Archive for November, 2010

My Misc. File

I have this nice little folder on my desktop labeled, “Misc.”  It would contain random things I happen across on my computer, hard drive, and the interwebs.  Would you like to see the contents of this folder?

If your answer is, “Why yes, I would like to see a random panda on flickr, a beautiful rainbow, and a man using a manual breast pump,”  then look no further.

I came across this little gem a few months ago on the hard drive.  Auntie (yes, she has achieved auntie status around here… that’s how much she is loved!) Grace has been taking care of Alanna since she was 4 months old.  But alas, she still lives in Scotland…


This would be another one that I found on the hard drive of wee Johnathan.  About 4 years ago I guess.  Love that fuzzy head…


Okay, this hat is SO cute.  Can someone please buy it for their 6 month old daughter for me to photograph?


I think this one is hard to read, so I’ll quote it for you.  This little beauty was found on craigslist when we lived in Nashville.




Awhile back, Flickr changed its whole layout.  I didn’t understand the giant panda though…


This little cutie lived next door to us when we were in Nashville.  I love how her socks are pulled up over her leggings.  🙂


Isn’t Natasha a beautiful bride?


The mother’s kitchen windowsill… baby wash, candles, bubbles, handpicked flowers from little girls, etc.


Our view across the street when we lived in Scotland.  I was kinda bummed when the people in that house hung up blinds.  I love how you can see through that window in this shot.


Aunt Grace again… sigh…


Anyone who knows Chuck Kinne (Aunt Grace’s dad) will agree that this man very greatly favors him… kind of scary…


Looking for shoes for Cole online and found these… SO DISGUSTING.  Literally made me want to barf in my shoes. \


Aren’t these some intense high tops?


Annnnnndddd, the moment we’ve all been waiting for… a man (ahem, Mark) using a manual breast pump.  Does it work, Mark?


“Pregnancy, be alert for the telltale signs.”


An ikea ad I saw while browsing their site… who has a roller skate sitting out in their living room?


My inbox. My life:  “Diapers, poop, rashes: a complete guide.”


Another beautiful Scotland photo.  Double sigh…


And last but not least… isn’t this sooooo classy and professional?  Juuuust what I want potential future clients to see when they google my name.  Triple sigh….

Picture 1


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Jesse Trees and rocks.

(I betcha thought I wasn’t going to fulfill my word.  Well, I have 12 minutes left of this day.)

I have a lot of good friends.  And I could for really write lots of blog posts about my friends.  But today, I want to write about my friend Janna.

I have written about my friend Janna before.

And my friend Janna has a blog here.  Mind you, she hasn’t updated it in literally one year from today.  But that’s okay.  She’s been only slightly busy.  You know, moving across the country and adding another baby to their family.

All in day’s, I mean year’s work.

So, the house that we live in here in Boston is a 3 family home, meaning that it is one big house and each floor is a condo/ apartment.  We live on the bottom and Janna and her family live in the middle.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that Janna’s husband, Donny, works for the church as well.

So It’s totally like a commune.  Sort of.  And I love it.

We didn’t really plan it this way, but that apartment stayed empty for a few months after we moved and whatdyaknow, it was a perfect fit for my best friend.

Here’s one of the reasons why I love my friend Janna.

I called her up tonight (which, I can hear her phone vibrate on her  kitchen table when I call her) to see if she wanted to go to Target with me.   Which she did.  Now, Target trips with me and Janna… they take a long time.  I mean, there’s browsing that has to happen people.

This trip this evening involved me getting the supplies necessary to make a Jesse Tree.

I found my branch today at the playground to use as the tree itself.  I had envisioned a ceramic pot to put the branch in so that I could hang the ornaments on the branch.   Now, the ornaments, I decided needed to be hand painted, because I can’t find any other ones that I like.  So after 25 minutes looking at ornaments, we picked out this jumbo pack of shatter proof ornaments.  That I can paint tomorrow, since Wednesday is the first day of December.

I’m a planner.

We ended up getting a utensil canister for the branch to sit in.  And nowwww we needed something to hold up the branch.  Like some rocks.  Janna’s idea was aquarium rocks.  Target doesn’t have aquarium rocks, but the employee we asked suggested a pet store.

Um, thanks.

We had a short stint on the kitty litter aisle.

But we just couldn’t do it.

We left and had the great idea that we could just find a gravel driveway somewhere and um, borrow some rocks.  We drove around for awhile in the dark looking for rocks.  We tried a nursery.  Their rocks were no good.

We tried a few streets around our house.  No dice.

As we were going down our street, I found this awesome parking spot right close to the house (hard to find when everyone’s home from work!) and BAM, the driveway right next to the parking space was FULL of tiny gravel.


