Saturday, December 29, 2007


Fize came through her surgery with flying colors! The vet even said she was trying to eat and was eager to get outside this morning. If she continues to improve then we can pick her up on Monday. Yay!! We are all so relieved. Now we just need to wait to see what type of tumor it is -- results in about a week. Unfortunately, the vet says 2/3 of the time these are a very malignant strain and often you only get a 3-6 month life expectancy. We're hoping we're in the other third. Fize has always beaten the odds.

In unrelated news, our washing machine joined the appliance casualty list prompting M & I to go into an appliance buying frenzy. We bought a new dishwasher, range, fridge, washer & dryer in just under three hours. I'm particularly enamored of the washer, which is one of the newfangled, high-efficiency, no-agitator types. Rumor has it you can wash a king sized comforter in there. We will see. We have to wait until January 8 for installation so I may have to find a laundry service in the meantime. Or wash our unmentionables by (gulp!) hand. Or maybe I'll just buy some new undies for everyone and call it a day. How I wish I was caught up on the laundry before this happened!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Prayers for Fize

Fize is having an emergency splenectomy (sp?) tonight -- they found a massive tumor growing in her spleen. They are operating as I write and we are all just praying and hoping that the tumor hasn't spread to any other organs and that she comes through surgery well. Our little family just wouldn't be the same....

We love you Fize!


Laundry, cleaning, unpacking? Nah. It can wait thanks to Libby -- she turned me on to this! My first score was 248 seconds, 73% and a 47 mile error margin. Maybe I should take more time and be more accurate? (That's what M would say.)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

And now for something completely different...

A post where I don't whine about the kids, the chaos, the general disorder of our lives!

We had a very merry Christmas at my mom & dad's house and the kids were enchanted by the tree, the presents and (for A) the piles of perfectly good paper and boxes that no one cared that he was playing with! True to form, neither M nor I took any pictures, relying solely on my sister's friend Paparrazi Kari to get some great shots of us all.

Christmas Day we had a delicious brunch at my parents and then opened our family gifts. My sister and mom and dad went overboard in a wonderful way and as usual I was blown away by not only the gifts but the awesome wrapping and presentation job. Sister J really has a knack for that kind of thing, a gene that the rest of us are sadly lacking as my gift wrapping is on par with your average kindergartener. After gifts, we spent a few hours at my brother's house playing with their kids and enjoying some of my s-i-l's delicious food -- her talent is putting together a spread. not to mention decorating and entertaining, in the midst of serious chaos.

D & A both got amazing gifts and Santa brought D a Webkinz (her most requested item) and the minute they woke up this morning they wanted everything set up. A got lots of vehicle-related gifts and has been patiently (for him) waiting for me to unpack!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas as well and are filled with the peace and joy of this season.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Not a creature was stirring...

OK, so it's not quite Christmas Eve yet, but the kids are still all nervous that Santa will put them on the naughty list at the last moment. Especially poor D who wants a Webkinz so much she can't help but ask about it every 10 minutes.

Anyway, everyone has quieted down nicely except for moi, who is rushing around doing last minute laundry for our trip tomorrow. And I still have to wrap gifts, pack, and somehow hide the "Santa" stuff in the van so the kids don't see it.

A very Merry Christmas to you all!!

Friday, December 21, 2007


So yesterday I fell down the stairs. Literally. From about six risers up. I think I broke my big toe, which got caught under me in the slide. Plus I banged up my ankle pretty well too. I'll be wearing Crocs for Christmas for sure -- they're the only things I can get my foot into.

I hope I can serve as an example -- or at the very least a warning -- to my children, who witnessed all or part of the mishap.

Luckily, because I'm on like 3000 mg of Motrin a day to help with the pain from my new crown -- did I mention I had to get a crown yesterday? -- the pain in my foot is not as bad as it could/should be.

I'm not unpacking a thing until after Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Get cookin'!

Since the range in our new house seems to be in the crapper, we're limited to two small burners until the new one arrives. This has resulted in some creative attempts at meals and a HELL of a lot of take-out.

However, I have found my new favorite snack: Cape Cod potato chips & vanilla sugar wafer cookies! Yumm! And I'm not even pregnant!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


In the last 24 hours:

Tree limb removal = $2000
Pediatrician visit = $25
Antibiotics & cough meds for sick baby = $25
Trip to target for home org. stuff, more meds for baby = $200
DVR service for watching fave Food Network shows at 3 a.m. with sick baby = $7/month
One sleepless night = $20 (Motrin, Diet Coke, Peppermint Mocha latte from Starbucks, concealer and major makeup)
Watching the kids play happily and quietly in their rooms = Priceless

M comes home late tonight. I hope he got some rest last night!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bah! Humbug!

I'm feeling a little Scrooge-y today. What with the unpacking that I didn't get around to, the washing machine that sounds like a 747 landing in the kitchen, that yesterday we were running our a/c and today I've had the heat going full blast all day, A starting up with the Terrible Twos AND a massive, nasty head/sinus cold, and then to top it off M had to be out of town tonight for work. Kinda puts the damper on my Christmas spirit.

I need to get my gratitude on though. That at least all the appliances kinda-sorta work, even if they are old. That our massive laurel oak in the front yard didn't cause any damage when it dropped a limb on the roof our second night here, and that our wonderful Tree Guy, Duane, will be able to fix the problem tomorrow (even though it is going to cost us a FORTUNE -- a fortune I wish I could've spent on, sayyyyyyy, new flooring or shoes or just about anything but tree trimming.) That we have such a beautiful house and that, now, when A is crying and coughing all night he only wakes us up... and not his poor sister. That M has a great job at a great family friendly law firm (two things that don't usually go together) and that he has taken on the burden of providing for us without complaint or anger.

OK... That is a lot to be thankful for. God has provided for us! What more could I ask for this Christmas?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Note to self

N.B.: Next time we move (AS IF!) provide more specific details on the moving boxes about contents therein. Example: Instead of "Fragile! Glassware!" put "Mini souffle cups, sugar/creamer, champagne flutes." Three boxes of random "Fragile! Glassware!" it has taken me to locate coffee cups. I haven't run into regular drinking glasses yet. Nor have I found among the "Kitchen" boxes anything resembling cereal bowls or placemats, two essentials around here. So we've been using the souffle cups as cereal bowls and folded up newsprint for placemats. I thought we'd have to drink coffee from the sugar bowl if the coffee mugs hadn't turned up today.

Other than that, I unpacked my clothes. Yippee.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Home sweet home

We're in, the Internet and cable are hooked up and we're getting settled. I've unpacked the kids and about 1/3 of the kitchen. Our bedroom is a disaster area, but I have located clean undies, so that's all I really care about.

We need, in no particular order: baby gates for the stairs; many, many, many more outlet plugs; more lamps; a new TV for downstairs; a maid. We don't need any additional cabinet/storage space. We finally have enough room for everything and everyone. It's a great feeling.

There's a wicked cold front coming, so we'll find out if our ancient radiator system works. But at least we won't need a/c for a few days and it'll really help to get us in the Christmas spirit. The downside? We have no rugs yet, so our tootsies are gonna freeze!

Have a nice weekend! Anyone want to help me unpack?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Go Gators!

Who needs the BCS?

Go Gators!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Packin' it in

Two days until Moving Day. Four until the close. I'm not sure which deadline is scarier.

Yesterday I got the kids clothes packed - A's took up a huge duffel, D's a large suitcase. All of her dresses are in there, which sparked a wardrobe meltdown this morning. Finally she unearthed a pair of purple cord shorts that were in her "hotel" bag. The child will not wear anything but pink or purple.

We're mostly done with the hard packing. Now it's just a matter of stuffing what's left into whatever containers we have left. At the end, aren't there always some loose items that just get chucked into the car? That's how we've always moved. It's even harder this time because we aren't moving very far - just a mile or two - so it doesn't seem like you should have to wrap n' pack very carefully.

We'll be disassembling the computer tomorrow night, so the next time I post, we'll be moved!


Thursday, December 06, 2007

6 days to go

I'm opting not to pack a thing today and to do a spot of cleaning instead. The house is starting to get a bit funky -- I think it's been at least 2 weeks since I cleaned anything.

Tonight is D's school Christmas Concert. After the concert M & I are going to take her out for a light supper or maybe ice-cream - just the three of us. We got a sitter for A on the grounds that 1) he'd never sit through a Christmas Concert and 2) D needs some quality time with us. She had a choice between two dresses: a straight, mid-calf, red velvet one and a rose-colored, sparkly, twirly tulle number. Guess which she picked? I'll post a picture later.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Moving on - one week to close!

One week from today M & I will be on our way to the title company to close on the house. It's amazing and scary all at once - we're so used to our little bungalow (and little mortgage) and now, as my sister Debbie put it, "we're all grown up." Yikes. The best part though will be that the packing will be done... and the unpacking won't have started yet. We basically have the rest of our lives to unpack since I don't think we'll be going anywhere anytime soon, God willing.

Got the beast of a hall closet packed yesterday -- and then we remembered we don't have a downstairs coat closet in the new house. We think they might have converted it to the downstairs bathroom. Bummer. We'll have to do some creative organizing. Today I tackle the dining room buffet. Lots of serving pieces, platters, the Good China, etc. The kitchen pack up starts tomorrow, so we'll be eating off of paper soon.

The weather looks beautiful for the next 10 days though, so it will make the move pleasant. This is the exact time of year that we moved into our current house, so we at least we're consistent. There are more similarities - we made the offer on this house on my birthday (ditto for the new house) and we finalized the deal three days later (ditto). Weird, that.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Moving on - day 4

I borrowed this from Libby...

You Are a Gingerbread House

A little spicy and a little sweet, anyone would like to be lost in the woods with you.

Let me know what Holiday Food you are!

We had a wonderful visit with M's brother Mike last night. We went to Red Mesa, one of my favorite restaurants. The kids made it though the whole meal and A only started throwing food right at the end. Then we came back to the house to sit amongst the clutter and eat homemade carrot cake (my first!). It was so nice to catch up with him.

