Monday, December 20, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Our New Digs

Although we haven't taken many pictures of our new home, we do love it. It's really big and open, and though it's very classic late 60's, with lots of wood paneling and puke green, it's great for us. It's a little trashed, which is even better, because we can tell ourselves those marks were already there before it was Stellan's room.
So here are some photos of our house, our neighborhood and our community. When will you be coming to visit us? Our new home is so big that we could happily accommodate many visitors; that means you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Grandma Comes To Town

We were so lucky to have Grandma Steward come visit us a few weeks after we moved in. We got to spend lots of time arranging the house and playing, and even squeezed in some excursions, like a trip to the air show. Let me tell you, no one does an air show like a military base. Here are some visual highlights from her trip to our neck of the woods.


Thanks so much for coming to visit, Grandma! We miss you lots. And to everyone else, there's a reason for the URL of this blog - we hope you will come visit the Cookie Jar too.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

All Smiles


What could put a smile like that on a baby like this? Food. Good solid food. Well, "solid" food. Rice cereal counts, right? That smile says it does.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Last Post Fixed

The video now works on my previous post.

Riddle Time Again

What starts with this


and ends with this?


Unbelievable

This is our local weather forecast, along with a couple of our other favorites for the sake of comparison. Yeah, it's that cold in Florida. Beware of falling iguanacicles.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Road Trip: By Krissie

This is our final epic road trip post, I promise. With the move, some illnesses, a new job and our first official visitor, we've been pretty busy and neglecting the blog. But more on that stuff later. First, my official report on our Epic Road Trip.
Say what you want about life on the road; for me, this trip was all about visiting loved ones. We sent out a notice letting people know they could invite us to our homes (I know, we're so well-mannered) and then connected the dots from my grandmother's house in Michigan back to Florida with all but one of the offers somewhere in between.
Because this is long, I will make it easy for you to scroll through by marking off sections with bold headings. Sections include: Semi-detailed Travelogue; My Favorite Parts; The Worst Parts; How Did the Kids Do?; Would You Do It Again?; Did You Include Any Photos In This Entry? and How About Video? If you don't like one section, scroll down to the next!

Semi-detailed Travelogue
Our first stop was to see my grandmother and also pick up her car. So we flew to Michigan and then drove her car/now our car from then on. It was good to see her and visit with her, and also for her to meet my children. Her memory is not what it used to be, and I know my kids probably won't remember much of meeting her, but I will. Also, we managed to Skype my mom from her house so that my mom and her mom could talk to each other "face to face" for what may be the last time. It was very touching. My aunt and uncle were also there, and it was great to spend some quality time with them.
Our next stop was the Unruhs' home in Indiana. Larry and Linda lived next door to my parents when they were all in college and they were very close. In fact, Linda was the one who was with my mom when she delivered me. So it was fitting to spend my birthday with them. I hadn't seen them in more than a decade but they were just as warm and wonderful as I had remembered. We were lucky enough to be there during a family birthday party for their grandson, so I got to catch up with their kids and Stellan got some kid companionship.
From there we went to Niagara Falls. We hadn't originally included this stop, but our friend Jenessa informed us that we should not pass it up. She was right! Everyone should see Niagara Falls. It was breathtaking. We also stopped by Palmyra while in upstate New York to see some LDS Church history sites, including the Sacred Grove.
We got to see Jerry and Vivian and Levi in New Hampshire. It was so great to spend time with them that we stayed an extra day. And, in case you thought I had undercelebrated my own birthday, Viv and I enjoyed our traditional shared birthday party. Levi and Stellan got along better than ever. I wish they could hang out all the time. Skype is good, but in person is better.
We stopped in Cape Cod so Kevin could visit Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. He spent an incredible 4 hours being wined (OK, Mountain Dewed), dined and toured by engineers there; I spent a horrific 4 hours in a rain storm trapped in the car with my cranky kids. Totally worth it, though.
Once we got to the DC area, we had a few stops set up. We're lucky enough to have a glut of people we love living nearby, so we spent almost a week there. The Caulders let us stay with them for General Conference weekend; Stellan fell in love with their boys, their toys and their trampolines. Chantel and I got to catch up; she is one of those amazing people who remembers and loves you now just as much as she did 7 years ago. Every time I think of her I smile.
We also stayed with the Erbs, who are hilarious and perfect hosts. I have not had so much fun making peanut butter cookies in a long time - Katie had the kids sculpt with the dough and even gave them additional materials (marshmallows) to work with. Awesome!
Niki Nichols showed us around DC. We cruised the National Mall, played in museums, waited in line forever at a restaurant and then enjoyed it so much it was worth the wait. Well, to us grown-ups. Stellan might beg to differ. Loves to you, Niki!
We visited Matt Fischer, one of Kev's mission companions. That was a particularly memorable night; the 4 of us all crammed into the bedroom he lives in at a bachelor pad in Richmond. In the morning, I had a hard time convincing Stellan that a bunch of college guys would not like to wake up at 6:30 AM to the sound of a 3-year-old playing foosball noisily downstairs. Richmond is much cooler town than I had imagined. And the Science Museum of Virginia is one of the best science centers I've been to, especially for families.
We saw Matt Giles in Raleigh, NC. He's another companion of Kevin's. It was fun for both of us to see his mission buddies, because they are my buddies too. (We both served in the Texas Houston Mission, so we know lots of the same people and stories.) They had two kids almost exactly the same age as ours and a pretty awesome leather hide-a-bed. We were very grateful for the sack lunch they packed us in the morning, because we powered it back all the way to Dania Beach that day.

My Favorite Parts
It was so fun to spend time with Kevin. We have always loved road trips together, and though it's more complicated with kids, it was still amazing for the two of us. He is so awesome.
The museums! Originally, we weren't sure if Kevin was going to be able to make it on the trip, and I was thinking about doing a museum road trip, 1 museum every day from Michigan back to Florida. Since he came, I spared everyone my museum mania. That said, we did go to 5 museums along the way. The only thing I enjoyed more than visiting the museums myself was to help my son understand and appreciate the exhibits. We finally had the Big Talk. You know, the carnivore/herbivore dinosaur talk. Vital in the education of every little boy.
My friends! I love love love spending time with friends, especially if it's been too long. And it had been way too long for this set of friends. We also love friends who visit us, so if you're planning an epic road trip, stop on by!