We sat in the car, me and Janna, and plotted how we were going to get these rocks.  I mean, we needed a lot of rocks, right???  In the end, we decided to place our target bags (and my jumbo box of ornaments) close to the driveway (which was blocked by a closed gate) and look as if we had dropped something on the ground as we scooped up rocks.

After mustering up the courage to borrow these rocks (which, it was 10:00, we probably didn’t have too much to worry about), we executed our plan.  As Janna was getting the last few bags, I started to fill up the canister by reaching a little bit under the gate. By the time Janna got the last bag, she said,

“Here, scoot it over here so that I can help you.”

But by then I was already done.

Yeah, spatial recognition fail…  it only took like 3 handfuls of gravel.  And we barely had to scrape the surrounded gravel around the place we um, borrowed from (which, don’t get all uppity, I fully intend on returning these rocks on precisely December 26th).

And then Janna threw her hands up and said,

“Wow, that was so anti-climatic.”

So that’s one of the reason why I love my friend Janna (amongst many other reasons that are more substantial).  Who else would I be with at 10:00 on a Monday night looking for gravel to put in a kitchen utensil canister?

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A blog a day…

keeps the guilt away.  So, I’m challenging myself to blog once a day for a week.

So for today, I thought I would tell you a little story about traveling.  Like, traveling from Nashville, TN to Boston, MA.  With 3 kids.  By myself.  (Because Adam left with the UHaul the day before).

I better go ahead and chronicle it, because my subconscious will likely soon blot the whole thing from my memory.  This will likely occur as we’re planning our next road trip.

Which by the way, will most definitely involve Adam.

This little story begins the night before we left for Boston (I can’t remember the date, see, my subconscious is already at work).  Alanna woke up at about 10:00pm saying that she needed to use the potty.  She commented that her tummy hurt… I didn’t really think much of it.  We woke up early the next day to leave.  After some sad goodbyes, we got on the road.

I had the car all mapped out.  Alanna sat in the back with the ipod touch and headphones (filled with movies and games).  I knew that I wouldn’t hear a peep out of her.  Nora sat behind the passenger seat with the portable DVD player attached to the headrest.  Cole sat next to her, since he was still rear facing at that point.  I knew that he would do well looking at his sister.

We got on the road, and ohmygoodnes, turns out that Tennessee is a long state.  Seriously, it felt like we were in Tennessee  for daaaays.  A few hours in, Alanna said that she needed to pee.  So, like any good mommy, I pulled off the side of the road and let her pee by the side of the car.  She complained that it hurt to pee.  I put 2 and 2 together and realized that she was coming down with a UTI (which of course, she’s never had before).  Having dealt with UTIs in the past, I realized at that point that she would need to pee frequently.  Like, every hour.  Which sounds like so much fun on a 19 hour drive.

(I really did feel bad for her.)

So, we’re driving along.  We stopped an hour or so later to get gas, nurse the baby, feed lunch to everyone, potty, etc. etc.  That took an hour.  It was at this point that Alanna decided that she should see what happened when she dropped the jack to her headphones in the little slot that holds the headrest.  It of course got stuck.  And it of course totally broke as I was pulling it out.

I know the trip would be Disastrous (with a capital D) if we didn’t have those headphones.  No problem.  I plugged in Walmart in the GPS.  This Walmart unfortunately took me 45 (yes, 45) minutes to get to.  In the wrong direction. Through crazy little tiny country roads.  Seriously, I thought surely someone was going to come out onto their porch with their shotgun…

We got the headphones.  I threatened bad things if we ever put the jack anywhere other than the ipod.

We drove and drove.  Stopped for potty breaks.  Drove 15 more miles.  Stopped for more potty breaks.

You get the idea…

Nighttime came and I decided to pull over to find a place for us to eat.  Now, at this point, Alanna was really hurting when it came time for potty breaks.  Fortunately she didn’t have a fever so I knew it would be in everyone’s best interest to keep going.  We stopped at a gas station for everyone to pee (a.g.a.i.n.).  I got the stroller out, put Cole in.  We were all in the bathroom stall.  In the gas station.

So gross.  SO GROSS.

Everyone was crying.  Except me.  Alanna wouldn’t pee because it hurt.  I really wanted her to pee so that it wouldn’t get worse.  She wouldn’t.  So then Nora peed.  And then I peed (TMI, I know, but an important detail for the next bit).

I stood up to flush, when my debit card slipped out of my back pocket into the toiletThe gas station toiletWITH THREE PEOPLE’S WORTH OF PEE.

I couldn’t just leave it there.

