Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Coffee Talk

So, since I don't have a job with other adults to talk to, this blog is my water cooler. Here are a few things I might stand around wasting valuable time talking about if I could:

  • American Idol: This was the best season yet. There were at least 4 contestants that I would actually choose to listen to and am interested in seeing what they do post-Idol. I was happy that Kris won. And it was fun to watch this group because you could tell they genuinely liked each other. About the finale: It was about half and half, cheesy vs. cool. I loved seeing Queen, the Black Eyed Peas, and Cyndi Lauper. I could not get to the FFWD remote button fast enough when they paraded Rod Stewart out there. He is terrible. The variety show type numbers were really corny, and I FFWDed through most of that too. And a special note to KISS: You guys are icons of my youth, and I am a HUGE fan. But please stop. Just stop. You are old and fat and it is just silly and kind of sad now. I will freely admit that I love American Idol and will watch every episode until it ends for good. Kev hates it. It drives him from the room. And I try to get Daphne to watch it with me, but she doesn't really like it, and just asks questions like, "Mommy, why is that guy squeezing his eyes like that when he sings," and "Is that microphone talking guy (Seacrest) going to get a turn?" So, thank you, inventors of the DVR. Can't wait for next season!
  • The Commonwealth of Virginia has just banned smiling in your driver's license picture. It's hard enough to look decent in those pictures after waiting on line at the DMV for hours. At least if you can smile, it kind of hides the beaten-down-edness you are feeling. I actually got a pretty good picture this time, before the smiling ban thank goodness. Maybe they'll rethink this before I have to get a new one. If not, I don't think they've banned stink-face, so maybe I'll do that and try to look real rock.
  • Star Trek was really really good. Very well done. I am grateful that Kevin got me into watching the original series, because I really like that too. It's nerdy, but it's true. On the other hand, I could not have less interest in the Terminator. I tried watching the first Arnold movie and it was terrible. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep.
  • These John and Kate people, whoever they are, are getting way too much airtime. All I know about them are from headlines, and they seem very annoying.
  • My friend Troy is in a Toyota commercial that you have probably seen. He is at his mailbox, and then takes off running. Look for him on TV!
  • I have never known a town to hate its own baseball team as much as they hate the Nationals around here. What gives?


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Baseball, Hot Dogs, Oreo Ice Cream Cake, and Subaru

Last Thursday, we packed up the Subaru and made the journey to the beautiful Hudson Valley in Upstate New York for Memorial Day weekend with Kev's family. A good time was had by all. There was baseball (above). There was "hiking" in the woods:
There was driveway fun with cousins and 3D sidewalk chalk:

There was a pre-birthday celebration for Daphne, with grilled burgers and hot dogs and delicious Oreo Ice Cream Cake:

And various other activities. Kev and I got to go out to dinner and we also got to see Star Trek (awesome!) on possibly the world's smallest big-screen at the great Roosevelt Theater. I got to have a bbq chicken wrap from Coco's, a breakfast sandwich from Cranberry's and watermelon sherbet cake from Friendly's. It was fun hanging out with the family and seeing my niece and nephews. And we saw three frogs!
On the way home Monday, we stopped at what Kevin called "the playground that time forgot," somewhere near Scranton (Go Dunder Mifflin!), and had a little Memorial Day picnic and played on the old-school playground equipment:

The only thing they didn't have was one of those evil scary metal merry-go-round things that everyone stands on while one kid pushes the thing and jumps on at the last minute. Thank goodness. I'd have lost my Oreos on that thing.
So, big fun in New York. Thanks to everyone for the nice gifts for Daphne. It was good to see y'all.
This week, my parents are coming up for a visit and another birthday party for the Peanut. This time, I'm hosting, and the neighborhood kids are coming. Wish me luck. I will need it.

HEY batta batta batta...


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mission Accomplished

Today Daphne got a haircut. The haircut place is conveniently located in the same strip mall as...
...Dairy Queen. Yes.

Bird News

Spring is here and that means birds. This is our front yard robin. We watch it fly down, pick up worms, stop for a minute on the fence post, and fly up to its nest over and over and over. When it arrives at the nest, the babies, which are unfortunately too high up to see, start cheeping furiously for their share of the worm. You'd think it was grits or cobbler or something the way they get so excited.

This nest is in our side yard in the cherry tree. I thought at first that this was a baby peeking out, but now I'm pretty sure it's a mama robin sitting on eggs. It seems a little late for them to hatch, so I hope everything is OK. There should be babies soon.
And I forgot to mention that on Mother's Day, I finally saw a new bird to add to my list: a gray catbird. We have them in the yard now, and one perched above me during our picnic dinner the other night, threatening to ruin the tranquility with poop. I was happy when it flew away. I am no stranger to bird poop, and I don't like it. Anyway, I will try to get a catbird picture sometime if I can.
That's all I have about birds right now.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Small Town / Wild Kingdom

Tuesday was a beautiful day, so we took a walk: Grocery store, playground, hot dog place, town hall (a guy was playing guitar and singing on the green), home. As we crossed the bridge over the creek, we saw a heron, so we watched it for a while and saw it catch this snake. It was so violent, but so cool. Then it flew off. Daphne said it was going to cut up the snake into pieces for its babies. Pretty exciting stuff for a Tuesday. Then it got hot.

On Thursday morning, a neighbor's kids came to stay with us overnight:It was a lot of work watching three kids, and I was exhausted when they left on Friday afternoon, but the kids were good, it was fun, and Daphne had a great time at her first sleep-over. She had to practice sharing and being flexible, which was really good for her. She needed it. I am already fretting about the first time her preschool teacher next year tries to get her to do something she doesn't want to do. I am expecting some phone calls.
Friday was National Ride Your Bike to Work Day, so Kev rode his bike to work:

Here he is getting home. It was a pretty long ride, but I think he really enjoyed it. And there were rest stops set up along the trail, which made it really nice. Way to go, Kev!

The weekend was pretty low-key for once. Saturday we went to Kev's office for a little barbeque lunch. We got to see part of the cool rocket he is working on, and Daphne got a sort of sling-shot rocket toy that she thought was the Coolest Thing Ever. Sunday I cleaned bathrooms all morning. Then we went birthday shopping for the Peanut, and after Kev cut the grass, we ate dinner at the picnic table in the back yard. So nice.
This morning, I cut these peonies and put them by the sink (which seems to be where I spend most of my time). I had to be very careful of the poison ivy, which is slowy but steadily taking over, but it was worth it. You should smell these things. Delightful.
The poison ivy is causing me to have a lot of anger. Every time I go outside, I discover more. And we can't spray it, because doing so will kill the peonies and the rose bush. Our only choice is removal, but that is going to be a very big very difficult somewhat dangerous job.
I suppose that if some poison ivy is all I have to complain about, though, life is pretty good. So I will try to just let it go. Calm blue ocean...calm blue ocean...calm blue ocean,,,
OK, off to the Dollar Tree. Woohoo!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Weekend Stuff

Happy Monday. I hope you all had a great Mother's Day weekend. Ours started Friday on a good note, because the sun finally came out. I think it rained for 10 days in a row, so it was good to be dry. Daphne and I had our cooking class at the mall, and it was really great. The teacher was very good with the kids, and set it up so they really got to do a lot of the work. I only helped a little bit, and Daphne had a blast. She was so proud of her cookies:
Plus, we each got to wear aprons and decorate our own white puffy chef's hat. Daphne thinks that to be a real chef, you must have a white puffy hat. I showed her a picture of Julia Child cooking something in a kitchen. I said, "Look, she's a chef." And Daphne said, "No. She doesn't have a hat. She is a mommy." I am going to start wearing my hat when I cook dinner. Kev works right by the mall, so we stopped by to take him a cookie after the class. I hope we can do it again sometime. It was fun.

