Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We like to plan ahead...

21! Blackjack!

Fancy, 21 weeks.

We went to get out 20 week ultrasound last Tuesday and FancyPants is doing A-OK.Heart rate is 154 beats per minute and the little bugger is measuring at about 13 ounces. S/he's only supposed to be about 11 but I'm tall. In a related note, we also had our 20 week doc's appointment and I found out I gained seven pounds in one month. SEVEN. And it's not like our last appointment was before Thanksgiving- it was after. So I gained all that weight for one holiday, not two.

I'm going to try not to lose my shit about this because I'm supposed to be gaining weight...and going on a diet certainly isn't an option. Needless to say, I wasn't thrilled. Especially since it reinforced the fact I needed to buy new pants. Although I joked about living in yoga pants for nine months, they aren't the kind of things that make a girl feel too sexy. In comes my mother-in-law's Christmas gift.

Diane usually gets me a sweater or scarf of some sort- usually from one of the little boutiques in Warwick, NY but this year since she wasn't sure what kind of belly growth I'd be experiencing, she got me something that has come in VERY handy: A gift certificate to Showing with Style in Manayunk, PA. When I first walked in, I was really put off by the price tags on all of the clothes- I couldn't rationalize paying $150 for a pair of jeans that I'd wear for only 5-8 more months. I walked to the back of the store where they had another stash of jeans and since I was feeling very fat in my grey yoga pants, I tried on a pair that was listed as $100.

And I felt like a million bucks.

I still don't like paying $50 for jeans (less $50 MIL gift cert.) but at a time when I'm starting to not feel very pretty, it's all worth it. Especially since I've worn the jeans every day since I bought them.

Other things helping to make me feel a little better about seven pounds:

Lush Cosmetics. I went to Lush after receiving the paper gift my parents gave Todd and I to go stock up on their shampoo only to find that it's discontinued. Hmm. Now, let's be honest with ourselves, Lush, are you really a cosmetic store? You sell bath bombs, some facial scrubs, shampoos and conditioners and soap. I was under the impression that cosmetics consisted mostly of make-up and various face painting tools. So if we want a strict definition (as I always prefer) a cosmetic is a product that improves the appearance. Fair enough. So anyways, I got some stout shampoo to help control my VERY FLUFFY pregnant hair, a lotion bar (it warms up with skin contact) to help with the skin stretchies, a coconut powder deodorant and three bars of soap (which are buy one get TWO FREE.) And I smell like a full blown hippie.

Gap/Old Navy Maternity. It's cheap and most of the stuff fits- The Gap at 16th-ish and Walnut is where I scored some decent loot yesterday- and fairly priced as well. I realized that I'm going to two professional development workshops over the next two weeks- hopefully the people won't overlap otherwise they'll see my entire maternity wardrobe. Twice.

Springfield Mall Macy's Maternity nook right next to their children's department. Also with gift certs- I got something like seven (I'm seeing a pattern here) items for under $100. Oh yea, and I met my first married former student. I had her in eighth grade in 2004 (or so.) She's now going to Penn State Brandywine on a full scholarship, about to transfer to main campus and MEET her husband in January. He's coming over from their country (I forget where...somewhere in the Middle East) to live with her and her parents. They were married in October of this year.

I'm about to sit down and make my third snuggie I've made in a week. One for my brother and sister in-law and now one for my aunt. This is all.

With the pending crappy weather, Todd and I are searching around for something to do on New Year's Eve and Day. Anyone up to anything? I have about six gift certificates from that I bought at an 80% discount...I think we might use one of them. I suppose seven pounds isn't that surprising, now that I think about it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

it's time.

21 weeks. It's time to go buy new pants for I can no longer button them.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad.

My nups.

Christmas card, 1995.

Introducing Ava to the finer things in life.

Not too sure.

