"No true fiasco ever began as a quest for mere adequacy. A motto of the
British Special Air Force is: 'Those who risk, win.' "

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day Late, Dollar Short

1. What is the most interesting thing you've done in the last year?

Um... HAVE A BABY!! Yep, definitely think that wins...

2. What is your most meaningful family heirloom?

Anything that was my mom's I guess... not sure I could narrow it down... I love things that make me remember funny stories or specific times with her. I look forward to telling Miss Priss all about her Grandma G...

3. What food festival would you most like to attend? If you're not sure click here to see a list of possibilities.

I've got to agree with From This Side of the Pond on this one--

-the Epernay Christmas Champagne Market...champagne sipped in France...two of my favorite things

4. you love it or is it considered a four letter word where you live?

If it's got to be bitterly cold-- then there should be snow! My favorite snow is that which gets me OUT OF SCHOOL! There is nothing so wonderful as seeing your school district name scroll across the TV early in the AM, turning OFF your alarm, and then rolling back over to sleep some more... I do love to just sit and watch it snow. However, when it starts to melt and gets all muddy-- I find that terribly depressing.

5. Can you ski? Do you ski? Are you any good?

No & no... Tried once, couldn't stop, had to throw myself down on the ground. After someone skiid over my head, I was done. Meet you in the lodge with a tasty beverage by the fire, thanks!

6. What quality in your spouse or best friend are you most thankful for?

Well, the Hubby has packed up, moved across the pond, had to adjust to a new country AND being a new dad... He's done a damn good job! It's been a big year, people!
7. Describe the coziest spot in your home.

Currently the living room... I LOVE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS! I love sitting in the glow of all the Christmas trees (3 big ones, 3 small ones, plus lights on the piano) in the living room. Put White Christmas on the TV and I am in heaven!
8. Insert your own random thought here.

11 Days left of school til break. Yes, teachers countdown too!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

November: A Recap in Pictures

One of my FAV pics of Maddie-- modelling her skinny jeans and Chucks

Turning another year older

Eating food for the first time

Reunited with my girls

Completed my first cake decorating class

Maddie working in her "office"

1st Thanksgiving for Maddie (& the hubby!)

I love this cutie!

Maddie models the outfit her Daddy bought her

Ready for December!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Book Club 2010: Vol. 8

Wow... I seriously haven't updated this in a LONG time! Oh well-- I **have** been a little busy!  ;-)

1. Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs

2. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (audiobook)

3. The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd (audiobook)

4. The Killings at Badger's Drift by Caroline Graham

5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson (audiobook)

6. The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy (2nd Edition) by Vicki Iovine

7. Holes by Louis Sachar (school)

8. Four to Score by Janet Evanovich (audiobook)

9. Real Murders by Charlaine Harris (audiobook)

10. The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley (audiobook)

11. Key Lime Murders by Joanne Fluke (audiobook)

13. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (audiobook)

14. Who Was Eleanor Roosevelt? by Gare Thompson (school)

15. The Cream Puff Murder by Joanne Fluke

16. Dare to Dream: Coretta Scott King & the Civil Rights Movement by Angela Shelf Medaris

17. A Bone to Pick by Charlaine Harris (audiobook)

18. Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris (audiobook)

19. In the Woods by Tana French

20. Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs (audiobook)

21. The Lighthouse by PD James

22. Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert

23. The Likeness by Tana French (audiobook)

**I also relistened to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to prepare for the movie release.

Currently Reading:

* Ghost Soldier by Elaine Marie Alphine
(Reading it to the kids at school)

Next up is The Help-- which someone has loaned me-- though I may have to audiobook this one too, as it takes me AGES to read things now... (The audiobook is 18+ hrs!)

I have also had the Black Dagger Brotherhood series recommended to me. If only I didn't have to teach and could just READ all day... (sigh)

Currently Listening to:
*Spider Bones by Kathy Reichs 

Started this one today. I needed something I didn't have to think so much about after listening to The Likeness by Tana French.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Got this from Life in a Small Town...