So, I got my baby wipe and hand sanitizer cocked and ready to go.  I wiped the card off and my hands.  And profusely I might add.

And then I dropped the card on the floor.  The gas station floor.

I was so mad.  SO MAD.

We all recovered and got back into the car.   Some very kind people gave us some gift cards for our journey, including a McDonalds gift card.  I decided to use it, typed in McDonald’s into the GPS.  Now, by this time, it was very dark, and wherevertheheckIwas didn’t have ANY lights on the road.

I drove and drove.  Trying to obey my GPS in the dark at this particular exit.  I could N.O.T. find this McDonald’s.  In combination with the debit card toilet incident and the dark,  I was getting flustermicated.

In my flurry of flustermification, I decided to skip the gift card idea and go to Burger King since it was there.  I got our food.  Nursed the baby, blah blah blah.  I put my fries on top of the cooler (which was holding homemade baby food, that all thawed out and went bad anyway…. uggghhhhhh) and pulled out of the parking lot.  As I was doing so, the fries spilled in between the seat and the passenger door.

I was so mad.  SO MAD.

I couldn’t find the ramp to get back on the interstate.  It was so dark.  SO DARK.

By now, I wanted those fries.

So, I whipped into a parking lot to fish them out.  I got out of the car.  Slammed the driver’s door.  Walked around the car, opened the passenger’s door and all of my fries fell out onto the ground.  The ground.

I was so mad.  SO MAD.

I happened to look up to see what parking lot I was in.  The McDonald’s parking lot.


We finally got on the road and made it to Washington DC, where we stayed with some friends.

Day one took us… FOURTEEN hours.  FOURTEEN HOURS. OH MAH GAH.

When we got to my friends’ house, no lie, I took a diaper out of car for Cole.  And that’s it.  The plan was to get up early the next morning, change Cole’s diaper and get back in the car in order to get to Boston as quickly as possible.  No brushing the teeth.  No underwear changes. Nothing.


The next day went much better fortunately.  We stopped to pee like 18 times.  I won’t go into the details.  Only the inner circle gets those…

(moving on)

Day 2 took us 9 hours.  NINE HOURS.

By the time we got to Boston, we looked a hot mess.

I will say however, even though I had to put my bare hand in gas station toilet full of pee, had to hold children up on the side of the road countless times to potty, dropped my Burger King french fries in the McDonald’s parking lot, the kids did really well.  I didn’t hear a peep out of Alanna with those headphones and the ipod touch.  Cole didn’t cry- not even once (he was about 8 months old at the time).  He’s amazing.  And Nora very kindly only pulled out her best moves the last hour of the trip.

So.  There you go.

And I thought you might like this too.

Because toddlers eating corn on the cob is always a big hit.

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One Year and 3 days ago…

My family was doing this (from Scotland to Tennessee):


A few days later, we had Thanksgiving with these people:


Cole looked like this (so so hard to believe):

A few days after that, we went and got one of these (a tree, not a baby):

(Gotta love their, “smiles.”)

It’s hard to believe that since then, we’ve moved across the country. That’s 2 houses in one year (3 houses in one year and a week give or take). Cole has learned how to walk. Nora has learned to write her name. Alanna has started school. I’ve gotten to live literally next door to my 2 best friends on the planet. One in Nashville, the other here in Boston.

It’s really hard to believe that this time last year, we were trying to convince ourselves that we were here to stay this time… it took awhile to actually believe that we wouldn’t be returning back to Scotland in a few weeks.

It’s really really hard to believe that Cole was a newborn this time last year. Was there ever a time that that child was strapped in an infant seat?

All that to say, this past year feels like a time warp. On one hand, it can’t be possible that we’ve been back for that long. But on the other, we’ve done so much this past year.

So here I am this year.

Making Thanksgiving food with this best friend:

(You know what Gordon Ramsay says, “taste, taste, taste.” )


(And to think that I couldn’t have had a 6 pound can of green beans at my disposal a year and a few days ago…)


Making a turkey craft with these guys:


(By the way, I love this picture.  Aaralyn wiping her nose, uninterested Alanna, Nora holding a play knife, Elise wanting Mommy, and Cole- well, we can’t hear him or see him, so I’m sure he’s fine)


(Please note how Nora chose to write her name microscopically, Alanna chose to whip out her fancy, “L,” and baby Lilah got the smallest turkey)


Poor baby Lilah slept through it all.  Sometimes it is really not advantageous to be a baby…


So thankful I get to live next to this lady:


I love our life here in America.  I miss Scotland too.  I was reading to Alanna this week from a book we got at the library- tt perfectly sums up how I feel about both (that is, if I had the luxury of traveling in between the two):

“The funny thing is, the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other.”

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