Monday, December 29, 2008
We were heading up to Maine on Saturday, for my friend Lexi's surprise baby shower. (I've written about her before, she's a near-and-dear friend from our days at Salve, and she's having her first child next month!) Will was comfy in the backseat, watching "Cars" and we were a hundred miles into the trip, with about eighty to go. We had also made hotel reservations in the area so we didn't have to make a return trip in the same day. Well...imagine OUR surprise when my car started to buck and vibrate!! We immediatley slowed down and it got a little less buck-y, and we were able to get to the next exit. Luckily we knew the area a bit since we had vacationed there a couple of years ago. I made some calls and found a Ford dealership, but it was eighteen miles away. (To anyone that says...why so many miles? This is Maine, people. There isn't a dealership on every corner like in MA!) So we drove slooooowwwllllyyy up Route One to the dealership, whom we had called ahead. They said that they were working with a skeleton crew that day, but were open til 4PM and would do what they could for us.
The dealer was amazing! Not only were they the nicest dealership I have ever encountered, they offered us sandwiches and use of their play area. They diagnosed the problem quickly (a misfiring cylinder) and had us out of there in a little less than two hours. They really made a rotten situation a little better! Had we been near home, all of the dealers would have been snarky about their Saturday hours and said that we would've had to wait until Monday.
Anyway, we ended up missing the shower. But we got to spend some one-on-one time with Lexi and her husband, which I think is even better!! Lexi loved her gifts from us, including the "Porn for New Moms" book that I found in North Carolina over the summer. (hilarious, any new moms should read for a laugh) Will certainly enjoyed playing with his racecars and Lexi's husband, Perry. Then it was a quick trip to our hotel room where we fell asleep fairly early in recovery from our "adventure." Next time I see Lexi she'll be a Mama!!
One of the best parts of this "adventure" is that Brian has decided that he can no longer make fun of me for knowing someone everywhere we go. I made two phone calls to friends in Maine and had the names and locations of a couple of dealerships, and if it came down to it, a place to stay the night!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
These Are a Few of My Favorite Christmas Things
Movie - Christmas Vacation (y'know, the one with Chevy Chase having the whole family over for the holidays and well...things go awry!) I also enjoy A Christmas Story and White Christmas.
Sweet - Rollo cookies!!! Also kahlua fudge, though I didn't make any this year.
Song -O Holy Night for seriousness, The Waitresses "Christmas Wrapping" for silliness
Tradition - Opening one gift on Christmas Eve
Gift Received - Brian coming home from naval deployment the first year we were dating.
Gift Given - That's a tough one. I love it when I give a gift to someone and it's a surprise and the person is pretty excited about it. (Thinking about it, who DOESN'T love that!!) My dad really liked his fishing vest this year, and Brian loved his new Alton Brown book.
Meal - Roast beef
First, we got up late to open presents and peek in stockings. (I DO realize that this is probably the last time Will is going to let us sleep in on Christmas morning!!) Santa was very good to Will this year, with "Cars" books, a Backyardigans bath boat, Mr. Potato Head and other goodies, not to mention his very first camera!! That is the favorite toy from Santa this year, he loves to walk around with it like he is a little photographer. And best of all, it takes real pictures!!
We had a houseful of guests yesterday, and a wonderful meal followed by more presents and then dessert. It was a magical day!
These are the pictures I had on my camera, I'm sure "Aunt Razzi" will send some very soon!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Once today is over, I'm off from work until next Monday, and I'm so excited! I can't believe Christmas Eve is tomorrow....and I'm not the only one that is excited!! Will and I read a book every night before bed called "Ho Ho Ho Tucker!" He always asks for Tucker, to take the book to bed with him. Last night, every time we saw Santa in the book he would yell "SANTA!!!" and kiss the book! Someone also taught him how to say "Merry Christmas" this week! It's really cute. Last week, he also learned "Happy Birthday" and kept pestering me on my birthday about the whereabouts of my party hat!
