Thursday, December 31, 2009

Farewell, 2009 - part 1

Excuse me while I wax triumphant... 2009 will be over in SEVEN HOURS and I did not fall down and die. Or quit. Or run away. Or refuse to get out from under the covers. Yay! And rather than bore you with the oh-so-long list of crummy things this ill-fated year brought upon my family, today I'm sharing some of the happy memories:

January - Toasted my longtime friend at her wedding in Florida. Yay, Pope-mintras!

February - Turned 32, had awesome, amazing, then-pregnant friend babysit for a rare opportunity to ditch the sweatpants and go enjoy some sushi! Doesn't Mac look cute with scruff? Don't tell him I said so or he may just quit shaving altogether.

March - Enjoyed our first big snow with the little noodle. What a fun day we had taking her sledding! It was my first time sledding too, as if you couldn't tell.

April - Successfully matched floral shirt to real flowers. Nah, that wasn't really the highlight. But, the location, Maymont (what I consider Richmond's version of Central Park) really caught on with the noodle, and we visited daily for a while there.

May - All the really good stuff started up... our favorite farmer's market opened for the season. These are my two sweeties on opening day.

Oh, and the Children's Museum turned on the water in its 'backyard' ... so fun! We spent a lot of time there over the summer, as I'm sure we will also do in 2010.

June - Got some face time with my dear friend who deserted me on the East Coast while living out her dreams on the West Coast. (I've got nothing but love for you, Drea!!)

Also in June - Father's Day. The noodle got Mac such an awesome gift this year - the iBert. Sounds very techie but it's actually a bike seat, and she and Mac loved it!

In fact, the noodle loved it almost as much as she loved her "googly eyes" helmet and drinking from the Camelback.

to be continued ...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Nothing says Christmas/winter/snow like my little frog. I'm just glad we found a use for this recently-bequeathed Halloween costume - it's a perfect snowsuit! You can't see them, but she's also wearing bagel bags to keep her feet dry 'cause that's how we roll ... er, hop!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow days!

Anything can happen on a snow day.

You can forfeit your weekly trip to Chipotle because digging your car out of the snow would take longer than cooking something new altogether (though not nearly as tasty).

You can spot a bald eagle from your bedroom window (unfortunately, he does not like being photographed one bit).

You can make a lame attempt at doing something artistic with your camera.

You can enjoy surprise visits from neighbors.

You can witness a blossoming romance.

You can teach your child to make her first snowball.

You can be the recipient of crazy hair.

Happy Snow Day! Hope you are having a ball!

With love,
Your favorite Richmond noodle family

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Misconceptions

It snowed here in Richmond, and it snowed quite a lot. The little noodle and I first noticed flurries while getting geared up to go pick Mac up from work on Friday night, and the first words out of her mouth were, "IT'S CHRISTMAS!!!" Then, yesterday while looking out at the snow she said, "Reindeer are coming!"

She also has it in her head that she is going to see Santa and that he is bringing her presents. Where did she come up with these thoughts? Not from Mac and I. And outside of Elmo and Einstein videos, she doesn't watch TV. We did look at "The Legendary Santa" at the local Children's Museum, but she wouldn't go near the guy. Heck, we don't even have a tree. And before you go thinking I am a big grinch of a mama, please remember that we are moving in a couple of weeks and that buying a Christmas tree falls way, way down on our current list of priorities.

So, where does a two year-old come up with ideas about Christmas? I was under the impression that her "school" was a place for running around and socializing while I go to the grocery store in peace one half-day a week. Maybe I'm getting a little more than I'm paying for. Still, I don't really think they would be pushing the whole Santa, reindeer, present thing at her Christian school. Wouldn't it be more fitting for her to come home talking about baby Jesus in the manger?

So, it's not Mac or me or TV or school, which leaves what? Could it be that her Bunny Grahams and Spaghettios are somehow laced with messages directly from the North Pole to make her want the big guy in the red suit, his red-nosed reindeer and - of course - all of that loot? Yeah, that must be it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Washington, CD

This just in - the Maccaroni family actually left our den of misery (okay, it's really not that bad) for three fabulous, carefree days! Mac and his brother departed for a weekend in Dallas on Saturday morning for what might have to go on record as being the best birthday/Christmas present ever: an all-expenses paid trip to see the Cowboys play at their new stadium. If you're a lifelong Cowboys fan as these two are, it's a big deal.

And rather than mope around Richmond feeling sorry for ourselves and missing Mac, the noodle and I spent some girl time in what she likes to call "Washington, CD." Long story long, my little bookworm of a noodle got hold of some of the many books I have that are all about the sights around our nation's capitol. She's a bit obsessed with them. I'll bet she can name more DC landmarks than most adults. However, to her, it's Washington, CD. And because I'm her mama and I think everything she does is simultaneously adorable and perfect (except when it's not), I don't correct her.

