Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hello Ya'll! Hello Kitty Underpants!

Sydney is turning into quite the big girl these days. She has slept in her big girl room for several nights now, without any protest. I was a bit hesitant to put Syd in a full size bed because it was so big, but now I love it! She has the bumpers on either side to keep her safe, but my favorite part is being able to snuggle in the bed with her to read a story, go through the bedtime routine or wake her up in the morning. I just love it! There is nothing better on this earth than snuggling up to a sleepy baby and have them fling their arms over you and squeeze. Awww.

If the big girl room wasn't enough, Sydney went to school yesterday and today with underwear! She wore them all morning yesterday without any issues. The afternoon teacher didn't realize she was supposed to wear them (they put them in pull ups for naps) and so, she didn't get to wear them in the afternoon. I've been told that she'll be in them all day today (except nap time). I'm sure she'll have her share of accidents over the next few weeks, which might be a good idea. She doesn't notice the accidents in the pull ups as well. What a big big girl!

We are looking forward to the first "trick or treat" tonight. Sydney is also. I just wonder what she'll think of it all.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Oh Technology!

I have to type quickly. I don't know how long I will actually have service. We've had all kinds of issues with technology since Thursday of last week. I don't know when they will be resolved. Until then, I'm hanging around.

Happy Birthday Mom and Tom!

Hope you all are well and enjoying the day. Tomorrow is Happy Halloweenie! :) Yippee! Syd's first "trick or treat."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Oh Rainy Day!

I know most people detest rain, but I have always loved it. I especially love it when we've gone without it for so long! I am truly enjoying the rainy day view from my office.

I had to leave work early yesterday. Little Syd had a fever. I picked her up and took her home. She had lunch and surprise! no nap for her. I thought for sure the little pumpkin would come home and fall asleep because she looked absolutely miserable, but she was just happy to be close. In fact, she hung out at the kitchen table with me for an hour while I made the pants to her Halloween costume. Yep! I finished! The pants were significantly easier than the shirt. I had to pat myself on the back, not because the costume was finished, but because I was smart enough to get my mom to help guide me through the harder of the pieces. :) I might have been in deep trouble otherwise. :) I now can somewhat read pattern instructions and am considering another project. What the hay! I don't have any homework, except to hit Barnes & Noble with the gift card that has been burning a hole in my purse.

Marc stayed home with the princess today, our school is very strict. She had quite a yucky cough so, to be on the safe side, Marc took her to the pediatrician this morning. No sense waiting for the weekend and having her suffer. She's been cleared for school tomorrow and he gave her a decongestant to crush the cough. We love her pediatrician. So, I'm sure Syd will be back to 100% in a day or so.

You know what is super cute? My husband. I just love him. Last night, I was quite bored with television. Forgive me, but I was super po'ed that the World Series caused 'Kitchen Nightmares' to be cancelled. I know, I know. How un-American? So, we struggled to find something to watch and honestly, I cannot even remember what we ended up with as my eyes were wandering around the room. My brain was also focused on all sorts of things. While my eyes were wandering, I caught sight of my cute little husband curled up on the love seat reading a book. Now, Marc, despite the fact he is a good seven or eight inches taller than me, parks his butt on the smaller sofa so that I can stretch out on the big sofa. If that isn't sweet enough, you have to know what Marc is reading. Some might guess the latest IT dork book (sorry, babe), Stephen King or Koontz. If you did, you'd be wrong! Nope, my baby was reading, 'The Happiest Toddler on the Block.' Just another exhibit of Marc's commitment to fatherhood and our family. I'm soo lucky to have him!

I hope you all have a great day, what's left of it! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Yay! Rain!!!

I was so thrilled to wake up this morning to tiny falling raindrops. Things in our county were really moving in a desperate direction. A few weeks ago they implemented the mandatory conservation and were recently talking about taking additional steps. I hope we get a nice spell of significant rain!

