Tuesday, December 16, 2008
While I am perfectly content with blue and red in my life, I am so so excited that I will not be outnumbered and there will be a little pink in our lives! Hooray!
I always find it quite funny when you tell people this news and they ask, "Are you excited?" Does anybody ever say, "Quite frankly, I'm not."
We will not be sharing names ahead of time, so I'll save you the trouble of asking. Last time we didn't even share our possibilities. It's just easier that way so you don't have someone saying, "Well, I hate that name, but that one is okay." Let's just say that if you knew our possible girl names before, they are still in the running, but we feel the need to explore every other name and popularity trend graphs before coming to a final decision. You think I'm kidding, but don't forget that I have a scientific nerdy husband who gets upset whenever we meet someone with the same name as J.
More good news... our bathrooms are textured and painted! With green (earth friendly) paint! I'll post some pictures when we get the new light fixtures and mirrors up (that implies that we have them and we don't yet).
That's about it from here for now. Did I mention it is freezing here? As in last week it was 78 degrees in the afternoon and by 8 pm it was 31? I know that all you northerners are laughing when I say 31, but my blood is thin now and 31 feels like 15 below. The bright side is that it is supposed to be 78 again on Saturday followed by 34 on Sunday. Good luck to the feathernesters on packing for that one.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
I took J out for breakfast this morning because we were dressed and ready to start the day. Darn kid has been waking up earlier and earlier each morning and today was the earliest of all at 5:50. We are getting an alarm clock for his room which we will set for something reasonable (like 6:30 or 7) and he will not be allowed to call for us until then. We'll see how it goes.
J was extremely shy with the waitress at breakfast until she brought us the bill. Then he told her, "You're cute." She died in awwws and it was incredibly cute, but I didn't have the heart to tell her that cute is the word of the week. The sweater I'm wearing today is cute (it's a plain Jane white ribbed v-neck), the cats are cute. Even his milk cup is cute.
He has also been learning his fair share of Christmas songs, which all now come with accompanying drum solos. Our favorites are The Muppets Twelve Days of Christmas, also referred to as "The Bird Song." He loves Frosty the Snowman and uses our own broom as his broomstick to lead us around the house as he sings. He really likes Feliz Navidad, but can't quite say it, so it comes out as "Fleece Naddidad." We've also used the lyrics from Santa Claus is Coming to Town as a bit of a threat when he starts to act up and throw a fit over silly stuff. So far, it's been working like a charm. And because we are listening to all of these songs on the 24 hour Christmas station, he also sings the radio station jingle (Magic 95.5!!!) I think that cracks me up most of all.
I have painters in my house right now. This is very exciting, but it seems that all painters have their quirks. Mine likes to take naps in his truck while his assistant does the work. This bugged me a great deal earlier, but he hasn't taken a lunch break, so I guess it's okay. It was just kind of strange to see him passed out in his beat up jillopy of a vehicle with a book in his lap.
That's about all that's new here. I think I'm going to go and get some Christmas decorations out. We are way behind on that compared to our neighbors, who all decorated their homes and trees the day after Thanksgiving. Hopefully everything will be done by this weekend.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
I wish I could say I followed the same one.
Upon watching "Dear Food Network Thanksgiving" with Alton Brown, we decided to go with his recipe. The husband loves anything from Uncle Alton. We cooked a fantastic prime rib at Christmas with him, and B often takes notes while watching Good Eats. The recipe looked good enough, so we decided to give it a try. And since we ti-voed (sp?) the show, we went back and forth many times to watch his trussing technique, gravy method, and beautiful, glorious looking turkey.
So imagine our surprise when all of our sides were ready to go on the table at 6:30 and our bird rested to a comfortable 164 degrees that we should cut into it and find a red bird. Raw, people. Raw! Everything went back in the oven. The father in law laughed over his vodka tonic, J nearly lost his shirt as he begged for more and more pumpkin muffins, and I went to the couch feeling dejected and confused. How could this happen? We did everything he said to do. Right?
Well, upon printing out a written recipe for the turkey, we found conflicting evidence. The written recipe says to take the bird out at 161 and let it rest to 165. The tv show said take it out at 151 and let it rest to 165. Easy to check, right? Well, we deleted the show after we jotted down the gravy recipe and put the turkey in the oven. And I can't find a copy of the episode anywhere on the food network website. I can find AB's Good Eats show where he makes a turkey, but there is no evidence of this show anywhere that I can find on the Internet.
So this is where I need your help, people! Did Alton Brown completely let us down and make a huge snafu on his show? Or did B and I incorrectly hear the directions after watching the show both separately and together at least 4 times? I'm dying to know, so if anybody has a copy of this show anywhere on their ti-vo, please help a girl out. Every review of this turkey was outstanding and it totally bummed me out that we screwed it up so badly. I mean, in hindsight, it makes no sense to take a bird out of the oven 15 degrees before it's ready, but we really thought we were doing what we were supposed to!
Needless to say, our raw turkey turned into an overcooked turkey even though it had a beautifully roasted skin. The garlic mashed potatoes became complete garlic after being warmed for an extra hour and a half. I thought they were at least tasty, but B didn't agree. The green beans were inedible. The stuffing was fine, however. And there was, of course, the small incident that involved a full Brita pitcher, a toddler, a cracked Brita pitcher, water all over the floor, and a fallen toddler with a bit tongue and lots of blood coming out of his mouth right before we sat down to dinner. All in all, it was a fabulous Thanksgiving!
To top it off, there was no pie, people! No pie! I will never ever, ever have a holiday that has no pie. I thought I was doing the sensible thing by not making a pie because there were only three of us and one guest would definitely not eat any and B would only eat a sliver. I don't care how pregnant you are; you just can't plan to eat a whole pie. I mean, if it happens, it happens, but you just can't go into making one knowing you are going to eat 9/10 of it. So I poached some pears in white wine and vanilla beans. They were actually quite delicious, but my final words to Brett as I went to bed that night were, "I really, really want pie." I do believe that pie would have made it all better.
