Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Life has been very busy for the CoasterFamily. We've been preparing to host W.'s office Christmas party as noted previously, we re-decorated our living room, CoasterGirl has had 2 birthday parties plus a Christmas parade to participate in, and work has been...well...busy.
Thankfully, the Christmas party was postponed so that more of W.'s office mates can come, so I'm not nearly as panicked tonight as I would be otherwise. Still, there's plenty of work left to do, and of course the baking will need to wait until next week.
Speaking of baking, I managed to ruin a double-batch of cookie dough earlier this week by adding an extra stick of butter. Which wouldn't be so terrible, except I used 6 sticks of butter and 2 bags of sliced almonds in the batch - an expensive mistake! W. thinks it's funny that an accounting major screwed up the conversions for doubling a batch of cookie dough. Being the super-nice guy that he is, though, he waited to spring that one on me until after he'd consoled me about the cookies.
We did get a substantial chunk of our to-do list accomplished this last week. Christmas presents have been purchased, wrapped and shipped to the in-laws, the Christmas tree was procured and decorated, Christmas cards were designed and ordered, the living room was finished, and most of the rest of the Christmas shopping is complete.
I'm not sure I want to think about how busy we'll be this weekend trying to get the house clean and in presentable shape, though. It's amazing how messy it can get when you're super-busy with work and doing other things during non-work time.
Maybe I'll ask Santa for a housekeeper for Christmas.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I'm waiting to haul out the holly until after tomorrow, when we'll have new carpet installed in our living room. Until then, I suppose I'll just have to make do with the ultimate get-in-the-Christmas-mood song (at least for me): "We Need a Little Christmas". Here's Johnny Mathis singing his heart out about candles in the windows and carols at the spinet:
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Neither feeling was unexpected; this fresh evidence that my first-born is no longer my baby girl was sure to tug at my heartstrings, and me being me, make me nauseated. For whatever reason, the mere thought of a tooth wiggling around in a kid's mouth (much less being pulled) leaves me squeamish and faintly green. W. is getting a big kick out of this, I assure you. I have informed him that he is, from now on, in charge of all things related to loose teeth and the tooth fairy.
How on earth did I manage to make it through my childhood with such a phobia, you might ask? Easy: it didn't bother me when I was young. In fact, I have memories of pulling my own teeth and exploring the gaps with my tongue with no ill effects. Ah, well. Good thing I never considered a career in dentistry - I would never be able to complete an extraction!
CoasterGirl shows no ill effects from having lost the tooth, though; she's happy to be able to eat again, and anxious to catch up with her best friend, who has already lost five teeth!
Good grief. This childhood thing really does go by quickly, doesn't it?
Friday, November 21, 2008
Of course, now I've been singing "Werewolves of London" all day, and I can't get it out of my head. So I figured I'd share the love.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
And I made the mistake of watching the Twilight trailer online. I will definitely be going to see the movie, as soon as I can convince W. to hold down the fort long enough for me to go.
Yes, I'm a total dork.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Unless you've been living under a rock, or just paying no attention to anything media-related but political coverage, you've heard of the series of novels by Stephanie Meyer, the first of which has been made into a major motion picture which debuts this month. This Friday, to be precise. Which was supposed to be the release date for the sixth Harry Potter movie. But no, I'll have to wait for summer for that one. Not that I'm bitter or anything. Stupid movie executives.
At any rate, there's been so much hype about the movie and the novels that I finally broke down and purchased a slightly used copy of the first of the series, Twilight. I'll tell you up front that I'm a bit particular about writing style and dialogue - if dialogue isn't natural, it tends to grate on my nerves. So I didn't have high hopes, given the reviews I've read.
Still, I got sucked in. I read the thing in 3 nights, which is quite an accomplishment these days, when the kids aren't in bed and asleep before 8:30 and if I go to bed after 10:30 or so I'm a zombie the next day. I'm a sucker for a love story. And even the angst-filled emo dialogue and sometimes awkward writing didn't distract me enough to want to put it down. It was a total guilty pleasure.
