Saturday, June 12, 2010

The new hair

(The blog post in which I prove that pictures of me DO exist!)

Memorial Day weekend my mom came over and we had a hair date.

I have had my hair cut four five times (professionally) in my life. The first time was in college, and it looked good for the first day... and then pretty much rolled over and went limp.

Accepting that I had no talent with making my hair do what I wanted it to, I grew it out until about 6 months after Ian was born.

I wanted to do something to make me look more professional, to celebrate loosing 30 pounds of baby weight, and to defy my approaching 30th birthday. My sister (who has magnificent hair, and magnificent hair styling talents), suggested I go with her to her hair stylist.

(Gratuitous Oma and Evie pic) --->

I have lots of funny things I could say about that trip, but this post is supposed to be about my NEW hair style, not my old, so I will simply say the hair stylist was very young, very perky, and very, very talented with hair. I loved my hair cut. :) I got to donate 14 inches to locks of love and I looked and felt MARVELOUS afterwards. Go Mims with her bad ass advice. I loved it!

My third hair cut I decided to go closer to home and went to a place in Rhode Island. I won't mention the name, but prior to the hair cut I loved the place. My girlfriends and I always went there to have manicures and pedicures on girls day out. The hair cut I got... not so much love happening there.

I cried after that hair cut. It managed to bring out all my worst features -- my bumpy nose was more prominent, my lack of chin was even more lacking, my Mongolian eyebrows loomed over the rest of my face like a thundercloud. It was terrible. No pictures exist, only video. But trust me, it was awful.

After that I waited for quite a while before getting another cut. I went back to the place my sister suggested (mom came and held my hand), and once again got a wonderful cut. I just had to reconcile myself to the immensely long drive.

<---(Before the cut. And yes, I cleaned the mirror after looking at this pic. Yikes!)

Again I waited for a long time before making another appointment. Between Ian, pregnancy, and then baby Evie it was just too hard to schedule a hair appointment at a place over 2 hours away. Finally I made appointments for me and my mom at a place in Worcester called St. Cyr's.

The stylist, once again, was very young and perky. She displayed amazing stylist skillz -- keeping me talking about myself the entire 2 HOURS of the procedure. Mom's hair was done about an hour and half before me.

First was the loooong wait while the highlights set in, attractively wrapped in tin foil (makes you blond AND keeps the aliens out! Bonus!)

Then came the 40 minutes of blow-drying. Sometime into the first 10 minutes I was sure I would never be able to reproduce whatever she was doing back there. Who blow dries their hair for 40 minutes every day??? But I looked mah-velous baby.

It went VERY well. I love my new hair cut, mom loves her new hair cut, and when I got blond highlights they actually looked like blond highlights instead of blond hair with some brown streaks.

Or, at least, I was pleased that I still had brown hair. JD was disappointed -- apparently he was looking forward to the blond. Hmmmm.

Best of all, the kids still recognized me. Evie smiled, grabbed the new hair and gave me big face kiss when I got back.

Ian said something along the lines of "I like your hair. Want to play cars?" JD made a little sad face over the lack of bombshell blond. Boys.

I would be totally lax as a mom if I didn't also mention the MOST exciting development -- Evie's new hair!


First it was just light brown fuzz, like a baby peach. Now we are seeing distinct strands.

We have hope that she may NOT be bald until her 2nd birthday, unlike her older brother. *grin*

Monday, June 7, 2010

A little preview

I got the proofs back from the kid's picture day. Unfortunately I picked my favorites and sent them back to the photographer before I got the bright idea to scan them.

The quality of the scan is pretty bad, but you can get a general idea of what they are like. The ones I picked are even cuter! I bought... lots. So there will be enough for any rabid grandparents or aunts and uncles who want a copy. :)

If I can get a good quality scan, one of them might even make it into the calendar. It is rare to get a good shot of the two of them together. Trust me, the one I picked -- definitely sigh worthy. Ian is such a sweet big brother.

Click on the picture to see a bigger version.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Six months old!

