Thursday, July 24, 2008

No Thanks!

Found this picture while searching for images for my last post.

Mongolian Grill

The good:

* The wait staff (probably the owner's son and daughter) were very careful to ensure that my water glass was always full.

* When I got back to my table after getting my food, there was a fancy dancy bamboo bowl (with a lid and a little cutout so that the spoon could be in the bowl and the lid still fit) with fried rice in it along with an eggroll with sweet and sour sauce and some tasty egg-drop soup.

* Little strips of potatoes!

* I left quite satisfied

The bad:

* The restaurant just didn't quite feel clean.

* The wait staff was at my table every 2 minutes filling up the glass that I had only taken a sip out of since the last time they were there.

* The bigger strips of potato had not cooked all the way through.

* I left 15 dollars poorer. That's right. 15 dollars. (including 2 for the tip)

* Front and center on the entry door (you know, where there should be a sign with the name of the restaurant or a welcome sign or some such biz) is a handwritten sign that says, "sorry, no public restroom"

The ugly:
* The no public restroom sign was just one of about a dozen hand-written (and often grammatically incorrect - or at least confusing) signs disbursed around the restaurant.

* Apparently the lights weren't working.

* Neither was the girl who was busy opening up her new portable DVD player.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

None Shall Swim! What..NONE SHALL SWIM!

Let me tell you how fun it is to drag Jenna all the way out to the fitness center, get to the childcare place at 12:35, only to have them tell you the following:

Childcare worker: "You do know we close at 1, right?"
Me: "No. What time do you reopen?"
CW: "3:45. No one told you? Sorry. Yeah, we used to have a sign up on the door...I'll have to tell them to put it up again."

Yeah, that would be good. :-0

So I'm now back at the parentals typing while Jenna naps until Mom calls to let me know to pick her up from said fitness center. I'm wishing we just would've stayed home, but hindsight is 20/20, right? I'm not meant to swim!! :) Actually, I got home just now and noticed that my swimming suit still has the tags on. That would've been fun in the locker room, trying to find scissors. Hee hee.

Also, it sure inspires confidence when you walk into a childcare place, and a one or two year old is standing on top of a rather large, precarious table behind the counter. The childcare worker tried to cover her butt by grabbing him a minute later and saying, "I turn my back for a minute!!", didn't really work for me, sorry. :) Here, now watch my active one-year-old, too! I know things happen, but with that many kids, you should really have more than one worker to watch them! So maybe it's a good thing we didn't get to go. ;)

Don't Eat The Yellow Snow

Just a tip for all ya'll.

Anyway, now that I've got your attention, there is no snow currently in Cleveland. Shocker, I know. But when it's summer, it's reaaaaaaally summer here. There's none of this "Look outside, because it might be rainy and cold because Washington weather is weird even in the summer" stuff going on. Even when it's raining, it's hot.

Jenna has been having fun following other people around and staring up at them as they do various things like make food, eat, etc. By people, I mean my dad, my mom and my brother Kev. Her vulture-like tendencies expand to anyone with food, apparently. I have been enjoying her following around people other than me, I have to say. It's flattering that she likes me so much, but sometimes it's nice to go in the other room, see that she's watching Grampa, and go back into the living room and chill for a little bit. I usually can't chill for very long, but even a couple of minutes is nice. :)

We have the doors down at the end of the hall closed so Jenna can't go in them by herself, but she has super-hearing, so whenever her back is turned and someone tries to make a break for it, Jenna notices immediately and runs after them, trying to catch them before they get the door closed again. It's quite humorous, actually. Even if you manage to get into the room without her seeing, she usually figures out which room you're in, and the next thing you hear is scratching on the door. I didn't know she was on the other side of the bathroom door yesterday, so I opened it and she was caught in the act of leaning on the mirror on the other side. She didn't fall, but she gave a pretty funny balancing act routine. We were both pretty surprised to see each other. :)

I've been having a good time catching up with family and friends here. My friend Andrea was actually having her wedding shower this past weekend, so I was able to go. It was a total coincidence, actually, since I had lost touch with all my high school friends, but I called my friend Sarah to let her know that I'd be in town, and she told me about the shower. Then my friend Therese was there, and I hadn't seen her since we graduated from high school. Somebody went from kindergarten to graduating from high school since we last saw each other! It's interesting to see what all my friends are doing now and what they ended up doing for a living. It was very strange to have my worlds collide, what with Jenna and my friends meeting each other. Makes me feel old!! More on my friends later; I've actually got to get going, since Mom's going swimming, and I was going to see about going with her.

