31 August 2009

Nothing to Report

There was going to be a post today. In fact I have no less than three potential blog posts rolling around the hamster wheel that is my brain as I type. However, none of them want to come out. Kind of like LN who was two weeks and one day overdue...those ideas are quite happy where they are. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I have nothing for today. Maybe later, when the wheel slows down a bit and I can draw something out. Right now though? I've got nothing to report. Zip. Zilch. Nada. And no picture either as all of my fun pics from the weekend are stuck on BC's laptop. Bugger. That and LN has decided that a one hour nap is sufficient for her today. Funny, she didn't ask me what I thought about that.

28 August 2009

The Weekend- Aug. 29-30


Hello inter-friends! Although I'm sad that summer is drawing to a close in these Northern parts I can't say that I'm not glad for cooler weather. I can start breaking out my collection of scarves, cardigans and jackets soon. YES! Fall is my favorite season of the year. But let's not get too hasty, there might be a few more swimming days yet, although probably more of the indoor variety than outdoor. So what to do on a deliciously cool weekend? Well, let me share what we'll be up to:

  • Tonight I'm headed out with my ladies to Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge. I'm looking forward to a night of cheap beer, hot cheese curds and lots of hardy laughter. Love my lady friends!
  • A visit to a working farm: Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista has Saturday mornings on the farm where the kiddos can partake in farm activities. LN will love the animals!
  • A BBQ baby shower for a couple of friends. Fall BBQs are so much fun! Time when you actually WANT to be near a fire!
  • A possibly B-Day Pub Crawl through a fantastic St. Paul neighborhood for a dear friend.
  • A day at the fair! Bring on the cute little animals, carnies, food on a stick and hordes of people. I can't wait to take LN on the Big Yellow Slide. Hope this starts a tradition!
  • Try and partake in some of these fun events while at the fair.
  • Take a nap, play some Mario Kart with LN and maybe have a picnic.

What you up to this weekend?
Are you headed off to the Fair or other end of summer activities?

27 August 2009

My Internet Addiction


I think it's safe to say that I have a pretty heavy internet addiction. So bad in fact, that often times BC calls my laptop, 'My Boyfriend'. I really was not aware of how bad my addiction was. I mean, I check my email a few times a day, update Facebook and now write a blog; but I surely was not addicted! Then I took a hard, long look one night as I was surfing the web. I had no less than six tabs open at the same time. They were in a specific order. There was a rhythm to how I was sorting through the tabs. I had a system. First Gmail, then Facebook, then this blog, and then three other tabs for the other blogs I peruse on a daily basis. Slowly cycling back and forth, so as not to miss a single post/comment. Commenting on said blogs, reading what others wrote. Checking to see who else was online. Who updated. Making sure I did not miss a single keystroke.

I would repeat this process multiple times throughout the day. If my computer was on, I needed to be checking something. Anything. It made me realize that there was a reason my house was not always picked up, why LN whined whenever I would sit down in the Big Green Chair (my preferred surfing spot) and why the BC would roll his eyes whenever I picked up my laptop. (Which incidentally is named Chelsea, so obviously she can't be my boyfriend...HA! Unless I'm living out some deep hidden lesbian desires, which I'm sure BC would love to hear.) So I decided that something needed to change. I needed to step away from the computer and take a look at the life that was going on around me.

I took a self-imposed two day hiatus from the internet.

Some friends called me brave, another her hero. The internet is our link, sometimes the only sanity saving device in our daily, hectic lives. But for all of the sanity saving it was making me stressed. There was this need to know what was going on 'out there'. Who was doing it and what they did. Once I turned off the laptop, put it on the shelf and focused on doing this here and now, I felt something inside wind down. Stretch out, breathe. The first few hours it was hard. I wanted to know 'what I was missing'. What were people up to? Was something happening that I needed to know about? I started to feel, as I assume LN feels at nap time, I can't go to sleep because I know that you are doing something cool and exciting! But after a little while, that need quieted down too. I accomplished tasks. Projects that I had been planning to do were completed, dinner was cooked and the laundry done. LN whined less, we played and laughed and danced. Those errands that I've been meaning to do? They were ran! Nary a thought was given to what the rest of the world was doing, I was living my life presently.

