Friday, October 31, 2008

Good Ol' Fashioned Family Vacation

The first vacation we ever took with Avery was when she was two months old -- to Key West, Florida.

We planned this trip before she was born, thinking it would be easy to schlep her on a plane when she was that young. (People without kids are so charmingly, ridiculously naive.)

The first two months of her life were a total blur, and suddenly we found ourselves with vacation plans. We seriously considered cancelling the trip because we were way more overwhelmed than we thought we would be. Ultimately, though, we made the decision to go.

She was great on the flight to Miami. In Miami, we rented a car to drive through the Keys down to Key West. (We remembered this as a two-hour drive from a trip to Key West that we had taken ten years before -- it's not -- it's four.) And traffic was awful, and the sun was blazing and Avery's rental car child safety seat was not at all comfortable for her. It was a lllooonnnng four hours.

And, while we were making our way south, we kept seeing vehicles with "Fantasy Fest" and "Fantasy Fest or Bust" signs on them. We thought nothing of this until we arrived in Key West and got a quick education. Fantasy Fest, it turns out, is an annual celebration much like Mardi Gras. There is pretty much 24-hour drinking in the streets, lots of costumes (many of which are simply painted on), and lots of debauchery. This is usually held in October, but thanks to a Hurricane that year, it had been re-scheduled to December -- the exact same weekend we were visiting.

So, for the three days we spent in Key West, we were the only people with a tiny infant in a baby carriage walking through the streets. It was somehow a perfect introduction to parenthood. We learned early that things never go exactly as planned once you have a child.

Other great parts of this experience:

1) The people in our B&B who were up til all hours of the night were not disturbed by a crying baby because they could not hear her over their own commotion
2) There was A LOT for Avery too look at and listen to -- lots of bright colors and loud music
3) The priceless pictures I have of appropriate new father Tim standing next to a woman with nothing on her top but nipple rings

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Joke Of The Day

How many humorless people does it take to change a lightbulb?


It Was A Graveyard Smash

So, the Canetto family has totally adopted the Vienna downtown as its own.

(Technically, we live in Oakton, which is only a few miles away and does not have a downtown, and Vienna is a nice family town with lots of cool events so we're pretty sure that Vienna does not care if we glom on to it. Unless, of course, we become those needy people who are all like, "Vienna, we want to spend every spare moment with you. Hey, Vienna, why aren't you returning our calls? Vienna, we see you standing in your living room wearing a red shirt...") Not that it would ever go that far. No matter what Arlington says.

Last night we went to the annual Vienna Halloween parade. We were supposed to meet Avery's friend, Ava, and Ava's parents there. Alas, we were running late and went to the Commerce Bank parking lot instead of Virginia Commerce Bank parking lot (really, Vienna? two blocks from each other and with such similar names? really?) yadda yadda yadda...we watched the parade alone.

Although, on our way to the wrong bank parking lot, we ran into Avery's friend, Logan, and his parents and also my semester-in-London friend, Natalie, and her family. So we were feeling all part-of-the-community and social.

We did watch the whole parade from our VIRGINIA Commerce Bank position and it was awesome! It truly gets better every year -- especially the dancers -- the Bolivian dancers and the group from Adrenaline Dance Company were so good.

Nicely done, Vienna. Now about that restraining order...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Emergency E-Mail Summit Called

A friend of mine (my age) who is dating recently found herself texting with someone she had not yet met in person. She sent an emergency e-mail out to some girlfriends with the following question:

A guy I'm being kind of sort of set up with just asked me via text how old I am. I know he's like 34. What do I say???

Best reply, by far, came from one of her friends, who said:

"Do you have a younger brother?"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How Britney Spears Saved Me From Prison

Today's post is courtesy of guest blogger, Hillary:
I had jury duty today. But, I completely forgot. Seriously, 100% just had no memory of it. That is, until 11:15 last night. While watching the 11 o'clock news, I saw a story on Britney Spears and her latest judicial affairs. Somehow this triggered something in my brain about my own civic obligations and I literally bolted out of bed. It was seriously like a lightbulb not only went off, but also exploded in my head. I ran downstairs, found the summons, called the number, and of course, my number was called to come in to the courthouse this AM. Luckily, it was a light day and both trials on the docket settled out of court at the 11th hour and I was able to leave at 10:30 and only waste two hours of my day. Thank you, Britney.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The "Kathy" Offends Me More Than The "Brain Trust"

Today's post, courtesy of guest blogger, Dori (Aural Pleasures).
(She has been reading a journal she kept during our semester in London 20 years ago.)

