Monday, September 25, 2006

Meeting Ducky in Morgantown

Well, after nearly eight years of neglect, I visited my alma mater: WVU. We drove across beautiful western Maryland, taking the route I could do with my eyes closed, to spend the weekend in Morgantown, WV. We met Ducky (what Amelie calls Duncan's mom) and Grandpa Bob for a visit. Morgantown is pretty much exactly in the middle, between Bowie and Erie--a three and half hour trip from both directions. Since Violet doesn't have a history of being the best traveler (ie. screaming for the two hours it takes to get from Breezewood to home on our last trip in July), we asked if Ducky wouldn't mind meeting us halfway, so as to minimize the time in the car. She and Grandpa Bob graciously agreed. [Sidenote: The trip to Morgantown is 3.5 hours of driving. When traveling with two small children, who need to eat, have diapers changed, stretch their legs, etc. the trip is AT LEAST 5 hours from door to door.] Well, I planned on blogging about my emotions connected to Morgantown and WVU, I haven't gotten there yet and I need to be done for now. So I guess, I'll save that for another post. The pictures show Amelie (and Ducky and Bob) riding the PRT and Amelie exploring High Street.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Betty La Fea

Don't you hate when people try and "one up" you about how long they've know about something? Well, I do that ALL THE TIME. It started with Tevas. I got a pair for my first trip to Honduras in 1992. Then, it was Dave Matthews. I was telling people about him in 1994, during my freshman year of college. Recently, it was Violet. Yes, we had chosen her name BEFORE Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner named their little bundle. But since we never tell the name before the birth, I guess there's no way to prove it. Well, now I can tell you that Duncan and I watched Betty La Fea on Telefutura (Ch.14 here in D.C.) years ago. It was about an ugly woman, named Betty, who worked for a high-fashion, appearance-driven company and her experiences there--often of being teased and tricked and taunted. It was a comedy and that horrified us. It was funny, but kind of weird and sad at the same time.
A few weeks back, Duncan read that there was a new sitcom called Ugly Betty. He remarked that he knew a lot of our shows were based on things that were popular in other countires first and wondered if anything is ever original. I haven't watched any first-run sitcoms on a regular basis in forever. I might start again with this one. If it's anything like the original, it just might be worth it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Loving One Another

Duncan put his camera phone pictures on the computer last night. These were two of them from last Saturday at the VSG. I LOVE them! It's such fun to see Amelie and Violet interact more and more. It is my prayer that they become best of friends.

The Joys of Being a Homemaker

How lame is that I was ecstatic at the opening of our new and improved Super Giant last Friday? I watched it being built, in all of its splendor, while continuing to shop at the old Giant that was dwarfed in the shadow of its younger, bigger sibling. I was indifferent for a long time, but as the time drew closer for the new prototype store to open, my anticipation grew. I was SO excited!! It's supposedly one of their biggest stores, if not the biggest on the east coast or mid-atlantic or something. I've already been to it three times! To top off my Friday, I got my new washing machine as well!!! It was a banner day for this housewife. Our old washer, which was here when we moved in and wasn't new at the time, owed us nothing. We figured out it was from around 1988--18 years old!! It didn't conk out completely, but stopped washing well and left solid chunks of things (we use cloth diapers and wash them ourselves--you get the picture) on the laundry. I found I was washing things two and three times before they were only moderately clean. So, we decided to replace the last of the major appliances that were here nearly 4 and a half years ago when we bought the house. Now, we've ordered a new dryer, as well. Our old one is ok, but with the ginormous capacity of the new washer, the old, tiny dryer is overwhelmed very easily and often requires two cycles to dry a load. The new dryer is scheduled to come on Wednesday, October 4th.
So, on today's schedule:
-empty dishwasher and fill up again
-sweep and mop kitchen floor
-clean both bathrooms
-fold and put away laundry
What was the title of this post again?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Bagpipes

Yesterday, we went somewhere I haven't been in 15 years: The Virginia Scottish Games. From the time I was 5 until I was 15 years old, I Scottish Highland Danced competatively. These games, and others much like it, were a huge part of my childhood. My eldest sister, Karen, also did this and was the inspiration for my starting at all.
We called it "The Bagpipes" for Amelie's sake, since that is the only aspect of the games she had experienced previously. (We went to the Maryland Rennaisance Festival last year and bought a cd of The Rogues. She LOVES it and requests it often.) She enjoyed the day, even though she was dealing with a minor cold.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Photo Update

A sampling of what I took off of my camera this evening and what should be up on our photo website today or tomorrow.

