Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wednesday Musings

It's been a rainy, drab day here in St. Louis. The first day we've had rain ALL DAY. It was tough to get out of bed and tough to get through the day. I'm so affected by the weather - I have a hard time staying pepped up when its rainy.

Oh, and I have a weird observation about St. Louis (maybe even the Midwest although I'm not sure). The weather here is really interesting. One minute its sunny and one minute its raining and vice versa. Very strange. And now I have umbrellas hidden EVERYWHERE - because you never know! And the evening storms are amazing - almost every night that we've been here there has been a lightening/thunderstorm. Very interesting. Paul thinks its because its so much flatter here. I don't know. I just think its really interesting. Not that we never had evening storms in Virginia but just not so consistently.

The kids are doing great - Paul took them to check out a daycare today which they really liked (and more importantly he liked). It's very close to where I work and caters to parents who work in the city. We just have to figure out if its the best one in terms of location. Meaning, I'll be driving them there in the morning and evening during rush hour traffic. And Paul would have to come all the way downtown if he needed to pick them up. We're thinking it through now ...

Meighan is very very close to being completely potty trained during the day and doesn't wear pullups at all anymore except to go to sleep. Alex is just beginning to show some interest - Paul has been watching a potty video (called Big Kid Central - LOL) and putting the techniques into practice and it really seems to be working for him. He'll finally go poopy in the potty and almost always goes pee pee. I know, our life is so exciting! We're excited about the progress and glad that they are making progress. By the way, the kids are OBSESSED with this potty video (in fact, they just begged me to put it in before they got ready for bed!). We talk about the potty constantly these days. Amazing how having kids changes your life and your conversations.

Okay, that's it for tonight. I just wanted to check in and say hello! And talk about the potty ... again. LOL

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Musings

Hello everyone - Hope you're having a happy Monday! I'm having an okay day today! I'm pretty tired and feeling like I might be getting a summer cold (YUCK!) but I'm trying to rest and hope for the best. I think tonight I'm going to curl up on the sofa and watch some more of the John Adams mini-series which I started last night. It's a wonderful series, by the way, and if you haven't seen it, you'll probably really enjoy it!

Things are going well here in St. Louis - we're getting along well, trying to explore a little and figure this town out! We spent Friday night in Fenton, MO which has a really nice new shopping area - we went to Best Buy and had dinner at Red Robin. The kids were surprisingly well behaved so we all enjoyed the night out. On Saturday, we went over to West County mall and its a really nice mall with a lot of different stores. We had fun seeing what was available. That particular mall will be literally minutes from our new house so we're excited about that (and I think my Mom will love it too since it has a Macy's with 3 (yes, 3!!) floors. She'll be in heaven!).

We spent Sunday here at the house, just hanging out and playing with our new Wii. I've hesitated a lot about buying one but we're all having a great time with it. Paul spent 2 hours playing tennis on Saturday night and got a great workout. It's nice to be able to do something fun together that also gets us off the couch.

Otherwise, we're just getting by and having fun together. I think we may have found a really nice little daycare for the kids. I think Paul is going to take the kids by there this week to check it out. I'll keep you posted! Most of the daycare's we have seen are VERY expensive so we're hoping that this one will work out. We'll just have to see!

Onto the pictures for today -

Alex has a growing collection of figures from Spider-Man and he just added the newest one - Doc Ock - which he's spent days staring at and playing with -

Our beautiful girl, mesmerized by Max and Ruby!

Here are some photos of the kids figuring out the Wii - they actually seem to be 'getting' it and enjoying playing, particularly tennis, bowling and baseball.

And our little girl who decided to show off her newly painted nails and toe nails. She's becoming quite the makeup obsessed little girl - she spent 20 minutes in Sephora with me and wanted a ton of stuff. We settled on one lipstick, 2 lip glosses and a set of brushes. Yikes - we're really in for it now!

Freshly made up with her new eye shadow!

