Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Beer Week at the Tindale House

This week is officially beer week.

Monday evening we went to the first meeting of Pub'n'Talk at Ellicott Mills Brewing Company. $1 beers on Monday nights - woohoo!!

Tuesday, Jillian and I had lunch at Franklin's and brought home a growler of Solar Eclipse for mommy and daddy. Which was, by the way, YUMMY.

Today Jilly and I took a trip down to my friend Brian's house to fill up a couple growlers with some complimentary home brew. He needed to unload some to make room for more. What can I say? We were happy to help him out. And the beers are awesome - thank you Brian! And this evening, we went to dinner at Frisco Grille where it was pint night. Fuller's was featured, so we had a couple Fuller's; the London Porter and the Chiswick Bitter (which totally reminded me of good English beer); and took home two Fuller's pint glasses.

Friday I'm going to hang out with my friend Lisa after baby's bedtime at DuClaw for a bit.

Yep, it's beer week around here!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What I Learned This Week, Vol. 8

Is it really already THAT time again? Where did the week go? Well, apparently it is and I'm joining in with Jo-Lynne's carnival to share what I learned this week.



**I learned that trying to get a loan to buy a second house in this market on a single income is quite a feat. Perhaps I'll find a money tree in the woods behind our house. That may be a more likely way to get our hands on the cash.

**I learned that even if it's the loan people doing all the hard work to try and get you that loan mentioned above and even if you're not trying to get too excited about the possibility of moving, you will get excited and you will still feel busier than normal.

**I learned that my toddler is by no means the first to spread poop from her diaper on herself. But it still grosses me out.

**I learned that getting a group of about 20 people together from your church at a pub to talk about God, religion, theology, and spirituality, makes for a pretty fun evening.

**I learned that Jillian is capable of staying with a babysitter at that babysitter's house for a few hours and even have fun! Hooray for babysitting!

**I am learning this year that while summer used to be my favorite, favorite, FAVORITE season, it no longer is. Please summer, take your humidity (and related sinus and allergy issues) and leave. Now.

WOW. I sat down this morning thinking that I had SO not prepared for this post today and didn't learn anything this past week. Guess I also learned that I learned more this week than I thought I did!

Now, everyone wants to know about what you learned! Go on over to Musings of a Housewife and link up your "What I Learned This Week" post and check out what others in the blogosphere learned too!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What's With Those Shades?

This morning did not go as planned. Our plans for breakfast and church were thwarted by a toddler who has recently learned that she likes putting her hand in her diapers in an attempt to pull them off. While that's not a big deal, it becomes a bit of a disaster when there's poop in said diaper. I probably don't need share further details here; I'll just leave it at that. Know that the baby was promptly cleaned up and thrown in the shower with me for some serious soaping up. Luckily, she was only wearing a diaper, so at least we didn't have poopy clothes to contend with.

We played outside for while later on before it got too terribly hot. Jilly likes her shades, as many of you know. I wish I knew the appeal of putting them on upside down!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wardrobe Malfunction

Lately, Jillian has been experimenting with her wardrobe. Until I baby-proofed her dresser drawers, she would pull out something she wanted to wear and insist that I put it on her. Now she's moved on to taking her clothes off. This morning she wanted to wear her shorts on her head.

Now she's decided that it's fun to try and get her diaper off. Or at least, pull it down around her butt!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bad "Car"ma

This morning it wasn't sweltering hot and muggy like it's been most of the week, so Jillian and I took a drive up to Patapsco State Park's Avalon Area. Short of visiting the park last spring for a birthday party, I haven't spent much time there in years. Literally. Back when I was about 20 or 21, I used to rollerblade there all the time. Since then, not as much. We walked up the Grist Mill Trail and over the Swinging Bridge. It's always neat seeing some of the remnants of the old mill.



Across the river, we spotted a heron.

Then we walked back via the park road and stopped at one of the playgrounds. I'd like to stress here that my preference is for playgrounds that aren't padded with mulch. Mulch is dirty and sticks to everything. Somehow it ALWAYS makes it's way into Jilly's diaper, too. It was a nice time and a good walk, though.

