Six On Sunday, Version 10

1. Cakebread. The Best Chardonnay Ever. Ever. Hands down. If you haven’t tried it, I strongly suggest you do immediately.

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So Amazing.

2, Sangria. I made a light, fruity, almost sweet white sangria this week. I always make white because I have a nasty habit of spilling… White is WAY easier to remove.  I normally hate sweet anything, but this turned out really well. I credit Trader Joe’s for their huge selections of inexpensive, delicious wines.  Also, I cut my sangria with champagne instead of club soda so it is possible that the extra alcohol makes it seem better than it is. Whatever. My girlfriends and I enjoyed it.

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3. Air Conditioning. Is genius. I spent some time outside this weekend.  And, I spent some time in an inside that was really an outside- a cabin with no AC. It is good to have these reminders of how good we have it!

4. Single Gal Time. On Friday night, I was both husbandless and childless until about eight o’clock. It was HEAVEN! It was quiet. It was restful. I was on my own schedule! I sat in my living room, which itself is a treat because it is an accident waiting to happen with all of the breakable, shiny things on the shelves.  I had a nice glass of wine and read. I read a book with more words than pictures!  It was wonderful to see my family when they got home… however; they could totally give me the evening off whenever they want to.


5. Memory Lane. The house I grew up in is on the market again. My family went to the open house.  My sisters had fun telling stories, and my parents were able to give the realtor a few ‘hidden’ features, like the safe in the floor of the master closet. Also, my Nerinx Hall high school sticker was still on the window! I put that sucker up in 1994! (God LORD I am old!). It is nice to know a small part of me is still in that house.

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My sticker!


6. Google and its spawn. I just got a new laptop, and it does not have Office on it.  I have only used Microsoft products, and I have no experience with things like Chrome, Google Docs, and everything else Google. I can perform a search, and that’s about it…  I am looking forward to learning Google, and having it take over my life (the amount of information they have on a person is unreal!).

Six On Sunday, Version 9

1. Cabin Fever. Last week it was the heat. This week it is the rain. I know we desperately need the rain, and I know that folks in the Midwest, particularly in my beloved Indiana (GO HOOSIERS!) would tap dance on my head for complaining about the rain, but seriously it has rained every day.  And thundered. The loudest thunder ever in the history of thunder. It gave me a stomach ache! It was so loud and so sudden it kept scaring me. After jumping out of my own skin so many times, I was a nervous wreck!

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2. Menchie’s Red Velvet frozen yogurt. I will do very bad things for this. Especially bad things if you cover the fro yo with chocolate sprinkles… very very bad things…

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3. I thought I lost my phone. And I stopped breathing.  Emma and I hopped in the car, on the way to run some errands. We were rushing off (we are always rushing off. Does anyone out there actually leave their house in a relaxed manner? How do you do it?!) and I put my phone on top of the car while I buckled her into her carseat.  I grabbed my phone and hopped into the car and drove off. Or did I? OMG THE HORROR.  As calmly (which really wasn’t very calmly at all. In truth, it was very panicky and rushed and I possibly jerked the wheel.)  as possible, I steered the car into a driveway and with shaking hands dug through my purse.  When my hands closed around my iPhone, all was right in my world again.

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4. Wikipedia and why it has ruined reality TV. I was so totally in love with Basketball Wives. I finished the first season, and wanted more. So I googled it, and discovered Wikipedia entries on the show, the cast, and related topics. Of course I read it. Now I totally know everything and watching the show would be a waste of my time (because time spent watching these shows is clearly productive).

5. Single Mom.  Thomas was gone all week.  I was the Only Show In Town. Man, it’s a lot of work! I commend all single parents. I am particularly impressed with military spouses, who voluntarily sign up for long stints as a single parent. My hat goes off to you, and I am eternally grateful for everything you do for my freedom.

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Thank You

6. Church.  It’s Sunday. We went to church (Mass).  Yay us! Emma loves LOVES church, which I am so hoping continues especially during her teenage years.  Yay Jesus!

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Six On Sunday, Version 6

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1. Ke$ha. Does everyone else’s almost three year old sing along to Ke$ha? Because mine totally knows all the words.

2.Strawberries. I love them. Everything strawberry is better: Strawberry Daquiris come to mind. What is Strawberry Shortcake without the strawberries? Boring, rather dry crumbly bread, that’s what.  Costco (how I love you Costco!) has huge containers of the most perfectly ripe, sweet berries for six dollars.  I might turn into one. 

