Archive for October, 2007

Houston in pictures

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

I want to share my favorite photo first – out of chronological order but it is my blog so I can do what I want.  I mentioned that Emma was a fan of Sabrina – but Emma moves fast so documenting it wasn’t easy.  But I finally got her in action – this photo is the best of the whole trip:


It is hard to believe one photo can contain so much cute!  Okay, back to a more orderly picture show.

Sabrina enjoyed the wide open floor space in Abuela’s family room.


But also appreciated the table to hang on to:


She thought the booster seat was a pretty cool alternative to the high chair:


I’ve seen this darling 1st birthday party hat around blog world.  We came upon it in a party store and I thought better late than never so we snapped a photo:


Then I was tempted by this Thankgiving head band but she wouldn’t keep it on longer than 15 seconds and I couldn’t stop laughing so probably a silly purchase:


The Houston Aquarium was pretty lame I must say.  But the Emma/Sabrina lovefest was worth the price of admission (that and getting to meet E’s very cool parents):


The touch a stingray experience had a little tunnel you could crawl into and watch from under the water:


I’m noticing in every photo of myself these days, I always have spots on my clothes.  Maybe when she gets into high school I can be spot free again.


The aforementioned way cool parents of Emma.  Is it wrong that the aquarium has a seafood restaurant?


Our attempt at a little group photo:


Miss Sabrina enjoying a park across from the aquarium while we waited for our ride:


And finally a couple with Abuela and Sabrina:



The flight home today was LONG.  Sabrina wasn’t being her usually easy going self at all but her “bad” is probably most kids normal so I won’t really complain.

We miss you Abuela!

Chickenbussing great day!

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Sabrina and I had the great honor of meeting Carla, Chris and Emma today!  (Carla, you may recall, was the originator of using chickenbus as a substitute for other non-child friendly words after a chickenbus clipped Emma’s head in the ‘Mala.)  Yes, Carla is every bit as cool in person as in blog world.  And Emma?  The cutest and sweetest whirling dervish I’ve ever met.  I was exhausted just watching her run around while my kid kicked back in the stroller and calmly observed.  Emma was quite taken with Sabrina.  It was so cute watching her hug and kiss Sabrina.  Sabrina wasn’t sure what to think but took it in stride until Emma mistook hug for enthusiastic headlock when we were watching the tigers.  Speaking of tigers – what are tigers doing at the aquarium?

We have been so lucky in meeting stranger friends – not only in number but in that they have all been such great ladies!  Carla – if we lived closer, I would love to hang out regularly.

More on our Houston adventures, with photos, when we arrive home tomorrow evening.  Looking forward to checking out the patting down technique at the Houston airport once they see my expired drivers license!

Howdy y’all

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

We are in TX visiting Abuela. No photos until I get home – didn’t bring the cable for the camera. Looks like things are going well with Sig’s raffle – thanks to all participating (see post below if you don’t know of what I speak).

I learned a valuable lesson at the Nashville airport yesterday and I’m all about sharing my knowledge with my friends in blog world. Having an expired drivers license = immediate flag as terrorist by security. I didn’t know it was expired until the afternoon before we left so I wasn’t able to do anything about it and it honestly slipped my mind. First, Sabrina and I were sent to a little roped off area to wait. Then we had to stand in a little plexiglass box. Finally, we were escorted to the area where they pat down the trfuly suspicious.  Both Sabrina and I had to remove our shoes which totally cracked me up.  I never thought about having to take her shoes off for security.  Then they brought a female agent over who patted us both down.  An agent went through my purse and diaper bag very thoroughly.  Another man got out this high tech sniffer and ran it all along the crevices of Sabrina’s stroller.  When he finished, he looked at me in bewilderment and asked how to unfold it.  When I did it with one hand while holding Sabrina in the other he looked amazed.  Yep, undergrad and grad school and you too can master the fine art of multi-tasking like a mom.

Moral of the day kiddies:  Check your drivers license before heading to the airport.

Otherwise, we are enjoying ourselves in TX.

