Tuesday, December 15, 2009
But if that's the case, so be it. The world is not going to end.
This is the year I was going to give everyone handmade Christmas gifts. I was going to have everything done by Thanksgiving so I could just enjoy Christmas, all stress-free. Well, I am sad to say that pretty much nobody is getting any handmade anythings this year. And I didn't even start on Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Oh well. My intentions were good. And although the season has hardly been stress-free, I AM enjoying Christmas very much. Daphne is at the perfect age. She helped with the tree and the Christmas cards and a few other things. The town had a parade and a festival, which she loved. I have managed to avoid malls, and so I haven't had to deal much with cranky shoppers and bad traffic. We had some nice snow. There has been eggnog and Elf and hot chocolate and fires in the fireplace and even a few nights out with friends and with Kev.
So, if I don't get to write again until after the holidays, which I probably won't unless it's pure procrastination, I hope you all have a really great Christmas. Try to make yourself stop to enjoy it. It'll be over soon.
Monday, December 07, 2009
This angel is the tree topper from my childhood. It's the only one I ever remember having. My parents gave it to me when I moved out and started getting my own tree. This is Daphne's first time putting her up on top. Good job, Little Peanut!
Friday, December 04, 2009
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Last week, laundry day was not what I was hoping for. I read Daphne her naptime story and headed downstairs. When I got to the bottom, I thought I saw something scurry under the TV room couch. I froze. It appeared to be bigger than a Texas waterbug roach, but smaller than a mouse, it was blackish, and if it had a tail, I didn't see it. I had no idea what it was. When I started to move again, I saw it on the opposite side of the couch, and again it ran for cover. Ugh. I emailed Kev, "Something just ran under the couch. It might be a mouse. I am freaking out." Then, I sadly took the laundry into the living room, where I folded it in fear, and without TV. Kev replied to my email, "Um...OK. Never a dull moment." Then he called, and offered as much help as he could from his office, which was not much. There were no more sightings and I forgot all about it.
Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, I spent naptime in the kitchen making my apple pie and some biscuit dough. By the time I was done and cleaned up the huge mess, Daphne was awake and I was exhausted. I stuck some baked potatoes in the oven and collapsed on the couch. After a while, I got up to check the potatoes. I stuck a fork in them, and they were done. I opened the dishwasher to put in the fork, and there, near the silverware caddy, staring up at me with his beady little eyes, was the cutest, tiniest, most horrifying little gray field mouse you ever saw. Imagine my reaction. There was a scream. There was a slam. There was handflapping and dance of panic. Thank God Kev was home. I spent the better part of the rest of the evening up on a chair while my poor nice brave husband completely disassembled the dishwasher, only to be thwarted by the crafty little critter. We had just about given up hope, and I (still on the chair) was about to start to cry, when Kev saw him run under the fridge. AHA! Cleverly using strips cut from a cardboard box and some packing tape, Kev trapped the little monster under the fridge. I got down from the chair, and we all ate some very well-done baked potatoes for dinner, after which Kev went to the store and bought a trap.
That night, I didn't get much sleep. I woke up at about 3:00 with a really bad case of the heebie-jeebies, imagining all the possible escape routes we might not know were behind the fridge. The next morning, there was nothing in the trap. Doom.
I went to Thanksgiving dinner vowing to forget about the mouse, which I did. Until we were about 15 minutes from getting back home. Then the panic started to return. But, awaiting us was a Thanksgiving Miracle! The mouse was in the trap! Poor disgusting little guy. He must have been really scared. So, our little family of three marched down the street at once, Daphne with the flashlight, Kev with the trap, and me with a giant weight off my mind, and we ceremoniously set him free by the creek. I slept really well that night.
I really hope there aren't more where he came from. I will never ever get that dishwasher scene out of my mind. Never. Ever.
Monday, November 30, 2009
"Dear Zezus, I love you, and fank you for all this lovely Fanksgiving food. AMEN!"
My contributions to dinner this year were this apple pie, these buttermilk cheddar biscuits:
and these sweet potatoes:
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
You may recognize the girl in the picture above as Althea, from this season of Project Runway. She is wearing a pretty fabulous knitted hat. It has created quite a stir on Ravelry (a website for knitters, in case you don't know). I (and many other people, apparently) am on a quest to find or figure out the pattern so I can make myself a hat just like it, only in a different color. Althea should have probably made it in a different color, too. The grey just isn't working for her. But it's still a cool hat. Bring on Season 7. As soon as possible. I love Project Runway.
