Friday, April 24, 2009

151.5 is the new 666

Ok, that might be harsh; but seriously I am so annoyed by the number 151.5!!! Why? Because that is the number I have seen on my scale the past 20 mornings!

It never seems to matter how much I eat, work out, etc., I am still 151.5.

The most annoying part about the number is that it is 1.5 pounds away from the 20 pound mark (which was my goal for Easter); and the longer I take to get that 1.5 pounds off the harder it is going to be to reach my 30 pounds lost goal for Memorial Day!

And in other, annoying weight loss news - my whole body is shrinking EXCEPT my tummy! This is frustrating because: a. it makes my tummy more exaggerated, and b. I haven't been able to drop that many pants sizes because the waist is still nice and round (I call it my kangaroo pouch since I got it carrying babies around).

However, on a brighter note I finally got down to 151 without the .5 this morning.

Hopefully I can get up to a pace that is higher than .5 pounds every 3 weeks!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

1 day, 4 cute stories and a new developmental step!

Today was a story-filled day for the boys!

1. Peter said his first REAL sentence!
Peter is great with single words, naming body parts, and doing animal noises; but more than a 1 or 2 word sentence is a little beyond him right now. Until today! During story time I asked him to get a book, and after grabbing one he ran back to me saying "I got a book!"

2. Do the crime, do the time! Peter absolutely loves his brother and is constantly wanting to hug him, play with him, and even feed him bottles. However, if Aaron doesn't want to play, Peter gets frustrated. More often than not this can lead to Peter hitting Aaron. This is something that we have worked on a lot, and Peter has gotten so much better, but it still happens sometimes. Today was one of those days. Peter was laughing and trying to get Aaron to laugh by tickling, but Aaron wasn't in to the game. Frustrated, Peter took a swing at Aaron, but since I was within reaching distance I stopped Peter and put him in time out. When Peter's time out was over he walked back over to Aaron and I just had a feeling that he was going to try to hit him AGAIN. I grabbed Peter, looked him in the eye and said in my "mommy voice" - "Peter, you are not allowed to hit your brother! If you hit your brother you are going straight to time out again!" With that Peter turned around, slapped his brother, and walked directly to the time out chair.

3. They cannot be separated! We have a twin's stroller that has the kids sitting one in front of the other, and we always put Peter in front. Tonight, Brett and I took the kids for a walk and while Brett and I were deep in conversation Peter climbed out of and then over his seat and into Aaron's seat so he could give his brother a hug (and if you were wondering, we couldn't see him do so because of the sun shades that are over top of the kid's heads in the stroller). When we realized what they had done and picked Peter up to move him back to his own seat, both kids cried and reached out for each other!

4. Night Night! Tonight, Brett had a meeting to go to at our church so I had bed and bath time duty with the boys by myself. This is actually one of my favorite times of the night because we play together as a family and then all snuggle up for stories before we say prayers and tuck the kids in for the night. Tonight I was sitting in Aaron's room and Peter was running back and forth between the two rooms playing his version of hide and seek (more appropriately titled, hide and then run out of hiding place screaming "MOMMY!!!"). Peter ran full speed around the two rooms for about 30 minutes, taking breaks to read books and play with his train table. Then in the middle of the game he walked up to me with the sweetest little face and said "night, night" then took my hand and walked me into his room to get into his crib.

And the exciting new developmental step - Aaron sat up for the first time!!! He has been doing it with help of pillows and leaning on things a little, but today I actually had him sitting with no assistance at all! He still cannot get to this position on his own, but with his rolling skills and attempts to crawl I wouldn't be surprised if that was coming!

It was a very cute and fun filled day, but we are all exhausted now!

Night, Night! :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

A new bath video...

No pooping in the tub this time!

Peter finds it HILARIOUS to tickle his brother's feet during bath time, so we caught some footage the other day:

Also note how big Aaron is now! He isn't even close to fitting in his baby bath!


Last week it was raining, but Peter likes the rain and splashing around in puddles so I let him out in the back yard while I sat in the door way watching him. Once he got bored he came back in the house and we shut the door to find a SNAKE had crawled into the house while the door was open!!!

We got the snake in a Tupperware (well, Brett did - I was screaming on top of the couch). Then Peter wanted to see it, so we showed him and learned that Peter is not remotely afraid of snakes! See video:

We kept it for the day, but eventually let him go.

Screen doors are becoming a big priority ever since this event!


Peter is very motivated by music. Ever since he was an infant, if he was crying we could get him to stop by singing A-B-Cs or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

This morning he was being fussy while I changed him into a new diaper and his clothes for the day, so I started singing the A-B-Cs.

When I got to the part where I sing "Next time won't you sing with me?"

Peter sang back "No way Mommy"

Guess he told me!

