Merry Christmas

Our family had a wonderful Christmas together. Chris only had to work until noon, which meant that we could all go to the children's Christmas Eve service at our church. The kids were a bit restless, but so were all of the kids there that evening so we didn't feel too bad.

After church we met Aunt Erin at On the Border for some Christmas Eve Mexican. :) We gave our traditional presents to strangers to our server and the girl that was cleaning the tables. It was sort of cheating this year though, because we go to On the Border all the time and none of the employees are really "strangers." Oh well...

We went back to the house and Erin exchanged presents with Cadence and Gabriel. The kids went to bed without putting up much of a fight - I was pleasantly surprised.

Santa came at some point during the night and the Elf that has been watching the children and reporting back to Santa on a daily basis was gone when we went downstairs in the morning. Cadence and Gabriel didn't wake Chris and I up until 7:30 a.m. That's a Christmas miracle if I've ever heard of one!! :D

Our families arrived around mid-morning. In addition to our immediate family, we cooked breakfast for my parents, Chris's parents, Dianne, Brandon, Andrea, Jacob, Andrea's guest, Charlie and Elizabeth. We still had food left over! :)

Andrew picked up the kids at around 1pm and Chris and I took a Christmas nap before heading over to his parents' house for dinner and more presents.

We went out on Saturday evening with Charlie, Elizabeth and Erin and then spent the remainder of the weekend working on Cadence's room. We are redecorating it as her Christmas present. It is looking really good. Pictures to come soon!

Our busy weekend before Christmas

My workday was cut short on Friday when I had to go pick up the kids early from day care. You see, all of the schools apparently close two hours early when it is very cold and raining in South Carolina... I was not amused, but took advantage of my extra two hours by packing our bags. We had a surprise in store for Cadence and Gabriel.

Christy, Mitchell and Emily came over for homemade tomato basil soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. After dinner we decorated mini gingerbread houses with the kids. They were small enough so that each kid had their own house.

The next morning we fed the kids breakfast and loaded them (and the previously mentioned bags) into the car. We stopped at the outlets in Gaffney for some Christmas shopping. Chris took Cadence to buy a present for Gabriel and a present for me. I took Gabriel to buy a present for Cadence and a present for Chris. We stopped for lunch at Denny's and the kids got to kick around some nasty parking lot slush... they thought it was great. :-/

We got back in the car and drove to Concord, NC. We told the kids that we needed to take the bags that were in our trunk into the building to give to some people. Then we led them up to the Kid Kamp Suite that we had booked at the Great Wolf Lodge. Cadence was super-excited about the bunk beds and couldn't believe that we were spending the night. Then we told them that they had a "pool." This led to more excited screaming... imagine the level of excitement when they walked into the "pool" area to find a wave pool, obstacle course and tons of water slides! We played in the water park for a few hours and then changed and went out for dinner.

After dinner we let Cadence play MagiQuest. It is a condensed version of the Myrtle Beach game. Cadence has a magic wand from Myrtle Beach and we were glad to see that it still worked (Cadence has used it as a little brother beating stick MANY times). After MagiQuest we went down to the lobby to watch it snow. Now, when they say that it "snows" in the lobby, what they really mean is that they run a foamy bubble machine thingy waaaaay up in the rafters. This, combined with fans creates a snowflake effect. The only problem is that it's not snow... it's bubble foam... and the kids don't seem to like catching bubble foam snowflakes on their tongues. However, watching them taste their first bubble foam snowflake is hilarious.

We took the kids back upstairs. One of us had to go back down to the water park to watch the Polar Bear Race. They take 420 rubber polar bears and toss them down 4 conjoined water slides. Each polar bear represents a room at the lodge and each slide represents a floor at the lodge. The first polar bear down each slide wins a free future night's stay for the occupants of the room written on the bear, but you must be present to win. I went down early and took a look around the gift shop and picked up an ornament for our tree. I went into the water park and picked out a chair off to the side of the slides. It came time for the race and I cheered by little bear on (not that you can tell which one is yours....) and guess what...? He WON! I couldn't believe it! It kinda sucked though because I was down there all by myself and had no one to really share in my excitement. The man next to me was really nice though - he gave me a high five and congratulated me again when I saw him the next day. :)