Even so, I'm not sure I want to read the rest of the series. I've heard the series finale was controversial with the fans, and I don't want to be disappointed. I've already wanted to smack Edward and Bella repeatedly. Perhaps I should just let the Twilight bandwagon roll on by. No sense getting invested in characters and then getting ticked off about where they end up.
But, I hear Robert Pattinson is quite the hottie in the movie. Combine his good looks with the practically-perfect-in-every-way-except-for-that-whole-vampire-thing Edward Cullen, and I'm betting every teen girl (and quite a few of their moms) will be lined up at the movie theater Friday night. And Robert Pattinson was great as Cedric Diggory in Goblet of Fire.
I wonder if it'll be less crowded on Saturday afternoon?
Oh, no. I'm talking myself into it, aren't I?
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I've been scoping out holiday party planning tips online and flipping through Christmas-themed magazines in the check-out line. I think we're doing noshes instead of a full-out dinner, and having everyone bring something. So, maybe this is doable. Right? Right??
I have quite a few Christmas albums in my iTunes library, so I'm thinking I'll put together a playlist for background music. I'm also planning to make mini pumpkin-spice bread loaves to give as party favors. A fire in the fireplace is a must. And I need a holiday punch recipe - maybe some wassail? And some non-alcoholic punch for the kids. Did I mention that we'll be inviting families?
Oh, dear. What have I gotten myself into?
Friday, November 14, 2008
Things in the CoasterFamily have been very, very busy. CoasterGirl joined the Girl Scouts - she's a Brownie! In the month since she joined, she's attended two outings and earned a badge already! Now if I could just figure out how to sew the thing on...
CoasterBoy has become increasingly obsessed with The Wiggles. His new favorite toy is his sister's old Wiggles guitar. That plays music. And makes sounds. Over and over again.
We re-decorated the powder room.
We've contracted with a fencing company to build a privacy fence in our back yard. That will likely be completed next week, and then we will need to stain and treat it - I'm thinking a Wagner power painter is in our immediate future.
And we may or may not be hosting the Christmas party for W.'s office at our home. Oh, my.
Anyone have any great ideas for decorating and/or party planning?
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Here's a handy site where you can confirm that you are registered, find out about early and absentee ballots, and you should eventually even be able to check your polling location.
Full Disclosure: This site is sponsored by Obama for America.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
We watched college football, kid movies, and the news on television. We played with balloons, legos, dolls and crayons. We avoided yardwork like the plague. Oh, we did a little cleaning, a little shopping, and a little home renovation, but for the most part, we just stayed around the house and took it easy.
Even so, I'm beat. Even on days when we're not doing much, there's still the daily business of potty training, attempting to feed the kids food that's actually good for them rather than succumbing to the siren call of the fast food joints for every meal, and trying to maintain patience in the face of whining, fighting, and misbehaving (but lovely!) children.
I'm looking forward to fall. I'm looking forward to cooler weather, long sleeves, and football games. To crock-pot meals and changing leaves. To chili. To planning for the holidays. To fires in the fireplace, and s'mores with the kids.
So long to the August doldrums. Bring on fall!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
W insists that it was time - and he's probably right. The sides and back were getting long and unruly, but I just loved it when the hair in the back curled, and I liked to play with those golden curls. *sigh*
At any rate, the stylist, Nora, was very sweet and gave me a lock of hair to keep, and a card to keep it in. She left the top alone, and just cut the sides and back.
CoasterBoy looks so grown up now that he has a little boy haircut. It makes me sad in a way that his 2nd birthday didn't - why is that, do you suppose?
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Editing to add: in case you can't read the percentage there very well, I only have a 37% chance of surviving a zombie apocalypse. D'oh!
Click the image above if you want to take the quiz yourself, but be prepared to waste a lot of time at that site!
UPDATE: CoasterGuy got a 54%. But only, he says, because he's willing to shoot me in the head without hesitation if I become a zombie.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I am a champion worrier. I come by it honestly; my mother and her mother before her were worriers, too. (Right, Mom?)
