Monday, June 23, 2008

Project Say Something: Dating Games


Lost in Place

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2-Year Check-Ups

Last Friday (because I am nothing if not consistent in my always late for and with everything-ness), we took Li’l Miss Monster in for her 2-year check up and for her first dentist appointment. (The trip for the chipped tooth doesn’t count.)

The check-up at the doctor was all sorts of boring for her. She totally has the “been there, done that” attitude about the doctor’s office. Except on the sick kids’ side they have a cool little bus play area that she loves! Great when she’s sick. Horrible when she’s not. There is always an unbelievable wait time when we get there so the entire time is spent fighting to keep her on the “well” side of the waiting room when clearly, all the cool stuff is on the sick side. By the time we get into see the doctor, we’re all at our wit’s end from fighting for so long. I liked it better when it was all still kind of new and interesting to her. Now she’s all, “Look, I’ve been here. I know what they do. It’s a bit annoying. Can I please leave now?” She still does okay though – for the most part. She had a good check-up, she’s doing just fine and is completely normal. Though I could have sworn she weighed 8 tons because my back sure feels like she does after packing her around all day. But no. Only 24. ??? Seriously, I was thinking at least 30. The kid is SCRAWNY!

I was a little worried about her at the dentist. She’s not a huge fan of people sticking things in her mouth. Though she does LOVE to brush her teeth (i.e., suck and gnaw on a toothbrush) She had been there before so she would have some familiarity but it was so long ago I didn’t think she’d remember. Either way, she was awesome. She let them “tickle her teeth” (brush them), and count them, and let the dentist stick her fingers all over in her mouth. Probably because she knew she would be getting a balloon. Nothing like bribery to get the kids to behave. She got a balloon, a new toothbrush, stickers, a pencil, some floss, and a water-squirter toy. Who needs Santa when you have the dentist??

I can’t believe it’s been two years. Life is moving much too quickly.

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June 24, 2008

Project Say Something: Home Bitter-Sweet Home

I think she asked this question just to taunt and ridicule me. And then I waited until this week to answer it to torture myself. (I’m having an exceptionally rough week trying to deal with the fact that this house is just never going to sell.) My favorite room/area of my house is whichever makes it freaking SELL! So right now, they’re all blacklisted because they’re not helping me!

If I did have to give exception to one room for the sake of this post, it would be my daughter’s room. It’s the most “put together” room in the house. If you can call it even that. Since we’re trying to sell it, nothing is personalized, nothing is decorated, nothing is anything. It’s just stark, boring, plain, imagine YOUR things here, lame. I’ve tried to leave Madeleine’s room a little “lived in.” It’s kind of cute. But it’s more than that. I want to get all sentimental and sappy and say it’s just about the fact that it’s my child’s room and there’s something special about that but that’s not it either. It does have something to do with that though, I think. It’s just an incredibly comfortable, comforting room. I have always loved that room of the house. Even though it’s the brightest and hottest room we have. Despite my love for it, it still doesn’t get taken off the shit-list just yet. Nope. Not til that house sells. Or rents. Or something. Someone, somewhere, any where out there in the Universe, PLEASE take my house!!!! (Do I sound desperate? Do I? Because I AM!)

Anyway, pictures:

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I didn’t have a good answer when this question was asked. Dan tried to give me a few stories but they just didn’t fit for me. The only one that kept popping in to my head was – I believe it was maybe – Prom when I was a sophomore in high school. I wanted to go to the dance, of course. But not exactly with the guy who had asked. I was only 15 and my family had the “can’t date until you’re 16” rule. I tried to use that as a weasely way out of it but the boy was in my grandma’s ward and she liked him so she approved. So apparently, if Grandma approves, it’s okay to break the rules. Now that I think about it, just about every high school dance I went to as a “date” was awkward or weird or just plain “huh??” in some way. Is that the case for everyone? Please tell me it is! Anyway, back to the story – yeah, dance was awkward and weird and I had nothing to talk about despite the fact we were doubling with my best friend and her date. (Which, I believe, was just as awkward as mine if I recall correctly.) I guess I could say the moral of the story is don’t go to a dance with the boy if you don’t actually “like” the boy. But I don’t think that’s a good moral and I don’t think that’s a good piece of advice, because yah just never know.

Oh! Another date that every single person who knows me now will think is incredibly awkward and weird but I thought was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done (another dance story, yes) is junior year when I went to Prom with my date and two of the seminary teachers and their wives (a couple of other high school couples as well). We had dinner in the seminary building, all fancy-schmancy (it was really nice – done by the teachers’ wives, of course) and then played the game Sardines in the seminary building between dinner and the dance. One of the teachers’ wives was looking for people in the men’s room and ended up putting her hand in a urinal. No idea why I remember that. It’s still funny. Though it’s probably more because of who she was than the event itself. So yeah, I’m sure if we were sitting around telling date stories and I told that one, people would think it’s exceptionally odd, some maybe would even consider it “messed-up.”

"Go, Daddy, Go! Fast!"

