Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bad Blogger

I don't know why I think I've been so busy lately but it does seem like I haven't had time to sit down in front of the computer for more than a few minutes. Lots of stuff going on...
- the kids started swim lessons at the Y. BabyBoy pleasantly surprised me the first day by showing me that despite spending ALL last year doggy paddling, he does actually know how to swim "overhand" as he calls it. On the second day of swim lessons, he went into the lap pool with two little friends and actually swam all the way across and all the way back. I could not believe it! Here I was, just waiting for him to sink and he actually made it! I'm (almost) encouraged to get in the pool with him and practice my laps as well.

- I've been working on my bedroom curtains. What a disaster! Self imposed, of course. Who knows if they'll EVER be done.

- I'm having a CAbi show here on Sunday. Have you seen their clothes? Really cute stuff and the jeans are the most comfortable EVER. Plus, they really seem to erase that "muffin top" that NONE of us have. You can check them out here.

- I've been half assed planning BabyGirl's Fancy Nancy party. Despite all of your efforts at voting on an invitation, I ended up deciding to make my own. Dusting off that old printer has been kind of fun! Here's what we came up with so far...

This will be a 5x7 card layered with a hot pink backing. The envelopes are bright yellow. We're going to read the new Fancy Nancy book, Bonjour Butterfly, and all the girls will get to don butterfly wings, etc. I'm going to try to get a friend of mine to come paint their faces as well. We'll do some kind of craft (I'm thinking beading?) and have pizza and "parfait". BabyGirl cannot WAIT to transform our kitchen to the restaurant from the book and have an ice cream decorating session. I think I might be equally as excited.

- I've been wrestling with the decision of private vs. public school for the kids next year. I originally thought we would send BabyGirl to JK at the same private school BabyBoy attends and they would FINALLY be on the same schedule. It's a great school and BabyBoy has truly flourished there. Then, around November we decided we'd give the public school down the street a try. It is a fantastic school and who can argue with it being just down the street...and FREE. THEN, I went for BabyBoy's parent teacher conferences and got to see exactly what he's doing in class and got all the lovey dovey info from his teachers. They were devastated that we were pulling him out of the school. I then got to have a conference with the headmaster. After MUCH discussion we've decided to keep BabyBoy at the private school. He really does need a little more "attention" from what I can tell. He's truly a bright child but he is somewhat emotionally immature. He's done so well thus far that I'm afraid to remove him from such a nurturing environment. That, coupled with the fact that we intended to send both kids back to said private school for middle school and have now discovered that they already have a waiting list for this year, led us to believe that if we intend to have them there in the end they might as well start there in the beginning. BabyGirl is so excited to get to go to the same school as her brother. I'm sure this saga will continue...

- We've been conducting a massive clean out effort in the backyard. The older couple who used to live here were big gardeners and there is a virtual treasure chest of garden in our backyard...we just have to find it. I have been raking, leaf sucking, mulching, etc. off and on whenever the weather allows. My arms and legs are covered in scratches from overzealous rose bushes. I think in the end it will be really beautiful and I can't wait to see what comes up in the spring.

SO, as you can see, we've been doing a whole lot and a whole lot of nothing!!! I promise the next time you hear from me I'll try to have something more exciting to say!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Shout out to Seanie Boy!

A HUGE shout out to my baby brother, Seanie Boy, who got into his two top choices for college...Hampden-Sydney and VMI. And an even huger shout out for cutting Dad a break and choosing in state tuition! Go VMI!

hee hee

Just to clear this up (I've had a few questions)...Eric is not my husband. Hmmm...I guess I could just leave it at that and keep you all wondering.
He's actually my brother's dear friend and I love him to death. I don't think Dr. Daddy has anything to worry about, though. Unless, of course, he's threatened by his fly dance moves.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Flowers for Eric

Happy Valentine's Day, dahling. You know I didn't forget you...we just got sick!!!

Happy Whores and other random stuff

It continues to amaze me that BabyBoy is capable of picking up reading so quickly with little or no help from his parents. I freely admit that I am relatively lazy when it comes to the education department, which is probably why I'm so willing to pay for independent school. I don't know that I'm willing or (more importantly) able to provide the extra uumph that he will doubtlessly need as he continues through school to keep him motivated and challenged. I figure I'll put my money where my mouth is and let them take all the credit.
At any rate...the reading is sometimes entertaining. As we drove through the takeout window at Sonic (which seems to be an almost daily ritual) BabyBoy yells out to me "Mommy, they have happy whores from 3 to 5 everyday!". As though this was something to be excited about? I'm positive he has no clue what the word means but was just excited to be reading it to me. "It's hours", I say. "The H is silent". All the while, I'm desperately tryinig not to laugh and the girl at the window is in tears. Gotta love it.
Completely not related to the above, I've heard a rumor that the folks over at the ER seem to have stumbled upon ye blog. Super. A shout out to all of you who so capably dealt with BabyBoy and his monster melodrama during the chin stitch episode. Having worked in the ER myself I know that everytime a Dr.'s family walks through the door you're totally prepared for attitude and entitlement issues. Hope we didn't deliver in that regard. Ya'll were great.
Now, I'm off to work some more in the yard. The flu seems to have taken the high road and we're all feeling mas better!

