Tuesday, September 30, 2008

No jokes please (OR Happy Rosh Hashanah '08)

Hard to explain this one, but here goes...

We went to a Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) service for children this morning. As part of the service, the children sang a song during which each would hold up a sign with a particular verse. The song was called "Five Little Shofars." (A shofar is basically a trumpet made from a ram's horn and blown on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.) Zander's line was "I'm hard to blow."

Here are the lyrics to "Five Little Shofars:"

Five little shofars in a row.
The first one said, "I'm hard to blow."
The second one said, "My sound is low."
The third one said, "I'm the best you know."
The fourth one said, "That's really not so."
The fifth one said, "I've got to go."
Five little shofars in a row.
Five little shofars blow, blow, blow!

Below is a photo of a woman demonstrating how the shofar is actually a ram's horn. Soon after she let the children smell it and touch it. And then she blew it.

Why do I feel dirty now?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Zander's "Bad News"

In addition to street signs, Zander has been into the phrase "bad news" lately. Not sure where he picked it up (although given my penchant for seeing the glass half empty, it might have been from me), but here is how he has used it in the last two weeks or so:

Story #1:
Zander [to Bar Mitzvah celebrant Jake]: Do you want to know what my bad news is?
Jake: What's your bad news?
Zander: My friend Elizabeth is in Australia for awhile [mentioned in this post].

Story #2:
Zander [coming out of his room 60 seconds after we sang the last song before bedtime]: "I have good news and bad news. The bad news is I had two bad dreams. But the good news is I had 21 good dreams!"

Story #3:
Zander [to me when I show up at school to pick him up]: I have bad news. I poked a hole in my shirt.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Man with a suitcase

Zander has been particularly interested street signs lately. It started with the speed limit signs on the way home from school and took off from there. (I must admit that I look at my speedometer each time he calls out "speed limit 25" or "speed limit 45," etc.)

Most of the time he gets them right. For example, he knew this one somehow indicated a school was nearby:

(Come to think of it, someone must have told him that, because it's not apparent -- to me at least -- simply by looking at the sign.)

Anyway, earlier in the week on the way home he noticed this sign and called it "Man with a suitcase:"

Didn't ask why we would need a sign to that effect though.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gender and Baby Boy Clothes

Stumbled across an interesting post on Gender and Baby Boy Clothes over at Rachel's Tavern.

Been thinking a lot about boys clothes and girls clothes lately as I find myself unable to break the seal and purchase anything for the little girl growing inside of me. Part of it is a fear that once I buy something I'll never stop. Everyone says that girl's clothes are more fun and I'm sure I'll discover that. Right now it just seems so overwhelming (and so pink).

I have nothing against putting a girl in clothing with a truck applique or something like that. But, as my mom points out, we didn't go out of our way to put Zander in lace.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ahoy Mateys!

Also this past weekend, Zander attended a pirate-themed birthday party held at Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake. After face painting, dress-up, and learning some pirate lingo, the children (and a few lucky adults) actually got to sail on a pirate ship in search of sunken treasure. Zander won't be forgetting about this party any time soon.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy 70th Birthday John!

On Saturday, we had a little party in honor of the 70th birthday of Brad's stepfather. Immediate family, including all eight grandchildren (ages 7 months thru 20 years), joined in the festivities and came from as far away as California...

Highlights included a game of "pin-the-coffee-cup" on Pap-Pap (what the children call him), a slide show with 600 or so photos, photo albums with 2,400 photos (culled from about 25,000), lots of yummy food, and of course, a few meltdowns here and there. A memorable time was had by all.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Hooters Story

A few weeks ago, Brad was at Hooters for a fantasy football draft. (Apparently the draft had been at Hooters for the past few years or so, but who knew?!)

Anyway, he managed to work into the conversation with one of the waitresses that his pregnant wife at home sometimes craved chicken wings. She was kind enough to send some home for me. She also sent this little Hooters rubber ducky:

It's actually quite cute. Zander calls it "His friend, Orange-y." I just think it's an interesting marketing piece for Hooters. I mean, what demographic were they considering when they came up with this one? I can imagine the brainstorming:

Guy one: "Hey, how about we sell the tight t-shirts our wait staff wears?"

Guy two: "Or the bright orange shorts -- only we'll mis-label the sizes so they'll always end up being really tight!?"

Guys in unison: "Whoo hoo!"

Guy three: "Wait! I've got it! How about RUBBER DUCKIES?"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Jake's Bar Mitzvah: Part I

Well folks, in case you were wondering -- Bar Mitzvahs -- they are are a changin'.

This past weekend we drove up to New Jersey to attend the Bar Mitzvah of my cousin's son. It was a rockin' good time. It might seem strange to hear the words Bar Mitzvah and 'rockin' used in the same sentence, but watch the video below and you'll see what I mean.

Bar Mitzvah boy / man (aka Jake) was escorted into the party by one of the professional dancers hired to liven up the festivities. Again, it might seem strange to hear the words Bar Mitzvah used in the same sentence with "escort" and "professional dancers."

Tune in tomorrow for some video of Zander gettin' down...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Caterpillar, the Butterfly, and the Ant

Zander has been 'studying' caterpillars, butterflies, and ants at school. See photos below. (Note: might require some additional time to load.)

The Caterpillar:

Painting the pattern of a Monarch butterfly's wing:

Drawing an ant in his 'nature journal':

And finally, the making of a clay ant (using the drawing in his 'nature journal' as a reference):

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Belly (or The Irony)

The irony of me posting this picture is unbelievable.