I probably won't post again until the weekend, so I want to wish all of my Blogland friends a Merry Christmas!!! Hope it's a great one!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I hope that my family can make it tomorrow to celebrate my birthday and watch the game!! It's not looking good, though. Another storm is brewing right on top of this one, starting tomorrow afternoon last I heard. Welcome, Old Man Winter! (Now get the hell out!) :)
Friday, December 19, 2008
It's 8am on Friday, December 19th and I've already had oodles of birthday wishes. Thanks!
I am (gasp!!) 32 years old today! Hard to believe. I used to wake up sad on my birthday that I was getting older, but why would I do that???? Life isn't perfect but I have a lot to be thankful for!!! Let's see....
1. First and foremost, my family. My husband rocks and my little man is the best!! I'm so lucky to have them in my life. And my parents and my brother and his fiancee....they're all awesome as well. I'm blessed to have such people in my life.
2. My friends. I have a great group of friends! Some are old friends that go all the way back to childhood and some I've made as recently as this month. Some are close aquaintances, and some are close enough that they'd hide a body for me. (not that I've ever needed this!!) Thanks for your friendship.
3. I have a snuggly dog that loves me unconditionally, even when some days all I do is yell for him to get off the couch/pick his food off the floor/stop being so jealous of Will.
4. I've got a roof over my head. And after last week's storm, this is no small feat!! We're thankful for not having lost power or had tremendous damage in last week's ice storm. But we know plenty of people who were affected, and some that STILL don't have power!!
5. I have a job that I love, and I have a job, period!
So I have a lot to be happy about!!! And in the past year I've learned to take a deep breath and make some time for me. Something I plan on still doing over the next new year. I've learned new crafting skills and discovered blogging. And to celebrate ME today, before the snowstorm hits, I'm going to treat myself to a massage and an eggnog latte at Starbucks. And since it looks like we'll be snowed in all night and not be able to go out to eat as planned, I'm going to bake a cake!
Thanks for all of your birthday wishes. :)
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The rule was that the ornament had to be handmade, but it didn't have to be from yarn. So I cross-stitched a snowman and turned him into a little ornament to add some cheer to a lucky recipient's Christmas tree. :) Also, I finally used my sewing machine...
Thanks, Mom, for showing me how to do it right!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
As soon as it was finished, I already missed the yarn flying between my fingers and onto the needles. So I started another one as a gift to my friend Tracy.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Sometimes he ends up gift-giving early because it's something we could really use in the moment. Like last year, when he had gotten me silicone cookie mats and we were about to bake a mess of cookies. Or this year.
It's cookie making weekend in our house.......anyone who knows us well knows that the first weekend of December we knock ourselves out baking. We make tons of cookies and give them away, ship them in packages and of course....indulge in some of them ourselves. :) Last night we were making the "short list" of what we wanted to bake and ranking them. (Yes, I'm aware that makes us big dorks, but hey, that's allright, cookies are awesome!) I was disappointed that we had to cut out one recipe because it needed a food processor. And anyone who's read this post knows that you can't use a blender in place of a food processor!
Suddenly, Brian opened the basement door to "listen for the washing machine "to see if it was done." He went downstairs to put towels in the dryer, and I went out to the computer. He comes upstairs and presents me with a box wrapped in Christmas paper and blue painter's tape, "Happy Birthday, Dear!!!" Oh boy, my very own food processor!!!
Now we can make "Pecan-Caramel Surprises" with the rest of our cookie menu. Thanks!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? A bit of both. It depends on what I'm wrapping
2. Real tree or Artificial? I love real trees! But I hate the mess, and the last one we had totally dried out before Christmas and was a disappointment. So I got a great deal last year on a pre-lit one.
3. When do you put up the tree? If we're traveling for Thanksgiving, right after we get back. We're putting it up today!
4. Do you like eggnog? I really like eggnog. But I'm the only one in the house, and I only like it once in a while, so I usually end up throwing some out.
