Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Abby's first bath

After nearly two weeks, we decided that it was time for Abby's first real bath. Her belly button fell off a couple of days ago, but then we entered into the "gas wars" and it just seemed to much for all three of us to give Abby a bath during that time.

I have to say that she wasn't all that fond of the bath, but we all survived. Afterward, I lathered her up with the Johnson & Johnson bedtime lotion and she fell promptly to sleep in her bouncy chair.

Here are some pictures from the momentous event.

Gas issues

We've got gas issues. Well not exactly, Micah and I, but Abby. It appears after almost two weeks of being the perfect baby, we've developed a little gas issue. Actually it is a BIG gas issue. She's got it. Lots of it. Yesterday was the worse. She woke up at 4 am and didn't really go back to sleep until about 2 pm. It was a rough morning.

I did some research on the Internet (Thanks Dr. Google) and found that the bottles we were using had caused gas in other babies. A couple of other moms recommended using the Dr. Brown's bottles. So off to the store I went to purchase these magically bottles. (Earlier I had to make an emergency trip to Rite Aid to purchase gas relief drops. They seemed to work, but still didn't completely get rid of the gas.)

We've used the bottles for the last five feeds. The seem to help. She isn't taking in as much air, but she still has gas.

I called the Dr. this morning to see if we should try changing her formula. She said we could try that, but it wasn't a guarantee that it would help. She might just be a gassy baby and it will get better as her digestive system matures.

So for the time being we are sticking the course with what we are doing. And trying to get as much sleep as Abby allows it. For the past two days, the only time she really sleeps in on one of us, which I can't really blame, because if I was uncomfortable, I'd want to be held by my mom and dad.

Any suggestions for gas relief are welcome!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

More pictures

It is official, we've become those parents that takes pictures of every cute thing thier child does. We have TONS of pictures of her sleeping... well that is just about all she does at the moment. So because I've taken all these pictures, I now need to share them with people, so here you go.

Finally found my thumb!

Playing on my mat!

Looking at the butterflies

Hanging with Aunt Jill

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Falling more in love

I didn't know it was possible for fall in love with someone more and more each day. But you can. Each time I look at Abby, I fall more in love. It is truly amazing!

Micah and I are adjusting to having Abby in our lives as well as we can. She is a great baby. We struggling just a little bit with nighttime, but what can we expect from a five-day old. She loves to sleep during the day and only likes to sleep in our arms from midnight to 5am. We are trying a couple different things to try and resolve this, I'll let you know if anything works.

Mom and Dad Sizemore have been here since the day she was born and have been a great help. Simply doing the dishes, cleaning the bathrooms and doing laundry are a huge help, especially since there are times when Micah and are seem to be walking around like zombies.

Abby had her first peds appointment. The doctor reports she is doing great for a 5 day old baby. She lost a little bit of weight from birth, but that is to be expected. I did try breastfeeding, but I was putting a lot of stress on myself, that combined with Abby's amazing sucking ability, it wasn't fun for either of us. I struggled with the decision, but decided to switch to formula feedings. I'm happier, Abby's happier and now Micah can help with feedings, which I think that he enjoys. (Feeds are a great bonding time for all of us.)

Jill and Miles arrived yesterday. They are just as in love with Abby as the rest of us. Now if I can only get Jill to change a dirty diaper. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Adding to the family

Abigail Mira Gelman made her arrival at 2:44am, weighing in at 8lbs 6oz and measuring 19 inches long.

As I mentioned briefly yesterday, we arrived at the hospital at 11:30pm for a labor check, I was having pretty intense contractions. However, once the resident checked me, we found I wasn't dilated. After conferring with the attending on call, I was told to walk around the hospital for a couple of hours and come back and get rechecked. So Micah and I hit the halls of Sinai, walking up and down the bottom floor of the hospital.

The walking seemed to help a little. When I went back to get checked I was 1 cm. The resident checked again with the doctor and because of my contraction patter and the fibroid, they decided to admit me to see if I would progress over the evening. I got all hooked up and was given medicine to help me sleep. In the morning I was rechecked by the resident and was still only 1 cm.

About an hour later, around 8am, the attending came into check me I had progressed to a "nice" 3 cm. So know we were on our way. The ended up augmenting my labor with pitocin, as I wasn't contracting and progressing fast enough on my own. At noon, they broke my water and shortly after I asked for the epi (What a life saver)!