When I came back upstairs, the kids were in bed. And by "in bed" I mean that they were located in or around their sleeping area. We had quite a time getting them to go to sleep. At around 1:30 a.m. Gabriel woke up crying. He NEVER wakes up. He was mad that he was wearing a wrist band (his "ticket" into the water park) and he was coughing a LOT. So we took the wrist band off and I ventured out for cough medicine. I was not happy about this. I was even less happy to find him sleeping soundly when I returned (why did I go get the medicine?). I woke him up to give him some medicine... he spat it in my face. It is 2am and I am fuming! Chris handled Gabriel after that point.

At 8:30am I heard Gabriel get out of bed. It was dark in the room and I heard his sad little shaking voice say, "Cadence, Mommy and Daddy are gone!" All frustration that I may have still felt towards him vanished at that moment when I sat up and said, "Gabriel, we're not gone. We would never leave you!" He ran around the bed and hopped in right next to me.

We managed to get the kids out of the room by 9am - because if you check out by 9am you get $20 in Wolf Cash to use at the restaurants or gift shop. We ate breakfast and then hit the water park again until almost 2:30pm. We stopped for lunch on our way out of town.

When we got home, we had just enough time to grab some ice cream at Dairy Queen and make a quick trip out to Bethlehem Revisited. A local Methodist church puts it on every year and they do an AMAZING job. After that we took headed home and put the kids to bed. Now it's time for a little bit of quiet time and some laundry.

Thanksgiving, running and other goings on...

I was out for my 6am run on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I had completed about 2.5 miles and was feeling fine until all of a sudden it felt like someone stabbed me in my right foot. I had to walk (and I use that term verrry loosely) back home. By Wednesday afternoon it still wasn't feeling much better. I visited my family doctor who x-rayed it. He didn't see anything in the x-ray but decided to treat it as a stress fracture since they often do not show up on x-rays because they are so fine. He told me that I was not allowed to run for two weeks. This did not sit well with me since I was supposed to run my first 8K on Thanksgiving morning. Chris and I attended the race anyway and Chris wore my number along with his when he ran. Somehow I finished 3 seconds behind him...?

We did not have the kids for Thanksgiving but we had dinner with my mom and Jerry. The next morning Dianne and I ventured out at 3:30 a.m. for some shopping fun. I brought along a folding camping stool and sat down in most of the lines. :)

Now we are in full Christmas mode. We took the kids to the Greenville Christmas Parade last night. They had a blast but it was packed! They shortened the route (stupid idea) and therefore all of the people were crammed into a smaller area. Today Chris, the kids and I had our pictures taken at Portrait Innovations. Great pictures.... CRAZY place. They were sooooooo busy. Next year, we may need to put on our Christmas gear in October and get it done early. :-/ Hopefully one day in the next week or two we'll get the chance to take the kids to Hollywild. We are a fan of Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday nights. On Fridays and Saturdays the animals have no interest in the food that the kids try to give them because they have been fed by the last 1,324,234,865,205 kids that fed them that evening. Ok... so that's a bit of an exageration.

Am I insane....?

I was talking to my father this evening about Rachael's Run. Other than my hubby running ahead of me again, I had a great time.... a REALLY great time. I like running... even though I'm not so great at it. I told him that I was looking forward to doing another 5K this weekend and then an 8K on Thanksgiving Day. To which he responded, "Are you training for a marathon?" I laughed it off and told him that I was barely finishing 5K's at this point and a marathon is a little outside of my goal range. Then I got off the phone and really began to think about it.... Could I really do that? Sure, I'm not in shape for it now, but could I be? Do I have that kind of motivation? I started looking up how to train for a marathon online. The first four weeks include a series of 3-4 mile runs with a once per week 'long run' of 5-9 miles.... It goes up each week after from there. It's definitely something to consider.... we'll see.

Disney planning and the fall of Gabe.

