Thursday, May 28, 2009

A couple photos

Happy Thursday, everyone!

I'll spare you the long post I just wrote. It seemed a little too whiny for my liking. So, I leave you with a couple photos from last weekend:

Hmm...which would go better with my hummus - milk or water?

C'mon guys...let's go to the park!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Eau de Doggie

For the next week, we have a full house.  Meet our 2 furry house guests, Dante and Capri:


(Dante kept trying to kiss me while taking his photo, hence the blurriness)

I love animals, especially dogs.  But the first 24 hours of herding dogs and a one year old make me thankful that this is temporary.  Too many small beings dancing around my legs...I'm just waiting to fall over.

* * * * *
Herb update:  Sprout city!



Cilantro / Coriander


I'm sad to say I don't think the oregano will do well.  Maybe the seeds are slow to germinate (though that's hard to imagine...the seeds were the size of dust particles)?  I'm just happy our basil and cilantro look promising.  These are the ones I'm most excited about.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Have you ever wanted to be a cartoon character?

...even for just a few minutes, so you could see what it's like to do whatever, whenever without the real world consequences? Like, running full speed off a cliff, stopping mid-air only to raise your "YIPE!" sign, and then plummet to the ground...escaping with mild dizziness - illustrated by stars and chirping birds?

That random bit of brain-puke was what I came up with when presenting myself with this question, "how do I get my readers to laugh and possibly not remember that I haven't posted in a couple days?"

* * * * *

I don't think I need to say I have been busy. If I wasn't, I'd probably post 1, 2, 10 times on this blog.

Our best friends, A&B (also known as "Auntie B" and "Uncle White Brows") had their little girl on Tuesday. Auntie B was induced Sunday night...and by Monday night they decided to give her a break because it wasn't taking. Tuesday morning brought Round Two and by 10:35pm the baby (finally!) made her way into the world.

Oh, and a side note to anyone who has to spend time in a waiting room with a young child/children : be prepared for everything. Bring several snacks (of different varieties, because chances are your child will refuse the first three options), lots of beverages (including the milk you assumed you could just purchase at the cafeteria, only to learn that it closes earlier than you thought), various games/movies/distractions, and a contraption in some form that allows you to strap sleepy/whiny/clingy child to you while you walk around. A consistent 22 pounds on your arm seems exponentially heavier as time passes.

* * * * *
This picture is specifically for Sandra -

The view from our kitchen window

I love spring.

* * * * *
Here are the herbs, day 4. Sitting on the edge of ShankRabbit's desk. So far, so good (I think):

* * * * *

We dismantled our rarely-used-for-dining table right before Peanut's birthday (extra space, FTW!). I like not having it in the way, but we end up either eating dinner in our TV room or sitting on the floor of the kitchen (which sounds odd, but for some reason everyone sits on the floor of our kitchen. Considerably well-scrubbed, if you don't mind potting soil). And anyway, we're sit-on-the-floor type people...we love a casual, intimate atmosphere. It's like a picnic, only in your house.

I have been mulling over this situation in my head for a long time. The occasional meal in the TV room is fine...but I don't want to be that family that only converses during commericals (and with DVR, that length of time is about 10 seconds). And I love our kitchen dining, but I fear Peanut will insist on sitting on the floor wherever we go.

My light bulb moment? Remembering this:

(courtesy of istockphoto, obviously)

A traditional Japanese dining set-up.

How fun would this be to have in our dining room? Oooh! I think a Moroccan set-up might be fun too!

Ok, enough rambling. It's hotter than blazes in this office and I have a cold glass of beer juice calling my name.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Miscellaneous Monday

(how often do you see the word "miscellaneous" spelled out in its entirety? Not often enough, I say!)

1. We are awaiting the arrival of our best friends' baby. B had to be here is to hoping things go smoothly. ShankRabbit left his cell phone (a fancy schmancy new Blackberry Storm) turned up last night, so every time it made a sound, I jumped up thinking, "BABY?!"

1b. I also got one of those fancy schmancy phones (thank you, buy one get one free!). I *heart* it so far.

2. I spent a good portion of yesterday in a cleaning frenzy. Unfortunately, all of my hard work only resulted in getting two rooms done - Peanut's bedroom and the kitchen. That's what I get for wanting to scrub the floors on my hands and knees.

3. Supplies were purchased for growing our own herbs (basil, cilantro, chives, oregano). We wanted to get it all set up last night, but had to wait until Peanut was in bed. Since we had the soil, we decided to re-pot our houseplants as well. It was too dark and chilly outside for my taste, so I thought it would be a good idea to work in the kitchen. You know, on the floor I scrubbed.

