Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Spring so soon?

Well, three weeks earlier than last year, the robins showed up in full force again...

Odd...

Brock called to me around mid afternoon and said that lots of robins were in the backyard as they had been last year - again, 20-30 of them hanging out and eating holly berries. This is the second time in two years we have had LOTS of robins all at once and pretty darn early in the season.

I didn't get any pictures today, will have to see if I can get some pictures over the weekend, if the group of them stay around that long.

I guess it's time to start checking out the rest of the property for signs of Spring Life. Still seems a little early in the season for that...the tulips have already started to peek through the dirt.

Nope, no global warming here!

Itchy!

I haven't had sunburn since the mid 1990s (at least that far back, maybe more!) and I have forgotten how BAD it itches! Well, either that or sunburn in your 40s really itches!

Yes, I have sunburn. How did I get it, you ask, being that I am the queen of sunscreen? Well, apparently I was so worried about my child getting sunburn that I totally remembered to put it on her before we went out on the boat ride on Saturday and even remembered to annoy my husband by nagging him to put it on (see, he has already had like a billion basal cells removed from his body - the precursors to skin cancer) but totally forgot to put it on my own body. Then, I proceeded to spend pretty much the whole afternoon in the water with my child - let's see, little or no sunscreen + February Florida sun (much stronger than February Pennsylvania sun) + water to reflect said strong Florida sun = Cyndy gets sunburn on chest and back and neck! Luckily, I did remember to put SOMETHING on my face - a got a little red on my nose and cheeks, but not as bad as elsewhere!

So, I am itchy. And red. And expect to be peeling any day now! Oh, the joy!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What We Did On Our Winter Vacation

I have to start with two observations: 1. We really should have taken a much longer winter vacation, instead of only 4 days, and 2. the weather gods were good to us in Florida, but man, did they deliver a gross and yucky day on our first day home - maybe to remind us of the reason for the winter vacation in the first place? hmmmmmmm.

We had an awesome time. Wow. And the weather that was ordered weeks ago was delivered and then some! We had a beautiful weekend.

We left here on Thursday about midday - our flight out of Philly was a little past 5 PM, so there was parking the car in the long term lot, getting to the terminal, checking-in and getting everything situated. We ended up with more time than we really needed. It wasn't so bad getting through the whole security deal as it was our last trip through Philadelphia International!

Our flight was a little late leaving Philly, but we had plenty of time to get to our connecting flight in Atlanta - this is after a VERY bumpy ride into Atlanta on the first flight - wow - I've never experienced turbulence that bad! There was weather in and around Atlanta - thunderstorms, etc. - that caused all the bumps. It also caused our second flight to be delayed by about an hour, so we arrived really late into Fort Myers - about 11:30.

Aunt Bet picked us up at the airport and took us home to her house where we got to see Uncle Gary before we all headed off to bed - of course, after about an hour of chit-chatting and wearing out the kid!

Up early the next morning - I can't figure out why we can keep Leda up until 12:30 in the morning, but she still wakes up at 6:45AM!!!! After a little coffee and a little breakfast, we headed over to the Beach Club for some time on the sand and in the ocean.

What a beautiful morning we had. The gulf was calm and warm (okay, for people from Florida, it wasn’t so warm, but for those of us who live in the northeast, it was perfect – like 75 degrees – early August ocean off the Jersey Shore, so it was MORE than comfortable. Leda loved jumping in the waves and picking up shells and watching the pelicans fly by.

Leda on the beach

Brock and Leda on the beach as a pelican flys by

We left the beach after an hour or so because we wanted to try and get to the airport in time to welcome Lt. Steven home from Iraq for R&R. We didn’t make it to the airport in time, but did get to see him before we all headed back to the Beach
Club for lunch. Steven’s first food on American soil since last June! ;-)

Lt. Steven at the Beach Club

After lunch, while everyone chatted, Leda and I hit the pool for a little swim and she just took to the water like a fish! We didn’t take her floaties or anything, so I had to keep a hold on her most of the time, but she’d jump into the water and sorta swim to me (all of an inch or two!) I see swimming lessons in her very near future – especially while I was attempting to get out of the pool and Brock was walking her back to the table, she jumped right in! I had to jump in after her immediately!