I worked on Syd's costume last night. After three hours, the shirt is complete! Tonight, I begin the pants. I will be starting these without ANY help. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

I hope you all have a great day!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"Dad, I failed!"

At least that is what I felt like I was saying this afternoon when I told my boss I would not be applying to law school this Fall. I really look up to my boss in a lot of ways, especially when it comes to my career. As some of you may feel, there is nothing worse than disappointing your family and friends.

Well, it was a grueling task, but it is over now and I feel like he knows where I stand. It certainly is humbling to admit it when you fail. It is only temporary. I know I will get there, one day! :)

Say It Isn't So!

I typically do not post on the weekend, but I do try to post on Mondays. I just didn't feel like it yesterday.

I arrived to work yesterday morning to the dreaded email from the LSAC. I did as poorly as I thought on my LSAT. I knew it was coming so, I really didn't fool myself. After the choke session I had, I knew there was no recovering, but I tried to push through anyway. Of course, until you see it on paper, it is easy to pretend it isn't there. So, what now? I've been waffling about that since I took the exam. I'm never this indecisive about such things. I have a lot of friends telling me that this indecision is a clue. I think they might be correct. I'm starting to think that I just need to step back for a while. I don't know. See! Bleah! Now that I've gotten that out, I'll tell you about my weekend. :)

Friday night, our Anniversary, was delightful. We had a nice dinner at home (french onion soup, bacon-wrapped fillet, twice baked potato, grilled asparagus and strawberry shortcake). It was so good. Sydney enjoyed it also. :)

Saturday, Marc slept for most of the morning (he worked a night shift). Sydney and I got up, got dressed and headed to Starbucks. We ordered a blueberry muffin, egg sandwich, decaf vanilla mocha and a chocolate milk. We drove to the park near our house and ate our breakfast while we watched the deer congregate. We stayed for over an hour. The deer had started to scatter back into the trees and Syd was bored. :) It was such a nice time with her. We went home and played until daddy got up. We all had lunch and did some chores. It is funny, but I'm drawing a blank. I don't know what we did after that or what we had for dinner that day. Strange.

Probably the biggest event of the weekend was moving Sydney to her "big girl" room. We put the new bedding on the bed and moved her clothes. She slept there soundly on Saturday and Sunday. Last night, she decided not to sleep in the big girl bed. She ended up sleeping in her crib last night. I'm glad we decided to make the switch early. It looks like it might be quite an adjustment.

Sunday was a terrible afternoon and very frustrating. Sydney refused to take a nap the entire weekend and she was exceptionally obstinate on Sunday afternoon. I had a really hard time with her. So much so that I wanted to lock myself in my office and cry. What do you do when they just WON'T LISTEN??? Marc and I are trying so hard not spank. We were both spanked and we were fine, but we've just decided to try a different approach. We've just hit a rough patch and we are not, I am not, sure how to deal with the 'tude! I'm sure we'll get it figured out, but until we do, I'm left trying to keep my cool. I have a HOT temper so, that is very difficult. Sydney and I are VERY MUCH alike! :)

Well, just in case you were wondering, the weekend ended just fine. Sydney and I called a truce. We blew bubbles outside and made chicken salad. I tucked her into her bed after her bath and she was asleep before I turned out the light. The weekend ended with the same sweet angel I shared my egg sandwich with in the park on Saturday morning. Isn't it just simply amazing how much you love your kids?

Friday, October 19, 2007


Jess G seems to be under the impression that I read frequently, which is not entirely inaccurate. Unfortunately, I have been consumed with textbooks for so long, reading for fun was tossed aside. Nonetheless, I will try my best! :)

Hardcover or paperback, and why?

Absolutely paperback! They are less expensive, durable and since they are often smaller than their hardcover buddies, they fit well in my bag.

If I were to own a book shop I would call it…

Between the Lines

I'm far from creative! Part of the fun of reading is your individual experience with the work.

