4, 7, and 9!

The winning eggs were numbers 4, 7, and 9! Take a look!

Eggs 4, 5, and 6 (left to right)

Eggs 7, 8, and 9 (left to right)

And Guess Who made all three? That’s right. ME.

This gives "Triple Crown" a whole new meaning...

Ahh, sweet victory. Churchill would be so proud.

On a side note, we had Hula Girl’s first real tantrum today. Wowza, was it a doozie. I get where she was coming from. I mean, I very rudely interrupted her game of “Put the plastic fishie on the rocking chair and take it off again and look at Mama for a smile!” I scooped her up, put her on my lap, and started snipping away at the only weapon she has available- an effective weapon at that. She.screamed.bloody.murder.for.ten.straight.minutes. I just kept on clipping. I got three nails done. Then I put her down in front of the glass door so she could calm down, and once she did, I had her watch me clip her thumbnail. She seemed fine, but then burst out screaming again. Of course, the only nail she’s calm for is the one I cut too short. I HATE that feeling, so I get her screams. Ay, yi, yi. Neosporin to the rescue. Then naptime came (a short 10 minutes later) and she cried all the way through her diaper change, song, and story. Finally when I put her in her crib, she stuck her (other) thumb in her mouth, closed her eyes, and stayed silent. Weird. I feel proud of myself for living through it.

And…we’re back!

Yes, we’re back. We had a great trip!

Today, however, I am going to focus on one aspect of our trip. Yes, the COMPETITION. I have quite a few pictures to share. So, without further ado, allow me to lead you through a visual Easter Egg Competition, from (almost) start to finish:

First, you have to know that we had 4 dozen eggs to work with. That was 1 dozen per person. Then, we chose our best 2 out of 12 and entered those in the competition in a randomly selected order. Then, my father-in-law judged the eggs. I put in an extra egg to see if his judging was biased.

The prizes: Easter Crowns. Third place-Daisy Head. Second Place- Butterfly. First Place- Easter Bunny.

The supplies: Silk scarves and ties; twist ties and cotton squares; regular egg-dying kit. Plus 48 eggs.

Here are my eggs all tied up to go in the pot:

Here are my eggs in the pot:

Here are my eggs out of the pot:

Here we are pouring vinegar to mix up the traditional dyes:

Here are our dye cups:

Here are my sister-in-law’s eggs:

Here are Jonathan’s eggs:

Here are my mother-in-law/aunt-in-law’s eggs:

Here are the eggs in the competition :

Eggs 1, 2, and 3 (left to right)

Eggs 4, 5, and 6 (left to right)

Eggs 7, 8, and 9 (left to right)

I’ll announce the winner(s) tomorrow. Which do you think won?

Mardi Gras or Easter- it still Applies!

Ok, I’ll admit it- I am kind of starting to freak out… a bit… about our upcoming trip. My poor mother-in-law has had to answer a lot of dumb questions and listen to me musing over time change, luggage, and car seat napping all day. Thanks for your support, Momma C!

I am not concerned about Hula Girl’s schedule when we’re actually there. However, it’s going to be a long journey to reach our final destination. We’re flying out of a city that is 2.5 hours away from our house, so traveling there will be our first obstacle. Our current plan is for my mom to drive Hula Girl and me up there on Thursday so we can stop by my old school and visit my former coworkers. I am making sure to arrive there about 30 minutes after school is dismissed in hopes of missing the afternoon traffic rush and avoiding the germy germy children who will inevitably get their schoolchild sick germs all over my HEALTHY child. After this visit, my mom and I will take Hula Girl to dinner somewhere. Then we’ll go to our friends’ house for the night. Jonathan will arrive much later in the evening, as he will have to work that day. I expect he’ll also be in charge of dropping off our cat, Riley, with my grandma on his way.