We got back to the car, chatted with a family that was about to do some biking, and started to make our way home. I should have known something was amiss when my car hesitated starting up. But start up it did and we drove towards the park exit. At which time my cd stopped playing. I looked over at the radio to see NOTHING. No clock, zippy. I checked my gauges. Zippy. My car was stopping, so I turned as quickly as I could, while I still had some speed, onto the exit road. And there we stopped. Luckily, a DNR construction truck drove by very soon after and I flagged him down. He didn't have jumper cables, but quickly got a couple more park guys over in their truck to give us a jump, as I was hoping upon all hope that it would in fact start. Because really, once it's started, it's not supposed to stop. And that's what had just happened. Thankfully, the jump worked and we got home without incident. And home is where we've stayed all afternoon. Sorry grocery store, your visit will have to wait until we can get the car looked at. Ugh!! What is it with us and our vehicles lately?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Preoccupied

I admit, I've been slacking on the blog the latter half of this week. I've been somewhat preoccupied with a deal we're trying to get closed. This all happened rather quickly and unexpectedly. We found a house. We found a renter for our townhouse. Now we're trying to find a lender that will approve a second mortgage on a single income. A couple years ago, no problem. In today's market, well...that's another store. So try as I might, I can't help but have some mixed emotions. Mostly excitement about this opportunity and fear that we won't be able to take advantage of it and be stuck in our townhouse for another year or more. Hopefully I'll have some great news to report in the next week or so. I've told my husband that all I want to hear are two words...START PACKING. That's what's going on around here. Oh yeah, and my computer has been mega-slow tonight. And it is TOTALLY irritating me.

On that note, I'm going to shut it down and try to relax a bit before I head up to bed. I'll leave you with some random cuteness from this evening. I love it when Jillian puts her shades on upside down!

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Need to Know Tuesday, Vol. 12 - Movie Edition!

Yep, I said Movie Edition!



This week I need to know two things. Well actually, one thing, but I'd like to know a second.

I'll start with what I want to know...what's your favorite children's movie? Or, what's your child's favorite movie?

What I need to know is...at what age can you attempt taking a child to the movie theater? I ask because AMC Theater at Columbia Mall is offering $1 kid-themed movies all summer long on Wednesday mornings at 10am. Here are some details about it. It seems like a good time to try to take Jillian to try it out. If we have to roll out, we're only down a buck, or two if they charge for her. There are only a few weeks left, so I thought I'd throw it out there and see what my wonderful blog followers think.

Have something you need to know? Here's the info on how to join in!

What I Learned This Week, Vol. 7

Jo-Lynne has called for nuggets and nuggets she shall get. Here's what I learned this past week:

Crystal Light Lemonade makes a good mixer for Tanqueray Gin.

Cell phone stores are a complete waste of space. Seriously, when I was trying to get some information from Verizon Wireless about service abroad before our vacation, what did they tell me at the store? "You'll have to call customer service." John's cell phone fell out of the case on Friday and basically shattered. Thinking we could get a replacement phone, we headed to the Sprint store. WRONG. What did they tell him? "You'll have to call customer service." What?!? Aren't the employees at cell phone stores customer service? No? Then why on earth are they there?

Kevin Bacon is 51 years old. Did that freak you out just a little? John and I watched Flatliners over the weekend and looked up how old it was. Somehow that lead to looking at the actors in the movie. And we discovered that yes, Kevin Bacon turned 51 this month. That just seems WRONG.

There's a good chance that if you bought a used vehicle at Carmax and didn't buy the warranty for a year, all of the tires on that vehicle will go flat, clearly from dry-rotting sitting on their lot. Well, at least three out of four. So far.

Disclaimer: If there are any boys reading, you may want to skip this one. Ob/Gyn's must get significant pleasure from removing you from the comfortable waiting room into an exam room. Where you are told to put on those paper "gowns" and wait for the doctor, who will certainly be in at their earliest convenience soon. Sitting up on an uncomfortable exam table trying desperately to rearrange those paper napkins gowns over and over to gain the most possible coverage. For at least a half hour. Why couldn't I have just kept waiting in the "waiting" room?