Over the next twelve hours, I slowly progressed to 10 cm. It was so slow, that we talked with the several of the doctors about a possible c-section, but I kept plugging along. Due to going so long since they broke my bag of water, it appears that I developed an infection and started to run a low grade fever. I was giving antibiotics so that it wouldn't effect Abby.

By 1am Wednesday morning, I was 10 cm and began pushing. That in itself is another story. I pushed for about 1hour and 45 minutes, much longer that I would have liked. Abigail was born screaming. She was taken over to the warmer immediately by the NICU team because there was mechonium (baby's first poop) in my bag of water. We met up with her two hours later once I was moved to the mother baby unit. She has been with us every since. She is caught on to breast feeding quite well and already has had a couple of poopy diapers. Micah has become the diaper changing champ.

We are so in love despite how tired the past 48 hours have been.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cake Pops!

Thanks to my wonderful Aunt Cyndi, who turned me on to http://www.bakerella.blogspot.com/, I attempted cake pops this weekend. If you haven't checked out this website, and you love to bake, you need to. It is great.

Last night we had our annual Hanukkah Party and I brought dessert. I decided to try the cake pops. The came out really good, however, slightly time consuming. (Although when you are awake at all hours of the morning, what better way to spend you time then dipping cake balls into chocolate.)

I forgot to take pictures of them while I was putting them together, so I had to have a friend take a picture at the party so everyone could get the idea of what they looked like.

I did find that if the cake balls get to warm, they fall off the stick. I ended up doing two or three balls at a time, leaving the rest in the fridge to chill. I did a simple chocolate cake with buttercream frosting. I'm ready to try some of other flavors shortly as well as some other designs. I can see these becoming a fast favor!

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Sorry for the delay in getting this post up. I was waiting for pictures for mom and then once I got them, I had problems with my email. I know it is a poor excuse. Deal with it!

This year, since Micah and I were on what he called a 'ground stop' due to the impending arrival of Baby Gelman, we hosted Mom and Dad and Gram and Grampy Goldman. It was quite a full house, but a lot of fun. Everyone arrived on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, so we had plenty of time to catch up. It was so nice to visit!

On Thanksgiving day, Mom and I were up early (actually both of us were up early every morning. I know why I was, not sure why mom was). So we started getting cooking early. We were so prepared that we were able to go on several walks through the day. The menu was the traditional Thanksgiving feast. We had turkey, tators, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, rolls and jello mold (this was a new addition and I messed it up, but it did taste good.) For dessert, I made two pies, Bourbon Walnut Pie and an Apple pie. The walnut pie was the hit! (Thanks Mom Gelman for the recipe!)

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Micah and I got a new camera so we are able to document the life of our new baby girl. So I've been practicing taking pictures of my first baby... Reese. I'm no where near as good as my aunt, but at least you can see what I'm taking pictures of. Enjoy

Making Whoopie...

Whoopie Pies that is. I've had several people ask for the chocolate whoopie pie recipe. Since I actually make it by combining several different recipies and adding a few touches of my own, I actually had to make them this morning and write down what I was doing. Without further ado, here is the recipe.
Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Peanut Butter Frosting

1 egg
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 c. sugar
2 c. unsifted all-purpose flour
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 package of chocolate pudding mix
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease two large cookie sheets and set aside. In a large bowl with mixer at medium speed beat egg and vegetable oil. Gradually beat in sugar and continue beating until pale yellow in color. In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, chocolate pudding mix and salt. In a measuring cup combine milk and vanilla. Add flour and milk mixtures alternately to eggs and sugar, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Depending on who dry the batter is, you may need to add more milk. The batter will be thick.

Use a ice cream scoop to drop batter on greased cookie sheet. Bake about 10-12 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched with finger. Remove to wire racks to cool. When cool, use filling and two cakes to make sandwiches.

Peanut Butter Icing Filling
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons milk, or as needed
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Place the butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer. Gradually mix in the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable. Beat for at least 3 minutes for it to get good and fluffy.

Monday, November 03, 2008

It's November!

