Monday, January 31, 2011

So proud of my lil' Niece Dulaney!

Beaver Creek 2011: Here she is!! Dulaney is the second kid behind the instructor... in the light blue coat. She is such a little stud!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hey! It's me, Ava!

That's right, it's me... Ava! I just thought I would write to tell you hello. Been REAL busy this weekend. I got to see 2 of my Aunties (Jill & Christy) on Saturday. Christy came in with her husband for the weekend... and she came to MY house so she could spend the day with my Mom. When she and Mom went to the mall & got their "nose and tails" done, Dad babysat me. 

That's what Daddy called it, "nose and tails"; they came home with shiny polish on their hands and feet.  I want some for me little toes!  Mom said not until I'm "a little older".  If I have to hear that one more time!!!!!

On Saturday night, Mom & Dad took me out for yummy mexican food. The waiter was really sweaty. And he kept touching my nose with his sweaty finger. I kept giving him the stink eye, shaking my head and saying in my best nasally voice, "Noooo?!?!"... but he didn't get the hint. No big deal though... I was sidetracked by the chips! I even got chicken strips and fries for dinner. I love to slather them in ketchup, lick it off and then rub my hands in my hair. I really wanted to taste Mom's "gold margarita" but she REFUSED to let me have some. So, I made sure to save my extra-stinky diaper for her this morning. That should teach her: What Ava wants, Ava gets!

They took me to the gym this morning and I went down slides and crawled in the tube-thingys while they worked out. It was FUN! They always smell weird when they come back though. After that, we went to the grocery store. I did not like that idea and I let them know about it. I calmed down a bit after they got me out of that stinkin' cart. I hate that darn thing. The only one I like is the one with the tv and steering wheel, doesn't Mom know this?! Jeesh! As usual the ladies at the deli counter told Mom how cute I am... not sure what that means yet, but I sure do hear it often.

That's all for now. I'll Blah-g some more later.

Ava Jean

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Great idea from Mascara Meets Matchbox!

I had to share these ultra-cute cards that my friend Mollie found! Just like her, I'm new to my area and think they would come in very handy while trying to exchange info with other mommies. Thanks Mollie!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A big girl needs a big chair.

...Well, that is how I sold it to Ken anyway!

I found the perfect chair for Ava while blazing through Babies R' Us last week.  Not only is it super cute & tiny-- but it matches the rest of our living room furniture (beige microsuede-ish)!  

 Clearly, the excitement over the new chair got the best of her.
**Notice the HUGE chair (behind her) that is swelling out of the cart**

 Well, there's a first time for everything!!  Never seen her do this before!  

 Adjusting nicely to her new seat.

All she needs here is a beer helmet and a bag of chips. 

Mommy Column: Article #1!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'll be writing two columns for Patch-Hinsdale & Clarendon Hills.  One that is about being new in town and the other is a mommy column, which has been titled "Mom on the Go!" 

The video that is mentioned in the article is here: Ava says MAMA!!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Just in case you missed it...

Here is my latest article:

Newbie Challenge #2: Making new friends and meeting new people

I will have two columns... the "New in Town" Column which will run on Mondays, and the "Mom on the Go" Column that will run on Wednesdays.

32 going on 19...

Today marks another year. 32 years old. 32! How the hell did I get to be 32? I seriously feel 19. Part of me is afraid I'll blink and be 50!

I remember being younger and thinking 32 was "old". 

Does this mean I have to grow up now?

Nah. Definitely not.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Game Day!

The Bears face-off the Green Bay Fudge-Packers today at 2:00 CST!  

The whole family is decked out in our Bears gear... ready to cheer them on to a big W!

In the spirit of the big game, I'm at it again... whipping up some yummy treats.

On the menu:
Restaurant Style Salsa (Courtesy of PW)
Guacamole (Courtesy of Barefoot Contessa)
(in my best Chris Farley voice) 
...with homemade Ranch dressing (with carrotts and celery of course)
(You haven't lived until you've eaten a fried pickle, doused in Ranch.  Trust me on this one.)

The family is dressed in our best Bears garb, ready to roll.   
Even at breakfast, we sported our gear!


Time to start cookin!  

Friday, January 21, 2011

QHS vs. Hinsdale South High School

When: Saturday night, 7:00 pm

Where: Hinsdale South High School Gymnasium

What: QHS vs. Hinsdale South Basketball Game

Why: Because we'll be drinking afterwards!!!!

Hey all- I volunteered to act as host for the QHS Alumni Association. Hit the Hinsdale South Gymnasium this Saturday and cheer on our Blue Devils to a victory!

We'll be getting together after the game at Buffalo Wild Wings (just up the road) from 9-? So, come out and support your Blue Devils!
Hope to see you there!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wine Night!

I attended my first ever "Clarendon Hills Mommy Wine Night" last night and had SO much fun! My friend Sara reached out to a few of my neighbors, asking them to embrace me and boy did they?! What a great group. We met from 7-10 and A LOT of wine was consumed... mostly by me I think... helping to calm my nerves about being the "new kid". As it turns out, I wasn't the only newbie; there were lots of newcomers which made me feel at ease. A few of the girls work out at Lifetime, during the same time that I usually go with Ava. Maybe now I'll muster up the courage to attend a class or two since I have a buddy.