Back to reality here... we made great progress yesterday and I'm still shocked at how much stuff we have. I've got a van-load on the way to my favorite kid's consignment shop and Goodwill and there's still stuff pouring out of every closet, cupboard and room. Not to mention the odd scritchy-scratchy noise coming from the laundry room cupboards. Yikes. Today I'm concentrating on the dining room and main hall closet. Shouldn't be too hard - or so I think.

My goal is to have all my packing for the day done before D gets home from school so that I can spend some quality time with her AND make a real dinner tonight.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Moving on - day 3

We're one week from the move! And 10 days from the closings! That means in less than 2 weeks, with a little bit of God's grace, we'll be living in our new home, cooking on the World's Oldest Gas Range and the kids will finally have their own bedrooms. I'm sure they'll still bug the crap out of each other, but maybe that will get better when they don't have to live on top of each other. Ah, privacy. The new house basically gives each of us (including Dog) 600 sq ft to spread out. I'm sure initially it will feel soooo big, but we all know how your stuff has a way of expanding to fill a vacuum.

But we gotta get there first. M slaved all weekend and did a great job packing and organizing the two main junk zones. I'm ashamed to say I contributed little more than child care. Although I have a neat plan for getting the house packed up, I've yet to put a single item in a box. I'd rather be blogging. Oh wait, I did empty some of the pantry cupboards and packed away my precious food processor. I swear I'll get crackin' today -- as soon as A is napping.

I also have a tremendously long list of assorted service providers, etc. to call with our new contact information. I'd better get on that too.

OK. Enough! I'm going! Right now!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Moving on - day 2

Day 2. Back to summer-ish weather here. Hot, sticky. Or maybe I feel that way because I tried to take both kids to Mass this morning, without M, and then to the Pancakes w/ Santa breakfast afterward. What a fiasco. A still can't make it past the homily without losing his mind, so we inevitably end up in the vestibule or cry room. We were also waaayyyyy overdressed (I thought it was going to be cool like yesterday) so that accounts for the "hot" part. Then the syrup dispensers were leaking, so that might be the "sticky." Plus it was smack dab in the middle of A's major nap time -- don't deny that boy his nap! -- and you have hot, sticky, whiny, kicking fun. I know it was the first Sunday of Advent, but I couldn't tell you a single thing other than that. Isn't that terrible? Thank goodness that D is now and has always been an absolute angel in church. I think I've had to hush her once in five years. I'm ashamed to admit that A doesn't usually go. Since almost all the mass times coincide with either sleeping or feeding times, M usually takes him for a long walk while D & I are at church. It works out well for us, at least until A is old enough to behave in church. Or be bribed. Whatever works.

So Packing Day 2 was the main reason I was taking on both kids today. M's made some great headway -- both the garage and the attic are cleared. He's even tossing some old Law School books and papers that he hasn't needed for the last 8 years! The art room is starting to fill up with boxes - it's our staging area - and we tackle the pantry, laundry and dreaded hall closet next. On Tuesday I'll start on the china and crystal, Wed. & Thurs. will be the major kitchen packup and then the bedrooms and bathrooms next Friday - Sunday. Gulp. For fairly anti-materialistic people we sure have a LOT of stuff. Also, I have 15 years of National Geographic that I can't bear to part with even though they weigh well over 150 lbs. (when we moved here 7 years ago they weighed 76, so I'm estimating they've about doubled) and take up 3 boxes of their own. Also taking up room is my beautiful, preserved wedding dress. It's also in an enormous box of it's own, carefully wrapped in acid-free packaging. I know the odds of D (or anyone) using it are teeny, but I can't bear to part with it. So maybe I'm a wee bit packratty too.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Moving on - day 1

Good morning! Today is a picture perfect Florida December day - blue skies, lots o' sun, low humidity, about 60-ish. Perfect for walking the beach looking for shells, packing a picnic lunch and hanging at the local park, or going to the Farmer's Market for produce, some granola and a hot breakfast crepe. Or for tearing apart your house, emptying out the attic and packing. Guess what we're doing?

Today is officially Day 1 of the moving process. Because we only have two weekends before the move/close, and M is not able to do a lot during the week, the bulk of the heavy stuff has to be done this weekend. So that means many trips up and down the rickety attic stairs to take down all the crap that we put up there when we moved in and haven't touched since. I say "chuck it" but M is more of a packrat, and since he's doing the heavy lifting, I'll let him organize it however he wants. Whatever. Of course, that's how we ended up with an attic full of crap in the first place. There's good stuff up there too - like our Christmas decorations (which I don't know if we'll get to this year) and baby stuff and boxes of clothes I haven't worn since the summer of '01 -- before the first time I was pregnant. I think maybe those should go to Goodwill. By the time I'm able to fit into a size 2/4 again, all that stuff will be even more hopelessly outdated than it is now. Although.... I think I've got a bunch of Ralph Lauren I might save. Stuff that's too cute (and expensive) to toss or to try to replace.

We do have some fun things happening - my brother-in-law will be here for a work-related visit on Sunday and we're going to meet on Monday evening for dinner. We haven't seen him since March, so it will be great to catch up in person.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Calm before the storm

** UPDATE: Had a fab breakfast - brie omelettes! sourdough toast! no kids!! - but decided, unwisely, to weigh myself AFTER. Shockingly, I've gained eight (8!!) pounds since the end of the summer. Is it stress? Hormones? My Baked Treat of the Day diet? My commitment to sloth? WTF? I need to do something about it and I'm out of viable excuses not to. **

I am just starting to let myself believe we're actually moving! It still feels a little bit weird, like maybe something will fall through? But M assures me that it's a done deal now, that our buyers are locked in, and I can schedule the movers for December 10-- or maybe the 11th. We're trying to get our sellers to allow us to move our stuff in a few days early. Then M, the kids and I and my parents are going to stay out at the beach for a few days until the closing. It will be a nice break from reality transition to the new house and we desperately need some R&R. Of course, M will still be working and I'll have the commute from hell to get D to school on time, but by December 13 this will all be over. I guess it seems so hectic because we're closing on two houses less than 30 days after the contracts were signed. That's a lot to happen in a pretty short time.

I'm off to a belated birthday breakfast with one of my mom friends this a.m. She's building a new house so it will be a nice break for both of us.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

One of those days

Today was the perfect storm:

1) The fourth (or fifth?) week that one or both of the kids have come down with whatever kid-illness is going around. They both had the respiratory thing, D is just getting over the high-fever-and-endless-hacking-cough thing, and now A has the vomiting/diarrhea thing. Yay.

2) House inspections. Today we had the inspection for the house we want to buy. Friday is our inspection (please, Lord, let it pass). It's the culmination of three crazy, insanely busy weeks of showings, cleaning, negotiations, cleaning, late night meetings, cleaning and signing of documents involving numbers bigger that I ever imagined seeing attached to my name. And cleaning. I don't know how our realtor, who has three young kids of her own, manages to hold it together. I could never handle this level of activity on a long-term basis. It's the main reason we decided I was better of as a stay-home mom.

3) A is driving me: up a wall, to tears and, quite possibly, to drink. I think we might be getting close to some terrible two behavior. Besides being sick off and on since early October, he has developed quite the fussy attitude toward food, life in general and me in particular. He fusses if I won't pick him up and cries if I do. He follows me around, whinging. He won't eat anything but bread-y things, pasta and applesauce (the diarrhea thing surprised me -- you'd think he'd be completely stopped up), and when he's not eating, he's crying or throwing chewed-up bits of food around the dining room. But it's the whinging that's killing me slowly. I feel like a horrible mom sometimes -- like he's whinging because of something I'm doing/not doing. I get impatient and yell. I am short-tempered. And I know all of this simply makes me human, not a bad mom, but you still feel bad when you yell at your kids. Although in the end it's probably better than never yelling at your kids and then they grow up never being able to take criticism. These past three weeks have confirmed a couple of things for me:
1) it's quite OK to use TV as a babysitter, especially when you are talking to mortgage brokers. 2) there's absolutely nothing wrong with sticking your 16 month old in their crib when the fussing/whining/crying/dropping of heavy objects on your feet gets too much, especially when you are talking to mortgage brokers. And 3) Children aren't going to turn out to be axe murderers if they eat pasta for every meal for a few weeks.

Thank you to everyone for your well wishes and congratulations... keep 'em coming. Closing isn't for a few more weeks.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


What a roller coaster! What looked like a total washout last week is a done deal this week. We signed the paperwork last night to sell our house and buy the 1925 Prairie style house we've been wanting! Woo hoo!

Here's the virtual tour.

We've got inspections tomorrow, and if they go well we will close on December 12! Gulp. Better get crackin' on that packin'!

Monday, November 19, 2007

On again?

I should remember that I have more faith than I felt last week. This weekend we got an offer on our house AND we've accepted it!! So now all we have to do is go lock up the house we've been after for a few weeks... we came to terms on price, just not on the whole issue of us not having sold yet. So YIPPEEE! It seems like this is all going to work out after all! The buyers want a really aggressive closing schedule - December 12. It's kind of wild to imagine we might be out of here in just a few short weeks. For those just tuning in, here's the house we will probably be living in as of December 13:

It's going to be a busy few weeks but I'm really excited about the prospect of decorating the new house -- especially the beautiful pine stairs. I've never decorated stairs before, but I just imagine boughs of evergreen and huge gold bows and maybe a few gold lights. I'll post interior pictures as soon as I get them, so get your best decorating ideas ready!

Keep your fingers crossed for us we should have final contacts on both properties by tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bummed out

Yesterday sucked.

First, we found out that the sellers aren't willing to wait for us to sell our house. They would rather rent it then get into a contingency contract. I mean, I know the housing market is off right now, but ugh. Back to square one... sell, move or renovate? It's like an endless, hideous game of Monopoly but instead of ending up on Park Place we keep getting stuck on Vermont Avenue.

And D was/is home from school with at 102 fever. I'm hoping it clears up by Friday because her class is doing a Thanksgiving feast and play and I wouldn't want her to miss it. Also I'm chairperson for the event so I'd be sticking someone with my job.

