Sunday, November 30, 2008


Things have finally calmed around here and I'm getting on my computer for the first time in several days. I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was relaxing, enjoyable, and filled with good food, family, and friends!

Steve, Caroline, and I hosted our families for Thanksgiving this year. We usually have to split our time between the two (luckily everyone lives in the area) - having dinner with Steve's family and then dessert with mine. As Steve observed, this year was the first in fifteen years (we dated for 8 and have been married for over 6) that we haven't had to drive from house to house. I have to say, hosting almost 40 people while having the luxury of staying put in our own home was well worth the effort!

Our menu was pretty extensive, as we were so lucky that so many people brought delicious contributions to the table. In addition to the standard fare of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy, we had a buffet that included marinated filet, different vegetable casseroles, eggplant parmesean, cornbread, homemade cranberry sauce, steamed asparagus, and butternut squash, to name just a few of the dishes - all of which came after some fabulous appetizers and preceded some amazing desserts.

For the first time ever, Steve and I brined, rubbed, and cooked the main turkey. I used a basic brining recipe of sugar, salt, and water, as well as The Barefoot Contessa's turkey breast rub (I doubled it to compensate for the whole turkey) prior to cooking. Although the cooking time lasted for about 45 minutes pasted my estimations (I'm still getting to know the oven at my new house and have decided I am DEFINITELY a fan of my old house's gas oven rather than my new home's electric one...), we had dinner on the table by 6:15. My cousins Mike and Bill marinated and fried two more in a deep fryer out back - I know it sounds like a heart attack on a plate, but trust me, they were DEVINE.

We also used the holiday as an excuse to get our butts in gear and finish up as much of the house and decorating as we will be doing for a bit (aside from the new baby's room), so that occupied our time too. I have always been a proponent of planning an event in order to motivate myself to hang up more pictures and pull another room together. Add to that a stubborn-double-ear-infected toddler and we had the makings of a busy week! It all came together though and we had a wonderful time. Hopefully, our guests did, too! The one regret I have is that I didn't really take any pictures of the event, as I was too busy hovering over the unmotivated turkey to get any really good shots. Oh well - mental note for next time, right? Now on to the next phase of the holiday season... :)

Monday, November 24, 2008


My very good friend Megan is always looking out for me. She knew that today, since we had to cancel our play date because Caroline's sick, I might be looking for something to fill our time. She sent me a link to this craft site where you can use, um, let's just call them "familiar household items" to get some decorating done for Thanksgiving. Pottery Barn and William Sonoma it is not, to say the least. The site's creators are either a) really resourceful and creative, b) really twisted and a bit disturbed, or c) a bit of both. You be the judge... :)


Here are some shots of some of the Redskins' favorite fans from the past two weeks... You'll notice that in the last two, Caroline's still in her pj's, recovering from her ear infection (but still never one to shy away from being fashion forward, even when under-the-weather)!

November 16 - Redskins vs. Dallas (Unfortunately, we lost!)

November 23 - Redskins vs. Seattle (We WON! - It must have been the tutu and Uggs that did the trick...)

Sunday, November 23, 2008


So I was really concerned, as you know, about the whole "Caroline-turning-into-a-rabid-animal-at-preschool" issue from last Tuesday. As much as the teachers tried to reassure us it's "normal" and that they are viewing it as an isolated incident, the parent and teacher in me knows that no matter what, it wasn't cool and certainly makes her teachers' jobs harder (not to mention Steve's and mine!).

Well, it turns out I noticed a pattern but thankfully, not with the biting... On Thursday, when I went to pick her up, she wasn't acting like herself at all - very whiny, glossy-eyed, and not hungry. When I got her home, I took her temperature, and sure enough, she had a fever. A trip to the doctor's later that afternoon confirmed an ear infection, which I wasn't surprised about at all given that she's had this head cold for almost 2 weeks.