1. Do you think you're more like your mom or your dad?

Mom... DEFINITELY my mom! (Thank goodness!) That's not to say that I haven't picked some things up from my dad-- especially in the area of music appreciation... But as I get older, I find myself more and more like my mom.
2. Do you like roller coasters?

Yes. But I hate sitting in the car as it click-click-clicks up the hill... that moment of dread-- wishing I could get off and walk back down... but once the excitement starts-- I LOVE it!
3. How did you name your blog and do you now wish you'd thought about it maybe another five minutes before you hit publish? Would you change your blog title if it were not a huge pain in the derriere? (French makes everything sound a little nicer doesn't it?)

Nah, it's ok... I created this blog when I was applying to teach in England. I created it to correspond with other expat teachers. That goal has long since passed-- instead I imported an Englishman!  :)  I guess the title is somewhat misleading, as my blog no longer really pertains exclusively to school or my job-- but it still describes me, so I'm fine with it.

4. What is the best wedding gift you received? Not married? Didn't get any gifts? Then what is the best wedding gift you've given?

Wow, this is a toughie! I received so many wonderful things... but have since received so many baby gifts that I can't even think... I'm a huge fan of gift cards-- I know they seem impersonal and "the easy way out"... but I like to view them as practical-- allowing people to get what they REALLY want or need.
5. What is the one bill you most hate to pay?

Right now the damn internet bill... for some reason I CANNOT log on to AT&T's website and pay online. And of course, I no longer receive a paper bill (though I have hopefully remedied this tonight)... thus I have to call. Mr. Automated Man often cannot seem to understand when I key things in on my phone ("BIGBOY!")... thus it is a collosal pain in the ass. And did you know if you have a HUMAN BEING process your payment on the phone it is an extra $5? WTF?!!
6. Is the glass half full or half empty?

I really try to keep it half full... but usually at school it is half-empty. (I'm really burnt out, can you tell?)

7. What is your favorite word? Okay okay. Calm down. How about one of your favorite words?

I have a lot of favorite words... (not all "appropriate")   ;-)

Dude has consistently been one of my favorites... I once over heard some students at school arguing over who had the coolest teacher (a high honor, let me tell ya!)... the kid in my class said, "My teacher is the coolest because she says 'dude' and 'yo'."  So there it is.

8. Something random...

Maddie models her new Madonna shirt-- I love my little retro baby!

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old...

Had a FANTASTIC time last night at dinner with some former co-workers. This is the first time we have gotten the WHOLE group together in years! Man I miss these people! It was great to reminisce and laugh about the past. It was also cool that they have now ALL met Miss Priss-- she was GREAT at the restaurant, and got MANY compliments.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Bucket List

I never saw the movie... nor have I actually taken time to WRITE my list out... but I did finally do something I have WANTED to do for awhile now-- I enrolled in a cake decorating class.

Hubby's mom sent me $$ for my b-day-- and this is how I chose to spend it. A good friend of mine is going with me-- which makes it that much more fun. Tonight was our first class and I LOVED IT! We didn't do much-- but just seeing what all we will be learning is SO exciting!

I love to bake-- I find it relaxing-- especially when I can do it uninterrupted. (Not that that happens much now-- not so much baby's fault as much as hubby asking me questions or trying to get me to do something else right that minute).

My mom taught be some cake decorating basics... and I have always loved it. Mom made my cakes growing up-- And I want to be able to share that special skill with Maddie as she grows.

I would LOVE to be able to just bake all the time... I know NOTHING about running a bakery-- and it today's shaky economy I know a business venture like that would be risky at best... but perhaps that will be another item on my Bucket List.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

34-- The Year of the Purge

Another year, another candle... And man-- What a year it has been!! I think I might FINALLY be a real adult! HAHAHAHAHHA...

