so perhaps i was a bit hasty in my earlier impression…

Ok, so Philadelphia isn’t all bad. There are some nice parts and some are even pretty picturesque. However, i have never seen a city where there is such blatant disregard for any litter laws (if they have them here). The strange part is that it is so filthy that you expect only gang-bangers, druggies and homeless to be in the neighborhood, but instead you just see normal middle-class people waking the dog, driving past and throwing the leftover dinner out the window, or walking the kids to school. weird. enough about gross things…

i take that back. Today we went to a museum of medical oddities here in philly called the Mutter Museum. (pronounced mooder. just google it). I was in a medical museum in Asia, so I’ve seen some nasty canned body parts in my time, and being married to AJ, we of course went the Bodies exhibit when it was in town, but i still reserve the right to get grossed out and mentally scarred when walking past a jar with conjoined stillborn twins on one side and a giant colonishy thingamajig.

anyway…

Today’s post goes out to AJ. Five years ago tomorrow we said  I Do to each other for the first of many times.

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I’m not even going to attempt to catch up…

i’m using one of those “ergonomic” keyboards where they’re split in in two so that you don’t get carpal tunnel. I hate them.

We are in philadelphia right now and before i say anything else, I would like to applaud philadelphia for making me appreciate the emerald jewel that is seattle. Philadelphia is one dirty little hairy armpit of a city. dirty, nasty, gross. we were walking through chinatown from our bus this afternoon and the smells were so bad I was actually doing that sound that you make just before you throw up. you know, that funny-stomach-lurching gagging sound.  I know there are some neat things about this city, like…the history. We walked down to do the ultimate taste-test of cheesesteaks at Pats and Geno’s and the funny thing was how you never see all the garbage on all the travel shows. Seriously, i’ll post a picture when i get back so you all can see how dirty it was–not in the restaurant, just everywhere around it.

Anyway, traveling is way way way different with a baby. we are definitely having fun, but the challenging part is the little persnickety stinker we brought with us. We’ve had to re-prioritize some things to see and spend extra time in parks trying to catch pigeons, but on the whole–it’s been awesome. Violet is one city-savvy little bebe.

Our current hosts have two cute cats who love Violet. It is a very mutual love though and Violet is loving the new friends.

By the way, I thought tiny expensive grocery stores were just a European thing. Not so. I still have yet to find a decent grocery store to buy food. We found a “huge” one tonight for some fresh nectarines and it was the size of the produce department at haggen. sad.

Trust me, there are other stories…most i can only tell you in person because…well, you’ll find out.

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Aaaand we’re off!

Here is a picture of me just now. I am carrying everything we will be taking with us on this 17 day adventure. That’s right, you should be amazed.

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I learned my lesson the hard way when I went on a mission trip to Asia a few years ago and thought that it would be a good idea to just pack everything inside a duffel bag that was big enough for me to fit into. Literally. I have a picture somewhere with just my face peeking out of the zipper hole. By the time I finished filling it and my friends finished taking advantage of my ignorant generosity, my bag tipped the scales at over 70 pounds. Guess who had to carry it all through the airport? And by “carry” I mean physically support completely.

Anyway, we leave tomorrow morning at 6am, so who knows what kind of quantity and quality this blog will be seeing for the next few weeks. I do promise tons of amazing pictures when I get back…because, AJ and Violet will be in them, and they’re amazing.

Au revoir!

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I do have standards, you know…

Here’s one thing I won’t eat: Brussel Sprouts.

I never really remember having to eat brussel sprouts when I was growing up. I know that my mom planted them in the garden one year, but I don’t remember ever actually eating them. I do know that she never grew them after that.

A few years ago I figured out why. AJ and I were in the grocery store trying to think of an interesting vegetable to pair with a steak, (new york strip for those of you who wonder about that sort of thing) and we came across Brussel Sprouts.

“Have you ever had Brussel Sprouts? I haven’t.”

“No, I wonder what they taste like…a cabbage maybe?”

We took a whole bag of those cute tiny cabbages home, steamed them to perfection and served them with butter and seasonings alongside our steak.

First bite: Involuntary gag.

Second bite: dutiful chewing.

Third bite: spat into the napkin.

Here’s what I’ve always wondered since then; is there a scenario where brussel sprouts taste good? All you vegetable-haters can keep your comments to yourselves here–I love vegetables in all shapes and sizes…except small, round, green, and leafy.

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Shoe Envy

Violet loves shoes. I’ve raised my little girl right. The other day we were at target, and she was trying to put pairs of shoes over her other shoes. AJ made a comment about her being obsessed with shoes and I said, “Hey, at least it’s not purses.” She also likes to wear shoes in the house all day, and would never think of leaving the house without a pair on.

Today she had a friend visit. Little Isla sat down and made the mistake of exposing her cute shoes. Violet promptly snatched the closest one off her foot and ran away.

(this evening we discovered that Violet can now identify all her facial parts. here I thought she was ignoring me..)

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Dance, Dance, Revolution

Today’s post goes out to Pastor Tim Poetzl. Apparently, he’s come up with a unique way to teach his young children the art of genuine forgiveness and apologies.

It goes like this:

1. have your children hold hands and face each other.

2. next, they must either sing songs made up on the spot of how much they love each other,

or

3. tell each other things they like about each other.

