Monday, April 30, 2007

Dumb Post About Movies

Okay so I flaked out over the weekend and now I have three more lists to make up for. I am not sure anyone is keeping track or caring at this point. But I am a woman of my word. First up, because it's easy and it really does say something about me (which is probably something very embarrassing), are my favorite movies from high school. Plus, everyone loves a trip down memory lane. These aren't ranked from 7 to 1, just my seven favorites as I recall.

1) Shag
2) Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves
3) Aladdin
4) The Jerk
5) Dead Poet's Society
6) Some Kind of Wonderful
7) When Harry Met Sally

And since I have two more to do today, let's go ahead and do my favorites from college. Not sure whether this will be more or less embarrassing.

1) Star Wars- all three, to the point of being a little ridiculous. I am not going to get into it. I still really enjoy Star Wars from time to time, but I have never really liked anything else from that same genre.
2) Clueless
3) Emma
4) Jerry Maguire
5) Tommy Boy
6) Breakfast at Tiffany's
7) Sabrina (the newer one though)

The college movies are definitely less embarrassing. So these were all movies that I watched like every week or so. Well, a lot of them I watched that often. If I have kids who just sit around and watch movies their whole lives, I'll know there's a problem. Think of all the productive things I could've been doing instead! On the other hand, I don't remember watching many television shows. I never saw shows like Dawson's Creek or Melrose Place. I did enjoy 90210 early on when they were still in high school and I think I watched Friends towards the end of college after it had been on a few seasons. Anyway, I don't have favorite movies anymore like I did then. I used Blockbuster.com to jog my memory and there are so many movies that I had on VHS and watched again and again that I have long since forgotten. While I don't watch them again and again, here's a list of seven movies that I think are remarkably well done as well as being greatly entertaining and that we have in our DVD collection which started when we received a DVD player as a wedding gift from all of George's college buddies (seven years ago on Sunday!). Again, all of these lists are not ranked from one to seven, just seven collective favorites. Who could say which is better than another?

1) Life is Beautiful
2) Moulin Rouge
3) Amelie
4) Pride and Prejudice (BBC miniseries)
5) 13 Going on 30
6) Big Fish
7) Love Actually

Don't laugh at 13 Going on 30. It is really so good, and I need a lighter one in there with all the drama. Other favorites include Sense and Sensibility and You've Got Mail. And though I've only just recently seen it, I think Stranger Than Fiction is worthy of a top spot as well. So this really would've worked better as a top ten. Seven is tough for a lot of things. I mean, this stupid post took me all day. Well, I actually have only spent about seven minutes in front of the computer, but I just kept coming back to it because of all the interruptions while I was trying to remember movies. Anyway, don't know if it's even an interesting topic. Feel free to make fun of all my picks or say how cute you think Matt and Jenna finally ending up together is too. What are your favorites from then and now?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Who Says You Can't Take it With You?

I knew that last post wouldn't go over as well. I was just waiting for someone to say that they can't stand griping! Ha ha! Anyway, I know the weekends are slow in blog world so I'm not expecting a whole lot of participation on this or the next couple either. But it's something to read, and feel to free to comment if you like.

This list requires some ground rules because it's seven things you can't live without. But we can all immediately come up with more than seven without being creative in the slightest or revealing anything about ourselves- God, Church, Family, Friends, Food and Water, Clothing, Shelter, Sleep, Exercise, Toilet Paper, and Soap. So unless it's a particular article of clothing or a certain kind of soap etc. it doesn't count. It's sort of like the whole "desert island" game- either things that are irreplaceable or things you just don't want to take a chance on not having when you need them. I sort of had to think along these lines when we packed all of our stuff into the POD last year and didn't know when or where we'd unpack. My sister had to think this way when she moved to France. They don't have Reeses cups in France, which is a big bummer to her. So think of it one of those ways or like we're in an Abraham or Exodus type situation, it's time to go and we can only take what will fit in the car (more or less) with us and we're never coming back. Who knows where we're going or exactly what we'll find there; all we know is that our basic needs, the ones listed above, will be met and our family's coming with us. Oh, and I'll throw in electricity and power as a given because we're going to be swanky nomads and I want to bring my Kitchenaid mixer. I hope you have all read these rules in the hurried monotone of one of those announcers giving all the disclaimers and side effects at the end of drug commercials. It sounds funny that way. Okay now, go!