We are leaving for Disney World in just over a week. The kids are excited and I am in full planning mode.... trying to work out the details with our housesitter (yes, there will be someone here, so don't go and try to break in now....) ;)... trying to plan our daily activities (yes, I'm THAT anal).... and trying to convince myself that driving to Florida with two kids is still a great idea. Cadence asked me tonight if we could take a plane - even SHE doesn't think this is a good idea. :-/

So, let me tell you about Gabriel. We were leaving daycare and he tried going down the brick stairs on his own. I said, "Gabriel, hold my hand." He shook his head. I said, "You are going to fall." He shook his head. He made it down the stairs and took off running down the brick path that leads to the parking area. He made it about ten feet before my prophecy came true.... down the poor kid went. He fell flat on his stomach, and then the worst thing that a parent can watch happen happened.... his head bounced off the pavement. I have seen both of my kids do this and no matter how many times they do it, my heart still stops for a minute. I ran to him, picked him up and did the first thing any parent does.... I counted teeth. All there. No blood. That's good... He managed to hit the center of his forehead. No scrapes, but he does have a pretty good bump going. I asked him if he would hold my hand next time. He shook his head. Boys....

Excitement, Nervousness and Sadness

Tomorrow is Race for the Cure. I am running in memory of my Grandma Billing and my Aunt Linda and also in honor of my children's Nanny and my dear friend Barbara. This is my very first 5K and I am excited and very nervous!

I attended a seminar today for the paralegal association of which I am a member. I was excited to learn that a friend and wonderful paralegal won the coveted paralegal of the year award... and floored to find out that the award was being giving posthumously. I had no idea that he had passed away just over a month ago... It was very surreal and sad for me. I wish I would have known earlier.

Our gloriously busy weekend

Things have been very crazy over the last month of so and there's been a lot of family stuff going on that has been very stressful. This weekend was the first weekend that felt 'normal' in a while. My phone hardly rang and Chris and I were able to enjoy some quality time.

Friday evening Chris and I headed downtown to walk around the West End. We never make it that far into downtown and thought it would be fun. We stopped at Liberty for a beer and some blue cheese chips (yummy!). The last time we were at Liberty was during the post-wedding limo party when we did mango vodka shots (not so yummy....). After that we stopped into Pomegrante on Main. We saw a news clip about this restaurant the day before. Apparently, one of the bar tenders had oral cancer and had just come back to work. She was learning to talk again after having surgery and the servers wore t-shirts that said "the good news is she can't talk. The bad news is she will." ...or something to that effect. ;-) Anyway, we thought it was really sweet how supportive they were so we stopped in for a pomegrante martini. Although generally I am not a martini fan (they are too strong for me), I liked this one. It was really cute with a little flower floating on top. Even Chris had one... His was equally as 'cute.' ;-)

The next morning we hit up the Greenville Literacy Association's Really Big, Really Good, Really Cheap Book Sale. We found Michael Jackson's Guide to Beer for Chris and Christy found me a copy of the New Kids on the Block Autobiography. Hells yeah!!!

We went back downtown to try out a new Indian restaurant. They have a lunch buffet every day for $9.98. It was AMAZING! I love Indian food and, although yummy, the other Indian restaurant that we frequent is a little more pricey.

After lunch we stopped into The Bakery Bistro, a doggie bakery on Main Street, to pick up some cookies for the puppies. Then we did some window shopping and drooled over amazing backpacking gear at the Mast General Store. We decided that it was best not to spend $300.00 on the awesome packs that we had tried on and celebrated our shopping self-control by stopping into Blue Ridge Brewing Company for some local beer.

We came home to give the dogs their presents and then relaxed for about thirty minutes (me with my NKOTB book, of course) before heading out to the Forrester Woods Club House for a low country boil sponsored by our church. Nothing beats low country boil.... except low country boil and a keg of Fat Tire. :D After we ate waaaaay to much, we met up with Christy and Erin and hung out for a while at the restaurant where Erin works. Christy came back to the house with us for a Stella from the kegerater and we enjoyed that on the back porch.

Today has been pretty much nothing but housework and yardwork and catching up on all the stuff that we did not do yesterday. My vacuum broke today, so there was a trip to Lowe's thrown in the mix as well. That worked out okay though because I was planning to go to get shelves for the garage. We have lots of garagey-type stuff and no where to put it. At least now it is somewhat organized.