He was laughing in the recounting of a recent incident involving one such “punishment” because of how funny and hard it is for children to have to apologize this way…funny, and hard, and effective.  You see, when I was growing up, my siblings and I fought “like junkyard dogs” as my mother would say. It’s not like we had any lasting bitterness towards each other, but…siblings fight–it’s one of the facts of life unless you are the product of immaculate conception. My parent’s method for getting us to make up? Slow dancing. That’s right–you thought holding hands and singing songs to your nemesis sounded painful? Try slow dancing, complete with the arm on the shoulder and the hand on the waist as you twirl the living room to the “dancing” music sung by your delighted parents while you hold on to the one person you nearly came to blows with moments earlier.  See, slow dancing has a way of making most people feel somewhat ridiculous, and when you feel ridiculous and that ridiculous moment is shared with another person who feels equally ridiculous–you get a completely different perspective on the tiff you were just having.

AJ and I can’t wait to try out both of these methods some day.

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several things, pertinent or not.

Violet is officially a walker. Meaning, not a crawler …ever again…sad. *sniff*

AJ just found a watermelon seed in the clean laundry. That means it went through the washer and dryer. interesting.

I spent my morning contacting potential hosts for couchsurfing during our three week tour of the east coast. Yes, they might be an ax-murderer, yes, i’m doing it anyway. Actually, couchsurfing is an awesome way to travel besides the obvious perk of free housing. You get to meet locals who set you up with the best tips and tricks to get around town, make new friends who are probably way different from you, and eat interesting new foods. The percentage of people who have a solely negative experience with couchsurfing is extremely small.  We actually have a couchsurfing couple coming to spend saturday night with us all the way from baltimore. Parting thought: if you have one adventurous bone in your body, you need to try couchsurfing.

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The Sauce Stashers

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You’ve seen them…furtively grabbing hand fulls of hot sauce packets for their lonely little taco, using one and then shoving the rest in their pockets. Men in power suits with a laptop, old women with flowers on their hat, little kids with big pockets in their baggy jeans. All of them–sauce stashers. It’s not stealing if they’re free, right? I think our personal record is…a ton. literally, almost a ton. You see, I am a sauce stasher. I wasn’t always this way, until once upon a time I got married to a shameless sauce stasher who had perfected the snatch, stash, and dash routine with the local Taco Bell. At first I resisted his advances to put his hand-fulls of sauce in my purse for our “lunch” (and dinner, and lunch, and dinner, and…) but when I realized that doing so meant I was walking out of Taco Bell next to a man with bulging pockets and hands full of sauce packets, and that Taco Bell sauce makes amazing quesadillas at home….well, lets just say I’m one of them now.

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To Do:

suck the helium out of your daughter’s old birthday balloons and sing to her. She may be indifferent to the tonal changes in you voice, but I promise you’ll get a kick out of yourself.

So apparently, there’s this place socks go to. I’m not sure where it is, or how they get there, but somewhere there is a giant room full of mismatched socks. When I still lived at home with my parents, all my siblings knew where that room was because I kept losing my socks. If you share a house and a laundry room with nine other people, there’s bound to be at least one person with a sock-vendetta in the laundry room at any given time. I was quite relived once I got married and moved in with AJ to find that he had no idea where this room was either, and so we lived many blissful years of matched socks. The end.

oh wait, we had a baby. Not only does she know where this room is, she aggressively searches for socks to put there. When I was folding laundry this afternoon, she crawled up and snatched one out of the pile and headed off to find a suitable portal to the sock room.

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so.

Quote of the Day:

“If every time I fussed someone stuffed cheese in my mouth, I’d be cranky too!”

Violet loves cheese. she loves it so much that she’ll already be begging for more when she still has her mouth full.

I saw a picture of a rooster today. It reminded me of Dan Quail. Not Dan Quayle, although his amazing hair may or may not have inspired my parents to name our rooster after him.

This isn’t actually a picture of Dan Quail, but it is a picture of Dan Quayle. You see the resemblance? Actually, Quail looked much more like Quayle in real life. You’ll be happy to know, he was an undefeated rooster; he had a giant harem, and he lived to be 95 in chicken years.

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5 Things You May or May Not Know

  1. mikes hard mango punch is worth every penny.
  2. you can get sunburns on top of other sunburns.
  3. murphy’s law is real. just ask AJ’s dad and his boat.
  4. it is possible to go an entire day without realizing your underwear are on inside out.
  5. i got a best of show ribbon at the local fair for this picture.

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i don’t see it, but i’m not about to look this gift horse in the mouth.

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shtuff

up at 4

make breakfast

drive aj to work

james 1

sleeping past the alarm

zucchini stirfry

hot car

gym

lunch with AJ

home

nap for her

laundry for me

over the river and though the woods

to Grandmother’s house we go

make zucchini bread

pick up AJ

shopping at marshalls

dinner with my family

(i didn’t want to cook)

drive home following the moon

playing on the bed with Violet

blogging

bible

bed

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One of the ways AJ is a great dad

The following was overheard during story time.

“No! don’t eat me” said the gingerbread man to the fox. “Instead, lets go back to my house and the old man and the old woman will make us tons and tons of gingerbread people for us to eat in a cannibalistic feast!”.

1. AJ likes to paraphrase story books.

2. He especially likes to paraphrase them when they change the original ending of the nursery story to being something PC and cheesy.