It's November and only 25 more days until one of my favorite holidays - Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving, I think it is a combination of the food, festival decorations and family. This year, I'm hosting Thanksgiving here in Maryland because I'm unable to travel due to Baby Gelman's impending arrival. I've started to look into the menu options. (You all know that the foodie in me is going to bring a something new to a traditional dish. So watch out foodnetwork.com, here I come.) I've already got an idea for dessert - Bourbon Walnut Pie. (Yeah, it is THAT good.) Now I've just got to plan out the rest of the menu. So feel free to send me your favorite Thanksgiving recipes!

On to other updates, Katie came down last weekend for a visit. We did a lot of shopping and just plain hanging out. It was a good visit. As Katie might be one of the pickiest eaters I've ever met, we made mac and cheese one night. I'm talking the real stuff, from scratch. Thanks to a couple of phone calls to mom for the recipe (which is actually on the back of the Muellers' pasta box, but they don't sell Muellers here. What is up with that?), we were on our way. Katie was in charge of the cheese grating. I even took pictures because she was sure that her mother wouldn't believe her that she actually made mac and cheese from scratch.

Dinner came out great, we all enjoyed it. Now here comes the bad part, as I was putting the dish in the fridge, I dropped it. An almost full dish of mac and cheese ended up on the floor. Micah was bummed because he was hopping to have some as a late night snack and I was bummed that I broke a good piece of my Corning wear set. (I felt so bad about dropping the mac and cheese that I made another dish on Monday night.) Anyway, beside the broken dish, the weekend was a lot of fun. Hopefully, Katie will be able to make it down here after Baby Gelman is born or I might need to make a trip up to NH so all the NH family can see her ;).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

Most of you know that I love to cook and bake. I was searching the web, looking at the many blogs that I check out every day and I found this recipe for pumpkin swirl brownies. They combine two of my favorite things, pumpkin and chocolate. The recipe is from Martha Stewart Living.

So for those of you that like to bake and want to try these tasty treats, here is the recipe. I'm sure that they will soon become a fall favorite

Pumpkin-Swirl Brownies
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablesppon vanialla extract
1 1/4 cup solid-packed pumpkin
1/4 cup veg. oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 inch baking pan.

2. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, caynne pepper and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Mix sugar, eggs and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy and we combined. Beat in flour. (If you are using a kitchen aid mixer, I would recommend the paddle attachment because the dough does get thick.)

4. Pour half the batter (about two cups) into a serpate bowl and stir chocolate mixture into it. If the mixture is a little thick, add a little more batter until it is more pourable.
5. In in the remaining batter, add the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon and nutmeg. Transfer half of the chocolate batter in to the baking pan, smooth. Top with half the pumpkin batter. Repeat to make one more chooclate layer and one more pumpkin layer.
6. With a small spatual or table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect. Be sure to get your knife all the way to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with nuts, if using.

7. Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.

The brownies are very tasty. I think I'm going to try a few adjustments the next time I make them. For me personally, the pumpkin part lacked a little pit of flavor. I think I'm going to try replacing the cinnamon and nutmeg with pumpkin pie spice. I think it might add a little more zing.

Hope you enjoy

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Second Anniversary

Today we celebrated our second anniversary. I can't believe it has already been two years. Crazy!!!

This weekend we went out to a nice dinner to celebrate. We've been talking for awhile about going to The Oregon Grill, a nice restaurant in Hunt Valley, so we decided that it our anniversary was a great time to go.

I started off the meal with the Oregon salad - watercress, mushrooms, apple and hearts of palm on a bed of endive with vinaigrette. It was all right, but I think that they forgot to put the vinaigrette on the salad because it lacked a little bit of flavor. Micah enjoyed grilled oysters on the half shell. I'm not a big fan of oysters, but they did look good.

For the entree, I had the grilled Chilean sea bass with a red pepper butter served with broccolini and potato gnocchi. It was really good. Micah enjoyed the prime rib, which looked really good and tasted even better. (I stole a bite even though I'm not suppose to have rare meat, but I'm a sucker for a good piece of meat.) We were to stuffed after dinner to even think about dessert, even though I really wanted some.

The service at The Oregon Grill was amazing. The waiter was very prompt and the kitchen was even faster and put out amazing food. We had an 8 o'clock reservation and were seated promptly and we done and leaving the resturant a little after 9 pm. I would highly recommend this hidden gem to anyone in Baltimore looking for a romantic dinner.

