Sunday, December 31, 2006

Saturday, December 30, 2006


Our DSL has been a bit tempermental lately. Grr! Hopefully things will get to running smoothly sometime soon.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Three for Thursday

Things Happen in 3s. Here are mine.

Here is a list of the 3 best things about Christmas being over:

1. No more pine needles in the house. I love a live tree. I love the smell. I hate stepping on fallen needles.

2. Furniture goes back to its home. We had to move our love seat from the living room in the dining room and the end table to the other side of the couch. I keep tripping on them.

3. No more cookies. Goodbye temptation, hello weight loss.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Green Eyed Monster

The green eyed monsters has reared its ugly head again, but this time striking a different member of the family. Let me explain. Last night, Curly and I had our last gig of the year for the Towne Singers. We were scheduled to sing as part of the Candlelit Houses of Worship tour. We were outside, and it was cold. Flower had been with her mom for the afternoon. She was going to be dropped off during our 30 minute break, and then her mom would leave. The time came for her to be dropped off and Curly invited the Ex (I really have no clever name for her other than Ex) to join us while we sat in a little cafe to warm up. Then he asked if she wanted to stay while we sang. I thought she would say no, but she said yes. So, while we sang, she entertained the kids. It was actually not as uncomfortable as I would have thought. Anyway, Mini-me was tired, hungry, and cold, and wanted a little extra attention. Ex put her on her lap and was really sweet with her. That's when the monster swooped in. Flower got angry. She said she wanted Mini-me to stop talking to her mom, and that she didn't want to share a room with her anymore. Yikes. Ex is pregnant again, and I think this jealousy has more to do with that than with Mini-me, but I could be wrong. By the end of dinner, the kids were friends again.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Next Day...

I took a trip to the "Elf Repair Shop" this morning. It seems the much anticipated Backyardigans radio didn't function to its full capacity. Two buttons were broken. It got very annoying to hear Pablo, Natasha, and Uniqua sing their songs over and over and over again. "I'm a soccer monster and I love a soccer ball. I would rather play soccer than do anything at all. SOCCER! 1, 2, 3, 4 SOCCER! Pass, shoot, score!" The Christmas miracle of today was that I found the reciept I thought I had lost. I got to the first "repair shop," turned in the broken radio, went to the toy section to get the replacement, and they were out. Completely. Not a radio to be found. Panic set in. This was the only thing Mini-me had asked every Santa she saw for. On a wing and a prayer (is that the right cliche here?) I got in the car and drove to another large discount store, hoping they would have it in stock and that it would be functioning. The next Christmas miracle was that they had 3, and it was 2 cents cheaper than at the other place. So, I saved money as well.

I got home, the kids were none the wiser when I told them I had fixed the radio. They still only pushed "SOCCER! 1,2,3,4 SOCCER!" but at least I know the other buttons work. Then Mini-me pooped her pants. Oh well.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

The hat I made for Mini-me rarely left her head, Flower just wanted to curl up in her quilt, and Patch was the cutest Christmas boy there ever was. It really was the hap-hap-happiest holiday since Bing Crosby danced with Danny Kaye!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Did You Miss Me??

I know my14 readers are worried sick about where I've been. Our DSL was out for several days. I felt so isolated, not being able to send or recieve email. And, I had no public outlet for my thoughts and feelings :) Hopefully the problem is fixed.

It's been a fun weekend. Mini-me turned 3 on Saturday. We celebrated with a party at Way off Broadway, seeing Frosty the Snowman with several of her friends. A good time was had by all. And now it's Christmas. I've been so good -- I hope Santa remembers!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Three for Thursday

Things happen in 3s. Here are mine.

Here are my 3 favorite holiday songs:

1. Snow (or anything from White Christmas). Our singing group has added this to our repertoire. Love it love it love it.

2. God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen, by Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLaughlin. It has a groovy beat that you can dance to.

3. River. I know a lot of people don't care for this song, but I think it captures the melancholy that can come with the holidays.

Sorry for the lack of posts! Our DSL has decided not to function lately...Humbug.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sick Again!

Mini-me just can't seem to shake it. It's driving me beyond crazy. Her temperature is 99.3 at the current moment, which I know isn't considered a "fever," but I think anything above normal is sick. She also has a delightful rash, which could be roseola, but it could also be ringworm. Don't click these links while eating or thinking of eating. But, I digress...Personally, I am hoping and praying for roseola. It's much quicker and less contagious to the rest of the house. All this to say she'll miss the preschool party today. It's a bummer to miss that, but she doesn't know because I haven't told her.

I am also missing my Jenny today. I don't really want to take that rash anywhere right now. Except, it did go to dinner with the grandparents last night. So sorry.

My question for today is this: would you like to recieve carolers Christmas Eve, or is that too disruptive? Please comment.

Monday, December 18, 2006

One Week to Go

Christmas is a week away, and even with all my planning and budgeting, I still feel a little unprepared. The stockings are done, Mini-me's hat is done (I will post a picture after she opens it), Flower's quilt is done (again, photo pending opening), Patch isn't getting much, so he's done. I have a little work to do on my ornaments for my family. Our new tradition (goes back about 4 years now) is to give an ornament that represents our year. I have chosen to stitch mine this year, and have one left to do. Then I need to sew them up. The sewing part won't take long. Hopefully I can do it tonight so I can get them in the mail. I haven't wrapped anything yet, but that's okay. We can't put things under the tree because Gracie will eat the wrapping paper. Mini-me has already opened something and had to sit in time out. Oh, the holidays.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Three for Thursday

Things happen in 3s. Here are mine.

Here is a list of my 3 favorite modern holiday classics.

3. A Christmas Story. This was also my acting debut in Frederick, as I played Mother last Christmas. You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

2. Christmas Vacation. Watching this movie makes it the hap, hap, happiest holiday since Bing Crosby danced with Danny Kaye. It's a little irreverant, but who can't relate to the statement "It's the holidays and we're all miserable." Where's the tylenol?

3. Elf. One of the greatest movies by comic genius Will Farrell. This movie reminds us of three things: Treat every day like Christmas. There's room for everyone on the nice list. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear. Oh, and if you see gum on the street, don't eat it. It's not free candy.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

How do you Spell "Success?"

Today, Mini-me went peepee in the potty. I put the potty in the kitchen, put my laptop on a bin, and turned on Cars. She has gone several times. But here's my question -- is it normal for her to pee 3 times in an hour? I thought at this stage she should be able to hold it a little longer. I don't want to send her to preschool in the morning in panties if she's just going to go to the bathroom every 20 minutes. By the same token, I don't want to put her back in a diaper and ruin the progress we've made. Suggestions would be appreciated!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


This morning was a successful Jenny day. I am down another pound and a half. I am 1.2 pounds away from 25 pounds total. I am happy with the results, because it is a lot of work to lose weight. It's definitely a lot more fun to put it on than take it off.

