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This past weekend was one of our weekends to have Tasselin. My mom decided to drop her off on Thursday this time. I was scheduled to work until 4:30pm so Brad had to get up with me and watch her all day. He said she was actually kind of horrible. She threw Shiloh’s cufflinks across the room after Brad told her not to touch them, she smashed Shiloh’s computer monitor box, she threw a tantrum and shut herself in her room. She eventually took a nap for him. I had him wake her up before I got and picked them both up to go to WalMart. We shuffled around there for a little while, picked up a few things we needed, and headed back home. We made dinner and had a mostly uneventful evening.

Friday I ended up not being scheduled to work so we all got to spend a whole extra day together. We got up, had breakfast, went to Ikea where we dropped Tasselin off at the play center for kids while Brad and I looked around. They were doing a lot of construction for new sets so there wasn’t much to look at. I signed up for an Ikea card so Tasselin could stay an extra thirty minutes a d since they hadn’t buzzed us with any problems Brad and I ate lunch and hung out in the cafeteria until her time was up. She was so excited, said she had so much fun and couldn’t wait to go back (sounds like a great plan to us!). We walked next door to the Toys R Us to look around at toys. We were only there for five minutes before she asked if we could go to the mall instead. We had planned to go there Saturday so we told her she could only go one day. She agreed to one day, Friday. So we ran off to the mall. We bought her some cheddar popcorn, took it to the food court to eat, bought ourselves something to drink, bought Powerball tickets, and sold Brad’s old phone for a whopping $2. We took Tasselin to the arcade where I spent three dollars worth of quarters at the games for her and she picked a balloon and a tootsie roll as her prizes. We then went to the playground and let her run around. After about 30 minutes she decided she was ready to go home. So we did. And spent another mostly uneventful evening together.

Saturday morning we had to get up a little early to go to a florist appointment about twenty minutes from our house. Tasselin was actually excited to go because she really wanted to look at flowers. So we get there, introduce ourselves, and get seated to talk together. The woman was brilliant. I mean, I pretty much already had an idea of what exactly I wanted, but she really took my ideas and ran with them. She was more than happy to bounce ideas around and get me the best of the best. Tasselin kept busy buy looking through their wonderfully made books and Brad mostly just listened to us talk. At the end I was pretty happy with our talk and she said it would only cost $300. Which is actually pretty brilliant for flowers. As we left I asked Brad what he thought and he agreed that he loved the place. We stopped to get gas and then ran off to go bowling. Tasselin had stated the night before that she wanted to so I figured it would be good. She lasted about six rounds before she wanted to leave, but nine rounds before she actually gave up and I bowled her last round for her. We actually had a whole lot of fun together. Afterwards we went down the street to Eat N Park for lunch then to Burger King to let her run around in the play area for a while. We were supposed to have another floral appointment at 4pm, but it was so late and all the way over in Ross Township that I just ended up canceling it instead. So we went home. We broke out some Pre-K books for some fun learning, which she actually loved. Until we got to the tracing D page and she said it was too hard. So we played dominoes instead, which ended up with us using them to build houses for the other dominoes. Then the three of us played with the Barbie house together and had a tea party. We had leftovers for dinner, which oddly enough Tasselin actually loved (probably because she got to pick what she wanted), then we had family movie night (Beauty and the Beast). Tasselin ate so well with dinner she also had two bowls of popcorn, a bowl of ice cream, and two giant marshmellows. After the movie we each picked some cartoon to watch and after the last one it was time for bed.

