Friday, July 30, 2010

Flashback Friday: Barbadian Tropic Girls

As the days, weeks, and aches progress, I think it is time we all reminisce on a day when I could still fit into drawstring pants or a two piece swimsuit.

"Do you want women who want bikinis to buy your two piece? Or do you just wanna make sure women who want a two piece don't suddenly buy a bikini?"

We wanted the bikini.

Aubrey was notorious for perfect posture, precise enunciation, and a little hip inflection during sorority rush. She made us all look bad when she'd perfectly announce, Aubrey Lastname, Atlantasuburb, Georgia. It became a running joke that I was the girl with the bum knee, Chandni was Bitter Betty, and Aubrey was the Hawaiian Tropic Girl. Aubrey was finally ready to prove she was the real deal, at least the real Barbadian Tropic Girl.

My senior year Bitter Betty decided we all needed to go away on Spring Break to go out with a bang. We discussed Florida. We considered Mexico. We debated the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and Jamaica. But there was something about driving to Atlanta to take a plane to Montego Bay, have a layover in St. Lucia to finally end up in St. Lawrence Gap, Barbados.

It was going to be just Bitter Betty and her sixteen closest friends for a little R&R. There were Land Rover tours of the island, trips to the Mount Gay Rum factory, afternoons on a catamaran, fresh seafood for breakfast lunch, and dinner and some sunburns. Or in my case, serious sunburns. Ask Martha about my cancerous feet if you ever get the chance. Thankfully, the impact of all the funky tan lines were overshadowed thanks the perfect Barbados weather and a recipe for perfect hair. No joke. You should try it sometime.

After spending the days doing very little resting or relaxing, there was always something to do at night, more fresh seafood, sketchy clubs where Rihanna would one day be discovered, or a fine meal at Chefette ( Barbados may not be Cabo or Paradise Island, but it is home to one of the most delicious drinks around, the Bajan Smile.

Bajan Smile: In a blender, combine ice and equal parts coconut cream, strawberry, cream of banana and three parts rum (preferably Mount Gay). Yum!

Sometimes in life you need a friend to make you pose like a beauty queen on a beach, or spend the last of your savings on plane ticket to a third world country. Looking back, you won't regret a minute or a dime, or the snapshot to remember just how lucky you really are.

Monday, July 26, 2010

An Update on the Cradle List

We are almost two-thirds of the way to the estimated date of delivery. Baby towels, baby blankets and baby hats are slowly accumulating in our house. And dun dun dun, the crib is scheduled to arrive on Friday. I figure it is high time we take stock in the status of the cradle list.
2941- not yet, but we have some big plans for this one.

Central- Check! And a delightful third anniversary dinner in June.

Clean the Garage- halfway there and did it all by myself. And no pink onesies to store.

Holocaust Museum-now we're just waiting for the tourists to thin out before we attempt this one.

Bake a souffle- souffles are not in season, so give me a break.

Eammons- not yet. Still craving the fish and chips though.

Doggy Happy Hour- One visit is certainly not enough. Thank heaven for Tomber and their mutual desire for beer, pretzels and doggies.

Jackson20-finally, another check. We celebrated the Gender Identification here in May.

Nats Games-Dad did come to town. I did not get sunburned. We're going again tomorrow to see the Braves and potentially the new rookie pitch again. Maybe this time I'll sneak into the locker room and I'll ask him out for a drink.

Picnic on the Mall- our poor inner interns can't stomach the 100 days we've been having. Soon.

New York-Check!

Walks Along the Potomac with Atticus- Check, more than once, before the 100 degree days became a common occurance.

Newseum- Check! We indeed got our culture on.

Corduroy-saving this one up for another special excuse.

So, seven and a half down. Not too shabby. We can do better.

I was all worried the crib was going to take the estimated amount of delivery time and we'd have a babe with no cradle. The crib came surprisingly early. Now I just hope B.B. King doesn't make a similar early appearance so we can keep trucking on with this cradle.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ode to a Household Cleaning Product

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough stains do suck but your suds keep them at bay,
Other cleaners simply do not compare;
Sometimes too grimy a pot or a tub or a countertop,
And more often than not my elbow grease is no match;
But when Barkeepers Friend can be found,
This husband is ready and willing to step to the mound;
Scrub and those nasty stains shall fade;
What would a wife do without our friend;
It is the only time the husband will clean a spot,
When in eternal gratefulness a house will shine:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this cleaner and this wife gives ode to thee.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Flashback Friday: Election Night 2000

I think I can pinpoint my interest in politics sparking when I developed a crush on the newly elected Tony Blair. I mean, what 14 year old could turn down such a handsome left-wing politician?