Bill the Zhu Zhu

I LOVE watching Good Day Philadelphia. There's nothing like waking up to some messy and opinionated news reporting- it's really a great way to start your day. Good Day LA and Good Day New York are often the butt of many a joke on the Soup- and if Joel McHale was stopping by the city of brotherly love for a day, there's no way this one would get by without making his broadcast for a weekly clip.

Aside from the frequent blunders - yesterday Mike Jerrick (formerly of Mike and Juliet- another former Soup staple) was talking about something yesterday- Christmas gift related I think- and he commented that it would provide more "cushion for the pushin'." When he realized what he said, he quickly segwayed onto another topic. A few weeks back when the Tiger Woods nonsense was just getting started he and Jen Fredrick were asking people to send in their best joke about the scandal- so he read this on the air, "What do Tiger Woods and baby seals have in common? They both get clubbed by Norwegians!" After the next break he made a public apology for any harm he may have caused to the viewers about his off color ethnic remarks.

And like a car crash, it's why I watch.

Today...the little gem they provided: Zhu Zhu pets were at the local Toys R Us, one per customer.

I'm not sure which reason is more exciting for Todd about having babies: that we get to see the merging of our genes in a single person...or that he'll get to spend hours in a toy store choosing he perfect gifts for our offspring. It'll mean another round of Sea Monkeys, sporting equipment, dump trucks or dress up clothes- whatever our kid is into, I think there's a chance that he'll be just as excited.

So today, I went to the store and got me a Zhu zhu. Chunk, the white one, to be exact. I have to admit, he's pretty funny.We renamed him Dodger Bill

When I got to the office, I showed my new toy off to the girls and Denise mentioned that my boss (a father of four daughters) was looking for some. When he walked by my office later I quietly said, "I hear you're in the market for some Zhu Zhus" (as though I was picking up my paycheck from the Arby's on Baltimore Pike.) His eyes lit up. "Yea, who told you?" "Denise." "I need two."

I explained where Bill came from. About twenty minutes later (after he got a hold of his wife) he asked if I would go with him later on around 2pm to go pick a few up. I laughed and explained there would be NO WAY Toys R Us would still have any of this year's hottest toy left. He handed me his credit card and off me and the intramural director went to go find them. We got to the store...and they were out already. I felt like a failure to these two little girls.

It reminds me of my yearly New Years resolution. All year (all my life, really) I've been disappointed when I contemplate buying something. If there's a high priced item, too often I'll mull it over for too long and when I finally break down and get it, the store is either out of it or the price is too high. This may spur plenty of impulse buying but whatever- if my kid (or Todd) wants a Zhu Zhu, a Zhu Zhu is what s/he'll get.

And FYI, in case you need one:

Monday, December 21, 2009

I forget to take pictures WAY too often.

...and I'm not above fighting with a 90 year old woman.

On Sunday Todd and I decided we had enough of the indoors after 20+ inches of snow on Saturday. We made a trip to Walmart for the niece and nephew in our lives and made a call to Madge to make sure she was taking care of herself and her 30 yard driveway. Although she was fine, she asked if we could take a trip to Upper Darby to make sure that Grandmom was doing well also.

Grandmom lives in the 69th street region of Upper Darby- it might as well be Philadelphia. Walnut and Chestnut Streets continue to travel into the neighborhood and the only thing that separates this portion of Upper Darby from West Philadelphia is a small park surrounding Cobbs Creek. In a major snow storm, just like in Philadelphia, many of the side streets in Upper Darby go unplowed or are plowed after the storm is long over blocking in all of the cars on the street. When residents go to start the big dig where do they put all of the snow that surrounds their cars? Back in the street of course!

As I watched to the news all weekend Mayor Michael Nutter basically pleaded with the citizens of Philadelphia NOT to put the snow that walled in their cars back into the street, however, he didn't offer an alternative or make any as suspected, they put it right back into the street. Long digression...