Quick and Easy Meal

For Valentine's Day we had a delicious meal of beef tenderloin with a gorgonzola sauce, rosemary roasted potatoes and asparagus. We had tons of the gorgonzola sauce left over and Dr. Daddy liked it too much to throw it out. Soooo, I improvised. The following is a really tasty, really quick, but really unhealthy meal!!! Perfect for a cold night with a glass of deep red wine and a movie at home. The gorgonzola sauce is from Barefoot Contessa. It was so easy to make and absolutely devine.

Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Sauce and Grilled Chicken

Gorgonzola Sauce Copyright, 2001, Barefoot Contessa Parties!, All rights reserved

4 cups heavy cream
3 to 4 ounces crumbly Gorgonzola (not creamy or "dolce")
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 pkg. store bought gnocchi
two boneless chicken breasts, poached or grilled and cut into bite sized pieces

Bring the heavy cream to a full boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, then continue to boil rapidly for 45 to 50 minutes, until thickened like a white sauce, stirring occasionally.
Off the heat, add the Gorgonzola, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and parsley. Whisk rapidly until the cheeses melt and serve warm. If you must reheat, warm the sauce over low heat until melted, then whisk vigorously until the sauce comes together.

During last 20 minutes of sauce cooking, boil a large pot of water and add to it one package of pre made gnocchi. Boil according to directions and drain. Gnocchi should be al dente. After sauce is finished cooking, pour desired amount over gnocchi and toss. (I added about a cup and a half; you don't want it too wet) Sprinkle chicken over top. Serve.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sick Sucks

This weekend was spent sleeping, puking and coughing. Oh, and whining. Dr. Daddy wa on call overnight for Friday and Sunday. Luckily, I didn't actually start throwing up until Friday night so he was here on Saturday to take care of the kids while I slept. I literally could not move. I don't know if I've ever actually had the flu before. I felt like I'd been run over by a truck. Twice.
I've been taking my Tamiflu like a good girl and things have gotten better. BabyBoy got the worst of it. 104.7 temp for two days that Motrin and Tylenol could barely touch. Poor baby. And not melodramatic AT All. Oh, no.
BabyGirl never really gets sick, per se. She just gets a major case of the ass. Her attitude was out of control this weekend. Crazy.
I did have some time today to peruse the net and discovered a new blog that I love. Check out my blog listings for Brooklyn Limestone's blog. I have to have her master bath. We have a tiny master bath that is horrendously old. The size doesn't bother me so much, but the layout needs to be redone. Here is a pic of hers.

I think I would go with a vanity like this one from Pottery Barn instead of the Restoration Hardware one she's just more my taste. I do love all the tilework, though...and the open shower. I can't wait to get rid of our old skanky tub!

Anyone else have any great before and after bathroom pix? I'd love to see them. Send me a comment and I'll send you my email!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Serena and Lily

LOVE this website! I ordered the catalog off the website and got it this week. It is gorgeous. I love all the bedding, but here are a few of my favorites...

Even better, they've taken the guesswork out of paint choices. How many of you have painted a room several different colors before finding just the right one? Serena and Lily have custom mixed paints to coordinate with each of their collections. They are all really soft, joyful colors. I love "Air" and "Sprout" the best, It think. I also think "Oatmeal" is a really fantastic tan. P.S. They look MUCH better in the catalog.

They also have this book, which looks really useful if you're starting a nursery, or even if you're just like me and love to look at any beautiful book that has anything to do with decorating.

Click here to request their beautiful catalog.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

We're still here...physically, atleast!