Next weekend, we are going to pick out robes. I know a cheesy anniversary gift, but the traditional gift for the second anniversary is cotton. So we both need new bathrobes and thought this would a perfect opportunity for us to purchase them. Off to Macy's we go!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Home Improvements

This weekend Micah and I were busy painting our new dining room. For those of you have been to the house for a visit, we decided to move the dining room into the living room. I know that sounds confusing, but the house came in with a formal living room, which we don't really need. We aren't formal living room people. So we turned the living room into a dining room, since the original dining room was way too small for a good size table.

Last week, our new dining room furniture was delivered. The plan was to wait until next year (January/February) to paint the room. However, Micah got it in his head that the room needed to be painted before Thanksgiving. So we powered through and painted it this weekend. It looks good, if I do say so myself. :) The paint color is "Maple Leaf" and I took the idea and color straight from a Pottery Barn catalog.

We need to get new hardware to hang the curtains, hence why they are on the table. I'm excited now that I can display my china. I've been waiting two years to do so and now I have a beautiful new hutch to show them off on. I can't wait to host Thanksgiving dinner this year!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


My Gram sent this to me and I thought it might be fun to post here. Please feel free to post on your own blog.

SCATTEGORIES... it's harder than it looks... \
Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. They have to be real places, names, things... nothing made up.

YouCAN'T use your name for the boy / girl name question.
BOY NAME: Justin
FOOD: Jumbalaya
A PLACE: Jupiter

Monday, October 13, 2008

2.99 a gallon

This is a quick post, but the gas station at the corner has gas for 2.99 a gallon. Crazy!! It went down almost 30 cents over the weekend. It takes the economy to hit the shitter for us to get some relief at the pump!! What is the world coming to?!?!?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall into love

Fall is my favorite time of year. And I truly miss falls in New England. The crisp smell in the air, the cool nights, the brilliant reds, yellows and oranges of the leaves. Fall is my season. It is the reason why I got married in the fall.

While fall in the Mid-Atlantic is no where near the same as those I grew up with, one thing that brings me back is a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. The sweet smell of pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg transport me back to my outh, playing the huge leaf piles Dad used to rake up in the lawn.

I had my first pumpkin spice latte the other day. It was a tall, decaf, skim with no whip and it was worth all the calories. ;)

I can't wait until the gingerbread and peppermint mocha lattes come out around Thanksgiving. Shopping the day after Thanksgiving isn't the same without one.

(Can you tell that I'm caffeine deprived in my current state???)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Real Men Wear Orange

Or so I'm told.

This past weekend, Micah and I headed up to Syracuse for Micah's ten year college reunion. After spending about six hours in the car, we finally arrived and met up with Kristen and Jonathan Goldberg for a drink before heading out to dinner.

The next day, Micah, Kristen and Jonathan took me on a tour of every place on campus they used to hang out. We stopped by Marshall Street, which is like the main hangout for all college students to purchases Syracuse gear for Baby Gelman. (Don't worry KT, I'm sure she will have more UNH gear than anything else!) We even purchased a "Real Kids Wear Orange" tee shirt. I can't wait to get a picture of Baby Gelman and Micah in their shirts together.

That afternoon we went to see Syracuse play Northeastern in football. I, briefly, told everyone that I was going to cheer for NU since they are in the same conference as UNH, but after a few plays, I quickly realized that neither team was worth cheering for. :) Syracuse ended up winning, their first win in 11 months.

After a brief nap we headed out to a restaurant in Armory Square, BC. I was all set to write my review, however, about 3am on Sunday morning. I woke up with a horrible stomachache and ended up spending the next few hours getting sick in the bathroom. Part of me believes that it may have been food poisoning, while other part thinks it might have been a virus. (Micah had gotten sick just a few nights earlier. So it very well could have been a virus.) So I'm forgoing the review for the moment. (The food did taste good going in, but not so good going out.)

We ended home Sunday morning, only after a short stop at Wegmans for breakfast.

And lastly, so for the lack of updates on this blog. Most of my life is being taken up by the impending arrival of Baby Gelman, so I've been posting on the other blog. I have a feeling after Baby Gelman is born, I'll combine the two because it just way to hard to keep two blogs updated in a timely manner. So if you are looking for me, check over there.

A change of scenery

Just in time for fall, I decided to change the background of my blog. Give you all something new to look like.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008


My review of the new 90210 can be wrapped up in one word: disappointing.