What did you learn this week? C'mon...I know you learned SOMETHING! Head over to Musings of a Housewife and join in!

Jilly Who?

Let me preface this post by saying that when I heard that MckMama was hosting a "Not MY Child Monday" this week, I was totally excited and committed to jotting down Jillian's antics over the past week. Then I proceeded to quickly forget all about it until today, possibly because of the weekend's craziness (you can read more about that here).

Anyhoo...here goes with what I cobbled together at the last minute. Might I add here that I have ALWAYS been a terrible procrastinator.

It was definitely not my sweet baby who was handed a dog treat to give to a friend's dog at church on Sunday (we attend an outdoor service during the summer) and predictably promptly put it in her mouth.

It was also not my well dressed Jillian who, the entire day yesterday, wore the cutest dress ever backwards.

It could not have been my toddler who imitated mommy shaving her legs with a bottle opener at a party yesterday.

And finally, it is not my Jillian who has selected favorite movies, and has learned to bring mommy or daddy a DVD that she wants to watch, hand it over to us, and make the sign for "more" when she wants to watch it.

Want to join in? Post about what YOUR little one(s) didn't do this week and come over to MckMama's blog and link up! And even better, read about the hilarity that is everyone else's kids!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What a Weekend!

We had a very busy weekend. It started Friday morning when John went out to his work truck to find that it had a flat tire (this truck's 3rd flat!). Note to all: when you buy a vehicle from Carmax, assume that it has been sitting around forever allowing the tires to dry-rot and buy the one-year warranty. John went to "plan B" and got in his personal truck. To discover that it had a dead battery. He jumped it with the flat-tire work truck and went to work. While on a job, his cell phone fell out of the case and basically shattered. When we finished up and went to come home, yep, you guessed it, truck battery dead again.

We went and picked him up, came home for a bit, and took Jillian to My Gym for parents night out. We went to dinner at Frisco Grille and stopped by Ellicott Mills Brewing Company without the baby!

Saturday ended up being a day of taking the flat tire to Merchants, waiting for Fedex to deliver a new cell phone, me getting some yard work done, us heading to lunch at Fatburger and to the personal truck to see if by some chance my car could jump his big truck battery, learning that no, it couldn't, picking up the new tire for the work truck, John taking the work truck to the personal truck to jump it, bringing home the personal truck, going out to dinner at TGI Fridays, dropping John off at the work truck to bring it home. Confused yet? Exhausted from reading this yet? Needless to say, despite the lovely evening, we stayed home after all that running around.

Today we went Krispy Kreme for breakfast, then to outdoor service at church, and Jillian behaved for almost the whole service. Home for nap, I grabbed pizza from Three Brothers for a late lunch, "fake" Aunt Jen came by to talk about some design things for John's website with him and visit with us while in town for a couple days. We headed out again this afternoon for a surprise 60th birthday party for a friend from church. On the way to the party, we passed the house of a mutual friend/former co-worker and decided to stop by if he was outside on our way home. He was out after the party, and we dropped by. It was a very nice visit; we haven't seen him in what seems like AGES! Jillian played with their dogs, got her hands dirty rubbing them on our dirty vehicles, and smooshed lightning bugs that I caught for her.

Notice we ate out all weekend. Really, with all that we had going on, I think we could justify not wanting to cook on top of it all. And despite all we had happening, I had a productive weekend. I trimmed our hedges, weeded the "gardens", mowed the grass, did laundry, ran dishwasher, mopped the foyer and kitchen, and straightened up the living room. Phew! I think I may be happy that this weekend is over!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Photo Flashback

This is the first time I've done one of these, but it seemed appropriate today, since we just returned from Jillian's eighteen month checkup with her stats.