1) A box with all the dresses I've made for Amabel and Elspeth- these are priceless to me and I hope their children and grandchildren will wear them someday. I also have two blankets my Nannie made for me and my sisters as babies and an afghan that George's great grandmother made for him as a baby; I reckon I would pack these in the same box.
2) Parmesan cheese and olive oil- think about it, all you need is parmesan and olive oil to make salad or bread or pasta or potatoes or chicken one of the best things you've ever tasted! Right now I have some excellent, award winning olive oil from Greece. It is too good not to take!
3) My Recipe Box- because that's gonna come in super handy!
4) My Kitchenaid mixer
5) Of course, my silicone spatulas. Close seconds in the kitchen tools arena are my Wusthof chef's knife and my microplane. I'm making the rules and I say I can bring them all!
6) My J. Crew pony tail holder with the tortoise shell beads- I have got a lot of hair!
7) Music- as much as I don't listen to it like I used to, I gotta have some sort of CD player and some good tunes. I'd make CD's a top seven list, but no one ever comments when I talk about music so I'm pretty sure I'm on a different page where that is concerned. Sigh. It's just not that kind of blog I guess.

This is not so fun a list as I thought it might be when I started. I realize I am not so attached to things as I thought. And I can't bring M&M's or Coke because of my rehabilitation. I think there's a lesser degree of attachment which would prompt you to bring dozens of things that are special. But when it comes down to seven things, seven things that make your life what it is, whoa, you have to be picky! I think all I do is cook lately. At least, judging from this list that's all I do. Well, I do other things like iron and clean and run laundry, but I wouldn't miss any of that! The cooking, that's what I'd miss. Maybe I should trade out something for my camera. And I need good shoes or I'll have all manner of aches and pains because my arches are crazy high. I don't know, this was hard. I know someone who said if her house were burning down she'd run to get her salad spinner. That is ridiculous to me because she could just go to Target and buy another one (for only $24.99- which actually sounds a little high to me). But I guess the point is that she relies heavily upon it. I have no use for a salad spinner personally. But as they say, to each his own. And speaking of, what do you all have for your list? I bet I will read yours and want to change all of mine and be terribly embarrassed by how shallow my answers are!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Can'tstandya

So today I am extremely grumpy. I have been meaning to post for a while about how coming off caffeine has changed my life. Last week my husband pointed out somewhat timidly how much more pleasant I am until I said with much enthusiasm, "I know! I feel so much better!" And I am telling you what, if you think you might could benefit from anti-anxiety medication which I have been told and sort of thought myself for the past three years (also been "diagnosed" for OCD, ADD, bi-polar disorder, depression, pretty much everything "laypeople" think they know about from seeing commercials or watching Oprah), you might try just going off caffeine first. I am a completely different person, way less paranoid and stressed out and panicky. I think y'all know, I have definitely felt not myself for literally a few years now and have said it a kazillion times which is what has prompted those laymen's diagnoses. The only one I took somewhat seriously is when I asked a friend who is a licensed therapist if I was right in maintaining to another pushy friend that I was not depressed. She said her inclination was that it was not depression but anxiety. It all started when I moved to St. Louis (I'm not trying to knock St. Louis that's just when it started) which was pretty stressful and followed some very stressful events as well, but it is also when I started my dependence on both coffee and M&M's. And now I feel so much better. Better than I could even begin to say. And I am so relieved that I was right, that I was not myself, because I hated that bitch. Ha ha! Anyway, so for the first day in like two or three weeks I feel like a bad word again. I called a friend to meet for lunch and get out of the house but it didn't work out today. So I have decided to stay home until after Elspeth's nap and then go to the mall and skip lunch out. Boo. I want to get out of here now. I know I will feel better if I just go. But in honor of my stuck at home grumpy day, seven things I can't stand (besides being stuck at home):

1) Oprah- I think I've said this before but I can't say it enough. Also, I watch her show anyway, but man, I do not like her. Other things I've said before: Victoria's Secret and Walmart. Don't even get me started!

