Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Crafty Girl

There was a great article in the Sunday Baltimore Sun on the revival of knitting and other crafts among young people, both women and men - check it out. There was one quote from the article that describes me perfectly:

"They may keep long lists of "things to make," but sneer at the impossible quest for perfection implicit in craft queen Martha Stewart's approach, and revel in the irony of creating while dirty dishes pile sky high."

One look at the state of my kitchen floor will tell you this is true. I stayed home sick yesterday and spent most of the day working on my cross stitch project instead of doing any sort of cleaning. I did manage to get a couple of loads of laundry done, though.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

'80's Lyrics Quiz

This has probably been around the block a few times, but I just stumbled across it (via Old Hag) and killed a few minutes at work. I scored an 88, but it should have been better - spelling counts! Let me know your score and if you thought #94 was a trick question.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Weekend Update

A very busy weekend this weekend. We had to go to the bank Friday night since I left M's paycheck sitting on the kitchen counter Friday morning and couldn't deposit it over lunch (why oh why won't his company do direct deposit?) and the bank now closes at 7pm instead of 8pm, so I felt very rushed to get up there after feeding H. her dinner. We then went and picked up pizza from a new place and it was absolutley delicious! (God Bless Aldo's!) Ever since we moved here (almost 5 years ago), we've struggled with finding a place with decent pizza. There are no chains (Domino's, Papa John's) close by and we've tried all of the local places with moderate success. And I can't exactly pinpoint what's not so great about these pizzas (too greasy, too much sauce, crust too thin), just that I don't want to eat them every Friday night (I don't cook on Friday nights). For awhile, we switched to getting subs instead of pizza, and eventually, I was buying DiGiorno frozen pizzas, which were better than the pizzas we were getting. So we discovered Aldo's and it's a little bit of a drive to pick it up, but well worth it!!

On Saturday, my friend S. came down and we went to visit some friends from college, one of whom is expecting a baby in a few weeks, so we met at her house. We left pretty early, around 10am, since it was a two-hour drive. We had a wonderful time catching up with everyone, since the last time we were all together was last February, and we all brought presents for the mom-to-be. M. babysat H. for the whole day, probably the longest amount of time he's ever watched her. I only called home once and everything was fine. She had just woken up from her nap and M. was going to take her to his mom's for a visit. As S. and I were driving home, it started snowing. It was coming down pretty good by the time we got back to my house and S. still had another 2+ hour drive ahead of her. She called home and it wasn't snowing there yet, and since the storm was moving west to east and she was headed east, she decided to tough it out and drive home. She called us around 10pm and she had just gotten home - it snowed the whole way, but she made it safe and sound.

We ended up with more snow than predicted, between three and four inches. My friend Na was supposed to come over for lunch on Sunday. I called her in the morning to see what she wanted to do and she said she would still come since it was just raining. I ran up to the grocery store and on the way back, the snow turned to sleet and finally snow - big fat snowflakes. Na arrived about a half hour later - she was closer to my house than to home so she just kept going. We had a nice lunch and she stayed for quite a few hours. H. napped most of the time she was there, so we had a good visit, just talking and relaxing. And she brought me my birthday present - some of the Christmas accessories I wanted from Yankee Candle.

A wonderful weekend with friends, food and presents!

Friday, January 16, 2004

Chick Lit Question

To answer Jennifer Weiner's question, the first "chick lit" book I ever read was The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank. I read it in 2000 and didn't know it was "chick lit" at the time. I read a couple of other books that would be considered "chick lit" in 2000, then read Bridget Jones's Diary the following year. But I didn't really jump on the "chick lit" bandwagon until 2003 (I know, woefully behind the times) after reading both of Jennifer Weiner's books (which I wouldn't necessarily consider "chick lit," but that's another discussion) and did some research on the genre. I've been a mystery/legal thriller gal for the past several years, but I surprised myself by not picking up on the "chick lit" trend sooner, especially since all I read as a pre-teen and young teen were Sweet Dreams and First Love from Silhouette romances. I have a lot of catching up to do!

It may sound corny, but I'm getting very sad about the end of Friends. Last night's episode was very much the beginning of the end, with Monica and Chandler planning to move away. I can remember the final farewells of many shows that I loved - Cheers, Family Ties, Mad About You, etc., but this one seems much more personal, I guess because Friends came on the year I graduated from college and was about ME - working in "the real world," dating and being on my own. At the same time, we all found jobs, got married and had babies. Rachel and I were pregnant at the same time! Then I stayed up to watch the Prime Time interview with Jennifer Aniston and that made me even more sad. She is so charming (and beautiful, needless to say) and had such wonderful things to say about the rest of the cast. I really will miss my pretend "Friends."

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Aye, Aye Mateys

I finally got around to watching Pirates of the Carribbean last night and I've wanted to talk like a pirate all day. I thought the movie was quite excellent - it lived up to everything I read and heard about it, especially regarding Johnny Depp's performance. I would rank it right up there with The Princess Bride - who doesn't love a storybook movie with a good swordfight scene? And does anyone else think Keira Knightley looks a lot like Natalie Portman?

