Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Eggstravaganza

This weekend was full of Easter activities!  We started the weekend with a Pancake/Easter Bunny/Egg Hunt at church.  When the Easter Bunny walked into the social hall at church Lily thought her wildest dreams had come true!  She was laughing and clapping and squirming to get out of the high chair.  We were so excited for her excitement.  We just knew these were going to be awesome pictures of Lily and the Easter Bunny.  Wrong-O!  While she totally thought he was super fun to look at actually touching him was too much! 

NO! Get me outta here

As soon as she was out of his arms and into Daddy's arms everything was a-okay.  After our run in with the big scary bunny it was time for the Easter Egg hunt.  Thankfully they had two hunts, one for big kids, and one for toddlers.  Lily's hunt went just as expected.

I'm just gonna sit here.  Don't mind me.

In my mouth.  That's where the eggs go, of course.

Inspecting my haul.

Yay!  I won first prize! (but we gave the 1st prize to one of the bigger kids, and took a little stuffed bunny instead)

Mixing the dye.
After the activities at church it was time for us to prepare for our own little hunt at home.  Cayce and I dyed Lily's eggs.  I probably haven't dyed eggs in 15 years. Without thinking we were using Grandma's bowls, and it was a nice once I thought about it because it was with Grandma I dyed all my Easter Eggs.
Patiently waiting for the eggs to dye.

Mmm.  Vinegar.

Once Lily woke up from her nap she gave her seal of approval.  One egg in the mouth means one happy customer. 


Easter Sunday!

Hello pretty flower.
We spent the morning at church, and afterward took some pictures outside behind in the gardens. 

Deep thoughts with Jack Handy.

Cute kids who wanted to say "hi" to Lily. 

Family picture time!
After nap time it was time for Lily to "hunt" for her eggs.  We staged the action in the front yard so Lily wouldn't have to battle the dogs for her goodies.
She really understood the concept of putting her eggs in the basket.

Obligatory shot of Daddy filming Lily hunting.

Lily laughing at the dogs because they are stuck in the house while she gets to play.

Green one in.

Orange one in.

Yay!  All In!

Now time to throw them all out!
Much Better!

Lily's collection.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Traveling Shores

This is National Park Week.  While relaxing and enjoying *sleeping in* on Sunday morning, first time in a while, I was checking Twitter updates, and I came across a story from our local paper.  A park on the Delmarva Peninsula on the Eastern Shore of Virginia was observing NPW by allowing free admission.  Besides generally enjoying what national and state parks have to offer, this particular park, Assateague Island, has the Chincoteague wild ponies (How fun is that?? The most *official* site I could find for the horses is a blurb from the animal science program at Oklahoma State!).  Anyhorses, so I made the executive decision that what this family needed was a day out of town, and a day spent with nature. Cayce agreed, and after church we began our journey up the shore.

While the trip itself was supposed to only take 2 hours to drive, we managed to drag it out to about 3.5 hours.  First Cayce needed to get his hair cut (darn military rules and regulations.)  Luckily I was able to check him in online at the Great Clips, and he only waited a minute or two before being seated.  Then he wanted to stop at the comic book shop to see if the newest edition of Generation Hope was in, no it wasn't.  THEN, when he realized we were taking the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (a 23 mile stretch of tunnels and bridges crossing the Chesapeake Bay) at the last minute we had to circle around and stop so my Diet Pepsi-aholic husband could get a bottle to carry him through the trek.  Meanwhile, Miss Lily was supposed to nap for the entire two hour trip, but at this final stop had woken up and was ready to play.  We still had roughly 100 miles left of the journey.

Finally on the way, we drove through some beautiful and wonderful areas.  The region is still relatively quiet and isolated.  The locals tend to poo poo on the CBBT and the *foreigners* it has brought.  Once we turned off the main highway we passed the NASA Wallops Flight Facility.  It was fascinating.  You drive along side the huge scary looking satellites.  There's a large visitors' center as well.  I would like to make a trip back just to go to Wallops Island.  *shoves glasses further up bridge of nose like the nerd she is* AnyTang, needless the say the drive up to the park was super eventful and educational.