Todd and I got to Grandmom's neighborhood around noon. I BOLTED out of the car when I saw her on the porch, shovel in hand pushing snow onto her front lawn. When I got there to tell her that Todd and I were there to help her, she looked around and when she didn't see Todd she looked confused. I asked her nicely to go inside and let us help her- Todd was parking at the nearby Sears parking lot and he'd be right there. "Oh, SEARS?! That's too far, he's going to get sick!" "Grandmom, it's only three blocks, he'll be right here." "Well I'll keep doing this until he get here. I'm not picking the snow up, I'm just breaking it up and sliding it off the porch. See? I'm not really even doing anything!"

Knowing I would make her mad long enough to distract her from doing more work, I picked up the broom nearby and started to help. At this point, she looked at me the way a mother bear eyes up cave intruders when her cubs are fresh out of the womb and yelled, "OH, NO! You WILL NOT help me. I don't want to lose this baby!!" I picked up a shovel, stared her in the eyes and told her, "I'LL GO INSIDE IF YOU'LL GO INSIDE." I knew I was being childish...but so what. So was she.

Grandmom has a really old fashion way about pregnant ladies- she's convinced that her first miscarriage was due to some heavy lifting- she was getting a box down off of a shelf and lost the baby a few days later. Is that possible? Of course. Did it actually happen? Probably not. Should I do what my Grandmother asks to placate her? Sure I should. Did I want to get into a conversation about which one of us was more healthy- the 29 year-old yoga teacher who is five months pregnant but who also works out 4-5 times a week... or the 90 year old with terrible arthritis? Whatever. It's all rhetoric.

Thank goodness Todd walks fast because that porch was about to turn into a WWE wrestling ring if she kept that nonsense up for much longer.

He got there to finish the porch so we went inside to get the bread crumbs ready to feed the birds, tuppence a bag.

This is a picture I paint-brushed after Thanksgiving, 2006ish. That year, grandmom lit her old fashion oven (you have to light it with a match) after the gas was running in it for about three minutes. It produced a fireball that burnt her eyebrows off. She's not as cute and innocent as she looks ;-)

My Entry For the Kia Sorento Ultimate Road Trip Sweepstakes

A) Create a new post titled "My Entry For the Kia Sorento Ultimate Road Trip Sweepstakes" (on your own personal blog) B) Within the blog post, answer the question "If you could take your family on a road trip anywhere, where would you go and why?C) Include in your post, a link back to this giveaway

Let's see...Todd and I were unable to get a trip together for this upcoming week- we were dying to get to a warm beach somewhere- one stipulation: it couldn't cost over $400 per person. We couldn't find a spot, so we're heading to the in-laws to beautiful Orange County New York.

If we could go anywhere though- and I mean anywhere,  I'd really love to drive across the country- take three or four weeks off and hit the road. Sure, I'm five months pregnant, but what a great story to tell later on. I'd leave tomorrow if it were possible. We test the boundaries of our marriage, the strength of the fabric in my yoga pants and the capabilities of whatever vehicle we take (most likely, it would be Todd's...)

I've never taken route 6 across the top of PA, I've never been to Texas, I've never been on route 66. I'd like to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway during the day (it was dark when I drove from LA to San Fran) and maybe even end up in Washington. On the way back with a cooler full of pb&j and tired children I'd like to hit up the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore- and probably swing down to Graceland (because we don't want to blow our load on the way out.)

My parents talked about taking us on a two week vacation one year- flying into LA and driving up to San Fran- I was so excited. You can imagine my disappointment when we spent another week in Sea Isle. 

I know that we would run in to road blocks and things would get VERY uncomfortable- especially if we planned this trip when we had an infant or fact, I'm sure there would be times on the trip when I would be down right miserable...but again- the story would be priceless.

Todd, for Christmas, will you promise me that we will take our family in a car across the country one year?


I hope I did this right. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I love to cook, I hate buying ingredients in recipes.

A few posts back, Shannon talked about cooking and becoming more familiar with her kitchen etc. I'm in a similar boat, I  really enjoy cooking. However, as previously discussed, I'm lazy and don't like to clean up. I also don't like to spend money on things that aren't clothes, books, fabric, yoga trainings and cat toys. What category do leg warmers fall into?

