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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in DC

Hey, quick post here.
we’re in DC for day 3. It’s raining right now and we’ve taken refuge at the house of our couchsurfing hosts to drop off a bag and get dry and oriented. I don’t have a way to post pictures right now, but I have some great ones; including one of me eating a half-smoke at ben’s chili bowl–only one of the most iconic places to eat here in DC. Violet is a tough old bird and is taking everything in stride although she hates her stroller and hates museum tours even more. fun!
We’re heading out to the national mall in a couple of minutes to go see the air and space museum and some others.
We spent the last two nights at a bed and breakfast up around Dupont circle and now we’re at a couchsurfer’s place on capital hill somewhere. Everyone is super nice here and people actually make eye contact as they pass each other on the street, which is almost completely unheard of in Seattle.
one last thing: our hosts have 4 dogs. that’s right. 4 big dogs. they are all very interested in Violet and follow us around like a gaggle of little girls.
FYI, i’m not going to spell check or proof read ūüôā

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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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of summer and blackberry pie

Today we went blackberry picking. Violet stuffed her little round face till she had the blackberry runs so bad she pooped in the tub tonight…of course, sometimes she does that anyways.¬† As we were walking back from the park and I was carrying a bowl of blackberries I remembered one summer when I was 14.

After much begging, I had agreed to bake a blackberry pie for the neighborhood boys, which were comprised mainly of my brothers and their friends. They spent the better part of an afternoon picking berries and generally getting  covered in scratches before they had finally picked enough berries for me to make a pie big enough for all of them. It would soon all be worth it though and they congratulated each other while relaxing in the front yard while I carried out my half of the bargain. I had promised them a syrupy, hot, berry pie complete with a golden, flaky crust and wonderful bits of berry oozing out the sides.

That is not what I delivered.

Alas, I grabbed the baking soda instead of the cornstarch. (they were in the same type of container. Instead of turning to blackberry syrup, it immediately became a foul-smelling gruel with a grayish cast.

The End.

that’s right, thats really the end. They were very very very mad at me for quite a long time. Partly also because they had completely picked all the blackberries on the block for the pie, so even if I had wanted to i couldn’t have made it right.

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A Story in Pictures: The Life of a Pie

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This is Violet eating some chocolate-peanut butter pie filling. Here is the illustrious recipe for Creme de la Cream Pie.

First: make a crust.

It’s real simple but you need to¬† obey the rules. (cold butter, don’t touch with hands, don’t add too much water.)

  1. 1 1/4 cups flour.
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/3 cup butter (not not not margarine or anything that doesn’t say “butter” on the label)
  4. 4-5 tablespoons cold water.
  5. sugar

Mix flour and salt, cut in butter with two butter knives till the butter pieces are no larger than the size of your pinky nail. sprinkle water over the top and mix gently to form a ball. roll out on countertop using sugar to keep from sticking. roll the crust thin enough to fill the entire pie pan. bake at 350 for 10ish minutes or until lightly browned.

Next, The Pie

  1. 3/4 cups sugar
  2. 1/4 cup cornstarch
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 1/2 cups milk
  5. 1 cup whipping cream
  6. 3 egg yolks
  7. 1 tablespoon butter
  8. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  9. 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  10. 2-4 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter.
  11. 3/4 cup coconut lightly toasted
  12. 2 bananas
  13. 1 cup whipped whipping cream. (not coolwhip)

CUSTARD: Mix  dry ingredients in saucepan.  add milk and cream and stir till smooth. cook and stir constantly over medium heat till thick and bubbly. Add a small amount to the three beaten egg yolks and mix together. Pour egg mix to saucepan and stir quickly to mix the eggs in before they cook.  cook for 1-2 more minutes. remove from heat and add vanilla and butter.

ASSEMBLATIONISH: Immediately pour half the custard into another bowl. Pour half cup of toasted coconut into bowl, and 3/4 cup of chocolate chips into the saucepan with remaining custard. stir chocolate mix till melted. add peanut butter to taste. stir coconut mix till combined. Using an electric mixer, split the whipped cream and whip it into each pie filling until creamy and smooth and creamy.

