Wednesday, December 12, 2007


#1 - While watching "Frosty the Snowman" the other night:

Big H: Why does Frosty have a hammer in his mouth?
Me: It's not a hammer, it's a pipe.

Big H: Then why doesn't it have smoke coming out of it?

In her defense, she's a Baltimore girl at heart and it does look like a crab mallet, which she uses when she does Play-Doh. And now that I think about it, I'm surprised "they" haven't revised Frosty to remove the pipe from all scenes.

#2 - When talking about getting a Christmas tree, Big H kept calling the Christmas Tree farm the "Christmas Tree Patch," like the pumpkin patch, which I think is adorable.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Let's just jump right in, no apologies for the cobwebs around here.


Ballet Recital

Pre-school Graduation

Swimming at Aunt J’s

She's a Baltimore girl in her inflatable crab.

Father’s Day breakfast

Surprise 60th Birthday Party for Mom

Sister J hosted and did most of the planning for a surprise 60th birthday party/Hawaiian luau for my mom. We had over 90 adults and about 10 or 15 kids show up. The weather was perfect and there was good food, live music, dancing and the highlight - a pig on a spit (even though it took a VERY long time to cook).


A baby shower for a friend

A trip to the Baltimore Zoo

I had the two days after the 4th of July off, so I took the girls to the Baltimore Zoo on Thursday. The day was overcast, but still really humid, but it was nice not to have the sun beating down on our heads all afternoon. Big H loved all of the animals, especially the polar bears.

I hadn’t been to the zoo in probably 15 years and for all of the problems they’ve had with money and closing some exhibits, it was very clean, we saw plenty of animals and even went to hear a talk about alligators. Little H slept in her stroller for awhile and hopefully absorbed something of the experience.

Dinner at "Cheeseburger in Paradise" with BFFs W. and Library Girl to catch up on the June birthdays

Local fireman's carnival

Summer Reading Club fair at Codorus State Park

The theme for this year’s SRC was “Get a Clue,” so the library system held a Mystery Faire outside at Codorus State Park. Each library in the county had a booth with a “clue”-related activity for the kids to complete. Big H and nieces K&K had a great time making spy binoculars and stamping. We were also there to check out “Bob the Critter Guy,” who I wanted to hire for Big H’s “Bindi” birthday party in September. All of the girls wanted to hold the snakes.

More swimming at Aunt J’s

Big H's BFFs 5th birthday party
(I didn't take any pictures because I was holding Little H the whole time and we left for a little while so she could take her nap.)

Hi-5 Concert

Big H and I drove down to the Meyerhoff (the day after Artscape, no less, when half of the streets around the symphony hall were still closed) to see Hi-5 in concert. I bought the tickets back in April and didn’t realize what great seats they were. We were in the fifth row! The show was very entertaining and Big H was standing in the aisle, singing and dancing (it was too dark out in the seats to get a good picture of her). Here she is with her $20 Hi-5 pillow/hand puppet.


The highlight of the summer, since we didn’t take an official family vacation this year, was the bus trip M. and I took to Cooperstown for Cal Ripken’s Hall of Fame induction. It was not a relaxing weekend, since we were beholden to the bus schedule, but it was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. The Hall of Fame itself was very impressive and the exhibits were very up to date – some records had been updated within the last week. We met up with Sister J. and T. on Sunday for the actual ceremony, which was extremely hot (we were sitting in a big field with no shade). I was glad to get home and see the girls after four nights away from them.

If Baldo wasn't in the way there, this would be a good picture of me signing the giant inflatable Cal Ripken jersey set up in the parking lot at Doubleday Field.


Visit to see Princess and the new baby princess

Summer officially ended on Aug. 28, when Big H started kindergarten. Coming up – Little H is mobile and Big H turns 5.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Scroll down for post-dated entries from June 4 and May 30. I finally got around to downloading pictures from my camera.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Mystery Solved!

This is going to make me sound like a big dork, but I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am. I have finally solved the mystery of the title of one of my most favorite books from childhood. My sketchy memory can recall everything about the book cover except the title. It was a hard cover with a picture of a girl with pigtails who had just fallen off her bike. The book takes place during one summer during the depression. The girl is learning how to ride a bike with big whitewall tires. She and other kids in the neighborhood read the secret language that hobos write on the telephone polls. That's about all I can remember.

Over the years, I have searched the Internet to try and find out the name of this book. Today, while browsing the groups at Library Thing, I found a group called "Name That Book." I never thought the answer to my mystery would be there. But there it was, a post entitled "2 books: learning to ride a bike and baking soda toothpaste." Thank you, missylc, for asking this question and getting it answered. I don't think it's a coincidence that missylc lives in Maryland. Maybe she checked it out of a Baltimore County library just like me?