Friday, November 21, 2008
There's only going to be three adults this year, which makes preparing a gigantic Thanksgiving feast seem a bit wasteful. I mean, I know that leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving, but how many leftovers will there be if you make everything you normally make when there are 6-8 people around the table? I know that I could cut recipes in half and I am sure that's what I'll have to do, but the idea of a small gathering is leaving me a bit uninspired. Or maybe it's because I know that our other guest does not prefer turkey, isn't all that into potatoes, doesn't eat vegetables, and won't go for dessert. That leaves a lot of leftovers for two of us and I doubt J will pull his own weight and justify getting that larger turkey that looks so pretty when it comes out of the oven. I guess I should just look on the bright side that maybe this dinner won't cost as much as it has in years past and just get over it.
J's school is having a little feast at school today. Up until yesterday he kept calling it a beast because we've been reading the book, "A Beasty Story". He was a bit confused as to how he was going to have the character in the book at his school. But now that we're using the correct vocabulary, he's totally psyched for the party. You know, in the way two year olds get excited for something. "We're having a feast!" (run off and go play with something else.)
Let's see what else has been going on. Remember all that wallpaper removal I did in order to get my walls textured and repainted more acceptable colors? We found a painter with a reasonable price and scheduled a day that worked for both of us. He didn't show and didn't call. When I finally got a hold of him he told me that he hurt his back and was behind on some other projects and wouldn't be able to get to me for another week or so. I told him I was hosting a baby shower and really needed the downstairs one done quickly. He promised me it would get done in time. He promised me he would be there. He even gave me a time. That was the last I heard from him and it's been a week. Needless to say, the bathroom was not painted in time for the shower and while it wasn't a huge deal, I was really annoyed because I busted my butt to choose paint colors (I was very indecisive) and clean everything up so he could just come in and get down to business. Now I'm in the process of looking for another painter who might be slightly more reliable. I am stunned in this economy that there is someone out there who feels he has enough money and enough work that he doesn't even need to call and tell me that he isn't coming.
Finally, we had some pictures taken today that I think you might enjoy. May I present to you Baby Next Strong making his/her debut on the blogosphere at approximately 13 weeks and 2 days with an estimated due date of May 27, 2009! When we got a glimpse this morning it was face down and not moving at all, but after a few jiggles of the ultrasound wand, we had a flipper, a waver, and even got big a "whoop whoop!" If the due date turns out to be accurate this could be a Memorial Day baby. Perhaps it is already practicing its party moves for the beach.
Doesn't it look just like me? Laying face down before we shook it awake
I've been feeling pretty cruddy, which should now excuse the lack of posts and communication. Most of J's naptimes have been spent on the couch napping or feeling sick. I haven't had morning sickness, but I've had afternoon and evening sickness instead. No puking (thank goodness) but I feel sick when I eat and sick when I don't. Water tastes gross and I'm already getting heartburn from the mildest of foods. Hard boiled eggs have been my tastiest best friend.
"I'm gonna make 'em an offer they can't refuse!"
The ultrasound tech was able to get a peek in between the legs too! She gave us what she called "a fairly confident" prediction, but didn't want to make a true announcement because it's still early. Sorry, people. I'm keeping that info to myself until we're more sure about what it is, so you'll have to stay tuned at least until New Year's to find out.
crazy 4D image. Aliens! Ahh!
I'd like to consider this post like the ones the press puts out from the White House on a Friday when it's something that they want to slip in there and see how many people actually notice. He he.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
"Mommy, I want to watch too much tv."
We took out the book A Day in the Life of a Garbage Collector. J says, "Daddy read me this book. It's a funny one." Yep, that one's a regular gut buster.
Heard when he woke up in the morning after friends stayed at our house, "K and J slept in bed together. We read books. I gave K a hug. Yeah! We read a lot of books." (let me clarify that my child did not sleep with K!)
Sung to the tune of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" when J really wanted to help me cut a cupcake in half. "I wanna hold your knife. I wanna hold your knife! And when I eat the cupcake I feel happy inside." He really is a musical genius.
That's all I've got today, people. I'd post some pics, but I've gotta go pick the boy up from school. Hope this is enough to hold you over until next time.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Now that Halloween is over and the decorations are slowly being put away, I hear "Are the skeletons not going to be out?" I have J fill in the blank when I say, "Halloween is _____" and he says, "OVER!!" Something in him doesn't completely believe me.
Here are a few pictures of us dressed up for a party last weekend. Do you get the connection? Fifty points to the first person that does. B was convinced that nobody would get it and that it was lame, but someone at the party quickly got it, declared it clever, and then he was okay with it. The man cannot wear a costume in complete confidence. We didn't win the contest this year, which was fine, since I don't think J could have taken another year of having the skeleton trophy tucked away in our drawer.
Finally, this last picture is for Ouiser, who is hopeful about getting her daughter to begin potty training. A picture to show you what J has been doing lately with his potty chair. This is the most use it's had in months. Hopefully you will have more luck than we are.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Okay, now let's make fun of his misery. Ready?
A couple of days ago B was ironing a shirt for a meeting after work. He had a small stepladder in his closet from our wallpaper removal (things are still in a holding pattern as I take forever to pick colors). I guess he had to remove the ladder from his closet in order to get the ironing board out, so he laid it next to his closet door. I didn't see the ladder until later that night when I was getting ready for bed, so when I saw it, I said to myself, "Huh, I wonder what that's doing there? Note to self-- do not bang into it in the middle of the night."
