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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dog days of summer.

Dog day afternoon.

This marks the blog's 200th post! I feel like I should do something special. So here's a cute story about our very special dog with one very special feature.

One day, shortly after we moved to our house, I arrived home from work and let Daisy out. This is the first thing at I do everyday. The next thing I do is get the mail. After Daisy finishes taking care of business, she always comes over to meet me at the mailbox at the end of our driveway. On this particular day, two of the neighborhood girls were taking a walk up the street. When they saw Daisy, they asked if they could pet her, as little girls are apt to do.

After they had finished patting Daisy on the head, they continued on their walk. As they turned away from us, I heard the younger girl exclaim to the older girl, "That dog has eyebrows!"

Who could blame her for being excited? Afterall, it's not everyday that you meet a dog with eyebrows.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Here fishies.

Goin' fishin'.

Lauren likes to "fish" in our pond. I throw a few monkeys from her Barrel of Monkeys game in the water, and as they float, she tries to catch them on the hook at the end of her fishing rod.

Our pond is actually doing extremely well this year, which is astounding considering that we do very little to upkeep it. I guess nature is self sustaining and has little need for the likes of us.

The majority of the surface is covered in lily pads now, which produced many more water lilies than previous years. However, the most exciting development occurred when a very tall stem suddenly began to jut out of the water. On tip, there was a very large pink bud. The bud stayed tightly closed for over a week, building much anticipation (I wish that I had taken a photo of the bud because that would have gave the next photos a greater impact. Oh well.).

Before the beetle arrived.

Here is our lotus just as it began to bloom. I thought that this was pretty spectacular until...


It became the coolest flower I've ever seen in my life.

The lotus and the beetle.

Can you see the little stowaway inside? The Japanese beetles are really making a comeback this year. When I was a kid, everyone had one of those Bag-A-Bug thingys in their yard.

Tonight, I'm going to spend the evening attempting to restore Original Recipe Dita back to some of her former glory. Lauren hasn't taken to New Formula Dita like I thought she would, and in fact has become even more attached to old Dita. I'm no seamstress, but I'm going to try to prolong her life span as best I can. When I was little, I had a very much loved teddy bear that also was gradually deteriorating. I remember my grandfather sewing him for me. I still have him stored away, even though he's barely recognizable as a bear. Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ahoy, matey.

Thar she blows!

I can't believe it's already time to go back to work. The weekends go way too fast.

Yesterday, we took Lauren out on a row boat for the first time. She was really into it.

Row, daddy-o, row!

Mark did all the rowing. Lauren kept instructing him where to go, saying things like "A little more to the right, Dad." She's born to lead, I tell ya.

Me? I just sat there and took photos. It's what I do.

Now which is starboard and which is port?

Once again, Lauren was trying to avoid my lens, but there are only so many places you can hide in a row boat.

Since I let the blog go without an update this week, I have a back log of photos and fun to share, so I hope to post more this week. I'm also behind on responding to e-mails too. I swear I need a whole day just to keep up with internet stuff!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

We went thataway.


Today was my company's annual Kennywood picnic. During the span of time that we were there, the weather went from very hot to a torrential down pour. In spite of the extreme weather, we were able to cram in a lot of fun during our visit.

For what ever reason, Lauren did not want her photo taken today. Every time I pointed the camera at her, she would do this:

No more pictures, please!

I pray that this is just a phase.

Once again, our friend Mel C was there with us. The three of us have made a solemn oath never to ride The Paratrooper again. Here she is getting ready to ride one of Lauren's favorites, the much more subtle Crazy Trolley.

Mel C riding the Crazy Trolley.

Mark and I have an inside joke about Spin Art (Where you squirt paint on a revolving piece of paper). Before we were a couple, he and I went to a very lame fireman's carnival with a group of friends. As we wandered around trying to find something worthwhile to do, I suggested that we try Spin Art. No matter how much I flirted and coaxed, he adamantly refused.