I am a bright one, I am (I blame the margaritas).

Friday, May 15, 2009


Our family is entertaining the idea of going on vacation this somewhere other than our usual destinations. I spent a good portion of my day looking at possible vacation rentals. This required A LOT of website visiting.

Here's a hint to anyone selling their vacation rental (heck, selling ANYTHING) online - if your website sucks, you suck.


Ok, not really. But understand that it is 2009 and there is no excuse for having a website that looks like it was created at the dawn of the internet.

Example (name of town edited out of courtesy. I'm sure it's a great place...they just have dolts advertising it):

Figure 1

Figure 2

There are just so many things wrong with this site (the god, the background!), I am not sure I'd have enough space to detail it all. Let's talk about a few of my favorite parts, shall we?

Figure 1
* "Spring Fling Deal" - I think the color combination just made me throw up a little in my mouth

* "Less, less fog, less crowded!" - Not just less fog, but LESS less fog. Fog is practically non-existent here. Alert the media!

Figure 2
* Look at the very right side of the picture. See where my scroll bar is positioned? This home page was by far the L O N G E S T I have ever encountered.

* "Sshhhh...'[town] Best Kept Secret!" - first you tell me to be quiet and then you yell? Make up your mind!

* "not to winding" - just....UGH! ((facepalm))

Ok, I feel better now. Thanks for letting me share this eyesore with you.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Dear Mr. Clean,

How are you? I am sorry I haven't paid your Magic Eraser product much attention. We had a great run of me using it at every opportunity, but then life happened. I kept forgetting to buy more, so I used what I had on hand - cleanser and paper towels. Out of sight, out of mind.

I was then seduced by other "eco-friendly" options and thought they would clean anything and everything. Our first few dates were great...but then, as with any relationship, I got to know the REAL product (though I'm still a fan of baking soda for scrubbing the sink. Sorry).

My Rowenta "wouldn't-have-spent-this-much-if-it-wasn't-for-a-gift-certificate" iron was in serious trouble. It had terrible buildup that wouldn't come off. When ironing an article of clothing, it would stick to said spot. I took a picture of it for your reference:

Clothes don't iron themselves, so I had to find a solution. I checked the trusty intarwebz and someone mentioned using the Magic Eraser. So, I went to work.

A lot of elbow grease and 20 minutes later, I was impressed. Your product went above and beyond, Mr. Clean. Not only did it remove ALL of the residue, but there were no scratches or marks left behind. It's like it was never there in the first place.

I'm so sorry I didn't turn to you sooner. I'll never let it happen again.

Hoping you forgive me,



1. The "Before" photo mysteriously disappeared. Obviously, this one is doctored. The cows are in the correct placement of where the actual buildup was.
I would also like to state for the record that I do not condone ironing cows.

2. I was not given any sort of compensation for this review. I just tell it like it is.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The creepy crawlies

Bugs. *shudder*

I hate bugs.

Let me clarify - I hate bugs in the house. If they are outside and doing their bug thing...all is good. Once they crawl their way into my house - MY DOMAIN - they are playing a serious game of roulette with their lives.

Tonight I found 3 spiders in the span of 5 minutes:
1. Washed hands in the bathroom sink - spider hanging out on the drain (didn't need hubby to kill that one. Nothing a little soapy water and a good dose of Listerine couldn't solve)
2. Walked into our bedroom and noticed one on the ceiling on MY side of the bed
3. On my way to call ShankRabbit for spider removal and saw one creeping his way across our kitchen ceiling.

Over the last week, I can't tell you how many spiders I've found in our house. I don't know where they are coming from, but they must have all been from the same spidey nest - they look exactly the same (same color and same size).

Before you get all "equal rights for BUGS!" on me (I like to think there are some bug advocates out there. Everyone else has one), I have every right to despise them. I spent a good deal of my childhood in a basement apartment in Chicago. You couldn't go a couple days without getting some sort of bug bite (usually a spider). I vividly remember waking up one morning to a spider bite on my eyelid that caused my eye to swell shut.

I've causually mentioned it to ShankRabbit before, but now I'm strongly suggesting it (because I know he'll read this): exterminator.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I have no words...

June 23, 2008 - May 11, 2009

Any sand paper for my brain? Please and thank you.

As is true with most of my recent blogging attempts, I sit here with nothing on my screen as another two drafts sit in the queue waiting to be completed (for anyone keeping track, that's seven unfinished posts).

Why am I so lost for words tonight? I have the most ridiculous song stuck in my head.

Michael Bolton's cover of "P.Y.T."

Why me?