I was all set when I woke up later that night. A few minutes later, B was not. Crash! Expletive, expletive, expletive! Somewhere in all of that I mumbled, "I knew you would do that." Which of course did not make my husband happy and prompted him to ask, "Well if you knew it was there, why didn't you move it?" I told him it was late and I didn't know what it was doing there in the first place and I just reminded myself not to hit it in the middle of the night. Well it turns out, B has a bloody gash on his toe, which he has now broken for the second time in a year. I blame the fact that he has finger toes. He is still blaming other things.
Fast forward to last night. The three of us took a little fall walk around the neighborhood to check out Halloween lights and such. We're merrily walking down the sidewalk. B is having an idyllic moment looking at his cute family (in the dark, mind you) when all of a sudden-- Crash! Ahhh!!!
"Oh my God, I just got hit by a cactus."
There is one house that has a large cactus growing in their backyard. It's pretty tall so it spills over their fence. And since B is so tall and he wasn't watching where he was going, he took a cactus to the forehead. Double ouch.
Now has anyone had the thought that cactus have prickly things on them? Well, of course, they all embedded themselves in B's forehead. When we got home he asked for the scotch tape. His solution to removing the stickers was to stick tape on his forehead ala Biore Pore Cleanser style and rip them out. Wondering how well that worked? Not so well.
So then he had to do it the old fashioned way by taking a pair of tweezers and plucking each one out individually. I offered assistance, but since they were really hard to see, I hurt him anytime I touched his head.
I sent my husband to work with a helmet and a mask today. Lord knows what trouble he could get into with sharp instruments!
Once again, Poooor B. But seriously, the kid's gotta watch where he's going!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Nothing's wrong! All is well, in fact. I've just cut back on computer time and haven't really felt like posting when I am on the computer. Keeping all of you interested in our mundane life is real work and sometimes a girl just needs a break.
We have a few favorite words to share. Actually and after all. Some examples:
"Actually we don't need to eat our dinner, we can just have ice cream."
"Actually, I am not ready for a nap. I think I will stay up a little longer."
"Actually, we are going to go to the park and then go to the store."
"Actually you are going to eat soup and I am going to have something else."
"I like playing the drums...after all."
"The juice is good without water...after all."
"The skeletons are scary...after all."
The ghost-es are on the street...after all."
J has also become his own consultant. When he wants to discuss something in his head, he picks up his imaginary cell phone, puts it to his ear, and talks about stuff. The other day he did this the entire time he was eating his lunch at school that his teacher thought that his ear hurt. Some consulting he has conducted sounds like this, "Should we eat the macaroni and cheese? I think so. It looks good. I see lots of noodles in there. Oh, well I guess we will eat it. Okay, bye." Also heard while playing the drums, "This is a base drum. Okay? Okay. This is a gogo bell. You bang it like this. Okay? Okay. Let's try it together. One, two three. That's good, but you have to practice. Like this. Keep practicing. Okay, bye."
Getting ready for a Halloween party this weekend. My costume is not even close to ready. I've also been busy helping to coordinate a neighborhood shindig at our park for the little trick or treaters. In fact, as soon as J wakes up from his nap, we're off to inform the masses about it.
Oh! And some of you will love this while it will make others moan-- we went to a little rally at a nearby park. It was mainly for local candidates, but they had Obama stickers and signs as well. J walked right up to the sticker lady and said, "Mama for Obama. Can I have a sticker?"
I'll try not to keep y'all waiting so long for such valuable information next time!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Once we finished the small bathroom, we seriously considered just bagging the master bathroom project. But that wallpaper is so ugly that I couldn't bring myself to give up. Then we asked the handyman what the price would be to texture both bathrooms at two separate times and it was going to be much more expensive, so we bit the bullet and got started again.
Feathernester and L are coming to visit on Wed, so it has been an absolute that everything needs to be done and cleaned up before they get here. We don't need a ten month old walker getting into things like steamers and picking up little pieces of wallpaper glue and such. I've spent every free moment working on this bathroom and while it hasn't been hard, it hasn't been easy. This bathroom is literally the size of a bedroom. I have no idea what they were thinking when they designed it; it's like they forgot the master plan so they said, "Oh well, let's just put in a tiny toilet space and give them lots of room to dance in the middle." The ceilings are as high as the bedroom so I need to use an 8 foot ladder to reach the top. So you can picture the safe maneuvering I've been doing all week with a steamer in one hand, a scorer in the other, and a scraper usually in my mouth.
Great progress was made up until today when it was time to take down the very large vanity mirror. House was built in 1990 so it's the classic, one large piece of six foot mirror with dressing room type lightbulbs above it. I knew right away that taking down this mirror was not a job for me, so I suggested that B ask our friend C to help him today when he came over for dinner. C gladly said he would help in exchange for a beer. Little did he know that he would be earning his dinner and thensome!
B and C went upstairs with a screwdriver and I stayed downstairs with the boys as they played. And then I heard the crash. I immediately knew what happened, so I ran upstairs to see if everyone was okay. C was holding the mirror up as best he could while B was rinsing off his bloody hand (everyone knows that his livelihood is in his hands, right?) A large chunk of mirror collapsed from the weight of the rest of the mirror or something. Now the guys were left with what exactly to do with the mirror that would no longer be saved. (it could be amusing to note here that I had been pulling to not put the mirror up again anyway and to get two smaller mirrors over each sink. this idea was shot down by B. anyway...)
After some minor bandaging (blood always looks worse than it is) the guys were able to safely take down the mirror. They decided the best thing to do next was to break the mirror into smaller pieces so that it could be brought outside without a chance of it shattering all over the place. So we heard tons of banging for about 5 minutes, which the little ones thought was hysterical. They had no idea what their dads were doing upstairs!
This was so not the way we had planned to spend our late afternoon, but we had a nice dinner once everything was cleaned up. B decided to continue removing the last bit of wallpaper after J went to bed. I heard some yelling after a few minutes. Then he came downstairs and said, "Have you ever had a light bulb explode in your face?" Even though the electricity was turned off at the breaker, the steam apparently made the light bulbs hot and as B was removing them, one of them exploded in his hands. He said that had he not been wearing glasses, it surely would have been in his eyes. I told B that I thought it was time he packed up for the night.
