spring break in deep summer


I'm posting about spring break in deep summer.

I mean.....

I'm just cool like that I guess.
Also because I need to remember the awesomeness that helped me get through the rest of the winter in Ithaca. Dire circumstances, you know.

So, when spring break rolled around, I was literally literally DYING to get out of there. I was about to go completely and utterly insane from the endless, torturous winter in Ithaca. By the beginning of April, it was still snowing. It was still cold. There was no sign it was letting up.

On top of that, I was a pregnant single mom for 2 weeks, deep in the middle of rehearsals for The Taffetas (which deserves its very own post that I'm getting to shortly), late night practices, skipping naps, overusing my friends' offers to watch my kid and trying to stay sane while Dale had school things that included attending fancy parties in New Orleans and eating at amazing places in NYC.

It was rooooouuuugh. I prefer not to live through it again. #ihategradschool.  Luckily, I have awesome friends that saved me and was able to make my husband feel guilty enough to send flowers in the middle of my week:

Finally, Spring break hit and Viv and I drove the 2 hours to the Rochester airport, froze our butts off and luckily made it with all our bags/carseat/stroller-with-toddler combo because some super nice stranger took pity on a pregnant me. The flight went swimmingly, we made it to Sarasota/Siesta Key, and that's when things started looking up.

We of course had no plans except beach plans. And ice cream plans. That's usually about the best planning we do. Viv was so excited to go to the "deach", especially because of her little pink chair we bought for $5. She insisted she carry it herself.

It was a little cloudy and windy the first two days...not exactly the warmest beach days in the world, but we did not care one bit. At that point, low 60's to us was like high 90s -- literally heaven. We stayed as long as we possibly could, eating sandy sandwiches, grapes and apple slices like it was our job. Viv played in the sand, screamed with happiness at the water, ran from the waves and destroyed Dale's carefully constructed sand castles. I basked in happiness, squeezed into a swimsuit too small for me, relaxed in the half sunshine and warmth and actually read a book.



We took full advantage of our laziness for two days at the same beach. Ate ice cream both days. Walked around downtown Siesta Key and the piers by our hotel. That first night we ate Italian and here's something awesome: I had my first sip of alcohol (completely on accident, mind you), and it was epic.... as in epically DISGUSTING. Imagine me, poor pregnant lady, dying for an ice cold lemonade. Factor in my craving for honey this pregnancy, when lo and behold I see honey stung lemonade on the menu. Delicious. So I order it, but only after do I realize that it's 7 bucks. Ouch. Dale's gonna be pissed. Too bad, I'm pregnant, blah blah blah, internal dialogue and all that. So while Dale is taking Viv to the bathroom for the 100th time, our drinks come and I'm surprised to see my very tiny $7 drink. Like TINY, guys, complete with a little tiny stir straw. And I'm like, come on, what a rip off. Now Dale's REALLY gonna be pissed when he finds out. blah blah blah, internal dialogue and all that.

So I take a sip. EWWWWW. Cough syrup status. I seriously almost gagged and I was like, dude, that is some seriously gross honey lemonade. I mean, WTH?! I was so mad. I JUST WANT SOME LEMONADE DAMNIT! So I wait for Dale to get back and tell him how gross my drink is and have him taste it. And he looks at me weird. Tastes it. I get a weird feeling that I'm missing some mildly important detail here.

Ya, there's definitely alcohol in that Elyse, says he.
I had a sneaking suspicion, yes I did.

And THAT, my friends, is probably the dumbest pregnancy moment of this pregnancy (akin to the time I thought I gave my then-Vivian-fetus fetal alcohol syndrome when I ate vodka-based tomato sauce on my spaghetti-- ya, that was a great one too).

SO I had to be the one to ask the server to get me a DIFFERENT drink that didn't have alcohol in it, because no I didn't realize it did, and yes I am pregnant and no I don't usually drink, I swear, blah blah blah, awkwardness and all that.

Good times for the Mormon pregnant lady and her family. Keep it classy.

