Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rear View Mirror

Looking back over this month....

I talked about wine quite a bit.
I admitted I would never be president of a certain mom group.
I mourned the loss of my blue chairs.
I marveled over the cute little monkey I have in my house.
I told you I keep my brain active.
You now know that my feet are always cold.
I confessed my decorating traditions.
I revealed I had lost my job.
You found out that I unwillingly shared something with Oman.
I like donuts.
I  said Thank You to those who serve.
You know who my favorite Bond is.
I enjoy baking.
You know what food comforts me.
I talked about putting pennies in my piggy bank.
I realized I didn't post very much last year.
Oman went on a date.
You know that I am a blonde.
I asked you for good JuJu.
I took a free pass to spend time with Mook.
I tried to get Oman a scholarship.
I said a prayer.
I watched Oman go up and down.
Your good JuJu helped.
I gave thanks and ate.
I ran my first 5K.
I told you I toss my cookies in a plane, train or automobile.
I admited decorating is exhausting.
I had a brain fart.

And I shared all of it with you! Thanks for putting up with me on your computer every day this month. I do hope you enjoyed our Virtual Wine Club! I will be doing the random generator tomorrow for the wine GIVEAWAY!

So in honor of our last Virtual Wine Club meeting, please enjoy a glass of my favorite wine: Weathervane's Sweet Mountain Bliss.

A final big CHEERS

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Block

Wouldn't ya know..writers block with one more day in NaBloPoMo.

Just a reminder, Im tallying up all the comments from this month and doing a drawing for a bottle of wine in honor of the Virtual Wine Club this past month.

Lurkers and friends--this is your time! Just tell me one tiny little thing. Anything.

Tell me a joke.

Tell me a moving story.

Tell me you like my hair.

Something. Please? :)

I'll tell you something: I love that new HP Hit Printer commercial: "Iiiiiiiii got a brand new pair of rollllller skates, you gotta brand newwwww keeeeey"

I'll tell you something else: I will be having more than one cup of coffee tomorrow.

And one more thing: I hate when I plan to go to bed early-ish, only to realize I still haven't put new sheets on the bed. *ugh* (but I do love fresh, crisp sheets....Im off to make the bed!)

Enjoy a glass of Twisted Sisters Chardonnay for tonight's Virtual Wine Club!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fa la..la...la

Can you hearing me try to catch my breath?

Decorating for Christmas is a lot like moving--it's a lot of work! Don't get me wrong, I love it--I love the lights, the tinsel, the smell of the musty attic as you open each box.

But I'm pooped. I can never decorate the same way as the year before--so its all about planning out where each thing goes--and it all goes up somewhere--I have things that have been passed down to me that have a lot of sentimental value, and things that are only a few years old that have a lot of meaning.

And let's not start on the search for the perfect tree. I made Mook, Oman and our friend from out of town traipse to 4 tree lots before we ended back at the 1st one we visited, to get the 'perfect' tree.

And I think I will have a partner in crime in the years to come..he seems to be just as picky about the tree.

Now I'm sitting on my couch, gazing at my beautiful tree, enjoying a glass of Old North State's Spring House. Hope you'll partake in a glass for our Virtual Wine Club.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sign Me Up

I've always wanted to get a boob job. A reduction, not an enhancement.

I've always wished my feet weren't a size 10.

I wouldn't mind laser hair removal so I'd never have to shave again.

But the thing I want the most?


If there were a procedure to cure it, I'd sign up today.

I have been carrying around barf bags since I could walk and Dramamine is my dear friend.  I can't enjoy boat rides (I missed a freakin' whale in Hawaii because I was too busy hurling over the side), sunset or booze cruises, the backseat of a car on a road trip, and the descent on a plane ride makes me turn a lovely shade of green. 

I bring this up, because tonight we went to a fantastic holiday light show display near us that is set up in a park, so you drive around and stay nice and warm in your car. We had a friend in town for Thanksgiving, so I gladly sat in the back seat so I could watch Oman go nuts over the sparkly lights. Well---all the stop and go, the smell of exhaust and the fact I was in the backseat made me feel incredibly bah hum bug. I held in my leftovers, but I had to get out of the car half way through and breathe in a lot of fresh air.

It's so inconvenient. Why can I not enjoy a simple ride through a park in the backseat, going less than 2 miles an hour?

Is anyone else plagued by severe motion sickness? What are your tips and tricks? I've tried the bracelets, the patch behind the ear, etc. The only thing that really works for me? Is not doing any of the above. It stinks. 

