Friday, January 31, 2014

The Goddaughter

(Update 1/20/14- 1/27/14)

Monday morning started with Percy bounding up the stairs, and immediately asking to be let into Dawne and Jordan’s room.

Jordan: Come in!
Dawne: Beaner can’t open the door, he’s a dog. 

That’s what happens when you have a polite animal that thinks he’s a human, the humans start treating him as such. 

On January, 22nd, my Goddaughter, Daphne Jane was born.  Could she be any more awesome?

In an attempt to get more exercise and fresh air, I have set a goal of walking for 2 hours every day.  In order to accomplish this goal, Dawne and Jordan have been waking up and going to the dog park with me for an hour in the morning.  Then, Dawne graciously takes all of the dogs back home with her and Jordan and I go to work.  Then, I make one of my co-workers walk for 30-60 minutes during lunch.  When I get home, whatever we haven’t walked so far, we make up by going to the “track” at crossroads.  The pups don’t like crossroads quite as much because they have to be on a leash.  Well, Nala doesn’t have to, b/c she a) listens and b) doesn’t freak out when a stranger pops out of the night.  (Honestly, I can’t blame them, I get scared too when strangers try to use the same public space I am using without announcing themselves to me.)  Crossroads, “lit up” at night:

My Iceland coat is working out quite nicely, though it perhaps is not quite as clean as it once was.  The Iceland boots also did well, but still look nice and white.  Jordan must not have bought a coat for Iceland, so for a couple of days he complained about how cold it was.  Normally, this wouldn’t bother me, but you know, I’m a lil Miss Crankypants in the morning, so in response to one of his remarks, I burst out with, “YOU’RE AN ADULT JORDAN, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE DRESS YOURSELF APPROPRIATELY IN THE MORNING!!!” This snowballed until, I had to walk away from the conversation.  Man, every time I think I’m beginning to become a more reasonable and calm person, out of nowhere, this sort of thing happens.  Maybe I’ll be better in 2015. 

Percy, while he loves the park, doesn’t love having to wait patiently in his coat on our way there.

We’re back to watching the Gilmore Girls.  I think what happens is life and winter becomes over whelming to one or all of us, and the only cure, is spending time with our old friends Rory and Lorelei.  Currently, Dawne is in full swing organization/move mode and she tackled the office space (AKA the room where things go to die) last week.  I’m pretty sure GG was the only way she got through it.  Here’s a shot of my boys watching the girls with me:

On Friday evening, Matty came over for dinner, and as always his company was delightful.  I told him that I was going to have a Women of WizKids Breakfast tour, which then led to a flurry of names from Matty that I had not heard in many moons, and I apologize for forgetting to send all of you ladies and invite.  The best memory of course was Cory, who was hired while she was pregnant, and then when she left after she had the baby, she was replaced by a mail box.  Not even a locked mailbox, just a shelf in the hallway that anyone had access to.  In the beginning of WizKids, there was Garth, our HR guy.  Anytime things got rowdy, we would yell his name.  And long after he was gone, the tradition of yelling Garth remained.  I guess we didn’t need anything more than that. 

On Saturday, Becky came to the house, and we went to the WoWBT together.   It was our first stop on the tour was at Portage Bay, so we started out small with Jen, Shana, Becky and… wait for it… SHARON!! Love that girl.  When we parked, Becky jumped out of the car saying, “I’ll get parking! I’m generous!” 

After a lovely breakfast, Becky joined me for a two hour walk at Marymoor.  She then left to be productive, and I went home and hung out with Zach watching Doctor Who, followed by more GG.  Oh!  I also got a couple more LOL dogs for Percy, b/c he killed the one that my mom got him for Christmas.  Now, they are all sewed up so that he can’t pull the battery out of inside of the dog and beat the battery against the ground until it’s dead.  I also only give it to him for a small amounts of time (b/c while, Percy loves it, Jordan thinks it’s the worst.)  I’ve noticed that Percy has a new way of telling us what he wants.  No barking or begging, just an intense stare at the thing that he wants until someone notices and give it to him.  Works for me, (and him, too, I guess.) 

