Wednesday, December 21, 2005

My List of Sevens

I've been requested by The Queen Mama (what a cool blog name!) to do a List of Sevens. Here are mine:

Seven things to do before I die (not in order of importance):
1. Travel the world extensively (US, Italy, Spain, South Africa, India, Vietnam, China, the list is endless)
2. Have more children (either biological or adopted) and see them become happy, healthy adults.
3. Study yoga with Joan White to become a certified Iyengar yoga instructor.
4. Learn more foreign languages and use often (goes with #1).
5. See world peace in my time (it's a long shot, I know).
6. Grow old with my darling husband.
7. Spend lots of time cooking fabulous foods in my new kitchen.

Seven things I cannot (or will not) do:
1. Skydive.
2. Hang glide.
3. Scuba dive.
4. Go in a submarine underwater (do you see a claustrophobic and fear of heights theme, nahhhh).
5. Get my nipples pierced.
6. Ride a roller coaster.
7. Do a cartwheel.

Seven things that attract me to my spouse (in random order):
1. His big brown eyes.
2. Broad shoulders.
3. Gorgeous bottom.
4. Taste in clothes.
5. Taste in women (namely, me!)
6. Sense of humor.
7. His common sense.

Seven things I say most often:
1. Cool beans.
2. Okie doke.
3. Good luck with that (said in Spongebob voice).
4. Hey, babe (said to DH).
5. Give me a kiss goodbye (to DH and DD, we never leave each other without kisses).
6. Hey, Phoebes (said after the "Hey, Mommy" from DD, she says this a lot!).
7. May I have another glass of wine?

Seven books I read (in random order):
1. The Chronicles of Narnia (also read several times as child, and now to my five-year-old)
2. Little Women
3. Pride and Prejudice
4. Bridget Jones and The Edge of Reason
5. Scarlett (the sequel to Gone with the Wind - different author)
6. Mansfield Park
7. Blood and Gold (Anne Rice)

Seven movies I watch over and over again (in random order):
1. Bridget Jones and The Edge of Reason
2. Pride and Prejudice (BBC miniseries)
3. Love Actually
4. People Will Talk (Cary Grant movie)
5. Sabrina (old and new versions)
6. Dune
7. Practical Magic

I'm going to let my blog friends off the hook for now on this list of seven. I had a hard time with this. I even had to enlist my DH for help.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Hello Again!

I've been busy getting ready for the holidays, so I know I've been a little sparse in my postings. You'll have to excuse my last post. I don't want to sound like I'm complaining about my daughter. To explain, it's a little more of a complaint of my families "Just Relax" when it comes to secondary infertility. You see, in my family, the first child is always the easier child. The one they never have to worry about. The second child is usually always in trouble. My mom is the second child (got pregnant at 16), my brother is the second child (bi-polar), and my mom's sister's second get's into trouble as well I've been told. They always tell me to stick to one. The first is the commercial. The second child is the real thing. I hate that saying as much as we all hate to hear "Just relax." "Go on vacation." "Just adopt." or my favorite hated new one..."New house, new baby."

Phoebe's adjusting better to the new teacher. Her tantrums are one to none a day at school. They have their Christmas concert at the hospital tomorrow. I can't wait. She's so cute when she sings, and she sings a lot!

We've had many appointments to walkthrough our house, even last Friday! I can't wait to get all this finalized and know what date we'll be closing our old house. At this point, we're not anticipating any offers until after the new year, but we'll see.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

She's No Commercial

My parents have a habit of telling me not to have a second child, as the first one is a commercial and the second one is the real thing. I have to disagree. My daughter is no commercial. I had a discussion with Phoebe's new Pre-K teacher who started three weeks ago. She said Phoebe's been having some horrible temper tantrums at least one a day, maybe two that are really disturbing to the class. Sometimes she has to be sent down the hall to the Director's office because she's just so loud, yelling, kicking, and screaming. I have to say I do believe her teacher. I've seen one or two at home and I send her to her room with her door closed. I will not give in to whatever she's looking for, because that will make it twice as bad next time. On the way home talking to her, I found out what I think happened that I'm hearing this from the new teacher. The new teacher follows the rules, that the Asst Director would break when she was filling in. She'd let Phoebe have her teddy bear in the middle of the day when the rules are that it's only for naptime, and other things that I think she gave in to just to not have the kids get upset. I like that the new teacher is following the rules. Phoebe needs to get used to this to be ready for Kindergarten next year. I also think it's good that she's seen both kinds of teachers, because she needs to get used to teachers having different rules.

I told her teacher I was going to make sure she went to bed at an earlier time from now on and talk to her about her temper. I asked her teacher to send me daily notes in her cubby if she's had a good day or not. If it's a bad day, Phoebe will go to bed 10 minutes earlier. I'll also be taking away priviledges. She did not get her "surprise" on our weekly "Surprise Day." She knows it was a chocolate bar I got from a party at work today. Oh well.

On other notes, we haven't had any offers on our current house. We had 3 appointments during the week since it went on the market on 29 November. We also had an open house this past Sunday. Only 4 groups walked through in the two hours, but two seemed very interested. We'll see. We may not hear anything back until after the new year. I hope so at least!

We found out yesterday that the new house may be done early. Our current closing date is 28 Feb 2006, but they are saying now they may be done by the end of January or middle of February. We'll see what happens. I'm starting to get really nervous.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Where Have All the Idealists Gone?