Back to Aunt Bet’s for a little nap and when Leda awoke from her nap, Aunt Aimee, Uncle Kurt and her cousins Abby and Sami had arrived. Then, Grandma and Granddaddy arrived! Then we all headed over to Uncle Tom and Aunt Tish’s for a pizza party and hanging out, celebrating Steven being home! Uncle Tommy has a pool, so all three girls got to go swimming at night! They loved it! Afterwards, Abby painted Leda’s nails and toenails and they watched a movie before we all headed home for bed!

Cunningham Girls by the pool

Saturday was a big day. Aunt Bet and Leda and I did some shopping for the boat ride we were all going to take out to the gulf for a little picnic on the beach. We had to order some subs for everyone and while we were waiting, Aunt Bet took Leda shopping for some clothes – she got a really hip two piece bathing suit, some really neat summer clothes and her first Barbie! She was really excited about the Barbie!

Everyone arrived at Aunt Bet’s about the time we got back and we loaded up the boats and headed out for our trip! It was great. We had so much fun. We even got to see a dolphin, although not real close up. We went for a walk on the beach and in the mangrove forest and we played in the surf and we just had a blast.

Pelican

Sami and Leda

We headed back to Aunt Bet’s after several hours and hung out with family and friends and had an awesome evening. The girls hung out in Uncle Gary’s “Man Cave” (his office on the first floor of their house – it’s a man’s dream. Of course, we had three little girls watch Cinderella and Peter Pan in it, so it may need to be re-christened!) and watched movies all night and the adults had fun upstairs in the main part of the house.

On Sunday morning, Grandma and Granddaddy and Aunt Aimee and Uncle Kurt and the girls came over for breakfast before they headed home for Jacksonville. We all took a little early nap and then off to the Beach Club for some sun, sand, surf and pool time! That evening, we just relaxed at the house and enjoyed each other’s company.

Leda - ready for the beach

Monday we came home. Leda, again, was the perfect child on the plane rides (both to and from). She really does travel just wonderfully. The first leg (Fort Myers to Atlanta) she took a nap the whole flight and she got to watch a little movie on the leg to Philly. And, we got a surprise when we landed and got off the plane – Grandma had just flown into Philly for work and met us at the gate! So we got to see Grandma for a few more minutes last night!

All in all, it was the perfect weekend. Wish we could have stayed longer. Will most likely go back again and again (if Aunt Bet and/or Uncle Tom will have us!) We had so much fun and were so happy to see Steven home from Iraq and in good spirits. He’ll have a good couple of weeks of rest at home before he heads back for a few more months. Hopefully to be home this summer for good.

Click here for more vacation pictures!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It Figures

I predicted this would happen.

Yes, we are expecting a SNOW EVENT in the greater Delaware Valley tomorrow. Possibility of a few inches or so of snow on the ground in our neck of the woods.

Luckily, it shouldn't effect our flight to FL tonight or the flight home on Monday.

It does mean that we will miss the one good snow fall of the year.

Granted, sitting on the beach in FL will be a heck of a lot better than working in my home office watching the snow pile up outside!

Being that this winter was so mild, this could be the only weekend of the winter that we see any accumilating snow. So it sucks we will miss it.

Oh well. Will be sitting on the beach tomorrow - I think that will make it ALL BETTER!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sick Again...

All but Leda have gotten the nasty cold that's going around. That's right, the kid probably brought it home with her from daycare, but she passes it right off to us and doesn't get sick herself. Lovely!

I've been dealing with this since last Wednesday. Getting tired of being sick. Would like the cold to go away by Thursday as that is the day we get on an airplane and head to sunny Naples, Florida for the weekend with the Cunninghams. It's gonna suck if we take this darn thing with us.

Of course, I'm going on vacation. For a few days, but nonetheless, sickness is almost a prerequisite for me going on vacation. Darn it!

Any way, haven't felt much up to posting, and at this point, probably not gonna get any more out of me until next week. I AIN'T taking the 'puter, so no posting from the road.

Hopefully lots of pictures and stories to post next week!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Oh, Enough Already....

