Friday, March 28, 2008

As Promised

Happy Easter from the Annabunny! She even did a little bunny dance when we put her ears on!

Here are all the lovely treats the Easter Bunny left for Anastasia (and us). My favorite part are the little kissing chocolate bunnies for Nick and I!!! We also received this great game (for grown-ups and kids) called Sleeping Queens. I highly recommend it. There is also the lovely basket of wooden food, a boat, a stuffed bunny and some pin wheels! Sorry the picture is a little blurry.One of the MANY reasons for me to get a new camera!!!

And here is my super cutie in her little Easter dress! Had to show it off :) And to the left is my serious little egg hunter! She did so great by her second egg hunt! And finally (below) are some of the cherry blossoms by the Jefferson Memorial compliments of Japan!!! Sorry for the uneveness of this post. I tried to fix it!! I really did!

Too Much Fun

I think Anastasia has been spoiled with having too much fun lately... because she is so grumpy today!!! Which is a pain because my legs are so SORE after a trip to DC yesterday... with baby in her backpack carrier.

We had a very nice Easter... I officially became Catholic and recieved sacraments which was pretty powerful and exciting! We also took A. to a friends house for a egg hunt with 5 other kids and 275 eggs! Anastasia was far more excited by all the little kids than the actual egg hunt. So Nick and I helped her. On Easter I put about a dozen eggs in a small area, and she finally grasped the concept of putting eggs in her basket... so next year, she should be a pro! She just has to learn how not to tip her basket backwards and dump the eggs on the ground!

The Easter Bunny also made a visit to Anastasia this year. He brought her a basket of wooden food that she has played with more than any other toy ever and I have had loads of complements about! And she recieved some gardening tools and some pinwheels and an AWESOME wooden boat. And of course he brought her a realistic-looking stuffed bunny that she constantly hugs and carries around. She hasn't really picked a specific "lovey" yet... but I think she is leaning towards her Snow Bear she got from Santa. She loves her bunny, Slushy (her little husky), her little black cat and she likes snuggling with blankets but she always has extra hugs and kisses for her Snow Bear. We will see though. Nick and I were blankie kiddies.

We have been to a couple parks this week. I took her to Lunga, which is on a pond and where I went as a kid. I took Anastasia to feed the ducks, but she wanted to go swimming with them. So I had to drag a crying toddler away from the water. I felt like the bad mom with an out-of-control kid who was the only kid crying at the park. I assume this is a normal occasion for a parent of a very strong-willed child as I am constantly taming tantrums and trying to distract her from things she absolutely has to have. Sometimes I just can't help but laugh at her defiance. :)

Yesterday we went to DC with my mom and Caitlin. We went to see the Cherry Blossoms in full bloom and to the National Zoo. I was so proud of my parking spot at a meter right in front of the zoo. I made a U-Turn on Conneticut Ave. (possibly illegal) but was like 50 feet from the Entrance so it was worth it. Anastasia LOVED the zoo and all the animals. Especially the sloth bears that were playing with a ball right next to the glass! The red pandas (my favorite) were not there and the Giant Pandas were kind of boring (as they usually are). But we overall had a great time!! And now I am paying for it!! :)

So that is what I have been up to... and why I haven't been able to post much! Hopefully I can upload some pictures later if my camera cooperates!! Anyhow, happy Spring!

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Wearin' of the Green

I wanted to wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day! 1 year ago today, Anastasia was baptized. What a year!! A. and I are all decked out in our green sweaters and jeans (although her jeans are too big and have fallen down around her knees!!! lol). I need to go to the grocery store and pick up a few items for my Corned Beef and Cabbage. THIS is the best recipe I have found... even Nick who HATES corned beef and cabbage thoroughly enjoyed this last year.

I am 1/4 Irish and take pride that we Irish have our own celebrated holiday which surprising enough is intended to celebrate a Saint. Instead I feel most people just celebrate good Irish Beer. Not that I have a problem with that, but it is always good to remember that God is the one worth celebrating... and that His good works through His faithful need not be overlooked.

