Friday, November 30, 2007

Small Town Friday Night

It's the holidays so Friday night in a small town means a holiday parade!

First we had a little dinner. And Leda played with her new toy from Aunt Claire (which is SO cute - I really was going to be going out to get this myself - I am so happy I don't have to now! Thanks Claire!) Leda played this thing over and over and over again (Yeah, Thanks, Claire!) and danced and hugged it! It was so cute, I dug out the video camera (now, if we can figure out how to get the DVD play to record the VCR, I'll post it! ;-)

Snow What Fun!

We headed downtown to watch the "holiday" parade. We got the scoop from our neighbor, who is a Kiwanis member (Kiwanis sponsored the parade) and member of the church within Brock and I got married (not IN the church, the pastor came to our house and married us in the back yard), that the church was "sneaking in" a manger scene, complete with a pregnant Mary, her husband Joseph and the three wise men. So we were prepared. What we weren't so prepared for was the SECOND manger scene! Yes, that's right, our little small town HOLIDAY parade had TWO manger scenes! So much for politically correct! ;-)

Leda at the Holiday Parade

Anyway, Leda was having fun. We saw the Philly Phanatic (he must have been the Grand Marshal) and lots of fire trucks all decked out in lights and Christmas decorations. We saw Cinderella and Shrek (our neighbor dressed as Shrek) and Elmo and lots of other characters that Leda has no interest in because she hasn't a clue who they are (yet!)

Philly Phanatic

And then there was the most exciting of all, Santa Claus! Leda waved and yelled to Santa Claus, and he waved in our direction, but as he passed us, Leda looked down at me from her perch on her Daddy's shoulders and said, "He didn't hear us," and proceeded to yell louder at Santa. I told her he did hear her and he waved and that we will go see him this week to make sure he knows what she wants for Christmas. She really is excited about Santa - so we'll see if she actually will sit on his lap or if she will have nothing to do with him!

Santa!

It was chilly tonight, so luckily, it was a short parade (although they never seem to get the spacing right! - we are always waiting a long time in between acts!) So we headed back home for a bath and bed.

Seeing as it is the LAST DAY OF NaBloPoMo (AND I MADE IT!! WHOOO HOOO!), there will be no posting tomorrow (WHOOO HOOO!) Well, that and Brock and I head off to the Big Apple for my company's Holiday party. I get to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree live and in color tomorrow night! I am so looking forward to it! Leda is going to spend the day and night with our neighbors and we'll be home on Sunday early afternoon (hopefully - if the weather holds out!)

Posting every day for a month was hard, but kinda fun. Looking forward to not doing it again until next year! Back to our regularly scheduled here and there posts! Thanks for reading! ;-)

Conversation with Leda

It was a drive-by conversation. And not so much a conversation as it was Leda informing me of her latest calamity...

Leda says to me, as she is walking out of her room, "Mommy, I fell down the stairs."

I respond, as she passes me, still walking, "Yeah? Are you okay?

Leda says, matter-of-factly, practically in the next room, "I cried."

I look to Brock and say, "I am so blogging this."

It was cute - doesn't translate as well in print, but it was cute.

We are off to eat dinner and go to the Holiday Parade. May be more posting later, with pictures!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Resolutions

(This posting every day is HARD! I'm beat! Technically, two posts left to go, tonight and tomorrow. Then I'm taking a break for the weekend! And maybe several days next week! ;-)

I'm digging into Todd's suggested topics for tonight's post. New Years' resolutions.

I used to resolve to quit smoking every year for the somewhere around 20 years I smoked. Every.Stinking.Year. It took some time, but I did finally quit in 2004. As 2005 was about to start, it was the first year I decided I wasn't going to make any resolutions because I had finally accomplished the one that had been dogging me for years.

I didn't make one last year either. I think I had decided that I needed another year of no resolutions.

This year, I'm thinking of resolving to lose some weight and/or get an exercise program going. I think if I try to put an exercise program together for myself, I will start to lose some of the extra weight I would like to get rid of. That's really the only one I can come up with at this point.

It's a big one. I was starting to get myself into some shape after I had quit smoking, but I found myself pregnant and the exercising went by the wayside. I noticed in a short period of time how much better my body felt (a lot of that had to do with being three or four months out from no smoking). I'd like that again, I just have to make the time to do it!

So that's pretty much it. I resolve to make time to exercise in the new year. Oh, and I am going to try and pick up the guitar again.

And now that I have pledged my resolve to the Internets, maybe it won't take me 20 some years to make this resolution come true! ;-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Oh, Yes I Did!

I just put Best of War and More on my Wish List.

Seriously.

On my way out tonight to hang with the girls and drink some wine and eat some good food, I heard "Spill the Wine" - everytime I hear that song (and mind you, it's an oldie, I know, so it doesn't get played often), I think, I gotta get that album.

Well, I figured maybe I could download the song - but NO, I have to buy an album to get the song (and it's not even the right album) so I found the album on Amazon and I put it on my wish list. When I get it, I can play "Spill the Wine" anytime I want. And "Why can't we be friends" and "Low Rider".

Awesome! Brock's gonna hate it - I'll put it on a playlist with "You're so Vain!" Cool!

Seriously, someone get it for me!

Five Things about Me

Colleen tagged me with this meme last week. Being that I probably am going to need some ideas to finish out the NaBloPoMo month, I figured, what the heck.

Then I realized, I was going to have to come up five interesting things about me! Well, I don't know if these are interesting, and I didn't apply a theme to them (I'm just not that creative!), but here they are:

1. In my life, I've played five instruments. In order that I learned them, I've played violin, piano, flute, piccolo and I recently was learning to play guitar. Well, recently - I was learning when I was pregnant. I planned on picking it back up, but, well, I had the baby! I've been a bit busy. I guess I could say I know how to play six instruments - if the recorder counts. Anyway, I can read music and play some instruments (although when I picked up the guitar, it had been probably about 20 years since I had last read music - it took me a few minutes to figure it out again!)

2. If you want to know who performed a particular song, I may be able to tell you! I used to be really good at knowing the title and/or the artist of most any song I heard. It was sorta my thing. You know, like Ross's thing was getting divorced* - my thing was being that annoying person who knew the song and artist before everyone else. (okay, was this five ANNOYING things about me, or interesting things? I forget!)

3. I am a British citizen, as well as a United States citizen. I have dual citizenship. I was born in Great Britain when my father was stationed there in the Air Force. Because I was born to United States citizens, I was born a United States citizen and because I was born on Britain soil, I am automatically a Brit. It doesn't buy the groceries, but it's fun to throw out there once in awhile! Nope, I don't have a British passport - although I have thought of getting it.

4. I can not roll my Rs. No matter how hard I have tried, no matter how many times someone has attempted to teach me to roll my Rs, I have NEVER once been able to roll my Rs. I am just incapable of accomplishing that task. It is something that keeps me awake at night.

5. I can remember the name of every pet I have had:

My first pet was Sam. He was a black cat with a little white patch on his chest. He was an awesome cat. He was an outdoor cat we had when I was in kindergarten/grade school. He disappeared one day and we never saw him again (at least, that was the story I heard - if that isn't true, don't tell me - I like to think he hopped a plane to the Caribbean and he's soaking up the sun.)

At the same time we had Sam, we had two other cats, Spooky and Samantha. Samantha was Spooky and Sam's daughter (I think - that's why we named her Samantha). We had a beagle named Ralph, but most everyone who drove by our house called him Snoopy because he used to sit at the top of the sliding board on the swing set out back and watch all the traffic go by.