We FINALLY make it to the entrance gate of the park. We pull up, the man at the booth asks what he can do for us, and Cayce and I just look at one another puzzled.  I say.  "We're here!"  Uh, what was I supposed to say?  "Do you happen to have a copy of Spaceballs on VHS?" The friendly man finally tells us entrance to the park is $8 per person.  I then say, pointing frantically at my Blackberry (Twitter feed inside), "What about the article in the paper about free entrance??"  He proceeds to explain that was a misprint (I disagree b/c it was also on their website.  I had to find directions somehow.), that they are actually a "Fish and Wildlife Refuge" and not a National Park.  However, since we mentioned the article we could go in for free.  We thanked him profusely, and Cayce told him we had driven 2 hours just for this (3.5 really, but who's counting).  He was very nice and told us to have a good time.  I *know* it was only $16 we're talking about here, but let's all remember my last post.  Let's all acknowledge that if the paper (and website) hadn't said there would be free admission we would not have made the trip and used the gas (b/c gas is cheap ya know) to make this trip.  I was just a bit neurotic at that point.  *teeny bit*  We were taking this trip to find some joy, not cause more stress. Although I did feel really guilty afterward.  Really guilty.  I still kind of do.  If Cayce and I ever get back into good financial standing we'll make another trip, and we'll pay our fee and donate extra.  The place is wonderful, and most definitely worth $16 and half a tank of gas. 

One of the goals of our trip was to take Lily to the beach.  She hasn't been since she was an itty bitty this last summer.  That was a blah event, but I mean really what does one expect from a 5 month old at the beach?  We parked the truck and changed out of church clothes into hiking appropriate attire.  It was a roughly 3 mile round trip through the wilds and my skirt and  heels weren't up to the task.  Cayce's boots, however, did make the journey.  I would love to tell you Lily absolutely loved the sand, waves, and water, but that would be a big huge lie.  I truly think pictures are the best way to tell this tale.

 This is the ONLY picture of Lily smiling.  It was taken shortly after reaching the beach, and Lily hadn't figured out what was going on.  Unfortunately there was a big smudge on my lens (we'll say it's remnants of meringue) so it's not even usable.  :-( 

 Here she is exploring in the sand and finding many many many seashells.  This beach was covered in seashells.  The park asks that you restrain yourself when collecting, and only take home a gallon of them at a time. o.O

 She's still doing well at this point.  Not really digging the fierce wind.  It was a fairly warm day, but the breeze was chilly.

Here she is asking if we're done yet.  She's cold, the sun's bright, and the sand really does NOT feel good between the toes.

Here's Lily and Daddy.  Poor thing doesn't know what Daddy's thinking about doing at this point.  He watched Mommy get trounced by a wave when her back was turned.  He laughed.  Mommy was cold, but she did laugh at her stupidity. 

THIS.  This is milliseconds before Daddy ruined Lily's day.  See that sweet little wave of water?  Daddy does not pick up Lily and give her a bird's eye view, no.  He leaves her standing IN the wave.  The cold, cold wave.  Lily immediately started crying.  Cayce did feel terrible, but the damage was done.  We had one wet sad baby.
 Afterward, at a safe distance Mommy rolled her little jeans, and Daddy tried to talk her down from the ledge.  However, no amount of comfort was enough.  Her and waves were through.  She gave those waves one heck of a side-eye, and vowed to get her revenge one day. 

On the walk back.  Mommy carried Lily most of the way.  Whenever Daddy would try to carry her she'd start this pathetic little whine.  It was like she was saying "It's all your fault." So I carried her, and she refused to smile.  Her best buddy broke her little heart. For solace she clutched onto the seashell she picked up off the beach.  She refused to give it up.  Even when given a 'nilla wafer, she kept seashell in one hand and wafer in other. 

Once back at the truck Lily was changed into the extra set of clothes I had packed.  I packed them thinking about all the fun she'd have in the sand, and it would be best to have a non-sandy outfit to ride home.  I didn't expect to pack for dry warm clothes, but once changed she got into the seat, took her goldfish, and continued to pout.

