Friday, November 30, 2007

A Love Letter

No, not to James, not to Chris . . .

To my CLEANING LADY! I will keep her name anonymous, as I don't want to lose her to someone else who will write her a better love letter!

I hired her to come in and clean last month, and she was here again today. I don't have her on a regular basis--yet.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

  1. You wipe down all of the switch plates in the house. I can honestly say that I have NEVER done that. It hadn't even occurred to me to do it until I saw you doing it!
  2. Last time you came, you cleaned the oven. I hadn't asked you too. The day before I had cooked my early Thanksgiving turkey and it had left a terrible mess in there. I didn't even know you had cleaned the oven until the next day, when I opened it and it was so spotlessly clean that I honestly thought that something was missing--like an oven rack or something!
  3. You Lysol-ed all of James' toys! Again--something that I have never done--even after we have had play dates with kids with runny noses!
  4. You swept the back patio--come on! I thought a housekeeper meant only that you clean the INSIDE of the house??!!
  5. You cleaned the 2" thick layer of dust from the top of the blades on my ceiling fans. Since it is getting cooler, they aren't running 24 hrs a day and so I could actually see the nasty dust on them. Uuhh . . how did you even get up there to do that???
  6. You used the upholstery attachment on the vacuum. HOLY CRAP!!! That has never even BEEN used! I watched you flip over ever couch cushion and vacuum underneath them, and then you vacuumed the cushions themselves! On two couches, a love seat and two chairs!
  7. You dusted all of the window ledges in the house--OMG I never do that either--I just pray that no one looks behind my window treatments!
  8. You emptied and Lysol-ed James' diaper pail--OK, SO not expected of you, but me likey!
  9. You cleaned out the refrigerator, used Windex on all of the clear shelving, you cleaned the veggie bins inside and out AND you reorganized everything (hold on to your socks on this one, Gini, Kimmy and Chris) you put every item with the label facing out!
  10. And here folks, is the number one reason why I LOVE my cleaning lady--you emptied Bean's litter box!! I think I might propose!!!!
XOXO Forever,


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Greetings from the Pine Tree State

The next stop on our New England vacation was in Maine. I wanted to spend a few days with my Mom, Dad and sister Amy. We stopped in Bath where my mom's antique shop is and had a few family pics taken. Here are the proud grandparents with their first grandchild! Don't they look proud??!!

I have to say thanks a ton to my parents' friend Katherine for making the handsome red sweater that James has on. It is truly one of a kind and she has promised to type up the pattern (of course, because it is an ORIGINAL as it came out of her head). She is a fabulous artists! Thanks so much!

Here is the whole gang, including my sister Amy.

Later that Day Amy, Chris and James and I all went to downtown Brunswick for lunch at this great deli called the Big Top. We also wanted to go toy shopping at the Red Dragon, but they were closed. BOO HOO! Look closely in the pic--it is snowing!

James was so tired that later that day he took a nice long nap in our bed. Don't cha just love those Carhart overalls?

Here he is the next day playing with some dolls (I know Chris, but don't worry, he likes trucks too!) and my mom's beagle Bee (who also happens to be the shop mascot).

Amy and James and I having lunch at Maxwell's in Bath. Yeah- I know, I had James where that sweater two days in a row. What can I say? I love it! And now that we are back in Vegas it will probably be too small by the time he gets to wear it again!

We took a trip out to Pemaquid Point lighthouse for a little sightseeing.

Here I am being goofy with my sister. I still LOVE to embarrass her!!

A gorgeous pic of the lighthouse taken by my artsy hubby. (Who woulda thunk it?)

Ahh, the gorgeous, craggy coastline at sunset.

The way the holiday worked over Thanksgiving, we actually had to leave the day before Turkey Day because we had promised ourselves to Chris' sister Kimmy and her in-laws. I know my parents were disappointed, but awesome as they are they even sent us on our way with homemade applesauce for the next day's festivities! LOVE YOU MOM and DAD!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Snapshots from Burlington

What was fun:
  • Having breakfast at Penny Cluse's restaurant (thanks Tara!)
  • Playing in the leaves at Battery Park
  • Fried shrimp at the Shanty
  • Looking out across Lake Champlain
  • Eating tomato orzo soup and peanut butter cookies at the Red Onion
  • That first glimpse of the lake when driving into Burlington
  • Shopping on Church Street
  • Buying not one but TWO bears for James at Vermont Teddy bear
What was not fun:
  • Taking James to an Urgent Care clinic for chest congestion
Why we love Vermont:
  • Where else can you get a 1/2 peck of Cortland apples for $3.00?
  • Farms, farms and more farms
  • Crazy snow squalls
  • Vermont maple syrup
  • Ben and Jerry's
  • Cabot Cheese
  • Red flannel-lined Carhart overalls on little old farmers
  • The Justin Morgan Horse farm and museum
Where we want to retire:
  • You guessed it--Burlington, Vermont!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Karma Chameleon

Here is a great little video for all of my dedicated blog readers! We were driving back to Massachusetts from Maine while on vacation, and "Karma Chameleon" came on.

Think James is a Culture Club fan? His Dad sure is!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Kid City

Hi everyone! Chris and James and I are back from our two-week vacation to New England! We took a direct flight from Hartford yesterday, and although it was 5 1/2 hours, James was a rockstar! We were very proud of him. It is great when other passengers and the crew tell you how well-behaved your child is.

