Friday, May 18, 2018

April Shower Bring May Flowers. And Sneezes.


Quite some time ago, Dan told me what he wanted for his birthday. He wanted me to go with him to see the new Avengers movie. And for me to also not make any obnoxious comments. And to keep my mocking giggles to myself.

I asked him if I couldn't just buy him a skyscraper or something easier like that.

And so we went. We wanted to grab dinner first, but were running out of time so we went to our fave fast food place. TACO. BELL. It's the best. 


During dinner, he asked me to sit quietly as he "set up" the movie, so to speak. He tried to educate me on the background of the characters and the various conflicts.

I asked him if Gandalf was in this movie. He wasn't amused.

We then went to a packed theater and sat next to the most dedicated Avengers fans of all time. The kid next to Dan kept shushing everyone, and his shushing was really loud. So Dan shushed his shushing. It was quite entertaining to me, which is good because I didn't find the movie that entertaining. I know, I know. I'm the worst.

Overall, I was a very good participant and refrained from calling Thanos "Thermos" (except in my mind). But it was all for nothing because Dan didn't like the movie very much either because if there's something Dan Jolley won't stand for, it's a sad ending. He. Can't. Stand. It.

For Mother's Day, Dan asked what I wanted. I told him I wanted flowers, but not flowers for the table (though I do love that). I wanted flowers for the front of our house. We have a huge space in front of our house where we really need bushes or something. But I'm not going to put bushes in this rental house. So we tried to fill up the space with flowers.

Dan sent me to the store, and I picked up all the flowers I wanted. But the space was still too big, so he sent me back to the store a second time, and I picked up more flowers.

The truth is I know nothing about most outdoorsy things. It's really embarrassing. Even at the gardening store, I was barely pushing my cart because I was afraid all of the plants would fall out and then I would have to die. Everyone there knew I didn't know what they knew. If you know what I mean.

So I'm trying to strengthen my weaknesses and getting outdoors a lot more is one I'm really working on.

I wish I had taken a before picture but I didn't. But just picture in your mind a mess of dirt and weeds.

And then Dan planted these flowers around an old bush our landlord had put in.


And then just a couple of days ago, the bush bloomed too!


It's pretty. Our neighbor saw what we were doing and asked if we wanted some of his grasses too? So Dan put those at the ends.

My favorite part of springtime in New Jersey is going on walks with the girls and making them go past my favorite tree of all time.


It blooms pink AND white! I suspect from the odd angle of that lower right trunk part that those are actually two different trees but I love how they are together. They remind me of Gwen Stefani's wedding dress.

Image result for gwen stefani wedding dress
Source: Someone's pinterest? Sorry, don't know. But be rest assured, this is not MY picture. She and I were on the outs that year, and I wasn't invited.


Which brings me to the rest of my Mother's Day. I slept in, and everyone brought me breakfast in bed. I have a hard time with that concept but decided that this year I was going to let them do it and just enjoy it. And you know what? I did.

                             

Dan made a delicious egg scramble (with cream cheese and potatoes and regular cheese yummmmmmmm) and served it with sliced strawberries and some Allegra because he knows my allergies are so bad this time of year.

June made me this clipboard at school. Darling.


And we tried to take a picture together, but they all looked like this.


Poor Harris. And POOR ME!

After church, I took a nap. And was sick when I woke up. And I've been sick all week. My allergies are soooo bad. I finally went to the doc, and he prescribed stronger stuff that makes me a little nauseated and a little sleepy, but I'll live.


And also, we had a huge storm this week, and this branch fell down in our backyard.


And we lost power for 6 hours, and our trampoline started moving, and I screamed, "THIS IS THE END!" and then the trampoline stopped moving, and it wasn't the end. Moving on.

I'll close with some pics of the kids.


Gwen finally let me do something with her hair besides a ponytail.


The best hair day of June's life. I wanted to make her get married at age 6 because her hair looked so pretty and I knew I would never be able to emulate it.



Sometimes we put flowers in our hair while we wait for the bus in the morning.


Our pretty pink bush on the other side of the house.
 More Harris crying in church photos.



And last, but not least! I finally learned how to do a fishtail braid. Check one more off my list. I'm convinced I will never be able to do a dutch braid though. Send me your tips!


And now we're getting ready to leave town for the weekend! Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Take Your Sister to the City Day

My sister and I talk on the phone a lot. We text, we send vids via Marco Polo on the daily. We also send each other the most insane news articles, discuss Met gala dresses and reminisce about our childhood constantly. We discuss every topic known to man. We get deep and sad sometimes, but it's always interrupted by a joke because Becks cannot be serious for more than 5 minutes. It's a fact.

But we don't see each other very often anymore. 