Saturday, I joined the other girls in the picture above for a Mother's Day Winery tour. We went to Bluemont Vinyard and Breaux Vinyards...both were nice, but Bluemont was especially great. The tasting room was up in the foothills overlooking the vinyards and the countryside. So pretty. I could have sat there all day. When we got home, our neighbor's mom watched Daphne for us so Kev could join us for dinner at Fireworks. Yum.
Then, Sunday started out this way:

Kev made delicious French Toast (about a million times better than all the frozen stuff I've been testing), which we ate on the porch. We took a Mother's Day drive in the country, stopped in Middleburg for ice cream, and ended the day grilling burgers, which we also ate outside. Thanks to Kev for cooking for me all day, and shout out to the Leesburg Farmer's Market for providing the eggs and bread for the French Toast, the breakfast links, strawberries, and burgers. I told Kev, I am certain that was a very happy cow, because the burgers were awesome.

And Daphne gave me this painting. The red and green thing is a lollipop. Happy Mother's Day, indeed.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Thursday Rocks

Today was our trip to Dulles Town Center Mall for the big Rocknoceros show. So, I busted out my squeegee and paint, and screen-printed Daphne a new t-shirt for the occasion. She has outgrown all the old t-shirts I made for her, and The Kinks is what she wanted, so The Kinks is what she got. Before we left for the show, she did some of her Rock and Roll moves (above) and let me take some pictures.

Here is Rocknoceros, performing on the lower level of the mall in front of Macy's. Not exactly Madison Square Garden, but there was a huge crowd and these guys are pretty much The Beatles as far as the kids are concerned. Daphne, once again, put on her serious rock face and wouldn't join in the dancing, but she had her own special Daphne kind of fun. She loves these guys. And they really go all out for the kids. After the show, she got her high five from Coach, who by the way also complimented her t-shirt. Good times.

Then, it was on to lunch at chick fil-a. That entire bowl of fruit that you see up there in the picture ended up on the food court floor. Dangit.

Next was the carousel. Daphne wanted this brown horse. She named it "Brownie." She loved every minute of the ride, while I just tried not to let my motion sickness get the best of me. I was glad when it ended.
While we were at the mall, we checked out a new place that just opened called Cookology. It is owned and operated by a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and hosts cooking classes of all kinds. Tomorrow, they are having a $25 Mommy and Me class where you get to hear a Sponge-Bob mystery story, and then learn to bake Patrick Starfish cookies and decorate chef's hats. I signed us up, so that we could start a little Mother's Day tradition. Daphne got very excited. She told the teacher, Chef Tabitha, that when she grows up she wants to be a chef and a mommy and a doctor. There was no mention of astronaut this time. Kev will be disappointed to hear this, but I know if it came right down to it, he'd have just as hard a time as me watching our little Peanut be shot into space...especially knowing what he knows about all that can go wrong with rockets. For the record, I don't actively discourage the astronaut goal. But I do plan to encourage this chef thing. It would be nice to eventually turn the meal-making over to someone else a couple times a week. Of course, we'd probably only be dining on cakes and pies and things that you put syrup on if Daphne was in charge.
I am looking forward to the weekend. Tomorrow I am making Jambalaya. Saturday I am going on a winery tour with a couple of neighbors and some other moms. Did you know that I live right smack in the middle of Virginia's wine country? I didn't even know Virginia HAD a wine country until I moved here. It should be a fun day out, and I am looking forward to seeing the countryside. I hope it doesn't rain the whole time. Then, Sunday is Mother's Day, and I think Kevin is going to cook breakfast. That is going to be a real treat.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms out there. It's a tough job, but aren't you glad you get to do it? I know I am.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Sweet Relief

Last night wasn't bad, and today's naptime was even better. I don't wanna jinx it, but I think we can now put the nightmare behind us. And as extra incentive, if bedtime goes well tonight, the Peanut gets to go to the mall to see a certain rock band tomorrow at Thursday Kid's Club.