If i was making a list of awesome things, the Santa Claus Mellon would definately be on it. It was the most amazing mellon I have ever had in my entire life. I bought it this afternoon at schuh farms in stanwood. Here’s a picture I found online. Go buy one. Seriously. Now.

Ok, so I know I missed yesterday’s entry for the

Five Things You’re Probably Not Doing With Five Things You Probably Have

So I’m doing three and four today. Here goes.

Third thing: Baking soda.

  1. Sprinkle, let sit, and then vacuum off of carpets and upholstery in place of carpet freshener.
  2. Sprinkle in bath for softer skin.
  3. Make a paste with water and apply to bug bites for relief.
  4. Sprinkle (again) into the laundry basket to keep odors at bay before you wash.
  5. 1 teaspoon of baking soda for 4 cups of water to keep cut flowers fresh longer.

Fourth thing: Lemons/Lemon juice.

  1. Spray or wipe lemon juice on the inside of your shower or bath and let sit 15 minutes at least to dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits.
  2. 1/2 cup into the clothes washer to brighten without bleaching.
  3. Dab on a blemish to help it clear up quicker.
  4. Rub a cut lemon on wooden cutting boards to remove strong odors.
  5. Throw lemon peels and ice cubes down garbage disposal to freshen and clean.
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Ritual

The Lord bless you and keep you,

The Lord make His face shine upon you,

and give you peace, and give you peace, and give you peace forever

Tonight, like every night, I watch Violet try to find the best spot in her crib to curl up as we sing her to sleep. She tries several different positions before settling on her favorite; legs pulled up underneath her, head to the side, and on her stomach. We rub her back while crooning softly this Aaronic blessing that has been sung many times before over the past centuries. Rituals are important when they connect humanity with God and remind us of the bigger picture that we have only just now been painted into.

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Not once, mind you

Today I burned dinner. twice.

I feel it necessary to defend myself here and say that my memory has gone downhill since I became a mother, but in truth…I’m a chronic food burner. I will go out on a limb here and confess that I find myself to be an amazing cook (so humble, yes, thank you), but unfortunately a creative cook does not a clock watcher make.

I burnt dinner the first time when I had pinto beans on the stove soaking. I was heading out for a walk with Violet to the library and I decided that while we got ready I would turn the beans on to get the cooking process started. As soon as we were ready to leave, I then turned off the beans and put the lid on. Wait, I lied. I actually just walked out the door to return a hour later to a house full of smoke while holding a sleeping baby. Once every door and window was open (which isn’t saying a lot when you live in a condo) I went and sat on the patio holding the still-sleeping baby so that we could wait out the smoke that was billowing from the windows.

If you’ve ever cooked beans from scratch, you know how bad they smell when they burn. real real bad.

Anyway, by this time it was too late to start the beans over again, so I switched directions and decided to cook some brown rice instead. I filled up the pot with the rice and water, turned on the stove and went upstairs to change Violet. A little while later, we went back downstairs just in time to try some perfectly steamed rice with soy sauce. Actually, I realized that the burnt bean smell was getting worse and worse until it occurred to me that the smell was more like burnt rice. that’s right, I came downstairs to see smoke billowing from the top of the second dinner of the day.

Needless to say, I didn’t turn on the stove again and let AJ cook tomato basil soup for dinner when he got home.

the worst part? my house reeks. reeks (reeks.) Here’s how bad; when we were leaving the gym tonight and I opened my locker to pull my bag out, the locker smelt like smokey burnt beans and rice.  Any bright ideas here? I’ve already misted the whole house with white vinegar and febreeze…

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birth day

Violet was born with her eyes open.

“Okay, this is it, no more waiting!

My breath was coming in ragged gasps now that the oxygen mask had fallen off. The room was suddenly full of people waiting and watching.

The cord must be getting mashed; the baby’s heart rate keeps dropping.”

“Are you ready to move to the ICU as soon as it’s born?

“Get that oxygen over here, now!”

The dull buzz of conversation was secondary to the hammering of my heartbeat as I fought to control the waves of pain, fear, and fear of pain. Only moments ago, there had just been the three of us in this room, but now that my baby’s heart rate was fluttering erratically, the nurse had hit the alarm button and every specialist on staff had raced to our room.

Listen to me now, you can’t push just with the contractions any longer–don’t stop pushing.”

The urgency in my nurse’s voice fueled my determination as I willed my body to do everything necessary to keep my baby safe. Never mind that I had just re-realized that what goes up must come down, or in this case–what grows to be 6 pounds, 6 ounces, must now physically traumatize my body.

I had always wanted to be a mother, growing up with seven younger siblings. Not that I always liked my siblings, but I just figured that it’d definitely be something I’d like to do someday. That someday became a someday soon after AJ and I had been married for a couple of years, and realized that we wanted to look into the eyes of someone that was a perfect mix of the two of us. There’s probably an instance in every new parents’ life where they look at their baby and then each other, and exclaim, “Look what we made!”

I could feel the blood vessels in my eyes straining with my efforts. I knew my face must have been completely purple because they told me to hold my breath when I was pushing, in order to make it more effective.

“Push harder!”

I turned my head to look at the male pediatrician who was waiting in case there was a problem as he spoke. Oh really? you wanna come over here and show me how it’s done? I thought to myself as I glared back at him. It’s funny to me (now) that I could have actually been mad at that moment, because every cell of my body was convinced that this was the moment of my death, and (newsflash!) death hurts–real bad.

