Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stocking, Finished!

I started working on this stocking for Miles just about a year ago, a day or two after Christmas. My grandma made me a felt applique stocking like this when I was little, and she made two for my cousins, so when I think about what a stocking "should" be, this is what I think of. I mostly finished it about February of last year, except for the name. Even though we'd chosen his name, we didn't want to give it away, and there was always the slightest chance that Miles would turn out to be a girl after all. So it's only been in the last few weeks that I've really finished it, gotten the name done and put the back on, and hung it from our bookshelves. I had so much fun making this that I ordered another kit to make an advent calendar. Sadly, the calendar did not get finished for this Christmas, but maybe by next year.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Two Blogs + Facebook

I keep pretty close tabs on an online group for local moms, called thebump. I was addicted to theknot, a wedding planning support group, back in 2006, and have found it nice to read and sometimes write to other moms in the area. One of the ladies there has started a bloggers challenge, after a bunch of the moms noticed their blogs had either become a) nothing but photos of their kids, b) nothing about their own lives, but only about their kids, or c) both. I was excited about the prospect. Blogging. Challenges. What could be better?

But then I couldn't decide which blog I would use for such a challenge. I mean, Miles has his blog, and his blog has a much bigger readership than this blog. But who's kidding who? The people following Miles' blog (bless each and every one of them) aren't interested in what I'm thinking. They love that his site is a photo dump (I love that phrase.) They are all about the photos, and that's great. But they don't want to know "why I started blogging." Or "do you like to read?"

The people who read this blog, all three of you, also probably don't need to be enlightened about why I started blogging, or whether or not I like to read, (um, because I like to write and almost everyone I love lives far away, and duh, yeah I like to read.) Plus, this is my blog, and I'm unclear whether the challenges will be baby related or not baby related, but this is my blog, and for the most part, I was going to keep it me-focused. In so much as it would be cool to talk about being a mom and changes in our family, etc, but not to be a play by play of every wonderful thing Miles accomplishes.

As for Facebook, it has a dealie-thinger that lets you automagically import blog posts into the your Facebook notes page. I had mine set up to suck in the meteowriting posts. I liked that for awhile, but I've just disconnected it. I'm friends with too many people on Facebook to really feel comfortable sucking all these posts in there. I write this stuff with an expectation of a readership of three individuals, at most. Clearly, it's the internet, and I'm not recording the deepest and darkest secrets, but still. Once it's on Facebook, a lot of people I kind of know can see it. I think I'll link Miles's (still determining which is more correct "Miles'" or "Miles's" blog to Facebook, because, well, I never get tired of people saying how cute he is.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Funniest Part of Today

I've made Miles a Christmas stocking, and it's nearly finished, and I'll have to post some pictures soon. The last thing it needs is his name. I've been done for months, but didn't want to put his name on it before he was born, so I didn't give the name away, and you know, just in case he turned out to be a girl or something. I decided I'd take the stocking to someone with an embroidery machine, just so that the name ends up being as pretty as the rest of the stocking. Really nice and fancy.

I call such a place today, and have the following conversation:

Embroidery place guy: "Hello, (insert name of company here)"
Jenn : "Hi. I'd like to get my son's name embroidered on a Christmas stocking. Is that something you could do?"
EPG: "Sure. But you don't need that by Christmas do you? It's kind of late to have it done by Christmas."
Jenn: "Well, yeah, I was thinking it would be nice to have the stocking for Christmas."
EPG: "Yeah, I'm totally kidding. That's no problem."
Jenn: "Great." The conversation goes on for a bit, without being interesting or funny. "So how long do you think that will take?"
EPG: "We don't have our machine here, it goes to our other facility. Usually it takes a day or two.....Wait. How long is your kid's name?"
Jenn: "It's Miles. So five letters."
EPG: "Yeah, just a day or two."

That was the funniest part of today.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Visit with the Girls

I had an awesome birthday weekend! Grandma Susan hung out with Miles so Nathan and I could watch Harry Potter. Great movie, and lots of fun to be out on a date with my husband at 10 a.m. on a Friday. On Saturday, dad and Miles had a guys night in, while I had a Girls Night Out, with The Girls, namely Amy and Emily, at the Mountain Winery, which is officially my favorite place to go to a concert. Sure, there are plenty of reasons one might not be excited about turning 35, but I do like going to concerts "grown up style." No standing up for hours straining to see the stage over the heads of other concert goers who are determined to spill beer on you. We had glorious sixth row seats, under clear skies and redwood trees. Fantastic!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Walkaversary, II

