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Monday, December 25, 2006

The good thing about going to Iowa

OK--I am actually hiding under a blanket as I type this, hiding from that little rugrat that is gabbing in his pack-n-play while in our hotel room in Iowa. We made a barrier out of the ironing board, my quilt and some pillows so that he can't see us from his pack-n-play (placed in the bathroom alcove) so that he will go to sleep. I forgot to move it into place before putting him down. If he sees us=GAME OVER.

Anyway, I digress...the thing I love now about going to Iowa is that I come back to the hotel to put Tate to sleep and I am in my jammies and chilling before 8pm. Love it! I knew there had to be a bright spot about making this journey! It's not that Iowa is that bad. It's just different from what I am used to...the fish out of water, the goose at the duck pond, a frickin alien on earth, etc etc etc.

I try to find something positive each time we come so it isn't such torture. One time it was treating myself to a whole new skin regiment from Bath and Body works and seeing if my skin improved. (Did it? No.) Another time it was to go to the local beauty college for a manicure. GREAT manicure, I have to say. Now, I look forward to Tate being my good excuse to turn down early and not offend anyone. Paul heads out while I stay here and enjoy relaxing without any distractions or responisibilties. Yea Iowa!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Cutting Corn, Cutting Corn

Yep I am in Iowa celebrating the holidays with Paul's family.
Some observations:
*Travelling with a 17 mo old sucks
*McDonald's Asian Chicken Salad is AWESOME
*I can't get enough of ABC family during the holidays. (have you seen "Santa Baby"?? so cute!)
*I never have to worry about underdressing while I am here

*No sleep makes me a Grinch
*Where's the turnip?? This is a Chin fmaily tradition that I am very much missing...
*I was very happy to see a female couple with a Chinese baby in our hotel--that is the first bit of diversity I have seen besides myself ever since coming here.

Still more to come...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas is actually fun...

If you know me somewhat well, you know I much more of a Halloween girl than into Christmas. This year, I have discovered that Christmas IS fun. Not to be a grinch, but the scurrying and the craziness always freaked me out and even as a kid, I would be sick almost EVERY Christmas.
Now that "Tater Snot" has joined us, this time of year has transformed into a fun, cozy festive time. Why else would I be inspired to whip up vanilla bean sugar cookies at moment's notice? Oh and not care if the kitchen is TRASHED? We had a blast making the dough and then rolling out the cookies the next day with Tate's best bud, Evan (and Aunt Katie).

While Evan shoved handfuls of dough into his mouth, Tate kept smashing it with the roller and smashing the cutters into it. Yea--I set aside dough so that some of the cookies would actually be edible. Unless you don't mind rugrat germs in your cookies and you can have THAT BATCH as well!

And the Quilt....Holy poo. Who knew the Amish ladies put this much work into making a frickin blanket? AND they sew it by hand. My heroes for the week, because as you can see, this all I have at this point. Sorry Mom--it might end up being a Valentine's Day quilt! Oh yea, and if you are a quilter, you can see that my measurements are WAY off...but i have a plan for my frankenquilt.....

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Running late with the Christmas Presents

This is my mom's Christmas present. A bunch of red and green fabric you say? Ahhh you shouldn't have... No, really it will be a quilt at some point. Obviously, there is a lot of work to do and I couldn't finish it if I spent every single night ALL night on it, but eventually it will be a Christmas quilt. I originally planned on doing the center at a quilt class, but I didn't realize the class would just teach techniques, etc and that we wouldn't leave with a piece in hand....
Anyway, I know as much about quilting as I do about coal mining, which is nothing, so it should be an adventure.
Here is Tate today as I was taking pictures of the quilt fabrics. He is such a ham for the camera!