My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is…

'Tuesdays with Morrie' written by Mitch Albom truly touched my heart. There were many lessons from this short read, but my favorite:

"Do the kinds of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied, you won’t be envious, you won’t be longing for somebody else’s things. On the contrary, you’ll be overwhelmed with what comes back."

The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be …

Frank McCourt, hands down! I fell in love with Angela's Ashes. I loved him so much that I attended a book signing when 'Teacher Man' was published. I was so nervous I couldn't even open my mouth. It was really quite silly. Frank McCourt is quite humorous, even in person. I love reading about people that overcome great obstacles in their life. It inspires me in so many ways.

If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except from the SAS survival guide, it would be ...

My scrapbook! I know that wasn't the expected answer. I know it would make me happier to be able to look at those photos often.

I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that...

Wouldn't it be great to find an automatic book lock? Page turners are fantastic, but staying up all night reading can make going to work the next morning very difficult. Sometimes, it would be nice to have a book that locked at bedtime. That would end the "one more chapter" game. :) Of course, weekends don't count.

If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be…

I have no clue! I'm drawing a blank.

The most overestimated book of all times is…

I'm not qualified to answer this question. I'm not a very critical reader. I also rarely follow the hype on books. I usually read "popular" books several years after they were published.

I hate it when a book...

I hate it when a book drags on or ends too soon. There is a very fine balance. If I cannot get into a book within the first few chapters, I put it away. I don't have the patience. On the other hand, I hate it when I am truly enjoying a book and it ends.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Happy 5th Anniversary!

Sara Evans
Standing at the edge of this cliff
Gravity being what it is
I'm afraid that I might stumble
'Cause I've never been this high
I'm so carried away by this place
And the simple beauty of your face
When the walls start to crumble
And I'm helpless to fight
'Cause you can't ask the sun not to shine
And no one's ever found a way to stop time
Oh baby it's unstoppable
I can't resist at all
I would never try to slow down the wind
Baby it just has to be what it is
And asking me not to love you
Is like asking Niagara not to fall
I can't worry my heart with what if
Maybe I should just give in
And wrap myself around you
And let you take me down
Take me down
'Cause you can't ask the sun not to shine
And no one's ever found a way to stop time
Oh baby it's unstoppable
I can't resist at all
I would never try to slow down the wind
Baby it just has to be what it is
And asking me not to love you
Is like asking Niagara not to fall

It is so hard to believe that today is our fifth wedding anniversary! Of course, Marc and I have been together since '96, but I don't have to tell you that time just flies.
For those of you that know me extremely well, you know that Marc couldn't have picked a better time to enter my life. I'm so thankful for that broken road. In fact, there isn't a day that passes that I don't think about Marc's timing. Marc is the most supportive, caring and loving husband. Sydney and I are so lucky to have him.
So, here's to my best friend, sweetie and partner in crime! Happy Anniversary, Baby! I love you with all my heart! Thank you for sharing your life with me.

"Stop it, Mommy..."

So, my little two-year-old angel got very upset with me this morning. Wow! That's new. Not! :) Sydney decided that she didn't want to get ready for school this morning. She didn't want to brush her hair or teeth; keep her shoes and socks on; or, most of all, get in the car.

We managed to accomplish all of our morning tasks, at a very slow speed, and as we were backing out of the driveway the following conversation occurred:

Sydney: Mommy, I want a sticker.

Me: Sorry, Syd. No sticker today. You were not a good listener this morning.

Sydney: That is not nice, Mommy.

Me: Sorry about that. Maybe tomorrow you'll be a better listener and then, you can have a sticker.

Sydney: Stop it, Mommy..or I'll put you in the trash!

Me: (trying not to laugh/cry) Sydney, you do not talk to Mommy that way. That is not nice.

Wow! My silly daughter wants to throw me in the trash. Where do they come up with this stuff? :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Just a Day!

I was thinking about what to post today while taking my shower this morning, which made me move much slower than usual. Well, I think I'm just having a slow day. You know the ones when your brain and body have a disconnect.

