Monday, January 30, 2006

Quote for the day:

It is terribly important to do certain things, such as wear overembroidered dresses. After all, the mass follows class. Class never follows mass.
Imelda Marcos

Now wait a minute, who ever said overembroidered dresses were classy?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Going Home

It couldn't have gone better. We arrived home after 12.5 hours of travelling (.5 hours faster than the trip down.) L only fussed briefly a few times because she had dropped a book or something, totally normal 2 year old frustration. Other than that, my children were virtually angelic! The weather was gorgeous and warm, we drove through the mountains and I was blessed to watch the sunset in the rear and side view mirrors while listening to the second half of The Fellowship of the Ring.

On Wednesday we visited the brand, spanking new Georgia Aquarium, which is very cool. There is theater seating in front of giagantic tanks to watch the aquatic life. It's mesmerizing. One tank has five Beluga whales, another also has a large walk through tunnel to view all sorts of ocean fish including whale sharks, sting rays and grouper and a third has a coral reef. The glass tank of the coral reef actually curves and extends overhead where we could watch the waves synchronized to music wash over us. Oh, they also have fun animals like otters, sea lions, penguins, sea dragons, jellyfish and enormous Japanese crabs and lots of hands on activities and "touch tanks" for the kiddos.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Is the universe shrinking again?

Yesterday I was an insect, and today I'm a crusty crustacean! Moving on up the food chain. :)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I am, I am Super(wo)man, and I can do anything!

I drove 13 hours yesterday in the "Green Machine", from Baltimore to Atlanta with all three kiddos. We made 4 stops at Rest Areas, 3 roadside pullovers, 1 gas station refill, and one Burger King break. I had gotten minimal sleep the night before, since little L is having intense teething pain. But by the grace of God, I was alert the whole way and made it safely and without a headache. L cried and fussed a lot because of her teeth, and also since she is potty training, we had to stop frequently for her to "go" but my boys were perfectly patient. We passed the long hours listening to the Fellowship of the Rings (unabridged) on audio tape. We only got to chapter 11 or so (not quite halfway), but it helped entertain us all. We can listen to the rest on the trip home next week.

Here are some of my car trip strategies that helped make the trip go smoothly:

  1. An a.m. and p.m. snack/treat bag for each child.
  2. Stickers for L.
  3. $store activity books, and crayons or markers. The Strawberry Shortcake one for L was what occupied her most of the way (that and the stickers).
  4. A basket of board books and favorite toys on the seat next to L. The boys had backpacks they filled with favorite toys and activities.
  5. L's potty came too. It made for easy for her to make "roadside potty breaks".
  6. Audio book(s).
  7. Lunch packed and ready upon request.
  8. A map of the whole trip for the boys to keep track of our progress. (This helped me too.)
  9. Caffiene and sugar in large quantities for me (totally off SBD for my trip, but OH freaking Well.)
  10. Scooters for the boys to burn off steam at the rest areas.
  11. Prayer. Thanks Mom, Dad, Jules, and others (and of course I was praying my way down too.)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Randy started this, and I thought I'd try it. Here are 13 things you wouldn't necessarily know about me from reading this blog:

  1. I once tinted my highlights pink in the 80's, although it was my intention to turn them purple.
  2. Every three to five years in Spring, I lop off my hair to a bob length and then grow it out's been four years since the last time.
  3. In my early twenties, I seriously considered becoming a milliner.
  4. Instead I became an art teacher, and am now a mother and part time seamstress.
  5. I don't like the title "seamstress" because it sounds outdated and sexist, although I haven't come up with a better one yet.
  6. I don't like learning new electronic gadgets.
  7. I am not a gadget person.
  8. I have had five cats: Tiger, Lindsey, Booties, Jemimah, and Jasmine.
  9. Jasmine was born in my parents' kitchen the week I graduated from highschool. She is still alive today, 16 years later.
  10. I have had 6 gerbils and two bunnies.
  11. I think birds make lousy pets.
  12. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a veterinarian, until I realized I don't really like sick animals.
  13. I think it would be really cool to raise Alpacas as a family business.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


4 Meme

Four jobs you’ve had in your life: Telephone surveyer for the Republican party in 1988 (specifically for Helen Bentley's office), nanny (and mucho babysitting), reader for a blind woman, and art teacher grades pre-K - 8

Four movies you could watch over and over
: Amelie, A Room with a View, Star Wars (original trilogy) and Holy Grail

Four places you’ve lived: Quezon City, Philippines; Baltimore, Maryland; Columbia, Maryland; and Chantilly, Virginia

Four TV shows you love to watch: (Love is too strong a word... How about 4 shows I will watch): Smallville, Sex in the City, Beauty and the Geek, and SNL

Four places you’ve been on vacation: France, Netherlands, Colorado, and Cape May N.J.

