Friday, July 23, 2010


I'm having a hard time trying to remember why I wanted to have another baby. When I was pregnant with Reese my only first trimester symptom was extreme exhaustion which was easily cured by a nap when I got home from work. This go around I'm sick with a capitol ICK! I've had at least some degree of nausea every single day, most days I can't even stand up without feeling like I'm going to puke. Oh and speaking of puking, I do it all the time, it's become my evening ritual and no I don't feel any better after I do. The newest joy in my life is the kidney pain that started last night and has yet to subside, it's not that it hurts terribly it's the fact that I know how bad it can get and that's enough to make me want to cry. Other than that it's just the usual joys of having your hormones messed with, I'm mean to just flat out call it what it is. I roll my eyes constantly at what I deem to be the stupidity of others and have labeled innocent bystanders my arch nemesis. I feel bad for poor little Reese because my fuse isn't as long as it used to be and despite my best efforts to fight against it, I fear she may be getting the short end of the stick.
Did I mention we're potty training? Well we are, and that's enough to make anyone rethinking having more children. We started a week ago and Reese is doing really well with peeing in the toilet but we're still having trouble trying to get her to poop in it.
I'm 8 weeks along today so hopefully the first trimester woes will end soon, if not expect to read more blogs about the stupidity of those I encounter.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


There's another little Crandall on the way. I have my first doctor's appt. in a week but by my calculations I'm 5 weeks along and will be due March 5th. Which means that in 35 ridiculously long and tiring weeks Reese will undergo the transformation from only child to Super Big Sister.