I've often wondered at the example I'm setting for my kids. What are they picking up from my actions? I hope that from my weight loss and Jenny Craig membership, they don't see a mom who lacks self control and gets herself into trouble. Instead, I hope they see that even when you make a mistake, you can make it right. I hope they see that if they don't like something about themselves, or a situation they are in, hard work can change anything. And, I hope they know that my weight is not what's important. How I look is not what's important. The important thing is being healthy and happy on the inside.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Yummy Recipe

Crispix Mix

1 stick butter
6 oz chocolate chips
6 oz peanut butter chips
12 oz crunchy peanut butter
1 pound powdered sugar
largest box of Crispix cereal (or 1 1/2 12 oz boxes)

Melt first 4 ingredients in sauce pan over low heat. Pour cereal in large, covered container. Pour melted ingredients over the cereal and mix well. Add powdered sugar, seal container, and shake until well coated.

Don't make the mistake I made in trying to double the recipe. You end up smooshing the cereal and not all the pieces get stuff on them. This makes a great gift for neighbors -- just put it in a festive Chinese take-out box (you can get them at Michael's), and a ribbon, and viola!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I Stink at Potty-Training and Birthday Monsters

It seems that I am a bit potty-training challenged. Mini-me refuses to go. We can sit her on the potty all day long, and she still wouldn't go. At first, I thought maybe she just lacked the control necessary to use a toilet. Now, I realize that she has control. In fact, she has so much control that she actually looked at Curly and said "I don't want to pee-pee in the potty. You just change my diaper, okay?" So, we are still changing her diaper. We don't want her to need therapy just because we forced her to go in the toilet at the tender age of 2.

Gracie, the puppy, also refuses to go where she needs to go. She will not go down to the grass unless she is physically carried. It's like she's looking at us and saying "I don't wan to go pee-pee in the grass. You just change my piddle pad, okay?" Not okay. You really can't treat puppies and kids the same. For example, they would call Child Protective Services on you if you rubbed your kids face in her puddle of pee on the floor, spanked her on the nose, and put her outside to go on the grass.

Mini-me is two weeks away from her 3rd birthday. She is so excited. My grandma sent her presents a couple of days ago, and Mini-me keeps walking around with them saying "This is my present. It's a cake!" Her party is going to be at Way Off Broadway for the children's theater production of Frosty the Snowman. Last night as I was putting her to bed, she said in her most excited voice, "Mommy! The monsters are coming to my birthday party!" I really hope not -- we only reserved 20 seats!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Being a Bear

My friend Carol gave me this at our Towne Singers rehearsal this week. Enjoy:

In this life I'm a woman. In my next life, I'd like to come back as a bear. When you're a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that.

Before you hibernate, you're supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that too.

When you're a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you're sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that.

If you're mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that.

If you're a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.

Yup, gonna be a bear!

I thought that was very funny. Anyway, random question here. If your baby pees in the bath water, do you take him out and change the water before continuing?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Photo Friday

This is the ornament I made for the ornament exchange at the Primitive Sampler. I think it turned out pretty cute. Mini-me wanted to carry it on the way to the store. By the time we walked from the front door to the car, she had pulled the nose off. Luckily, Wendy, the shop owner, had some glue to reattach it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Three for Thursday

Things happen in 3s. Here are mine.

Here are my 3 favorite holiday classics. Each allows for ample stithing time.

3. Miracle on 34th Street -- this is a new favorite of mine. I watched it last year for the first time with my mother in law who never cries at anything. She cried at this movie. She then clarified that she never cries at anything important.

2. Holiday Inn -- even though this movie is non-discriminating, it's still a Christmas movie to me. Is yo's names Mamie?

1. White Christmas -- was there any doubt? Danny, Bing, Vera, and Rosemary dance and sing their way to save a certain general's Vermont inn. Vermont must be beautiful this time of year, all that snow.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

No Gymnastics???

Mini-me didn't want to go to gymnastics this morning. Normally she can't wait for Miss Susan's class and asks everyday if it's time to go. She cries when it's not. It's kind of strange that she doesn't want to go, but it is very cold outside and she was sick all last week, so maybe she just needs time to recoup.

Patch had his doctors appointment yesterday and did great. The little chunker weighs 14 lbs 4 oz. If he's so small, why is he so heavy??? Mini-me and Flower didn't weigh that much until they were about 6 months. I can start him on rice cereal today which means I am no longer tied to feeding every 2 hours. FREEDOM!

On the project front, today I need to turn in my ornament to the cross stitch shop for the exchange. The catch is, I'm not quite done. Yikes! I've been focusing a lot on the gifts for the kids and forgot to work on it. Since we are not at Miss Susan's class, I should be able to get it done by about 4:30 and get it over there before Wendy closes.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Jenny Update

My Jenny appointment was great this morning - scale wise. Time wise, it was terrible. But first, the good news. I am down another 1 1/2 pounds. Yea! My normal consultant, Virginia, was out today. So I saw someone else whose name I do not know. She's very nice and a little too accomidating. When I got there, she was with another client. It was a walk in, meaning no appointment. I have a standing 8:20 appointment that lasts 20 minutes. I am home by 8:45 to finish getting Mini-me ready for school and walk her over there by 9. Well, at 8:30, I was still sitting and waiting for the walk-in (who walked in 2 minutes before my appointment) to be done. It was close getting Mini-me to school on time.

I have a stacked day today. In a few minutes, we need to leave to take our puppy, Gracie, to the vet. Then Mini-me gets picked up at 11:30. My friend Angie is coming over today and we are doing an AtHome America party for her (she is a new rep for them). At 3, I am taking Patch to the doctor for his 4 month well child visit. Curly has a seminary meeting tonight and I have play selection committee. However, if I can't find a sitter, I can't go to my meeting. It's a very busy day. Better get crackin!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sunday, December 03, 2006

More Projects Than...

If you finished that phrase with "you can shake a stick at," we might be related.

I finished my hats last night. Muchas gracias to Debbie for the help on those (I would link to her blog, but my links button has disappeared!!!). I did one for all three kids. They were so easy that the nieces and nephews are getting the same thing. The only time I can work on them is when kids and animals are asleep.

Last night I also finished the stockings. I added the ribbon to the girls stockings (had to go to the ribbon outlet for that. What an AMAZING place), and then added thicker ribbon to the inside to hide the seams. Then, I hung them on the 97 year old bannister, as we have no fireplace. They look great. I will post a picture as soon as picture posting capabilities return. What's up blogger??

I think I am ahead of schedule as far as projects go. I wanted to make ribbon belts for the girls, and I still need to pick up the hardware for that. I need to knit up the princess hat for Mini-me, which I have all the stuff for. I can even work on that in front of her. She never notices what I'm doing.

If I haven't said it before, this is a "Homemade Christmas." Santa will be bringing toys, but Mommy and Daddy are making everything else. Well, I say Daddy, but Mommy will make it and Daddy gets to put his name on the card. All joking aside, I am grateful that Curly is on board with this lofty dream of a homemade holiday and he gives me the time and help required to do all of it. Plus, his tips from Way off Broadway are paying for supplies.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Dear Santa,

I have been a very good girl this year. I have changed countless poopy diapers, cleaned up after sick kids, made more meals than you could shake a stick at, and tried to do it all with a smile on my face. My Christmas list is not long. I would like a roasting pan for my Sunday dinners, an immersion blender, a waffle iron that you can flip so that all the nooks and cranies get filled, a few new cookbooks, peace on earth, tens and twenties. Not much. Oh, I also want my kids to feel the magic of Christmas, especially Flower, who may not believe anymore. I want them to remember Jesus amidst all the wrapping paper and toys. I want them to learn all the words to our favorite Christmas songs and sing them loud for all to hear. That is, after all, the best way to spread holiday cheer. And, most of all, I want to remember that there's room for everyone on the nice list, even the guy who cut me off and took my parking spot on a cold and windy day when I have my kids with me. That's all.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Three for Thursday

Things happen in 3s. Here are mine.

