Friday, January 26, 2007

January 26, 2003

Four years ago from today was Super Bowl Sunday and I was a week past my due date. The night before we had difficulty sleeping because a car alarm went off every so often ALL night.

I spent the morning eating frozen cream puffs (my mom said it worked for her!) and walking around the block. My contractions started to become more frequent, so we took a trip to the hospital. The doctor said my contractions were slowing, so we were sent home a few hours later. We picked up some food at Wendy's - cheeseburgers and fries that were slightly stale since it was the middle of the afternoon. Then we went home to watch the Super Bowl to cheer the Bucs to a victory over the Raiders. Since we were on Eastern Time, we ended up going to bed later than usual. Around 1:30 a.m., Anders decided he had enough of the womb and off we went to the hospital!

So tomorrow we celebrate Anders' fourth birthday, with a trip to Rain Forest Cafe for a birthday lunch. I just can't believe how quickly these four years have gone by, and yet it seems that my boys have always been a part of my life.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I'm so proud...

My alma mater:

My high school has been getting lots of press lately, and unfortunately it has been mostly of the negative variety. First, back on January 9, there was a girl fight...with a knife...over a boy. Then, earlier this week it was reported that a longtime teacher stole $16,000 from the prom fund. Way to go, Knights!


I got to speak to Chrissy for the 3rd time since she's been in Africa. Before she left she basically told me I had to buy a calling card in case I got engaged, and I finally got to use it for that purpose. She is doing well and having a wonderful time with her fiance, Kodjo. She said she is enjoying all of the time that they have together knowing that they will probably never have this much time together again when one or both of them is not working or taking care of children or studying. They still have not heard anything about Koudjo's visa but she is still hoping that they will get word before she leaves at the end of the month. She's going to get to spend 10 days in Romania with her parents before she returns to the US in February. I may call her one more time but I still have a full calling card for Africa so if you want to call her, let me know and I'll email you her new phone number there and the calling card pin.

For thirsty dogs everywhere:

Dog Beer

Summer plans

Now, I know that it's still the middle of winter, and there's snow where it should not be, and no snow where it should be, but we are finalizing summer plans! Todd was offered a job in Indianapolis, where we eventually want to live after he graduates!! Yeah!! If you know the journey we've been on for the last few years, you'll understand what we mean that we never would've dreamed this two years ago.

Monday, January 22, 2007

More Snow Pictures

I'm no longer "snowed in" at my parents' house and am about to leave, but I just have to show a few more pictures. This was so amazing, we felt the need to chronicle the event by taking roughly 200 pictures. We even got our Christmas card picture done: Just kidding, here's the real one:

Well, guess you'll have to wait for Christmas to see the real one! So one last dramatic shot of this literally once in a lifetime event for us Tucsonans:

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Snow Again

I lied last time I said it snowed. Tonight it REALLY snowed. As long as I've been here, it's never snowed like this. Here's the proof (and apologies, there's nothing nearly as cute as Sophie here):

Monday note:

This is a first. We have a SNOW DAY!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!

Access Still Denied and Other Ramblings

As the clever will figure out from my heading, my access is still denied. I did find a back door of sorts, so I can at least read posts now, but I can't comment or post from work. But I guess that's better than nothing.

So after a discussion with a student of mine who owns only one skirt and no purses, I started thinking about how people change over time. I was pretty much the same way in high school. I wore a skirt a grand total of once all through high school and all the way through college I didn't have a purse (anyone remember my little red wallet?). Who would have thought that I would own a closet full of purses, these shoes and have painted my bathroom the color of bubblegum? I even wear skirts more than pants these days. Who knew?
So in other news, I've been invited to chaperone the school ski trip. It sounds pretty fun, but I was a terrible skier last time I tried, and of course I have to buy a cute outfit. I can't imagine that ski pants are that flattering. But if I can look even half as cute as Sophie does in her snow gear, I'm in good shape.
Jo, I am very excited for you two (for both the hot chocolate and the upcoming wedding). Your new long name (18 letters, 27 with middle name if I'm correct- you've got me by a mile, I'm only at 15 or 21) makes me quite pleased.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Don't Tell Me Congratulations

