Tuesday, December 30, 2008

NYC +/-

We're in LI and NYC for the week, doing holiday visiting with family and celebrating my grandmother's 80th birthday. Being here has its ups and downs:

+Being with family! (duh)
+ seeing Lili with my cousins and my bro and s.i.l.
+ having 4 generations of women in one room
+ playing wii
+catching up, reminiscing, and otherwise picking on each other
- lili not sleeping well because of all the people and excitement
- us not sleeping well either

+Good food. Great food.
+ cheap, delicious asian pears
+ asian style cake!
+ bubble tea
- overeating, oversnacking

+City sights
+ playing in Central park: 2 different playgrounds in less than one block!
+ Toys. Everywhere. F.A.O. Schwartz
+ Christmasy decor on 5th Ave.
- Holiday crowds. Too. Many. People.
+ Lilian: Sitting on Keith's shoulders saying "Lots. Of. People." over and over again
+ Public Transportation. "The Train talks!"
- City travel time suck.

Being here reminds me how glad I am to live in the "country". I'm just not raised to be a city mouse. But there really is nothing like New York City!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Winter fun continues

We were invited to an open skate with some friends of ours and decided it would be a great time to try out Lili's new hand-me-down ice skates. She impressed everyone, and after a little time using the crates she decided to go it alone and wouldn't allow any help from either of us. Several people stopped to remark on her determination and so we were just very proud of her. We stayed all the way until the end and even watched the zamboni clean the ice at the end.


video

click here for more pictures

Thursday, December 25, 2008

First Coherent Christmas

This was Lilian's first Christmas where she "understands" what's going on, so we did the whole bit. I got "Twas the Night Before Christmas" book from the library and we read it to her so that she'd have some idea of what's going on, then:

Christmas Eve:
After book reading, before tooth-brushing, we did "clean up, clean up" for Santa, because you always clean up before company comes over. Then we prepared a plate of cookies and milk and a carrot for Rudolph, and then Lili went to bed.

1am: woke up crying
4am: woke up crying
6am: woke up crying (what's up with this???)
9am: woke up calling for milk

Christmas Morning:
Contemplated showing her the presents and then telling her she can't have them because she got up so many times last night. Decided that would just be too mean.

Brought her into the kitchen for milk, avoiding the living room. She gets excited for milk and then stops short. "Where's Santa?". "He was only here last night". "Oh!". Runs into the living room to look for the plate with (no more) cookies and the carrot nub left. "And what did Santa leave for you?". "Presents!". She was so excited. Just so excited. But we had to get Keith up before we opened anything, and then it was just so much fun. I didn't take any pictures because I wanted to savor the moments like when I gave Keith his present to open, but there weren't any for me, Lili gave me her Playdoh. She's so thoughtful!

Her gifts from us this year: extra winter boots, wool socks, music box, playdoh, Curious George puzzle, Elmo Doll

Hannukah in the next post!



Update: She is, at the moment, introducing Elmo to the other stuffed animals in the house, and kissing him, and reading him books. Priceless!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Someone Named Tina!

This is what Fere Jacques sounds like when sung by my little toddler:

Fere Jacques, Fere Jacques,
Door May MOO! Door May MOO!
Someone naaaaammee Tina! Someone naaaammmee Tina!
Ding dong Ding dong.

click the picture to download a mp3 of her singing!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mmmm. Heavenly.

The view out our living room window:

It's amazing what 48 hours of snow can do. It's so beautiful and fluffy outside. We've been out a lot, shoveling and playing. It took a couple of times, but we have perfected Lilian's outside get-up. The last step was adding a neck warmer. Which for her is really a cheek warmer. She came in with some frost-nip on her cheeks the first really cold night we went out so we added that layer. She doesn't like it over her face and says it feels "weird".

Of course our camera doesn't do the atmosphere any justice. It is really gorgeous outside, with big huge flakes coming down. It's ridiculous to say, but it makes me just giddy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Scratch That

Remember how I knit that wool soaker really fast? Well, I have beat my own record and I knit a cute little hat in less than 24 hours. In fact it only took me about 3-4 hours of actual working time, and unlike most of my other projects, I didn't get bored of it.