Seriously, is it a revival of the 80s that is happening? Is this the reason all the weird things going on in the music world (or revolving around music) that are making me relive my teenage years?

First, George Michael, then The Time, and now, Michael Jackson's 25th anniversary release of Thiller. Talk about flashbacks...of course, the Michael Jackson of my flashbacks no longer resembles the real Michael Jackson. In any way, shape or form.

Truely an awesome album. One of those albums that contains nothing but good songs. Very rare. And, I actually have it in true album form (grooved vinyl - hard to play in a CD player). I don't know, I might have to put it on my wish list in CD form or break down and grab it off iTunes.

I think we may have to call February 2008 the month I posted about the 80s and music.

Oh-wee-oh-wee-oh - Grammy Recap

Man, just can't get away from the 80s!

Watched the Grammys from start to finish on Sunday night...first time I've watched the Grammy's from start to finish in, oh, ages! I tend to hate awards shows. Boring! Even the Grammy's got old for me many, many years ago. I tend to watch something else and flip in once in awhile during commercial breaks to see who is playing or who is winning.

The writer's strike worked well for the Grammy's this year...nothing else on to watch, so watched the whole darn thing (well, I did miss Cher introducing Tina Turner's set with Beyonce, if that was who she introduced - I either flipped to another channel in the hope that something else was on or I left the room. - Thank goodness I returned in time to watch all of Tina's set - wow, that woman has still got the best legs and moves in the business...this is a woman who will turn 69(!!!!) this year and she can still rock! And wear spandex! Wow!)

Talk about 80s flash backs! With the aforementioned Tina jamming out (okay, so she's not just the 80s, but that was when she had her solo comeback), Prince presenting an award (is he going by Prince these days or something else?), and then The Time!

What would the 80s have been with out Morris Day and The Time???? Dude, that set rocked (even with Rhianna, who I don't know - I could have done without her part of the set)! I had serious flashbacks to my childhood during that set. Wow!

Guess how much I am itching to download Jungle Love and The Bird? I probably will sooner or later, but I dread Brock's reaction when he has to listen to it!

I enjoyed several of the sets from Sunday night. I continue to be impressed by Carrie Underwood. I really like Before He Cheats. I also continue to be awed by Alicia Keys. I might have to partake in some of her music soon...I find I really like it when I hear it, which is usually right around Grammy time. Was a little disappointed that rock was only represented by Foo Fighters. They are alright, but I guess not my cup of tea.

I even dug watching some of the awards be given away (usually the time to channel flip for me)...Cindi Lauper! Ringo Starr! Tom Hanks coming out and telling everyone that The Band was a life time award recipient (how cool was that!) I think my favorite award moment was when Ringo Starr presented an award to Vince Gill and Vince was just amazed that A Beatle gave him an award! How nice!

I really watched the Grammys because I wanted to see this Amy Winehouse that everyone has been talking about lately. I'd heard snippets of her song Rehab and every time I had, I stopped to listen - it was an intriguing sound. I really didn't know much about her or heard any of her other music before Sunday - I guess I am a little out of touch with today's music and times - or it's that I am just so concerned about Britney Spears that I haven't been paying attention to other stars out there in peril.

Anyway, I really watched the Grammy's to see Amy Winehouse perform. And, I have to say, I was surprised - I really liked it. Not so thrilled with her look, could have done without that, but her voice is awesome and the music is pretty cool. I have added the song Rehab to my iTunes collection and I may just go ahead and get the whole album (or two).

So, there you have it, my recap of the Grammy's (sorta!) Did you catch it? What was your favorite part?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Pictures of Leda

It's been awhile since I posted some pictures of Leda! Bad Mommy!

This weekend, Leda and I went to Target and bought her a bean bag - a PURPLE bean bag! I decided it was time that we move the little TV she's been watching (it has a DVD player so she gets to watch her movies over and over and over again, but Daddy and I get to watch grown-up stuff at the same time! Yeah!) off the dining room table. So I created a little entertainment nook for Leda in the corner of the dining room....

Leda's Entertainment Corner

She loves it!

She Loves it!

It's a hit. And, we get to have our dining room table back! Wooo Hooo!