Why do I have these DC books you ask? Oh, I bought them in preparation for the worst date ever ... with Mac, whom I later married in spite of it. We participated in Urban Challenge which is basically the Amazing Race of yesteryear. I don't know if it even exists anymore. But just imagine a couple going on the Amazing Race on their third date. It wasn't pretty. I dodged his phone calls for days afterward and then once he'd finally given up on me I came around. It wasn't his fault that I'm not competitive and despite having run a marathon, I hate running. The funniest part is that on our one-year anniversary, the Washington Post published a photo of one miserable Jamie and one desperate-to-please-Jamie Mac during the previous year's race. I wish I had a scanner so I could plunk it on here. That's one picture that tells a thousand words. Alright, enough off-topic-ness...

The noodle and I had such a wonderful time in DC. We saw some of our favorite people:

The "nanny family" - I worked for them for 3 1/2 years, only leaving to start my own fam. Over the years they became not only like family but also some of my closest friends. And the noodle could not be more crazy over their two girls.

The BFF - The noodle and I lost our favorite Richmond mama and her sweet daughter to DC a couple of months ago. The girls talk about one another all the time and were so happy to be reunited (as was I!). Here they are goofing around in the pack and play:

And here's what happened when I told them to go to sleep - pretending of course! Sorry, for the extreme close-up, but I am surviving on a zoom lens until further notice:

100% sweet! Have I mentioned how much I love having a little girl?!

We also saw my favorite Brit whom I sadly forgot to photograph. She had the unlucky timing of watching me have a meltdown over a parking ticket (You've all been warned - I'm a crier). And we got to see tons of the noodle's favorite DC landmarks and the National Zoo. Even more fun than the real animals was this panda statue. She actually kissed it! Twice! Ew.

It was a terrific weekend all around. I know I'm not the only Maccaroni who was sad to come back to Richmond, but we're due in court tomorrow so a mini-vacation will have to do for now.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were right - the waiting is the hardest part. For the past couple of weeks, we've been attempting to lease a house starting in January. It hasn't been easy. First of all, our budget is pretty much nil. Second, our credit is pretty much nil. Third, well, it's just hard finding place (however temporary) that feels comfy, safe and conveniently located for our one-car family.

By some miracle, I found a house that pretty much fits the bill and our kind potential landlord seems open to overlooking our awful credit assuming a parent cosigns. Yes, a parent will cosign our lease just like back when we were in college. Fun! So, now with a much edited by said parent lease in hand and a request for said parent to do a walk-through of the house prior to signing, we might actually have found our next dwelling. This is especially nice since our current house could be on the auction block as soon as mid-January. (Come bid - you're guaranteed a sweet deal on a custom, modern, riverfront home! Oh, I should also mention that it leaks like a civ, needs some serious electrical repair and a new roof and that it could be pretty messy when we leave it.)

At this very moment, I'm writing to keep my mind off the fact that the landlord hasn't responded to the many edits I 'suggested' be made to her lease. They're pretty important, actually, but I'm not sure she'll agree. If we can get through this and the walk-through, we'll be on our way out of the house that has caused us much sorrow.

I've always had this mantra of living my life without regrets and that all of the mistakes I've made helped make all of the good things happen blah, blah, blah, but I gotta tell ya, making an emotional decision to buy this house three plus years ago ignited a firestorm of negative repercussions. To look at where we were financially then versus now is like comparing night and day. And it all could have been avoided! So, I will bite my tongue and won't say I regret it, but I am mad at myself. Furious even. And more than a little bit heartbroken. Oh, and despite pouring it all out here, I'm deeply embarrassed. Sure, lots of good things (namely the little noodle) have come along in the past few years but starting over from zero sucks. And that we did this with a child just makes me feel crummy.

Okay, I'm done feeling sorry for myself. Back to reality.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Where patience and hunger converge

Things to do while waiting for your spouse to return home from H&R Block training sometime after 9:00 pm so you can have dinner together:
  • update blog - check
  • go online apartment/house hunting - check
  • eat two pickles to stave off hunger - check
  • watch an episode of The Biggest Loser on the dvr so as to remind yourself how you will look if you keep snacking before dinner - on my way now

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pumpkin pie, oh my

So while I continue to avoid finishing the two posts I've been struggling with recently, I thought you would get a kick out this picture of the little noodle helping me make pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving morning.

Since it's the season for being thankful, I'm thankful for a two-year-old who melts my heart daily. Couldn't ya just squeeze her, sticky batter fingers and all?

She was so brave at her two-year checkup today. No crying during the exam. Not a peep when she got the flu mist. And just a few tears when she got her final HIB vaccine. The minute I mentioned lollipop, she was a happy little camper again. This is a huge change from ALL of our previous visits. I'm bummed that I forgot to ask our nurse practitioner whether there's any validity to the myth that your child will double in height from the height they are at age two. If it's true, my not-so-little noodle will be exactly six feet tall. Wow! You go, girl!