The kids (and Andrew) were waiting for us when we got home. Apparently Gabriel threw up a few times yesterday and once during the night. Andrew said that he's been fine since then so hopefully he stays that way. I love my son for timing that on his father's weekend. :D

A thirty-minute window into my Saturday...

This is the series of events as I recall them:

1. Used spreader to fertilize the back yard
2. Set up sprinkler in back yard
3. Walked inside
4. Locked sliding glass door
5. Grabbed Gabriel and wrestled him into his last remaining clean outfit
6. Went back outside and moved the sprinkler to the other half of the yard
7. Walked inside
8. Put Cadence in the shower
9. While Cadence dried off I stepped out of the bathroom and heard squeeking sounds coming from the downstairs hallways followed by a two-year-old voice saying "I dirty"
10. *palm to face* I suddenly remember that I had forgotten the "Locked sliding glass door" step after # 7 above
11. Ran downstairs to a fully-clothed soaking wet two year old, an open back door and a wet kitchen (the sprinkler has GREAT distance)
12. Attempted to dry kitchen
13. Stripped Gabriel
14. Looked for clothes for Cadence (who is still drying off).
15. Found Gabriel's clothes in Cadence's dresser.
16. Put an outfit for Cadence on her bed
17. Repeated step #5

Pictures of the new house

Our house is finally presentable enough to post a few interior pictures. It still has a long way to go, but here's a little taste of the Hall-Smith house:

Entry way:

Breakfast Area:

Living Room:

Kids' TV Room:

Kids' Play Room:

Gabriel's Room:

Cadence's Room:

Laundry Room:

Our Room:

Our Bathroom:

There's another bathroom upstairs (the kids' bathroom) as well as a half bathroom downstairs of which I did not take pictures. We also have another bedroom that is storing the few boxes that we have left that I haven't been motivated enough to unpack. I've already posted outside pictures... that really hasn't changed much.

The big move

After one cancelled closing, a no-show moving truck and three days spent moving in 95 degree heat we are finally in our new house. The original plan was to close on both loans at the same time on Friday June 26th, so I my last day in the office was Wednesday. Thursday Brandon (Dianne's boyfriend) and I went to pick up the 24-foot rental truck. When we got there we were told that they could not provide us with a 24-foot truck because they were all rented out - which really sucked since I had reserved it almost a week prior. The lady at the counter told me that my townhouse should fit into a 16-foot truck and offerred to give me a huge discount and let me return it at lunchtime on Saturday (instead of 9am as my contract stated). I agreed and we took the truck home.

At around 1pm we had the truck completely loaded. The only problem was that we still had about 2 rooms worth of stuff still in the house. So much for all of my stuff fitting in a 16-foot truck. :-/ Normally, this wouldn't be a problem because we could just make more than one trip to the new house, right? Wrong. We had to have all of the stuff out of the old house by the end of the day Thursday so we could go to the closing first thing in the morning on Friday and then move it all into the new house. So we went back up to the rental place to get another truck. Just as I had signed and paid for the second truck I receive a phone call from Jack, the realtor selling my townhouse. The closing on my townhouse on Friday has been postponed until Tuesday because of a problem with the buyer's mortgage company. Well this wouldn't have sucked too much except for one major issue: I needed the money from the sale of my townhouse for the downpayment on the new house. Which meant that the closing on the new house would have to be postponed until Tuesday as well.... and I had 80% of my house loaded into a moving truck and had just paid for a second moving truck.

Now the buyers of my townhouse wanted to know if it was okay to go ahead and move in that Friday anyway - even though the closing was postponed. I did not really have a problem with that as I was assured by the mortgage company that the closing would take place on Tuesday. The only problem I had was where to go if I let them move in. So Bob, the realtor helping us buy the new house, called the seller's realtor to see if we could move into our new house on Friday as well. The realtor couldn't located his client (a situation that has arisen a few times in this transaction) so he didn't know if this would be a possibility. So here we are at 9pm on Thursday with 80% of our stuff in one truck, another truck that has been paid for and we may not need and now we realize that our utilities are being turned off in the townhouse first thing in the morning. Crap.