Here's a list of 3 things I would do if I had the time:
1. Get waxed. Just my face. That hair is not going to take care of itself!
2. Get a massage. I'm so tired after taking care of sick Mini-me and the baby that I might just fall asleep on the table.
3. See a movie. During the day. By myself. Any old chick-flick will do. The best part is not having to share the Diet Coke!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Scary Moment

Last night, Curly got a call from some of his friends offering him a ticket to see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in Baltimore. I had already seen the show in NYC, so I encouraged him to go, knowing how much he would like it. I must have fallen into a deep sleep on the couch before he got home, because when he walked through the door, he scared the dickens out of me. I screamed so loud the neighbors must have heard. Then, I was so embarrassed, I started to cry.

Mini-me does indeed have strep throat. She woke up at about 3 this morning, asking for a story. Patch also woke up several times. I am one sleepy momma this morning.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I don't know how many people lose weight over Thanksgiving, but I am one of them. This morning at my Jenny Craig appointment, I found that I am down 2.8 pounds. That's a total of 20.8 pounds lost. My family can attest to the fact that I enjoyed myself this holiday weekend.

Mini-me still has a fever. We are headed to the doctor later this morning. Hopefully they will diagnose something so that we can help her get over this.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Tonight, I cried at a sitcom. The last time I did that, Rachel dumped Ross. Tonight, Lena forgave Ritchie. I know, I know. It is totally lame to cry at a tv show. But it is not lame to cry when you see someone forgive someone else.

Tonight, Curly started rehearsing for Forever Plaid. He only has 5 rehearsals in the month of December. They open mid-January. He certainly has his work cut out for him. And, since I run lines and play piano to help him out, I have my work cut out for me as well.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sick Day

Mini-me has yet another fever. I am also not feeling so well, so I'm staying home from church today with the kids. Curly seems to be doing alright.

Last night, Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, and Melden came up to see Curly's show. It was a great evening. The food was good, the company great, and the show fantastic. The part of the show I was most anxious about was the kiss Curly has with Cha-cha. A picture of it was on the front page of the Frederick Gazette. Little side note about it -- a woman in our ward saw the picture and confronted Curly in the hall about it last Sunday. She said, "I saw a picture of you kissing a woman who is not your wife. Shame on you." We thought that was very funny and discussed all the church movies that have kissing scenes between people who are not married in real life. Anyway, last night they turned the kiss into more of an embrace.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Three for Thursday

Things happen in 3s. Here are mine.

Being Thanksgiving, here are 3 things I am thankful for:

1. My husband, Curly. Not only is he a looker, but he is a great husband and father.
2. My kids -- Flower, Mini-me, and Patch. They are a wealth of entertainment and love.
3. My friends. I have a lot, and they are all kind and loyal.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Fun has Begun!

Thanksgiving festivities were kicked off last night in Vienna, VA. Grandma and Grandpa Zundel arrived from Chicago, Melly and Elden arrived from Utah (and Canada). We drove down and had a great dinner with them, Mom and Dad, and Mike and Jean and Preston, at our favorite Italian place, Espositos. We had a great time talking, laughing, and cooing over babies. Mini-me even did a little show back at GrandPatty's house. This is going to be some fun holiday!

The only downside to so much fun is tired kids. Mini-me is a total grump this morning. She decided she was too tired to go to gymnastics this morning, so we're just hanging out here all morning. With a day to decompress, tomorrow should be great for her.

On the docket for today is pie baking. I am making 3 different kinds: pumpkin (of course!), chocolate pecan, and apricot cranberry. Hopefully they will all turn out. Last year I forgot to put the sugar in the pumpkin pie that went to my inlaws. Whoops! They were very good natured about it, but it was gross.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Jon Remember

The following is taken from a letter from my oldest brother, Jon. Hope he doesn't mind!

Who can forget the year when, with heavy hearts (and a grateful Grandma), we retired the esteemed jersey of Big Z? Or, how about the controversial sideline play when Matt did or did not step out of bounds? The image of Sam Anderson weaving his way through a porous defense as just a seven year old will not soon be lost to the ages. Nor will we forget the year when The Missionaries returned for another game. The tradition was passed to another generation when the Turkey Bowl was held at historic Harger Road field to show the great grandkids that despite their parents’ insistence, their fathers were not in shape. After playing, we always retreated to the comfort of 905 Red Fox Lane for the opportunity to get dressed up, eat ourselves silly, and fall asleep during a football game. Of course, the Turkey Bowl was more than a game, as we gathered for Bingo, then pie, then some turkey leftovers, then a little more pie, some Disney movies for the kids, and finally bed-time. Naturally, the Lee’s would wake up early the next morning to go to a gym in Elmhurst and begin the process of training for the next year’s game. There is no off-season from the Turkey Bowl.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Something Different

Today we were teaching Mini-me about Thanksgiving. I said I was thankful for her, Flower, Patch, and Daddy. She said "I thank-ul for church." Such a sweet thing. This time of year has made me thankful for a lot of things. My family, my home, my belief in Christ, and my freedom, to name a few. It is in this spirit that I ask you to click here to say thank you to our troops. It just takes a moment. You can write your own message, or choose one of several that is already written. It doesn't matter if you support the war, or the President. That's not what this is about. This is about giving our gratitude to the thousands of men and women who defend our freedom.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mom Remembers

From my mom, GrandPatty:

"Grandpa always had a yard project as part of Thanksgiving Day. In Richmond he would trim the ivy on the house, and Mrs. Sanders who lived next door, said she knew that it was time to put her turkey in the oven if Neil was trimming the ivy.

"In Oak Brook exterior illumination was the order of the day as Jon and Mike were enlisted to help Grandpa festoon the Steeplechase brick wall for the homeowners association."

Friday, November 17, 2006

Family Moments

At our Chicago Thanksgivings, there were always funny family moments. Aunt Lisa with Melly in the bathroom was one. The old men stretching before the Turkey Bowl is another. The video that Kristy and Lindsay made is one of my favorites. They went around with the video camera all day taping everyone saying things like "Happy Thanksgiving!" and "Gobble, gobble!" That, in and of itself, was very funny. But add things like flushing the toilet and pretend blow-drying your hair, and you have hilarity.

Somehow Thanksgiving Day seemed the be the longest day of the year. There was time to watch a parade, play football, eat snacks and watch football before dinner, eat a huge dinner, clean up, watch more football, stitch and chat, play bingo, eat pie, and watch a movie or two. It was like time stood still for one day. Grandma and Grandpa had the best room for movie watching. There were two beds, a recliner, and a triangle pillow (that we would fight over). We would watch Charlie Brown cartoons on their laser disk player (our favorite was the Homecoming episode with Charlie Brown playing the worst football ever, and then getting to escort the little red haired girl to the dance). We would watch A Christmas Story with Ralphie shooting his eye out. And, my favorite, we would watch White Christmas. It's still my all-time favorite movie. It makes you think that the 40s and 50s were wonderfully fun times full of singing and dancing and saving ski chalets. We always sang along, we always fast-forwarded through "Choreography," and we always broke out into spontaneous dance performances of "Sisters." This movie will always bring back Chicago Thanksgivings for me. During the movies, the girls would break out the dress-ups. They never failed to amuse us. It was an activity that usually ended in tears, and usually my tears, but we did it anyway and put on countless fashion shows over the years.