"I hit the motherlode -- at the back of the journal I did a quick "list
of people with their outstanding traits" and here's yours:

Kathy Steenberg: 1/4 of the "brain trust' as the 4 tri-sigs were dubbed the first week. She and Tim had something going. Kathy has the best sense of humor I've ever heard on a girl, but she can be a little... risque I guess.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Why Can't His Last Name Be "Wong" So I Can Make A Lame, Groaner Joke About A Wong Making Two Wrights?

Tim's dad has worked in aviation his whole life. (He has always loved planes, and actually had his pilot's license before he had a driver's license.) Due to his eyesight, however, he was not permitted to fly planes as a career. Instead, he became an airline mechanic, spending most of his career on the aircraft maintenance crew for Gannett's corporate planes. When he retired from Gannett several years ago, he began working part time for Ken Kellett, who finances the reproduction of historic planes.

In 2003, we took a family vacation to Kitty Hawk, NC, in an attempt to witness the replica Wright flyer actually flying on the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' flight. Due to weather conditions, the flyer didn't get too far off the ground. But John had worked on the plane and it was beautiful and exciting to be there.

Tomorrow, we're going to the College Park Aviation Museum in Maryland to see another reproduction on which John worked. (The 1910 Wright Model B Reproduction.) Link:

John is kind of a quiet guy who doesn't talk too much about the things he does, so I never realize how cool it is until we get to see his work on display on this.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Love Little Peplo

The St. Mary's Oyster Festival is this weekend:

We're not going, but we did go one year. It's actually a nice way to spend a day. The community gets very involved and excited about it. I remember that even the school kids had drawn pictures about oystering that were displayed at the festival. Our favorite? A crudely drawn oyster with a carefully lettered headline that read:


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Bear's Name Is RuPaul

Avery (referring to her teddy bear, whom she has diapered and is cradling in her arms):

"This is my baby. He was in my tummy for a long, long time. He's wearing a diaper. He's a girl."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Life Is Hard With A Sippy Cup

For her third birthday, we decided that it was time for Avery to give up her bottle. (Yes, we are such hard-asses -- that's only two years after most kids give it up. And especially entertaining since she moved out of her crib early, spoke early, was toilet trained early, etc. The bottle was kind of the last bastion of her babyhood.)

On her birthday (and after talking about it every day for a few weeks), we got rid of her changing pad, her gate on her bedroom door, and the night time bottle. She was pretty good about it, but did wake up in the middle of the night asking for it on the first night. I soothed her and reminded her that we had made a mutual decision to give up the bottle since she was now a big girl. I offered to get her a sippy cup of milk instead of a bottle...and she said to me, "Life is hard with a sippy cup."

It is, my little angel, and sometimes Jimmy has diarrhea. These are good lessons to learn early in life.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Life's Lil Details

Spent the day on Saturday at the Fairfax Fall Festival (how have we never been to this before? It was fantastic. We met the Beenhouwers there and Grandma Krennie met us there on her way into town.) Krennie then babysat on Saturday night so Canetto and I got to see "Lakeview Terrace". Sunday, we went to pick out phots from the photo shoot we did a week ago (great photos of our kiddo -- it will be tough to decide which ones to get - then had dinner with Tim's parents. Monday, we had a big family walk with time at the playground and then Avery's three year checkup (90th percentile for height; 50th percentile for weight; obviously built like her dad and doing great all around). Then, we bought stuff and began getting things ready for Avery's birthday party with a few of her friends this coming weekend.

Life is a lot of fun with the little one.

Tonight, I'm meeting a friend for dinner that I worked with many, many years ago. I ran into her on the street a couple of weeks ago and we're going to catch up tonight. I'm excited!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Okay, Fine!

