Thursday, June 24, 2010
(PS - I will still listen to Pandora.)
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
*I forgot to blog about the thieves. It all started with Daphne's stomach virus. Her unfortunate incident in the backseat of my car caused me to have to get it cleaned, which caused me to have to leave the windows down overnight so the upholstery could dry, which caused the theft of my EZPass and my GPS. I shouldn't have left them in the car. It was my fault, really. But still. I never suspected there to be thieves in my driveway.
PS. If you haven't ever tried out Pandora.com, you should. I created a Kings of Convenience channel to clean my desk to. And yesterday, I cleaned Daphne's room to a Prefab Sprout channel. I'm thinking De La Soul for dinner...
Anyway, the library has started its Summer Reading Program for kids, which made me happy because this was a summer staple during my youth. I got Daphne all signed up. She has to read 50 books this summer and write them on her reading log, and when she does, she gets to choose a free book. (I believe Borders and B&N are both having similar summer programs, but those places are quite a drive from here.) Plus she got some little trinkets just for signing up. We have already polished off three books. Forty-seven to go! Woohoo!
I sadly turned in my copy of The Happiness Project. But it will be good for someone else to get to read it. Apparently, there are quite a few Loudoun County residents in the market for happiness. When I went on line to request the book, I was 38th in the queue. I think there are three copies floating around the county, so it only took a few weeks for me to get my turn. I do think I am going to buy a copy eventually. The paperback doesn't come out until December, so maybe I'll ask for it for my birthday or something. It will be good to have it to refer to during downward groove spirals.
As I mentioned before, parts of the book are sort of hokey. Other parts are common sense. But overall I enjoyed reading it, could relate to it, and found some good strategies for increasing my serenity here at home on a daily basis since a quiet month alone in a cabin in the woods in Maine with some yarn, needles, books, a canoe, and the sounds of loons is not a real option. And that's totally OK. I LIKE being at home.
The main thing I was inspired to do after reading the book is to get rid of clutter and chaos, because that is what tends to bring me down. I started this yesterday in Daphne's room. In three hours, her room was clean, neat, and organized. I gave two bags of clothes to my neighbor, packed up another bag for the Salvation Army, threw away some very old things that were just taking up space (think containers of diaper rash cream from three years ago and the like), and packed away some winter stuff that should still fit later in the year. It was hard work, but I cannot tell you how good it felt to tackle this chore. Over the summer, I am going to do the rest of the house, and I can't wait. In fact, as soon as I finish this post, I'm starting on my desk drawers.
Gretchen Rubin, the author of the book, made resolutions throughout the year that she dedicated to her project, so I am going to make a few here and try really hard to keep them. I think trying to do these things will, at least a little bit, improve the overall quality of life for me and for the people who have to deal with me. So here goes:
- Complain less and be generally less negative. There are no lions after all.
- Spend less time on the computer. There will be at least one whole experimental "Power Down" week this summer...probably sooner than later.
- Enjoy Daphne as much as possible even when she's being annoying. Try to turn her annoying behaviors around into something more fun.
- Eat better food and take more walks.
- Stay up later. Try to encourage Kev to stay up later too.
- Get up earlier.
- Find some kind of an interesting or fun class to take.
- Listen to music more. Especially while cooking.
- Have more family band time.
- Let things go.
Now, off to attack my desk. Better take some trash bags...
- Good bagel sandwiches can be found at Deli South, Puccios, and Shoes. I believe Kev really likes the omelets at Deli South as well. These places are all very casual - Shoes has the best atmoshpere of the three. The ciabatta breakfast sandwiches at South Street Under are also great, and you can eat outside if it isn't too hot.
- La Lou has a good Sunday brunch, but I prefer their dinners.
- I haven't been to Palio yet, but I really want to go for brunch because I think they have Nutella bananas foster crepes.
- Cajun experience has a great brunch, but I have never been able to figure out exactly when they have it. We just happened to go during the flower and garden festival. You CANNOT beat their begniets if you want a breakfasty treat. They have awesome cheddar grits too. Call first to make sure they're open. They have outdoor seating now which we haven't had a chance to try yet.
- Puccios - great sandwiches. It gets busy though...sometimes you have to wait a while to get your food. I love sitting on their porch.
- Pulled pork bbq sandwiches at the Philomont General Store. YUM.
- Good bbq also at the gourmet grocery in Paeonian Springs. At both of these places, you have to eat outside. And neither has the best barbecue in the world, but it's the best we've found north of Memphis.
- Best thing to do is pack a lunch and go to a winery.
- Croque Monsieur and torta palla at the Wine Kitchen. Torta palla are little balls of chocolate happiness.
