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Monday, January 29, 2007

It's...TAX TIME!

I can be excited about that because I'm not the one who is filing our return. Despite the fact that we have all kinds of property tax stuff to deal with due to the sale of our old house / purchase of our new house, Mark has really gotten a jump start this year.

In other news, Lauren, aka "She Who Lives By Bread Alone," ate baked beans tonight. Not only did she eat them, she demanded them. She kept chanting BAKE BEAN! BAKE BEAN! over and over again until I placated her with another scoop from my plate.

Lauren also pointed to Peter Frampton on the cover of "Frampton Comes Alive" and called him "mum." Note to self - Make appointment with stylist STAT.

Lastly, Lauren managed to program our answering machine so that it speaks Spanish.

All in all, a pretty full day, I'd say.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A surprise in every box.

One of the more positive aspects of having a toddler is that you never know what's going to come out of their mouths next. Today, Lauren "blessed" her Daddy when he sneezed. I'm quite certain that this was Grandma B's doing.

In other news, I think that we can officially declare that Lauren is obsessed with circles, or SER-cal as she calls them. When we color with her, she emphatically taps on the paper with her little finger and orders SER-CAL! SER-CAL! And since we are her puppets, we respond accordingly by quickly doodling a circle.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Cookies and cabbage I have known.

Despite finally having a healthy snowfall here in Western PA, we decided to head out Saturday morning to the Strip District. Mark had seen an antique four post bed in one of the shops there and wanted to have another look before committing to buying it.

After miraculously finding a parking place (with a broken meter, of course) near St. Patrick's Church, we walked about 5 scenic blocks through a trash laden alleyway to get to a warehouse known as Zerrer's Antiques. Apparently, Zerrer's likes to maintain an ambiance reminiscent of the era of the wares that they sell, because there is no heat whatsoever in the building. Lauren immediately became antsy, so in an effort to stay warm and keep her occupied, she and I did laps around the warehouse while Mark purchased the bed. Luckily, Lauren's not too grabby when we shop, so I don't have to worry too much about her smashing a Murrano glass vase to bits.

On the way back to the car, we walked up Penn Avenue. The Strip never ceases to amaze me. How can such a dingy, dirty looking neighborhood emanate the most fantastic smells? I was determined to pick up some cannoli. Mark wanted a loaf a Mancini's bread. As not to disappoint, the ladies of Pennsylvania Macaroni Company were bravely selling every type of cookie imaginable outside of the store. I immediately honed in on the cannoli, but as I reached for them, I noticed these:

It was one of those moments when a long dormant memory suddenly jumps to the forefront of your mind. Loveknots! My grandma used to make those! So the cannoli got some company.

Next we stopped at the Mancini's Bread shop, where the nice lady behind the counter gave Lauren a bread stick that was as long as she is tall. The great thing about having a kid is that you get free stuff like this all the time.

On the way home, we picked up lunch at LuLu's Noodles. Because I was under pressure, I mistakenly ordered the Korean Rice Bowl w/chicken instead of my usual Hong Kong Rice Bowl w/chicken. Instead of shiitake mushrooms, bean sprouts, asian greens and a side of tasty soy sauce, the Hong Kong version came with soybean sprouts, bamboo shoots, a fried egg, kim chee and a side of ketchup based sauce. Lamenting the absence of shiitake mushrooms, I picked off the fried egg because I had already had eggs for breakfast. The kim chee was okay, kind of spicy and sour at the same time. I probably would have liked it better if I was more into cabbage. Happily, the ketchup based sauce was excellent, and almost made me forget about the missing shiitake mushrooms.

Oh, Mark had Pad Thai, but that's pretty much a given. And Lauren had peanut butter on Mancini's bread, which is also a given.