Stella, Just Lounging

  • Posted on July 5, 2009 at 8:43 pm

I took this picture of Stella last weekend at my cousin’s bridal shower:

Stella smiling

Isn’t she growing up quickly?

Baby’s First Oceanfront Penthouse Condo

  • Posted on June 6, 2008 at 2:59 pm

We took the baby on her first beach vacation last week to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. My parents rented a fabulous oceanfront penthouse condo and generously invited their kids, significant others and grandkids to come along on vacation with them.

Some highlights from the trip: Bramanda temporarily renouncing their vegetarian ways in order to eat seafood, so they could fully experience the ocean and all its bounties; countless hours playing Mario Kart on Nintendo Wii, in spite of the fact that we were only several yards from the beach; watching the baby smile and laugh over and over and over when Grandpa said “where’s your mama?” (we call it “Stellavision” because it’s so entertaining to just sit and watch her); climbing Jockey’s Ridge again, but this time taking the shortcut; relaxing on the beach with a good book, the sound of the ocean in the background, and a salty breeze on my face; Eric’s complete lack of knowledge on sunscreen, and the fact that you have to rub it around after spraying, or you end up with blotches of white and red skin; and watching the fishing boats come in at Oregon Inlet.

This time around, I didn’t get attacked by a single dolphin or bird like last time we went to the Outer Banks and I was gruesomely attacked by an angry gang of killer dolphins high on crystal meth, and then a gang of evil rabid birds  flocked around me and tried to peck my eyes out. To be fair, though, I did not go in the ocean this time. It was too cold, and babies and oceans don’t mix. I also didn’t make eye contact with any birds.

You may think that taking a 6-week old on vacation would be a silly, stupid idea, but it was pretty easy. In fact, maybe it was easier than staying at home. We had a Grandma that wanted to hold Stella, change her diaper, give her baths, and even feed her (which is kind of hard since she is on a breastmilk-only diet–and breast pumps aren’t exactly soft and cuddly like a newborn baby, so bottle feedings are rare. I’d rather just feed her and not pump and then feed.) We also had a Grandpa that just wanted to play with the baby (”what do you mean she’s asleep? Wake her up so I can play with her!”). And with Uncle Eric and Auncle Bramanda, and we had a whole village. Remember? It takes a village.

I have pretty much gotten over any issues I had with breastfeeding in public, because a) I’ve learned to be more discreet, so I don’t have to whip my breasts out and flash the whole world each time the baby is hungry; and b) I’ve decided that I don’t care. If someone is going to stare, I’ll just stare right back. This worked well all week, and I fed her in restaurants, coffee shops and benches. The only time it didn’t work was when she was over hungry, tired and crabby at a restaurant on our last night. I was sitting on a wall, facing the restaurant, she was fussily eating and having a hard time staying focused, and I just felt like I was one of those big stuffed animals at Chuck-E-Cheese, putting on a show for all the families eating dinner there. People were staring, it was just bad. And the food was mediocre, and the floor was sticky, and the baby had a diaper blowout, and the bathroom was too tiny and gross to change her diaper in, all of which only added to my discomfort and irritation.

Ah, I wish I could be on vacation again.

The happy family on vacation

Grandma, Grandpa and Stella

I just think this photo is funny–what the heck is he doing?

Jockey\'s Ridge

At Jockey’s Ridge. These poor suckers didn’t know about the shortcut:

The Shortcut

Independence Day

  • Posted on July 4, 2007 at 6:20 pm

Happy 4th of July from Carmel, Indiana!

Happy Fourth of July

Back and behind

  • Posted on June 19, 2007 at 11:11 pm

We’re back from vacation. I am so behind on blogging, on posting pictures to flickr, on laundry, on responding to emails…I need another vacation please.

The trip was gorgeous. Cape Cod is gorgeous. We had some crummy weather, but fortunately there was an international film festival in town, so we took advantage of that and saw some gorgeous movies. Oh, and I learned a new trendy superlative-gorgeous. Use it for everything, like they do in Ptown. Our beach house, not so gorgeous. Kind of a dump. But oh well, it was cheap. I tried not to touch anything.

I was only attacked by one animal on the entire trip–an evil cat that jumped through a window to attack me while I dined on smoked salmon. I can’t blame that kitty, because the salmon was delicious, but the whole effin’ restaurant heard me scream, and then they all pointed their fingers and laughed at me for screaming. But seriously, the cat was evil. You would have screamed if an evil cat was coming right for you through an open window, claws out and ready to poke your eyes out.

I took a gazillion gorgeous pictures, but here are a couple that caught my eye. You can see the rest on flickr.

Buoy buoy buoy

lift

Whale tale

Goin’ On Vacation

  • Posted on June 8, 2007 at 7:25 pm

Dear Loyal Readers:

We are going on vacation tomorrow! We are headed to Cape Cod, MA, where we rented a beach house for the week. We’re going with my brother Brandon, his girlfriend Amanda, and my brother Eric. It’ll be the first time us kids go on vacation without our parents. God, we’re so grown up.
We won’t have internet access at the beach house, but we’ll try to send updates to twitter by cellphone, so you can keep up with us. I’ll have lots of stories about all the animals that are sure to attack me when we get back.