More catching up! Here are some pictures I took at Evie's six month milestone. I can't believe it has been half a year!

The tie dye dress was a gift from Jim and Susan and I used it for Evie's first school pictures. She looked very bright and summery.

The dress was a huge hit at the daycare -- every one loved the colors. They also know my love-hate relationship with the whole pink and brown color scheme, so every one was quite amused.

We took the white one-sie and the tights off for the pictures. It was very warm and sunny outside, but inside the AC was so high I put the underclothes back on.

Unable to resist the pink and brown, I also took some pictures of her in one of the new sun dresses I bought her. (I went a little crazy in Toys R Us one day. Gulp.)

She is now rolling over easily from front to back and back again., but still needs support when sitting. She can sit a few moments on her own, but then usually topples forward onto her face.

She is VERY tactile and grabs everything and anything she can get her hands on... and puts it right in her mouth.

She has started making a lot more sounds. Her favorite is Da da da da da da da. Which would be exciting, except that we call JD Papa. :) He laughs when I chant back at her Ma ma ma ma ma ma. Hey, it might catch on!

The most noticable thing about Evie is that she is a happy, smiley girl. She smiles with her whole face, bald head, ears and all. Her favorite things to smile and laugh at are her brother and the cats. They never cease to provide amusement.

Five months old!

Catching up a bit on my blog posts, here are some pictures I took at Evie's five month milestone. She is sitting up with some support, and starting to chatter away.

She seems to have inherited my shrieky voice -- she can hit some serious decibels. I told mom and she laughed and laughed... actually the amount she laughed was quite disturbing. When I told JD about the maniacal laughter he just gave me that flat stare of his. The one that says: Lovely. What did you get us into now?

These pictures were a bit dangerous, since she was sitting on the rocking recliner and evry now and then she would lunge forward, almost tipping herself off the chair.

The socks are a bit (ok, WAY) too small. But with the one-sie and the hat, I just couldn't resist the purple.

May 2010 Snapfish photos

Here are the May photos!

April 2010 Snapfish photos

Here are the April photos! Enjoy!

March 2010 Snapfish photos

Here are the photos from March!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

star wars jib jab

This has been sitting in my draft folder for a while, let's see if it still works!

Well... I can't get rid of that black bar on the side, and the dialogue is still as obnoxious as I remember it. Ah, well. It is worth suffering through just to see Evie as Lando. ;)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Evelyn doll

The resemblance is uncanny.

The mold is still intact

As I was going through my pictures, looking for blog material, I cam across the following photos. I know I have said it many times before, but it is amazing how much they look alike... even after 5 months.

Going to the movies (April 3rd)

The first week of April Ian and I had a mother/son day out. We did some errands, had lunch, and went to see How to Train Your Dragon, which was AWESOME!

Our errand consisted of getting Ian a haircut at Snippits. With each haircut he has become more and more resistant to the idea, and at this one there were almost tears. The next time we go I have a feeling I will be holding him in the chair. The woman was very good, however, and we were in and out in under 10 minutes.

Lunch was pizza at "Pizza Planet" which is what Ian calls Uno's Chicago Bar and Grille. It took me a while to realize that Pizza Planet is the Chucky Cheese like restaurant in Toy Story 1.

The great thing about Uno's is that one of the kids meals is "make your own pizza." They bring out a pizza flatbread, a bowl of sauce, a bowl of cheese, and a plastic apron and the kids get to put all the ingredients together. Then they cook it and bring it back. Ian is crazy for this -- every day he asks to go to pizza planet.

The movie was fun. It wasn't too scary or too loud, and we only had to miss a little bit when we took a potty break. Ian loved the popcorn and soda and really enjoyed the movie. He as overjoyed the next week when he got a Toothless toy in his McDonald's Happy Meal.

We had such a great time that JD has already reserved Shrek 4 as his father/son movie outing.

Erin visits!!! (March 27)

Going back in time a bit...