Friday morning rolls around and I frantically call the power/water/sewer company and the cable company to make sure that we still have utilities. I cancel the appointment for the cable guy to come out to the new house. Less than fifteen minutes after I made these calls I receive a call from Bob saying that we can go ahead and move into the new house. I frantically call everyone back again. The power/water/sewer people say that there is no problem transferring the service that day. The cable people however, have already filled by appointment. They stopped service on the old house, but can't make it out until Monday to install the service at the new house. I have no problem with this but Chris has a huge soccer game that he wanted to watch on Sunday. Poor Chris.

We receive a call from Jack asking if the people can move into our townhouse on Friday as well. I told Jack that since we didn't finish loading on Thursday (because we didn't want to unload it in the event that we were not able to move) it would probably be best if they waited until Saturday. This also meant that we could make multiple trips and didn't need the second truck that we had rented the day before. What a waste of $20.

We returned the truck and spent the majority of the day moving the contents of our townhouse to the new house. I would like to give a big shout out to Erin, Jessica, Josh, Michael and Mark for helping us on Friday. It was soooo hot and we really appreciate the help that we received from everyone. Friday evening after we unloaded the second truckload we said good-bye to our friends and headed to the pool. There was a man named Scott and his two sons up there who were kind enough to let us in (we didn't have a gate code yet). We swam for about 30 minutes and then went back to the townhouse to vaccuum and clean. There is nothing more disgusting than cleaning behind a washer and dryer that has not moved in 5 years.

We got up early on Saturday and met Rob and Abbie at our house around 10am. We had to go clean out our storage unit and then go by my mom's house to get some boxes out of the garage - and by some I mean 20 or 30. We brought the truck back to the house and unloaded. We sat down for a celebratory beer. We now officially had all of our belongings in the house. They were all in boxes, but they were in damnit. We drove the truck back to the rental place and returned home to begin unpacking.

We continued to unpack throughout the day on Sunday until it was time for the soccer game. You know, the one that Chris couldn't watch because we cancelled the appointment with the cable guy? We met Josh and The Lube and spent the next 2ish hours watching soccer and working on our 100 oz beer. Let me repeat that.... a 100 oz beer!!!

On Monday we received a call from the attorney's office confirming that the closings were to take place the next day at 3:30pm and 4:30pm. Then I receive a frantic call from my mortgage broker. She had tried to reach me on my cell phone and then at my office. The person at my office who answered the phone told her that I didn't work there anymore. That's not a good thing when you are about to close on a house. Technically I did work there. My last day was the previous Wednesday; however, I had almost two weeks of vacation time remaining so as of Monday (and the closing on the next day) I was still an employee of that company. Wednesday I was going to be an employee of another company. My broker was not so happy with this news. She said that the mortgage company may call again to verify my employment and that if they get a response like she had just received they probably would not fund the loan and the closing would fall apart. Not good. So I called my old (or technically current) employer. They understood the situation and said that they would handle it. That didn't mean that I wasn't freaking out all night though...

Tuesday came and both closings went off without any major issues. The closings were so late in the day; however, that the loan on the new house did not fund until Wednesday morning. We are VERY glad that the stress of moving and closing is over with. We have the house in somewhat liveable condition, but it isn't quite ready for pictures. We will post some soon though.

We are also planning a housewarming party for July 18th. More details on that to come.

I have a gallon jug of relish and some beer in my fridge

We are moving in four days and my refridgerator looks like it did when I was 20 - full of condiments, beer and take-out! The kids are spending the week at their Nanny & Papa's house so I guess it's acceptable. It's not like we are cooking for anyone. In fact, we CAN'T cook for anyone! All of our pots are in boxes! Here is a look into my empty (yet somehow still full-looking) fridge:

Our new house (for reals this time)

After much thought, Chris and I decided to back out of the contract that we had on the house in Mauldin. We have a contract on this house which is located in the neighborhood across the street from Cadence and Gabriel's daycare. It is in a great school district and is less than a five minute drive from where we live now. We are still closing on June 26th.