John Lennon was my favorite Beatle. I even loved him post-Beatles in a completely different way. I was going to write a completely different post tonight, but coming back from dropping Tom off at school, I got to listen to NPR for an hour back to Delaware and of course the topic of the evening was John Lennon and comments from people as to what he meant to them and where were they when they found out he was shot dead?

John Lennon meant a lot to me growing up, but I’ll discuss that more in a minute. Where was I when I found out he died? I was at home. I was 9, almost 10, years old. I remember my father telling me and I cried and was terribly upset. John Lennon being shot was my JFK assassination. To me John Lennon was young, exciting, and wanted to make the world a better place. Just his way was through music. Please don’t think that at 9 years old I was too young to understand this. You have to understand I was old way beyond my years at this point. I grew up listening to the Beatles. My father is a huge Beatles fan; therefore, so was I, even at a young age. I’m the daughter of two idealists who talked to me constantly about choices I would have to make in my life. My mother was your typical flower child of the 60s, who just happened to have a baby when she was 17 and newly married. My father wasn’t a complete idealist (he had many racist tendencies which he seems to have gotten over) but he raised me to question the Catholic church, all organized religion, and instilled in me a lot of socialist tendencies. I was quite the Communist for many years. I still believe in a more socialist society than how we live today. Dad and I are big Star Trek fans and I think we both are mostly for the reason that we can’t wait for the human race to realize how much we can accomplish if we stop fighting each other and accept us for who we are and ensure that no one needs for anything.

So this is why John Lennon was my favorite Beatle. I saw the idealist in him. I know a lot about his life, but I can’t say I really understood him. He was very human like us all and had human frailties, but I saw the idealist in him.

I think we need more of these out there today. Where are the idealist leaders these days? Who in power or who has a voice is talking enough about ending this war we’ve been sent into? Lord knows I do my best. I definitely did not vote for Bush, and I never miss my opportunity to elect my leaders. I get very frustrated that so many people believed in him to give him the presidency again. I hope I’m doing a good enough job raising my daughter to continue to carry the torch of peace and prosperity for all.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Just Keep Swimming

So in this hectic life I've been faced with lately: way too much work, house on market, new house being built, getting dinner on table, etc., and being very frustrated with the infertility thing, I ran across a quote that made me feel much better.

BTW, I'm researching other Traditional Chinese Medicine practictioners in the area. I like the lady I've been seeing, and she's very respected in her field, but I don't think it's working out. I just don't feel like she really knows me, and she always seems very scatterbrained and hurried. It kind of caught my attention when she realized I actually cook real meals at home, not the stereotype of boxed, re-heated meals of the career mother.

Anyway, I decided to give myself some me time and I went to the basement to practice yoga. I open up my favorite Iyengar book and here's the quote that really was on the first page I opened to, "Do not stop trying just because perfection eludes you." I'll just say, "Wow! I needed that."

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Don't I look happy in my new kitchen???

Here's me looking all happy in my new kitchen last weekend standing next to what will be my stove. Behind me the bottom cabinet is the spice rack drawer. I can't wait to make my first meal here!!!


Here's a view of the sunroom that is off the kitchen. I think we'll have our long kitchen table in here, so it will extend our kitchen/food entertaining area.

New Kitchen

Here's the view that I went crazy over last Sunday. There will be an island that can seat three comfortably in the middle of the room. The box straight on is where my Wolf 6-burner 1 1/2-oven stove will be. I am planning lots of good cooking memories here.

New House

Here's the latest front view of the new house. There is scaffolding in front as they've started putting the stones on the front of the house. It's hard to tell from this picture, but the color is fabulous!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Am Cooking Genius

I've really been having fun in the kitchen lately. I don't really cook fancy gourmet meals. That's my husbands domain, but I've been having a lot of fun and success with making simple everyday meals taste really good. I've been learning some interesting techniques along the way too that I can use in many different ways.

The two recipes that I've been playing with are a lentil soup with rice or pasta (I like it with brown rice best) and pasta with vegetables in a creamy garlic sauce. The lentil soup recipe started from my favorite book "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone." I highly recommend this book even for non-vegetarians. It is very thick, easy to read, and is chock full of good information on how to cook different vegetables, whole wheat pizza, muffins, desserts, vegetarian soups, pretty much anything you can think of. This recipe was originally a lentil minestrone, which the second time I made this I substitute the small pasta with brown rice. The things I really learned about was cooking soup with aromatics for flavor (thyme, parsely stems, and bay leaves, but I always used bay leaves before) and steaming greens and then chopping them coarsely and adding them to the pot. So far for greens I've used mustard greens and kale. I've never used either in a soup before. I have to admit they are very good!

The second recipe was from some books Food and Wine had sent me for free. I kind of combined two recipes last night that really had good results. I roasted brocolli, garlic, pine nuts, salt and pepper in the oven on 400 for 15 minutes. While that was going I boiled 1/2 pound penne pasta on the stove, and in a saucepan, I put two tablespoons of butter and sauteed some garlic for a few seconds and then added 1 cup of cream, salt, and pepper, and heated to a simmer. I mixed everything together with some shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I was out of grated romano or parmesean cheese). It was fantastic. I think next time I'll cook some shrimp in the garlic butter mixture and then add the cream. Yummm!!!

I can't wait to see the new house this weekend and see how my amazing kitchen is coming. I think the granite countertops were to be installed tomorrow. I'll try to post some pictures from last Sunday's house visit. I know I have one of me in the kitchen showing how happy I was.

Also, we had our first appointment to look at our house on the market today at 2 PM!!!! And it only went on the market on Tuesday. Please make us an offer! Pleeeeeassse!