And I have to get my first crown on Thursday morning.

And M forgot my birthday until he saw the gifts my parents and his parents sent and then he said "Oh that was nice. Why'd they do that?"

And we ended up eating Taco Bell for dinner because we had a late showing of the house.

And I didn't even get any cake!

I'm in a crappy mood.

Monday, November 12, 2007

holy moley

What a weekend. I'm pooped.

First, it's been a non-stop cleaning-fest around here. We've had at least 2-3 showings of the house every day for about a week and a half. (Yay!) But, that means I'm constantly, CONSTANTLY cleaning. (Boo!) And picking things up. And hiding things. And etc. I'm tired of it and my hands are sandpaper dry even though I'm careful to wear gloves.

I did some fun stuff too. Friday night I took a few hours off to go out to dinner with some of my high school girlfriends who were in town for the weekend. It was great fun and so nice to catch up with them. But we were out until 12:30 so I will pay for that for about a week.

We also decided to have the interior of the house painted (to go with the general spiffing-up theme) and that meant we had to be out of our house all day Saturday and Sunday. What a total pain in the ass. Although it could have been worse -- I mean the weather was beautiful, D had a Girl Scout thing at school all day Saturday, and M took over baby duty for most of the weekend. But we weren't back in the house until 8:00 last night and spent a solid 2 hours doing a basic clean up. This morning I was back at it with vacuum, mop and sponge since we have a showing this afternoon.

And if all that weren't enough to wear a girl out, M forgot my birthday. I'm not generally passive-aggressive, but I'm going kinda let this stew and see what happens if I don't remind him. I know we've got a lot going on, but really? Completely forgot? Humph.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Somebody watching me?

We have a double corner lot, so our realtor hung two signs: one in front and one on the side. We've had lots of traffic in the last two days. It's a weird feeling to see people -- strangers -- cruising slowly by and ogling us. Guess we better stop walking around in our underwear. Maybe to pique interest we'll walk around nude! Hah! Just kidding. No one wants to see us nude. Not even us.

On our realtor's advice, we bought a new, modern ceramic-top range. (Hey, buyers -- I hope you appreciate that!) Sears delivered it at 7:45 am today, Sunday. Thank goodness for the time change. Seconds, literally, before they arrive D prances out of her room nude (NUDE! There's more nudity for ya!) and asks if she can wear her bathing suit. Ooh. Bad timing sweetie. Mommy is sorry she snapped at you but the delivery guys were pulling up out front. Next time ask BEFORE you take off all your clothes. Also? Probably not on the first really chilly day of the year. It was probably in the low 60s last night. Heaven. It's 10:30 and the a/c hasn't kicked on once! Hallelujah!

Welcome Fall!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

For sale

The stress of trying to come up with a way to remodel our adorable little bungalow wore us down. We just made an offer on this:

Ain't she pretty?

Anyway, it's all contingent on the sale of OUR home, so if you know anyone who's looking for a beautiful 1930s bungalow home, let me know!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Man. I made a resolution that THIS year I would not start eating the Halloween candy before the 31st. Stupid Milky Ways calling my name. If anyone has a cure for the 4:00 sugar craving, please let me know.

And I don't know why I'm eating commercial candy, reserved for small children dressed up in costumes, when I've got an nice order of this on the way!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ode to a J Crew t-shirt

O! Sweet t-shirt!
We've weathered many storms.
You've warmed me when chilly
And cooled me when warm.

I've worn you with shorts,
Khakis, skirts and jeans.
You could dress up, dress down
And everything in between.

We've been together for many years
And even through pregnancy.
I wore you two (or three!) times a week
You were my cup of "green tee."

True, you've faded, gotten stained
You've rolled in water, mud and sand.
But what finally did you in?
The goo on my son's hand!

No mere goop, that goo.
Twas not any substance I could name.
It defied Tide, OxyClean and Shout
So we've had to call the game.

So now you are retired
And I remember fondly all that was...
No rag pile for you, my sweet!
You're now my pajamas!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

So lame

Ok I can't believe it has been almost a month since I blogged. I've probably lost whatever tiny readership I had in the first place. You've probably heard it before, but I've been busy? M was in trial (which meant many late nights and early mornings and me pulling Total Kid Duty), then Baby A was sick for a week and then M was out of town for a few days and then whoops! it's a month later.

I do have this to show for it though: My New MomMobile. We finally bit the bullet. It was our anniversary present. Who knew that 8 years was Automobiles?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Oh I'm so behind on posting and now with the new TV season started there's one more thing begging for my attention. I love you TiVo.

M has been in court all this week on a big trial. He hasn't been home before 11:00 one night this week. I've been trying to stay up so I can see him and chat, but I'm starting to feel a little sleep-deprived. We didn't get to bed until 1:00 yesterday. It should all wrap up tomorrow anyway.

Tomorrow is also our first Daisy meeting. My co-leader is super organized so I think we have all the bases covered between us. I hope we get a good turnout!

I'm going to take a quick nap while A is down for his. Or maybe I'll do some reading... I'm about halfway into "A Thousand Splendid Suns" and I like it even more than Kite Runner.

Friday, September 14, 2007


For at least a week now, I had assumed I was leading the Kindergarten Daisy troop at D's school. I've got the paperwork going and had planned to send out an information letter on Monday. So I was a bit surprised when we all got an invitation to a Daisy Informational Meeting from another mom in the class today. Talk about operating in a vacuum, people. I had talked to the class moms, a bunch of other moms, the mom who was in charge of the Troop last year, basically all the moms in the class (there are only about a dozen girls) except for the Mom who sent the letter. (Who, in her defense, because I believe in a strong defense, has been on bed rest since the beginning of the year and so hasn't really been around.) So, if there are any other people out there who plan on starting a Daisy Troop for D's kindergarten class, please step forward now. You know who you are.

Anyway, at first I felt a little hurt. M was pissed that I had been usurped (even though for the past week he's been warning me that I was going to get overwhelmed with all the stuff I had to do). But as the evening wore on, I started to see it in a more positive light. After all, this other mom doesn't have a one year old wild child at home who can't walk unless he's clinging to my leg. Let her take care of the coordinating, organizing, paperwork. I'll handle the snacks. So I called her up and offered my help as assistant leader. So all's well that ends well and at least my information letter didn't go out on the same day as hers. Which would have been really confusing for everyone. As it is, it was only confusing for me, the mom who had volunteered to be my co-leader and the other nine moms from the class that I had talked to.

A is going to his first playgroup today. Happily, most of the other mom's from D's playgroup have had a second round of children, so we're going to continue meeting with this second generation. They are a wonderful bunch of friends & moms and all of the kids play great together. It'll be great to catch up with everyone since we didn't meet regularly as a group over the summer.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Ok, just ONE more

Nope, not one more slice of cake.

Or one more bowl of ice cream (although thank heaven for the Low-Fat version of Half-Baked, the most addictive ice cream in the world).

I'm talking one more day I gleefully, guiltily shipped A off to Mom's Morning Out. That makes two this week. It's wonderful, the free time. I'm getting used to walking without his tiny arms wrapped around my legs. I feel a little bad since I would never have DREAMED of sending D off with strangers when she was 13 months. As a matter of fact, she didn't go to MMO until she was about 2-1/2 and talking (you know, so she could report any abuse back to us). With A, I'm much, much more relaxed about things, but I still feel a little guilty. Oh well. I'm also getting a lot done - like making dinner for tonight since D has swimming and I hate the mad rush to feed the kids once we get home.

I may even go take a nap.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

In the still of the night

I love 9:45 at night. It is so peaceful. The kids are asleep and, after a long Labor Day fishing and a hard day back at work, M is too. The dishes are done, lunch and snacks packed, all toys are picked up off the floor. I can blog, read, email (although I probably won't, so I'm sorry if I owe you an email!) and polish off the rest of the Haagen-Dazs, although I won't do it while watching the "Biggest Loser" recap show. Even an unabashed dessert-hound like me will feel guilty indulging while a whole show of people go on and on about "willpower" and "good choices" and "label reading."

We had an absolutely lovely weekend at my mom & dads. It was so nice to get another little break. Coupled with A's "Mom's Morning Out" program (which started today) I feel very rested. While he was gone, I went to the grocery, called some more builders and even got a chance to cook some chicken for dinner. We even made it to school to pick up D early enough that we didn't have to race across town for her swim lessons.

Not sure what I'll do until bedtime - read a little? watch NCIS? more ice cream? All three!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Glutton for punishment

Because there's always room to be more overwhelmed and crazy than I already am, I volunteered to lead the Daisy scout troop at D's school. Supposedly the committment is one afternoon a month to meet and do a craft. I'm not naturally crafty or creative but I do LOVE Michael's so I'm sure that I can handle that part. And a few more bags of craft supplies drifting around the house won't hurt anyone. And, because it's me, the thing that I'll obsess over is what to bring for snacks... something healthy? something homemade? something in a box from the store? something for the girls to make and eat themselves, therefore qualifying as both a craft AND a snack?

The upside is I get to spend time with D and her sweet little friends.

The downside is I'm going to have to try to find a sitter who'll be able to watch A or I'll have to (gulp) bring him with me to the Daisy meetings. All the snacks in the world aren't going to keep him occupied for an hour and the post-school afternoon meeting time rules out our current crop of sitters, so I'll have to give this one some thought.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

You, me and coffee

It has been a highly stressful last few weeks, manifested mainly in my marked increase in caffeine consumption. We're talking three cups of coffee in the a.m. and at least two Diet Cokes a day. When less than 4 months ago I was still in "nursing mode" and only drinking 1/2 cup of coffee in the morning.

Why? Well, besides dealing with the gloriously entertaining monotony of being a full-time mom to a one-year-old, and the never ending battle to stay organized, and the ENORMOUS stream of paperwork generated by having one (just ONE!) kid in kindergarten, we have the ongoing stress of the great "move or renovate" debate, now entering it's third year. It seems impossible that M and I have been talking about this subject for that many years without ever coming to a single decision, a plan of action, or simple resolution. Can it really be that difficult?! Shouldn't be, since I'm a fairly decisive person and M, as an attorney, makes educated, researched decisions for his living. But no. We're still crammed into our beautiful, tiny house endlessly discussing what to do next. It's as boring and pointless as it sounds, folks. Both of us, and probably D too, can trot out a whole list of pros and cons and interest rates and names of builders and designers and ideas, but to act on any of this information? Nope. Seems impossible.

