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 amazon.com 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.