Sunday, February 28, 2010

My First Niece is 10!

I wanted to write a post about how I waited for my first niece to be born but my dear niece decided rather than revisiting the past, she wanted to collaborate with me and create her own post for her tenth birthday.  Yes, her tenth birthday, she's now in double digits.  Where did the time go?  How did she get to be so big so soon and when did it happen.  I can remember changing her diaper, feeding her, trying to burp her but I could never do it right, I couldn't bring myself to thump her hard enough on her back.    Here we are today; she's ten!  Her little sister can't believe her older sister is ten years old! WOW!

I still wanted to write about the time that I was in the hospital waiting room ten years ago when I met so many people as I waited for her to be born but she said no again.  Instead she wants to write about the things she likes now and what we did together to celebrate her birthday. 

Here is my first niece's likes at age 10!

Favorite Food = Tostones (Fried Bananas), Pernil (Pork) and Empanadas
Favoirte Movie Star = Selena Gomez
Favorite Color = Purple
Favorite Song = More by Selena Gomez
Favorite Movie = Wizards of Waverly Place the Movie
Favorite Book = Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Favorite Place to Go for Dinner = Chick Fil A
Favorite Things to Do = Cooking and Baking

Here is her favorite picture of herself from my collection.

Here is my favorite picture of her from the same collection. 

 I made her this cool bag for her last birthday and she loved it. 

I should mention that I was privileged to have held a sleepover at my house for my niece and her younger sister yesterday.  We had a blast!  I helped her as she put the finishing touches on her birthday cake, which my sister and I had started earlier in the day.  Mi esposo made her really good soup (in her own words) which she and her sister requested.  We had ice cream, watched a movie in bed, R. L. Stine's Mostly Ghostly, and then fell fast asleep.  

Today we all celebrated her birthday by going to church and then headed to a special place for breakfast.

She surprised me with something though, she said to me she couldn't wait for me to be a mom. She thinks it would be wierd and cool at the same time to see me with my own child.  When I asked why she said "It would be weird because you couldn't give the baby away to someone since it would be yours and it would be cool because you could raise the baby the way you want and I would be able to babysit for you." 

I must say she has become such a smart and funny girl!  Wise beyond years, right!

Happy Birthday Darling!  I love you very much!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sister's Baby is Three

Today my sister's baby turns three.  Three years old, how can this be?!?!?  Where did the time go and how come she is still a skinny runt?

BB at Christmas time with her three favorite things, her pacifier, Walle and a pumpkin

Dear readers would you like to go back in time with me....back to the day she was born when I missed her birth, yes let's recount this blessed day.....

So here's how it happened that i missed the birth of my niece, this joyous occasion that we had been waiting for since my little sister told me she was going to have a baby.

I wasn't supposed to be in the room.

I need you to know that because if I had known I was going to be in the room I would have been prepared.  I would have at least eaten dinner, a snack and done research on-line as to what to expect.  I would have asked mother's about their experience and if anyone had informed me of the climate of the room I would have worn a bathing suit.

I can't recall how we ended up at the hospital only that my husband and I, recently married couple (about 3 months) found ourselves in the waiting room with my little cousin who had two boys of her own. She had been through labor and knew the drill so when you think of it she could have given me a warning no such luck.  Mi esposo, cousin and I waited for what felt like hours, sending text messages to my mom, who with her hubby was with sister, to check on how everyone was and receiving text messages letting us know that sister was doing fine but that it would be a while. Mi esposo, cousin and I settled in and waited, waited, waited and waited then we got hungry. Our nerves were rattled and our bellies were rumbling for food so we ordered a little something, and settled in for another long stretch of waiting.

Again, my memory is cloudy so I can't recall how it happened, whether I was summoned, personally escorted or I meddled my way to my destination but I ended up in the birthing room to check on sister.  Just to check on sister mind you as I wasn't supposed to be there for the birth.  Only my mother and sister's husband were to witness this blessed event. I on the other hand, was supposed to wait in the waiting room until after the birth when I would be presented with a clean child for me to view as my newest niece.  I would like to mention also for understanding sake that I don't have any children so I've never experienced childbirth before only in movies.

Movies lie.

I walked into the birthing room, saw little sister who was in so much paint, told her not to worry, stroked her brow adjusted her oxygen mask since the doctors said it would be helpful for her to have one and then talked to mom when sister's doctor walked in and told her to start pushing and push she did.

Before I knew it I ended up staying in the room, encouraging my sister to push. I remember being stuck in between the top of the bed at my sister's head, supposedly monitoring the breathing mask but if I recall correctly I did little to help poor sister with the mask as it was definitely askew on her cute pained face. Sister's hubby, who was next to me, was holding onto my sister for dear life counting with me to get her to ten as she pushed to get that little bugger out. Poor baby was in so much pain, the tears were rolling from her eyes and all I could do was count.  Afterwards Sister informed me she never wanted to hear me count to ten again in her lifetime. 

