Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Old Ball and Chain: Part 3

The next day I woke up with a smile. It was our wedding day! Around noon, we walked down to the harbor to get married. We exchanged vows in front of the USS Constellation...The woman who preformed the ceremony was very sweet. Unfortunately, I got a horrible case of the giggles during the actual ceremony. Apparently getting married is HILARIOUS. I could not stop laughing. Especially when we had to recite words to one another. I think the poor minister thought I was slightly insane. And John was probably slightly embarrassed. I laughed my way through the whole thing. Despite my silly antics, when the ceremony was said and done, I was a legally married woman.

That afternoon, we walked through the city hand in hand. We ate at a little Indian restaurant for lunch (I LOVE Indian food. In real life, I talk about Indian food 95% of the day. I think I was Indian in a past life). After lunch, we headed back to the hotel for our wedding cake. I remember feeling head over heels in love with Johnny. I guess most people probably feel this way on their wedding day, but it was like I was seeing him through new eyes. I was going to spend the rest of my life with this man. We were going to start a family together. I suddenly realized that I was an incredibly lucky person. I had the privilege of marrying my very best friend. What an amazing and beautiful thing.

We were married, but our trip wasn't over yet. We rode the light rail (it smelled like a zoo), attempted to visit a wax museum in the ghetto (we didn't know it was in the ghetto until we got there), and we were even approached to buy meth from some guy on the street ( thank you). Good times, good times.

It really was an amazing trip. An amazing experience. I was so glad that I had John by my side. I wouldn't have done it with anyone else.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Old Ball and Chain: Part 2

It was January, and we drove to the coast. Of course, it snowed during our entire road trip (just to piss John off). After much cursing and swerving on ice, we arrived in Baltimore. We stayed in a lovely hotel right in the inner harbor area. After getting settled, we walked to the court house to apply for a marriage license. Thankfully I looked marriage licenses up ahead of time. I was always under the impression that people could just run off and get married. But it turns out that you actually have to apply for a license to get married and then wait 48 hours for the city to process that license. Fun fact - you can marry your cousin in Maryland. Strange, but true.

After visiting the court house, we went on a walk through the city. We were trying to find the perfect spot to get married. We visited all of the shops, went to the local aquarium, and ate at an Afghan restaurant. It was great. We held hands and laughed and aimlessly explored the streets of an unfamiliar city. And we found the spot - the perfect place to have our wedding. We got back to our hotel that night, and confirmed the location with the minister. Our wedding date and time were selected. I remember retrieving the wedding bands from our luggage that night and staring at them. The whole experience just seemed surreal. Were we really going to get married in this strange city?

The next day was January 20th - inauguration day. We decided to hop on a train and go to Washington DC to heckle George W. Bush. This was quite an experience. DC was packed with tourists. Every street was filled with mobs of people. We waited in line for hours, just to go through security. When we were finally allowed onto the parade route, we waited patiently with all of the other anti-Bush people. I don't remember much from the parade, but I do recall that it was freezing outside. At one point, I was certain that I had hypothermia. After much waiting and shivering, our moment finally arrived. As Bush passed by, we booed and cursed and I even flipped him the bird (my grandmother asked me to).

After the parade, we attempted to get on the subway and head over to DuPont Circle. My husband had heard about a vegan bakery in that area, and he wanted to check it out. The subway was packed. People were pushing and shoving to get on the overcrowded trains. It was insanity. I was certain that someone was going to get trampled. We had to wait as several trains came and went, because there were so many people. When we finally managed to push our way onto a train, I was sandwiched between unfamiliar people, unable to move for the entire ride. If there were seats on that train, I never saw them. All I saw were people packed into every square inch of space. I held onto John's hand for dear life. I was convinced that we were going to get separated in all the commotion. Despite my doubts, we made it out alive. And in the right location too!

This was an interesting day to visit Washington DC, because demonstrations and protests were being held all over the city. Right out side of the train station, we watched a group of anarchists demonstrating. Interesting stuff. We walked for a few blocks, and finally found the bakery. I thought we were just going there to get a delicious vegan treat, but it turned out that my husband had actually ordered us a wedding cake. It was adorable - a small two tiered vegan carrot cake. It was such a sweet gesture, that I almost cried. John can be such a sweet heart sometimes.

We purchased our cake and two slices of cheesecake. By this time, it was getting late, so we headed back to the train station. We got there a little early. While waiting for the train to depart back to Baltimore, we decided to eat the cheesecake. It was AMAZING. I have never had cheesecake so delicious in my entire life. I remember eating the cake, sitting next to the man I loved, thinking that my life couldn't get much better.

When we got back to Baltimore, we went straight to bed. We were completely and totally exhausted. I am glad we got a good night's sleep, because the next day was...

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Old Ball and Chain: Part 1

In January of 2005, John and I decided to go on vacation. For years we had been talking about moving out of state. We thought that visiting cities up and down the east coast would be a great way to decide which area we wanted to live in. First on the list was Baltimore (My husband got this notion in his head that Maryland would be a great place to live. Since we had never actually stepped foot in Maryland, I made it a priority to go there first, with the hope that he would stop talking about it.)

A few days before our departure, we decided to throw caution to the wind and get married (because we are spontaneous like that). I really liked the idea of running off to get married. It made the whole thing seem special and intimate and romantic. We looked into getting a marriage license and contacted a minister who agreed to meet us at the location of our choosing. All we needed were rings. John and I are not fancy people. We don't place much value on things like jewelry. However, I still wanted a ring. We decided to stop in a little shop in our hometown. I had passed by this jewelry store a million times in my life, but I had never actually been inside.

It was a small store. A couple of jewelry cases lined the walls. After browsing for a few minutes, the owner of the shop came up to introduce himself. And finally, it all made sense. The store was called Jewel King Jewelers and the man who was introducing himself looked suspiciously like THE KING OF ROCK N' ROLL. You know, Elvis. Thank you, thank you very much. I started looking around the room, and noticed that the walls were decorated with pictures of Elvis. There was a life size cut-out of Elvis. And there was a picture of our jeweler dressed up as Elvis. That is right - our salesman was an Elvis impersonator. AWESOME! I decided right then and there that I was buying my wedding ring from The King. How many times in your life do you get to buy jewelry from an Elvis impersonator? We picked out our rings that night. And I am happy to report that The King was nothing but courteous and helpful. My only regret is that we didn't get a picture with Elvis. He was pretty awesome.

Armed with love and cheap wedding rings from Elvis, we headed off to Baltimore...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

They'll eat your children!

How often do you see vultures? Prior to yesterday afternoon, I had never seen a vulture up close and personal. I looked out my front door and seen a vulture eating a dead squirrel in the road. The bird was freaking HUGE...

I was fascinated, so I ran outside to take a picture. Just then, another vulture swooped down...
At this point, I started feeling a little uneasy and ushered my babies inside. I am a big chicken.

In summary, vultures are big and can possibly eat your toddlers (according to me).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The living room is finally finished. I am still working on the hallway, which will probably take at least 12 years to complete. It is the vortex of doorways. From end to end, there are 8 doorways (which translates into 8 door frames to paint around).

But since I am done with the living room, I thought I would show you all of my hard work. My living room is long and narrow, so it is kind of hard to get a good shot. I broke the room up into sections for your viewing pleasure. Also, in the before pictures I had already taken down all the artwork, so it looks extra horrible. And please excuse all the clutter. I was not in the mood to clean before I snapped these photos.






I think it looks a lot better in the new color. I was a little worried that it would "make the room feel small." At least that is what other people kept telling me. However, I think the dark color makes the room feel warm and cozy. Perfect for snuggling up in front of the fire this winter!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Neurotic to the nth degree

To elaborate on my last post, our school district isn't bad. It is average. When we first moved here, everyone raved about the school district (which made me really happy). However, when I actually looked up their test scores, the elementary and middle school scored average across the board. Which isn't bad. It is not awesomely great either, but it is not bad. But because I want my kids to get an excellent education, I started looking into some of the private schools in the area. I encountered several problems. First, they are all religious. Second, private schools are not required to give the same tests as public schools, so how do you know which schools have the best academic program? And third, they are all expensive. The first school I looked at listed tuition as $3,000 per year for a Catholic student (which seems reasonable) and $6,000 per year for non-Catholic students (which is just ridiculous). Would it be okay to lie and say that we are Catholic? In addition to this confusion, I have my husband constantly whispering in my ear about home schooling. But as I discussed yesterday, I have my doubts about home schooling too.

I am confused. I have too many options on the table, and I can't seem to eliminate any of them from the running. I guess I have been leaning toward the homeschooling route, because I respect my husband's opinions. And if he is willing to support our family with one income so that I can stay home to teach our children, how can I say no? "Oh honey, I know that I have a degree in teaching and that we can afford for me to stay home to teach the children, but I prefer to let other people do these silly things. Thanks, but I don't want to spend my day teaching our children." I just can't seem to refuse him. We have talked about socialization, and he insists that our kids will not be socially awkward, because they will be active in extra curricular activities and sports. But I have my doubts.

Gah. Okay, I am going to stop thinking about this right now. I am going to give myself a panic attack.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Are you a worry wart too?

I am plagued by self doubt. Every thing I do, every decision I make, I worry about the consequences. My husband is so self assured. He never questions his decisions. He always thinks he is right (even when he is completely and totally wrong). How does one acquire this confidence?

My husband has been strongly encouraging me to home school our children. I am years away from having to make this decision, but I am already plagued by self doubt. As most people know, the public education system in America is in bad shape. I have worked in public schools, so I have seen and experienced the problems first hand. I definitely think that I could effectively teach my children (I have a degree in elementary education for crying out loud), but is that really the best decision for them? Will they suffer socially? Will they resent my decision when they are older?

I have discovered that it is impossible to discuss home schooling with other moms. Every time I mention it to a friend, they look at me like I have 3 heads. They belittle my opinions and act like my kids will suffer. Why is everyone so passionate about this issue? Why can't we just talk about the pros and cons like rational adults?

I know that most of you will feel the same way as my friends. And I completely understand most of the normal concerns about socialization and whatnot. But I like the idea of having a close knit family, who does everything together. I like the idea of having control over my children's education, so that I can accommodate their specific learning styles. I like the idea of NOT teaching to a test - I want my kids to enjoy learning! But at the same time, I don't want my kids to have a lonely childhood, without friends. That is the worst part of home schooling. Of course, we could join a home school group and enroll the kids in lots of extracurricular activities. However, it is just not the same. Money is another issue. NJ has the highest property taxes in the country. We are supporting the public school system when we pay our taxes. So, in addition to paying outrageous property taxes, we would also have to pay for our own home schooling textbooks and materials.

In summary, I am confused. And plagued by self doubt. Everyone seems to have a strong opinion on this topic except me. I can see the pros and cons of both options. I wish the world was black and white. Instead, I see everything in shades of gray.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Surprise, surprise

Painting is a bitch. I always dive into painting projects, thinking that it will be fun! And I will feel productive! And it will only take a day or two! Easy Peasy! Obviously I am a complete moron, because painting is never fun, I certainly don't feel productive, and it takes FOREVER.

My living room still isn't completed yet. I live in a teeny tiny little house. I should be able to paint the entire house in about 3 hours. But dammit, I am on day 4 and there is no end in sight. I no longer use painter's tape, and I think that is what is slowing me down. The first few times I painted a room, I applied that ghetto-ass tape to every edge in the room. And the paint always bled underneath, defeating the entire purpose of using the tape. So, I do everything by hand now. I am a bit of a perfectionist, so it take me about 200 hours to cut around one door frame. Gah. I'll be done someday, and then I'll post the lovely pictures for little old you.

My husband had a work conference to attend in Indianapolis this week. He moaned and groaned about the conference for weeks. And like every other conference he attends, he called me everyday to tell me how much fun he was having. Why is my husband so annoying? Seriously, he couldn't be anymore annoying.

In summary, I haven't accomplished anything this week, and my husband is annoying. What's new - right?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

She works hard for the money, so hard for it honey...

This is going to be a light week for me in the blog world. I am repainting my living room. And my husband is out of town. Apparently, I like punishing myself. Be on the look out for AMAZING before and after photos.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Homemade Pizza

Christy's Famous Homemade Pizza
1 slice of white bread
1 bowl of store bought spaghetti sauce

Friday, September 11, 2009


Don't you hate PMS? I start doing really bizarre things right before my period. I'll be really angry, then really happy, and finally I'll cry over something insignificant. Today was bad. I cried several times. I never cry. Since the inappropriate crying sessions, I have felt completely numb. I have been sitting in a daze for most of the day, thinking about stupid ass things that shouldn't be important to me (but they are). Sometimes it feels like too much - all of the expectations placed upon people in our modern society. We have so much to worry about. I don't know where I am going with this. I am just feeling sad. Sad about little things that shouldn't matter.

I like spending money

Yesterday should have been Porgie's first day of preschool. For some reason, I pined over this missed experience. It was similar to the feeling I had when I skipped my senior prom. I convinced myself that I didn't really want to go, but I thought about it constantly that night. And so yesterday, I thought about preschool all day.

I've been out shopping for Christmas presents already. I have bought Porgie and Izzy several toys so far, and my husband wants to buy them ukuleles, so I am pretty much done with the Christmas. Everyone else gets a gift card, because I am not paying to ship a box loaded with crap to Kentucky. Shipping costs are outrageous!

And because I have a little too much time on my hands, I have been browsing for Izzy's birthday present (I realize that his birthday isn't until November. I like to be prepared!). On a whim, I bought him this...I have no freaking idea where we are going to put this HUGE train table. Right now, I have it in my basement, draped with sheets. To accommodate this ginormous table, we are going to have to do a major toy purge.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ballet Class

Yesterday was the BIG day. Ballet class finally started. Porgie was beyond excited. Here are some pictures of her right before we left the house...We wanted to walk to the school, but it was raining. Porgie was a little disappointed, but she perked up when we started driving...We arrived a few minutes early, and Porgie happily danced around the lobby...The teacher arrived, and Porgie went off to learn more about ballet. She said goodbye, without ever looking back. My brave girl! I watched her entire lesson on a TV in the lobby. She did great! She followed directions and imitated the teacher. I am so proud of my big girl.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I feel like crap

I have been sick this week. Although the worst of it has passed, I still have a splitting headache, watery eyes, and a runny nose. In addition to being sick, the weather has been awful the past few days. It looks gloomy and dreary, like it is going to start pouring down rain any minute. But it never rains. I wish it would just rain already, so the damn sun would shine again.