This is a photo the day after our big ice storm. It is now in the high 50s... and we have heat now! Of course it had to be close to FREEEEEZING when we were without power.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

My own cupcakes

Finally! I can post pictures of my own cupcakes instead of stealing pictures online and wondering if I am violating copyright laws... They were very yummy and we have a ton leftover. I made them for a fun gathering we went to this weekend. They were the perfect size for Tate. We learned the hard way--a whole normal size cupcake+ Tate= BARFORAMA.

Read an article about school in Africa this morning. They have lots of beans and cassava (a potato like veggie) for most meals and I am obsessing about cupcakes... Again, we are so lucky and I want to remember that every single day. Paul thinks they get pizza on Wednesdays, but somehow I think he's wrong...
(total sidenote: remember that wonderful square pizza they used to serve in public school?? mmmmmmmm.)

I'm feeling very creative today... I might have to escape to the scrapbook store to work on some last minute projects. I have some pics to share, but they are Christmas presents and I don't want to spoil surprises!! Have a great day!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thankful for the little things

No pics today...just happy to be in the warmth after having NO POWER for days. There are still people that still do not have power. Thanks to all those who helped out as we sought heat wherever we could find it!

On to other subjects--people who rush around and cut people off in traffic just to get your Christmas presents--YOU SUCK. Way to share the Christmas spirit!

More later when I get the house back in order...

Monday, November 20, 2006


Feeling like I needed to add some cupcakes to my blog...since the name IS cupcakes and coffee.
1st is a cute clip art, 2nd Kara's Cupcakes in San Fran, 3rd from a food styling site. I'm still not sure on the rules with copyright and posting on blogs. If anyone has info on this, please send before I violate rules!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

WalMart Guy, you are a butt

It is pouring, freezing cold and I decide to go to WalMart. I hate WalMart. It also happens to be one of Paul's favorite places. Anyway, I shop to the point that Tate is ready to meltdown and head out in the rain. Oh yea, and I forgot at WalMart, they don't take your groceries out for you.

So here I am, extremely heavy baby in one arm, multiple bags in the other, trying to load up my car while the wind and rain blow. And that wind decides to gust an push my cart away from my car. At this moment, this guy walks right by my car, (mere inches away) and the f#%*tard looks right at me and sees me struggling to save the cart AND HE WALKS RIGHT BY.

A Target customer would have never done that...

Oh and to further illustrate the madness that is WalMart, there was a line of people in the lobby camping out for the midnight release of the new was 3:30pm.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day

No matter what your beliefs are, get your butt out and vote, if you can. Not to speak about politics, but last night, as I was thinking about election day, I came across an article that made me rethink a position I had about a particular topic. Am I being vague?? Heck yea, since I like to keep my blog light and fluffy! In any case, it is funny how your perspective can be changed with more info.

Oh and if you are bored and happen to have a 16 month old and it is raining, and you are both crawling the walls, go to Lowes and let him run around like a crazy person. The Christmas section will keep him entertained for at least 20 minutes.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Digital Scrap

Here is something I created for my brother. I "borrowed" a layout from someone at and altered it. I'm sure I am violating some sort of copyright law, so I apologize if that is the case...

Pictures I owe you

Here are the pictures from the Baby Halloween Party '06. So fun, yet so tiring. Evan is Tate's best bud and is the little one in the Indian Costume.

I am gearing up for Thanksgiving Weekend in Chicago with my Uncle Dave (AKA SuperDave) and Aunt Maryann (AMA). My whole family meets up there for a annual extravaganza. And by extravaganza, I mean more food than you can imagine, lots of laughs, and craziness in general. Also, my mom, AMA and I turn the dining room into a scrapbook store. I'm so excited to go.

Speaking of scrapping, I found the coolest thing at Michael's.

So cute, and loving it.
And one my favorite scrap creations... a card for my sister:

Sunday, October 29, 2006

End of Weekend Notes

1. I have a love/hate relationship with my Swiffer. Does it really clean the floor? No, but in a pinch, it sure smells like it does after you use it.