Speaking of Saints... I chose St. Therese of Lisieux as my confirmation saint. I even recently ordered her autobiography (which I would like to start reading this holy week if it comes soon). She seems very humble and innocent (as many saints are I suppose) and I feel she lives what it means to "have faith like a child"--something I feel I constantly need to remember to do. I had really wanted to pick St. Francis originally because I liked how he truly lived the simple life, rich in faith for God. He seemed very in touch with nature and the way it reflects its creator. He also saw beauty in the small and simple things of this world... and that is AWESOME. I surprised a woman when I told her I had picked St. Terez instead of St. Clare, "I thought for sure you would have picked St. Clare!" I feel as though I already share a name with St. Clare and therefore she is already a very special saint for me. Which is great!

So anyways... upon browsing pictures of Clare, Ireland I started to fall in love. Is there any place so picturesque as Ireland? I would love to visit sometime and hope that in this life I will get that opportunity. So I leave you with these lovely pictures of Clare county, Ireland (don't you LOVE the castle?). I wish you all the best St. Patricks Day.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Springy Time

Here are (finally) some pictures I took of Anastasia. My camera has not been cooperative with its uploading procedures... and I am secretly hoping for a nice, new camera with our "economic stimulus package" check that we are SUPPOSED to get in May? I just have to convince Nick of the necessity of a high-quality camera when you have a cute little baby. If anyone has cameras that they LOVE please let me know. I have an HP Photosmart with 3.2 Mega pixels and I am definitely aiming for atleast 4mp. Mine takes fairly nice outdoor pictures but really sucks inside unless the lighting is just right. I am anxious for a camera that you can adjust the shutter speed and focus manually, but I am not wanting to spend TOO much money ($400-ish). I do like the durability of my HP as I have owned it for 3 years, and had to return it once for a broken screen. So I guess I have owned 2 of the same camera for 3 years.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"You've gotta be kidding me!!!"

I went to Michaels today to (finally) have my bunny picture framed. I have a 50% off coupon so assuming Nick had something larger framed in an upscale framing shop in Georgetown for around $100, I was expecting it to be somewhere between $50-75. THis is Michael's mind you, not uppity Georgetown with tree lined-brick sidewalks and an art gallery on every other corner. So I pick out the frame and mat for my $25 print, and the lady who seemed nice and helpful at first told me the total price after my 50% discount was going to be $170!!! What the.....???? You mean to tell me it was going to cost $340 before my discount, and thanks to the generosity of Michaels sending me a coupon you are going to charge me $170!!! I wanted to explain to her that Michaels is not what I would consider a high-end framing store and for $170 I could buy all the tools needed to frame the darn thing myself and have plenty left over to buy some original art work from a gallery in Georgetown! And she had the odacity to look at me like I was crazy for not anticipating this minor major expense! She told me my order was placed once she pushed the button and I had to tell her that I was not going to pay for it! So now I am going to look for tutorials online to frame it myself. For that kind of money, I should seriously open my own frame shop!!

Sorry for ranting. It was just a jaw-dropping experience. On another note, I am so excited that Spring is in the air!! My mom's flowers are starting to bloom and it has been in the 50's all week!! I love it!! Anastasia had such a blast last year outdoors in the warmer seasons so I look forward to spending loads of time outdoors at our new house!!! and going hiking and to the beach, etc. I was a little sad that we weren't moving to the midwest at first because I was totally looking forward to all the yummy food and culture of Chi-Town. Now with Spring around the corner, I can not imagine spending Spring anywhere but here. And we won't be TOO far from my favorite place... the OCEAN!! I think that is what I would have missed the very most. Plus NYC is only a 4-hour drive if I am in desperate need of some little Italy tiramisu and some serious city culture. One weekend there and you genuinely appreciate the country side in a whole new way. :)

Well that is all folks, with Easter around the corner and flowers popping up all around... March is definately a nice month to be in!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Gedo Senki (Tales from Earthsea)

We finally recieved our "Tales From Earthsea" DVD and thoroughly enjoyed it. The story is about a boy who kills his father, steals his magic sword and runs away. He makes a friend with a wizard named Sparrowhawk and find a very troubled and uninviting city. It is completely different from Myazaki's other films as it takes place in a mideival setting (which is really funny when you see these white European's in castles speaking Japanese) and the storyline was definately its own thing. Usually Myazaki's "bad guys" have a change of heart by the end of the story. Not the Villian in this story--Lord Cobb who is by far his scariest villian yet! I wouldn't recommend this movie to children under 10 (depending on the kid). The story had a few incompletely explained parts, but other than that it was spectacular. The graphics were a true feast for the eyes and the soundtrack was incredibly moving. Definately worth the $13 and will be treasured by any Japanese anime or Myazaki fans.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Lazy Morning Post