My political proclivities and my thirst for current events were growing on Election Night 2000. It was the first election I was old enough to cast a ballot. I was pumped I was involved, and I had no idea what a momentous night it was and that we wouldn’t know for weeks who won.

I was watching CNN when I noticed that the anchor was standing in front of the hotel across the street from my dorm. Then I realized there were sharpshooters pointed in the direction of my building. Vice President Al Gore had taken over the Loews hotel across the street and every major media outlet was covering the election 200 yards from my room. The scene was insane and so was I. Somehow, I was able to convince my two new best friends to go across the street and investigate with me.

We crossed the street and saw the dozens of police motorcycles lined up along the street entrance of the hotel. We kept walking and made our way into the complex through the parking garage. We saw the staff buses, a multitude of black Lincolns, and this one seemed to stand out.

Was I really taking a picture with the Vice President’s car? Probably not. More likely, someone like Donna Brazile or Karenna Gore Schiff or his masseuse. I can pretend though.

We were getting more gutsy and tried the doors leading into the hotel. They were open. There was no security, no guards, no hotel guests. There were sharpshooters on the roof and three college freshman just mosied on in to the building. We got on an elevator and I pushed a random floor. The button didn’t light up and I kept pushing it, with four or five suits on the elevator watching me get frustrated. We went up a flight and another person got on, swiped their key card, pushed the same button I had tried, and it lit up. Oops. Everyone on that elevator knew we didn’t belong. We skedaddled our way out of there, out the front door, in front of the cameras.
We spent the rest of the night watching the coverage. My heart dropping when they declared Florida. But I have seen Al Gore speak several times since that night and I always think back on the night I infiltrated the Loews Hotel.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Yes, Virginia there is only one baby.

Seriously, I get asked at least once a day if there is only one in there. After all the paranoid mama drama emergency scans, I can definitively say there is in fact only one in there. However, considering the kicks and the twinges come in every direction of my belly, he may have eight arms and legs.

I would like to state for the record that I am posting this new whale photo of me against my better judgment. Rocky encouraged me to post it in celebration of viability day, 24 weeks. At this point if the paranoid mama drama is less paranoia and more of the real deal, the doctors would fight for the little guy. And from the looks of things, he'd be big enough to stand a chance.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Flashback Friday: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Home from the Wedding

Like many brides, my wedding day feels like a bit of a blur. I had a wonderful time but I really didn’t care the flowers turned out hot pink, the dj played the Lion King or that I was hot and sweaty all night. This all came as a major surprise as I am one of those girls that had dreamed about her wedding for years. I dreamt about the dress and the cake and the perfect historic home (or riverside BBQ joint). Along the way, I stopped caring about the details and dress. I really just wanted to be married already.

We had a long engagement and had been dating almost 5 years. We may have been just kids at 24 and 25, but we were ready to make it official. It felt as if we were just going through the motions all day and I couldn’t wait to wake up as Mrs. King and have all the wedding shenanigans behind me.

So, when the limo pulled up after the reception to whisk us away it felt like we could finally savor the moment. It was only 11:00. I had been dancing my dupa off for hours. I was hyped up and thirsty. But where do you go in Knoxville on a Saturday night in a wedding dress? Sonic! I was able to finally enjoy my day with a delightful cherry limeade.

Perhaps my pink stained lips prompted the couple we rode up the hotel elevator with to ask us if we were just coming back from Prom. I guess we really did look that young.

The Earth Was Shaking

Early this morning I woke up with my bed shaking, the house rattling, and one very confused dog. I think I knew it was an earthquake right away, wondering if I was going to have to go stand in a doorway with Atticus. The thought did cross my mind that maybe my old house was simply falling apart. Rocky is away playing lawyer, so I had to survive the 3.6 shock all by my lonesome.

Now I just wish we had thought to include "Experience Natural Geological Phenomenon" on the cradle list.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Father's Little Dividend

Crickets. Chrip. Snooze. I’ve been a wimpy updater with posts about my dog. I’d apologize, but I thought posting “The Intern 10” picture would placate you. No?