STACKING: When pie crust is completely cool, pour the coconut cream onto the bottom and spread. cut up the bananas and place over the top of the coconut cream mix until you are satisfied with banana to creamy ratio. Next, dump the chocolate peanut butter cream on top of the bananas, and spread.

chill and garnish with coconut and banana slices. BAM!

 

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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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The Met, Aliens, and a Duck

I am so excited to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, and finding out that the entrance price is only “suggested” can only make it more appealing because now we can have lunch afterwards! haha. well…maybe more than a split slice of pizza.

(Which, let me tell you; splitting something three ways is dramatically different than splitting it two ways. Violet can eat her weight in food, and gone are the days of ordering one thing off the menu and sharing.)

Anyway, I just had an epiphany this evening and I’d like you to be the first to know. You know all the consipracy theories about how the aliens¬† must have helped the Egyptians build the pyramids and all that stuff because it seems humanly impossible? Well, here’s my epiphany.

Here is a picture of an alien.

Here is a statue of an Egyptian Pharaoh (Amenhotep III whom I shall see face to face at the Met.)

My theory? The Egyptians were Aliens.

Here’s why:

This man is an Egyptian, and he looks nothing like those oval-eyed Pharoah’s of old.

Hmmm, it just occurred to me that someone may have already come to this conclusion. Just remember, You Heard it First, From Pearl Hurst.

Ok, this is purely gratuitous because I can’t resist showing you. When I googled faces of aliens for the first picture, I found an article which I shall link to here. Apparently some scientists were x-raying a duck with a broken wing, when they saw the face of an alien in the stomach of the duck. Don’t believe me? See for yourself. (see lower right of duck’s stomach.)

the funny part is that they say the duck died shortly after from “complications.” Which I translate to meaning they quickly killed the duck so they could open it up and find the alien.

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Hmmm. (it sounds better with three “m’s”)

Violet may or may not have sucked toothpaste straight from the tube today. She also may or may not have spent the evening chewing on the rubber top of her baby tylenol bottle. You may or may not have noticed that I’m not prone to freaking out over baby-related stuff.

FYI: I now want Ticket To Ride for my birthday. You know who you are.

Tonight for dinner we had pepperoni pizza–homemade. FYI, if you have the time always make your own pizzas–it builds character.

Here’s my pizza dough recipe. (it works for anything in the bread family and even some cousins, depending on how creative you are.)

Listening to kids’ conversations totally cracks me up. Today Violet and I were at the park outside my house and there were a couple middle-school aged children sitting on the picnic tables talking.¬† They were mostly boys and they were talking on the general subject of rocket engines and NOS, and how having access to one or both of these things would totally make them amazing motocrossers.

“Yeah, if I had my Dad’s dirt bike, I would totally get some NOS for it. I’d do all these jumps and stuff.”

“Are you kidding me? I would get a jetpack and then I could jump higher than you and do a ton of tricks.”

“Can you mix NOS with a jetpack?”

boys…

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Some things should be more important.

First, here are a few pictures from today of Violet being Violet (read adorable and persnickety).

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We were at a store that rhymes with Foam Teapot. Actually, it rhymes with Comb Repo, but the thought of a collector trying to repo a comb is…ridiculous. Foam Teapot it is. Violet being Violet did not want to be held or strapped into a stroller; all she wanted to do was walk around in her new shoes and admire the “giant tractors”…or lawnmowers–whatever.

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Bear with me here, I had to use a cell-phone camera. Either way, this is still completely adorable. It’s pretty hard to remember how…persnickety she can be when she’s sleeping like an angel.

One thing I’m constantly thankful for now that I’m a mom is the simple blessing of always being able to keep Violet fed, clothed, and loved. Many many mother’s all over the world do not have this luxury and are living out a parent’s worst nightmare; watching your child die before your eyes through the ravages of disease, malnutrition, war, or simply poverty.