Anyway, there are SO many times when I go to the grocery store with a recipe in hand because I have a taste for something (an old-lady way of saying craving.) Far too frequently I bring items home that I never use again. I've got rice wine vinegar and sesame seed oil from when I was on a wok kick- when am I going to use it again? When's Chinese New Years? How about all of the baking chocolate left over from when I made fudge (I buy extra in case I screw it up)? Just sitting there.

Enter Time Magazine's 50 Best Websites of 2009 where SuperCook was listed. It's the best. Ever. Last night, after grocery shopping, I brought the laptop into the kitchen, logged in and typed in just about every ingredient I had in my kitchen...and you know what it told me? That there were a possible 895 recipes I could choose from to make a combinations of main courses, sides, apps or desserts. What's even better is that they ask if you have other ingredients that would really up the number of recipes available. Also- it's lists recipes that you have all but one or two items remaining or you can highlight an ingredient that you want to use- let's say the plain yogurt is about to expire- they jump to the top of the list.

I went with this eggplant jawn minus the French bread- also, it was a major goal of mine to stay around the hundred dollar mark at the grocery store so that means buying meat in bulk. I walked away with close to ten pounds of Italian sausage so I was able to make an AMAZING dinner of eggplant parm, sausage and some garlic bread leaving enough left overs for lunch today and I froze a Pyrex of that ish for later on. (NOTE: there's absolutely no reason to turn down sausage for $1.49 a pound.)

I love this site. If only there was a similar site for closet contents like Cher had in Clueless to put my leg warmers with as many outfits as possible.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Scare of my life.

I had the scare of my life this morning.
I was in the tub
and I looked down at my belly
and there was a small, black hair.
It looked like stubble from Todd's beard.
...and I thought it was growing out of my belly
Fortunately, it was not.


In the Marple Crossroads Shopping Center, there is a stored named this: GIANT BOOK WAREHOUSE.

As an English major in college, I have a snide, elitist chuckle at their expense every time I read it- if they only knew... But I wonder EVERY time I pass it- do they sell giant books or is it a giant warehouse FULL of books?

Working in a college athletic department has it's ups and downs- something I use to pass the time is making comments to coaches and students when they misuse grammar and/or punctuation. In a recent comment post on Tursi's blog, I note:

"I've been reading some of what my student athletes write on some applications for a training I'm doing- good God- Tursi, thank you for being able to string a sentence together. When I read the goodness of your blog and others, it's so fluent and easy...when I see misplaced punctuation and out of whack eyes/head/heart hurts."

Yesterday I read an email from a colleague- sometimes we get transfer students in. It went something like this- (but not exactly, I don't want to embarrass anyone ;-)

"WHEN did we find out about this one??????? Another transfer???? I don't see her on the website!!!!"

When I saw the person later I remarked, "were you really surprised/upset by that transfer notice? I was really caught off guard by your gratuitous use of punctuation..."

He replied with something along the lines of, "uh, no, I just, well, you know....(trail off into silence.)" Exit stage left, me, feeling like a jerk. Okay, so it's not acceptable to comment on people's grammar habits, I suppose. A little gauche, if you will. Whatever, these are people with advanced degrees, I don't really think it's out of line.

Another personal quirk: I refuse to use commonly accepted texting-type. I have a qwerty keyboard on my  phone. I'll use it to it's fullest, thank you.

Good writing is something I take COMPLETELY (I use caps when I want a word to stand out)  for granted. I read and reread my blog and make constant edits- but for what? I think I have three or four readers. I think the answer is that I do it all for the former eighth grade English teacher in me...

Monday, December 14, 2009


Yesterday was prenatal yoga training day- Todd and I drove up to NYC at 6am. He dropped me off at 36th and Madison and went out for an hour run in Central Park just in time for me to find out that I was at the wrong New York Sports Club (NYSC.) Awesome.