But I had a very good excuse. My dad has been visiting for the past few days. I’ve been busy stressing over what restaurants to try that don’t have a $16 macaroni and cheese anywhere on the menu, while he’s been walking my dog and cleaning my bathroom. Which makes me think I might have to rename the blog, Shrimp and the Spoiled King.

Besides all the towering over my dad through optical illusions, we were quite busy:

We saw Stephen Strasburg strike out 9 batters in 6 innings. Yet, why do all these youngsters disrespect the hat and leave the brim like that? Sure you are destined for the Hall of Fame, but you are going to look back at your Rookie baseball card and realize you were a chump.

Then, we hit a few buckets of golf balls at Top Golf. Ok, not me, I swung an expensive golf club and still couldn’t hit the thing. Defective tee or can I blame poor choice in footwear?

Rocky, Dad and I visited the Newseum and saw a section of the Berlin Wall, Daniel Pearl’s laptop, Tim Russert’s office, and Elvis’s belt buckle for the second time. First time here:

Graceland, 2003

We’ve had a great time using my pregnancy appetite to try new restaurants and eat our way through Washington.

The winners: Sunday Gravy at Potenza, Irish nachos at Sine, Pepperoni Pizza at the Italian Store, Mike’s and Young Chow. We are still on the hunt for some authentic Minnesota style Chow Mein. Tennessee, Virginia and DC all lack the chicken-celery-dark sauce goodness my family craves.

I think the failure to procure some quality authentic Minnesota style Chow Mein may have placed this trip in the “Coulda Been Better” camp, but I’ll blame it on the stifling 100 degree heat. It's always sad to see family leave and it makes me wish someday we won't have to say goodbye for so long.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Flashback Friday: Sweet Suities

It's high time I introduce y'all to my junior year roommates. Pictured: Aubrey, Myself, Mel, Chandni, Martha and Sarah.

We came together rather randomly, a pair, a threesome and a highly sought-after single lady. Tempt the single lady with a single room and boom, you fill a Towers suite. Along the way, I found the five ladies who will always be a part of my college memories and hopefully a permanent fixture in my future.

Sadly, in the midst of stressful classes, a persistent boy in East Tennessee, knee surgery and physical therapy, I took the amazing women that were helping me stay above water for granted. At the time, I didn't fully realize what a vital role they were playing in my life story and what a stalwart of my adulthood they would become. In the years since we've graduated, they have helped celebrate engagements, weddings, new jobs, new houses, new cars and now new babies. I feel even more blessed that they are also there to support me when I thought I wouldn't be able to walk again, Nashville homesickness and all the ugly in between.

Undoubtedly, they will be return players in future Flashback Friday posts. I'll just have to leave the juicier anectdotes and incriminating photos for later.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Stinky!

Our four legged little man turns two today, officially entering adult dog-hood. After growing up without dogs or cats or even a hamster, I had no idea the joy a pet could bring me. I feel very lucky to have him in our lives, even when he’s displaying naughty behavior when greeting visitors. He’s a total momma’s boy and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I just couldn't end a very busy birthday week without a shoutout to my second main man, opposable thumbs or ability to read be damned.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Flashback Friday: There's Something About Mary

In honor of little Mary's birthday on Sunday, this post's for you!
In one of our more flattering Halloween photo appearances (at least costume wise, not very flattering of the late 80's decor...), please note the appearance of snow boots in October. Not only were these costumes very figure flattering, but also allowed us to wear long johns, snow pants and winter coats. Now that makes for a winning costume.
I don't know how I could have enjoyed a Halloween, survived a family vacation or been able to go to the bathroom in my wedding dress if it weren't for my sister. It has been a lifetime of some crazy antics, Windex in the eye, accidental golf cart crashing, divulging my weight to an entire fourth grade class, but I wouldn't have changed a minute of it for the world.
Even though we've been separated for almost ten years by at least 1000 miles, she remains one of my closest confidants. She has the ability to make me look at something from another perspective, like sometimes you do really need 28 pairs of socks for a weekend at the cabin. She can be honest with me about some of my more questionable fashion choices, like the ignorance of packing more socks. And she lets me know that I am on the right track, like ahem cough finding Rocky.
I am so excited to see her as an aunt. I know if she gives B.B. King half the love she gives to stranger's kids, he's one lucky guy.
Love you Mar!