Friday, February 29, 2008

Itsy Bitsy Spider...

As word travels fast in this family some of you may already know this story. Last night i decided that i wanted a snack. It was about 8:00pm and Ben was in Atlantic City with some buddies from work all day and I headed into the kitchen to get a piece of pita bread. As i turned to get a plate, with pita bread in hand, a dark shadow caught my eye. Running across the floor, almost onto my bare feet, was a gigantic spider. This eight-legged monster was so big you could see it breathing, you could feel the breeze as he ran by, you could....well you get the picture...he was big. And fast. I let out a nice girly shriek encouraging Aida to come bounding in. I thought quick on my feet, like John Goodman in Arachnophobia, and grabbed the trash can and put it on top of him. To ensure his man-eating fangs would not take a liking to me before Ben returned home to play exterminator, I grabbed a cookie sheet and put it over the opening of the trash can. I then grabbed our biggest pot (cookware, not drugs) and stacked it on top of the cookie sheet, along with 4 yearbooks and a 5 pound bag of sugar. As I talked to mom about my near death experience I stood watch over the trash can convinced that the MacGyver spider would surely escape and hunt me down.
Ben returned home and read the "Huge Ass spider under trash can" note and proceeded to put on his superman cape as he offered to exterminate the beast. I warned him of the spider's stealth of foot and giant of stature. So he took off his manly cape (metaphor) and strapped on some high heels (metaphor again) meaning he put on the biggest boots and thickest gloves he could find. He apprehended the intruder and put his smooshed carcass in a snack baggy. And that is the picture you see below.

We are calling an exterminator.

Hide and go Pee

As many of you know, Aida likes to play hide and go seek with us. While she is distracted with a toy or one of us, the other one of us will go hide. Then we tell her to go get "mommy" or go get "daddy." She is really good at finding us, eventually. Well today we had a rousing game lasting about 20 minutes of back and forth hiding until we had an abrupt conclusion. Ben hid behind the door in the guest bathroom. I encouraged Aida to "find daddy" several times as she ran from room to room getting increasingly excited. She went into the bathroom a couple times, but didn't check behind the door. Then...she ran into the bathroom all squirmy and excitedly and instead of looking behind the door she squatted in the middle of the floor and proceeded to piss. And she created a rather spectacular sized puddle. I flipped on the light as I stepped, in my stocking feet, into an apparent squiggle design of pee she had created from the living room into the bathroom leading all the way to her great lake pee puddle. She was scolded, put in the kennel, and the game of Hide and go Pee was subsequently over.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ol' Crazy Eyes

Ben and I went to the eye doctor today and they dilated our pupils. Now it is after 5:00pm and our appointments were at 1:30pm and yet our pupils are still crazy dilated. We needed to go to the grocery store but we are procrastinating so as to not ensue suspicion that we are high on some kind of illegal substances.
Can't wait until I can see clear again. :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Happy Half a Year!

I am happy to report that Ben and I have made it through a half a year of marriage! Whoo hoo! I am a little embarrassed to say that I lost track of the dates. I didn't realize yesterday was the 24th, otherwise I would have posted this yesterday.
I know that 6 months isn't much, but for someone who has never been married, it's a big milestone :). Anyways, just thought I would share on our happy "anniversity" (plus 1 day).

Hope everyone has a happy week!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

How cute are my cousins?

I came across this picture from the wedding of Caleb and Sebastian cuttin' a rug at the reception. I thought it was cute. Enjoy!

Peppermint Penguins aka Froggy Swamp Muck

The last night Sara was here (Friday night) she was able to leave the conference early enough to come have dinner with us at the apartment. So after a long week for Sara she was able to relax for a little bit. Most nights she wasn't back until 10:30 or 11:00. She called me at about 5:30 to let me know that she was leaving the conference and if we hadn't eaten dinner that she maybe could eat with us. And of course with traffic around here at that time it took her almost 2 hours to get from the hotel to our apartment.
But it all worked out, and we had a spaghetti dinner with killer garlic bread and a salad. And we watched some TV and just relaxed. Ben made us all peppermint penguin drinks. They look gross (the first picture) but they taste yummy. We nick-named them Froggy Swamp Muck because that's pretty much what they look like.
It was really nice having a full "house" for so long. Aida certainly enjoyed the extra bodies in the apartment. She definitely used everybody as her personal toy throwers. And she's so cute you can't help but play with her.
We are looking forward to coming back in less than two weeks for my birthday. Hopefully the weather holds out back in Ohio and here. So we will be seeing you all soon!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar Eclipse of 2008

This first picture is towards the beginning of tonight's Lunar Eclipse.