5. Favorite gift received as a child? My Little Ponies, Cabbage Patch Kids. And the year we got our tent beds, that was pretty cool!
7. Hardest person to buy for? My Dad
8. Easiest person to buy for? Will, followed by my Mom
9. Do you have a nativity scene? I actually have a few of them, mostly received as gifts.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Hmm......perfume. I like to pick my own, and this scent was atrocious.
11. Favorite Chirstmas Movie? National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation!!!
12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? If I see something that strikes me as a great Christmas gift, I buy it anytime during the year and put it away. But I start in mid-November for the most part.
13 Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I have and would again...if I thought the recipient would like it or have a use for it more than I did.
14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Christmas cookies, and cocoa!
15. Lights on the tree? Lots of lights, color or white. Doesn't matter to me.
16. Favorite Christmas song? I like most of them, but the silly kids' ones are the best.
17 . Travel at Christmas or stay home? Since Will was born we stay home on Christmas Day. Travel to Philly the week after if possible.
18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph. (Yes, I had to sing the song in order to remember!!)
19. Angel on the tree top or a star? I like both. Right now we have an angel
20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Always one on Christmas Eve!
21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Grumpy shoppers. They're the biggest reason why I'll never work retail again!
22. Do you have an ornament theme or color? Not really.
23 . Favorite for Christmas dinner? I love roast beef for Christmas Dinner. To this day, I still miss my grandfather's famous Roast Beef!
24. . What do you want for Christmas this year? tangible: A new iPod, craft supplies. Intangible: experiencing Christmas through Will's eyes!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Brian came home last week and told me about this a capella group that he heard on the radio. This is footage from when these guys were in college in the late nineties. It was so popular last year that the guys reunited and cut a Christmas album. This really got me more in the holiday spirit, enjoy!!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
We're celebrating another milestone this weekend....Will's going into a toddler bed!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
What's that, you say? Well, the Mall stays open past normal closing hours on a Sunday, and you buy tickets to shop then and receive special discounts. There are some holiday treats and entertainment as well. It's always the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and I usually take care of a big chunk of shopping. Plus, it gives me some time out with one of my girlfriends, to do girl things!
I used to buy the tickets from the shelter where we got our dog, Joey. I emailed them a couple of weeks though, to see if they were selling tickets and I got a response that they hadn't been invited to participate this year! I was so bummed...I liked the fact that I could shop and donate to the shelter at the same time. So instead, I will collect some supplies from their Wishlist and donate them.
Happy Beginning of the Holidays, Everyone!
Friday, November 21, 2008
What a sad story!! I could not believe the things that Mr. McCourt has lived through. An alcoholic father, extreme poverty, three siblings dying from hunger and disease...it was very sad. I rooted for him when he took the ship to America at nineteen. I saw that there was a sequel called 'Tis, I might read it later on to see how life panned out in America and if his family followed him there later on.
This took me a while to read, I had to renew it twice at the library and that's not like me! I have one book left to complete The Challenge by January 31st, I haven't yet picked one out. I've checked to see if my library has a couple of them, but they don't!! So stay tuned.
That's a pretty small project though, and probably won't take too long. I was at a meeting on Tuesday night for an association of churches that we presented our WomenAid group to. (This association was pretty neat, it's all of the area churches working together in one group to support one another, run a food pantry, and a slew of other things. It's great to see different faiths working together like that, and they were very welcoming!!) During a break, we were talking to a woman who runs a local chapter of ConKerr Cancer. They make pillowcases for kids with cancer to brighten their days in the hospital. What a great idea! I brought home a brochure to check it out. I figure, pillowcases can't be all that hard to make. They're all straight seams, and except for the corners it looks fairly simple. So after the holidays, I'm going to get some fun, bright fabric and give it a whirl! Check out their website if you get a chance: ConKerr Cancer.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Let's see. What about the time that my friend Nicole and I painted our fingernails with permanent marker? Or when I sat in my desk drawer and catapulted the black and white TV on top? I know! My brother and I got caught stealing the neighbor's Christmas lights. That's a pretty funny story....now!!