The Worst Parts
Toll roads. Very expensive. Also, the only restaurant at most of the stops is McDonald's. I could go a long time without eating there again.
Strapping kids into car seats when they don't want to be strapped in. This goes double for not being able to unstrap them when they get hungry but you've just hit a huge traffic jam that will take you more than an hour to escape.

How Did the Kids Do?
For the most part, awesome. It was all about pacing. Since Rachelle had to stop to eat every couple of hours, we just planned accordingly. Once Stellan got into the rhythm, he knew that we'd drive for a while, then we 'd stop and he would get out and run around with Daddy while I took care of the baby. Then we'd drive again, stop again, etc. Since Rachelle was just baby and only wanted to lay there all day anyway, she was an angel. Stellan had some books and toys to keep himself occupied and also perfected the "why?" game on this adventure.

Would You Do It Again?
In a heartbeat! I actually feel quite a sense of accomplishment having actually done this. There were challenges, road blocks (literal and figurative) and some thinning tempers at times, but it was a fantastic experience. And perhaps one of the best parts is knowing that we've become the kind of family that would actually attempt something like this and come out of it happier than ever.

Did You Include Any Photos In This Entry?
Yes.


How about video?
Yes.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

There Are Days

There are days when I see the billboard admonishing me "Don't abandon your newborn baby. For help, call XXXXXX." and I think, the baby's not the one you should be worried about.
Then there are days when my son says to me, "Mom, I like you. You are my favorite. I picked you at the store." I'm choosing to believe his rush of kindness is not delirium from the fever.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Next Year I Pick Treat

Stellan is sick. Not just a bit under the weather. He's couch-crashing sleep-moaning phlegm-coughing blistering-fever shadow-of-his-ebullient-self sick. He's been sick for 4 days now. Every night I go to bed hopeful that he will wake up feeling better only to hear him screaming in agony from his bed in the wee hours.
Poor kid. That means he all but missed Halloween. We couldn't talk him into trick-or-treating at all. In fact, the best we could manage was to convince him to put on his costume so we could try out the face paints we got and go for a walk around the neighborhood. Of course, by the time we coordinated all of that, it was Halloween night at 6:15 and the neighbors saw us and pushed their candy on us. Seriously, there were maybe 4 trick-or-treaters on our street all night, the neighbors were desperate.
And that is how my son became an accidental and unwilling victim of Halloween. Cruel trick, huh? I hope next year goes better.
On the bright side, I did get some really really cute pics of the kids, especially Rachelle, who hasn't shown any signs of Stellan's plague (yet). Seriously cute.

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Road Trip: By Stellan Cook

My parents thought it would be a brilliant idea to strap me to a chair and drive me thousands of miles just for the fun of it. Well, it was mostly fun. Although I could have done without so much driving, I did have a really good time. I met lots of kids; in fact, I still talk about "the 2-boys house" or "the 3-kids house" when I recall our many adventures. And of course aforementioned kids' toys and trampolines.
I also went to some really great museums and ate way too much McDonald's. Which I'm complaining about (but my parents sure did). And the hotel rooms with cartoons! Well, that is something worth travelling for, let me tell you.
Anyway, my mom put together this slideshow for you. She's also working on a video that I think you'll enjoy, but you'll have to wait for that one.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

They Grow Up So Fast!

I'm woefully behind on blogging many things, so I'm going to take the time to update you with the promise of photos later. Our little Rachelle is sprouting into a little lady before our very eyes. Two weeks ago she discovered her foot on a Tuesday morning. By that afternoon she found the other. Now they are inseparable - Rachelle's feet and her mouth, that is. (Her feet are just fine at separating.)
Last week she had her 4 month check-up. She is in perfect health, and I was surprised when her pediatrician informed me that she was teething. You see, Rachelle is such an angel baby that it was only in hindsight that I realized she had been just the least bit fussy for a couple of days. But sure enough, there they were; two teeth on the bottom. So far she hasn't bitten me while nursing, so that's another brownie point for Angel Baby.
Today she completed another milestone. She can now roll from front to back, and also from back to front. Both in the same day, I might add. Stellan figured out one before the other and nearly drove himself crazy when he found himself stranded. But Rachelle was enough of a planner to see that it was worth waiting a bit longer than her brother did so that she could get herself in the position of her choice.
After three milestones in two weeks, I'm at the point that I say to my sweet tiny baby, "Stop growing up, you! I'll blink and you'll be off to college."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Answer to the Riddle

Path of solution for Saturday's riddle:
1. Try to dig up dirt with a plastic cup (no shovel) and throw it on the fire. That isn't helping, it just splashes gasoline out of the quickly melting gas can.
2. Douse ground all around the fire area, especially that wooden fence 4 feet away. Must use the two unpacked plastic garbage cans, no hose.
3. Watch the flames get higher, passing 6 feet as the top of the can melts off completely.
4. Realize that there are probably still 3 gallons of gas in that can.
5. Hope none of your new neighbors see what is happening. This would not be conducive to a warm welcome to the 'hood.
6. Call your friend Riki the firefighter. This is the first good decision of the afternoon.
7. Riki and her firefighter friends (with whom she happens to be hanging out - how convenient!) recommend throwing a wet towel over it.
8. Rummage through boxes to find a towel, then douse in the bathtub.
9. Run the towel to the backyard, throw it over the huge inferno and watch it go out instantly with a "phoomp" sound.
10. Report back to Riki that she's a genius and that it worked.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Riddle For You

You've been in your new huge backyard killing ant colonies by dousing their holes in gasoline and then lighting them. (You have been careful to also douse surrounding lawn with water.) You decide to get that one last ant hole that is less than a foot away from an already burning ant hole. The gas can lights on fire, so you set it down very quickly.
Question: how do you put it out? You have no shovel, no bucket, no hose. You do have some household items including medium-sized waste baskets, but they may or may not be unpacked yet. Please respond in comment section, official Cookie Jar answer on Monday.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

We Made It!

We have arrived in Shalimar, unloaded the U-Haul and set up our modem. Now we need to unpack...oh, and sleep! Lots of pics and stories to come. South Florida, we miss you already. But the people here are nice. Really nice. I'm almost creeped out.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Guess Who Part 2

Upon further review of photos of Rachelle and Stellan, we came upon this pair. Although by no means identical, they are definitely siblings! (A special shout-out to Mikey and Patrick, and of course their moms, who made this onesie for Stellan. It looks just as cute the second time around!)


Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Road Trip: By Rachelle Cook

Dear Blogosphere,

This is my first post. Even though I'm not even 4 months old yet, I have some definite views to share about my family's recent Epic Road Trip. Please enjoy this slideshow highlighting the events as I saw them. (I appreciate my mom's support in transcribing my experiences.) Reports from my brother, mom and dad to follow in subsequent posts.


Editor's Note: video of Rachelle's interview is available here: http://www.vimeo.com/15947633

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Guess Who?

We visited some old family friends of ours, who passed along this photo of me as a baby. I was taken aback as I realized I had taken a photo just like it earlier that afternoon:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

An Amazing Gift

When I left my fantastic job at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History two years ago, I didn't leave empty handed. I took with me somewhere between 25 and 35 t-shirts I had collected over 13 years there. Although I loved them, no one needs that many t-shirts. So we disappeared them.
For my birthday, my incredible mother-in-law reappeared them as this:
with a little of this on the other side...
Thanks, Mom! The quilt is so cool. Every time I look at it I feel the love.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Doin' It Old School

With the untimely death of our laptop, we had to change our travel strategy for the Epic Roadtrip. We had been planning to use it extensively to get directions, book motels, etc. It died three days into our trip, so we had to seek an alternative. First we went to Best Buy and looked at GPS units. But since we've been jobless for a couple of months and the first paycheck is still a month out, we made the parsimonious choice and decided we didn't need a GPS; we would rock it old school.
Our parents all did it. They used maps, charted courses and even (gasp!) stopped to ask for directions. We decided that we could follow their example and go retro.
Well, times have changed. It turns out that you can't actually purchase maps anymore. Well, not at gas stations. A friend did point out that you can buy maps at your local Barnes and Noble, but if you're in a strange place, you're going to have a hard time finding one. Unless you have a GPS.
We mostly did OK. We used a a Bob Evans map (Bob Evans is a restaurant chain based the midwest, and they apparently distribute maps of their locations nationalwide) gifted to us by one of our hosts. We also got a motel discount magazine (like you see at IHOP and similar locations), which had maps and of course motels. But we did have to put in a couple of help! phone calls on our cell phone. Good thing we still had our phone, imagine us trying to find a pay phone! (Did I mention old-school is not what it used to be?)
About a week in, Jerry and Vivian had pity on us and let us borrow their GPS. It was invaluable. I still believe we could have made it work old-school, but I also now know that you can't overlay a previous way of life into a contemporary paradigm. In short, you can't go back. Sorry, Mom and Dad; we tried.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Epic Stats

Days Gone: 16
Miles driven: 3255
States visited: 15 (plus the District of Columbia)
Time zones covered: 1

A map of our trip, including overnight stays and major destinations:


View Epic Road Trip in a larger map

$ spent on tolls: we stopped counting at $80
Photos taken: 566
Blog posts to come on the subject: many
Homes we invaded: 8
Best motel: Westport Inn (CT)
Meals eaten at rest stop McDonald's: too many
# of other kids' toys Stellan coveted: all of them
Approximate value of damaged electronics: $500

A diagram of sleeping arrangements:


Museums visited: 4
Major diaper blowouts: 0
Minor diaper leaks: 3
New decks of playing cards: 4
Apples picked: 26
Best tap water: Tie between Columbia, MD and Winona Lake, IN
Worst tap water: Richmond, VA
# of kids in the car: 2
# of kids you might think were in our car based on decibel level: 0-5

Epic Roadtrip: priceless

Friday, October 8, 2010

Your Input Needed

While you wait for the posts devoted to our epic road trip, please take a moment to help us decide which family photo should replace the very outdated one that appears now. The photos are below, the poll is on the blog's right-hand side. We'll give it a week before we close the poll. Vote now!

A.

B.

C.
D.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Big Announcement

Kevin got a job!

[Insert gasp of relief, shout for joy and prayer of thanksgiving.]

We will be relocating to the Emerald Coast, where he has accepted a civilian position at Eglin Air Force Base. We found a rental house (a house! with a yard! and a garage! and washer and dryer hook ups! and a dishwasher!) in Shalimar, FL. Now we'll be 11 hours closer to California, and so far in the Florida panhandle it's practically Louisiana.

He starts at the end of October, so get ready for a new jar for these 4 Cookies! Oh, and feel free to start planning your visit, the beaches are amazing. And we'll have tons of room for visitors. Just give us a couple of weeks to clear out boxes and we'll be all set.

P.S. My apologies to Marie Murphy, who taught me better than to use so many exclamation marks. But I couldn't help myself. May the PPP forgive.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

WhaChuTalkinBout?

Dear reader, if only you were with us every moment of the day. I think you might die laughing. Here are a few samples of what you're missing out on.

[Driving home from the doctor's office after immunizations.]
Stellan: Mommy, I tough. But I still nice. But I really tough. But I still love you. And I like you. But I tough.

[Mommy is getting an awesome back rub from her friend Lena.]
Stellan: I want a ssage.
Krissie: You want a massage?
Stellan: No, just a ssage.

[Stellan talks to himself while "resting" during nap time. He just downloads the stuff he hears during the day and regurgitates it. Phonetic spelling as follows.]
Stellan: I haffa keep you safe. It's my jobba keep you safe. I tole you so many times, you gotta stop that. Dang it! That would be no good. Wiahona. Watch out for Baby Wajelle. Fishies an sumpin to dwink. The wise man built his house upon the rock. I wike you and I wuv you.

You know you wish you lived with us.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Who, Us, Bored?

You may be wondering what a family like ours does when no one has anything to do but wait for a job to come through. Well, we started packing, because we'll be moving one way or the other - either to a new bigger home or to a van down by the river. And since we're on a fixed (read $0) income, we have to make our own cheap fun. Here are a few things we are enjoying:



This last one is not for grandparents' eyes. No, seriously, I don't want any of you grandparents calling us to tell us we've endangered our son's life. So just skip this one. Really, he's having fun and he hasn't fallen yet. I swear.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Road Trip Clarification

For those of you wondering, we're pretty sure we're going to head east and head down the coast. How far north in the east depends on what kind of offers we get...hint, hint, northeasterners!

Epic Road Trip

That's right, we're about to take one. It's a one-way trip from Caseville, MI to Dania Beach, FL. We'll leave Michigan sometime at the end of the month and get home when we get home.
Do you live somewhere along that path? Would you like the 4 of us to crash your pad? Let us know and we'll try to make sure our route coincides with your peaceful (but not for long!) abode.

