Wednesday, August 25, 2010

3 Years of Bliss!

This time three years ago, I was sipping a mimosa and getting my hair and make-up done.

Eric is always sure to interject that he was not having a relaxing day of being pampered. Nope, since his hair takes all of 35 seconds to "do", he had a little chore list for the morning of our wedding. Things like delivering the drinks to the reception location and putting together the chocolate fountain.

Does the chocolate fountain look funny to you? Yeah, I thought so. I didn't notice it until I was looking at pictures a week later, but someone put my chocolate fountain together upside down. Instead of a beautiful flowing fountain of white chocolate, I had pools of chocolate that kept getting gloppy (since it wasn't flowing down to the heating plate to stay warm.) And it wouldn't be so bad, except that he took it apart himself (after I had properly assembled it at home) to transport it. I have threatened to talk to Iowa State about revoking his engineering degree. But Eric maintains that it is a flaw in the design; the user should not be able to put it together upside down. (He also likes to point out that water fountains have tiered bowls that the water fills and then flows over.)

Lucky for my hubby, he had already redeemed himself a day earlier when he and Jimmy, one the groomsmen, drew chocolate bowties and buttons on 150+ chocolate dipped strawberries. They did a fantastic job on those! (Those two may have missed their calling. If careers in engineering don't work out for them, they could always go to culinary school! I'd write a raving letter of recommendation for either of them!)

But non-properly-assembled chocolate fountains aside, that day was incredible! It was a gorgeous day (although Georgia in August is a smidgen warm), we were surrounded by awesome family and friends, and I became the wife of the most incredible man!

I had the fairytale wedding to Prince Charming, and now I am living the perfect happily ever after. I've been supremely blessed and am so thankful for such a wonderful husband.

Three years down and 67 to go on our goal of reaching our 70th anniversary together! (And he wonders why I make him eat healthy and give him a hard time when he reaches for the salt shaker...gotta keep in him good shape to make it to 95 years old!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Don't mock my accent, Yankee-Woman

It is only 90 degrees outside right now with a heat index of 103. Yesterday at this time the heat index was 113, hence the "only". I'm 8 1/2 months pregnant and surprisingly still being a pleasant person. Granted that's due mostly to the fact that I keep my blinds closed and the air conditioner running and that my car and all the stores I visit are air conditioned and I only go outside when I'm walking to the mailbox. But still. It's ridiculously hot and humid, I'm very pregnant, and I've yet to bite any one's head off.

Now, is that too much to ask of the very not pregnant checkout clerk at my very least favorite grocery store?

I ran over to Aldi's today seeing as how we are due for our weekly 2 gallons of milk (one for Eric and one for Gabriela). It's no secret at our house that I don't like Aldi's. Nothing about it is ever a pleasant shopping experience. It's not that I cannot appreciate a discount store, but I'm picky about what food I buy and the ingredients I use to cook. I'd say 80% of the items they sell has high fructose corn syrup as one of the top 3 ingredients, so Aldi's just really has nothing that excites me. But their milk is cheap (and does not contain high fructose corn syrup). And Eric gets all panicky if he sees that I've bought milk from somewhere else. $1.79 per gallon is hard to compete with, I give him that. And so each week I make a stop by the local Aldi's to pick up milk (and sometimes cheese) and let my husband sort of think he is married to a super frugal woman.

But never again. If my husband wants cheap milk, that is going to be his chore from now on. I'd rather pay $3.00/gallon.

