Awesome Alethea

I met Alethea years & years ago on a wedding website message board. She was wild & crazy & over the top online. I was a lil in awe & intrigued & definitely couldn’t wait to meet her IRL.

And then we did & she was even more awesome in person. Then we joined/formed a local book club together & I continued to look forward to those meetings to hear her latest stories & her laughter.

Fast forward a few more years & suddenly through the shared crappiness that is infertility, we had this mutual bond. Which we walked miles & miles around local lakes, talking & talking & laughing & sharing the trials of seemingly endless doctor appointments/needles/stress through. I honestly don’t think I would’ve survived IF without her.

And before you go thinking we were fitness buff buddies, don’t. We also shared many cupcakes & beers & dinners. And traveled back & forth to Charlotte & OIB to have fun with our other mutual friends. Always a blast when Alethea was around.

Sadly she moved to OR in the summer of 2011. I cried a lot & missed her local friendship more than she probably knows. Our lives, as it often happens when people move cross country, drifted apart. I was busy with a crazy pregnancy then newborns while she was getting divorced & finding & establishing herself as a Portlander.

Fast forward til this April, when right before Easter her then boyfriend {now fiance!} found her on the floor of her home incoherent. A slew of tests & doctors & surgery revealed the news no one wants to hear, cancer in multiple places including her brain. #AweseomeAlethea was given 9 months at first, but thanks to a treatment that’s working, her timeline has been pushed to 3-5 years. And my fighting friend wants even more! She’s quit her job so she & all the family & friends who adore her can have as much time as possible soaking up all the fun & travel possible.

Where am I going with this? That this morning, an hour after this post goes live, a big group of her NC friends are doing an #AwesomeAlethea 5k behind Crabtree mall to help raise money for her extensive medical treatments. Then we’re continuing the celebration of Alethea with a pub crawl this Saturday night in downtown Raleigh. The BEST part ~ we were able to get Alethea here! So she’ll be with us as we walk, hug, laugh, drink & probably shred a few tears.

If you want to do something {watching a friend suffer not knowing what you can do to sucks}, some friends created an #AwesomeAlethea youcaring page where you can donate & all funds go straight to her.

Sesame Street LIVE!

The last weekend in May {after an awesome two prior weekends of birthday party fun & a long weekend at OIB with family ~ that I will post about soon}, Lucy & Zach’s minds were a little blown when we went to see Elmo & Abby & friends live!
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We had to buy four tickets, but Lucy was in such awe she wanted to sit in my lap the whole time. Zach bounced from Jason’s lap to his own seat between us to standing up dancing around.

While the kids missed the story line {Abby left her wand behind, Elmo cast a spell to make everyone sing which was fun until it wasn’t}, they loved all the singing & dancing. They thought it was amazing that the characters we have in books & see on TV were right there! And by right there I mean up on stage & just far enough back that L & Z weren’t afraid.
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To attempt to save us money, I brought goldfish & water in my diaper bag & I’d picked up some glow sticks & glow necklaces at the Target $1 section. L & Z thought those were fun & didn’t even seem to notice the other kids’ popcorn, $10 light toys & $20 stuffed animals.

But then during intermission, a guy came out with hundreds of double-sided Elmo & Cookie Monster balloons. Zach literally freaked shouting “Elmo! Balloon!” And we knew out plan to leave Sesame Street Live without souvenirs was foiled. $16 later, we had two over the moon toddlers {& thankfully two weeks later, those two balloons are still surviving}.
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We chose the right timing {1030a show} as we were home in time for lunch & an epic nap!

Blended

Confession. Jason & I had not been on a date night since before Lucy & Zach were born two years ago. We’ve done a few lunches out while my parents were in town. But a proper, kids-in-bed-let’s-go-out hadn’t been accomplished for two years.

We can blame high maintenance getting to bed babes, or extended breastfeeding, or not having babysitters lined up or even just laziness on our part. So to say, we were due for a movie night out just us is putting it mildly!

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon has become a DVR’d favorite for us. And we loved the show where Adam Sandler & Drew Barrymore were on together recently talking about their upcoming movie Blended. Then we’d seen a few trailers of Blended & both thought it looked pretty cute too.