Legal notice: we cannot be held responsible for damages our kids may cause, even if it involves super-expensive electronics. Like Grandma and Grandpa's big screen TV.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What We've Been Up To

Instead of telling you all about it, I'm just going to post some super adorable photos of my kids in this slideshow. Enjoy!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Grandparent Invasion of 2010

As you know, our children are blessed with an abundance of relatives, including a larger-than-normal number of grandparents. Four of them came for the joint occasions of Rachelle's blessing and Kevin's graduation. We had a great time going to the beach, swimming in the pool, cooking and eating the insane amount of food they bought us, playing with toys, eating Jaxson's ice cream and of course Pass the Baby. In fact, all four proved themselves to be consummate baby soothers and excellent preschool playmates.
Thanks for coming, Grandma & Grandpa and Grandma & Grandpa! And to the myriad other grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and great aunts, uncles and great uncles, we missed you. Come see us soon - but not all at once, please! I'm not sure our air mattress can handle it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Crazy Uncle Barney and Other Tales of Triumph

On Tuesday, Kevin and I (and Rachelle) went to a reception for engineering students at FAU. We didn't know anyone there, so we sat at our own table and observed while we ate. The table next to us was so full there was a man who didn't have a seat. He was rambling on about the local casinos and how he always won because he understood the laws of probability; I said to Kevin, "That must be their crazy Uncle Barney. They wouldn't even give him a seat!"
As we continued to watch, I noticed that the rest of the family seemed more than a bit detached from his remarks, and then leaned over and whispered, "Kev, I don't think he's their crazy Uncle Barney. He's someone's crazy Uncle Barney, but not theirs!" Kev observed that he must have just been wandering around the tables chatting with people.
As we were quietly eavesdropping, Rachelle informed me that she was hungry. Since we had the table to ourselves, I discreetly covered up and started feeding her. I told Kevin that nursing a baby would be the surest way to ensure the table stayed ours and ours alone. Sure enough, as soon as Uncle Barney had sufficiently bored the table next to us, he came over to ours. Kev was refilling our lemonade, so it was just me and Rachelle.
Uncle Barney said, "Who's the graduate today?" I gestured to the empty seat next to me. Then he noticed the tiny pair of feet hanging off my lap and cleared his throat. Awkward silence. "Well, I guess I'll go annoy the next table." I audibly replied, "Good luck with that!" I silently added, "Not that you'll need it."
So I just want to make it known that if you need a little time to yourself at a semi-private function, Rachelle and I are available for hire.

Oh, and in other news, Kevin graduated. That's right, now he's an official Master of Science!


In case you didn't feel like flying across the country and sitting through the whole ceremony, here's the moment you would have waited for:



Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rachelle's Church Blessing

For her baby blessing at church, Rachelle was privileged to have 4 grandparents visiting for the occasion. Her Grandma Steward even graciously offered the gown she and her brother wore for their christenings. Rachelle looked beautiful, the blessing was beautiful, the photos are mediocre. Oh, and Rachelle has decided to be the kind of baby who is pleasant and calm pretty much all the time - unless you want a family photo.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Yeah, She's That Cute

Today we had some Mormon royalty visiting our congregation. Julie B. Beck, General President of the Relief Society, attended our ward with her husband. We got to hear a bit from her, and she had some very nice things to say. After, as she was leaving the stand, she approached Kevin, who was slightly bemused (since he's not a member of the Relief Society). It was quickly established that she was, in fact, coming to see Rachelle. Yep, Sister Beck stopped my husband to tell him how beautiful our child is.

The Circus

Yesterday we went to the circus. No, not the big top. In fact, it was held in a conference room at the Davie campus of Florida Atlantic University. It was sponsored by the FAU Kids Club, who occasionally plan events for students with children. It was super cute, with a family of performers that did everything from magic to juggling to acrobatics. There were also carnival games, goodie bags and circus food. Stellan loved it - at least as much as the "real" circus we went to several months ago. Rachelle slept through most of it, waking up only to eat and then look around adorably for the last 15 minutes. Stellan can't stop talking about it, and the remnants of it remain littered around our house; tonight he couldn't leave the house for an evening stroll without his foam clown nose.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I Lead a Rich Fantasy Life

As indicated in my previous post, Kevin is finishing school. Which we are mostly excited about. We are a little not excited because the "What's next?" question terrifies us.
You see, for the last few months, we've been tempted by fantasizing about what our lives could be like if we weren't starving students. "When we have a washer and a dryer...when we have a yard for Stellan to play in...when we get our new computer...when I buy new clothes that are actually new..." is one of our most favorite games. We like to look around the house and snub our noses at the stuff we can't wait to get rid of.
That is what we do when we feel optimistic. But lately we feel that way less often. Kevin has been actively looking for a job for about 6 months now. He's sent out dozens, probably hundreds, of applications; he's done a handful of interviews; positions he has applied for have been dropped about as often as he has been rejected. He hasn't heard back from anyone he has interviewed with. What that means is that, in all likelihood, he'll be jobless when that research stipend money FAU has been sending to our bank account stops coming in a couple of weeks.
So instead of the "When we have a washer and dryer..." game, we play the "When we're living in our car..." game. We dream of the day when, while surfing the web on wi-fi stolen from the McDonald's parking lot, we hear about a hurricane coming straight for us. And we cheer because, since we (and everything we own) now live in our car, we can evacuate before anyone else in the state of Florida and beat the traffic.

I liked the old fantasy life better.

P.S. Don't feel sorry for us, and please don't start a fundraising campaign. We'll be fine, we've got some money saved up and many relatives have offered to house us if we need it. Oh, and we really do believe that Kevin will find a job sometime soon. This was not a call for pity, simply a peek into my twisted mind.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Big News

Why is Kevin so happy? Because of what's in the box:


This is Kevin's thesis. It is no longer is his possession, it now belongs to Florida Atlantic University. That is to say, he's done. I'll say it again: he's done! He walks at graduation on August 10th. This is the proudest accomplishment* of his life. Go Kevin!