Why? Well, M's been insanely busy, travelling, trials, lots of work pressure. I spend my days chasing after A and trying to cram a full days worth of chores into the 90 minutes he naps in the morning. Then we have swim lessons, tennis lessons, meals to make.... I don't know why I'm so busy, I just am. I long, yearn, pray for the day when they are both in school (even just part-time) so that I have a couple of uninterrupted hours a day. I wonder sometimes if this "at home" mom thing is the right thing for me. I lack the certain amount of patience and tolerance for disorganization that (I think) would enable me to function more calmly. I get quite testy when asked to guess, for the 4000th time, what kind of baby animal D is pretending to be, and yes, honey I love that picture your making. What's that? A bunch of flying hearts? No? Ohhh, of course, they're baby stingrays! I'm irritated by having toys, books and balls hurled at me all day long. Now, some of the toys have started making noises all on their own... a car & truck puzzle that makes its ambulance noise in the morning and the Fisher Price kitchen will mysteriously starting burbling and dinging away at night. Sometimes, by the time everyone has been fed, and dinner is cleaned up, and lunches and snacks have been made, and the coffee is set for the morning it's after 10:00. Does that seem late to you? No? Then you must be under 30, because that seems late to me! I hate to complain because I asked for and chose this life and I am blessed to be able to concentrate fully on the kids and not have to work outside of the house. And, when all is said and done, I crawl into bed exhausted, but happy. So maybe that is why no decisions are being made and why we continue to live all smushed happily into our little house.

I really need a vacation.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Get your fuss on

Anyone who knows D appreciates her ability to coin unique and entirely apropos phrases. The other day as A followed M around the house whining to be picked up, she yells out, "Watch out Daddy, he's going to put the fuss on you!" I thought it was great - just really apt. Much as when she described him to someone as the "messy thrower of crunchies."

A is hitting every milestone - head on and at top speed. He's got separation anxiety, night terrors, a growing sense of independence and static-clinginess; he's drooling, teething, walking, starting to talk, attempting to climb and wanting to eat on his own. The result of all this growth and change? He's a total fuss bucket. I imagine it would be like me waking up one morning and realizing I could fly. Or speak like six new languages. You'd be amazed, confused, torn between wanting to explore your new talent(s)and wondering how it happened. Of course, it's easy to talk about but I have less patience when I'm trying to go about my daily business with one moppet clinging to my leg and the other one asking a non-stop stream of questions, ranging from a simple request for definition ("Mommy, what's a precipice?") to the sublime ("Mommy, if I dress up like Sleeping Beauty am I really a princess?)

We're on our last summer trip before Kindergarten starts -- spending a few days in Naples with my parents. It's beastly hot, but the kids are having a great time playing with the cousins and I'm enjoying seeing my family.

Have a happy Monday everyone!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Dog days of summer

Top 10 Signs That You Wish Summer Was Over:

1) You no longer care that your daughter eats most meals dressed as a Disney princess
2) You consider a bowl of Lucky Charms and a glass of milk a good breakfast ... or dinner
3) Your grocery list is pretty much peaches, blueberries, corn and ice cream
4) Your yard only looks nice the day after the lawn guy cuts it
5) 100% humidity makes blow-drying your hair useless
6) You haven't turned on the oven in weeks
7) The a/c runs 24/7
8) Walking to the car makes you sweat
9) Not even the dog wants to go for a walk
10) Your kid doesn't start school for 3 weeks but you've already bought everything on her class supply list

Stay cool!

One more reason ....

11) You find it amusing to chase the dog with a remote control car

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wee walker

A started walking for real this week. Up until now he could manage about a dozen steps and then he would have to either cruise or crawl to reach his destination. But that changed overnight. Now he'll clamber upright and just start toddling around, usually with his blanket or a ball or some other toy in his mouth. (Is he imitating the dog?!) It is so cute and SO exhausting. I've lost 5 lbs. in one week chasing him around and trying to contain the huge trail of toys, blocks, blankets, balls and whatever else he drags through the house. Last night I collapsed on the couch at 8:30, guzzled split half a beer with M, and promptly fell asleep.

We've actually been sleeping very well lately because, after that wonderful night on the Hampton Inn Cloud Nine (TM) bed, I went out and bought all the linens, etc. to recreate the experience right here at home. It's amazing. Even M thinks its great. I got a fluffy, 14-oz., 250 thread count mattress pad, new sheets, down-and-feather pillows and a new duvet. It really is comfortable. I've never really understood the concept of good bedding before, but I'm a true believer now.

I think I'll go take a nap.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Happy birthday big boy!

A happy, happy first birthday to my sweet "baby" A. One year ago today, M & I were at the hospital to have them induce labor. I wasn't overdue; they were concerned that he was too big for me to deliver. I got my inducing meds around midnight, and I think right about now was when I started to rethink my decision to not get an epidural. After writhing and moaning for a few hours I finally used the code word that M & I had set up ahead of time that meant I was serious, get me my friggin' drugs STAT! A was finally born around 2 in the afternoon (you can tell when it's not your first kid, because while I know D's birth time down to the second, all I know about A was that I pushed for about 45 minutes and it was 2-ish. Or maybe 3?!)

We're having a low-key birthday. My sister & our friend Kari are coming over for BBQ and cake this afternoon.

For presents, he got a Fisher-Price train (because we didn't have enough molded plastic crap toys already?) and a great bucket of cars/planes/trains from Grandma & Grandpa J. To add to the celebration, we also got a new vacuum because our old upright finally surrendered. I swear it was spewing out as much dirt and hair and junk as it sucked in.

A and D are as different as oil and water, but I am happier than I could ever imagine having these two precious children. They add so much joy, wonder, excitement, marvel to my life that it more than makes up for the quadrupled housework and never-ending cascade of laundry. Some friends have described their children, particularly boys, as tornados. I'd describe A as a lava flow - a stupendous explosion followed by slow, complete destruction. Watching him in action taking apart the playroom, bedroom, kitchen cabinets is poetry in motion. He's totally deliberate and thorough. You don't even realize the chaos in his wake he's so much fun to watch.

Ok, while Birthday Boy naps I'm going to sneak in a bit more Harry Potter. I'm about halfway through.

Life is good.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Media blackout

I am under a weekend-long self-imposed ban on emails, the Internet, Google, news, E!, and any other media outlet that might possibly spoil the new Harry Potter book, which I, like any self-respecting 12-year-old, have pre-ordered from Amazon for delivery first thing Saturday morning. If by chance you finish the book before me, which is likely given the demands of raising two children, please do NOT tell me a thing about it! I will be reading as fast as I can in high anticipation of jumping on those discussion boards as soon as possible.

Thank you!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

We're back

We're back from North Carolina! We had a wonderful time with M's parents. The weather was super - the last week we were there it barely got above 60 on a couple of days (of course, they are up around 4300 ft. above sea level, which makes for some mighty refreshing air). It was a bit of a shock to return to 90+ heat, although it should be expected for Florida in July. The kids and I survived our 12 hour car ride home, with a short stop at the Hampton Inn Valdosta, GA. (NOTE: Shameless plug ahead!) I really can't say enough about the Hampton Inn - I haven't stayed in one since the 90s and they've REALLY upgraded their facilities. And the Cloud Nine bed? Heaven! You gotta try it.

But now we're home, back to routine -- trying to answer D's thousands of questions (A sampling: "what's a precipice? what's an estate? who named this thing a grape? why are there crunchy things on my bagel?"); planning A's one-year birthday party; hopefully going to see my parents before school starts. And let's not forget the ongoing nightmare of the renovation plan that can't quite get off the ground. But something must be done because the kids really need their own space. Now. Of course we've been saying that for a year with no results at all.

Hope the weather is cooler wherever you are!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Hey loser....

So, the kids and I are having a great time on vacation and the weather is great and all. Then last night (3 days into our good time!) I get a call from M that someone from American Express's security division was questioning some "unusual activity" on my card. Hmmm. No, I haven't lost my credit card. No, I didn't let anyone "borrow" it. And, hell no, I didn't purchase $60 of gas last Saturday night at a Texaco station in Venice, Florida. So I go online to check my card and find that some LOSER out there has charged over $7000 since last Friday night on my card!!!!! At places like 7-11s, Shell stations (over $4000 at Shell stations in the Ft. Myers area alone!) and TACO FRIGGIN' BELL!!!!! I'm LIVID. I call AMEX, who are very professional, assure me that my account is SOOOO cancelled and a new card being issued as we speak and that of course I'm not liable for a penny of those charges. And by the way, do I have any idea who might have done this? (No, because no one I know spends over $40 at Taco Bell. In a lifetime. Let alone one night.) Amex also assures me that IF they catch this person they will prosecute - and I'll be happy to help send this person to a punishment they deserve, which in my opinion should include things like many years of hard time, maybe on a chain gang, a flogging and perhaps public humiliation, but will probably be something much less. And by the way, all you scumbucket card-stealing losers out there, THANKS A LOT for robbing me of my piece of mind on my vacation. Now I get to spend the rest of my lovely month here (and probably the rest of the year) worrying that someone has stolen my identity.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The new world order

Hello out there. Sorry it has been such a while, but the kids have kept me "entertained" 24/7 lately with nary a break. Every little thing takes 16 billion times longer than it should... like D & I playing the ever-popular game "What Animal Am I?" (These are a sampling of responses as she tries to guess "duck.")

"Bird?" (Ooh! getting close!)
"Pterodactyl?" (Huh?!)
"Foofie bird?" (Ok, we're off track....)

And so on for 25 minutes people.... I didn't know she knew so many types of birds. Finally, after momentary diversions into other animal genres, she gets duck. Yes, 25 quality time minutes with my exhaustingly smart daughter - now 25 minutes behind getting dinner ready, etc.