2. What would your dream dress look like if you could design it?
Hmmmm. I loved my commencement ball dress from nine years ago. It was gold and cream and a ballgown, that reminded me of Belle in "Beauty and The Beast." I'll never get rid of that dress, even if I don't fit in it!
3. What weird habit does your hubby have?
He always sneezes two or three times right before he falls asleep. Always!
4. How many cookbooks are in your kitchen?
I keep all of my cookbooks in the family room. I have a whole lot, and I'm currently trying to go through some of them to see if I want to make anything in them. And if I don't....it's time for it to go!
5. Granny panties or loyal Victoria Secret girl?
I'm somewhere in the middle. Not quite granny....but not really cool Victoria's Secret ALL the time!
6. My favorite memory from 2008 so far is...
our family vacation in North Carolina. Seeing my parents play with Will and watching Will really experience the beach.
7. I secretly...
enjoy cheesy sitcoms, the cheesier the better.
8. I could really go for...
someone else to make dinner....I just don't feel like it tonight!
9. We are going to have a big snow storm and you will find me...
hopefully snowed in with the world stopped for just a little while.
10. I knew he was the one...
.....when he came home from a long deployment and I loved him even more! I got that feeling again when our son was born, and watched him become a totally hands-on dad.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Some parts of today were so frustrating, I get tight in the shoulders just thinking about it! First, I thought I was being SO smart, going to the library during the day today to return Will's Thomas DVD. Thomas the Tank Engine is his current favorite, and my current nemesis. We only watch Thomas on Sprout on Demand, and they have the same five episodes over and over. It's gotten to the point that I once told him that Thomas was broken and we had to watch something else. (You may judge me if you like, but I'll bet other parents have done that!) Anyway, Thomas was due back over the weekend but the weather was really crappy and I had a cranky toddler on my hands, so I didn't go to return it. I get to the library, only to have the librarian discover that the DVD isn't in the case. Guess where it is? You are correct....in the DVD player at home. All I could do was laugh! Because if I didn't laugh really hard in the library right then, I might cry! The librarian was nice enough to renew the DVD so I wouldn't incur any more charges until next week, but at this point I owe $1.50 on the dang thing when I bring it back.
Tonight I had a meeting to go to in a small town about 15 miles away. I had never been to this area of town before, so I needed my GPS system. Well, the GPS wouldn't suction to the windshield properly because Winter has reared its ugly head a bit early this year. So I ended up having to pull over quickly when the computer became a PROJECTILE! Luckily it didn't hit me, it wound up under my seat and I could hear Nina telling me to take a U-Turn. (Yes, my GPS is named Nina, more on that particular madness another time!) I was then on my merry way, to the meeting. Well, my programmed brain veered for the highway, which I didn't need to use this evening. I was already running late, and didn't even notice I had taken the turn to the Pike until I saw the tollbooth coming up!! Luckily, there's a park n ride. I was still the last person to get to the meeting, which was a bit embarrassing!
Now I am home safe and sound, in my warm PJ's and ready for some TV and slumber. Tomorrow is another day!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
On Saturday, I hosted a playgroup at our house for five Moms and Kids, including my monkey-man. He had a lovely time playing with all of his little friends and munching on snacks. The biggest hit of the playdate was a remote control car that all of the kiddos liked to chase into the kitchen. We sure had a lot of fun! Brian spent the afternoon helping lay a new Pergo floor at my parent's cottage. I also finally made it out to get some new 24-month clothes for Will, as we were getting a little sparse in the shirt dept. I even got in a little Christmas shopping, and came home feeling quite accomplished. Oh, and Joey, instead of being locked in the bedroom during the playdate, got a trip to the Doggie Spa. (aka Petsmart) He was miffed that he didn't get to hang out with the kids, but he sure smells good!