We had a poodle named Toby who gave me a scar on my upper lip to remember him by. At the same time, we had the BEST dog in the whole world (well, before Duff), a collie named Ace. Ace was the nicest dog, but very protective of my Mom, Aimee and I. We always said, he'd show any robbers that broke into the house all the silver and jewelry, but there was no way they would be leaving!

We then had a cat named Kitty. The cat's name was Kitty because no one could come up with a name for it for the longest time and we just got used to calling it Kitty. The cat was actually my sister's cat. I hated that cat as much as that cat hated everyone else except my sister. It was an evil animal. Seriously evil.

After that, I was out on my own. The next animal I had was my own cat, Dela, who is still alive and kicking (and is probably the second most evilest cat after Kitty) at 15. And then Brock moved in with his two dogs, Eliott and Spike. Then we got Duff, our Westie. Whhhewwww!

I think I was reaching on that fifth thing, but what the heck!

*A Friends reference - The One After Vegas where everyone agrees that Ross's thing is he likes to get divorced.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Potty Time

I figured this might happen...Leda is thinking more about using the potty since our trip to Florida.

I figured that if she saw Sami using the potty, she'd start to realize that she's big enough/old enough to use the potty, too.

However, I am not sure if it is a novelty for her or if she really needs to go when she asks to go. Sometimes, she does, sometimes she doesn't.

We probably need to stay on top of her - taking her to the potty every half hour or so, regardless, so she gets the idea. I've tried to talk to her about when she feels like she needs to go she needs to tell me or Daddy, but not sure yet if that is why she asks or not - because most of the time, she's got a wet pullup on!

That's another thing - she really wants to wear pull-ups - I tried underwear on Sunday and she went the whole into early afternoon before she wet herself ("I leak, Mommy") She didn't seem to upset by wetting herself either, except that she wanted out of the wet clothes.

Since my work holiday party is this weekend, I am setting next weekend as the weekend I am going to be on top of her all weekend long to see if I can get this kid potty-trained. I know she's ready - if she's not 100 percent ready, she's 99.9 - I thin that's pretty darn close!

We are still off to Costco tonight for diapers - and pullups - who knows, maybe we will get lucky and this will be the last diaper purchase - ever! (except for over night pullups!)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Common Searches

Ugghhh...it's back to work after a weeks vacation! Boy did that suck!

So, I am with little inspiration for a good post. Yes, I have been given ideas, and I hope to get to them before the end of the week, and I did get tagged with a meme, but I just don't have the wherewithal (Love that word!) to come up with anything intelligent that anyone would want to read! So, I thought I would post some of the most popular searches I have seen hitting the site in the past couple of months.

Well, maybe not so popular, however there are a few that have been used more than once, by more than one person, in more than one country! They would be:

Ferris Wheel searches: "how much to ride a ferris wheel" and "ride ferris wheel while pregnant"

"his name was rico" - I've had probably about 10 or so hits in the past three months on this one - for what reason, I haven't a clue!

"its gonna be a bright shiny day" - another one that I've seen several times over the past month or so.

I get a lot of hits from people looking for my father-in-law, but that's probably because Brock is named after his dad - then again, I guess they could also be looking for Brock - who knows!

Now, for some odd ones:

dirty bread and immune system
disease that weekend immune system
aimee ledas

There are two or three searches that I won't post here (only because there are young impressionable persons who read) that are just plain scary! They bring up some weird sites along with mine. Luckily, it's usually just that the words used in the search appear somewhere on my blog!

There are more:

two front teeth
david bromberg father
big&rich 2007 cd
poconos weekend for kids
pictures of people in love at christmas time
first day of daycare
Moose and Zee stuffed animals

Just interesting to see the different searches that bring people to the site.

Yeah, I know, this post sucked! I promise something better tomorrow!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Yates Christmas List, 2007 Issue

Okay, here it is, in all it's glory. Some of this is old news to some of you (as I emailed this list to a bunch of you family members in like OCTOBER because SOME of you needed to SHOP EARLY. You know who you are! And if you got something on this list, you know who you need to let know so that there are no duplicates! If not, let me know, I'll email you the email list!)

Let's start with the easiest person in the household - Brock. Let's see, I know I must have his list somewhere around here...really, it must be here, I know I must have it, I've only asked for it a million and one times...seriously, where did I put that list?...Oh, That's Right! I HAVEN'T GOTTEN IT YET! Oh well, guess gold lamé thongs are in order this year (remind me to fill the rest of you in on that inside family secret/joke someday.)

Okay, so let's go on to someone who made their list this year. Well, with much help from her lovely and wonderful mother - Leda:

Leda has a Wish List at Amazon.com. I will try and add to it over the next week.

We are getting Leda the LeapFrog ClickStart My First Computer along with the Finding Nemo - Sea of Keys software. Any other software for the ClickStart would be good (there are two listed on the wish list, but I think there are more out there).

Leda's starting to fit into 3T clothes. I think by her birthday/summer, she should still be fitting into 3T. Any clothes would be fine.

Leda loves Winnie the Pooh and Tigger these days and she LOVES Mickey Mouse, so anything along those lines is bound to be a winner! Oh, and don't let me forget Diego and Dora.

Oh, and she's getting a doll house (my old doll house when I was a kid) and she will need some furniture and dolls to use in it - I think there are some on her wish list - if not, I will try to remember to throw some on there!

And now, for ME!

I also have a Wish List at Amazon. Yes, there are things on this list from three years ago, and I still want them! ;-)

iTunes gift cards would also be greatly appreciated!

I'm also into kitchen gadgets - little ones, not the big expensive ones. I want a new set of nice measuring spoons, a lime/lemon juicer thingy (not a machine, just a little hand press or something along that line) and a chopped stuff scooper thingy (Mom, you know what I am talking about!)

I would still like world peace. It's been on my list like forever! I know, I am a dreamer!

Let's see, anything more for me? Well, I could use a good sweater or two - am about a 12-14 or a Large (I just admitted my size to the entire Internets - Wow!) I could probably use a nice blouse or two - nothing frilly, just something flattering for a size 12-14 or Large body. I really don't have any ideas of what, since I really haven't shopped for myself lately - not clothes wise. I like those empire waist like shirts - definitely need the right size on those though - they need to fit the chest well! ;-)

Candles and picture frames are always nice, too!

Maybe a few gift cards - Pottery Barn, Target, Barnes & Noble.

So, that's it. The Yates Christmas List, 2007 Issue. Oh, and Brock promises a list by the end of the week.

So, where are the lists from the rest of you?? Would be helpful if I got them soon, since I have to shop and mail them! ;-)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Home At Last

We are home! Duff is very happy to have us home - I think the entire first layer of the skin on my face is completely saturated with Duff kisses!

We made it as far as Fredricksburg, VA, last night before Brock decided he didn't want to drive any more. The drive from Jacksonville wasn't bad - we stuck to I-95 and really, the traffic wasn't bad. We found a hotel (I use that term lightly) with a king size bed for the three of us and we crashed out! It is amazing how even in a King size bed with the kid sleeping between us, I still only end up with about one foot of sleeping area - the kid, she likes to sleep right on top of me!

We didn't sleep all that well - the bed sucked, the room wasn't all that much better and Leda spent part of the night coughing. We awoke around 7, Brock took a shower and I decided not to (apparently, not a bad decision on my part) and we headed off to Denny's for what had to have been the fastest served breakfast I think I have ever had at a Denny's and we were on the road by 8:30AM! Leda slept pretty much the entire way home, waking up about a half hour before we reached our destination. No nap for anyone today! ;-)

The house looks good, the leaves on the trees are pretty much gone (looks a lot different from a week ago!) and Duff, as previously mentioned, is VERY happy to have us home, however, try as she might, Leda STILL can't get him to come play in her room with her!