The other night, Daphne lined up all her dogs on the couch so she could take their picture. Left to right are Diggo, Roscoe, Mister Rogers, Taffy, Spotty, Mister Scott, Quincy, Grape, and Mel. They are all good dogs. No shedding. No chewing. No accidents on the floor. I like them.
When I picked Daphne up from school today, she gave me this picture. In case you can't tell, it's a picture of me wearing a sunflower shirt. There is an apple and an orange on the left, and a small rock and a giant leaf on the right. And she wrote her name by herself. This is my new most favorite thing, and I will be framing it and hanging it in a very special place. Last night, she drew pictures of me and Kev and included giant nostrils that made us look like we had pig noses. It was cute, but I am glad she left them off this particular picture.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
So, Happy Housiversary Kev and Daphne. It hasn't been the easiest year, but it's been a good one.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
It's Wednesday, but it's an especially good Wednesday, because today is the day the movers bring furniture to my parents' and Jeff's new house. They are all now official Virginia homeowners, and Daphne and I are going over to help them celebrate with some donuts from Fractured Prune. You can't get much better than that.
In completely unrealted news, I wanted to alert any of you who like really good music to the launch of the great KXT 91.7. For many years, I was a proud member of KERA, the NPR station in North Texas, but when we moved, I cancelled my membership, thinking I'd eventually join WAMU up here. Now it's time to think again. KERA recently purchased the 91.7 frequency to start an all-music format unlike other more typical radio stations out there. It is GREAT, and even if you don't live in North Texas, I recommend streaming it on your friendly neighborhood computer. Buy some headphones and listen at work! This is what you WON"T hear: Boston, Celine Dion, Hootie, Dave Matthews, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Puff Daddy, Garth Brooks, and so forth. If you want to know what you WILL hear, you can check out the playlist page. All it took to make a believer out of me was "Bonny" from Prefab Sprout's "Steve McQueen." I am hooked. So, check it out now and thank me later.
OK, off to join Moving Day.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Penguin adoptions make a great Christmas gift, so if you're interested, check this out.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
If I may quote the great Mo Willems, "arrangements were made." We were to meet G-Ma and G-Pa on the lower level of the mall, just outside of Macy's at 10:00. So, Daphne and I sat on a blue couch on the lower level of the mall just outside Macy's. Several minutes went by. No sign of my parents. I knew they were there, because I had just talked to them from the parking garage. Weird. So, I called my mom.
Me: Where are you?
Mom: Sitting outside Macy's.
Me: No you aren't, because I'm sitting outside Macy's and I don't see you.
Mom: Hang on...(shuffle shuffle shuffle)...
Then I hear her having a conversation with Mall Information Guy, who, after a confusing exchange, finally figures out that my parents are at the WRONG MALL. They were at Tyson's Center Mall or Tyson's Corner Center, or something like that. But not Tyson's Galleria.
Luckily, these two malls are located basically within inches of each other, so I barely had time to grab a coffee and get back to the blue couch before they arrived.
Now, this mall has nothing kid-friendly at all about it. In spite of this, my parents bravely offered to watch Daphne for me so that I could have 30 minutes to myself in the happiest place on earth: Anthropologie. I swear I could live in that store. It has big comfy looking beds inside. I could just hide somewhere until all the workers leave and then stay there, like that girl in that movie who lived in the Wal-Mart. I could hang out all night, smelling their candles and trying on their clothes and reading their books. I'm telling you, you could not possibly go wrong buying me a gift from that place. I love every single thing in the store.
And they have great sales! Today I got a $118 denim jacket for $29!
So, thanks to Mom and Dad for going on Daphne Duty for me. I had a great 30 minutes.
The only other store we went in was Williams-Sonoma. That was pretty much the only store I felt comfortable going into wearing jeans and cowboy boots. I wish they would move the Anthropologie over to that other Tyson's mall. I looked it up on line. It has a much friendlier line-up of shops.
I am not big on lunch, but when I got home, I remembered I had some left-over Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup from last night. So I ate some, and it was AWESOME. I took pictures of it, but honestly, it doesn't look very appetizing, so I'm not going to post any. Just trust me. It is the same one I made last year during the Winter of Soup. I followed the recipe except I added carrots and mushrooms to the broth, and used a larger box of long grain and wild rice because last time I thought it could have used a little more rice. Here is the recipe. I like to put a giant biscuit in the bottom of the bowl, and just pour the soup right on top. (I didn't say it was healthy).
Finally, congratulations to Fooie McGoo and his wife Melissa on the arrival of their newest family member, Sam. If I was anywhere near them, I'd totally make them some soup.