I got stuck on the parkway this morning because of an accident. Despite taking a very long shower this morning and leaving a bit later than usual, it really didn't affect me at all. I did sit for quite some time, but I didn't even really mind. I'm typically very impatient when it comes to traffic and practically give myself a heart attack because I do not want to be late. Today, I just didn't care. I was listening to the radio and staring out the window. There was one point when I could see the horizon and the red sun making its way up. There was a group of black birds hanging out on a telephone wire. They were preening and chattering away. I love to wonder what they think about.

I made it to work on time, even though I had the opportunity to dawdle a bit this morning. It was nice to have that time. Now, I have to find the plug between my brain and body and reconnect. :) Looks like I will have lots of technology issues to tend to this morning, which means lots of running up and down halls.

I hope you all have a great day! :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Good Morning to You!

It is another Monday. Syd woke up in a very good mood this morning. She sang in the car this morning, "Good morning to you! What's the weather today? Is is cloudy? Is it sunny? What's the weather today?" Then, of course, she didn't want it to be Monday today either and insisted that it was Thursday. :)

We had a great weekend and, as always, it passed at top speed. Friday night, we did some chores and packed up for the weekend.

Saturday, we got up early, ate breakfast and headed to Williamsburg to visit Rachael, Brien and Lily (RachD). We arrived around 12:30pm, hung out for a bit with the family and their cutie pie dogs, Wayland and Holly. We had brought our puppy, Madison, with us since we were headed to my MIL's later in the day. After the kids and the puppies met, we headed to the NY Deli for lunch. Miss Sydney decided that her lunch would consist of four mozzarella sticks, a few bites of sandwich and one of Lily's chicken fingers. She ate so much, she didn't eat her dinner that night.

After lunch, we headed to the pumpkin patch with the girls. The two of them really hit it off and weren't terribly interested in the pumpkins. They were used as stools for them. They rolled around in the grass and dirt for most of the visit and Sydney had sooo much fun. When it was time to leave, she didn't want to let Rachael go. She's claimed her. We headed back to Rach and Brien's house to pick up Miss Madison and Syd fell asleep in the car. She was totally wiped out! She slept almost all the way to Grandma Loretta's. BTW-I have pics, of course, but they will have to wait a few days.

We arrived at Loretta's (my MIL) around 6pm. Loretta made homemade mac and cheese, green beans and stuffed chicken for dinner. YUM! She took Sydney from the second we walked in until we left. Sydney was scrubbed from head to toe when we arrived as she was a very dusty girl. She'd had so much fun digging in the dirt. Despite the late nap, Syd went to bed at her usual bedtime, without protest. She also slept until 7:45am!!! WOW!

Marc and I stayed up talking with Loretta until just after 1am. I love that! It is so hard for me to stay up that late, but I hadn't been in a room with Loretta since July. Time really flies. Sydney slept in Grandma's room that night and Loretta got up with her the next morning. Marc and I were surprised to roll over and see that we had slept until 9:30am!! If that wasn't nice enough, Loretta made homemade waffles for breakfast.

We all got dressed and headed out to USA Baby, but they were closed. We decided to have lunch at this little Mexican restaurant instead. YUM! We returned to watch the first half of the skins game and hopped on the road just after half time. Sydney talked all the way home and we listened to the game. We had almost made it home when the game ended. It was a sad loss. They were doing so well in the first. We thought they were going to pull it out. :( Next week, the Cardinals.

I hope everyone had a great weekend! :) I'll close with a tag from Tib.