More later after we have a chance to sit still and not feel like we are moving at the speed of light. I have some pictures from Thanksgiving day I want to post as well.

Wow, it is really good to be home!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Going Home

Today is the last day in Florida. We are heading home to Pennsylvania shortly, after a little turkey leftovers lunch.

We'll go as far as we can today. With Brock and now Leda not feeling particularly well, it will be doubtful we could make it all the way home without stopping for the night. At least, that's the plan. We'll see how far we get and how late it gets.

In the meantime, Leda is having some fun running around with her cousins for a few hours and working off some extra energy before the long ride home. I think she will miss her cousins something awful. She has had a lot of fun with them this week.

So, next post will probably be from home. Hopefully we will have a safe and easy trip home! We had fun in Florida, but are looking forward to seeing Duff and our house again!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Feast

What an awesome meal we had this evening. Aunt Aimee and Uncle Kurt and the girls came over and Uncle Jeff was here and Kay and Phil and their three girls came over (they are friends of Aimee and Kurt) and we had fried turkey and mashed potatoes and green bean casserole and risotto and cranberry salad and two different stuffings and Oh. My. God. there was SO much food!

There was Pie afterwards! Yumm!

Aunt Diane and Uncle Tony came after dinner with Lisa and Randy and their two kids and we all had fun hanging out and digesting the wonderful food we had just ate!

It was an awesome day (except for Dallas winning, darn Jets!) And the weather turned out not so bad, after some raining this morning. The girls watched Sleeping Beauty (or Sleeping Booty, as my daughter calls her) and then we poured them all into bed.

Tomorrow we will get up, pack, spend a few more hours with Uncle Jeff and Grandma and Granddaddy and then we head home to Duff, who we miss a lot!

The Fun Things That Happened Yesterday

Leda made an apple pie with Grandma!

Making Apple Pie

Yummm, Apple Pie!

Bob went for a dip in the fountain, while Auggie looks on!

Bob takes a dip

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wine, Wine, Wine

(The title was suggested by someone else in the family - definitely one of those who was actually drinking the wine.)

Today was a definite vacation day - one of those vacation days when nothing is planned and all there is to do is to sit around and do nothing at all. A really awesome day.

We sat around and did nothing - Leda played and Brock complained that he's coming down with strep and I read my book. A good day all around!

This evening, The Marson's came out of quarantine (turns out both Abby and Sami have strep throat, but they are on antibiotics now) and Brock made his famous Shrimp Soup (it's probably not what it's actually supposed to be called, but that's what we call it - it's awesome - you Kingsleys will understand!) and we had us some shrimp and bread and we had us some wine (the aforementioned wine) and we waited for Jeff to show up.

Jeff did finally show up with Bob, his trusty Jack Russell and we all had a good time hanging out. This has been the first time in YEARS that I have seen Jeff and even Aimee and Kurt hadn't seen him in some time, so we were quite excited to see him. Leda was a little weary of him, but I am sure that after a day with him tomorrow, she'll warm up to him quite nicely.

We laughed and we drank wine and we talked about school and work and all the things we do now. And we broke up fights amongst the children's and it was just a fun evening! And there was even a little swimming (Bob took a dip in the fountain, pictures to be posted at a later date!)

So, it's time to shuttle the kids off to bed and the adults to sit and relax for a little while before hitting the sheets to prepare for the tryptophan coma that will be tomorrow - Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Funny

I find it funny that the people I am spending my vacation with feel the need to still check the blog to find out what I am doing!

Very funny! ;-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lions and Jaguars and Gorillas, Oh My!

Today, we went to the Zoo!

The plan originally was to take all the kids to the Zoo for the day with Grandma, but Abby wasn't feeling so well and needed to go see the Doctor, so just Grandma, Sami, Leda and Mommy and Daddy headed off for the Jacksonville Zoo.

What a beautiful day we had. The sun was shining bright and it was warm! A bit over dressed I was for the weather (wearing jeans and socks! Would have LOVED to have my flip flops!) We saw the lions and we saw some snakes and some turtles and some carybaras (big rodents, yuck!) and anteaters and monkeys and gorillas. We even saw some bears and jaguars, but they were sleeping!

Leda and Sami had lots of fun running around and seeing who could get Grandma to carry them the most! ;-) We got close up and personal with Gorillas, which was awesome. The Jacksonville Zoo is really nice - it's like walking in the jungle. And going on a Tuesday was a bonus - hardly any crowds (in fact, no crowds at all!)

We rode the train to get some lunch and then we had to head home - we had two tired little toddlers! Grandma had to take Sami home directly, for as it turns out, Abby had strep, so Sami needed to be checked also. Hopefully Leda will be unscathed (as well as the rest of us!) So we will probably not see the girls again until Thanksgiving. Boo!

It was a nice outing. We are looking forward to just hanging out at Grandma's house tomorrow, relaxing and preparing for the Turkey Day Feast! Oh, and Uncle Jeff is coming tomorrow, too! Awesome!

Click on the picture for more Zoo pics!

Jacksonville Zoo, 11/20/2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

St. Augustine

Church

We spent lunchtime and then some in St. Augustine with the Marsons today. Had a little lunch (and not enough sangria) at The Columbia and headed down to the old fort to walk off some of that good food!

We didn't go into the Castillo de San Marcos but walked around the outside and the girls had a good time climbing on the old canons and the sea wall and watching some dolphins play off in the distance.

Girls being serious

St. Augustine is a beautiful place (at least old city is). I wish I had thought about going to college at Flagler. It would have been an awesome place to go to college. The old buildings and the old market area are just beautiful. Yes, it's a but touristy, but bearable. Especially on a Monday! Except when trying to find a parking place!

Girls being silly

The kids had fun together today. So much so they didn't want to be separated at the end of the day. But off to separate houses they went - Leda slept the whole way back to Grandma's and then went up to bed for another hour (or so, she's been up there for about an hour now!)

All in all, an awesome day. Tomorrow, Jacksonville Zoo with the Grandparents!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunshine State

The weather is beautiful here! Today the sun shone brightly and the air was early fall or late spring like (well, early fall or late spring in the Northeast - they are used to this down here!)

We left home around 8AM yesterday for Florida. We drove straight down I95, which is a surprise, because Brock hates the stretch between Philly and Richmond - too much traffic. But he figured it was the faster way to go, rather than drive 100 miles out of our way just to avoid the traffic.

Leda was a trooper. Never complained once! Unbelievable. And we didn't give her the DVD to watch until 3pm in the afternoon! Due to the uncomplaining child, we had short stops and made it to Jacksonville by 8:30PM!

There was lots of playing around with all the fun stuff Grandma has at her house, a little eating of something that wasn't road food and then we got into bed around 10pm. Leda was going to sleep in the guest bedroom just down the hall from Brock and I. She seemed to fall asleep pretty quickly. I headed off to bed, read my book for a few minutes and fell off to sleep. Next thing I know, I hear Leda calling for me out of my sleep.

I go into her room and she is not liking the unfamiliar bedroom. She wants to come sleep with me and she's not taking no for an answer. So Brock and I make the decision to let her come sleep in bed with us for the first night, we'd work it out later.