We did a lot of stitching on Thanksgiving Day. I think it's where I got my love of stitching. Aunt Lisa would bring her big bag and show the projects she had going to for teachers and friends for Christmas gifts. Kristy always had something she was working on. Grandma usually worked on needlepoint. Aunt Jill would work on a huge tablecloth. My mom and I would alternate between needlepoint and cross stitch. Eventually I settled on cross stitch and Mom has crossed over to knitting. We would sit in the living room on the gold couches and chat. I loved hearing stories from college years and holidays past. I also loved seeing the relationship my mom had with her sister and sister-in-law, and her mom. It was easy and relaxed. It was clear that they loved each other.

Thanksgiving Day just had a magic to it. There was a huge meal to prepare and clean up. There were games to be played and watched. But there was always time to sit and relax and enjoy being together as a family. Isn't that what the holidays are all about?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

More Memories

It is pouring down rain today, which causes me to push my errands back until the rain stops. As a result, I have more time to reminisce about Thanksgivings of yore. Since we stuffed ourselves full of turkey, the natural thing to do the day after is go out and walk around. It seems everyone in the country shares that desire and thus we have the busiest shopping day of the year. Some years we would just go to Oak Brook center, which is less than a mile from Grandma's house. It is an outdoor mall that has every shop you could ever want or need. My favorite place as a kid was, of course, the candy store. I think it was called The Confectionary. My favorite thing to get was a plastic bear filled with candy. I don't even know what kind. Other years, we would brave downtown and hit The Water Tower. The Water Tower is a multi-level shopping experience. Parking was hard to find, and the place was crowded beyond belief. We used to joke that if we picked up our feet while in the crowd, we would continue to move. My brothers always wanted to visit the fan stores, being the biggest Bears and Cubs fans this side of the Mississippi. I don't know that I had a place I always wanted to go. I was just along for the ride. (I'm sure someone remembers differently. Feel free to comment!) That night, we would have dinner at Carson's. It was, as their slogan says, The Place For Ribs. In all my years of eating there, I think I only ordered ribs once or twice. I always had chicken and a gold brick sundae for dessert. I remember several years (which for me morph into "always"), my uncle would order a salad, the idea being he was on a diet. Carson's didn't have an ordinary salad, though. They had what they called a "garbage" salad. If you could think it, it was in that salad. They probably threw in a couple of ribs for good measure. The lobby of the restaraunt had an old PacMan game. We never put quarters in to play, but we always fought over who got to sit there. One year my aunt, who is so funny, went into the restroom while my sister was in there, disguised her voice, and asked "Is there a Mary Ellen in here?" This little voice answered tentatively, "Yes." We laughed and laughed over that one. Although, if it had been me in that stall, I may not have answered, I would have been so freaked out that someone who didn't sound like a relation, knew my name.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Opening night is in 2 days. Curly is feeling a little under the weather. That's normal for tech week, though. It's a very stressful week. Hopefully he'll be feeling fine by the open.

I am getting so excited for Thanksgiving. I think it may be my favorite holiday. Growing up, we had a lot of traditions on this day. Every year, the boys played in the Turkey Bowl. Naturally, there had to be a letter from the Turkey Bowl Selection Committee. They were the funniest letters and marked the beginning of the festivities. Being a girl, I was not usually included in the letter. However, while on my mission, the Selection Committee thought I should get that little touch of home. We would then go out to Chicago to Grandma and Grandpa's house in Oak Brook. Dinner Wednesday night would be at Aunt Lisa's in Naperville. Sometimes Melly and I would stay overnight with our cousins. Breakfast the next morning would be either an instant breakfast or a black donut straight from the fridge. On Thanksgiving, I would watch the parade start to finish. Some family members would join me during the broadcast, but I think I was the only one to watch it all the way through. The different families would arrive at Grandma's house, dressed in their football gear. One or two would have eye black on, and we would all exclaim at their cleverness, even though the same thing happened every year. Next, pictures of the teams: Turkey Trotters and Just Plain Turkeys. We would then have our own mini-parade, crossing the street to the "football field." Amid the goose droppings, the men would play. It was always taken VERY seriously. Whoever won would gloat, whoever lost would pout. The women would dutifully watch from the sidelines, calling out encouragement or jeers, always freezing. Sometimes the girl cousins would bring pompoms and try to cheer, but it ways always short lived due to the temperature. Back in we would go, the men would shower and change into their Thanksgiving finery, and the eating would commence. Grandpa would make kielbasa, Grandma would make veggies and dips. Everyone would drink Diet Coke. In fact, the outside fridge was so stocked full of beverages of moderation that we never ran out. Thanksgiving dinner was a feast. Turkey, roasted by Grandma, carved by Grandpa; peas; rolls; cranberry sauce, complete with can lines; sweet potato casserole; the best mashed potatoes and gravy; and jello salad that sat on a piece of iceburg lettuce. After the dinner and clean up, the men would watch football in the den and the women would stitch and gab in the living room. After our food had set for a bit, it was time for Bingo. Grandpa would call the game, "farty far," and we would play a round until everyone won and got to choose from the prize basket. Then there was pie. And more Diet Coke.

I miss Thanksgivings in Chicago. I am so glad Grandma and Grandpa will be heading back east for the festivities and that the whole Lee clan will be there. New place, old traditions. Anyone feel like reorganizing the Selection Committee?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I had switched formats a couple of days ago for my blog, and by so doing lost my ad. It's back. Click away my friends!

Not Quite Melting

Today I am down another 1.2 pounds. It's not quite flying off, but slow and steady wins the race...

Last night in our training, Rebeccah and I ran nearly the whole way. We have about a half mile to add in running. We also improved our time by about 4 minutes, which was great. While I still don't enjoy the running, it is getting easier. That, and I really enjoy talking with Rebeccah as we go.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Where a Kid Can be a Kid

It was a cloudy, rainy, yucky day today. Flower was out of school, observing Veteran's Day, so we had to do something fun. We started out making Capri Sun purses. They turned out pretty cute, but I have a feeling they will fall apart before too long. I used my Wal-Mart machine, and not my Viking, for this project. We then went to Chuck E. Cheese, where a kid can be a kid. We ran into some friends, who were there with their play group. Mini-me was a little more excited to see Mommy Caleb than she was to see Caleb. Flower just got picked up by her mom, so now it's time for a nap for Mini-me. It's so overcast that I'm a bit sleepy, too!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Night Out

Last night, Curly arranged for some of his costars from Way Off Broadway to come and babysit. Danny and ChaCha arrived at 5 and took over until 11. It was great to get out without kids. We asked the Perednis to join us and went to Famous Daves for dinner because we had a gift card there. Normally we don't like to eat there because everyone you see leaving the place is ginormous. We then went to see the new Will Farrell movie, Stranger than Fiction. It was a great movie. I'm not going to give anything away, because I know people want to be surprised when they see it. Suffice it to say that generally I'm a little too cynical for this kind of movie, but I loved this one. To top off a great night, we went grocery shopping at the new Super Wal-Mart. What a night! Thanks, Curly, for taking me out on the town and showing me a great time ;)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I Can Run Like the Wind Blows

Last night, Rebeccah and I ran nearly the whole way. I give the credit to my new running shoes. They support my arch much better than my other shoes. This morning, however, we were both feeling sluggish. My quad muscle kept grabbing at me, so we walked the route today. But hey, at least we were moving.