He didn't listen. He said he only had a little bit left. And as he swiped on last piece of wallpaper near an outlet-- an outlet that he forgot to switch off-- he electrocuted himself. That's my husband. The handyman. The electrician. The endodontist whom is lucky to have his eyes and his fingers all in one place tonight.
Don't worry, feathernester. Everything will be finished and cleaned up by tomorrow! And we won't let B anywhere near L with any type of power tool! And by the way, J is not so sure about sharing his crib with L even though he is no longer using it. But tonight he decided that as long as she wasn't going to sleep with his chicken, she could sleep with his little lovey, which he doesn't sleep with anymore. He showed me how she should sleep with it and then put it in the crib for her. But then he said, "I want it back when she is done." Sharing can be so conflicting sometimes!
Monday, September 22, 2008
J's request for breakfast today...
"Daddy, let's go get some donuts, some coffee, and some fat. Yeah. That would be good."
Of course, Daddy didn't say no as Mommy would have because he loves donuts and fat more than anyone in this world, and doesn't have the hips to prove it.
To balance out this morning's horror of a meal, we planted, broccoli, lettuce, arugula, and carrots this afternoon. Fall planting is new to me, so we'll see how it goes!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I don't believe in dumbing down speech for little kids. I believe kids can use sophisticated vocabulary properly if they are given the chance. Nothing hurts my ears more than hearing a mother at the gym say, "Come on ______, Let's go play-play." or "Do you want some nana?" to a two year old. I think baby talk makes parents feel better and really does very little for kids. Don't get me wrong, I've used high pitched voices and inflections and things like that, but I call a banana a banana. Pants are pants and not pantsy wantsies or something gross like that. My one exception to this rule is when names are involved. I think it's completely endearing for a child to have a cute name for an adult if they can't say their full name yet (and even thereafter if it is agreeable to all parties).
Well, all this proper talk has come to bite me in the behind. During a recent playtime with trains, J began to scream at the top of his lungs and yell, "I'm freaking out! I'm freaking out!" He has used this phrase before, and I've found it to be quite funny at times, but the phrase along with the ear piercing howling is no fun in a room that carries a huge echo. I also find it to be pretty unacceptable behavior and I thought I could do something to help that behavior out. After a few consecutive screams and freak out sessions that day, I very calmly said to J, "You know what? I understand you're having a tough time with your trains. Instead of screaming when you're having a tough time, I think it might help me if you use some words to tell me how you're feeling. I think the word you're looking for is frustrated." I'm pretty sure he heard this word on Sesame Street before and I gave him some small examples of how it feels to be frustrated. I encouraged him to say, "I'm frustrated" whenever he felt like he wanted to scream. J was happy with this suggestion and repeated the phrase a few times. Then he was eager to get back to playing trains. I think he would have eaten green beans at this point if it meant that we could get back to playing.
Well, the screaming has stopped, but guess what I hear at least 30 times a day now? "Mommy, I fwustrated." When I ask why he's frustrated, I get responses like, "I want a banana, I want you to read me a story, I don't want to go to bed, I'm not tired, I don't want to get in the car, I want some milk..." You name it and he's frustrated about it. The killer is that he uses this soft, sweet voice and adds a little snide smile at the end as if he knows that is going to get him whatever he wants. And of course, it's as cute as can be, so it often works.
So we're working on using "I'm frustrated" in a limited capacity without welcoming screaming back into our home. B can't help but laugh and say, "See what you've done?" Yes, it seems I've created a sneaky little monster for the time being, but at least that little monster isn't saying, "I'm freaky weeking out!" or something awful like that!
On a lighter note, I've also gotten him to say, "I can see Russia from my house!" because that is just too funny.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Upon handing me a giant booger:
"I am just picking a booger. Yeah. It's the last booger I ever did see."
In response to a request to keep his legs up during a diaper change:
"I want to play with my penis!!!"
There is a show J watches where their tag line is "Go make music." They also sign it as they say it. Said after we refused a $6 song by the mariachi band at a Mexican restaurant in San Antonio: "Go make money!!!"
On telling my dad what he did at Nummi's house:
"There were some chickens, and a horse. It's name is Beach. Yeah. And there was a bern." Dad says, "A what?" J says, " A bern. There was a big bern. With more chickens."
Ahhh!!! The Texas twang is already emerging!
In response to telling him he would have to clean up and come inside for a bath soon:
"You just relax right there, Mommy. I have important jobs to do."
While talking to himself and playing in the bath tonight:
"Do you want a cappuccino? That would be great (dumps water into a cup). Do you want cinnamon on your cappuccino? Oh that would be great." (dumps more water into cup)
No idea where he learned about cappuccino since I only drink lattes. I do put cinnamon on them, but still...
Thursday, September 04, 2008
We were very fortunate that B's aunt L offered to let us stay at her house in Mill Valley while she was in NY taking her daughter to college. B flew in later that evening after working. S, one of my nearest and dearest from Colgate, and her husband P also stayed there with us. I had a chance to meet B's cousin W's girlfriend, S, who is a total sweetie and enjoyed the meal I cooked them with the fervor that only a starving college student possesses. We spent the better portion of our first night catching up. I then enjoyed my first night's sleep without neighing.
Friday was an awesome day. We woke up and headed into San Francisco by ferry. It felt so good to be in mid 60-70 degree weather and to be on the water. After a quick walk around fisherman's wharf, we boarded a ferry for a tour of Alcatraz. In all the years we've been to CA, B and I have never done the trip. It was so much fun! I highly recommend doing it because not only is it interesting if you're a crime buff, but also because you get to see what torture these prisoners were faced being so close to civilization but so far away.