On our third and final day, we decided to find a new beach. We found a more secluded place with prettier water, more shells and less people. It was suuuuper hot and proved to be the best day yet. Viv loved the shells and the water was a  little easier for her to play in.

We also had a whale sighting (above), a blue heron sighting (below), and a sting ray sighting (not pictured--but it was the coolest. Someone caught one with a fishing pole!)

On our last night we went to downtown Siesta Key, ate at an amazing restaurant, ate ice cream (again), checked out shops and dogs and parks to Viv's content. We watched the sunset on a beach and enjoyed every last drop of warmth before heading back to frozen hell.

And we really did go back to a snowy, frozen hell, but somehow it was bearable because we saw the sun for 3 days in a row. And we stayed alive until May.

It was a spring break for the books, and I'll remember it fondly as the spring break that kept me sane and helped me keep my hair on my head and my brain in my body.

8 months pregnant and camping like a fiend.


Can you tell things around here have been crazy?

They've been crazy.
We're settled in California, our  apartment is sparsely furnished, thanks to some really wonderful and selfless people, we finally have internet, Dale is finally working (yay for interships!!), and I am still pregnant.


This week, I'm officially 36 weeks, a week away from being full term and only a month left living in this terribly swollen body of mine. It's hot. It's just so hot. My feet are hot always. I sleep with a spray bottle by my bed because my feet are so hot. I want to cut my lower back and hips off my body on the daily because they always hurt...but, you know, that would make things look awkward. Anyway, I'm just at that point where people start telling me I look pathetic or tired or done or some other nice way of saying, "Hey....you look really pregnant and fat".

Baby boy is growing like a weed, we still don't have a name, except the one that Viv is requesting. So far she's insisting we name him Jack, after one of our good friends' brand new baby. She calls all the little babies Jack, and calls our fetus Jack too. Either way, un-named alien has given me 3 stretch marks on my belly. Which is fun, since I didn't have any there before. I love that part.....the part where your body stretches to a point that it won't look normal again. I love it a lot. It's great, right?

Anyway, we've been trying to get out and do a few things before I'm in a newborn haze that will last for who knows how long.

Because you guys know we love camping a lot.

We headed down to Big Sur...somewhere we've been wanting to go for a long time.
We went with our other camping-loving friends and found an entire campsite that we got entirely to ourselves. Running water, big tables, flushing toilets, even internet access, and a little river with a damned up pond running right through the camp site.

Basically, it was awesome.

The drive down the coast was amazing to say the least. Have you ever driven down Highway 1? It needs to be on your bucket list. It's definitely on mine...I've never seen such beautiful sights. I was making Dale stop constantly, gasping and oohing and aahing over and over. 

I've decided that THIS is where I want my 2nd house... Big Sur/ Monterey. You get the best of both worlds: Beautiful turquoise ocean with white sand beaches against a backdrop of mountains covered in beautiful pine. 

Just sayin....Someday, when I'm rich, it's happening. You're all invited.

Anyway, our 2-day trip was full of perfect weather,  a great campsite, easy food and better company. The kids did great, we did a little hike, ate so many s'mores and played in the perfect little stream that ran through our camp, damned up quite nicely for a two year old to splash around and throw rocks into. And a perfect place for baby Hazel to kill us with her cute little squishy face.


This here is McWay falls, only the prettiest place ever. Pine trees and waterfalls and moody ocean and jutting rocks and Jamaican-worthy white sand. Also poison oak. Looooots of poison oak.



No. That's not a whale. It's just me in clothes that don't fit anymore. 8 months pregnant and camping FTW, always.


Viv and Hazel were so damn cute together this trip. Viv went from abhorring babies to loving them in just a few days. She loved helping with everything baby-related...to the point that she doesn't really help. She's more like a T-Rex, wrecking everything in her path, stepping on all the things and generally being two-ish as she tried to read Hazel stories, tuck her in, get her dressed, wipe her face or change her diaper. But when she gets so excited to see her that she jumps up and down, squeals with joy, bends down right in her face and says "Hiiiiiii Dadel!" while putting her in a full-nelson-type hug, it seriously melts my heart. She loves her so much.