The issue of world hunger is a daunting one. So much so that any efforts of one person can feel futile and hopeless. That’s why we sponsor children. The immediate and measurable impact you can have on a child and their whole family is almost selfishly gratifying. So here we go, I’m not going to talk about starving babies covered in flies and tell you to call an 800 number. I’m going to talk about hope. Hope for children and their parents. Give a gift to one parent; one mother, one father. Start sponsoring a child today. You don’t have an excuse if you live in America. You’ve already won the cosmic lottery that says that you can take care for your loved ones if you need to.

We sponsor children through two of the following organizations, and donate through the other one for things like goats for a village and so forth. I’m not saying this so that you will think I’m rich or that I’m tooting my own horn, but so that you can be challenged to change lives forever.

Compassion International

Childcare Worldwide

World Vision

get to it people.

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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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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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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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“world famous” goat trick

There’s a farm near our house the sells fruits and vegetables and they have a petting farm. They have a sign on the side of the road that advertises their “World Famous Goat Trick” so we decided to stop by today to show Violet the goats.

I took a very grainy and dark video with my cell phone so you could see, but since it’s so bad, i’ll describe what happens after you watch the video.

Anyway, there’s a pygmy goat that climbs the stairs to get to this balcony overhead where there is a rope pulley system with a tin can attached. You put .25 into a candy machine that spits out goat food and then you pour it into the can. As soon as you do, the goat starts biting on the rope to pull the can up where he can eat it. Violet was nonplussed, considering she had just been to the fair with her grandparents and there was a gaggle of chicks eating the goatfood leftovers at our feet.

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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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The Fly Must Die

the hunt is on

for the dirty fly;

the dastardly con

that goes whizzing by.

in defense of all things good and right,

my mighty sword is a haggen ad.

while a fly in the house (to you) may seem trite,

to me it is nothing but gross and bad.

I miss not once,

but three times or more.

I look like a dunce,

but I  will settle this score.

“Land! land!” I scream in my head

and suddenly you do…on a balloon.

When the thwack of destiny leaves you dead,

I realize my daughter now thinks I’m a goon.

Not only do I

look like a crazed loon,

but I just finished beating

her smiley-faced balloon.

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Quote of the Day and other random points of non-pertinence

“Noooooooooo, dat!”

Today’s Quote of the Day comes courtesy of miss Violet. I was feeding her baby food from two different jars; one she liked, and one she did not. I kept slipping in bites from the gross jar until she gave in to her indignation and and pointed blatantly at the yummy jar when she said, “dat!”

Also, she now has five teeth–the fifth one coming in under the radar, so I have no idea when…

Here’s a funny little blogging phenomenon I’ve noticed; people in my life read my blog, which allows them a chance to get to know me better, but I don’t¬† know who is reading¬† my blog, so when they react differently towards me in real life based on something I’ve written–it’s weird. Case in point: I met someone this week through a friend that reads my blog, and they seemed so excited to see me. “Oh! You must be Pearl! I’m so glad to finally meet you!” Of course my first reaction is to think, creepy! doesn’t this person know we’ve never actually talked, and that until we establish a basic relationship things should be slightly more formal and awkward? Not that I’m condoning formal and awkward, but that’s just how things are. Once I realized that she probably reads my blog I thought to myself crap! did I just scare off my paparazzi? must act cooler, must act cooler, must act cooler…

Last but not least, this week I’ll be featuring a column called:

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

First thing: White Vinegar. Okay, you might not have this in your house, but it’s so stinking cheap and available, you have no excuse.