I guess I wanted it to be more like the original show. I wanted to have Donna, David, Brandon, Brenda, Andrea, Kelly, Steve and Dylan back. But they weren't there. (And what is up with Kelly and Brenda back being friends again?)

I'll give the show a couple more weeks, but if it doesn't get better, I'm cutting it loose. There is way too many shows on tv to watch.

Like Project Runway and America's Next Top Model, which are both new tonight. Welcome back fall!

Friday, August 22, 2008

They like me. They really like me.

Today at work we had a "Back to School" company picnic. There were a bunch of activities for kids and employees. One was a bake off. For those of you who do not know, I'm addicted to watching food competitions on TV and have always dreamed about entering one of then. When I read the email, I immediately signed up to participate in the bake off.

I made whoopie pies. It is quickly becoming one of my trademark desserts. I made two different types, pumpkin with cream cheese frosting and chocolate with marshmallow frosting. And I won!!! They really liked my baking!!

Maybe this will give me the confidence to enter some of the other regional baking/cooking competitions.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Greetings from China

Okay, so I'm still here in Maryland, but Micah has been in China since Tuesday. He seems to be settling in for the month. He says that the Olympic Villiage is cool, but has been complaining about the smog and pollution. It is bad. Burns his nose and eyes when he walks around outside.

From what he tells me, the newsroom is just about set up and they are ready for the game to begin next Friday. So for his first and only weekend off, Micah is heading to the Great Wall tomorrow. Hopefully he will send pictures.

Here are some pictures of Micah and some of his team, getting "warmed up" for their events.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A meme...

So, a literary Meme, courtesy an other blogger Kathy.

Here's how it works:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline (or mark in a different color) the books you LOVE - mine are in red
4) Reprint this list in your blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them ;-)

The premise of this exercise is that the National Endowment for the Arts apparently believes that the average American has only read 6 books from the list below. My main question is why on earth they would want people to read some of these books. Much of the list does not qualify as literature, in my opinion. In case you wanted it. And as a warning, apologies if I offend with any of my assessments below - I tend towards the obnoxiously opinionated and judgmental when it comes to books, movies and music.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling -
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible -
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - freshman English class torture, part I.
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott - does it say something about me that I hated this book and, at the ripe old age of 10, was pissed off when I finished it at how much I hated it?
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien -
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot -
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy -
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden -
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - not if I can help it.
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel -52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon - see # 51
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold - see #51
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce - my mom has about 12 copies if I ever decide to read it.
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath -
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I'm a little disappointed of the books that didn't make it on the list, there was nothing from James Baldwin or Richard Wright, even Willa Cather. And what about "There Eyes are Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston????

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Summer adventures

Summer officially began three weeks ago, which means a very busy couple of months for Micah and I. I can't believe I've been slacking on the updates, but by the time I get home from work, I'm so tired and turning on the computer is the last thing that I want to do. Here is a brief update of where we've been the last couple of weeks.

June 28-30 - New Hampshire
Micah and I headed up north to visit with family and see the NASCAR race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It was a great weekend. On Saturday, we flew in to Boston and on the way to Cyndi and Dom's house, we stopped at the mall to say hi to Katie. She was able to sneak away from her busy job at Bath & Body Works to visit. It was great seeing here. Next time hopefully the visit will be longer. Later that night we had a cookout with Cyndi, Dom, Becca and Kenzie along with Gram and Grampie. Well it really wasn't a cookout since the weather was bad. Dom cooked outside, but we ate inside.

The next day, Micah and I headed over to Loudon for the race. Due to connections Micah has, we were VIPed and escorted around the infield and pits by a lovely tour guide, Herbert. Herbert, is like the king fo the pits. He knows everyone and really showed us an insiders tour. It was great. We got to tour one of the haulers and got a first hand tour of the garages where they inspect the cars. We even got to ride in the pace car (before the race) with Brett Bodine. It was amazing. I thought for sure that we were going to crash into the wall, but Brett was able to control the car just like the professional race car driver that he is.

Oh, we also got to meet Janet Evanovich, a best-selling author. (Many of you might know here work if you are fans of the Stephanie Plum series.) She was great! It was a total surprise that we would get to meet her. And to my surprise to learn that she is a NASCAR fan.

We were also on the track for the driver introductions, which was very cool. However, I started to feel a little lightheaded and we headed back to our seats before everyone had been introduced. We were able to see a great race, however, it ended 18 laps short due to rain.

