February 24, 2010

Shy and Shae

Who are Shy and Shae, you may wonder? They are cute 9 year old twin sisters we met on the playground this week. Sadie fell in love with them, and I loved how they entertained Sadie so I could relax (a little).

Here's how they approached me:

Them: "Are you going to have another baby?"

Me: "Yes, I am."

Them: "Oh ya, we could tell!"

{This actually made me feel happy because I think I actually look pregnant now instead of overweight}


Them: "How old are you?"

Me: "Well, I'm 25"

Them: "Wow...."

{A long pause and I hold my breath because I have NO CLUE what they're going to say....}

Them: "That's really young!"

Other one: "Ya, our mom is 38!"

{Happiness fills my inner being and I breath a sigh of relief!}

This was how we ended the conversation:

Them: "Um...where does your baby come out?"

{Loooooonnnnggggg pause by me as I contemplate how to gracefully change this line of questioning}

Them, again: "Like, does it come out your belly?"

Me (relieved): "Yes, sometimes it does come out of your belly when women have a c-section."

Them: "Oh, did you have a c-section?"

Me (worried, again): "Um, no I didn't."

Other sister (with a coy look): "I know what happened!"

At this point I figured I better get going! But they were quite funny and helpful for the short hour we spent together on the playground.

Guess Who's Back?

We have shared custody of Shadow and it's our turn to be his guardians. Does any one out there feel bad for me?

Wait until I post pictures of the hair cut he got today at the groomer. Can anyone say poodle?

Date #2: Wicked

My parents gave Ben and me an amazing Christmas present: a year of dates! Once a month for the next 12 months they have provided, planned, and paid for some type of recreational activity and offered their babysitting services. Is that the greatest thing you've ever heard of?

The first date was tickets to hear the Florida Orchestra in their special Cirque du Soleil performance. It was amazing! Those people are only half human, I think.

This month the date was tickets to see Wicked. Again - amazing! Ben bought tickets for us three years ago for Valentine's day, but I was shocked at how much I had forgotten. It was just as thrilling the second time around! Broadway shows are my favorite form of entertainment!! The singing and dancing with a live orchestra and an interesting story line....lovely! Just pure joy for the senses!! I'm not sure Ben feels as passionately about them as I do, but he does find them interesting and entertaining.

Two dates down; 10 more to go!! Thanks Mom and Dad :)

February 23, 2010


This is how a typical night goes in the Johnson household:




February 18, 2010

When I Think of Winter....

...I think of Tangerines!

My parents have a Tangerine tree in their back yard and I have been enjoying the fruit between the months of December and February for the past 22 years of my life. With all the rain and cold weather we've had this year, they are so especially sweet!

They have become Sadie's new favorite food. She eats a good 5 or 6 of them every time we visit. She can peel her own and even spit the seeds out. Although, sometimes she spits the whole section out with the seed. Opps! She loves being able to throw the peelings and seeds on the ground.

February 15, 2010

The End of an Era

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of taking walks to the 'Ag Farm' to feed the animals with the stale bread in the house. The 'Ag Farm' is a small agricultural farm associated with the schools that was only a block from our house. Over the years we've watched pigs, peacocks, ducks, donkies, cows, sheep, goats, and turkeys fight over our snacks.

And now, we adopted the tradition of walking Sadie down there each time we visit the Homestead (my parent's house). It's Sadie's favorite activity! As soon as I get her out of the car she beelines it for the farm instead of their house.

During our visit to the farm a month ago we were shocked to discover the animals were gone! All of them. There wasn't even a chicken we could feed. My mom and I decided maybe they moved them due to the unusually cold weather we've been having lately.

Each week we've gone back to check for their return and each time we come home carrying our delicious bread - no animals! This past week a kind woman stopped to inform us that they sold all the animals! The woman who ran the farm was retiring and the county saw this as an opportunity to save money and so they shut down the farm.

To say we were shocked was an understatement. We kept our composure, for Sadie's sake, but I think my mom and I wanted to have a good cry over the atrocity. This was a favorite tradition in our family and one we fully intended to continue!

But, I won't go down without a fight!! I'm going to sent a letter to the county to get more information and maybe even start a petition to bring them back. What is the world coming to?

(My Mom and Sadie shown above in front of the Ag Farm)

(Sadie waiting and waiting for the animals to show up.)

("Where'd the animals go?")

Settling Down In Life

Disclaimer: This blog has become a type of journal for me, so even though this post may not be interesting or entertaining I wanted to write down what we did so I won't forget.

We had a lovely Valentine's day! Maybe the best ever, even though we really didn't do anything. Weird, huh? I think what was so nice was that Ben was actually home and I especially appreciated it due to his frequent absences lately.

The morning was, I admit, a little hectic: lessons to teach, a fussy baby to juggle, and things to get done.

But then things started to improve....

Ben got home by 2:45 which is very usual and was a very pleasant surprise. I had just put Sadie down for her nap, and Ben and I were both able to a take nice, long nap together. Sadie didn't wake up until almost 5! :)

I made my favorite meal of all time: Lemon Butter Chicken. It was the best I've ever made! Oh, so good!!

Ben stayed up until midnight the night before making Creme Brulee. Another yummy (even though he thought it was a flop)!

We spent the rest of the night laughing and playing with Sadie and watching the Olympics. Sadie was in the best mood, I was in the best mood, and Ben was actually home. All our lucky stars lined up just right ;) It was truly heavenly, despite how uninteresting it sounds.