So all I can think of is him and this song. I swear, if if any part of my dream tonight includes him, I'm going to punch someone in the face (I haven't decided who. I was going to say "I'd personally punch HIM in the face" but I don't want to be blamed if it actually happened. Love ya, Bolty! Um...not really, but I don't think I'd have any reason to punch you in the face).

- - - -

Interesting story about Michael Bolton. The night of my wedding, I had arranged for my foster parents to stay in one of the presidential suites at the hotel (same location as the reception...and also where I worked at the time). A few days prior to their arrival, I was informed that they would be moved to the other suite (a little smaller, but not much different). I found out it was reserved for Michael Bolton. My foster parents joked that they were going to knock on his door and ask him to come sing at my reception.

(though I was opposed to it at the time...imagine if he did. It would have made for a much better story than the one I just told you)

See what happens when you get an awful cover song stuck in your head?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Why Friday is lame

I have five posts in the works. Yes...I said five. Here are my reasons for not posting them:

Post #1: I am missing the photos for this post. I was just informed that one of the photos is lost and gone forever, so I have to get creative. Creativity is not dancing at my doorstep right now.

Post #2: This post requires a certain amount of rant-ability to be completed. Ranty fell asleep a while ago. I am left with complacent, glue-sniffing Isabella. (I'm not really a glue-sniffer...just thought I'd clarify)

Post #3: This is more of an informative post and I can't seem to make it sound...well, not boring. Seriously. You'd fall asleep quicker than...quicker than...
apparently Wordsmith went to bed with Ranty. Thanks, guys! Couldn't wait 15 more minutes for my post to be done, could you?!

Post #4: This wacked out (yet funny in my head) post requires props. I have yet to finish those.

Post #5: I think this will be Monday's post. I just have to remember to take pictures tomorrow.

Now you know why I sit here unsure of what to post. I have material, I just can't use it yet. So, you get this instead. A post about not having a post.

Lame FTW!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Music for kids

Peanut and I stopped by the library yesterday. No, not to crash story time...I was looking for some CDs.

My children's songs repertoire is vast, but that requires remembering them. Right now, I have been singing Peanut the extent of an EP: Itsy Bitsy Spider; If All The Raindrops...; ABCs; If You're Happy and You Know It. I know there are others floating around in my brain, I just need a little help remembering them. Enter: children's songs CDs.

I've spent a lot of time with children in my life - cousins, foster siblings, babysitting, etc. I am very aware that these CDs can be hit or miss. Fortunately, our local library has quite the selection of said CDs. I was able to find everything from Veggie Tales to Radiohead for babies (providing the link so you'd know I'm not making this up).

I selected a Disney Collection CD (I have listened to this one before. Very good), Toddler Tunes (not sure how I feel about this one yet), and a Sunday school songs CD.*

I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions I'd really appreciate it (NO Raffi, please).


* - ShankRabbit has asked me a couple times to sing little kid Christian songs to Peanut. One problem: I never learned them. I can hum through "Jesus Loves Me" and maybe sing a few lines of "Arky Arky"...but that's where it ends. So, I am hoping this CD is decent enough to learn the songs.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Attn: Jean

Jean Inez, if you are reading this, please comment on this post or email me at jenniferisabella (at) gmail (dot) com with an email address (for the craft giveaway). The one provided in the comments of that post didn't work...the email was returned.


Just a photo

I was in the middle of writing a post and couldn't find one of the photos I needed to include (I have a feeling someone emptied out the camera's memory card on his computer but didn't put it on our server. Hmm...). So, you are getting this cop-out post instead - Peanut falling asleep with Bernie (our friend's Italian Greyhound):

"Whatever you do Bernie, don't fart. kthx."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Random Tuesday

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

* * * * *

As I've said many times before, Peanut loves to dance. The following video was on Sesame Street today:

Courtesy of

If I was able to get a good video of her dancing to this, I would post it...but as true with any other situation, when you finally have the camera out, the video-worthy stuff stops. Just try to picture a 1 year old doing her version of stepping. Friggin' hilarious.

* * * * *

I found that I have a lot of moments where I don't put 2 and 2 together. Seriously.
For instance, when someone would offer me mayo for my burger, I'd make a face and turn my nose up at it. It didn't occur to me that the burgers I enjoy from fast food restaurants have mayo on them. Once this fact finally penetrated my feeble brain (read: a few weeks ago), I started adding mayo to my burgers. Man, is it yummy.

* * * * *

We have added another item to the "things I cannot touch around the house" list: super glue.
Long story short - our iron has a crack in its plastic shell (preventing the proper use of the steam and self-clean options). Instead of using epoxy like ShankRabbit suggested, I tried super glue. Let's just say I was more successful at gluing the iron to my finger than fixing the problem.

