27 January 2012

this is not a list. sad panda.

This week in our house has been characterized by the ever present need for Charlie to imitate our two dogs. I guess it makes sense. Mina and Mallard (the two dogs) are Charlie's size, and they "LOVE" (haha.. not) to play with him. So far this week I've caught him crawling with dog toys in his mouth. He has successfully drunk out of the doggie water bowl.... like an animal. I told him "NO" today and he got on all fours and growled at me!! WHAT?! I tried so hard not to laugh! He charges the dogs head down like they do to each other when they play.

I have no idea how to deter behavior in a 13 month old! That's my mom challenge of the week. (Last week was trying to convince him that he still liked bananas.) I do not want my cute little baby acting like a crazy animal. :)

22 January 2012

Top 10 things to ever come from TN! :D

Here is my most spectacular list of the top 10 things to ever come from TN and why they are so awesome sauce!

(note: They are in no particular order. All things TN are so awesome they have equal standing. The numbering is purely inconsequential.)

1. Davy Crockett- He is super cool, not for the whole Alamo shindig, (which is cool but has nothing to do with TN) but for serving three terms in Congress as a TN representative. <--- That's not the cool part. After losing during his fourth race, he said "Forget this. I HATE politics!" (It is true. look it up. Actually, those were not his exact words.) Also, he did not learn to read and write until he was 18 (which is not easy), and he became known as one of the greatest backwoods orators in history. :)

2. Cracker Barrel- I should not have to explain this one. Everybody LOVES Cracker Barrel. It is an unwritten code. You must love Cracker Barrel, or else.... Well nobody hates it, so the last part has not had to be written in, kinda like pirate code. Cracker Barrel is so awesome, that they can sneak in, no joke, about 100000 calories into green beans, but they hide it so well, you would have no idea you were about to die from heart failure secondary to awesome food eating.

3. Memphis Barbecue- AKA real barbecue. All other barbecues are inferior. That's all there is to say about that.

4. Rocky Top- Rocky Top is one of the coolest official state songs/ unofficial school (UT) songs ever! Imagine a stadium with over 100k fans all dressed in super obnoxious orange shouting "Rocky Top You'll always be home sweet home to meeeeeeee...." It's pretty awesome. The rights to "Rocky Top" have been lent to the University of Tennessee to forever be used during sporting events as often as called for. In 2005, Rocky Top was ranked number 7 of 100 songs of the South by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Here is a link to the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n9prNixjbg

5. Morgan Freeman- Let's be honest, Morgan Freeman is so hardcore wickedly awesome. What other actor/actress do you know that can go from Shawshank Redemption to March of the Penguins and give a stellar performance in both?! He has perfected the authoritative, old man voice-over voice. He is so Morgan Freeman-ish that the producers can try to change the name of a movie, and he says "Surely not! I refuse to be a part of this unless it is called Snakes on a Plane!"

6. Jack Daniels- I, personally, do not drink Jack Daniels but the phrase "jack and coke" has become so entrenched in our culture, I had to include it.

7. Miniature Golf- I bet you had no idea Miniature Golf was invented in TN. Well, it was. In fact, you cannot go anywhere (especially Gatlinburg) without being assaulted by a menagerie of mini golf attractions. The putt-putt-on-steroids-esque game is so much fun for the whole family! The best part is whacking your brothers with the putter. ;)

8. Touch Screens- I bet half of my measly 10 readers are reading this on their touch screen smart phones. Well, in 1977, in Oak Ridge, TN, the first touch screen monitor was invented! Our world would be radically different, arguably simultaneously better and worse, if the touch screen was never invented.

9. Nashville/Country Music/Grand Ole Opry- Nashville is the country music capital of the world! The Grand Ole Opry is a must- do attraction if you visit! I've been twice. It is so awesome. You sit in the really really old theater in tiny uncomfortable seats, but the show is great! Besides, country music is the best genre of music... ever.... in the history of evers!

10. Smoky Mountains- The Smoky Mountains are breathtakingly beautiful. No joke, they are GORGEOUS! In the summer, you can go jump off waterfalls, hike, or just reside in beauty. Everything in TN is so green! You can go places and not see people for miles around. You can just exist.

Other interesting facts: TN is the only other state besides Mississippi that shares a border with 8 other states. The largest freshwater aquarium is located in Chattanooga, TN. HOLLA! Tn also has the largest underground lake in the world, The Lost Sea. Moonpies are from Chattanooga as is Krystal! (For you Northerners who don't know what Krystal is... Well, let me tell you that it is like White Kastle except 100000000x better) Mountain Dew was invented in TN before being bought by PepsiCo. Other notable doo-hickeys: Andrew Jackson,  Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, Minnie Pearl, Tina Turner. Most important honorable mention: The first self-serve grocery store was in TN, Piggly Wiggly!