After that, we walked (about a half hour) down to AT&T Park for the Giants/Padres game. This was a treat from the bride and groom to all of their out of town guests (which was almost everyone). We tried to get a cab, but getting a cab in SF is almost impossible so we ended up walking the whole way. We figured it at least made us out to be rock stars because not only did we do a full day of sightseeing, but we also walked off all of our dinner! The game was fun, but I barely watched any of it. It was such a great setting to see people we hadn't seen in years and to catch up. We finally got kicked out by one of the ushers after the game ended because he wanted to go home. I expect that kind of treatment in NY, but I was surprised by it on the casual coast!
On Sunday J and B's mom joined us in Mill Valley. We took J to the San Francisco Zoo and met up with B's other aunt S. We got to see the giraffes during feeding time, which I thought was fantastic because they were so close to us. J's response? "What's next? I want to see something else." He was fixated on the penguins. I think it's because they're at about his level and he could have stayed there all afternoon encouraging them to dive into the water. We ended the day with more tomato beef chow mein. We headed back to Texas with full bellies.
Whew! Sorry for the long post, but it was such a good time. I think that does it for the weddings and our travel for a little while. That is, after our little jaunt down to San Antonio this weekend. We're going because we got a great deal on one of those time share offers. We have absolutely no intention of buying a time share, but it gives us a good excuse to check out SA. We haven't been there in the almost three years we've been living here, so it should be a good time.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Two weddings in two weeks is a lot, but we had a great time at both of them. The wedding in Poland was held at a manor house in a town just outside of Krakow. It had a Lord of the Rings theme. All of the invitations and place cards were written in font just as it would have been found in the story. The guest book was handmade paper bound by wood and the guests had to use an ink pen to sign it. The cocktail hour music was from the movies. There was a reading about love (in Polish, so I don't know what they said at all). The table names were characters or places from the stories (we sat at the Frodo Baggins table) and there were maps all over the place. That takes care of the small details.
The ceremony itself was shorter than expected, as I was told it could last three hours or so. They went for the shortened, simple mass. One of the different things they do in Poland is the bride and groom walk down the aisle together at the beginning of the ceremony. They are lead by two ring holders (it doesn't matter if they are boys are girls, but they were girls in this case. In fact, the one girl wailed the entire way down the aisle, which was actually pretty funny). After the ceremony, there were cocktails and some traditional speeches and offerings. A loaf of bread is given to the bride and groom as a symbol of life and prosperity. They each take a bite just as we do from a wedding cake. There was a receiving line, where the guests traditionally give flowers, but the bride and groom instead requested that we give donations to a children's hospital (this is what it said on the invitation!). There was a toast after the reading from The Lord of the Rings followed by a glass breaking. The only problem was that they don't believe in protecting themselves from shards of glass and they just threw it on the floor in front of all of their guests! This wasn't the smartest thing I've seen done at weddings, though not necessarily the dumbest either.
The abundance of food was the most impressive part of the wedding. First there was a sit-down meal which consisted of an appetizer (salmon salad), soup (some type of broth), dinner (traditional pork, pierogi, potatoes, vegetables), and dessert (mousse, chocolate, fruits). About an hour after that, an enormous buffet of traditional Polish dishes was offered. It included various fish dishes and salads and homemade desserts and pastries. The barbecue opened an hour after that where you could have pork, sausage, and chicken. The wedding cake was served about an hour after that. The last course came around 2 am and was a venison stew. I'd never had venison before and it was delicious. All of this food, complete with an open bar, gave us no choice but to dance until 5 am. We caught a ride home when the sun was just coming up.
The bride and groom. I guess she is my step sister in law. Strange how that happens and you only meet someone once!
The only real downer to our trip came the day after the wedding. B woke up violently ill and remained that way for about 10 hours. We thought we were going to have to take him to the hospital, which would have been really interesting since it was a Sunday and not all hospitals are open on Sunday (you have to check the newspaper to find out which are open). Thankfully he started to feel better. We think it was a virus. I always say that B always gets sick on vacation. Ask him and he will complain that I always say that, but it really is true!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
New York was lots of fun, but too short of a visit for me. I got into NYC with my mom for a yummy Italian dinner and to see Gypsy, which was incredible. There's no way I can give Patty LuPone's performance justice through writing about it, so I will just say that you have to go and see it if you are able. What a voice. What a stage presence.
The next day we had a family barbecue and it looked like it was going to rain all day, but fortunately it only rained for an hour and then we were able to be outside. J enjoyed seeing his family, especially his cousin R. R is a big Yankees fan and was trying to watch the game. J was so taken by R after watching him swim and dive in the pool that he didn't want to leave R's side. So this is what it was like for R watching the game:
J: R, are you watching the Yankees? I will watch the Yankees too.
J: R, did you see the man hit the ball? Did you see it R?
J: R, the man hit the ball again. The man SCORED! He scored R!
J: He hit the ball again. He scored again, R. He scored again! Again, R!
Our flight to Swtizerland was the next day on our anniversary. We kept joking that B was being so romantic taking me to Europe for our anniversary. Well, if your husband ever books you a romantic holiday with it beginning on Swiss Airlines, you may want to rethink those plans. It wasn't horrible, but let's just say it was one of the most uncomfortable flights I have ever been on in my life. It started when our seats weren't together in spite of the fact that I called to do just that the night before and was told that it was taken care of. When we asked the ticketing agent to fix the problem, we were told he couldn't because we had already checked in. So we had to spend another half hour or so in another line waiting to talk to the higher up guy who apparently has the power to hit the change button on his computer. A lady next to the higher up guy ended up helping us. Her advice? Ask the person next to me to switch with my husband so we could sit together. I reminded her of two things, 1)we are in New York and people don't just give things up for the heck of it and 2) people aren't always nice just because you ask them to be. This made the lady have to actually do her job and fix our problem for us, which she reluctantly did. It's not like we were asking for free upgrades, so I have no idea why this was so difficult. Well I felt terrible for B once he was sitting next to me because it turned out his seat was broken and he couldn't adjust his headrest for 7 hours.
