Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Home sweet home!

After being away for a little over two weeks, we are finally home! We arrived home around 1:30am this morning and immediately went to sleep. We all slept in until 9am and we're readjusting to our "normal" lives. We survived an earthquake, a hurricane and a very long road trip. It feels so nice to be home! 

We left Baltimore around 9:30am and spent 95% of our trip on 95. So boring! We drove through Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and finally crossed the Florida border around 10:30pm. After another 3 hours on the road, we reached our final destination a little after 1am. After 16 hours in the car, we have never been so happy to be home! For being only 16-months-old, Bella was an awesome little traveler. She fussed for a few minutes before her morning nap but was otherwise pleasant the entire duration of our trip. Oh, I should also mention that the dogs did really well in the car, too. They slept practically the entire way up to Baltimore and the entire way back to Riverview.

I have so much to catch up on around the house... unpacking, laundry, cleaning and other things that will bring normalcy back into our lives. Not to mention, I have two weeks worth of DVR to catch up on. But all of this can wait until after Bella and I take a nap. Our schedules are so out of whack and we're all exhausted. I know we've only been up since 9am, but we could use the extra rest. I think Ian may even partake in nap time, as he has been working hellish hours and is very sleep deprived. Happy napping y'all!

Love always,
Ian, Kim & Bella

Monday, August 29, 2011


Do you ever wake up in the morning and think to yourself, "How am I going to function today?" Recently, I've had several mornings when I questioned my ability to function for the day, but each day, I've managed to make the most out of each day.

Sunday morning was one of those mornings, due largely in part to the lack of sleep from the night before. The storm was quite loud and kept me awake for most of the night. Add roaming cats and barking dogs to the mix and the sleep I planned to get was all but lost. An early morning with Bella didn't help either, although the extra snuggle time definitely made up for the lack of sleep. But, I made it through the day! Last night I planned to go to bed as soon as Bella went to bed. Obviously that didn't happen, as Ian and I needed some quality time together. We watched a bit of television and chatted until I went up to bed and returned to work. This has been our routine for the past few weeks and November cannot come soon enough. Hopefully in November, we can take a little time to relax... fingers crossed!

This morning I slept in until almost 9am! When Ian came in to wake me up, I was fast asleep. I really didn't want to get up, but Ian needed to get to work and I needed to tend to Bella. I should mention that Bella slept until almost 8am, so we all definitely needed the extra rest. Bella's nap schedule was off today, so I eagerly anticipated her morning and afternoon naps. During her morning nap, I did a few loads of laundry and began packing. During her afternoon nap, I also took a nap and we both slept until 6pm! And now it's almost 10pm and Bella is fast asleep and I am not too far behind. Again, I made it through the day! 

I hope for the sake of Ian and Bella, I am refreshed and ready to go in the morning. We have a LONG day of driving ahead of us, which I am dreading. If flights weren't so unreasonable, I'd definitely book myself a flight for tomorrow and leave the driving to Ian. Oh well, at least Bella and I have a few movies to watch in the car... yay! Well, I'd better finish up the last load of laundry and finish packing. We're hoping to be on the road by 8am... boo! Goodnight y'all!

Love always,
Ian, Kim & Bella

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The calm after the storm

We made it through yet another natural disaster... unscathed. Hurricane Irene has come and gone and we are so happy to see her go! Good riddance!

Hurricane Irene brought with her heavy rain and some howling winds, which kept most of us awake last night. The occasional power outages at my sister's house were more of an annoyance than anything and her house never lost power for more than two minutes. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for my friends and family in Maryland. My dad's house lost power for about 3 hours and my mom's house has been without power for over 24-hours. Bummer. My dad's sump pump did it's job and kept his basement dry... thank goodness!