I didn't enjoy any wine tonight because my stomach was still upset when we got home, but I am more than willing to enjoy a virtual glass for our Wine Club. Enjoy some Harvest Mango Wine (mango helps settle my tummy). 


Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers: post-turkey

This is my first Friday Night Leftover's post!

  • This week while watching the boob tube, I saw commercials for Mother's Day flowers and SATC 2. Seemed odd to me since I realized it was not May. Duh. I was catching up with shows on my DVR.
  • I misplaced my Netflix DVD. Like, could.not.find.it. Then I go to get a glass of tea from the fridge, and guess what was in the crisper? Apparently I got mucho distracted when grabbing yogurt earlier that day.
  • I ran/walked in my first 5K on Thanksgiving morning. I've been "training" since August, so I was very proud of myself for a) getting up and doing it, b) running more than half of it and c) not coming in last
  • I'm incredibly thankful for Mook's job-but tonight I wanted to go cry in the corner. It was a tough day. 
  • I did not go shopping for Black Friday deals--but I just ordered a free 8x10 and two 5x7 prints for FREE online. That counts, right? 
  • Why does printer ink dry out so fast?
  • We are getting our tree tomorrow--I love the smell of fresh pine in my house, even though I am allergic to pine. I just deal with the sniffles and sore throat for the next month--its worth it. 
  • My in-laws are coming tomorrow-they just told us this today. 
  • I feel like I have been in the kitchen for 72 hours non-stop. I am thankful I have food in my fridge and pantry that has allowed me to be in my kitchen for 72 hours non-stop.
  • I had a hoooorrriible dream last night that Mook decided to marry a girl named Anne. If your name is Anne, I don't like you so much right now. No offense. 
  • Cranberry sauce is delicious.
  • I put out the first dish of holiday candy--can you guess what it is? 
  • Oman will be 22 months old next week. So far, this is my faaaaavorite age. I know I will keep saying that, but he is so much fun. A lot to handle, but sooo fun.
  • It's time to start planning his 2nd birthday party. Hoollllyyy Schnikeies.
  • I am a left-side sleeper. I hurt my left arm somehow and it makes me sad that I cannot sleep on my left side tonight. 
  • Speaking of sleep--it's time for bed. Night night!
  • You can share your leftovers at Danifred's blog :)
Enjoy a glass of Sutter Home Merlot--a smooth, yummy red! We are almost to the end of our Virtual Wine Club! Don't forget--I'm going to give away a bottle of wine at the end of NaBloPoMo!


Thursday, November 25, 2010


So much to be thankful for...

Especially the fact that I can now listen to Christmas music without feeling guilty.

Enjoy those leftovers! (I prefer it to the actual meal)

Pour yourself a glass of Yadkin Valley Chardonnay for today's Virtual Wine Club.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: What I Got

Enjoy a glass of Placid Peach from Weathervane for today's Virtual Wine Club.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Up and Down

I've been up and down these stairs hundreds of times.

Running up to avoid being late to school.
Down to play Barbies in the basement.
Up to sit at the dinner table.
Down to watch a movie with friends.

I know the sounds of the floor boards; the steps to avoid as you attempt to keep anyone else in the house from knowing you're up.

Watching Oman learn how to go up and down on these stairs--the stairs I grew up on, is yet another thing that is so simple, but means so much to me. Loved being able to watch my mom guide him down each step--just as she did with me--literally and figuratively.

Are there stairs/floors/doors that you know are being occupied in your house/home you grew up in, just by the noise they make?

Enjoy a glass of Beringer White Zinfandel for tonight's Virtual Wine Club.


Monday, November 22, 2010

A Mother's Prayer

Now I lay me down to sleep
How on earth did did I forget to eat?

Today was great
he even slept late
But why were grapes
the only thing he ate?

The toy of choice was a piece of plastic
when I took it away
his response was less than fantastic

The dog was kind
as he pulled on her tail
I'm pretty sure the neighbors 
just heard me wail
The dishes can wait
No need to fret
Who am I kidding?
I'd wake up in a cold sweat

Tomorrow is another day
I pray I'll be a better mom
Before I know it 
he'll be going off to prom

Wake him with the morning sun
but not too soon
so I can get things done

Watch him as he plays all day
and let me prop my feet up
at least once today

Love him and protect him all day through
and give me patience
when I'm feeling blue

The laundry can stay in a heap
I'm pretty sure I could write
lists in my sleep

All's quiet now
while I sip on my wine
There is nothing sweeter
than that precious boy of mine


A toast for all my IF sisters...for today's Virtual Wine Club, enjoy a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Rodney Strong Vineyards--for all the waiting, heartache, needles, tests, unknowns, joys, laughter, tears, and all else in between. 