*The only exceptions are his 2 wonderful children and the fact that he has stayed married to me for 8 years without killing me or going insane.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Great Awakening

Rachelle is an awesome baby. Here's what I mean - she already sleeps 5 or 6 hours at a stretch at night, she almost never fusses, she is generally content to be plopped down somewhere protected while she's awake and she conks out whenever we take her anywhere.
That said, I've been looking at older babies (you know, 3 or 4 months old), and getting excited for the time when I get to know her a little better. She must have felt my yearning, because a couple of nights ago, she started really acting like a conscious human being, and less like a floppy cute tiny doll that squeaks every once in a while so you won't forget it's there. She was waving her fists and feet around madly, and looking all around like she'd never seen anything in our house before. She looked me in the eyes and I felt it - there's a real person in there somewhere!
As a postscript, I would like to add that she smiled for the first time this morning after her 4 AM feeding. That's right, I got her first smile all to myself. Not surprisingly, it was not like her brother's first smile, while was bold and seemed to take up most of his face. Instead, it was just the corners of her mouth and her eyes, but her face just lit up and it was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.
Welcome to the world, baby girl. May you never stop discovering it.

Give the People What They Want

I have had requests from several people (OK, mostly grandparents) for more photos of Rachelle. Here you go!


P.S. Contact me if you want any of these in full resolution f0r printing purposes.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Grandma Karen Comes To Town

We were lucky enough to have Grandma Karen (my mom) come to visit us for a week. Her work schedule is pretty busy, so it was amazing that she managed to get here for Stellan's birthday. In addition to celebrating the big 3, we also took her to the beach, went to Jaxson's for ice cream, spent a morning at Monkey Joe's (a warehouse full of inflatable wonder), went swimming, made her babysit while we watched some World Cup to celebrate our anniversary, and enjoyed some hands-free time while Grandma enjoyed holding Rachelle.
In fact, she was so good at holding sleepy Rachelle that she adopted Rachelle's way of life. Within minutes of cuddling up with her anywhere in the house, they would both be fast asleep. I said, "I'm sure your boss won't mind if keep this schedule up when you go back home. Just let her know you're going to nap from 10 to 1, and 2 to 5, but that you promise to wake up if you get hungry or poop your pants."
Thanks for coming, Grandma - we miss you already.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birthday, Stellan!

Incredible but true, Stellan is now 3 years old. He was lucky enough to have his Grandma Karen in town to celebrate with him, and we did quite a bit of celebrating.

Monday, July 5, 2010

When It Rains...

Stellan, Rachelle and I went for our first trip to the park today. Stellan rode his bike there while Rachelle rode in style in her stroller. As we were leaving the house, I had the good sense to get a blanket to cover the stroller for sun/bug protection. We had a lovely time playing, and although it was definitely hot, the ocean breeze made it bearable.
A hour or so into our trip, I noticed some big dark storm clouds coming our way. I showed Stellan and encouraged him to hop back on his bike so we could head for home. (Why does it always take three times longer to get home from the park than to get to the park?) However, he didn't really grasp the urgency of the situation and dawdled quite a bit.
Before you know it, those clouds were right on top of us. I had finally coaxed Stellan onto his bike and we were on the path out of the park. Then we felt some sprinkles. I grabbed the stroller and headed for a covered picnic table area. Stellan was taking his sweet time until the sprinkles turned into big fat drops. Suddenly we were in the middle of a huge downpour. Rachelle's sun/bug blanket was a rain shelter, which was lucky for her because it was also windy and the rain was coming down sideways. Stellan and I were pretty much soaked within a few minutes, but tried to have some fun. We sang all the songs we could think of with the word "rain" in them. Then we put in a call to some grandparents for more rain songs.
Oh, we also called Daddy, who had the car, to come and rescue us. Unfortunately, he had just started a very important meeting with his advisor just as the rain started. We ended up waiting about an hour in the rain until Daddy arrived. By then, the sidewalk was so deep that Stellan was wading knee-high to cross to the car. Rachelle stayed nice and dry, but was a little cranky and hungry.
I wish I had a picture of that time sitting in the little shelter with the rain pouring down all around us, singing songs and counting the time between lightning flashes and thunder claps. In the end, we all escaped unscathed and had a good time doing it. But next time, we're leaving before the rain starts.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Gone But Not Forgotten

We have experienced a heavy loss: our friends, the Hendersons, have moved. Jeff finished dental school and is off to Alaska. That means that he is taking Olga, Erik and (gasp) Elsa with him. Stellan has been going through heavy withdrawal; Kevin and I, though we don't throw tantrums about it as often, miss them too. As a little tribute to the friendship of Stellan and Elsa, here is a slideshow of the two of them over the years. Tear...

Friday, July 2, 2010

It Makes My Brain Hurt

This post is not about my family. It is a rant. It is a rant against the local news here in South Florida. So don't feel obligated to read it; but if you do, you can feel free to laugh, and then maybe cry a little bit.
It turns out that most South Floridians don't know this, but it seems unique to the region that the local news media will hound victims and perpetrators of crimes, as well as their families. For example, if there is a knife fight at a school and one student is wounded and now fighting for his life in the hospital, you can expect to see footage of the reporter lamenting that she was not allowed in his hospital room; you will then see her outside the house of the alleged attacker's family, saying something like "Unfortunately, they don't seem to be answering the door right now, let's go talk to their neighbors." It's disturbing.
But the proverbial straw came two evenings ago as Kevin and I were watching the teaser for the 11 o'clock news: "Will LeBron join the Heat? We contact area psychics to get the answer."

Wha???

First of all, I pointed out that there must be bigger news that this to report - a hurricane in the Gulf, a recession, Iraq, Afghanistan, the World Cup...I could go on. Even more importantly, can you really use the term "news" with psychic proclamations? Kevin was quick to add, "What really gets me is that they are not just reporting what the psychics say - they were the ones to contact the psychics! Is that what goes for investigative reporting around here?" Apparently it does.
By the way, it seems that LeBron will stay in Cleveland for at least the next two seasons, where he will lead the Cavs to a pair of National Championships. You heard it here first, folks.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

As Promised

Rachelle is now 10 days old, and doing just fine. Her face is thinning out and she's getting longer. She also seems to be getting cuter, but it's possible that's just a mother's bias. Anyway, here are some more pictures for you to enjoy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Rachelle Q & A

Q: How did you decide on her name?
A: We just like the name Rachelle. We've both known several Rachelles in our lives and liked every one of them, but we've noticed that the name itself seems to have fallen out of fashion. Well, we're bringing it back. Her middle name, Beverly, was my grandmother's name. My grandma was a very special lady and I miss her a lot. I hope the name rubs off on my daughter and imbues her with some of my grandma's super powers.