We returned to Maryland this afternoon and were greeted with with beautiful sunny skies! The calm after the storm almost makes the entire storm worth it... almost. The winds have died down and now we're experiencing cool breezes. After days and days of rain, the sunny skies were definitely appreciated. Hopefully the weather will remain cool and breezy for the next few days. Bella and I (and the dogs) took advantage of the cool afternoon and each took a 2.5 hour nap. It was definitely needed, as neither of us having been feeling 100%. As usual, Ian worked while we napped, but I'm sure he enjoyed the peace and quiet while we napped. Fortunately he is ahead of schedule and unlike the past few nights, he won't have to pull an all-nighter tonight! 

I almost forgot to mention... we had a fabulous time at Heidi and Noah's wedding last night! Heidi was an absolutely beautiful bride and Noah was such a handsome groom. We celebrated their nuptials with great food and a few drinks... and lots of dancing of course. Congratulations and best wishes Heidi and Noah! 

Well, it's been a long and eventful weekend so I'm going to finish up my nap with a good night's sleep. I have a feeling I will fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. Good night y'all!

Love always,
Ian, Kim & Bella

Saturday, August 27, 2011

1 Birthday + 1 Wedding + 1 Hurricane = Happy Birthday to me!

Rumor has it that it's my birthday today... and what better way to celebrate my birthday then with a hurricane and a wedding! Yes, it's true, Hurricane Irene is supposed to hit the Mid-Atlantic today and we're heading north to Pennsylvania to escape the wind and rain for a wedding. 

Yup, it's my birthday, whoop-dee-doo! Another year older and wiser, isn't that what people say? Gee, how exciting. I wouldn't mind gaining wisdom without having to turn a year older, but I guess I don't have a choice, do I? Birthdays used to feel different. I remember the excitement and anticipation of my birthday, but ever since I turned 21, the excitement and anticipation have pretty much subsided. It's not that my family and friends don't make me feel special on my birthday, because they certainly do, it's just that I really don't get excited about aging. Oh well, at least I'm not 30 yet... I have two more years until the dirty 30! 

Oh, I almost forgot to mention... my loving and caring husband gave me a home-made card, complete with pictures of our family. It was so cute and it's the best birthday card I've ever received. The card also came with the promise of the new iPhone 5, woo-hoo!

My friend and old college roommate, Heidi, is tying the knot with her beloved, Noah. I met Heidi my sophomore year of college, when she was just a freshman. We had several mutual friends, through the ice hockey team and her boyfriend (at the time) was roommates with a friend of mine. We had many mutual friends, including Britta, so we ended up becoming good friends. Heidi, Britta and I lived together my senior year in a pretty sweet house and we had an amazing year of fun. We've remained friends since college and while we may not see each other all that often, we often send emails and Facebook messages to stay in touch. I haven't seen Heidi in about three years and I can't wait to celebrate her wedding day with her today! 

Hurricane Irene is on her way today. We're preparing for lots of rain and the possibility of heavy winds. Fortunately for us, we'll be a bit more land-locked in PA so hopefully we'll avoid the brunt of the storm. My dad's house is about 60-years-old, is made out of brick and has weathered many storms. Hopefully the sump pump does it's job and the basement stays somewhat dry, but I don't foresee coming back to a damaged house or anything. 

I'd better finish packing for our trip today and preparing the house for the storm. Stay safe and stay dry! 

Love always,
Ian, Kim & Bella

P.S. It just started pouring... and so begins Hurricane Irene in Baltimore.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Working from home?

When Ian worked at other accounting firms, I always longed for him to be able to work from home. I had the ability to work from home and I thought it would be fun to play office from the comfort of our couch. Obviously, that was before Bella was born. Little did I know how much of a pain working from home can be, for both Ian and me. Recently, Ian has been working from home... a lot. I'm sorry to say, that I am looking forward to the day he returns to the office. 

Having Ian home disrupts the daily routine Bella and I have established. She calls or cries out for him because she knows he is home. It's like she has a sixth sense about where her daddy is! We have a home office, but it's upstairs, in close proximity to Bella's room. During nap time, she can hear him talking on the phone or typing away on the computer. For this reason, Ian usually sets up shop at the dining room table, because it's downstairs and he has plenty of room for his two laptops and his extra monitor. This usually works best for all of us because Bella and I spend most of our time in the family room and she doesn't have a direct view of her beloved daddy.