Driving home that afternoon, it all started to click when I thought back to the past few times Caroline's gotten sick - her behavior totally deteriorated in the days leading up to the illness itself (i.e. - trying to take off all her clothes at ballet class the day before she had her febrile seizure). Not that the whole biting thing should be excused, but I think I've put together another piece of the puzzle that is my toddler. I'll definitely have to file this one away for next time...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

MY DAY WAS LIKE A REALLY BAD COUNTRY SONG... which the singer croons about things like finding out his dog died and his wife is leaving them just as he gets home from a night in jail after a bar fight or something. You know how a day starts off on the wrong foot and then it's like someone out there thinks you haven't been put in your place quite enough? That was my day. Here's the running list (just to vent for a second...):

1) I woke up 1 hr. and 15 min. late. Not too late to get Caroline to school, but late enough that I had to skip most of the things I had planned to do before leaving the house.

2) I lost my engagement ring for 20 minutes, and couldn't leave the house without it because our housekeeper was coming (thank God) and I knew that if it wasn't found right then, it likely would have disappeared forever with the laundry, trash, or whatever.

3) Once the ring was found, my running shoes were also missing and they were pretty much the only thing that could go on my feet this morning (too cold in DC for flip flops or ballet flats, one of my Uggs were wet - don't ask, and my feet were a bit swollen). Queue five minute hunt for said shoes...

4) We got off to school late (although I did make up for lost time while most likely getting a speeding ticket by the speed camera on the way - it nabs you if you are even 5 miles over...stupid cameras).

5) I didn't get any of my errands that I had planned to do during school done because of late wake-up (I had to take care of the early-morning stuff instead).

6) I did stop off for a vanilla latte (my favorite) to cheer myself up, only to spill it all over the ground under my car while climbing out.

7) When I went in to pick up Caroline school, I got the words that any parent dreads hearing: "We need to talk to you for just a second..." Remember the post where I told you the story about how she bit my finger after I told her she couldn't ride her wheelie bug down the stairs? And how I was convinced it was just me who she wanted to bite? Um, guess what - I was WRONG. Silly novice mommy. A little girl tried to take a bike away from her on the playground and after Caroline told the girl "no" several times to no avail, she decided to step it up a notch. There wasn't any blood or crying involved, but no matter. My kid's a biter. At least for today, anyway (hey - a mother can dream, right?). Oh, and she also likes to rip pages out of books, apparently.

So what I've accomplished today is pretty minimal - the laundry isn't done, the errands aren't run, I have had no caffeine fix for the day (I know - good for the baby, but BAD for the mommy, in my opinion...), and I had to spend part of my evening creating a sticker chart to reward my daughter for every time she "uses her words" - rather than her teeth - to solve her problems (at least the teacher in me knew how to do this last one...). It's been an AWESOME day... I'm off to bed in the hopes that tomorrow just has to be better!

Monday, November 17, 2008


So I was listening to a conversation that Caroline was having on the phone with my sister Suzy this weekend. It went basically like this (as they always do...):

C: "Hi Suzy! How you?"
S: "Hi Caroline! I'm fine. How are you?"
C: "I fine Suzy! What doing, Suzy?"
S: "I'm studying for my CPA exam. What are you doing?"
C: "You drive Suzy car?"
S: "No, I'm at my house right now."
C: "Where Suzy car go?"
S: "It's parked in front of my house."
C: "Um, hi Suzy! How you?"

...and so on and so forth. A good deal of the time, conversations with Caroline go like that (like the time we spent the 15-minute ride to school running through the list of people in our family who wear their seatbelts in the car... again and again and again). It occurred to me that she, like most toddlers, is totally Ten-Second Tom from one of my favorite movies, "50 First Dates" :

**REMINDER: Be sure to stop the music player to the left prior to viewing!**

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Last night, we decided to grab the video camera and record Caroline during her bedtime routine. We've been slackers lately on the video front, so we wanted to save it for her for when she gets older. I thought it would be fun to post it here for you to check out, too!

**Don't forget to stop the music player to the left of the screen before viewing...**