Friday morning we will be with our friends, and Hula Girl will likely get a full nap in before we have to leave for the airport. I think I will be bringing a bottle and feeding her that way when we arrive at the airport. I can’t imagine trying to find a quiet, secluded place to nurse her before we get through security. This airport has, like, no place like that at all. So, a bottle we will bring! I scheduled our flight to be right during Hula Girl’s second nap time of the day. It is my intention to help her sleep on the flight, but my gut tells me it won’t happen. I plan to nurse her 15 minutes early to help her ears adjust as we’re descending.

When we arrive in San Diego on Friday afternoon, we’ll take the hotel shuttle from the airport. It will be quite a short trip, thank goodness. Our next adventure will be trying to find a way to get some food to eat (Mommy, Daddy, and Baby food). There are plenty of restaurants and grocery stores in the area, but they are just out of a short walk’s distance from the hotel. Never mind, we’ll figure it out.

Saturday is the day of my friend’s wedding. Hula Girl’s dress is absolutely cute on her. My one concern is that I have yet to purchase a little sweater to go along with the dress. It will happen. Sometime. Maybe I’ll even leave the tag on it just in case we don’t have to use it.

Saturday night will be amazing, thanks to my gorgeous, wonderful, amazing sister-in-law (who is still going to lose our Easter Egg Competition, no matter how attractive, fantastic, or great she is). She has kindly accepted our request that she come and babysit Hula Girl while we enjoy the wedding reception. I am looking forward to spending time with some of my favorite girls from college, and embarrassing myself on the dance floor. I have never danced at a wedding (mine was the exception-but it was expected!) and I haven’t really ever danced at a prom/party either. Let’s just say… there is a very good reason I avoid dancing in public. Or at all. I feel like a spaz, I look like a klutz, and I am really, really terrible at it. Nevertheless, I made Jonathan promise to dance with me. Who knows? Maybe his skills will rub off on me.

Sunday we will be staying at the hotel until Hula Girl’s first nap ends, and then we’ll be taking the final leg of our journey up to Ama and Papa’s house, which will be about a 2.5-3 hour drive. Again, I am attempting to schedule Hula Girl’s nap during travel time, but we’ll see how things go. All I can do is plan it the best I can and then pray it goes well and shrug it off if it goes differently than I expected!

Monday-Sunday we’ll be with my in-laws and we’ll be having a blast. Monopoly championship tournament Easter 2011, Easter Egg Competition 2011, and lots of laughter over the cute little girl we call Hula. Laissez les bons temps roulez! (I realize that phrase is typically applied to Mardi Gras, but it seems fitting here, too.)

Finally, the Monday after Easter, our little family will travel back home on another flight followed by a long car ride to our house. Let’s just hope the following week will provide relaxation and structure as we settle back in to our little life here.

Do you have any tips for traveling with a baby or thoughts on how to get through security fast?

My Best Friends’ Weddings

The kitchen is scrubbed, top to bottom. The laundry is *almost* done, including all the diapers. The carpets are vacuumed. The meals are planned, the grocery list is made, and we’re headed to the grocery store during Hula Girl’s next awake time.

It has been a productive day so far.

I have begun the process of looking for a place to rent in the new town, just in case Jonathan gets the job and it offers a decent salary. We are going through some major issues with our current place of residence, and we really want to move out. It is really frustrating to be dealing with everything we are dealing with, since we really are great tenants- we’re clean, quiet, respectful. I don’t think our land lady really understands how much we’re doing and how she should be treating us. Sigh.

I’m going to try out some new recipes this week. I’ve decided that since I’m going to be doing this whole “Mommy” thing for quite some time, I may as well learn to cook something other than our normal rotation. So this week, we’re going to have some new dishes, and we’ll be evaluating the likelihood of repeats. Here’s the menu for the week (dinners):

  • Monday: Fettuccine with Zucchini Sauce and Meatballs; Salad on the Side
  • Tuesday: Drunken Chicken over Rice with Broccoli
  • Wednesday: Herb-Roasted Chicken with Shallots; New Potatoes and Corn on the Side
  • Thursday: Turkey Burgers  and Savory Brussels Sprouts

Jonathan is cooking on Thursday. I don’t grill. I should clarify that turkey burgers are not a new dish for us. They’re just less frequent. Also, we don’t eat much red meat; the meatballs mentioned on Monday will be turkey meatballs.