I modeled it after one of the freebie Burton hats we scored and it was too easy in a chunky wool with big needles. It fits me and Lili and it so soft and cushy I could sleep in it. I'm trying to power through another one to give as a gift but already it's taking me much longer than this one...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nothing Like It

There is nothing like the first big snowfall of the year. And munchkins in their full winter regalia:

Knitty Crazy

This may have been the fastest knitting project I ever did. It's a wool soaker cloth diaper cover, though for now it will just be a pair of shorts for "Hero" bear. I knitted up the newborn size because I didn't know if I would have enough of my trash yarn to make a bigger one. Plus, I wanted to learn the pattern using the smallest size because then it's way faster. Less than one week! It's pretty cute, and it was really fun to knit. I learned a few new techniques on it.

If you're interested, here's the pattern.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

BTV Benefits

One of the benefits of living a couple of miles away from a major snowboard maker? Being around to go to the special events that they hold. This evening was "Ladies' Night" at Burton, and Lili and I were lucky enough to be within the first people in line, so we each got goodie bags with stickers, and hats. Lili's Burton hat even fits her! I love free stuff. I love even more standing in line with people who get as excited about 6-12 inches of snow in one night as I do.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm That Mom

Today, I am that mom. The one who takes her kid to Burger King for lunch. No, not for the toy (we didn't even get the toy).

We went for this:



Because the weather was like this:


And hey, she gets a crown and we played CandyLand, too. So it all evens out, right?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Knitaholic

I have been on a big knitting kick recently. It helped that when we were in NJ I had time to knit a big portion of a hat, and that made me crave more. There is one project that is slacking, though. Lili's swing coat sweater has been suffering because I'm getting really tired of it. I have one sleeve left to do so I really should just power through, but my interest has shifted to knitting a wool diaper cover for the first time. I'll start with a newborn size to practice and then maybe work on one for Lil. But in all honesty, I hope she's potty trained before we actually need it!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

bed update

The first night went super smoothly, with Lilian sleeping right through the night with no peeps. Or maybe Keith and I were just sleeping too soundly... Nap today was a little different. Lili got up three times before settling down for her usual hour and a half nap. So far, so good!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

big girl bed - phase 3

Phase 3 of the big girl bed transition came about 3 weeks earlier than we expected! A nice phone call this morning from the furniture store let me and Lili know that a big chapter in her life would begin today (dramatic enough for you???). After haggling with Keith, I decided we would be able to squeeze the mattress into the wagon with Lili in the car with me, and luckily it worked. I'd hate to disappoint her. So the big move happened today, with plenty of excitement.

See below for pictures of Lilian hugging her crib goodbye, and then faux sleeping for documentation sake, and us celebrating the fact that we can now lay with her in her own bed.

And, if you care to know... The mattress is stunningly beautiful, and tremendously comfortable. Which, considering the price of it, is a really really good thing.

She's seemingly settled in for the night with no troubles. We'll see if that continues. Updates later!

Shiny and New

Instead of getting a DS Lite for Chrismukkah, like I wanted to get for him... Keith decided that he would much prefer new pots. Even though I do most of the cooking. But, he is the efficiency (energy efficiency) guru around here, and so it has been bothering him that our not so flat pots have been wasting energy on our fancy glass top cooking surface. Hence the new, very flat, shiny, heavy bottomed new pots. They are beautiful. Maiden voyage will be tomorrow, with a chicken chili. Keith predicts they will decrease boiling time by 30%. We shall see... But in any case, they are very pretty, and another foray into being grownups.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

TGI...T

I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving! Finally! We are heading up to Pdam this Turkey Day, for the first time in probably over 5 years. I am so happy to be going home that I am grateful that it is Tuesday, of all days.

A funny thanksgiving story: when Keith and I were dating, Keith's mom and I had a nice little conversation about the holiday:

S: I love Thanksgiving, it's my favorite holiday.
Me: Why? 'Cause you like to eat?
S: Noooo.... Because we have a lot to be thankful for.
Me: Oh. Yeah.


I totally thought I had blown my possible-daughter-in-law status right then and there. Good thing she's got such a great sense of humor.