On Monday afternoon, we headed home to Baltimore. Overall we had a great weekend.

July 3-6 - Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
For the 4th of July, Micah and I headed up to the lake to celebrate the holiday. Once again it rained. I think that it has rained every 4th since Micah and I have been together. Luckily, the weather cleared up on Saturday and Sunday and we were able to get in some time on the boat. The rainy weather did allow for some good reading and a rowdy game of Scrabble.

As for the rest of the month, we are just swamped. Next weekend, we are headed up to Pittsburgh on Saturday to visit with the Schacters before we go to Morgantown, WV early Sunday morning for Micah's camp reunion, only to drive back to Baltimore that night. If we don't get stuck in traffic, I think that we will be in the car for more than 10 hours. (I must really love my husband.)

The following weekend, Mom and Jill are coming in for a visit. I'm excited to see them both! Then there is only one more weekend before Micah leaves for China. August doesn't seem to get less hectic. I've planned quite a busy summer to occupy my time while Micah is away.

I think that I'm done with my month long update. If you've made it to the very end, thanks for reading!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Home Improvements

Slowly we are making our house a home. This past weekend we put the some finishing touches on the guest bedroom. We painted a couple of weekends ago, but it took Micah a while to finish the trim work. I loved the color. It is Country Club from Home Depot, however, they messed up mixing one of the paint cans and it came out a slightly different color. Turned out the messed up can was the one we started painting with and I like the color better. So I guess it really isn't Country Club.

We got rid of the futon Micah had since he was in high school. (I'm sure our parents are happy about that.) We moved our bed into the guestroom and got a king size bed for our room. Now I'll have to do is buy curtains, night tables and lamps, which will hopefully be done before Mom and Jill come for a visit next month.

Below are some pictures to help you visualize. The top one is the "before" and the other two are what the room looks like now. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A New Family Member

This December, Micah and I will welcome the newest member of our family. I'm pregnant. There really is no easy way to lead into that announcement. Most of our family and friends have heard of our good news, so as I'm thirteen weeks I figured I'm make the announcement official on my online journal.

I'm going to try and keep this blog about my travels through life and for the moment, baby free. A while ago I started another blog focused on our travels through trying to conceive. It started out as a private journal as an avenue for me to release many of the emotions that come with this process. I'm opening it up to all of you to read and share with this experience.

Please note, what I share on the blog is personal and a way for me work through the many emotions and feelings that come along with all the pregnancy hormones. What I share on the blog is what I'm feeling at the moment, it is not meant to be insulting and hurtful and I hope that no one takes it as such. I hope you all understand.

So without further ado, here is the new blog:


Traveling West

I had a Donate Life America - Donor Designation Collabrative meeting out west and Micah decided to join me. He, of course, was on vacation while I spent part of Sunday, and all day Monday and Tuesday in meetings. It was a cleaver plan on Micah's part.

So while Micah lounged at the pool and drink fruity drinks, I was learning ways to increase the donor designation rate in Maryland. (For those of you do know and care, the donor designation rate is how many people sign up at either the DMV or the via the online registry to be an organ, eye or tissue donor. The fact is that even though 80% of the population believes in organ donation, only about 30% have designated themselves as a potiential donor on their license.)

After a long day of meetings, I did get to enjoy the pool for a little bit and we also went out to eat. We ate at a cute bistro resturant at the hotel one night. The other night we went to Roy's, a restuarant serving Hawaiian fusion cuisune. There is a Roy's in Baltimore and we've be talking about going, but haven't made it downtown yet. So we ventured out to the restuarant and we weren't disappointed.

We started out the meal with the highly recommended Crunchy Golden Lobster Potstickers with spice togarashi miso butter sauce, which were to die for. Micah and I fought over the last one. For an entree I had Kaffir Lime Dusted Sea Scallops, which came bento box style with rice noodle salad with toasted cashews and Watermelon nam pa. It was delish. The scallops were well seasoned, more savory than sweet, and had a little kick to them. The rice noodle salad was in a light vingerrette. Micah enjoyed the Roy's Classic Trio which included Hibachi Grilled Salmon in a citrus ponzu sauce, Roy's Originial Blackend Island Ahi in spice soy mustard butter and Hawaiian Style Misoyaki Butterfish in a sizzling soy vinaigrette. He seemed to like it since there wasn't anything left when I looked over.

I would highly recommend Roy's. The fish was wonderful and fresh and the mixture of Hawaiian and classic European cuisine was delectable.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Here's another one of my soon-to-be-famous restaurant reviews.

On Friday night, a friend and I headed to Fell's Point to grab a bite to eat at Mezze. It was a beautiful night and we were luckily to grab a table outside. Mezze features Mediterranean tapas.

We shared a couple of plates including hummus, spinach pie and beef and lamb meatballs. The hummus was a little runny, I like my hummus a tad on the thick side and it lack a little bit of flavor. The spinach pie was amazing. The perfect amount of spinach mixed with feta cheese in a little crispy filo dough crust. The meatballs had great flavor, but were slightly under cooked. I also had falafel, which I loved! They had seasoned perfectly and had great flavor.

I didn't have some this visit, but I also recommend Mezze's sangria. It can be a little sweet, but it refreshing on a warm late Spring afternoon.

If you are looking for a place for some great Mediterranean food, stop by Mezze. (Although a reservation is highly recommended on Fridays and the weekend.) The bar area is small and can get quite crowded, but they have seating upstairs that is quiet and can be quite intimate.

Number 500!!

Two tickets to the Red Sox vs O's = $90
Dinner at the ballpark = $30
Watching Manny Rameriz hit his 500th homerun = priceless

Micah and I went to the game last night and were in the stands for Manny's 500th career homerun. It was amazing!! The entire stadium was on their feet when he hit the ball.

Let's go Red Sox!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

They Had Nothing to Say to Each Other

It has been a while since I've posted some of my creative writings. I just stumpled across this while reading through some old stuff and thought it was interesting. I'd love to hear your feedback.

"They had nothing to say to each other"
They had nothing to say to each other. They just stood there looking at one another, afraid if they moved, this magically moment would disappear. He stroked her hair, then moved his hand to her shoulder. They both knew that their relationship was over, but didn’t want it to end. The silence hung in the room. Cautiously, they finally made eye contact with each other. A tear slowly rolled down her face. With his thumb, he gently wiped the tear away.

Something deep inside was urging her to reach up and kiss him. She hesitated.

“Was he feeling the same?”

She looked into his eyes. And before she could think about it or talk herself out of it, she lifted herself up on to her tip toes and brushed her lips against his.

Surprisingly, he kissed her back.

Slowly she moved her arms around his neck and he grabbed a hold of her waist. She fell into his arms, kissing him deeply, enjoying these last few moments of “them”. Finally their lips parted. He forced himself to take a step back, toward the door. With one last squeeze of her hand, he opened the door and walked out of the house and out of her life.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

PB&J and chicken and rice casseroles

It is that time of the month when I scour the pantry looking for something to eat. Mostly it results in some sort of casserole. I always seem to have rice, pasta, cream of something soup and frozen vegtables. My husband hates this time of the month and typically has a serving of the one-pot casserole only to have a PB&J for dessert.

We probably could avoid this time of the month if we went food shopping more than once every four weeks, but we don't. And I don't know why. We typically go food shopping at the local Wegmans. (If you've never been to Wegmans, it is like Disneyland for foodies.) And because the store is about 25 minutes away, we seem to only go once a month. I do, however, make the occasional stop at the local grocery store to pick up the items I've forgotten to purchase at Wegmans or things we've run out of (mostly bread, soda and milk). Even with those stops, I still can't seem to avoid casserole week.

So we've made plans to go food shopping on Saturday. Let's just hope we don't run out of peanut butter before then.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Long Weekends

I love long weekends, especially when the weather is nice. This weekend, Micah and I headed out the Deep Creek Lake. We left Baltimore around 5:30pm and didn't arrive at the lake until after 10 pm. Traffic was horrible. Thankfully that was the worst part of the weekend.

The weather was amazing the entire weekend. There is nothing better than curling up on a lounge chair with a good book. We also spent time out on my father-in-law's new boat. On Sunday, we even packed a picnic and headed out on the boat for a yummy lunch in the sun. If only the water was a little warmer, Micah said he would have gone swimming. I, on the other hand, didn't even stick my toes it.

Reese, as with any water dog, didn't mind the cold water and went for a couple of dips. And with all the rain Maryland has gotten this spring, the water in the lake was quite high. He doesn't like to got farther than he can stand, and it wasn't very far this weekend.