I ran in for two gallons of milk. So instead of digging around my diaper bag for a quarter so that I could get a buggy (yes, in order to get you to return your buggy you have to put down a quarter as collateral), I just threw Gabs on my hip, grabbed a reusable cloth grocery bag from the car, shoved a $10 bill in my pocket, and went in. I tossed a gallon of whole milk and a gallon of 2% in my bag and went to the checkout counter. Of course, as always, there was only one lane open. There were about five people with full buggies ahead of me, but I waited patiently until my turn. I put my bag with its two jugs of milk on the conveyor belt, tossed Gabs across my ever-growing belly to my other hip, and dug my money out of my pocket. It was finally my turn, so I approached the checkout lady, smiled, and said "Good afternoon!" She looked at my bag and back at me and said, "You have to unload that so I can scan your groceries." In my most pleasant tone and with a smile I responded, "Oh, it's just two gallons of milk", thinking that it would be plenty easy for her to pull out a gallon, scan it, and place it back in my bag. "Oh, well then," said the checkout clerk, "you need to unload your two gallons of milk so that I can scan them." And she even used a fake southern accent. She mocked me!

I unloaded my two gallons and then put them back in the bag myself - which was all a little awkward with only one free hand. And given that I was fighting a serious urge to use that one free hand to smack the woman behind the counter.

Customer service is worth a little something to me. I prefer to leave a store in as good of a mood as I enter. And so in order to protect my mood and, maybe more importantly, the physical safety of the Aldi's employees, I will no longer be shopping there.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Guess who's wearing big girl panties today?

Hint: It's not me.

Wait, I mean, yes I am too. But that's not what I am about to show you pictures of.

This is much cuter...

Training pants, technically, I guess. And a purse. You can never go wrong with accessorizing.

We are far from ready to leave diapers behind forever. But this is a start! Gabs has been staying dry for longer and longer stretches and using the potty more and more. I figure taking the diaper off gives us both a little more motivation to get there even more often. So we're going to try having part of our day diaper-free and see how it goes.

Plus, I mean, really, is this not the cutest thing ever!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Loud Noises, Big Fires, and Bulimia. Just another night out with our toddler.

We try to get the Gabster to bed at 8:00 most nights. But sometimes life happens and we are out and about when bedtime rolls around. Most of the time she deals pretty well. But sometimes it makes for an interesting evening.

Last night we went out to supper with Eric's youngest sister, Kelly, and a colleague of Eric's who is visiting from Brasil. We decided to go to a Japanese Steakhouse.

Gabriela was seated in a high chair between Eric and me and happily munching away at tomatoes and cucumbers from our salads and lemon wedges from our water when our chef arrived right at 8:00. He greeted everyone seated around the grill, confirmed our orders, and then made a giant crashing noise with his knife on the metal grill. Gabs, who is rarely scared or weepy, nearly jumped out of her seat and then rolled her bottom lip out a mile as her eyes welled up with tears. She began sobbing and trying to climb out of her high chair and into Eric's lap. Like the superb parents that we are, we laughed. Really hard. And then got her unbuckled and Eric held her.

She put her little head on his shoulder and wept for a moment before turning around to glare at the guy with the big knife and funny-looking hat.

About the time she had changed from frightened to just plain mad, the chef created the giant flame in the middle of the grill. And once again her bottom lip poked out and she began crying and buried her face in Eric's chest. Because we're exceptionally empathetic towards the delicate feelings of our daughter, we laughed again. A lot.

Through all of the slicing, dicing, and shrimp throwing, Gabs was a little on edge. She went back to her high chair and didn't cry anymore, but, in between her bites of veggies and ribeye, she gave the chef her best stink eye. I'm not sure she'll trust anyone wearing a chef hat ever again.

Once the show was over and we were all finishing the last few delicious bites of our meal, Gabriela had caught her second wind and was eating tons of steak and chatting up a storm. We were mostly engrossed in our own adult conversation, paying little attention to the chatterbox at the corner of the table. Until we heard a gagging sound.

We all turned to look, a bit startled, just in time to see Gabs vomit onto herself. With her little plastic spoon shoved to the back of her throat. And laughing hysterically. I immediately grabbed the spoon from her and tried to catch/clean up the gushing bile, veggies, and meat bits. Gabriela continued laughing and trying to wrestle the spoon from me so she could do it again.

We have only recently gotten the food-throwing under control so that we no longer leave a complete disaster area around her high chair when we exit a restaurant. I'm not so sure a self-induced puke-trail is much better though.