The name of my mystery book is "I Would If I Could" by Betty Miles. The cover is exactly as I remembered it. (I think one of the reasons I liked this book so much is that I always thought I looked like the girl on the cover.) This has made my whole weekend. (I know. I said dorky, remember?)

Now I'm off to search the Internet again, this time for a used copy in good condition with the same cover I remember.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Let's Dance

Big H's first dance recital was on Sunday, the culmination of weekly lessons since September. It was almost too cute for words. Her class performed two dances - a tap routine to "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast and then a ballet routine to the "Beauty and the Beast" title theme. Big H looked beautiful in her costume, especially with her blue eyes. Too bad it started falling apart on Saturday after the dress rehearsal. All of the fur trim started to fall off. At first, it was just the piece that runs down the center. As I was holding it in my hands to try and sew it, the rest of it started to unravel. I called my mom in a panic on Saturday night at 9:30pm and she came over early before the recital to help repair it. And Big H's wasn't the only costume this happened to; I would expect more considering we paid $60 for it.

But we didn't let it ruin the day. Big H did an excellent job, considering this was her first recital and the large high school auditorium was packed with people she didn't know. She didn't seem nervous at all. Her cheering section was quite large - 11 of us in all. We showered her with flowers like a prima ballerina. I can't wait until the video we purchased comes so we can see the performance again. Big H is the second from the right in the photo (you can see the fur drooping from the skirt of her outfit).

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Milestone Accomplished

Hannah rolled over today. She's been trying so hard for weeks and she finally got her roly-poly little body to do it. She goes from back to front, which, according to the baby book we use, is the more difficult way to go (she's a genius, of course). She's also already rolling to both her left and right sides, not just one side. Up next - sitting up unassisted!

I can't figure out how to load a video to Blogger yet without posting it on You Tube, which I don't want to do, so you'll have to settle for before and after pictures.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Swims Like a Fish

The first official cookout and swim on the first unofficial weekend of summer. We went to Aunt J's pool on Sunday to celebrate Memorial Day. The pool water was freezing, of course, but the kids never seem to mind. Big H was excited to go swimming and wanted to try and swim this year without her arm floaties. Well, I think she was swimming better than nieces K&K. She was diving under the water and swimming using her arms and her legs. I think she's a natural! I stayed out of the water, which meant Little H did, too. I think that cold water would have been a shock to her system. Maybe next time. And next time I have to remember Big H's new Shrek swim goggles. I have to get a picture of her in those!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What's With All the Joeys?

If I had any discretionary income right now, I would go all-out and sign up for the VIP package for what is surely a very entertaining night out.

Dancing With The Stars, ABC’s #1 rated unscripted show is hitting the road again and bringing its most popular team of stars and professional dancers from the show’s first four seasons to GIANT Center on Monday, July 2, at 7:30 PM.

The second cast of Dancing With The Stars –The Tour features an ensemble of the show’s most popular competitors including season four’s Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson; season two’s winning duo Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke; season three’s Joey Lawrence and Edyta Sliwinska; season one’s Joey McIntyre and Julianne Hough as well as professional dancers Alec Mazo and Louis Van Amstel.

The two-hour show will feature a larger-than-life recreation of the TV show’s actual stage with an intimate nightclub style table seating on the floor allowing fans unparalleled sightlines and access to all of the action. The tour has again teamed with “I Love All Access” to offer VIP ticket packages at every show. Packages include dance floor level table seating, private bar service and exclusive gifts.

Can't you just hear the announcer guy's voice in your head saying "Louis Van Amstel"?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Who's On First

This is an actual series of e-mails I had to deal with at work today:

I wrote first, to a general customer service e-mail address on a magazine's website, to try and stop receiving a copy of a magazine addressed to a person who no longer works at the company:

Please delete the following from the PFQ mailing list. This person is longer with the company.
Company Name
City, State, Zip

Here is the first response:
I have looked through our system & there is no one w/ this name or company name under the zip code given w/ an account. Thank you.

So I wrote back:
I just received the April/May issue in the mail today and that was the information on the mailing label. It may be a comp copy for advertising since there isn’t an account number on the label, but we are already receiving another issue under my name and don’t need to receive both.
Thank you.

Yet another response from the anonymous customer service e-mail:

Is the subscription in your name you want canceled, or in the name of [person no longer with the company]? Also, our comp subscriptions also have an account number. It would be above the name, about 5 or 6 numbers a dash & a digit behind it, it may even be along w/ the letters, PFQ. Thanks.

So I responded AGAIN and attached a .jpg of the actual mailing label:

Please cancel the one in the name of [person no longer with the company], who is no longer with the company. The only code on the mailing label is #BXNRMSL#. There is a blank space above the name. I have attached a .jpg of the mailing label for you to see for yourself how it is addressed.

Third response:
There are several accounts w/ this company name for many different subscribers, including you, that I can see in the whole entire zip code. However, there is no account for [person no longer with the company].