It is purely place and character that matter the most.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

On the Lawn

Today, Oman and I spent a wonderful day with some family from the left coast. Some of you Virginian's may recognize this photo the quickest--it's on the ground of a certain university. They cheer silly things like Waaaah-Hoooo at football games, and I always cheer for them when they are playing against a certain school that has a turkey as their mascot.

I dressed Oman in preppy clothes--a cardigan sweater and loafers, and maaaaaan did he fit RIGHT in. I was hoping he'd get spotted by some recruiters and they'd offer him a scholarship right on the spot. No such luck.

We all enjoyed the afternoon just watching Oman run around...being with these family members meant a lot--they have been so supportive of us since the very beginning of our journey. Watching my aunt and cousin's playing "1-2-3 Jump" with Oman and hearing my uncle sing "Itsy-Bitsy-Spider" was a memory I'll hold for a long, long time.

Please enjoy a glass of Viognier from Jefferson Vineyards, right down the road for this evening's Virtual Wine Club. I'm toasting the special bond of family.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Free Pass

I don't want to break my NaBloPoMo writing streak, but I've only seen Mook for 24 hours in the past 2 1/2 weeks--so pardon my absence tonight as I take a break from the computer.

Please enjoy a lovely glass of Sangiovese for tonight's Virtual Wine Club.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Good JuJu

We play a ton of games at the beach during our family gathering each summer, but one of our favorites is the game called Scattergories. (Ms Calliope sometimes plays a blog version--super fun)

<------You roll this dice, and it gives you a letter, then you have to answer a series of questions based on the letter.

During one game with the letter "J" (my favorite letter!) my mom, sister and I all answered the same thing for the question: A type of candy.

We didn't pick the more common answers like: Jelly Beans, Jolly Ranchers, Jaw Breakers...

We picked JuJuBes.

Not that this choice might be uncommon but we were all amazed that we picked the same thing. And who doesn't love a dose of good juju? So whenever the three of us need a bit of positive pick-me-up, we remind each other of the power of JuJuBes :)

Today, I will roll the dice with J in mind again, as I go for a Job interview, and hopefully receive feedback on a grant I wrote for a contract position.

Should I stick a box of these in my purse, just for kicks?

As you raise your glass of J Pinot Noir today for our Virtual Wine Club, please send me a toast of good juju? Thank you!

My sweet friend LJ sent me a bottle of J wine for my
birthday earlier this year--definitely recommend it!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

A blonde walks into a bar...

How do you keep a blonde busy for hours?

Scroll Down. ---->

<----- Scroll Up.

I've hesitated a few times about whether or not to share this little story. I've already asked you once this week to keep loving me, so I know it's asking a lot for you to not laugh too hard at the following true story.

Earlier this week I told you how frugal I am...and along with the fact that I am job searching, I am looking for ways to cut down on expenses.

So on Monday when I realized that my hair needed a pick-me-up in the color department, I decided to reach out to my girls on Twitter, do some Google research and then buy a highlighting kit, instead of going to the salon. I was quick to buy color-in-a-box back in my college days, but I'm more educated now on the dangers of frying my locks, so I wanted to be careful with my choice.

I took my time. Probably too much time--I debated over brands, colors, yada, yada. But I finally picked one, headed home and set it to the side to use after O-man went to bed. 

Got O-man tucked in, put on comfy PJ's, grabbed my glass of wine and headed to the bathroom. And wow, I forgot how un-sexy wearing a highlighting cap is. Yikes.

I began reading the directions, and made sure I had everything they claimed was in the box. Let me show you exactly what comes in the kit:

  • Highlighting Cap
  • Plastic Styling Hook/Applicator
  • Metal Styling Hook
  • Mixing Tray
  • Lightening Powder
  • Frosting Developer
  • Frosting Protective Creme
  • Conditioning Shampoo
  • Insert
  • Gloves

I had the cap on: check. I saw both of the hooks/applicator: check.

Here's the kicker.

On the directions it says, and I quote, "Combine lightening powder and developer in the tub. Mix well."

Hmmm, the tub? I thought about it, and while it sounded sorta strange, it made sense--"I need to mix this in the tub to keep from making a mess, and then I can just wash it away!"

I proceed to dump the powder and then the bottle of developer in my large garden tub. 

So there I am, bending over the tub, my back beginning to ache, when I turn to stretch and catch a glimpse of the Mixing Tray that the cap and hooks came in.

Oh. My. God. 

I'm sure you can imagine me turning beet red, yelling at myself for being such a BLONDE, and then the comedy that was me trying to get this mixture out of the tub and into the correct tub.

At least the highlights turned out fine, my hair did not fall out, and I saved $60, but severely embarrassed myself in the process. Worth the cost? I'll let you decide... :) 

Hey, blonde's do have more fun, right? Blonde or not, please share a "moment" were your brain just shut down. I'd love to hear some fun stories!

Please enjoy a glass of Buxom Blonde, a Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc blend from Red Hot Mama Wine for today's Virtual Wine Club.

Fun and flirty with full figured fruit and easy to drink!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: It's A Date!

O-Man and his date, Miss Logan.

I get this flash before my eyes of a scene like this, only 15 years from now (who am I kidding, he's not dating until he's 30!) I will do my best to raise a little gentleman--he will hold doors open, pay the check and pull out chairs. He will be as sweet as his Daddy has been to me.

Enjoy a glass of Two Princes Riesling for today's Virtual Wine Club, in honor of my two princes. 


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Creme de la Creme '10

This will be my forth year participating in Mel's Creme de la Creme. Sounds like a lovely dessert, doesn't it? In a way, it sort of is....

Submitting a post to be listed in the Creme is all about celebrating words and the richness they can bring to the eyes that read them. I started my blog to connect with others, and also to chronicle the journey I am on--and some days it is hard to remember to write for yourself. 

There are trolls out there, haters, critics. Hell, most of the time we are our own worst critic. But more importantly there are supporters, silent lurkers, readers, friends. And as Mel says, there are blog posts that feel good to write: "The one that you felt really good about when you hit publish."

My writing has shifted from when I first started almost 4 years ago. We are no longer in the thick of treatments, I am not injecting myself with 5 needles a day, and I am not constantly thinking about crappy sperm. But those are the pillars from which this space was born, and I will always honor it--by writing and by connecting with others going through what I have been through and what I am going through now--parenting after infertility with a big question mark of: what's next?

When I saw Mel's post letting us know that the list was open to submit a post, I came back over here to read through my chronicles of 2010. I was sad to realize I only wrote a total of 56 posts (not including NaBloPoMo). 

That's not nearly enough.

Those are only my personal goals, though. I read blogs that post every day...some that post once month, some even fewer than that. It's all up to the writer, of course. But for me, I am looking back on my words as a way to chronicle my thoughts and feelings. That's the beauty of NaBloPoMo, too: the encouragement to write.

I am not interesting 24/7/365...but I write in my head all the time. So why am I not putting it down on "paper" more? Life gets in way--that's why. But I hope by this time next year, I will have a much better chronicle of memories; a much harder time choosing just one post to represent my year.

If you haven't submitted your post for the '10 Creme, be sure to get your post in the list. We all have words to share.

Let's all toast to writing: raise your glass of Argyle 2000 Brut for today's Virtual Wine Club.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Penny Pinch

All the talk over the years of making the penny obsolete makes me sad.

I've always been a fan of finding Abe Lincoln's face on the sidewalk, making a wish and promptly placing the coin in my piggy bank for a rainy day.

I was taught at a young age the value of saving, making the most of your money and being in control of the money that you have. My mom taught me how to balance a checkbook at 15 when I got my first job, and I'll never forget that first trip to the bank to open my very own account. I'm proud to say I still have that exact same account, and while it's had as little as $5 in it, I'll keep it as long as the bank is in business!

While I've met more frugal people than me, I must admit to you that I'm a stinker when it comes to spending money. Not that it's a bad thing--but I do wish I could be more care-free sometimes. But I love the hunt of a good deal. While my friends in high school were shopping at The Limited and Gap, I would take my babysitting money and shop at K-Mart and thrift stores to get more for my money.

Now that I'm an adult and have to shop for things like toilet cleaner, detergent, dog food, etc., my love for the hunt of a good deal hasn't stopped. I do use the good ole fashion way of coupon clipping from the paper once in a while, but there are so many good websites out there that keep you updated on deals.

Tell me: how do you pinch pennies? Any good coupon hunters out there? I love swapping trade-secrets, ideas and ways to keep Abe Lincoln in my piggy bank!

And I still love to hunt for non-household items, too. Just 'cause I'm a grown up with responsibilities, doesn't mean I can't shop for fun anymore :) 

So when my friends over at Who Wants To Know extended a challenge for us gals to go to a local thrift store and share what we could buy for $10, I was giddy with anticipation--I got to go hunting!

You MUST go over and see my wonderful finds--and check back all week for what the other ladies found. You will be amazed how much I saved.

To stick with my frugal finds, I must tell you about a wine that I picked up just because I thought: "How good can this wine be? It's only $2.99!"

Hey, it was good--no icky bitter suflite aftertaste--and even better? At my local Walmart, it's been 99-cents the past two weeks. Ya'll--thats a full bottle of decent Pinot Grigio for a dollar. A win-win in my book. Enjoy a glass of Oak Leaf Pinot Grigio* for today's Virtual Wine Club!

(Imagine a picture of wine here)

*At the time of uploading this post, blogger decided it didn't like me and won't let me post anymore pictures. Maybe it's all my cheap talk. (ha!)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Comfort Food

When the temperature drops, my appetite goes up.

It takes a lot of will-power to not over-do it and keep my portions in control this time of year--something about that extra cheese on my bowl of chili just makes it sooo much better.

I definitely have comfort food in warmer weather, too--like ice cream. But the comfort foods this time of year are my faaaaavorite:

  1. Chili (no beans)
  2. Potato soup
  3. Lasagna
  4. Mac-N-Cheese: with hot dogs cut up and mixed in, covered in ketchup
Please say you will still love me after reading #4...I know its weird. But it's so good. And it's such a great comfort food for me.

So spill it (not your food!)--what are you favorite comfort foods? The weirder, the better. Don't leave me out here all alone with my hot dog mac-n-cheese combo.

And you know what goes great with all comfort foods?


Enjoy a glass of 2007 Hervé Azo Chablis for today's Virtual Wine Club. It's definitely a great comfort wine!


Saturday, November 13, 2010


What do you get when you put these ingredients together?

  • patience
  • chocolate
  • hot oven
  • patience
  • eggs
  • butter
  • top-secret family ingredients
  • patience
  • did I mention patience?

You get this:

Spent the day working on getting my little baking business some holiday orders. The house smells delish, the pans are clean, and I can now enjoy the fruits of my labor with a glass of wine.

Enjoy a glass of Desiree Chocolate Wine for today's Virtual Wine Club--a perfect pairing for this chocolate cake!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Double Oh Seven

I don't get to travel all over the world searching for the bad guy.
I don't carry a weapon. (although my mind is pretty freakin' dangerous--muahahah) 
I like my martini with lots of apple and 'tini. No olives.

But there are times in my life where I totally feel like I am Bond........JJ Bond.

You know--the times when you feel the need to be a total bad ass-take charge-butt whoopin'-shatter proof-crime solvin'-powerhouse.

Except my crime solving skills don't revolve around drug-lords: they are spent trying to figure out if the mud stain came from the a) hubby b) toddler c) dog

And my shatter proof resolve comes into play when I find out Oman has been sent to the "principal's" office at preschool for biting. Trying not to take it personally when I talked to the teacher, I wanted to be a diligent parent, while also understanding that he's not even 2 and has a hard time understanding what he did wrong. The hug he gave me when I picked him up was heart-melting.

I'm doing my best to take charge of the whole job search thing. I feel like my brain is in constant motion trying to think outside the box. Sometimes that box seems awfully small...

But Bond wouldn't give up the job hunt or let parenting challenges stop his suave ways....Bond stays bad-ass no matter what the circumstance.

Roger Moore as James Bond

Gonna keep channeling the Bond mentality. Roger Moore was my favorite 007--he was one suave Bond.  Mook laughs at my choice--his favorite is Sean Connery, which seems to be a common favorite.

Who's your favorite Bond?

For today's Virtual Wine Club, raise your glass of Hidalgo Alameda Cream Sherry--one of Bond's choices when he's not drinking a martini.

"Sweet flavors of caramel and crumb create create a seductive contrast"


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You

The words dont seem to hold enough weight for the thanks that we owe our service men and women. It's such an amazing thing to think about people putting their life at risk in order to defend our freedom.

I have always soaked up any information about the World War II era--I often say that I think I may have been reincarnated from that time period. I love so many things about it--the music, the fashion, the art of letter writing--but of course Ive learned there were definitely hardships and challenges.

I do not condone war by any means, but I'd like to think I am doing my part in honoring those who have fought, by learning something about what they went through. A sample of some of the things I've read/seen based on this time period:

The Greatest Generation written by Tom Brokaw
Saving Private Ryan
Band of Brothers HBO series
The Bedford Boys written by Alex Kershaw
Battle of Iwo Jima
The War documentary by Ken Burns

And just today, a book that a good friend (hi J!) recommended I read, finally came into my local paperback store--Ive been waiting a month! Good timing for today, though. I cannot wait to dive into it:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
written by Mary Ann Shaffer and her niece Annie Barrows.

To honor all of our service men and women, please raise your glass of 1940 Vega Sicilia Unico Proprietary Blend for today's Virtual Wine Club.

Thank you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


You know what goes good with doughnuts?

WINE. (for grownups, of course)

Going high class today and pouring you a glass of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill for our Virtual Wine Club. Ohhh, Boone's Farm...what memories. I may have moved onto more "sophisticated" wine, but you will always be my first love.

If you are a Boone's Farm drinker,
Strawberry Hill was probably your first love and you'll never forget her.

Cheers. Enjoy a little junk food and spirits! It's good for you!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Not something I wanted to share

Every time I get a cold, it turns into a sinus infection. Bet your bottom dollar.

It's a real big pain in the rear. Apparently, small/constricted sinuses (sinus-i?...what is the plural of sinus?) is something you can share, and I may have shared it with Oman. So far, all of his run-of-the-mill colds have turned south as well.

The past two days have been full of two big S words (no not that S word): snot and screaming. And honestly, the snot has been constant for 3 weeks. One of the toughest things I have dealt with since becoming a mom is not over-reacting every time he's got a runny nose, or coughs. But today, I felt like I was about to do a bit of screaming myself and use that S word...so I knew it was time to head to the pediatrician.

Poor fella' has, you guessed it, a sinus infection. Lots of apple juice, tissues and TLC around here tonight.

Mommy's apple juice is a bit different...please enjoy a glass of Killibinbin's Shiraz tonight for our Virtual Wine Club. The wine label says it all. Being a Mom is a job I've always, always wanted. It's also the toughest job I've ever had.

The mild vintage conditions have resulted in a wine with a tight, powerful structure


Monday, November 8, 2010

Scenic Stress

Stop and smell the roses.
I try to do this every day: live in the moment!

Don't beat around the bush.
I lost my job.

Make like a tree and leave.
Really no tie to this post, but it's a little tribute to Biff--I cannot believe it's the 25th anniversary of Back to the Future. I love those movies!

So the "scenery" around the Jeans household has been...well...a bit stressful. Two days before we got on the plane to put our toes in the sand to celebrate our anniversary, I found out that my fantastically flexible part time job was kaput.

Remember that scene from "A Christmas Story" when Ralphie says: "Fuuuuuuuuuudddgeeeeeee" Yeah--not how I want to start a vacation. And, you don't want to be on a 6 hour plane ride with me when I am stewing about money.

I felt so guilty being on vacation that week--when really it had already been paid for since we saved for two years. I felt guilty not job searching--but my resume hadn't been updated. I felt guilty for being absent mentally during a time I was supposed to be celebrating my anniversary. Guilt, guilt, guilt.

I finally relaxed enough to put a hurtin' on the Mexican tequila supply and I'm pretty sure I ate my weight in guacamole.

But then it was back to reality. And reality was that: it stinks to be a grown up sometimes.

I'm in the thick of job searching now...wondering what will happen in the next few months. I'd love to be able to magically invent something that everyone needs--why did I not think of Silly Bandz? I mean, good grief, Charlie Brown.

And this little guy reminds me everyday to keep my chin up--we go outside every afternoon to look at the leaves falling (he's fascinated) so I'm doing my best to change the scenery around here from stress-city to zen-let-things-fall-into-place-city.

All good juju thoughts are much appreciated and if you know of anyone who wants to hire a super-duper-hard-working lady, I'm your gal.

Never mind! I just found TONS of jobs I can apply for right here! (I wish!)

Let's ALL raise our glass to less stress and good job juju--I know there are others out there crossing fingers for a job, a raise, promotion, etc. Enjoy a glass of Mad Housewife White Zinfandel for tonight's Virtual Wine Club.

Watermelon and strawberry combine with a
subtle sweetness in this pink treat.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Deck the Halls

How early do you decorate for the holidays?

How early do you wrap gifts?

When do you start listening to holiday music?

Do you have a unique holiday tradition?

We start decorating the day after Thanksgiving, Mook has already started wrapping presents, and I haven't listened to a Christmas song yet--but Im not opposed to it. And my funny holiday tradition? If it's not snowing, or at least raining/grey outside, the window blinds must stay closed. I think every Christmas should be a "White Christmas"--and if it's not--I'll at least pretend :)

Each year, I never feel fully prepared--but when are we ever prepared? But we just took down the rest of Halloween today, and I'm anxious to have things that light up and sparkle back in the living room. I'm resisting for a bit longer--not because I don't want them up, but I'm starting to realize what a challenge this decorating season might be--a certain little boy is into everything so no doubt, he will want to help me unpack the boxes.