Don't even get me started on the non-stop screaming, screeching, wailing as Baby A attempts to get around the house using his walker. He's very good with it, but hates that he has to do it without me, so every proud, independent step is accompanied by his non-stop top-of-his-lungs vocal disapproval that I'm not holding his sweaty little hand. He will (purposely?) steer himself into a corner then scream until he falls down - yet I've seen him nimbly manouever the walker to get over to D when she has a snack in her hand.

But, our vacation is thankfully just around the corner. We leave this weekend for a wonderful month in the mountains of Western North Carolina with my in-laws. We ended up deciding to fly M's mom down to drive up with the kids and I on Sunday. After the last few days, I was pretty concerned about the long drive alone with the kids - A is a handful and a half, which only leaves half a hand for D. But Grandma J will be a big help and good company and I won't have to worry about speeding to get there before dark (they live at the top of a very dark, very rugged, very beautiful mountain - tricky driving in broad daylight - scary in the pitch black after a long day's drive.)

Not sure what my internet access will be like once we're there, but I'll try to get a post in now and then. And of course, a recap once we're home in July.

Hope you all are enjoying your summer too!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Party with your kids

I spent the weekend attending not one, but two parties. A first for our life post-kid, as that's typically the number of parties we attend in a whole year. But, these were all kid/school related and were both great fun. One was a pool party and the other a house party - which was crazy because it poured rain (due to Tropical Storm Barney) for the first time in about 4 months and so all the kids, who normally would have been outside were instead running through the house - mud and water and screaming everywhere. But fun and good company and great food all the same.

Today I am attempting to make Lobster Rolls for dinner and am a tad anxious about potentially ruining such an expensive dish. Some recipes are simple - mayo, salt & pepper - others call for celery, capers, tarragon, chives. I'm not sure which way to go, but I do have my hot dog rolls all ready, so at least that part will be authentic.

All is quiet on the home front for now. Baby A is taking an afternoon nap and D is whining that she's bored. If A wakes up in time, maybe we'll head out to the pool for a bit.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Where have I been?

With summer hols here, things have been pretty nuts but I think we've finally worked out some kind of schedule. D had some major adjustment with being home from school and wanting time with me -- she's definitely not used to sharing me with Baby A. Anyhoo, she's off with Aunt Debbie today to swim & play and that's just fine with me.

We've got two parties this weekend (a social calendar first!) - one tonight and a pool party on Sunday. Next week we meet with a new architect to try to get this renovation thing off the ground. Then we're off to the mountains of Western North Carolina in two weeks, but until then, maybe I'd rather be here:

You Belong in Dublin

Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.
You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.

Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Nothing is guaranteed in life, except YOU KNOW the minute I get my errands and chores (blogging!) done, settle down on the couch with a cold drink, a tasty snack and the latest issue of Vogue, Baby A is guaranteed to wake up from his nap. Sigh. Such is life. I remember when my lunch break was actually a break.

Monday, May 21, 2007

"No" man's land

Baby A has entered the "no" stage - where it seems like all we tell him is "no" - no crying, no hitting, no licking your sister, no chewing shoes, etc. He's also teething. One of his big old top front teeth is just sitting there, almost ready to pop, creating a huge red bulge on his gumline. It looks incredibly painful and I really do feel badly for him, just less so when he's screaming bloody murder at 2:30 in the morning. Or again at 4:00. Poor baby.

It was lovely here this weekend, very un-Florida-y, with cool temps and a nice breeze and low humidity. It made me temporarily forget that summer is pretty much here. Every year at this time I try to remember why we didn't put in a pool last year, or why we don't have a playset for D yet, or why we don't really have any grass or shade in our big old yard. What we do have is a virtual, miniature Florida prairie habitat with wild native grass (re: scrub), little shade, and birds, lizards (EEEEK!) possums, squirrels and snakes galore. National Geographic could do a show on us. But it doesn't make for a very nice or inviting place for the kids to play. So off to the water park we go!

My other favorite thing about summer - no cooking in the oven!! I take a break from baking, roasting, braising and broiling during the summer. What's left? Well, sauteeing, crock pots, pan-frying, take out (ha) and of course the grill. Besides grilling, one of my favorite summer meals is make-your-own omelettes. I basically use the same ingredients as I would for a winter make-your-own pizza session: peppers, spinach, mushrooms, onions, sauteed turkey sausage, canadian bacon, and lots of cheese(s). It's a hit with everyone. It's too hot to eat heavy stuff anyway. So three cheers for easy, breezy summer living!

Friday, May 18, 2007

What Trish needs....

The eloquent Libby over at A Study of Schoolbooks and Shoes had a fun little game a few days ago. What you do is google the phrase "[your first name] needs..." and see what turns up. So here's a sampling of what I found:

1) Trish needs a makeover.
Well, you don't say. I thought the no-makeup, ponytail and baggy post-baby shorts and stained t-shirts thing was working for me.

2) Trish needs some help at UCSD.
And also at home, doing some cooking and light cleaning. Also organizing. And help finding a reliable architect.

3) Trish needs to always be in control of the situation and her men.
So sue me. It makes things easier around the house. (For a supposedly random search, these results are pretty accurate.)

4) Trish needs an acting coach.

5) Trish needs a kidney transplant.
Before or after I start acting?

6) Trish needs to come back SOON she is my favorite Diva.
Apparently, #4 and this one pertain to a retired WWE lady wrestler.

7) Trish needs her own, original weapon.
Doesn't every girl?

8) Trish needs about 8 days ...
Of vacation, with her husband, in Tahiti!

9) Trish needs to go on hiatus and take more vocal lessons.
I guess in case the acting thing doesn't work out.

10) Trisha needs assistance getting up from any sitting or lying position. ...
Maybe a sign that it's time to get back to gym?

Let me know what you find!!

Third Friday

Every third Friday of the month I clean up D's art room. Today is that day. I don't really tell her about it before hand as she is a bit of a packrat and tends to obsess over every scrap of painstakingly colored paper and every random pinecone, acorn, or other "treasure" she's collected over the past month. But I can't stand the clutter and she gets to start fresh every four weeks. Today, amongst all her little girl beads, baubles, crayons, etc. I found a pair of unused ear plugs, the kind that you use to block noise on planes. Thank goodness they were unused, but I have no idea where they came from. Ewww. The one thing I'm on the fence about tossing is an old licorice tin, long since devoid of licorice, but still bouncing around the house storing one thing or the other. M collects and stores old shoeboxes, so I shouldn't be surprised his daughter hangs onto candy tins (she also likes empty tissue boxes). Maybe if the shoeboxes or tins held something, I'd be more appreciative of their recycling, but so often they just rattle around, using up valuable storage space, completely EMPTY. So, I spend a fortune at the Container Store and Pottery Barn on cute storage totes, only to have them filled up with empty boxes, jars and tins. Don't even get me started on M's collection of empty baby food jars -- which he claims to collect to store his fishing flies, currently housed in a (youguessedit) shoebox. I'm not sure what's in his actual tacklebox.

We've been travelling and busy this past week, but we've planned an excellent family weekend. I'm making my famous sauteed chicken with mustard sauce for dinner (chicken fingers for the kids, natch), and we're going to rent a bunch o'movies and just hang out. Tomorrow, M is taking D to the zoo for a special daddy-daughter day. It will be nice to have a Saturday to myself, especially since school is out next week. Yikes. Since Baby A was born right before school started, I've never had both kids at home for any length of time. I'm adamant about limiting TV time, but finding stuff to do for a 10 month old and an almost-five-year-old can be challenging. Talk about your different interests! But, she'll go to Vacation Bible School at church in early June, and then we're leaving for a month in the mountains with M's parents. (Wish M could get away too!!) By the time we get back, it's only about a month until school starts so I can probably handle that.

Hope you all have a nice weekend too!

Friday, May 04, 2007

A pastry a day

Keeps the doctor away, or don't I wish it did anyway. Yesterday I made some fab low-fat cranberry scones. I'm experimenting with a no-butter recipe for scones, since most call for at least a stick of butter and if you're going to be eating a pastry a day, that could quickly add up to pounds of butter a week if you don't watch. Or some rationale like that. Anyway, M loved them so I think that's a keeper recipe. It's incredibly easy and you can pretty much add any fruit, chocolate, flavoring, that you'd like.

Today I made Incredible Exploding Cherry Turnovers. They exploded, I guess, because something went awry with my filling -- it was very liquidy. Maybe I should have drained the cherries after they thawed? Maybe I shouldn't have thawed them? Maybe I should have made apple? Well, they taste yummy anyway and I will definitely try again. I think I might play around with different types of puff pastry too. Apparently you can find "all natural" ones that are really close to homemade. Not that I'm masochistic enough, or have the time, to make homemade puff pastry.

For the weekend I'm planning something with buckwheat and blueberries tomorrow and on Sunday I'll probably do another batch of scones -- maybe cinammon? Maple? Something spicy-sweet.

D has a half day today so we're headed to the zoo for the afternoon to see the animals and play at the kid's water park. Tomorrow I'm getting a pedicure in the morning - hurrah! - and afterward may stop by the local kiddie consignment shop to look for onesies for Baby A. He's getting ready to explode out of his 12 month ones.

Have a super weekend!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Three strikes?

So we had our third meeting with Builder yesterday -- the preliminary design review and budget estimate meeting. It was exactly like dating someone who previously had "potential" but then pulls some bonehead stunt on that crucial third date. Maybe he gets raving drunk, flirts with a waitress behind your back, or maybe you start talking dreamily about how your goal in life is to settle down, buy a house and have kids... either way something goes awry and you start wondering what it was you saw in them in the first place. So that's pretty much what Builder did on our third meeting - first the prelim budget estimate was $15,000 above our top number. Hello! At least match our top number and then go over after we've started talking about hardwood floors and tile and other specifics. Second, and almost more importantly, the design was utterly hideous not what we had expected, especially for the price per square foot we're talking about. The interior was great, really lovely, but the outside elevation, and especially the roofline, were all wrong for our cute little bungalow-style house. It made the addition look tacked on and unfinished. The other huge problem was because of the unusually high pitch of our roofline, the interior attic rooms were quite a bit smaller than we had thought they'd be and, more importantly, none of the rooms had windows!! Can you imagine kids bedrooms and bathrooms without natural light and ventilation? YUCK! Anyway, we'd have to smack on a couple of dormers and even that would 1) ruin our cool peaked roof and 2) only allow one teeny-tiny window for each bedroom. There was no way to get one in the bathroom. All in all, we are a bit disappointed which to me means they better try a little bit harder to woo us if they want a fourth date. M, on the other hand, wants to break up and move on. Sigh.