Q: How is Stellan doing with a little sister?
A: Pretty well. He's adjusting to having less Mommy and Daddy time, and having Grandma Cook here has helped. He's sometimes extra moody, but so far he hasn't taken it out on Rachelle. He is very sweet and loving to her. We're working on boundaries for affection-showing. Like not grabbing her while she's sleeping, not suddenly giving up on holding her without informing the watchparent, etc.

Q: How is she doing?
A: Great! She is a champion eater, and has slept for at least 5 hour stretches almost every night. Her temperment seems to be very different from her brother's, which, at this stage anyway, is a huge relief. Did I mention she sleeps? Stellan didn't; he would sleep maybe a total of 6 hours in any given 24 hour period, but only 45 minute spurts. And he spent the rest of the time eating or screaming his lungs out.

Q: How are you doing?
A: Great! Apparently delivering a baby on the smaller side of 9 pounds is much easier than delivering a baby on the smaller side of 10 pounds. I'm recovering much faster and feel generally pretty good. Oh, and I love being a "new" mommy again. I'm totally in love with this girl and just stare at her for hours. I love the way she looks, the way she smells, the way she slumps, the way she goes cross-eyed when she pees (Stellan did this at her age too) and especially the way she sometimes squeaks just before she burps.

Q: When are more pics coming?
A: Probably tomorrow. It will be worth the wait.

Blue Light Special

So our little Rachelle found herself in a bilirubin tanning bed when she was only hours old. (Bilirubin, also known as jaundice, is a common concern for newborns and was never in any way life threatening for her, so don't freak out, OK?)
In point of fact, she never had bilirubin, but her Coombs count (not going to explain medical jargon, not my strong suit) was high enough that her doctor thought she might be at risk. So she had to spend any time she wasn't nursing under a huge blue lamp. She also had a little light paddle under her back that was strapped to her at all times, even when nursing.
As you can see, the hospital provided her with a super hip Zorro mask, mostly to hide her identity so that hordes of adoring fans would never learn of her "condition" and spread the news to the paparazzi. However, one paparazza grandma managed to get this photo of her via Skype.
So now the story is out. The best news is that she was given a clean bill of health and has shown zero signs of any bilirubin, even in follow-up bloodwork. Oh, and now we get to hold her anytime we want, not just when she's nursing.

Monday, June 21, 2010

More Pictures

Here are some more pics of Rachelle.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Version 2.0



Rachelle Beverly Cook was born today at 1215 P.M. She weighed in at 8 lbs 14 oz. We are very excited and as you can see from the photos Stellan is also very excited to have a little sister.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Remember This?


This is a photo of me modelling the adorable outfit Grandma and Grandpa got Stellan for his "first" 4th of July. It seemed like a safe bet, since his due date was June 27th. But of course he didn't come by then, and not for almost another 2 weeks.
Well folks, it's happened again. I'm now at 40+ weeks and counting. And no, I'm not modelling another outfit for you. So if you keep thinking, "Surely she's had that baby by now and somehow I just hadn't heard," think again. I'll let you know. I promise. Let's just hope this baby girl decides to come quicker than her big brother. And maybe, if I'm lucky, smaller.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

While We Were Sleeping, Part 1

I have a confession - I have been a lazy blogger. I'm sorry. In an effort to catch you up, I'll be filling you in on what you may have missed.
The first big one is that we went to Orlando. Kevin went to a career fair and Stellan and I figured, if Daddy's gonna get a hotel room there anyway, we might as well come along. So we did. I found us a hotel with a water park built in, and it was awesome. The career fair was a bust. Too bad for Kev, but yeah for some fun in the sun as a family!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

To Prove A Point


This photo was taken just a week before the aforementioned article on dirt/learning. However, his face seems to contradict any claims to extra intelligence.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Kid Might Be Smarter Than Yours

That is, if he's dirtier. And he usually is. Does this mean I should bathe him less frequently? Maybe I should take fewer showers too. I suspect I could use the extra brain power more than Stellan.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Now We Know

Last week we took Stellan to his first movie, Oceans, with one of his best buds, Kirk. Kirk is a big fan of all things oceanic, particularly large marine mammals and sharks; I would call his knowledge of such things precocious.

We decided that pairing Stellan up with such an enthusiast would encourage him to appreciate the movie more. And it did, for about 45 minutes. Granted, all through those 45 minutes he was chatting away in a loud and excited voice ("Kirk, what is that? What is that shark doing?"). Luckily, it was a matinee and we were the only ones there.

After the aforementioned 45 minutes, Stellan gave up on sitting entirely and starting climbing, swinging, running and exploring the theater for the remainder of the movie.

So now we know: Stellan's not ready for primetime movie going. Thanks for trying, Kirk!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Big Development


Stellan has made the "jump" from crib to toddler bed. Or "Big Boy Bed," as he's been saying. True to form, it was a literal jump.



Saturday, May 1, 2010

Atlas Shrugged

Today we were cleaning our house for the annual May Day Sundae Party when we heard a snap in the closet. One of the hooks holding up the shelf had popped out of the wall. Kevin went to inspect just in time for this to happen:


Um, yeah. The closet sort of exploded. And, being the super supportive family that we are, the first thing I did was to run for the camera to get those shots; Stellan was just off to the side, laughing hysterically. Needless to say, we spent the rest of the day putting our closet, and then our bedroom, back together.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Don't Hate Me...

I know that most of my readers hail from the Santa Barbara/Goleta area, and so you may be mad to hear that I came into town for the weekend...and I didn't see most of you. I was there for about 3 days, but spent the middle day in Orange County at my cousin's wedding.
First of all, please note the use of the singular. That's right, I came solo! It was basically my last chance to be a real person and not have a baby literally attached to me for way too much of every day. I spent the weekend being called by my first name and not "Mommy," and it was great, but I did miss my boys terribly.
Here's what I did while I was there: I had lunch with some friends from the Museum, since it was easy to find all of them in one place at one time. A special shout-out to my friend Dayli at Pizza Guru for helping me out with some super tasty pies. I helped my mom's youth group out with a sky watching party (twist my arm, why don't you, Mom?). I dropped by National Astronomy Day briefly to return a borrowed telescope from aforementioned youth group activity and got to see some astronomy pals for not nearly enough time. I went to the Spanish branch for church on Sunday because I had a built-in ride, and got to help out at the piano, which was good, because no one wants to sing along with a CD.
Most importantly, I went to Kris' wedding, which was fantastic. He looked so happy, and Nicole was one of the most beautiful brides I've ever seen. She also impressed me by greeting me by name and asking about Kevin and Stellan. What a hostess! Also, it was so good to spend time with my family, especially spending time with my siblings. We hadn't been together since Matt left on his mission, and it was a blast.