I am really looking forward to the end of this summer when we can start harvesting yummy vegetables from our garden. We’re really going to enjoy the bounty! Today, I came across a lot of really tasty-sounding recipes utilizing the veggies we’re going to grow. I can’t wait to use the recipes and share them with our neighbors and friends! I sure hope we can actually grow some stuff…

Next weekend, Hula Girl and I will be taking a short trip to my parent’s house, just an hour and a half away. Jonathan has a mandatory work training on Friday and Saturday, so we will be missing him. However, it will be a lot of fun to see Grammy and Grampy, and to play with Hula Girl’s new toys! My mom purchased a little walking/riding toy for Hula Girl recently, and we’re so excited for her to try it out. She’s good at walking while she pushes the laundry basket around the living room. She’ll be walking all on her own very soon. It will be a good opportunity for her to practice her balancing skills!

The next weekend is when we leave for our trip to California, to attend my good friend’s wedding and to see the other grandparents, Ama and Papa. We’ll also get to see Jonathan’s sister (who is going to LOSE in the Easter Egg Competition), his aunt (who made the delightful quilt I mentioned in this post), and some other fun folks. I really hope we get to the beach one day, even though it is somewhat far from where we’re staying.  At least Ama and Papa’s house is a lot closer than ours is to the beach!

We will be spending 10 days in California, so two weekends. Then I will be spending the next weekend with my best friend and all of her closest friends as we celebrate her upcoming marriage by throwing her a bridal shower! I am really looking forward to treating my friend a bit, as she just really really deserves it. We got to have coffee together last night, and I really enjoyed our time together. We’ve never had one of those best friend relationships where every little detail is important. I don’t really care what kind of music she listens to. But we do know each other well, and we can discuss the bigger picture. I also noticed that our friendship has not suffered from lack of time spent together- in fact, our friendship is enhanced even more because it is well-seasoned with prayers and words exchanged in hard times and in glad times. I am grateful that God has placed my best friend in my life, even if I’m not the only friend “of honor.” 🙂

What is your favorite memory with your closest friend?

Practice Eggs

Well, I think we’re finally on the tail end of this week-long nightmare. Jonathan is feeling about 90% healthy today, Hula Girl seems to be functioning at about 80%, and I’m back to 50%. I’m not sure why, but I definitely had this waaaaaay worse than Jonathan or Hula Girl. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been sick in so long? No matter the reason, it really knocked me off my feet. Literally- I’ve been in bed for days.

As I typed that last sentence, Jonathan walked in and surprised me with a plateful of pancakes and turkey bacon and a cup of chamomile tea. How sweet!

Lately I’ve been thinking about my old school and my students a lot. I checked out the website this morning www.vcsk8.org ,  and I found out that this school is doing amazing things this year. They’ve grown into a school that does fundraisers, family nights, principal’s coffees, before-school “jam sessions” in the music room, before-school “mileage club” with the PE teacher, after-school sports, student government, and parents curriculum-training nights. They’ve truly developed a sense of community, and I am so proud that I was a part of establishing that environment. Congratulations, Vanguard Classical School! I miss you!

We don’t know where we’re going to end up once Jonathan is finished getting his license. We will be able to move away from the place we live now by December. If we move back near where we were living, I want Hula Girl to attend Vanguard once she reaches Kindergarten. Therefore, I called and asked the front office to send me a letter of intent. Am I planning too far ahead? I don’t think so!

Speaking of planning ahead, I went ahead and did some practice eggs for our Easter Egg Contest.

Love 'em!

Oh, my poor sister-in-law. She never really stood a chance against my Easter Egg spirit. I wonder if I should tell her how I did such an awesome job, and give her a fair shot?

Do you have any fun holiday traditions in your family?

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