Monday, January 31, 2011

Our Trip to Port Discovery

Well, so I didn't win the lottery but I did win tickets to the most AMAZING place the other day!  Port Discovery is a children's museum in Baltimore that I have been dying to take Abby to for some time.   I was first introduced to them while reading (Cool) Progeny who has the scoop on all the fun kids stuff around the Baltimore area so when I saw she was giving away a family pack of tickets I had to enter... AND I WON!  Thank you  (Cool) Progeny!!!

This place is one of the coolest places I have ever seen.  There is so much to do and the price is super reasonable.  Just about every exhibit on this 3 level museum is appealing to everyone from toddlers to big kids (like me)!  Right in the middle of museum is a 3 level urban treehouse that is filled with twists, turns, and all sorts of climbing fun.  Abby was a little young to climb the whole thing but she loved the rope bridge on the third floor.  Just look at how high up it is!  It was a pretty long bridge and she made it over and back without any fear!  I was amazed!

As much as she loved climbing, I think her favorite part was Wonders of Water.  There were fountains, a stream table and so much more water fun!  They warn that kids will get wet on their website but I had no idea what we were in for!  Abby got soaked and I was so happy I brought a change of clothes for her.

We were lucky enough to go on the day that they were celebrating the Chinese New Year and the music and lion dance were absolutely awesome!  (As were the food samples from P.F. Changs... yum!)

There was so much more there... a mini diner, a convenient store for kids to shop in, a mystery house... way too much to put into one post.  Abby ran around like a luny bird from exhibit to exhibit.  There was no stopping her or even slowing her down.  Within five minutes of the car ride home, this is what my luny bird looked like.

I would highly recommend it to anyone with little ones living near Baltimore.  Thank you again to  (Cool) Progeny!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Lucky Day

Check out these boots... aren't they just too cute?  

I absolutely love them and since I have been feeling a bit frumpy lately, I bought them right before New Years Eve.  I think I've worn them about 4 times.  I love them but sometimes they're not practical... plus, they don't go with the sweat pants I tend to run out of the house in.

Well, the other day we all went shopping and I decided to wear them.  I also had a lucky feeling that I was going to win the lottery and wanted to stop and check my ticket to see if I was the worlds newest millionaire.  I bought the ticket the other day finally after 3 attempts.  I had no idea that some convenient stores don't sell lottery tickets.  

The entire day was incident free and on the way home we pulled up to the convenient store.  I had what was sure to be the winning ticket in my hand.  I was confident, excited, so sure of myself but when I opened the car door and started standing up there was something wrong.

It all happened really fast and I couldn't react.  It felt like my body was possessed.  It was moving on it's own.  I was falling but not falling.  I was almost falling and walking at the same time.  I COULD NOT stop my legs from moving.  As I was falling and walking (about a mile according to Dan) I saw the curb.

I knew this wasn't going to pretty.  It already wasn't pretty.  I tried to stop myself with my hands but my feet kept going.  I finally stopped when I tripped up the curb.  I landed in a pile of dirt that was only there to make my fall more mortifying.  

EMBARRASSING!  My husband, who claims to have been very concerned for my safety, did not get out of the car until I was sitting on the side walk laughing.  He swears that it kept looking like I had it but then I would start falling again so he wasn't sure he should get out.  I think he was too busy laughing and wanted to make sure he had his smirk hidden until he knew if I was hurt.

Let's face it, I would have laughed if it was him.  It was too funny although also slightly painful.

Judging by the hole in my jeans, my heel must have got caught on them somehow.  I wasn't too concerned because I had a winning lottery ticket!

So, I started the day feeling so good.  Rocking my boots.  Holding my winning lottery ticket.  Let's just say, the day didn't go quite as planned.

On the plus side, the fall didn't break my heel!  Hmm, maybe tomorrow is my lucky day?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sweet Sunday! Root Beer Float Cupcakes!