To start the holiday cheer, enjoy Le Paradou Viognier for today's Virtual Wine Club

The pure, round taste is backed by ample freshness,
blossoming into fruits with an almond finish


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Frigid Digits

It doesn't matter if it's 90 or 15 degrees out--my toes are always cold. 

This works to my advantage in the summer time, since it helps keep me cool--but it's so frustrating when it starts to get cold. But oh man, what a great "weapon"--Mook gets quite a shock when I scoot my feet over to his side of the bed--hehe!

I have tried almost everything to help warm up my "toe-pops":
  • socks
  • toe socks
  • fleece slippers
  • warm inserts (the kind you put in the microwave)
  • blankets
  • sticking them in the fire (kidding, but Ive come close)
I've only been able to find 3 things that work:
  • hot water bottle/heating pad 
  • hot shower or bath
  • wine
Anyone else have any other suggestions? Do you have trouble keeping your feet warm this time of year? Speaking of--does anyone else get chilly after eating a meal? I've heard that it's your metabolism working. Or am I just a weirdo? (don't answer that)

Since wine is one of the only things that keeps me warm, you know I'll be keeping a glass nearby for the next few months. Today's Virtual Wine Club choice is Rooster Black from Weathervane Winery:

A Merlot, flavored with sweet blackberries, is perfect for sipping!

So as much as I love this time of year with the chill in the air, the colors, the holiday cheer--I dread not being able to feel my toes again until around May.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Brain Elliptical

I am possibly one of the world's worst spellers.

It's embarrassing (yea I spelled embarrassing wrong just now) how many of those red squiggly line's indicating you've misspelled something show up during any writing I do.

But that's what spell check is for. And I do learn from my mistakes--I pay attention to the word's that I've misspelled and try to not do it again. At least in that same paragraph.

However, there will ALWAYS be words I will never ever spell correctly on my first try:
  • guarantee
  • restaurant
  • convenience 
  • license
I accept that I am a rotten speller, so to combat my weakness, I like to give my brain a good exercise.

By playing a game on my phone.

Sounds real intelligent, huh?

I've been playing Words With Friends--a version of Scrabble--on my phone for the past few months. I have come up with some doozies--one word I thought I had made up (turned out to be real!) gave me 88 points!

I love getting the triple word score! E-mail me: reprojeans at gmail dot com
if you have this game and want to challenge my skills! (not much of a challenge, I promise)

How do you keep your brain challenged? I tried doing Soduku--I end up getting way too frustrated! I do love crosswords--my goal is to complete the USAToday puzzle someday. I rock at the People Magazine crossword--of course that's all pop culture :)

And they say, a glass of red wine a day is good for you--so feel smart when you drink this glass for today's Virtual Wine Club: Duplin Winery's Burgundy wine

The driest of our red wines, Burgundy is made from the Noble grape and picked early in the season. It has a complexity that can only be achieved with special aging. This full-bodied favorite is soft, dry , and velvety with a clean finish. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Monkey See, Monkey Do

My little Oman turned 21 months old today--and it's appropriate that we decided to dress him up as a monkey (actually a sock monkey) for Halloween, because he is in the mimic stage. It's so much fun--so rewarding to watch him communicate with us and seeing him learn something new almost every day.

Let it be said that it's also a bit challenging--I of course have to watch what I say and do a bit more and I often wonder if I am doing enough to help him learn and grow. I get sucked into those "Your Baby Can Read!" infomercials and pass a Montessori school on the way out of my neighborhood every day. I don't expect him to be the next Einstein, but I already feel the pressure of making sure I am doing enough as the "elder monkey" to make sure he's getting enough: playtime, learning opportunities, etc.

But I don't need to worry too much--the fact that he knows how to operate my cell phone better than I do means he'll be just fine.

In honor of the last type of wine I drank before starting IVF numero dos, that blessed me with my little monkey, please enjoy a glass of Fetzer Gewurztraminer for today's Virtual Wine Club--a funky name, but oh so refreshing and delish. 

Rich, fruity and clean aromas of orange spice join with
pineapple, baked pears and hints of tell-tale cinnamon.

And how creepy, yet oddly appealing, is this? 
A sock monkey wine bottle cover. Wow.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Blues

First, thank you for all the "yes, kick that group to the curb!" sentiments. I do hope that I can connect with some other momma's in my area--I just might start handing out flyers at the park:


So today I have to share something that is so silly when I say it out loud, but I can't help the way I feel. I am hoping I'm not the only one.