I called one of my mom's good friends the other day to share with her the big news and instead of saying "congratulations" she said "best wishes and blessings." She said she heard somewhere that it was bad luck to say "congratulations" to a newly engaged woman. I had a hard time finding an explanation for this anywhere but I did find one reference. "When speaking to a woman who has gotten engaged one does not say congratulations. It is considered an insult, equivalent to an insult as if she could not get a man. Go figure! It seems like it would be perfectly fine, but instead say something like 'that’s wonderful,' 'my blessings,' and 'what wonderful news.'"

Our First Gift

Two of Jon's aunts, Neuza and Lidia, sent us our very first gift. They are on the ball! We were at their house last weekend and they had the most current Vosges catalog. Many of you know this is my favorite place for truffles and if we've ever been downtown in Chicago together I've probably dragged you into the shop. Anyway, the aunts let Rachel and me sample some of the Aztec Elixir Cocoa - what a treat! It is thick and rich and, yes, downright spicy. It was wonderful. So Wednesday night when we walked into Jon's house after work there was a box waiting for us from Vosges with a box of the cocoa and a frothing stick (which I haven't figured out how to use yet, but even if I don't it will make a very handsome decoration). It was also the first time I had seen my name-to-be on anything. I kind of wish I had kept the shipping label from the box.

Here's a picture from Mike & Melissa's wedding last Saturday. One of Jon's uncles kept asking when they were going to get to have a party like that for us and I would just kind of laugh it off. Jon was laughing too, but on the inside, because he knew what he was going to ask me the next day. I never picked up on it. He's a sneaky one.

All of you must try You will love it. All you do to create an account is enter a screen name and password on the main page and as long as no one else has the same name, you're golden. Then, just start adding books. You can add by title, author, keyword, ISBN, etc., and LibraryThing searches Amazon, the Library of Congress, and other databases for a match. You can add 200 books for free, an unlimited number for one year for $10, or an unlimited number for life for $25. It's cool because you can see how many other users have the same books, you can sort lots of different ways, you can add tags, you can organize by Dewey, and you can even get it to recommend new books to you based on your library. As you can imagine, this has been quite the time-waster for me over the last couple of weeks.

St. Louis is hosting the MLB All-Star game in 2009.

Embarrassed to be seen in a swimsuit? Try a burkini.

Harper Lee made a rare appearance at an Alabama high school last week.

Tonight should be fun. It's the meeting of the parents...

Friends and Links

Jo or anyone else... I tried to add a "Megan's Friends & Links", and it looks like the blog didn't save my changes. How can I get that added?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Those Idyllic Moments

Don't we look like quite the little happy family? Taking time out of our schedule to bond in a Texas rarity - a snow day. Playtime in the snow followed by hot chocolate for everyone (warm and in a sippy cup for Sophie). How picturesque and serene, right?

Except that it took us 20 minutes to bundle up, locate gloves and hats, put batteries in the camera and get out the door. And that half of the time we were outside I was trying to captrue the "perfect picture" and the other half of the time I was picking Sophie up off the snowy ground so she wouldn't get frostbite on her little tush. Oh yeah, and I accidentally threw snow in her face. (I'm a terrible mother.) The hot chocolate? Sophie's ended up on her newly changed/dry clothes, onto outfit number 2 for the day and it was only 10 am. Mine was nice and warm, too bad I was already sweating from making the hot chocolate, cleaning up Sophie's spilled hot chocolate, and curbing Sophie's temper tantrum regarding said spilled hot chocolate. This is fun, right?

But I know that in 5 years (maybe even 2) when I look at that picture I won't remember the hustle and bustle, the spilled hot chocolate or the temper tantrum. I'll remember that special morning in the snow with my little family. Totally, totally worth it. (But who knew making memories was so exhausting?)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Something New and Something Blue

Details to follow, but start practicing. Ee-vahsh-ko-vee-itz. Lesson 2 will be how to actually spell it.