Some of you may believe we go to Utah every year to throw Madeleine a birthday party. Not the case. No... Long, long ago in a life so very far away I made an agreement. Once Dan was a dad, I would start going along with him to the race he goes to over Father's Day every year. The first year was a little blown for that given she was born that week, while he was there. But after that, I've kept my end of the bargain and each June we'll get on a plane and spend hours and hours in a car driving to Steamboat, CO.
I have to admit, I was pretty terrified this year. She couldn't walk last year so it was easy to strap her in a stroller and tell her tough cookies. Not so easy now that she goes everywhere and anywhere and does not listen to a thing I say. So a toddler, at a race track, zooming cars, lots of people - a little bit of panic going on here.
She loved it. She was so excited about the cars. About three cars in she started screaming, "GO!" Through the day, it morphed in to "Go, car, go!" Then when her Daddy was racing, yep - "Go, Daddy, go!" She got the "Fast!" part down with the first car. Normally loud car noises scare the crap out of her. Luckily, there was only one racing car that was so loud it scared her and there were only a few times she was next to a car in the crowd while it started. And only a couple of those actually scared her. Aside from that, she had a blast. She cheered for the cars, she played with her cousins, she stripped off her shirt at the end and refused to put it back on (yeah. that's MY kid), even wore herself out so much she slept all through lunch - on my shoulder.
I may have to go out on a limb here and say the race was actually fun this year. But more because she had fun than anything.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Li'l Miss M Turns 2!

While in Utah last week, we threw Madeleine a little birthday party. It was absolutely adorable (yes, I did have my doubts the entire planning and prepping time). It was Minnie Mouse themed since she's a little obsessed. She had a great time playing with the balloons and all of her cousins that came.
I kept it pretty simple since I was planning it from 2,000 miles away and it turned out much better than I had expected (with the exception of the damn cupcakes and icing). I did favor bags for the kids and put large Minnie Mouse bows on the bags. They were stuffed with bubbles and party blowers and stickers and who knows what else. I also made favors for the adults, which, I swear, if I ever get that bug up my butt again - someone shoot me. I spent two weekends making two Mickey Mouse head chocolates at a time. I had to improvise for the molds and it took forever (I used the container that came with cookie cutters I bought). Then, because I love making myself absolutely miserable, I took red and white chocolate and painted bows on some of them. Not doing it again. Ever. But they sure were cute.
When I got to Utah, I made the cake and cupcakes. And here's the cupcake story: Three different boxes of cake mixes. Each with different high altitude instructions. I don't LIVE in high altitude. My default is not high altitude. The first box I did, I made as the cake, it didn't have any "special instructions." It was fine. The second box... Well, let's just say - I don't live in high altitude! I don't think to double check anymore. Needless to say, they were a little, well ... flat. Definitely fixed it for the third batch. Which, of course, exploded over the edges as opposed to wilted to nothing like the broken batch. The broken batch tasted just fine, just a little on the small side. They were for kids. Who cares? (Well, I did but I got over it given it was almost midnight as it was.)
The next day was the frosting. I had tried the recipe once before and it turned out okay, I just didn't get the color right. I learned how to fix that. So I did. Perfect shade of red. But! For whatever reason, there was no thickness to the frosting. It wouldn't thicken up to frost anything. No idea what I did wrong so I just gave in and used it for the cupcakes, knowing I was going to be really grumpy with it. It tasted fine, was just really runny. So I caved and bought icing to use for the cake. Which, if I may say so myself (and I *never* do), it was DAMN cute! I loved it.
We did a cheese and cracker tray with the Mickey Mouse shaped cheese. My sister made a fruit basket and we had a veggie tray. We did red punch to go along with the "red/black/white" thing and, as I did last year, we completely forgot about the ice cream til after everyone had eaten.
Madeleine got to spend time playing with a bunch of her cousins and had a ton of sugar to keep her going. She had a ball. Which was the whole point to begin with. It wasn’t stress-free but it was a very laid-back, easy party and she had tons of fun. So YAE!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Falling Flat

I figure I’m down in DC, I should get out and do some of the things that have been on my list to do since we moved out here however many years ago. So the other day, I did just that. I had to go to the post office and figured that since the Old Post Office is just across the street, I might as well go check that one off my list. It didn’t go exactly as I had planned…
As I was confidently walking up the big, stone stairs (because Hi! I’ve been doing this walking thing for quite some time now), I didn't notice one piece of stone jutting out from the rest. It was a tiny piece, just a couple of inches wide (yes, it got very carefully examined after the fact). Well it was big enough to catch the toe of my shoe and catch it hard. Hard enough for it to throw me forward enough that I completely lost my balance. I was two steps from the top so I figured I would just put my hand out and catch myself on the landing. Makes sense, right? Except the landing was wet. And when stone is wet? It’s slippery. So my hand slid out from under me, sending the rest of me straight to the ground. Given I was not completely up the stairs yet, that means a portion of me was still on the stairs. The portion that was my ankle, my knee and my thigh. But I fell with enough force that those pieces just twisted and scraped along the stairs to land on the landing with the rest of me as my hand, then elbow, then hip hit the ground. It hurt. It hurt quite a lot. And yeah, hello, falling flat down in downtown DC – just a little embarrassing. But you know what? That wasn’t even the worst part. And I HATE being embarrassed. No, the worst part was the fact that it so wasn’t even worth it!

I went up to the top, to the twelfth floor, where there is supposed to be an amazing observation deck that lets you see out over the whole city. It is the second highest building in the city, afterall. It fell a little flat for me (kind of like I did for it just moments before). Sure, you can see out over the city and it is quite impressive. Maybe I was just bitter that the old building was trying to break a limb or just simply kill me. Or maybe I had taken away some of the thrill by being on the roof of my building beforehand. Regardless, I took some pictures, whined that I still don’t work at the FBI building and then came back down and went on my merry way. (Being much more cautious about their stairs on my way down!)