I took this picture about two weeks ago...we were having tacos for dinner and Leda got a handful of black olives to eat with her dinner. She found that it was fun to stick them on her fingers! (What kid doesn't?) I took this picture for her cousin Sarah, who shares with Leda the love of black olives!

Watch out Sarah, you'll have to start sharing those black olives!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My Life's Soundtrack

I saw this meme on another blog I visit regularly and I liked the idea! I always say that the music I listen to is the soundtrack of my life.

The concept is this, open your iPod, iTunes, any music library you own, put it on shuffle, press play and for each life event, record the song that is playing - at each life event, press forward and record the next song. Don't cheat!

Life Sountrack

Opening Credits: Urgent, Foreigner
Waking Up: Simple Things, Juluka
First Day At School: Galaxy, War
Falling In Love: Bullet the Blue Sky, U2
Fight Song: Light My Fire, The Doors
Breaking Up: Moon Over Bourbon Street, Sting
Grad: Listen, Collective Soul
Life: Channel Z, B-52's
Mental Breakdown: Building A Mystery, Sarah McLachlan
Driving Far Away: King For A Day, Rathkeltair
Flashback: Rock Steady, No Doubt
Wedding: You Love The Thunder, Jackson Browne
Birth of Child: Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World, Johnny Clegg and Savuka
Final Battle: Van Lear Rose, Loretta Lynn
Death Scene: Back Into Hell, Meat Loaf
Funeral Song: Can't Stand Losing You, The Police
End Credit: Dancing Barefoot, U2

Some work, some don't, some are just a little uncanny and some are just a little weird!

I invite anyone who wants to try it...it's fun!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

80s revisited

I've been trying to write a post about the 80s since my last post about the 80s but I haven't found it easy. More like strange memories...flashbacks of bad fashion decisions, 80s disco music (let's face it, it was disco, just with a techtronic beat to it), and big hair.

I haven't quite figured out how to put it into a post without sounding like I hated the 80s, because I didn't hate the 80s. I just look back on them and wish I had dressed better. And that the 80s were cooler than we thought they were. There is a lot of cringe worthy stuff from the 80s when you think about it.

Like big hair - seriously, what WERE we thinking?? In the Philly area, I swear you used to be able to tell what area of the Delaware Valley a girl came from just from the height of her hair. How we made it into the 90s with hair left on our heads is beyond me, considering some of the things we did to it and the stuff we put in it. Eeek!

Okay, 80s fashion. Parachute pants, Member's Only (you KNOW who you are), shoulder pads? Need I say more?

If I refrain from watching clips on YouTube ,I remember Dancin' on Air fondly (links go to Dance Party USA which was the national incarnation of the Philly local Dancin' on Air show that started airing in 1981. I think Dance Party started after I left for College, I don't remember it much). Yes, I watched it. Yes, my lovely cousin Tim invited me to join him on it once (maybe twice??). Tim was a regular! I had connections! ;-)

I remember when the dance craze hit the area in the 80s and we all wanted to be dancing. Several night clubs/bars in the area started having Teen nights so that those of us underage could go dance at a real night club. The first one in this area that I remember was Pulsations - and yes, there's a website dedicated to Pulsations, even though the club was razed in the late 90s to make way for a retirement home (oh, please no comments on that!)

[TANGENT] The land that Pulsations stood on was important to me for two reasons, one was I used to go dance there when it was Pulsations, but prior to Pulsations, it used to be the Longhorn Ranch - a themed restaurant that, when we were kids, we used to go to for every birthday for many years in a row. I remember, as a kid, I thought it was the best place on earth! [END TANGET]

On Sunday nights we would dress up, tease our hair and put on our shortest, tightest jeans skirt and go line up with all the other hopefuls to be let into Pulsations so we could dance the night away. It amazes me, because I'm lucky if I can dance for a whole 15 minutes now without needing to take a nap, but we would dance for HOURS without so much as a sit down (of course, if we sat down, we might lose our great dancing spot!)

I don't think I went more than a small handful of times before I was off to College - the club was a good 45 minutes from my house and I think I remember my Mom dropping me off once, maybe twice, but that's about it. I may have gone with friends when I was supposed to be doing something else. But I think I remember going there more often when I had gone off to college and would come home a weekend here or there and head on over with my friend Kim or other friends, depending on who I was crashing with that weekend. What a blast.