'

Finally, if you've ever wondered what it's like to fly cross country at 32 weeks pregnant, stop wondering. Don't do it, unless you have to. Those seats have never seemed so small, the air never smelled so stale or stuffy, the bag of peanuts never seemed so empty. Oh, and squeezing through the aisles? I'll just leave you with that mental image.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

We Lag, But We Care

So I'm a little behind in our blogging. While I was busy not blogging, I was also busy doing lots of stuff. For example, Kevin's parents came to visit for a week. We had a great time with Grandma and Grandpa Cook, and ended up adventuring more than we had even imagined, including a 3-day trip to the Keys. The weather was just about perfect, the beaches were beautiful, we had a blast.
In addition to the Cooks' trip-within-their-trip, they also went to the fountain park, took Stellan to our Mommy and Me class, stocked our fridge (thanks, Mom and Dad!) and even found a bit of time to rest. But not too much.


Oh, and a special video post just for my mother-in-law. Mom, if you're embarrassed, just think of how happy I am to be posting this video of me looking super preggo and awesome in my sexy maternity bathing suit!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

You Are My Bacon

An open letter to my wonderful husband:

I don't love you because you don't mind doing the dishes. But I appreciate that. I don't love you because you always remember to water the plants. But I appreciate it. I don't love you because are a freakin' genius. But I appreciate it. I don't love you because you came to rescue me when I got the worst attack of "morning" sickness one afternoon a few months ago while Stellan and I were grocery shopping and I called you from the porcelain throne at Publix and you hopped on your bike right away to come save me. But I really do appreciate that.

I love you because you always know what I'm thinking, and you still want to be around me. I love you because you always know when I'm being sarcastic and when I'm serious. I love you because you watch Project Runway with me. I love you because you genuinely think I'm funny. Even when I'm pretty sure I didn't really deserve a laugh for whatever I just said. I love you because you are hot when I am cold and you are nice when I am mean and we always seem to balance each other out perfectly.

As a really smart, funny, handsome, caring man once said, "I'm like bacon. I make everything in life better."

Happy birthday, amor.

Friday, April 23, 2010

And The Winners Are...

Thanks to Random Number Generator, the three winners of our "Pay It Forward" contest are:
Lauren
Brittney
Tabatha (who squeaked in with less than an hour and a half before the deadline)

Congratulations, and look forward to something exciting sometime in the next 10 months!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wanna Be a Winner?

I have recently won a "pay it forward" blog contest. As per the rules, I posted a comment on my friend Chantel's blog and was selected as one of the winners. Look at this awesome homemade gift* I received from her!


Yes, it is a lap quilt with an alien print. Perfect for naps or hide-and-seek, whichever you prefer.

Now that I have won, it's my turn to pay it forward to you, dear readers. Please post a comment in this blog entry and you could be a winner! Here are the rules - read carefully before deciding you want to participate:

1. Winners, you must post this challenge on your blog, meaning that you will pay it forward, creating a handmade gift for 3 winners who leave comments on YOUR blog post about this giveaway.
2. The gift that you send to your three friends can be from any price range and you have 365 days to make/ship your item. This means you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you have received your gift and have shipped your gifts. And remember: it's the spirit and the thought that count.
3. When you receive your gift, please feel free to blog about it, sharing appropriate links.
4. [I added this one myself.] If you do not blog but wish to enter, please include your suggestion for an appropriate substitute for posting your win and future contest on a blog.

One final note: I will be happy to send a homemade gift, but if you know me at all, you'll know not to expect a blanket, quilt, freshly canned strawberry preserves or anything else along more traditional handicraft lines. If you are hoping for something a little "different," this is the contest for you. I promise not to disappoint.

Just for fun, and having no bearing on the contest, if you'd like to include what you wish I'd send you in your comment, feel free. One entry per blogger, please. A winner will be chosen via Random Number Generator after the close of the contest at 9:00 AM EDT, Friday, April 23rd.

*Super hot husband and adorable toddler not included. Cranky stubborn whiny toddler may be included, depending on the day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Too Good To Pass By

My friend Jeannie posted this amazing anecdote on her blog. You should read it. Especially if you are at least intrigued by flying rodents in a church.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Adventures in Reading

Stellan has recently made the jump from short board books with mostly pictures to "real" books with paper pages and stories inside. This is a welcome development for us, and Stellan has been blessed with grandparents who have been more than happy to supply him with books on a regular basis. Our library is looking good, and Stellan enjoys reading time several times day.

Not too long ago, we read Dr. Suess's "The Lorax" for the first time. Stellan was devastated to think that all the truffula trees might be gone forever and he insisted that we plant a tree immediately. (That's my little conservationist!) Luckily for us, Kevin had recently been at a job fair where a recruiter was handing out business cards that are paper pulp with a tree seed inside. The card even includes instructions on planting the whole card to grow your own tree.

Stellan jumped on the job with zeal, and now we have a little pot out front with the seed card planted carefully.

With all this newfound book excitement, we have upgraded our reading venue. Instead of the couch, we have created a book nook in Stellan's room. We grabbed all our extra pillows and other soft stuff and piled in a corner where his bookcase resides. We also got a special basket for all his current favorites in the interest of easy access. Come by anytime and enjoy a good book in our nook!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

No, Seriously.

I just got home from Girls Camp, which is a week long church camp for girls aged 12 to 18. We do it during Spring Break here in Florida because it's not as hot and we're less likely to have to cancel for hurricanes.

I led the 4th year campers (15 year olds) on the High Adventure, an overnight expedition during the first two days of camp. This year we went to Keewaydin Island off the coast of Naples, which is this tiny little deserted island with no trees and few bushes, but mostly lots of sand.

