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Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Just a quick post to let everyone know that I will be taking a break from the blog. My father suffered a heart attack on Saturday night and had to have bypass surgery yesterday. He is doing very well and is expected to make a complete recovery. Once he's home from the hospital, we will hopefully return back to our regularly scheduled (and sporatic) blogging.

All the best,


Thursday, May 13, 2010

The fairy princess at play.

The fairy princess at play.

I always tell everyone that I don't have a girlie girl. I never pushed all that princess stuff, and even if I would have, Lauren seemed to prefer the company of other kinds of toys such building blocks and stuffed animals anyway.

LIttle imp.

I wasn't a girlie girl either. No baby dolls, dresses or Barbies for me, no sir! (Okay, the Barbies did come a little later, and I have been known to wear an occasional dress, even though Mark claims that I haven't shown my legs since our first date in 1994.). So in my mind, all was right with the world.


Then, she was invited to a prince and princess birthday party last weekend. I wasn't sure if she was going to be into it or not. We didn't even have a princess dress for her to wear. $20 later, we were all set with our Silvermist costume (She's a friend of Tinkerbell. In my day, Tink only had one friend - Peter Pan. Now she has a virtual sorority to drink with..I mean play with.).

Posin' like a fairy should.

Of course, she took to the princess thing like a fish to water. Or maybe that's a naiad to water.

Rainbow Sketchers.

The shoes on the other THAT's my girl.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fruits of my labor.

The fruits of my labor.

Ugh...I am so behind on everything. I still haven't gone through the photos from Lauren's birthday party, but I swear that I'll upload them before she graduates high school. Meanwhile, I figured we could celebrate Mother's Day in a timely manner.

Homemade Mother's Day Gifts

Mark and Lauren couldn't wait to give me my presents, so actually received these yesterday. At preschool, Lauren made me a card, a potted plant (That they actually planted on Earth Day - the preschool got a two-for-one out of that craft.) and an oh-so-stylish bag (Look out Coach!).

Store-bought Mother's Day gifts.

Mark gave me two books that I've been wanting.The Cook's Country Cookbook contains recipes for every home cooked dish you can possibly imagine, plus really neat tidbits of the history behind the recipe. It even has the recipe for my favorite dessert - Strawberry Poke Cake! There are so many others that I can't wait to try. When I do I'll be sure to post photos of the finished product.

The other book is pretty self explanatory. I haven't had a chance to look at it, but if it's like the other Martha encyclopedias (I have both the homekeeping and crafts ones), I'm sure it's awesome. By the way, look at Martha sitting at that sewing machine. That is *exactly* how I look sitting at mine. Except I'm a lot sweatier. And I look like I'm going to kill someone with my bare hands.

Me & my only son on Mother's Day.

Lastly, here I am with my favorite (only) son. He's actually a daddy's boy, but what can you do?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Good boy.

Yesterday, Mark and I both took a vacation day in order to recuperate from the weekend's festivities. I thought I was going to spend time going through the photos from Lauren's party so that I could post them today, but life had something else in store for me.

In the afternoon, Lauren and I had went outside to play, while Mark was already outside planting flowers in the front of the house. I let Daisy out as well (Marcus was in the front of the house with Mark) who did her usual bolt around the back yard. I walked with Lauren to the front of the house so she could help her daddy. After she was safely deposited with sprinkling can at the ready, I went to check on Daisy.

That's when I saw the giant black dog out of the corner of my eye. I had thought that it was one of our neighbor's two Akitas who like to come over to our side of the hedges and make a mess in our yard. I instantly panicked because Daisy was loose and no where to be found. So I ran to the front of the house to tell Mark what was in our yard. I was relived to find that Daisy had already fled to the front of the house (Smart girl).

When I went to find Mark, I saw that he was holding not a Akita, but a rather large and rather old black Labrador Retriever. He was wearing a dirty old red collar with no identification.

