Sunday, August 17, 2014

Shiny and New

I finally bought a new computer- a refurbished Sony Vaio flip, usually $900, but $550 for me because somebody else brought it home first. So I'm sloppy seconds, but I'm a slightly richer sloppy seconds and I don't think spending the extra dollars would make Windows 8.1 any less foreign or the distinction between "photos" and "pictures" ANY LESS CLEAR. I'm having adjustment issues. I love everything about the size, weight, and aesthetics of the new computer, but most evenings I've been booting up my clunky old one just because it's familiar. Like an ugly old slipper that makes you walk slower and sometimes just makes you blackout and stop moving at all, but is so comfy.

I went back and forth on getting an apple, and I would still love for someone to give one to me (oh the retina display, so beautiful), but they were just too expensive. I don't understand how everyone I know owns all the apple products, but I continue to wait for Santa to be real so he can bring me my first iPad. (Actually, if Santa was real I'd want all the boots and purses first- I'm not sure I'd really use an iPad since I'm generally typing if I'm on the computer and I hate onscreen keyboards with a fiery passion that results in my never answering people's emails and texts during the day on my phone. Also then my kids might want to use it and we're still enjoying our anti-electronics and TV caveman method of child rearing). But I was in the apple store to admire the macbook pro's and their retina displays in person and I saw the iPads and felt sure I needed one. Those stores are powerful. Thank goodness the federal employee discount has to be done online or I would have handed over my credit card right there.

My biggest move towards acceptance of this new computer was to hook up my external hard drive and transfer over all my pictures. I've had the laptop for six days and just took that step, so I guess it's mine now. Even if some of its keys are in the wrong place and I don't understand its reversed scrolling touch pad. (Between gazing longingly at my old laptop and getting mad at facebook's new messenger app, I'm basically a technological 85 this week.) But it is shiny and bright and I enjoyed doing my yoga download video in the upside-down-V-tablet mode (it's a thing) so I didn't hit the keyboard during a spirited chatarangas.

This picture looks 50% brighter on my new screen; also, what color are her eyes? We're undecided

But I have done things in the last few days that didn't involve warily staring at a shiny skinny new laptop- I went to two four-year-old birthday parties in the same day! And locked my keys in the car AGAIN! I made the largest batch of homemade poppy seed bread with orange glad that my KitchenAid has ever seen, and ordered the adorable rainbow heart return address labels for Cora's first birthday party. Yes, it's happening. I've accepted it, so now I get to buy all the rainbow-themed things my heart, wallet, and pocket of discount codes desire (the labels were free; thank you Shutterfly "end of summer gift"). Actually I haven't accepted that she's going to turn 1, not even a little, but I love party planning enough to let it numb my pain a little.

Claire's first party on Saturday was at the Texas Ballet Theatre with a real ballerina. Claire wanted exactly NOTHING to do with it. She sat next to me on the floor and refused to participate. I don't know what happened to turn her off of ballet, but it is real and it appears permanent. She was pro-cake though. Cora was pro-everything and crawled after the ballerina at high speed.

ready to dance

Party #2, after my "I'm just going to run a few quick errands between parties" plan turned into a "JP waking up Cora and piling everyone in the car to go rescue mommy because she locked her keys in the car AGAIN" special new plan, was a Frozen tea party. Claire LOVED it. It was hosted by one of my barre teachers, whose daughter is in Claire's class, and it was adorable. Real china mixed with Frozen paper products in her beautiful historic house (built in 1914 by the guy who the street is named after). There were tiny tea foods, pink lemonade "princess tea," a making of crowns and marshmallow Olafs, and a massive group sing-a-long to the Frozen soundtrack that was adorable to even the most jaded so-sick-of-Frozen parent.

Today dawned cool and grey, and while the boys went on their Sunday run (7 miles today!), the girls and I did the opposite and went grocery shopping. I've found we spend less if JP doesn't come along, sort of like me and Target. As soon as we had checked out, our cart piled high with all the foods for the week and our upcoming 3-day camping trip, it started POURING. Like buckets of water falling from the sky pouring. We got soaked. Cora was displeased. I was too. It then stopped raining as soon as we got home 6 minutes later and the boys could help us unload everything from the car. Of course.

two hands for safety

I wanted to make a meal for our neighbor's who just had a baby (chicken barley chili!), so I thought I'd add in a loaf of my mom's Poppyseed Bread with Orange Glaze because it's delicious and is a great morning snack with coffee or tea. And then I thought it would make a good back to school gift for the teachers in our lives. And then Landon requested some for him to eat on the first day of school and JP asked for some for the camping trip and next you know, I baked 6 loaves of Poppyseed Bread. The KitchenAid was skeptical.

It continued to rain off and on while JP ran some errands (hats for everyone for our August hiking trip to a canyon where it's 110 degrees without trees- can't wait!), I went to barre, and the kids made forts, built a truly spectacular lego castle, and helped me pack their clothes for the trip. Claire was surprised to hear that maxi dresses were not on the approved camping clothing list and we had several discussions about it. Cora took some naps and I ran across the street to hold my neighbor's new baby and he is so adorable and so TINY and I want him. It is cruel that I have become a baby person at a time when I am on my last baby.

And so it was a lovely low-key weekend where much was accomplished while somehow not feeling hectic or busy. Probably because swim team is over and having a whole Saturday, even one where JP was coaching and I had to take Claire to two birthday parties, seemed luxurious. Also, it started on Friday with an evening swim in our bathtub temperature pool and a Mexican martini AND a water-obsessed adorable baby, and those three things are always an excellent start to anything.


  1. My strategy for locking a car is to NEVER use the lock on the actual door and to ONLY use the key fob when I'm out of the vehicle. It's been very successful for me!

    1. Yes! This was mine as well, and I also have a button on the outside of the door that will lock the car and then, through magic, UNLOCK the car if it realizes the keys are still inside. But my back trunk door is broken and won't latch, so the car thinks a door is open and won't lock through ordinary means, so I have to be sneaky and use the door lock button on the car door and that button doesn't care if my push button keys are lurking in my cup holder. And because it's a push button start I never really know where my keys are. So basically this is going to keep happening until JP has time to take my car to the shop.

  2. My dad will only drive Ford Explorers and one of their key features is a push button combination lock on the driver's door. I can't understand why all cars don't have this. Along with integrated booster seats. And multiple cup holders for each seat. And the beep-beeps that let you know when you're about to back into something. Really I don't understand car makers at all.

  3. My God LL, I've been reading for so long that I recall Claire disliking her very first ballet/dance class! And similarly, wasn't she glued to your side then too?

  4. You can change the direction of the scroll pad in your settings! =)

  5. Pretty please will you post the recipes for the chicken chili and poppyseed bread? A friend just had a baby and I've been trying to think of what food to bring her. Both sound perfect!

    1. Actually I have! Poppyseed bread is here and the the Chicken Barley Chili is here. They are both so good! The chili is a great takeover meal because it's a little different, it's filling, it freezes and reheates easily and in small batches, and it's healthy and surprisingly low calorie. And the poppyseed bread is just darn delicious :).

    2. Ahhh thank you! My thoughts exactly- healthy, freezable, yet different. With delicious treats to follow. Off to try both now!

  6. I'll have to try the poppyseed bread! That's something that's not in my repertoire, and not really even on my radar -- for some reason I never even think about making poppyseed anything.

    I did the same thing when I got my new (flip, Windows 8) laptop. It took me a month or so before I really gave up my old (Sony Vaio) laptop. I still use the old-fashioned desktop mode almost exclusively, but I do find the windows 8 search feature handy.