So maybe my hair is not the only reason I didn't want this published.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I'm Pretty Sure We Slow-Danced To "Wrapped Around Your Finger"

This, ladies and gentlemen, THIS is what I love about Facebook. (And I only wish I had the courage to scan our junior prom photo. I'm pretty good about being able to laugh at myself...but my hair in that photo is more sad than funny.)

Junior Prom Date:

"You know, you are actually one of my biggest high school regrets, that I was such a jerk to you and we didn't become better friends. Can't change the past, though."


"Well, if there's one thing I love to hear, it's that I'm someone's biggest regret. If it is any consolation, I don't remember you being a jerk to me. Either you weren't, or I have a horrible memory."


"OK, well now my new biggest regret was actually telling you that."

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

It's Like Pulling Teeth

On Friday, I'm getting three wisdom teeth extracted. (Insert "can you spare that?" joke here.)

It's not the pain I'm afraid's the noise. And because I'm a big technology retard, I don't own an iPod to bring with me to drown out the sounds of long roots being wrenched from my jaw.

Which is more painful? Listening to this procedure or enduring the humiliation of bringing a Walkman in with me?

I Live My Life Like A French Movie

And I have no idea what that means, except that it is a line from "Singles" and it makes me laugh because I remembered it as coming from an angry mime played by Eric Stoltz. And really, what isn't funny when coming from an angry mime? (However, it was actually another character who said it...big mistake on the part of the screenplay writer.)

Speaking of movies -- my friend, Meredith, is in a film that was just selected for the Big Apple Film Festival. (Go, Mer!) (Actually, the movie is called, "Go, Fish!") Of course, this gives me a reason to go to NYC at the end of November to go to the screening. (Hoping this gives me and edge and makes me cool, mainly because...

...I'm actually considering going to see "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" this week. (which, incidentally, did not get selected for the Big Apple Film Festival.)

And finally, in other this-is-unrelated-except-that-it-also-involves-media news, Amanda and Leon are going to a wedding this weekend where Bob, the awesome trainer from The Biggest Loser, will also be a guest. Amanda is under strict orders to convince him that he needs to do a "Smallest Loser" for the dilettantes.

I leave you with this:

"You're a mime! Aren't you supposed to not speak?"


Cape May Va-Cay

How I love the beach in the off-season. And with Canetto and with my Pants. (Note to readers: I also enjoy the beach in the off-season with Canetto and without my PANTS, but I'll spare the details in this family blog.) And Cape May is just beautiful.

Some highlights of our trip:

- Visiting the Cape May lighthouse. Avery walked up and down the 199 steps and loved looking down at the view (she's pretty fearless at this age), and then did a 1.5 mile nature walk with us. All part of "Operation Wear Her Out".

- Going on a horse and carriage ride around the historic neighborhoods in Cape May.

- Flying a kite on the beach. Avery was a rock star – Tim was going to show her how to fly it, but she took it from him and totally took charge and flew the kite like a pro.

- Taking the ferry from Lewes, Delaware to Cape May.

- Having lunch at Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware on the way to the beach, and eating at Freda's Cafe and the Mad Batter in Cape May. Good stuff.

- Realizing what a sweetie we have when one morning Canetto brought some mini donuts to the hotel for Avery (and a gigantor coffee for me). That child LOVES donuts, and she tore open the package and then offered one to both me and her dad before having one herself.

- Going to Casale's Shoes to meet Kath Connolly's cousin, who married into the Casale shoe empire.

- Fudge samples and the animatronic "cook guy" (Avery's words) in the fudge store window. (If you asked her, she'd probably say this was her favorite part of the trip.)

- Going on the craptacular rides at the arcade and winning enough tickets there to score the following high-quality prizes: fingercuffs, plastic vampire teeth, a novelty cigar and temporary tattoos for all of us.

- Avery "calling" her friends from the hotel phone and saying, “How you doing? Pretty good? I miss you, Sabrina and Logan. We’re at the hotel at the beach. Wanna come?”

- A woman mounting her boyfriend? husband? lover? on a park bench in broad daylight. one needs to see that.

Nicely done, New Jersey. Any state that is the home to both a beautiful beach and Standard Nippleworks is okay in my book.