Today the alarm went off at 7:30, and after cursing at it once I grumbled out of bed. Today was Bridesmaid Day! I met up with my brother's fiancee (aka Auntie Paparazzi) and her sister and Mom, and we were really successful! It was the best shopping for a bridesmaid dress that I have ever done, because I didn't try on a blessed thing! All of the sample sizes were way too small, so her sister graciously tried them on because she was closer to the sample sizes. And I ordered mine. Here's what we decided to go with:
Kim (aka Auntie Razzi) also showed me how to purl!! My scarf is almost finished, and well, it's pretty wonky-looking. But I'm pretty proud of it! I plan on starting a new one shortly thereafter to try my new stitch skills.
So, that's pretty much it. Now I'm ready for dinner, putting Will to bed and hanging out with Brian and catching up on some TV before the work week comes around again.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
1. Ketchup. Heinz or none!
2. Q-tips. Q-tip brand has the most cotton. The others wear thin and quickly to the stick.
3. Soda. Well, to be more specific, cola. The fruity ones aren't so bad.
4. And my latest is taco dinner kits. The taco sauce is a weird color, and who folds these taco shells? I ended up dumping most of my taco!
Ice cream used to be on the list, until I tried Price Chopper's Central Market brand. That's actually some good stuff!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Hollywood's streak of re-making movies is getting a little old. The latest I've read about is that they're re-doing The Karate Kid. Seriously....somebody write some new screenplays!! Let me guess what's next--Goonies? E.T.? A Christmas Story? Re-doing a movie doesn't necessarily make it better. If anything, most of the time people liked the original version! I can't think of any movies taht I liked the second version better. If you can, let me know.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Now I am coloring with Will and then going to bake banana nut muffins. What a great day. Enjoy it!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
I've had this Snow Village Christmas Tree Skirt in the back of my craft closet for years. Now that I think about it, my friend Maureen and I bought cross-stitch tree skirts back in 2003. So, five years. Hers was animals, and I fell in love with the snowman village. Hers is finished, but she had someone do it for her. Mine has hung out and watched while I've made baby items, wedding records and other projects. I came across it while I was looking to make some ornaments and I just felt, Gee! It would be great to do that.
So, I pulled it out and blew the dust off. (after five years, there was a bit of dust!) It's not that the pattern is daunting or that it is a difficult fabric. It's just so dang big!!! This is not the kind of thing that I am going to finish in a month. At the rate that it takes me to finish small things, this is going to take at least a year. And I know that I don't have the attention span to just work on "this one thing." But who says it needs to be done for this Christmas, or next? And I'll never finish it if I don't start it.
So, today is the day. Wish me luck!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I dressed up for work today because I have a bunch of skirts and really, why don't I wear them more often? What am I saving them for? Oh yeah... I don't wear them because I hate pantyhose. I stick my nails through them, I beat the hell out of them, and frankly, I just don't have the patience for it. But today, I decided to tempt fate.
Bad idea. It was a busy day, and I totally shredded the pair from the thigh down. And I had a bunch of work errands today. So that's how I ended up at CVS, frantically looking at sizing charts and buying a pair and finding somewhere to put them on! (which ended up being the daycare, thank goodness! My other choice was a McDonald's bathroom.)
Now for the other reason pantyhose are a "Tool of the Devil.": who writes these damn size charts!? The ones I bought were supposedly the right size for my weight and would fit a woman anywhere from 5 feet to 6 feet tall. Yeah, a foot's difference. After pulling for all I'm worth, I managed to barely get them all the way up and had to adjust all day. (Not a pretty picture, but you have it anyway. You're Welcome!) If a six-foot woman around my same weight tried to put them on, she'd kick her way through them!
So anyway, I'm back to pants.....
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Happy Halloween, Everyone!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I found the story of Oscar and his challenges and his family fascinating. Judging by the title, I expected the sad ending, but didn't realize how bad I would feel for him or his family.
This book is NOT a quick read by any means. I liked the author's style of writing, I've never read a book quite like it. He goes a lot into Dominican history in his footnotes to describe why something is the way it is with his characters. I am not sure if it is based on a true story or fiction.