8 The Hard Way

Monday, October 15th, 2007


Many of you know my friend Sig. She is a wonderful lady. She has 7 children – including a Guatemalan princess who much of blog world fell in love with before Sig’s blog went private…and if you want access to the private blog, leave a comment and we will get you access. I met Sig on my first visit trip to Guatemala last December but we had been talking via email and message boards for awhile. I kept thinking to myself “This woman is nuts. Seven children?!?” Then I met her and knew I was right – she is nuts. But in a wonderful, fun way. I also had the pleasure of hanging out with Sig and Abby in Antigua when I was fostering. She has a huge heart and loves her family like no one I’ve ever seen. She is passionate about her children.
Sig and I talked via email and sometimes phone during our adoptions. She talked me off the ledge once or twice and I returned the favor. When despair would set in, as it is likely to do during this gut wrenching adoption process, Sig would talk about how long she had been trying to bring another child home. She mentioned a little girl in Aberbaijan, Tarana, who had stolen her heart but that she finally had to accept that she couldn’t bring her home. She turned her heart to Guatemala and fell in love with the vivacious Abby. Abby brought so much joy to Sig’s family – I can only imagine this is what prompted Sig’s husband to recently say “Let’s bring Tarana home.”
We all know that God/fate/the universe/our hearts don’t give thought to what is rational or financially sound. Sig has found that she can finally bring Tarana home and at this point only finances stand in the way. Tarana is a beautiful 10 year old girl who has been living in orphanages her entire life. She has a medical condition that will improve with treatment in the US. If she isn’t brought home to Sig’s family where she belongs, she will age out of the orphanage system when she turns 16 to live on the streets. (That is the heart string tugging, it costs less than a cup of coffee a day, infomercial portion of my blog post today. But sadly, all true.)
That brings me to the point of my post today. We all hate the reality that finances might stop a child from coming home. Sig is determined to bring Tarana home and is humbly asking for our help. With this adoption coming so closely on the heels of Abby’s adoption expenses, Sig is doing some fund raising to make it happen. We all know how expensive adoptions are and many of us are adoption poor so please don’t feel guilty if you can’t help. Send prayers and good thoughts if you can’t help financially.
Sig’s first payment to the agency is $2500. We are trying to help her raise that. But, we aren’t asking for something for nothing. Sig is doing the first of several raffles this week. For a donation of $10, you will be entered for a chance to win $180 worth of gift certificates:
$25 Barnes & Nobles
$15 Toys R Us
$15 ITunes
$25 Hodge Cafe Press
$15 Orphan Warmth
$10 Little Clippies
$20 Itty Bitty Burp
$10 Scrap N Tell
$20 Mandy’s Moon
$25 The Family Gems

$10 to help a girl 1/2 way around the world find her forever family AND maybe win some cool stuff – what a bargain! Sig will happily accept donations of any size $1 – $100, but only $10 is required to get your name included in the drawing for this stack of gift cards. Below is a donate button that will take you straight to a secure site (PayPal) which will allow you to make your donation securely with a credit card or through a PayPal account if you have one set up. PayPal is completely safe – I’ve been using it for 8 years without a problem. The donation will be credited directly into Sig’s account.
Go ahead. Press the button. You know you want to. This raffle will end next Monday October 22nd.

Ruined for general admission

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Sabrina attended her first hockey game this weekend. She had a grand time watching all of the people and even seemed rather interested in the game from time to time. She was lucky enough to attend her first game in a box. She has declared it is the only way to see a game and refuses to consider general admission tickets in the future.

Mommy and Daddy also enjoyed the box seats but Mommy also wants to give 2 thumbs up to the microbrewery prior to the game. She also might have enjoyed the bar in the luxury box at the game. Thanks to S&V and A&C for the invite!

Lions and Tigers and Bears – Oh My!

Friday, October 12th, 2007

We took a trip to the zoo today with one of our mommy groups. I have to say it is a pretty nice zoo. Sabrina was more interested in watching all of the people than the animals for the most part but did stop to call the meerkats “kitty cats” (her newest word) and waved at the giraffes. It was a beautiful day for the zoo here in Nashville – 68 and sunny.

You can’t see me. I’m in my cow-moo-flage car seat and I’m wearing camouflage pants.


Kitty cats


The elephants didn’t impress her.


She showed a little interest in the giraffe.


And she did stop people watching long enough to pose for a photo with mommy in the bamboo forest.


She ended her day at the zoo with a carousel ride. Then took a 10 minute nap in the car on the way home and insisted that was all she needed for the day.

So cute you have to smile

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

A little Sabrina cuteness to hold everyone for the weekend. Grandma and Abuela both will be getting fixes in person soon. Next week we are off to visit Abuela in Houston (and meet one of my favorite stranger friends). And Grandma said she might come and visit very soon. And Grandma Frieda – we are thinking of you and hoping you are home and feeling better very soon!

My view most days – the dog and Sabrina competing for my attention:


Sabrina showing off the fact that she can stand independently:


While making sure we know she thinks walking is for suckers:


Doing her “So Big” routine (she puts her arms over her head and waits for you to say “so big”)


I have toy baskets in several rooms of the house. That way if I need to dry my hair, I can put her on the floor in my bedroom and she has toys to play with – same thing in other rooms. Today, she was dumping out the basket in my bedroom and trying to get something in the bottom. She got her head stuck in it. Is it wrong that I sprinted to get the camera so I could take a picture (or 3) before helping her out?



And these last 2 are mostly for my momma. One of my mom’s groups did a moms’ night out at a paint your own pottery shop a couple of weeks ago. Mom wanted to see the chips and salsa dish I did.



Everyone have a great Friday!

If only…

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

I was browsing some blogs and saw a list of someone’s idea of the worst movies ever.  As I was reading the list, I realized in seeing just a dozen bad movies in my life I’ve wasted an entire 24 hours.  A whole day.  How many times did one of these make you say “Well there is 2 hours of my life I will never get back?”  Feel free to add your own in the comments.