So when an email popped up inviting me & a guest to watch Blended, I called my aunt to confirm she was free to watch TV & read while L & Z {hopefully} slept, clued the husband in & replied YES!

Blended

It was a rainy, rainy night, one perfect for pjs, but instead we went to the movies! Admittedly, I don’t get out to the movies often. So being out after dark, holding the husband’s hand & a bowl of popcorn was a treat, but I really enjoyed this movie.

Suz's Treats Blended date night

Our phones had both died at movies so this is best selfie we could manage once we got home. Yay for date night!

Blended was a hit for us ~ a cute combination of favorite actors, sweet story line & the perfect amount of romance & comedic laughs. My husband loved Shaq’s appearance in the film & my fellow movie goes & I all laughed out loud with the actor who will always be known as the Old Spice guy’s silly singing antics.

We went to see Blended for a fun, adult night out, yet this film could be family hit also as the children/teen actors do a great job & keep the laughs & poignant moments rolling too. As a mom, I might’ve had tears twice. The scenes between

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Jim {Adam Sandler’s character} & his daughters’ pulled on my heart strings.

Were we shocked by the ending, no. But I didn’t come to see if for a stressful, suspense that’d leave me with nightmares. Instead I left with a smile on my face & a further appreciation of my sweet husband & family.

If you haven’t seen the movie trailer yet, jump over to www.blendedmovie.com. And if you’re looking for a fun date night movie, go check out Blended, opening in theaters today!

Final Breastfeeding Update

I’m calling it. I think my months & months (& months) of breastfeeding two then regularly one are done.

Zach hasn’t consistently nursed in months (March’s end of cosleeping/his crib sleeping & STTN ended our nightly bfing). The last couple months he’s nursed the occasional morning if he’s pulled into our bed, when he’s been home sick or one post-nap nursing session. Last Monday am was what I believe will be my last tandem feed ~ they woke up too early, husband brought them to me in bed when he left for work. And when they both asked for “Mommy?!” I obliged knowing bittersweetly this might be another end of an era. Z cracked me up fumbling a bit as of he’d kinda forgotten how & L acted as if this was a strange treat she wasn’t quite sure about. I thought about fumbling for my phone for a photo but decided to just live in the moment instead.

That evening L nursed on each side for less than a minute before asking for cuddles & bed. Same thing Tuesday, 1 min per side, quick sippy then bed.

No nursing from L for the past week. And this Tuesday night (the eve of her second birthday) as she sauntered on her own down the hall to her crib, she said over her shoulder in response to my asking about her sippy, “no. Finished. Cup. Sink.” Well, ok then.

In one weeks time, she’s gone from a combo of nursing & a sippy cup of organic whole milk before I carry her to bed to being done with pre-bed “mommy time”, sippies & walking herself to her crib!

If you need me, I’m in the corner with my slightly sore, very deflated (yet still rock star because hello 23 mos!) boobs. Both in awed wonder & sadness at the loss of my baby who’s suddenly a growing up toddler.

Two Year Photos

Before I get into a fun & poignant week of birthday week posts, I didn’t want to leave out sharing a few of my

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favorite photos from Lucy & Zach’s two year photo session with my lovely & talented friend Steph, the photographer behind LilyMae Photography.

Lucy & Zach 2 year

Lucy & Zach 2 year family

Lucy & Zach 2 year family B&W

Yep, this is our life ~ laughingly wrangling toddlers & doing whatever it takes to make them smile :)

Lucy 2 year

Lucy girl!

Zach 2 year chair

Lucy 2 year chair

Lucy’s smile {finally!} is thanks to her Daddy’s tickles!

Zach 2 year eyelashes

Eyelashes, thanks to his Daddy. :) Curls I’m putting off cutting, all Mommy :)

Lucy & Zach were just about over photos when we changed them into their birthday outfits. But Steph & I were determined to get a few sweet shots of them together. Thanks to Annie’s fruit snacks, these were accomplished!

Lucy & Zach 2 year with mommy

So proud to call them mine & TWO!

Lucy & Zach 2 year kiss

This shot is so them ~ a mix of sweetness & side eye!

Big thanks Steph!