Between you and me, if the housing market here was showing any sign of life at all, I'd rather move.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Never on Thursdays

Back in the day, when I was still working as something other than a mom, we used a cleaning service to keep our house clean. Over five years, we tried about five different services until right after Baby A was born. Yes, just after bringing our new baby home, that's when I decided that I was sick of cleaning services -- must have been something to do with all those new-mom hormones. But really it had more to do with them breaking things, or showing up late, or not showing at all, or constantly changing the time they would come, or doing a really poor job on the bathroom tile. This was last fall and because I had a newborn and D was still coming home for lunch, I was adamant that they get here by mid-morning and be gone by lunchtime. A three-hour window. It didn't seem too much to ask, but it was more than they could handle and after three weeks in a row where I had to send them away and clean the house myself anyway, I fired them altogether.

So fast forward 8 months and now one of my big weekly struggles is to get the house clean. I wipe down the bathrooms every day, but try to limit vacuuming to twice a week and I only mop every 10 days or so. That little schedule may change drastically now that A is starting to get mobile. He's almost crawling, but can also quickly scoot across the floor on his tummy or his butt. The last few times I've noticed dustbunnies on his tummy, dog hair sticking to his legs and I shudder to think what's on his hands and feet, which are always in his mouth. When he's on the floor in his room he immediately scoots off under the crib to play with wheels -- and comes out looking like a used Swiffer. So, looks like I'll be vacuuming every day now too, at least until he's properly walking.


Monday, April 30, 2007

Weeked recap

We had a nice family weekend here. On Saturday we all went over to the Green Thumb Festival at one of the local parks. They have all kinds of beautiful plants for sale that we didn't buy because of course we're hoping to be building soon and why plant out your yard only to have a bobcat run it over? But it was a gorgeous day and D got all kinds of free junk from the exhibit booths, so that was fun. On Sunday we went to the beach for the afternoon. M & D got to play in the surf n' sand while Baby A napped on my lap. Again, another picture perfect Florida Spring day, and there won't be too many comfortable ones left, so we might as well enjoy them now.

This week is crazy busy again - D has a dentist appt. today after school, tennis tomorrow, meet with the Builder on Wednesday and then M is out of town Thurs. & Fri. I spent the morning making enough food to get us through until Friday - I hate cooking on busy nights and never cook when M is gone. But, we've got meatloaf, grilled chicken, mashed potatoes and pasta. So we should be OK and I won't have to touch the stove again all week. Yippeee!! I really should look into one of those "Dinner Done" places.

M will be home late tonight, so I'm thinking I'll have time to work on some crafty projects that I've been trying to get to -- organizing up our family photos, working on a needlework project I've got going or maybe making some pretty ribbon bookmarks. Either that or fall asleep on the couch watching TV.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Where's the truck?

I feel like I got hit and dragged by a semi. BabyA was in rare form last night -- up from 11:00 - 12:30 and then again from 3:00 - 4:00. I actually fell asleep on a chair in their room and scared the cupcakes out of D when she woke up around 4:30 to get a drink of water. A tired Mama was not what she expected to find lurking in her room.

Too tired to cook dinner even, so now have to start my campaign for getting some tasty take-out.

Happy weekend to all!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

April showers

Builder finally did show up yesterday, with apologies, about an hour late. Happily, the Measuring went well and he said "this is going to be easier than I thought!" We'll see if "easier" translates into "less expensive." He brought one of the designers with him, George, to get an eyeful so they can do some initial planning. We're meeting with everyone next Wednesday to get a prelim estimate and decide if we're going to move forward. Oh yes, yes, yes. I think we're going to do it!!!

Today Baby A had his 9-month appt. and he is doing well, except for some low hemoglobin numbers, ie low iron. We have to step up the meat/egg portion of his diet and give him some supplements as well. We go back in a month to be re-tested. Doc wasn't concerned, said it was normal at this age, but just wanted to make sure we can reverse the trend. In other news, he pee-pee'd into his little bag like a champ -- he's certainly not dehydrated!

We're off to a dual Baby Shower for two dear friends this afternoon, D is taking a half-day so she can see her playgroup friends again. Should be fun. And the cupcakes? DELICIOUS! I went with half plain - half raspberry frosting. Even M liked them. Hopefully my Mom Friends will too.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Am I getting stood up? The Builder guys were supposed to be here 45 minutes ago to do some prelim measuring. I'm still waiting... . If this were a real date I'd have blown him off by now and put on my comfy pants and settled down to watch some telly. Hm. Good Builders are hard to find. But I thought we had a connection. Oh well - his loss if he shows up during Baby A's lunch - he'll have to do a lot of talking to himself.

In the meantime I'm making delish chocolate cupcakes for D's playgroup/baby shower tomorrow. I'm trying to decide between plain buttercream frosting, coconut b'cream or raspberry b'cream. Probably because there are wee kids involved I'll go with plain, but I may fancy up and make some of the flavored kind for the grown ups. Have you ever noticed that with cupcakes, the kids either eat the cake or the frosting, but rarely both? At what age do you start eating them both? As far I remember, I've always eaten both, and probably started licking the bowl/spoon as soon as I could walk.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Dare to dream

We had a meeting this week with a design/build firm and, well, it looks like they may be "the one." There was a good connection, we felt comfortable, we could talk easily, everyone was upfront about their pasts.... it was a great first date. And, instead of a "we'll call soon" we actually have a second date... er, meeting... set up for next Wednesday for them to do some preliminary measurements. If all goes well we'll be signing to make it official in about 3-4 weeks!! Hurray! And not a minute too soon as Baby A and D have reached the beginning of the end of the room-sharing period of their lives. Baby A has been waking up starting around 2:45 until about 4:30 every morning- YAWN!! - and things are just too cramped in there. If they'd both been the same sex, or if the age difference wasn't quite as great, maybe we could squeeze by for a few more years, but it really isn't fair to them right now, especially D who would love to have friends over to play -- if they had a place to go.

In addition to the addition, we'll be fixing up the yard as well (I'm all about putting in a pool right now!) and so we'll have a fully functional house -- soon-ish.

Baby A Update: He's getting mobile. He'll "walk" all over the house holding onto our fingers. He'll scoot on his butt. He'll roll like a fiend across the room. No crawling yet though. He has the top half down pat, but hasn't quite figured out what the legs are for. It's also quite funny to seem him butt-scoot in the tub - where he immediately heads for the faucet. He loves to stick his hands under it and make it splash up on his face. He doesn't mind it a bit. But you really have to watch him and be careful or he'll have his whole head under there in a second. He doesn't mind that either.

Our only plans this weekend are to have lunch with my sister Debbie on Sunday. Other than that, we're enjoying some downtime and hopefully will be able to get outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. Hope you have a nice weekend too!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I found out late yesterday about the shootings at VT. Normally it wouldn't take all day for me to hear about such things, but I had a sick dog, cranky baby and a ton of post-Spring Break errands to run so was online less than usual. I'm glad I caught up at the end of the day, when there was less speculation about what was happening, but my heart goes out to those poor people who lost loved ones and the students who will live with the fear and horror of that day for a long time.

As a mom, as a parent, you can't help wonder what if it happened to your child or at your kid's school? I don't even like to think about it, but who knows what kind of sick "person" preys on others like that. D's school, which is pretty locked-down, is relatively safe but the kids are still out on an open playground during the day -- isn't it a crazy world that you might not want your kid to be outside on a playground because someone could open fire on them? I'm sure it's just the sudden (re)heightened awareness of how vulnerable we are to the crazies, but right now it's on my mind.

And in a few days I'm sure we'll all be treated to one of Rosie O'Donnell's crackpot conspiracy theories about this incident. I've stopped watching the Martha show in the mornings because The View comes on right after and just seeing Rosie's face during the promo spots turns me off.

Hug your family today!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Fashion victim

For those that are wondering, yes, I'm still wearing the cute black skirt and I've got really awesome shoes to go with. The problem is the top -- first, I can't wear sleeveless because my arms are too flabby -- looks like I've got half-filled water bottles attached to them. Second, either the tops are too fitted (Boobs! Baby Nursing Bra! Breast pads! Flabby leftover tummy! All these things mean nothing too fitted!) or too sheer. Even the one I did end up with is too sheer, but it at least has sleeves to hide my bra straps and ginormous fat arms. I'm sooo disgusted with myself that I went out and got a half-gallon of Triple Threat Edy's Slow Churned and I'm going to eat it one cup at a time until I feel better about myself.

Only 3-1/2 months of nursing to go. I can't wait. I want to wear cute tank tops again, without some ugly stretchy nursing bra poking out. And don't even get me started on the situation with my underwear. Granny panty city, baby.

Oh and by the way, It's Great To Be a Florida Gator!!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Who's that girl?

Today I had to go to the Mall to return some stuff I bought in my Quest for An Easter Outfit. I also had to get some new shoes because all I have anymore are clogs and flip flops and one lonely pair of brown loafers. I have a really specific idea of how I'd like to look in my head, but unfortunately the clothes in the stores these days aren't what I'm looking for. I tried on about 50 blouses today (while BabyA wailed and whined and wiggled in his stroller) and not a single on looked like "me." "Me" is all about t-shirts and polo shirts and cotton sweaters and the occassional cashmere and, in the winter, turtlenecks. The blouses in the stores are all about rayon and nylon and wrap-styling and things so sheer they look like pantyhose and fitted things, or else blouse-y, peasant-y things. I can't even find a decent twin set.