2) A) Knick knacks/indoor statues- this is a long running joke between Jennie and I since Jennie told me an old boyfriend of hers gave her a Precious Moments statue for Valentine's Day one year. What do you say to that? "A statue, thanks!" I strive to maintain a knick knack free home. Not to worry, my parents have enough in their home for me and everyone who reads including African animals and tribesmen- some from an authentic African outdoor marketplace and some from Kirkland's and other such places, angels, sheep, and enough mismatched picture frames to open a Bed Bath and Beyond with.
B) Fake foliage and (worse) flowers- along the same lines as the knick knacks, and I'm not sure which is worse. It is a big reason I don't like Leonardo's in Birmingham (and never will so quit your squawking!). And again, my parents have enough of both to go around!

3) Under/overripe fruit- I like bananas still a little green and everything else only in season and before it's gone downhill. I bought the yuckiest cantaloupe from Sam's the other day. Oh well, I should've gotten a clue when a lady walked by me as I was sniffing, thumping and trying to avoid the ones that were clearly rotting and said "Sam's is really starting to suck!" I just burst out laughing, but I still took home a starchy, icky melon. Next time I'll just walk away. I also have issues with mealy apples, squishy berries, and self-destructing peaches. Oh, and there is nothing worse than a bad tomato- but nothing better than a great one!

4) The smell of mushrooms cooking- it seriously makes me ill. Well, not seriously. Also, I have never actually digested a pea, I don't think. They make me gag and I can't help it. Once my mom cooked peas and carrots and put them in honey because it was supposed to make kids eat them or something. Of course, it made it worse! I tried so hard because we had to eat everything on our plates, but I ended up spewing them all over the table (sorry, that's gross). I got a spanking too! But I still maintain that it was out of my control. Please pass the peas -right by me.

5) Tabloid shows, crime drama shows, news magazine shows, judge somebody or other court shows- Does this even need an explanation?

6) Sharing a bathroom with my kids- also sharing a dining area with them is not so fun either, but the bathroom is out of control gross every day. How do they get so dirty? And was I really so messy at their age? I'm sure I was, but I also know that my parents had a separate bathroom. I think my husband thinks I never clean the bathroom; little does he know I clean at least a part of it almost every day.

7) Potty humor- Can't emphasize that enough. Also, I do not appreciate any kind of lewd humor but I am so weird about that that I usually just pretend it doesn't exist. Half the time I probably don't get it anyway.

What gets your goat?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I'm "It"

Sorry to have gone Roanoke on all of you. It was so sweet to be missed. And you can all thank April for bringing me back because I've been tagged! Yippee! Hurray! Hurray! I've never been tagged! Okay, so granted she had to tag seven people. Seven? I don't think I know seven people with blogs who read my blog! Especially considering that I can't tag her or Jessie or Jennifer because she tagged them as well. Also, the topic is pretty broad- seven things about me. And I'm just wondering if there are even seven things (of consequence) left about me that you people don't all already know. You all know that I have three children and my husband is in seminary, that I'm from the South, that I'm hugely sensitive (in a good, not just the bad, way I hope) and insecure and even more hugely dramatic, that I love to bake and smock and sew, that I think U2 is the greatest band of all time and The Wonder Years was the greatest show of all time, that I love reading Jane Austen, and that I nearly died in a car accident in high school with my dad who also did not die but later was divorced from my mom and then even later was remarried to her (now that's something you don't hear about every day). At least I think you knew all of that. So hmmmm other defining characteristics, moments from my life, insights into my world..... I have been trying and I truly can't think of much to share. I've told y'all my whole life story already! Well, mostly, some things even I don't want to tell the whole world. So I had this idea last night that if I couldn't think of seven new things, which I can't, that I'll do seven sort of quirky lists of seven over the next week to promote much discussion. Some of that lighter fare that you fellas seem to enjoy so much. By then, maybe I'll have wrangled up seven people to tag myself. And I know, I am taking this whole being tagged thing very seriously. But I'm so excited so just indulge me. Plus, you're guaranteed to learn a little something about me and your fellow readers, if any of them are left. First up, seven never have I evers:

1) Had a cavity
2) Been out of North America- I have been to Mexico and Bahamas, otherwise just right here in the continental US. Someday I hope to change all of that though!
3) Turned a cartwheel- by the time I quit being afraid/embarrassed, my center of gravity had shifted and then it was impossible to learn.
4) Been skiing
5) Seen an episode of Survivor or ER (or any of the Law and Orders or CSI's or basically any of a hundred crime shows on television- but who watches those anyway?)- quite proud of this actually, as long as they've been on the air and as much TV as I watch.
6) Eaten brussels sprouts- I've never had them offered to me either so that's nice. I have however, been part of a series of pranks in which brussels sprouts and other unwanted food items were left anonymously in a friend's mailbox over the course of a year until our identities were revealed in the school newspaper.
7) Been trick or treating- well, I've taken my kids for several years now and I highly recommend it. But I wasn't allowed to go as a child, nor was I allowed to sit on Santa's lap or write him letters or even see movies about him- basically, to even slightly believe in either him or the Easter bunny. But in college my friends took me to finally sit on Santa's lap. How naive were we? So creepy to think back on the three of us silly eighteen year old sorority girls sitting on some strange man's lap!

What about you? What's the game? You have to drink a shot if you have done one of these things? I'm guessing if you're really playing, several of you are toasted right about now. Drinking games aside, what never ever have you done?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Detox

I have been off caffeine for over a week now. My friend Jennie said that might be something to try to get Elspeth to sleep better. So I went off Coke and coffee last Monday. So far it's not doing much but it's probably good to be off whether it does anything for her or not. Even though it isn't as caffeine-y as the other two, I had planned to go off chocolate as well. I was just so disgusted with myself after all the chocolate Easter candy I consumed. And Easter is the last in a long drawn out series of chocolate-y holidays. It all starts with Halloween. I'm telling you, I have gained weight since Elspeth was born. She came right at the onset of M&M season. Colorful, delicious, festive, able to be eaten by the handful- there is no worse combination! But Easter is over and with it went the last of the fun M&M's. So I hope I am safe until next fall. But I waited to quit eating chocolate on Tuesday or Wednesday, can't remember which, because I had pulled a recipe I just had to make before cutting out chocolate cold turkey. And I am off all three for the long haul. I'm just so addicted. Really, addicted. I had the worst pains and aches last week. I thought it was the lack of caffeine to perk me up after my touch and go sleepless nights, but now I'm wondering if my body was in a full blown detox of all the stuff in "the three C's" that make them so yummy. Seriously, between Coke, coffee, and chocolate I have knocked out at least 30% of my daily food intake! That's so gross. I know. I drank like four cups of coffee a day, one can of Coke (and sometimes two) or who knows how much if we were at a restaurant. And I don't have any idea how much chocolate. I mean, I love chocolate. But no more. I have absolutely no discipline so it has to be all or nothing. So it's nothing. Other sweets don't tempt me. Other soft drinks don't tempt me. It's Coca Cola and chocolate or nothing. Well, I did make one of my favorite non-chocolate recipes to get me over the three day hump last week. You know the third day is supposed to be super hard for some reason. So I made gingersnaps. They are soft and so good, part of my Christmas baking list every year. And though they are not even in the same league as chocolate, it is pretty easy to overdo them too. So I'm thinking no more of those, at least for a while. Maybe I'll whip up a batch to console myself when the Halloween M&M's come out, which I'm sure will be sometime in August, right? So sad, but that's probably close to true! Anyway, I have high hopes that I will soon have a baby who sleeps through the night and possibly even drop a few pounds while I'm at it. I'm not counting on the latter too much, I'm one of these that barely loses an ounce while I'm nursing. Anyway, y'all enjoy these recipes while I can't.

Chocolate Chunk-Mocha Cookies
These were in Southern Living this month under an article called "Dreamy Chocolate;" I highly recommend them but would steer away from the "fudgy cookie bars" which are not so tasty as you might think- if I didn't like, them, you know it's no good! Southern Living says that these "received our highest rating," also that the dough can be frozen up to one month or refrigerated up to 2 days.
2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1 (11.5 oz.) package semisweet chocolate chunks (I used 2 c. chocolate chips because I had them on hand)
Mocha Frosting (recipe follows)

-Combine flour, cocoa, soda, and salt in a bowl
-Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Gradually add in flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in chocolate chunks.
-Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheets.
-Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until puffy. Cool on baking sheets for a couple of minutes and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
-Spread cookies with Mocha Frosting. They're good enough without it, but you do not want to miss the frosting!