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Sunday we had to get up at a decent time as well for wedding appointments. Tasselin was actually still sleeping in her bed so I jumped in the shower before Brad and I got dressed. I got all her things packed up, her outfit for the day ready, drank my tea, then went up to get her. I got her dressed and we headed out. Our first appointment was at a florist in Mount Lebanon, close to where my last job was. We sat down with a woman who was also very wonderful. She wanted to look at all my pictures (wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses) and liked all my ideas. She didn’t have an option for the bouquet wraps, but was more willing to give us the lilies I wanted. The price was between $330 and $390 which wasn’t bad but Brad liked the other place better. We had way too much time in between our appointments so we drove back to the Burger King by our house for lunch and letting Tasselin play. She ate absolutely all her food which was really wonderful and played nicely for a good time. We went from there to our house to pick Brad’s van up and then out to Shadyside for our cake appointment. It took ten minutes to find parking, which we did the street behind so we didn’t have to pay for it. We walked to the bakery, Prantls, and waited for the wedding cake lady to come out (the store was really, really busy). Tasselin was amazingly occupied by looking at all the cakes and cookies and whatnot and had so much fun. The woman came out to give us our testing cakes (only three different kinds without options to them). She left to take care of some other business while we tested. Tasselin, Brad, and I all liked a different one. Tasselin liked the red velvet, I liked the almond coated almond cake, and Brad liked the raspberry filled white cake. I liked the one Brad liked as well, so we picked that one. We were a little disappointed by the lack of choice but it could always be worse. I had to buy Tasselin a bottle of water there while we waited. We looked through there wedding book and picked one similar to the one at Bethel Bakery. However this bakery has you purchase your own ribbon for them to use whereas Bethel Bakery has it in stock. The cost was about the same as well so we both decided we would rather have Bethel Bakery do it instead. On the plus side they did give Tasselin a free cookie (that looked really delicious). From there we went straight to New Castle to drop Tasselin off. The roads were absokutely horrifying. I was sure I would die. But wr made it. We tried not to stay long (Tasselin was even trying to get rid of us) but my parents were dragging their feet. We tried to load part of Chris’s old bed (Tasselin’s new bed) into the van but with the seats not being able to fold down we didn’t get much in. We left as soon as possible after that and went to Brad’s dad’s house to drop the van off. It was our quickest visit ever, with Brad literally just running in to drop the keys off. Brad said he’d drive home since the roads were terrible (god, I love him). I suggested grabbing some cash and taking 376 hoping for better roads some we did and they were great. We had a lovely conversation on the way and made the best of our night kidless.

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So we’re playing our Pathfinder game at Jake’s house and it’s coming along to the end battle of the day. We apparently accidentally set off all the alarms for the rogues to get together and get ready (what do you expect with a barbarian?).

So the barbarian (Jake) heads down the stairs first holding up a table as a makeshift shield with a hole cut out in the middle for him to see. The swashbuckler (Kevin) was behind him, I (the warpriest) was behind the swashbuckler, the witch (Phil) was behind me, and the rat was playing catch up (because the new guy was late). The rogues had time to oil up the stairs we were coming down (because we took way too much time) so the witch stayed behind a minute while the other three of us continued on. Of course we all made to make a reflex save to not fall on our asses going down. The barbarian saves, the swashbuckler save, I fail. My character starts to slide. Jake’s like fuck, if she goes down then we might all go down. So he asks Brad if his character could make another reflex save to catch me, Brad says sure. He makes it. So the barbarian drops the table, grabs my character, throws the both of us onto the table as it starts to slide down the stairs. Kevin spends a pinash point to jump onto the table with us, on our backs, and surf the whole way down. The table crashes into five rogues and against the wall doing enough damage to kill all five of them. The swashbuckler makes an intimidation check against the rest of the room for a ‘come at us, bro’ type speech and pose.

It was fucking brilliant.
Commence battle.
That it all.

What a Busy Day

Last Tuesday was a really busy day for Brad and me. I had a 10 am interview at UPMC to start the day off. Parking downtown is absolutely outrageous ($22! No thank you) so Brad dropped me off in front of the building and stayed out until I was done. The building itself is intimidating, a huge skyscraper with too many floors. Once I walked in I had to go up a set of escalators to the security desk, get myself a temporary badge for the day that had the floor number I was going to on it, find the set of elevators that went to my floor (32), then wait outside a set of locked double doors (similar to hospital doors where authorized personal are only allowed) after phoning my interviewer. She came out right away and brought me into another room. She had me fill out a short questioner about my skills while she left and grabbed my paperwork. She had me answer a bunch of normal interview questions, all of which I believe I did well on. At the end she asked if I had any questions so I asked where it goes from here. She said she was very interested in getting me on board (oh thank god, woo hoo!). First things first I would need to get a physical. After that they would bring me in for some paid training and then they would place me somewhere. Her boss would be the one to do that, so she didn’t have any answers to the where or how mich, but it doesn’t matter, I’m so excited they wanted me! I left feeling great. Told Brad I was done so he came to get me.