Something tells me I'm gonna need to develop a whole bunch of patience come July. That is if she likes this baby boy. She may just want to adopt Hazel instead. I'm totally fine with that.

All I'm saying is that our trip was epic, and what made it even MORE epic is that our two men were both equally unemployed at the moment, making this camping trip a MID-WEEK camping trip, no strings attached and freedom abounding. I'm really into this unemployed thing. Those Obama supporters really are onto something.

a quick & dirty


Hey there......

Said the ghost who doesn't run this blog anymore. Are blogs even a thing anymore? I don't even know.

Here's a little update on us. You know...the quick and dirty version of a catch up, brushing over spring break (FLORIDA!!!), Valentines (uneventful), a visit from my mom (awesome), our 5th anniversary (so fun!), Easter (really cute egg hunting), Mother's Day (sweet & relaxing), and lots of other great things that have happened since winter mostly ended (that blasted thing dragged on forever). Sooooo, ONWARD.


30 weeks, Mother's Day 2014
Currently 30 weeks, going strong, getting fat, feeling way too hot to survive the summer. Craving chips and charred hot dogs like you wouldn't believe. Trying to stay motivated to go to the gym and it's just not working. My hips feel like an 80 year old grandma's would. This little man in my belly is kicking and squirming like crazy. He likes to chill out a lot lower than his sister ever did, and as a result I pee my pants waaaaay too often for it to be considered normal.

28 weeks
I'm also more tired than I have ever been (besides that blasted newborn stage of course) and I take multiple naps a day...just getting it in while I can, you know. And bribing Viv (and ALL of her blankies and ALL of her stuffed animals) to climb in bed with me to watch a show so I can sleep an extra 30 minutes has become a daily occurance. We still have a shortlist of about 0 boy names and I haven't even thought about the nursery...is this my 2nd pregnancy or what?

And on a different note, I actually did something for myself which included getting really uncomfortably out of my box and did a musical. Called the Taffetas, it was a 4- part harmony girl group tribute to the 50's. It was SO MUCH FUN....and it definitely deserves its own post. So that will be coming soon, because it was the best thing I've done in a really long time.
Seriously though, I'm feeling great -- better than I did before. I'm feeling healthy with lots of energy and am just trying to enjoy the last couple months with my little sidekick.

27 weeks

May '14
The first thing she says when she wakes up in the morning: "Play outside?". So we play outside. I bribe her inside to eat lunch and take a nap with Easter candy. The first thing she says when she wakes up from her nap: "Play outside?".  So we play outside and skip making dinner.

April '14
I've never seen Viv more dirty and sweaty and homeless looking than she has in the last few weeks of perfect weather here. Ithaca is making up for being such a bitch to us this winter...and we can't get enough of it. She is constantly asking about her friends "Du & Dahm"(Stu & Graham) and "Dodal and Lei" (Opal & Eli). She loooooves these 4 kids and will run and yell and jump when she seems them across the lawn that separates our apartments. It's most definitely the cutest thing ever.

Other than that, Viv's qualified for speech therapy, so we're doing a little of that to get her caught up on this talking nonsense, and she's doing quite well. She's a sassy, smart little thing who is full of two-year-old independence. Lately she insists on pouring her own milk and making her own PB&J. And toast.
a little toast with her jam
 She wants cereal for every meal and loves Mac N Cheese and rice like a crazy person. She is still obsessed with dogs & cats. She's becoming quite the little artist and especially loves to paint. I'm always impressed with the varying brushstrokes she purposefully uses. She has also started to insist that I draw our family, meaning I draw Daddy with a red crayon, with big muscles on his arms. Mom with a dress and long hair. Viv with a purple crayon and crazy curly hair, and baby boy with a little diaper and one curly hair on top of his head. We draw us almost every day, and she loves it.