What a hellish couple of days. Our power went out Sunday afternoon and did not return until late Monday evening. It doesn't seem like very long when you think about it, but the past two days seem like they lasted two weeks! We hunkered down Sunday night with a fire in the fireplace. The house was still relatively warm from having had the heat on all morning. Monday morning, I got BabyBoy up and off to school. Thankfully, his private school was still in session. Only later did I discover that the city schools were closed and therefore BabyGirl did not have school. Bummer!
So, we hung out at the house all day trying to keep the fire going and the house warm. Not very successfully, I might add. It was 32 degrees outside and 50 degrees in the house. We headed over to a friend's house at around 4:30pm and they were kind enough to feed us. Got home around 7:30pm and discovered we still didn't have power. Dr. Daddy was, of course, at work.
At that point, I wasn't too concerned because a friend had loaned me her mini generator and I figured I'd just plug in the portable heater to that and the kids and I would all sleep in my room together.
Then I realized that the generator didn't have enough juice to make the heater work. Then....I lost it. Called Dr. Daddy...where the F*^K is the ceramic heater? I think it will work with the generator. Of course, he hasn't a clue and is thoroughly UNCONCERNED that we're freezing our asses off. Just go to my Dad's house, he says. Uh, NO. I don't want to drag the kids all the way out there and then how will I get BabyBoy to school. I don't have school tomorrow, BabyBoy says. Parent teacher conferences.
F*^K, F*^K, F*^K. By now, I'm screaming at Dr. Daddy that I don't care if he's on call, I'm pretty sure that one of his 38 partners that DOES have power wouldn't mind coming in to take over for him. No dice. So what does he do? Calls our best friends and I'm sure pretty much tells them that I've lost my sh*t and they need to come help me. Some pioneer woman, huh? So my friend calls me and says I need to pack the kids up and take them to her house for the night. It's only around the corner and they have power. No, I say, it's a matter of principle. And then....I start crying. Awesome. Too much wine at dinner, too many crying children, too cold, too pissed at Dr. Daddy and really just pissed at the world at this point. So, I let her come over, she helps me gather the kids and we head off to her house. The kids are so happy to have a warm bed they're out in seconds. Then I had three more glasses of wine. Needless to say, I have a wicked headache this morning and NO motivation to do anything.
Oh, and as we're loading the car to go to her house she says "Hey! You're lights are on!" Great. Now the kids are all psyched to go have a sleepover so of course we stay. It took a while for the house to heat back up anyway.
What a week! And it's only TUESDAY. But, just when you think you have it bad, try to remember how bad it really is for some people. My dad forwarded me this email from an Army General.

From: Riley, Don T MG HQ02
Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 4:00 PM

Gentlemen, I have been asked by several if I would not mind forwarding
to you the below email that I sent last week to my family. Apparently it
has made its way around to some of you and, although I did not originally
intend wide distribution, I certainly have no objections to forwarding
to you or for you to forward to others as you wish. It is always worthy to
remind others, especially those who have never served in uniform, of the
daily sacrifices of our great men and women now serving us so very well.
Gratefully, Don

All, I am presently returning to DC in a Blackhawk helicopter from a
mission at Dover Air Force Base on the coast of Delaware. I thought I
would describe to you how we welcomed home five of our fallen heroes.
The Army designates a General Officer to meet every airplane that
returns home carrying the remains of our Soldiers - a "repatriation of remains".
I received the duty, and honor, today, getting the call early this morning
as the contract Boeing 747 lifted off from Ramstein Airbase in Germany,
with the remains of five soldiers killed in Iraq this past weekend.
We quickly arranged for the helicopter to take the Army Honor Guard
(from the Old Guard, the unit that guards the Tomb of the Unknown) and me to
Dover where we arrived to greet the 747.
As we waited, the Air Force Honor guard mounted the arriving airplane,
ensured a new and unblemished American flag was draped and secured
properly over each "transfer case" (not yet a casket); and then loaded
them individually, in a slow and dignified manner, on to a loader to
lower them to the tarmac.
When they were ready, the Army Honor Guard then marched to the plane,
and the Deputy Air Force Wing Commander escorted the Chaplain and me to the
plane's steps. We then entered the plane, moved to the flag-draped
transfer cases, and the Chaplain offered a prayer. The Commander and I
then returned, in step, to the tarmac where the Army Honor Guard was
As we all stood at attention, the Honor Guard moved to lift each case.
At this time the Commander and I saluted (ceremoniously - a slow, three
second move) as they moved the case to the open doors of the hearse. We did
this for each soldier being honored. Then one last salute as the hearse
started to drive away.
We all then followed, in step, the slow moving hearses back towards the
morgue where they will process the soldiers' remains for transport home
to their final resting places. Further, when the cases arrive and depart
the morgue, all the morgue workers come outside to stand at attention and
salute as appropriate.
The deceased were all from the same company in 1st Battalion, 8th
Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division and were killed by an IED attack and
ambush last weekend. There were no media, no family present (although
they are invited, few come, as I suspect they are both grieving and
preparing for the homecoming), no cameras, and no outside viewers

It is all a brief and small, but most dignified gesture to honor the
fallen. The men and women at Dover are impressive, and they carry a large burden
on their spirits for the Nation, as they see this all too often.
When I get back to the office I'll write down, as I have for past
missions, the names of those I welcomed home on a small card and place
it in my notebook. I don't want to lose their memory, not do I want to
forget the honor I have to participate in this mission.
We don't know why their lives were taken so early, but we do know why
they served - because they were called by their country and th ey answered the
call. They served, knowing they would see danger and they would be away
from family and home, but they did it selflessly.
Please pray for their families and friends back home, that God will
comfort them in their sorrow, knowing that these five soldiers did their
duty well.
Love, Don