Now, I've been fighting a mouth ulcer for the past couple of days and haven't been sleeping all that well. It is in the back of my mouth where my jaws meet and it is being irritated by just about anything I do, specifically because of a wisdom tooth that is rubbing the darn thing raw. So, put that on top of having a hot little girl sleep in the bed next to me who also decides she must sleep with her head on Daddy and her feet kicking Mommy in the back or side or stomach (depending on the direction I decide to turn) all night long! I didn't get much sleep!

7am comes rolling around and Leda wakes up crying - her lip hurts (she's got a little sore on it where she busted it open the other night). I try to get her to lie back down and go to sleep for a little while, but she's too smart for me - "but, Mommy, it's light out now," meaning, I don't have to go to sleep now, I wake up!

So, up and out of bed we are, to greet the day and see what it has in store. Leda played outside this morning and we did a little shopping for the makings for salsa and baked beans for Sami's birthday party. We then headed on over to the Marson's for a little birthday party. We had a great time, watching football, hanging out, drinking beer. Leda and Sami wore Grandma out by making her push them both on the swings. Leda loved paying in the "Toy Bedroom" - Abby and Sami's play room.

GrandDad and Fay were here too, they were down here for two weeks and head home tomorrow. So Leda had two sets of grandparents in the same place for the first time in a while! We had a great dinner and awesome cake and ice cream, and then headed home.

Leda is currently in the bed she wouldn't sleep in last night. She's already attempted to get me to let her come sleep in our room, but I am going to attempt to hold fast and not let her get her way. This morning she said she was scared last night and that's why she had to come sleep with us, but I think it's more a novelty than she's scared - she's barely putting up a fight, so I am doubtful it's fear of sleeping in a strange bedroom. More, she just wants her way!

We going to spend the day with the Marsons tomorrow and see what stuff we can get into around here. So off to bed to get some shut eye! Hopefully!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Florida Bound

We are out of here! Splitting like logs! Gone like yesterday! Elvis has left the building....

I think you get the picture.

We are Florida Bound. T-minus 13 or 14 hours (give or take, most likely give!) and we'll be in Florida preparing for that Turkey feast!

Leda's ready to go, Mommy and Daddy are ready to go. Duff, not so happy he has to spend the week with the cat at home! But our lovely neighbors will be looking in on him every day several times and he'll probably even get to go over to their house and play with the kids and the dogs!

Next post, from Florida! Woooo Hoooo!

Now, I am off to get some coffee and pour myself into the car! See Ya!

Friday, November 16, 2007

TV

Earlier this week, I did attempt to start a post about who I thought would (or should) win Survivor. In that post I mentioned I thought Frosti should and might possibly pull off a win. After last night, I have scrapped that post. So, here's the replacement.

Who do I think should win Survivor? Erik. Who will probably win (but SO doesn't deserve it)? That little weasel Todd. What a wanker. I really thought Frosti deserved to win it (was a little disappointed he tried to throw his former tribe mate Erik under the bus). I also think it would be nice if Denise the lunch lady won, but I don't think that is going to happen unless she starts thinking for herself. In all honesty, I'm starting to get a bit tired of Survivor. There are no surprises anymore - you pretty much can figure out who is going to be voted off about half way through because the way it is edited together, it pretty much telegraphs the one who is gonna get voted off.

I'm stuck on CSI - I love that show. Not the other ones, the spin offs, but the original. I liked the paring of Grissom and Sara and actually got teary at the end of last night's episode when Sara left. That sucks! What else sucks? What the ER writers are doing to Abby. So unfair, having her start drinking again while Luka is away and messing up by sleeping with that Moriarty guy - Hello? You are married to Luka! The hottest man alive! (well, except my husband!) What are you nuts??? Seriously, I am just so disappointed in the direction they took the character - I really don't think she was that weak to start drinking again. I think the writers screwed up.

I'm looking forward to the Men in Trees episode tonight - there was kind of a cliff hanger last week with Marin surrounded by wolves. Hopefully she makes it through okay and Jack decides to stay in Elmo.

That's pretty much it when it comes to TV for me these days. Only shows I really watch anymore. Oh, and Desperate Housewives, but I don't really don't have much to say about that right now. I think that one is just a guilty pleasure - don't think I have really started to be interested in any of the characters to any point to care what happens to them or not.

That's a big change for me. I used to have shows on every night of the week. Now I have a few shows (most of which appear on the same night) I feel the need to catch week to week. I do look forward to LOST starting at some point in the future (which at this point could be WAY in the future due to the writers strike). And I liked Medium, so I guess we'll see if that one comes back, too. Could be a really cold and lonely winter without my shows!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fat Lip

What is it about the end of a week before a vacation that brings out the nuts in clients? What a day.

I was worked to the bone. I am just hoping I can make it to tomorrow evening. At that point, I am done until the Monday after Thanksgiving. Hallelujah!

So tonight, I missed dinner with the family due to work, but had to finish up and take over parenting duties since Brock was going out to a car club meeting. Just before he left, I was woofing down my dinner when Leda comes running out of the bathroom asking for a lollipop. I ask for what, and she replies "for going poopy in the potty!" And I totally missed it. Brock apparently yelled for me but in my stuppor to eat the first thing I ate all day, I didn't hear him, so I missed the first poopy in the potty. Darn it!

So I gave Leda her lollipop, and we praised her like crazy and off she and I went to finish watching the news while Daddy took off for his meeting. Leda was being a little crazy around the living room, bouncing and jumping around. I asked her two times to calm down and she did, for a few minutes. I was just about to give her the time out when she jumped on the couch and BAM! Hit her mouth on the edge of the couch.

She looked at me and started crying, and the first thing I saw was the blood. So up to the kitchen I ran her to check how bad it was and it was just a bloody mess. I started to panic a little when I couldn't get the blood to stop or to even slow down, so the phone call to Dr. John was made, and by the time he made it across the yard, the bleeding had slowed and all I was seeing was a big fat lip!

Her teeth are fine (thank goodness!) she just split her lip a little. And it's gonna be fat! Oh well.

So, I guess we can add that to the hot pepper instance to see if it helps her learn her lessons. To this day, she won't have anything to do with anything that is called a pepper! So maybe she will stop jumping around on the couch!

With child in bed, and this post about to "go to bed," I am off to watch what is left of Survivor, and do some laundry and start packing! See Ya!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Awesome Commercial

I loved the tune, I just hadn't totally watched the commercial - had me giggling!

Jeep Commercial on YouTube

Totally gotta get that song for my iPod!

Uninspired

Tonight's post is uninspired. Yes, I have a post waiting to be finished that would be a heck of a lot more fun to read than this one, but I am just not inspired to finish it.

I'm ready for my vacation. Now. Seriously. I've been ready since the last vacation was dubbed the "week I spent at the beach but couldn't go because I HAD PNEUMONIA!" And I am three days away from that vacation. I am uninspired to do anything else but plan for my vacation.

Plans have us driving to Jacksonville, FL, starting Saturday morning. The plan is to be there Saturday night (sorry, Mom) but if it starts getting late and we aren't yet there, to stop at a hotel and drive the rest of the way Sunday morning. It will totally depend on how Leda can spend a whole day in a car! Should be interesting.