In the next second, I realized three things. One, the worst was over and I was not dead. Two, everyone was silent. And three, Violet’s eyes were open and looking around in curiosity. I gave a final heave of effort, and was greeted with a flurry of activity as Violet started crying and the pediatrician and other NNICU specialists hurried to make sure all her vital signs were present and accounted for.

5:47 pm

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hmmm

Wowza! I’m tired tired tired.

Not too tired however, to include this awesome quote from Blessong my brother.

“Do you guys have a dictionary for pig latin?”

I love it.

In baby news, Violet now has 4 teeth. She finally got the fourth one in on Thursday, and she’s already teething again. She’s also still not walking, but stands on accident when she forgets to sit. Won’t be long now I’m thinking.

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Yes, please!

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I am completely fascinated by clouds. This picture was taken this afternoon on the freeway from my cellphone. I’ve always thought they looked so amazing and I wish I could sleep in one or walk around in one. Weird, I know. People always joke about heaven just being about sitting on a cloud and playing a harp. I say, “Yes, please!”

For Father’s Day today, we went to applebees for barbecued chicken wings at half-price. Picture this: AJ and I are sitting across from each other in a booth and Violet is on AJ’s side. (we wanted to make sure they knew AJ was a dad, do that we could get the Father’s Day special.) Violet is picking each of the sugar packets out of the little dish, and putting them back in, one by one. Each time she restarts this process, she gets a little messier and more dramatic, and by the time she’s done there are sugar packets all over the table and booth seat. Now the chicken wings arrive. First, we try convincing her that we are actually just eating the celery sticks and when she doesn’t buy it, we give her a chicken bone to chew on. Totally cute. Now my daughter has BBQ sauce on her cute little shirt. Next, the potato skins arrive. I cut one up and scrape the bacon off for her. She’s already bored of the first drumstick, having sucked all the flavor off, so she has a new one. Since she has two now, she insists on trading back and forth between them. There’s really no food on the chicken bones, so when the potato is cool enough, she devours it and potato mixes with the BBQ sauce all over her clothes, face, hands, feet, and the booth and table. greatest memory of the day? Watching my daughter dance to the music playing in Applebees, while double-fisting potato and sucking on chicken bones.

Here’s to AJ; what an awesome Dad!

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This is why you’re fat

It’s actually the name of a website. We visit it often. Here it is. Before you progress any further into this post, please click on the “here” link so you can get an idea of where I’m coming from.

AJ desperately wants to get something to submit to this website. I told him that if he came up with something I would make it. My mistake. Here, is his idea.

  1. First, you take 2 slices of chocolate chip banana bread
  2. then, you smear one side with marshmallow cream and the other side with Nutella
  3. Then, you sandwich these together with banana slices in the middle.
  4. After which, you dunk the whole thing in yellow cake mix batter.
  5. Next, deep fry the sandwich, taking care to keep it together.
  6. When it cools, dip the whole thing in melted milk chocolate,
  7. and roll it in toasted almonds and coconut.
  8. serve with whip cream and a cherry on top.
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Basil, where have you been all my life?

Yes, I may have always known that basil was amazing. I just didn’t know how amazing.

Tonight: fresh basil leaves all over my burger. Amazing!

Violet is now officially throwing temper tantrums, which means we are now officially spanking. If you think spanking is child abuse, then by “spanking” I mean we are “gently affirming her spirit by speaking words of encouragement whenever she does something right.”

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quote of the day

“It’s like the perfect kiss: you have a mouth-full of spaghetti, and I have a mouth-full of french bread!”

I didn’t say it was appropriate.

Overheard today at costco:

“…and you know it’s good because Ranch Dressing has been around for a long time!”

Yeah, the ancient pharaohs used it on their…food. The Roman Empire? Caesar sent it in vats to feed his troops. Don’t get me started on the real reason King Henry VIII killed that Boleyn chick. That’s right, she ate her salads with Thousand Island dressing.

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Snapshot into my day…

Sitting on the grass at Volunteer park,

eating watermelon.

Violet is charming some of my cousins.

My Dad is eating his birthday cake and telling a story to his brother.

AJ is trying to fend of the watergun attacks of my little brothers.

My Mom and my aunts are deep in conversation.

Angel is talking to my cousin about her new baby.

Trustin is showing off his burn to Obey.

Shown is hovering over Violet.

3 picnic tables

lots of sunshine

lots of food

lots of green grass.

4 very sick squirrels.

(maybe we were feeding them…cake…and frosting. they were very bold and came right up close so that one of my brothers wiped frosting on one who sat licking it off for quite a while.)

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I usually don’t kiss and tell, but…

Violet is learning how to kiss. It’s the cutest thing ever. In the past she just tolerated kissing, but now she is learning to make an “O” with her lips. She doesn’t purse them yet, so it’s a pretty wet kiss, but very cute.

Here’s what I bought at the grocery store today for $10.81

35 pounds of carrots, apples, and watermelon.

Quote of the Day:

“Wouldn’t it be awesome if Chloe went out in the park and a big dog just came up there and ate her?”

My husband, ladies and gentlemen.

(for the record, Chloe is the neighbor’s yappy little dog.)

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Say it ain’t so!