Mocha Frosting
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
1/4 c. hot strong brewed coffee
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar

-Stir together first four ingredients until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, stirring until creamy.

Snap Crackle Gingersnaps
3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. dark molasses
2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Raw sugar for coating (I made them without this time and they were still fabulous; and at Christmas I use the big crystal colored sugar stuff from Wilton)

-Cream butter and sugar until light. Add egg and molasses until smooth.
-In another bowl, stir together flour, soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon.
-Add flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing until smooth.
-Cover and chill 30 minutes or until firm.
-Roll dough into one inch balls with your palms (I usually make these a little larger, but you can do it either way), and roll into raw sugar to coat lightly. Place two inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets (or prepared however you do, greased, etc.).
-Bake 10 minutes at 325. Transfer to wire racks to cool.



Friday, April 13, 2007

Not The Actual El Guapo

George's (and my) friend Matt hates U-Scans. He writes posts about it and I try not to be too decisive one way or the other, mostly because I haven't used a U-Scan but maybe twice ever. I see some of his points. And then I see why U-Scans still exist too. Anyway, today I cussed a U-Scan machine out. I know, not one of my better moments. It was under my breath because the kids were with me, but I'm pretty sure the guy at the U-Scan in front of me fully comprehended my meaning when he looked back to see what all the ruckus was. And I must say I felt a little like Andy from The Office when he punches a hole in the wall over his missing cell phone. But I mean really. The reason I drive four miles down the interstate to the next Shnucks or five and a half to the closest Dierbergs is because the Shnucks that is about a mile from my house has only three lanes open on a regular basis and these three lanes generally have at least three buggies waiting at any given time. It is so annoying! But I needed to be quick because Elspeth was hungry after picking Amabel up from school and running to the library. And I only had 10 items today. Ten. So when the lines were all backed up as usual I decided to brave the dreaded U-Scan with my crying baby, my rowdy pre-schooler, and my somehow rowdier kindergartener. Well, after the eighth "Please take the last scanned item out of the bag and then place it back in the bag," I was ready to shoot someone. Seriously. Who knew the whole thing works on a super sensitive scale. And the problem, according to the man who saw my "slip of the tongue," was that my rowdy children kept knocking the scale. So I am frantically, as the line builds behind me and Elspeth takes it up a notch, trying to get the children away from the scale but not to where they can pull any more pre-paid phone cards or tic tacs off the point of sale displays (oh they love those kids' eye levels don't they!). And then when that didn't help I tried to flag down the lady "in charge." I seriously thought she must have a glass eye or something as many times as I said "Excuse me," and she looked right past me. I finally said "I'm sorry, are you looking at me?" which was risky, I know, but I took a gamble. I mean, I said it nicely because I really thought she must have some sort of optical impairment, but no, she just wasn't looking at me. So she did and sort of slowly and condescendingly (and nasally) said, "The scale is set to measure the plastic bags." Right, because I had my canvas bags. But I really only had one bag. How minutely is this scale calibrated? And furthermore, why didn't she tell me when she saw me put the bag on?! Or at least after one of the many "Please take the last scanned item out of the bag and then place it back in the bag." So I was kinda irritated. Kinda. And I said "Well, I don't want to use the plastic bags." And I guess she's been working in the U-Scan bay for longer than is good for someone because her response was just as condescendingly and nasally as before,"The scale is set to measure the plastic bags." So I had spent too much time trying to save time and I was starting to feel like my parents who can't program their answering machine, so I just loaded everything into the plastic bag, and even hit a few more "please take the last scanned item out of the bag and then place it back in the bag," which didn't make any sense since I was using the plastic bags, all the while muttering how this is the reason I go to the Shnucks in Ladue. Then I took everything out of the plastic bags and put them in my canvas bag. All of that for environmental friendliness. You're welcome, earth.

Right, so not going real well on the funny vs. frustrating front. But I see the humor in it now. That counts a little. Right?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Roaming (Literally) Through the Night - My Place In This World.