Here’s five things you can do:

  1. wash windows (cut with water and use in place of glass cleaner)
  2. use in dishwasher in place of rinse aid.
  3. put in mister to spray (lightly) your house or car in place of febreeze
  4. dab on bug bites or mild sunburns for relief
  5. repel ants (cut with water and spray or wipe)


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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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Violet is quite possibly the cutest thing ever…

3 things:

first, that post about the “Fat Monkey” was the fruition of a dream. that dream being the submission of an original creation to thisiswhyyourefat.com. Just wanted to clarify, we aren’t actually wanton gluttons.

second, yesterday was Violet’s first birthday (as if you didn’t know, right?) and I have some pretty cute birthday pictures, but you’ll have to wait until i go get the camera from downstairs…tomorrow.

Third, yesterday on a walk, I saw a bumper sticker on a cop car that read, “My next police car will have a hemi.”

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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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So much for that…

Ok, so I know I said I was going to post a real blog today, but the internet got the better of me. Today’s blog goes out to ThereIFixedIt.com

This, this, and this, are all shining examples of human ingenuity. Also, shining examples of people you may not want contributing to the gene pool.

In Baby News, I was at Gap today and Violet was growling at strangers. She did walk on the 4th, but being the sharp little cracker she is, she has now pretended to forget her earlier achievement so that we can still carry her everywhere.

Anyway, today’s blog is really about pet peeves. Specifically, drive through banking and how it affects the person behind you. I hate waiting as much as the next person, but I do find it perfectly acceptable to wait in line behind someone while they fill out their deposit slip instead of having it on them and filled out before they got to the window. My sister and I were talking about people that have made us mad lately, and we discovered that both of us have recently been chewed out by women old enough to be our mom and should therefore know better; because we were taking too long in the drive through lane. In my case, the lady rolled down her window (she was in the opposite lane) and proceeded to inform me of proper drive-though etiquette.My sister’s case was funnier though, because once she was done with her transaction and driving through the parking lot, the lady behind her had gotten out of line, and walked over to yell at her for taking “3-5 minutes for the transaction instead of the normal 1-2.” We agreed that we’re not mad at them anymore; menopause probably sucks.

Which brings me to this:

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If I had a super power…

It would be dirty looks. I know, maybe not the greatest skill in the books, but I use it frequently when out and about with Violet in the stroller. I call it my “super power” because I get results every time. I figure, worst case scenario–the driver gets offended, but at least I get their attention.

(I may or may not use said super power when driving, or when someone tries to cut in line…)

tomorrow i will post a real blog, i promise.

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Repeat Offender

Violet pooped in the tub…again. This is officially the third time. It was cute the first time. Actually, it was cute this time too, because she pooped and then saw her poop in the water and got scared of it.

The not cute part? getting her cleaned up so fast and downstairs for the rest of the day so that I forgot to clean the tub. till now. it dried

she pooped

while splashing in the tub

i laughed

and bundled her in a towel

after a dip in the sink

dressed and clean

mom forgot

the poop was still there

suprise!

it dries…

there, a mock haiku.

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It’s fitting, really

Today is the fourth of July. Violet was due a year ago today, so I guess it’s fitting that she should decide to start walking. It’s very very cute.

I also wanted to gloat about buying cheese to support my cheese obsession. I took a picture to prove to you that in my fridge right now, I have pepper jack, colby jack, aged white cheddar, medium cheddar, colby–all two pounders, all tillamook. I can’t refuse a good deal when it has to do with cheese. (the picture is still on my camera because it’s downstairs and i’m lazy)

I wish I had the time an energy to blog about the significance of this day to me–I am a patriot after all, but it’s been a long day, and tomorrow is looking the same.

Good night, and have a happy summer!

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It’s come to this…

“AJ, did you remember to grab the C-O-O-K-I-E?”

that’s right, we’ve come to that point where we have to spell out certain words to make our lives easier. Violet is a very alert little girl.

Next up: A Shameless Plug That I Really Should Be Getting Paid For.

Today’s shameless plug goes out to Zenni Optical. This is it people. If you’ve ever had to buy prescription eyeglasses before, then you certainly know what it feels like to be robbed in broad daylight, with your consent. Consenting to robbery is ridiculous. Last time I bought glasses, the doc had a “great sale” where the lenses were free, and I walked out with $180 dollar glasses. Robbery. This time, I bought a pair of prescription sunglasses for $22 including shipping and tax.