He seemed friendly enough, so I began to pet his head (Daisy followed me to the back and started giving him the sniff.). That's when I saw his sorry state. He seemed well fed, but his entire hind end down to his tale was balding and scabbing from either the long term effects of fleas or possibly mange, in addition to several other rough bald patches in various places on his body. He had a huge sty over one of his eyes that almost blocked his vision. And he wasn't fixed.

Mark put him on a leash so we could walk him over to our next door neighbor's house to see if she recognized him. Unfortunately, she did not.

So we tied him up in our backyard and gave him some water. While Mark walked around the neighborhood seeking out potential owners, Lauren and I got acquainted with him.

What we discovered was a sweet dog. He could sit and shake hands. When we would leave his side, he would bark in protest (Mark and I ended taking turns sitting with him the rest of the day so he wouldn't disturb the neighborhood peace).

Pet for a day.

And Lauren kept commenting on what a nice dog he was.

I just couldn't understand it. Someone obviously loved and cared for him once. What had happened?

I'd like to say to that this story has a happy ending and that we found his owners, but that's not how it goes. No one in our neighborhood recognized him. Unfortunately, due to his condition, we couldn't keep him around for fear he'd transfer what ever he had to our dogs and potentially to us. So in the end, we called pet control and sent him along to meet an unknown fate. Based on his age, condition and general situation, I'm afraid the outlook isn't good.

But at least I can take comfort in the fact that he got to spend one more day with a family who cared about him and let the world know that he was a good boy.

Good boy.

Sunday, May 2, 2010



Party preparations are underway for Lauren's birthday party. In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to share some photos of my fifth birthday party. Note that these are all old Polaroids that I didn't feel like fixing in Photoshop (Okay, I did run a cooling filter on them.), so please do not adjust your screen.


The year is 1977. The place is my parents' apartment in East Liberty. I was big on Peanuts when I was little, so I had a Snoopy themed party, complete with matching cups, plates and tablecloth. And look at everyone standing around admiring that cake. I mean, how could you not? It was THE BEST CAKE EVER. Clockwise from the left is my Pap, looking puzzled by a party favor, my Grandma Bruno, my Uncle Mark, my Grandma Pranty and my Great-Grandma Skoog.


Here I am with my Aunt Beth. I loved hanging out with her because she was closest in age to me (Seven years is close when every one else is much bigger than you.). By the way, the striped t-shirt was my ZOOM shirt. ZOOM was a popular kids show at that time, and the kids on the show all wore shirts just like that. By the way, you know you're loving that rainbow pillow. My great-grandma crocheted a lot.


Here we are eating cake. Note that we are eating in the living room because all the adults are obviously eating at the kitchen table. Also note the daisy afghan on the couch (great-grandma strikes again). Looks like I got Cootie for my birthday - AWESOME!


Here I am opening presents with my mom. My Grandma Pranty is sitting to the left. In my memories, she is forever wearing that green pants suit.

And there you have it. Who knows - maybe 33 years from now Lauren will be blogging about the photos that I take today!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spring break.

Crabapple blossoms.

Just taking a break to enjoy what Spring has to offer. Since we had a stretch unseasonably warm weather, everything bloomed early. The crab apple tree next to our house is so gorgeous when it blooms, I wish it would stay that way all summer. I was hoping that the blossoms would have lasted for Lauren's birthday party, but alas, they are all gone until next year.


Lilacs are my favorite flower. My parents have several mature lilac bushes lining their property, so my father surprised me last weekend with a whole vasefull.

Spring bag.

A couple of months ago, I sewed this bag, but I never got around to taking a photo of it. It was my second attempt, and I'm quite proud at how well it turned out (My stitches are super straight - hooray!). I love this fabric by Wendy Slotboom - who can resist raccoons and titmouses?

A word about the trench coat: It came from Land's End, and unfortunately, that's back where it will go. The size is right, but the fit isn't right for my frame - if that makes any sense (In other words, it needs to be cut petite). Too bad because it is such a pretty color.

Lastly, I wanted to mention that Lauren scored not only her first goal at today's soccer game, but SIX TOTAL GOALS. She was on fire!