My worries tonight are a little more than my typical neurotic anxiety about molehills, though.
CoasterGirl has been having pain in her hips. This started about a week and a half ago, with no known cause, such as a fall. It tends to bother her most in the morning and at night; up until the last few days, a dose of Children's Tylenol and some walking around would do the trick. The last few days, though, the pain has been worse and has lasted longer, and today it never went away at all.
We went to the pediatrician yesterday - she ordered x-rays and labs, so we spent a good portion of midday today at the local regional medical center having the tests done. (Note to self: must try to make CoasterGirl forget the blood-draw experience today so as not to cause trauma before future tests. The lab guy was friendly and nice, but had quite a bit of trouble finding a good vein. Poor CoasterGirl! He felt so bad that he gave her multiple stickers, character bandaids, toys and a sucker.)
A few of the possibilities are somewhat scary, so I'm trying not to worry until we get the test results back, hopefully on Monday. I'm hanging my hat on the statement by the pediatrician that even the scary options are treatable, so I should really try not to worry.
I'm not doing such a great job.
UPDATE: The pediatrician's office called Sunday evening - both tests came back fine, so at least we know it's not a fracture, a joint problem, or an infection. The bad news is we have no idea why her hips hurt!
Friday, August 15, 2008
1) 6:48 a.m. is way too early for the school bus to arrive.
2) 6:43 a.m. is way, way too early for the school bus to arrive.
3) Apparently, having clothes, shoes, backpack and lunch ready the night before is not enough preparation to prevent missing said school bus. Twice.
4) Raisins are not a "cool" snack.
5) Socks with decorations are "cooler" than plain white socks.
6) I'm never going to make it through May.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Actually, I'd really like to thank Cori for this cool blog bling/award:
How awesome is that?
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
"I've Just Seen a Face" sung by Jim Sturgess in Across the Universe.
Have you seen this movie? I love it! A musical using Beatles songs - what could be better? Why, a musical using Beatles songs starring Jim Sturgess, of course!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
What I want to write about tonight is my beautiful daughter. Her birthday is tomorrow, and she'll be turning six years old. Six! How can that be? It seems just yesterday that I was in the hospital room in Nashville, excited and scared and relieved and exhausted, having been awake since 3:00 a.m. in labor with my firstborn, but it was six years ago today.
The sweet, grown-up little girl sitting in the living room right now and cheering on her father as he plays Mario Galaxy bears little resemblance to the small bundle that was given to me after my unplanned c-section. That bundle was red and screaming and tiny; CoasterGirl is tall (nearly to my shoulders already!) and willowy and tan from two months of summer freedom and excursions to the water park. She is talkative and energetic and smart and much too mature for her age.
She constantly amazes me - she's reading on at least a 3rd grade level; she reads words like "elementary" and "underpants" and "unfortunate" without batting an eye. She knows things about ocean life that I never learned in school. (Did you know that the bump on a beluga whale's head is called a melon? I had no idea.) She thinks math is fun. She is interested in so many things, and has a drive to excel at whatever she does.
It's so hard to remember sometimes that she's only 5 - she's smart and sarcastic and funny and understands more than she should.
These six years have passed so quickly; I can hardly believe it. My mother warned me it would, but somehow you can't quite believe it when you're up for the 3rd time in the middle of the night with a newborn, or taking a toddler to the potty for the 2nd time since you were seated in the restaurant. All of a sudden, you look up and your little girl is no longer so little - she's a kid instead of a baby; a student instead of a pre-schooler.
Happy Birthday, CoasterGirl. Here's to the next year - may it be filled with happiness, learning, and new friends for you. And may it go by just a little slower than the last one did.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
After meandering down Lombard for a little way, we made a beeline for CoasterGuy's old high school, Galileo, and then to Ghirardelli Square for the yummiest hot fudge sundae I believe I've ever had. I'd post the picture I took of it here, but you'd just be jealous.