We were just running a few quick errands, but Amelie HAD to put on her rain gear.
She created the ensemble herself...including crayons in her purse.
She refused to look at the camera in the above two. She insisted on looking at the rain.
Amelie has been DYING to help feed Violet. This was her big break.
Violet Ella is 7 months old.
I call this one Body Fluids: spit-up on shoulder, drool obvious, and eye goop--on again off again since she was born (clogged tear duct).
Breakfast at IKEA. (and our first attempt at actual whole-head-of-hair pigtails--so whadaya think?)
Holding Hands.

Why DOES Sukey take it off again?

Polly, put the kettle on,
Polly, put the kettle on,
Polly, put the kettle on,
We'll all have tea.

Sukey take it off again,
Sukey take it off again,
Sukey take it off again,
They've all gone 'way.

"Polly put the kettle on" was published in 1797. The origin of "Polly put the kettle on" was based on the author having five children - two boys and three girls. There were constant arguments as the boys wanted to play soldiers and the girls wanted to play house! When the girls wanted to play without their brothers they would pretend to start a game of tea party "Polly put the kettle on" and the daughter, called Polly, would put the toy kettle on! As soon as the brothers left Sukey (or Susan) would take it off again! Their father was so amused by this ploy that he set it to words and added the music which were subsequently published.

Much to my delight, Amelie has taken a liking to nursery rhymes. We have several books and we even got a cd with some nursery rhymes put to music. We've all enjoyed this a great deal. Today at lunch, Amelie asked the question in the title of this post, while listening to "Polly, Put the Kettle On." It made me remember a book my dad gave me in 1989 (according to the inscription) called Extraodinary Origins of Everyday Things by Charles Panati. This is a book that both Duncan and I have enjoyed a great deal and we're sure to use as the "why?" questions only continue to increase. It did have a section on Nursery Rhymes, but it didn't include Polly. So, I went to the next best thing: Google. I found the above explanation on this site. I thought some of you may have fun looking up your favorites. At a quick glance of the google results, there seemed to be many more sites like it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Don't Try This At Home (or at your local gym, at least)

Sorry to be just posting links lately. I've felt pretty uninspired of late. This OK GO video is one of the funniest, coolest, uniquest things I've seen in a while. If you've seen in before, enjoy it again and share it with a friend. If it's new to you, you're in for a treat. Caution: It is a music video and sound is involved. If you're at work, you way want to turn down the volume on your computer, so as to not draw attention to yourself. On the other hand, the lyrics aren't offensive in the least and maybe your workplace needs a little tuneage.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Cool link

This is a very neat site.
Check it out some time.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My 10th Birthday Present from Aunt Carol

This Saturday, we'll be celebrating my Aunt Carol's 65th birthday. Below is a little remembery I wrote for her. My mom, who is throwing the party, asked my two sisters, my brother,my two cousins and I to write a little something about our 10th birthday present from Aunt Carol. She gave each of us a trip to stay with her for a weekend in New York City. Way cool. This is a long post, I know. It's just that I thought some of my readers may enjoy it.