Pro’s: Really really cheap glasses that are still excellent quality.

Con’s: Shipping time (anywhere from 2-8 weeks), you can’t actually try on the glasses, so you have to know your face measurements (based on how your old glasses fit you), and you have to have a copy of your prescription. The prescription part was easy, if you don’t remember what yours was, just call your doctor–they have to give it to you.

Best part: knowing that if I wanted to, I could literally buy a pair of glasses to go with every outfit in my wardrobe and still spend less than I did the first time.

Also best part: not worrying about breaking or losing glasses anymore.

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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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The Auntie and the Uncle

This week we have my little brother and sister staying with us while my parents go on a cruise. If my posts seem disjointed, boring, or non-existent, there’s a reason.

You may have noticed that i’ve added a bunch new links of interesting blogs/websites. disclaimer: i can’t actually recommend them because they may or may not be appropriate, but…they’re funny. If you have a go-to website that’s funny, or really really interesting, tell me. (msn and ivillage do not count).

Today I grated an apple for Violet. She’s a huge apple fan, so it was cute to watch her “go to town”. She did get it all over the carpet, but she was so cute at the same time…

cutiepiecutness

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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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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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so, yeah…

you ever notice how nursery rhymes are unsuitable for children? Seriously, here are some examples.

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall and no one could put him back together again?

Rock a bye baby, when the bow breaks the cradle will fall and down will come baby?

Old mother hubbard went to her cupboard to fetch her poor dog a bone, but when she got there the cupboard was bare and so the poor dog had none?

London bridge is falling down?

And my personal favorite; and now I lay me down to sleep…if I should die before I wake…

You wonder why your kid has problems falling asleep at night?

Anyway, It just kind of struck me today.

Come here my sweet little baby, lets read some Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes! Lets see…here’s one about a little boy and girl called Jack and Jill. They were running along and then Jack fell down and broke his crown–wait, he broke his head open? Next! Okay, this story is about a little girl called Little Miss Muffet. One day she was eating breakfast and a spider scared her away. Hmmm, just kidding–lets try another. “Sing a song of sixpence,¬†a pocket full of rye; four and twenty blackbirds baked in a–?”

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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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today in a nutshell

wake up early, courtesy of the baby

head out to drop Violet off at the grandparent’s house

shopping at old navy

watch star trek (good)

home with the baby to take showers and get gussied up

swing by starbucks

mocha frappuccino

drive to wedding destination

watch my brother play the processional at my cousin’s wedding

Aerol and Amy sing a song together–impressive, i’ve never seen the bride and groom do that before

Violet eats grass

visiting with friends and family

food

punch

visiting

Violet

dancing

dancing

dancing

tired

drive home in the dark as the fingers of the night reach to cool the horizon

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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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grrrr

I had a nice post going here before Violet hit the power button on the computer and shut everything down without warning.

Anyway, I was talking about how I’ve lost one of my pairs of glasses and that I have a sinking suspicion that Violet know’s exactly where they are, which isn’t a good thing when it comes to glasses.

Then, I had a paragraph about my lady bugs being all gone because my patio was too hot…

wait: here we go–i found the other post.

“”PPPHHHHHGGGGLLLLLLHHHH”¬† that’s the phonetic spelling for the sound I just made. I lost my glasses. Meaning, as you well know–that I have no idea what I did with them. sad. Yes i have another pair, no they’re not as cute.

Anyway, I think all my ladybugs are gone. Apparently they like a cool moist environment, and my back patio is anything but. Also, apparently spiders are very effective against garden pests so I should keep them around. Define “pest”, though…I mean, anything that covers the patio in webs so that I…”

must not have recovered all of it…

anyway, spiders are still pests in my opinion.

OK, so proof that I am not just saying Violet is the cutest baby ever, take a look at this cute picture.

Cutey cute cute

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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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