Afterwards we went over to the new commissary to grocery shop. Oh, it’s beautiful. They did a brilliant job with the new building. We went up and down every single aisle looking for good deals. We even met one of Brad’s other guard friends. By the time we got to the check out I had a phone interviewer from the Allegheny Health Network call me about a position. I kind of forgot about it so I scrambled around to talk to her as Brad got the groceries onto the belt. When it came time to pay I gave them my card. The cashier asked for my ID so I pulled it out. He told me he needed my military ID. I told him I didn’t have one (still while trying to talk to my phone interviewer). He told me I couldn’t pay then. What. The. Fuck. Are you kidding me?! The last time we went grocery shopping at the old commissary I paid and it wasn’t an issue. But no, not this time. He wasn’t budging. So I asked the lady if I could calm her back. She had a other interview and said she would call me back at 4pm. I agreed. Brad paid with his card even though he didn’t have to cash to back it up (he had like $30 in his account and we spent like $180 there), but thank you Huntington for having 24 hour grace for negative accounts so we could transfer the money right away from my account into his without a penalty. I like the commissary prices, but that just left a horrible bitter taste in my mouth.

After the commissary,  Brad and I went to his base to say hi to Mary and Jeff. I met Mary once before but she didn’t remember so we started over. And I never met Jeff so it was nice to put a face to the name. We stayed there for thirty minutes or so talking and goofing off. I went to but an ink pad, but Mary got a new one from the back and gave it to me for free. We actually had a nice time. Afterwards we walked over to the BX (I belive is what it’s called) to meet someone who’s name I cannot remember. We stayed there for about ten minutes before some people from the base came over. We walked around a bit and I bought a cute Air National Guard bear for Tasselin before we left.

After all that we decided to give ourselves a break and stop in for lunch at Golden Corral. It was cold enough outside that our groceries would be okay and we were starving so it seemed perfect. We stuffed ourselves beyond stuffed as we do for buffets, left a nice tip for an amazing waitress, and went home. Long day, but totally worth it.

I’ve been so swamped with getting things together for the wedding and it’s still nearly nine months away. Planning a wedding is exhausing.

Anyway, I got Brad and myself scheduled in for two different cake testing appointments on the same day. I tried to get more but everyone was already booked so two it was. We started out all the way over in Bethel Park at Bethel Bakery. They had two different connecting buildings one for their bakery and one specifically for their wedding consultations. We walked in, was greeted and told we would be helped shortly, sat down and watched a pretty cool video on how bakers decorate cakes with fondant. Only about five minutes of waiting before the couple before us left and we were invited into the room. There was a nice woman in training who started our session out. She told us a little more about the bakery itself and how it’s a family owned and operated store for generations. Then we got into the cake testing. Oh my god, they were fucking delicious. It was actually very hard to decide between all of them. The cake was big enough to have a few, so we eventually settled on white cake, chocolate cake, white cake with raspberry filling in between one and vanilla bean filling in between the other with butter cream icing. I’ve never liked icing until then. I can’t wait to eat wedding cake. After the taste we decided on look. The seasoned woman showed us an iPad full of pictures of cakes to choose from. We eventually chose this one:

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Except we want black ribbon at the bottom of each tier with the black design on the top and bottom centered above it. And without the giant S on top. We hope to find some nice figures to put up there and maybe a flower or two from the florist. After that they made us up a mock pricing (nearly $700 but we won’t buy the extra sheet cake they want us to) and sent us off with a folder of their cookie prices and the mock pricing and some cookies to taste test at home.

We had a bit of time in between the appointments but not enough to do anything so we just went to the other one early. So we made our way to East Liberty at Paddy Cake Bakery. Paid for an hour parking on the street and headed on over. We walked in and told them why we were here and sat down with a nice looking woman. Two minutes into the conversation she asked where the wedding was going to be held. I told her and she told us they won’t take it that far so we left. I was furious because when I make these appointments I specifically state that on the phone and now we drove all the way out here and paid for parking for nothing at all. What a disappointment.

At least Bethel Bakery seems nice enough. The price is a little steep, but apparently that’s the norm foe wedding cakes for our size wedding. Plus there aren’t any bakeries in Wellsburg or Weirton that I can seem to find who do wedding cakes. We have a couple more appointments left for the following weekends. Hopefully they turn out well.