I'm sure it's not easy for Ian to work from home. Barking dogs and a shrieking toddler must be an awful distraction. Hearing the Bella's little voice call out, "da-da" is hard to ignore and Ian usually responds to her. He's not some heartless man, who is going to ignore his little girl, so I can't blame him for responding to Bella. I find myself asking him to do little things, here and there when he's home. I ask him to run upstairs to get more diapers or watch Bella while I make her lunch. It's not fair for me to do, but he's home... right?

During "busy season" (which seems to be all the time), working from home is the only opportunity Ian has to actually see us. I really appreciate the extra effort Ian puts into spending time with us, especially during busy season. We're entering a very busy time of year for Ian and he has already worked some ridiculous hours over the past few days. He's even preparing himself for an "all-nighter" on Friday because of some obnoxious (in my opinion) deadline the client set. We have several obligations this weekend that cannot be missed, so he's getting all of his work finished by Saturday morning. He will probably be a zombie at the wedding we're attending Saturday, but at least he'll be able to attend!

And I'm by no means complaining about Ian's job because I am VERY, VERY thankful for Ian's job. He has worked very hard to get where he is today and he will continue to work hard to get to where he needs to be tomorrow. Over the years, his hard work has paid off in terms of promotions, raises, bonuses and accolades by his colleagues and superiors. Not only does his firm appreciate his efforts, but Bella and I do, too. 

Ian works hard... period. Ian works hard in order to afford me the opportunity to stay at home with Bella. I enjoy being able to stay at home with Bella and I also enjoy being able to do things with Bella. We have more and do more than most people dream of and it's all because of Ian's hard work. All of this being said, I am very thankful for Ian and all of his hard work. I probably don't express nearly enough gratitude, but I truly am blessed to have such a hard working husband. Thank you, Ian!

Well the day is getting away from me and we have plans later this afternoon with my very good friend, Dawn. Dawn and I don't talk on the phone as much as we used to or see each other every day as we used to, but it doesn't matter. The time we spend together is always quality time and I am looking forward to spending with Dawn this afternoon!

Love always,
Ian, Kim & Bella

P.S. We're ready for Hurricane Irene this weekend. It's going to be a weekend of wind and rain. Ah, the joys of hurricane season. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hurricanes and Earthquakes

When I began this post, earlier today, the title was "Hurricane Irene" but after an eventful afternoon, I changed the title to "Hurricanes and Earthquakes." 

It's hurricane season in Florida... yawn. Ever since I moved to Florida, nearly 6 years ago, we've been spared from several tropical storms and hurricanes. We have had some epic storms, but nothing close to a hurricane. I'm thankful that we don't need to worry about preparing for a hurricane, but it would figure that Hurricane Irene would bypass Florida and head up the east coast toward Maryland. Luckily, it's only supposed to be a Category 1 when it passes over Maryland, but I'm certain it will cause flooding galore. Here's to hoping the sump pump in my dad's basement is efficient! 

Now, about the earthquake that rocked the east coast this afternoon... My mom and I planned a trip to the Maryland Zoo with Bella for this afternoon. The weather was absolutely beautiful, sunny and mild, and almost no clouds in the sky. We walked through the children's zoo and decided to treat Bella to a ride on the train. We purchased our tickets and were patiently waiting for the arrival of the next train. We sat on the ground, heard the train "choo-chooing" and commented that the arrival of the train shook the train station. We weren't far from the chimpanzee exhibit and we heard the chimps hooting and hollering, which isn't out of the ordinary when one is at the zoo. When the train emptied, we handed over our tickets and boarded the train. A few moments later, we were asked to get off the train because there had been an earthquake. 