On a different note, I realized it's been days, maybe weeks since I took a picture of Lilian (gasp!), so I thought I'd share with you all her recent haircut. One of the perks of having a girl? I'm totally not intimidated by cutting her hair by myself. And if I do say so... She's certainly looking quite cute and pixyish. I was going for a bit of a Suri look. And now, no more baby-hair crazy ends.



hy-yah! karate Lilian thrown in there too!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Evolution of a Fan

So, a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to see what all the big fuss was about, so I got it out of the library and read this:

I liked it enough. Not written particularly well, and not a very in-depth plot, but a great story, and particularly imaginative. And very compelling. It only took me 3 days to get through the 450+ pages.

So then, of course, I had to go see this:

Again, not particularly well written, but I think it was cast appropriately. And very multi-culturally, which was refreshing in a kind of tolerance-theme movie. I liked the special effects, even though there weren't any fangs. I was kind of hoping for some fangs. The whole movie just seemed to be about adolescent love-angst. And I love me some angst. One of the main reasons I still love watching the CW.

So now, I have a big crush on this:


Come on, people. It's not called fantasy for nothing.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mad Props to Keith!

Keith's hard work at his former company is really paying off! Keith was the reason that the company pursued a motion-sensing platform for the devices that we made, and the work that he did to bring it to "life" has shown itself to the market, right in time for Christmas!

So, if you have a DS, consider buying what I assume is a super cool game, if only because it has a big chunk of Keith's professional life tied up into it.

(see the Kionix logo on the package! Woot!)


Oh, and just so I don't feel left out... Keith and I are listed as co-inventors on a new patent. That makes 2 patents for me!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Let it snow!

Yesssssss! Finally! Bring it on! I love it!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Living like grownups

We finally bought dining room chairs! We have owned our beautiful cherry dining table for who knows how many years, and we finally bought dining chairs to go with it. If you have ever shopped for nice dining chairs then you know why it took us so long. Dining chairs are ridiculously expensive. Then, as luck would have it, Keith hooked up with a local restaurant supply company through Craigslist (or the classifieds... I can't remember), and found these beautiful chairs for a serious fraction of furniture store prices. They got delivered today, and they look just great with the table.

Before and after:



Retirement Community Fun

We spent the weekend in NJ visiting Keith's grandfather. It's always nice to go visit, but this time was especially fun because Sue and Lee were there too. Lili was the picture of excitement to have so many people's attention and she passed the time with barely any toys and lots and lots of mattress-jumping.

It's amazing to say, but the 8 hour drive down and back was really not so bad. I love thruway rest-stops!

This is watching football with Grandpa Lee:


And, Lili's touch-down face:
And reading with Poppy:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gak Attack

I made Gak for Lili and her friends to play with for playgroup today. It's turned out to be a great thing, as she's been playing with it for a very long time by herself this afternoon, and it is so much less messy than playdoh!

It's really easy to make, too:


Solution A: 4 oz (1/2 cup) Elmer's White glue (generic would work too)
1/2 cup warm water
Food Coloring
Solution B : 1 1/3 cup hot water
4 tsp Borax (powdered laundry booster)

Mix both solutions separately until well mixed, and/or dissolved.
Pour Solution A into Solution B and gak will immediately form at the bottom. Agitate it a little with your fingers, and pour off some of the water off the top. Pull the gak bundle out of the water and just let it flow through your hands back and forth until the extra water comes off. Store in an airtight container for who knows how long. Beware that it can get stuck to clothing, and I don't know (yet) if it washes out!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Funny Pictures

Scary Mommy is having a reader fueled post on school pictures, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Since Lili is too young to have had any school pictures, it made me think about pictures of her that I think are funny. So I went digging around and found three that I really like. Weirdly enough, they're all from roughly the same time period, winter 2007-8. We have...


The visit from the scary hairy fairy

A dinner hangover

And Lili's impersonation of Pavarotti

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Who lives here???

There are some pretty interesting last names in the Chittenden County phone book!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

big girl bed - phase 2

In case you blinked and missed it, phase 1 was the purchasing of the big girl bed.

Actually, phase 1 probably began with the... "hmmm, maybe she should be out of her crib sometime soon?". In fact, it has been a few months since Lili showed interest in sleeping anywhere other than her crib, and the thought of a "real" bed crossed our minds. It would be nice, we think, to not have to take the pack and play with us when we travel, and also will be an easier transition for her than having to give up her crib to a new baby, so why not do it now? Plus, I have visions of cuddling in her bed with her at night.