How was the service once on board you ask? Well, I was asked if I wanted ice in my gin and tonic? (Nah, I prefer to drink it warm...I can't understand the protectiveness Europeans have with ice as most will only give you one cube and turn their nose up at you if you ask for more.) Our dinner options were minced chicken and rice or a vegetarian option. I asked for the vegetarian option, which was no more than pasta on pasta, but it annoyed the flight attendant that she had to go and get it for me. Did we get to sleep on the plane? That may have been possible had the 500 pound man in front of us not insist on getting up every five minutes to readjust himself and plop down into his seat, practically sending the tray table into our guts. And just as I was falling asleep, they decided it was time to serve breakfast, about three hours after I had just eaten "dinner". If I hadn't been nailed in the elbow by the cart, I may have slept, but I gave up after that point.
I'm sure there is someone out there laughing at this experience because they have been through much worse. Believe me, I know it wasn't horrible, but being uncomfortable for a long period of time is no fun and that's how this felt.
We didn't let our jet lag get us down. Our quick trip to Geneva to visit B's cousin M was delightful. As far as cities go, Geneva is not one of those super romantic European cities, but it's definitely nice enough. The lake area is extremely pleasant, and it was made even better by the fact that Fete Geneve was taking place during our time there. There were carnival rides, vendors and live music along the lake, so it was lots of fun to walk around. We also visited an excavation site underneath a church that dated back to the 5th century. It's not every day you get to walk around rock that old, so that was pretty cool.
The best part was spending time with M and J and eating some wonderful food. Expensive food (eveything in Switzerland is expensive) but delicious! A lunchtime salad nearly gave me a heart attack when I realized it was $27! The scary thing was after a few days we were used to it. Not sure if our bank account will be in a few weeks! One of the best salads I had was made with arugula, smoked salmon, cucumbers, tomatoes, mangoes, and a light balsamic vinaigrette. The sweetness of the mangoes matched so well with the saltiness of the salmon; I already bought everything I need to recreate this at home (at a much smaller price, too!). I also think I ate my body weight in yummy bread, but that has ended since our return because you just can't get it in Texas.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
So much to write about, but I am too tired to do it today. It took all of my effort to go grocery shopping and as much as I would like to nap right now, I'm afraid it will only screw up my sleep rhythms even more. I've got 5 nights to get back on track before the next trip begins. I know, I've got big problems, right?
Hopefully I'll get my pics downloaded sometime soon and I'll be able to share the adventure a bit more with you. For now I'll leave you all in suspense and tell you that I eventually found out what that wedding invitation said. Stay tuned...
Monday, July 28, 2008
Things have been really busy around here. We're gearing up for the first part of our August trips that will keep us away from home for 20 out of 31 days. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. On Wednesday morning, J and I head to NY for a couple of days of r/r at the familial Long Island home. I think I forgot to mention that this home is currently up for sale, so it could potentially be the last summer we go to visit there. My mom and I have tickets to see Gypsy in NY on Friday night and reservations at a yummy Italian restaurant (I will only eat Italian food in NY now because it doesn't exist down here). I'm so so so excited to go to the city! If all goes well, B will join us in NY late on Friday night after working and we'll get to take the train together back to LI.
Saturday is barbecue day with relatives and friends. B's cousin W is doing an internship in NY right now, so he might come out for the day as well.
Sunday is our wedding anniversary. Lucky #7!! We'll be spending a romantic evening in Economy Class on a Swiss Air flight bound for Geneva, Switzerland. I'm a little unsettled about traveling overseas and leaving J behind. I don't do the best with flying as it is, and last week's news about a hole blowing out of a Qantas plane didn't do much to make me feel better. B reminds me that driving is much more dangerous and I know it's irrational, but it's still tough for me. We're going to try some melatonin this time and see if it helps me relax and get over jet lag easier. If that doesn't work we'll be spending three days getting over jet lag with B's cousin M. I'm super excited about going to see him and we should have a blast! Then we'll get up at the crack of dawn on Thursday the 9th to head over to Krakow, Poland for B' stepbrother's wedding on Saturday (remember the invitation I tried to translate?). If all goes well with the timing of things, we should arrive within an hour of Mr. Feathernester. Feathernester is staying behind using that whole taking care of a baby excuse, which I guess will have to suffice, but I will totally be missing her and I know she knows exactly what I mean. The whole thing should be really interesting. Forget the fact that we don't speak Polish, but Polish weddings are apparently a lot of gloom and doom followed by a huge celebration from dusk till dawn. I am extremely concerned that my liver is not quite up to the challenge, but we'll see.
We arrive back home late on Aug. 12 and have a few days before we turn around and head to California for a visit to Nummi's farm and for B's wedding in Sonoma. I'll try to post in between, but it might be tough.
I'm hoping to have all of the packing done tonight so I am not running around like an idiot tomorrow, but it always ends up being that way regardless of how early I pack. I better get back to doing that, so we'll share our adventures with you in a few weeks!
Friday, July 25, 2008
(deep breath, monotone, determined voice)
Thank you for the cucumber daddy but I do not want it thank you for the lettuce Mommy but I do not want it I appreciate you gave it to me but I think I will just wait and have my own dinner. (deep breath)
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Apparently I said the wrong thing back to him.
J: I love you, Mommy.
Me: I love you too. Sweet dreams.
J: Mommy doesn't say that. Mommy says, I love you, sweet boy. Daddy says, I love my son. You do not say I love my son. Only daddy says it. Now you need to say it, Mommy.
Me: Okay, I love you sweet boy.
J: I love you, Mommy. Thank you for saying it the right way, Mommy. Not the wrong way.
Friday, July 18, 2008
J: Yeah! (high inflection)
Me: I like your beach picture.