In the past year I have conquered the frustrating world of US Immigration, survived one of the worst school years of my career, made it through 8 mo. of pregnancy on my own, given birth to the most beautiful girl in the world, refinanced my mortgage, cleared all debt, and have now filed my first claim on my homeowner's insurance...

Every year on my birthday I make a plan for the upcoming year-- the way people do on New Year's. This birthday "Yearlong Theme" then ties in with any resolutions I make 2 months later... A few years ago I decided to stop being afraid of everything-- to live fearlessly... This was the year I got engaged and married-- after a crazy, wild 2 years of transatlantic communication. Last year I vowed to take better care of myself. This worked out well as I was constantly at various Drs during the pregnancy. I certainly overcame many of my medical fears during the past year!

This year is going to be about organization. Pardon my french, but I have GOT to get my shit together! When I moved to the house I am in now, I had to go through and purge a LOT! However, I was still very emotional about my mom's passing and all of her belongings... So I really brought a BUNCH of stuff I don't need, will never use, and don't really even know what it is. I have purged a lot during the last 7 years of being here... but I still have TOO MUCH STUFF! And in addition to that-- the stuff I have is NOT well organized.

(**Note: I am NOT a hoarder-- please no one recommend me for the show on A&E**)

NOW you add on all the baby paraphenelia-- oy! Plus Hubby, of course, brought stuff with him. (Luckily it wasn't a LOT as he was moving across the Atlantic... but still...)

I've always had a lot of STUFF... My bedroom growing up was super cluttered-- but it was my prized possessions! Being surrounded by these treasures made me feel safe and secure. (This is probably why I clung to my mom's things for so long...) But now I feel suffocated by these things... Drowning.

I'm not saying I want to get rid of EVERYTHING... But the purge will continue-- and with greater intensity this time!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pet Peeve of the Day

People that pronounce "Tennessee" as though it ended with an "ay"

i.e. TennessAY

Friday, July 23, 2010

Temporarily MIA

So it's been a busy couple of weeks...

"Miss Priss" (aka Maddie) arrived a wee bit earlier than expected. I was scheduled for a c-section on Wednesday, 7/7-- I went in on Monday to have my last NST and get all my blood work taken care of. Well, my BP was WAY high and wouldn't come down. The nurse said, "I'm going to call the Dr.-- but there's a good chance you will be having this baby today!"

(Insert Hubby almost falling in the floor here)

A few minutes later she comes in and says, "The Dr. is on her way-- let's get your IV started!" Talk about not having time to totally process, let alone be worried or scared. Hubby and I were not exactly prepared-- didn't have our bags with us, his phone was on it's last ounce of power, and while I did have the camera-- it's battery was also in need of a charge. Oy!

Everything went great though. We had a fantastic anesthesiologist-- he managed to keep Matt calm by discussing the World Cup and all things soccer... And he did a great job of explaining the spinal block to me and keeping me calm!

About an hour and a half after the announcement that Miss Priss' arrival was imminent, she was here! WOW! She was still breech-- sitting indian style, with her back to belly. First thing the Dr said when she saw her was, "We have a baby moon!"

After we heard her first cry, hubby and I were greeted with the most beautiful, wide-eyed baby girl ever! She is simply perfect! She has a head full of hair-- was DARK brown when she was born, but has since lightened. She is VERY alert-- loves to look at you, make faces, and just listen. For as stubborn as she has been the last 9 mo. she is a very easy baby-- rarely cries, sleeps well, etc.

Our only issue has been weight gain. She was 6lbs. 14.5oz. when she was born-- later dropped down to 6lbs. 3oz.-- which is normal-- but then we had a booger of a time getting her to bulk back up. We went to the Dr EVERY day for weight checks. I am happy to report that as of today she has surpassed her birth weight-- she gained 9oz this week and now weighs 7lbs. 1oz.!