Then came the search for the right bed. We wanted twin size so that we don't have to do another transition from a toddler bed to a twin size bed. Lili is also a really restless sleeper, and can be found all over her bed at various times of night. We contemplated just putting a mattress on the floor and letting her roll off if she so desired, but then decided she'd be too cold if that happened. Then the brilliance! At a neighbor's house we saw the holy grail: a bed that looked basically like the top section of a bunk bed. A real twin sized bed with high walls to keep our tossing and turning kid from falling and screaming. So we trekked to Kids Town only to discover to our horror that the bed we wanted would cost us over $800. Without a mattress.

What to do? Oh yes! IKEA is a mere 2 hours away! Let's see what they have! And lo and behold, a simple plain wood bunk bed just like we dreamed of. All we needed was a saw. Thanks to some other neighbors, the project was done in less than 2 hours. And only cost $150. For two beds. How sweet is that? Now we just have to wait for her (all natural and turns out to be expensive but at least we didn't blow all the money on the bed) mattress to arrive (4-6 weeks!) and we can complete phase 3: actually using the bed. I'm sure there will be many more phases as we figure out how to keep a kid in bed, but for now I'm happily anticipating!


measure twice, cut once!



et, voila! awaiting her majesty!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween! Finally!

Ah, yes. So much build up that the word Halloween has started to lose meaning... But all was redeemed with lovely weather and great trick-or-treating partners! GRQ came over for a pizza supper and then, out for the big night! We were the first treaters at the neighbors houses and were slowly surrounded by other kids out and about. We had a lot of fun, and got a huge amount of candy (including the overload that we bought :).

Q's costume definitely takes the "most inventive" in my book.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ready to Vote?

Know any swing voters? Feel free to send this picture to them...

Daddy + Playdoh + Elmo =

While I was out for the evening, Lilian and Keith watched some YouTube video of Elmo on the Potty. And then played with PlayDoh. And then went to the potty. And then I came home and found this in the bathroom:


Who says daddies can't be uber creative? Not me anyway.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Welcome to the Dollhouse

Due to this weekend's visit from my friends C&M, I realized that we have a ton of boxes downstairs that could be put to good use. So, yesterday Lilian and I embarked on a crafty afternoon... We made a doll house out of a small cardboard box! Yes, crafty mommy strikes again. I have been trying to get over my fear of painting with Lili and thus let her (and me) go crazy decorating the house. We have yet to put stickers on it, but I think the googly eyes are a nice touch, don't you?





And yes, that is Nelson from the Simpsons in the top level of the house. He came in a KinderEgg of all things, and a KinderEgg that came direct from Germany! (Thanks, G&C!)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Beginning of Halloween Fun

This weekend has been busy and fun-filled. I had a "mommy" weekend with friends from Ithaca, and we luxuriously spent the entire Saturday away from the house, wandering around Burlington shopping and having tea and otherwise enjoying a slice of freedom. It was heavenly and I'm sure we're all glad to be back with our kids today :).

Keith spend the weekend going to various area halloween festivities (she'll have a total of four halloween outings when it's all said and done... What happened to just a simple night of trick or treating?). I think the highlight (besides getting candy, and a rock), was meeting Elmo! I don't think he lived up to her expectations, as he was pretty freaked out by the crowds:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yes, that's right!

This morning, over french toast, Lilian says to me:

"M-n-m's are for my potty. Privacy is for your potty".

Too true.

We've been using small candies as potty-bribes, and earlier this morning I told Lili to remind me to buy some m&m's for her potty when we go out on errands. The privacy thing we've been trying to teach her all along. I'm glad something sunk in!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Perfect Storm: Grocery Edition

The Perfect Storm that creates a (yikes!) $110+ grocery bill:

Haven't been shopping in almost a week
Lots of butcher shop product on sale (hello, freezer!)
Those black hole coupons for things you don't need (actually, only used the Ben and Jerry's one... I totally need that)
Ran out of expensive staples like (King Arthur) flour and butter.
Had to buy some red wine for a recipe (but I love the fact that I can buy wine at the grocery store... we're not in NY anymore, Toto)
Whaaaat? Cheese is how much money?
Oh, and look, I bought half a PC Homo. (Receipt translation: Half Gallon of Price Chopper Homogenized Milk).