Now, that's not to say that all of a sudden everything was all rainbows and sunshine. Nah, my house is still messy, LN still whines and BC will always roll his eyes when I pick up Chelsea. But you know what? It was nice to be unplugged for a bit everyday. The flow of my day became more manageable and much less stressful. So, with those feelings in mind, I put in place three new rules:
  1. I can check my email/Facebook/blogs while I drink my coffee in the AM. But only before and up to 9AM.
  2. During nap time I will write a blog post, check my email/Facebook.
  3. After LN goes to bed I can troll through my daily blog reads, do any commenting necessary, research and generally surf it up...but only until 9PM.
All the other time when my laptop would be on and I would mindlessly surf the web? It's off, on a shelf and unplugged. No quick peeks at FB, no glance to see what's in my inbox. It's just waiting there, ready to fill me in on what everyone's been up to. I will always be addicted, some days will be better than others and that's ok. I just hope this doesn't mean that BC or anyone that stops by will expect the house to be clean...because that may never happen. But who knows, stranger things have.

Do you have an internet addiction?
If so, how do you control it?
If not, what do you do with all of your 'free time'?

21 August 2009

If I Had a Million Dollars...



A friend of mine posed an interesting question of Facebook the other day:

What would you do if you had $1,000,000 but could not spend it on yourself, your family, or your friends?

"One MILLLLLLLLION DOL-LARS!" Whenever I hear that amount I think of Mike Myer's character Dr. Evil from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. His character gets frozen in the 1960s and unfrozen in 1997. He demands a ransom of one million dollars...only to be informed that one million dollars doesn't go as fas as it use to. And it really doesnt, does it? I mean, when I think of winning a million dollars, my eyes bug out. That's a lot of money I think! But when you hear of a national defeciet in the Trillions of dollars, infastructure that costs Billions of dollars...you realize that a measly million just isn't all that much. Now I don't want to get into the current economic crisis, or any sort of political debate. But think about it, when did you realize a million dollars wasn't the stuff of dreams? That maybe a million dollars was more like $100,000. A lot, but not the stuff of fantasy.

I started to break it down. Once I paid off my house, students loans, credit cards, set up a college fund for LN, took a trip (or three!), bought a new car, put some away for retirement...there really wasn't much left. When I was little I thought that if I had a million dollars, I would never have to work again. In fact, I would have so much money that NOBODY I knew would have to work again! But that's not how it works, is it? Even with perfect money management, you'd still have to work. And probably for a long time.

Now, back to the question at hand. How would you spend that one million dollars? As for me, well, I thought about building a school. But then I realized that schools these days? They cost a whole heck more than one million dollars. Gosh, the technology that you would need alone would cost that much! So I had to think, and then think some more. Spending a 'small' amount like one million wasn't as easy as I thought! Finally I decided that I would set up a program that would bring kids out to the country and teach them where food comes from. Back to your roots, working the soil, picking a tomato and eating it kind of program. I would need the money to set up the farm, build some dorms and staff it to make sure that food was actually grown. Maybe the farm could have a small CSA and the proceeds would go right back into the farm. You know, to keep it wholesome.

What would you do if you had $1,000,000,
but could not spend it on yourself, your family or your friends?

The Weekend- Aug. 22-23

This weekend will be an action packed one. We'll be running from here to there and everywhere.
Here's a list of what we'll be doing:

-Taking out the front cement walls. Mostly BC's job, but I'm sure I'll be helping too.
-Get ready and go to a cousin's wedding. Love, drinking, dancing! Yee-haw!
-Head up north (just a bit) and stay in a cabin. Not sure how we're going to fit this in.
-Put wall back together with big rocks. Sigh. This sounds like a lot of work.