On our way home, we got an underpass of I-5, that was super pretty:  

On Sunday, I got to hang out with Diana and her baby Harper, who is super sweet, followed by my more the same that happened the day before.  I know, thrilling.

Have fun watching the Super Bowl this weekend, oh and I’m pretty sure this is not Franchise approved:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lady Date

Update 1/13 – 1/19

The big development last week was that we found Kelly a new puppy pal!  Kelly had been really searching for a great rescue pup, but every time she found one, they were adopted before she had a chance to meet them.  On Tuesday, we went to PAWS in Lynnwood, where we found this 17 pounds of cute.  Not sure I could handle being in any type of shelter for very long given that I don’t think Percy has been left on his own for more than an hour in his whole life, never mind in a cage for prolonged amounts of time.  (I’m not saying folks at shelters are neglectful – quite the opposite is true.)  Anyway, we saw Piper, but had to wait for someone to give us time to play with her.  While standing there, she kept reaching both her paws all the way out of her cage in a plea to be released/held.  Such a sweetie! 

Kelly wanted to bring her home immediately, but she had to stay and be spayed first, and then she brought her new friend home on Thursday.  Piper made herself at home right away.   Friday we brought lunch over to Kelly’s just so we could spend an hour of adoration. 

I got caught up on Downton Abbey this week.  I watched two episodes, told my mom, and she said, “I know! I can’t believe they did X!” to which I replied, “That didn’t happen yet!”  I guess I asked for that. J  When I did see the third episode I had a lot less stress because I was emotionally prepared, which I’m sure is what Momela was going for.

I have been continuing my Doctor Who education, but slowly, to Zach’s lament.  I just don’t want this time with Matt Smith to end! 

On Friday, we went to Outback for dinner.  I’m not sure why we don’t ever think to go to Outback, b/c it’s always great.  Although, the bloomin’ onion always reminds me of when I tried to make it at home and it was a soggy, batter-y, mess.  Also reminds me of when I went with Roy in college.  The waitress brought something for Roy, and without thinking, I said, “Thank you.”  Roy made fun of me, as if I had said it b/c I didn’t think he had any manners and was telling the waitress, “Sorry for my friend, but he is grateful.”  This was so not the case, and I wish I could say that I was more aware of my appreciative reflex, but I’m not really sure that’s true. 

Saturday, we went to Marymoor, then went boot shopping (apparently it isn’t boot season.) Then we went to see Her. All the men in my life who have seen this movie think it’s the greatest move ever.  Dawne and I thought it was seriously just okay.  Luke told me I was wrong, but I don’t think I am.  J

Sunday, Dawne went to the outlet mall with me so I could go to every shoe store looking for boots only to go back and buy the first pair that I tried one.  Honestly, though, they were the only ones that fit well – but I don’t like making decisions anyway so yay!  We got back in time for me to get ready for my Lady-Date with Becky. 

Becky picked me up at 4:30 (no flowers, but I forgive her.)  We went to the market, walked around, got some coffee, strolled some more.  Then we arrived at the Pink Door.  Literally, just a pink door with no signage. Inside, however, was this lovely Italian restaurant.  Not only was the food great, and company divine, the trapeze artist was RIGHT next to us.  So cool. Plus, sharing the booth with Becky was really special and I really appreciated her cutting my food for me cuz Ravioli can be really tricky. (Some of that didn't happen.) 

As we were leaving, 1st street was FILLED with Seahawks fans, and their excitement made me think, “Maybe we won a game?”  I tried to take a random picture of the thousands of Seahawks fans and accidentally took a picture of the two 49er fans.  Doh.

Weird thought of the day: If you are a huge fan of something, are you more likely to be a fan of other things?  If you have the capability of being that excited and intense about x, then you’re equally, or more likely to be excited about y & z.  And if you’re not deeply passionate about one thing, than you’re just a generally apathetic person?  I thought about this as I am walking around an office that are seriously into what we make, but they also have a crazy ton of Seattle Seahawks stuff up, and, equally, I have seen transformer themed cars in the parking lot.  Can you truly be fanatical about just one thing? Or, if you are loyal to just one thing, is that what makes you crazy?  Or am I crazy?  (Maybe these two are not mutually exclusive. :P)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

18 or 81

Update 1/6 – 1/12

Monday was Luke’s 18th birthday. (Doesn’t it feel like just yesterday, I was taking his older brother Zach to his first strip club?  Where does the time go?) His BFF’s mom was listing off all of the things he could now do at 18.
Luke: And get a stupid tattoo!
Arda’s mom: Why a stupid tattoo?
Luke & Arda: B/c 18 year olds can only have stupid tattoo ideas.