This is a picture of a little set I sent my friend Tara for her baby due in June. I don't know if it will be a boy or a girl, but I figure a little flower pin on the hat could make this a little more feminine. I even knitted the little mushroom which was my favorite part! Now I want to knit Anastasia some little mushrooms!
I have been so lazy this morning. Anastasia is so pleasant in the mornings and I am not a morning person, so I use this time to relax, drink coffee and do crosswords since there is no guarentee I will have this luxury for the rest of the day. I have so much to do!!! ugh.
On another note, I just ordered "Tales From Earthsea" by Hayao Myazaki's son a few days ago. They released it in Japan, Europe and Australia but not the US due to copyright issues. Apparently there is a Sci-Fi series on the same story with the same name and they own the rights to the title in the US until 2010. So I was going to have to wait until then, but I found it on ebay for 9.99 plus $3 shipping with English subtitles and dubbing. So I CAN'T WAIT TO GET IT!!! I have been so excited about this movie for the past year!!! You can click the link to the official website in my "favorites" section for a taste of the amazingness that this film has to offer (hopefully). I will let you know how awesome it is when I FINALLY get to see it so you can go buy it for yourself!!
Well I better get to work with all my chores... blah.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Hooray for Peace!

It has been a rough few weeks with a teething baby who can barely sleep for 20 minutes alone. So long as I hold her she can sleep, but her teeth seem to bother her and wake her otherwise. I bought these Caring Naturals Homeopathic drops. I am always skeptic about homeopathic remedies as I believe it is sometimes psychological and we believe something will help us so it does (not that this is a bad thing). I was willing to give it a go, and I think they actually worked! She was a little less fussy all morning, and fell asleep in her high chair... all by herself and has been sleeping IN HER CRIB for 20 minutes. She also slept better last night. She has only been taking one nap a day, so hopefully I can get another 40 minutes out of this one!

I have been scrap booking my heart out with my free pictures from CVS. It is amazing how different Anastasia is now than last May!! Wow! In some ways it is easier now that she can walk around and entertain herself, in other ways it is harder as I spend half of my life cleaning up after her. I just love the little person she has become. Well I better spend this nap time getting some more scrap booking done...

Oh, and I think I will sew some little flat felt animals and food and put some heavy duty magnets inside so Anastasia has a little magnet collection she can play with on the fridge while I work in the kitchen. I will make them the perfect size for Easter eggs! I just had to buy some more wool felt from Lucky for me it was on sale and I got $2 off of their shipping charges.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Thrifty Me

Not going to Pennsylvania definitely worked out in our favor. First of all, we cleaned house. Next we were able to purchase the couch we wanted at Ikea off of Craig's List for $120 instead of $399. So now, once we purchase a new cover, we will still have saved over $100! We also picked up some luxurious marble floor tiles for cheap at home depot. Hooray for good deals! Hooray for our new home.

Speaking of saving money, I had to share this CVS deal for 80 free digital pictures by registering the Extra Care card online. There are instructions here. I know there are other people who take hundreds of pictures of their children and can't afford to develop them all at once. Apparently if you get multiple cards, you can duplicate the deal. Seems a little schemish to me, but if I register one for Nick, and myself I don't see how that would hurt anyone. hmmm...

For $3 I have found a new way to occupy my daughter for about 30 minutes (time enough to drink a cup of coffee and do a crossword). I bought her her first box of crayons and a pad of paper. At 13 months, she is still kind of young for crayons, but she is obsessed with writing implements and even imitates us by using capped pens and markers to try to write on paper. I figured she was ready. Crayola crayons are one of the most memorable items from my childhood so it was very exciting to share them with her. I even put her little picture on the refrigerator (like a good proud mom).

Oh, I just had to share the other cutest thing about Anastasia. She has a great eye for accessorising. She has mardi gras beads that she received at the Christmas parade and loves putting them on in the morning. It is her favorite part of getting dressed. She also combs her hair. She is definitely ALL GIRL. And I love it!!! I purchased a few handmade necklaces from etsy to put in Easter eggs. I plan to also put Annie's bunny graham cookies in some of them too. I was wondering if anyone had any other ideas of what can fit in little plastic eggs for a one-year-old?