(*PS-- some of you may have noticed that my blog temporarily disappeared-- apparently my email account got hacked, and thus suspended... )

Monday, June 28, 2010

Spinach Lasagna

It's what's for dinner!

Spinach Lasagna


16 oz. ricotta cheese
16 oz. shredded mozerella (*I use 8 oz. mozerella/ 8 oz. parmesean)
1 jar sauce
1 pkg. lasagna noodles
10 oz. spinach (*I use frozen-- thawed and drained)
1 t. minced garlic

1 t. minced onion
chopped onion

Mix ricotta, 1/2 mozerella/ parmesean mix, garlic, onion, & spinach.

Layer a 13 x 9 or 9x9 pan-- Sauce, noodles, cheese mixture-- repeat. Top with other 1/2 of mozerella/ parmesean mixture.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour


I cannot stop laughing! My friend Pete posted this on his FB page-- a spoof of Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart video... Any child of the 80s is familiar with this over-the-top, slightly creepy video... a true classic!

On the baby front-- Miss Priss refused to turn-- so now we are scheduled for a C-section on July 6th-- a week from tomorrow!! I can honestly say I am BEYOND ready for her to be here-- and OUT of my aching body!  Between achy back, hips, etc... and the HEAT and HUMIDITY (I'm sorry-- it's ridiculous to be 80 degrees at 9am!)

Hubby is, of course, upset that England is out of the World Cup... personally I am kind of glad there are no more "life-altering" matches we HAVE to available to watch. I mean, he will watch the rest of the matches, but if one is missed-- it isn't a tragedy. I'm soccered out! Glad this only rolls around once every 4 yrs.  I'm ready for some good ol' AMERICAN football!

I have one of my last Dr appts today... hopefully the BP will be down and this will not turn into a 4hr event... as it USUALLY does! oof!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Donde Esta??

Yes, yes... I have been MIA for awhile... but I have good excuses!

BEST excuse is that hubby is FINALLY here! YAY! Almost 10 mo. of the immigration process about did me in-- but I survived! It has been SO nice to have him here to help. And he has been quite busy-- though never fear-- he's had plenty of time to keep up with World Cup! (Too bad England has been rubbish! -- even my MIL says so!)

with the brothers after England's draw with the US

We have also been busy finishing up the nursery-- I saved the shelves project for him! And he has done an EXCELLENT job painting and hanging the shelves-- I am SO happy to have them up and ready--

Another biggie has been getting, putting together, and installing the travel system. This has resulted in some "colorful" language and hilarious quotes-- "Do not take anymore pictures because I am really not happy!" (I was, of course, photoing the whole event)... "You need a f-ing mechanical engineering degree to put this together!"  "What the hell *is* this?!"   "Look! Little hubcaps!" "How do stupid people do this?"

Again, Daddy has done a great job!

Next up: the baby!! Miss Priss is still breech-- they are going to try to turn her on Monday, so we shall see. I am ready for her to be here-- well OUT of me anyway... It is HOT (mid to upper 90s most days), humid, and I am really uncomfortable. I was positive my feet/ ankles would split open last night. Everyone tells me how great I look-- but WOOF! I am NOT feeling it!

And I just snorted at an email I received-- something from The Bump, or What to Expect... "36 Weeks: Take advantage of that energy surge!"  Who the hell are they kidding? What energy surge? Where? It took EVERYTHING I had to drag my swollen self out of bed today-- and even then I did it more out of guilt than anything.

Miss Priss is moving-- which is good-- though it makes me nauseous sometimes... And I don't think she is moving to the head down position-- just dancing-- or re-enacting moments from the World Cup. Oof!

So that's where I've been. I hope to be more "with it"-- we'll see!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Picture Pages

More pictures from this week-- it's been quite productive!

Closet-- AFTER I purged about 3/4 of the stuff in there!

Purged closet items ready for donation! WOO!

