Tuesday, July 28, 2015

my favorite niece

I mentioned a few months ago that my brother and his wife were expecting a baby.  The baby was due August 3rd, although I was selfishly "predicting" that the baby would be born on July 30th so that I could take the day off and "miss" a training at work.

Well, my brother called me while I was in a meeting on July 9th.  He didn't leave a voicemail, so I quickly texted him to see what was up.


My brother kept me posted throughout the afternoon and by the time I got home I had so much nervous energy that I changed the sheets on our bed, rearranged the kitchen cabinets, went for a long walk, and ironed three pairs of shorts.

I've never ironed shorts before in my life and I haven't since.

I didn't know what to do with myself.

Finally, when there was no baby by 10:00, I sat down to paint my nails.  I painted my toes blue and my fingers pink because we didn't know if the baby was boy or girl and I am an equal opportunity aunt.

And then at 11:00, when there was still no baby, I repainted my fingers blue because even though I thought girl all along I was having an eleventh hour change of heart.

And THEN I got into bed where I laid wide awake the entire night except for maybe twenty minutes when I fell asleep and had a dream that it was TWIN BOYS.

I woke up at the crack of dawn and picked my sister up and we walked laps at the mall because there was nothing left in my tiny apartment to clean or organize and did I mention the nervous energy?

Then we went to Panera where we got iced caramel lattes, and just as we sat down my brother texted "Not much longer now."


She wasn't about to argue, so we left.

We went to my parents' house and Emily made me a grilled cheese sandwich and I ate exactly one bite.  And then I made the executive decision that we needed to go to Target and pick out a boy outfit and a girl outfit.  We picked out the cutest outfits in the store and then we walked around.

And around.

And around again.

And then we discreetly hid our outfits on the very back of a rack and walked next door to TJ Maxx because I promise you we had looked at every piece of merchandise in Target.


And when we looked at every piece of merchandise in TJ Maxx, we went back to Target, re-secured our outfits, and began walking through the purse department for the fourteenth time when my brother called and said, "You have a niece!"

We left for the hospital as soon as my dad got home from work and even though baby A had to spend her first night in the NICU, we got to go up and see her.

Sidenote: we had to scrub in to the NICU and I really felt like I was on Grey's Anatomy.  As I was sudsing up at the sink and saw a doctor pass by I really had to resist the urge to yell, "Push one of epi! We're going to need a CT, and page cardio!"

Anyway, to the surprise of no one, she was the most adorable little peanut in the world.

My sister and I went back to the hospital for a few hours the next day and got to hold our new favorite family member to our heart's content.

When baby A is older, I'll apologize for my blue nails in these pictures.

But I hope she will appreciate that even though my nails were the wrong color when I met her for the first time, my shorts were crisply ironed.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

the best and easiest homemade iced coffee

I've never done a "how to" post before, but I have to share this.

Iced coffee is one of my favorite treats, and Dunkin' Donuts is my favorite place to get it.  In fact, I've written about my love of Dunkin' Donuts a time or ten on this blog.

I'm not exaggerating.

There was the time they falsely advertised pumpkin flavored beverages.

And the time Emily had to low brow it at DD instead of her usual Starbucks.

And of course, the time I incorrectly counted my change and didn't have enough to pay my bill and so I pretended I did not speak English.

Unfortunately, a large iced coffee at my beloved DD runs upwards of three American dollars, and since I haven't won the lottery yet I decided I should figure out how to make my own version at home.  After many trial runs, I think I've finally perfected my recipe.

Most recipes I found online involved cold brewing coffee for days, but I didn't think that would work for me because I already have an economy sized box of K-cups and also, I do not own the cheesecloth required to strain the coffee grounds, nor do I know where to buy it.

First, brew hot coffee, add a tiny bit of sugar, and freeze in ice cube trays.  I make a bunch at once and keep it in a bag in my freezer.  I like to make some cubes big and some tiny so that I can fit as many as possible in my cup.

A little caffeine maximization, if you will.