Curly has gotten a babysitter for us tonight. It's a friend of his from the theater, and she is doing it for free. Can't beat that. I don't know what we're doing yet, but whatever we do, it will be nice to be together.

In stitching news, I finished the stitching of one of our family ornaments for the year. I'm not going to say what it looks like. I'll post a picture of it after Christmas. I don't want to spoil the surprise! Anyway, it didn't take that long to do, so hopefully I will have the bulk of them done in the next two weeks. I am making headway in my projects but still have a lot to do. Hopefully I'll get it all done!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Hard Lesson

Yesterday afternoon, Flower came home with a lot of homework. Normally she has one or two sheets. Last night, she had 22 pages. Her teacher, Mrs. Warren, gives them work to do in class. They are not supposed to play until the work is finished. Our sweet Flower thought that if she stuffed the pages into her seat pocket, she wouldn't ever have to do it. Mrs. Warren found them yesterday and said she had to finish them for homework. It took her 3 1/2 hours. She was exhausted by the end of it, but Curly really want to learn her lesson about procrastination. Let's hope she did.

The Thanksgiving decor is almost finished. I just need to put Muffy and Hoppy in their pilgrim and Indian garb. Then we will be a very thankful house.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Is it Spring?

Patch, Mini-me, and I have been out enjoying this beautiful weather. We just spent over an hour at the park with Caleb and Mommy Caleb. At one point, Mini-me took her shoes off and said she was at the beach. When I picked her up from school today, her teacher, Miss Tina, told me that Mini-me has an issue throwing sand. If she does it again, she will be banned from the sand box. Who is she throwing it at, you might ask? Well, herself. I told her and Caleb how I used to eat sand and dirt when I was their age. Caleb looked at my with a very serious face and said "That's gross, Jana." Indeed.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rainy Day

It's raining cats and dogs today, so we have opted out of the YMCA and are staying home. Mini-me has been complaining of a sore throat since yesterday, so we're not even going over for her gymnastics class. It's a good day to work on Flower's quilt. I just have to do the binding and then it's done.

Election Day was very exciting for me. Maryland was a battleground state for the Republicans. I always vote with the party. Only a few of my candidates won: Virginia Fifer is still the Registrar of Wills, even though her opponent, Finefrock had a great campaign slogan -- Frock the Vote. Chuck Jenkins is our Sheriff, Charlie Smith is the new State's Attorney. But Team Erlich bit the dust. Our yard signs didn't do any good. I turned on MSNBC yesterday in time to hear Chris Matthews say that the losers would all cry because that's what you do when all those people personally reject you. Our good friend, Scott Rolle, ran and lost for Attorney General, but he always has his acting career to fall back on (he played The Old Man in A Christmas Story last year).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Part 2

I opened up her backpack Monday morning and found the thing every stepmother dreads -- unfinished homework! Our little Flower told us she didn't have any homework. Whoops. She was able to complete it on the way to school. That's the one good thing about driving 35 minutes to school -- homework and other studying can be completed on the way there.

I had Jenny Craig this morning and did really well -- down nearly 2 more pounds. That makes 17 pounds so far. I have 22 pounds until my halfway weight. Yea!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Boring Posts

The past few posts have been, well, boring. I'm bored writing them. I can imagine that all of cyberspace is bored reading them. On a related topic, I discovered this weekend that there are people who don't read my blog! There were people on Sunday who were shocked by my new hair. That's a dead giveaway of someone who isn't reading.

Since I can't fix the reading issue, I will try to rectify the boredom. Today I will post the first part of a story, then I will finish it tomorrow. Hopefully I can retain the readers I do have that way.

This morning began like most other mornings, with one slight difference: Daddy was home. Frederick County Schools are closed today for a teacher work day. The Flower had been with us all weekend (and a fun weekend it was). Curly woke her up and took her and Mini-me down for breakfast. Patch ate in his room, as usual. I went downstairs as the girls went back upstairs to change out of their pjs. I made Flower's lunch, put it in her lunchbox, and then went to put it in her bag. When I opened her bag, I discovered.....



This weekend we celebrated two birthdays: Grandpatty and Grandpa. We went to dinner with Grandpatty and Papa Ken on Friday night and then went to dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's house on Sunday night. Happy Birthdays!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Friday, November 03, 2006

Early Fridays

On Fridays, I wake up early and bake for the seminary kids. Sometimes I do cinnamon rolls, sometimes it's muffins. Today, it was Lion House pumpkin bread that I did in muffin size. I even added mini chocolate chips, to give it that "something special." I used to go back to bed after the baking was done, but now we have Lily overnight with us on Thursday nights. If I went back to sleep, she wouldn't get up for school. So now I stay up and take some extra time to work on my projects. The stockings are done, so all that is left is to sew up the ones I made for Mini-me and Patch. Poor Mini-me has had a unsewn stocking for the past few years. I cannot believe this is Christmas #4 for her!

My best friend, Rebeccah, and I are training for a 5K. The race takes place Thanksgiving morning around Baker Park. We ran the course last night. I thought my lungs would explode. I had horrible flashbacks to playing soccer at Flint Hill and being the slowest runner, which resulted in my being stuck in the goal. I was also a horrible goalie, so I got stuck on the bench. I don't think I have run any significant distance since that time. We did the course in under 40 minutes, which I think is pretty good. I am in pain this morning, which is also pretty good. Gotta wake those muscles up!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My Hair

I know what you're all thinking: Hubba hubba! This picture makes it look a tad darker than it actually is. Tim did a great job, as usual. Look! I'm me again!


Hating how I looked on Monday has caused a transformation to start. I plucked my unibrow and got myself a hair appointment. According to Tim, my stylist, my hair was in desparate need of help. He wanted to keep it long and "sexy," but I told him that long and sexy was not me. Neither was brown. So, yesterday he cut and did the first color stage. That took 2 hours, and my baby needed me home. I am going back today for the rest of the color. Already I feel more like the old me.

Halloween was a real success yesterday. Mini-me had eaten one cupcake and two suckers before noon. She was bouncing off the walls until after 9. Today we have had a minor sugar crash, so I gave her a some bit of the hair of the dog that bit her and she's doing fine.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Monday, October 30, 2006

Funny Mini-me

Mini-me while watching football: "Go guys! Run an errand!"