Drumroll please...
Height: 30.25" (23rd percentile)
Weight: 21.5 lbs (15th percentile!)
Head: 46.5 cm circumference (50th percentile)

Jillian is about where she normally falls for height and head, but this is the first time EVER that she has been in the double digits for percentile!

Friday Photo Flashback was started over at More Than Words so that us bloggers can share stories and photos from our pre-digital lives.


The photo I'm sharing today doesn't have much story to tell, but I was shocked at the resemblance between Jillian and me when I was younger. Especially in this profile shot. This photo was from 1978, and guessing from my red dress and my grandmother (cropped out) opening a present, I'm assuming it was around Christmas. That would have made me 2 years, 3 months.

So here I was...

And here Jillian is (just shy of 18 months)...



I guess there's no denying this one!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday, 18 Month Edition

Happy Birthday Jillian!



Miscellany

Yesterday morning we went to the scrap tire playground at Patapsco State Park Hilton Area with our moms group. Joining us today were (clockwise from the upper left) Jillian *obviously*, Christian, Jocelyn, Jillian *there were only five kids, so Jillian got two appearances in this collage*, Cadence, and Jack.


Jack and Jill went for a walk in the woods...nope, the Jack & Jill jokes still aren't old!


This evening we finally connected with Timmy at Ellicott Mills and retrieved our camera and other stuff that we left at his house after the 4th of July party.

Here is Jillian wearing a cute outfit with a matching bow (the fact that we had a matching bow was a total accident, but I took full advantage of it...you know, for the two minutes she left it in her hair).


And here is a smattering of photos of Jillan from the 4th of July party.


I was very happy to have my camera back, so when we got home last night, of course I had to pull it out and snap a few pictures of Jillian playing with the neighbor's "baaaaooooowwwwww" (if you don't get the reference, click here to listen to Jillian's pronunciation).

Monday, July 13, 2009

What I Learned This Week, Vol. 6

Ever feel like you have some weeks where you just didn't learn anything? Perhaps even lost some of what was already stored in your brain? Yep, I had one of those weeks. But I dug deep and thought of a couple things that I did learn this week.



* Bras are a pain. Especially when they decide that they've lived their life and are ready to go. At Air Mania. And the underwire pops through the fabric. Like, all the way. Protruding underwires are bad. Good bras are expensive.

* Labyrinth is the Best. Movie. Ever. Really, what almost eighteen month toddler sits transfixed through an entire movie? Apparently mine does, when Labyrinth is playing. She even brings it to me, hands it to me, and does the sign for "more".

* I learned how to do a strike through on my blog. I see other bloggers use it effectively, and I'm going to try it out. Perhaps it will make me a cooler better blogger. I apologize in advance if I overdo it. I will try to contain my excitement use it in moderation.

* I also learned that we needed more all purpose safety latches. We don't use these on appliances, but on dresser/bedside table drawers. I first used one for a certain bedside table drawer. I then started using one on Jillian's dresser drawer nearest her crib. Now she has learned to pull out her bottom dresser drawer and get things from the top of her dresser, you know, like the humidifier that's full of water. And to open dresser drawers so that mommy (while carrying her into her room for a diaper change) runs right into an open drawer and bruises her leg so that she looks like she met up with Tonya Harding in a dark alley. So NO MORE. I bought three more sets of two. I know she enjoys getting in her drawers to play with her blankets or pick out an outfit to wear, but for now, that will have to be a supervised activity.

So, that's what I learned this week. Want to read about what everyone else in the blogosphere learned, or did you learn something that you want to share? Check in with Musings of a Housewife and join in!

I Need to Know Tuesday, Vol. 11

With more than ten "Need to Knows" under my belt, I've decided to up the ante. Because my blog readers know a lot of stuff. Maybe I know some things too. And I bet that some of my readers know what you need to know. So share what YOU need to know! Here's how it works.

1. Create a post about what YOU need to know on your blog. It doesn't have to be anything fancy; clearly, mine have not been extravagant.

2. In that post, mention this "I Need to Know" carnival.

3. If you want to, copy the text below to grab my button (that my wonderful husband made for me last night!) and paste it in your blog.