I also finished two books this weekend (have I mentioned that I love lake weekends). I finally finished Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. Another dark book from Picoult, but equally good. I really love Picoult's style of writing and enjoy that she writes about New England, because I can picture the people, town and landmarks so easily.

I also read Water for Elephants. What a great book! Quick read, but the author does a great job developing the characters so you fall in love with their story lines. Highly recommend this book for anyone heading to the beach this summer.

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On a side note, welcome to all the new readers as part of NLCM. If you are interested in what this is, click the logo on the right hand side, it goes into all the details. Happy reading and posting!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Spring has Sprung

At last, a long awaited update. I can't believe it has been over a month since I've written, where as the time gone??? I promise, I've been busy.

April is Donate Life Month, so I spend just about every weekend staffing events around Baltimore city to help promote organ, eye and tissue donation. I'm glad the month is over. In the few free moments, Micah and I were able to get some work around the house done. Most of the work was done outside. Since we moved in to the house in late October/early November, we didn't have a lot of time before things became too cold to get things done outside. Which meant this spring we had a lot of work to do, including raking a massive amount of leaves that I'm pretty sure came from our neighbor's trees.

After all of the leaves were raked and the lawn was mowed, we started in on the gardening. De to Reese's bathroom habits, several of the bushes and plants in the front of the house needed to be replaced, which we did and then some. I've posted a couple of pictures for you all to the how the front of the house looks now.

In addition to the gardening, we also put in a fence for Reese. This way he can run around outside all by himself. Now we just need to get him not to dig underneath the porch. The other day, after a two day long rainstorm, Reese came back to the door after being outside for a bit, covered head to toe in mud. Micah had to hose him off before he could come in the house.

Now on to the inside of the house. We desperately needed to replace our sofa in the family room. It was just falling apart. While we shopping for the sofa, Micah and I found a new entertainment center and coffee table that we fell in love with. They arrive on Saturday and I absolutely love them.

You will notice the HUGE TV on the new entertainment center. Micah felt that the other TV was inadequate for the new stand and had to get another one. We still have a perfectly good HDTV down in our basement if anyone would like one. The only downside is that is weighs about 200 lbs.

In between working weekends and the home improvement projects, I was able to sneak away for a weekend to go up to New Hampshire for a very short visit. It was in honor of Becca's first communion. She was the most beautiful girl in her entire first communion class. It was also great to visit with family and friends. Micah and I will be back up in a little over a month for the NASCAR race, so we will have more time to visit!

Whew! That was quite an update!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Your Life in Six Words...

Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure - I heard about this book earlier this week on a local radio station I listen to in the morning. One of the editors was interviewed and read some of the memoirs. I was intrigued. As you will see from the review below, the entire book captures more than 800 six word memoirs from both the famous and obscure. I also checked out the magazine that put the book together. It is a great web site for the weekend writer and the personal non-fiction enthusiast in all of us. Check it out.

Review from Amazon.com -

"Can you describe your life in six words? That's what the editors of storytelling magazine SMITH asked readers in 2006; the results, though decidedly uneven, make for compulsive reading and prove arguably as insightful as any 300+ page biography. Taken as a whole, this cascade of quotes from contributors famous and unknown creates a dizzying snowball effect of perspectives and feelings. Highlights from professional writers and artists include journalist Chuck Klosterman wondering, "Nobody cared, then they did. Why?"; pop singer-songwriter Adam Schlesinger lamenting, "We still don't hear a single"; and comic strip artist Keith Knight illustrating "I was a Michael Jackson impersonator." At their best, these nano-memoirs evoke the same kind of rich emotional responses as a good story: 9 year old Hannah Davies considers herself "Cursed with cancer. Blessed by friends"; Zak Nelson says "I still make coffee for two"; Scott Birch claims "Most successful accomplishments based on spite." Some entries read like bumper stickers (Rip Riley: "No wife. No kids. No problems"), and others are just plain weird (Amy Sedaris: "Mushrooms. Clowns. Wands. Five. Wig. Thatched"), but this compelling little book will have readers and their friends hunting for favorites and inventing six-word self-definitions of their own. This review in six words? Read. Enjoy. Pass it on. Repeat."

I thought this would be a fun thing to try and do. Here is my attempts:

"Found life in most unexpected places"

"Thankfully, it didn't go as planned"

"Giving in was never an option"

Your turn.