In March we had a wonderful thing happen -- Erin came to visit! We haven't seen her for 10 years, which means the last time we saw her she was Ian's age (and SO cute)!

It was a little weird to reconcile that tiny little girl with the blond curls with the very mature and self-possessed young woman she has become. She was confident, friendly, and had a great sense of humor. Now that I've met a grown-up Jeremy and a grown-up Erin I have to say -- RJ has done a great job and raised some really great kids. I can't wait to see Alex!

Jacque tasked us with coming up with something to do on Sat. and I chose the aquarium. Oddly enough I do not think I have ever been to the aquarium -- not even on a school field trip -- and I've been wanting to take Ian for the last 4 years.

We had several adventures that day. The first was introducing Jacque to her new phone (we got her a droid). The second was trying to catch the train into Boston. We were sure we were going to miss it and ran the whole way from Granma's house. We then proceeded to wait 40 minutes for the train because someone *stares at JD* read the schedule wrong.

When we got into Boston we had pizza at South Station -- the best pizza I've had in a long time -- and picked up some sweets at another one of the south station vendors.

Then came the T adventure. It took us about 1/2 an hour to figure out how to buy a Charlie card and another slightly stressful 1/2 hour trying to get on the right trains to bring us to the Aquarium. There was also a LOT of stairs that we had to carry the stroller up and down. JD and I burned off a lot of that pizza.

When we finally emerged in front of the aquarium it was to the sight of a MASSIVE line for tickets. Half of Boston must have decided to go to the aquarium that day. It was starting to look like another one of my brilliant ideas.

Things got better when we got in the aquarium -- it was crowded, but not impossibly so, and the sight of the four story tank was well worth it. Ian had a great time. He especially liked the shark.

My camera was still lost at this point so I used my cell phone camera (which is why the pictures are a bit blurry). I am definitely going back sometime with my new camera.

After we had seen everything in the aquarium we went to Fanueil Hall for dinner. It was also extremely crowded -- but that is part of the Fanueil Hall experience. We made our way back to the T, successfully purchased more Charlie cards, and even found an elevator.

I am interested to know what Erin thought of the whole experience. She took our chaos and confusion in stride but I am sure she had some stories to bring back to RJ and family. :)

The clean condo

I've been MIA recently for a few reasons.

Reason 1: My wonderful beautiful little camera, that I loved so much, disappeared. Have I mentioned this before? I think I must have... a couple times... because look what appeared in my mailbox a couple of days ago!

An overly innocent mother mentioned that I should be receiving "something" in the mail.

I almost died when I saw what it was.

I immediately took several pictures before realizing there was no memory card. Nooooooooooooooooooo!

So then I went to Target, got a memory card, and took a few more pictures.

This camera is even smaller and cuter than my old camera and it is BRIGHT blue so should be easily spottable from wherever I might put it down.

Just to compare, here is the camera I have been using for the last few weeks (it 5 mega pixels vs. the new one which is 10 mega pixels):

So now that one can go back to peaceful retirement, thank goodness. :)

So, camera luv aside, here is...

Reason 2: We have been cleaning and packing and cleaning and packing in an attempt to make our condo showable. I put together another blog to show off the results.

Upon sending out an email about the condo site I received the following comments:

From Mom: My God! When I said to keep personal items out of the picture I didn't think you would completely empty the place out! If you mean to keep it clean, does that mean live with no furniture? What did you do with all the computer things? Oh Geez! Amazing, what a job.

From Mims: Where did all your stuff go? I have never seen it so clean!

From Hill: Yeah for creative writing!!!!! You could become a real-estate agent!!! (OK this part is a little mean) OMG! That's the CLEANEST I have EVER seen your house - you mean business!!!

From Papa: Ok Hanna, what did you do with all your stuff? You must have moved it from room to room.... (!) Good luck with the sale. do you have another place under raps? Papa.

Can you tell that I might be a teensy weensy bit of a slob? *grin* And maybe, just maybe, I might have a bit of packratism.