Four websites you visit daily: (daily?! how about weekly?) Google, Yahoo, my bank, Divorce Source

Four of your favorite foods
: (only four?!) Dark Chocolate (any form), fresh crisp apples, croissants (which are off limits), and pizza

Four places you’d rather be: in bed sleeping right now, in my studio being productive, somewhere new and exciting with a good friend(s), G-Street Fabrics with a bag full of cash

Four albums you can’t live without: Okay, I'm not really like that about music, but here are my current faves of my small collection that I've been listening to most frequently: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb- U2, Hopes and Fears-Keane, Hot Fuss-Killers, and Final Straw-Snow Patrol

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Phase II, potty training, and B.Daman

Here's what's going on in my home....

South Beach Diet Phase II. It's much, much more doable and yet, as I reintroduce fruits and wholegrain carbs it is difficult not to overindulge. We all enjoyed chocolate dipped strawberries for dessert which are actually on the diet plan! Mmmmmmm yummy.

Potty training is still in session. Little Miss Prettiness averages 2 oopsies a day....but considering how many times she is successful, I really can't complain. I'm hoping sitting in a car all day Saturday heading to my sister's home won't set her back.

Went to Toy'sR us last night with the children to buy a birthday gift for my nephew. The store was the most packed I've ever seen in (save Christmas week), and it wasn't until we were checking out that I noticed all the gigantic signs announcing the stores forthcoming closure. I thought I was lucking out on all the post holiday sale prices. I purchased this new game for the boys, called B. Daman (pronounced "Bee Duhmon"). It's actually a pretty cool idea incorporating marbles with action figures which shoot the marbles in a variety of different games of accuracy as in "Direct Hit Battle" (DHB). Needless to say they are completely engrossed.

Ooooh, look, I'm a wiggley worm. You no longer need a microscope to see me. :)

Saturday, January 14, 2006


This morning when I stepped on the scale, it registered 2 lbs less than my start weight. Today is my last day on Phase 1 of SBD, although I have cheated a little. Last night I had a few glasses of red wine with a friend and then I followed them up with a few “Pocky” (a Japanese cracker stick dipped in chocolate.) Funny how after a night of dietary cheating I actually weigh less…I wonder what that’s all about?

Lella Pie

I'm not sure how it began, but my family sometimes calls me "Lella Pie" or just "Pie" for short. I found this quiz (I'm a bit hooked on these goofy quizzes) and thought it appropos.

You Are Apple Pie

You're the perfect combo of comforting and traditional
Those who like you crave security

but really it's a tie, I had to take the test the alter pie ego is :

You Are Pumpkin Pie

You're the perfect combo of uniqueness and quality
Those who like you are looking for something (someone!) special
What Kind of Pie Are You?

Even though I think the description suits me, I don't actually like pumpkin favorite is Apple. So which do you think I am, Apple or Pumpkin? and What kind are you, anyway?

Friday, January 13, 2006

How weird are you?

Today I thought I'd check my weirdness quotient: it turns out, I'm not as weird as I thought...only 30%. Have a very Freaky Friday the 13th!

You Are 30% Weird

Not enough to scare other people...
But sometimes you scare yourself.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Pinkeln Pause*

Little Miss Prettiness is showing all the signs for potty-training readiness: she doesn't like to wear a wet diaper, she can undress herself, she can communicate her need to go (if not wearing a diaper). So last night we bought little girly "training pants" which barely stay up, since she's very petite for a two + year old, and some Strawberry Shortcake underpants which she loves so much she carries them all around. She even brought a pair outside to play this afternoon. Today is our 2nd day at this, and not doing too badly either. She is definitely getting it--when she's naked from the waist down, her success rate is much higher. So L is our resident nudist by least for now.