The problem here is that I don't have time to write a new post. I also have no presence of mind even if the laundry was washed and folded and dinner was made which is not likely to happen anytime soon as I sit here hoisting my Bud Light (I know, I know, I never claimed to be a connoisseur) and shelling peanuts. I really am still very clever and witty and all of that. Truly. It's just all on strike until I get some sleep. I have tried everything to make that happen. We are dressing her more warmly for bed, giving her Tylenol and teething tablets at bedtime, feeding her real food about an hour before her last feeding, sending George in to calm her when she wakes up in the night, etc. etc. She just doesn't want to sleep. She wants to nurse every three hours twenty four hours a day. I am currently off caffeine and hope that will start turning things around. Or it could make things worse if it doesn't help her sleep because I am, of course, less awake than even before. One wonders if I should be allowed to operate heavy machinery. I hate unsolicited advice. We all know that. I am now soliciting advice. I have probably tried it, but whadaya got?

I never wanted this. Oh such (deliberately) dramatic words! I didn't. Insert yourself into the Lifetime movie of my life for a moment. I was going to be a journalist. Not a news journalist because politics bore me. But I was going to write delightful pieces on big events and famous people and exotic places. My dad kept saying I should be an actuary. What on earth is an actuary? Exactly. It's some sort of math-y person who makes up statistics. Very dull. Sorry Jennie. Jennie's husband is an actuary. I mean, whatever floats your boat. But it didn't float mine. I was good at math. I got 100 for the course in Geometry. But I hated it. On the other hand, I barely made a B in Algebra and I really enjoyed it. So was I really good at math anyway? Exactly. Well, my dad seemed to think I was. And he kept telling me everyone wants to be a journalist. So no one wants to be an actuary? Is this a selling point? But oh the money I'd make! Jennie can correct me if I'm wrong but I'm thinking it's just pretty normal. No, I did not want to be an actuary. I wanted to be a journalist. "You'll never make it." He kept telling me this. Aren't parents supposed to say things like "you can be any thing you want to be!" "You'll never make it?" Well, close enough!

So I took JM101, the "weed out course" for would be journalism majors. You had to make an 89 just to pass. Something like that. I made a B, I think. Not bad, right? But it scared me. I was always scared of life after school. And some of those people were ambitious. Like Diane Sawyer ambitious. And I thought I might not make it. I mean I didn't want to be Diane Sawyer. But what if all the people who did and couldn't be took all the jobs I wanted? It was so scary! Too bad. I stuck with a nice safe major like English. I could still be a journalist, but I could always "fall back on" teaching. But I am so not a teacher. How was I supposed to know that at nineteen though? It didn't really matter too much to me, it just made my dad feel better. I was still planning on being a journalist. Sort of. If I ever quit being scared of all the Katie Couric clones. I was even offered an editorship in the Glomerata, Auburn's yearbook. Again, I was pretty intimidated by that so I turned it down. What?! I don't know. I just thought maybe they were trusting me a little too much. I wrote a few pieces but got pretty bored with it because I didn't have enough to do. Right, could've solved that problem by just being an editor like they asked me! Again, too bad.

I still had this journalist idea though. And when George and I were engaged, we were walking around downtown Auburn and we saw that they had opened a newspaper office right there on College Street. So we stepped inside. I actually got an interview on the spot. But I was just visiting until I moved back and I didn't have a resume and I just sort of panicked. I told them I'd have to schedule an interview a little later, the next time I was in town. I mean, retelling this is just mortifying! What was my problem? Why was I so afraid? It's not like my dad had ever actually read anything I had written. He wasn't telling me I wouldn't make it based on my writing, but on the journalism industry. Also, he recruits doctors so how much do you think he knows about the journalism industry anyway?! Well, he was just trying to be helpful. I mean, clearly from this story, I was the one hindering my progress. So I called William White about three times a week for months. I probably drove him crazy. I never got the interview. He strung me along though. I'm not sure why. And then I found out Amabel was on the way and I just sort of gave up- And not really reluctantly either, I had a pretty romanticized idea of what motherhood would be!