The Day McNally Arrived

The Day McNally Arrived (Bye Bye Little Greasy French Fry)
[to the tune of American Pie – by Don Mclean]

By Iain Lawn and Brett Gardner

A long long time ago
I can still remember when Mike’s lifestyle left something to be desired
But I knew if Mike had this chance,
that with McNally he’d find romance
And maybe he’d be healthy for a while

The next few years made me shiver,
his cholesterol down, his waistline thinner
Good news for McNally,
young Pritchard’s down on one knee

Now, I can’t remember if Mike cried,
when he proposed to his newfound bride
But something touched Mike deep inside,
the day McNally arrived

So bye bye little greasy french fry
While you’re yummy in Mike’s tummy, his cholesterol’s high
He found a good ol’ girl with his interests in mind
And he tricked her into being his wife,
he tricked her into being his wife

Could Mike write the book of love
And could he convince her he’s a stud,
if his sister warns them no
Do you believe this superbowl,
can McNally save his mortal soul
And can she teach him how to play bingo

Well I know that she’s in love with him,
‘cuz I saw her kiss his pasty skin
They both kicked off their shoes,
because together they can’t lose ooooooooo!
He was a lonely, awkward, flightless bird,
but his dreams of love would never be deterred
And he knew his wishes were conferred, the day McNally arrived…
they started singin’

So bye bye little greasy french fry
While you’re yummy in Mike’s tummy, his cholesterol’s high
He found a good ol’ girl with his interests in mind
And he tricked her into being his wife,
he tricked her into being his wife

To see this song preformed, go to 7 minutes and 22 seconds into this video:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The mega long post about Mike and Andrea's Nuptuals

Brett's best friend (and former life partner - they lived together for 7 years) recently married his long term girl friend, Andrea.

Brett kicked off the celebrations for this wedding in November, when he took Mike and a bunch of their friend's for a golf weekend in Virginia Beach. The bachelor party was four days, three nights, two rounds of golf, a whole lot of eating, drinking and poker, and one trip to a local bowling ally.

In January, it was Andrea's turn for her bachelorette celebration. Her sister, Mike's sister and cousin, a friend from college, Andra's friend's from work, and myself all got to join in the celebrating, which started off in Old Town Alexandria for gifts and dinner. We all had picked out sexy nighties and underwear for our gifts, while Andrea's brother-in-law sent the pictured house coat as his gift! After dinner the girls headed to Nick's Night Club, a country bar, for a night of line dancing!

Next on the list of wedding festivities was the actual wedding, which we were not invited to. Andrea and Mike decided that their ideal wedding was one with as few people as possible. Instead of some huge production where 100+ people were staring at them, they opted for being wed on a Friday morning (January 29) with their parents, siblings, and siblings' significant others, as their only witnesses.

However, this does not by any means end the list of festivities for the wedding celebration! Mike and Andrea (who fell in love over a shared passion for sports) decided to have a Super Bowl party for their wedding reception, with an entire weekend of fun before hand to entertain their out of town guests.

Friday night was the first get together - a game night at the party room in their apartment building. The couple set up all their favorite games around the room for people to start small games, and then organized a huge girls-vs-boys shrades/pictionary show down (we caught our friend Iain on tape for his turn):

Saturday night, Mike and Andrea organized a bus tour of DC, however I do not have any photos or commontary for that event because I got home from Costco late, which made Brett miss the bus. Brett also put the wrong address into our Garmin for the bus pick up location, so apparently it wasn't in the stars for him to make the event. Moving on.

Sunday afternoon we headed over to the Continental (a sports bar in Arlington, VA) for the big Super Bowl party.

I was in charge of making the "wedding" cake - a football themed cake with football playing bride and groom as cake topper.

Brett was in charge (with the help of Iain) of half time entertainment - which was speeches, and a song that Iain and Brett wrote together (I will post the lyrics in a separate post). See video for why Mike and Andrea are laughing so hard in the photo:

Additionally, the sister of the bride (Amy) gave a speech:

And the sister of the groom (Katie) gave a speech:

After the half time show, we finished watching the Steelers and Cardinals fans sweat until the bitter end. Brett and I played 3 games of ping pong (which I WON!!!). And then it was time to call it a night, and wish Mike and Andrea a happy honeymoon.

It was a really fun weekend of celebration and we are so happy for the newly married couple... now when are you having babies already??? ;)

Friday, April 17, 2009

*A Kind Of Magic

Brett and I have a very stylish intercom/radio system in our house that was put in back in the 1970s when our house was built.

Not really surprising, this radio will only pick up the oldies station (100.3 FM). However the more we listened the more we realized that the "oldies" station was now playing classic rock!

