Friday, January 30, 2009

Random kitchen thoughts

I just learned yesterday, while making incredibly easy, fantastically yummy Crock Pot pulled pork (courtesy of the Crockpot Lady), that we do not have a pair of tongs. That is just one of those items I assumed we have.

We have two can openers (identical ones, mind you) and an obscene amount of cooking utensils. But no tongs.


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I have to admit something...we have a lot of appliances. It all started with our wedding registry. We didn't want matching china - we wanted a food steamer. What can I say, we're simple folk.

Now, 2.5 years later - it's insane. Aside from the typical appliances (coffee machine, toaster, blender) we have a Crock Pot, coffee grinder, steamer, bread machine, deep fryer, dehydrator, mixer, air popper, George Forman...I'm sure there are more I'm forgetting to mention.

But I would love a waffle maker someday.

Addictions are hard to break.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I'm not talking about the storybook ones.

Wikipedia definition:

An Internet troll, or simply "troll" in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.

This is a touchy subject in one of the online communities I am active in. Even saying someone is a troll (joking or not) can get you in a lot of trouble. Of course, this extreme repercussion for just uttering the word "troll" did not come as a shock...there was a lot of trolling going on in our group for quite some time. Some seemed to be people that didn't even belong in our group - some were active members posing as someone else to stir up some sort of controversy. Either way, it causes a lot of drama.

Here's the question that keeps bouncing around in my head: why would someone do something like this?

I just don't get it.

And as someone who doesn't like drama (in real life or online), I don't think I ever will.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Arf arf!" says the baby

This was originally posted on my family website. You can visit it here.

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Last Sunday, we spent time at A&B's place to hang out and work on some baby shower invitations. After getting those completed (and might I add, they rock!), we were sitting around watching Peanut chase Bernie (A&B's Italian Greyhound) around the floor. She wanted to sit and pet him - he wanted to run around and play. At one point Bernie barked at us because he wanted someone to play tug-of-war with him. Peanut looked right at him and said, "arf arf arf!"

I kid you not.

I was so amazed/impressed/proud, that I got all teary-eyed. Can you blame me?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Another random day

This afternoon I heard a loud noise outside. It was like a city bus, but louder. I glanced out the window and saw a large dump truck followed by what looked like a front loader (pardon my construction equipment ignorance...I'm pretty sure that's what I mean), but it had a chopping attachment on it...and it was grinding away at the layers of snow and ice that have solidified to the curb/street. I've never seen this before...brilliant idea. Although, I don't think our street is that bad. I hope they go over the other major streets in our area - some are so bad that cars parked along the "curb" are actually taking up a full lane in the street.

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People don't believe me when I tell them this, but I used to take notes in my sleep during high school and college. You might be thinking, "oh, I'm sure you would stop writing when you finally fell asleep." Not so. I would doze off taking notes and continue writing while asleep. My notebook would have distinct word scribbles on the page (if I can find one of the notebooks, I'll take a picture of it and post it for you). When I woke up, I'd take a look at where I left off and keep writing. Of course, the word scribbles were mostly illegible, but at least the teacher thought I was still taking notes.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Short thoughts

I love searching through the fabric remnant bin at JoAnn Fabrics. I wish I could show you what I got, but it's for a you'll have to wait.
Which reminds me, I still have to post a picture of the Christmas gift I completed for my brother-in-law.

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Peanut is extra ticklish when she's tired. She is laying next to me and I'm tickling her feet to keep her occupied while I finish this post. Her squeals are hysterical!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

License plate ponderings

I have a two-part question that I hope you can answer.

1) If you spend the money to get a specialty license plate (e.g. $25 a year for a Green Bay Packers plate) and then additional money to get it personalized (in this example, $15 a year), why would you have it say "GBPKRS" or "PKR FAN"...isn't that implied by the extra money you spent on the plate?

2) Let's say you own an Audi GT. Why would you get a personalized license plate that reads "AUDI GT"?

Maybe I'm missing something. If so, please share. I just don't get it.

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In other news...

Peanut had her 9 month check-up today. All is good...though, height-wise, she has officially outgrown her infant car seat. *sniff*

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hello Sesame Street, we meet again

Now that I've been home with Peanut for a few weeks now, we are settling into somewhat of a...routine. I fear using that word because once I do, she changes things up. Like her 10-11 hour sleeping stint lasted all of two nights. Now she's back to one middle of the night wake-up call.

Part of her morning, schedule...consists of a little bit of "quiet time." We snuggle and watch a kids show until it is time for her first nap of the day (favorite part of the day for me, hands down). And right when she's ready for quiet time, Sesame Street starts.

It's been a LONG time since I last watched Sesame Street. I remember watching this show every day right before afternoon kindergarten.'s been that long. I have babysat many children since that time, but they were all interested in the cool, new shows like Thomas the Tank Engine, Dragon Tales, and Dora.
And to all those knowing parents/caretakers out there, I'm sorry if I got any of those theme songs stuck in your head, because they are now in mine.