So five years later, my blog was going to be my big launch back into writing. You know, because I'm so fearless and confident now. But it's turned into just one of those that has little stories about my kids and recipes every now and then. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Most of my friends' blogs are like that. And it's perfect for a friend's blog. It helps you keep up. It's the reason why my inbox is almost always empty, everyone knows what's going on with me by visiting my blog. But I wanted to be a journalist, you know. Now my dad says I should try free lance writing. "Send stuff in!" he tells me. I wonder if he feels bad that it wasn't a passing fancy so he has started encouraging me (but in a sort of grumpy way- "shut up and do something about it!"). Yeah, but I should also have my own bakery and my own line of children's clothes. I even have a name for my business already! It's super cute too. But I guess the point is that it's just not that time. That time may come. I don't know too many pastor's wives so I don't know what they normally do. Maybe they do things besides having people over for tea. Even that would be fine. It's just that now is the time for dirty diapers and peanut butter and jelly and up every three hours at night and nothing much to write about but that. I don't want to write about it because I don't really want to do it.

Keep in mind that I am just grumpy like a kid who hasn't gotten a nap in four days. Only in this case it's nine months. So all of this really is not as crazy as I'm making it out to be. It just feels that way. I mean, the story is true. But I didn't want to be the other way either. My friends all had power suits and went to job fairs. I had no idea why they were even my friends. They were always doing these impressive things on campus and holding all these important offices. I barely maintained my two activity quota for sorority by being nominally on some sort of random committee and going to RUF. Could've solved another problem by being a Glom editor!

But August and I are trying this thing out. August and I make a big deal out of everything. August spills his fruit snacks and cries. He calms down, puts them all back in the bag, and spills them again. Then he really cries. I am trying to teach him that these things can be funny depending on how you look at it. Frustrating? Or funny? I think it must be a big difference between laid back people and uptight people. So maybe I'll just take my frustrations, like not being a renowned journalist, my large family inside a small apartment, etc.(heaven knows they are abundant), and make them funny for all to read. Maybe free lance is the way to go. But I won't do it any more than I sell things I sew. Someday? Well, first things first, how about more than three hours of sleep at a time?!

I have read this several times and have no idea if it makes any sense at all. I have also now had two beers and have possibly tried to address too many things in one post. Any comments are welcome though, even those who might encourage me that my gifts lie apart from the printed page!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Look What I Found!


I recently found this great baby doll that is my new favorite shower gift for baby girls. We have the rather expensive "Babipouce" Corolle baby dolls (right) for our girls when they are babies. They are soft everywhere but their hands and face and so cuddly sweet. I got Amabel this as her first baby doll for her first birthday and she has never really taken to it or any other baby doll. She has a pink stuffed hippo named Happy who she dresses and feeds and puts down for naps as if it were a baby doll but not really that often. Mostly she just sleeps with Happy at night it, so isn't quite the same. So I was determined that Elspeth would play with baby dolls. I decided she would need one before her first birthday and possibly in time for her actual day of birth so that baby dolls would always be something she knows and loves. Neurotic, I know. Anyway, she has had her own Babipouce since her first Christmas. Mostly she just sucks on the knot on her hat. But every now and then I see her looking into her baby's eyes with a happy regard. And I think every little girl should have one of these darling babies. But I can't be shelling out $25 for every baby shower. And I am delighted to report that I don't have to! Madame Alexander makes one nearly identical for nearly half the price (upper left). It's almost too little to spend on a baby gift! But hey, it's the thought that counts. If you live in St. Louis, you can usually find one at Spicers in Clayton. But don't get one if I'm invited to the shower too, because that's what I'm getting! Another great option, one that I haven't been able to find in the store, is a baby made by Lamaze that Elspeth got for Christmas. It is too cute. It is called My Friend Emily. The skirt is made from that crinkly stuff that makes noise and there are lots of other textures, colors, and sounds going on, including a squeaker in her tummy. All of these are pretty big for a little baby human so I am on the hunt for something Elspeth can hold in just one hand that might cozy up nice in her Easter basket. Guess I'd better get on that! Corolle makes one that looks promising. I just need to find it!