When I wake up each morning, I fill a glass with the coffee cubes and pour milk over them.  I add a spoonful of sweetened condensed milk if I'm in the mood to take a walk on the wild side.

Or really, a walk of any kind.  Because S.C.M. isn't exactly low calorie.

I stir it all up and let the ice cubes melt while I dry my hair and do my makeup, and it's perfect by the time I'm ready to walk out the door.

Since I've been making my own iced coffee, I haven't even had the urge to visit Dunkin' Donuts.

But obviously, I will have to go back sometime.  I'm going to need new blog material eventually.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

i guess i should go back inside my glass house and stop throwing stones

About 12 hours after we returned from our honeymoon, Matt ran to the grocery store to get a few things we needed.  And when he returned with this haul, I discovered something that I didn't know about him.
 He was running an underground food pantry.

Just kidding.  I learned that Matt's philosophy as it relates to items at the grocery store is "if you like it, buy a bunch of it."  

Matt's not like this in any other area, so I've always wondered why he buys in bulk at the food store.  

I think I got my answer on Friday night.

We went to the Phillies game Friday evening and we met Matt's dad at the ballpark.  Matt and I had taken the train into the city but Matt's dad had driven in from his office, so he was going to drive us home.  As we walked to his car he said, "Oh, don't let me forget, I have some stuff for you guys in the trunk."

Do you know what was in his trunk?

Eight liters of olive oil and 96 cans of tomatoes.

Evidently Matt comes from a long line of men who cannot resist a ShopRite can can sale.

Tonight I decided to clean out my purse since it felt like it weighed about ten pounds.  And as I was cleaning it, I realized that I may have a problem with multiples myself.

If I'm ever in a situation where I need three packs of gum, two pairs of sunglasses, four pens, seven lip glosses, five bracelets (silver AND gold), a pair of earrings, three hair clips of assorted sizes, two bottles of hand lotion, and three protein packed snacks, I will be prepared. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

i should've brought my dentures and aarp card for this walk down memory lane

My sister has a twitter account and she has recently starting posting hilarious tweets pairing song titles with her current situations and they CRACK. ME. UP.


The other night Emily and I went to Chipotle for dinner.  After we paid we realized that we'd completely forgot to order drinks, so we decided to take our burrito bowls to my parents' house to eat.  When we got to the house I told Emily that her tweets had been so clever and funny and she asked me why I don't use twitter more often.

"I don't really like to write tweets," I said, "I like to re-post funny things that other people write.  Like the one I posted today about how 'don't want no scrubs' is a double negative."

She stared at me with a blank look on her face.

"You know, like the TLC song No Scrubs?"

"No.  I have no idea what you're talking about,"  she said.

I almost fell off the couch.

And so I navigated us on a two hour long journey down memory lane and introduced her to not only No Scrubs but also Waterfalls, some Will Smith classics, Country Grammar, and and then we took a turn down the super pop road of BB Mak, 98 Degrees, N Sync, Aaliyah, and finally Mandy Moore.

When my girl Mandy came on the computer screen singing Candy and wearing a crew neck long sleeved t-shirt and a pair of Levi's, I said to Emily, "See? This is how pop stars dressed back in the day.  Not like today when we have Miley Cyrus prancing around wearing hardly more than a few pieces of strategically placed dental floss." 

And that's when Emily, who is seven years younger than I am, said, "Whoa, Laur.  You sound OLD."

I took that opportunity to tell Emily about the outfit that I wore to my very first school dance in seventh grade.  Boot cut blue jeans, a white t-shirt, a blue and white checkered blouse unbuttoned over the white t-shirt, and my gym sneakers.


I may have even crimped my hair.

I also told her about parachute pants and pretty much blew her mind with the concept.

When I got home that night I was thoroughly impressed with the late 90s/early 2000s knowledge that I'd imparted unto Emily.  She tweeted accordingly:

The next night Emily and I went to the Idina Menzel concert which was AMAZING.  I loved every single second of the whole experience.  In fact, I've been inspired to make a late-in-life break into showbiz.

We'd gone to the Ingrid Michaelson concert at the same venue a few weeks ago, and our fellow concert goers stood up the whole time which was unfortunate because I like to sit at a concert.