Afterwards, it was on to Fisherman's Wharf for lunch at Boudin's (yes, we had dessert before lunch - ahh, the freedom of dining without kids!) CoasterGuy had clam chowder in a sourdough bowl, while I opted for a rustic tomato soup. From there, it was shopping, shopping and more shopping as we picked up souveneirs for friends and family, and of course, for ourselves, too!
We wandered from Fisherman's Wharf over to Pier 39, where we did more shopping and watched the sea lions sunning themselves on the floating platforms (docks?). This time of year, there aren't very many of them around, but we had a good time watching those that were. Later we had a delicious Nutella and banana crepe from one of the shops.
As the afternoon wore on, we started our trek back toward Union Square, laden with shopping bags and mostly full bellies. Though we were nearly exhausted and tired of walking by this time, we had reservations for dinner at the Stinking Rose, so we walked through the Chinatown gate and headed past the junk shops towards the restaurant (stopping to browse and to buy a fan and a Lucky Cat pillow for CoasterGirl).
We arrived for dinner early and were seated immediately. Alex, our server, was very nice - she gave us the rundown on the most popular dishes. We had the roasted garlic/anchovy concotion to spread on bread before dinner, and split a bottle of very nice pinot noir. For dinner, I had the 40-clove Garlic Chicken, while CoasterGuy opted for the Garlic-Rubbed Prime Rib. Both dishes were great, but the star of that particular meal (at least as far as I was concerned) was the giant martini glass full of tiramisu we had for dessert.
Exhausted and full to bursting, we decided to take the MUNI back to Japantown and crash back at the Hotel Kabuki. This was quite possibly the best decision we made all trip - we ended up using the buses to get around everywhere all week, and found it to be a convenient and inexpensive way to get where you need to go in the city (as long as you're not in a rush).
Well, as I've already practically written a novel, and I've only covered our first day in San Francisco, I think I'll leave off here for today. More to come, if you're not already bored to tears. Next time, San Francisco: Day 2.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, baby. "Maybe We Should Fall in Love" from No More Beautiful World.
I love this band - they're mostly straight up rock n' roll with a Southwest flavor, though on different songs you'll hear echoes of country and reggae. They were in Atlanta last night - I'm so bummed I missed them. Their live shows are great, as are their fans.
I must now go have a drink with tequila in their honor.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Once I get my pictures downloaded from the ol' digital camera, I'll post a detailed trip log, and I think I may make my very first scrapbook ever to chronicle the trip. I'm quite sure both will be dominated by descriptions of meals we had and places we ate!
The CoasterKids had a great time visiting their grandparents, and CoasterGuy (trying it on for size...) and I enjoyed ourselves immensely in San Francisco. Getting up this morning for work was so hard to do! When does my next vacation start?
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
It wasn't always this way. I used to love to fly. I loved the acceleration as the plane sped down the runway on takeoff, I loved the spectacular views from cruise altitude, and I loved settling in with a good book and a soda.
So what happened? I'm not sure. I've read that many people develop this fear in their 20s or 30s, as they become more aware of the fragility of life and begin forming their new family units. I was in my early 20s when my phobia began, and traveling frequently (by air) for work. I did have a few rough flights which were weather-related, but I can't really pinpoint when exactly it started. But start it did, and now days (and sometimes weeks) before a scheduled flight, I begin worrying about it. I'm not even sure "worrying" is the right word - I'm not really consciously thinking of flying at all - I just feel anxious. "Dreading" might be more accurate.
Logically, I know that I'm safer on the airplane than I am on the drive to the airport. I know the statistics. But somehow, logic just doesn't seem to work on this particular part of my psyche. The logical part of my brain says "get a grip!" but the other part is screaming "Danger! Danger!" and marveling at how calm everyone else seems to be while it takes a massive effort of will for me to board the plane.
So before most flights, I retake an online Fear of Flying Self-Help Course. It seems to help some.