Access Denied

I don't have the internet at home because I am cheap. But it's normally fine because I don't actually use the internet that much (a collective gasp!) plus I can use it at work whenever I need to. And of course I NEED to check the blog daily. Now at my work they have a filter to keep the students from accessing certain websites. I'm fine with that and it's never slowed me down since my taste in internet entertainment is generally imdb, the library, and my bank- all wholesome sites. But for some reason recently the web filter has taken to disliking little ole apartment five b. Everytime I try to go to it, the screen says "Access Denied." I've even tried to enter the site from tricky ways, but it is too clever for me. I don't know what our objectionable content is (although I'm strongly suspecting that it's Megan's reference to banana bread) because I can look at other blogs all I want. I don't know what I will do without my daily blog fix!

In other news:

My sister and her friend ran the Phonenix Rock and Roll Half Marathon yesterday. They did great! In order to watch them, I had to get up at 4:30 in the morning and then wait outside in what turned out to be the coldest morning in Phoenix in 17 years. So although the only running I did was from the parking lot to the finish line, yesterday was exhausting. So I'd like to give a shout out to MLK jr, thanks for getting me the day off today (oh yeah, and Civil Rights).

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Encounter with the past/banana breadsticks/Go Bears!

I didn't know how best to title this one, but this morning we met our old pastor and family from Wheaton days at the downtown morning service of our church. After I picked up the boys from Sunday School, I saw an old housemate of mine (and Katie's and Sarah's). I yelled Dawn! then realized my mistake and yelled Jodi! Whoops! It was fun to reconnect after 8 or so years. If you want to know what she's been up to, send me an email. I'll spare the details on the blog.

On another note, I made 4 loaves of banana bread tonight. My youngest asks for it each morning for breakfast, so hopefully this batch will last for a few weeks. Since my little one likes this bread so much, but would like to watch Curious George at the same time instead of eating at the table, I've learned to cut up the bread into "breadsticks". You wouldn't believe how turning things into sticks (such as "pizza sticks") will get the kids to eat them. It's all about the brainwashing.

One last note... we've discovered the best time to visit area museums or downtown Chicago - during a Bears game! We went to Lincoln Park Zoo this afternoon, and it was practically empty. Too bad that doesn't work for other sporting events.

Go Bears!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Glass Castle

I just finished reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and thought it was great. Jo, the LibraryThing that you forwarded was really cool. I had never seen that before. I can't wait to look at it for ideas for more books to read!

Monday, January 08, 2007

5 Times A Bridesmaid...

This is my dress for Robbie & Jenni's wedding in May. And in true Johanna fashion, I got it for less than half the price on eBay. After all, it is an extremely flattering dress, but as I told Jenni, the chances of me wearing it again are slim to none so I might as well get a good deal.

Speaking of weddings, I'm off to Chicago this weekend for Jon's cousin Melissa's wedding.


Is This Really Salad?

I don't give salad a great deal of thought. But if I visualized salad I, like you, might envision something like this:Even in Europe where I personally think they apply the term salad a little loosely ( I mean a pile of corn and tomatoes without dressing- can this really be called a salad?) but even they recognize the crucial ingredient of the salad is clearly vegetables. You may add a little fruit- a dried cranberry, a mandarin orange if you will, but the basis is clearly the veggies (and let's be honest here- dressing- isn't lettuce merely the ranch dressing delivery system?).

So awhile ago the Dutch contingent (Wendy, Karna, and Jennifer) all introduced me to a whole different class of salads. Apparently amongst the Dutch and the midwest there is such a thing as a sweet salad. One salad described was so utterly preposterous that I didn't believe in its identity. But today we came face to face.