- Butter chicken at Angeethi. With a nice mango lassi. I think this is my favorite meal in Leesburg.
- Yellow curry from the Thai place at the gas station. Love the pineapple in this. With Thai iced tea if they have it.
- Shrimp and Grits or Corn chowder at Tuskies. The mussels are great too. And the fried zucchini. And the roasted red pepper bisque if they have it - it's a special. Their bread pudding is my favorite Leesburg dessert. Have never had a bad meal at Tuskies.
- I have had several different things at La Lou and liked them all. Our favorite place for date night.
- Chicken and Andouille Gumbo at the Cajun Experience. Delicious. I don't like the potatoes that come with it, but Kev does. Begniets for dessert of course.
- Have only been to Shoes for dinner once, and it was good. I really want to sit in their Secret Garden at night.
- Red Kebab is great too, but more for a casual weeknight dinner than an anniversary. I get the #2.
Menues for pretty much all of these places can be found on line. I am too lazy to post links this morning.We have thus far not found any great pizza or Mexican food. Help in this area would be appreciated.
Now I am hungry.
Anyway, that's just what I like. I would be happy with any of those meals at any time on any day, especially because I would not be the one cooking them.
Another very helpful website is Every Restaurant in Leesburg by the great Jim. If there is a restaurant you want to know about, chances are he's reviewed it.
So, happy anniversary to Christina and Wade! Enjoy your free weekend, and let me know if you find any good food that I should try!
Monday, June 21, 2010
Part of that is probably due to the fact that I had a lot of Time to Myself this weekend. I am so very rarely alone in the house, so when it happens, it is a pretty big deal.
Friday evening, I got a short break while Kev took Daphne to try out her bike on the W&OD. I spent the entire time collapsed on the couch. It was great.
Saturday, the two of them went to the water park at the local
And last night, Daphne spent the night with G-Ma, G-Pa, and Uncle Jeff, so this morning I went out for a walk and breakfast, and then came home and completely re-organized Daphne's room before it was time to go pick her up. Aaaah.
In addition to all this alone time, I got to have Kev-time, small family time, big family time, and friends-from-afar time.
On Saturday afternoon, my friend from college, Jodi, and her family, made a brief detour to our house on their way from Atlanta to Vermont - a little rest stop. I have not seen Jodi and Steve for many many years, and I had never met their three kids. It was so great to see them...just as if no time had passed at all.
Saturday night, after they left, we had family movie night and watched The Jungle Book. Then Sunday morning, we had a very nice little Father's Day party. Kev's loot is pictured below. Polka music, beer, nuts, pictures, a frame and card from Daphne, and a case of records. Not bad. And the best thing of all was Daphne's very good behavior.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Here is a fun activity you can do when it is way too hot to go outside and your kids are saying "MoOoOoOoMMMM, I'm boooooored." Or if you are in a really boring telecon at your work. This project has "Kev" written all over it. Plus, the music is groovy. You'll have it stuck in your head all day.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
After the class, we went to see Rocknoceros, who was conveniently playing their weekly Dulles Town Center gig right outside the cooking class shop. Daphne gave Coach a picture of french fries that she colored for him. He loved it. Coach is awesome. He makes every kid feel special.
Then, Kev met us for lunch and a ride on the carousel. We ran into one of Daphne's friends from school. We played on the soft playground, and Daphne got to choose one piece of candy from the candy store. She picked a gumdrop. It was a good day.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
It was a nice walk. We went to the new hot dog place, which was just as good as last time, but I noticed they are now selling a book in there called "Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog." They are trying as hard as they can to lose my business. It's a good thing for them that I'm working on my new "Happiness Project" attitude. I am almost done with the book. Review coming soon.
Speaking of Daphne's camera, it was a big hit with the kids at her birthday party. It was passed around to various party guests who ended up taking some of my favorite shots. I just love the perspective you get from a height of three feet. I'll post some of those on Daphne's flickr page too. There's a link on the sidebar if you want to check them out.
I have a LOT of homemade chocolate syrup left. It only lasts two weeks. I have a lot of sprinkles, marshmallows, mini M&Ms, crushed oreos, and ice cream left too. And two packages of hot dogs. Hmmm...I'm thinking a Father's Day make-your-own-sundae party may be in order.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
For her birthday, Daphne got a kid-size drum set yesterday from Uncle Jeff. She got to work right away writing this song. I mostly can't tell what the heck she's saying. I told her that. I said, "Daphne, I can't really tell what you're saying." And she said, "That's the problem with Rock and Roll." So true, so true.
It's something about "GIMME SOME DRUMS FOR CHRISTMAS!"
I really especially love the BIG ROCK ending.
My kid is cool. I'm allowed to say that, right? Because she just is.