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3. The Awkward Twenty Minutes Waiting For Your Friends To Come To Your Party. We had a small party on Saturday, which was supposed to start around five. I LOVE having parties. I would have parties every weekend if I was allowed to (Thomas enjoys parties, but he gets sick of the double cleaning- before and after the party. Also, he is the Family Treasurer, and parties get expensive (who knew?)).  For the first time in the history of Julia Parties, we were ready on time. At five pm, everyone in the house was dressed, the food was out, the drinks were chilling, and all the last minute stuff had been done.  Of course, this was the party where everyone was late.  We spent twenty minutes wandering around the house, not wanting to mess anything up, questioning if we really had friends, or if maybe folks just felt sorry for us. We are extra sensitive to this because of what happened Christmas ’06.  We had an open house, and around sixty people RSVP-ed yes. (We invited everyone we knew. Seriously, if I talked to you in line at the grocery store you were going to get an invitation.) As we didn’t yet have Emma, we had disposable income to spend on chicken wings and egg rolls and cakes and alcohol. We were ready for at least eighty people to come.  Um… eight showed up.  Now, those eight people did have a wonderful time, and they definitely had enough to eat, but the experience has left us scarred.

4, Lamps. Much like the baskets, the Quest For The Perfect Lamp is long, drawn out, and tedious. I have  secured one Perfect Lamp, I have one to go.  My neighbor is AMAZINGLY talented at interior design, and he has graciously fielded four hundred thousand pic messages with potential candidates.  He says “I’m sorry to be so picky, but I don’t want your friends to come over and talk shit about your cheap ass stuff!” He maintains that he doesn’t judge, but that he does talk about you when he goes home.

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5. Stupid reality shows. I just saw a preview for “Love in the Wild”. You have got to be freaking kidding me!  Single men and women are on a island and have different romantic adventures. There is some sort of elimantion to determine “The Perfect Couple”. And Jenny McCarthy is hosting. I had no idea she was still around. I thought she was busy telling lies and putting babies at risk for deadly, preventable disease.  Thank goodness her scheduled opened up and allowed her to host this very important, life changing show.

6. Apple TV/ Pandora. I love you both! Won’t you please work together?!

pandora Six On Sunday, Version 6                                     Please be friends!!

        apple Six On Sunday, Version 6

Meet Me at the Pool!

Shameless post of how cute my kid is!!

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The Water is Perfect!

Six On Sunday, Version 5

1. Father’s Day.  Thanks to all the Dads out there… especially mine as he is the bestest.

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I love you Daddy!

2. Tuesday Morning (the discount store).  Anyplace I can go and get designer stuff at more than 50% off is amazing. It is also dangerous, as the amount of justification I use when making purchases is directly proportional to the percentage off of the regular price.

3. Liquid Lunches.  I have long aspired to be a ‘Lady Who Lunches’. Once a month or so, my dream is realized  when my girlfriends and I go to lunch.  This weekend, I lunched (and by lunched I mean drank Chardonnay) at new Mexican

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Liquid Lunch

restaurant called Cheeky’s.  The drinks were great, the patio was perfect, and there was not a child in sight! In fact,  we all took great delight in answering NO when asked if we needed any high chairs or kids menus.  However, I don’t know when margaritas became so complicated.  This joint had no less than twelve different  flavors, including ‘dragon fruit’ (which we were told was the same thing as strawberry).  

4. Potty Training. I swore I would never be one of those parents who discussed their kid’s potty training in graphic detail.  This post does not contain any graphic details, so read on. We started potty training in January, and Emma was totally trained in three days (she is the smartest child EVER)… less than a week later, she announced that she wasn’t going to pee in the potty again. No more, Mommy. No.  Which brings us to the present day (six long months later), and we might maybe be making progress! (Progress will be loosely defined as I swore no details.) Woop woop!

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Princess Mommy

5. Princess Mommy.  Emma calls me ‘Princess Mommy’, and I call her ‘Princess Emma’. The only thing nicer would be Queen Mother… I will have to teach her that tomorrow!

6. Fresh fruit.  I love the  local farmer’s market. Everything is so much better- sweeter, firmer, and riper. And, I get the added bonus of supporting the local community (which makes me feel a little superior to everyone else when checking out at the grocery store. I totally judge those with carts full of produce. They really should use the farmer’s market.)

Six On Sunday, Version 4

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These made the cut!

1. Baskets.  I know you guys are sick of baskets, and to be honest with you, I am too! We made three round trips to Michael’s today, and I think we finally have a workable combination.  On a side note, I hoarded 40% off coupons all week- they are good starting today (June 10) and baskets were already 40% off!

2. Mob Wives.  This show is awesome. The ladies are caricatures of themselves! I keep thinking “they cannot BE serious!” but they are! I would like to say that they are very lovely and very nice and I don’t want to get on a Mob Wives Naughty List in any way, shape, or form.