I have not been able to keep up with my vacation updates the way I would have liked to, so every few days I wil try to post some of what was keeping us busy while we were away.

Scroll down a few posts before this to see some early notes about Kimmy's baby shower, and James and Garrin playing in the leaves in Massachusetts, and our much-anticipated trip to Shady Glen.

In this post I will cover our visit to Kid City, a children's museum in Middletown. I would highly reccomend it. I went there with Chris and Gini and Connor about 5 years ago. Since then they have added another entire building of kids exploration. It was AWESOME!

One of the first exhbits is a farm room. James had a great time peeting the pigs! His Grandma would have loved this room!

There was a great room that was a pirate ship. James liked to look through one of the portholes.

Here he is walking the plank!

Check out this awesome train table!

Taking a ride with his Dad in an old VW bug. How CUTE!

What a great old cash register!

Running like crazy through the little diner.

One of the areas was a miniature version of Middletown, complete with cars. He was in heaven!

He had a blast beating on drums in the music room.

One of James' favorite areas in the childrens' museum was the construction room filled with blocks.

We took a hot air balloon ride over the model train tracks together. Hi Dad!

After a couple of hours of running around, walking the gang plank, beating drums, see-sawing, watching model trains, playing with blocks, petting farm animals, driving a VW bug and riding in a hot air balloon, James was all tuckered out. Who could blame him!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Shady Glen, BABY!

We had to stop at Shady Glen on our vacation. It is a great old-fashioned hamburger joint. One of the line cooks gave James a Shady Glen cap (which he did NOT like wearing!) We had cheeseburgers, their famouns "fried" cheese", fries, old fashioned cherry fountain sodas and a milkshake. YUM!

Little Boys and Autumn Leaves

We were pleasantly surprised when we got to New England that there were still a lot of leaves on the trees! Of course in Vegas we don't get the gorgeous fall foliage, and so the boys haven't really been able to play in the leaves. Here they are horsing around in Auntie Kimmy's back yard:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Baby Shower!

One of the biggest reasons that we scheduled a two-week vacation was to cover both Kimmy's baby shower and Turkey Day. Kimmy is expecting a baby boy at the end of January. Gini and Kimmy's sister-in-law Denise threw her a great shower at the Hotel Northampton. There were games, lots of fun prizes, gorgeous flowers and all of the great gifts to open. And with 30 women there, Kimmy did get SHOWERED with gifts! Little Matthew Francis Egan will be one lucky little boy!

Here are some pics from the shower. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Who Does James look more Like?

Well, I guess that will make Chris happy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

James Loves his Teddies

This is what I see when I go to get James in the morning and after naps. He is so interested in his stuffed animals! And he loves to LOVE them!

A Sweet Wreath from Maine

I opened the door today to find a package outside from my parents! I opened it up, and lo and behold it is a GORGEOUS wreath handmade by my Dad!

Thanks Dad! You're the best!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Good New England Eats!!

Our trip back East is fast approaching and what is on my mind? All of the yummy FOOD I will get to eat over the two weeks that we are there!!! (So when I get back and I am as big as a house, you'll know why!!)

I grew up in a little town called Brunswick on the coast of Maine. When we go back to see my Mom and Dad and sister, here are a few eateries that we plan to visit:

RED'S EATS in Wiscassett for the Best Damn Lobstah Roll on the face of the planet!!

And then on to Cooks Lobster House for what else? Lobster, fried clams and fried shrimp. Plus, it is right on the freakin' water right where the lobster boats dock with their catch of the day.

We will be definitely stopping in a Fat Boy's Drive In, which is an old fashioned car-hopping drive in with great cheeseburgers, fries and shakes. Plus my sister works there so we get our food for FREE! Yum! Wait--drat! They are closed in the winter! Oh well, here is a pic from the counter inside. My sister is in there somewhere!

What's next? Beale Street Barbecue--true New Orleans style barbecue that is finger-lickin' good. Great pulled pork, ribs, blackened catfish and cornbread. Check it out!

And our last food stop in Maine will be at Frosty's Doughnuts in Brunswick, right on Maine street. This unassuming and tiny little red building is home to the finest-baked doughnuts in the world. The baker starts at 3am and if you haven't gotten your doughnuts by 6am you are OUTTA LUCK! Dunkin Doughnuts? Krispy Kreme? You better get your game on, because if Frosty's wasn't such a small town secret you'd never sell another doughnut again, evah!

We will be spending the first part of our vacation in Western Massachusetts in the Longmeadow area. We will definitely be stopping at Rein's Deli, a true New York style eatery with out-of-this-world pastrami sandwiches. OMG look at this photo! I am so HUNGRY now! (Never write about food when you haven't had lunch yet!)

A trip back to Connecticut wouldn't be complete without lunch at Shady Glen. They actually fry their cheese for the cheese burgers on the grill and it gets all hard and yummy. They also make their own ice cream and REAL fountain cherry cokes! (Plus, all the waitresses and the short order cooks wear old-timey uniforms and those cute paper hats . . .SO NOSTALGIC!)

And last but not least . . .awwww. . . .YUM the White Hut in West Springfield!! A town landmark for the last 67 years, this place is a 660 square foot room with a long counter where you pile up against it shouting your orders to the wicked grumpy short-order cooks and then you stand there eating your gooey, drippy, hot cheeseburgers with grilled onions and -oh-so-amazing fries right there!!!! (I only like to go with my brother-in-law Dennis, because he is about 8 feet tall and the cooks can see him better to get my order!!)