Burritos, Babies, Easter, and Cream

Friday has become our unofficial official “date night,” and this week I had a Qdoba BOGO coupon that was only good through the weekend, so of course we headed over there and got burritos for dinner. Followed by a stop at Zwahlen’s.

On Saturday we went to that two-year old’s birthday party. Remember how I was stressing over what gift to bring? I guess I made a really good choice, because I got him something he already had! I saw it sitting among his toys before presents were opened. So, I took it back and will bring him something more awesome later. (Some of the other guests seemed to not follow the age guidance quite so closely, so maybe I will go ahead and get something for a little bit older kid.) As usual, the food was fabulous, and it was fun to catch up with the family and friends who were there.

Easter plans on Sunday turned out to be a disaster, so I ended up just doing my regular weekly food shopping in the morning, followed by some chores and napping at home, then GG and I went to his parents’ house for dinner.

Speaking of food shopping – I have a new favorite thing. A couple weeks ago the lady checking out at the supermarket ahead of me had a package of these cute baby zucchini. The cashier asked what she did with them, and the lady said she sauteed them with mushrooms and onions, and served them over pasta with some of this cooking cream that she had also picked up. I thought that cream looked like the nastiest thing ever, but somehow this meal idea stuck with me. So the following week I cooked a pound of cavatappi (spiral tube pasta, a great shape); sauteed some cut up baby zucchini, mushrooms, and a small onion; and mixed everything up with some Savory Garlic Philadelphia Cooking Creme. It was so good. And they had coupons for it there at the supermarket. This week I got a couple other flavors to try (coupons are still good!). I’m so excited – I kind of want to try all of them, I have lots of ideas for how to use it. It’s basically like a watered-down cream cheese, which sounds gross and it sort of is, but if you think about making a cream sauce for something, that’s basically what you’re doing. And it’s a (slightly) healthier option than using a can of creamed soup or something in a recipe.

Linky Thursday – 4/21

Homemade Cadbury Creme Eggs: I am not a candy maker. …Will someone make these for me?

Yes, That Can Be My Next Tweet: I had way too much fun playing with this the other day, just making tweets with my own account. But try it with your friends or favorite celebrities too! (Some of my favorite results: “Good news: my husband is me! But not a dress.” “I didn’t affect me cooking dinner on my sweater. We’ve got a little kitty!” “My husband is leaking and cat hoarder.” “Ugh, hope everything we’ve built collapses.”)

Flying Skunk Farm Chicken Cam: My first thought after finding this video feed? “OMG live chicken camera, I may never get any work done again.”

Toys for Boys (and Girls)

You know what’s nerve wracking? Choosing gifts for your friends’ kids. I am supposed to be the cool, childless friend with disposable income who brings them awesome presents, but instead I just stand there, paralyzed with fear. Do they already have one of these? Is it useful? Does it reinforce gender stereotypes? Is it made of a material to which their parents are trying to limit their exposure?

First I had to get a present for a two year-old. I did some research online to see what type of stuff kids that age would like and what would be good developmentally, since I know nothing about children. Art supplies were a big one – well, I don’t want to give this kid anything that could make a mess. And I’ve already promised to never give him a toy that makes noise. Simple puzzles (“2-5 pieces”) were also suggested. Okay. So then I go to the store. The easy puzzles were labeled for ages one and up. Ack, if I get that will his parents think that I’m saying their kid is dumb and needs a puzzle for one year-olds? There were some cooler toys, but they were labeled for ages three and up. Ack! I ended up with something I think will be both fun and educational and age-appropriate. We’ll see.

Next gift is for a newborn. Although there are tons of cute little outfits and things out there, I prefer to give gifts that are more useful and special, so they’re kind of out. Plus I don’t really have a concept of how big babies are – what if I picked something that’s already too small, or something that’s so huge she won’t be able to wear it for a long time? I found one thing that’s adorable and also sort of one-size-fits-all. I really wanted to give a nice soft toy, which apparently does not exist because I have been in more baby stores this week than I care to mention. I’ve seen a number of cute, soft stuffed animals that are labeled as “Baby’s First [Whatever],” but then they have a big, sharp, metal key coming out the side to wind up a music box! Or other little bits and pieces that could choke a baby. Still on the lookout for that perfect, soft thing.

I hope this gets easier as kids get older…

“So, do you like… stuff?”