I’m still completely flummoxed in regards to the dead bird foot in my kiddie pool. After laying in bed thinking about it last night, the only logical explanation I can come to is that my neighbor threw it over the fence. If you knew my neighbor, you might come to the same conclusion.

Anyway, today marks my Mother-in-Law’s nursing school graduation. If she were reading this over my shoulder right now, she would probably have me mention that it was her idea before it was AJ’s, and that she actually started first. Real life has a way of intervening on plans, but twenty-some-odd years later, she’s finally an RN. Way to go! (Also, props on a very entertaining graduation ceremony. Best people watching I’ve had in years.)

I love people watching.

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Happy Birthday to the Queen

apparently it’s her birthday in Australia

My mom reminded me that the Old Mother Hubbard nursery rhyme gets worse. Here’s one of the next verses:

She went to the baker’s
To buy him some bread;
But when she came back
The poor dog was dead.

Now that’s just cute.

Quote Of The Day

“They’re just like crunchy little mouse turds, minus the flavor.”

Don’t ask. Okay, it was AJ. He was talking about how he never liked rice growing up until I introduced him to brown rice. Don’t ask me how he knows what mouse turds taste like.

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Pinata Post

I called it that because this one is a mixed bag of goodies. Here we go.

First off, I forgot to mention yesterday that in the midst of my shameful bowling episode, Violet came to my rescue and peed all over me so that we had to leave. There’s a first for everything I guess. She had had a sippycup  with watered-down juice on the way to the bowling alley and that stuff went through her way faster than I anticipated. I was standing there holding her and the next thing I knew, my stomach was wet and there was a curious dripping on the toe of my rented bowling shoe. No, we didn’t tell them as we returned it. Is that bad?

Secondly, my 4th brother broke his wrist, and the quack Dr. they took him to decided to put him in a cast from the middle of his bicep to his hand. A broken WRIST!On second thought, maybe this Doc knew my family and my brother’s propensity for danger. Hmmm…I take back the “quack” part.  Anyway, as soon as he walked in the door today withhis new cast we were armed to greet him with markers. The first three quotes to grace his arm?

“Given is a sexy beast.”

“GIRL MAGNET!”

“Blessong is cooler.” (Blessong is his younger brother)

sorry Mom and Dad, you have to admit it’s funny.

And now, in today’s relevant news: National Doughnut Day. I hope you ate one. I did. AJ made me do it….AJ and maybe me. I probably shouldn’t have because there are plenty of times that I eat doughnuts when it isn’t  National Doughnut Day, but when you have some of the most amazing doughnuts available to the public five minutes from your house…

Lastly (Is that a word? Will one of you get back to me on that?), this is mostly an explanation for my husband as to why it takes me so long to shower in the women’s locker room at the sports club that we just joined. (Let me tell you, EX-PEN-SIVE!) Here’s a rundown of everything I do in the order that I do it as soon as I enter the room.

  1. Cover my eyes. seriously, the only people that should be modest in a changing room are the only ones that aren’t! I have no beef with naked people…they just gross me out.
  2. Go to my locker and get out my towel and switch out my shoes for flipflips. Did I mention I’m a major germ-a-phobe?
  3. Go to a bathroom stall to undress and wrap myself in said towel. Don’t touch the towel to anything.
  4. Carry all my things back to my locker and put them in my bag. The trick here is to not bend over too far; see above point.
  5. Walk over to the shower stall and shower; being careful not to touch anything.
  6. Next is the precarious process of drying myself without (a) touching anything, or (b) accidentally flashing some old lady who probably can’t see that far anyway.
  7. Rewrap myself in the towel and head back to the locker to extract my clean clothes.
  8. Once back in the bathroom stall, I dress. Only this time with the handicap of slightly damp and tacky skin which makes this whole process much slower. Again with the whole not touching anything.
  9. Almost done. See, you’re getting tired too! I told you it took me a long time to get ready.
  10. Finally, put the wet towel in a plastic bag and into my gym bag,
  11. deodorant,
  12. lotion,
  13. foundation,
  14. curl eyelashes,
  15. mascara,
  16. hair.
  17. Go back to locker and try to fit everything in the gym bag which seems to have mysteriously shrunk, and this is inconvenient because i have more stuff now.
  18. aaaaand….TIME!

See, he thinks I waste all my time on long showers or the sauna. I wish!

Later, Ya’ll

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i freaking love summertime

seriously.

last summer i was grossly pregnant. I mean “grossly” in the sense that my whole being was fully involved in the overheated–puffy-footed–waddling-walk’d–itchy-bellied-hot-mess of getting a baby ready for the world.

this summer is going to be everything last summer couldn’t…and the last 4 summers before. NO SUMMER SCHOOL. can i get an amen?

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the beginning of an era

that would be the era of “Kids Eat Free.”
Seriously, we went to IHOP tonight and ordered a kiddie meal of chicken strips, fries, and apple slices FOR FREE. Violet didn’t eat a whole lot of it, but we were kind of counting on that, which is why we ordered something that sounded good to us. Just found another way to stick it to the man.

