Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hot New Ride...

Good ole garage sale find. I just can't get over how big she's getting. She's really close to crawling. I know I'm going to regret once she really starts, but right now I'm just so excited for her to be more mobile.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This Week In Pictures

But, Mom, I don't want my picture taken!!

I bought a Leap Frog Learning Table (at a yardsale of course) and I do believe it was the best $10 I've ever spent!

Happy Moments from Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Are You Feeling Crabby?

Thursday night we had our first crabs of the season - and, man, were they good! For those of you reading this from a location other than Maryland, you may not be familiar with what I mean when I say crabs. Like I was prior to MD, you may THINK I mean crab legs - the type you get at Red Lobster when you really splurge - the kind you dip in butter and crack with the frustrating metal cracker thing. But that's not at all what I'm talking about.

Allow me to introduce the blue crab.

Who looks like this once he's cooked:

I think one of the biggest adjustments I had to make when moving to MD was the eating of crabs and the shock of how barbaric the whole affair is to an outsider. Now, I accept the task of gutting and eating the suckers with glee, but I have to admit, it's still pretty gross when you really think about it. We use wooden mallets and knives and eat on butcher paper with big mugs of beer and ears of corn. Then we rip off the legs, break open the shells, remove lungs, intestines and "mustard" or fat and then pick the meat out. (some people eat the mustard by the way - ick) It all kind of takes you back to biology class. =)

I've included a set of instructions with pictures to give you a better idea.

*For the record... I DON'T eat the females. I stick with everyone else's notion that they taste different. Something about scraping out the eggs just icks me out every single time. Ewwww..

Friday, May 23, 2008

Back from the Dead... well, almost

So I've been quiet this week, I know, but I've been fighting for my life against the evil snot, fever and productive chest cough villian known as Sinus Infection. I'm still skeptical and think it could have just been a cold as Natalie brought it home with her last week and promptly shared it with both Kevin and me, but who knows? I've been dutifully taking my Amoxicillin and hoping for the best. It's been more than a week now and I'm starting to get impatient. Grrr...

Natalie actually is also on an antibiotic for a double ear infection. Funny though, if she was feeling much worse than me, you never would have known. It amazes me how resilient kids are. She was content to bounce, gurgle and roll around on the floor while I was only happy moaning my last dying wish for ice cream and hot soup from under the covers. Alas, though, my mother does not live with me and as helpful as Kevin was, he wasn't going to drive to the store for my every last whim (he did make me a grilled cheese panini with chicken noodle soup though). Luckily we're all feeling better than earlier this week - or else we'd definitely be calling in some reinforcements for baby duty this weekend.

As for this weekend, my plan is to sleep more than 7 hours a night, shop for some summer sandals, go to a Memorial Day feast with my husbands family, and just relax. Maybe I'll even finish a book. Ooooh...the possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Some videos of Natterbug

Kevin here... Finally got my capture software set up on my laptop, since my old PC I used for editing bit the dust. Here are a few somewhat recent videos!

Natalie splish splashin' in the sink at bath-time!

Here's the little munchkin in the morning waking up. I love this moment, everyday. It makes the start of every day a bit better, just seeing this :)

Hope you enjoyed them!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Excuse me Ma'am, but you have shrubs on your face.

I got out of the house on Saturday and had some much overdue "me time". Kevin was gracious enough to watch Natalie for a good portion of the day while I went out to get a pedicure and squeeze in some retail therapy. Hmmm... although when you shop places like TJ Maxx, Filene's Basement and the clearance racks at the mall maybe its called "Discount Therapy".

Anyway - I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

My first stop was the nail salon to get my toes done. I hit up one of my favorite nail salons (the kind where you can get a pedicure and a manicure for $28 - you know the kind) and sat down to a relaxing 45 minutes of pampering. One of the first things out of the girl's mouth as she sloughs away the rough spots on my feet was "Do you want anything else done? Are you sure you dont want your eyebrows waxed?".

Umm... "no thanks".

Gee... I didnt think they look THAT bad. I don't exactly look like Sasquatch or anything. I decide to just let that one roll past me - this is my "me time" after all - better enjoy it! We chat on and she finishes painting my toes. As she was shaping my nails she starts in.. "Lauren, why don't you want get eyebrow's done?". Geez. Is it just the cultural divide or is this girl totally oblivious to the fact that you can't just offend people like that? I try to be polite again and she goes on and on about how my eyebrows are uneven and how they really need waxed. Argg!!! Either my friends have just been secretly relishing in my wretched and unsightly eyebrows for their own selfish motives or this girl seriously needed some extra cash. I mean, have you ever??? I wasnt quite sure how to react, but I knew I HAD to hold my tounge or I'd say something I'd regret later. Granted, there were a lot of reasons I didnt want to have my eyebrows waxed - namely because I cried last time someone did them because they took WAY too much off and I practically needed a pencil to draw them back in. But I didn't feel like discussing any of these reasons with someone who I shared a language barrier with. Feeling rather self-concious I left the salon for my shopping excursion. At least my nails looked good. *Sigh*

I had several items on my "list" for things I was looking for on Saturday: summer handbag, sandals, bermuda shorts, dressy tops and cute undergarmets - because after having a baby one MUST have cute and properly-fitting undergarmets. It had been a long time since I'd been shopping so this list was longer than my normal shopping list. You should have seen me on Saturday... literally STARVED for shopping time by MYSELF I RAN from store to store trying things on and hemming and hawing over prices.