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fade to Black

My power went out tonight in the midst of trying to get the kids to bed. What a nightmare. They were terrified (so was I). Luckily, I'm a bit of a freak in this regard. I had three flashlights within thirty feet and knew exactly where each one was located.
Six years ago, when 9/11 happened, I was working in the hospital. We literally congregated in a comatose patient's room and watched the tv non-stop. (in hindsight I kind of feel bad for the patient but whatever) That night, I went to Wal-Mart and bought every type of battery powered light imaginable. I'm talking camping lanterns, flashlights, kemlights (for those of you military savvy's out there). I'm stocked to the hilt. Then, I made sure we had enough ammo for both guns and re-learned how to "lock and load". Yes, Mr. Happy Housewife, I'm NRA certified. Sadly, I did a year of ARMY ROTC in college, so I know how to shoot not only a handgun, but an M-16 and and M-60. AND, I know how to take them apart, clean them, and put them back together. Sad, right? But, I do believe these are good skills. We also have a stockpile of canned foods and bottled water in the basement. NOT that we're paranoid or anything. It's just in case, you know?
Dr. Daddy and I have vowed that when the kids are old enough we're all going to take a wilderness survival weeklong camp. Think about it...could YOU have survived in the 1700's across country in a covered wagon? You bet your skippy those gals knew how to handle a weapon! I'm just sayin...
For whatever reason, having the power go out without Dr. Daddy here kind of wigged me out. I always wonder if I would be the strong woman in those type situations. I think I would. I KNOW my Mom would have been so I just try to emulate what she would have done.
At any rate...if you aren't prepared you should be. You buy milk and bread when it snows, right? So why shouldn't you be ready in the event that we have a mass power outage or worse?
Not that the end of the world is coming or anything like that...I just think it's our responsibility as parents to be prepared and to teach our kids to be prepared as well. Cause it's for darned sure our diamond studs and fancy linens are NOT going to help in those situations....

Monday, February 4, 2008

Gone to Carolina

Dr. Daddy has left me for the week to enjoy a childless ski vacation in Canada. Great for him! Not so much for me.
I did have a great weekend, though. Had friends over for dinner on Friday night which was lots of fun. Saturday morning, after dropping the dog to the kennel, the kids to the in laws, and the Dr. to the airport, I headed off to Chapel Hill, NC to celebrate my brother's 21st birthday.
On the way there I stopped in High Point to furniture shop. I've been looking for a new cocktail table for the living room but haven't been able to find just the right one. (translation: I haven't been able to convince my father in law to give me the one in his den that I am IN LOVE with) Originally, I thought I'd stop here. We bought our kitchen table from Boyle's and we love it. So, I thought I might give them a try. Then I discovered that EJ Victor has a showroom in High Point and thought I'd give them a try. We truly consider our furniture to be an investment and therefore do not completely reject spending quite a bit if it's the right piece. However, it never hurts to try to find a great deal.
Well, lemme tell ya. Did I EVER find some great deals. The EJ Victor Showroom was amazing. It is so beautiful...I could live there. I found the perfect table and it was 75% off. Heck yeah!

It's pretty big, but the room is big so I'm happy. I also found a gorgeous plate shelf very similar to this one that had had posted about before...only wider. It, too, was priced to sell. %60 percent off retail.

A successful trip, indeed. I'm planning to go back and take Dr. Daddy. They had some really great chairs and we need one for the living room.

After the shopping spree I headed to Chapel Hill. My brother's friends were hosting a party for him (700 invited off of MySpace and 150 confirmed attendees). I agreed to buy the keg (they're all 21...just college poor). We headed off to Total Wine. Let me just say...I definitely spent my fair share of time with kegs in college. However, I had never actually purchased one. I had to fill out so much paperwork - it was more involved than adopting a dog! We finally got it all taken care of and then broke our backs loading it in the car. Tons of fun had by all at the party. My brother's two girlfriends from high school came down. They are like family and come to the beach with us every year. It was SO good to see them! They stayed with me at the Carolina Inn and we had a little sleepover. Of course, we didn't go to sleep until 4am and then I had to drive home the next day. Took the kids to Chuck E Cheese as promised after I returned home. Who would have thought the Chuck would be so PACKED on Super Bowl Sunday. Lord, I hate that place.
For whatever reason, BabyGirl didn't sleep worth crap last night and today I'm exhausted. Did manage to get a quick nap in this morning, though. Now, I'm off to finish the curtains for my bedroom. My goal is to have them all done by the time Dr. Daddy gets home on Saturday. Pretty ambitious considering I only have one of six panels and none of three valances done...