I had such a great time and am happy to say that I made some new friends.  And boy did I learn a lot.  I know all about the preferred preschools, restaurants, etc... I feel like I know a little more about our community.  I look forward to going next time... we meet every 6 weeks.

Thanks again, Sara for the warm introductions to your great friends! I owe you one!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Say what?!

A friend of mine posted this on her Facebook wall and I thought it was neat, so I thought I'd share. 

This year we will experience 4 unusual dates.... 1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, 11/11/11 .... 

NOW go figure this out.... take the last 2 digits of the year you were born plus the age you will be this year and it WILL EQUAL 111.
I was born in 79 + and will turn 32 this year = 111. 


Monday, January 17, 2011


After a little coaxing... and a little SNL "Gilly" teasing... she finally says it. Melts my heart. I'm still not sure she knows what it means, but I'm running with it!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Extra! Extra!

To all of my blog readers, my column on Patch went live today! I will be writing two separate columns... one that is a "New in Town" Column, as well as a "New Mommy" Column.

I'll be sure to keep you posted as I learn the days on which they'll be regularly published.

For the page, click here:

Please read and share your thoughts/ comments. :)

Dear Jason's Mom- I get it now.

After I got Ava asleep for her 1:00 nap today, rather than rush off to watch my guilty pleasure (Days of our Lives) I opted to stay and watch her sleep in my arms for a few minutes. I immediately thought about how much I love this child... like no love I could ever describe... and my thoughts then (as usual, took a dark turn and) lead me to think about the rath I will bring upon anyone that harms her or threatens her happiness.

I get it now. What I mean is, I now understand why that Mother (in 3rd grade), pulled me by the arm and told me to "stop picking on her son". For the record, I wasn't picking on him... he took my ball and pushed me. And let's just say I was being "self-sufficient" and "assertive" with getting it back. Anyway, she saw me hassling him and she came at me with RAGE, I tell you, RAGE!

Back then I thought she was crazy. But if she were sitting next to me now, I would tell her I am sorry for hassling Jason. But he DID deserve it. ;-)

I hope that Ava will be strong willed to stand up for what is right (and I have no doubt she will... she's holding her own already). Little muscle... she is SO strong. And so independent. I hope she knows that I will always have her back. Kind of like Sandra Bullock in the movie "The Blindside" with Michael (or as she says, "Mak-oll"). 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Do it. You won't be sorry!

Photo courtesy of Pioneer Woman
Step 1: Go to this link: Ryan's Bolognese Sauce

Step 2: Go to the local market to gather ingredients.

Step 3: Put on your apron and get ready to SHOCK & AWE your guests!!!!

O. M. G. 
A-MAZING! The house is saturated with the scent of this delicious "gravy"... I'm completely overwhelmed at my skillz... or should I say, the actual creator of the recipe!! It was INCREDIBLE.
Simmering... (I'm amazed at how MY batch looks exactly like the photo from the recipe!!)
If you're a fan, raise your hand (or leg)!!!
:: Notice the evidence that is SHHHHH-MEARED across Little 
Brithches' face??? Nuff said ::

Do yourself a favor and take my word for it. You WILL NOT be sorry. Nor will those chowing down!

It's official. I have become my Mother.

I recall those childhood-Christmas-mornings like it was yesterday. We (my Dad, Brother, Sister & I) got so much entertainment from watching Mom open her gifts. To describe her reactions as "dramatic" could NOT do it justice. The woman would cry over dish towels. DISH TOWELS! I'll never forget the year Shayne gave her new plates/ bowls... She bawled. BAWLED! I just remember thinking... WHAT A WEIRDO!! WHO GETS EXCITED ABOUT PLATES?!

Who you ask? Me. That's who! I have morphed into that crazy woman. All afternoon, I have found myself gazing with admiration at my new Calphalon cookware. I know. It's kind of sad. 

I got my monthly Kohl's coupon yesterday, peeled back the label and... POW! 30% off! I told Ken that for my birthday this year (the 24th of this month... start sending your cards now :) ) that I wanted some new pots & pans. Ours are ancient... and now that I'm honing in on my culinary skills (cooking things other than hot dogs and microwave popcorn), I might as well get the appropriate utensils.

Sooooo.... I left the house this morning (with Little Britches in tow) and told him I was off to buy my birthday present. He couldn't have been happier; no shopping for him to do this year! We went to Kohl's and found the beautiful cookware I've been admiring for months . It is just lovely (See! I told you, I have TOTALLY become my Mom). Even better... they had a "gift with purchase"... so I got an extra pot (valued at $70) for FREE! Wahoooo! So you are now looking at the proud, new owner of a 14 piece set of sweet-ass-pots-&-pans! Guess it's time to finally give the ole' Easy Bake Oven a toss.

Move over Emeril... this girl's got work to do! On the menu tonight: Penne Bolognese!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Holy Snowballs!