In no particular order, an entire day sucked from my life by these 12  bad movies:

bbm.jpgBrighton Beach Memoirs.  I had a really bad date wrapped up in this movie so maybe that colors my memory of it.  I don’t remember much about it other than hating it.

gggr.jpg Glengarry Glen Ross.  My college roommate’s brother raved about this one to us so we rented it one weekend.  I don’t think we even made it to the end.  We then called Paul and yelled at him for such crappy movie advice.  My main memory is everything was dark, smoky, and depressing.

xanadu.jpgXanadu is so bad what can I even say?  My freshman year of college my neighbor had a VCR and owned 1 movie.  Wanna guess which one?  We watched it and made fun of it many times that year.  At least it has some nostalgia for me now.  Crap, now I have the song stuck in my head.

grease2.jpg Grease 2.  Michelle Pfeiffer has to be mortified to be associated with this.  When making my list, I excluded most sequels but this one sucked so hard it had to be included.  “I wanna cooooooollll rider.  A cool cool cool cool rider…if he’s tough enough and he’s true enough…I want a rider who is cool.”  How sad is it that I remember the lyrics to that song?

real_men.jpg Real Men.  My husband loves this movie.  Perhaps I dislike it so much because I’ve had to watch it repeatedly.  The big gun, the good package, aliens, a map, Russians…just so stupid.  I don’t want to speak ill of the dead so we’ll just move on.

broken2.jpg Broken Flowers.  Up until now, I don’t think many would argue with my picks but I hear that there are actually people who liked this movie.  Why?  Basically we watched Bill Murray drive around a lot and have uncomfortable interactions with a few other people.  There were about 10 lines of dialog in the whole freaking movie.  I hate movies that I keep watching because I am convinced something will happen eventually and nothing ever does.

trainspotting.jpeg Trainspotting.  This is for my dear friend Amy.  Good tool to scare addicts straight.  Bad movie.  Depressing.  Disturbing.  Lots of shooting up and sitting around in filth.  Might need some drugs after watching this one.  Hate this movie (but love you Amy – smooches).

thin_red_line.jpg Thin Red Line.  Longest movie ever.  This one felt like it sucked up an entire day by itself.  I swear the entire audience heaved a sigh of relief when it finally ended.  No plot.  Every time you learned anything more than a character’s name, he got blown up with lots of gore.  Lots of famous people in it – all dead in the first 5 minutes of screen time.

moulin.jpg Moulin Rouge.  I just thought this was ridiculous and the music sucked.

lost_in_translation.jpg Lost in Translation.  See Broken Flowers.  Hated this movie with no real plot.  Nothing happened.

patch_adams.jpg Patch Adams.  Just bad.  Not even cute – just bad.

spanglish.jpg Spanglish.  I’m not sure this one was bad enough to be on the list but we just watched it on video and I was very disappointed.  Not funny.  Not feel good.  Just a lot of people fumbling their way through life and making a mess of things.  Where is the escapism in that?

Happy Anniversary

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

Happy Anniversary my love!

A quick walk down memory lane.

First photo of us together:


The bench where we had our first kiss on our second date:


Our first Christmas together:


Our wedding at a local park:


We got married at a local park.  Very casual – we both had big weddings when we were each married the first time.  We had no desire to do a big thing the second time around.  We encouraged our guests to wear jeans and be comfortable.  We both dressed up for the ceremony and then changed to jeans for the picnic afterward.  Wanna hear cheap and tacky?  I bought my wedding dress on ebay for $16.99.  Ha!


Toasting at the picnic after our wedding:


It was a gorgeous day – the last warm day of the year.  The leaves were just starting to change and the sun was shining – and I got to marry my best friend.

The funniest part of the day? We wrote our own vows and after Steve finished his, my sister very loudly said with tears in her voice “Oh Steve-o” then sniffled.  (She nicknames everyone.)  That made me laugh and enabled me to get through my own vows.

Happy Anniversary my love!

Salmon Casserole

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

I forgot to thank you all for the diaper rash advice. I took my friend Amy’s NICU nurse recipe (maalox and aquaphor) and it worked like a charm. Her rash was mostly gone 24 hours later.


Several of you have mentioned that you’ve missed my recipes. I have been cooking but nothing worth sharing. Last night, I made a childhood favorite (yes I was a weird child) so I thought I would share. Let me first say that I don’t particularly like salmon in most forms. I can eat it if, say, my best friend tells the flight attendant that she is allergic to fish so that she gets the last plate of chicken, but I would really rather not eat it at all. This is the only form of salmon I ever cook in my home so if you are on the fence about salmon give this a try.

Salmon Casserole

1 16oz can RED salmon (yes the pink is cheaper but there is a reason)

2 C crushed saltines (about 1 sleeve)

2 T minced green onions (I always forget these)

1 C skim milk

Clean salmon of bones (down the middle you will usually find some yucky round bones). Flake salmon with a fork. Add saltines and onion – mix well. Place mixture in a 2 quart casserole dish. Drizzle milk over it. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

White Sauce:

3 T margarine

3 T flour

1 1/4 C skim milk

2 or 3 dashes of dried dillweed

Melt margarine over low heat. Add flour and stir until combined. Gradually add milk, stirring well. Cook on medium until bubbly and thickened, stirring constantly.

You can make the casserole without the white sauce but the sauce livens it up a bit.


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