Now, we constantly have the radio on in our house because this station plays a mix of the absolute best hits of our parents music and our music. I love it because Peter and Aaron are getting a seriously awesome music education and I get to hear lot of forgotten favorites, which brings me to my story.

The other day they were playing Queen on the radio and the following conversation took place:

Brett - Queen is awesome! I need to get a their greatest hits album.

Me - I own Queen's greatest hits album.

Brett - This marriage just keeps getting better!

Me - Glad the important things are keeping us together.

*"A Kind of Magic" is a 1986 Queen song from their album with the same name

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hershey Spa Weekend!!!

There is one weekend I look forward to every year. Not my birthday. Not Christmas. Not an Anniversary. Nope! It is my weekend away with my Aunt Marilyn, my cousin Shellie, and our friend Sun. We take 3 days and head to Hershey, PA to stay at the Hershey Hotel and then relax for 2 nights in a chocolate heaven.

We arrived late Friday night and ordered room service and ordered a movie on demand in the hotel room.

Saturday morning we got up early for spa appointments (I got a chocolate massage!), relaxing by the pool, and reading in the spa's quiet rooms while drinking the best hot cocoa ever. From about 9am to 6pm that was all we did! I read almost an entire book, and enjoyed quiet (something I don't hear much of at home!).

Saturday night we went to the hotel's Fountian Cafe for dinner, before retiring back to the room (where our beds were turned down with Hershey Kisses left on the pillows) and we ordered another movie on demand before going to bed.

Sunday we woke up and had the most amazing buffet at the hotel's Circular Dining Room, stopped by the Hershey Outlet mall and headed home.

We figured out that this was our 5th time doing this tradition (with one break the year I got married), and we all hope it lasts FOREVER!

P.S. A special thanks to the husbands/finances that make the weekend possible with financing and taking care of out babies!!!

Mia's birthday!

In February, Peter and Aaron were invited to their first kid birthday party of 2009. The party was for Mia Corrigan, who is the daughter of Brett's new boss, Mile (pronounced Milly).

The party was held at a tumble gym for kids out in Ashburn, and as soon as Peter walked in he wanted to do any and all of the activities.

He was even a dare devil and went on the "dizzy swing":

Aaron also went on a swing and the zip line:

After an hour of running and climbing around it was time to sing Happy Birthday to Mia and eat pizza and cake!

Obama party

Back in... January? Has it been that long??? Anyway, during the inauguration weekend, our friend's Nick and Leigh threw an Obama Party.

The festivities came chalked with presidential treats including "Oval Offices" (mini quiche), "pigs in pants suites" (pigs in a blanket), "Biden's balls" (delicious meat balls), and "Obama Mamas" (a yummy cocktail).

They also had a full sized Obama card board cut out for everyone to pose with!

It was a lot of fun seeing Nick and Leigh's apartment and hanging out with some friend's we don't get to see as much as we would like.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

2009 Massanutten Trip

Every year, my mom generously offers her Massanutten time share to Brett and I (and my sister, Katelyn, now that she is out of college). The time share always falls on the Saturday of President's Day weekend and goes through the following Saturday, so we try to stay the whole week.

This year we invited Aaron's God parents, Mike and Sarah Merrill, and Brett's College roommate, Iain Lawn.

Everyone arrived on Saturday afternoon and evening and shared a great meal cooked by my sister, then after the kids went to bed we all played Scrabble on teams - Brett and I were Team Romance, Katelyn and Iain were Team Barf, and Sarah and Mike were Team Three.

Sunday all the skiers and snow-boarders headed out to the slopes after we all fattened up on Sarah's biscuits and gravy for breakfast.

Iain was the most experienced of the snow boarders, and was trying jumps.

Mean while, Mike Merrill was learning, but everyone said he did great!

Sarah and I ended up taking the kids to the resort's indoor pool for Aaron's first swim. However, we were then evacuated due to a medical emergency (someone was having a heart attack).

That night we played Mexican Train Dominos until we all thought we were going to pass out after a big meal of baked ziti.

Monday morning, everyone except Brett (who stayed with the kids) bundled up and headed back to the ski resort for snow tubing. When we first arrived they told us that we could only go down as singles (not attached to anyone else's tube unless you were with a small child) and not on your belly; however these rules quickly let up!

Though we broke one rule by taking pictures and video the whole time we were there:

That afternoon some people went to the pool and to play ping pong and basketball at the rec center while others relaxed at the house. For dinner that night we pigged out again (it was kind of a theme for the weekend).

After dinner Katelyn and Iain had to head home, but first Peter entertained everyone:

The next morning, Mike and Sarah left early and Brett and I had a relaxing day with the boys staying in the house and enjoying the 2 person jacuzzi as a whole family.

On Wednesday we took the boys to the other rec center on the mountain, where Peter rode his first little ride ever (don't know that he cares to do it again anytime soon).