I tend to develop an emotional attachment to "things"...like this chair:

Notice the sweet lab that has made herself at home. She did this quite often. This is only one of the many reasons I am sad that this chair (and it's twin) no longer sit in my den. (she's still wandering around looking for them...)

My parents bought these blue rocking chairs in 1988...they moved from house to house, got placed in storage, turned upside down in a moving van, and endured lots of people rocking and swiveling.

So, we recently crossed off a major honey-do item on our list--painting the interior of our house--and of course that meant I needed to redecorate the living room a tad. Which led to me finding new chairs (I love craigs list!) that match our couch, living room decor, etc. Apparently when you are a grown up, it's nice to have furniture that matches. Who knew!

But oh no. That meant the blue chairs had no where to go. I tried thinking of ways to rearrange the rooms, push things way back in a closet, or make room in the garage. Sadly, there just wasn't room to store them this time.

I made the last ditch effort to see if anyone else in my family wanted to claim them...I don't think they had quite the attachment I did. So I regretfully placed them on our driveway when we had a garage sale a few weeks ago. I thought for sure someone would buy them right away. But there they sat at the end of the sale. Then they got posted on craigs list--"Great chairs!", but still no takers. On Sunday, I gave them one last look as Mook drove them away to Goodwill...then I got the phone call that Goodwill wouldn't take them because they were "too-worn-out".

"Maybe this is a sign," I thought! I could draw up plans to add an addition on to the house--we could knock down a wall in our bedroom and have a place for the blue chairs! 

Can you just for a second imagine the look Mook gave me?

I couldn't even watch when the garbage trucks came the other day...I seriously got teary when I heard them come down the street.

What is it about certain material things in our life that hold such a strong emotional attachment? Those chairs had no feelings, they didn't realize they were being tossed to the curb. But I knew and it made me think of my old house, or using one of the chairs as my closet in my first apartment when I had no closet.

May you rest in peace in rocking-chair heaven, blue chairs. You were so comfortable and soft--I raise my virtual wine glass to you. Today, take a moment to remember some thing that meant a lot to you--and enjoy a glass of Biltmore Winery's fantastic Riesling for today's Virtual Wine Club:


This classic Riesling is crisp and semi-sweet with
delicate fruit flavors, an aromatic nose and a hint of spice.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

never gonna be president

Appropriate for election day, eh? Did you vote?

I don't plan on running for the oval office anytime soon, but I'm just letting you all know I definitely won't be listed on the ballot for my local mom's group. 

I hosted a play-date today for the mom's group I've been a member of since late last year. I've only been able to do a few events here and there due to: a) a lot of the events are during nap time, b) I cannot attend due to all Mook's travel, and c) I still just don't feel 100% comfortable being in a Mommy group. I feel like an outsider. I almost didn't go back after the first group event, where I took part in a conversation where another mom said, "...and I went off BC half way through my cycle, and I still got pregnant! I am sick of being pregnant!" 


But, I give anything a second chance. And then I even gave it a third and fourth try. I don't like giving up, but....I give up. There were 8 toddlers and 6 Mom's in my living room this morning. Let me give you a run down of what happened:
  • A majority of the mom's did not watch their kids once they stepped through my door. I don't expect you to hover over your child, but let's keep them from climbing onto my kitchen counter, shall we?
  • There were 3 moms that whispered to each other almost the entire time. Like, hold your-hand-up-to-cover-your-mouth kind of whisper. We are not in middle school. And, how rude.
  • Discipline your child. That is all.
  • Do not watch your child mash a goldfish into my carpet and then walk away. 
  • Most of the conversations were about how much money their husband's make, and when everyone is planning on popping out their next kid.
I want Oman to have play-dates and friends, and I want mom's to connect with and share a glass of wine with...but this may not be the right fit. I was trying to talk myself into making this group work for me, but now I realize no one is forcing me. I'm not being mean and unreasonable, right?

So in honor of my crazy morning, today's wine for the Virtual Wine Club is something that is "far out". Mook brought this wine home after one of his business trips this year, and I am head-over-heals in love with Cosmic Charisma from Long Trout Winery.

"You may have a couple of good points, but this beauty has charisma. It's like a circus in your mouth,
watch out for the midget clowns! It's cosmically delicious."

Got your glass ready?

Cheers to kicking the bratty kids and crazy momma's to the curb. Can all of YOU move closer so we can have awesome play-dates all the time? Ok, thanks.