I brought home some cupcakes for him, which he immediately ate one, and but the others next to his Krispy Krème donuts.  We waited for Zach and Mariana to arrive, and then headed over to K1 Go Karting.  When I got into Luke’s car, I noticed that he had labeled, with tape, which CD was in which slot of the 6 CD changer. 

Luke: Isn’t it great?
Me: So this is because you couldn’t remember 6 CD’s?
Luke: Yeah.
Me: Are 18 or 81 today?
Luke: 18, but remember how much spray paint I inhaled at ages 8 through 12?

I felt bad because I didn’t want to go kart because I felt so claustrophobic the last time went, and Zach couldn’t go because his knee was hurting.   Then, Jordan had to stop half way through the 2nd race b/c he felt sick, and Mariana just couldn’t handle a third race.  The good news is, we had time to run over and get some Panda Express and the ingredient for Shirley Temples – what every 18 year old needs. 

On Tuesday, I received a voicemail from Erika, my roommate from college.

Erika: So… I was just wondering if you wanted my kids.  The five year old is really smart, kind of annoying, but I think you get along great with him.  The two year old is really funny, but a pain in the *ss.  I think you’ll really like him though.  So yeah, let me know if you want me to bring them up to you.  Talk to you soon!
Me: Hi! Got your message.  I’d love to have your kids.  I’ll probably want to give them back at 18, you know, so I don’t have to pay for college, but otherwise, it sounds like a plan.  Let me know if you want me to fly down there, or can you just put a 5 and 2 year old on a plane with a note?  Anyway, we can figure out the details later. 
When Erika called me back…
Me: How’s it going?
Erika: I haven’t beaten my children today, so I’m feeling really good about that. 
Me: Good for you! A real accomplishment!
Erika: Yeah, I think you’ll really enjoy my kids.  Especially Xavier, he’s really amusing.  Like just yesterday, he demanded something at the dinner table.  I told him that we don’t speak like that.  That is not how we ask for things.  His reply was to use a deep golem like voice to repeat, “GIVE ME MORE FRENCH FRIES.”   Not sure if this is a good lead in for this question…

And that’s how I became godmother to her soon to be daughter! J

Later, Lucas and I watched the first Hunger Games movie.  I had said that I wasn’t going to watch it b/c the book was too emotional for me.  Somehow, watching it with Lucas, as he compared the whole thing to the Truman Show, made it a lot less emotional.  I wanted to disagree, but every time he repeated, “JUST LIKE THE TRUMAN SHOW!” I had to admit, they were very similar. 

On Friday, Becky & Kelly came over for some Iceland planning.  I made Debina’s Taco Ring and stuffed peppers for dinner with surprising success.  Then we got into the fun task of finding out what is in Iceland so that we could jam pack our brief time there with lots of awesome. 

Saturday morning I cleaned up the itinerary a bit, b/c I’m like that.  And then took a nap.

Saturday evening, I met up with Laina and Dr. Rach to see some comedians.   As usual, I didn’t know who we were going to see, I just say yes to events because I like to go to fun things.  When the main act came on stage, Laina said to me, “He looks so much like his brother!” and then a guess he made a reference to his brother, but I missed it.  And then after, Laina was all, “They could be twins!” At this point, I felt so dumb I didn’t want to admit that I had NO idea that Charlie Murphy was Eddie Murphy’s older brother.  I’m so out of it. 

Sunday morning, I enjoyed brunch at Jen’s with friends.  Then I had to dash and meet up with Kelly to visit animal shelters, looking for a new buddy.  Then I came home, and played with my little buddy and his two buddies.  Then finally, Dawne returned after a month of being away.  We went out to dinner at a new pizza place that I don’t think is going to last long.  And that pretty much wrapped up the week!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Petulant Child

Finally catching up with an update from 12/30 - 1/6!