Ultimately I came to a familiar realizaton - I'm cheap. I just can't spend $50 on summer sandals. I simply refuse to. It was so frustrating because I found shoes and sandals I liked but I couldn't rationalize spending the $$ that was required and Payless didn't have anything I liked. A bit defeated I trudged home with a few more undergarmets and a handbag. Hopefully Target will have some cute things this summer because I usually am fine with their prices and they're also a bit more kid friendly than the mall. Welcome to the new chapter in my life - the "I only shop at Target because I can buy clothes AND toothpaste in the same trip" chapter. At least I usually like their things.

I've Been a Readin'

Just finished my third book of 2008. Yes, folks... its true. I started to read.

*Much cheering*

I guess I figured it's high time I attempt to get back to my roots (my mother is a librarian) and focus on a little thing called literacy. Ok ok.. I've known how to read - its just that I didn't. Anyway, I'm mainly sticking with easy reads - "page turners" if you will. All of the stuff in the news recently about the polygamists in TX got me curious about how those folks do it. I just can't imagine sharing a husband and I thought it would be interesting to read up on why women wanted to do it and just HOW it worked. The book I just finished is called "Shattered Dreams - My Life as a Polygamist's Wife". Let me tell you it is SO good. I had no idea that many women were living in abject poverty to live "The Principle" (or polygamy). Irene Spencer's struggle to find love and fulfillment in her marriage, sanity as a mother of 13 and peace with God is really heartrending. I was constantly in awe of her resolve as I would have thrown in the towel far before she did. Definitely, definitely something you should read.

Oh, and because I didnt post them here, my first book of 2008 was "One for the Money", fiction by Janet Evanovich. Warning - a bit raw in parts, but I thought it was very good. A quick, appetite-whetting read. I'm getting ready to start the second one in the series, "Two for the Dough".

And then I read another novel called "P.S. I Love You" by Cecelia Ahern. So sad, but yet so good. The movie just came out in DVD I think but I heard they've changed it a bit - not sure.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy 8 Months

Happy 8 Months, Natalie!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I Have Not Forgotten You

My darling boy, I have not forgotten you. I have not forgotten what it was like to hold you, so small, in that hospital blanket. Your little hands, so tiny but perfectly formed. Your little body - unfairly robbed of wholeness - unable to contain you and all that you had to bring to this world.

I think about what our life would look like if you had stayed with us just three short years ago - Would I have taken that new job? Would your room be in what is now our office? Would you be potty trained yet? Would we be constantly telling you to wipe your feet, say 'please', stop running, not yell inside? Would you be a snuggler? I think about how you'd make your sister giggle. My heart aches to hold you again.

This day is your day. It's the day you were born into this world and the day we said goodbye to you. It's a day of mourning and of celebrating. Your brief existence here had more impact than some ever have in an entire lifetime. I consider myself lucky to be your mom.

Joseph Nathanial, we miss you.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I Heart Summertime

Last night Kevin and I made some yummy chicken enchiladas after the schnip (yes I'm referring to my daughter) went to bed. We had a good time and goofed off as we each took a part in the ordeal. Kevin chops, I shred the chicken and then glance frantically around the kitchen a the mess that we're making thinking of how I just cleaned this dang room not 24 hours ago and bark out orders to make sure he cleans up his mess, because I ALWAYS clean up mine (ok, he'd have some words to say about this one but I'm writing this post and he's not... hee hee hee).

I digress.

I eye up the avocados we bought a couple days ago for *gasp* $1.50 a piece and we muse about how we'd like to live in California for the cheap avocados - although Kevin is quite sure he could not handle the "left coast" (as he calls it). I ponder that it might be nice to buy fresh avocados for 30 cents a piece and super good mexican food, but we'd lose the savings by paying 1 Million for a house out there. Hmmm... Think I'll stay put.

So I pick the ripest of the two and mash it up with a fork being quite liberal with the salt and adding a touch of garlic powder. Next comes the grated onion and a generous pour of salsa. Stir and Voila! Summertime in a bowl! Kev and I both agree that this is much better if it "melds" in the fridge, but I never can wait for that to occur. So we open a bag of chips and dig in.

I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but alas its my friend Jill's recipe (from California). I'd had guacamole once prior to trying hers and I HATED it. It was in 3rd grade when we learned Spanish from a group of high schoolers who came to our school. They obviously had no idea what they were doing because I remember it as bland and boring. Come to think of it - a lot of food I ate growing up in the midwest was bland - not a lot of salt and/or heat. Anyway... I'm a changed woman. And guacamole = good = summertime.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

My computer is s...l...o...w

So I'm sitting here munching on some of these and wondering why my computer is



Good grief. The cursor is even creeping along. Something must be wrong with this thing. Too bad its maxed out on 768 MB of RAM. Man... that used to be so good. Not no more!

I put Natalie in this tonight:

She paddled around the kitchen like a little pro. Once she got near the black bag in the picture here she reached up and grabbed it like she owned it. That got me thinking as to how much crap I've got at eye level for her once she starts getting mobile. That's going to be a whole new ballgame - one I dont think I'm ready for.