Oh, and another entry in the Great Things About Childhood category; backyard swimming pools. Tonight after IHOP, we stopped by target and got Violet a little inflatable pool for $5 so that she could have a pool to cool off in on our patio. You’ll probably see a post here in a few days about how that pool leaked water all over the patio, or how I got light-headed trying to blow it up, but whatev…

Today my sister and I made French Vanilla ice cream with white chocolate and vanilla wafer pieces. my ice cream maker chickened out when it started getting thick so it didn’t get churned too long, which makes it a little icy, but it still tastes amazing.
Tomorrow, my little cousin gets married. weird.

this is the part where i usually hit the “spell check” button, but i’m just not feelin it tonight, so if you see a typo, chalk it up to non-automatic spell check.

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No autographs, please.

My husband got to defibrillate a man today and give him CPR. Yes, he’s a nurse, but it was still exciting.

And now, a moment of silence for how great my life is: my husband saved a life today, and my precious daughter is sleeping in her bed after laying her down and singing to her.

ok, so i know you have free time on your hands, otherwise you wouldn’t be here, so go to this site real quick: www.cakewrecks.com

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Childhood Revisited

One of the best parts about being a parent is that you get to do all the things that adults are too old for but are still great fun.

Case in point: bubbles. Need I say more? This afternoon I got a bubble wand at Target and when AJ and I got home we took Violet out to the park to introduce her to the wonders of bubbles. I am not at all embarrassed to admit that we probably had more fun than she did because we go to do all the bubble-making. We took turns waving the bubble wand to make bubbles while the other one held Violet and ran after to bubbles to try and pop them.

When I was young enough to earn my Grandma’s nickname of “Peawee”, I remember playing in the park with my parents when they had just gotten a bubble maker. I’m not sure what it was called, but it involved using nylon cord to form the bubble shapes and the bubbles were the sizes of small cars. When you’re two or three years old, and you’re chasing after a bubble five times your size–its amazing. As you can tell, this obviously had a strong impression on me.

Other great things about childhood that adults don’t do but still like:

pushup popsicles

playing in puddles

make-believe games

couch-cushion forts in the living room.

reading in bed with a flashlight.

sleepovers.

running around naked.

mud pies

splashing in the bath

building forts in the woods.

playing hide and seek

summer break

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not my problem

Violet just discovered that AJ has armpit hair and is very intent on investigating further.

here’s what I had for dinner…because you care.

1 slice wheat bread

1 slice potato bread

mayo (not…never miracle whip)

mustard

mashed avocado

tomato slices

lettuce

roast beef

bacon

salami

havarti

red onion

…compile….key word being pile.

there is no bad combination of quality meats, cheeses and vegetables on a sandwich.

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Seattle Cheese Festival or Bust

key word being “bust”.

I’ve been in some serious crowds before. This, was a serious crowd. (by serious, i mean huge and humongous, not sober and austere). After taking the wrong bus and getting dropped off close enough to Pikes Place to end up walking waaaaaay longer than we intended, we were greeted by a Pikes Place that was literally bursting at it’s colorful grunge seams. There were way too many people…all the little shops on the sides of the market had huge lines out the doors that were multiple people deep, so after our long walk we couldn’t even get anything to drink. There was a giant wine tasting tent that I was planning on visiting, but one look inside at the packed, sweaty people sipping warm wine out of plastic cups while getting crammed in tighter by the back of the line was enough for me. The worst part? dozens and dozens (and dozens) of artisan cheese vendors, and we only got two samples. TWO. Please understand, this is no reflection of my ability to get samples/deep appreciation for the art of cheese. There were just that many people there.

The greatest part of my day was sitting in a coffee shop–blocks away–and drinking a berry smoothie with AJ and Violet. I’d take a sip, he’d take a sip, and then we’d give it to Violet. We were using a straw and now that she has top and bottom teeth, she figured out that (a) we kept taking her drink away, and (b) if she bit down on the straw she could keep it a little longer.

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this is totally worth your time

Today I was chewing gum, blew a bubble, and got gum stuck on my glasses. Who does that?

Curious Thought of the Day: whoever coined the phrase “…stiff upper lip…”? I understand what it means, but not how it means that.

To the person or persons responsible for stealing the stroller from the front of the Bradley’s house: how much of a loser do you have to be to steal a baby stroller? I’m picturing you walking away quickly and pushing a stolen  stroller as you glance over your shoulder–you look retarded.

AJ is a superstar. If you saw my patio, you’d know what I meant.

Today we were at this GIANT (giant) community-wide garage sale, walking down the street from one garage sale to the next, when a woman in a car pulls up alongside us and rolls down the window.

“How old is your daughter?”

“Ten months…”

“I’ve got a bunch of baby clothes in my trunk–you want any?”

“No thank you, digging for baby clothes in a strangers trunk after I’ve been stopped by her car slowly following me is nearly as creepy as buying ice cream from an unmarked ice cream truck or puppies from a middle-aged man. ”

I didn’t actually say that, but that’s what I wanted to say.

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new tooth, another celebrity look-alike, and a recipe link

in case you like surprises, don’t read the title–it gives away EVERYTHING!

So, first things first. Violet got her third tooth in last night while she slept soundly in her bed all the whole night through. I’ll take more of that, please! Last night at bathtime I checked for new teeth and there were none, but this morning over breakfast cereal, the spoon scraped against that new little top tooth. Let the biting commence.