So I am charging the DVD player, stocking up on road snacks, thinking about packing and WHAT to pack - it's supposed to be in the low 70s during the day, but high 40s. And I just got used to it being cold (not that it's cold tonight - in the freakin' 60s! This weather is just looney.)

~~~~~

I ran out to Target tonight to get all the fun snacks we'll munch on for the next millennium (I went a little overboard - got a little more than what might sustain us if the car goes into a ditch and we aren't found for 2 weeks. I think we could probably last for at least 4 weeks on the snacks I got, so no worries there!). One of the things I really enjoy about shopping by myself these days is my iPod. It's one of the few times I get to put my iPod on and hit Shuffle and turn it up as loud as I want (okay, I'm old - I don't turn it up that high any more!)

Tonight was awesome - I think I got one of the best shuffles my iPod has shuffled for me since I bought it. Here's a snippet of my shopping shuffle (which I am still listening to, because it is so awesome!)

Great Heart ~ Johnny Clegg & Savuka
But Anyway ~ Blues Traveler (live version)
Love Her Madly ~ The Doors
If It Makes You Happy ~Sheryl Crow
Something ~ Beatles
Onda ~ Los Lonely Boys
Hannah Jane ~ Hootie & The Blowfish
A Certain Girl ~ Warren Zevon
The Reflex ~ Duran Duran
Surf Rider ~ The Lively Ones
Born In The U.S.A ~ Bruce Springsteen (Live)
She's Gone ~ Hall & Oates
All Revved Up with No Place To Go ~ Meatloaf

Dude, so awesome - you can see how I got carried away in the snack aisles (was there right around Hootie and Warren! Cool!)

I have loaded pretty much our entire CD collection into my iPod. It's got something like 2600 + songs on it. Shuffle is so cool because it allows me to hear things I haven't listened to in YEARS! Like that Blues Traveler song up there. Hadn't heard it in probably 10 years. And the mix is sometimes really strange. In a good way, for me at least. When I play shuffle in the car with Brock, I sometimes have to skip some of the show tunes that sneak their way into a shuffle! He's not too keen on Charlie Daniels followed by Hugh Jackman singing Peter Allen! (I can't IMAGINE why not - that's pretty neat!)

I have only one problem when I go iPod Shopping - I tend to bop along to the music. At least I don't sing out loud! EEEEWWWWWWW!

~~~~~

Tonight we had T-bone steaks for dinner. Brock likes to gnaw on the bone when he's done cutting as much meat off it as he can. I'm not much of a bone gnawler (I am going to leave that statement as is, but it doesn't sound good!) So Brock gave Leda the bone from my steak.

Claire, this is for you from your brother:

Just Like Her Father

~~~~~

Tomorrow I will try to be more inspired. Maybe I will start the day off with the iPod Shuffle from this evening! That might help!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Made Me Cry

Might make a few of the rest of you cry too....

I was in my office, typing up tonight's post (which this is not - well, it is now, but it wasn't the post I originally was going to post) and Leda walked in and said to me, "Mommy, Daddy's Mommy is dead." I asked her to repeat, because I wasn't sure I heard her correctly. Brock was standing right behind her and he wasn't sure he heard her correctly either. She repeated it and I said, "Yes, honey, Daddy's Mommy is dead," to which she replied, "I can't go see her." That was about the time I started to get teary eyed.

Leda walked off merrily and I looked at Brock and asked him where the heck that came from. Apparently today in the car as they were off to do errands, Leda asked Brock where his Mommy was. He tried to skirt the issue, but decided it was better to just tell her, so he did.

It was cute and sad at the same time. She's becoming so much more aware of her surroundings and it's just amazing (and heartbreaking at the same time).

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sleepwalking

One of the things I dreaded the most when we moved Leda into a big girl bed, was her being able to wander the house at will. It terrified me that she might get up in the middle of the night and wander out into the rest of the house and possibly hurt herself in the dark.

In the past few months of the big girl bed, I've gotten over this fear. Leda tends not to get out of bed, but rather will yell for one of us (or both) or make sure we can overhear her when she's ready to get up. It's like she needs our permission to get out of bed. Which is completely fine with me.

It had occurred to me that the child may end up with one of her father's weird behaviors of sleepwalking, but didn't think too much about it. She definitely talks in her sleep, that's pretty much a given with two parents who are known to have had full conversations with one another in their sleep. Last night, I got to thinking a whole heck of a lot about it!

Some time around 3am, I heard someone walking by our door (to get to the rest of the house, Leda would have to go by our room, one saving grace - and thank goodness I am a light sleeper) and I got up and found Leda heading off into the dining room. I asked her what was wrong and she asked where daddy was and I told her in bed. She almost immediately turned around toward her room and asked me where her binky was (she didn't have it) and I walked her back into her room, she climbed into bed, I found her binky and she was a sleep before I could pull the blankets up on her.

I went back to bed thinking she must have been looking for her binky when it occurred to me that she didn't quite seem fully awake, and she did fall back to sleep very quickly. It occurred to me that I had just found my child sleepwalking. It took me a good half hour to fall back to sleep, I was so afraid the kid might sleepwalk again and fall down the stairs into the living room.

So, I wonder, how many sleepless nights I will endure until I get over the fear of the child sleepwalking throughout the house while her father and I blissfully sleep away?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

An Evening with Arlo

Last night was awesome.

I truly think I was more excited about eating at Plush. I really love that place. It's so not what you would expect that it's really good.

Basically it is a little dark bar in a shopping center. The first time we went in, like 4 years ago, it was dark and the area where they now have tables was mostly couches and chairs, places for people to gather. it was more of a night spot than a bar and restaurant. They had an awesome bar menu, but we didn't know anything of a dinner menu.

Three years ago (actually it was probably less than that ago, I think Leda had been born) we had dinner there for the first time. And it was good. The service is good, the food is good, and the atmosphere is just awesome. We'd had dinner at a few other places around the Keswick (The Tavern, the Diner, the Greek restaurant) but Plush is the best of them all and is the only place we eat before a show now.

We had steak for dinner - Brock had the ribeye and I had the filet mignon (of course). And, of course I had the Plush Martini. In fact, I had two! It's a great drink made from Grey Goose vodka, Champagne and a splash of pineapple juice. It is yummy!

After dinner, we headed over to the theater for the concert. NOW, I was excited about the concert, having satiated my need for Plush! This was Arlo's "Solo Reunion Tour - Together at last." We weren't sure what to expect, but when we looked up on the stage, the only things on the stage were a grand piano, a stool and a few guitars. We were in for a treat - Arlo by himself.

When he came out on stage, he explained the meaning of the name of the tour. 40 years or so ago he basically played gigs by himself. He didn't have any band, no backup singers, etc. For the past many years or so, he's played with his kids, other musicians, etc. He decided all these other bands were getting back together for reunion tours, he decided to get back together with himself and go on a reunion tour. Together at last.

He was real good last night. Lots of new stories. Arlo tells the best stories. He can have you laughing hysterically in two seconds flat! He played the staples, City of New Orleans, Coming into Los Angeles, The Motorcycle Song.

Brock and I had been discussing earlier in the evening about the first time we saw Arlo (last night was our third time) and how all I wanted to hear him play was Alice's Restaurant and when he didn't that first time, I was more than fine with it because it had been such an entertaining evening and I knew more songs than I had thought. As we sat down for the evening and Brock went to get us drinks, the couple behind me were talking about the concert and what they expected from the evening and I heard the man state, "I don't care what he plays, as long as he plays Alice's Restaurant." I wanted to turn around and tell the man that he'd enjoy the evening anyway.

At intermission we decided to head over to the coffee shop to get a cup of coffee and use the restroom (the Keswick is notorious for it's long Ladies room lines at intermission). Turns out the coffee shop was closed, but as we were walking through the lobby, we overheard one man say to another, "there's no drums, so I guess that means no Alice's Restaurant tonight." Brock and I looked at one another and laughed - seriously, are there drums in Alice's Restaurant? And, if there are, will it ruin the song to do it without them? (there are no drums in Alice's Restaurant - it's one guitar and a guy singing! Duh!)

Intermission ended and those first chords after intermission indicated to the audience that the time had come - it was time for Alice's Restaurant. It's amazing that the man can remember the song word for word 42 years after first singing it. But as he said last night, it's a song we all know well, especially him!

The rest of the evening was just awesome. More new stories, beautiful and fun songs. He sang Highway in the Wind which Brock has deemed his favorite song and then he ended with My Peace, which was a song written by his father Woody Guthrie. Arlo wrote the music to the song and it's really a pretty song. He asks the audience to sing it with him and he explains that he thinks that music is meant to be sung together so it can go out into the world and brighten it a little (I am totally paraphrasing, but I love the sentiment). He did this song last year as well, and I really like it.

My peace my peace is all I’ve got that I can give to you
My peace is all I ever had that’s all I ever knew
I give my peace to green and black and red and white and blue
My peace my peace is all I’ve got that I can give to you

My peace, my peace is all I’ve got and all I've ever known
My peace is worth a thousand times more than anything I own
I pass my peace around and about ‘cross hands of every hue;
I guess my peace is justa ‘bout all I’ve got to give to you

(words by Woody Guthrie, music by Arlo Guthrie)

It was an awesome evening. We really enjoyed ourselves and hope that Arlo comes back next year! We'll be there!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Transformation

Our living room ceiling is done! One week late, but the guys did such an awesome job, I don't really care! We'll be having them back to do more work on the house when we decide to do more work on the house! ;-)

So, here's the before:

Before

Here's the after:

After

We still need to put the plates up on the openings for lights, since we haven't quite decided or agreed upon what we will do with the lighting for the room. Brock got the wrong size plates, so we'll get them up this week.

And, we cleaned and oiled the floors this morning, since there's nothing in the room yet! Here's a "split" shot - left side is oiled, right side not yet!

After

It looks pretty darn good. Not moving the furniture back in yet, not until we buff the floors tomorrow morning. So I am off to clean the rest of the house so that our babysitters tonight have a clean area to be in while sitting with Leda.

Yep, that's right, we are out of here tonight! Just for the evening. Arlo Guthrie is playing at the Keswick, we have tickets and reservations at Plush, our favorite restaurant where I am going to get the Filet Mignon (maybe, I may change my mind) and the Plush Martini (again, might change my mind). Doesn't matter, just looking forward to spending some time out with my husband. Even though he can be such a pain in the butt when it comes to cleaning! ;-)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Plans

My brother-in-law Todd asked me to talk about my "five-year plan" as a topic for a posting. Well, that got me to thinkin' (yes, that was the burning smell you smell!)

This was always a question I hated (no offense to Todd!). I guess I don't think much about the future as much as I tend to just live in the present. Or maybe it is because I want to leave my options open.

I like that - keeping my options open. If I said, "Five years from now I want to have joined the circus and be a clown," then to me, that means I have to start working now to become a clown in the circus (and man, I hate clowns!) I also hate to quit, so I would feel like I have to spend the next five years working to be a clown even though I really don't want to become something I really don't like.

Or, better example. I decided long ago I wanted to be a nurse. I was 8 or 9. So, when it became time to look for colleges, I was determined to go to a college where I could get a nursing degree. It took me the first semester of college to realize that I didn't want to be a nurse. My 8 year old self wanted to be a nurse, but my 18 year old undecided self was pretty sure that I didn't want to be a nurse, even though I had no idea about anything else. See, 10 years it took me to finally quit wanting to be something I didn't really want to be. And I felt bad about it for awhile - that's just me, I don't like to quit or feel like a quitter, even though it wasn't something I would be happy at. Weird, I know.