Fox 5 Morning News

I just watched the playback on my DVR from the Fox 5 Morning News. I need a haircut. And a color. And I need new glasses. And that large, red bowtie I was wearing did nothing for me. This is a performance for the vault. I may even accidentally delete it so no one else can see it. We sounded okay, I just didn't look great. Guess that's why I'm doing Jenny Craig, right?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Jury Duty

Alas, Curly will not be performing with us Monday morning. He has jury duty.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Towne Singers Appearance

The Towne Singers will be on the Fox Morning News on Monday, October 30. This is local news, not national. We will be singing sometime between 7:45 and 9:00. The story is not just about us, but also about the Dr. Seuss art exibit that will be at McGuire Fine Arts on Market Street. Of course, we will be singing a song from Seussical the Musical. Curly will be wearing a large Cat in the Hat hat, and I hope to not be wearing a blue Thing 1 wig. Patch and Mini-me might make it on camera as well, since they will be serving green eggs and ham.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Recent Developments

Two great things happened this afternoon. First, Patch rolled over. All by himself. This is the end of Mommy leaving him on the floor and going into another room. Second, Curly got the lead in Forever Plaid, even though he's old! He will be sharing the role with the younger guy, so we're not sure yet how many performances he'll do. I'm so happy for, and proud of, both my guys.

I Heart Cooking

One of the hardest things about Jenny Craig is that I like to cook. I like to eat what I cook. My poor family gets meals that require no thought at all, and that's no fun for anyone. So for the past two nights, I decided to cook. On Tuesday, my Jenny entre was Salisbury Steak. Yum. I found a recipe on the Food Network website, and Curly and Mini-me were able to eat the same meal as me. Mini-me didn't like it. She said it was "Yucky." Last night, I made fried rice and asian style chicken. I didn't need a recipe for this one. I threw a couple of eggs and some frozen and canned veggies in with the rice and used Yoshidas on the chicken as a maranade. This time, Mini-me said it was "Yummy." Tonight, Curly and I are going to dinner with Mike and Rebeccah for her 40th birthday, which is today, so the kids get not only a babysitter, but mac-n-cheese in the microwave as well.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Dance Party

Part of my plateau buster plan was to vary my workout times. Tonight, I decided to workout after the kids went to bed. So, at 8:15, I popped in the Crunch Dance Party dvd. Crunch is a fitness club that began in NYC. It is ultra hip, ultra urban, and entirely peopled with hard bodies. At least, that's what the people on the tapes look like. The workout tapes are really fun. They are perfect for someone like me, who can't yet leave their babies at the gym playroom. I own 3 different dvds. The dance party is led by a woman without an ounce of fat on her body. She uses phrases like "dance it out" or "west coast holla!" Her moves are called "The Ole" and "Backbreaker." When I do the Party Funk section, I feel like I could challenge anyone to a dance-off. When I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the window, I realize I couldn't even win a dance-off with Mini-me. But I don't care. I will holla on behalf of the east coast continue to put bounce in my step. Party on.

Birthday Month

October is the birthday month for two of my friends. First, Mommy Caleb herself, aka the Highlight Addict. So sorry I missed it -- I totally have something for you. And second, Rebeccah, aka Mr. Perednis (that's how Mini-me tries to say "Sister Perednis"). Rebeccah turns 40 tomorrow. I just wanted to take the chance in the public forum to wish you luck as you enter the middle ages.

I've been trying to arrange a project night at my house where people can bring unfinished projects and work on them while chatting and eating snacks. I originally scheduled it for November 17, which is opening night for Curly, but unfortunately it's also our stake temple night. Then, I thought about doing it the following Friday, but that's the day after Thanksgiving. I think instead of doing it on a Friday, I'll do it on the 18th. Anyone in the area is welcome to come. No project is too small or too silly. You can even bring your laundry basket and fold clothes if you'd like! If you don't have a project and would like one, I have some I need some help on. And, if you don't have a project and just want to eat pumpkin bread and drink diet coke, come anyway.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Jenny Update

Today was a success. I am down 2 1/2 pounds this week. I now weigh less than Rosie O'Donnell. I think stitching is a great weight loss program. If you have a needle in one hand, you can't possibly eat!

Mini-me had her field trip to the pumpkin patch today. It was a mighty cold day to be walking around the farm, but she and Curly had a great time. They each got to bring home a small pumpkin. The pumpkin crop has been a little sad this year because of all the rain. We have 3 small ones ready to carve, and need to get one big one for our porch. Then we will be all ready for trick or treating next week.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pretty Princess

Mini-me does this cute thing when she wants you to say you think she's beautiful. She walks over to you with her head down and to the side a bit. She looks at you without moving her head, out of the top of her eyes. Then, her hands go to the sides of her chin. Finally, she sighs. That's your cue to say "Oh! How beautiful!" Then she spins.

Tonight are auditions for Forever Plaid at the dinner theater. Curly is a little unsure if he'll get cast in this one. The director is trying to decide if he'll have an older cast or a younger cast. Last night he said to Curly, "Shawn can play your age, or he can go a lot younger." Shawn is about 3 years older than Curly...

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Yesterday, Curly's friend Loki had his Washington, DC screening of his movie, called Believe. It's a mockumentary of multi-level marketing, like Amway. Loki wrote the screenplay and directed the film. It was very funny and very well done. We were very impressed. He's looking for a distributer who can open the movie all over the country. Good luck, Loki!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Suddenly Seymour

Last night our singing group, the Towne Singers, had a gig to sing for the Frederick Bar Association. This is "bar" as in attorney, not alcohol. Our group normally has 10 people, last night only 2 could go: Jonny and me. We sang a couple of duets, Suddenly Seymour and Friendship, Jonny sang Oh What a Beautiful Morning, and I sang Gimme Gimme and Good Morning Baltimore. It was fun for just the 2 of us to sing. And of course, a major thanks to Rebeccah for watching the kids. She always leaves a space cleaner than when she came. Thanks to her, we can now see the playroom floor.

It's getting time for our group to start rehearsing Christmas songs. We are starting to get a full holiday schedule. Our newest song is "Snow," from White Christmas. How fun is that?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Must be the Weather

Mini-me did something so out of character today, I don't know what to think. When I dropped her off for preschool, she started to cry, the clung to my leg. The aid, Miss Carol, had to come pry her off. As I left and walked down the path, the door opened and I could hear her crying still. I have no idea what brought this on. I don't even remember the last time was upset about being left somewhere. I don't think it's happened in the past year.

Another odd thing happened this morning. Patch and I went over to the Y after dropping Mini-me off so that we could walk around the indoor track. He has about 2 weeks left until he can go to the playroom, so that's the only activity I can do until then. There was an older woman on the track who admired him when we arrived. Then, everytime we would pass her, she would try to talk to us. I had my headphones on. She was walking backwards. I took off my headphones once to hear what she was saying, and she was telling me she thought I had gone about a half mile. Thanks for keeping track.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Mini-me's Loves

Mini-me has a funny way of saying she loves something: "I love it the Diet Coke" or "I love it the GrandPatty's house." Today we were driving in the car trying to find a cheerleading costume for the Flower, when Mini-me says "I love it the Mommy Caleb." Mommy Caleb is my good friend Brooke, the Highlight Addict. Mini-me has such a crush on Caleb and just loves to be around his mom. When we go to the park together, Mini-me says "Watch me, Mommy Caleb!" She doesn't care if I watch...When it's time to go home, she cries because she wants to go with Mommy Caleb. So thanks, Mommy Caleb, for always being sweet to Mini-me. The more people who love my children, the better for them.

On this same car ride, I was trying to teach Mini-me the days of the week. When I got done with reciting them in order, she said, "Good job, Mommy!"