For this next paragraph, I would like to start off by saying that I do not think Will Ferrell is funny. While I can appreciate dumb humor, I have no room in my life for infantile humor. You Elf fans out there, I do not understand you. That being said, so many people think my husband looks like him.  The resemblance is veryslight in my opinion, but I can somewhat see it when I’m thinking about it. That’s what made this afternoon’s trip to Target so funny. AJ and I were in the checkout line and after rummaging in my purse for AJ’s wallet (he doesn’t like to carry it) I looked up at the cashier to find that she was staring at the two of us with a quizzical half-smile. It was that kind of look that says, “Wait, is this for real?”

“You, um…you look like Dane Cook!”

“Huh? Never heard that before.”

We finished our transaction and left her staring after us looking as if she was waiting for the hidden camera crew to jump out and AJ to say something like, “Hey, you’re right! I am Dane cook.”

we laughed at her.

(FYI: Dane Cook is a lame actor and comedian)

Ok, so I realize that you are in need of that recipe link about now. Here it is: The Kick You In The Face Enchiladas. Make them…or at least read the post.

And now, for those of you that like surprises but read the title of this blog before you read the first sentence…

This morning I was telling AJ a story about playing with Violet the day before, but stopped when I realized that my next sentence involved the following phrase, “…and then I went up on my hind legs…”

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I hate spiders

pretty much

so, yeah….

we spent the afternoon and evening working on our patio/buying supplies for said patio, so we had a marinara chicken sandwich for dinner. Easy squeezy.

  1. cook breaded chicken tenders in oven till crispy.
  2. slice white cheddar or mozzarella onto a hamburger bun
  3. place chicken on hot bun.
  4. cover with hot marinara or spaghetti sauce.
  5. cover with top bun.
  6. eat

I know, it’s basically like eating fast food at home except they don’t pee in the pickles. 

Illegal Things I Did Today:

  • forged a signature
  • drove over the speed limit
  • used a cell phone while driving
  • ate while driving
  • dumped my extra patio dirt in the back of the park in outside my fence. when I say “dumped” i mean, “had AJ dump”

That’s me…livin’ on the edge, outta control!

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DQ

“When is the health inspector going to get around to closing this Dairy Queen down finally?”

“When they go inside.”

AJ and I were sitting in our car after church and the church parking lot is right across from Dairy Queen. Picture if you will, the oldest fast food restaurant in town where each year has left another layer of visible grime and invisible germs. The sad part is, they don’t care. It’s like a hospital gown. most people wear hospital gowns tightly wrapped around them while holding the back  scrunched closed with their hands. This Dairy Queen is like a hairy old man who doesn’t even care that he’s missing the back half of his robe. If you’ve got it–flaunt it, right?

Anyway, happy mother’s day to me.

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Hey Diddle Diddle…

Violet’s 4th word EVER, is (wait for it…) “Kitty”.

How totally cute is that? For those of you keeping track (alright, just me) the first word was Mama, the second was Dada,  the third, No! which brings us to the fourth being Kitty. There was a neighbor cat on our patio this afternoon, so Violet and I went out and sat on the step to see if he wanted to play. He did, and while he was rolling around at our feet and purring Violet kept saying Ki! Ki! Finally, when he went to the other side of the patio, she copied me and called out Kitty!” The best part was the look on her face when he came back. All these little firsts are so much fun to be a part of. Yesterday while we were on a walk, AJ and I taught Violet how to blow on her first dandelion seed head ever. Today, she poked the eyes on her first snail ever (you know how they creep out like long tentacles and jump back when you touch them? Apparently this is very interesting to babies).

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i forgot what i was going to write about…

AJ and I are in the middle of That Hideous Strength by Mr. Clive Staples L. This book is so unlike anything I have ever read by him and it’s getting weirder with every chapter. I’m hooked. 

 

Yes, that’s Clive Staples L. as in C. S. Lewis. Witty of me, I know. 

Today while Violet was asleep, I took the opportunity to clip all her nails. They grow so fast, and she uses them like a ninja uses a ninja sword (They have a special name that I can’t remember just now). 

Great Idea That I Plan on Carrying Out This Very Summer, So Be Nice and I Might Share With You: I will endeavour to make a banana, coconut, peanut butter, chocolate cream pie…with toasted almonds on top. Oh yes, I shall. 

So here’s the dilemma of the day. Haggen has Kashi cereal on sale at 30% off. They also have a coupon you can combine for an additional $.75 per box. This poses a problem for me because I have mixed feeling about Kashi just now. I really really really like cold cereal, and if I was a single cat lady, I would most likely live solely off of cold cereal and milk. I especially like the more expensive kinds and since Kashi is more expensive, that gives me a legitimate reason to like it. Recently though, a friend told a story about going out for a jog and throwing up after eating Kashi for breakfast, and the Kashi that she had eaten 4 or 5 hours earlier was still totally intact in her stomach, which prompts AJ to say, “Tastes like cardboard, must digest like cardboard.” Walks like a duck, talks like a duck, I guess. So, answer me this:

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Impulse Buy

Ok, it wasn’t really an impulse buy. I needed new sheets for my bed and bought a set of gold satin sheets because they were on clearance at Fred Meyers for fifteen bucks. In the package in the store, they looked like a soft, muted gold. In my bedroom, on my bed, they look like they were made from a giant pair of gold parachute pants worn by a pimp in the ’80’s. Any minute now, a disco ball is going to come out of my ceiling. The words I would use to describe them, include; “rad” or “tubular”.

