Friday, May 30, 2008


Our new nanny, who was born in 1989, picked up a wedding picture of me that is currently sitting on our counter for some reason. She looked at the picture (of me--seven years ago) then looked up at me and asked, "Oh! Is this your sister?" Ouch. Need I say more?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

I turned 31 this year and I have to say I enjoyed every minute of my birthday. Bryan got up with Evan and let me sleep in, my mom was in town and I had a delicious cake that was topped with chocolate covered strawberries. My mom and I spent most of the day cleaning the house and preparing for our trip to Utah, but it was just nice to be with her. We left for dinner around 4:30 (dining with Evan means we can usually make the early-bird special) and went to Flemings for steak. Evan was a doll during dinner and spent most of the time flirting with the ladies at the table next to us. We came home and enjoyed our cake (Evan and my mom had walked to the bakery earlier in the week to order it). Evan ate three of the chocolate covered strawberries off the top of the cake. Thanks to everyone who sent me warm wishes!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

One Lump or Two

That describes Evan's forehead right now and he definitely has two lumps. The first came on Monday morning when he was reaching for the coffee table and missed it by about an inch. He was attempting to lean all of his weight on the table and went down hard right on the edge. Evan has a boo-boo bunny we keep in the freezer for just such an occassion. I think that helped with the bruising, but he still ended up with a purple mark and a bump.

The second lump came on Tuesday when Evan was playing in his crib. He was standing at the side, then sat down and sat on his bear, Jasper. He slid forward and bumped his head on one of the slats on his crib. I was surprised he hit it hard enough to make a bump, but he did. I told my mom to put hats on him anytime she takes him out of the house this week!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Two Hours of Sheer Joy

Evan attended his first “friend” birthday party on Saturday and experienced just over two hours of sheer joy. From the balloon he got to keep for his very own to the ice cream and chocolate cupcakes, it was a day filled with new and exciting wonders.

Evan missed the first 15 minutes of his party to take a power nap in his stroller, which left him well-rested and ready to go.

As soon as he woke up, he started pointing at the balloons dotting the back room at Chicago Uno Grill at the Reston Town Center. There was a yellow balloon with his name on it and he also held on to a pink balloon until its rightful owner arrived. He was a little upset at having to let go of it, but he was quickly distracted by his very own cup of water with a straw! A STRAW!

There were several varieties of pizza to choose from, but Evan wasn’t very interested in it until Ava, the birthday girl, fed him a bite of her pizza. Evan later reciprocated the kind gesture by feeding Ava a spoonful of ice cream.

By not eating much pizza, Evan saved plenty of room for the chocolate cupcakes that were served. And, the grand finale--a pinwheel he got to take him as well. First a balloon, then a pinwheel! Evan carried both around all afternoon after we arrived home. I got light headed from blowing on the pinwheel, but it made Evan happy, so I kept doing it. My mom arrived yesterday and Evan quickly handed her the pinwheel. She made me feel a little stupid when she “whooshed” it back and forth and made it turn without ever having to expel a single breath. I guess you learn some things as you go.

The birthday party was an absolute success (at least from my perspective). I want to thank Sarah and Pat for including us in the celebration and the bag of goodies they sent home with us. Plus, a big happy birthday to Ava who turns two on May 15!

Friday, May 9, 2008

My Attempt at a Scrapbox

My friend Sandy is the queen of scrapbooking. She is nice enough to share her ideas with me. She made a really neat scrapbox, so I attempted it this week as a gift for Ashley. There are three different layers, each with pictures, then it folds up into a cute little box. I struggled with the lid a little bit, but I finally got one made and stuck a little tag on it that says, "I will never forget." I am giving it to Ashley tonight. I'll post instructions soon in case anyone else wants to try it.