No gifts exchanged. No fancy adult dinner out. No expensive entertainment. Yet it was a positively perfect little moment in time. If I sound surprised it's because I am! We must be getting old or something :)

February 12, 2010

What's In A Name?

"Do you have a name picked out?"
"What's his name going to be?"
"A boy! What will you call him?"

These are questions that I frequently get asked lately. I wish I had an answer.

It was so easy with Sadie. Ben and I were driving home in separate cars, talking on the phone to each other, and we had just found out we were pregnant. The name Sadie clicked in my mind and I knew it was the perfect fit for her. I announced to Ben I had found the name and our search was over. He loved it from the moment it left my lips and the subject was never discussed again.

This time is different! The subject of a 'boy's name' has been discussed for years in our household with no promising results.

So, here are some of the ones that we are considering. Any opinions and thoughts are very much appreciated. I am purposefully leaving off details about who likes which name to prevent any bias ;)


February 08, 2010

Ben's Clarifying Comment

Have you seen Ben's sassy comment about my cruise post? This is it:

"Now for the true story... the boat you see in the background of the picture was not really ours, only the one we WISH we had booked. I'm sure that boat offers a bed for two, hot showers, more ice cream flavors than just chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry (and I bet they'd even put it in a cone with sprinkles on top at no extra charge), more to drink than luke warm water, freshly made food served at all hours of the day, table service, a ping-pong ball for the ping-pong table, a foosball for the foosball table, and probably even customer service."

"Ah but who needs all that - we LOVED our little boat, and our bunk beds, and our vanilla ice cream in a plastic cup, and our stale pizza with ketchup sauce, and being treated like 2nd class citizens because we stood in the wrong line and made reservations for the wrong restaurant, and our cold showers, and... I could go on and on..."

"In all reality, we truly loved not having any responsibility, not having any cell phone service, being able to relax and spend time together. The Bahamas were really fun and the on-board entertainment was pretty good. So all in all, we'd do it again, we'd just pick a different cruise line!"

Kind of witty, no? Especially for Ben! He's not usually so vocal about things. I must be rubbing off on him!!

So, for the record, yes, the cruise line we choose was awful but it was still a relaxing weekend!

Many lessons learned....as always.

What A Day!

Remember the photo contest from a couple months ago? Well, this past Saturday I cashed in on my grand prize....a day at the spa.

To add the to excitement of the day, on my drive to Sarasota I stopped in Tampa to meet a guy (found on Craigslist) to buy his two lenses and external flash. (For any photographers out there I purchased a Tamron 18 - 200mm and a Nikon 50 mm 1.8 lens with a SB600 flash). Also, Mike and Sarah and I struck a deal and so I am now the proud owner of their D200!! What a dream come true! This is something I have wanted for so long but never thought was possible. And it wouldn't have been possible without Mike and Sarah's expertise and generosity! Thanks guys :)

After that I headed to Sarasota with my trusty camera on the seat next to me which I frequently took my eyes off the road to look at.

Now, if you want the 'glass half full' story of the spa day...here it is:

It was such a relaxing, wonderful day. I was pampered and beautified to my heart's delight. A new woman has emerged and I am now better looking than I ever thought was possible. It was a dream come true!

If you want the whole truth, as Ben says I don't always share, here it is:

Now, was it was you would picture when you think of a spa? No! It was in fact a beauty salon with a nice, small little room in the back where they do facials and massages. But, I tried to keep my spirits high when I saw the po-dunk place.

Upon entering they informed me, rather unkindly, that I was an hour late. Apparently there was some confusion about the start time of the appointment. So, they told me their wouldn't be enough time to do the 'hair' part of the session. This was a sad moment for me as I had been looking forward to getting some cool hair-do for a day. But, again, I tried to stay positive as I reminded myself that it was free and this was still a 'once in a lifetime opportunity'.

So, they took me back to the nice, small little room in the back where we discussed my facial routine (which doesn't exist, but I tried to pretend like it did). I mentioned I was pregnant, which she said wasn't a problem!, and then she left the room so I could 'prepare' for my facial and massage.

The facial was lovely! It really, really was. I've only had one before, (thanks to Jaclyn and Tina), and I forgot how amazing they were.

So, after the facial she had me get dressed and go to the pedicure station. I'm thinking, "What about the massage?" But, I kept my mouth shut as I was far too relaxed to think straight.

Later the pedicurist informed me that because I was pregnant she couldn't do my massage! Aye! That was not the story she said the first time we discussed it!! I think the manager didn't like me (because she thought I was late) and they kept trying to cut my free session down with any excuse they could find. It was very disappointing!

So, in the end I had my facial, pedicure, and manicure. It was still nice and relaxing, but my $250 package only ended up being $120 worth of services. Also, it was the massage and hair-do that I was most looking forward to.

I just kept telling myself - at least it's free.

So, that's the whole truth. A little disappointing, but still worth the drive.

As I headed back to my car I remembered I had my D200 waiting for me, and then the sun began to shine again :)

February 01, 2010

My Long-Lost Friend

This is Ben:

Ben works a lot lately. It's his 'busy season'.

I don't like Ben's 'busy season'.

They say "Absence makes the heart grow stronger".

But, my heart was already plenty fond of his heart.

This is Ben's little one:

She keeps me company.

Her goal is to keep me so busy I don't have time to miss Ben.

She does a pretty good job of it, too!

This is Ben's little, littlest one:

He makes me tired.

His goal is to make me tired and sleepy so I can dream about how one day Ben's 'busy season' will be over.

And then we'll be a family again.