She's started mumbling prayers on her own (HEART PUDDLE),  She loves listening to music at night, and once we even caught her asleep with her headphones on, sprawled out on her bed like a teenager. She loves to wear her sunglasses on top of her head like me. She finds any excuse to NOT go to sleep. She needs a band aid on each leg almost every day because she had an owie like 2 months ago. She hates when people touch my belly to feel the baby kick, and she refuses to do it, pouting when I even mention it to her. She already hates the attention on someone else, although she is still obsessed with rocking, singing and shushing her babies and bunny to sleep. I can't wait to see that little punk as a sister. She will be so sweet.

church in a new dress, 5.4.14


Dale's last day of his 1st year MBA school!
Dale's first year of MBA is OVER!!! WOOOOOHHOOOOOOO. we are over-the-moon elated over here...because.....whoa. they are NOT kidding when they say that the first year is insane. Because it is. Like......unfathomable. I think I know how it is to be a single mom with sister wives, and maybe that should be a reality show (those sister wives have saved my sanity and my can out here, no doubt).

Mother's Day celebrations with two of my favorites
Dale probably has ulcers from the constant stress associated with a Cornell MBA, and I really need a boyfriend. He has kicked ass this semester though, of course. I knew he would, but it has taken a serious toll on him. Poor guy is exhausted and stretched to his very limits. If I'm being honest, the stress is not gone yet...we still do not have an internship.  I know. Don't judge us. These guys network and kiss up to every company, every CEO, every Linked In profile they can get their grubby little MBA hands on and show off in the very best way. They've all been searching for that perfect summer internship...the one that will make paying this much money for school worth it. Usually the majority of MBA's have their internship locked in and squared away by March...April at the very latest. Don't worry. It's May. We're still flying by the seat of our pants here.

unrelated picture--only the cutest one I have of Viv to date, probably
That's not to say that Dale hasn't been working his tail off...we all know Dale is incapable of anything else but the best. It just hasn't come yet...and we really do believe something awesome is coming our way. We are just learning a lot of patience right now...and learning to deal with the looks of pity that come from fellow students and their wives when that someone (us) doesn't have an internship this late into the year....and...ya. That's annoying.

We both feel confident that something great is coming our way. And coming from me, the most tightly wound, planning-est planner of the entire world....that's saying something. I have been shrugging my shoulders and saying "I don't know" way too much for comfort. But I do know it will work out. Until then...

We're moving back to the East Bay for the summer!!! (LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS!) Yes, that's where all our applications and interviews have been placed for internships...and so we'll be ahead of the game when Dale gets that super awesome job in the perfect place.... ha! Basically, we've reached a time period where we can't stay in Ithaca because there is NO opportunity here, and because we've subletted our place for the summer to some Indian guy who insists we buy him HBO and leave him a laptop (ewwww). We are officially kicked out with no furniture and a sparse amount of clothes and living goods. Also, did I mention we're having a baby in 2 months? Sooooo...ya, we had to go somewhere. Some semblance of a plan had to happen. East Bay it is. Who knows, maybe we'll just live off loans and go swimming all summer! Who needs a job? Who needs insurance? WHO NEEDS A PLAN!? Not us. Not....us......

Spring break in Florida, April '14
So right now, we are in the dregs of deciding what to pack into the third bedroom our subletter isn't using, and what to take with us. Deep cleaning stuff I haven't in a year. Deciding what food in our freezer to throw away versus what to binge eat. What clothes will fit my 1 month post-pregnant body....what books to take from Viv's precious stack...what toys to bring and whether or not to bring the ice cream maker, just because. We leave on Sunday...Driving, flying, driving and then driving some more. It's gonna be a long few weeks until we get settled, and hopefully it doesn't put me into labor. But if the moving doesn't, the heat in the East Bay probably will (think about it--I'm climatized to subzero temperatures now, and 60's feel like 100 degrees to me right now. That big of a temperature jump can NOT be healthy). Don't worry. I'm not complaining. I'd rather melt than freeze any day.

Again...there are so many unknowns in our summer equation at this point in time. Sometimes it makes me wonder if this whole school thing is worth it or not.

April '14
But I shrug my shoulders and say "I don't know". Because who the hell ever does, you know?

Wish us luck this week.


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