It's very depressing. I wish that I were more like the girl in my head -- the one who's makeup is always perfect and who's hair is always brushed and neat and who has a closet full of outfits for every occassion. Sigh.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Orlando, again

Since my sister Debbie was on spring break this week and, as a teacher gets into Sea World free, we decided to take a mini-break and head over to Orlando again for a day. It was picture perfect Florida spring weather and the park was a bit more crowded than when we went with my parents in February. But we got to see some of the exhibits that we missed on that first trip and, amazingly, a lot of the shows had different elements (the animals are too awesome and dignified to call what they do "tricks") than before. It keeps it interesting for repeat visitors -- and for the animals too, I imagine.

I love the Shamu show. It is just incredible to see these huge animals interacting with people. One of the orcas had a baby swimming right by it the whole time and it was so cute to see the baby trying to imitate it's mom. It was a bit like watching BabyA trying to imitate us waving or eating - or walking. Just like last time though, I spent the last half of the show standing a the back of the stadium whispering sweet nothings in BabyA's ear. It will be nice when he's a bit more mobile and independent and can enjoy little outings like this more. Not that I'm rushing things.

It's nice to have our year-long passes. It takes the pressure off having to rush around and try to see it all in just one day. Florida may have some drawbacks but we are lucky to be so close to these big theme parks that many people will only get to visit once in a lifetime. I can't even count how many times I've been to Disney World -- we used to drive down just for the day when I was in college.

Of course, even if you've been to the Parks 100 times, it's all different when you have kids.

We were in the Wild Arctic exhibit -- polar bears, beluga whales and walruses -- which we did not get to in February. The walruses were just amazing. They have these huge heads/faces all wrinkly and whiskery and wise-looking. And they make this incredible, whooping whistle-y noise. We were in the underwater viewing area, marveling over their immense size (MUCH bigger up close than I had imagined).

The small crowed was hushed as we watched the walrus float vertically in front of the viewing area, it's huge abdomen tapering to it's two flippered feet. Then...

"I think that must be a boy," observed D.

Unfortunately, she wasn't sure why everyone thought it was so funny.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hey Jenn!

I am wearing this skirt for Easter:

What shoe do you recommend? Remember, I don't wear heels over 3", t-straps, ankle wraps or mary janes. I'm thinking a woven (raffia, cotton, crochet-look, something like that) slide with a platform heel. Or maybe a peep-toe. What do you think?

Get moving

D spent hours yesterday on her new bike. She really got the hang of it quickly! We are amazed because she never really caught on to the tricycle and every attempt to ride it ended up with me pushing her back home after about 30 minutes. But last night after dinner she rode for about an hour with M.

Between the skiing last month and now this, I was inspired to sign her up for PeeWee tennis lessons at the local racquet club. She starts this afternoon and I'm really hopeful she'll do well. Tennis is the one and only sport that both M & I like to play and it would be great if the Kids played as well.

D also informed me that she'll start swimming when she turns five. This July.

In other news, M & I did NOT have dessert last night. (I did sneak in a couple of mini PB cups around 5, but that was just to get me through the kids' dinner/bath/bedtime routine.) The Sugar Monster was beating at the door, but we ignored him. It helped that I didn't have any goodies on hand (since I ate the PB cups already) and I'm not going to do any more baking until Easter weekend. Of course, like all good addicts, my brain tried to replace one craving with another, so I found myself wondering if a icy cold Gin & Tonic would taste good, or perhaps a big glass of red wine. Thankfully, since the babies, I have almost completely lost my taste and tolerance for alcohol so that's an easier "craving" to ignore. Plus kids & drinking don't mix AT ALL. Full disclosure: I do, however, have a bottle of Anchor Steam that I'm saving for the Final Four (GO GATORS!!) game next weekend.

Monday, March 26, 2007

What's your favorite veggie?

You'd never guess from looking at us now, but M & I used to be pretty fit, athletic people. Now, since Kids, our favorite veggie is Couch Potato and we have all the willpower of a herd of scavenging goats. Yesterday, we each had two (2!!) coconut cupcakes for dessert. They were yummy, though. M has managed to maintain a youthful figure by sheer genetics - he is naturally thin. I however have fallen sadly behind the curve and am horrified by my still-5-months-pregnant figure. Also? I can't stop eating. Now, I am still nursing BabyA, usually about 4 times a day, but still. I am always, always, always hungry. It seems weird.

So we have been trying to get more outdoor exercise, which also involves trying to get D to enjoy outdoor activities more - although she is very anti-hiking in Florida (likes it better in the cooler, mountain climate of NC), doesn't like swimming and can barely pedal a tricycle. So I'm predicting triathalons may not be her thing. The bike thing is of special concern because her class is having a bike-a-thon this Thursday. Last Friday M ran out to get her a 12" kids bike and we've been practicing with it over the weekend. She's getting the hang of it although we lost a practice day yesterday when her front tire blew and we (meaning M) spent all day trying to fix the little tube inside. He finally got it fixed was feeling all good about it, pumped up the tire and wham! it blew again. He ended up at Wal-Mart at 9:00 last night trying to buy a new tire. File under Frustrated Fitness!

The other small change I've made is insisting that D eat a veggie (other than carrots) with dinner every night. Which is OK, cause she likes broccoli, green beans, spinach. We tried asparagus last week and she loved it, although that might have been because of the hollandaise I made to go with it.

We are serious about trying to improve our fitness this year, so I'm going scouting for a decent health club this week. We don't like the local franchise gyms (too loud) and the local Y, while offering a great facility, is unfortunately poorly maintained and can get very dirty. There are some private clubs though, so I'm going to check into them. Hopefully one will have on-site kid care AND an outdoor pool. Which are my requirements. I think M just wants a clean locker room and a sauna.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

My stuff

Here's the latest meme making the rounds:

Jeans - Levi's 501
Underwear - Hanes Her Way bikinis
Sneakers - Reebok brown & pink walking shoes
Watch - Cartier Tank
T-shirt - JCrew Favorite tee
Day bag - SkipHop diaper bag
Evening bag - I have a little black silk clutch that I've been using for about 15 years
Cell phone - Samsung basic flip-phone; no cameras; no music players; just a good phone
Blackberry or Treo - neither
Lipstick - MAC Del Rio or Bare Escentuals Fig pencil
Mascara - Clinique High Definition (but I rarely wear eye makeup)
Nail polish - none
Shampoo - Aveda Shampure
Moisturizer - MyChelle Pumpkin Creme
Hair product - Aveda Universal Styling Creme
Perfume or cologne - Hermes 24 Fauborg
Toothpaste - Colgate

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bad blogger

We have been super-duper more-than-usual busy lately and I've been so lackadasical about blogging. Between kids, housework and trying to catch up on my DVR'd shows I'm worn out at the end of the day.

Not to worn out to cook dinner though! Here's tonight's offering, Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas:

And for dessert, Lemon Meringue Pie bars. This is actually something I'm thinking of making for our big Easter Brunch, but wanted to give it a test try before foisting it off on the family.

M & D are out looking a bikes right now. D's class is having a Bike Rally next week to raise funds for needy parishoners. So it looks like we'll have to teach her to ride a real bike in the next week. She's very bike-resistant (must get it from me) and can barely muster her tricycle. Wish us luck.

Friday, March 16, 2007

One (wo)man band

M & I complain, separately and to each other, that we each feel like we're all alone in our current roles of mom, dad, breadwinner, breadeater, housecleaner, cook, planner, organizer, CFO and, most recently, homeowner insurance expert. I really do sympathize with his situation - nine months of all the attention being on me while I'm pregnant followed by seven months of all the attention being on Baby A. I have to work a bit harder at the Wife part of my job life. It's sometimes hard to do though, when it sometimes feels like the lowest priority of the many things I have to do, forget to do or put off until tomorrow.

For all my scurrying around, I am always strangely behind the eight-ball as far as keeping up with things. I feel like I clean and do laundry 24/7, yet the house always looks disheveled and just as I'm folding and putting away the "last" of the laundry and full basket or dirty clothes appears out of nowhere. It can be very disheartening.

Then, as if we weren't in enough turmoil with the whole renovate vs. sell thing, our crap-ass Homeowner's Insurance Co., had the gall to send us a renewal premium for next year for $4500!!!!!!! WTF?! Do they really think we'll pay that? When we know that they are cancelling everyone next year anyway?! We have a 1200 sq ft house!! Our agent was nice enough about it (although I'd hate to be a homeowner's insurance broker in Florida these days) and we now qualify to go into the state insurance fund at a reasonable premium of about $3300. Citizen's doesn't have the best reputation, but at least we know they can't cancel us so we don't have to go through that headache every year. Anyway, it looks like even if we found a house to buy -- and IF ours sold -- the higher taxes and insurance may not make it practical.

Sigh. TGIF.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

We love Apricot!

We had a blas at Epcot or, as D called it "Apricot," yesterday. It was wonderful to see M's brother and family and the kids got along really well. Baby A was in heaven -- all those kids to love on him. The park was great and they've added quite a few attractions so it seems more like the "community of tomorrow" that it's supposed to be. M & I went about three years ago and it was badly in need of an update then. They've revamped a lot of the rides though and added lots of updated, science/fun related attractions. (BTW, anyone else remember Captain Eo?)

Even with 10 people, including 6 kids, we got to see/do everything we wanted. Highlights include the Nemo ride, Soaring (a simulated hang-glider ride - very cool) and dinner in Germany, our favorite place to eat in Epcot. (Note to self: next time, be sure to get a snack at the Cantina in Mexico - it smelled fabulous.) D would say the highlight was playing with her cousins, I'm sure. She brought home a souvenir map and has spent the morning studying it trying to figure out what the symbols mean.

We got home around midnight, so I kept D home from school today to recover. We've been traveling so much, I can barely remember what day it is and I have to fight a nagging feeling that I've forgotten something important. Like doing our taxes.