I began to sweat profusely, partly from my sister's hubby who is so much like a furnace that the heat pouring from his body in addition to the super heat lamps which they had magically installed above sister's bed to shine down on her so the doctor would be able to see everything. The combination of the heat and the brightness of the lights became unbearable as it continued to burn our skin and eyes relentlessly. It was as if the doctors thought the newborn would be born in Alaska somehow and the extra light and heat were desperately needed to see and warm the newborn instantly. I think it was overkill by the hospital.

As we kept counting the lights continued their torture, boring into your souls, deep into the pit of our empty stomachs, mostly mine. I recalled my dinner had arrived moments before I ended up in the room, an uneaten sandwich waiting for me as I thought I would just pop in to say hi and then head back out and munch away. I wondered if my husband and cousin had most likely nibbled on it due to their nerves. I began to get thirsty counting over and over again, the heat began to climb, the lights became hotter and hotter and there was an odd smell in the room, possibly fear which may have been emanating from sister's hubby. All at once I felt the pain come at my temples, the heat, the lack of food, the nervousness had brought on a migraine at such a time. When the doctor took a break letting Jenny breath, I stumbled to the bathroom, not even turning on the light and enclosed myself in the dark room took a couple of breaths to calm the beating at my temples.

After a couple of minutes I heard it.

A baby cried, a big and hearty cry while I was in the bathroom rubbing my temples.

I missed it.

I wasn't supposed to be there but I missed it.

I walked out of the bathroom, pale, sweaty and sad until the moment BB was placed in my arms.

I was given this most precious gift to hold in the first moments after she was born.

And she was clean and the lights were turned off!!!!! It was a miracle!!!!!

I held madam BB, said hello to her and stroked her head all the while watching her move her strawberry colored tongue as if to say, hey can you do this to?

It was precious. I will always remember BB's birth and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Happy Birthday, BB!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Back in October my sister, mom and I visited my sister's BFF and were part of an audience for a live taped show featuring this great project...the Halloween Tutu.

After the show I wandered into Joann Fabrics and picked up some gorgeous tulle and ribbon.  I needed petals or spiders or something to float in the tulle but I couldn't find anything I liked so the Tutu went on the back burner for the time being.  Every time I entered my craft room I knew the tulle was there begging to be made into a fun skirt for a little girl to play with but I couldn't do it.  Not just any flower would do.  One day in Michael's, I frequent craft stores, I found them the perfect petals and they were in the bridal section.  Who knew! I bought up a bunch and headed home to construct a fairy tale tutu.

I never worked with tulle before, all of my projects have been from cotton materials which are incredibly easy to work with but tulle has a bit of a mind of its own.  Its so delicate and light and since my eye sight is so bad it was hard to tell when I had gathered all of the ends, sometimes I missed a few, but finally I made it.  Isn't it beautiful.

I even managed to add a little bit of detail that only the wearer would notice right away to give it an extra special feel to it.  Since I have so many nieces in my family I decided to gift this to a co-worker's granddaughter and have her be my test subject.  He's promised me a picture of her in it and will let me know her reaction when she gets it which I promise I'll share with you. 

On another note, a little girl I've know for over 13 years had just turned 18!!!!!!  Can you believe it.  She's grown into a beautiful young lady and will be off to college this year.

I made her a wristlet in her favorite color blue with a skull pattern, which is all the rage for the kids now a days.  What do you think?  Is her obvious expression of delight due to the handmade wristlet or the gift card she's holding. I'm thinking she's already spent that card in her head.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

This weekend mi esposo and I spent some much needed quality time together. During the week we are often rushing to work, coming back home so late, we eat dinner and then fall asleep.  This weekend we watched movies, made dinner together, and had a lovely time.  We live in a single home so often I feel we are on an island, an isolated island with no one in sight for miles and I can't imagine anyone else I would want on the island with me.

For Valentine's Day I had to think of the perfect gift for him.  What would a man who has everything need?  By everything I mean his favorite movies, The Goonies, The Wedding Singer and Space Camp on DVD not to mention a Zune player that plays all his tunes and his latest gift the Droid phone which he absolutely loves.

What comes to mind...we'll mi esposo's place of employment has gone batty, after many layoffs at his job, which thankfully he survived each layoff decision, the crazy employers decided the next best way to save money besides not giving a cost of living raise would be to discontinue coffee and tea for all of the employees.  Such a shame really and such a stupid move by the employer (what a way to show your employees how much you don't care about them).  So I bought mi esposo the gift of his dreams.....A Keurig mini-brewer, yes ladies and gentlemen feast your eyes on this baby.