I ran seven blocks to the NYSC in Grand Central Station and sat through 8 hours of training. It was a really fun day- I was already aware of many of the modifications from the Level 1 training. We had a class at the beginning of the training and everyone had to "get pregnant" by putting a pillow or various other props under their shirt. Thank goodness I didn't have to pretend. The male teacher and the other male in the class played along too. It was neat.

At the beginning of class Josh the instructor dimmed the lights and had each of us put one hand on our heart and one on our belly to connect with our baby.

I remember in college when I was the ice queen. I didn't get emotional in 2001 when 9/11 survivors were on Oprah. I used to not know how to deal with various other emotional situations and would either avoid them completely or look at the floor. Things began to change as the years went by- I cried at the lyrics of a song while Todd and I were trying to choose a perfect wedding song (we went with Queen's "Best Friend"...I'm not sure anyone else on the planet tears up when they hear Queen.) I cried when I said my vows but...I did not cry when I found out I was pregnant.

It's all been a surreal experience so far- like it's still not happening to us yet. No morning sickness, no aversions, no real cravings for anything other than for food in general...seeing the baby on the ultra sound screen didn't even seal the deal for me 100%. I'm starting to feel what might be little Tae Bo session in my belly- but again, since I don't have a point of reference, I haven't been convinced...people constantly tell me, "I never would've known you were pregnant!" Yea. Me either. In fact, the other pregnant chick in my class was one week behind me...and she's already got a full-blown belly.

I sat with my hand on my heart feeling the solid, rhythmic beats and had the other hand on my belly that's starting to peek over the belt of my pants. Josh asked us to recognize the connection between mother and child with each breath. To think about the wonder of the human body- that our bodies are creating life- a person- and a love that otherwise we would never know.

I started to feel a tear drip from one I quickly wiped it away because it was so unexpectant...and I was in a room full of people. Then came another...and another... and finally, when I couldn't keep up with them I just let them run down my face. It was the first time this all felt real.

Todd and I have joked back and forth that I'm making a person but more in a "Can you go get me ice cream since I'm bearing your fruit" kind of a way. But man...

Reason #28 why I love Todd: I don't have to babysit him. He came with me to New York and he spent the day going for a run and walking around the city stopping in the NBA store to see if there was a Tshirt he'd been eyeing up and he swung by the movie theater to check out Fantastic Mr. Fox...I was so thankful that he came with me yesterday...I was comforted to know that when I came out of class, I'd be able to share with him the funny sight that I was crying in the middle of yoga class so I didn't feel alone.

After we returned from lunch, some of the other people in class (the non-pregs) asked Josh where he gets his little affirmations that he used "because they were so touching that I was tearing up."

Whew...I'm not messy alone.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Things that make me laugh...

I was feeling sorry for myself yesterday. This entire week I've been bored to tears. There are some days when I run around like a CRAZY lady (usually in the Fall or Spring during field hockey or lacrosse seasons) but in Winter and Summer...I'm literally climbing the walls of the Internet.

Two days ago I contemplated via my facebooks status (plural on purpose- it makes me laugh. Best Buys. Wawas) if I should get hair extensions or pay for a hotel on Saturday night in New York City before my prenatal yoga training on Sunday. I opted for the hair extensions telling myself that if I found a deal for under one hundred dollars, we'd spring for the hotel room too- credit does amazing things. I had a talk with Danielle, a friend from my grad class and who is a woman of color. She and I have about the same length hair- barely reaching our ears and about two weeks ago she came in with a new shoulder length hairdo. I asked her all about it and I told her that I was a little nervous about the trying the whole process but I wanted to get into it again.

Tuesday night while Todd was in class I made a trip to Sally beauty supply in Ridley and bought a few packs of hair- some that just about matched and one that was a little darker so I could throw in some low-lights. Last night I got home after the second poorly attended meeting this week (which made me all mopey) so I decided that it was time to open up the bag of tracks and start gluing instead of lay around, feel sorry for myself and watch TV.