Oh, I was going to write about how cute it was that Jenna was going up to various kids in the mall play area yesterday and waving hi to them. That's a new thing for her....she loved how most would wave back. :)

I'm off!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bad Food went out for a drive after work today and ended up at Ivars - a place famous around here for Fish and Chips and Clam Chowder. When the thought of Fish and Chips struck me, I was magnetically pulled across town because I knew that was something that I could enjoy that Kerry wouldn't want even if she were here.

Wow. Bad times. I'm not sure what happened to Ivars' once-legendary Fish and Chips, but it was bad enough to have me write to the company to tell them that it was bad.

And once I got in the writing mood, I finally got around to sending off that letter of complaint to Olive Garden (warning: uninvited music alert if you visit their website) about the invisible birthday cake fiasco. I'm sure it will get lost in the bureaucracy chain somewhere and when it does get discovered it will probably just get laughed at, but at least I let myself be known.

Maybe one of these days I'll summon up the will to go eat there again.


Hey There

Jenna and I are alive!! And the computer is where Jenna's crib is, so I only have a minute. Mom has been so kind as to watch Jenna while I checked email and such.

The trip and subsequent waiting for a lost bag for two days was not so fun. I just got my bag last night, after wearing the same clothes for three days. More on that later.

Gotta go.

Monday, July 14, 2008


"Hi. I'm 6 months pregnant, I have a one-year-old with me, and I have 30 minutes to get to my connecting flight once we land. What can you do for me?"

Hee hee. But I am actually going to say something similar to the above, because my seat is not in the front of the plane, and I need to get my booty off the plane and onto my other flight immediately. I hope it works out, that Jenna is good, and that I'm able to handle everything that comes my way. I've always been out of my element in airports, since I rarely fly, so even when it's just me, I'm usually anxious when I am in an airport. Especially since I think I've flown maybe 3 times since 9/11, and all these crazy "rules and regs" throw me for a loop. Yeah, like my toddler's not going to book it as soon as I put her down to put my shoes back on. :)

I just called United to see if I can bring my umbrella stroller onto the plane, and as long as it's less than 45 inches, I can put it in the overhead bin. We're about to measure it and see....dunno. If it's longer than that, then I guess they put it in cargo for a "fee", but then I also have to wait around for them to get it back out, which is pretty much a no-go. Luckily, it looks like my connecting flight is not very far from where I land, but I still will need to check in to my other flight as soon as I get off the plane, and I won't have much time to sit around and wait for them to get my stroller to me...

...but I am in luck!! The stroller is 41 1/2 inches!! Yay!!! I am thrilled about that. Being able to bring it will really help me out a ton. Jenna's usually pretty good about being in a stroller, since she knows she's strapped in, and that way, I not only don't have to carry her, but I can also do the security dance without worrying about her running away while I'm trying to do all that. Hooray!!!

As you can tell, this post was kind of play by play. Now, my mac and cheese is about to come out of the oven, and after we eat, I'm going to start packing for real and see if there's anything else we need before we go. It's almost go time!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ohio or Bust

So for those of you who may not be aware, my brother (yes, the one who keeps money he finds on the urinal) is the MAN. He used his awesome finding skillz to hook me up with a roundtrip ticket to Ohio for just over $200. That's right, folks, taxes and everything included, roundtrip ticket across the country. Amazing. I bought the ticket about a half hour after Dan got the info to me, after making sure that Braden was cool with it and that the dates would work out. I leave on Tuesday and will be gone for 3 1/2 weeks. I'm so excited!

Jenna will be with me, of course, which makes me happy and nervous. Nervous because, what the heck am I going to do to keep her entertained for hours on a plane?? I did buy some new toys and a bunch of little books to bring out every so often on the plane. We're also going to see if we can find a cheap portable DVD player that I can tuck into the baby backpack. Anything to make it easier on me! I'm going to call the airline and see if I can bring our umbrella stroller up to the gate, check it on the plane and then supposedly they'll have it waiting for me as I get off. Having a stroller would make it much, much easier on my pregnant body, since I'll already have a heavy backpack on. I don't know if it will work, though, since I read online that if you do check it at the gate, you're at the mercy of the staff to get it back to you, which can sometimes take a while. I cannot afford to lose ANY time getting off the plane, because I have exactly 30 minutes to get to my connecting flight. So I may have to not bring the stroller, which won't be fun, since Jenna goes where she wants to go. :) We'll have to see how that works. Yeah, 30 minutes would be fun without a little one and not being able to run! I hope the flight from Seattle isn't late. The way back has the opposite problem, since I have a layover of almost 2 hours. At least we'll be able to go to the bathroom and eat some overpriced airport food, though. :)

Anyway, I'm stoked about going and seeing all my relatives. This means I'll be going to the G family reunion in North Carolina, and I haven't been to one since 2002, so it'll be good to see everyone. No one's seen Jenna since she was two months old (she slept the whole way on the plane then!), if at all, so it'll be fun. Plus, there'll be 5 little ones near the same age there, and now that Kennedy and Jenna are older, I hope they'll have fun together.