But after this post, I got a few "you don't look that big at all" comments, so I figured I needed to get a more accurate photo, 'cause I sure feel big. Next, I actually *asked* Brad to take a photo of me. (I usually shy away from the camera since I rarely like photos of myself -- much less photos of myself flaunting a big belly). If I wasn't pregnant, I would never do this. Just not that kind of gal I guess. I mean, sure, maybe once in college after a few drinks, but that's it. And everyone promised to destroy those photos. Kidding.

So, here it is folks -- in all it's glory: my big pale belly. Zander is giving his little sister a kiss, as he likes to do at this stage of the game. Note that the day this was taken (9/11/08) was exactly three (3) months from my due date. Yes, I have three more months to go.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Why am I so lucky?

Might seem like a strange title after the recent tsuris with the flooded basement, but here's what I come home to yesterday...

I open the door and sitting on the kitchen table is a card and present from my husband. The envelope has this on it:

(I was a little worried that he misspelled "trimester," but he pointed out that he did so because it has been a somewhat "trying" pregnancy so far. He's thoughtful and clever!)

Anyway, here's the card itself:

And here's part of what Brad wrote on the inside of the card:

(The rest was so x-rated that it could not be posted on a family blog. Ha, ha. Just kidding mom, mother-in-law, and Sarah Palin.)

Now, let me just say that he's been working on basement-related salvage activities before and after going to the office every day. In addition, most of the time he caters to my every whim when it comes to dinner (e.g. I must-have-beef-with-broccoli now). Yet somehow, when I come home, *I* get a card and a present?!

Lucky indeed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

'Shout Out' #4: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

A special thanks to two families (associated with the blogs Mix Tape Therapy and 4M) who gave up big chunks of this past sunny Sunday to help us dry out our flooded basement (mentioned here and here and in many future posts, I'm sure).

As we contact companies for next steps, we've discovered that what these friends helped us do in a day and a half was pretty much what the companies would have done in terms of getting the water out, salvaging furniture, and avoiding mold issues. In addition, it saved us lots of $$$.

And I'm not just talking about token assistance here. I'm talking about dripping sweat, wearing masks, and lifting belts.

So, thanks guys!

P.S. See this link on what the somewhat confusing phrase, "A friend in need, is a friend indeed," actually means.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Guitar Hero III

While Hanna was busy flooding our basement, we were busy at Costco. I tell you it was fantastic time to go in that it was almost empty, which is unheard of for a Saturday. I guess most normal people were home. Now that I think about it, there were buckets all over the store to catch rainwater leaking from the roof. In hindsight, this was an indicator that maybe we should have been home too!

Here's a cute picture Brad took of Zander playing an electric guitar which was on display:

P.S. See here and here for guitar-related posts I and II, respectively.

Monday, September 8, 2008


If you can get past the blindingly pale skin and the somewhat swollen pregnant foot, you'll notice that both are under an inch or so of water. The flood (mentioned here) eventually got much higher in various parts of the basement, even though we rented a portable sump pump within an hour or so of discovering the water. It's actually a bad picture, but the priority of getting a photo for the blog while water was rushing in just seemed, well, misguided.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Oh, Hanna (or The Flooded Basement of 2008)

Oh, Hanna. We liked you -- even considered you as a name for our unborn child. But, oh Hanna. No longer. No way. Not now that you have come into our lives and completely flooded the basement of the home we purchased slightly over a year ago. How could you?

Yes, I'm talking about the basement that is the crux of this house! The playroom (for both children and adults) where we spend the bulk of our time! The one that we re-finished, laid new carpet, and *thought* we had successfully waterproofed -- that one!

So, I anticipate spending a little less time blogging in the near future. You'll find me instead, BANGING MY HEAD AGAINST THE WALL, beating myself up for all the money I wasted on slurpees, sushi, and even on Thomas trains when we could have been saving for a catastrophe.

Okay, so maybe using the word "catastrophe" is the glass-half-empty side of my personality coming through. Fine. Seems this is as good as any to let it come though, eh?

Friday, September 5, 2008

More photos from Labor Day Weekend 08

More from our Labor Day Weekend trip to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware...

From the same playground where this photo was taken:

Zander and Brad in the surf:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pregnancy Craving #4,321: The Slurpee

I've been in a Slurpee phase for a while now. Yup, a slurpee phase. Must be 7-Eleven and must be Coca-Cola flavored. Below are some things I've discovered during this phase:

  • There are 7-Elevens on almost every corner.
  • Most 7-Elevens have Coke flavored slurpees, but not all are created equal. (Some have too much syrup and not enough of the frozen stuff.)
  • If a red light is blinking above the coke flavor on slurpee machine, turn around, get back in car, and proceed to next 7-Eleven. Maybe call friend or husband to complain.
  • There is only a .10 cent difference between the 28 ounce slurpee and the 40 ounce slurpee. Go figure.
  • Often, parking is challenging at 7-Eleven (mostly due due to the many comings and goings).
  • Many (but not all) 7-Elevens are actually open 24 hours.
  • Many 7-Elevens have a sign on the storefront that says "Live Bait." Do that many people need live bait and actually buy it at a convenience store?

There you have it. More than you ever needed to know about 7-Eleven and slurpees.

P.S. But wait! Who knew there was an official slurpee website with A LOT more than you ever needed to know.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Zander stumbled across WordGirl on PBS.org one day and was really excited about it. Apparently, an older child at school watches it and mentions it now and then. So, he played around on the website for a bit. Then, last week when his school was closed, he actually saw an episode while spending the day at his cousins house in Annapolis.

One can certainly argue whether TV is good or bad for children. We've always felt that, in moderation, it's fine for our family. Granted, there was a bit more 'moderation' during the week that school was closed.

Regardless, I must blame / thank WordGirl because in the last 48 hours alone, our four-year-old has used the words exhilarating, pugnacious, and enthusiastic in context and correctly.

Here's a YouTube video of the NewsHour Jim Lehrer interviewing WordGirl: