Sunrise Sunset

Went on a walk around the neighborhood last night and took some great photos. We had a beautiful evening and a gorgeous sunset. Here's a sampling...


It's Stuff Portrait Friday!!

So glad it's finally Friday. Everyone in my household is sick, including moi. I've been working my butt off on a big project that's due today. Hopefully I'll be healthy enough to be presentable at my big MOPS leadership meeting tomorrow. I'm going with or without my bottomless box of tissues. Just like I went to yoga last night despite my burning raw sore throat. Yoga heals all, my friends...at least for 60-90 minutes.

Which brings me to the first of my SPF assignments from Kristine....Your Hiding Place. The yoga studio at the Y is where I go to hide from the stress of the world. Yoga is the calming of the fluctuations of the mind. Nobody in my class would let me take their picture, including Mark. So...

Next is Something Mean Looking. This was hard. I don't keep mean-looking things around. The meanest looking thing I could find was my shredder. After being sued I learned not to keep valuable bits of information lying around.

Last are Your Weapons. This totally made me think of Christopher Walken in the Fatboy Slim video, Weapon of Choice. If you've never seen that video, or have no idea what I'm talking about...CLICK THE LINK AND WATCH IT! My favorite music video ever, and now that I watch it again I think I recognize the hotel it was filmed in. That just tells me I've traveled way more than anybody should. The hotel I'm thinking of is in L.A. and brings back vivid memories of a fun bourbon tasting party and helping a poor young salesgirl who drank too much get back to her room while she puked all over.

Boy somebody must've been in a fierce mood when she made up this assignment. Earlier this week, Southern Fried Girl mistakenly commented that because I can do funky contortions and arm balances I could kick her ass. Ohhhh she was so mistaken. I wouldn't hurt a mouse. Ok, maybe I'd feed a mouse to a snake, but you get the point. My weapons of choice is are the tools I use in my job of fighting water pollution. Saving the environment every day, yadda yadda yadda. I was thinking of my brain, but that's kinda hard to take a picture of. So I use my PC, my pencil, and my TI-81 calculator that I got in high school. That thing ROCKS.



Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom.
I already told you about my big addiction, sugar. But I also struggle with another addiction, caffeine. I really don't want to be a caffeine addict, and for years I have limited my coffee intake. But recently I have found that it really does help me think clearly...at least for awhile. And I really do love coffee now, enough to brew it at home and seek it out when I'm running around town. But the past couple days I have been getting shakey and jittery sometimes. And my thoughts are clear but they come fast and furiously, like ADD, which impedes my ability to really focus on work. Plus the past few nights I have tossed and turned with CRAZY random dreams, even waking up in the middle of the night so I can consciously clear my head. So I guess I'd better ease up now, while I still can. Man, self-sacrifice sucks.

Yesterday I tried running42k's suggestion of getting some really good chocolate and trying to be satisfied by just a little. One small square of Ghiradelli dark chocolate with white mint was all the refined sugar I ate all day. Probably because I was very busy and my mind was on overdrive from all the caffeine.



Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom.
Yes, that IS me, doing Bakasana, or Crow/Crane pose. And holding that balance in place so Mike could take a picture. There are a few other poses over in my Flickr account.

After seeing a photograph of my Chaturanga Dandasana, I realize it still SUCKS and I need to work on that upper arm strength.


Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom.
After scouring through the thousands of pictures I've taken lately, I came up with this one as my best photo to capture the theme of the Photodoto Summer Photo Contest, Adventure. I love Photodoto.com for tips and inspiration in pursuing my hobby. I always learn something and it is easy enough for even a beginner like me to understand. Submit your photos to the contest now, the deadline is this Friday, July 28th. Here are the official rules.

So Sweet

So Sweet
Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom.
Sugar is my best friend and my worst enemy. I cannot seem to resist it. It is seemingly the last thing I cannot claim victory over. I exercise, I do yoga, I read, I sing, I go to church, I pray, I try to do only positive things and think positive thoughts. But I crave sugar...constantly. WHY? I got rid of all the sweets in my house last week, and then one night I paced around the kitchen going nuts looking for something to satisfy my craving. I wasn't even hungry but I came THIS CLOSE to making a dairy queen run. This morning I had not one but TWO fattening breakfasts. One on the way home from daycare, and then I needed more coffee so I grabbed a couple mini-muffins after Physical Therapy. Sugar! is why I am not a size 6. Fruit does not cut it. Aspartame does not cut it. Sugar, often in the form of chocolate, is a habit I cannot seem to kick. Any advice, y'all?


Don't Quit Your Dayjob

Nathan July 2006
Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom.
Just yet, anyway. I am having fun taking photos as always, but my dear sweet friend ieatcrayonz is so far ahead of me on the learning curve! I need to learn a few things about lighting, for starters. And there's so much equipment I COULD buy to set up my makeshift studio. It's so much fun dreaming.

My husband may get some income from his hobby sooner than I do! Not fair not fair! Awhile back he started a new blog, exclusively dedicated to Penn State football. This is an obsession of his and he keeps up on all the news and watches every game, so it's not hard for him to write intelligently about it. Plus I think he has turned into a pretty darn good sports analyst and writer in general. Apparently someone else thought so too, because he's been invited to do a semi-professional type blog dedicated to Penn State over on Sports Blogs Nation. Because it would be more than just an occasional post for fun, we talked about it at length and reviewed all contracts very carefully. But I think he's going to go ahead with it and see what happens! I'll post the link as soon as the new blog is up.


Saturdays are good too

New Haircut
Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom.
I'd consider today a pretty productive day. Rushed off to the gym this morning for a quickie morning workout. Showered and went right over to the salon where I FINALLY had made a hair appointment with Chloe, who is now in my yoga class. Was not happy when she touched my hair and more or less described it as "Ick". Oh, funny thing, she asked me if Mark the yoga hottie was gay. Hmm....Mark, if you're reading this...no offense. I told her no, he in fact has a girlfriend, just many gay characteristics, such as loving Gerber daisies.

I also got my eyebrows waxed, which I always love and badly needed. Don't they look so much better?! (except for the slight redness)

When I got home I dragged my family off to the Exton mall to find curtain rods for the new curtains I got last night. And square Euro pillows for the new shams. Plus they have a great food court and an indoor play area there. Fun was had by all.

During Nathan's nap I actually gave myself a manicure. My nails were LONG but I never ever polish them, so this was a rarity. Not crazy about the color I chose though, so I may have to redo them. What I really wanted was a French manicure AND pedicure, but I've spent more than enough money already this weekend.

Then we went to Outback for dinner, Linens N Things for the curtain rods, and the pet store for a new fish...a powder blue gorami named Papa Smurf. I finished the evening watching Jarhead on DVD...which I enjoyed very much, mainly due to Jake Gyllenhaal's nekkid body.

Fridays Rule

Yesterday was a really great day. Very simple, but it made me happy. Nathan woke up early and in a good mood so I decided to brave the supermarket and try something new. I haven't been able to take him to the grocery store without a complete meltdown over not getting a balloon for quite awhile. So I've been avoiding it altogether, but with the power out for so long I needed to completely restock. An idea hit me to put him in one of the shopping carts with the little kid cars on the front. Worked like a charm, he was an angel and I had a great food shopping trip.

It was so hot we went to the pool. Only thing that would have made that better is if someone I knew, like my friend JL, had been there to chat with. Nathan crashed in the car on the way home. During his nap I worked on some engineering projects and talked to my colleagues. Then my wonderful husband, whom I had been missing all week, came home from his trip. I told him I need to go to Macy's to pick up some bedding I called and asked them to set aside for me. I saw this beautiful 24 piece set in a sale catalogue for a great price and called right away. Our comforter was looking worn and we still had no window treatments in our bedroom, and this set contained a comforter, bedskirt, sheets, four shams, two smaller pillows, AND drapes and valances! When I get it all up I'll take a picture and show ya.

Going to the mall with my family is always a pleasure for me. I LOVE shopping!! Sometimes I get decked out before I go because it's a very upscale type mall. I got the bedding, some extra sheets, and a cute shirt for Nathan at Nautica kids. We had a nice dinner in the food court and stopped at Target on the way home, where I picked up some new pillows as well. Such a lovely day and I'm so happy to have Mike home.


Very Zen Jen

Ok so I'm gonna write about yoga again, regardless of whether or not Jen or Mark read this. I've been going to class faithfully every Tues and Thursday night, and doing some practice at home as well. So I get decent progress. I miss having my friends SuperKimber and Barbara in class to chat with, but I've met some new people who attend regularly. One is a middle-aged dad named Bill who is very disciplined and quite funny. I am jealous of his headstands. Another is a pint-sized spitfire of a woman who is very muscular, new to yoga, and full of energy and questions. And of course there's Mark, who teaches on Tuesdays and practices on Thursdays, and Jen, our Guru, who teaches on Thursdays.

Jen just returned from a month long vacation in Scandanavia. I followed her adventures through her husband's blog. I think it totally mellowed her out or something. Tonight Jen could not possibly be called the yoga-nazi, even though she started teaching Chaturgana and was still pretty strict about it. She was funny, philosophical, and inspiring. She balanced the hard work of Plank-Chaturanga-Updog-Downdog (several hundred times) with some relaxing new poses, shoulder stretches, a Pranayama practice, and some focus on Moola Bandha, which is working the pelvic floor muscles. Mark's intro to Chaturanga on Tuesday (which I had to demo for the class) was overall at much harder class than Jen's. I was sweating hard by the end of that class.

On a side note, I have been reading and studying the history and philosophy of yoga lately. It's all very interesting, as diving into the history requires learning about many vastly different religious beliefs than my own. Mark and I have been discussing this side of things, and he let me borrow some cool music to practice to, including a wonderful CD called Pilgrim Heart by Krishna Das. Don't really like the meaning of the lyrics but LOVE the chanting and melodies. Reminds me of some of our modern worship songs with simple lyrics repeated over and over.

Additionally, several months ago I mentioned to my hair stylist that she should try my yoga class. She's a 19 year old cheerleader and gymnist who was getting bored with her workout routine at the Y. I told her it was so relaxing and strengthening, and the instructor was cute and funny. So finally she started coming! And after a couple weeks of calling her by the name I knew, she tells me her REAL name is something different than what she goes by at the salon. Crazy. Only problem is every week I am reminded that I haven't had my hair done in three months. Embaressing since she always looks perfect for class...hair done up and accessorized, full makeup, and tight little body in yoga gear. Ah well, she's young. And I make more money than her. That's the important thing in life, right? NOT.

We are so spoiled

So Mike's out of town this week, and I took Nathan to the Y and went to yoga class Tuesday night. Nothing unusual there. Dark clouds were rolling in so the pool closed early and there was a mass exodus just as I arrived. It has been well up into the 90's with high humidity all week. As yoga started we began to hear some big thunder and see some lightning, but we were all in the yoga "zone" and it didn't distract us. Halfway through class they called all the parents to check on their kids because some kids were very upset by the storm. Nathan was calm, cool, and collected as always. Just as Mark and I were walking out of the Y the power there went out. On the way home I noticed some branches down and tons of debris on the road. Then I came to several traffic signals with no power.

I realized quickly my home's power was out, and the storm had evidently been pretty vicious. My swing was flipped upside down with large holes in the fabric canopy. One of my neighbors must have rescued my baby pool from blowing to kingdom come and wedged it onto my front porch. My heavy leather grill cover had blown off. The house was already getting pretty hot as I put Nathan to bed amidst a dozen candles. I wondered how people ever changed poopy diapers by candlelight. I didn't open Nathan's window because I figured the power would be back soon and the A/C would come back on.

That's where I was wrong. Tossed and turned in the heat all night. Next morning, still no power. Poor kid was soaked in sweat. Called my mom, who lives almost an hour south...she still had no power either. She gave me the ominous news that people were saying it could be the weekend till power was restored. I thought she was exaggerating, so I put Nathan in the car in order to recharge my cell phone and find breakfast. I drove five miles one direction and found a McDonalds...with no power. I drove back past my house and three miles the other way to find a McDonalds...with no power. I heard the news say that 500,000 people were powerless and yes, it could be till the weekend, still three days away.

I drove five more miles west and finally found a McDonalds with power, and sat Nathan down for a yummy breakfast. By the time we got home we were melting in the house. We had water, so I did some cleaning. What else are you gonna do when there's no TV, no internet, no way to work. Then we headed to the big mall for some relief.

I made a quick stop into my camera store and was thrilled to find, after three previous attempts, that the wireless remote for Norton the Nikon was in stock. Also found a very cute outfit at Old Navy, but upon testing the wireless remote and the new outfit simultaneously I decided the top makes me look pregnant, which I am not. Here's proof of the new toy and the new outfit. Top will probably go back.

Anyway we had lunch with my mom, and Nathan went home to nap in the heat. He woke up soaked in sweat and very unsettled, so I opted to take us to the pool. Stopped at the firehouse to pick up dry ice but they were already out an hour after it was available. We had a great time at the pool, but went home around 6pm and still no power. Then we went to meet my mom for dinner. Can't open the fridge or cook, afterall. I got fresh milk and ice and headed home for another night in the darkness and heat. At 9pm we finally got home and found that the power was back on and the A/C was working hard. More importantly, my internet connection was back up and running. Thank goodness!


Back from Beantown

As I mentioned, we left on Friday for a long weekend with my Grandparents on the south shore of Boston. Eight hours of driving north through lots of traffic...thank goodness for portable DVD players. The munchkin was good but his brain is fried from too much Elmo. My grandparents spend their summers in the house that my great-grandfather built in Weymouth, Mass in 1928. It's just down the street from the house my great-great-grandfather built, and around the corner from the church where my other great-grandfather was the pastor for many years. My grandparents went to grade school and high school together, then he went to MIT and she went to Boston U. and they didn't date and get married until they were into their twenties. Anyway here's their cute New England style house.

Saturday we decided to take the commuter ferry from Quincy across the Harbor to downtown Boston for lunch. My grandmother can't walk much, so lunch right on the Wharf where the ferry lets off was all she could manage. It was a nice trip. Here are some pics.

Sunday we went to church, relaxed, and then went to dinner at a great resturant on Scituate Harbor. We eat there almost every time we visit, which has been at least once a year for my entire life. There is a great view of the harbor and marina with a steady flow of boat traffic.


Yoga Toga

I'm afraid I can't write too much about my yoga class anymore. At least the social dynamics. Certain previously mentioned instructors now know of the existance of this blog and that they are somewhere described within the archives. Whose fault is it that they know? My big mouth, of course.

Suffice it to say that the past few weeks of yoga have been great. One instructor is still on vacation and the other instructor and I get along swimmingly. I have FINALLY managed to find the balance in Crow pose (Bakasana) and hold myself up in the air awhile not feeling any need to fall down.

Now I am working on Side Crow. Very hard, indeed. Still can't get myself up into Upward Bow (Urdva Dandarasana) but I love it once I'm in assisted into it.

Yoga is the ONE thing that makes me forget what I look like, how many pounds I need to lose, or how weak I am. It makes me feel strong and graceful, calm and relaxed.

Off to Grandma's

Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom.
Well, Great-grandma that is. Tomorrow we will drive up to Boston for a long weekend at my Grandparents' house. During the summer they live in a town called Weymouth on the South Shore of Boston Harbor. It is very picturesqe there, with tons of New England gardens and water everywhere, from the Harbor to the Atlantic, both only blocks away. We love to dine in one of the many marinas and watch the boats go in and out. Hopefully Nathan will be well-behaved and patient in their house full of antiques and during our notoriously long car rides and resturant meals with them. My grandmother can't walk much anymore so I suspect I won't get to do much sightseeing or shopping downtown like I used to. Hopefully I will at least get to hit the mega Talbots outlet down the street in Hingham, where Talbots corporate headquarters are. We shall see. Well I'll be back on Tuesday. Have a nice weekend y'all!


WBW - Our House

I almost forgot all about Way Back Wednesday! I was too busy having lunch with my new/old blog/real life friend, JL, from Musings of a Housewife. Lots of fun catching up on our lives and comparing notes about parenting blogs and such. The only bummer was Nathan threw a fit when I decided to hold her nine month old.

Anyway this WBW was easy. The house I grew up in was in Media, Pa on a little quiet street. Moved in when I was four, and my mom only recently sold it. I wasn't sad to see it go, especially now that it miraculously turned into an awesome condo at the beach! Here it is!

Bundle of Energy

Bundle of Energy
Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom.
Well I'm happy to have Nathan back to his healthy and happy self these days. I think he is learning some crazy antics by watching all the other boys in his daycare class. He's still good, but sometimes he just goes berserk, running around shouting and laughing and acting like a little goofball. It's pretty funny. He makes the funniest faces and is pretty good and repeating new words now. Still no sentences, but he's very good at asking for what he wants.


Welcome Baby Elizabeth!

My new niece, Elizabeth Reagan, was born yesterday at 3:11 pm! She was 7 lbs 13 oz and 21 inches long. Mom and baby are healthy and doing well. I can't believe my sister pushed that kid out without an epidural...whoa. She's hurting today.