Some stuff that’s happened since my last update:

  • I’ve been planning on the weekends and cooking dinner every weeknight (except Fridays, that’s our night to go out now). I’ve also been doing well with coupons and sales – not Extreme Couponing well, but I think a 25% savings off the total bill is pretty good. I’m also not wasting as much food, since I’m planning meals ahead and not just randomly buying stuff I think we will eat that week.
  • The weather got nice. Then got rainy. But it’s still significantly warmer than before.
  • I got the cutest pouch custom-made for my MP3 player. All I told suezybees was that I wanted gray felt and that I wanted a cat on it – other than that, I liked her style and trusted her artistic vision. I love it!
  • I’ve been enjoying watching a pared-down list of TV shows – as series end, I haven’t been replacing them, and in fact I’ve even stopped watching new seasons of some shows I used to watch.
    • 30 Rock remains awesome.
    • I thought I was going to hate Will Ferrell on The Office because he was going to be a Michael Scott rip-off, but actually he’s turning out to be a jerk and I love it!
    • Fringe is getting a little crazy, especially after this last episode that was a total rip-off of Inception and randomly included animated segments (?!).
  • I’m getting very excited for new albums from TMBG, Tally Hall, and The Lonely Island.
    • But, sub-note, TMBG is really annoying me lately. I went from seeing them live at least once a year for several years, to not seeing them since new year’s eve, 2008, because all they do anymore is kids’ shows and albums. And now they’re on Twitter, but they are so annoying there, it’s pretty much not worth following them. Their 1000-member “instant fan club” was just about the last straw for me. You’ve been warned, TMBG.
  • I’m crazy busy at work. Oh wait, that’s not news.
  • MB and A had their baby!! She has fuzzy hair! She’s beautiful and I can’t believe they now own a child.
  • Ivan and Katrina went to the vet for a check-up and both have lost a couple pounds in the past year! My “feed everyone out of their own bowl” diet plan is working! The vet was very pleased, and Ivan is now under 20 lbs. (barely!).
  • Band has been ticking me off, but I’ll stick it out. Blah.

Linky Thursday – 4/14

Crimier: Another of my Captcha Fails was posted!

Pandadents: We have a huge joke about pandas at work, so I found this art project especially amusing – it’s all the presendents, drawn as if they were pandas. But my favorite part is that they were given panda names! (Ulysses S. Pandagrant, Pander Cleveland, Pandadore Pandavelt, John Fitzpanda Kennedy, Panda W. Panda…)

I’m Accredited

Okay, this time I’m serious … for a little while … I’m going to be less busy this week.

Last week I was in a class Tuesday through Friday for work. The week actually went really quickly, though. Not getting into what the class was, but the guy who invented the theory taught it. Our co-workers in CT took this class with him last year, so when they heard he was coming here they were like, “Oh, the man in the black turtleneck.” Well no, he wore a black v-neck sweater every day, except Friday when he wore a black polo shirt. With black pants and shoes. Except Wednesday when he wore very light tan pants, then proceeded to accidentally draw all over his crotch with an uncapped red marker (he had a habit of fiddling with his handful of flipchart markers while he spoke). Weirdly, some people in class did not notice this at all, but he had red lines all over himself. (It obviously didn’t bother him that much – his hotel was right across the street and he could have gone over to change his pants at lunch but he didn’t.) We got an agenda on the first day of class but I couldn’t tell you if we really followed it or not, because it seemed more like someone would ask a question, he would go off on a tangent for half an hour, another question, another half-hour speech, etc. until about 3 PM when he would give us our evening assignment and then leave for the day.

Anyway, I have my little certificate now and I’m accredited for the next three years, so you know that’s going on my resume.

We had some dinners planned during the week, since there were co-workers in town who we don’t get to see very often, but then a bunch of people got sick (or had sick kids they wanted to get home to see), so a bunch of stuff was canceled. I still managed to go out every night, usually before coming home, doing a little more work, and falling asleep.

On Friday we finished up class a little early, and I was able to go home, get GG, and meet up with my brother and his friend for dinner. Usually when we get together I will pay for dinner because, you know, he’s a poor college grad. But this time that sneaky kid reached over me and handed over his credit card before I had the chance – it helps that he’s like two feet taller than me… So we had a fun little Mexican dinner. Then we went to visit with his puppy, who has gotten much bigger since the last time we saw him! He is so cute and well-trained. They’ve got him doing this thing where they can get him to bark louder or softer, it’s hilarious. (Then I came home and saw this video, weird coincidence.)

GG worked on Saturday morning, we got lunch, then we went to do a boring/exciting thing (more on that later, possibly), went to visit with some people, napped a little, and stayed up to watch SNL. (I was disappointed Elton John did not meet up with Stefon.) Today GG accompanied me on all my random errands because he wanted to go food shopping with me, which of course was our last stop. I think it was a good trip – I have dinners planned for the whole week, and we used coupons and sale items and I felt almost like an Extreme Couponing person because we ended up with some good savings and I had everything all sorted out and bagged like a champ :o)

I will leave you with some cute kitty pictures, since we haven’t had enough of those around here lately.

Sacha and Katrina in a window

Ivan and Katrina keeping warm

Katrina laying on me