The most annoying part of all this is the general anxiety level in the days before a flight - it scrambles my brain enough that I find it difficult to concentrate on anything, including planning what to pack and preparing my workload for my upcoming absence. Also, I'm ridiculously irritable and short of patience. Grrr.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Correction 1: He is not merely an "auditor for a university" - he is an audit manager.
Correction 2: He is not a "foodie"; he is a "gourmand".
Correction 3: He prefers not to be called "Mr. ChelleBelle". Suggested alternatives include "His Almightiness", "Sir" and/or "Master".
Errrr....hmmmm. For some strange reason, none of those suggestions really grabbed me. Gee...I wonder why?
Henceforth, Mr. ChelleBelle shall be known as...well...any ideas?
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Or, if you're Mr. and Mrs. ChelleBelle, time to finish a redecorating project, host a party, and listen to the CoasterKids fight about whether they should be watching The Wiggles or Spongebob Squarepants. Or whether CoasterBoy is allowed to touch CoasterGirl's dolls. Or whether CoasterBoy will be messing up CoasterGirl's puzzle. Or...well, you get the idea.
CoasterBoy will be two in a few weeks, and the Terrible Twos have arrived a bit early and with a vengeance. His favorite word is already "No!" and his stubborn streak has become his most prominent personality trait, eclipsing his innate sweetness with astonishing speed. I think the highlight of the weekend was CoasterBoy crying hysterically because his cereal puffs were in a plastic baggie instead of in a bowl like his big sister's. Or maybe it was when he insisted on watching The Wiggles in Big Red Car for the bajillionth time ("Car! Big Car!! Car, Mommy!! Car, Car!!").
So now the kids are in bed at last, and the house is quiet. The dishes are washed, the living room is straightened up, and we're planning for the week ahead and the vacation that starts on Saturday. And as this long weekend finally comes to an end, I raise my glass to all my friends who are stay-at-home moms: Here's to you. You're my hero.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
My brother is turning 30 this month; I'm planning a party for him in conjunction with the 4th of July for Friday. CoasterGirl and CoasterBoy both have birthdays at the end of this month, and in between? Well, Mr. ChelleBelle and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary a month early with a trip to San Francisco by way of Las Vegas and Phoenix. The CoasterKids will be with us for the first 2 legs of the trip, but we're headed to San Francisco by ourselves after that for the longest trip we've taken sans kids since before CoasterGirl was born. Just writing that is making me tired!
Sometime in the next week or so, I need a haircut and a manicure, CoasterGirl needs to see the eye doctor and get new glasses, CoasterBoy needs an immunization that was out of stock at his 18 month well baby visit, and I need to order a new set of contacts. Oh, and Mr. ChelleBelle is having some dental work done. Also? I need to make sure my current wardrobe is sufficient for our trip out west, plus plan what to pack to keep a 2-year-old occupied on a cross-country flight.
Oh, and did I mention that we're in the middle of a kitchen remodel?
I'm a 30-something working mom living in the Southeastern United States. I telecommute full time for a large financial services firm. Mr. ChelleBelle is an auditor for a university. We have two children: CoasterGirl will be 6 years old later this month, and CoasterBoy will be 2. We also have 2 cats whom we rescued from an animal shelter - they've been with us through 9 years, 3 moves, multiple jobs and 2 kids. Mr. ChelleBelle often tells CoasterGirl that she must be nice to the cats because they were here first.
I am an avid reader, a newbie runner, a tentative gardener, a word game enthusiast and a terrible housekeeper. I love music, baseball, movies, and food.
No, seriously - I love food. Mr. ChelleBelle and I are self-proclaimed foodies. Over the years, we've learned to cook ever-more ambitious recipes, primarily in an effort to avoid crushing debt from our dining budget.
So that's the scoop on me. And as this is my second post, no one can call me a one-post wonder. Ha!
Monday, June 30, 2008
This blog will be a place to chronicle the daily roller coaster of my life with a husband, two kids, two cats and a full-time job. Someday, I'd like to look back and be able to remember more than just the blur.