--and what I hope to accomplish
:

-More painting of the upstairs bedrooms. This project is starting to seem never-ending.
-Make some pita bread. I've had this on my to-do list all week. It just hasn't happened yet.
-Clear out LN's closet and put away all of the clothes that no longer fit.
-Same in MP and BC's closet.
-Take a nap? Is that too much to ask?

What do you hope to accomplish this weekend?
What wild and crazy adventures will you be having?

20 August 2009

An Introduction

I thought that I would take some time on this rainy Thursday afternoon to introduce myself, the dear Big Cheese and the Little Nib.

Little Nib was born in April of 2008. She is as sassy, spunky and energetic as they come. People will tell you how much you'll love watching your kids personality grow, but it's nothing in comparison to actually watching a human being unfold. Because let's admit it, for the first 12 months, they're pretty much just aliens! She loves to read, run and run outside, bubbles, car rides, swimming, swinging and being tickled. She's a great kid and a true joy to be around.

The Big Cheese works on creating magnificent websites on the Internet. Huge, multimedia masterpieces that are as visually interesting as they are technically amazing. He is one part engineer, one part magician. He's fantastic at what he does and is lucky enough to love it too! He is a bike commuter and loves to pedal around Minneapolis and the lakes. He is a fantastic Dad; one can tell by the look on Little Nib's face when he walks into a room. He is my rock and my friend and I'm so lucky to have found him.

Alright, enough with the sappy stuff...

As for me, I've always loved to craft and cook. My mom is great at both, she is/was a great teacher! I knit, sew, quilt and pick up projects at random. I am banned to going to any craft store without a chaperon. I am great at starting projects, and occasionally good at finishing them. I have also started to love baking; something about pouring liquid into a pan and coming out a solid I find amazing. And it's exactness is very comforting and relaxing. Culture amazes me; why we need it, how we use it, what about it gives us an identity. I enjoy walking around, as long as I have a destination of some kind (especially if that destination involves coffee/food) and my favorite season for sure is Fall. I think I'm equally an introvert/extrovert. I love being out and about, but I also love days at home too. My house is almost never clean...but it's not dirty either. I'm working on the whole idea of organization. And getting a Shark Steam Mop, I feel that might be the answer to all of my problems.

Hmm, what else?

Traveling is a family passion, we hope to pass that onto Little Nib too! Already in her short life she's been a plane three times, seen both oceans and taken numerous car trips. She's as portable as they come! The Big Cheese and I lived and worked in Eastern China for a year teaching English as a Second Language to college students. It was truly the most amazing experience we've shared, well second to becoming parents. We came back pregnant and ready to start the next chapter of our lives, but our feet are/were still itching to set off again for foreign locales.

Together we love parks, brunches, walks and dancing/singing silly songs. Really, we just enjoy living life together. Re-experiencing things with LN, discovering new things as a family.

So that's a little bit about us.

18 August 2009

Where will the wind take us....only the Swiss Government may know...


So as I alluded yesterday there may be some big, bright, shiny new travel plans in my future. Well, mostly the Big Cheese's future, but Little Nib and I will be along for the ride.

You see, it all started in the beginning of June. The BC asked me if he should apply for a job in...Switzerland. Why not, I thought? We've conquered China, why not try something new? Plus, it never hurts to apply for a job, update your resume, practice your interviewing skills, I thought. So what would be the harm? Now imagine our surprise when the BC got a reply the next morning that the company wanted to speak with him, they liked what they saw! So he set up a time to chat and lo and behold, forty-five minutes later he had a job offer. AH! Well now what are we supposed to do?

Dance a jig in the living room and start packing! Right?!?

Full stop. Unfortunately it's not that easy. We knew we would not be on the next plane bound for the land of chocolate, mountains and fondue, but we were hoping that the process would be more efficient than the Chinese one. (You'd think, right? Swiss banks, precision and all?) Well after two and a half months of back and forth, we still do not know what our position is. The BC's documents are in the Swiss government's hands, and we're waiting on their decision as to whether or not we're worthy to come and be Swiss for awhile. We were originally thinking that we would know by Labor Day, however we found out this morning that the officers that handle Immigration and whatnot in the Canton (State) that we're applying to were on vacation. (The Swiss National Day is August 1st).