My sisters met me with the following:

SK: I'm about to glue in a weave
j.madrak: Why?
SK: Why not?
JM: you're watching too much Wendy Williams.
(later she said: "Whoaaaa" and "Like!")

SK: I'm about to glue in extensions. Wanna come over and help?!
LMad: Wow- exciting...Can you do it yourself?
SK: I can
SK: Crying all the way because I'll be lonely
(censored pregnant lady talk)
LM: Take a picture [for me.]

The first track I tried to put in was a mess- I needed two mirrors- or a person to help so I could see the back of my head. I sat down and started to sew clips to the tracks only to discover that if I kept that up, I'd need about twenty packs of clips and my head would feel like I was wearing a helmet. I was still really nervous about the glue/rubber cement and doing it myself- mostly because I didn't want to look a mess....BUT I had spent the last few days searching EVERYTHING on the Interweb and had viewed three or four how-tos on YouTube about applying extensions to short hair- what did I have to lose? Two things could  happen: It would look awesome...or it would be a mess. Either way, it would be a good source of amusement.

I started sectioning my hair on the top and sides- I had both sides applied when Todd got home. I was working on the project upstairs so he came up to see me and gave me his very best Wendy Williams "How you doin?" (she wears a lot of fake hair.)

It's funny, even though I can be completely myself when I'm around Todd- and feel completely at ease I wasn't sure how he was going to react when he saw me gluing tracks of someone else's hair to my head...and that I needed his help to hold the mirror...he reacted exactly how I wanted him to...

Reason #853 why I love Todd: he helped with a smile, didn't judge and laughed right along with me about how fun/silly the whole scene was. I wanted to glue hair on my head and he wanted to watch Syracuse beat Florida. We have a TV in our bedroom so we all got what we wanted. He even glued one or two tracks in.

So...mission accomplished. I feel like a new woman with a new 'do. Although it doesn't exactly following along with the Wendyism of "the bigger the hair the smaller the hips" it still is helping me feel pretty. And I haven't felt very pretty with short hair and a belly peaking over my pants recently.

I'm ready and available to help anyone who needs a whole head or a few tracks to spice their game up.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Change up.

I've been blogging about being hungry, food and home repairs...and that's it. I'm starting to think I'm pretty boring.

Here's what's exciting in everyone else's life (I made the links so they open a new window, btw, and all from craigslist, all safe for work.)

Want to conversate in French?

Heavy duty landscaping work masked in a free tree.

Call me and I'll kick your ass for free

I want to hunt/be a mentee

Is there an age limit?

It makes me laugh every time

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I couldn't sleep this morning. I knew something was going on. It was 4:30am and I laid awake for nearly an hour before I was able to get back to sleep. I surfed the interweb from my phone so I kept busy for the hour but I had a tough getting back to sleep. The sleep I had from then on was not a great sleep- I could hear the weather pounding down on our roof.

About two hours later, I could tell by the noises in the room that Todd was just about getting ready to leave for work...and then I hear it: the sound of a drop of water falling from above hit my pillow. I disregarded the noise- it had rained like CRAZY all summer and fall- there's NO WAY this was happening.

I heard it again.

And again.

I felt my pillow and sure enough...there was a leak coming from the ceiling.

Turns out it wasn't s huge deal- we got a guy recommended by our insurance agent over to the house by 9am. He was able to scoot up on the roof, find the hole near the original chimney and tell me that who ever put our new roof in ten or so years ago did a really shitty job.

Awesome. Todd gets to learn how to patch up roof holes real soon.

And now...not a cloud in the sky.

I've spent the past two days at work leafing through these: Time Magazine's Top 50 Websites of 2009.

You probably won't get any work done now, either. You're welcome.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Had myself a busy little weekend.