An earthquake?!? WTF?!? Haha, very funny... but very true. I checked my phone and sure enough, Facebook posts confirmed there was an earthquake in Mineral, Virginia, which is about 140 miles from Baltimore. The earthquake was a magnitude 5.8 on the Richter scale! I tried to call Ian, but the call wouldn't go through, so I sent him a text message. I asked him if he felt the earthquake and he replied, "Oh, that's what that was? The dogs were pissed." Thankfully, there wasn't any noticeable damage at the zoo and we were able to continue with our visit. Knowing that everyone was safe, it was funny to hear people's different accounts on their experience during the earthquake. 

So needless to say, after an eventful day, we're all exhausted. Hopefully we don't experience any aftershocks or any other natural disasters for that matter. Never in my life did I think I would experience a earthquake, let alone an earthquake in Maryland. I suppose I can cross that off my list of unique life experiences. 

Love always,
Ian, Kim & Bella

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bug Bites and Diaper Rash

Our household has been plagued with bug bites and diaper rash, well not so much the entire household, but Bella has been plagued with these two skin irritations. My poor baby girl has several bug bites and a fierce looking diaper rash. So what's a concerned mama to do?!? This mama turns to MotherLove products.

At my baby shower, I received several tubes of diaper rash cream, in the form of Bourdreaux's Butt Paste and Desitin. I used these products religiously, at every diaper change, to prevent diaper rash. Thankfully Bella's bum remained diaper rash free until she was about 9-months-old so I thought these products were good. It wasn't until Bella actually had diaper rash that I discovered just how ineffective these products were at clearing up diaper rash. Not to mention the awful and not-so-natural ingredients!

It was at this point that I turned to more natural remedies for diaper rash. I purchased California Baby Diaper Area Wash and used the product, along with a soft wash cloth, in place of baby wipes. This stuff isn't cheap, but gave Bella's bum almost instant relief. Within a day or two the diaper rash was practically gone, but I knew that this wouldn't prevent diaper rash. 

I then turned to MotherLove Diaper Rash & Thrush Ointment and I haven't looked back since. Within hours of applying the ointment to Bella's bum, the redness and irritation all but disappeared. This stuff is truly amazing and I swear by it. I have driven 15+ miles to Whole Foods and Abby's in Tampa to buy the wonder ointment in order to combat diaper rash. I will warn y'all that the price for a 1-ounce jar is about $10, but it is worth every penny. The ingredients are all natural and are so basic that you can literally eat the stuff... and apparently it tastes good because our dog, Kaiser, ate almost an entire jar during a mishap at bath time in a matter of seconds. The ingredients are easily pronounced and are things I've actually heard of: extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, oregon grape root, myrrh gum, yarrow herb and calendula flower. It received a score of "0" on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, which is the best score a product can receive. 

Another great thing about MotherLove Diaper Rash & Thrush Ointment is that you can use it on any skin irritation. During the winter, Bella gets chapped cheeks (on her face) and this stuff cleared it up within a day. Bella also suffers from eczema and when she has really bad patches, I apply the ointment and her skin is almost instantly soothed. Most recently, Bella had several bug bites and once I applied the ointment to the bug bites, the size and redness of each bite decreased significantly! There hasn't been one skin irritation that didn't improve when I used the stuff... it rocks!

Okay, I will now step down from my soap box, but not without saying, try MotherLove Diaper Rash & Thrush Ointment... you will not be sorry!

Love always,
Ian, Kim & Bella

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pizza John's

Plain and simple... pizza in Florida cannot compare to pizza in the North East. There is always something wrong with it. The sauce isn't right or there is too much sauce. Or the dough isn't right. When we travel up north, we usually have pizza 1-2 times during our trip. In Baltimore, there are many places to go for pizza, but none compare to Pizza John's. 

Pizza John's is not a chain and it has been family owned for decades. Pizza Johns has been around for 45 years! In keeping with tradition, the restaurant is closed on Mondays and an entire week during the summer. The employees all wear old school uniforms and the service they provide is second to none. The dining room seats 200+ people and while there aren't servers, there are attendants who bring tables plates, utensils and other accoutrements. Food is ordered at a counter and when your order is ready, your name is called out over the loud speaker. 