One of our errands today was to go to the Primitive Sampler and pick up some candy corn buttons. While there, I picked up the Just Cross Stitch ornament magazine. I'm doing an ornament exchange at the shop, and I got some great ideas from the magazine. I'm thinking I may stitch our family ornament for the Lee family exchange as well.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Oh No! A Plateau!

Today was one of those frustrating Jenny visits. After 2 weeks, I have not budged. I weigh the same I did at my appointment 2 weeks ago. I'm in my smaller jeans and feel like I look smaller, but the scale does not reflect that. This is what's called a "plateau." I have experienced one before, and to break out of it requires dedication. It takes an extra workout or two, or at least workouts of greater intensity. It takes strict following of the eating plan. It can also take changing the time of workout. Even with all that, sometimes you stay on the same level for a few weeks without any reason. It can be very frustrating. However, I am trying to stay positive becuase I know I am smaller. And, with hard work, next week the scale will say the same thing.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Beautiful Day

It is a gorgeous day today, so I think we may head to Downtown Frederick on a walk. And, I can feel sassy as I go, since I now fit into a smaller size. Hurray! Slowly but surely the weight is coming off.

Last night at dinner, the Flower asked if we could eat Sunday Dinner everytime she is at our house. As good as it is, I told her we would be sick of it if we ate it that often. Once a week is plenty.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Finished Pillow

This is the pillow I finished the other night. The contrast in the photo is a tad off...I'll get better at this soon!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Partial Success

I got a phone call a little after 8 this morning stating that Mini-me was coming home in shame from the campout. Last night went well. She ate all of her foil dinner. She roasted marshellows and ate chocolate. She asked if she could go to bed. This morning, instead of our sweet girl, we had her evil twin. She cried for her blankie, then she cried because she didn't want it. She wanted to be held, then she wanted down. She wanted the Flower's chair, then she didn't, then she did, then she didn't....She refused to put on her coat and gloves, and as a result cried because she was cold. Curly called and said "There is a reason girls don't go on the Father's and Son's campout." I think it has less to do with being a girl, and more to do with being 2. Now that she's home, she is happy and having a great time.

Patch went to bed at about 8 last night, so I had 2 good hours of stitching before my eyes got tired. I am about 2/3 done with his stocking. I have revised my goal and now hope to have it done by the end of the month. Then, I will devote the whole month of November to finishing the quilt I am making to give to the Flower for Christmas. I also have to knit a hat for Mini-me for her birthday. So many projects. All that, and I have to get ready for Christmas. It will be a busy couple of months!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Hey look! It's me!

Patch has discovered himself in a mirror. I put him in his floor gym that has a mirror right overhead. He cried until he finally looked up and realized he wasn't alone. This is such a fun stage of discovery. Soon, he'll discover his hands. Then his feet. I can't wait for him to discover the cat. The cat likes to pretend Patch doesn't exist, but those days are numbered.

Tonight Curly has a very ambitious undertaking. He is taking both the Flower and Mini-me to the Father's and Son's campout. This year they are allowing girls under 8 to go. I have a feeling it has to do with the fact that the man in charge also has a new baby at his house and two girls under the age limit. Hopefully the girls will stay warm enough. There is a frost warning out for tonight. I am sure that despite the cold, they will have a great time. They are going to eat foil dinners and smores, and then tell ghost stories.

I am looking forward to an evening alone. Patch has been going to sleep at about 9, so from then on I'll be able to pop in a great movie and stitch the night away.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Special Visitor

Today GrandPatty came to visit. She arrived shortly before it was time to pick Mini-me up from school and brought some fun presents. First, a new house for our village. Second, some supplies from Shepherds Bush for stockings, and a cute Halloween pattern. We lunched at Brewer's Alley and then walked home. Patch and Mini-me had a great time with their GrandPatty. After she left, we picked up Curly from work and drove out to get the Flower from school. This is our full weekend with her and we have a lot of fun things planned.

Last night after the kids went to bed and while Curly was rehearsing, I tried my hand at finishing a cross stitch piece. "Finishing" is when you take a piece of stitchery and turn it into something, like a pillow, a stocking, a framed picture, or anything else you can imagine. I had never sewn a pillow before, but it turned out very cute. I am quite pleased with it. Curly's going to help me get the camera set up on this computer, so look for a picture this weekend.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

We've been shot!

Patch had his two month doctor visit yesterday. The little tank weighed in at a whopping 12 pounds 4 ounces. He isn't chunky, though, and that's because he is 24 1/2 inches long. He's a big boy. While we were all there, we decided to get our flu shots. Mini-me did great and isn't feeling any differently today. My arm still aches and Curly and I both feel yucky. I've been fighting a cold, so who knows if this is related to the shot or not.

Because I don't feel well, I am amassing a list of the things I am not going to get done today:
Go to Costco
Clean the upstairs bathroom
Go to Target
Do 2 loads of laundry

That's just the things I can think of right now. I am sure there are other things that will be left undone when the day is through. But, it's only Wednesday. I have 2 more days left in the week to get them done.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Playing Hookey

A sore throat and stuffy nose are keeping me from my normal Jenny Craig appointment today. This just means when I weigh in next week, it will seem like I lost a lot. That will for sure keep me motivated.

One of the main parts of Jenny Craig is exercise. With a small baby and toddler around, doing a formal workout can be tough. There are days when I only do "natural exercise," like cleaning or going up and down the stairs to change diapers. When I do a formal workout, I like to go to the YMCA, which is right across the street. Patch is still too young for the playroom, so lately I've been doing a lot of tapes. My favorites are Kathy Smith and The Firm. Both work up a good sweat and by the end I feel like I've had a producting 45 minutes.

Monday, October 09, 2006

All that and the kitchen sink

As I was cleaning the kitchen Saturday night, I flipped on the garbage disposal. Instead of the water going down the drain, it started to geyser up at me. I called Curly over the work his magic with the plunger while I went to the store to get some Draino. Curly tried to unclog the pipe, but it didn't work. We let it sit overnight with Draino, but it wasn't any better in the morning. We made the decision not to call a plumber on a Sunday, but also not to cancel Sunday dinner with Ryan, Melissa, and Colleen. I made the roast, the potatoes, the rolls from scratch, the peas, the gravy, and even some Barefoot Contessa cake for dessert, without a kitchen sink. The original kitchen sink is now in the basement in the laundry area, so I went down there to do the dishes. Dinner was delicious (even if the rolls were too dark), and after dinner, our guests did the dishes in the laundry room. They did a great job, and I'm glad the girls shot down Ryan's idea of drying the dishes in the dryer. Thanks, guys. After dinner and before dessert, Ryan and Curly decided to fix the pipe themselves. Ever the pessimist and sure of failure, I threatened them if they broke my pipes they would have heck to pay. They had a huge bucket to catch the water, and with assurances they thought they knew where the clog was, they took the pipes apart. Luckily, they were successful and no one had to leave in shame. My sink has never drained faster. Again, thanks, guys.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sunday Dinner

Nothing smells like Sunday more than roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas, and rolls. Every Sunday without fail, my mom would make this meal. Sometimes we added a salad, but otherwise the menu never varied. It was delicious. It was one of the things I missed most about home when I went away to college and on my mission. In the past year, I have instated "Sunday Dinner" at my house. It's comfort food of the most comfortable kind. My family loves it. The Flower raves about my cooking. Mini-me clears her plate. Curly goes back for seconds. Honestly, nothing makes you feel better than your husband going back for seconds. So here's a toast to Sunday Dinner: may your roast be beefy and your potatoes mashed. Bon apetit.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Your Vote Counts

I love to vote. I vote in general elections, I vote in county elections, I vote in primaries. I proudly wear my sticker that declares "I voted!" with a jaunty little check mark to boot. Today I participated in perhaps the most important election of my young life. I voted to have Sun Valley Serenade be converted to DVD. If you would like to cast your vote on this important issue, please visit today. Together, we can make a difference.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Tonight is my night to host my monthly book group. We have a pattern that we follow every month:
  1. Gather at 7:30 and eat
  2. Discuss book from 8-9
  3. Discuss what ever we want from 9-when cellphones start ringing asking "when are you coming home?"