That is it for tonight. I hope you're having a nice day! Be back soon with more ...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday Musings

So things are moving along here in St. Louis. Still can't quite believe that I live in St. Louis but I do. (hee hee) Work is going well, Paul and the kids are doing well although I think they are all 3 ready for us to find a nice daycare for the kids to spend a couple of days a week. They need the socialization and Paul needs a break! And, we're one step closer to that day because after looking around we have found a condo to rent! YAY us! It's really nice - bigger than our house was and has a lot of space which we really need! It's 3 floors - a main floor with the usual (kitchen, living room, dining room, half bath, a upstairs with 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths, and a lower level with a big rec room, a storage/laundry room, a full bath and another bedroom/office space. The other nice thing is that the condo folks do all the yard work and snow removal so that's one less thing for us to deal with. And, there is a pool which the kids will LOVE! We are in the process of filling out the paperwork but it looks like we'll have our own place by mid August! Then, we can get settled in and start feeling more at home here. But, now, we can go ahead and enroll the kiddos in a school near our new house so that they can start getting out and socializing with other kids again. And Paul can look into going back to school or going back to work - whichever he decides to do. Now, I'll miss living rent and utility free but it will be nice to have all of our things around us again and officially begin our new life here.

Here are some new pictures to show you what the kiddos have been up to ...

Here is Alex - still obsessed with Spider-Man and wearing his outfit from Halloween whenever he can (although its getting so small on him, we might have to spring for a new one lol).

On our deck, being Spider-Man and web slinging -

And our beautiful Megs with a big grin as usual. Man, this girl can TALK. From the moment she wakes up until the moment she falls asleep she is talking UP A STORM. It's exhausting! Telling me any and every thing that enters into her adorable little mind!

Now, this is the fort that Daddy built for the kids using our dining room table and LOTS of pillows, blankets and sheets. They LOVED it for awhile. Thought it was the coolest thing ever!

Here they are enjoying it, laughing all the way!

Oh, and I must tell you about Alex's new superhero outfit - a PowerRanger - a RED PowerRanger. One glance and he fell in love. Now he tramps all over the apartment wearing it. His favorite thing is to stand on our bed and look in the bureau mirror, watching himself be a PowerRanger. He cracks us up!

And Meighan is obsessed with makeup. It's all my fault, actually. She hangs out with me in the morning while I get ready for work, talking and telling me everything and anything. Then, she noticed me putting on my makeup and now she's obsessed! She insisted that she needed her own makeup so we bought her some powder, a lipstick and a makeup bag. She loves to 'do' her makeup. I just hope she doesn't become as obsessed as me. I'm a little tooooooo fascinated with makeup products. Yikes.

Ahhh ... the joys of being a toddler. The world is out to get you and keep you from having fun so you throw yourself to the ground, scream NO over and over, while crying and generally being obnoxious. Gotta love it! Please say that 4 years old is easier than 3 years old. 3 years old has been a bear! They are either the most wonderful, sweet, curious little people or they are the most obnoxious, ornery, disagreeable little monsters. There is very rarely an in between. It's a good thing we love them so much! And the wonderful moments really do make up for the monsterous ones. But, it's tough sometimes.

I'm going to go - Paul and I are going to watch a movie tonight so we need to get watching since I have to be up early tomorrow! Be back soon ...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday Musings

Happy Saturday! Things are going well here in St. Louis - we're getting adjusted to our new home and trying to figure it all out! But, overall, things are going really well. I think we all actually really like St. Louis. It's very different from Richmond and yet in many ways there are similarities.

What do I like about St. Louis?

I love my job and being in the same place as my team. Getting to know them by working side by side, day by day, is great. (Did I tell you that I was selected as our group's Employee of the Month for June? Itwas really nice to be recognized, especially after working so hard these last few months.) I like that the food in the building at work is good and inexpensive compared to the ickiness that was the cafe in Richmond! I like that there are so many different neighborhoods here, all with their own character! It's nice to be able to have so many options in terms of what we do and where we go. The people here are some of the nicest that I've ever encountered. It's different than the southern hospitality that I'm used to - a more downhome niceness that is refreshing. I like that there are all the places I'm used to in terms of shopping - Target, Wal-Mart, TJ Maxx, Dress Barn, etc. and yet a ton of new places for me to explore like Hobby Lobby, Schnucks, Dierbergs, etc. I love having such a great zoo right down the street. I love that so many of the 'family' attractions are FREE here. I love that there are so many possibilities. I love having so many options.