I *HEART* NYC

  • Posted on May 18, 2007 at 10:14 pm

My trip to NYC confirmed what I already knew–I love the city. Love it. As in the “if I wasn’t already married to Larry, I would want to marry NYC” kind of love it. But as I mentioned, I already knew that. And all the rumors were so untrue. Stinky? Nah, France is much stinkier, even in May. Dangerous? Heh, try Marseilles. Rude? Hell no, DC is much ruder. Expensive? Well, maybe, but not much more than where I live now, and HELLO, it’s Manhattan. It’s worth it.

Two days is not enough to see it all. I need to go back.

I did see Times Square, Greenwich Village, Central Park, Little Italy, the Meatpacking District (where we had a late dinner at the amazing Spice Market, a restaurant by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the man who invented the molten lava chocolate cake), Rockefeller Center, and the International Center for Photography. Here are a few highlights, in photos:

Street in the Village

Chocolates at La Maison du Chocolate

Motion

Waiter, Carnegie Deli

How to Visit DC and not see DC, or: How My Dad Spent His Spring Break

  • Posted on March 14, 2007 at 7:59 pm

My parents came to visit us for Spring Break, instead of going to Panama City Beach or South Padre Island and doing beer bongs and dancing all night at Foam Parties. When they come to visit, it’s like we’re on vacation too—lots of fun, tons of laughing and no work.

They’ve visited many times, and they’ve seen the Smithsonian Museums and Monuments quite enough. So rather than tour the city again, we went on a few day trips outside of DC. It’s so cool that we can drive an hour east and see the Chesapeake Bay, or drive an hour west and be in the rolling countryside of Virginia, complete with cows, goats and barns. The only tricky part about doing day trips during the week was timing it just right so that we avoided the worst of the traffic. Sometimes that meant leaving early, and sometimes we took back roads and got just a teensy bit lost.

Day 1: Harpers Ferry, West Virginia for Civil War site-seeing; Breaux Vineyards in Purcellville, Virginia for a wine tasting, and Leesburg, Virginia for lunch, coffee and shopping. Chinese dinner at Foong Lin in Bethesda.

Harpers Ferry train depot

Dry Goods Store, Harpers Ferry

Day 2: Annapolis, Maryland for site-seeing, across the Bay Bridge for lunch at Hemingway’s, back across the bridge to Sandy Point State Park, a Japanese dinner at Tako Grill in Bethesda. (I love Tako Grill!) We had sushi, tempura, dumplings, noodle soup and grilled baby octopus (complete with heads attached—I guess that means I ate baby octopus brains and eyeballs. They were crunchy and slippery.)

Boat Slip, Annapolis

Larry on the beach

Grilled baby octopus, tentacles, brains and all

Day 3: Manassas, Virginia to see the Bull Run/Manassas Civil War Battlefield, Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg, Virginia for a wine tasting (bonus: our friend Maggie’s mom was the pourer!), and lunch and shopping in Middleburg. We even found homemade marshmallows from a little store in Middleburg.

Cannons

Bull Run/Manassas Battlefield

I tried to get them to stay another day, but they have, like, responsibilities or something.

The King’s Castle

  • Posted on November 24, 2006 at 11:23 am

We drove to Fort Wayne, Indiana on Thanksgiving to spend the day with the King family. The whole clan was there, including Larry’s Grandma and Aunt Joan. It was really great to see everyone, and we had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

Bill prepared the turkey this year, deep frying it in a vat of peanut oil. Way to go on the turkey, Bill! It was tender and juicy. I also really enjoyed the sweet potato casserole and the cranberry stuffing that Larry’s mom prepared. Delicious.

After dinner, Bill and Lori brought their dog Sassy over, and we had a good time watching her act like a spazz. She’s a little Jack Russell terrier, and she got so excited about all the people and all the food that we thought her little heart would explode.

This is my favorite picture of the day–I just love everyone’s candid expressions:

Family Portrait
Happy Thanksgiving!

Back Home in Indiana

  • Posted on November 15, 2006 at 4:34 pm

We’re going to Indiana for Thanksgiving next week. We’ll be hanging out at the lodge in Westfield, IN:

The Lodge
Although I’m guessing the sky won’t be so blue and the grass won’t be so green when we get there.

We’re also going to be hanging out in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I don’t have a picture of the King residence.

I’m looking forward to some time off, and seeing the families and the dogs. Hopefully, we’ll make it to Handel’s Ice Cream and Bonge’s, two of the most delicious places to eat in the Indianapolis area. Bonge’s is owned by Tony Huelster, a friend of my parents and a friend of Larry’s. Oh, and we’ll definitely be drinking some Bell’s Beer, one of our favorite breweries that doesn’t ship to the East Coast.

Check back for videos and pictures next week!

Pictures, finally

  • Posted on October 8, 2006 at 6:05 pm

We’re back in Bethesda–actually, I’m back in Bethesda, and Larry is already in Boston, MA for a week-long conference on usability. Lucky Larry gets to hang out with my brother Brandon, who lives in Boston and attends Boston University.

I was finally able to upload my pictures to Flickr today. Here are some of my favorites: (you can see all of them by clicking here.)

TreeinSound

a tree in the sound

Bodie Island Lighthouse BW

Bodie Island Lighthouse

BethanyMarge

Me and Grandma

Sunset2

Sunset over the sound

Sunrise

Sunrise from our balcony

LizardPrints

lizard track in the dunes

FredJockeysRidge

Dad climbing the dune