So, Sunday before I left NY, I went down to Sean & Stacey's to play some games with the girls.  We played "Beat the Parents" a trivia game that has different questions for the adults than the kids.  When we lost, Sean, said, "Saw that coming; it's right there in the name of the game."  That evening I watched the Kennedy Center Honors with my parents.

Some highlights if you didn't see it:

Did I mention that my sister has a note to and from Kevin's teacher on her refrigerator door?  There was a question on a test that asked, "Is this a good example of the associative property?"  To which Kevin answered that it wasn't.  Maureen explained that it was a poor question because while it had aspects of the associative property, it actually wasn't a "good" example.  Which is why Kevin, and his older brother Patrick, both answered no to this question.  The teacher was not receptive to criticism, so Maureen is keeping the note for ammunition when Kyle continues the tradition next year. 

On Monday, Maureen, Kevin, Kyle, Bella & Percy and I tried to find a dog park, but you know what? It started getting cooooold in NY, and walking around wasn't quite at fun.  Then, we played Canasta in the afternoon, which is usually a night time activity.  We ordered Chinese, and then I spent some time packing while watching some Doctor Who.  On Tuesday, we met Sue for another hike so that Percy could get some running in.  When we got back, my mother had made us a delicious New Year's Eve steak lunch, complete with Mo's twice baked potatoes and all sorts of deliciousness. By the time we were done with lunch, it was about time to head to Newark Airport.  

Frita: Look at all that air pollution!
Me: Yeah, and look at how much prettier the sunset looks through the smog!
NJ, it really is a beauty of a state. 

I was all nervous about the airport after missing my flight last year, but turns our people don't like to travel on New Year Eve.  Maybe they have parties to go to, and booze to drink.  Not me!  And the lack of crowds made NYE all the happier.  When I arrived at SEA-TAC, I took my very first Uber car home.  Not gonna lie, it was pretty great.  By the time I got home, I just couldn't bring myself to go back out to Dr. Rach's to celebrate, though I heard it was a rockin' good time.  Instead, Zach, Kate and I chatted until it was officially the New Year. 20 minutes after that, we realized it was past 12, said a halfhearted, "Happy New Year" over some kid wine, and went to bed. 

New Year's Day was equally glorious, b/c I didn't have anything I had to do.  I watered the plants, fish tanks and Nala (she really did need a bath.)  You know, the usual excitement of a shiny and bright new year.  Ooh! I did jump on the 365 Grateful bandwagon with Shana, Laina and Jen!  So far, I'm pretty grateful for a lot of really good products, but you know, I have time to be less of a consumer as days go by.

On Wednesday, Kelly told me that she had already bought a coat and boots for Iceland.  In a panic, I asked my co-workers, Ryan and Christy, to go shopping with me.  The panic was mostly b/c I hate coat shopping.  My support group was really good at assisting the perfectly petulant child that I was through this process.  There as a lot of, “Ugh… It’s too big… Aw man! Buttons?... This zipper is stupid” complete with pouting and maybe a little bit of jumping.  They were very calm, told me I HAD to get a coat, and by the time we left, I had a one that I loved.  Bonus! It was 50% off!  They were both on my 365 grateful list, naturally, along with this:

Along with this picture of Chicken, Rice and Pedialyte for when the pups got a little sick for a day or two. 

Jordan and Lucas came home, which added a little color into our lives.  Before we left to get a frame for the Kiss poster that was on the kitchen table, I warned that we should move the chairs away from the table so that little Percy boy couldn't jump up and get into trouble. 

Saw this on the counter. I support lists, especially when I see one with "Get Frame for Kiss Poster" and "Hang Gleaming the Cube Poster."

At breakfast, seemingly out of nowhere, Zach told us, "Not much great came out of the 80s'; I'm glad I was one of them."

I shanghaied Becky Saturday morning for a walk at the dog park, followed by PetCo, and the grocery store.  Now, I totally go to the grocery store (how else will I get Coffee and Coffeemate in the house?) Yet, every time I shop with Becky, I unknowingly give the impression of being a grocery store virgin.  She always helps me out though, which is real nice.  With my loot, I made from scratch no less, chicken noodle soup, chicken salad, and cut up chicken and apples for regular salad.   I guess I don't have to cook again till 2015!

