Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Yo - ho ho and a bottle of milk

Avast ye blog readers and take in the sights of our little pirate's second Halloween. The night was full of young buccaneers searching the high seas for their treasured treats. We had a bit of excitement when Jeanne thought she was headed straight for Davy Jones's Locker when a scarecrow who was supposed to be fake suddenly moved. Her screams as she ran away could be heard by all the landlubbers who were huddled in their homes. The most memorable event of the evening was when a young little privateer showed up at our door all blinged out with a giant gold dollar sign hanging from her neck. I rather assuredly asked the young lass if she were a rapper. Well, the little sprite looked at me in all seriousness and replied, "No, I'm a gangster". Well Shiver Me Timbers!

Here come the Trick or Treaters to steal my treasure. I'll make them walk the plank I will!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

For my own Mama who says there are too many words and not enough pictures on my blog...

Don't my lips look just like my mom's in this picture??

Found his shadow

Seeing the world from way up high on top of mama all 5'4 of her

Strike a pose

Listening to the BlueGrass band

Ahhh give lovins!

Ok, bye now!

Mommies Helping Mommies Maintain Most of Their Marbles

My mommies' group is responsible for at least 67% of the sanity that I currently maintain. It has been such a saving grace having these ladies around to talk with about everything from diaper rash to teeth to past indiscretions to Hollywood hijinks. I am not even exaggerating when I tell you that there are many days where I am living solely for our mom's night out. It's scary to think about the state of my mental health should I not have found this group of friends-- nevermind all of the cute photo opportunities I would have missed.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Oh how he's grown

Last year at Cox's Farm:

This year at Cox's Farm:

Obviously the growth stunting elixir I've been giving him hasn't been working. More from our farm trip and Halloween play date coming soon to a mellonblog near you.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Alrighty then

My friends list on Facebook has grown to an entire 11 people--certainly cause for celebration. Yes, I know that I am way behind the times, but I prefer to move at a snail's pace when it comes to entering the domain of the hip and cool. Anyway one of the recent additions to the list is a guy who went to high school with me named Andy--not to be confused with the love of my life Andy who also happens to be my friend on Facebook. Husbands count too, damn it!

Now, Andy from high school may not know this, but he was always one of my favorite people which has only a little to do with the fact that he was my first kiss and a lot to do with the fact that he's just good people. Seeing his smiling face after so many years brought back sudden flashes of AP Calculus II involving limits of x approaching 1 and the movie Stand and Deliver.
( Hey, I'm the first one here. What's calcoolus?) Just as soon as those images had passed through my brain, they were replaced by memories of "The Back Row" or as I like to call them, "The doofuses that sat in the back row overusing lame catch phrases such as "word" and "you know this man" and cracking jokes that were at times mildly entertaining but mainly just annoying as all get out". Of course my title wasn't quite as catchy as "The Back Row", so it never really gained momentum.

Moving on. The main buffoonery that I recall the Back Row engaging in was making up nicknames for all the other members of the class. The only one besides my own that I remember was Finkle which was bestowed upon a classmate simply because she occasionally wore a white shirt with stripes resembling the team colors of the Miami Dolphins. Clever bunch these boys. Their fascination with all things Jim Carrey ought to provide you with a little insight into their humor repertoires.

So, I know you're all just sitting there with bated breath wondering what my nickname was, aren't you? You're going to love this--Sunisfree. As in, "The sun is free Laura, go out and get some." Apparently they had no love for the southern belle/gothic-lite look that I was trying to achieve.
Funnily enough, Andy was one of those doofuses--see how forgiving and accepting of people's flaws I can be??

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you that I have at times questioned my devotion to emulating Casper and have actually partaken in the occasional sunbathing activity. Even more scandalous, there are a few brief flings with a number of tanning beds in my history. However, after having a dime-sized chunk of skin removed from my left shoulder due to the presence of a precancerous mole, I have learned that the sun is most definitely not free. Oh no. The sun in fact requires payment of $12.99 per bottle of Banana Boat SPF45 and $12 for the occasional Mystic Tan application. Word.

Here's a visual of my flashback for you. This is a picture of my AP Calculus class on the last day of school in 1996. You might want to take out your sunglasses now to reduce the glare from my skin...

Guess which one was Finkle.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Chase channels Jackson Pollock

Well, not exactly. He didn't actually splatter paint so much as roll an ear of corn through the paint and on to his canvas thus creating his very first work of art. Chase loves going to "school", and his brain is receiving all kinds of stimulation. In addition to the corn printing, noodle has also sung corn songs, pretended to climb a ladder to pick apples, and investigated kernels--pretty heavy stuff for a 15 month old. Meanwhile, I've gotten some free time to bum around watching As The World Turns while eating bonbons--what more could a girl ask for?

Monday, October 22, 2007

What I Learned on My Homecoming Vacation

  • Mountaineers really know how to pregame it up. Here's a picture of the main area that I took from our spot in the law school parking lot. Bear in mind that while this is the main area, it is most certainly not the only tailgating location--there are open car trunks in every direction from Mountaineer Field. That doesn't even count the people who couldn't get tickets and are at home sitting on their front porch couches throwing beer bottles into the road while listening to the Mountaineer Sports Network. Next season, I'm so totally going to throw my own tailgating hat into the ring. I'm already thinking of recipes...

  • True friends are the kind that you can see for the first time in years and still feel comfortable enough to make highly inappropriate requests of them in very public spaces while you are still stone cold sober. Miss you C!

  • It is possible to feel like you're still 21 and then feel like you're way older than your 29 years all in the space of about an hour. Feeling 21 was much cooler by the way.
  • Technology has completely changed the going out scene since my days at 581 Spruce Street. Cell phones were just becoming more financially feasible for random pointless calls when I left Morgantown in the Spring of 2000. Now, instead of seeing club goers talk to one another at the bar, you see them stand next to each other while texting the person downstairs. Then they show their accomplice the screen, chuckle, exchange a maximum of 15 words, and then proceed to text the person across the room. Now that I think of it, this may be a smart approach as it awfully hard to hear one another over the din. Something to ponder...
  • Drinks are cheaper in Motown which could possibly be used as an explanation for this picture. It is after all tradition to take a drunken self portrait on your way home--sweaty dancing hair and all. Lovely.

  • Being responsible enough to not drive home does not completely wipe away the irresponsibility that it took to get drunk enough to require a person to have to leave her husband's car downtown overnight. $10.00 in fines made payable to the Morgantown Parking Authority ought to just about cover it though.
  • It is possible to still have a good time when your husband is sick and miserable back at the hotel room. But when your baby gets sick, the party's over.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Forget Plan A

Last weekend, we went to the farm with cousin Nate and family. The big draw of this particular county run acreage was the rather large Maze of Maize. I think I remember hearing David say that it covered an entire 14 acres, but don't take my word for it as I often think I've heard something that turns out to be entirely false-like the time I could have sworn Drew said that I could have a pony and name him Polanco..totally unfounded information apparently.

My original plan upon entering the giant labyrinth was to have Noodle toddle along on his own. Well, surprise surprise, the kid wasn't interested in partaking in my grand schemes. He much preferred studying every corn husk that he found lying on the dusty ground to walking. Let me tell ya, there are a lot of spare corn parts lying around a 14 acre corn field. Needless to say, I promptly gave up on plan A and moved swiftly to Plan B: Carry the Urchin. It wasn't long before I grew tired of this new method, so I devised the best strategy yet herein referred to as Plan C: Pass the Urchin to Drew. Next time, we'll skip A and B and proceed immediately to Plan C.

This is one of my favorite pictures. Isn't that jean jacket just the cutest thing evah? Thanks Nana!

Yea, no reason other than I really dig this chick. Hee hee.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Noodle's current quirks

Chase is continuing to grow at an unauthorized rate, as evidenced by his 15 month appointment. He was in the 25th percentile for weight at 22 lbs 4 oz and was 32 inches long moving him into the 75th percentile for height. Given this new space, his personality has decided to show off some of its eccentricities that had been previously contained in the smaller body. Being the loving mother that I am, I will now share with the world wide web a few of the monkey's new mannerisms.

Let's start with food. In the past, I have spoken of Noodle's fondness for meat and hatred of fruit. Well, we've now moved from hating fruit to enjoying the occasional strawberry or raisin. Meat is still eaten well, but carbohydrates have moved into the number one spot. Chase's new trick is to walk into the pantry and grab his cookies, crackers, or puffs. Then he attempts to open the container, or he toddles over to mama and hands her the package. Either way, the end result is the same: a handful of carby goodness ends up in his mouth. He's also started to desire whatever I am eating which he makes known by pointing and saying "that, that" until you give him some. Last week, I made the mistake of going to get him from his nap while I was still chewing the Baby Ruth I'd just eaten. Little noodle was very disappointed that I hadn't thought to save him a bite, so he proceeded to use his stubby little fingers to try to pull himself a nibble straight from my mouth before I could swallow it. He didn't succeed though as I have jaws of steel baby, jaws of steel.

Here's the little thief in the pantry.

Now, let's move on to his reading preferences. As mentioned before, Chase loves books. And he shares this love with mommy by shoving a wide variety of the tomes in her face several times a day. Mommy loves books too, but even she needs a break once in a while, so she tries to get Chase to take the books to his daddy. Little bugger wants nothing to do with that. If Daddy holds out his hand for the book, Chase says, "Nah" and pushes his hand away while giving the book to Mama. If Mama thinks she can circumvent this by passing Dad the book, she is just fooling herself as Chase will just scream "Nah" and pull the book away from Dad and cram it back into Mom's clenched fists. This refusal to let Daddy read a story is giving Drew a complex as he believes Noodle questions his ability to read. For the record, Drew can read, but not with the same enthusiasm as yours truly. I personally think that the gremlin just likes torturing me while at the same time being able to use his new favorite word as much as possible.

Speaking of words, the rugrat's vocabulary is also increasing commensurate with his height. In addition to the aforementioned "nah", he now says car and truck. Well, he says "cah" and "uck" but he's very serious about it all when he says them. He works really hard to get that hard c sound out of his mouth as we read That's Not My Car together. He'll point at the picture, screw his face up into one of deep concentration and then force out the "cah". Then he smiles and turns the page to repeat the process. Outside, he'll watch cars and trucks go by saying "uck", "uck", "uck". We obviously still need to work on the fine points of vehicular identification.

Lastly, we come to his bird watching hobby. I decorated for Halloween by putting some lovely crows on hay bales on the front porch. You can see one bird perfectly from the window by the door, and Chase loves to talk to the bird. If you say, "Where's the birdie Chase?", he'll drop whatever he's doing, run to the window, point and say "there". Really cute. Of course he also still enjoys watching other birds--as in the girl variety. In fact, he's developed a little crush on an older lady. I've tried telling him that an 8 year difference is a bit much at his age, but he won't hear any of it. I think his cuteness has gone to his head. That and the fact that the object of his affection adores him, too.

Chase with his lady friends--guess which one is his current crush.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

That's why they call her The Nana.

It takes mad skills to balance two toddlers on your lap while jamming to the tunes laid down by a dancing pumpkin.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Mellon's Most Excellent Adventure and a New Hero to Love

Yesterday, Drew took me on a whirl wind trip to see my beloved Phillies in Game 2 of post season play. To get to the city of brotherly love, we hopped a chartered flight out of Leesburg. The plane was a little baby Cirrus that could only carry up to three passengers. I got to sit next to the pilot on the way there. I have to admit that at first I was a tad uncomfortable seeing as the plane's controls were within an arm's reach, and we all know I'm not the most graceful person in the world. I had visions of knocking the plane off course and having to pull the emergency parachute after I'd rendered our pilot incapacitated. Once we were in the air though, I came to realize just how unbelievably cool it was to be sitting there with my headphones on listening to the tower chatter and flying in the clouds. Then--bonus!--when we landed at Philadelphia International Airport, we were in our own little section away from the congestion of harried travelers. Our car picked us up right outside the door. So, in total, I probably only walked 200 steps to board, fly, land, disembark, and load myself into the waiting car in Philly. You can walk 200 steps just getting to the check in desk if you're flying commercial. This chartered thing really is the only way to travel.

Those who know me might say that I have a bit of an obsession with Chase Utley. Not sure where you'd get that idea--it certainly couldn't be the poster I had of him hanging above my desk at school, or the fact that every one of my students was capable of reciting his name, position, & batting average as well as being able to hum his theme song at the drop of a hat. Now, the fact that I named my first born son Chase might cause some to raise an eyebrow, but really Chase is a very popular name these days.

Anyway, Mr. Utley was stalled in a strike-out pattern in game one, and I was really hoping that he'd snap out of it for the game that I was there to watch. His first at bat did not go according to plan; however, and I remember looking around the stadium wondering where his wife was while thinking how hard it must be for her to watch her husband struggling so much in front of a crowd of 45,991. Then I thought, "Duh Laura, you don't even know what she looks like, so you'd never know her even if she was sitting right next to you." So instead of continuing to search for Mrs. Utley, I returned to watching the game while feasting on my Turkey Hill ice cream pint. Despite much towel waving and cheering, the Phillies fell 10-5 to the Rockies. Though I am happy to report that Chase had a couple of hits late in the game, so it appears he's dumped his slump. Back at the airport, our plane was right across from the jet waiting to return the triumphant Rockies to Colorado. You'll be happy to know that I resisted the urge to put a stink bomb under Matsui's seat--although that's mainly because I didn't have one with me at the time.

When we arrived safely home, I remembered my earlier dilemma concerning the need to know what Mrs. Utley looked like for future game spying opportunities. So I called into service that wonderous tool of modern technology: google search. Now, given my devotion to Chutley, I was holding a pretty high standard for his soul mate. I didn't think she was going to be good enough as I was sure that she was your typical high maintenance, gorgeous, self-involved society wife that was only interested in my hero for the fame and fortune. I was pleasantly surprised. Turns out Jen Utley is gorgeous, but not in that obvious, fake way, but rather in a down to earth, girl next door way. And, it turns out that they've been together since 2000, which incidentally is roughly the same amount of time that Drew and I have been a couple. So, she was with him all through that most unglamorous time in the minor leagues thereby laying to rest the notion that she was some sort of gold digger type. That made me feel better, but I still wasn't sold on her 100%.
But then, I found this article. It seems that the Mrs. had been working at a shelter when a dog came in that had been badly beaten and burned by rotten kids. She was so filled with compassion for the poor little canine that she rushed to his aid and is paying all of the veterinary bills for him. Now, anyone can throw money around when they have it, (and Chase does after his very lucrative contract with the Phils) so the fact that she offered to pay for the dog's treatments isn't what got my attention. Rather, it was the outpouring of emotion that she showed in one of the video clips--it's very difficult to fake that kind of compassion. Anyone who has that much empathy for an animal is a winner in my book, and so now I think that I love her just as much as I love her husband. Maybe more.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I totally rock

I was a savings queen today at CVS. This is what I got:

8 pk Bounty paper towels
2 Tide HE 2x concentrate detergent 50oz
3 Children's tylenol 4oz
1 Children's tylenol plus 4oz (Chase won't be old enough for this, but I can gift it)
2 Robitussin Cough Medicine 8oz
2 Sure deoderants 2.7oz
2 Bags of Snickers Fun Size
1 Airborne Seasonal Allergy 16ct
6 Boxes of Puffs tissues 108ct
1 Crest ProHealth Evening Toothpaste 4.2oz

Guess how much I paid? Come on guess. $17.58. Seriously. I had a $10 off $50 coupon, my regular coupons and ECBs and a $25 gift card that I got for transferring a prescription. Here's the kicker: I got $27.xx back in ECBs to use another time. I told you that I totally rocked.

For those who prefer visuals to words, here are pictures of my triple coupon bonanza from Harris Teeter a couple of weeks ago. I got everything pictured for $21.

And for those who don't give a fig about my awesome savings, here's a picture of the noodle and me at the BuckFest.