Guess that's what happens when you're stocking up. At least I saved about 15$.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My weekend, in a nutshell

I spent this weekend (without Keith and Lilian) in Montreal, visiting my friend G. We had a great time and not enough sleep and can't wait for the next time!


So, I finally got to see:



And went to the gloriously overwhelming place called IKEA to buy this:
And finally, brought home a whole lotta fresh:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is it...

Is it a bad thing that I think I've gone through more than a pound of butter in past week or so? Well, not personally, but let's think about this:

Pumpkin Muffins (wait... did that even have any butter in it?)
Chocolate Chip Cookies (S had to learn how to do it, after all)
Apple Crisp (it has apples in it, though!)
Pumpkin Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting (yes, this definitely DID have butter in it)
There must be more in there that I'm forgetting about (but my hips certainly won't).

The latest? Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. I had to have some way of using up the mashed pumpkin, after all.

And, as Martha would say.... It's a good thing.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Punkin' Pickin'

This morning was beautiful weather and we went on a "field trip" (which can be taken literally, because Lili did indeed trip in the field) to Lang Farm to have a hay ride and pick pumpkins. She had a great time and in the end needed me to pick one for her. It was a quintessential fall thing to do and we most enjoyed playing on the playground with friends after our picnic lunch.

Lili with her pumpkin

Lili with her friend Q

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A New View

First home improvement project: Paint the front bay window trim and add some cellular shades. I didn't think of it to do a "before" picture, with the unbelievably ugly curtain rod set up, but here is a during and after picture. The shade of yellow that we picked is a little garish in the night time due to the harsher glow of our CFL halogen light, but during the day it is a lovely butter yellow. Thanks to S for helping us with the painting this weekend!


top down bottom up cellular shades

Things that go Chomp in the Night

So, we had a mouse. We don't know if it moved in with us while the doors were open, or if it was already here or what, but we had a mouse.

Last week, I woke up to the noises of something scratching or munching or something in the kitchen. I woke Keith up and in his sleepiness he proclaimed that it was just the fridge making noise. But after we further investigated, we heard it again after the fridge had turned off, and again on Sunday night. On Sunday it was kind of funny, because it sounded like whatever it was was clanking the hanging pots and pans. As if the rodent would cook us up a gourmet meal.

Keith went out and bought some mouse traps and we set them last night hoping that it was all just my imagination. Lo and behold... at 3 am I awoke to a noise. And actually, I think I've become a light sleeper since having Lili, and I think the noise I woke to was a SNAP, followed by some twitching. Seriously. So then I proceeded to have nightmares for the rest of the night about mice and traps and giant rodents seeking revenge.

In the morning, I was able to inform Keith that I was pretty certain there was a surprise in the Kitchen for him. But I was careful how to word it because I didn't want Lili to think there was a REAL good surprise in the kitchen, because of course I don't want her to see it. And yes, there was a little mouse. In the trap. The trap did it's job. It's sad, but neccessary. And now I've gone on a morning cleaning binge which always sucks but ends up feeling really good.

Here's hoping the 2nd trap isn't needed.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Burlington By Taste

This weekend we have had a FUN visit from our good friend S. C couldn't come (for which we were sad), and we are very much looking forward to visiting BOTH of them in CO in January. But in the mean time... We ate our way through the greater Burlington area and had a blast doing it.


Friday night... dinner at Pacific Rim Restaurant. Wasn't great, but was still eating out which is always a great treat. Percy Pigs for dessert!

Saturday... Cinnamon swirl french toast. Sampling at Lake Champlain Chocolates. Free slices of bread at Great Harvest. Apple picking (and eating) at Shelburne Orchards. Plus cider donuts and apple cider. Roasted local vegetables and Quinoa for dinner. And Chocolate Chip cookies for dessert.

Sunday... Apple Crisp for breakfast. Ride downtown, and stumble across the 1st annual pumpkin regatta at the downtown waterfront. Pizza and wings for lunch (due to a Bobby Flay wings episode the night before). Asian noodles for dinner, and more crisp for dessert.

I think my tummy needs a break.

Lili sampling empire apples at Shelburne Orchards


Pumpkin regatta at the waterfront. 900+ lb pumpkins hollowed
out and then used as boats. No capsizing occurred!


Visiting with friends ROCKS!