Friday, May 13, 2011

The downfall of civilization...

Let me set the scene for you:  

A community in South New Jersey (a suburb of Philly) has a nice street of ~40 year old houses.  Many of the people that live on the street have kids that are grown, so the street has been pretty quiet these last few years.  There are a few families that are younger with kids, but these days you don't often see kids playing outside.

For many years, one family in particular has 3 boisterous, energetic kids whom you can always see playing outside in the sunshine.  Since they were little, one could always hear the laughs and screams of young kids playing.  

They have been the exception, not the rule; as sad as that is to say.  

Finally, relief and happiness for our future when arriving one beautiful Spring afternoon, kids are seen running around and playing, and not just the 3 boisterous ones.  These wonderful kids have someone to run around with!  

Now, I know you are probably wondering how in the world this could be anything about the downfall of civilization, but sadly that part is coming.

So we have about 6-7 kids playing "cops and robbers," which is really just boys vs. girls with the boys hiding and the girls trying to catch them.  They are running around all over the neighborhood, through the yard, and out past the backyards.  

Now this community is backed by a common area which is just a bunch of open area with grass, a few trees, and then past that are more houses in a newer development.

The kids work their way to the back part running between houses (since a lot of the homes do not have fencing) yelling (not obnoxiously) and laughing as they have fun.  One neighbor from the other development decides a few times to yell at these kids PLAYING OUTSIDE to "Stay out of my yard!"  Not nice in any way, just yelling at these kids (which range from 2nd grade to 5th grade).  

Now these kids aren't going near this house, the closest they might get is maybe 20 feet from the back, and a little closer if they run by the side of the house.  This neighbor seems to think that her yard extends all the way back through the common grass area.  No harm is being done by these kids, they could be like the bad older kids in the neighborhood doing who knows what in the open area some nights.  Each time this lady yelled at a kid (it was always a different kid) they would stop running and quietly walk away on a "time out" from the game since they couldn't run anymore.

Finally, a certain someone couldn't take this lady screaming at these kids anymore and decides to intercede on behalf of them.  She yells (just so the person could her since she was a good 100 feet away from the crazy lady) asking "What is so wrong with kids running around and playing?"  

Oh man, no one could be prepared for the onslaught that would follow this simple question!  Not only did this woman start yelling about it being her property (yes, but not the entire grass area) and apparently asking "nicely" twice already was the reason for her yelling.  Hah!  So apparently yelling at kids is being nice about it!  This yelling was followed by an entire onslaught of family that happened to be over that afternoon coming out to the backyard and yelling their thoughts and opinions on the matter.  

Things such as "I heard my Aunt ask them to stay off the lawn!"  "You're the one yelling!"  Yes, I'm the one yelling when there are now 10 grown adults defending the right LOUDLY to yell at little kids for playing on a beautiful Friday afternoon, and so it went on...

The calm neighbor (ok, maybe not so calm anymore but still staying civil about the matter) sticking up for the kids added this point:  "Would you rather them be inside playing video games all day?!?"  They really didn't have an answer to that, but of course they probably don't listen to any logical thinking. 

Obviously, they weren't going to back down from this so the kid backer tried to appease them by saying they would keep the kids from running in their yard as they continued playing, of course this fell on deaf ears.

Now if that doesn't get your blood boiling, then the part which leads to the downfall of civilization will...

The end-all be-all of the matter came when their reasoning for wanting them off the lawn came out: 
"This is our property so if one of the kids gets hurt we would be responsible and you would sue us!"  

Are you kidding me?!  They are running on a mowed open area of grass essentially just chasing each other!  If they fall they will just get back up and keep playing - they are kids after all!  It is people like this that are ruining our country and legal system.  Yes, a person should sue someone if a kid is hurt because you were neglectful while watching them and left them in a knowingly dangerous situation.  But for running on grass that according to you is your property (and most of isn't)?  Complete BS!  

These are the type of people that would sue over something so stupid, I bet they have in the past.  They are probably the same kind of people that want their kid to get a trophy just for participating.  

It is so sad to think that kids can't play these days without people worrying about being sued over something so stupid, not to mention being so possessive over lawn that they don't want cheerful kids running around!

If they are so concerned with kids on their lawn, then I don't know why they don't get a fence?!  Something so simple for people so finicky over trivial matters.  

As the joyful kids and kid-advocate walk back to their yard, these 10 adults watch to make sure they don't come back.  Even 20 minutes later there is at least one adult standing in the backyard to watch that no one goes on their precious lawn!  Man, I am so glad I am not so possessive (and crazy)!  

This kind of thing just makes my blood boil!  Thanks for reading my vent session.  Please feel free to vent here as well!!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

5-6 week feelings

So we are now about 5 weeks, 3 days along.  I have felt weird in my stomach for about a week now, that butterfly feeling mixed with cramps every once in awhile.  We are both so excited, nervous, and scared right now.