I've already started adjusting both of our schedules as far as the time difference goes. It's going well so far.

And...wait for it...wait for it...

I have a maternity swimsuit. Ah yeah.


I just wanted to say that I'm very grateful for a husband who goes out and does 10-12 hour shifts and likes doing it. I am very glad that I get to stay home with Jenna, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Except for maybe a personal chef...and a maid. :)

No, but seriously, it's funny how the different qualities of men and women help us complement each other. I don't think I have a lot of patience, but I have more when it comes to dealing with Jenna. When I was freelancing on-site last year and gone for a couple of weeks, Braden really had a wake up call with regards to how demanding it is to take care of a young child, and he sure was glad when I came back! On the other hand, I wouldn't want to trade places with him, either; the ER is supremely demanding as well, and I would be overwhelmed. It's great that we are well-suited to our individual roles, and it sure makes our family run smoother. I've come a long way since my "I'm never going to stay at home" days.

And the non sequitur IM award goes to......

Dan masquerading as Carolyn: "I found a penny on the urinal today."

Sorry, Dan...this one was just too funny not to post.

And I do believe he kept the penny. That's my brother, folks.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

ScribeFire Rules!

So this is a test to make sure that Braden wasn't on crack when he said that ScribeFire was working for me now (in other words, it posts as me and not as Braden).

Monday, July 7, 2008

Quotes About Jenna

While playing outside:
Neighbor girl: "He can get on the bike."
Ker: "It's a girl."
NG: "Oh. She kind of looks like a boy."(In Jenna's defense, she had boyish jams and brown sandals on)
Ker: "I know. But her hair is getting longer!"
[Braden said later: You've gotta love the honesty of kids.]

After a bath, Jenna had a bath hoodie on that used to be a lot bigger on her:
Braden: "There's nothing quite as funny as being mooned by a baby."
(Every time she went to get on the couch or bent over, she mooned us.)

Upon hearing Jenna's nonstop baby babble, Braden's brother David had this to say:
"She sounds like a turkey."
(I thought this was hilarious, because it's so true! I just never thought of it.)

Slow Cookin' Away

I am starting to embrace my slow cooker. Believe it or not, we received it as a wedding gift, so it's going on 3 years old, and I only opened it up maybe a month ago. I guess I did not embrace the ways of the crockpot or realize what a timesaver it can be. But I am starting to mend my ways, people! I am currently trying out a new chicken taco soup recipe in it, and time will tell if it is delish or not. My track record for new recipes is still pretty good, but I've had some turn out badly lately. (I'm looking at you, Caramelized Banana looked so yummy on paper, didn't you?? But no. Alas, no. Great goodness gracious me, no.)

However, the aforementioned taco soup recipe has over 900 pretty favorable reviews, so I'm guessing it must be somewhat tasty. It serves 8, so my plan is to freeze half of it for a day when I don't feel like cooking (those days are becoming more and more common as I get bigger and bigger). I find that many of the recipes I try yield a lot more than we can ever eat, so my plan of attack is to try freezing half for later. I mean, you can only eat so much [enter type of main dish here] before a) it goes bad or b) you let it go bad because you're so sick of it. And trust me, I try to force it on Braden every chance I get, and it still goes bad! :)

So now that my slow cooker is merrily doin' its thang, I'm trying to find a recipe that only calls for 7-8oz of tomato sauce. Let me tell you, recipes that call for less than a normal can of whatever are really annoying!! I'm thinking particularly of the ones that call for one tablespoon of tomato paste. I always end up throwing out the rest of the tomato paste a month later.

Anyway, now that I've semi waxed poetic on the subject of slow cookers, I make an end.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Prego Probs

I'm only 24 weeks along, and I'm already tired of my belly getting in the way.

This can't bode well for my future.

I really just wanted to say, "This can't bode well for my future." :)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Schtuff and More

So I take it the Cincy peeps have internet again, or Mom is back home, since when I went to check my email, she'd made like seven comments. :) Yay for comments!!

The bananas have sadly gone the way of all the earth as of a few days ago. I was busy doing other things and couldn't get around to using them, plus we were getting pretty sick of banana bread from my massive batch with other bananas. I thought about freezing them, but it slipped my mind, and the next thing you know, they're past using. Bananas always sneak up on me that way.

Jenna, as we speak, continues her quest to mess up Daddy's races on MarioKart, but she does it oh-so-cutely. She has planted herself firmly on his lap on the beanbag, and I said, "Admit it: you love her little booty. That's cute!"