Last Sunday Nathan and I celebrated the two year anniversary of the day we decided to exercise every day. Most days we walk, but there were a few days when we rode our bikes. Though in reviewing the second year of our exercise commitment, we're pretty sure that this last year was all walking. For most of the year we walked for one hour a day, covering about 3.2 miles. We were able to track our progress more precisely once Nathan acquired the Nike shoe gadget that talks to the iPod Touch. Now we know exactly how far we've gone, how fast we went, and how many calories we've burned every day. We also know exactly how far Nathan has walked in this particular pair of shoes, and it's something like 700 miles now. Also, every once in awhile, a big sports star will congratulate us on our progress, at the end of our workout. Of course, frequently, we don't know who these athletes are, but that doesn't mean we don't appreciate their congratulations. Lance Armstrong, for instance (him we know, he went to Nathan's high school a few years before NIL did, did you know that?) congratulated us on our first 500 miles, or something like that. Which was rather kind of him.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Oh, hello again friends. There's been a bit of a lapse in posting, I know, but I've been doing this, as well you know. Facing a bit of a blogger's dilemma, wondering what to do with multiple blogs. Does one maintain their own blog plus one for the kid? Who's kidding who, his blog is getting way more readership than mine. Do I start some sort of family blog for all of us? But then there's stuff that would be of interest to "us" more than it would be of interest to all of those in search of cute baby pictures. I don't know. I don't have the answers.

However, I have been meaning to write about my Eco-Conscious New Year's Resolutions of 2007, and well, Earth Day does seem the time to do it. Even if it's Earth Day 2009. Way back in Jan '07, I made three easy resolutions, but in the serious way. I like those kind, the ones you can keep with minimal effort.

Resolution #1 -- Don't buy any wrapping paper. I seriously have a backlog of wrapping paper and gift bags. Especially now, for baby showers. Hopefully everyone I know will have baby boys in the near future. In passing, if you find yourself buying a gift for a baby boy, and you have the time, I'll send you a bag. Or several. I did have one small lapse in this resolution, when a coworker's kid was selling paper for school. But whew! Did I buy two awesome rolls of paper that day.

Resolution #2 -- No Starbucks unless you bring your own mug. I don't have a perfect track record on this one, but I'm probably taking my own mug about 98% of the time. It's always traveling that gets me in trouble. Of course, since I've given up caffeine, this one as a little less punch than it did in Jan 07.

Resolution #3 -- Take your own bags to the "Big Three." I use the reusables a lot, but the rule applies most strictly to the places I shop most often : Trader Joes, Whole Foods and Target. I think I can say I have not accepted a bag from any of these places since Jan 07. Target is the trickiest. Man, they have the *worst* bag packers anywhere. I can walk up to the lane with two reusable bags of product, and they'll try to send me home with six plastic bags. I don't know how they do it. What I find interesting about the plastic bags, is that I started with a full drawer of them in my kitchen. We use them as trash bag liners in all our small trash cans. Sure, we sometimes dump one can into another before removing the bag, so we're not putting new bags in each can each week. But still. The drawer is still full. I literally have to stick my hand in there and smush the bags down before closing the drawer. After more than TWO YEARS.

I am left to assume that the plastic bags are mating in that drawer.

The other huge earth friendly act undertaken at our house has been the walking, of course. But more on that in a few days. Our Walkaversary is right around the corner. Again.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Peanut Butter Stars

This is also more for posterity's sake than anyone's reading enjoyment. I always have a hard time remembering where I put this recipe.

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 3/4 cup flour
Hershey's Kisses (traditional) OR (jenn's recommendation) mini Peanut Butter cups OR (also good) chunks of Trader Joes pound plus Milk Chocolate bar.

Beat first six ingredients until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Roll into balls, roll balls in sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Pull out and place Hershey kisses in the center and put back in the oven for 3-4 minutes

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


It turns out, the game I've always called "Blotte" is actually known by the rest of the world as "Belote." In fact-ue, it has it's own Wikipedia entry.

Here's another page with Belote rules. I'm not remembering doing the whole Declaration bit. I think after the deal and the trump picking, we played out the hands like we would with Diminishing Bridge ...

Monday, January 12, 2009

How to Score Blotte

We're cleaning. We have lots of stuff. I've emptied the baby's room of almost everything, but I'm left with piles of stuff that doesn't have a home. One of the items in the piles are notes on how to keep score in blotte. I've kept them for more than a decade, because you can't play blotte without them, and I'm not sure any of us play often enough to have committed it to memory. Rather than trying to save the papers, I'm posting the scoring info here, for posterity.

For Trump
8 or 70
For Non-Trump
9,8 or 70

Of course, I would still need someone to remind me how to deal the hands. :) I also have a note that indicate the lead goes to the person sitting to the left of the trump picker. I remember you play in pairs, sitting opposite your partner, and that all the cards 6 and below are removed from the deck before dealing.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Visit to Dallas

We didn't take too many pictures of our trip to Dallas, because we were so busy sleeping in, watching the HBO "John Adams" series, and generally relaxing. But there are a few photos documenting our visit.

I was going to take a picture of the fantastic food at Joe T. Garcias, an amazing Mexican restaurant in Fort Worth. When the food came, though, I was waaayyy more interested in eating than in taking pictures. A great place to eat when you're pregnant. Nathan did capture this shot of me looking sad after the meal:

From Dallas Jan 2009

Some shots outside the Amon Carter Museum in Forth Worth:

The day we went to the museum, it was 82 degrees out. Two days later, icicles were forming on Lou and Cheryl's awning. The high that day was 36 degrees.

We walk every day though, no matter what. Sometimes we get other people to walk with us. Even when icicles are forming outside.