When I took those pictures we were definitely depending on the magic of camera angles, but since then we have actually moved enough into the storage unit that it is almost possible to keep it clean on a daily basis (if only we didn't have to do laundry).

We also went and contacted a realtor to sell the condo, and today JD gave him the keys. We have a realtor to buy a new place and are actually going to go look at one this weekend. In addition, I've put together a little flyer to send around to the owners. Hopefully all this will come together and result in us, living in an actual house, by this time next year.

And just because I can, here is some more new camera luv:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mourning for the camera


This camera

Unfortunately it has to wait until after taxes, house stuff, and April birthdays before I can think of saving up for it. I have pathetically few pictures of March due to the loss of my other camera, which is still MIA.


Monday, March 29, 2010

4 months old!

Here is Evie for her four month old pic. She really is getting big! I can't believe how soon she'll be sitting up and crawling around!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


The blog has been on hold for a bit due to two reasons:

1. I lost my camera! My beautiful little camera that I loved so much is MIA. Hopefully I can find it hiding someplace in the house. If not, I will have to start lugging around the big monster camera again.

2. We've finally bitten the bullet and decided to sell our condo. More on that later.

To keep y'all going here is a convo between Ian and myself this morning:

Ian: *sneezes*

Hanna: Bless you!

Ian: *sniffles*

Ian: *sniffles*

Ian: *sniffles*

Hanna: Do you need a tissue?

Ian: Nah, I just keep licking it off.

Hanna: EWWWWWWW *runs to get the tissues*

Kids. So cute.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Evie's doctor appointment

We finally had Evelyn's doctor appointment today and of course one more thing went wrong. When we got there at 8:30 we discovered that the computer system was being glitchy and had spontaneously cancelled her appointment.


Luckily for my sanity and the safety of everyone around me they paged the doctor and she was willing to see us. YES!!!!! Something goes right!

She gave me a light cortisone scrip for Evie's cheeks. If it is not cleared up in a week or two I am going to request a dermatologist consult. I am a little nervous about putting steroid cream on a baby, but I guess there is no way they could just wave a magic wand and make it better. Even if we half hope that they will.

She also had her 4 month check up and SHOTS poor baby.

Ian was VERY nervous about the shots. I think he asked me 'is Evie going to get a shot now' about 15 times while we waited for the doctor. When they gave her the shot he hid under the doctor's desk.

Evie did great for her shots -- she even made the nurse cry. After the first outraged scream she settled into squeaky little whimpers, trembling pouty lips, and big tears rolling down from her huge blue eyes as she accusingly watched the nurse. I can't wait to see the first time she turns that act on her Papa. He's toast.

Her new stats are:
  • 24 1/4 inches (50th percentile)

  • 13 pounds (38th percentile)

  • 16 inch head circumference (68 percentile)
So despite the fact that she looks like a very chubby little baby, she's not actually that big. Either that or there are a lot of really fat babies out there these days, which sadly might be true. Her brother was one of them. But it was wonderful, adorable fat of course!

Her head is also quite normal, but on the large size (which we knew). Ian's head was literally off the chart and the doctor consulted me about getting him a helmet if it kept growing the way it did. I should have brought in some of the family pictures mom has -- she would have seen it was just genetics!

So basically we found out what we already knew -- there is probably nothing we can do about the rash, and she is a smaller, more delicate version of Ian.

He could make the nurses cry too.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Looking forward to April

I am trying not to look forward to things in the future, because that will mean Evie is getting older and I want to enjoy my baby for as long as possible. However, it is hard not to be excited about all the cool books coming out in April.

If you like paranormal romance/urban fantasy you will LOVE April:
  1. Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs ( March 30)

  2. Beyond the Darkness by Alexandra Ivy (April 01)

  3. Lion’s Heat by Lora Leigh (April 06)

  4. Demonkeepers by Jess Anderson (April 06)

  5. Burning Lamp by JAK (April 20)

  6. Lover Mine by JR Ward (April 27)

  7. Wild Fire by Christine Feehan (April 27)

  8. Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts (April 27)

  9. Stealing Kathryn, Jacquelyn Frank (April 27)
All of these authors are on my must have list. It is hard to pick a favorite. Actually, it's just about impossible. Of the bunch that come out on the 27th Lover Mine might rise to the top since we've been waiting to read John Matthew's story since the second book of the series. Can't. Wait.