I have been craving something sweet for days and while I was cleaning my pantry I realized that I had this icing decorator thingy from Pampered Chef that was still in it's box.  I had bought it a while ago hoping it would make my cupcakes look FABULOUS!  So, I decided that I'd try it out today since it's Sunday and calories don't count on Sunday.

Since I was using my fancy schmancy icing decorator, I figured I'd better make something equally as fancy.  I decided to poke around on my cousin's blog for some ideas and came across Root Beer cupcakes.  I figured it had to be delicious because all of her stuff always looks so good.  Seriously, whenever I see a new picture on Facebook my mouth starts to water.  All of her creations look amazing!   And judging by these cupcakes, I'm sure they taste amazing too.

The icing does taste exactly like a root beer float!  The cake part has cocoa in it which I wasn't sure about at first but it worked really well together.  I have to admit, this was a little more work then I'm used to since my cupcakes usually come out of a box but it was well worth the effort!  My frosting does not look quite as FABULOUS as I hoped... I guess my Pampered Chef thingy isn't magical after all... but it passed the taste test conducted by Abby and Dan so it's definitely a winner!

Oh, notice those cute cupcake liners?  Those are silicone ones and I LOVE them!  For some reason, my cupcakes always stick to paper or foil liners so these worked out perfect!
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Friday, January 21, 2011

There are milestones...

And then there are MILESTONES!  I'm not talking about the normal ones we all look forward to like taking their first steps or saying their first word.

I'm talking about the ones we all dread.  The ones we know will be here sooner rather than later.  The ones that make you want to go from loving, kissing, cuddling your child to wanting run as far away as possible, lock yourself in a closet, and deny that child is yours.

You might have guessed it... we have hit the temper tantrum MILESTONE.  Well, we hit that stage a while ago but it is beginning to reach a new level.  A temper tantrum, as long as it's not in public, is something that I've learned to tune out.  Now, Abby has begun to scream these high pitched yelps.  Over and over and over again.


But that's not the only MILESTONE Abby has reached recently.  Aside from the ones that make me think she's a little more boy than girl (laughing at her farts and picking her nose), she attempted to climb out of her bed today.  And by attempted, I mean fell.

When I say my heart stopped when I heard the crash, followed by crying, followed by silence... I'm not exaggerating.  I can not begin to tell you how relieved I was to see that she stopped crying because she was trying to get up but was twisted in her blanket.  Not even a bruise.  Man, do I wish I had a video monitor to see how that fall went down!

My relief was short-lived.  It was followed by panic... is it toddler bed time?  I don't think she's ready for that.  Although her fall wouldn't be so far from a toddler, I don't think she would ever actually fall asleep.  So, I GOOGLED my problem and learned that they actually make tents to go over the top of cribs to prevent this from happening.

Um, is it just me or does this not look right?  The netting actually covers the entire crib, rails and all.  It's like sticking your kid in a bubble only safer!  I don't want to judge because desperate times call for desperate measures but this thing does look kind of wacky.  So, I need to know, has anyone tried one of these?  When did you transition your little one to a toddler bed?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Someone Pass Me a Tranquilizer!

As I sit here, on my new couch that I LOVE, I've come to a conclusion:  I am a neurotic mess!  Why?  Because I am actually afraid of my couch.

Well, actually I'm afraid of what may (but probably isn't) be living in my couch.  You see, about a week ago we discovered that we had an unwelcome pet that was living in our home.  He ate our hot dog rolls and investigated our entire kitchen and pantry.  I know there are people who find mice cute but I'm not one of those people.  I especially don't find them cute enough to share my food with.

I was totally freaked.  Especially since I ate an english muffin out of the same drawer the hot dog rolls were in.  YUCK!  I felt sick and was definitely having a panic attack.  Abby on the other hand, found me hysterical!  Every time Dan said another spot he saw evidence of our intruder, I would panic and say "oh my God."  Abby thought this was the funniest thing she ever heard!