Thursday, January 08, 2004

First Book of 2004

I'm off to a slow start for reading in 2004. I just finished my first book of the year - Bigfoot Dreams by Francine Prose (which I never even got around to posting on the sidebar). This is an older book, originally published in 1986, and is from my "What to Read" personal required reading list. It was an "okay" book, for lack of a better work, not quite what I expected, and a bit dated - lots of references to aging hippies and NYC in the '80s. But it got me out of my comfort zone to read something from a different genre, which is what my reading list is supposed to do.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Christmas Pics

This has been a long week so far - the first full week of work in quite a while. To help you get through it, here are some holiday photos:

Christmas Eve at Mimi's House

Opening Presents Christmas Morning

Brand New Slide
(note the TV on the floor in the background pre-new entertainment center)

Disney Princesses Teapot

Later Christmas Day at Honey & Pop Pop's House in the Elmo Car from Aunt Jenn

Friday, January 02, 2004

Year in Review

I tried to do my Year in Review on Wednesday, but Blogger wasn't cooperating, so I'm a couple of days late. I apologize in advance if this sounds like "Baby's First Year," but it was, and those achievements will always be memorable to me.

January 2003

I returned to work full-time after my 12-week maternity leave, just before turning 31. It was a big adjustment, one I'm not sure I've fully made yet, a year later. I had a wonderful birthday celebration surrounded by all my family and friends.

February 2003

The latest "Storm of the Century" gave us close to 18 inches of snow Presidents' Day Weekend and an extra day off from work. This was also the weekend H. chose to cut her first tooth. She also started drinking from a cup.

March 2003

Somewhat of a blur, coming out of the big meltdown after so much snow all winter long. Nothing too memorable seems to have happened. In like a lion...

April 2003

We hosted Easter dinner at our house, complete with an egg hunt in the slightly muddy backyard. My sister J. used to host this holiday, but she passed it on to me since they were getting new carpet installed and it rains every year on Easter. I think it will be the holiday we host from now on. It works for me since I do get Good Friday as a work holiday.

May 2003

M. and I went away for the weekend by ourselves for the first time, leaving H. with my mom and dad. We only called home three times to check on her, but we arrived at my parents' doorstep bright and early Sunday morning, we missed her so much. It was also Mother's Day, so I thought I should be with her as much as possible. H. also mastered the art of rolling over, a little bit later than average. Given her roly-poly shape, you would think it would be easier.

June 2003

Several big milestones. Thanks to inspiration from other journalers/bloggers - such as Amy, Eliza and Jen - I started this online journal. H. also started crawling - a major accomplishment. And the three of us took a day trip to Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site - very much the family outing.

July 2003

Cousin Bubble (otherwise known as Brooke, but the kids like this nickname better) came to stay with us for a week before leaving for Japan for a year at the end of August. She also served as babysitter while ours was on vacation. H. went swimming for the first time on the 4th and really enjoyed it.

August 2003

The good/bad girls-only trip to Myrtle Beach, SC. Looking back on it, we did have a great time together, with or without all the little nuisances, like traffic.

September 2003

After celebrating H's 1st birthday, September turned into a very bad month - first Hurricane Isabel, then the fire, from which my sister and BIL are still recovering. Most of it is a blur of worrying about my sister and trying to be helpful is some way. We were thankful to see October.

October 2003

We went back to Luray, VA for the weekend, taking H. with us this time. I think M. and I did pretty good on our first family trip and we couldn't have asked for better fall weather. We definitely hope to go back to the cabin again in 2004.

November 2003

The 2nd of the month brought the biggest milestone of all (to date) - H. took her first official steps by herself. We had a lot to be thankful for at Thanksgiving and had an extremely enjoyable holiday.

December 2003

The month flew by in the usual flurry of holiday activity, not helped by two snowstorms early in the month. H. was a joy at Christmas and we're already looking forward to next year.

Wait, it is next year. B-day #32 is right around the corner and I'll have the whole year on record here. Happy New Year, readers! I'm looking forward to sharing 2004 with you.
Lottery Coinky-dink

Those of you in states with the PowerBall drawing may have already heard about this, but this week's drawing was a big one with lots of media coverage and two people won on New Year's Eve. One of the winning tickets was sold in York County, Pennsylvania, where I live, but alas, I was not the winner. Stories surrounding the chances of winning the lottery are always interesting, but this one was even more so by the fact that the second winning ticket was also sold in York County - York County, South Carolina, that is. What are the chances?

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Happy New Year

Now for a proper New Year's post. Happy New Year everyone! M. and I spent New Year's Eve as we have for the past few years, even pre-baby - crabcake dinner and a movie and asleep before midnight. We watched Bruce Almighty, which had some funny parts, but wasn't exactly what I thought it would be from the trailer. I made it to 11pm, then fell asleep. Coincidentally, H. woke up at 12:04, so I got to officially wish M. a Happy New Year as I crawled back into bed after giving her back her pacifier.

Today was spent relaxing. We went to Toys R Us to return a couple of duplicate gifts and bought a more useful ear therometer instead. Toys R Us has a wonderful return policy - no receipt needed if you only want store credit. Not a problem for me!

We came home to watch Maryland stomp all over WVU in the Gator Bowl. My sister J. and BIL went to the game. They were going to drive halfway home after the game was over and should be home some time on Friday. Announcers on TV said Maryland fans were outnumbered by WVU fans 15 to 1, which is an interesting statistic.

Back to work tomorrow - what a messed-up week. I wish my company would have just given us off tomorrow as a bonus because of how the holiday fell during the week. It seems silly to go in for just one day. It feels more like a Sunday than a Thursday night.
Christmas Party Update

A little belated, but I finally fixed the photos from the Christmas party and updated the Dec. 14 entry. I figured out the resize feature as it relates to my scanner and the scanning program, and the digital camera, too, so hopefully I can avoid the overly large photos that bump out the sidebar in the future.