Although they've added many characters and segments, Sesame Street is still the same show it was many years ago. They still have a letter and number of the day. Gordon, Maria and Luis are still there with Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster and Count von Count (among others).

As sappy as it sounds, I'm glad I get to share this with my daughter. It's fun, educational, and there is no part of it that drives me up the wall (I won't name shows, but there are some that are like nails on a chalkboard to me). AND...they have big name guest stars on each day - today it was Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Dr. Phil. Yesterday it was Jack Black and Feist.

I'm not afraid to admit it to everyone out there - I *heart* Sesame Street.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

With mobility comes injuries

Now that Peanut has mastered the art of crawling (at least she thinks so), she's ready to do more complex things. Just like her father...once something is completed it's on to the next task without a second to breathe. And she's quite the daredevil, too!

She has been pulling herself up on objects for a while now, but she has incorporated a new twist - letting go with one hand to turn around, grab a toy, etc. Most of the time she is pretty good at this...but yesterday her forehead and the wood frame of the floor length mirror on the wall got friendly (she was kissing herself and babbling in the mirror and turned around to see me). She now has what looks like a carpet burn right in the middle of her forehead - about the size of a dime. Add that to the bruise from Tuesday's adventure (shelf + head = pain and tears), and we've got one beat-up looking kid.

*sigh* The product of two klutzes. Poor kid has no chance.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go

The last post got me reminiscing about my time as a foster child. I'll write more about my experience as this blog rolls along, but for now here is something that just popped into my head:

I didn't have a suitcase when I moved from home to home...I used black garbage bags. At times I would hold on to these bags for a while after I moved in case I needed to use them again. They would sit, folded up, in a corner of a closet or under my bed just like a regular suitcase. I wasn't until I was a freshman in high school (and in my final foster home) that I got my first duffel bag. Such a simple item, but it made me feel important.

A few years later, I read about Suitcases for Kids, a service project that is dedicated to the collection of duffel bags and suitcases for kids in foster care.

Duh! This made so much sense. Unfortunately, there was nothing like this in Chicago when I was "in the system," but I was thankful it was created for all those other kids out there.

If you are interested in participating, visit the link above. It gives all the information you need to start a collection in your area.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Why I save...

Hello, my name is Isabella, and I'm a pack rat.

I've always been this way. We didn't have much money growing up so anything I got, I saved. For example, my parents weren't the sentimental if I did really well on a spelling test I would hang it up in my room, not on the fridge like many other families did. This led to many folders full of graded classwork and projects littering my room.

Even moving out of my parents' house (at age 11) I kept up my pack rat ways. But in the process of moving from one foster home to the other - at times with only an hour's notice - I lost a lot of things. But this didn't stop me from trying to save what others might throw away...ticket stubs, class notes, papers/projects for school, etc. This is what I did to bring "home" with me wherever I ended up. It was familiar and it was mine.

I am much better now. I wasn't terrible about it, but I have learned to cut back. Now most of the clutter on my desk and in various parts of the house are due to not wanting to sort through the crap and throw it out...not because I have an attachment to it.

So, admit it...any other pack rats out there?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Crazy mugga...shut yo mouth!

One of our best friends took a business trip to Boston a few years back. He brought my husband an MIT t-shirt and I got this Boston mug -

I *heart* this mug. It's big but not bulky, has soft edges, larger than a normal size mug, and is perfect for a left-handed person. This may not make much sense to you, but it's "cozy" to chicken noodle soup on a cold, rainy day.

I'm not the only one in our household that likes it. There have been many occasions where I'll go to make hot chocolate and see it sitting in the sink. Since Peanut is still tippin' back the bottles and sippy cups, that only leaves one other person. *ahem*

Now, why would I take all this time to write a post about a piece of dishware? Well, I have a confession to make. I've become unnaturally protective of it. When I unload the dishwasher, I'll try to hide it in the back of the cabinet so no one will grab it first. Sometimes I get sad seeing someone else sip out of it. But there are rare times when I feel extra generous and I'll serve ShankRabbit a nice hot cup of coffee in the Boston mug and use one of our other coffee cups for myself.

Please tell this odd? Anyone else do something like this?

I take great comfort in knowing I'm not alone in my please, share your stories.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I should buy stock in Kleenex

Here I thought I would make a great "welcome back to blog life" post, after being gone for a bit...but I find myself with another sickness. This time a head cold - complete with fever, chills, constant headache, and a nose that is so drippy I have been walking around all day with a tissue hanging out of it. I wish I was kidding.

Peanut's first tooth made an appearance on Tuesday, followed shortly thereafter by tooth #2. She also started full-on crawling and standing every chance she gets (with the help of people and objects). So, not only is she not feeling well with this whole teething thing...but she's super-mobile now.

This sickness couldn't come at a better time. Really.