What am I less than thrilled about with St. Louis?
Suprisingly, there are very few things on this list for me. I am not crazy about the traffic. Being so much bigger than Richmond, the traffic here can be annoying. It took me 30 minutes to go what should have taken me just 10 minutes because there are SO many people trying to get places. That can be annoying. And the construction on 64/40 doesn't make it any easier. But, I'll adjust and get used to it, I'm sure. The ever changing weather here is also taking some getting used to ... one minute its sunny and beautiful, the next it's raining and storming. You have to be ready for anything here lol. I need to stash umbrella's all over the place now. Note to self: buy more umbrellas. The hardest part is not really knowing anyone and not seeing my mom every week. That's been really hard. I miss knowing that she's just down the street if I need her. The worst is being so far from Sami. We always hated being 4 hours from her but 12 has been even more challenging! We miss her so much but we're excited that she's coming for a nice long visit soon! We can't wait! I'll also be happier when we're in our own place which I can begin making a home for us. And then we can line up daycare for the kids and get settled into our own community. That will be nice.

But, for the most part, we're really enjoying our new city and trying to take advantage of all it offers.

I have a few pages to share today so enjoy :) - I've been doing a lot of square pages lately, they've just been speaking to me so I'm going with it!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Friday Musings

Happy July 4th! I hope you have a great day with your family and friends. For our first July 4th in St. Louis we are going to go explore our new city, check out some houses that we're interested in, do a little shopping to pick up a few things we need for the apartment and go to a cookout that someone I work with is throwing for those of us who are new to St. Louis and don't have family here! It should be a nice way to spend the day. And, of course, we'll watch the fireworks - we have a pretty good view of the city from our balcony and should be able to catch lots of beautiful fireworks tonight even if we don't go downtown to see them!

Here's a brief overview of what we've been up to recently -
This is a picture that my friend Sarah took of us with my Mom and Dave at the dinner that she and Peggy threw for us before we left for St. Louis.

And here is Peggy, Sarah and Courtney - my friends from Family Lifeline! I'm going to miss them all so much!

And just before we moved, I 'found' my friend Jennifer and we got together for ice cream before we left so she could meet the family. Jennifer was my best friend all through high school and knows all my deep dark secrets lol. I'm so glad that we were able to reconnect! I've missed her!

And here's a photo from our 3 day trek to St. Louis. I have to tell you that spending 3 days in a car with 3 year olds can be challenging! We broke the 12 hour trip up so that the drive wouldn't be as difficult for the kids. They are very unusual kids in that they HATE the car and never sleep in the car. Road trips can be quite difficult. So, we drove 4 hours on Saturday, Sunday and then Monday with overnight stops in West Virginia and Indiana. It was the best that it could be considering everthing.

We arrived in St. Louis late in the day on Monday and found our new, temporary home - a corporate apartment. It's really very nice although its not really my style - a little too sparse and modern for my tastes. But, it's spacious and has everything we will need for the next 2 months until we find something else. And it has under the buidling parking for residents as well as a gym, a coffee bar, a grill area, a room with a pool table and a whirlpool spa! It's really quite nice. Here's a picture of the building -

On Tuesday, we headed to the zoo which is literally less than a mile from our new apartment. It's a wonderful zoo and we barely saw a corner of it in the 4 hours we spent there. We'll definately be going back. The kids loved it. I got one photo before my camera battery died on me and I realized that I'd forgotten to bring extras. Here it is ...

On Wednesday, I had to head into work and get my new space all set up and catch up on everything I'd been missing while I was moving. I like the office here and its nice being in the same city as the rest of our team! When I came home, Dave and I took the kids outside to paint. They LOVE to paint and had a great time painting in the books that Grandma and Grandpa bought them.

Yesterday, my mom and Dave headed out to go back home to Virginia. We've really enjoyed having them here with us and we'll miss them so much. It'll be hard for me to be so far from my mom but we'll make it work!

Overall, we're really enjoying our new adventure in the midwest. We like the city so far but will feel better when we're in a permanent home with our own stuff. Then, we can find a daycare and get the kids permanently settled in and Paul can either find a job or go back to school (depending on what he decides to do!) So, that's what we've been up to since we arrived on Monday. It's been overwhelming yet exciting. I am feeling like this was definately a good decision for us and I'm happy to be here! More soon ...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tuesday Musings

We're here in St. Louis - all is well. We're getting adjusted and trying to figure out our new schedule. I've emailed everyone that I could with our new email address (if you need it, please call me on my cell phone since I'd rather not post it here for the world to see!). I'll be back in a day or two to tell you about our longgggggg drive to the midwest with two 3 year olds as well as all about our new home! Thanks for all the well wishes! We really appreciate it!