I guess that is why I tend to cringe when asked the question, "Where do you see yourself five years from now." Because I have ideas, but I don't really want to nail myself to them!

There is some stuff I'd like to have happen in the next five years. I'd like to have Leda potty trained (please, PLEASE let this happen BEFORE year five!). I'd like to enter Leda in pre-school next year. I'd like to get our basement remodeled into usable space for the family (right now, it's Brock's office and the laundry room and the place where things in our lives that we don't need at the moment go to live). I'd like to look into getting a master bedroom addition on our house. I'd like to win the lottery. I'd like to travel more. I'd like to lose a little weight and get into shape.

I am not so sure what the future holds in store for me (or us) and I'm kinda okay with that. I know where we are today and that's a pretty good place. We aren't destitute, we aren't rich, but we are comfortable and happy.

Ten years ago I would never NEVER have said in 10 years I will be married, own a house, have a dog, have a kid(!), have a good job, not be living paycheck to paycheck, have the best neighbors money can buy, have a wonderful group of friends (although, I already had them 10 years ago!) and am happy to be where I am right now. Look at how much happens when you aren't making plans! It's pretty darn cool!

I understand the need to have a plan, so that you know what you need to do in order to accomplish your goals. And if we do decide to do something around the house or put Leda in to pre-school, we will plan for that. So I am not totally without plans. I just like to make smaller plans than for the next five years of my life. Because, if the next five are anything like the last five, it could be fun just living them and finding out what happens.

Don't know if that's a good answer or not. But it's my story and I'm sticking to it!

;-)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Driving me batty!

I used to like driving. Actually, I still do, but I wish I could drive where there were no other drivers. Because, if you haven't noticed, there are a lot of drivers who probably shouldn't be driving. In cars. Or SUVs. I'd even go so far as to say there are a few people I saw last night and tonight who probably shouldn't be let within 50 feet of ANYTHING with wheels.

There are a lot of drivers who wouldn't pass a driver's test if their lives depended on it. There are drivers who are endangering the lives of others on the road, not to mention themselves and those who are in the vehicle with them. There are very few drivers who have any regard for anyone else they share the road with. That's right SHARE the road.

What a freakin' concept.

And I'm not talking about just the slow people. The guys who treat everything as a race are just as bad if not worse. I saw one guy who figured it was his right to travel at 95MPH in traffic going about 70 MPH so much so that he almost passed the cars in the passing lane in the shoulder. Yes, he attempted to make his own lane.

I have made it home from NYC. It wasn't pretty! I was afraid I was going to be stuck on the Island. I decided the best way home would be across Manhattan - Midtown Tunnel to Lincoln Tunnel. Until I realized that most of the ways I knew to get to the Lincoln tunnel shut down from different directions from 4-7pm. So I had to drive around for awhile looking for the way off the island. Was starting to get worried that I wasn't going to even get myself voted off the island! But I figure it out and got myself out of NYC with nary a honk of my horn or anyone else's at me! Pretty darn good!

The NJ Turnpike is just the pits. Although I didn't hit any traffic, the drivers on that road are just the worst. Oh, the PA turnpike is not any better. Oh, and the cell phone use? What is up with that? I thought in NJ and NY hand held cells were outlawed. Oh, wait, that's right, the guy I saw WAS TEXTING while driving. Yes, I am pretty darn sure that is what he was doing. At 70MPH. Love it.

So happy to be home. So happy tomorrow is Friday.

I'm off to watch Survivor and veg out for the rest of the evening.

Oh, and Todd, if you are out there, I AM working on that post you requested. It's been a crazy week here!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

New York State of Mind

Not really, but I am in New York!

I am actually in Queens. It's a first for me. Never been to Queens. In all honesty, not that thrilled to be here.

I'm here to visit with a client. Can you hear the excitement in that sentence? If you do, then you are listening too hard!

The drive up sucked, but was better than the alternative, which was to get up at O'dark thirty and drive up in the morning and attempt to get into the city during morning rush hour. It's bad enough I have to fight my way home tomorrow in the afternoon rush. Hoping against hope that I am out of here by 3pm or else it could be Saturday before I get home. Well, maybe not that bad, but it will be a pain in the you know what!

So, here I am, posting late because I had to drive my sorry butt up to NYC. I wish I could say something along the way inspired me to write about it, but nothing did. Well, nothing that I could write about here without a heck of a lot of profanity! Traffic was a bear. Not heavy, but all the crazies and idiots where out in full-force. And the roads here in NYC - man do they suck! The poor MINI was just bouncing all over the place. Oh, and the taxi's - need I say more?

So I am off to my Holiday Inn king size bed to try and go to sleep. Hopefully tomorrow will be not as stressful as I expect and I will be home by dinner.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Day from you know where...

Today was that day. The day that if anything was going to go wrong, it did.

Okay, it wasn't that bad, but it was one of those days that you think you are going to make headway on one project when another project rears it's ugly head and you end up spending all day working on a project that just doesn't seem to end. There's always something else to do.

On top of that, the contractors who were supposed to be done the living room ceiling last Friday, then this Tuesday, then this Thursday (yes, Mom, I do believe this guy may be related to your contractor), doesn't show up to work on the ceiling until almost 2:30pm. So much for being done on Thursday. If he's done on Thursday, I'd be really surprised.

Oh, and then, it's election day, so Brock is working the polls all day, so I am single mom. Had to get up early to take a shower before the kid got up, so I could run her to day care before work. Well, that didn't work too good - she was up about the same time as me, so I never got to take that shower (yuck, I know). Then I had to pick her up at daycare, run over to vote, let Leda have a few minutes of Daddy time (which just ended up with me having to hear her scream and cry all the way to Boston Market to grab some dinner because we left Daddy at the polling place), and finally get home to eat dinner (first meal all day, due to the never-ending-project issues).

So, now that's she's in bed, I get to relax, right? Probably not - gonna try and finish up something for work and THEN, maybe I can climb into my PJ's and into bed and veg out on really bad TV. Oh, please, let me finally be able to veg out on some really bad TV!

Good night!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Time Change sucks...

Maybe I didn't notice it last year or the year before (I guess I should look back a year ago and in 2005 and see if I posted anything) but this year the time change really seems to be wreaking havoc with Leda.

Last night we went out to the Tournament of Bands at West Chester University to see John and Jennifer's nephew's band play in their division. What a flash back this was for me. Well, and I think John, Jennifer and John's brother Chris, as we all had been in marching band in high school. I think I almost got a little teary there on the first band performance!

Leda seemed to like it. I think that she's still a year or so away from wanting to sit still for more than a few minutes at a time. She almost immediately asked for her binky which usually means she's tired. We headed out for a quick bite before coming home and putting her to bed by 8pm. She went right to sleep.

This morning, she was up before 7am. This child doesn't usually start making noise until at least 7:30. Oh, and Sunday morning, she was up at 6:30. So I am pretty darn sure she hasn't gotten used to the time change yet! (Neither have I, so I don't blame her) Tonight Brock had to go prepare for tomorrow's election after dinner so Leda and I headed out to the craft store (a word about that shortly). She got weepy as Brock was leaving and then started asking for her binky. It was 6:30pm! She was pretty good at the store, but probably because I had given her the binky when we got in the car to leave the house for the store!

We did okay at the store (sorta) and we headed home, but about half way home, the kid, she got whiney and moany and all out of sorts. She complained about something hurting but couldn't (or wouldn't) tell me what. We got home, Brock was here, we started to change her for bed and she just started crying and wouldn't calm down with out some serious cuddling.

We weren't sure what was wrong with her. She went from full out crying to laughing within seconds. We put in her drops (for the pink eye that we don't think was really pink eye) and gave her a little motrin (in case she really was coming down with soemthing) and read her books and put her to bed. I guess we'll see what tomorrow brings!

Okay, as for the craft store - I decided I would make a hanging planter holder using macrame. I used to do a lot of macrame when I was younger, late 70s - early 80s. Since we needed to bring some of our plants in from outside and my ivy plant is growing quite long, we decided it would do best hanging. I figured, what the heck, it would be fun.

Apparently, macrame is so 70s. It basically doesn't exist in the craft store I went to. No books on it, no materials. I went to the book store to see if I could find anything there and only ONE book could be found and it wasn't an instructional book, it was a pictorial.

I am bummed out. I guess I will have to try a different craft store and see if it has anything on macrame.

Anyway, I chalk it up to the time change. It sucks! One thing I can't blame the time change for is the dismal performance of the Birds last night. Talk about sucking! I am usually not a 'guess there's always next year' kinda fan, but this year is pretty much done for. Oh well. guess there's always next year!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Cookies!

This morning Leda and I made Oatmeal Cookies.

Several times during the process I had to remind her NOT to put her fingers in the mixing bowl (one, to keep her from eating the batter and two, to keep her fingers from being mixed into the batter by the mixer!) She helped put the eggs in and she helped put the flour mixture in and the oats. Then came the best part of cookie making:

Best part of making cookies!

Well, and then the actual eating of the cookies themselves:

Cookies!