UPDATE: There is another Anthropologie in Reston Town Center! Much closer and a way smaller snootiness factor! Thank you, internet.
Monday, November 02, 2009
The past few days have been completely exhausting, but in a very good way. I feel like this is the first time I have stopped moving since early Thursday morning, when Halloween officially started with the preschool parade. Friday was all about cleaning and making pie. Late Friday night, Kev's parents arrived to spend the weekend with us. Saturday we got breakfast from Deli South (great place!), went to the Farmer's Market, and then all spent an awesome sunny and beautiful afternoon having a picnic lunch at Corcoran Vinyards, which is where that picture was taken (more on Flickr). I highly recommend this winery...it wasn't crowded at all when we went, and there were picnic tables and plenty of wide open spaces for three-year-olds who need to run free.
Saturday night, my mom and dad came over and we all enjoyed pizza on the porch while we waited for the Big Halloween Parade to begin. It was so nice to have all of Daphne's grandparents here at the same time. At a little past 6:00, the first fire truck went by. An hour and a half later, it was over, and Daphne's pumpkin bucket was practically over-flowing with candy. My favorite part was the marching bands. If I could do it all over again, I think I'd like to be on a drum line. Those guys really seem to know how to have fun. (Sadly, the camel did NOT make an appearance, but I expect he'll be back in the Christmas parade.) There was no real need to Trick-or-Treat after all that, but we did go to a few neighbor's houses. In all, it was a great night, and the octopus costume was a big hit. I am pretty proud of it, but glad it's time to put it into retirement. I have already found the directions for making next year's costume on the internet and bookmarked the site. Someone in this family is going to be an owl whether they want to or not.
Sunday was rainy, so we spent the morning hanging around the house with Kev's parents and the dogs. After they left, I went to the library while Daphne napped and Kev cooked a chicken. Then I hung out with the Peanut while Kev cleaned up the ginko berries that have fallen so far. Ugh. It's awful. Something has to be done. After the parade, I heard people walking past our house complaining about the horrible smell ("puke-fest" I think was the actual word that was used). So embarrassing. I swear it's not our fault!
After dinner, it took just about everything we had left to make it through that extra hour until Daphne's bedtime (curse you, Daylight Saving's Time), and finally, bed.
This morning we were up early again, and off to a Parent/Teacher conference at the preschool (we got a good report!) , then Kev went to work and Daphne and I took a nice long walk to take advantage of some beautiful weather and to wear someone out for a nice long nap. She is asleep now, and it is very very quiet. I am going to make myself some kind of delicious warm beverage and sit on the porch with a neglected pile of magazines.
But first, a couple of quick notes: Daphne and I have gotten our fifteen minutes of "fame" here and here.
And finally, please check this out: Awesome Video Here -I Promise. Thanks to G.G. for the head's up on this. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
To the porch!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Daphne got a Hannah Montana microphone today from G-ma and G-pa. Here is what she did with it (press "play" now please).
Earlier today, Kev and Daphne were making lists of things. On one list, she had him write down her favorite rock bands. This is what she told him to write:
- Rock Band (the game)
- They Might Be Giants
- The Kinks
- Old 97s
- Dan Zanes
- The Beatles
- Herbie Hinkle
- The Morning Benders (which she referred to as "you know that band, mom, that we listened to when we went on that long hike with Uncle Jeff and my dad, and you sat by me in the car and you were eating those chips.")
Daphne is three, and she is already so much cooler than me.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Kitchen Tip: Any time you have some bread that is getting stale, make some croutons. It is easy, and so much better than the ones in the store. Just cut your bread into cubes, toss them in a bowl with some olive oil or melted butter and whatever else you want to flavor them with (basil, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, whatever). Then put them on a cookie sheet in the oven (375) until they get nice and crunchy (15 minutes or so...just check on them). Good stuff.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
- make a list, and
- check things off the list.
But in spite of that, he actually got quite a bit done while we were gone, and enjoyed having some quiet time. He went to the coffee shop, took walks, went on a bike ride, did some recording, read a book, etc., as well as worked on this stool (below) for Daphne:And he got a really cool bench for our entry hall, which was a nice surprise for me:
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Overall, it was a good trip, but I think we were all ready when it was time to head back home. The drive on I-64 through West Virginia and western Virginia was beautiful, and at times even spectacular. We were in the mountains for about 75-80% of the trip, and the fall foliage was near peak. I recommend travelling this route if you can sometime. (Here is a tip, though: In spite of the extremely promising name, you just want to avoid Biscuit World. Trust me.)