Note to other super glue users: keep acetone nail polish remover on hand.

* * * * *

We are going to be a one-car family soon. If you haven't read ShankRabbit's post yet (if you don't read his blog yet, you should. Get over there now!), we decided to sell his 2005 MINI Cooper S. Very bittersweet for all of us.

Today was a test run of us driving him to work. All was good until he said goodbye and walked into his office building. Peanut is used to daddy leaving the house for work, not watching him walk into a building. I had a very sad baby on my hands...until she located her binky and her stuffed monkey. Only if sad moments were as easily managed as an adult.

Monday, May 4, 2009

I'm not cool enough for this club

Several months ago, I was perusing our local community newsletter and noticed an announcement for story time at the library (specifically for ages 6 months - 2 years old). Wanting to get out of the house and be more social, I thought this sounded like a great idea.
The first day of story time arrived and I made sure Peanut and I were out the door with ample time to spare. I went up to the children's section of the library and asked the librarian where the story time took place. She mentioned finding my name on a list. Uh...was I supposed to call ahead and reserve a spot? Yes.

When I returned home, I double-checked the announcement in the newsletter. Nowhere did it say to call ahead. I was baffled. This was a story time for a very specific age group on Monday mornings - you mean to tell me they have SO many people wanting to take part in this that they have to have reservations?!

Fast forward one month. The new newsletter arrives with the same information. I immediately picked up the phone and called the library.

Guess what? They didn't have any more spots. Completely full.

I hung up the phone, seriously ticked off. We just received the newsletter that day. This means for their list to fill up so quickly, the following had to happen:

1. People who have attended story time before get first priority
2. They were taking names down well before the newsletter published
3. It's a cover for a book-obsessed cult and I'm just not their type

The solution: Continue enjoying story time at home.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Anyone been in the same boat?

I am about to talk about my child and poo. If you'd rather not read about it, then skip over this post. Warning has been issued.


Peanut is super-stopped up (like, when changing her diaper I can actually see the poo ready to come's just not moving). With the introduction of cow's milk a week or so ago, this is something to be expected...but not to this extent. I've gotten several ideas on what to do from my pediatrician's office (their staff is absolutely amazing, by the way), but it's heart-wrenching to see her shake and cry in pain when she tries to poo...with no end result.

It's no surprise that she is all out of sorts right now.

We have a list of things to try, so I'm not short of ideas (e.g. watering down her milk, eliminating all other dairy products, up the fiber, straight prune juice in addition to her usual pureed prune intake, pedialax...), I just want to know who else can sympathize. I could really use the "hey, I've been there" comments right now.

Fatherhood Friday: Do you know how to respond?

Peanut gets excited about food. If she's really hungry (which seems to be quite often...I swear we feed her!), she is quick to shove food in her mouth before chewing. Combine that with drinking water too fast and we've got one choking-prone kid. Nothing serious, mind you...just a simple "hack hack hack" and she's right as rain.

A couple weeks ago, after playing for a bit in the living room, it was time for lunch. I set Peanut in her high chair and placed several pieces of cheese in front of her. As usual, she started shoveling the food in her mouth as fast as she could. Though this time her coughs were actual gags. She spit the cheese from her mouth and tried one piece at a time. Same thing happened. I was could one small piece of food make her gag like that? So, as I'm standing there trying to figure out what is going on it happens. She wasn't gagging...and wasn't breathing. Peanut was full on choking.

I'm not sure what the time lapse was between realizing what was happening and having her facedown on my arm in the infant Heimlich position, but I can safely assume it was mere seconds. I only had to hit her back 2-3 times before the obstruction fell out of her mouth. She started coughing and crying (sweet, sweet music to my ears!).

This, my friends, is the safety seal off a bottle of lotion (folded in half). She must have shoved it in her mouth while we were playing on the floor (not sure how it got into the living room, it should have been in the trash). My guess is that every time she tried to swallow a piece of cheese, this would get caught at the back of her throat...until it finally lodged itself in place. I would have never guessed that something so small and innocent looking could be so dangerous.

Afterward, I cradled Peanut in my arms on the kitchen floor in a state of mild shock and relief. Once comforted (both of us), it was understandable that she didn't want to eat lunch anymore. It took a good 10 minutes for her to go back to being her happy-go-lucky (very hungry) self.

Why did I tell you this story? Awareness. I was a lifeguard for several years and was trained to respond to all types of situations. I never once thought that I'd have to use any of this on my own child.

So, please...if you are not CPR/first aid certified, do it. You owe it to yourself and your family. In the meantime, read this article. It gives you the basics on what to do if you are ever put in a situation where the Heimlich or CPR is necessary.