Sunday, Zach assigned me the task of watching more Doctor Who while he was at work.  The thing is, I heart Matt Smith.  While the Christmas Episode was the most watch TV in the universe or whatever, and Zach really wants to watch it, I'm just not ready to say good bye to Matt.  So, I told him I needed to go back and watch the episodes that I didn't watch, that way I can put it off for as long as possible. 

That evening, we went to Tu Casa for dinner.  After Lucas ordered a cheese crispy...

Jordan: You gotta get some vegetables in you. I guess you had chicken nuggets today.
Lucas (before I could form the words): Tiffany is now trying to figure out how you can call a chicken nugget a vegetable.

True story. 

OMG, if you haven’t seen this already, Jen shared this super creepy phenomenon that’s been happening with ice.  Watch the video.

Jen told me that one of the comments on the article was, “WALK FOR YOUR LIVES!”

Hope your week is going well.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

LOL Dog vs Percy

Update from 12/23 - 12/29

On Monday, the house was getting ready for Christmas Eve festivities.  I had walked over to Maureen's house to see if she wanted me to wrap the TV we had gotten my parents for Christmas.  Mo thought it would be a better idea to get Momela and Frita out of the house, and then set up the TV.  I thought this was going to be challenging as the parentals we're spending the day getting ready for Christmas.  Never-the-less, at 2:30, they were off to meet Kenny at Brodies.

Kenny: This is a nice place. (He said as if he had never been.)
Waiter: Hey Kenny, your usual Guinness?
Kenny: Yeah, thanks Tom.

Meanwhile, little Patrick and I carried the TV over to my parent's house.  I started unpacking it, when, thankfully, Doreen arrived and helped me finish setting up.  We put a bow on it and then Jenine and Maureen (G) came to pick me up to go visit Debina.  When I got into the car, I realized that the kink in this plan was that I wouldn't be home to see them "open" the present.   Maureen found out that her sister wasn't going to make it their parent's house for Christmas. I mean she might be there when we got back and would be staying the night, but wouldn't be there on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, so therefore, Maureen told her mother that "Liz shouldn't get presents this year."  Ah the magical time of the holidays! We spent a lovely evening with Debina.  She told us awesome stories, and I felt like I got to really catch up.  Plus she made us something called a Taco Ring that was super yummy.  I had never had this creation before, and felt like a Neanderthal for admitting it.  Oh, and Maureen Galvin brought double doozies (I'm pretty sure only a handful of you will know what these are. Even if I tell you that they are two cookies with frosting in the center, The Great American Cookie Company adds some kind of sorcery to make these incredible.) Matthew, their son, was a perfect angel, and I only wish he could have stayed awake longer.   In other news, Percy was a pretty big jerk to Molly, but Mark, Deb's husband and apparent dog whisperer had the magic touch. 

I don't remember if I mentioned to you how Deb and Mark met.  Mark was fixing something in her office, and purposely left his ladder in her desk area so that he would have to come back and talk to her. 

Mark: She had a picture on her desk of a dog and I told her it was cute.
Deb: And I said, "Thanks, he's dead."
Jenine: And that’s when you knew she was a keeper.

While there, my sister called to tell me that they were all going to the Light Fight house that I had asked people to go to a couple of days before.  Later, before Jenine and Maureen (G) dropped me off at my parent's house, they asked, "So, did they call to ask when you were coming home and when you said 30 minutes, they left to see the lights in 25?" :) This is not at all how it happened, but it made me giggle. 

On Tuesday, we celebrated Christmas with the whole family at my parent's house.  First things first, we had beignets for breakfast.  Next, I organized the presents so that everyone had their presents in front of them, but it looked like one ginormous pile.

And then we spent over 5 hours opening said presents.

Percy participated a little, but mostly was kept far away from Sean and Stacey's pup, Suki.