Insurance is proving to be a difficult thing to come by.  We can afford to pay for my insurance, but not the entire pregnancy out of pocket.  I was denied coverage by a major company since they consider pregnancy a "pre-existing condition."  I think I will have to look into MediCal and rely on government assistance right now, which I really didn't want to do.  I have also read/heard about options for paying cash and receiving a discount from certain hospitals.  I know it will all work out, we are just a little worried about it right now.  I will update you on how it all ends up.  Update:  MediCal looks to be working out!!!  Woohoo!

My nose is still super sensitive right now, smelling both good and bad things.  I have to use the bathroom all the time, yesterday 15 times in one day (though that does include sitting at a bar drinking water all night)!  It is amazing what pregnancy does to your body, even only 5 weeks in.

Meanwhile, there are so many babies being born around my family and friends.  My girlfriend Jenny just had her first child last week, the day before we found out we were pregnant.  Little Isabel was welcomed to the world.  My cousin Katie had her 2nd child, a boy yesterday.  Little Talin joined his big brother Forrest! Plus two of my cousins are pregnant right now, making my G-ma waiting on 3 Great Grand-children all at once!  Wow!!  So excited for the future.

We have decided to call our little baby in the making "Baby Moose."  Moose is Pat's nick-name since high school and I think it works great!  34+ weeks until we welcome our little Moose!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Telling the in-laws!

Today we started our trip to Pat's home (and mine for 4 years) to visit friends and family.  It worked out nicely timing wise since it fell just after Mother's Day.  We were originally going to get his mom this great Olive Oil and Vinegar from the Temecula Olive Oil Company, but of course we had an extra surprise awaiting her this time!

We still bought her the oil and vinegar, this time trying a new late harvest oil.  It is delicious!  Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and they suggest combining it with either regular balsamic or with their special Blanco Balsamic with honey.  Soo good! Can't wait to try it!

After she opened her regular present, it was time for the surprise.  I told her she had one more, "a last minute addition."  =)
Thank goodness she took a pic of it, I forgot!

She opened it, and of course I had to add a few extra layers of tissue paper.  Finally, she saw her gift.  She froze for a second and then looked at us and just started screaming...and I mean really screaming!  I gave here a hug for a while, and she was still screaming...right in my ear =)  I let go, and she was still screaming.  At this point I knew Pat's dad had to be a bit confused, he still couldn't see the gift.  Finally Pat told him and he had a big smile, and Linda was still screaming.  It was such a great reaction, completely opposite of my mom's, but still just as fun!  The great part was that in both cases our mom's had a great reaction while our dad's sat confused and waited to know what was going on.  Love it!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Phillies vs Padres game 4

Easter Sunday!!!  We didn't realize when we purchased these tickets that it was Easter weekend, but we had a great time.  It was well worth it since we got to see a two-time Cy Young Pitcher, Roy Halladay!  He is great to watch.  I felt a little bad since we were supposed to go up to my Aunt and Uncles but had to cancel.  Ooops!

Since it was Easter Sunday, we decided to got out for breakfast at The Broken Yolk.  This is a great restaurant that Travel Channels Adam Richman went to for Man vs. Food (he won!)  Here is the display for the challenge...

And his victory plaque...

 Later, at the park, the Easter bunny was there for all of the kids to see!

 We decided to go by the dugout for the pre-game.  Pat has a baseball he got last season when the Phillies were in town.  He wanted to get Cliff Lee's signature and whichever other big name he could.

Love it!!!  Roy Halladay is known as "Doc" Halladay.  Perfect sign and ears for Easter!

 There is Cliff Lee!  and Pat with the maroon Halladay shirt trying to get the signature.  He was only signing little kids items so no luck for Pat =(

The owner Ruben Amaro Jr. before the game in the dugout.

 More signatures pre-game.

 Relaxing in the dugout some more.  I think that is one of the coaches and Ruben's daughter hanging out.  Lucky girl!

Now at our seats
 The great Roy Halladay!!!  I took quite a few pics of him pitching and his form was exactly the same every time.

 Shane Victorino coming back to the dugout...after hitting an inside the park home run!!!!  So great to see!!!

 Great game!  Go Phillies!!!!

Phillies vs Padres Game 3

Phillies pitcher,  Joe Blanton  did a great job today; though he didn't get the win since they had to pull it off in extra innings.

The first pitch...

 Was thrown by comedian Nick Swardson!

 Our seats for the game.

 Great Phillies sign!

 Rally caps are on!

 Just one more out to go into extra innings, or as my husband always says..."Free baseball!"

 Threatening in the 11th...

 Ryan Howard up to bat, great double...

which scores Jimmy Rollins to take the lead!

 Victory!!!  Well, at least we will have victory very soon.  Missed the final picture.