Memorial Day Cookout at Rob & Abbie's

The kids and I had a great afternoon swimming at Rob and Abbie's pool. Poor Chris is stuck working (again), but I have some steaks laid out and waiting for his arrival. He isn't going to miss out on a Memorial Day cookout just because he has to work.

Gabe gave me a mild heart attack this afternoon. He has a new swimsuit with built-in floats and he hasn't quite mastered it yet. He was playing with a ring on the steps of the pool. I was at the table finishing my lunch when he lost his balance and went face first in the water. I saw it happen and like lightning, I was across the deck and in the water. I pulled him out and he coughed for a minute or two but was otherwise fine. I asked him if he was okay and he replied, "I poopy diaper." Yeah Gabe... me too.

Gabers.... LOST.... and Grey's

Chris and I have learned that if we were in the midst of a zombie invasion (or invasion of anything scary) our poor Gabriel will be the first to go. Strange statement you say? Allow me to state my case. Two nights ago I was crawling on the floor on my hands and knees and growling at Gabriel. Not a mean growl, but the type that the tickle monster would give before it pounces on an unsuspecting two year old. Most children will either run away or will follow suit and get down and start growling back. Not Gabriel. The second I growled he stopped what he was doing and ran up to hug me. I thought this was a little strange so, after hugging him back, I placed him on the far side of the room and tried again. I crawled two or so feet towards him and growled again. And again he ran up and hugged me. I carried him into the kitchen and told Chris what was going on. While I still had Gabriel in my arms, Chris made a growling sound. Gabriel immediately jumped from my arms to Chris and gave him a hug. So hopefully we will never be attacked by zombies, aliens or other scary things... unless of course the movies have it all wrong and the only way to really destroy a scary creature is by hugging it.

On a completely unrelated note I watched the season finales of LOST and Grey's this week and I have a few thoughts. First of all, I think that the guy from the beginning of the LOST episode is the smoke monster and that he has not only been Locke but Christian and Alex as well. And Grey's.... well Grey's sucked. Actually it was a pretty awesome episode but it was soooo sad. Since TR Knight has pretty much said that he isn't coming back I'm pretty sure that George is toast. But I think that next season's premier will involve Izzie stepping off of the elevator and George telling her to go back. Too many people expected her to die for the writers to actually kill her off... yet.

And just for the heck of it, here's an old video of Gabriel demostrating his vocabulary when he was 15 months old:

Cadence is GROUNDED

Today we celebrated Cadence's first night of being a "big girl." She has been potty trained since she was two or three, but has never been able to wake up to go at night. We've been making her go right before bed and then taking her again when we go to bed and waking up between 2 and 3am to take her again. Chris takes her the last time when he gets up in the morning around 6am. She STILL wets the bed every night. But last night was different... or so we though. After a brief celebration of her accomplishment this morning I took her to day care. After I picked her up, we went to the store and bought her a coloring book. I also let her have a special treat after dinner because she is now a big girl. She went to bed around 8pm.

A few minutes ago I went into the hallway bathroom and found a soaked diaper in the trashcan. That little turd got up in the morning, took off her wet diaper, put on a dry one and told us that she went all night without pottying in her diaper!!! And then we rewarded her for it all day!!!! She is soooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GROUNDED!!!!

Gabriel's Escape

Gabe's first unassisted escape was perfomed this evening. It isn't unusual for Cadence to help Gabriel get out of his crib on Saturday mornings, but today Gabriel managed it all on his own.

Check it out:

So he got upset because he got caught, but a few seconds later he worked up the courage to try again:

Escape WIN.... Lie FAIL!

House Update (again)

We don't have a contract on a house yet. We thought we did, but we were wrong. The seller wants to continue to list the house as active after we have a contract and we are not okay with this. We are fine with the seller listing it as being under contingency but that's about it. So we crossed through that line on the contract and sent it back to her. We'll see what she has to say. If she's not okay with it, than we are going to abandon this and put an offer on the Chartwell Estates house. It is the one that is in the same neighborhood as Cadence's daycare. We don't like the floorplan as much, but the yard and schools are much better.

We'll see what tomorrow holds....