So Brad finally brought up the fact that I signed up for the gym at the beginning of January but hadn’t gone yet, except to pick up my card. And I do honestly want to lose the weight, but I am pretty lazy. And when I went to go pick up my card after work that day I was horribly intimidated. There were so many people  there that almost every single machine was taken. The guy behind the counter gave me a short tour and every single time we walked into a different section everyone stopped and stared at me. It made my skin crawl. I left as fast as I could and hadn’t gone back. So after Brad brought it up I kind of pouted at him hoping he would drop it. Of course he didn’t because he’s a good guy and wants the best for me do he promised to have sex with me if I went. Deal.  Of course. Do I changed and went. I spent an hour there. Almost didn’t go in but I took a deep breath and ran to the back corner and got on a bicycle. I stayed on it for 45 minutes got off and came home. I forgot how tough exercising could be. I thought my legs might fall off.

Unfortunately that’s the first and only time I went (so far). The weather has been so bad lately that it’s just too hard to get out (since I’ll only go in the middle of the night). I figure once the weather clears up a bit (hopefully soon)  I’ll do a bit of overtime and then even it out. Cross your fingers for me, okay?

So starting the 20th we have a new weekly tradition of going over to Jake’s house and playing Pathfinder. Brad is the GM of the adventure path Shattered Star for me, Jake, Phil (Meiser), Kevin, and a new kid we met whose name I don’t remember and potentially Tom if he doesn’t happen to work that evening.
Our first game was a bit slow, as they usually are. A couple people still had to make or finish making their characters. Then we had to do the intorductions. And finally, after about an hour and a half of being there, we got started. The game starts like most Society games, with a mission needing completed from one of the higher ups and progresses from there. We split the party, twice, without dying (which is actually an amazing accomplishment considering we’re only first level). We completed our first mission and left the night with the start of our second one.

We stayed there until almost midnight, which pissed me off a bit seeing as I had to get up early the next morning for work. I left right away, but Brad stayed a little bit longer to hang out (we came in separate cars since I had to come from work and was almost late).

Hopefully next week is even better.

Slumber Party

During the next week my mom talked me into keeping all three kids (Blake, Chris, and Tasselin) for the weekend, coming Friday night and leaving Sunday afternoon. I spit ball some ideas with her via text and of course she blabbed them to the kids.. She came with the kids right before I got home from work and unloaded all their stuff and them off with Brad. By the time I got home they were already wound up. I did my nightly work upload and sync then Brad and I made the children a very nice and roomy fort with blankets and pillows and sleeping bags with an opening to get in and out and another to watch TV. Brad and Shiloh ran out and picked up some pizza from Little Ceasars for dinner. Tasselin fell asleep early and I told the boys they could stay up as long as they wanted. Of course they were out cold in less than thirty minutes. Tasselin was up throughout most of the night (1am until 4am and up at 8am).
Blake came and got us up around 8am because he was hungry so Brad went downstairs and got him and Chris some cereal. Tasselin and I went downstairs and sat and cuddled on the couch. It was Shiloh’s birthday (21st, woo!) so we wised him happy birthday and I baked him some chocolate chip pumpkin bread as a present. Brad went to the Magic prerelease and I took the kids out to go see Paddington. Tasselin got anxious halfway through and I didn’t really get to watch the movie. But that’s okay, they enjoyed themselves. Afterwards we went grocery shopping for a few things (milk and whatnot) and then went home to watch TV and movies. Brad didn’t do so well in the prerelease either and came home early. Tasselin fell asleep on the couch and I carried her upstairs while Brad finished making dinner. We let the boys stay up again and Tasselin came sneaking in during the middle of the night again. I was too tired to try and turn her away so she slept with us again.
Sunday we tried to sleep in but it didn’t work out too well. We were tired as hell but we powered through it. We took the kids to the mall, let them run around and play in the play area and then walked around for a bit. After 1pm we went to the arcade and let the boys play Lazer tag while Tasselin played arcade games and Brad sat by himself in the hall (he wanted it that way). I ran out of quarters fast, Tasselin got her prizes (Swedish fish and a tootsie roll), and we sat on the floor waiting. The boys came out excited and having had lots of fun, but upset that they didn’t get to play more (it was seriously expensive, so much so that Brad didn’t even play). We went to Burger King after that for lunch ($1.49 chicken nuggets deal, count us in!) and let them play in the play area. My mom let us know she was on her way to get them so we home, packed them up, and sent them along their way back home with her.
I mean, they were good, but damn did we miss our house.

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