I discovered "alternative" music in the 80s - R.E.M., Violent Femmes, They Might Be Giants, The Smiths (and, subsequently, Morrissey), Midnight Oil, New Order, and Red Hot Chili Peppers to name a few. Of course, I had been a huge U2 fan way before college, and that's continued to today. This is the music I remember the most from the 80s - the stuff that made the biggest impression on me. Yeah, I dug Janet Jackson (hey, I danced to her stuff at the clubs, it grew on me) and maybe even a little Michael Jackson and of course we all know how much I loved George Michael. But the stuff that stuck with me the alternative stuff I discovered in college.

The 80s wasn't so bad. I danced a lot and I listened to some great music. I bet I could remember more good things if I could get the bad fashion decisions I made out of my head. What do you remember from the 80s?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I'll Still Hate 'em Next Year

WOOOOOO HOOOOOO!

Giants win!

Awesome Super Bowl (and I ain't just sayin' that because the team I rooted for won - it was actually a good game to watch...Okay, yeah, it's because the team I rooted for won!)

I will hopefully never have to root for the Giants again (unless it means something good for the Eagles). Even if I was starting to like Eli Manning.

So gonna hate 'em next year.

Patriots go down! Awesome!

Oh, and my chili turned out pretty darn good too! Pretty darn good night all around!

As I promised Duff, no more football until next season starts. He's so happy! I'm so sad! I guess I might have to pay attention to NASCAR here soon. Blah!

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Weather Here Sucks!

I have been working on an 80s post to follow-up to my previous post, but I am just not inspired this week...I think it's PMS and the weather (the weather really didn't suck until today, so it's probably just PMS).

TMI, I know. I am not exactly sure I really needed to provide that much to the internets.

Anyway, the weather sucks here. If it was colder, we would probably be looking at a TON of snow, but as it is, it's just rain. Lots of rain. And wind.

I really wish we would get some snow sometime soon. Just not anytime around the 21st through the 25th of February. Because we have plane tickets for that time to go some place warm (FL, to visit the Cunninghams on the west coast of the state). Yes, I want it to be cold here, because going some place warm when it's warm here at home isn't as much fun. But I don't want it to snow. Of course, Murphy's Law will kick in because I have announced to the internets that I want snow, but not specifically on five days of the month of February - that will be when we have a blizzard and we will be snowed in for 10,000 years!

Definitely PMS.

Leda had a hard time getting to sleep last night because she was absolutely beside herself because of the "monsters in my room." Oh.Joy! The monster phase has begun. It took a few trips into her room over the course of a half hour or so to calm her down enough to fall asleep. Then, 5 am, she awakes, calls for me and when I arrive at her bedside, she announces, "it's not dark out." I assured her that indeed, it was still dark out and she should go back to sleep because that is what Mommy is going to do. Thank goodness she agreed, because I got to go back to sleep.

This is what Leda informs us of every morning when she wakes up. "It's not dark out, I wake up." It's very cute, but only after 7:30AM...6AM, not so cute. Definitely ugly at 5AM.

Oh, and yes, I got to watch LOST last night. So awesome. I am so happy it's back. For only eight weeks, darn writer's strike. But it's back. And yes, I watched Eli Stone. I missed parts of it (the monster was attacking Leda during the show) but I liked it. I thought it was kinda fun. And yes, I can not seem to get Faith OUT OF MY HEAD NOW!

It's gonna be a fun weekend. Leda and I will hang out tomorrow, Mommy and Daughter, as Daddy has to go work and then Mommy and Daddy get to have an adult night out with our next-door neighbors - we are going to go see Livingston Taylor at the local theater after a little dinner at the new Irish pub in town. So looking forward to it! And on Sunday, I will make a huge batch of chili and we will head over to our friends for the Super Bowl where I will root for the Giants for the second time this season. Possibly ever. Yeah, I don't care about records - I want to see the Patriots go down! In flames. Sorry New England readers. I can hold a grudge for YEARS! ;-)

So hopefully next week I will be more inspired to further discuss the decade of my teen years.

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