Tonight's house searching

We looked at three houses tonight. The first two were very nice. We pretty much knew the layout going into them because they were very similar to a house that our friends live in. We loved the floor plans, although the 'extra' room is a bit small, but neither one of them had any sort of yard to speak of. Our current house had a bigger yard! The third house was nice. Older, but well-maintained. It needed some updating, but nothing like the house on Vesper Circle or even the Brookside house. It had hardwood floors throughout with carpet in the livingroom and had a large fenced in backyard. It had that "older" feeling to it and Chris wasn't a fan.

We are looking at 7 more houses tomorrow. There are three that I am really excited about. We'll see how it goes....

We have a contract on our house!

We sold the house! Yaaay! Well, not entirely. We have a contract and it is set to close by June 30th. We are soooooooo excited. We were very concerned with the way the mortgage and housing industry is right now. We didn't think we'd ever sell it, but it only took nine weeks. It was the couple that I had mentioned before. I think that they will really like living here. I know that I certainly have. It's been a great first home, but now it is time to move on to something a little larger where we can grow and live for the next twenty years or so. :-)

We cancelled our weekend camping trip to take a look at the ten houses that we have been eyeing. We have exactly two months before we need to be out of here so its time to start doing some serious looking.

The joys of potty training a two year old

This morning I picked Gabriel out of his crib and walked with him to the hallway bathroom. I took off his diaper and told him to sit on the little potty. He sat there for about half of a second and then said, "Big potty." Fine. I was sitting on the toilet lid so I moved over to the edge of the tub. Gabe stepped over to the 'big potty' and looked at it for a minute. Chris peaked his head in the door to check on Gabriel's progress. Gabriel had decided that he didn't want any part of the potties this morning. He stepped up on his stool in front of the sink. I told him to get down and come sit on the potty. Just as he was about to step down he peed all over himself, the stool, the doors under the counter and the bathroom rug. Then he picked his left foot up and made a nice footprint on the wall... just for good measure, I'm guessing. Oh the joys of potty training a two year old.

Whatever happened to lazy Saturdays?

I've been checking my email all day long just incase we received some feedback from the realtor on today's showings. So far, we haven't heard a thing.

Cadence had Emily spend the night last night. It was sort of a test for Chris and I to see if we could handle three children all at once. We all came out alive, so I think it was a success. :-) Cadence and Emily woke us up around 7am. We made muffins, finished cleaning the house, and were out the door by 9:45am. We went to Chris's parents house and the kids ran outside with the dogs for a while. I left at around 11:45am to get my hair done. I absolutely adore the girl that does my hair. Check her out. Her name is Jennifer Foster and she works at Design Team on Pleasantburg.

Here's my latest do:

Chris and Cadence went to go see Monsters vs. Aliens while Gabriel took at nap at Grandma and Big Jake's house. After my appointment I picked up Gabe and we came home and had a very awesome low country boil dinner. I may get stoned to death by all of the SC natives for saying this, but I've decided that Zatarain's is much better than Old Bay for low country boil.

After dinner Chris unhooked our empty Yuengling keg from the kegerator and headed off to the store to switch it out for some Newcastle. I highly suggest a kegerator for anyone that drinks beer. It is very "green" since there aren't any cans or bottles to throw out; beer in a keg is cheaper than by the bottle; and, it will keep for months!

Anyway, I couldn't help but use the keg switch as a photo opportunity....

Hmmm, what's in here...?

OMG! Really!?!?

Oh, the things my kids will say...

I received a text message from Gabriel's daycare teacher, Amanda, this afternoon. Her fiancee, Tony, was visiting this afternoon. As he was leaving, Amanda told the kids to tell Tony good-bye. My very observant and blunt son blurted out, "Bye-bye black guy!" *cringes* Gabriel is going to be one of those kids that will be impossible to deal with in a crowd of people... Walmart will probably ban him.

Cadence had her first game of the soccer season this evening. She did really well, scoring the very first goal and then another just before the game ended. I was sooooo proud.

House update: We have another showing on Saturday at 11am. That kind of stinks because this Saturday is supposed to be our neighborhood yard sale and we won't have time to participate. However, it may sort of be a good thing because I'm not entirely ready and now I have a great excuse not to rush.