Today is Porgie's first day of ballet class. We are excited! After much debate, she has decided to wear her blue leotard and tutu. We have been practicing her teacher's name all morning, and I think we are ready. I am a little worried about how she'll react to being in class without mommy or daddy. Hopefully, she'll be fine.

Izzy fell again. This time he went head first down the front steps. He always insists on walking down the steps by himself. It is only three steps, so I usually oblige. This morning I watched as he tumbled forward, landing on his head. Poor baby. Things like that always happen so fast. I wish I could have rescued him, but I was too late. He has another nasty scrape on his forehead. Izzy desperately wants to be big, but he is still so small and unsteady.

Of course, the real reason that Izzy fell down the steps is because the kids were scheduled to have their pictures taken tonight. What is it about having pictures taken? Without fail, something always happens to their cute little faces.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Just yammering

My husband is on vacation again this week. Once again, we aren't going anywhere or doing anything spectacular. John is doing some small projects around the house, and I am doing the some weekly routine that I always do - story time, park, farm, blah blah blah.

Isn't it crazy how quickly this year has zipped by? I am suddenly worried about Halloween costumes and Christmas presents. And I am amazed that it is almost the year 2010. Shouldn't we be flying around like the Jetson's by now?

Guess what? I suddenly have a million ripe tomatoes from my fabulous garden, so I made salsa. And it tasted delicious! Are you proud? No? Well, you should be! And guess what else? I am making spaghetti sauce tomorrow. Yummy!

Speaking of my garden, I forgot to check the tomato vines for a few days and things really got out of hand. Yesterday I picked 12 ripe tomatoes, half of which we already rotten. And my peppers have really been giving me a hard time. We planted orange peppers. I picked a couple when they were green, but I wanted to let a few actually turn orange. Unfortunately, three of my peppers went bad while I was waiting for them to change color. What the hell?

We are going to grill out tonight and take it easy. How about you?

Friday, September 4, 2009

The miracle cure

Remember when I said that I was going to the library on Monday? Well, I didn't actually get around to visiting the library until last night. All is right with the world, because they found the books that I had previously returned. What a relief!

When we got home, the kids wanted to play in the front yard. Izzy was running up and down the sidewalk, while Porgie begged me to read the library books. While reading a book about cows, I heard a loud thud. I looked up and seen my baby boy laying face down on the concrete. My heart was pounding ferociously as I raced to pick him up. He was trying to scream, but he was in so much pain that the sound was caught in his throat. He was writhing in my arms, as I carried him inside the house.

After calming Izzy down, I noticed that he was bleeding. My baby boy scraped up his forehead pretty bad...
Fortunately, there isn't much that band-aids and ice cream can't cure...

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Do you think about having babies a lot? Because I think about it all the time. One day I REALLY want to have another baby. The next day I REALLY don't want to have anymore babies. Gah.

But I find that seeing babies makes me want a new little baby to snuggle. We were watching a documentary on African wildlife last night. The film featured a baby elephant and his mother migrating to find water. OH MY GOD, that baby elephant was so cute. And it triggered some weird response, where I was convinced that I wanted to have another baby. I went to bed last night thinking about babies.

This morning we were coming home from a play date, and I spotted this little guy...
To show you how small he was, here is a picture of my ginormous finger...

My heart melted. Awwww...a baby firefly. How precious and sweet.

What is wrong with me? I think mother nature is trying to trick me into having more babies. Why do all these babies have to be so adorable and perfect and small?

Fortunately, my husband is a sane person, who is not persuaded to have more children because baby elephants and fireflies are cute. Thank goodness!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Instant Gratification

I haven't had any Coca Cola Classic in 10 days, and I have to say I am a little disappointed. I stepped on the scale this morning, expecting to see a pound or two missing from the usual number. No such luck. I weighed the exact same amount as last week. WHAT THE FUCK? I was so disappointed, I almost went to the store to buy some soda.

What does a chubby girl have to do to lose some wight around here? Am I supposed to give up my ice cream too? That hardly seems fair. But I know that it is necessary. So, I am going cold turkey tonight. No more ice cream. Sniff, sniff. I officially have no vices. No drinking. No smoking. No junk food. Blah.

I have to lose some weight this Fall. I tried on a pair of my jeans from last winter, and they were TIGHT. I could button them, but it certainly wasn't comfortable. Double blah.