Friday, July 2, 2010


The day after Reese's birthday party, Nate and I left for 6 days in Ireland without the little princess. This was a hard earned trip as I had watched a little girl for 10 days while her parents were in Italy so that they would watch Reese while we went to Ireland, and if you add up all the other time I spent watching kids over night then you'd see that this vacation was a necessity for me.
We left Sunday and flew in to Kerry which is in the Southwest of Ireland. We picked up our rental car and I hoped behind the wheel which was of course on the right side of the car. I was nervous about driving on the "wrong" side of the road but other than having to focus on which side to be on when you turned, it wasn't that bad (side note: it's screwed me up for life because now when I turn into a parking lot that's got one of those dividers in the center I have the hardest time remembering which side I'm supposed to enter on). It was raining when we got there and we were starving so we stopped at a pub and waited the longest period of time ever to get some food, luckily when we got it it was good. After lunch we drove to Killarney Forest and went to the Muckross House. Originally we were going to rent bikes and ride around the lake and over to the waterfall, but since our lunch took so long to get and it was raining, it didn't make much sense to do that. Instead we wandered around outside and then drove straight through the forest to get to our hotel. It ended up being a good plan for us because there were so many turnouts on the road that Nate and I were constantly pulling over and getting out and running around looking at things. At our very first stop as we were climbing wet slippery rocks, I realized how nice it was that it was just the two of us and we didn't have to worry about Reese falling. We drove the rest of the way to Kenmare and checked in to our Bed and Breakfast for the night. It was the most amazing place and we had what would be equivalent to the master suite in the place, we were up on a little hill and one of our walls was a giant window so when we were done for the day we just layed on the bed and looked at the sheep grazing in the fields. After we had checked in we wandered in to town and looked around. We saw our first stone circle just outside of town and then we went to Holy Cross Church which had an amazing wooden ceiling. Most of the shops in the town were closed by the time we got there, so we went to a pub where we had AMAZING food and then called it a night.
The next day we got up bright and early and had our first Irish breakfast at our B&B. I could definetly get used to having bacon, sausage, eggs, cereal, and toast every morning, it was so good and it was a great way to start off our long day. After breakfast we started off on our drive of the ring of kerry, now I mock Rick Steves incessantly, but we took the route he had suggested for the ring of kerry and the entire day we only saw one tour bus and we hardly saw any cars. It was amazing to be completely by ourselves, it made it feel more like we were explorers than tourists. One of the first places we pulled off the ring was at Staigue Ring Fort. The road from the main road to the fort was ridiculously small, and the funny part was that it wouldnt' even be the narrowest road we drove on during our trip, we were glad we had gotten our dinky Nissan Micra. When we got to the fort we wandered around enjoying the views of the ocean and I swear we didn't see the sign about climbing on it until we were going to leave.
Our next stop along the ring was Carroll's Cove which had an amazing little beach. We got out and played in the sand for awhile and I braved the ocean, which actually wasn't that bad, while Nate found jellyfish washed up on the shore. I don't know why I hadn't thought that Ireland would have beaches, but I was amazed and it made the trip that much better to get to play in the ocean. The next part of our drive had some amazing views of the Skellig Islands, despite the overcast day, and then we pulled out for what was supposed to be an amazing view and we were not disappointed. Finally we ended up in Portmagee which is home to the Top Toilet according to the sign. We had a quick lunch at a bakery and then hoped back in the car for the rest of our journey. At the bakery I had picked up this little map that lisetd things in the area and it showed a castle in the next town we had planned to visit, I had just been telling Nate how we hadn't seen a castle yet so I was eager to go to the one on the map.
When we got to the town of Cahersiveen we wandered around the shops for a bit and then drove out to Ballycarberry Castle which ended up being one of the highlights of the trip for us. There was a barbed wire fence around it but it was tied off so we went ahead and walked under the fence and went up to the castle. We were able to climb up the stairs inside of it and just have a lot of fun. The man who is in charge of it actually came out and watched us, but just warned us to be careful and didn't mind that we were getting an upclose look at the castle. After our time at the castle we drove on over to the Cahergal fort before we finished our drive to Tralee where we stayed the night.
Tuesday was going to be one of our longest driving days and just getting out of Tralee with all the traffic took longer than we had expected. We were taking a ferry across the Shannon Estuary and got there just as the ferry we had planned on was leaving. The next one was only an hour away so we went back to the town and got some snacks to eat while we waited. When we got off the ferry we had directions to go one way but the gps wanted us to go another, so in the spirit of adventure we followed the gps and it ended up being a good idea. It took us on these crazy, and I mean CRAZY, backroads that were up and down hills and the fear of where we would pull over if another car came was a very real one. We had so much fun just zipping around on the roads though. When we finally met back up with where our directions were leading us too, we were in the town of Lahinch and we figured we'd go ahead and stop for lunch. Stopping in Lahinch ended up being one of the best decisions we made, it was this super awesome little surf town. We had our lunch at the pub and then as we were wandering around we found a surf shop and I was so excited, I got an awesome sweatshirt and then we went and played at the beach for awhile. It was actually a fairly warm day so it felt nice to run around in the sun.
After our time in Lahinch, we drove up to the Cliffs of Moher which are some of the most amazing cliffs I've ever seen. This was another moment where we were glad we didn't have Reese because we were able to go past the "do not go past here" sign and get some of the best views of the cliffs. I had read that the wind gusts push tourists off the cliffs a few times a year so I was a little freaked out that Nate was getting so close and at one point I thought about what would've happened if we had taken Reese with us and had a mild meltdown at the idea of her falling off a cliff despite the fact that 1. she wasn't with us and 2. if she had been we wouldn't have gone past the sign. Even with my fears it was still amazing to see. When we had finished at the cliffs, we finished our drive to the town of Doolin where we'd be staying the next two nights. We were so exhausted from our long day that we ended up taking a quick nap before we drove out to the burren which is this crazy rocky landscape that has grass and flowers growing in between the gaps in the rocks. We drove out to the Poulnabrone Dolmen and then just wandered around the Burren some more before we headed back to town and got some food and listened to some pub music.
Wednesday we took a boat from Doolin out to Inishmore which is one of the Aran Islands. It ended up being a ridiculously warm, sunny day and we even ended up getting sunburnt while we were on the island. When we got there we rented bikes, really crappy bikes, and started peddling out to the main site on the island Dun Aenghus. Part way through our ride we stopped at the beach, naturally, and cooled off before we finished our ride up to Dun Aenghus. Dun Aenghus is another ring fort, but this one is situated against a cliff and is actually missing parts due to erosion. We had to hike up the hill to the fort but when we got there the ocean view was amazing. We just sat on the edge of the cliff and ate our lunch while we enjoyed the sun and sea. After that we rode our bikes around the island until it was time to return them and catch our boat back to Doolin. In the end I think we ended up biking about 15 miles that day, which is a lot when you consider the island is only about 9 miles long. When we got back to Doolin, and could feel our sunburns setting in, we wandered around the town and then headed out to dinner at a pub that we had been told would have really awesome music that night. Our B&B hostess was right on with how good the music was, despite the fact that we were exhausted we stayed out for awhile listening to the crazy folk music.
Thursday morning we had to be up super early so we could return our car in Galway by 8am and catch our 9am train to Dublin. It was kind of shock to arrive in Dublin after all the time we'd spent out in the quaint countryside. We couldn't even think of anything we wanted to do there because we really just wanted to be back out by the cliffs. Luckily we got over ourselves and decided to just wander around. We walked past Dublin Castle and St.Patrick's Cathedral on our way to the Kilmainham Gaol which was the only place I really wanted to see. I have an unnatural fascination with prisons so I was very excited to get to go inside this one and our tour guide was really informative and taught us a lot about some of the political history of Ireland. Nate was a little mad that I'd made him walk all the way there in the sun when he had a sunburn but when we walked past the house that was using an old car as a garden it made the whole trek worth it for both of us. Since Thursday was our actual anniversary we were trying to come up with something to do when we decided to just go out to the suburbs of Dublin and see Iron Man 2. We ended up having the best night, if we didn't know any better we would've thought that we were in America and while it may sound sad to go to Dublin to feel like you're in America, for people who haven't had a regular American night out in awhile it was awesome. We took the tram out to the suburb and went to this huge 4 story mall where we spent some time wandering through mostly American stores before we went and had dinner at TGI Fridays and then watched Iron Man 2. We loved our night in Dublin and as we got back to the city after our night out and saw all the people at the pubs we realized that we had made the right decision because we're just not nightlife people.
Friday morning we took a taxi to the airport and got back to our baby girl that afternoon. I was so excited to see her after being away from her and despite the fact that she was completely fine without us, she was still really excited to see us too.