ABOUT MY HUBBY! :) You know I love him! :)

What is his name? Marc Justin
How long have you been married? 5 yrs on Friday
How long did you date? About six years
How old is he? 35
Who eats more? Me. Hands Down!
Who said I love you first? I did
Who is taller? He is.
Who sings better? Probably me and I remember the words!
Who is smarter? We’re both smart. It would depend on the topic.
Whose temper is worse? Mine
Who does the laundry? We both do.
Who does the dishes? We both do.
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I do
Who pays the bills? Me
Who mows the lawn? He does. No thank you! Sneezeville sucks!
Who cooks dinner? That is a tough one. I think I do primarily, but he is always helping.
Who drives when you are together? He does.
Who is more stubborn? We are both equally stubborn. Actually, I think he might be a bit more stubborn.
Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Me.
Whose parents do you see the most? Mine
Who proposed? He did
Who is more sensitive? I am
Who has more friends? Me
Who has more siblings? He does. He has three.
Who wears the pants in the family? We share the same pair! :) It is more fun that way. It has gotten harder to fit since I got pregnant.

Marc, I love you! :)

Friday, October 12, 2007

My Best Friend's Wedding!

Last weekend, Marc and I slipped up to Queenstown, MD to attend my best friend's wedding. We decided to make a weekend of it and stayed at the adorable Queenstown Inn.

This B&B was so sweet. Our room, pictured below, was huge! The photo does not do it justice. There is actually another day bed to the left that you cannot see. The private bathroom was up a short flight of stairs and had a separate shower/toilet rooms. There was an outdoor patio on either side of the room. We had a very comfortable stay and the included breakfast was so good! I wanted to try everything the cafe had, but didn't have time. (Note: this B&B has had many lives! It used the be the home to the inventor of the hypodermic needle, it was a bank and a post office as well.) If you are in the area, or even if you aren't, you should stay here!

On to the main event! The ceremony location was a five minute walk from the Inn. So, it was very convenient. Rachel couldn't have asked for better weather. It was beautiful!

We were on our way to the wedding when we ran into Rachel and her father waiting to board the boat she would be arriving on. My eyes welled with tears the minute I saw her. She was so lovely. I blew her kisses and headed to the ceremony location where the guests and the groom, Matt, were waiting. He was also quite handsome. The ceremony was short and sweet! :) It was followed by a buffet dinner and, of course, cake. See a few photos below.

Here comes the bride (by land and sea)!
The ceremony.

Rach and Me!

After the reception, Marc and I went to the Jeddy (local outdoor bar) to hang out with the bride, groom, wedding party and the groom's parents. No drinks for me, of course, but the potato skins were yummy! The best part about an outdoor bar, the cigarette smoke was nearly non-existent!

Rachel has been in St. Lucia all week and I miss her terribly. I got an email from her and they are having a wonderful time in paradise! Yay, Rachel and Matt! We love you guys!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Blogging Mania!

I've made several posts today in an attempt to catch up! I think I am finally up to the wedding and this past weekend. That will be later, maybe tomorrow. We'll see.

Thanks for checking in on us and staying patient with me! I get around to everything, eventually! :)

Have a great day!

September 2007: Family Weekend

Again, I cannot believe that we didn't take more photos. Mom, Tom, Wes and Ash were around this weekend, but you wouldn't know it! :) We had a great weekend and have another event planned at the end of this month to celebrate October b-days (Mom, Tom and Ash).

I had planned to document a step-by-step on chicken frying, but it looks like I missed a few. Oh well, guess I was too busy cooking!

Frying chicken takes a little bit of preparation. I was taught to trim excess fat and soak all pieces in a salt-water mix overnight. I use a good mix of everything (wings, thighs, legs, and breasts).
Next, you dump flour into a container along with salt, pepper and any other seasonings. I like to use a container with a cover so that I can throw the pieces in, put the lid on and shake it up. It gets a nice even coating and makes less mess.

You are almost ready to start frying, but first you have to melt a combination of Crisco solid and oil in a good frying pan. Yes, I said it CRISCO! I use my great grandmother's cast iron skillets, which are pretty large so they require a lot! Two of them almost take up the entire stovetop (see below). It is very important to bring the oil to temperature. You kind of want it to sizzle when you drop flour in, but you don't want it to splatter everywhere. Frying chicken is sooo easy. It is just VERY TIME CONSUMING. Each small batch takes about 25-25 minutes to fry. You want to take your time and make sure you have nice and even color on each side. I also recommend splatter screens. It is a messy process, but they really help cut down on the cleanup.