I guess that mailing label wasn't convincing enough. I didn't respond again. This is what I get for trying to save a few trees and this company some postage costs. What a complete waste of time!

Monday, April 30, 2007

"The O Usually Stays with the B"

I had to have an X-ray done today for the one-year follow up to my kidney stone from last year. I have an appointment in a couple of weeks to make sure a new one hasn't grown in the past year, but I needed to have the X-ray before our radiology co-pay through our health insurance increases tomorrow (from $25 to $50). (I'm trying to be frugal now that we're paying daycare for two.)

Anyway, at the imaging center, you go from the regular waiting room to the "gowned waiting room," where, you guessed it, you change into a gown and wait your turn. To change, you use a small three or four foot square dressing room. There are three lockers, so I assume up to three people can use the same room within a certain time span. I changed, waited less than five minutes for my name to be called and then had my X-ray, which also took maybe five minutes. When I returned to the dressing room to change, it reeked of B.O. I'm talking "rampant, mutant B.O." I can't believe someone could have such bad B.O. that their body stinks enough to skunk up a room in less than ten minutes. How could you not realize that? (I cannot imagine having to be an X-ray technician or anyone else in the medical field who has to deal with smelly people. That's why I work at a desk by myself.) I changed as fast as I possibly could, but I was still afraid the smell was going to follow me around all day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Four-Month Check-Up

Hannah had her four-month check-up today. She weighs 17 lbs., 8 oz. (!) and is 24 1/2 inches long. Her weight is beyond the 100th percentile, but her length and head circumference are right on target. We can start introducing cereal anytime now. We've tried it a couple of times, but she never seemed very interested, but maybe we'll try again this weekend. All of her other skills were on target as well - grasping, laughing, cooing, etc. We're working on sitting up and she's trying really hard to roll over. She can also scoot backwards when she has something to push her feet against.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Let's Start at the Very Beginning

It’s a very good place to start. When we last left our plucky heroine, she had just given birth to Little H and almost had to spend Christmas in the hospital.

To summarize my 13 weeks of maternity leave – Christmas, bottles, diapers, waking up at 1am and 3am, New Year’s, bottles, diapers, waking up at 3am, turned 35, bottles, diapers, waking up at 5am, etc. I think you get the picture. Actually, I can’t complain much at all. Little H has been an excellent baby. She’s a good eater and a good sleeper – she’s been sleeping through the night since she was about 7 weeks old. Now, she’s 4 months old and working on sitting up and trying to roll over already. She’ll have her four-month check-up tomorrow – and I’ll already have something new to post about!

So, I went back to work on March 26th and everything since then has fallen under the category of “nothing is ever easy.” I woke up on the 25th with a fever, congestion, sore throat - the works. My fever broke later that day but I absolutely, positively had to go to work the next day. Luckily, my officemate and my boss were both out the whole week I returned, so I kind of took it easy, trying to get my feet wet again, but honestly, the whole first week is kind of a blur.

After I recuperated over the weekend, Big H got sick. She had just finished a bout of strep throat the week before and it sounded like it was back. So Monday morning, we dropped Little H off at the sitter’s and then I took Big H into work with me so I could bring home some work to do and explain everything to my boss. How mortifying! Big H went to the doctor and then to the back-up babysitter on that Tuesday, since she couldn’t return to preschool until we had the results of her strep test. Her strep hadn’t returned; it was just a regular sore throat and she went back to school on Wednesday and I managed to work the rest of the week (three days) without missing a day (which was a short week with the Good Friday holiday).

Week 3 was even shorter. I worked Monday and then went into the hospital on Tuesday for gall bladder surgery. This should probably be a separate post, but I’ll try to be succinct. On President’s Day, I went to the emergency room because I thought I was having a heart attack. (Good thing I wasn’t since I would have died in the waiting room, but that really is another story.) I ended up going to see my doctor the next day and she diagnosed it as a gall bladder attack (I had had a similar, but shorter and not as painful attack the previous Thursday). An ultrasound confirmed “multiple stones” and even though I pleaded my case with the surgeon at my consultation (I’ve already been off work for three months, I can’t be out again for a week; I have a small infant at home who needs to be cared for; I’ve used up all my medical leave for the year), he didn’t want to hear it and scheduled the surgery for April 10th. So I was off from work from April 10th through April 13th. After staying with us for two weeks after Little H was born, my mom returned again to take care of Little H again.

I returned to work (again) on April 16th and that week was uneventful. I worked a full five-day work week. And now I’m two days into what is technically week 5 of being back at work and decided to start blogging again. So I’ll make the usual promise to start updating again.

PS - Wow, I should have switched over to the new Blogger sooner and maybe I would have updated more. It’s so much faster and I love adding tags to things (it’s just like making lists).