When I saw that they still had a Spin Art booth in Kiddieland, I insisted that Lauren make us a souvenir to take home. The girl working the booth gave us the rules:

1.) Hold down the button to make the paper spin


2.) Add just a few drops of paint at a time or else face the consequences

Lauren did not heed rule number two. As a result, red paint splattered all over me and her, mostly on her arms and face. Poor thing looked like she contracted the German measles. After a quick trip to the restroom and lost of squirming and crying, we were back in the saddle again.


More photos from the day can be seen here.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

C'mon get crafty.

The artist at work.

I'd really like to get back into the habit of updating more that once a week, but these days Lauren has been going to bed even later than usual. She likes to get out of bed and tell me "I can't go asleep too good." Add this to the list of phrases that I will leave on her voice mail when she goes off to college.

Another saying that has been heard a lot lately is, "I want to do something with you." Usually I respond to this plea by rifling through our cabinets for ingredients to make cookies or brownies. Lauren helps add them to bowl and then acts as the designated stirrer. Concerned that Mark and I would have to buy bigger clothes if this kept up, I thought that it was time to try a new strategy.

So yesterday my friend Melissa and I went to the dollar store to buy craft supplies. Ten bucks later, I was weighed down with construction paper, scissors, popsicle sticks, pom poms, pipe cleaners and other preschool delights.

However, it was Melissa who picked out the biggest hit in the craft pile - a bare piece of MDF cut in the shape of a horse. Lauren worked non-stop on him for hours this weekend.

Ride the pony.

She decorated him even further after this photo was taken. Right now, that pony is wearing more glitter and sequins that a Vegas drag queen. That kid loves her glitter glue. In fact, the first thing she said to me this morning when she came into our bedroom at 7:15 was "Is my pony dry yet?" To which I replied, "I can't go asleep too good."


I did perform some low effort baking today using my bread machine. My parents gave it to me for Christmas a while back, but I hadn't used it for a couple of years. I have this crazy idea of actually making homemade bread rather than continuing to buy it from the store. This is a brioche that I made using this recipe. Three eggs and a half cup of butter make it sumptuous, but not the type of bread that you could eat everyday and keep your arteries clear. So while I'll definitely make this one again for special occasions, I'm looking forward to trying healthier options. I'm also working on a scrapbook album, which I'll post photos of when it's finished. More craftiness to come!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Trying new things.

I didn't mean to let a week go by without an update, but our desktop computer in the den, where I do all my blog work, wouldn't connect to the internet. Mark pointed out to me last night that the connection wasn't plugged in. Oops.

First, I want to announce a new widget in the sidebar on right. Twittering is sweeping the world right now (Hey, even Barack Obama is doing it!), so I thought it would be fun for us to try it. This means I can add little updates when ever I feel like it without the pressure of a full blog entry. I can update by cellphone too, in order to make important announcements such as "Mark just put on the turn signal! It's making a clicky noise!" and "I'm eating a donut!" Should be fun.

Mark has been kicking around the idea of us going camping. We were discussing the subject a few evenings ago and like any normal person I immediately thought, "My Star Wars sleeping bag! It's in the basement getting moldy! I must rescue it!"

After a few washings, Lauren has now inherited it, but I haven't shared with her the stigma that it carries. My parents gave this sleeping bag to me as a Christmas present when I was five. Not only did I not have any interest in Star Wars, but I didn't even know what Star Wars was. In fact, I don't think my parents knew what Star Wars was. To this day, I still don't know what compelled them to make this purchase.

As I became older, I was inevitably invited to slumber parties and sleep overs. There I was, with my Star Wars sleeping bag, surrounded by girls snugly tucked into ones with more gender appropriate themes such Strawberry Shortcake and Cabbage Patch Kids. Oh, the humiliation! But I did have one friend named Sharon that was obsessed with Star Wars. When I went to her house she always wanted to "play" Star Wars because she had a crush on Han Solo. At the time, I didn't appreciate the finer points of Harrison Ford and instead preferred Mike Nesmith of The Monkees. I'm happy to report that my tastes in men have became more refined since then, and if I was invited to someone's house for a play date today, I would happily play any game involving Sean Bean, Josh Hollaway or Hugh Jackman (I bet from where ever you're reading this you can hear the sounds of Mark's eyes rolling).