Living in Florida was a dream for us because hello Florida! but also because my sister was a measly 6 hours from us, and we did holidays together.

So Heidi coming to see me for a weekend was the best present I could ever ask for.

Partly because she's one of the only people who understand what it was like to grow up so beautiful and so fashionable that all of the other girls hated you.


I'm lying.

So what do two thirtysomething Beck sisters who are moms of a combined seven kids, 3 of which have special needs, do in the city for a whole two days?




Fall asleep on the Staten Island Ferry.


Wear unplanned coordinating outfits. 



See the musical Beautiful about the life of Carole King and know all of the words to the songs while also being a good thirty years younger than any other audience member. 

Which also explains our pure excitement at finding this at a vintage shop:


Long live the Neil!

We walked something like 12 or 14 miles the first day, made a couple of Subway mistakes and giggled through the whole thing. We kept making the same comment over and over about how much we love walking, we both really love walking! 


We wept at the 9/11 memorial. We touched the names and had an especially tough time upon seeing that one of the names said "and her unborn child" at the end of it.




We were pleasantly surprised--nay, ecstatic--about the hotel upgrade we received because they had an extra suite available at the Warwick.




Two rooms! We discussed how lovely the rooms were and how we should use up all of the space, but in the end, we neatly kept our clothes and suitcases all together and left the rooms pretty much as clean as we found them. Because we're thirtysomething moms.

We talked up big how fun it would be to watch tv together and make fun of everything, but the joke was on us because we fell asleep about 3 minutes after getting into bed, Heidi with the remote still in her hand.

We did a lot of shopping, and it was the highlight for me, because nothing is as good as shopping with my sister. She has a sixth sense for it, and I always make my best purchases with her.

We went to Central Park and Little Italy and a bunch of other things. 


We kept commenting on how easy everything was--yes, we got lost on the subway, yes we walked and walked the first day and could barely hobble the second day. But easy! No diaper bag, no potty accidents, no strollers. I mean, we love our kids but this was LIVING!

And then we went home where I discovered that Dan had had an exhausting weekend too.


The next sisters reunion probably won't happen for another ten years. But I might start planning it now.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Take Your Child to Work Day

I'm never going to get this post done. And I have a goal to post every week. So I'm just going to post what I have!

We have just had the most exciting week.

First, June went with Dan to work for Take Your Child to Work Day.



We did her hair reallll special for the big day.




Dan and I joked that Take Your Kid to Work Day is a nice way of building up before the biggest letdown of kids' lives. A big secret is revealed on this day. Kids everywhere find out that their parents have boring jobs. Or boring to kids, anyway.

This is when Gwen found out she wouldn't be attending the event. She watched June and Dan drive away and cried for a full 30 minutes.



Dan's company does a great job of providing fun activities for the kids most of the day. She even received her own business cards.


The event ended with an ice cream social. We joined them for this part. I think it helped Gwen deal with the day a bit better.


Harris, who has been struggling with the transition to solid foods, didn't struggle at all to eat ice cream for some reason. Hmmmm....



And then my sister came to visit me for the weekend, and the real fun began . . .

Something to tide you over until next week's post.



You might be wondering--Are those two beautiful girls . . . matching?

Yes, yes we are.

The End.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Before And After

In a somewhat unexpected turn of events, Harris and I both graduated from something this week.

First, Harris.

My little boy wears a helmet no more. After 7 months, we are finally done.


Here he is right before he got the helmet. I don't know WHY I didn't take an aerial picture of his head. That's where you could see the severe wonkiness of his poor head shape.


Right after he started wearing the helmet.


I forgot that his helmet ever looked that big on him.



And the week before he finished up with helmet.


And no more helmet!


Waving "hi"


Here is the before and after of his head shape from an aerial view. The red is where he started 7 months ago, and the blue is where he is now. His head still has some asymmetry, but his growth is so slow now that we're calling it good.


And me. I'm done with Smile Direct Club. It has been a GREAT experience.

I had braces, spacers, headgear and retainers when I was younger. I had crazy crooked teeth. My parents spent tons of money on me, and it took years and years to correct. Much to my dismay, as an adult my teeth started moving again. It wasn't noticeable at first, but this past summer I couldn't deny that my smile was very different in photos.

Invisalign and braces are both incredibly expensive. I heard about Smile Direct Club and decided to try it out. So much cheaper and easier than the other two options!

Here I am before:





Don't ask me why I couldn't shower and do my hair in my before pictures. Is that a spit-up stain on my shoulder? I believe it is.

To keep it consistent, I took non-showered after pictures as well. Keep it classy, Heather!

After:




So much better. Maybe I'll do a before and after shower picture as well. You might not even recognize me.

The End.