That's it for tonight. I am meeting Doris and Kristina in a few to go to Anna's so they can "look at" the puppy that Anna is giving away. I don't know why they say that. Who really 'looks' at a puppy without going home with it?

My streaking son

Another little tid bit from my evening. I was giving Gabriel a bath and stepped away for one minute - ONE minute. I heard Cadence screaming, "Gabriel is naked!!!" I ran into the livingroom to find my two year old dripping wet and attempting to dry himself off with a huge wad of toilet paper that he grabbed on his way out of the bathroom.

I can't wait to tell that story to his girlfriends when he's older.

I jumped off of my roof

We've been putting it off forever, and we finally did it - we replaced the vent covers towards the front of our house. It was one of those things that we kept ignoring. Archways, ceilings, gutters and painting at Chris's house was so much higher on the list of priorities. However, we ran out of excuses and tonight we fixed them. I managed to climb up on the roof on our little A-frame ladder and Chris tossed me up all of the parts. He also took the pictures... as you can tell by the wonderful butt shot. Thanks dear.

Here's a shot of the new vent covers:

Afterwards, my darling husband coached me off of the roof. For those of you that know my house, I jumped off of the far back corner and landed on the hill. My ankle hurts a bit, but Chris had an ice cold beer ready for me as soon as we got back inside. Isn't he the greatest..?

House Update

Last week we got some feedback saying that the couple really liked the house but they aren't planning on making a decision until the end of April. They said that they would probably look at it again at the end of the month if it was still on the market.

Today we received feedback from the people that were looking at the house yesterday (cute couple with a baby). Their realtor's comment was, "It goes on "the list". They want to do a little more looking but really like this one."

So it appears that we have two nibbles... here's to hoping and praying for a bite!

Power tools, hammers and screen doors

As Roxy is demonstrating, our old screen door had a major defect - there was a big freakin hole in it!! Aside from the big hole in the screen (thanks Roxy and Gabriel) the hinges were placed very low on the door and it has caused it to warp over time.

So Chris and I spent the afternoon replacing the door with a brand new one (after we exchanged the 32" door for a 36" one). We even added an extra hinge for good measure.

There's a 36" door on my porch

Chris and I have had a busy weekend thus far. Last night we got a chance to hang out with Christy and work on emptying our keg. This morning Chris got up early and watched a bit of the soccer game that he had recorded. Then he woke me up, with coffee in hand, so we could get ready to go work on the Habitat for Humanity house. We got there a little after noon, as we detoured to Lowe's for new tool belts, and it was a bit awkward at first. They were putting up part of the roof and really didn't have a need for us. There were a lot of people standing around looking awkward though, so at least we weren't alone. While we were standing, I got a call from the appointment center stating that a real estate agent was trying to get into my house, but couldn't. She hadn't even made an appointment! I told them to call our realtor to see if he could let them in. Lunch was served about fifteen minutes after we got there (good timing!) so we ate lunch and then went to work. We hammered away for an hour or and then installed some insulation around where the bathtub was going to go. After we got the insulation in we got another call from the appointment center. The realtor was coming back between 4 and 5pm. We left the house site and headed home to pick up Roxy. I also wanted to get a new screen door for the porch since the dog and Gabriel keep breaking the old one. When we got there the realtor was already there. She met me outside and I ran in for Roxy. I exchanged a quick "hello" with the potential buyers - cute couple with a baby - and ran back out to Chris's truck. We went over to Christy's house and drank a couple of beers with her for the next hour or so. She gave us some morning glories for our garden and we headed home. I planted the morning glories and filled about a dozen or so balloons with water. We cooled off in the back yard and picked up the balloon bits. I was going to install the new screen door that we picked up, but I bought the wrong size. So now I'm debating between making another Lowe's trip or kicking back for an hour or so before we head out to meet Erin at Brixx for pizza and beer. Yay pizza and beer!!!
Chris and I are going to go work on a Habitat for Humanity house tomorrow. Yay!
I've decided to abandon my old blogs and start over. I deleted the majority of my myspace blog about two years ago and I've neglected my livejournal account from the day that I set it up. We'll see if I'm any better about keeping up with this one.