December 7th.
I took another cue from Shannon using I never thought I'd have serious things that I love to put on one of these- but here they are!
1- Christmas Tree scented things. I bought one of these candles and lit it in the living room. Todd came on and said, "it smells like Christmas." Now I can't get enough. $3.33 at Michael's right now.
2. I'm starting to show a bit- and not feel much like a sex pot. I bought some pretty undies from Old Navy to lift my spirits. Mission accomplished. Three pair for $12.
3. I'm allowed to have one cup of coffee a day. I like to grind my own beans so I almost immedeatly wrote off Trader Joe's Wintry Blend- but decided to try it in the store yesterday for the heck of it. Not sure of the price- but it's GOOD.
4. Since I work at a college, there are open flame policies- when I saw the candle warmer on sale- ALSO FOR $3.33!!- I scooped it up.
5. There was nuh-huh-huh-huthing on TV last night...until I flipped to the Travel Channel in hopes of seeing a docu about someplace warm. There was a three hour mini-marathon for Meet the Natives: USA. It's about five men from Tanna in the South Pacific- I thought it was really going to exploit the Tannanians but it's really soft and heart warming- and every episode ends with the five men putting their penis sheathes back on and doing a circle dance in their host's living room. It's really fun/funny. In a good way.
The rest of the weekend was spent doing these things:
Todd installed a mailbox further up the hill so we have a greater chance of NOT getting hit by cars when walking to our house.

It might even be level!!

Shannon and I went here...and promtly left after seeing things like this:

I get it. It's art. 

They were selling pizza slices for $2. The slices were worth the drive. Also, we found out what age a person becomes too cool/old for a picture on a hipster's lap who's dressed up like Santa: 29. May have been 28 but I wasn't propositioned at that age.

Cravings this week: pizza a salt and vinegar potato chips. Old wives' tales tell us baby would be a boy based on these reasons. We'll see.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holy Pulled Pork, Batman!

I was roped into subscribing to a Sunday delivery of the Philadelphia Inquirer some time ago- usually the paper gets taken out of the bag some time on Sunday and thrown on the coffee table- sometimes I'll leaf through it, most times I won't. I'm in it for the coupons. The selling point for the subscription came when the customer service rep offered a complimentary $10 Target gift card and a daily subscription to the online edition of the paper. So far because of the daily local section, I've found out about some pretty righteous events: the Lithuanian Festival in Port Richmond and now that Dan King has opened a farmers market in Chester, just one town over from where I live.

Read about the history here

I read this article on Monday and couldn't WAIT until today, opening day. I got there around 1:15pm and it was clearly opening day- they were already out of many items (chicken wings, whole chickens) but had reserves waiting in the wings (ha!) behind the counter in the rotisserie that about ten people were waiting on.

I opted for the BBQ pork sandwich ($3.00), a small side of mac and cheese ($.75- beat that, Wawa!) and a small side of collard greens ($.75). Total price of lunch: $4.50. AND it may be the best pulled pork bbq sammy I've ever had. Ever.

They offer so many choices for BBQ- ribs, half and whole chickens, BBQ pork, roasted ham- and as I mentioned, there were out of a few things so I'm certain there's more and it's all delicious.

Aside from the BBQ, there's an Amish raw meat section, a  pie and dessert stand as well as deli and produce sections.

There are a few tables to eat in if you'd like but I opted to drive back to work...and nearly tore through the bag because it all smelled SO GOOD.

In true Amish tradition, they're only open Thursday through Saturday but it's worth the wait- (Thurs 7am-5pm, Friday 7am-7pm, Sat 7am-3pm). Also, there is 15 minute parking right across the street so the market is VERY accessible.

The community is a little run down as the article discusses but hopefully this little spot will attract patrons from nearby communities to swing by. I'm so excited to go back...**cleaning up drool from my keyboard**

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Saint Katherine Drexel

Seven of my field hockey players with seventh graders from Saint Katherine Drexel Neumann Academy in Chester, PA.