After you have fried each batch, I like to line a baking pan with lots of paper towels and set the oven to 275. I place the pieces in as a I cook and shove the pan in the oven. It keeps the chicken nice and warm and gives it time to drain a lot of the excess oil.

No chicken dinner is complete without green beans! I cook mine for several hours with cured side meat (salt pork) and onion, if it is around. You just cannot have chicken without green beans.

We also had homemade apple pie and cornbread that day. I didn't bother to take pics of that or a the final table setting. DUH! Oh well! :)

Here are some pics of the family at play and at Claude Moore Park:

Sydney is snuggling Miss Madison!

Grandma is reading to Sydney!

I think I mentioned to you that I started Sydney's Halloween costume that weekend with my mom. Here are a few pictures from that:

Looks easy, right? There I am at 1am (below). I still haven't worked on that costume. I'd better get busy!

The next day, we went to the ballpark for a baseball game! What a perfect weekend with family!

Labor Day 2007

We spent the weekend at the Reedville home over the Labor Day weekend. We love it there! The house is right on the bay. I wish we had taken more photos. We ate very well and visited a few local thrift stores and a church craft fair. I cannot wait to go back!

Carnival 2007 Final Stop (San Juan)

Okay, so for some reason, Blogger does not like our San Juan photos. It would only let me upload those below. Oh well.

Marc and I didn't have time to visit San Juan when we got onto the boat, but did have the opportunity to spend some time there when we got off. We took a taxi to the airport, checked our bags and headed out to walk around. We bought a disposable camera and took a few shots of our day.

We searched for a local restaurant so that we could try authentic food. We managed to find a small place at the suggestions of a street cop. It was quite good.

The mayor and his family were out and about that day for a walk. I enjoyed San Juan, but would have enjoyed it better if I hadn't been so uncomfortable and anxious to get home to Sydney. My only clean t-shirt, that fit the week before, was skin tight and it was driving me crazy. I ended up ducking into a Tommy Hilfiger store and purchasing another t-shirt in a larger size. Bargain shirt by the way, it was only $6. That helped quite a bit, but I know I was still cranky because I just wanted to get home to my baby. Maybe we'll get back there in the future also.

Catching up! Carnival 2007 (St. Lucia and Antigua)

Better late than never! I've had such a terrible time with our computer freezing on me at home that I finally gave in last night and put my computer guru honey on it. He was nice enough to copy the photos to a thumb drive. Thanks, honey!

So, the photos from St. Lucia are not available because our camera died. We got off the boat and met up with another couple from Canada, Jehan and Tracy, and convinced a cab to give us an island tour for about $30 a person. This was less than half of what the boat charged! We visited the sulphur baths, the Pitons, banana plantations and a market near the pier. We literally spent all day going from place to place. We arrived just after Hurricane Dean crashed through and half of the island didn't have water or electricity. The banana crops had been devastated. It was quite sad. I thought it was pretty hysterical that I actually had to PAY to use the restrooms in St. Lucia. We stopped several times and the most I paid at one stop was $1US. One restroom didn't have toilet paper or a toilet seat. It was quite an adventure.

Our next stop was beautiful Antigua and probably my favorite stop of them all. Marc and I took a hiking/kayak tour and had a WONDERFUL time! The company that ran the tour started, I believe, seven years prior by a British woman and her Carolina husband. They started with three kayaks and now have a whole fleet. The tour guides were so much fun and we returned to yummy banana bread, rum punch (obviously, I skipped this) and cold mint towels. We loved this trip! In fact, we thought it was so beautiful we might go back just to Antigua to vacation.

Photos of the kayaking, hiking and snorkeling tour below:

I actually managed to snorkel at this stop. The water was beautiful and calm. I ended up having to ditch the breathing tube because I kept choking on salt water. It was easier for me to hold my breath. :) Oh...I wish we were there today. :)