J: Yeah, I blowed bubbles by myself (high inflection)
me: you did?
J: Yah! I was not tired (tie-red) at sool (school)
Me: That's good you had a lot of energy.
J: M and T were tired a lot. M fell asleep in the bean bag chair.
(Now, I know that this happened three weeks ago, but anyway)
Me: He fell asleep again?
J:No. Just one time. But M and T were tired today. I was not tired.
Me: That's good you weren't tired. What else did you do today?
J: Umm... I told my friends to HIT IT (big arm swing here)
Me: Hit what?
J: I told my friends to HIT IT!
Me: What did you tell your friends to hit?
J: I do not know. Miss N made a very very loud noise (vewy vewy wowd noise)
Me: Did Miss N scream?
J: No. she was just very very loud. It scared her. (sared)
Me: What scared Miss N?
J: It was not a good deal. It scared Miss N. I thought it was a good deal but it was not a good deal. (idea)
Me: Did you scare Miss N?
J: No. Just the noise. In the puzzle. We thought it was a good deal.
Me: Oh okay so the puzzle made a noise and that made Miss N scream?
J: Yah! M and T were very tired and I was not tired! I want to eat the rest of my macaroni and cheese. You did not give me a sandwich today, Mommy. I ate my macaroni and cheese, Mommy. I liked my macaroni and cheese, Mommy.
Me: I'm glad you had such a good day at school.
J: Yeah. M and T were tired! I was not tired.
Hope you have a good weekend and are not tired!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
He didn't want any lunch when we got home-not even anything to drink. It wasn't as if I put out his lunch and he didn't eat it; he didn't even want me to make it. In a matter of ten minutes or so, he was just sitting on the couch like one of the other pillows. He was tired and he felt warm. He had a fever of about 100.5, which isn't too alarming, so I gave him some Tylenol and put him to bed. When he woke up, he still didn't want anything to drink, so I asked him if his throat hurt. Sure enough, he said yes. I took a look as best I could in there and noticed a bunch of red spots, so I called the doctor to see if we could get in that day. J had strep throat last year and I didn't want to take any chances.
Turns out he has one of those coxsackievirus infections, which sounds much nastier than it is. Basically you get sores in your throat (you can also get them on your hands and feet, but he doesn't have that strain.) Everybody gets one form or another of these in early childhood. A fever can last a few days and then the sores go away. It is very contagious in the meantime. Unfortunately, it's contagious for 5-7 days, so there will be no socializing until at least Saturday afternoon. That's the toughest part for both of us. After sleeping for 14 hours on Tuesday night, he woke up happy and placed his breakfast order for bacon, eggs, and cantaloupe. I'd say he's on the mend even if he needs to be quarantined from society for a bit longer.
Before J was sick, we had a nice 4th. There was a little festival in one of our neighborhood parks complete with a train, petting zoo (including a camel), face painting, hair color spraying, and lots of watermelon. The only thing that seemed a little bass-ackwards to me was that the fire department came and raised the cherry picker and sprayed the hose in one of the fields to let the kids get wet. Hello? We are in a drought down here, so that just seemed dumb. The only way I can let this go is that they also wanted the grass to be wet in case any fireworks happened to hit it later on, but that's a stretch because nothing stays wet in 100 degrees for very long.
After a quick BBQ in the early evening, we headed up to one of the county parks for a fireworks show. We were hemming and hawing as to whether we wanted to go or not, but we decided, why not? The show was great. It was so funny to watch J's expressions. He kept saying, "That's enough. I'm all done" after the first few shots, and then he laid down on B for a bit. His head kept popping up to survey the scene to see what other people were doing. Once he realized that he wasn't going to get hurt, he popped up and clapped and cheered with everybody else. The only thing that stunk was that it took over an hour to get out of the park (bad parking choice on our part and an accident on the main road attributed to this). So our child fell asleep in the car at (gasp) 10:45. Of course he didn't sleep any later than normal the next morning, but he was in a good mood, so we couldn't say that it was a waste.
That's about it from here. We're just hanging around doing indoor things like making bird feeders and painting and sneaking outside a bit here and there when it doesn't feel too hot. Oh! And I've picked about 8 Roma tomatoes a day for the last week or so. That's been pretty exciting!
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
J woke up at 5:30 pleading with B, "I want out! I want out!" He slept with me until 7:45.
I then proceeded to change 8 dirty diapers today. That's right, 8. Everything he ate came right out. I am grateful it was not coming out of his mouth, though. Sorry for the gross images.
J doesn't appear to be sick, though. He was still happy, playful, and making plenty of jokes, so hopefully this is just a minor stomach thing that will be gone tomorrow.
Then our dryer decided to crap out in the middle of a cycle. It's only two years old. We think it's either a fuse or a belt problem, but both require us to get the parts ourselves or call someone in to take care of the problem. It looks like I will be waiting around all day sometime soon for a repairman to arrive. One of my biggest pet peeves is hearing, "We'll be there between 8 and 5." Oh, thank you for being so specific.
I did make some yummy roasted red pepper and goat cheese sandwiches for dinner with peppers from the garden. Delicious. So all was not horrible today. Hope y'all had a day filled with fewer dirty diapers than I did!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
As in, "Please get out of your carseat, J."
"I can't get out of my carseat."
Please get out of the car.
I can't get out of the car.
I can't bounce my ball.
I can't make my vacuum make noise.
I can't get off the floor.
I can't eat my yogurt.
I can't eat peppers today.
I can't go to take a nap.
Luckily he decided to switch it up shortly after lunch and before his nap, so it sounded like this...
"You can't drink the water now. You have to sit at the table. You can't sit in that chair. "
"You can't put that there, Mommy. You can't put it here, you have to put it there. That is not correct."
Well, alrighty then.
"You can't type your fingers on your cup, Mommy. You can only type on computer. I will show you. Like this."