I think that it really helps to have a working knowledge of the Spanish language. I speak Spanish (albeit not fluently, but enough to get by) and if you don't speak or understand the language, you are going to miss a lot in this book. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
Monday, October 27, 2008
I also tried something new today....making my own jewelry. I went to a class at someone's house today and made a necklace and earrings. So I got to hang out with other Mamas and make something pretty. It was SO MUCH FUN!! I will definitely do that again. No pictures this time....what I made is actually a Christmas present for someone.
The jewelry is actually the first thing I've finished in quite a while. I have a bunch of projects started that I just need to sit down and finish. I'm just discovering all of these things that I've never tried that I want to do! My creative side is bursting with energy! :)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
1. I've been known for my good memory. Most of the time it's like a steel trap, however, lately it's not as sharp as it used to be. If you want to know anything that was in People magazine in the last two years, name every job I've ever had in order, or the name of that guy in college whose dorm you sneaked in by shimmying up the drainpipe? I'm your girl. But what I was just saying five minutes ago or who the hell I loaned my Sex and the City Seasons 2 and 3 DVD's to? Not so much!
2. I really wish I had more opportunities to travel. There's so much of the US and the world that I would like to see!! I've never had a job that required a lot of travel, and now I don't want one because of my family. But I really would like to travel more. I guess I can save that for "The RV Years" when Brian and I retire and drive all over the country! (We'll see....)
3. When I was in first grade, I got in trouble for painting my nails with a black permanent marker with the girl next door. Do you know how long it takes for that crap to wear off????
4. A big thank you to the person that invented the brownie pan that makes every square an edge piece. There's something to put on my Christmas list!!
5. I once had aspirations to be a teacher. Now I work with the elderly and I'm thrilled. Go figure.
6. Will won't ever be allowed to watch The Wiggles or Barney. I put my foot down!!
7. I wish I hadn't had such bad stage fright when I was younger. I think I would have liked to get involved in local theatre companies. I love, love, love live theatre! Even to work behind the scenes would've been fun. I wish I had done that. Guess it's too late now.
I'm not going to tag anyone....instead I'll tag everyone! If you read and become inspired to share, go for it!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
This weekend is Will's birthday party! Still have some prepwork to do, so ta-ta for now!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Will has this little table and chair set that he's starting to outgrow. Well, it only has one chair because the other one broke....practically right out of the box! (Cheapies...I tell ya!) So while at BJ's last week I spotted a "Cars" themed table and chair set that I knew he'd love. It's kind of like an easel/desk style table, and it's pictured with a red chair to go with it. Brian put it together tonight so it would be a surprise in the morning. Imagine our surprise when we had a "Batteries Not Included???" moment.....there's no chair!! In tiny miniscule print on the bottom of the box......"chair not included." Humph. Oh well! It pulls up to the futon nicely, I dare say. :)
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday brought us a day of partying...we took Will to his first Halloween Party. We dressed him in his monkey costume, and he was so adorable, complete with monkey noises. The party was great, lots of cute kids in costume, good food and music. Too bad Will just wanted to play in the corner, refuse to share and taking away toys, and cry. Ah well. Every parent's been there, right? So we stayed an hour and headed home for a spell. Then it was get ready and head out to our second party of the weekend--Auntie Kim's Surprise 30th Birthday Party! We had a lot of fun, and she was truly surprised. Will helped her blow out her candles while we all sang "Happy Birthday," something he's going to get to do three times this week! He loved running around the house and saying hello to all of the guests. I'm sure glad that we remembered to bring some pajamas for him, because "Mr. Marathon" fell asleep on the way home. It was really nice just to plunk him into the crib, and then collapse on the couch myself!
With all of the fun on Saturday, Sunday has turned into a day to rest. And by rest, I mean clean the house, shop, do laundry, etc etc etc. I am sure Will's parents are going to sleep well tonight!