Monday, May 31, 2010

Updates on "life"

Boy has life taken some strange/cool/fabulous twists and turns for our little family lately. Seems like there's never a dull moment around here, and it just keeps getting better. Here's a little round-up of the craziness:

1. As I mentioned a few posts ago I finally finished school and will be graduating in June. Finally. The free time that this has now given me, as well as the weight of it off my shoulders, can't be described. I'm loving every minute of it and look forward to doing all of the things that I have put off for the past 7 years due to time constraints. YAY!

2. Our Walt Disney World trip is just 10 days away. I can't believe how fast the time has gone. None of us has ever been and we are all soooo excited for it. My mom will be joining us on this 8 day adventure and I'm sure I'll have lots and lots of pictures to share when we get back.

3. About 5 weeks ago Ron and I decided to get our basement finished. We hired a contractor to do it and for the past few weeks have had people in and out of the house on a daily basis doing construction (and making a HUGE mess everywhere. UGH.) It is now about 95% finished and looks great. The kids love their new toy room and I have a new craft room to play in too. Of course I took before and after shots so look for a post about that soon.

4. I've worked in the Pharmaceutical industry for the past 11 years and have been at my current company (Wyeth) for over 6 years. A year and 5 months ago we were bought by a much bigger company (Pfizer) who started doing waves of layoffs right away. About 20,000 people to be precise. I was told long ago that I wouldn't be retained at the new company but was never given a layoff date. For the past 17 months I've gone to work wondering if today would be the day I would be let go. Well.....last Wednesday was finally the day. I was told that my last day would be July 2nd and that I didn't have to come into the office anymore. I can't begin to explain the feeling that I had as I was walking out of the building that day. Joy. Happiness. Big sigh of relief. The end of a trying year and the beginning of a new life for me. I'm now a stay-at-home-mom, something I never thought I would ever get to be. I've been given the gift of spending the summer with my 2 beautiful children instead of sending them to summer camp and wishing I was with them. I feel less stress now than I think I have ever felt in my entire life. Finances will be tight, but we'll make it work. THANK YOU PFIZER!

5. The girls and I have a really exciting trip planned in late July/early August (unfortunately Ron couldn't get off from work so he can't go with us). First we're flying to Las Vegas to visit my mom for a few days, then my mom is flying with us to Seattle to visit my brother for a few days! It promises to be a trip full of memories for the girls and I. My mom has a few surprises up her sleeve for our time in Vegas (word has it that we'll be seeing the Lion King musical at the Mandalay Bay casino while we're there....shhhhh....the girls don't know about it!) My brother also has some fun things planned for us, I really can't wait to go!!!

So, there's a round-up of all the new and exciting things going on at the Chrupcala house. What's new with you?

A picnic with Jennifer

Last week Jen and I were home together and it was a beautiful day outside. Ron was asleep, Steph was at school, and out of the blue Jen says, "Let's go have a picnic!"

We have a little park in our neighborhood which is just around the corner from our house... and one of the things that I've always wanted to do was to pack a lunch and go have a spur of the moment picnic. Work and school and life have always gotten in the way but not on that particular day. I said GREAT IDEA JEN!

We made sandwiches, grabbed some fruit and drinks, packed a large blanket, and headed out for our long-time-coming, spur of the moment picnic.

We found a little shady spot and ate and chatted (and gave smooches). Conversations with this little 5 year old are ALWAYS interesting and fun, and spending an afternoon picnicking with her is pure bliss. I'm so lucky to be her mommy.



Our little garden is full of wonderful things this year:

Sweet corn
Green beans

It's always interesting to see what will bear fruit year after year and what won't. Some years are better than others. For example, I've always had enormous luck with tomatoes year after year, typically getting much more than I could ever eat or even give away, but last year I didn't get one single edible tomato from my bushes. It was pitiful. But I have a feeling this year will be better!

Also, for the past two years we've had a strawberry patch in our garden and have been patiently waiting for it to give us some fruit. I'd heard that they can take up to 3 years to give a harvest so we sat back and watched and waited.

It finally paid off this year! We've already picked tons of sweet delicious strawberries. It's such a great feeling to be able to grow your own healthy food and to not have to buy it at the store. I also love that my kids are learning a little bit about healthy eating and gardening.

Here's the harvest from a few days ago, which Jen helped me pick (and eat)....

Thursday, May 6, 2010


The other day Ron and I were in our room folding laundry while the girls were playing in Jennifer's bedroom. Their voices started to get louder and the whiny monster came out, sure signs that they were starting to fight.

Eventually I intervened and yelled from my room, "STOP FIGHTING or I'm going to have to separate you two!"

All was quiet.

NICE. It worked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fast forward about 10 minutes and Ron found this note lying on the floor outside of our door:

I couldn't help but laugh as soon as I read it, and then I got curious and wondered where she "ran away" to.

I imagined her holed up in the playhouse in the backyard, or the shed, or even in the basement......

But alas, Ron found her playing with Jen again (and not fighting) in her room.

Clearly she doesn't get the runaway concept yet.

I'm just happy that she said she would miss me. I assume that sentence will be missing from future runaway reports.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

We have some visitors.....

I love Spring.

The flowers are blooming, the garden is growing, the grass gets green again, and we start getting visitors.

The first visitor we got a few weeks ago was a huge groundhog who made himself at home under our shed. Which is right next to my garden. Which I JUST KNOW he was eye-balling. So he had to go.

Ron borrowed a trap from one of his friends and after a few days and a few carrots and lettuce leaves he was caught. Ron relocated him to the woods by his work where he will hopefully live a long and happy life far far away from my garden!

Then a few weeks ago the girls noticed something in the tree out back. Do you see it?

Let me get a little closer. Do you see it now?

It's a robin's nest and there were 3 little blue eggs inside. See?

And today, here's what I found inside...

Then, last weekend when I was planting my garden I noticed a little bird kept flying out of my strawberry patch. He was so tiny and he would go back in and fly back out when I got too close. So I went in for a closer look. Here's what I found today:

Can you believe it? They're killing me with their cuteness. All fuzzy and tiny and opening their mouths for some food. The girls are so excited about our little visitors and I am too, as long as they clean up after themselves and help out with the dishes every once and awhile.

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