The security guard at my work -- Pete -- also lent me the first book in Jim Butcher's Dresden files series. It was AWESOME! I am definitely buying the whole series once the taxes are paid and we have fun money again.

Did I mention I can't wait?

Good night

No more freaky dreams last night. Ian told me we were going to have good dreams -- we just had to use our imagination. I am not sure if it worked, I don't remember having any dreams at all. But maybe it was because I was all tired out. I will try and use my imagination and have good dreams tonight.

Evie was also exhausted -- back at day care AND I gave her a bath. She slept all night, pretty much. I went to bed around 10:30 and then Ian woke me up at around 4:30. I put him back to bed, did the pump thing, and then Evie woke up STARVING since she had been asleep for nearly 7 hours. My alarm clock went off while I was feeding her.

I was pleased to notice that JD didn't have any luck getting it to turn off the first time either.

He hates that thing.

I am doomed to wake up at 4:30 every morning it seems. But at least I got nearly 6 hours of continuous, dreamless sleep. Not bad when you have a three month old. Not bad at all!

Thursday we have Evelyn's 4 month checkup. I'll post her new stats up when we get back. Plus the doctor will (finally) look at her rash and probably tell me I just need to give it time. Pat told me to ask for a dermatologist consult so that is what I will do.

I am not sure what I will do if it is the cats fault. We may have to make the bedroom a cat free zone and move all her stuff int here (swing, bouncy chair, and everything else of hers that the cats love to sleep on. The rash isn't bad enough that we would consider getting rid of them and she doesn't have any respiratory problems.

But I am getting ahead of myself and worrying without a cause. Let's see what the doctor says.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bad night

I will preface this post by saying that in no way would anyone mentioned in this dream act the way I've described. In fact, they would react completely opposite to the way they did in the dream. (I love you Mom, Papa and Mims!) But that is why this is a bad dream, and not reality.

Last night was one of those weird dream nights that I think all parents have on a regular basis. I went to bed at a reasonable hour (10pm) and was punished for it by parental karma.

1am Ian woke me up by climbing into bed with me and I cuddled him for a little while before making him go pee and tucking him back into his bed.

I went back to sleep and dreamt that I was chasing a two year old Ian around a pool. I couldn’t catch up to him, and a part of my mind said “well if he falls in he will learn a valuable lesson and not go near the pool again” ...upon which he immediately fell in.

I KNEW I could jump in and pull him out before he got more than a mouthful of water but for some reason the water was too buoyant – I couldn’t get down far enough (of course he sank like a stone). I finally grabbed onto his hair and pulled him up. If you remember two year old Ian, his hair was very wispy and fine and it was very hard to keep a hold of him.

He wasn’t breathing so I started to do CPR. My mom and my sister were sitting on lounge chairs by the pool and frowning disapprovingly at me as they continued their conversation. I suppose they thought I was learning a valuable lesson.

Despite doing CPR for several breaths the water wasn’t coming out. My Papa, who was an EMT, was floating in the pool, talking on a cell phone. I asked him for help. He frowned at me and said “I have a line on some work” and I immediately felt a wave of guilt and started to cry. Seeing me crying he came over and started CPR.

At this point of the dream I heard a noise in real life and immediately woke up. My mind said it was a thump and I tried to remember if I had strapped Evie into her swing or not. I went out in the living room to make sure she wasn’t slumped on the floor unconscious and realized the sound had been the whisper of her blanket falling to the floor. Apparently it was enough to bring me to hyper awareness.