In the Fall of 1986, I traveled up to New York City, by way of Greyhound Bus, for my tenth birthday present from Aunt Carol. I was the sixth of six to experience this adventure and had heard tales of Broadway shows and many sights to see. I remember that I got to leave early from school, but I had to run the mile first for the Presidential Fitness test. (Which I never passed, by way—I wasn't flexible enough, among other things.) I remember being quite perturbed that I had to run around Holy Trinity's steep driveway three or four times, getting quite sweaty, before I could leave for the day. I think I tried to plea for an exception. I was going to New York City, by myself, after all. No exception.
I rode the bus up and was met by Aunt Carol at the station. My first memory is going out to dinner at the restaurant that we went to for Grandpa's 65th Birthday Party. I had pork and I remember Aunt Carol commenting on how good my table manners were. We went to a grocery store and bought snacks and things I liked to eat. I remember the Pepperidge Farm Mint Milano cookies. I think it may have been the first time I had those.
I slept on the couch and Aunt Carol lent me a shawl to wear around my shoulders while I read before bed. I thought that was really neat. I remember how noisy it was all night long. Not that I was kept awake, but while I was going to sleep and when I woke up in the morning, it sounded the same--horns beeping, traffic, dumpster emptying, etc.
One morning, I'm not sure if it was Saturday or Sunday, Aunt Carol made me plattor [Swedish pancakes]. They arrived on my plate in millions of tiny pieces, just how I liked to cut them up at home...only I didn't have to do any cutting nor did Aunt Carol! They tasted delicious, all the same.
We set out for the day with the intention to go to the Empire State Building and the American Museum of Natural History. We did both of those and they were fabulous. I remember the really long elevator ride up to the top of the Empire State Building. At the museum, I remember seeing mummies and I was fascinated by the toys and dolls that were there. I remember likening them to archaeological Barbie dolls.
I'm not sure what exactly transpired, but we made a decision to head over to the Statue of Liberty. I remember being disappointed that I didn't have my camera. I'd left it at the apartment since we had originally planned to go back there after our first two stops. Anyway, the Statue of Liberty was Le Piece de Resistance for me. It had just re-opened that summer and I think that might be a reason we waited a while after my tenth birthday to do the trip, so that it would be open when I was there. We waited for everything when it came to seeing the statue. We waited to get on the ferry boat. (We saw David Hartman, in the process, however, which was very cool since my parents were such Good Morning America fans.) We waited to go up the statue. We waited on the stairs. I can't remember if the elevator was broken or if you only could ever go up on stairs. As we approached her crown, there was a spiral staircase that went up to the very top. Aunt Carol didn't want to go on the spiral stairs and so she asked the nice couple, who had been in line with us since the very bottom of the statue, if they would mind me as I went up and down, to look out of her crown. It was magnificent! I remember being totally amazed by the experience. Aunt Carol bought me a little replica of the statue. I was very excited about that.
After such a full day, we headed back to Aunt Carol's apartment to get ready for dinner. While there, I took some photos with my miniature Statue of Liberty that I thought might look authentic, upon development. I obviously wasn't very schooled in the art of special effects. Being disappointed that I hadn't had my camera while gallivanting around NYC, I thought I'd take some pictures of Aunt Carol's apartment. After all, that was just as exciting and exotic as the rest of the city in my 10-year-old opinion. We met a friend of Aunt Carol's and her daughter, who was about my age, for dinner. We met them at an Italian restaurant and I had fettuccine alfredo. We then went to a bakery after dinner and I got a cannoli. Yum.
The next day, I rode the bus home, brimming with memories of my tenth birthday present trip from Aunt Carol. I no longer had to envy the memories of the others. I finally had my own to cherish.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

There's a party goin' on right here.

A celebration to last thoughout the years.
So bring your good times and your laughter too.
We're gonna celebrate your party with you!
Come on now. CELEBRATION! -Kool

Do you remember, when you were a kid, and you didn't want to go to bed because you were afraid you were going to miss something really good? Like everyone that was awake was having a party? Duncan and I have talked numerous times about how when you have young children, post-bedtime (7:30 in our house) is a party just about every night. We eat popcorn, drink soda, watch movies, play games, eat ice cream, etc. every night! (Ok, so not all of it every night, but usually at least some of it!) Amelie, we believe, is beginning to learn our secret. Every night, as we tuck her into bed, she whispers (so as to not wake Violet who went to bed at 7:00): "Wha ya gonna do?" And when I answer, laundry, dishes, talk to daddy, etc. she'll ask "Whas daddy gonna do?" and I'll have to go through the same list. Well tonight, she asked, after my usual responses: "Wha ya gonna talk 'bout?" I know that partly, this is a stalling tactic, which she has gotten quite good at of late. ("But I want to read MORE Bible stories!" Should we really discourage that?) But part of it, I believe, is that she's realized mommy and daddy don't go to bed when she does. We stay up, get things done and continue to live our lives. She goes to sleep and the world keeps turning. She's beginning to realize that she may actually be missing out on something. So my question is this: Do I tell her the whole truth of what we'll be doing? Or do I continue to tell her the not fun part of the truth?