We continued our journey through the park.  We saw lots of wildlife, but no horses.  :-(  My broken toe had reached its limit of sand walking, and we mostly drove around.  On our final pass through heading for the gate I made Cayce stop.  There they were, playing and grazing next to a creek.  The Chincoteague ponies were out from the wooded areas and playing for all the see!

I apologize the pictures aren't better.  I was facing west to capture them, and the sun was in a bad position.  I was so excited to see them.  My day was made!

The park also has a working lighthouse you can visit, but after our trek through the sand my toe was not up to another long walk.  It looked beautiful, and I love love love lighthouses so I was kinda bummed about missing it.  I don't believe I've ever turned down visiting an actual lighthouse.  :-(  Further down the beach is an old Coast Guard lighthouse and the ruins of an old fish factory.  Both of which I'm very interested in seeing.  We really are going to have to make another trip up there.

One of the big highlights of the day came while standing outside a porto-potty.  I have this crazy anxiety about porto-potties.  I would MUCH rather squat behind a tree than use a porto-potty.  I am not a germ phob AT ALL.  I believe germs are somewhat vital to healthy living.  I don't believe in slathering myself or my child in hand sanitizer, and my child has put things in her mouth I'm sure were rife with germs.  Of course I do practice an appropriate level of cleanliness, but when it comes to porto-potties I literally have to talk myself into entering one. Since our journey took longer than expected we arrived just minutes after the nice clean indoor public restrooms closed.  We followed directions to the outhouses for relief.  I was standing there outside slowing my heart rate, telling myself to just hold my breath, when Lily stood for the first time all by herself.  It was only for a few seconds, but she sure did it.  One second she was hanging on to Cayce's hands, and the next her hands were gone and she was balancing.  She gracefully collapsed and we squealed and clapped in excitement for our big girl.  We've been working with her constantly.  Developmentally she has until 18 months before we really need to worry about her walking, but personally we're tired of the comments about her lack of walking by the peanut gallery.  She'll walk when she'll walk.  She was a late crawler, and it took longer for her to move from army crawl to crawling with her belly off the ground.  So she'll also be a late walker.  We love her no matter what, and the girl gets around like a rocket as it is.  She's lightening fast up the stairs (much to my chagrin), and she *runs* anytime she hears the kitchen cabinets open b/c it's time to play, or when the front or back door opens b/c it's either time to go outside or Daddy's home.  Lily has her own way of doing things, and we think that way is perfect for her. 

After our long exciting trip to the park we enjoyed a nice ride home.  Lily was worn out, and slept most of the way.  Cayce and I enjoyed conversing about things other than Lily, and joking about the many weird and odd things roadside on the Eastern Shore, and there are many.  The day did exactly what it was supposed to.  It took us out of the stress of the every day, and gave us some time to just enjoy being together.  Cayce's ship is getting ready to leave the yards, and that time every Navy wife dreads is quickly approaching.  Work-ups are starting, and the stretches between Cayce home and Cayce gone will become shorter.  Our family needs as much quality time as we can get.  We need as many positive memories as we can make because it's getting ready to become a sad little house.  I'll miss Cayce for sure, but Lily, Lily is head over heels crazy about Cayce.  She will miss him 'til her little heart breaks, and I will miss seeing my two favorite people love each other silly.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Karma Sucks

Karma from an unidentifiable source sucks worse.

I seem to have put something grotesque out into the universe.  What it is/was I cannot tell you since I'm clueless about what I've done, but what I can tell you is that the hits keep on coming.  I think *whew* overcame that speed bump, and *wham* I find myself headlong into a cement wall.  I won't get into the nitty gritty (some have had the fortune of hearing a full recounting of my woes), but I will emphatically state the quality of life in the Mautino household is in the red.  Big time.

We can't catch a break here.  I'm getting desperate and depressed just acknowledging all that has come our way.  We're hemorrhaging money.  I just want a break.  I just want one thing to go well.  I wanted to take my car (that I hate) into the shop today and only spend $109 to fix the brakes, not be given a bill of $363.  Too much to ask, right?

We have our health, we have our baby, a roof over our heads, and food on the table.  That's all we need, right?  Blah.