(May I also point out that what I was doing incorrectly was holding the plastic margarita glass that J filled with water for me, as well as one for himself. I couldn't drink out of it standing up because apparently, that is not how you drink out of these glasses. Do you think he picked up on something at the barbecue on Sunday?)
"You can't hug my ear (no idea what that meant- totally random). You can't hug my ear. You can't kiss my ear."
"You can kiss my ear. You can't say hug, hug hug, Mommy."
Well, I can tell you what this Mommy could do was shut off the light, close the door and get away from there as fast as she could! All of that was in about the span of an hour and a half. We can't wait for after naptime!
Sunday, June 15, 2008
B sports the "tie" J made for him at school. He also gave him a picture frame that said, "I love my Daddy." All of this, of course, made Mommy weepy. Pathetic, but true.
We had a BBQ later in the day so the dads could celebrate Father's Day together. Our friend T commented at one point that he thought the service was so great-- lots of meat and margaritas served tableside-- that he was a little concerned that "you women might be expecting reciprocal treatment that I just can't come through with on Mother's Day." We told him not to worry; that's why jewelry is always appreciated.
I can block the carcinogens with one big sip from this margarita glass
The kids had a great time running around in the backyard, in the house, and at the park. At one point, they all decided to have a little exploratory trip to the garden. It's so funny because they still don't really play with each other that much yet, but when one person gets an idea, the others follow like it was the best plan all along. I did feel the need to apologize to J's teacher this morning because his dinner fare last night included a hot dog bun, some noodles, an ice cream sandwich, and blueberries. Then he didn't want to eat his breakfast this morning, so I can't imagine he will be full of too much energy today.The evening ended with J, Z, and S taking a bath together and playing in the crib for just a few quick seconds. K and I read Z and J some bedtime stories and they were both indicating that they wanted to sleep in J's crib. So we put them in the crib, turned off the lights, and crying ensued immediately from both parties. We knew it was a longshot, but it would have been so nice if they actually had fallen asleep and let us parents hang out just a little bit longer after sundown. Maybe in a few years.
Rub a Dub Dub, Three Cuties in the Tub
Monday, June 09, 2008
J started summer school today. No, he's not in need of remediation in playing with Play Dough or anything like that. B and I checked out a school down the street a few weeks ago for him to possibly start in the fall. J got to come with us for the tour. He liked it so much he wanted to stay the entire day and was crying when he had to leave (it could have had something to do with a tractor and a really cool lawn mower on the playground area). Anyway, they happened to have one slot open for the fall, so we signed him up. We think it will be good for him to be around other kids and to not necessarily be around me 24/7. I'll admit I have been a little conflicted about this because it means he is growing up way too fast, but we think it will work out well.
Since J was so excited about his "school" I inquired about their summer program. The director told me that they were full, but he could be put on the wait list. I didn't think any more of it, but I got a call last week that a spot opened up and we could send him if we wanted to. I asked J if he wanted to go back to school and he was ready to go that day. When I told him he couldn't go until Monday, he told me, "I will wait there with the money!" I think it was the longest three days of his life waiting for Monday.
I was a little concerned that he would freak out once we got there and I left because his little school experience only involved playing outside for a few minutes and then "lining up" with Daddy. But when we got to his classroom, he said hello to his teacher, said, "Bye, bye Mommy" and went and played with a puzzle. He didn't even look back. I made no plans for the day because I honestly thought I would have to stay there part of the time, but it turned out that was unnecessary.
J was happy to see me when I picked him up, but I wouldn't exactly say he was overjoyed with enthusiasm. He was exhausted and he told me a little bit about the fun he had, but he was more interested in waving goodbye to all the other moms picking up their kids, and saying goodbye to the director of the school. He acted like he owned the place.
This morning when we arrived, he walked right into the director's office, gave her a hug, and said, "See you later. I will have fun!" She was blown away by his confidence. So much for the novelty wearing off on the second day.
What did I do with my free time? I actually took my time at the gym today. I took this new kickboxing/weight class called Strike and it totally whooped my behind. Which is a good thing because my behind (and my hips and thighs) need a really good whooping. I am already sore. Next it's off to do some ironing for B who has a meeting tonight. Then I am off to tackle the bathroom shower. Then it should be time to pick up J. I guess we'll save the sipping lattes and reading a book for another day.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
We spent Sunday morning at the Art in the Park festival in a town north of Austin. I really enjoyed it because it wasn't a festival that included lots of art sold around a bunch of smelly incense, which can be common to find at art festivals around here. Here are a few pics of what we purchased:
These are all works by the same artist under a collection called, "Dancing in the Paint." The set of three don't come in the frames shown and they are matted with black around the picture with a black matte and gold and black frame. The last picture is on canvas and doesn't need a frame.
We also picked up a pair of copper and bronze garden spinners (decorative pinwheels? not sure what to call them) so that I can better keep the birds away from my veggies. Oh, and the veggies-- zucchini and squash are still in large abundance, as are the tomatoes, but they are all refusing to turn red (I think it's because of the extreme heat we've been having). We have been fortunate to have had three really great batches of pesto from our basil. I just froze the last batch for fear that we will gain twenty pounds overnight if we dip it with any more bread or eat another meal of pesto pasta, chicken, and tomatoes.
I made a great recipe from the Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook for dessert last night. Peach and Bluberry Crumble. Yum! I halved the butter and halved the sugar because I had really ripe peaches and didn't think they needed to be sweetened much more. Then I just broiled the topping for the last few minutes so that it browned a bit more. You really should go make some and add whatever fruit you have laying around in the fridge. I had some blackberries and raspberries lingering, so they went in as well. J didn't want any. He didn't know what he was missing. I planned to post the recipe, but can't find it anywhere online, so if you want it, let me know.
Hope everyone had a good weekend. Any thoughts on the decision to give Michigan and Florida half votes at the convention?