Percy got one gift he particularly enjoyed.  A "LOL" dog that giggles and rolls around on the ground.  He got pretty into it because at one point I looked at the LOL dog and it had blood all over it.  Apparently, Percy lost one of his last two baby teeth.  Whoops-a- daisy.

Bails actually liked the neuron gloves I had knitted especially for her, as well as the necklace with a piece of a vintage French textbook of teeth. What every 15 year old girl wants!  Maybe I should rewind?  Bails is in this science program that will last for three years, and consume 40 hours of her life outside of regular school hours.  She gets to work on a study with a mentor down in Columbia University, and the study she'll be working on is periodontal diseases and neurological something... hence the presents.

Stacey was tracking the whereabouts of Santa on her phone.
Kids: Where is he now?
Stacey: Sahara
Sean: The Sahara is mostly Muslim, so he should be able to knock that out quick.

Towards the end of the evening, Frita had us choose teams, and then, from the kitchen, played us random cassette tapes, for us to choose the artist.  Sean was really talented at this game despite the fact that we think the tapes were Maureen's, and the quality had, well, aged a bit.  And yes, I did choose Sean to be on my team. 

After an amazing Christmas with my whole family, my parents and I played a little Timeline, proving once again, my mom knows more about history than I do. 

On Christmas morning, we all went to church followed by a delicious dinner at Maureen's.  Mo decided she wanted to use her fancy soup bowls, and she got some butternut squash soup just for me.  Yum!  We also got to play some Snake Oil, Cover your a$$ets, and some other card games.  So much fun.

Meanwhile, at Sean's house, after opening presents from Santa...
Jackie: I've gotten so many presents, I can’t think of anything I could possible want now.
Stacey: So we shouldn't do presents at Grandma  & Grandpas today?
Jackie: Oh no, we should, I just can't fathom what those presents will be.

You can't beat that. Though, I would have to agree whole heartedly with her. 

Thursday, I wanted to go to the trampoline gym with my nieces and nephews. 
Bails: I've never been, so I don't think I'm going to go.
Sean: That's a good reason TO go.
Bails: Yeah, I don't like to try new things.
Sean: You're going.

And, I think she's glad she did, if her big grins were any indication.   On Friday, after washing the FJ, Sean decided it was a good idea to take Bails out for her first drive.  Talk about firsts.  He kept telling her "The most important thing to remember is... “ and after a couple of these, Bailey finally said, "You can only have one most important thing. Choose one!"

Friday evening, Briana stopped by the house so I got to see her again which was lovely.  She decided not to get the baby recliner, BTW (at least yet. :P )  Then it was time to go to the post-holiday party at Maureen's.  I was so happy to be able to see so many people that I usually don't get to see unless someone has a party.  At the end of the night, as Sean and Stacey were leaving, Jackie and Morgan came up from downstairs, after an evening in the kid occupied basement.

Jackie: I saw things tonight that I've never seen before.
Me (Sarcastically): It was great spending time with you tonight!
Jackie: We were told we weren't allowed upstairs.
Stacey: I never said that!
Jackie: Yeah! You said, we had to go downstairs.
Morgan: We snuck up for dessert though. :)

Oh, here’s one of Percy and Bella sharing a bone together, for which my mom believes Bella deserves sainthood for.

Saturday morning, I convinced my parents to drive to Pennsylvania with me.  I dropped them off at a casino outside of Harrisburg, and then went to visit Julie, Nick and their adorable peanut, Lila.  I was so glad I had the time to make the trip because I had been missing them dearly.  I don't know if you remember a while back, that Nick bought a single ski lift chair.  When I told people at the party that I was going to visit Julie and Nick, Doreen, with her memory of mammoth proportions, asked me to take a picture of the chair.  Welp, here it is!

On Sunday, I was supposed to meet up with Evivova, but unfortunately missed my opportunity.  Instead, Maureen and the boys came over, and we played more Canasta and Snake Oil.  At one point, I was the customer and my card said that I was the last person on earth.  I was offered many products, including a robotic companion and a magical tool that could help me build things.  My sister offered a medical contraption that would cure all illnesses.  Mid pitch, she paused, "Who will keep you alive until...“ And Kevin (10) filled in, "... You figure out how to breed with animals."

And on that note... I hope you all had a lovely holiday!