Moving on then, I have also found some books I'm pretty excited about at the library lately. I searched around for some books about the first day of school and found this one that rhymes and could even work for a child like Amabel who is not necessarily starting on everyone else's first day of school. Appropriately and simply, it is called First Day. We also found another one that just kind of jumped off the shelf while looking for the other called Ballerina Flying. Sadly, it is no longer in print, but it is darling and should be available at your library or used off Amazon. Come to think of it, I think everything I have written about so far can be found on Amazon. Love that! Oh, except the My Friend Emily doll I saw on there was some odd version of what we have (ours is pictured above on the left) so try Toys'r'us.com for that one.

I have also found some little items that might come in handy for those who don't have kids in their lives. I'm not really sure why I can't find a picture on the website, but I got a little gadget at Williams Sonoma called the First Slice pie lifter. You bake this little flat metal pie wedge under your crust and then when you want to cut the always disastrous first slice of pie, you just cut around the metal piece and lift it right out, neatly as can be. How handy is that?! Also purchased on the same trip to Williams Sonoma is a teeny spatula set. Y'all know how partial I am to my Williams Sonoma silicone spatulas? Well, they make little bitty ones too! This is handy for all manner of scooping and scraping in containers too small for your regular sized silicone spatula- inside of jars, measuring cups, etc. They will even personalize them for you for two dollars. Now that's cute (and completely random and useless, but still cute). I realize that in the picture they just look normal sized, but they are actually much smaller and instead of saying Williams Sonoma on the handle they say "Chuck's Kitchen." So there you go.

If you don't have kids and don't cook, why are you reading this blog? There is nothing here for you. Just kidding. I am trying to diversify. But my little world is pretty all consuming and it is hard to venture into other things at the present. But for most of you who are parents and/or amateur chefs, I hope you found my finds helpful/useful/not the most boring thing you've ever read about.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Feels Like Spring Break

I spent every spring break in high school in Destin with my friend Courtney. The first year it was a random group of us from church and Courtney and I ended up in a bungalow with two of my older sister's best friends. We all got really sun burnt and spent most of spring break watching tv inside bored to the point of delirium. It was pretty hilarious. The next two years, Courtney's mom drove us down with some other families, among whose was one of Courtney's best friends, Jennifer, to this day one of the funniest people I have ever known in my life. I think the last year it was Courtney, Sara, Shannon, and I, but I can't remember for sure. Yes I can, because we bought our prom dresses at the outlet mall. Anyway, this is completely beside the point. The main point is that I remember the night before leaving we would always stay up until three in the morning as all high school girls do at sleepovers. The only problem with that was that the adults always wanted to leave at five in the morning to get started on the eight hour drive from Nashville to Destin. So we would wake up after only an hour or two of sleep and I remember this nauseous feeling like I had been punched in the stomach because I was so tired getting up and getting ready for that drive. It always wore off after we got going though. And then, inevitably, we would get to Destin and there would be a cold snap so that we were laying out with goose bumps! And one crazy day toward the end of the week, after we had all had enough of laying on the beach and shopping at the outlet malls, we would decide to brave the cold ocean water. And then there was that feeling again, after running as fast as we could in bikinis and tee shirts into the freezing cold water, like you had been punched in the stomach and I always "almost" threw up! But we always did it again the next year. Anyway, there's lots more I could say about our yearly excursion. It was so much fun! But mostly I just wanted to say that I've been thinking a lot about those trips, not because it's Amabel's spring break this week, but because that feeling of being so tired (or so cold, but in this case it's so tired) that you thought you might throw up. Yeah, that feeling? That's become a nightly experience thanks to the baby who will not sleep! She is on all other accounts the most perfect baby in the world. But Lordy!Lordy! I have got to get some sleep! She did better there for almost a week; I even got a four hour stretch in there a couple of times! Woohoo! But the past two nights, it has been worse than before. I am so tired, George has been getting up before I even hear that she's woken up. Every time someone comments on how cheerful and calm and good she is, I try to give credit to the many prayers we prayed for her to be easier than August and unaffected by all the stress I experienced while carrying her. God was so gracious to answer those prayers so generously. Added to my prayer list for next time, (if there is a next time which I'm beginning to doubt) "Please Lord, Give us a baby who will sleep well!" And it's never too late to pray that for the one we already have!

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