On a completely different note, I fear the Mavericks are done.

And I forgot to tell you, I got some Trader Joe's Frozen French Toast. It was about like the Aunt Jemima stuff. Eggo wins this one.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Frustration Level Rising...

As I suspected, it was all just big talk. Daphne told me she would be brave at naptime, but instead she had another giant fit. I stayed in the room to keep her from climbing out, but I didn't pick her up...just let her cry it out in her bed. For about 30 minutes. She wasn't even really scared this time. Now she just has it in her head that she doesn't want to go to sleep. I have no idea what we are going to do. Surely she will not keep this up for long. If she does, we'll never be able to get a babysitter again.

I am going to have some chocolate now.

Nightmare on Kinks Street

So, naptime didn't go very well yesterday. Daphne was still scared from her bad cat dream, and I ended up having to rock her to sleep.

Not good.

So last night, we had a video conference with Jasmine. She is currently living in New York with Kev's mom and dad. They were nice enough to bring her into their computer room to make a big deal out of showing Daphne what a nice cat she is. And to her credit, she really put on a good show. Lots of cute kitty faces and meowing and so forth. We definitely had the Peanut convinced that Jasmine is not an evil cat.

Unfortunately, bedtime was still very difficult. There was lots of crying and clinging and fear. Finally, Daphne agreed to go in her bed if the lights were on and if I stood there and read her a story. Then I worked my way into the rocking chair, where I promised to sit and watch her as she fought as hard as she could to keep her eyes from closing. She did let me leave the room once briefly to go to the bathroom. Kev took over for me after a while and sat with her until she couldn't stay awake any longer. That was about 10:00 I think.

It seemed like an unsolvable problem.

Then this morning, Daphne suddenly said, "Tonight I don't need you and Daddy to stay with me. I am going to be brave and go to sleep all by myself."

Time will tell if this is all just a bunch of big talk. But I hope it's true. We can't go on like this for long. I will keep you posted.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo. Enjoy a taco today.

Oh, one quick funny note to any Texans reading this back home: One of our neighbors told our host that she was going to bring sopapillas to the Cinco de Mayo party last Saturday. When he relayed this info to his wife, he said she was bringing Sacagaweas. I guess they don't get a lot of Mexican food up here. Can you imagine raising your flag at Panchos and asking for more Sacagaweas? Heeheehee. Mmmmmm...Panchos....

Monday, May 04, 2009

Feliz Cuatro de Mayo

The flowers from our cherry tree have migrated to the ground. The sea of pink was kind of pretty, but it has been raining non stop for two days and it's a mess now. I'm looking forward to seeing what blooms next. My money's on the peonies. It can't be much longer.

Meanwhile, we had the neighborhood Cinco de Mayo party on Saturday. We got lucky and the rain stopped for the party, so the kids were able to smash a pinata. It was really cute, and they all had a great time. Daphne got a Ring Pop, and you can imagine the aftermath of that.

Her corn syrup high lasted a couple hours. Then she crashed and had a nightmare about my sister-in-law's cat ("Jasmine was biting me in my crib."), and now she is afraid to be in her bed. I had to stay in her room until she was asleep at naptime yesterday and again last night, and this morning I got to her room just in time to stop her from climbing out her crib. She NEVER tries to climb out. So, I don't know what to do. I know she's really really scared and not just trying to stall or be naughty. Poor kid. I'm hoping that if I don't mention it today, she'll just forget about it, but I think I'm in for another difficult bedtime ordeal.
Someone brought this pig to the party:

Conspiracy Theory: I think maybe Swine Flu was created by the surgical mask industry. My neighbor who owns the local pharmacy said people are buying them like crazy, and the funny thing is, they don't really work. If I had one, I think I'd draw the big Rolling Stones mouth on it.
Time to switch out the laundry. Hasta luego, amigos.