3. Wine.  Actually, the lack there of.  I am on a crazy medication (I AM NOT PREGNANT AND NEVER WILL BE AGAIN FOR THE RECORD) that makes even discussing alcohol somewhat of a liability (I was warned against using mouthwash for crying out loud).  Turns out I am surprisingly productive when sober all weekend…

4. Grocery Lists. I am a fanatical list maker. I seriously make lists of lists. My grocery list for the week begins as soon ashandwritten grocery list 150x150 Six On Sunday, Version 4 we get home from the store (not really but by that afternoon!). Emma and I have a routine on Saturday mornings- we go to the gym, then we go to Trader Joe’s (LOVE) and then Walmart.    We were walking into Trader Joe’s when I realized our list was at home! I tried to wing it, which resulted in two (count them TWO) trips to Walmart in the same day.  I can go to Target all the time and think it’s fun, but Walmart is somehow a chore. I don’t know why…

5. Cookie Cups. We went to a birthday party this weekend and instead of using regular cups for ice cream, they used cookies! Genius. It turns out that it was genius to get the cookies to form cups.  The first try- putting cookie dough in muffin cups with a hollowed out center didn’t work as the cookies rose as they baked. The solution was to bake the cookies regularly, and invert them OVER an upside muffin pan while still hot

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So Genius! And Yummy!

from the oven.

6. Paint. As I might have mentioned once or twice (or fifty six) times, we got new furniture. Removing the old furniture and pictures left what looks like Morse code on my walls (that or the cat has been leaving desperate messages for years now). Guess what? Paint stored outside will be RUINED by the elements. Thank goodness for the new mini size trial containers of paint at Home Depot. I now have every color in my house and they are stored inside, ThankYouVeryMuch.  BTW the absolute best thing to use for touch ups is eye shadow foam brushes. You will thank me later!

Summer Camp, Or Why Swim Lessons Are To Blame For My Smugness

Summer Vacation. I wish I still got one! I remember the first days of vacation. In those days, we didn’t get out of school until the first week of June. (In related topics, we also didn’t have air conditioning. In third grade, we got ceiling fans! And, in sixth, screens on our windows! Until the screens were installed, windows were not allowed to be opened more than three inches, lest we fall out and kill ourselves.)  Those first few school-free days went by so quickly, as I rushed to get everything in- swimming at the pool, riding bikes, going to the library, and just playing outside.  As much as I thought it would never get old, and that summer vacation should last forever, those long, hot days did have an expiration date.  And, after a couple of weeks, I. Was. Bored.  So, to save her sanity, my mom sent me to summer camp Summer Camp, Or Why Swim Lessons Are To Blame For My SmugnessSummer Camp.

Summer Camp means different things to different people. For some, it means the outdoors, tents, camping, bugs and swimming in a lake… but, not for this girl.  For others, it means arts and crafts- God’s eyes and Macramé bracelets, and sit-upons- I didn’t discover my Martha calling until later in life.  Regardless of the camp- Girl or Boy Scouts, church or school sponsored, or sleep-away camp, ALL camps had swim lessons.

I wasn’t a huge fan of most camps- until my mom found a camp that was for ‘gifted’ (nerdy) kids, and then I loved it! Even though it was Nerd Camp, we still had some of the traditional camp activities- God’s eyes, NO, swim lessons, YES.

swimmer Summer Camp, Or Why Swim Lessons Are To Blame For My Smugness

Big Time Swimming

Swim lessons were easily one of my most favorite parts of camp because I was the best (of course), and any time I can use my smug sense of superiority- and be right about it- is a great time in my book.  I joined a swim team in second grade- I was eight or so- and swam year round competitively until I graduated from high school.  To be fair, as I discovered what other activities one could do while in high school (as my daughter will one day read this blog I am censoring this part, but use your imagination and remember I went to a Catholic All Girls school) my swimming career suffered. Back in the day, I was good. Swim lessons always went the same way- all of the kids would be categorized by age, and then asked to do certain things like tread water, and swim ‘crawl stroke’ (I knew it as freestyle because I was Big Time).  I loved this day because I got to show everyone up, and be a smart ass about it. When asked to tread water, I would ask “With my hands in the water or out of the water? How many minutes?” When asked to do ‘crawl stroke’, I would first correct the clearly stupid counselor and then ask if they wanted a racing start or a start in the water.  Clearly, they all loved me and my quick wit, as was evidenced by the other kids’ blank stares and the counselors’ not so discreet eye rolls, which I took as a victory.

After I wowed everyone with my superstar swimming performances, the question became “What do we do with her?” I didn’t need the lessons as I had proved my superiority, and I was going to take every opportunity to show off in front of my peers instead of try to help them or the instructor. I usually got more free swim away from everyone else.  This further cemented my awesomeness in my mind.

smug Summer Camp, Or Why Swim Lessons Are To Blame For My SmugnessI wish I could wrap this post up with something inspirational, like realizing the value of helping others instead of showing them up. Not so much… I blame my smugness in totally inappropriate situations on swim lessons.  As I mature- hopefully gracefully- I am learning to keep my inner belief in my superiority more inner and less outer… most of the time anyway.