Monday, November 26, 2007

Much-Needed Recharge

I took the whole week off last week. Woohoo!

I blew and bagged the leaves, cleaned and organized the shed, and helped cook Thanksgiving dinner. It was all fun.

Saturday night (the 17th) was Mr. Harper's 8th annual Thanksgiving dinner for friends. I look forward to that dinner almost as much as I do to our own tradition, and it did not disappoint. Mariah and Evelyn missed it this year, but Alastair did not. He joined us for the first part of the evening, playing with Chris's Teletubbies and pooping on his stairs ("I sit down I poopoo. Mama hold hand! Mama go away."). The incident was contained, and Ed & Leigh arrived to take him home and babysit for the evening. Matt brought the Kugal, Gregory brought the world's best banana pudding (yum! and then some), and there was every obligatory Turkey-day dish known to man.

Tuesday night was the 8th anniversary of my proposal to Amanda, and I surprised her with a date at the same restaurant where we first celebrated our engagement (and where we had our first real date in 1995).

Wednesday night, Alastair spent the night with Ed & Leigh so that we could get started on cooking Thanksgiving dinner. We dallied a bit, enjoying a wonderful Indian dinner at India k'Raja with Jeff & Evelyn (for 3 hours!), and eventually got to bed around 1:15am after wrestling the turkey into the brining bag.

Thursday was fabulous. Amanda's turkey was, by far, the best turkey I've ever had. Really. Very moist, very flavorful. I made shoe-leather-burnt stuffing patties, just like I remember from Greensboro. They were much easier than I'd thought. Amanda also made a cranberry sauce that Alastair and I really enjoyed (he's been clamoring for more), and her mom made sweet-potato casserole and creamed spinach.

We've been eating turkey and associated fixin's ever since.

Yesterday was the last autocross of the season, and I placed better than I have all season. It was probably because Daniel wasn't there, though (otherwise I would have tied my previous best).

It was a great week, with lots of fun time playing with Little Man, catching up on some Tivo'ed shows, and relaxing with friends and family.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Jamiesmitten: Criminal?

Today we went to the toy store. Alastair's been playing with PlayMobil 1-2-3 cars for a few months now, and over the last few days, he's taken to have the men play soccer, fall down, get hurt, and give each other hugs.

Seeing as how he only had 3 of the little men, he obviously couldn't have a fair soccer game. So I figured he needed another one, and since his obsession de la semaine is emergency services, I thought we'd keep the options to fire truck, police car, or ambulance (the obvious preference since the men fall down and get hurt a lot). Well, there's no ambulance, and the police car was cheaper than the fire truck.

So when we were playing with the police man this evening, he was putting the man on top of his stacker and knocking him off. I told him that he might hurt the police man, and that the police man might put him in jail. His response?

"Jail? Jail see Jamie?"

Friday, November 09, 2007

Reunion Workin' Churchin' Chili-n & Thanksgivin

A couple of weeks ago, Amanda and I went to our 10-year W&M reunion. It was weird. We hadn't really planned on doing much of the organized stuff, but we wound up dropping $100 for the Alumni Association party at the W'burg Lodge. We had fun with Shana, Chad, Synta, and her boyfriend, but most of our friends aren't reunion-goers, so it left something to be desired.

Plus, with my back medication failing me, I wasn't feeling too great. An open bar, a few conversations with some old acquaintances, and a bit of nostalgia are what I'll take away from the experience. We'll do it again at 20 years, but probably not at 15.


Work's been unrelenting lately. Apparently last week everybody decided that I'm the resident guru with every system we run, and who better to ask all your questions than the guru?

This on top of a major system failure that plagued us through the week and ongoing issues deploying new equipment frayed my already thin nerves, and I lost it this week at a coworker over something minor.


Amanda and Alastair and I have been to church almost every night this week. She and the boy started on Tuesday night with choir practice (I stayed home and changed wheels & tires on my cars), but Wednesday night was the Chili cook-off (where I had one bite of the worst chili in the history of Man), last night she was setting up for a craft-show, and this afternoon she'll be selling her button-jewelry from 5 - 8pm.

I doubt we'll go tomorrow.


Yeah, really: the worst chili. Ever. Amanda's was great (duh!), and so was Danny's (at least I think it was Danny's), but the stuff in the last crock-pot smelled like turpentine. I was still hungry, and I felt that I had an obligation to try it, since it was after all a cook-off, but even though I put in a huge dollop of sour cream and probably 1/4 cup of cheese, the smell and taste of cleaning-products could not be overcome.

One bite: into the trash.

Nasty nasty nasty.


Amanda and I have given up on the Greensboro family tradition, which has been in utter disarray since the death of my great-grandmother, and we're going to make our own damned turkey.

Ed & Leigh will join us, and we'll probably spend some time in the afternoon watching football or some other mind-numbing sport, and with any luck I'll pass out in the big leather chair.

It's gonna be perfect, and though I would love the Greensboro tradition to carry on (with us involved), I think we're gonna stick with this for a while.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Hives. Wait; what?!?

Alastair has hives. He and I were out playing in the yard this morning, and when we came in for a diaper, I noticed a rash on his cute little legs. Then I found the rash on his feet, his tummy, his back, and his arm.

By the time we went downstairs for lunch (5 minutes later), his hands were breaking out. By the end of lunch, his right foot was covered in rash.

We called the doctor and scheduled a 1:30 sick-child visit, and 20 minutes later all of the rashes were gone.

5 minutes after that, he had a new rash on one arm.

Amanda kept the appointment, and said that she got to watch rashes form and disappear before her eyes.

Poor little guy, and this after a fabulous night as Big Bird!