2. Dark Chocolate Mint Ice Cream from Cold stone Creamery--HEAVEN! thin mints in ice cream form.

3. Baby Halloween Party=exhaustion. I'll post pics later.

4. Changing the clocks sucks. Baby schedules are not compatible with this practice...

5. Tate's Quilt--I started making it when he was 6 weeks old. IT IS STILL NOT FINISHED. Hopefully, I can give it to him before summer so he gets some use out of it.

6. Paul is living it up in Orlando and WHAT AM I GOING TO DO TO FILL MY TIME WHILE HE IS GONE??? The best part? He might be deploying in the near future and I get to ask myself that question for months instead of days.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Skunk Sighting!

Here we are as a family at Paul's office mate's Halloween Party. It was a lot of fun. Last year, we got stuck in the guest room, nursing Tate almost the whole time, so we had a MUCH better time this go around.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fall Fun!

Paul and Tate raked leaves this weekend, just in time before the big rainy day....Have you ever raked wet leaves? Not very fun. I can't believe it is Monday already because the weekend FLEW by. Paul watched lots of football, I got away and was able to go shopping while nursing a cold or allergies...can't tell which.

The exciting highlight of the day is going to Chevy's and having Paul order $30, yes $30, of food because he had a coupon for $10 off $30. I shouldn't complain..I don't have to cook dinner tonight, since we left with a BAG of leftovers. :)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Trip Recovery

I recently returned from visiting my parents in Michigan, where it was a little chillier than St. Louis. Thank goodness we returned before MI got all the snow! We went to the Cider Mill (which is sadly not as nice as it has been in the past), to Andy's game, and Catie and I redecorated her room and made cupcakes for her birthday.

Of course, whenever I go home, I need about a week to recover. For some reason, we always get sick after travelling. Tate and I have been staying home and I have been trying to get the hosue clean. I always want to do that after returning from a trip.

Here's a description of the pics:
1. My mom at the cider mill with Josie, the family chihuahua in front of the "No Pets" sign. LOL!
2. Tate playing with Josie.
3. Me with my little brother, Mikey.
4. Me with my dad as we started "Operation Cupcake". (That was the 2nd time that weekend we made cupcakes for Catie's Bday.)
5. In the last picture posted, we are at the high school football stadium. That night, Tater Snot surprised me, and for the first time EVER he fell asleep while we were at Andy's game. It was cold and he was snuggled in under the big Michigan blanket nursing, and before I knew it, he was out! It was great--Paul and I could stay for most of the game.

**Today's blog is dedicated to our family lab, Sadie, who was put to sleep this weekend after a struggle with Diabetes. Rest in Peace, Girl.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Garage Sale Fun

We had a garage sale today and it actually was kind of fun. We ended up getting rid of a bunch of junk and made a little moolah doing it.

Paul and I are relaxing now by watching football (2 different games) and food channel (and Laguna Beach) --two tvs in the same room using the "last channel" option to switch between shows--mine with headphones. I know how sad this sounds as I type, but I think I have found my perfect mate who loves tv as much as I do. Our brains are rotting at the same pace this way...

Being in the same room, we can fight over the leftover plate of cake without having to change rooms. OH yea--it's yummy--chocolate filled with custard and vanilla filled with raspberry. I can feel myself getting fat, but it is so worth it.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Good and Bad of Fall

Today the fall sky made me miss Northern California. It was cool out, with big puffy storm clouds building, with the sun still peeking through. It reminded me of being in Sacramento and seeing the winter storm clouds off in the distance over Lake Tahoe, where it was probably snowing hard. PERFECTLY COOL and beautiful.

(still waiting for copyright permission to use a picture of this...)

But I don't miss that it once took my friend, Tania, 8 hours to get back to San Jose during one of those storms. Oh, and having some no-teethed local selling you the required chains for your car at a marked up price.