Then we took the kids swimming, which was a lot less eventful than the first time.

The last evening we were there, Brett's cousin Gannon brought his oldest daughter, Madison up to the house (they live in the area). Madison loved playing with the boys, while Brett and Gannon talked shop. After dinner, Brett and I packed up the car and headed home so Brett could make a lat minute meeting the following morning.

Our favorite part about Massanutten is that it is so close (less than 3 hours drive) and so relaxing, and we cherish that week in February. Hopefully it will continue to be a family tradition!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Playing catch up!

Like many things in my life, I don't seem to have time for my blog lately.

However, this morning I went through our digital picture (now that I mastered the Mac I can do that!) and I wrote down 21 blogs that I need to write to catch everyone up on what has been going on with the Gardners.

No promises, but I am going to try to get them all posted in the next two weeks and stay on top of things.

Then again, I might be writing a blog like this again in two months and never follow through.

We shall see.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

When it rains, it pours!

From March 5 to today things in the Gardner house have been tough. So many bad things have happened that it has ALMOST become laughable. See below for details:

The Kidney Stone:
March 5 I am rushed to the hospital with a terrible pain in my side/back/stomach. In the ambulance I am prepped for surgery because they were fearful of a embolism, burst appendix, or ruptured pregnancy. After 13 hours a kidney stone (that measured almost 1 centimeter was found). As kidney stone removal is not emergency surgery at Fairfax Inova hospital, I am sent home to wait TWO WEEKS before having my surgery. Then I had to have a stint put in for 10 days which was almost as painful as the stone, with the added bonus of kidney and bladder spasms. Last Tuesday I had the stint removed which put me back in pain for about 48 hours and increased the kidney spasms. Now we are going through the analysis process of finding out why this happened to me, which includes testing the stone and me having to ship 24 hours of urine samples to a lab (maybe I should feel worse for the person who has to open that package!).

Our house:
About 4 months after we bought our house we noticed that our basement was leaking. Upon looking further into the problem, we found mold in the walls, and ended up needing to gut half the basement, have it water-proofed, a second sump pump put in and then all new drywall put in (all after we had already put new carpets in... that were then damaged). Since putting the sump pump in we have noticed that it kicks on and releases a substantial amount of water almost every 20 minutes (or more). This flooded our sidewalks and caused bad ice all winter (which our neighbors complained about to the home owners association). Since getting a letter from the HOA we started looking into why we have so much water (also because we were starting to notice cracks in our walls and were afraid that our house was settling). When the structural engineer came to look at the house he said that he thought the water was eroding the ground under our house and that we had 2 foundation cracks. Then he saw the water pumping out of the sump pump and said that we should have the water company come out and check to make sure we didn't have any leaking pipes. The next day the water company came out and said that our pipes were completely fine, but wanted to check our neighbor's pipes because they went through our yard (he thought the sump pump was shooting out tap water too). He tested the neighbors, and found that they had a leak and because their pipe runs along our yard and we are lower than them he believed that the water issues were the fault of the neighbor's pipe. They informed the neighbor that they needed to fix the problem within 14 days or their water would be turned off, and that any damage done to our house from this point forward would be their responsibility. Presently, our neighbor is refusing to do anything about the problem and has come over to yell at us on a couple occasions for "blaming him" and "lying to the water company" (clearly he is a very rational man). Mean while we find more cracks in our drywall on a regular basis and the sump pump runs constantly. This Friday will mark the 14 day point, so we will see what happens when the water gets shut off.

Stolen Identity: Brett and I hardly ever spend a lot of money. The exception is our once a month Costco runs, and the occasional shopping spree when Peter's pants are all high waters (or in this case, when we realize that I have been pregnant for the past 2 summers and the last summer that I was in "regular" clothes I wore a size 2; which I have come to accept will never happen again). Anyway, two weeks ago we had a day of shopping. Costco, Old Navy, and a consignment sale and a few hundred dollars were gone! That night I get a auto-mated call from the bank about fraudulent spending on my account and think, "No, I just FINALLY spent money" and almost hung up the phone because I was trying to feed Peter dinner. But then I heard, "Is the charge of $260 at Liquor Depot in Miami FL a valid charge?" NO!!! So I get myself transferred to the fraud department and learn that someone has made a new card with my card number (we still had all of our cards in our possession) and was buying up all the booze and McDonalds in Miami (a very classy criminal). We were told to go through our statements and file a police report. The only problem there - the Miami police will not take a statement over the phone and the Virginia police will not take a statement about activity in Florida! So, needless to say this is still a work in progress.

Additionally, we leading a small group on Wednesdays, have a house to keep up with, jobs, church activities, family obligations, and oh yeah... TWO BABIES! Needless to say we are a little overwhelmed, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger right?

Lets hope!