Homemade Oreos

One of our favorite new treats are homemade Oreos that our nanny, Ashley, makes. She first made them for us a little less than a year ago and we have treasured them ever since. She leaves on Saturday, so she made us one final batch. We put a test batch in the freezer and they freeze well, too. That means, we'll have some cookies at least until, oh, Tuesday. We eat them up fast!
Homemade Oreos
2 Devils Food Cake Mixes
½ c. butter, soft
4 eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. Combine in mixer (if possible DONʼT use handmixer). Grease your hands and roll dough into small quarter-sized balls. (Dough will be sticky). You should be able to fit 24 on each sheet. Bake 7 min. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Cookies will not appear done, but they are. Let them sit on the pan long enough to get them off with a spatula smoothly. Let cookies cool. Then, frost and make sandwich cookies.
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. butter
1/2 bag powdered sugar
Mix cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar. Frost generously.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Small Mercies

My mom and dad sent me this beautiful plant about three weeks ago. You wouldn't know it by looking at it now, but for the first two weeks after it arrived, it would drop its leaves if I even looked at it. Okay--you can still kind of see some black on one of the leaves it is about to lose, but I consider it a victory that the flower actually bloomed! I have a hard time growing anything. I've killed more plants than I can even count. Bryan has asked me to stop buying them since we know from the outset that it is a waste of money.

This year, I wanted to buy some herbs to plant in our yard so we'd have fresh basil and chives all summer long. As we were wandering around Home Depot, Bryan noticed the herb seeds were only 99 cents. So, to satisfy his practical side while still allowing me to indulge my inner gardner, he suggested I try the seeds. I relented but fully anticipated that if I can't keep a plant alive, I'd have a hard time getting seeds to grow. I took the seeds home, planted and watered them and tried to keep my hope alive. The next morning, we saw squirrels digging in my pots! I had painstakingly planted my seeds exactly 1/4 inch beneath the soil and these squirrels were ruining everything. I thought we'd have to spend the rest of the summer looking at pots of dirt. But, this morning, while I was outside admiring the bloom on my hibiscus, look what I saw!!! SPROUTS! My little seeds had sprouted--well, at least in two of the four pots I planted.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Evan Sleeps Through Earthquake

For the life of me I can’t figure out how Evan could sleep through the earthquake Annandale experienced yesterday but will wake up the second the phone rings. Granted it was a minor earthquake, registering 1.8 on the Richter scale, but still. Ashley was home with Evan and said there was a loud boom and she felt the house move. Apparently the boom was from the movement of the earth. “It was probably the seismic waves exiting the surface and coupling with the air,” according to the Washington Post article titled, “The Earth Moves. Annandale Yawns.” Evan apparently wasn’t the only one who didn’t give much thought to the earthquake.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Smoke and Mirrors

It is very rare these days that I actually look pulled together, which is why I was relieved when I saw this photo of myself with a colleague in front of the Supreme Court during our annual conference on Capitol Hill. We were walking from a Senate building to a House building for a meeting and stopped for a quick photo. Posting a photo of myself may be a little vain, but not only had I fixed my hair that day (unlike today), I put on makeup, a suit and high heels! I’m happy it is all documented in this one photo. I didn’t actually feel all that pulled together, since I was feeling incredibly guilty for being away from Evan longer than usual. Smoke and mirrors is all I have to say.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Signing Time

Bryan and I have been wanting to teach Evan sign language and we've made a few half-hearted attempts, but now we're finally ready to get serious. My friend Melissa told me about the Signing Time DVDs that her daughters love, so today Evan and I went to the library and came home armed with two DVDs. I don't usually let Evan watch much t.v. but these are educational, right? They really are cute DVDs with kids making the signs for each word they're trying to teach. Evan was loving it. He was watching very intently and each time one of the kids on the DVD would make a sign, he would pause as though he were thinking and then pat his head. It is like they were having a conversation, but I'm not quite sure what Evan thought he was talking about! Then, tonight at dinner, I made the sign for water when I gave Evan a drink. He reached for the cup with one hand and pat his head with the other. I think it is a universal symbol.

Visiting Great Grandma

They start them young--those grandmas. From the day Evan was born he has been spoiled by not one, not two, but three grandmas! His Great Grandma Dorthy, who we call Granny, lives the closest to us, which means we get to see her the most often. We met Granny and Aunt Nanci for dinner on Saturday and it is no wonder that Evan loves visiting with Granny. Not only did she share her chocolate malt (which I think she ordered just for Evan) and her french fries, but she also played cars with Evan. At one point Granny stopped playing in order to engage in some adult conversation and Evan quickly reached over and put her hand back on top of the car. Granny played along and I think they both had a great time.

At the end of lunch Granny and Nanci said goodbye to Miss Ashley, who is leaving us on Saturday. We have had a wonderful year with Ashley as our nanny and we're all going to miss her terribly. I have a few more days before I have to say goodbye, but I already know I am going to cry.