Now, for the pizza... it is unbelievably delicious and everything is always on point. The sauce isn't too sweet and the right amount of sauce is used. The dough is the proper texture and it isn't too thin or too doughy. It's never too greasy or too dry. The cheese is abundant and is always the perfect texture. And this isn't just a fluke... it is perfect every time! I can honestly say that I don't think I've ever had a bad pizza at Pizza John's. The toppings are even on point! The pepperonis are cooked on the pizza and provide just the right amount of crunchiness in every bite. It truly is the best pizza I've ever had. 

If you're ever in the Baltimore area, specifically Eastern Baltimore County, go to Pizza John's. You will not be sorry and you will probably thank me for the recommendation. But, don't forget, Pizza John's is closed every Monday. Craving Pizza John's on a Monday is very disappointing, but trust me, the pizza is totally worth the wait. 

Well, all this talk about Pizza John's has made me hungry. It's almost time for dinner and while we're not going to Pizza John's tonight for dinner, we will be heading to Little Italy for dinner... yum!

Love always,
Ian, Kim & Bella

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Happy Anniversary... to us!

Greetings from the land of NASCAR and BBQ! 

Ian and I celebrated three years of wedded bliss today. Last year I took y'all on a trip down memory lane with a recap of our first 5-years together. Not much has changed within the last year, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been wonderful. Three years have flown by and our lives have changed significantly. Ian works for a new accounting firm and I quit my job to stay at home to raise Bella. We usually go away to celebrate and this year was no different. Although the past two anniversaries were celebrated, just the two of us, this year we mixed it up a bit. For our third wedding anniversary, we celebrated in Charlotte, North Carolina with our darling daughter, Bella. 

Ian has been traveling to Charlotte every now and then to service his main client. This time Bella and I accompanied him for the trip. During the day, while Ian worked, Bella and I hit up the local mall. I googled "best mall in Charlotte" and SouthPark Mall was the first hit. I checked out the list of stores and knew it would be right up our alley. There was a Janie & Jack and Pottery Barn Kids, what more could I ask for? We spent most of the day at the mall and took our time browsing all the fun stores. After our trip to the mall (and a VERY quick nap for Bella), we returned to the hotel for a quick swim in the indoor pool. After a bath (for Bella) and a shower (for me), we waited for Ian to get back so we could go out to dinner.

Through recommendations of Ian's coworkers, we ate at a restaurant in uptown Charlotte, called Mimosa. The weather was absolutely beautiful and we were able to walk from the hotel to the restaurant. Charlotte is a neat little city and it was cool to see it all lit up at night. The food was pretty good and the majority of the food on the menu was organic, which was pretty cool. Bella slept in her stroller for most of the meal, which was nice and we took advantage of the weather and sat outside. We chatted and caught up with one another, which was really nice. The walk back to the hotel was the perfect way to end the night and the cool breeze made it very enjoyable. We didn't do anything elaborate or over the top, but we celebrated our anniversary in a special way. We celebrated it together and we kept with our tradition of going out of town. 

We leave Charlotte tomorrow and I couldn't be happier. While it was fun to play in a new city for a few days, it is no picnic to share a hotel room with a toddler and two Dachshunds. Oh, and I forgot to mention we drove. Yes, we drove 588 miles to Charlotte and all five of us survived! I think out of everyone, I was the most restless, as I do not travel well in the car. I'm more of a "hurry up and get there" traveler and I usually make every effort to get to the destination the quickest way possible. Bella was an absolute angel on the drive to Charlotte and I expect no less from her on the way home. We are so thankful to have a child who travels well.

Anyway... so here is to three years of holy matrimony and many more to come! Happy 3rd wedding anniversary to us!

Love always,
Ian, Kim & Bella

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Going the distance

Today I treated myself to a pedicure, which was well deserved after three consecutive days at the gym. I'm hoping to maintain a pretty active gym schedule for the next several months. There's no particular reason why I'm making more of an effort to frequent the gym, I just deserve to feel good. Oh, and I also enjoy the "me time" and with help my trusty iPod, I can block out the world with random tunes for 1-2 hours a day.