~After only two accidents in the morning, L consistently used the potty the whole rest of the day! I put the diaper back on for naptime, it was wet when she awoke, but still very warm, which means....she probably didn't go until she woke up. This is very exciting....not the best timing, but exciting nonetheless.

for "pee break", pronounced: pink-eln pow-seh

Monday, January 09, 2006

My name is Chubby...

We have a little family joke/skit where I smush my cheeks in with my hands and say:

My name is chubby, my mama's chubby, my papa's chubby and IIIIIII'm chubby. One day my mama said to me, "Chubby? can you smile through all that fat?" And I said sure ma, see. [attemptting to smile with cheeks smushed , results in hillarity from my children]

D likes my "squishy tummy".... it makes a nice pillow, he says. It's "comfy" he says.... (not when I try to squeeze into that cute skirt in my closet that fit me last year). Urg.

Sometimes I want to give up. I don't think I've lost anything other than my patience on this South Beach Diet. It is day #9. Yesterday I caved and ate half a plain donut, but the previous night I had thrown up all my salad I ate for dinner (not on purpose), so I thought I deserved a treat. It used all my will power not to eat the other half later that day.

So far the benefits I have noticed from this strict phase of the diet:

  1. I really appreciate natural sweeteners which I'm sure I had taken for granted. Artificial sweeteners suck!
  2. My skin looks great (but that may be do to the facial I had on Friday).
  3. I'm drinking more water.
  4. Less cravings or "munchies" although I still snack on things like celery with cream cheese and nuts.
  5. Eating a lot more veggies.
  6. Becoming a more creative cook.
  7. I sympathize much more with anyone who has ever deliberately tried to lose weight. It's tough.
I could list the negative aspects, but I'm trying to be optimistic. What has surprised me the most is how supportive everyone I've told about this has been. Two things come to mind, either they also think I'm chubby, or they see that I'm serious about this and want to be encouraging.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Love Notes

My eldest son, K, is learning how to write and read phonetically. Lately, he has taken to writing me love notes, totally of his own volition (not prompted by me in any way, shape or form). The first one said:

I luv u

and today another:

Momme luv mme up in [insert a picture of a heart]
K translated this second one for me. He said it means, in his heart he loves me. I told him how special it makes me feel to get his notes, and he was just beaming.... and I thought D was the "lover-boy"...

For Paul, who wants to see pictures of all my projects...

I was so inspired by the "Blogroll" I posted earlier in December, that I made this Mocha Yule Log for our Christmas Eve dessert. (Inside: vanilla spongecake rolled with mocha buttercream, outside: more mocha buttercream.) It was sooooo good. Oooh, I miss dessert.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

skirt knock-off

I whipped up a knit skirt this weekend. I copied my favorite black slinky knit one I got from J.Jill in 2004. I always get compliments on it, so I thought I should make one like it. Mine is slightly different, due to a fabric shortage and the character of the knit I was using. It is a soft deep red color, sort of hard to describe (dusty cranberry?). I’ll have to take a picture next time I wear it and post it here.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Gimme some sugar

Hi, my name is Joyella, and I'm a carbo-choco-sugar-aholic.

South Beach Diet (official) Day 3:
I want sugar! I've actually been sugar-free, fruit-free, starch-free, and alcohol-free since last Wednesday -save a brief lapse for celebrating both the old and new years. This consisted 5 alcoholic beverages (over the course to two evenings), several chocolate dipped strawberries, one piece of french bread, two lady fingers also dipped in chocolate, oh, yes and the evil chocolate covered mini-cheesecakes....I lost count on those (thanks Liz). *sigh*

Am I off the wagon if I lick up a drip of chocolate syrup while mixing chocolate milk for my son? Do chocolate sprinkles count as cheating? I am "allowed" 5 mini-chocolate chips in a South Beach Diet "dessert"....5 MINI chips?! Pulllleez... a small handful of regular chips might tide me over...

But I think this dietary modification will improve my health and my cooking. Never before have I eaten so many vegetables at each meal and in between as snacks. The book has recipes, but I'm having more fun making up various stir fry dishes, salads, and omlette variations. I do miss bread, and fruit, but mostly it's the chocolate and general sweetness of sugar I miss. Well this phase lasts 2 weeks, then I get to add in fruits and a little chocolate and some whole grain starches. (For someone who secretly aspires to being a chocolatier and pastry chef, this diet is brutal.)