Oh, tits.

So now we wait. And wait. Maybe we'll know in the middle of September. Maybe the officials will decide to go on a month long trek through the mountains, maybe they'll fall into a stupor from eating too much fondue, maybe they'll let us know next week. We'll just have to wait and see. This may be the most difficult part of the process of moving abroad. Your life is on hold. There are plans to be made for if you stay, or if you go, and neither can come to fruition because of the slim chance that one of them would be the wrong choice.

Once this process unfolds a little more, hopefully soon, and hopefully with the decision that we're going to be Alps bound, I'll start to post about our process. Such things like, how the BC found the job, how he's dealt with interviewing/communicating with the Swiss company, how to research salary/benefits abroad, moving, preparation. Maybe we'll even be lucky enough to hear from the BC himself. As for me, I plan to start telling you how I'm preparing for the move; the actual move (what to keep, how to pack, finding new digs), how we'll prepare LN and information like that. Until then I'll keep posting little bits of this and that. Fun, informational stuff and the random thought I might have.

So as we head on this new adventure I hope you all will join us. We're certainly excited to have you along for the ride.


Questions? Words of Wisdom?
General Comments on the craziness of it all?
I'd love to hear it!

17 August 2009

Julia Child on travel.


I'm desperately trying to finish 'MyLife in France' by Julia Child in preparation of seeing the 'Julie, Julia' movie tonight with my lovely lady friends. As I hurriedly finish up my reading, let's ponder this quote from Julia. She's talking about travel (as have I lately, you'll find out why tomorrow!) and how she, personally, prefers to travel:

"Dort (Julia's sister) and I grew restless on those days of driving and driving and eating and driving and eating at the biggest-best restaurants and sleeping at the biggest-best hotels. To hell with it! It seemed like we'd never really been anywhere or done anything and the whole point of the trip was for Philapop (their parents) to get back to Pasadena and say, "I've just been through France and Italy." In fact, I didn't like travelling first-class at all. Yes, it was nice to have a bathroom in the hotel and fine service at breakfast, and I'd probably never visit those grand hotels again, but none of it seemed foreign enough to me. It was all so plesantly bland that it felt as if I were back on the SS America. I don't like it when everyone speaks perfect English; I'd much rather struggle with my phrase book."
I tell you, a girl after my own heart.

What's your favorite way to travel?



14 August 2009

The Weekend- Aug. 15-16


Well, the PGA is in town, as is the Big Cheese's twin brother and that adds up to a lot of time for the Little Nib and I to fill. But luckily the weather is warm, the sun will be out and we will be out and about. Here's a sampling of what we'll be up to:

Saturday:

  • Breakfast with a dear friend, early in the morning before she heads to work. Hopefully some place where we can sit outside. Although then it may be hard to contain the Nib.
  • Heading to North Mississippi Regional Park (a great park) and meeting another PGA widow and her two boys. Should be a blast. LN loves to run in and out of the pool...and the showers, well, mostly the showers.
  • Heading up to Grandma's for a little one and one time. Maybe dinner and then catching up with the Twin Cheese.
  • Reading some more of My Life in France, by Julia Child. I'm headed to see it at The Heights theatre with my lovely lady friends on Monday, so I should finish the book before then.
Sunday:

  • Breakfast with the family before the boys head back out to the PGA. Maybe at Keys, a truly yummy spot.
  • Handing LN to Grandma so I can do finish up some painting I've been doing upstairs. Painting is hard work, made even more difficult with a 15 month old running around.
  • After nap and LN being returned headed to The Lantern Lighting Festival at Como Park/Zoo. Been meaning to go for years, this may just be the weekend to do it.

What are your plans for the weekend?