She was awake and looking around – she hadn’t even started to make noises yet. I nursed her and put her to sleep in her crib in our room. (And I had strapped her in thank goodness!) Then I went and used the pump a little so she would have enough milk for another bottle the next day at daycare. After that I tucked Ian back in. He had done one of his total reversals and was on top of the covers with his head at the foot of the bed. Then I went back to bed. It was 4:30am.

I stayed awake listening to Evie and JD breathe until 5:30am when the alarm went off. I turned off the alarm and lay there for a little while until it went off again.

I hate that thing.

This time I switched all the switches and I think it actually turned off. I got up and took a shower and comforted myself with a kindle book while I ate breakfast.

As dreams go it was a doozy. It managed to combine several of my childhood hangups with my worst fears as a parent. Plus the guilt of secretly wanting the child to get hurt in order to learn a lesson... and having it actually happen.

Since I tend to pick up on dreams right where I left off there was no way I was going back to sleep after that one. I remember one night I got eaten by a werewolf three times because I kept falling back to sleep after waking up in terror. Not happening this time. No. Way.

However, the weirdest part was when we were driving to work. Ian told me he dreamed about me and that we were in the water. I asked what we were doing in the water and he said he fell in. I asked what I did when he fell in and he said I didn't do anything because he went way down and it was dark. And that I was way up and he was way down.


And yes, I always remember my dreams in detail. Apparently so does Ian, poor kid.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Insurance woes

So last Wednesday I stayed home from work to bring Evie to the doctor's for her facial rash. Her appt. wasn't until 4pm but I got a call in the morning from the hospital to let me know that they were having problems with her insurance and it didn't look like she was on our policy.


I called JD and he went to his HR people and lo and behold, even though he had used their automated system to add her to our policy somehow it had not gone through and she has been uninsured all this time. Not only that but the time period when we could have fixed the issue ended the last day of Feb and it was now March 3rd.

They basically told JD there was nothing they could do and we were going to have to get other insurance for Evelyn, keep it for a month, and then we could switch onto the work policy since it would be considered a status change at that time.

Oh my God.

So their automated system screwed up, and they didn't bother to call even though they KNEW JD had a new baby and they KNEW the baby was not on the plan, now WE were going to have to pay out of pocket for the visits she had already had (immunizations) and we were going to have to jump through hoops to get insurance for a single month and pay out of pocket for that insurance.

And there was nothing they could do. Rat. Bastards.

Since my HR people are warm, kind, REAL human beings I went to them to ask for advice. Not only did they give me advice, they let me switch the whole family onto my company's insurance retroactive to Jan. 1st. the only thing they needed was a letter from JD's company stating that Evelyn was not insured. No problem right?

JD asked for this from his HR department and got back this response: "Since Evelyn was never on your coverage we cannot send anything specifically saying she is not on coverage."

I would post the entire email for posterity but I don't want to get sued. And getting sued is a distinct possibility because they put a freaking [TM] after the name of their HR department. Now there is a human touch for you.

I was pretty calm until this point and then I kind of lost it. I even tried calling the HR department but they wouldn't let me through the phone system without a password. That made me even madder but in retrospect it was probably a good thing.

After much rigmarole we got something my HR department could use and we said SEE YA to JD's insurance. The only good thing they did for us was agree to drop us all. I was half afraid they would make us continue to pay until the next enrollment period. Knock-on-wood that they won't still try.

Actually I shouldn't say that we are dropping the insurance because my company actually gets insurance from the same provider and when I called the PROVIDER they were very helpful and very horrified that we were going through all of this. What we are dropping is JD's useless benefits HR people who apparently could care less that a three month old baby has no insurance due to their sucky automated forms and basic incompetence.

So. It has been an extremely angry few days and now I am totally exhausted. I don't do angry well. But at least I can sleep tonight knowing that Evie is now covered by health insurance and she has a new appt for Wednesday to deal with her rash, eczema, or whatever is making her face so red and itchy.

Potato Gratin

Another recipe from my mom. My FAVORITE potatoes ever. Mmmmmm. reminds me of Christmas dinner.

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