That Chewbacca's pretty funny!

So the sleeping bag is enjoying new life stationed in the middle of our living room floor as a place for Lauren to cozily enjoy her shows.

Working on the roof. Again.

Mark's new project is installing a new roof on our garage. This will be the second roof that he has replaced himself, as he also did this at our last house. Yesterday, he asked me to pick out shingles. I told him that he was out of luck because I only know how to pick out shoes and purses. He's been at it all day yesterday and today, and probably will be at it again tomorrow.

New hobby!

I've also been busy learning something new - embroidery! This is something that I never thought I could do, but it's actually pretty easy and fun. I especially like that I can sit and stitch while spending time with Mark and Lauren. I can't easily do that with scrapbooking because I need access all my supplies which are located in the den. Right now, I'm working on a practice project from Jenny Hart's Stitch It Kit, but I already have visions of embroidered tea towels and hankies for all this Christmas!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Red, white and blue.

Red: The Holy Grail of Shoes.

These are "The Holy Grail of Shoes," also known as "The Misha Barton Shoes" because she models them in the Keds advertising campaign. It took me forever to find them in my size. I finally purchased them from Delias, which is a trendy fashion store for pre-teen and teen girls. I'm far from being a member of their clientele, but a you gotta do what you gotta do to get cute shoes.

White: Mushroom.

We've had a lot of rain lately. When our yard gets saturated, all different types of mushrooms start springing up. Last year, I saw my very first toadstool, the red kind with the white spots just like where the Smurfs live. It was gone before I could get a photo of it though, or else you would have seen it.

Blue:  Panapet.

This is the Panapet that I referred to in my last post. FYI, Radio Disney plays some very bad music.

Happy 4th everyone!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


5 influences album: End page

I keep forgetting to mention that my Aunt Phyllis is going to be participating in this year's Relay for Life. Including Phyllis, we currently have four people in our inner circle who are cancer survivors (All different types too - lymphoma, breast, prostate and thyroid), so the disease is very much a presence in our lives. It's through the support of events such as this that we can finally rid the shadow of cancer from all of our lives. Her personal web page is located here.

Little things.

Ripe raspberries.

Our raspberries are starting to ripen. The bushes are still maturing, so the "crop" can fit inside my great grandmothers teacup. Mark likes to eat them in his cereal.

Lauren's poor doll Dita has been literally loved to bits. Although her fair version of Dita is almost pristine, no matter how much we try to convince her of how nice she is, Lauren wants nothing to do with "white" Dita because she only likes "brown" Dita. Fearing that Dita would fall apart at any moment, I've been scouring the internet for months now to no avail trying to find the tan version. Then, on Sunday, my heart almost leaped out of my chest when I saw her listed on eBay. She just arrived today. I wonder if you can tell which is which?

Before...and after.

My next mission is to find a Flavoradio. Lauren has recently taken to listening to the Radio Disney on AM at bedtime, and I would love to find her a little green transistor radio. Growing up, I had an orange one. For now, she's using a blue Panapet.

Lastly, last night was the first American Idols! Live concert. No, I was not in attendance, but through the miracle of the internet, I can pretend. Here is a video of Jason Castro singing an acoustic version of Crazy by Gnarles Barkley, courtesy of the fabulous MJ. Gosh, I miss that goofy guy.

See the show.

Click here to view this photo book.

Yesterday, I was checking out Shutterfly's website to see if there was a way to share online the photo books that I made so far. Sure enough, there was!

You can now flip through all of my books here.

Later in the day, I received an e-mail from a Shutterfly representative informing me that my Best of 2007 book had been chosen as a Featured book on the home page of their Community gallery. Cool!

So I guess now it's kinda late to ask permission to use the images of those of you out there who are pictured in this book, huh?