4. Leave a link to your Need to Know blog post in your comment (not your main blog page, just the post). I haven't figured out the nifty Mister Linky stuff yet; I'll work on that!

5. Finally, if when other people start commenting, try to visit their posts to find out what other bloggers need to know. And comment, comment, comment! Because who doesn't love comments?

6. Oh yeah, I forgot the most important part. Have fun!!!

Now for the actual post...

This week's post is aimed at you readers with kids or experience with kids. Jillian and I usually do our running around in the morning, and get home around nap time. Often, she is asleep when we get home, and I transfer her right to her crib. Longer naps occur on a full tummy. Therein lies the dilemma. When we're en route around lunchtime, before nap time, I like to give her something to eat in the car, so that when we get home, she can sack out for two to three hours. Cheerios are a great car food, but I feel guilty giving her something so snacky for lunch. I've tried bananas (mushed in the car), I've tried fruit bars (STICKY!), I've tried Pop Tarts (sticky filling rubbed all over legs). I'm out of ideas for non-sticky, filling, somewhat nutritious lunch food that can be eaten in the car. Jillian's not good with sandwiches yet, so that's out. I've done a cheerio/raisin mix in her snack trap, but I need some variety. So help me out readers!

This week, I need to know what kind of foods are not messy that toddlers can eat as a meal in the car?

Really?

The other day, Jillian and I stopped by our favorite thrift store in Laurel. We picked up a couple bargains, namely a Little People tractor and a pair of Stride Rite shoes the next size up. This afternoon, I caught Jillian riding her Little People tractor. Does this mean I need to get her a ride-on toy now?!?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Not me! Monday

It being Monday again, I am NOT going to tell you about some of the things I most certainly didn't do over the last week! It's a short one this week folks...enjoy!

I definitely did not put off making my toddler's 18 month pediatrician appointment until the last minute, get on their website to schedule one, find out that the next available for our doc is in SEPTEMBER, and lastly, did not call the office to beg ask them if there was any way to fit me in this week.

It was not me that used a day trip to Dutch Wonderland last week as an excuse to stop by the Nissley Vineyards wine store at the Lancaster Outlets to stock up. It wasn't me that passed on the 20% off a case of wine and only picked up eight bottles, sighting "willpower". So it's obviously not me that is now seriously regretting that decision, as we have not already finished off five of those eight bottles. Day trip to Lancaster anyone?

It could not have been me that decided it was a good idea to let Jillian pick out afternoon movies to watch. So far she has definitely not watched Labyrinth and Shrek 2 twice and A Christmas Story. And loved them!

Want to read more about what people didn't do this past week? Check out MckMama's Blog, and if you have some to share, link up! Next week is going to be Not MY Child! Monday, so I'm going to be keeping a list!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

MWA

John coined this acronym this morning. I think I'll keep it. Mandatory Weekend Activity. If you're anything like us, you have tons of ideas about things to do over the weekend, and somehow or another, you do some things around the house in the morning, the baby gets cranky and takes a nap, and next thing you know, the afternoon is half over, it's sweltering hot outside, and frankly, you don't feel like going anywhere. So today we decided to do our MWA. I've been dawdling around with Park Quest 2009 for some time now, and have pretty much accepted now that there is no palatable way that we're going to get eight of the fourteen parks visited by July 26th. Oh well, there's always next year. However, the Park Quest website mentioned that one of the parks, Washington Monument State Park in Boonsboro, MD would have an authentic Civil War cannon on site this weekend. I had (incorrectly) assumed by the statement "you won't believe how loud it is!", that they would be firing it. I figured this would be a nice draw to get hubby and stepson a little jazzed about completing this quest.

That aside, we headed out around 10am this morning and it took us a little over an hour to reach the park. We checked in at the Museum to get our Park Quest packet of materials to complete the quest. There were 20 fill in the blank statements that we filled in from clues along the 1/4 mile trail to the monument and other resources around the park. Then we completed a word search and another puzzle. It was pretty neat! The park was nice, the hike not bad, and the view from the top of the monument would have been quite beautiful if not for today's smog haze. Oh yeah, we could have done without the gnats. Which swarmed me unmercifully like the bug bait that I am. After we completed the quest, Josh and Jillian played for a little while on the playground. Here are some pictures from the park.