Reese's 2nd Birthday Party

Reese's birthday party was over a month ago now, but I've been putting off posting about it until now. It's 11:45pm and despite the fact that Reese and I spent the entire day at the pool and I'm exhuasted, it's SOOOO hot in the house that there's no way I'm going to be able to fall asleep....guess that means it's the perfect time to work on the blog.
Since Nate didn't get home from Spain until Reese's actual birthday, we decided to have her party the following Saturday. Since her favorite movie is Bolt I decided to go ahead and through her a Bolt themed party. I ended up finding a lot of cool party supplies online and I even found a shirt for Reese to wear to her party. She invited a few friends from playgroup and church and they all had a lot of fun. When the party started we just let the kids run around and play with one another in the backyard for awhile, we got lucky that the weather was nice. After they had gotten some of their wiggles out we fed them lunch while I got ready for our games. The first game was essentially an Easter egg hunt, but we called it "Find Penny" (Penny is a character in the movie) and whoever found the egg with a penny inside would get a prize. This game was perfect for the kids because they all knew the concept of collecting eggs and dove in running around to get them. All the eggs were filled with candy so everyone was a winner. After that we played "Pin the Mark of Power on Bolt" which was a little bit harder because they didn't quite get the concept, but they all enjoyed getting to pick different color lightning bolts so it wasn't an entire bust. After the games we had cupcakes, which by the way I spent an entire day making. It's no secret that I'm not a crafty person, but I really wanted them to look nice without having to go to the store and buy a cake so after I baked them I froze them for awhile so they'd be easier to frost and I even heated the frosting up so it would spread easier, then I refrigerated them until they were hard again so that I could more easily draw the lightning bolts on them. In the end I was so proud of my accomplishment and even better was that they tasted delicious too. Anyways, enough tooting my horn, after the cake Reese opened her presents and then we turned on the bubble machine and let the kids run around and play until their parents took them home.
I had been hesitant to throw Reese a party, but in the end I was really glad I did because she's become so social and she loved getting to have all her friends over and run around and play. I love that she has so many friends that she enjoys playing with and that she's not timid about playing with other kids. When we go to the park now, she just takes off and plays with her friends without looking back and she's such a daredevil about doing things that it's hard for me to just let her go and not hover but I try my best. I'm so excited about the little girl that she's become, she makes me laugh everyday and even though I sometimes want to pull my hair out, it's all worth it when she runs up and gives me one of her big hugs.
We rented a helium tank so that we could have mass quantities of balloons
Reese was such a big help with setting up for her party
Posing with the bolt cutout I made for one of the games
All the party guests wearing their party hats
Delicious bolt cupcakes
She was an expert candle blower outer