I forgot to mention that my last pedicure lasted for F-I-V-E weeks! Without so much as a chip, scratch or lack of shine, I might add. The shellac nail polish has performed better than advertised... the nail salon originally estimated my pedicure would last approximately 3 weeks, but it managed to last 5 weeks. I stubbed my toes, had a toddler drop toys on my feet, swam in our salt water pool and went running. Normal pedicures would have lasted me maybe 1-2 weeks with all this wear and tear, but the Harmony Gelish Gel Polish pedicure lasted 5 weeks. Awesome!

All of this being said, I am officially endorsing Harmony Gelish Gel Polish. Another plus is that it takes less time to dry because it dries under a U/V light for a few minutes. While there are 3-4 steps in applying the product, each coat dries instantly when exposed to U/V light. While my feet were being buffed and rubbed, I smiled to myself, knowing that my polish would be dry before I could even think about messing it up.

Anywho... enough about pampering myself. It's Saturday and it's time for family time. We enjoyed our family trip to the gym this morning and after Bella's nap we're having lunch with Grandma Ruth. I have a feeling it's going to be a great day!

Love always,
Ian, Kim & Bella

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tax Free Shopping Weekend

Today is the first day of Tax Free Shopping Weekend in Florida! Be sure to take advantage of the 7% discount (in Hillsborough County) and stock up on books, clothes, shoes and school supplies. 

There are limits, as books, clothing and shoes must be under $75 and school supplies must be under $15. That doesn't mean you can't split up your order or make multiple trips to the mall or your favorite store.

Here's the official link with a list of exempt items, dates/times and all the good details: Florida Tax Free Shopping Weekend.

I've already picked up a few outfits and three pairs of shoes for Bella. Oh, I also purchased Bella's Halloween costume, as costumes are include in the sales tax exemption. I love to shop, especially when I'm saving an additional 7%! 

Happy Shopping!

Love always,
Ian, Kim & Bella

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Back in the groove

After a week away from home, today was my first day back at home with Bella. It was a long day, but it was a really good day. It felt good to be refreshed and I felt ready to take on anything. Fortunately, Bella was a perfect angel and the day went really smooth. I am very thankful for days like today, because as a stay-at-home-mom, you have your good days and your bad days, like any job. Throughout the past 16-months, I've learned to cope with the bad days and appreciate the good days. 

Ian had to fly to Atlanta this morning for a meeting. Luckily it was only a day trip and he would fly home after the meeting. He left the house before anyone else was awake, including the dogs! Bella and I slept until 8am and had a productive morning. We ate breakfast, played, ran to Target and did multiple loads of laundry (which are folded and put away). Due to Bella sleeping until 8am, she didn't take her usual morning nap, but crashed about an hour after she normally goes down. She ended up taking a 3.5 hour nap, which allowed me to catch up on housework and my beloved DVR. 

When Bella woke up from her nap, we ate lunch and played some more. Coloring is quickly becoming one of Bella's favorite activities! She's quite the little Picasso, if I do say so myself! We played until it was time to go to the gym. As soon as the child care center opened for the afternoon at the YMCA, I dropped Bella off so I could work out. Bella loves going to the YMCA and playing with all of their toys. Like I mentioned in a previous post, she loves the Little Tikes treehouse so she was more than happy to play when I dropped her off. I worked out for a little over an hour (which by the way, felt AWESOME) and went to pick Bella up from the child care center. When I arrived, she was hard at work in the little make-believe kitchen area... perhaps I have a future stay-at-home-mom on my hands?!? At first, she didn't want to leave, but once she saw me, she had the biggest smile on her face! 

When we got back to our neighborhood, we stopped by the McGill's house for an impromptu play date. We haven't seen Sara or the girls in awhile, so the girls quickly took to playing in the family room while Sara and I caught up. We stayed for almost two hours! But daddies and dinner time take precedence over play dates, at least for today. We came home and played some more until Ian got home. We didn't eat dinner until almost 8pm, which meant we had a pretty tired toddler due to her altered nap schedule. Bath time and bed time followed soon there after, for all of us. Bella was in bed by 8:30pm and Ian and I will be in bed by 9pm. Everyone was exhausted from either traveling or playing all day!