The closet wasn't the only thing that got organized-- the nursery is also taking shape!

Needless to say, I have been EXHAUSTED since these two projects... I pretty much put myself on bedrest yesterday-- feeling MUCH better today. I have some chores to take care of, but nothing nearly this strenuous. I am looking forward to finishing up the nursery (last baby shower tomorrow, and shelves up once daddy gets here on Tuesday!)

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Therapy Time! Make sure to LINK UP at The Daily Dribbles if you play....

  • To a so-called "good friend"-- REALLY?! Do you honestly think that I am SO stupid that I don't know you are lying to me left and right? See the problem with lying is, once you tell one, you have to tell another, and then another to cover your tracks. And Einstein-- when you tell me one thing, then all our mutual friends the complete opposite-- do you REALLY think I won't hear about it? Do you want to be found out or are you just that bad at lying? I have gone OUT OF MY WAY for you over the last several years-- and for what? To be treated this way? I realize you are in some sort of identity-crisis-can't-find-myself phase of life-- but here's some advice from someone older and MUCH wiser-- DO NOT piss off every friend you have-- every person who has ever been there for you when no one else was... Beacause soon (VERY SOON) you will need those people and guess what? They won't be there this time because you have treated them like SHIT! Do NOT come crying to me next time-- because honestly, I am done! I do NOT care! This is the choice YOU made-- you have to learn for yourself. But in order to do that, I suggest you get your head out of your egotistical ass (not EVERYTHING is about you, by the way-- other people have stress and drama to deal with in theor own lives-- you would know this if you ever took 5 minutes to ask someone how THEY are instead of instantly dumping all YOUR problems on them...) and take a look around-- it's starting to look like a lonely place for you.
Whoa... that felt good!

  • To myself-- Why in the heck did you let the closet get so out of control? You seriously have to do better about this!
  • To the HEAT-- really? Is this necessary? mid-eighties to 90s... You're killing me! I absolutely DREAD the thought of waddling across the parking lot at the Dr today... HUMPH!
  • To the kitchen counter-- why must you always be cluttered? Why? Same goes for you Mr. Dresser! and Dust-- WTF?! GO AWAY!

The Monster in my Closet

So where was I yesterday? IN THE CLOSET most of the day... I have been clearing things out, little by little... 2 or 3 bags to the thrift store here and there. I REALLY thought I was doing good... UNTIL I got it in my head that what I needed to do was take EVERYTHING out of the closet, sort through, clear out, and then rearrange... HOLY COW!

As I removed things yesterday, I went through, bagging up what I was getting rid of... throwing away any trash, or treasures I no longer wanted. I still don't have EVERYTHING out (mainly shoes left), but I do have 3 bags of trash, and 6 BIG bags of stuff to donate! Oy! And I am STILL not sure there will be room for Hubby and his clothes... Hopefully he won't bring much!  ;-)


Keepers stayed on the bed... Cleo made sure they had ample cat hair

OK, I admit... I have a sock addiction... (sigh) I filled OVER half of a large black trash bag with socks to donate... It was hard, but the way I figure... now I have room for NEW fun socks!

Possibly the only thing I have more of than socks, is hangers! As God as my witness- I'll never buy hangers again!

Mr. Sneaky here! Carl camoflauges himself... You can't see me!

So this AM I am back to work... gotta get all the shoes out, vacuum, move some stuff around... then start reloading the closet. I will do my very best to rope off a section for the hubby...

AND, after today's Dr. appt, it's time to move this organizational party downstairs to the nursery! WOOHOO!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Booty-Shakin' Baby Shower

Here are some of the pictures from the baby shower Saturday at King Tut's--

Egyptian Sampler... Mmmmmmmmmmmmm
Pink Lemonade Vodka Reactions..

What teachers do during summer vacation...

Photofetti cupcakes

My hostesses with the mostests

Some of the best "aunts" any little girl could ask for! Lucky Miss Priss!