One of my favorite things about Daphne's party was the fake photobooth we set up in the driveway. I am so happy with the way these came out. It was easy to do, too. I hung up a piece of fabric (that I got for $2.00 at Jo-Ann's) on the garage door, laminated some paper moustaches and put them on sticks (this caused some raised eyebrows at the copy center), and let the kids go to town making silly faces. (For the record, this was not my original idea. I copied some others from the blogosphere. There are tons of cool birthday party ideas on the internet if you're willing to look around a little). Anyway, these pictures will be sent with the thank-you notes. And we'll have copies for Daphne's birthday album.
One other experimental thing we did for Daphne's party was to ask for a donated new book instead of a present. The books will go to children in hospitals through a really cool local organization called Cole's Closet. There were a couple of reasons for doing this. First of all, Daphne has enough stuff. I know this is selfish, but the idea of trying to find places to put twenty or so more toys was more than I wanted to deal with.
Friday, June 11, 2010
This week, I am not as frantic as last week. I think I benefited from the "dress rehearsal," if you will. Today, all I really had to do was re-clean and bring the party supplies back downstairs.
And make the chocolate and raspberry sauces. Yes. Now, THAT was fun. Don't they look delicious up there in their sqeezey bottles? I can't wait to try some on ice cream. Best part: NO high fructose corn syrup. Recipes here.
Tomorrow morning, we swing back into hard core party mode. But for now, I am going to enjoy a little calm before the storm, and maybe spend some time with my library book:
While some of it is kinda hokey, there are parts that have been really inspiring. In fact, I put some of the ideas into practice today, and I've already noticed a difference. I shall report more on this later. I shall also report on our unfortunate incident with thieves. So upsetting.
But now, I'm off to read another chapter before Daphne wakes up. Party pics coming soon! Have a great weekend!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
My response to this is, "Well, that's about all I've got."
I spend about 98 percent of my awake time either cooking, planning meals to cook, shopping for food to cook, and taking care of Daphne. So, you'll have to forgive me if I no longer have time to muse much on my battles with imaginary diseases or to contemplate which people I might want to haunt someday.
I'm not complaining. I LOVE my S.A.H.M. job. It is the best thing I've ever been allowed to do. But, I probably do need to find some outside activities.
This evening, I am going out with the women on my block to say goodbye to our awesome neighbor Martha, who I will never forgive for leaving me the only Southerner in the neigborhood . Perhaps something interesting will happen that is not Daphne or food related. If so, I will blog about it.
In the meantime, I was curious to see what I was blogging about five years ago today, in the days before mommyhood. Please click the link and enjoy the Ghost of Tara Past as she discusses German pop music: Flashback to June 8, 2005.
I am suddenly very extra thankful that Daphne came along.
I do miss sitting around watching bad 50s movies with Kev though. I'm gonna try to make that happen. If we can still stay awake long enough.
Monday, June 07, 2010
And, of course, as a reason to take pictures of food. LOTS of pictures of food.
I have always been a little worried, though, that something would happen to blogger.com and all these years worth of the LRHS would disappear into some sort of internet black hole, never to be read again. So, I was very excited yesterday to discover this website. And some of you who have your own blog may be excited too.
You can use the service to save your blog as PDF files, or you can have it printed into either soft or hard cover books. It is kind of expensive, but really really cool. Just what I've been hoping for. So, I am going to order Volume 1 (2004), which is only 4 months of posts, to see how it looks. If I like it, then over time I will order a book for each subsequent year.
I will let you know how it turns out.
GG and Kathy- Looks like I'm writing a book after all! Yay!
In spite of being sick, she enjoyed opening her presents. The BIG ONE was a brand new big kid bike:
I hope your weekend was better than ours and that you and the people in your families are all nice and healthy. Barney is over, so I'm going back into the other room to hang out with my little girl now. Now, where is that remote...
Saturday, June 05, 2010
Friday, June 04, 2010
She was actually sick yesterday after school too, but we thought she was over it. I learned the hard way that she wasn't. So, sadly, we've had to postpone her party until next week, which means some of her friends won't be able to make it.
When she heard this news, she was devastated. "But MOMMMMMMY, it just HAS to be tomorrow!" (Sob sob sob). It was heartbreaking. Poor little thing.
I think she is feeling better about it now. We let her open a couple of "Last Day to be Three" presents to cheer her up.
She got a kid-size broom! YES! You wouldn't think that a broom would make a little kid so happy, but it did. She's always trying to use my broom, and she can't manage it very well. So, now she can sweep to her heart's content. Thank you, Home Depot. (And that is the first, and probably the last, time I'll EVER say that. Home Depot is a total whip.)