Tate and I have been under the weather with the onset of cooler temps. We have been quarantined for the last 2 days and we made a fort. He digs hide and seek SO much, that I actually lost him today. Yea--I called his name, started to panic, searching frantically when I finally found him behind the rocker, laying on the floor and FLATTENING HIMSELF OUT LIKE A RAT so I would n't see him. When I did find him, he started cracking up laughing like he was a crazy person.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

My TV reviews

The Season Premiers have started and the reviews are in: Grey's Anatomy--always good, but oh my gosh--what a heavy tear jerker for the first episode! 6 Degrees--EXCELLENT!!! I watched this only because it is on right after Grey's Anatomy, and it might be one of my new favorites. Have you seen it? It feels a tad like the movie, "Crash", which was a must-see, and the random yet intertwining lives of the characters is great.

I am still waiting for Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, and LOST. I missed ER this week, but did see The Office and My name is Earl. Joy from "My name.." cracks me up--I laugh at loud at that show. "Did you just Monkey-grab a chip from the bowl"? HAHAHAHAHA! Yea--I think I can do that.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Stupid Cat Tricks

Here is me, stuck to the bathroom door, with my naked baby in my arms. We were on the way to the bathtub and somehow I managed to get the loop of my pants and my shirt snagged on the door!

This required Paul to get me out of this, and I eventually had to take off my shirt and part of my pants to get freed from the doorknob.

On an unrelated note, THEY FOUND THE BABY!!! For those of you who haven't been watching the news, a woman came in and kidnapped a 7 day old baby from her momma. I am so happy that they found her unharmed.

Here are pics of my nighttime pumpkins, and if you look closely, you will see our Halloween kitty right in the middle of them.... We did not stage her there! She just happened to be sitting there and it looked kind of creepy actually. Paul ran and got the camera.

I'm in heaven--the weather is perfectly cool and it is so cozy indoors in jeans and socks with my coffee and Tate is napping after a nice long morning cuddle.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Justin TLake is my boyfriend

so I had a dream that he was...what is that telling me?

I'd never steal him away from Cameron Diaz, though, because I think she is just adorable and hilarious. Have you ever seen the movie "The Sweetest Thing"? Freaking hilarious. Defintitely DO NOT watch it if there are children in any part of the house. It can be a little offensive.

I started making Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies this morning, but Tate decided to be a member of the no-nap club. I hadn't frosted any, but when my friend Katie came over for lunch, I whipped up some old school "powdered sugar and milk" frosting and we just dipped and ate. YUM! Not so pretty, but tasty. I'll work on the Martha Stewart/Williams-Sonoma like looking cookies later. Who am I kidding??? I have never been able to perfect them like that, but it sure is fun on the quest for the perfect sugar cookie...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Top 5

We decorated for Halloween this weekend and it looks so festive! Paul came up with this idea of a table with a bunch of lighted pumpkins on it...I'll put a pic of daytime and add a nighttime pic later.

Things that SUCK
1. Mosquitos in our yard that continue to keep us inside
2. People who steal 7 day old babies--HAVE YOU SEEN THAT STORY ON THE NEWS?
3. Commercialized Character baby books
4. Changed morning TV schedule
5. When babies skip their nap!

Things that are AWESOME
1. Really nice, super busy McD's workers when you order a McGriddle and then she gives you a free potato cake for waiting patiently...
2. Cute Baby Boys that imitate your singing AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS
3. Pumpkin Spice Coffee
4. Season Premiers on TV
5. U of M beating Notre Dame in football

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Yummy Cup O' Tea

Ahhhhh... I can feel fall right around the corner! It is nice and cool this morning and Tate was so snuggly under my quilt. I am drinking a cup or chai and loving how cozy it is.

Have you seen "The View" since Rosie O'Donnell has joined? It is really good. Love her, hate her...the woman is entertaining and has a talent for minimizing tension when the ladies start "discussing".