In Emily's eyes that makes me TOTALLY LAME.

But Idina took the stage and after about fifteen seconds of standing and clapping everyone returned to their seated positions and I whispered to Emily, "Whew.  Looks like this is going to be a sitting type of concert," and she said very dryly, "If there's a string section on stage, it means it's a sitting concert."

And then on the drive home I told her that I wished I'd brought binoculars AND THEN not thirty seconds later I used the phrase "hitch in my giddy up."

She officially think I'm ancient.

But I think she should be happy that I have such great taste in music.

And that I've retired my parachute pants.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

at least i know pat sajak's name

Yesterday morning I had a meeting at Panera and I ordered an iced coffee.  I haven't been drinking coffee recently and the reason is twofold.

First, thanks to Dunkin' Donuts' irresistible summer promotion, every single morning from April 20th through June 20th I treated myself to a large iced coffee with a double shot of caramel, cream, and sugar.  I thought it might be a good idea to take a little break from beginning my day with a giant cup of sugar.

Second, I had a bottle of Chips Ahoy flavored creamer in the fridge that I planned to reserve for weekends only.  I decided Sunday morning that I'd love nothing more than a nice hot mug of coffee and I pulled the creamer out of the fridge only to discover there was about a tablespoon left.

Evidently someone had been drinking the creamer and also drizzling it on the occasional bowl of ice cream.

I won't name names, but there's only two people who live here and it was not me.

So, I got a big cup of iced coffee yesterday and I don't know if it was the fact that I hadn't had coffee in a few weeks, or that Panera includes some sort of illegal substance in their beverages, but by the time I arrived at the office at 1:30, I was KEYED UP.

I share an office with one of the attorneys I work with because my life is very glamorous.

Speaking of glamorous offices, Matt's company moved to a new office downtown and this is his view.

 His company occupies ten stories in the building and on the first level they have their VERY OWN BISTRO.

Do you know what's on the first floor of my building?

The coroner.

Anyway, by about 3:30 my energy and I had shredded seven boxes of paper, jammed the copy machine, sent about forty six emails, re-recorded my voicemail greeting, and checked the mailbox four times.

I also responded to my emails out loud by talking to my computer, which is fine when I work from home but I guess it wasn't pleasant for my office mate because when we were packing up our laptops I said to him, "I just wish that for one day, ONE DAY, I could say what I really think."

And he said, "Let me know what day that is, I might want to take off."

I thought I'd calmed down by last evening, but when we were making dinner I heard Matt say something about Alex and the last names of the feuding families in Romeo and Juliet and I said, "ALEX?  WHAT DOES ALEX HAVE TO DO WITH ROMEO AND JULIET?  WHAT WAS ROMEO'S LAST NAME ANYWAY?  I CAN'T REMEMBER.  AND WHY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT ALEX AND WHAT DOES SHE HAVE TO DO WITH SHAKESPEARE?" 

Because I thought he was talking about my brother's wife, Alex.

And then I saw Jeopardy was on TV.

And I proceeded to laugh because the host's name isn't Alex it's ALEC.

Matt and I like to have World News Tonight on while we get dinner ready, partly because we like to be caught up on all current events and partly because Matt loves to call David Muir "David MEEEE-UIR."

After David Meeeeeuir was over tonight, I heard, "...and now, here is the host of Jeopardy, Alex Trebek."


With an X.

I glanced at Matt but didn't say anything in case he hadn't heard, but he smiled with satisfaction and said, "You know, I was pretty sure last night that it was Alex, not Alec.  But I didn't think it was a good night to debate it."

He was right about both things.

Tomorrow, I'll be drinking herbal tea.

Friday, July 3, 2015

in lieu of a post with actual paragraphs

I went to the mall this afternoon with my mom and sister.  While Emily and I hunted for shorts for my mom she said, "Oh, I am STARVING" and pulled a bag full of Oreos out of her purse.

"Do you want one?" she asked.

"No thanks, I brought a snack too," I said.

We are so healthy.

And prepared.