You ever have that defining moment when you realize that everyone is weird like you? I have. Many times. I seem to catch people doing things they wouldn’t normally admit to doing. Like the cashier at the grocery store letting out an SBD (silent-but-deadly) fart once while I was in line. I know it was her. I was the only one in line. Or the time AJ and I were driving home through Burlington and were stopped at a traffic light. We’d just been to see a movie and I had this booger that just had to come out. Stop that right now–you have them too. Anyway, I discreetly turned my head to remove the offending booger and as I did so I turned to face the man in the car next to me…who was doing the exact same thing. It was a sweet moment really, looking into a total stranger’s eyes with fingers up both our noses.

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Best Buds

Right now, AJ and Violet are playing hide-and-seek via Violet hiding AJ’s face under a shirt and ripping it off when he says, “Where’d Daddy go?” Earlier, they were practicing and perfecting their fake belly laughs.

She’s in a pretty good mood for just having a nebulizer shoved in her face for 10 minutes. She’s pretty sick right now, so I took her to the doctor today and they gave me a nebulizer to take home so we could give her respiratory therapy three times a day. Poor baby. I know what you’re thinking, “Swine Flu!” Calm down. She’s actually doing ok, and I’m pretty sure it’s not swine flu.

Great, now you’re all freaking out.

Anyway, if you think about it, send up a prayer to The Man upstairs. My 21-year-old cousin died last Friday in a tragic accident and my whole extended family is still reeling.There are 45+ people on my dad’s side of the family just in my dad’s siblings, spouses, and their children, but there was only one Stuart Robertson.

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Things of interest pertaining to the events of my day

First things first: Today when I was changing Violet’s diaper, I found a refrigerator magnet in her diaper…that she swallowed. We have a magnetic poetry set where you arrange words and letters to make phrases and Violet swallowed the letter “s”. Needless to say, we are now missing one of our s’s.

Secondly, Violet started legitimately waving today. Before she would raise her hand up in the air your direction in the solemn, reserved sort of way that the Amish might wave. This morning when we got up to drive AJ to work at 4:30, she was in a great mood despite the hour and started doing the opening-closing-hand wave to AJ while he was brushing his teeth. Too freakin’ cute!

Last but not least: one bad thing and one good thing. The bikini stand in Smokey Point started advertising girls wearing pasties. If you don’t know what a pasty is, please don’t google it to find out–it’s basically a glorified band-aid. Who want’s to picket with me and Violet? Good news; an espresso stand on the way to my house advertised this:

IF YOU WANT TO SEE BIKINIS GO TO THE BEACH

Makes me want to buy coffee from them.

side note: the spell check on wordpress is screwed up. It will take part of a word and tell you it is misspelled. Case in point: bikini. Spell check will only underline “kini” and then give me all these ways to correctly spell the word, like  kin, keen, kind, king. Very helpful.

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Damn Spam

Seriously. Having a blog I get spam comments all the time. Once, I got a comment from a guy who had a mattress website that he was trying to push, but he legitimately read my post and posted an interesting comment, so I didn’t automatically delete him even though he was marked as spam. That’s a smart spammer for you.

Just now though, I got another spam comment. It read something like this, “Thank you for posting  as I have been thinking about this topic lately. I will definately come back.” At first I was like, “Hey, that’s nice of them” but then I realized that the comment was on a post for a tiramisu recipe.  Really? You’ve been thinking on the topic of tiramisu lately? Riiight. Way to make me feel appreciated.

So don’t tell anyone, but today we tore out the trees the homeowners association planted on our back patio and put up a fence instead. Do you think they’ll notice when everyone sees tree parts in the dumpster? Don’t worry, they were this kind of tree, except uglier (brownish in parts), so no great loss.

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FYI

Guess what? Stamp prices are going up effective May 11th. Remember back in the day when stamp prices were so low, that having penny stamps actually meant something? Yeah…

So, embarrassing story. The last time (or maybe the time before that) that stamp prices were going up, I was pretty confused as to the status of the “forever” stamp. When the postal service announced a “forever” stamp, I thought it was the dumbest idea ever, because I heard somewhere that “forever” meant these particular stamps would issue at say $.37, and they would be good forever. I didn’t realize they would keep going up in price. A year or so later, I heard the announcement that stamp prices would be going up (which I thought was a rotten cheater’s move after they said that they were printing “forever” stamps, and now apparently changed their mind).  I raced to the grocery store on the day of the price change  to see if there might be any stamps left at the lower price.

“Hey, do you still happen to have any of those ‘Forever” stamps left?” I asked breathlessly.

“Uh…yeah?” The cashier responded with a quizzical look.

“I’ll take three booklets!” I said, relieved to still have a chance to save some money on stamps.

Of course you know that there was little chance for that cashier to run out of stamps because the “forever” stamp is the same stamp, it just goes up in price. I didn’t do the math till I was out of the store and when I mentioned to AJ that the cashier had ripped me off it kind of made his day.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

That’s right, it’s time for the Seattle Cheese Festival!!!!!!!

Ok, so I like cheese. And Pikes Place Market rife with market-goers laughing over wine-tastings, fish tossings, and cheese-tasting. My only caveat? Don’t wait to go the the bathroom at Pikes Place. The bathrooms are naaaaasty (at least in my experience).

Today AJ put up a fence using this. He’s amazing like that.

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