This picture is about the time when the entire moon was eclipsed by the earth's shadow. Just the top right portion of the moon is still slightly exposed. You can also see the star Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo, in the bottom left corner. Pretty neat.

Ben and I had fun watching the Eclipse. We made hot chocolate in our cool hot cocoa maker that I got from Nathan for Christmas. And i sat with a wide open window, drinking hot cocoa, taking pictures until my camera's batteries died.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Hotel 'A La' Ben and Stephanie

Matt and Cat came to visit us this past weekend. We had so much fun. We made some new drinks (Peppermint Penguin) and some old favorites (Dirty Banana)...all were a big hit. We went out to eat at Cheeburger Cheeburger for lunch on Sunday. It is a fun restaurant based on the SNL skit. They have something like 70 different flavors of milkshakes, good burgers and salads. Then for dinner we tried a new restaurant called Ted's Montana Grill. Ben and Matt apparently turned into bandits from the wild west at some point during the dinner (see the third picture down). And Aida made a friend for life with Cat. Aida really liked Cat and Matt. She definitely didn't want them to leave this morning. After they had left, Aida just wandered around the apartment for awhile.
Overall it was a nice visit. We hope they come back again soon. I don't think I have laughed as much in a long time as I had this past weekend.
Sara is coming to stay with us this week because she has a conference in DC. So Sara should be arriving a little later today. It's nice to have so many visitors one after the other. And one of Sara's friends is staying with us also because of the conference...just for one night though.
The Hotel A La Ben and Stephanie...Come anytime. :)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ben worked on Valentine's Day this year so we didn't really do anything to celebrate. Friday I went to the grocery store and bought myself Valentine's flowers (the bottom two pictures). But when Ben got back from his running around that morning, he came back with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for me. He wanted to get red roses and mango calla lillies since those were the main flowers in my wedding bouquet. I thought that was sweet. :)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What a Deal!

As many of you probably know, Ben and I have started looking at houses this past week. We started our home search online on and from there contacted a realtor in the area who has given us a few more prospects. Despite the pushy world of realty, this realtor is actually quite nice and wasn't pushy at all, nor did she try to push beyond our "budget" price. Our biggest issue so far has been that of sticker-shock. Coming from Ohio, our views on a reasonably priced house lie somewhere in the vicinity of $125,000, or less, for a starter home. Here, we have yet to see a house priced in the $100Ks. And believe me, we aren't looking at huge new homes (well, I have, but just for fun)...we are trying to look at smaller homes but with a little bit of land-along the lines of 1/2 an acre or possibly more. Unfortunately there is nothing that would be deemed reasonable. Here is an example of a listing in Sterling, VA, around where we live now:

"Attention investors and handyman, 3 FIN LVLS. Cherry cabinets in kitchen. Home backs to woods. Anderson windows. Huge deck. Extensive water damage to basement and 1/2 of the first level. THERE IS MOLD IN THE HOME, The BANK MAKES NO WARRANTY AND IS NOT LIABLE FOR THE POTENTIALLY HARMFUL EFFECTS THEREOF, but the home is priced accordingly. GREAT BUY!"

Ready for the sticker price on this house of death? $350,000. And no I am not kidding. The lot is less than a quarter-acre. What a deal.
After we reluctantly passed up on this dream home, Ben and I looked out more towards the mountains in Round Hill, Va. We were mostly dissappointed. Although the houses looked nice and were a little lower priced, they were in newer crammed developments and the town center consisted of an old mini-mart. There wasn't even a gas station. Of course we don't have to buy a house right now (good thing) but we are still looking around. We found a few houses we are interested in up in Maryland. They are about an hour from Ben's work, but are slightly more reasonable, emphasis on slightly. But a big plus is they are about an hour closer to Ohio. :)
Like i said, we are just looking right now...I don't actually see us buying a house anytime real soon, unless someone is practically giving away their house. Yeah, that's not going to happen.