We are getting plummeted with snow right now and I LOVE IT! It's giving me a hankerin' to go outside and build a snowfort, 1985 style! Only this time, my brother won't be there with a bucket of warm water, molding the perfect "ice ball" to pelt at my head. Ahhh... memories.

With the cold weather comes sickness. Our family has been down with the flu for the last couple days. It sucks. Sore throat, cough, headache, stuffy everything... did I mention it SUCKS??

I had to take little britches to the Dr this morning for some follow-up immunizations. The Dr described her as "VERY STRONG" after trying, unsuccessfully, to hold her down to get her temp (via ear thermometer). As I've even said before, Ava does not like to be contained. Just to get her diaper changed, I almost have to climb on top of her to keep her pinned down. And don't even think of wiping her nose! The little ninja throws a karate chop at each hand going near her with a wipey. 

Anyway, the Dr. got a nice does of "Little Ninja" today. Ava kicked, swatted, and did everything she could to keep that Dr. far away.  Can you say "STRANGER! DANGER!"?!?!? 

What's that saying?!... "You can take the girl outta the trailer park, but you can't take the trailer park out of the girl".  Yup... she is her Momma's daughter.  :)  

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy Friday! Family pics!

Here are a few of the pics that Laura took.  I love how they turned out.  Ava cooperated for all of 5 minutes.  In that time Laura somehow managed to capture some great shots.  Thanks again, Laura!

No milkman involved here... We're ALL Mom & Dad. It's easy to see when we're all together like this.

Mom & "the ratchets"

The GEEEEEEEL-berts!

And for good measure, I'll throw one in of the boys (heathens)!
Biscuit (Donkey) & Willy (Willllooooow)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Seriously? It's a freakin' toaster!

Our toaster went kaput the other day.  This happens about every 3 years.  Seems to be the typical lifespan of a toaster (at least in this house). 

Considering we (I) use it EVERYDAY, it had to be replaced ASAP.  I went to Bed Bath & Beyond to see their selection and I was appalled.  First of all, there were 2 (2!) to pick from (I thought this was Bed Bath and BEYOND?!).  And second, they were $100!  What the....?  Since when is a toaster $100?  I mean... I wouldn't pay that even if the damn thing buttered my toast and cream-cheesed my bagel FOR me.  That's completely absurd.  COMPLETELY.  Guess I'll be toasting our buns on the good ole' gas burner.  

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Move over Carrie Bradshaw...

... and make way for Kristi Gilbert, new Columnist/ Contributor for Patch (AOL's local news arm, which has 775 bureaus across the country). The Editor came across my blog and inquired as to whether or not I would be interested in writing for them. I have been specifically asked to write for the local Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills bureau and I will have my very own "Mommy column" which will cover all sorts of things including being new to the area and our adventures in and around Clarendon Hills & Hinsdale. Exciting stuff! It's not the Tribune, but I'll take it! And even better... it pays!

I have a feeling I'll be getting writer's block now that there is pressure... and a Sunday evening deadline. I'll keep you posted as things evolve. Wish me luck! :)


Sunday, January 2, 2011


My brother Shayne was in a horrific accident on Saturday night.  He was pulling into his driveway (in a VERY rural area of Tennessee) and his dog Abbey abruptly ran out in front of his truck.  Shayne swerved to avoid hitting her... hit a patch of ice... and ended up rolling his truck over into a fast-moving (and very deep, I might add) "creek bed".  He said the cab of the truck started filling up with freezing-cold water, so fast that he literally thought he was going to die.  He tried busting his side windows but had no luck (keep in mind, he's upside down... while being consumed by ice cold water... in pitch black conditions).  He somehow managed to turn himself around to kick out the back window in order to get out... only to be swept downstream by a mile (obviously the current was treacherous).  He said it was nearly impossible to get to shore.  By the time he got to shore, he then had to walk 6 miles... 6 MILES... IN SOAKING WET CLOTHES... IN 10 DEGREE WEATHER... to get to a phone (because his wallet, phone, etc were in the truck... and now floating downstream).  When he finally got there, he called my Mom to tell her what had happened (she was SO shaken  by this)... and then he called the police and tow truck.  They determined his truck was "totaled" when they got to the scene.... especially considering the truck was completely underwater by the time they had arrived.

I cannot believe he is alive.  It doesn't even seem real that this happened to him.  And the worst part is, I have no way to talk to him... to make sure he's ok.  I feel so sorry for him.  If you know my brother, you know he hasn't had the easiest stretch of road to travel... some of which, were his choices... but nonetheless, he's not had it "easy" by any means.  If you're reading this... please say a prayer for him... he gave me away at my wedding and I consider him to be one of the most amazing men in my life.  And I always will.  He's my best friend and I hope that his life will take a turn for the better.

As for a positive piece in this post:  I put Ava down tonight.  She was still awake when I put her in her crib.. and I (did as I always do) told her she was such a good girl and that I had such a "great day with such a great girl".  She turned over, toward the wall... snuggled on her pillow-pet and literally said, "Ni-Ni.".  My sweet baby, told me good night.  I. Could. Die.

Thank you God for my blessings.

Where's your ding dong??