Next...Easter baseball with a Cy Young pitcher!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Surprise

Not long after we found out we were pregnant, our thoughts turned to when and how we would tell our families-especially our parents.  It was very obvious for us to tell our parents as soon as possible and it worked out perfectly that two days after the positive results was mother's day!  It was also very lucky that we will soon be on our way back east to visit family and friends.

We would have preferred to tell both sets of parents at the same time, about 3,000 miles kind of gets in the way.  We decided we were definitely going to make it a Mother's Day Surprise for both of our moms (and dads)!  My parents would be told Mother's day evening and Pat's parents as soon as possible IN PERSON (yay!) once we get back east.

What we needed was a way to tell them.  I knew that I wanted our moms to open a gift and see something that would indicate to them that they would be GRANDPARENTS!!!  A few ideas went through our heads including picture frames, baby clothes, drawings, or a picture of the positive test.  Before we made our decision, we needed the help of my sister so it was time to break the news to her which I had already decided to do only second to Pat being told.  

The opportunity arrived when we went for a morning walk with Sara for some coffee (I know, bad caffeine!  I drink decaf).  After our breakfast on our way home, I finally came up with a way to tell her.  I basically said... "Hey Sara, Pat and I need your help...tellling...Mom and Dad...that we are pregnant!!!"

She stopped in her tracks and asked if I was serious.  We hugged, we cried, she said "Amy!", it was great.  After the shock wore off, we figured out together what we would do.  We used "running errands" as an excuse to go to Babies R' Us to throw my mom off (she so thought we just had to get her last-minute mother's day gifts-acutally correct but not in the way she was thinking =)

We were hoping to find a cute onesie, gender neutral, that says something about Grandma.  Not much luck, sadly.  The Grandma ones were cute but for either a girl or boy.  Only knowing for a day, we were no where near to knowing the gender!  We found instead a cute set of onesies that were yellow and a bib set that says "Grandma makes me smile".  Awwww-so cute!  I wanted something else and found a "Grandma's brag book" for them to put ultrasound pics/baby pics in as they get them.

The time finally came to give my mom the present.  I was super excited for her to open it, especially since my brother was in town so he could be told in person as well.  With my family gathered around, my mom proceeded to take FOREVER to open the dang wrapping.  I was just anxiously awaiting the moment when she saw the bib with the word Grandma on it.  Finally she got the package open and...

she gasped, looked at me, and said "Really?!" I said yes and we hugged and cried.  My dad couldn't quite see the reason for all this and then finally caught on.  We hugged and cried and then I went back to hugging and crying with my mom.  It was so heart-warming to bring such joy to my parents lives!  They have wanted grandchildren for awhile now, especially since plenty of people around us have had grandchildren, especially family.  Now they would finally be Grandparents!!!

Now all that is left is to surprise Pat's parents Wednesday.  We cannot wait!

Happy Mother's Day everyone!!

Friday, May 6, 2011


A funny feeling is dancing around in my tummy.  I have had suspicions for a few days now but decided today was the day I actually need to check it out.

Sure enough, not one but two tests came back positive (and then a third a couple days later to get a good picture).

That's right!  As of Friday, May 6th we are pregnancy test pregnant!

I have been feeling a bit off the last few days.  My stomach has the feeling of butterflies dancing around that won't go away.  It reminds me of the first time I went to New Jersey to visit Pat after not seeing him since we first met a month and a half earlier.  I was anxious and nervous and had this same butterfly feeling then.  Of course then it went away after I was with him again; this time it's not going away!

I had to wait 3 hours by myself with this life-changing announcement before Pat came home from work.  I called him into our bedroom and had him sit down.  I told him I had something to show him and made him close his eyes.  Then I held the stick in front of him and told him to open.  He was so surprised and shocked!  After a few seconds, that wore off and he was so happy.  I am so glad I was able to share this special moment with him and have him so excited.

 I on the other hand, think I am still in shock and it is only those butterflies dancing in my stomach that keep reminding me it is real!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Phillies vs. Padres Game 2

Friday, April 22nd Game 2 in San Diego
We decided to eat before we went into the park at this great spot right outside the stadium called Tin Fish.  32 oz. beers for $8!

 It is directly across the street from the Convention Center as well.
 Great food as well!  Fish and chips...
 Fish tacos!
 Pre-game warm-ups were great today.  Here is pitcher Cliff Lee working out since he wasn't going to pitch in the series.  A giant yawn was caught on camera!!!

 We had a great spot to watch part of batting practice today.  We sat near the 3rd base dugout. Ryan Howard after Batting practice.  
 Woot, woot!!! Chase Utley hitting a few.  Plus there has been good news recently that he may return before the end of May!  Hopefully by May 18th since we will be going to the Phillies game on our trip back east.
 More Phillies fans hanging out before the game.
 Chase Utley fielding some hits.
 Cy Young winner Roy Halladay!!!
The boys lined up for the Anthem...
 I just had to include this pitch sequence shot of cole Hamels.  Such great form!  Plus he is a San Diego native!
 Last out of the game.  Another victory!!!