Well, there is some stuff I would like to write about a particular freelance job I've been doing, but suffice it to say that I was up till 3am working on it due to a miscommunication, when I could have easily cut our family visit short and come back home with enough time to do it and get to bed on time. Instead, I didn't discover that there was more work to do until 10:30pm last night. Kerry was not a happy camper! In this case, I was working with a different person than the one I usually work with, and I guess the former does things a little differently than the latter. I do like her, though; she seems pretty cool. Anyway...I'm really, really tired, although Braden let me nap for a while this afternoon; thank you, hubbin!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hubbin, Hubbin

I would just like to state for the record that my hubbin is freaking awesome. Let's hear it for Braden (I can figure out anything) E!!!! He is the MAN and is my computer program issue go-to-guy. He saved me a lot of time today and really came through when I needed him, and I really appreciate it. Plus, he took care of Jenna pretty much all day yesterday and this morning so I could work on a rush freelance job. AND he washed the dishes and cleared the counter, thereby making me worship him forever. I love him!!!!

Kerry Continues Her Gross Streak (aka Don't Read This If You're Vegetarian)

I just read a recipe that reminded me of one of my pet peeves when it comes to ingredients. If anything, ANYTHING calls for "processed cheese food" or something similar, it's right out. As in I stop reading the recipe. That is one of the most disgusting "ingredients" I have ever heard of.

Also, I'm a meat eater, but whatever that machine is that is used to make ground meat is so gross. I can't even watch the meat come out of the machine. It looks like little worms...YUCK! We were watching Iron Chef America, and one of the challengers was using it for chicken. I had to cover my eyes.

Bobby Flay and "Throwdown"

Ryan mentioned in the comments of my last post that Bobby Flay won against the Italian place "Bove's" on his show "Throwdown". This, to me, is interesting, and I'll get to why in a minute. As I've said before, I like Bobby Flay, and I think he's a good chef, so I've now watched a few Throwdowns here and there. The basic concept is that he gets a "mission" to execute a certain dish, for example, lasagna. He then has to challenge a chef (or chefs) who is particularly well known for that dish. Almost every time, the chef believes that he/she is either being featured for a Food Network segment or that he's getting his own show (did you notice I got tired of he/she crap?). The challengee then hosts some kind of demonstration in a public place on how to make his dish, and in walks Bobby Flay to challenge him for a Throwdown.

People: As soon as Food Network contacts you about a show, ask yourself if you are known for a particular dish, and if the answer is yes, BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR BOBBY FLAY!!! I guess I'm just surprised more people aren't suspicious of Food Network's motives. I would checking the entrances/exits...heck, I'd probably post someone at the door with a picture of Bobby and tell him: "This guy doesn't get in without a severe beating." Ha, I kid. But I *would* be suspicious.

Back to why I think it's interesting that Bobby beat Bove's. The guy loses like 95% of the time. I've only seen him win once, and now Ryan says he won in Burlington. And it's not because his dishes are bad. He's a really good chef! It's because he takes a classic dish and messes with it, adding stuff you normally wouldn't find in it. So what happens is, everyone present tastes it, the judges taste it, and the judges ultimately go with the classic, traditional dish - which always belongs to the person being challenged. And afterward, everyone comments on how good they both were, but that they have to go with what they know. Bobby takes his losses well, but I'd be a little frustrated. I know you have to have some things different, but most of the time he takes it a little too far, so people are like, what the heck is octopus doing in an arepa?

While googling "does Bobby Flay ever win on Throwdown?", I came across an interesting comment about the show...things that I hadn't even considered:

"Except for the firehouse chicken cacciatore throwdown where Bobby used the same budget as the challenger, he unfairly tips the scales with an unlimited budget. (No surprise the regular guy won when both were on an equal footing).

In the lasagna challenge, the ordinary folks make a standard, basic lasagna as a specialty. Yet Bobby brings one in with an expensive meaty braised short rib ragout.... Like shooting fish in a barrel. Had the challengers known what they were up against they likely would have been able to kick things up.

Some contestants are able to change midstream, while others can't. In the Philly Cheesesteak contest, Tony Luke guy would have lost if he stayed with the standard sandwich he was demo'ing.....but when he saw Bobby coming in with expensive steak and accroutements, he sent his assistants back to the restaurant to bring out the broccoli rabe and provolone. He squeaked out a win. Would have lost with his basic one though.

In the doughnut challenge, you could see the contestant was visibly upset because he was expected to whip up contest worthy doughnuts outside of his professional environment, so he only agreed to the challenge if he could use doughnuts made at the plant, and not make them live. Smart move.

It's not a fair challenge unless both teams have similar constraints."

So there you go. Fair enough, and points well made. He still loses all the time, though.