13 August 2009

Motivation at the Gym


I've been thinking a bit about motivation. I go to the gym three times a week. Now I've had gym memberships in the past and would lackadaisically ride a bike while reading a magazine. It wasn't really 'working out', but it worked out just fine for me. Sometime a few months ago I decided that I really needed to start using the gym and I mean not just to shower like I did after Little Nib was born. No, I needed to get serious.

So now two times a week I have a very nice lady that tells me what to do. I pay her handsomely and quite frankly she kicks my a**. You'd think that the handsome figure I pay her every month would motivate me to get my butt to the gym, and it does. But do you know what the thing is? My real motivation for going to the gym is not that or the fact that I can drop my kid off for two hours, no questions asked. Nor is it the fact that sitting in the sauna is sometimes my only ten minutes of peace all day. No, it's the thirty minutes of cardio I do. Now don't you start thinking that I actually like to do cardio (although the rowing machine is much better than the elliptical) no, it's what I listen to that makes it the highlight of my day.

You see, I listen to a show about food. The Splendid Table with Lynne Rossetto Kasper, the show for people who love to eat. And oh, how I love to eat. But at the gym? While I'm desperately trying to burn calories? I am pretty sure there is something backward there. Lynne likes to go on and on about the fantistical nature of food. She makes every dish sound delightful, delectable and while I'm sweating away at the gym my stomach starts to growl. Not usually the place you want that to happen. So there I am salviating at the rowing machine, listening to a show about food.

So my motivation to go to the gym is food. Eating it, making it, and listening about it. I'm still not sure why it is. Am I masochistic? Or so I simply enjoy food so much that even when I am trying to get rid of the calories, I can't stop thinking about how I'm going to add even more. Or even yet, maybe I just like the thirty minutes of 'me' time I get three times a week. You choose. I personally think it's a blend of all three.

What weird things motivate you?

12 August 2009

2 Photo Game

A great new blog that I've just started reading, via the awesome yesandyes, is Oh, Miska. She always has a knack posting about sweet, enlightening things and her pictures are cute to boot! So her game of the day is to take your camera and snap two pictures of things in the room with you, and why they're important. Here are mine (can you tell that my flash is broken?):



There are always various kid's toys/books of Little Nib's laying all over the floor. I particularly like these puzzle pieces. She's finally starting to get the hang of putting the pieces BACK into the puzzle. Which is a good thing. Those animals may look all smiley, but stepping on one is no laughing matter.
I picked this cute bag up at Target in their deal section. Normally $2.50, but 50% off it was only a $1.25! The cute apple design makes me smile and it's the perfect size to grab on the way to the store for last minute dinner essentials or to throw together a bag for the beach. Who doesn't need a cute, reusable apple bag by their front door?

What's in you room?

11 August 2009

Five Things I Can't Leave The House Without- August

Here's a list of the five items I have in my possession at all times, at least for this week. The list is bound to change.

1.) Cell Phone:
It's not fancy and I hate to text, but I've been known to drive backwards great lengths to retrieve my cell phone. I have two fears regarding this: I'll fall down the stairs and break both legs and won't be able to call for help, I lock Little Nib in the car/house with the keys and she's screaming to be let out.

2.) Munchkin Snack Catcher:
Not to be confused with the Snack Trap. Whoever invented this gadget is a genius. Let's kids eat snacks without spilling them all over. Usually filled with some kind of raisin, goldfish, pretzel goodness. Pure awesome.

3.) Lipgloss:
I have one in my purse and one in my car at all times. For those mornings when I forget to look in the mirror before I leave the house, at least I can look somewhat put together.

4.) Blog Notebook:
Dear Big Cheese bought me a special notebook with a world map on the cover when I decided to start this blog. Now I don't go anywhere without it. You may have seen me at the side of the road hastily jotting down post ideas...my memory ain't what it used to be.

And finally...

5.) Water Bottle/Sippy Cup:
I never leave the house without my water bottle. And I certainly never leave the house without a sippy cup for Little Nib, been there done that and it was not pretty. Who does not need extra hydration?

What things are always on your person?

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