Now mi esposo will be able to brew himself a perfect cup of coffee whenever he feels like it.  I even got him mini-moos so he won't have to buy milk to make the perfect cup at his desk whenever he feels the urge to caffeinate himself.  Yes, hubby was happy.

As for myself, my husband bought me a beautiful ring.

The above image was taken from the James Avery website.  Its beautiful and so different, I've never had a garnet stone and I am a bit intimidated by the stone as the helpful instructions that arrived with the gorgeous ring stated more or less to be careful as the stone is delicate.

Delicate and I do not necessarily mix, my poor opal ring died after about a month with me due to excessive force, I believe I had hit my hand against the floor when I fell once upon a time.  Have I mentioned I'm a klutz, I can trip over my own feet with the best of them. Now that I'm older and much wiser I'll be sure to use caution when wearing my gorgeous garnet ring.

I do feel bad for my hubby though, I do like the garnet stone but I think I'm going to need earrings to match. Hubby if you are reading this just know that I'll always keep those Keurig cups coming so you'll always have coffee.  This isn't bribery, just a fact. :) 

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Good Wife

Make room for this show on your DVR, watch it On Demand, tape it if you still have a VCR (does anyone out there have one, am I showing my age or what). 

The Good Wife tells the story of Alicia Floorick played by Julianna Margulies.  Alicia is the wife of Peter Florrick, the State Attorney of Cook County.  During her husband's tenure as State Attorney, Alicia played part of the good wife of a politician.  A dutiful wife, she stood by him and supported even through the very public sex and corruption scandal for which Peter was found guilty and is currently imprisoned for political corruption.   To care for her family Alicia returns to the working world, her old job as a litigator, in the hopes of rebuilding her reputation and supporting her children. 

I honestly only watched The Good Wife to see my childhood friend who acted in an episode entitled Crash.  By the way dear if you are reading this I teared up for you, job well done and you look good on TV!!!!! 

Julianna as Alicia displays a quiet grace in everything she does.  Whether she is on the stand defending her client or taking care of her children, Alicia is continually with uncomfortable situations and difficult decisions that cause her to revisit her past and reopen wounds from her husband's trial and betrayal, yet Alicia stays calm and focused under pressure.  She is definitely a joy to watch.  The rest of the cast is superb, from the power hungry Cary (Matt Czuchry) to the tough as nails investigator Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) they are a delight to watch.  Oh and I must mention the clothes, where do they shop for these characters!   Dear, if you are reading this please tell me you were able to try on some of Julianna's suits when you were on the set, or at least tell me where the wardrobe is supplied. 

Clothing aside....if you are looking for an intelligent show, a place to spend an hour watching beauty under fire survive time after time, check out The Good Wife, and be sure to watch "Crash."  You won't regret it.   

Monday, February 8, 2010

We'll Miss You Walle

Sunday, mi esposo and I spent another fun day with Walle.  While we let Walle and Sox sleep in we dug ourselves out from the snow.

Crooked picture is due to back strain from shoveling the areas the snow blower couldn't reach.  This time mi esposo and I made a plan of attack the night before and decided we'd tackle the trouble areas first and then do the easy parts.  After only 3 hours, we successfully moved the snow from the driveway and were able to get the car out on the road.  To celebrate we took Walle out to eat, but first we had to wake him up.  Apparently Walle sleeps in which was just fine with Madam Sox, but she didn't care too much on being woken from her beauty sleep at 12 pm, she's usually awake by 3 pm at the earliest, notice her expression of indifference in the photo below. 

Sox declinded the car ride, she gets motion sickness, so Walle, mi esposo and I headed out on the road.
Walle was sure excited to get outside especially after being cooped up in the house. 

First up was a pit stop to fuel up the car and recharge Walle.

Luckily for Walle, he received direct sun and finished recharing as soon as the car finished refueling.  Our next stop was none other than Pei Wei.  Walle couldn't decide what he wanted for lunch until the kind waitress suggested something from the Kid's menu.  This made him remember BB and as he was still missing BB something fierce he decided on Won Ton Soup, one of BB's favorites.

While we waited Walle checked out everything in the restaurant, he was particularly fond of the gift cards. 

Once our food was ready we headed home to watch a movie, Space Camp, how approriate no :), and then did some crafts for BB's upcoming Birthday.  Walle helped with the design, I'll show you a glimpse with Walle's help but the finished project won't be up until after BB's birthday to surprise her mom, my sister.  I know she will definitely get a kick out of it. 

Walle it was a pleasure to have you over for the weekend and we are so sorry to see you go.  Make sure you come back again with BB so you won't miss her so much.  Sox will miss you too even though she'll never let you hear you say it. 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Family Visitor

This weekend we were housebound, not by choice, a wonderful storm blew on by and dropped over 20 inches of snow on our front and back door.  Luckily mi esposo and I had a visitor this weekend and he was a welcome addition to the family.