Congrats Matt and Vickie! Since my brother-in-law works for the Attorney General's office he sees a lot of computer crime and tons of sexual predators on the internet. So basically he's now completely paranoid and might not ever allow me to post a picture of his beautiful baby girl. Too bad, but they're the parents so I respect that.

I'll still try to convince him to change his mind later once he sees the awesome shots I'm gonna take of that girl. Just as soon as I get down to Virginia. After I go to Boston.

Update: I convinced my sister to let me put some pictures of Elizabeth on my Flickr that only my Friends and Family can see. So if you really wanna see her, let me know your Flickr nickname and I'll add you to my Friends list if you're not already there. Boy, she is a cutie.


My Sister is In Labor!

Ever the consumate hostess, last night my nine-months-pregnant sister, Victoria, hosted a private fundraising dinner in the home of a wealthy board member with guest of honor U.S. Senator George Allen (R-Va) speaking. She said she had some good bonding time with George, who was very concerned about her condition. Near the end of the evening her water apparently broke and she called me from the hospital around 11pm to announce they were keeping her there and the baby was coming. They started her on Pitocin and I warned her that Pitocin contractions can really pack a wallop. I asked if she had learned any Lamaze type breathing or relaxation techniques and she said no. Uh oh...bad move. These techniques were a lifesaver to me in labor and I still use special focused breathing techniques to work through discomfort in yoga.

I called this morning to check on her and she sounded drunk. I asked her if she had been given Nubain or Stadol and she said yes, but she hadn't progressed very much. Her platelets were apparently very low and they refuse to give her an epidural. They were talking C-section but wanted to avoid it because they would have to give her general anaestesia because they couldn't give her a spinal with the low platelets. They decided to hold off on the C-section and are now just slowly letting her progress...in great pain. Poor kid, she's gonna be at it awhile. But I have learned that the human body is amazing, sometimes superhuman, and we are made to give birth and can do it without any help if need be. Still, I feel for her.


Funny Thing Happened on the Way to SPF

First I must pay homage to the great and wonderful Kristine who is getting MARRIED tomorrow. You go girl! To an awesome guy, Shaun. Hope it's a fabulous day for all and you don't stress TOO much. This week for Stuff Portrait Friday, Kristine chose:

1. Your love
2. A Honeymoon
3. Something blue

So a funny thing happened to me on the way to doing SPF last night. I got an email out of the blue from an old friend of mine. We went to church together about 10 years ago. We were never that close, I think because I thought since she was married and out of college she must be SO much older than me. But I went to a baby shower (I think?) at her house and I believe she came to a bridal shower for me. I ran into her husband when I moved to this house because he works in the same office as my mom and I visit her for lunch a lot. Then when we were searching for a new church we tried theirs and I got to chat with her a bit. We tried another church and met some friends of theirs. But neither church worked out and that was that.

Until yesterday. Like I said, email out of the blue. Apparently she's a blogger now (musings of a housewife) and started playing SPF. She clicked on one of my comments because she knew a "mainline mom" must be local. Even though my name isn't on my blog, she recognized me instantly! Crazy. Fun! She lives even closer to me now and we will surely be getting together with her three kids and my one. See how SPF brings people together?

Moving on. My love. My sweet sister and mom showed me some love yesterday by sending me flowers. I LOVE gerbera daisies.

A honeymoon. Not exactly a honeymoon for me, but a great place to go and relax is Sea Colony resort in Bethany Beach, DE. That's where my family was this weekend. I can get ya a great two bedroom condo on a lake that's just a few blocks from the ocean. Available for rent the rest of the summer.

Something blue. I know Jo-Lynn did this too, but how could I resist those blue eyes? Unfortunately it seems Nathan now has pink eye. Yuk. I blame the pool.


Song for the Brokenhearted

"Don't give up on the Hope that keeps you breathing..."

One of my favorite songs by a Christian rock band called The Wedding. Thanks for the very kind emails and comments from those of you who read my blog right. They meant a lot. Some never heard the good news, so they didn't need to know the bad. One of the pluses of not working in an office.

Anyway we had a good weekend away, even though Nathan hates sand and doesn't much like large bodies of water either. By the end of this summer hopefully we'll convince him to change his tune.

You can see a nice little slideshow of our trip here.

Our local fireworks display was postponed but I managed to catch some of the backyard variety.

Celebrate - for Odd Mix's Weekend Word Challenge

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