It was a fun morning! Shhhh, we'll be sharing some of the cookies with the Durhams later! We are off to a marching band competition tonight and then off to dinner out with the girls (Leda and Paige). We'll be home for the game because I have already told Jennifer I refuse to watch tonight's game with her. I love her to death, but she has really bad taste in football teams (she's a Dallas fan - yuck!) Well, that and the fact that I have rubbed the last couple of years when we did better than the Cowgirls in her face. Guess I deserve a little rubbin' back - nah! We'll stay home to watch the game! ;-)

Hope your Sunday is as awesome as ours!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Reason 258 the kid is definitely mine....

She remembers the placement of everything!

Two examples:

1. She has a wooden table and two chairs that she got for her birthday that have been sitting in the living room since her birthday. They sit right in front of the bay window, next to the TV. The Friday before the living room was emptied, Brock put the table and chairs away in Leda's bedroom closet until the living room is done. The kid came home from daycare, walked into the living room and the first thing she says is, "hey, where's my table." She had been in the house for approximately 30 seconds.

2. Tonight we went out to dinner (yeah, yeah, so much for my cooking - I did make the salsa though!) We went to the Fountain Inn, a very old restaurant in these parts (George Washington slept there - this is most likely true, seriously) It has a dive bar and restaurant in it that is to die for - nothing fancy, just really good food for fairly cheap. Brock and I used to eat there once a week for like a whole year or so!

Anyway, first time we'd been there since before Leda was born. We ordered Leda the popcorn shrimp with french fries and it came with TWO little cups of cocktail sauce. As we were settling down to eat our dinner, Brock stole one of the containers of cocktail sauce off of Leda's plate. Two seconds later, Leda's all like, "hey, where's my ketchup?" We are all pointing to the actual ketchup I had just poured onto the plate and she's all like, "no, not that, my ketchup," pointing at the other container of cocktail sauce. Then she sees that Daddy's got some and realizes it was hers and she's all like, "Give me back my ketchup. Now, Daddy!" with finger pointing and everything. It was quite humorous! And even though Daddy asked time and time again (after he had stole it without asking), Leda wouldn't let him have it! I had to give him mine!

Yep, definitely my kid!

Cooking!

I've been cooking lately. Mostly on the weekends, when I get a good idea, I make a dinner all by myself! Brock gets to stay out of the kitchen.

It's not that I can't cook, that's not the amazing thing, it's that I really didn't like it. I get very tense about the measurements of things, how long to cook stuff, how it doesn't look right, that it might taste bad, all those things. I still feel that way, but for some reason, this past summer, I really wanted to spend time in the kitchen making stuff.

A few weeks ago I decided I needed salsa. Not just any salsa, no store bought stuff. I wanted nice, chunky, fresh salsa. I did a quick google search and didn't really find anything I liked, so I figured I would try something out, based on some of what i did find on the internets.

I made my own recipe for salsa. Yes, you heard me right. The one who is terrified of not measuring exact and following the recipe to a 'T' made her own recipe. Of course, it was for something very simple - seriously, it ain't easy to screw this up. But I tried it and I liked it and I even use a hot pepper! Yes, me, the 'this better be mild or else I ain't eating' person added a hot pepper to her salsa and ATE IT!

Very simple - chopped tomatos, chopped peppers (bell), chopped onion, chopped cilantro, juice a lime, a little salt and one small hot pepper chopped very fine with no seeds or ribs (and this is the only thing that Brock does in this recipe!) It's awesome! I'm making some today!

I found that I didn't have to be exact (well, except when baking). That playing with the recipe a little wasn't a bad thing. I'm not as adventurous as Brock or Jennifer who both seem to really like making good food. I'm just starting to learn how to loosen up a little and have some fun in the kitchen. I also find it good time spent making my family a meal.

I started to cook over the summer because I wanted to use my herbs growing in my garden. I've made fresh pesto, which was REALLY good. I've made lots of different things with tarragon (well, not LOTS, but a few more than just my step-dad's Chicken tarragon in tomato cream sauce recipe).

I hated meat - beef, that is - before I got pregnant. The only time I ate steak is if I was at someone's house for dinner and that is what they were serving and there wasn't anything else. I think I went for a whole decade without eating beef - well, except for hamberger - that's GOOD! After being pregnant, I have found either my tastes have changed or my body just NEEDS beef now, for whatever reason. I can't get enough steak these days. And, I barely will have it worse than Medium-rare these days - I eat it pink-red! Would never, NEVER happen before Leda! You can imagine my husband's GREAT delight in this change in events. He gets a LOT more steak these days!

I still don't think I can cook steak yet - but I did make a great shish kabob out of chunks of london broil, onions and peppers. The steak is marinated in a margarita bath (YUMMMMM!) for about an hour or more and WOW does it taste good! I loved that recipe.

I decided I needed to have baklava - I LOVE baklava. I figured I would try to make it. Besides some issues with the filo dough (the stuff I bought was all a mess) I made a whole batch of baklava that was just AWESOME. It really wasn't that hard - a little patience is all you need (HA! Yes, I know I am not the most patient person you all know, but I was when making this!) It turned out pretty good and I sent some next door to our wonderful neighbors and we gave some to my father. Which was a good thing because else, I was gonna be eating the whole darn thing! I'll probably be making some of that for the holidays!

I like to catch some Food Network shows on Saturdays to get my inspiration. I love Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) and have made her Shrimp bisque recipe. That came out okay - it could have been a bit creamer, but that was probably me, not the recipe. We've taken to watching Emeril Live on the week nights this past week - since we only have the TV in our bedroom, after dinner we will gather in the bedroom until Leda's bed time and watch Emeril - or "Mommy's Noggin'" as Leda calls it. Toward the end of the week, it was, "let's watch the cooking guy." I think she likes the cooking shows!

So I am waiting for some insiration to hit me so I can come up with an awesome dinner for tonight or tomorrow night. So far, only Tyler's Ultimate has inspired me to make roasted creamy tomato soup! Yum! We'll see what other inspirations come from my Saturday morning "Noggin'"!

Friday, November 2, 2007

TGIF!

Thank Goodness it's Friday! Wooo hoooo!

What a week. It was a crazy work week. Lots of things to do and just not enough time to do them in. Oh, and of course it all needed to get done now! Gotta love those kinds of weeks - NOT!

I was looking forward to cleaning our living room from floor to new ceiling this weekend, but our new ceiling is not quite done yet.

Oh, did I fail to mention? Yes, we have had workers in the house all week putting a new ceiling on our great room. It's apparently a good thing we are having them do this, since the insulation that was up there is about 40 years old and had started to breakdown. The idea was to put insulation up there and electrical boxes for once we decide to agree on the type of lights we want to put up. All that is left to put up is the drywall and paint, which apparently will have the job done on Monday or Tuesday. At least the guys are doing a good job!

John (Durham) had graciously come over on last Sunday to help move all the stuff out of the living room so that this job could be done, so we are pretty much living in the upper part of the house (kitchen, dining room and bedrooms). It's been pretty easy - one of the great things about it, Leda has barely watched any TV.

So, I guess I will have to wait until next week when the guys are done to clean the living room in a way it hasn't been cleaned since we had moved in! Instead, if the weather stays nice, I'll winterize the gardens outside. Maybe even try to organize my office and Leda's bedroom closets (yeah, like that will happen before the next decade!)

In any case, it will be a weekend and we love those around these here parts! If I am lucky, I might even get to sleep in one or both days! (which doesn't mean the same thing as when I was a kid - means I get to sleep until 8am - whippty doo!)

And, of course, I'll be blogging about anything I do do this weekend (except doodoo, I don't think ya'll wanna hear about that!)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

And so it starts....

I almost forgot!

Not an auspicious start to the National Month of Blog Posting when I am supposed to blog every day of the month. Including the first day! Duh! At least I remembered before the end of the first day!

Becoming a parent did this to me. Makes me forget everything (and I am sure there might be some people who are close to me who would beg to differ, but really, I am MUCH worse than I was before I gave birth). I totally get my Mother now. Not that she forgets everything, but I can totally dig why we would drive her nuts. It's what kids do, apparently.

Seriously, until you have a kid, you don't get how hard things can get. Everything becomes magnified. You worry about things you wouldn't have thought to worry about (and believe me, I'm the worrier of the family, so if it can be worried about, I probably worried about it tenfold.) You find yourself at your wits end because the husband needs something, work needs something, the offspring needs something, the dog needs something, everyone and everything needs something and you can't remember if you brushed your teeth this morning. It's nuts!

When we are teenagers we think our parents are nuts - BECAUSE THEY ARE! But the thing I totally understand now is IT'S THE KIDS ARE THE PROBLEM!

Not that I would, for anything in this world or the next, give up being a Mom. It's the most challenging thing but most satisfying thing I've ever done. I can't imagine my life without Leda. It took having Leda for me to totally get my Mom! What a bonus!

So November starts off with pink eye. In both eyes. Leda's so far, not Brock's and/or mine. Oh, and the doctor's office visit to determine this. I noticed her eyes were a little goopy yesterday (i.e., some discharge but not a lot) but it seemed normal since it's the beginning of cold season.

Day care called almost about a half hour after she got there and mentioned her eye looked droopy but not red yet. An hour later Brock was off to pick her up due to her eyes getting red! An hour after that, Leda and I were off to the doctor's office.

Both eyes, no ears. Some drops to hopefully clear it up and a lot of washing of the hands! What a way to start off the month!

So, ye lurkers out there who visit pretty much every day....what do you want me to talk about? Come on, I need ideas! (not that I don't have ideas, I just keep forgetting what they are, they were, oh, you know what I mean!)

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