First we decided to sleep in and thought, sure we'll clean off the snow at 10 am just like last time, but when we awoke, boy were we in for a surprise!

Over 16 inches of snow had landed and just kept on coming.  Walle was so excited he started spinning around and around with pure delight.

Even thought I told him too much had fallen on the ground to play in Walle pleaded with us to go outside.  So off he went , launched himself in the snow and was stuck!.  Yup just a bit too much eh Walle.  So mi esposo and I scooped him up and gave him a little sip of coffee to warm up.

Coffee made Walle think of cookies so we embarked on a cookie making fest. After some research on the web, we decided on a couple of recipes from Confessions of a Serial Baker, a new favorite blog of mine.  We decided on the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies, the Oatmeal, White Chocolate, Cranberry Cookies and then headed over to Williams and Sonoma's for the Chocolate Crinkle Cookies I made for last year's cookie swap. Walle was a great helper, he read the recipe while I gathered the ingredients.

Walle was great fun in the kitchen, he even helped me measure out the Macadamia Nuts. 

Our first batch was in the oven and we couldn't wait to taste them.  The first bite was heaven, wasn't it Walle.  Scrumptious!

We had so much fund that we made over six dozen cookies.  Good job Walle!

Cookie baking was a great success but poor Walle began to get homesick for his owner BB. Sox decided to show Walle the house and introduce him to all of her hiding places.

I washed the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen from our cookie fest, and went looking for the two new best friends and found them about an hour later, sitting in front of the fireplace.  

"Don't you worry Walle, you'll be home to BB in no time and tomorrow we'll sit in front of the fire and take a nap, it'll be fun you'll see."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Should a classic be remade?

I've just finished reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Please take note of the header, although her hair is a bit more polished than mine.;) An avid Jane Austen fan that I am I was initially turned off by the idea of a remake of Pride and Prejudice with Zombies as it I believed it would distort the true essence of  the story.

About two weeks ago I caved in and bought it.  You see I was itching to read something other than labor laws, something other than union certifications.  My options were to read Pride and Prejudice again, for possibly the hundredth time or to find something new.  I have trouble finding new items, a creature of habit that I am, once I am introduced or research a new author thoroughly and discover I love their work, I'll continue to read all of their books.  I haven't found anyone I've liked recently. I'm aware of the many published books on the Darcy family, the continuation of the P&P story that are available at my fingertips but as they were not written by Ms. Austen I don't feel compelled to read them.  So here was my dilemma, find a new book or read P&P again.

While I was in the book store I found myself in front of this "zombie" book and though "bleah" who would write such a story when the original was just magnificent and why would they feel the need to improve upon a classic story? Turns out I had to find out and while it was the P&P story again, it included zombies so that appealed to my "new book" goal that I had created.

And so I began the same story I had read time and time before but this time I knew something odd and hopefully fun would await me. Have I mentioned I like action movies?  Well I do and I especially love movies that portray women as a force to be reckoned instead of a simpering miss hiding in a corner, an equal and not someone who needs to be saved all the time.  In the Zombie version of P&P I was hoping to find Ms. Elizabeth Bennet even more of a presense in this book.  I surely wasn't dissappointed with Ms. Bennet's new incarnation.  Elizabeth is still a headstrong girl but now in this version she has a new title, the Defender of Longbourn.  Elizabeth studied martial arts in China while Mr. Darcy's studies took place in Japan.  This little twists adds on to their already differences.

The Bennett sisters forming the Pentagram of Death to dispose of the unmentionables

All of Jane's characters are still very much alive, at least for the beginning of the book, I won't spoil it for anyone but I will say the majority of the story is still alive, there is new dialogue to discuss the "unmentionables" as the zombies are referred to and a funny party is the incarnation of Lady Catherine as a renowned ninja. I can just imagine Lady Catherine flying through the air to give Elizabeth a roundhouse kick.

I did find fault with a couple of items which were deeply distressing, for instance Mrs. Gardiner would never have cheated on her husband. The Gardiner's marriage should not have been altered as they were the only example Elizabeth ever beheld as a loving and caring marriage, a marriage far different from that of her parents, a marriage that existed that showed Elizabeth that a true marriage of equals could exist.  Shame on you Mr. Grahme-Smith!

Would I read it again?  Probably not.  I've learned a valuable lesson though, a remake of a classic is quite alright and should be made and read in order for the reader to appreciate the original beautiful classic for the perfect story it is. 

Next up on my reading list is Sense and Sensibility by Ms. Austen.  I'll definitely take a pass on Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters because honestly can you ever imagine Colonel Brandon as a sea monster.  Yup I've learned my lesson, I'll stick to the classic!