Yes, Virginia, Snickers salad really does exist. And why it is called the salad, I cannot tell you for there is neither a veggie (unless an apple counts) or dressing (unless vanilla pudding counts) to be seen. But it was in the salad section of the buffet and I'm told it is in the salad section of the church cookbook and we all know those don't lie. So the "salad" consists of pudding, a few chopped apple pieces, and Snickers. Just so you know I'm not lying here is a picture, complete with recipe (note the recipe is under the "outrageous recipe of the month" section).

Just for the record: it was delicious.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I Should Have Married a Plumber

Because then I wouldn't be spending $**** tomorrow to fix a giant "slab leak" (whatever that means) under my house. And the really good part is that it's been leaking HOT water for a while now, unbeknownst to us, hence the astronomical water AND gas bills.

My poor, sweet husband spent 4 hours Friday and 2 on Saturday digging dilligently trying to find the source of the warm, flowing water. Unfortunately, once he finally relented and called the plumber we found out that the leak is most likely under our house, which will be much to the detriment of my kitchen and/or living room and/or laundry room floors when we repair the leak (think jackhammer). So although he is quite handy and very hardworking, there was no way in heck he was going to find that leak because apparently said leak can only be located by some very technical equipment involving highly-pressurized air, or maybe bats. I don't know. But at least our house was not damaged in the leaking/digging process.

We've just been not showering, doing dishes or doing laundry for the last few days because David refuses to turn on the hot water and hemorrhage water/gas, which I guess is fair enough. Besides, who needs clean bodies, dishes or clothes? And my kind husband is pointing out that all of the above can be cleaned with cold water, to which I kindly respond, [Response has been removed due to the graphic nature of the content.]

So that's what we've been up to, but I actually can't complain too much because I still have some water for handwashing and drinking and we have family here whose houses we can go to if the situation goes on for much longer. And besides, I have a really cute baby. (And really cute friends, I might add.)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New in 2007 (or 3 Babies in 4 Days)

Welcome to the world, Lorelai (12/30), Nathanael (1/1), and Sam (1/2).

Happy New Year!

Joey, thanks so much for the links. I've started reading alot and was wanting to ask everyone about some book recommendations, so I was glad to see all the books listed. I ended up reading Me Talk Pretty One Day, which y'all had talked about when we were in TX. I enjoyed it. I also read Confessions of a Shopaholic and look forward to reading more! Christmas was good, and I'm glad to hear that everyone else had a good one. I can't believe Kelly is getting snow in Arizona because we have not gotten ANY in Connecticut yet this year-crazy!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Does It Count?

I watched many hours of The Biggest Loser marathon last night on Bravo. Does that count as exercise?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Coming in 2007 (or You Want Links? You Got 'Em)


Forever In Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood
By Ann Brashares
January 9, 2007

The Voice of Matthew
By Lauren Winner
February 6, 2007

Shopaholic & Baby
By Sophie Kinsella
February 27, 2007

Mudhouse Sabbath: An Invitation to a Life of Spiritual Disciplines (paperback)
By Lauren Winner
February 28, 2007

Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith
By Anne Lamott
March 20, 2007

Sisterchicks Go Brit!
By Robin Jones Gunn
March 20, 2007

Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy
By Jane O’Connor
March 27, 2007

The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Rolling
By Neta Jackson
April 1, 2007

Bend-The-Rules Sewing: The Essential Guide To A Whole New Way To Sew
By Amy Karol
June 19, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
By J.K. Rowling
Anticipated July 7, 2007

Olivia Helps With Christmas
By Ian Falconer
October 2, 2007

Chicks With Sticks: Knitwise
By Elizabeth Lenhard
October 6, 2007

Home To Holly Springs (the first in the Father Tim series)
By Jan Karon
Fall 2007

The Solomon Key (working title)
By Dan Brown
Late 2007???


Not Too Late
Norah Jones
January 30, 200


Miss Potter
December 29, 2006

Reign Over Me
March 9, 2007

Spider-Man 3
May 4, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End
May 25, 2007

Ocean’s Thirteen
June 8, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
July 13, 2007

The Simpsons Movie
July 27, 2007

Becoming Jane
August 10, 2007

Happy New Year!