Since the first thing we do is eat, when I host I ask myself "WWTBCD?" Or, What Would the Barefoot Contessa Do?

I believe Ina would focus on having a good time with her friends. After all, who wants to be stuck in the kitchen cooking when friends are having a good time in the living room? If Ina wants a spread of food, she makes maybe 3 items herself, and then buys the rest from a gourmet market. If Ina wants a smaller fare, she makes a couple of things, but makes them very well.

Since Frederick is somewhat lacking in the gourmet area (we do now have a cheese shop, an Italian shop, and the most incredible bakery), I thought I would take the latter approach. I am going to make a hot chocolate bar with caramel corn. But, as Ina says, "to make it really special," I'm going to serve the caramel corn in chinese takeout boxes that I got from the craft store. That way, if there is any leftover, my friends can take it with them instead of leaving it here to tempt me.

As for the book, well, I haven't finished it yet. I'm a fast reader, and the book is short, so finishing by 7:30 tonight isn't that much of a stretch.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

These are a few of my favorite things

Like I said before in a previous blog, I love to stitch while watching tv or a movie. Last night I made some good progress on Patch's Christmas stocking. I have given up hope of having it finished by the end of the week. My new goal is to have it done by next week.

Since there is a chill in the air today, I think I might pop on a Christmas movie. Maybe something all holiday inclusive, like Holiday Inn. I love Bing. Or, I may just watch The Sound of Music.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Everyone needs a nemesis. Seinfeld had Newman. The Three Amigos had El Guapo. I have Helga.

Helga is German. Helga doesn't "do cute." Helga wasn't sure Frederick was "ready" for her cross stich. Helga won best in show at the Frederick County Fair 2 years ago when I first entered.

Not only did I lose to Helga, but I came in 3rd in my category. It was a pathetic showing. I made it my mission to beat Helga at her own game. The next year, I was going to win Best in Show.

I had 3 strategies in mind.
1. Play to my strengths. I didn't want to learn new, fancy stitches that I might not do as well. I do very well with intricate bead work. The pattern I chose didn't have beads, so I added them.
2. Choose a pattern that I love. If I didn't love working on it, it would show through my work. Plus, if I loved it, chances are the judges would, too.
3. Have clean work. If the back isn't tidy, the front will also be a mess. I picked out all the knots and was careful not to split any stitches.

In the end, I was triumphant. I beat my nemesis. She never saw it coming. Victory has never been so sweet.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Me and Jenny

Jenny and I have been together for awhile now. I first became involved with her in high school, when, as a 200 pound Junior, I decided to get thin. 6 months later, I was. Then, after Mini-me was born, I was once again everyone's fat friend. I don't like being the fat friend. Jenny and I hooked up once more and I lost over 60 pounds. Now, after Patch, we are together again. So far, Jenny is working her magic a third time.

Tuesdays are my Jenny days. I go at 10, meet with Virginia, weigh in, get my food for the next week, and come home. Some days I come home happy, some days I come home frustrated. To date, I have dropped 12.8 pounds. I have a long ways to go. A 9 pound baby and 9 months of onion rings will do that to a girl. But, my face is no longer round, my shirts are not so tight, and my diamond ring fits again.

Thanks, Jenny.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Shows to Stitch By

One of my favorite times to cross stitch is while watching TV. Some shows lend themselves well to stitching, others do not. For example, it is very difficult to pay attention to both your stitching and 24 at the same time. However, it is very easy to stitch and pay attention to Days of our Lives.

There are a couple of new shows this season that I just love. The first is Ugly Betty. Not only is she ugly, but she is smart and very self confident. It's a very funny show. The second show is The Class. It has potential.

Today I will continue to work on the Christmas stocking. I'm hoping Patch takes a good nap this afternoon. He didn't seem to sleep much this weekend. I know Mini-me will want to sleep a lot. The Flower sure was tired this morning, and that resulted in a tardy at school. Whoops. I hope that one doesn't come back to bite us.

Until tomorrow, happy stitching.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Thanks, Tide

Today I used a wonderful product. I spill on myself quite often. This morning, I shared a delicious breakfast with some friends (thanks M&R), and spilled syrup on my shirt. I had bought a Tide to Go tube a couple of months ago, but was too timid to use it. What if it stained my clothes even worse? Well, with a white shirt, I figured it couldn't get any worse. I was right -- it got better! You can't even tell I had syrup on. If only I had taken before and after pictures...

The Holiday Season

For most people, the holiday season begins at Thanksigiving. For me, it starts October 1. Today I get to start a string of decorating that doesn't stop until New Year's. Although I love Christmas decorations and the challenge of finding decor for Thanksgiving, Halloween is by far my favorite decorating holiday. I'm not into gruesome Halloween, I prefer whimsical Halloween.

This afternoon I will put out the Departmen 56 villiage, and find the Happy Halloween cross stitch that is shaped like a pumpkin. I have some pumpkin bread in the oven, so soon the whole house will smell like autumn.

One of my projects this week is to take a cross stitch a did a few years ago, called "If the broom fits" and make it into a pillow. I've never sewn my own work into a pillow. I'm a little nervous about that. I don't want to mess it up. I think the main challenge will be keeping the work centered. I'll post a picture of the finished project.

Today, Curly has his last performance of Clue: The Musical. The cast party will follow. I am so proud of him. He has such great talent. I can already hear that the Flower and Mini-me have gotten his voice. We'll see if Patch follows.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Just another Saturday

I have always made fun of blogs -- just a little. I mean, who would put their personal thoughts and feelings on the web for the world to see? Obviously, the answer is: people like me. So here I am, embarking on this wonderful journey that is a blog. If you're worried about me airing dirty laundry, forget about it. I know that anything you say on the internet can and will be held against you.

This Saturday is just like any other Saturday in the our household. Mini-me woke up way too early. Patch is napping. Again. We have a late afternoon pickup for the Flower. We need to go to Costco and get toilet paper and angus cheeseburgers. All that and it's General Conference. Hopefully I will be able to squeeze in some CS time. I'm working on Patch's stocking. My goal is to finish that in the next few days. Think I can do it? Probably not. But it's nice to have a goal.

Curly has a show tonight. It's the last weekend for Clue. Yea! He has worked so hard on this show. Rehearsal for the WOB Christmas show starts Monday. It will be back to single parenting at night again.