my plate.  I came home a little early and Jackson was just waking up from a nap so I got to surprise him.  He was in such a good mood.  That makes for a happy mommy.  After my sister left, Bill came home and we ate chicken pie (or chicken dumplings for you northern folks) made by Grayson & Emma’s Farmer’s Market back home.  That’s always a treat.  Nothing like home cooking, and by that I mean the southern style of food I grew up with, not just stuff you make at home.  Bill is quite the cook now so we enjoy quite a variety of styles of food.  I know it’s hot as blazes outside, but you can never go wrong with chicken pie.  Taaastyyyy!  I got “Flipped” in the mail from Netflix so I watched that after Jackson went to bed.  It was a cute story.  I’ve been trying to think of movies to put on my que, but I’ve run out of ideas so sometimes I take the suggestions from Netflix.  I’ve seen some really good ones, and some really bad ones.  I’m open for suggestions so please share if you have any!  There are so many new movies coming out that I want to see.  Wish I could get them in the mail instead of having to pay $10 to go to the theatre.  Although, I do LOVE to go to the movies.  It just hurts to pay that much when I can remember paying under $5 growing up.  I know, I sound like an old lady.  But it’s true!  Highway robbery! (Where did that saying come from I wonder?)  Anyway, it was an easy going Friday and it was nice to put my feet up.

Day 6: I used to be able to sleep in on Saturdays.  You know the saying “if I only knew then what I know now…”, well, I would have slept in even more.  Bill’s philosophy is mostly “daylight’s burnin'” and mine is “I’m tired from working all week and want to sleep til noon”.  Ok, not noon, but at least til 9.  That would be awesome!  Sometimes he lets me sleep in and I feel great afterward.  Although, I usually get up before 9 because I hear him and Jackson playing and having fun without me.  So, on to the birthday festivities.  This morning Bill went to help his mom around her yard and I took Jackson to swim with our friends Stephanie & Brad who have a pool in their condo area.  I’m so proud of myself for getting Jackson and myself all ready.  He’s so much easier at this age because I can get him to help me do stuff, or at least stay in sight while I get things ready.  We had the whole pool to ourselves!  It was perfect weather too.  I love a good pool and don’t get many chances to swim in one so I was quite happy.  Jackson looked so cute in his little floaty suit walking on his tiptoes around the pool.  I have a picture I’ll have to upload later.  He got in the water and hung on to me good, but after a little while he relaxed a bit.  At first he kept saying “I want Mommy pickup” or just “pickup” and he’d wrap his arms and legs around me tight.  After a little bit he was playing with his boat and floating monsters that Jing Jing got him.  He even let Stephanie and Brad take turns holding him.  We tried getting him to kick his feet, but he didn’t too much.  I guess we need more practice pretend swimming on the bed.  Brad put him up on the side and showed him how to kick and splash with his feet.  He liked that.  He also liked it when we would “hide” under the water.  He loves a good game of hide and seek.  He said Happy Birthday to Stephanie and to Mommy.  He’s such a sweet boy.  It was nice when Brad entertained him and Stephanie and I could talk about their wedding plans.  We had a great time and as we were about to leave he tripped and skinned his knees and the top of one of his feet.  He whimpered a little but was ok while I wiped his knees off.  Luckily we weren’t far from their place and they had Scooby Doo bandaids.  He liked seeing the cats and their vacuum, so by the time we left he was perfectly fine and didn’t really notice his knees.

After we all got back home Bill took Jackson to the grocery store for dinner supplies.  He came back with a Mounds bar (which I love) and stuff to make Salsa Fresca.  He marinated steaks in this sauce recommended by one of the students who works with me who’s from the Dominican Republic.  That was grilled along with corn and topped with the Salsa Fresca (avacado, tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice…sort of like guacamole, but chunky instead of smooth).  Delicious!  Like I said, Bill has become quite the cook.  That was definitely a tasty treat for the birthday month!

Day 7: I got up first this morning, but Bill wasn’t long behind me.  Jackson and I played hide and seek, danced to “In the Jungle/ Awheemaway” and “Don’t Worry Be Happy”, read Curious George stories, and built “snowmen” out of his blocks to knock over with Thomas the train.  It was a busy morning for us while Bill cut the grass.  He does such a nice job at taking care of the yard.  I just wish we had planted more in our garden because the veggies we’ve had have been delicious!  We’ve learned for next year.  We took 4 bags of our old clothes to the CHKD Thrift Store and then met Bill’s mom at the mall.  She bought me knew sneakers for my birthday!  They’re silver and purple!  I also got the insoles to help with any back pain, etc…   I wish I could wear them to work.  LOL  Maybe I’ll wear them in and then take walks during lunch when it’s cooler (or even inside the building).  That reminds me of the working women of the 80’s & 90’s.  I remember Mom doing that some.  Love it!  I need to get moving more.  I really didn’t want to sit down on the couch this morning because I knew I’d never get up.  There’s something to be said about having an uncomfy couch…next time.  So, this is my second actual birthday present of the year.  First the latest Janet Evanovich book and now these awesome shoes.  Both from my mother-in-law.  I still need to get a beach cruiser from my mom for last year’s birthday.  I really would like to be able to ride around the neighborhood.  Maybe I’ll ask her to add on a seat for Jackson so I can take him with me.  I think he’d like that.  I know I would!

I’m trying to get a couple of my girlfriends to go with me to see “The Bridesmaids” at a local theatre tomorrow.  It’s at 4 so we’d have to leave work a little early, but I’d planned to leave early anyway.  Then we could do dinner and celebrate my birthday and just chit chat.  I love talking with my girlfriends.  They’re all so unique and we have lots of fun together.  By the way, it’s really hard to schedule even three people for an outing, but totally worth it if you can pull it off. LOL  Here’s to another great birthday week!

A few days ago I told Jackson that Mommy’s birthday was coming up soon.  He immediately told me “I don’t want Mommy’s birthday to come!  I want Jackson’s birthday.”  A kid after my own heart!  LOL  I told him that wasn’t very nice and that other people had birthdays coming up this month too (Stephanie, Gayle, Noah, Jasmine, and Aunt Betsy).  After a day or so of this and him singing the birthday song to himself, he decided randomly to sing Happy Birthday to me. His version:  “Happy Birfday toooooooooo Momma!”  He was getting fresh pants and I was in the other room.  I heard him and I just melted.  What a sweet boy! 

We went out to (birthday) dinner with Stephanie and Brad and I told him he needed to tell Stephanie Happy Birthday too.  He said it quietly, but she heard it.  He’s learning to share, which is very important, both with birthdays and toys. 


Not only did I take my birthday (actual) day off, I was instructed by Bill that we would be going somewhere early and getting home late that day so I would probably want to go in a little late the next day.  I’m lucky to work in a place where this is acceptable.  Everybody’s birthday should be a paid vacation day.  If I ever run for office, that will be my platform; well, one of them at least. 🙂

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