So, after a little bit of persuasion (arguing), my husband agreed to hire an exterminator.  I know it sounds crazy, but mice carry disease!  And, I'm here alone a lot of the time so we needed to take care of this ASAP!  This may sound even crazier, but I was actually thinking that the exterminator would hunt down the mouse and remove it.  Hah!  Silly me!  I paid a ridiculous amount of money for him to put baits and sticky things around.  The removal of the mouse was our job!  GREAT!

So, we caught the mouse that night and the husband did what husbands do and I didn't have to see the poor mouse suffer (see, I do have a heart!).  There has been no other evidence of any more mice which is great news!  However, we had to sign a year contract with the exterminator so this would probably qualify the most expensive mouse assassination ever.

Ok, so I bet you're wondering why I'm afraid of my couch.  Well, I mentioned my mouse problem to my best friend a little while ago and she told me a story about a family member who had a mouse family living in their couch but they had no idea.  FANTASTIC!  Now, I'm itchy.  I'm hearing squeaky noises. I swear I see movement out of the corner of my eye.

So, why don't I just go into another room?  Because last night my husband made me watch Friday the 13th and I'm scared shitless that Freddy Kruger is outside my window!  I told you I'm a neurotic mess!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where's the Beef?

Clearly, this cheeseburger is a victim of the recession!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

How Do You Say "Thank You"?

Thank You Pictures, Images and Photos
Let me start by being totally honest:  I'm not very good at sending out thank you cards (or anything that requires a stamp).  My wedding thank you cards were way late (by about a year).  My thought on thank you cards is that if you say "Thank you" in person or over the phone then you shouldn't have to send a card unless you feel you want to.

That said, I am shocked by the number of gifts I gave over the holiday season that I did not receive a thank you for.  Since we live so far from family, most of these gifts were not given in person so I would have expected a phone call, text, or even a Facebook message letting me know they got the gift and appreciated it.  Like I said, I'm not picky and could care less about how you say thank you as long as you do.  Most gifts I gave weren't extravagant but the point is that I thought of them, right?  I didn't even get a thank you for some of the checks that were given although I know they got them because they were cashed.

Again, I'm not a stickler for etiquette but "Thank You" should be something that comes as second nature.  Maybe I'm just a little sour because I gave a gift to a kid who shall remain nameless and did not receive a thank you.  Instead, this kid asked me what else I got them.  For the record, this is not the first time that this child did not receive a gift graciously.  I'm not judging the child, nor the parent, and hope this is just a stage that this kid is going through but regardless it was very surprising to witness.

So, I now understand why some people got so mad when my Thank You cards were sent out so late.  It's nice to know a gift you give is appreciated.  I don't give a gift to hear a thank you but it is nice to know that the person received the gift when I wasn't able to give it in person.  And, after witnessing what it feels like to be on the receiving end of an ungrateful kid, I know how important it is to teach Abby to appreciate what others do for her.  So, we started that lesson as soon as we got home by writing Thank You cards to everyone who thought of us during the holidays.  She even signed them in her own special way!  My hope is that by starting early, saying thank you will become natural to her.

So, what is everyone else's take on Thank You cards?  How do you let others know their gift was appreciated?  How do you teach your children to show gratitude?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Think I Watched 100 Episodes of Caillou

While Abby was feeling sick on the couch.  She had a little fever and slept more hours than she was up today.  When she was up, the only thing that kept her happy was watching Caillou.  So, once we ran out of episodes on the tv, I had to check and see what I could find on YouTube.  Thank God for YouTube because she looked like this for most of the afternoon.

Well, until she realized I was taking her picture.  As soon as she noticed the camera she sat up yelling "Cheese!"
 Look at my devil dog watching too!  I have to say that he is getting much better with her.  A few weeks ago he would never have gotten this close!

I can not begin to tell you how happy it made me to see a glimpse of my happy little lady!  Now, if only I could get her look at the camera smiling like this when I want to take her picture.  I swear, she always does the opposite of what I want her to do!  I can only imagine what the teenage years will be like!


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