As the weather reports came in the days before camp, we started getting worried. The outlook was lots of rain and wind. Sure enough, there were tornado warnings as we were meeting before dawn for departure. We loaded the gear in the pouring rain, drove across the state in the pouring rain, loaded the boat in the pouring rain, and offloaded our gear in the pouring rain. One boatload of girls thought they were lucky because they left late enough that the rain had slowed. However, they encountered 10-foot swells on their way to the island and arrived just as wet as everyone else.

Once the rain stopped around 2 PM, the wind became a real issue. Sand washed over us constantly, as we had no shelter or protection from the elements. No tables or chairs, no shade, no trees, no nothing. We experienced some difficulty setting up tents because they kept blowing over, even once we had put the 5-gallon water jugs inside them. The fire took an hour to light, even with the help of liberal amounts of Boy Scout juice (lighter fluid). By the time we finished eating, sung a few songs and had a quick devotional, the girls were ready for bed. And the scant shelter their tents could provide. It was 8:30 PM.

In the morning, we had the sandiest eggs I've ever eaten for breakfast. We broke camp, loaded gear and headed for home. The girls got back to the main camp with some war stories to tell, and they were really proud of themselves. It ended up being a great experience for them, and helped them bond with each other. So despite the many challenges, I don't think any regret having gone. Also, they didn't complain about it once, at least not to me. Then again, who's going to whine about how hard it is to camp in rain and sand and haul gear while you're hauling gear with a woman who's 7 months pregnant?

We're going to have to come up with a different name for the trip. The term High Adventure shouldn't be so true every year. Seriously.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dancing Stars

That's what Stellan calls "Dancing With the Stars." And he loves that show. It's a combination of the flips and tricks, flashy costumes and lively music, I think. Also, he doesn't have to pay attention for more than 3 minutes at a time. So we decided to have a little get-together for the premiere with his friend Kirk (and Amy and Sean, Kirk's parents).

In honor of the event, we made star-shaped (and other similar motifed) cookies and made snarky comments about the contestants. OK, the kids made the cookies, the grown-ups were snarky. The kids didn't watch a whole lot of dancing, but they did have lots of fun making cookies and playing.

Monday, March 15, 2010

What To Do...

What do you do with all that extra daylight we're all saving?

Go fly a kite. The weather today was perfect kite weather, so we took advantage and headed to the park for some late afternoon fun. Stellan loved it, although we did have one near-catastrophe; Kevin kicked a soccer ball past Stellan, who dropped the kite string without a second thought to chase the ball. Luckily, Kev caught the spool as it went flying by him. Good save, honey!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pi(e) Day: Epic Fail


Don't the picture fool you, it didn't go well. In fact, the whole meal was a disaster. First, the chicken tikka masala ended up so salty it was inedible. Even Kev couldn't pretend he could eat it (and I think he's pretty good at pretending he likes my cooking). But I had hoped that the strawberry cream pie I stayed up late making the night before would redeem me. No such luck. Oh, it looked beautiful, fresh whipped cream, delicious strawberries (please note the 3.14 strawberry slices on the very top); but underneath the cream layer had turned into mush, taking the crust with it into a slushy abyss of grainy disgustingness.

Better luck next year, I guess.

Friday, March 5, 2010

His Heart Is In The Right Place

[We are driving home from the park, and Stellan knows naptime is imminent.]
Stellan: No go home, Mommy.
Mommy: That's where we're headed. We had fun at the park, now we're going home.
Stellan: I don't wanna go home!
Mommy: Where should we go instead?
Stellan [pointing at a seedy efficiency apartment/motel building]: There!
Mommy: What would we do there?
Stellan: Eat chocolate.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Day At The Beach

Most of the weather during the visit was chilly and/or rainy (chilly meaning in the high 60's, to put it in perspective). However, we had one absolutely beautiful day we chose to spend at the beach. It was gorgeous. And fun.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Uncle Matt Comes To Town

We had so much fun with Uncle Matt, Grandma and Grandpa. In fact, Stellan still looks for them hopefully out the window. Here are some highlights.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Super Visitors

My dad, stepmom and brother (the oft-mentioned Matt) came to visit us for a week. Stellan wasted no time putting them to "work" on their first night. Here is a video that you shouldn't feel obligated to watch all the way through, but you will enjoy if you're the doting grandparent/adoring Stellan fan type.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Keep Thinking Positively

As you may know, dear readers, Kevin is wrapping up his thesis (OK, he's pretty much done, but FAU is dragging its behemoth leaden feet) and job hunting. If you weren't already sending positive energy out into the universe, praying, offering sacrifices to the employment gods or some sort of combination of those, please start. Because Kevin said that if he has a job offer before the show leaves town on March 21st, he will buy us tickets (and not the cheap seats) to Wicked. Which we have never seen, in case you're the fanatic type and you wish to decry us (and I know some of you Wicked fanatic types read this blog!).
So in the name of Broadway in Miami Beach, hope Kevin gets an awesome job offer. Oh, also so we can get that washing machine and dryer I keep dreaming of.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Made For Walking


I know what you're thinking. Shoes. Whoopee. You may recognize that these are, in fact, new shoes. But what you may not know is that this is the first pair of new tennis shoes I have purchased for myself since high school. We won't say how long it's been, since I already gave you a clue to my ancient heritage in my last post.
So, yeah, I bought new shoes! This is a big deal for me. A really big deal. I've been very satisfied with my sisters' hand-me-downs for all these years, but now I'm far away from my sisters. And all my other shoes have begun to show signs of not just wear, but of extreme distress. For example, there was the day the soles of both shoes of a pair completely separated from the upper section of the shoe, leaving my feet to flap around like talking Muppet shoes. Or the pair in which the tread was so far gone that I slipped three times in one day on the tile floor in our house. (Which is quite a feat, considering how dirty/sticky/scuzzy most parts of our tile floor can generally be found.) Or the shoe that tore itself in half one day as I tightened the laces.
The worst part is that I still wore each of those pairs of shoes a few times even after the said calamities occurred.
Kevin used to mock me for having so many pairs of tennis shoes. But since the obliteration of my healthy stock of shoes, he felt so bad that he got me a gift card for Christmas to buy shoes. New shoes. For myself. (I am famous for being very willing to buy nice things for others but extremely cheap and unwilling to buy stuff for me.) Which I did with great jubilation. Any bets on how long I can keep them looking new?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Am I Dating Myself?

Because with all the hype accompanying the 25th anniversary remake of "We Are The World," I was transported back in time to when I saw the original at Amy Morrell's house. On Betamax.