One of the many tasks I'm charged with at work is coordinating community service projects through the Saint Katherine Drexel Neumann Academy with our athletes. So far, we've sent four teams and made six trips. Each team goes to help out with their after school program and basically has a Catholic grade school gym class for about an hour and 45 minutes.

Today I revisited my days from the St. Andrew School yard where Mrs. Shinn-Ross taught us the rules to capture the flag and let us run loose. Now I know why that was her favorite gym activity: the kids LOVE it and it can last for hours.

The first game didn't have a lot of strategy involved- masses of children (in their full uniforms) just tried to run over to the other side. Of course, they were immediately caught and sent packing to jail where they waited for their teammates to set them free and/or acted as eyes for their other teammates.

My favorite part was probably when they stood toe to toe at the half court line and stepped over the line and back trying to bait each other to catch them...or when they danced at the half court line to draw attention while their teammates either sprinted over to the other side to try and recover their flag or free people in the jail. Final favorite part: running DIVES, FULL blown DIVES across the line missing being tagged by mere millimeters. It was hilarious. And fun.

But mostly hilarious.

Best. Christmas. Pic. Ever.

I mean, really.

Niece, Ava, Christmas 2009.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanks for the help, Cooks!

Cookie is a special little cat. According to her vet and my sister in-law, Katie, because of a portosystemic liver shunt, she isn't able to digest proteins and as a result, is basically drunk all the time off of the by-products from the food she eats. Since this makes life a little more interesting, we've developed quite a little persona for Mrs. Cookie Pinkelstein- some days she's a frail old lady who looks like she'll fall over and croak at any second, other days, she the HILARIOUS drunk aunt who wears mix-matched socks and earrings to holiday parties and when it's brought to her attention she looks at you, takes a drag of the cigarette she has on one of those long, old time cigarette holders and bellows, "Thanks, hun, now be a dear and pass the whiskey."

Todd and I are creative. What can we say? (Above- Cookie helping put up the Christmas Tree by holding down the decoration box. Below, end result. Nice job, Pickles.)

So she's been having a few good days since two weeks ago when she's was throwing up everything she managed to swallow down. As of late, our little gem climbs up on anything and everything to see if there's a snack waiting for her. Because it's pretty annoying, we continue on with the Pickles (short for Pinkelstein) story pretending like she's helping us whenever we're doing anything.

Last night, Cooks helped me with dinner and nearly burnt her little nose off in the rice.

So here's the deets:

_____oz. of V8 (replace V8 for amount of water that the slow cook rice calls for)
1 cup of regular rice- I used long grain brown rice
1 tablespoon basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
 and basically follow the recipe on the rice package- it packs 2 servings of veggies- and basically tastes like tomato basil soup with rice. Pretty good with the butter, garlic talapia. Yum.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Have you had your V8 today?

Week 4

17 weeks, 3 days. Yep, there's a baby in there alright.

What a crappy picture my phone took though.

In week 17 preg peeps are supposed to start experiencing congestion and general stuffiness but I'm pretty sure I caught a cold. I scoffed at the email about the congestion because those idiots have been wrong all along in my case so why would they know anything about Fancy at this point?

So I've been stubborn- I spent the morning blowing my nose in toilet paper and paper towels and got exactly what I deserved: a raw nose.

Juvie yoga was fun again and but we had a short class today- the kiddies were a little late. I emailed James yesterday my proposal asking for $50 an hour for weekly visits. After a little research, $25-50 is a normal going rate when you're not charging per person so I went with the high end hoping to fall somewhere in that ball park. A few extra bucks would be nice for Christmas.

I had a delicious little can of V8 today. I've been SOOOOO hungry as of late so I'm trying to do what I can to eat good things. I was surfing on to see what's what and came across a recipe I'm going to try out tonight. It might be gross but either way, I'm going to omit the pepper and maybe add a side or brock-reeee. Updates to come.

I'm using Google Chrome- what's the story on where the spell check went, eh?