And, tomorrow is F-R-I-D-A-Y! We have a fun weekend planned, including our 4th annual couples fantasy football league draft with our good friends. It will be nice to see everyone because we don't get together nearly often enough! And for the record, I think I will be keeping Michael Vick as my QB... as we play in a keeper league. Speaking of which, I'm totally unprepared for Sunday's draft and I've got research to do tomorrow! Can you tell I'm really looking forward to a weekend with good friends?!?

It was nice to be back in the swing of things. I've missed being home and I've really missed Bella. We had a great day today and I look forward to doing it all again tomorrow! Goodnight.

Love always,
Ian, Kim & Bella

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

In preparation for college football season... Go Gators! And if you're looking for adorable, custom made outfits for your little one, be sure to check out Best Dressed Babies on Facebook: Best Dressed Babies!

Love always,
Ian, Kim & Bella 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Too much time on my hands

I've been in Baltimore for almost a week and now that things have finally been sorted out, I can officially say that I am bored! I never thought I'd be bored, but I really am. I don't have loads of laundry to do, sippy cups to wash or diapers to change. I'm trying to enjoy this down time, but it's easier said than done. 

I've been working on my dad's house and trying to get it ready for when he comes home. I'd like for his house to be organized and clean, that way he won't have to worry about it. For me, I enjoy returning home to a clean house. Whenever we leave town, I always clean the house before we leave. The thought of returning to a house with toys all over the floor, dirty dishes in sink or laundry in the hamper stresses me out. Hopefully my dad appreciates the hard work I've put into getting his house organized and clean.

On a side note, my dad lives in a 2-story house. This means (for all your southerners) you walk in to the middle floor. On the middle floor, there is the living room, dining room and kitchen. Upstairs there are bedrooms and a bathroom. Downstairs there is the basement and a bathroom. That means whenever I need to do laundry, I have to schlep down two flights of stairs to do it. I think I lost about 10 pounds running up and down the stairs to do laundry!

I also managed to do a little shopping for Bella while I've been up here. I took advantage of the 1% difference in sales tax and a 25% off coupon at Carters. I stocked up on pajamas and managed to find a bargain on the clearance rack with two-piece pajama sets for $1.49! Can't beat that! I also went to a local sports shop and picked up Bella a few Ravens and Orioles items. It's so nice to see purple and black and orange and black on the racks instead of pewter and red or blue and gold. Go Ravens and Orioles!

There isn't much else going on in the land of crab cakes and Natty Boh. I miss Bella and Ian so much. I can't wait to get home and love all over that baby! I booked my flight home for Wednesday and I am eager to get home. Until then, I'll do my best to enjoy the peace and quiet... oh, and the sleeping in! 

Love always,
Ian, Kim & Bella

Thursday, August 4, 2011


In case you haven't noticed (all six of you), I've taken a hiatus from blogging, hence my leave of absence (L.O.A.)

Long story short... I flew from Tampa to Baltimore yesterday to take care of some family business. I left Bella in the care of Ian and Grandma Ruth. Grandma Ruth has graciously offered to watch Bella while I'm gone and while Ian is at work. It's my first time away from Bella for longer than 24 hours! I miss that little girl (and Ian, too) so very much, but thank goodness for iChat! I was able to iChat with Ian and Bella last night, which totally made my day. 

But for right now, it's time for family time. And I am very thankful for such a loving and supportive family! It's amazing how a group of people can quickly come together when one of their own is in need. I am truly blessed to have such an awesome family and it's only going to get better from here. 

That's it from the land of Natty Bo, Utz potato chips and snowballs. Speaking of which, I'm going to treat myself to a snowball tonight. Mmmm... yum! I'll be back in Florida soon, so until then, you stay classy Tampa Bay!

Love always,
Ian, Kim & Bella