They unfortunately, were NOT firing the Civil War cannon, due to some safety issues, but we did get to see it some other period things from the time. Which was ok, but not as cool as seeing/hearing them fire the canon. Oh well, can't have everything.

We were ready for lunch after our quest. Since Frederick was on the way home, we stopped in at a place a friend recently recommended to me (thanks Brian!), the Barley & Hops Grill.

Total win. The beer was good, our favorite was the Big Ben Nut Brown.

The sweet potato fries and burgers were fantastic. Josh ordered a make-your-own pizza off the kids menu and got to put together his pizza before it was baked.

And Jillian didn't get restless. Oh yeah, and a couple beers and lunch for us all totaled in under $40. This place deserves another visit. Please forgive the picture quality here, the camera I'm borrowing from my mom had "depleted batteries", so these pics were from my cell phone.

They had a very nice set of Blues Brothers 'statues' with which I had to try to get a picture of Jillian. It's a bit blurry because I had to snap it fast...she kept sprinting off through the restaurant.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Air Mania!

This morning, we met up with some of the moms from our moms group at Air Mania for some playtime. What an awesome deal - free play from 10am-12noon for $3! And it was super fun. Jillian enjoyed going down the slides the best. She even went down one of them by herself a few times! It was a workout for me (some of the slides had really steep ladders/stairs to get up), so Jillian needed help. And I even struggled getting up some of them! We'll definitely do it again! By the way, snapping pictures of a bouncing child while sitting on a bouncing surface proved somewhat challenging.






Jillian was WORN OUT afterward!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dutch Wonderland

Ever since I realized that Jillian is on the daring side, I've wanted to take her to an amusement park. I figured Dutch Wonderland would be just our speed since it is geared for the kids of younger ages and is much less crowded than the typical Hershey Park or Kings Dominion outing. And less expensive. Kids under 3 free, too! Which I guess makes sense since most kids under 3 don't enjoy many rides by themselves. Well, I know one almost 18-month old that got her money's worth today!

Jillian and I met up with Amanda (from church) and her son Josh this morning at 10am when the park opened. The parking lot wasn't even half full at park opening. Score!

Amanda and I rode with Josh and Jillian on the truck ride first. She couldn't reach the steering wheels while strapped in, so she enjoyed playing with them after the ride ended.

Then Jillian enjoyed riding the bulldozer ride by herself.

I spotted a bear ride that looked a little fast, but it was early and there were very few people waiting, so I took a chance and let Jillian ride it. (Josh was not as interested in riding this one!)

It was pretty fast I thought...here Jilly is after the ride started with her hat blown off and holding on pretty tight!

We strolled over to the big slide and each went down with our little ones. No pics of Jillian on this one, but Josh loved it, so I took a picture of the two of them going down a second time. Here it is so you can see what fun Jilly had!

Jillian went on a pony ride...

...and then we went on a boat ride. Oh yeah, we also did the Double Splash Flume, which Jillian seemed not to mind, either (although I did feel her grip on my legs tighten a bit when we went down the big hills!). I would even count it as her first roller coaster. No pics of this one either...I was busy holding on to her, since there's a pretty steep drop in it.

We broke for lunch and headed over to the water park area, Duke's Lagoon. This was the biggest hit for both kids all day!

Jillian loved walking/trotting back and forth in the water and kicking it around.


There were some awesome kiddie-sized water slides in the "small kid" area of the water park. That's where we stayed most of the time. Jillian learned more about "taking turns" with other kids as the water park got more crowded.




We had a great time, spending about five hours or so at the park! Jillian sacked out hard in the car just about as soon as we got moving, since clearly, no nap was had while we were there!

Sorry mom, forgot to say THANK YOU for letting me borrow your camera!!!