All joking aside, TN is a pretty cool place to visit. There are some not-so-great things about TN including slavery and the atomic bomb among others. NJ isn't a terrible place to live. In fact, I'd probably like it if it weren't so expensive, and it wasn't so crowded. (I'll never publicly admit that again.)

19 January 2012

I've decided to start making lists. I like lists.
10 quirky things you don't know about me:
1. I can only sleep if I have one foot out from under the covers.
2. I avoid touching raw meat at all costs. I'll have eight forks and look like Edward scissor hands before I touch raw meat.
3. I say a little prayer before driving over railroad tracks every single time. I'm scared the train will come when the cross arms are up.
4. I love numbers. I like to take strings of numbers and try to make them equal zero.
5. I will call out every out of state license plate I see. I get really excited if I see a Canadian one.
6. In my mind, it is harder to forgive someone who hates TN than someone who hates me.
7. I own tons of TN vols gear, and I will trash talk any rival... But I can't name one person on the roster. :-)
8. My two favorite foods are boiled yellow squash and boiled peanuts.
9. I've worn the same prescription of eyeglasses for seven years. Sometimes I like to think that my eyes haven't changed because I'm awesome.
10. I have approximately three to five half drunk glasses of water sitting on the counter at any given time. I'm convinced my water can go stale, so it needs to be fresh.
So the highlight of my week was, SURPRISE, not taking care of a sick baby but finding a recipe for Sakura sauce. You might know sakura sauce as that yummy, super-fattening white sauce you enjoy at hibachi restaurants! I've been waiting 5 days for the new grocery week. (I budget my groceries from Thurs-Wed. I had to wait 5 whole days!) Today, I bought all the ingredients for WHITE SAUCE!! :D:D:D hahaha. I am so excited!

Charlie is starting to be funny on purpose, I think?? The other day, Charlie knocked over the kitchen table chair. I said, "Charlie, Did you knock over that chair?!" He looked at me, then he pointed across the room to Michael and said, "Dada?" haha. Smart kid. He blamed it on Michael.

08 January 2012

Something is changing.... my heart maybe?

 THIS IS ANYA! She needs a family.

Please read the whole thing. To make a very long story semi-shortish, my friends, Ryan and Amber, (www.wearespeechless.blogspot.com) are adopting a beautiful girl from Eastern Europe named Lily. She has two best friends that have grown up with her since infant-hood, and one of them has been adopted. Now Lily is going to be with her forever family. Fabulous people, really. Anya is stuck with practically no hope of being adopted. In her country, there is a bunch of paperwork that needs to be filled out and filed by her case worker just so she can be put on the "able to be adopted internationally" list. A few of the forms were filed wrong, and they won't revisit her case unless someone specifically requests to adopt her. The problem is that no one knows she exists. Because her paperwork was filed incorrectly, she's not allowed to be listed on any international adoption agency's site, etc...

I have no idea why, but this little girl has been laid on my heart. Seriously, no clue why. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I do not have a bleeding heart... at all. In fact, my nursing instructor told me I was "cold, emotionally unavailable, and there is no hope of [me] ever becoming anything resembling a good caregiver." Charming, is she not? (As a side note, I ended up her favorite student by the end of that semester.) When I had my son, my heart was changed. I have grown so much. (That is for a whole series of blogs-- an epic maybe).... The point is that this little girl has changed me somehow. I feel so much more empathy/sympathy to strangers. I've never really cared much about social welfare until her. (I know I sound like a crazy person. It's ok.)

Anya has been on my mind the last three months... daily... even hourly most days. I have no idea what I am supposed to do. Pray? Help find her a home? Adopt her myself? Help raise funds so the family who adopts her won't have the whole 40k-50k to pay? I'm so lost. I want to help this little girl for reasons unbeknownst to me, and I have no idea how.

How crazy is this? I told Michael her story about three months ago, maybe two. He hasn't said anything about her since then. As we were driving around in the car Saturday morning, I told him there was another picture of Anya online. He said, "Is it crazy that I've been praying for her almost every day? I feel like we should adopt her or help her or something." - (Michael doesn't even want another child) 

Please, Please. If you or anyone know someone who can give Anya her forever home, I will gladly give you Amber's phone number. She can put you in touch with a great adoption agency, people who want to help fund her adoption, and her country/orphanage/whatever that part entails!