In case you care, Britney had her baby. I heard it was a boy, but don't know the name. I have to admit, I was a little envious for about a millisecond when I heard a rumor that she was gonna have a girl. Tate is a total handful, so I am not ready for another baby, but the pink and the clothes and the slumber parties and ALL THE GIRLIE STUFF!!!!

Happy Fall and get out and enjoy the wonderful weather :)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Weekend Update

Here are a few pictures from our weekend...
Paul and I on our anniversary date :)

Sunday Morning Tailgating at the Rams game. We didn't actually attend the game, but Paul really wanted to take Tate. I think he just wanted to be able to make Tate pose for funny pictures...

We were able to get out to the Clayton art fair on Saturday. There were some great artists--my favorite was an artist who used fabric, but it looked like a painting. Paul loved the photography.

Lastly, I am making Halloween pillows for the family room. This one is my first and I was talking to Jennifer Hall while I posed for the picture!

Please remember in your thoughts those families of the 9/11 victims today... It has to be a difficult day for them.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


We have this video monitor for Tate that kicks butt and my friend, Katie, nicknamed it "Tate TV". It is addictive to watch as he plays or rolls around or does whatever he does in his crib. It gives me peace of mind to be able to check on him without having to go in there 500 times. BUT IT WENT OUT THIS MORNING!!! I guess that's what you get when you let your hubby buy it off ebay.... I'm about to go buy a new one this millisecond.

Last night we got all gussied up and planned on going to a Spanish Tapas Restaurant called "Bastante". It should be called "Bastard!" because we got there and the windows were taped over with brown paper bag and the door was locked. By this time, we are 45 min into our 2 hour babysitter, with a 30 min trip to get home.

We drove around and found a Turkish/Mediterranean restaurant PAUL ACTUALLY SUGGESTED. I would have made him go there since it is OUR anniversary, but he insisted. It was awesome, though I have garlic eminating out of every pore this morning. The ambiance was perfect--cozy with pillows and drapes everywhere with a belly dancer and everything. Even better, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard was right across the street and we went there for dessert....yummmmm Coffee Oreo...yummmmmmmm.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Happy Anniversary!!

Today is our 3rd Anniversary. We are having a babysitter for the first time ever and I am looking forward to going out to dinner with Paul. I made his favorite, Pulled Pork, yesterday because I knew he would enjoy that A LOT more than the restaurant food we are having tonight.

On an unrelated note, it is so sad that Steve Irwin (croc hunter) was killed. He did a lot for conservation and for educating kids and he will be missed.

I am watching Rosie ODonnell on The View, and I have to say, she's great. She is a wonderful addition and I am going to be torn between watching this at 10a or Martha when she comes back with new shows.

Here is Tate this weekend playing with Paul, who made him his very own homemade water play table. Tate wanted to play tag more than play with his new creation!

Friday, September 01, 2006

I hate WalMart, I love WalMart

If you want to torture yourself, go to WalMart on any given weekend...with a baby. If you are smart enough to have stayed away, then let me tell you, it is filled with super rude people with lots of crying children, all trying to find "the deal". For this reason, I hate WalMart. Add the whole discrimination business you hear about, as well as them taking out the mom and pop shops... Megamarts suck.

But Paul loves WalMart more than anyone should. AND he loves to go on weekends. I admit, there are some great deals while you are getting your milk and eggs, a few baby toys and a new ceiling fan, but I hate how they do bid'ness.

Besides the deals, there are moments I change my mind and I actually love WalMart. Like on Friday, when I found THE CUTEST Halloween individual cupcake holders! AWESOME!!!! Paul had to stop me from buying them as I was fratically explaining how "I could bake cupcakes and pack them in Stinky's lunch when he is older and how you never see Halloween ones, and how great would that be in, like, 4 Octobers from now when Tate is old enough to even get excited about it"!!!

Totally unrelated, here is a picture of Tate with his first friend, Evan. We hang out almost every day and they have started to actually interact with one another. It is so cute! Here they are playing with Cheeky, Evan's stuffed monkey.