For all of you looking for pictures, I recently switched to the new, "improved" Blogger Beta, and whaddayaknow, I can't use the image upload function anymore. I'll have to fiddle with it a bit.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Here and there

So we've had a fabulous, fantastic, BUSY last few weeks. First, M & I took the kids to NC to visit his momanddad and experience some real winter weather. It was great. D got to go skiing, M went fly-fishing with his dad and I got a much-needed break from housework. Then the day after we got back, my mom, sisters and SIL all went to see Wicked and have a real girls-only dinner. The play was really good and I was very skeptical because I didn't enjoy the book at all. Very pleasantly surprised at how funny they made some of the characters -- definitely worth seeing. Tomorrow we're hoping to head over to Orlando for dinner with M's brother & his family. My BIL is an LC in the Army and on his way to Iraq for three months, so they are taking a little R&R at Disney. It will be great to see them and I am already praying for his safe return from this deployment!

On more mundane matters:
I'd like to think that in the new, bigger version of our house that we are planning that I would NOT have to cook dinner with a herd of My Little Ponies cluttering up the counter, that we'd have an actual place to put the laundry piles that I have such a hard time putting away, and that if we want to have a conversation after Baby A goes to bed, we wouldn't have to whisper and tip-toe around. Our lack of space is really getting to us. The good news is we have references for a design firm, architect, and contractor so it should really just be a matter of deciding to actually DO it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gong Hay Fat Choy...

...which is "Happy New Year" in Chinese! This is the Year of the Pig, supposedly ushering in a year of friends, luck and abundance. I was going to make a big old authentic Chinese dinner, complete with sao bao, but instead we went out for dim sum at T.C. Choy's in Tampa.

We had a fantabulous time at Sea World. It's a great place for kids, much smaller and less expensive than Disney, but still lots to do. The shows were awesome - I loved Shamu! The park is really convenient for nursing moms, complete with private nursing/changing rooms scattered throughout the park. It was so relaxing not having to search out a quiet place to feed A, plus it got us out of the chilly weather for a bit.

I haven't put up pics yet because I've been too busy eating. Baby A, reacting to being fed three meals of baby food a day, has been wanting to nurse more and who am I to say no? I'm trying to wean him from 4 daytime feedings to 3, but he still manages to sneak a fourth in there most days. He's clearly gunning for the 20lb. mark. So, I've had to bump up the calorie intake and this time I'm doing it with bacon. (Year of the Pig, indeed!) Bacon and peanut butter sandwiches, to be specific. Yum. I know I should throw some fruits and veggies in there, but I believe in eating what you crave and apparently my body is craving crispy slices of pork-y goodness. Also Cadbury mini-eggs, which I feel no guilt about consuming in mass quantities since they are only available from now until Easter at which point they disappear until next year. I love Seasonal candy.

Yesterday my friend S and I took the little kids down to the outlet mall. Probably one of my best outlet shopping trips ever. I was desperate to get some new tops that weren't t-shirts. I got some Polo shirts, a nice spring/summer sleeveless tunic-style top and some pants for the warm weather that we know is just around the corner. I had to get A some clothes too, since his 12-month stuff is getting a bit tight and short. Yes, my seven-month old wears 12-18 month clothing. The sleeves are usually a bit long, but at least they don't ride up in the diaper area.

This morning we're off to Michaels to pick up some craft supplies for my next attempt at craftiness from Martha Stewart. These look easy enough maybe even D can help me. Wish me luck though. Usually my craft attempts come out looking a lot like D's pre-school attempts at "art," minus the charm and originality.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Spring clean....

So, in addition to the new Martha Housekeeping book and a Le Creuset dutch oven (to bake my no-knead bread), I also want these.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

On Monday I'll be posting an update and photos (hopefully) of our trip to Sea World. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Breakfast time!

This morning A was on the couch waking up while we got D ready for school. I guess he got impatient and decided to get breakfast for himself. We all laughed and I think he knew he was being funny 'cause he was laughing too. These kids crack me up.

In other news, I was up at 5:30 to prep my second loaf of no-knead bread. This time, I bench-proofed it on one of my silicone cutting boards and only used 1-1/2c. water -- the dough was way less sticky and much easier to work with. Funny how just 1/8 c. can make such a big difference. The loaf just came out of the oven, but I'm hoping it's as delicious as the first batch.

Today Baby A and I are off to the Nissan shop to get the MomMobile serviced. Then someone better vacuum the house - I guess it should be me.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I need no-knead

Given some of my recent baking mishaps, I was hesitant to try the "fool-proof" no-knead bread recipe that is currently the hit of the blogsphere, cooking shows, Martha, etc. Happily, even though from start to finish it takes over a day to make, the results are well worth it and exactly as the recipe promises. Fool proof, indeed! The crust was crispy, crackly; the interior chewy, wheaty and dense. Yumm! We devoured almost a whole loaf last night (served along with a delicious fruit-glazed pork roast and fresh broccoli) and ate the remainder this morning with blueberry preserves. 18 hours to make, 12 to eat. I will tweak my next loaf - a bit less water perhaps and, since the very sticky dough absolutely ruined two of my favorite tea towels, perhaps I won't use towels at all during the rising stage for the next batch. But go see for yourself! It's very easy and very delicious.

So that was our Sunday. This is a busy week: I'm hosting playgroup on Wednesday and D is off school Thursday & Friday. Next weekend the kids, my parents and I are off to Sea World for two days! I've never been, so it's exciting for me too. The weather looks to be perfect and it will be nice to have a little getaway. Maybe I'll even take some updated pictures of the kids.

I'm going to go bake some bread. You should too!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sad truth

Here all this time I was thinking that Baby A is soooo much messier than D was at this age. Turns out my sister Debbie, who took care of D until she was two, was actually a much better housekeeper than I am. Those high chair straps looked spotless because she somehow had the time? energy? ability? to clean the caked on rice cereal off of them. Whereas I'm much more inclined to give them a once-over with a wet paper towel and call them clean. Those smushed-in peas can wait 'til tomorrow! I suppose if I did laundry every day, instead of waiting until there was a critical mass overflowing the basket, those spots would come out of his onesies too. The sad truth may be that I am just a slob.

I really need to get that Martha Stewart Housekeeping book I've had my eye on since Christmas. I wonder if she has hints for getting baby carrot stains out of a pale blue turtleneck sweater.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Fish story

After a lovely week visiting with the grandparents, it's back to normal this week. For our Special Sunday Supper over the weekend, I cooked up a batch of fresh fish that my dad had caught awhile back. About 4 lbs. of fresh, fresh Gulf Snapper. Yum. But a tad bit more than we could eat in one meal, or even two, so it's been Fish, Fish, Fish since then. Fish tacos, fish & chips. Last night we made fish wraps. Basically, got some rice noodles (cooked) and tossed them with shredded cucumber, red peppers, lettuce and red onion and then drizzled with Paul Newman's Low Fat Sesame Ginger dressing and a bit of sesame oil. Then wrapped the salad stuff up with a couple of filets of fish in a tortilla. Very tasty! But I'm fished out for awhile.

Baby A is doing very well with the baby food, but is not so happy drinking from a sippy cup. He likes regular cups, but is having a hard time latching onto the other kind. We'll keep trying! I gave him his first "meat" dinner yesterday - a bit of chicken & wild rice baby food mixed in with his rice cereal. He seemed to like it, but OMG, what a horrible mess. It has some type of cereal starch mixed in it and a tomato-y substance and bits of wild rice and it all congealed into a glue-y paste as he smeared it around. I think we'll lay off that type of thing until he's actually ready for table food. It got all over his shirt and face and hands and he looked like a Baby Oompa Loompa.

We're continuing our trend of waking up waaayyy too early and it's starting to take it's toll on M & I. And now A has started to wake himself up a few times at night -- I'm sure it has something to do with teething. Thankfully, so far, he's been able to get himself back to sleep with little or no intervention from us, but it still wakes me up and I have a hard time getting back to sleep. So I'm back to only about 5 hours of sleep at night. Yawn.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Dark and stormy night

We had some wicked weather last night. Which normally I would sleep through, but since our Dog is terrified of storms, particularly thunder and lightning, she woke me up about 4:40 with her panting and pacing about the room. Note that the KIDS slept through the worst of it, but the DOG woke me up. Argh. Then Baby A woke up at 5:00, crying, which woke up D at around 5:30, so hey-ho might as well get out of bed -- M went to make coffee and I took a shower. Good thing too because the power went out around 6, and if there's one thing I hate it's facing the day before I've had a shower and coffee.

Oh well. Pizza for dinner tonight and early to bed for me!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A meeting

We have a meeting this morning with a contractor/builder to talk about our wretchedly small house. He was supposed to meet with us Tuesday but "forgot," so we rescheduled for today. He just called to confirm, so I'm very hopeful that he'll actually show up.

Grandparent's Day at D's school went very well. I think all four were very impressed with the school, teachers, kids, everything. We're lucky to be part of such a dynamic, family-oriented parish and school. We find out at the end of this week if D has been accepted for Kindergarten so we're praying and hoping for good news there. On a funny side note, I got a note from the Home & School Assoc. president saying I had signed up to volunteer for G'parents Day and could I help serve refreshments, etc. Tuesday night I left her a message saying no problem, but I have a 6-month old that I'll have to tote with me. Well when Baby A and I showed up yesterday, he was in finest no-nap babbling form, and we were promptly asked to leave! The reasoning was the Administration didn't want competing siblings there to distract the g'parents (very reasonable) but I suspect A's full on display of his awesome vocal abilities also swayed the vote. He's one LOUD baby, especially in close quarters. I was assured I'd still get full credit volunteer hours just for showing up. M called them Pity Hours, but since we're nowhere close to fulfilling our 25 volunteer hours for the year, I'll take them!

In other big news, we finally decided to send D to school full-time. She'll officially start next week and she is SO excited. Obviously she has no idea that this is the start of a long career of going to school. She's just looking forward to spending more time with her school friends. Not sure what we'll do about playgroup. I'm as attached to my mom friends as she is to the kids. Maybe I can just show up with Baby A - he needs to socialize anyway.