Saturday, July 31, 2010

Show-and-Tell #47: Cinderella

It's official, Emerson now owns her first Barbie. Well, sort of!!  It's a Cinderella, but we will just say it's a Barbie.  Danny was out of town this week and with every return home, means a new present for Emerson.  Danny usually has no free time when he travels and airports aren't the best place to shop for items that will put a smile on a toddler's face.  So, thanks to our friend Jen's great suggestion, Danny has started buying Emerson's presents before he even leaves for his trip and then putting them in his car.  (We haven't quite made it to the level Jen is at, with a basket of presents in her garage for Daddy to choose from, but with Danny's upcoming travel schedule, we might need to start one!)  So as you can imagine, Emerson was super excited to take her Cinderella to school this week for Show-and-Tell (Sans shoes, Mommy was too scared they wouldn't make it home!).

Show-and-Tell #47
July 30, 2010

Decluttering The Devers - July 2010

A couple of weeks ago, when I opened the refrigerator to make Emerson's lunch, I was alerted of an exploded soy sauce bottle leaking all over the back of the fridge and all the way down to the bottom.  There was soy sauce everywhere, even in the refrigerator light!  I took everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, out of the fridge so I could clean up the mess.  I took out all the shelves and the drawers and wiped down every inch of that fridge; it was a mess and a big undertaking. It might have been a blessing in disguise, because I can't tell you the last time I cleaned my fridge.  But through it all, I completely ignored the condiments organizers on our fridge door.  I guess I figured since they didn't get the soy sauce soak, so I would tackle it at some other time (not to mention, I had a toddler that was very eager to help but needed a nap BAD and Danny was conveniently playing golf).

So,fast forward to two weeks ago when we brought home the groceries after our normal Sunday morning Target run.  Out of necessity for space, it was finally time to tackle all of our condiments.  We had stuff in their from before Emerson was born...G - ROSS!!  I tried to find a picture of our door before (I didn't decide until the middle of the project that this would be my "declutter" for the month), but I couldn't find one.  Here's a look at all the items we got rid of.  And, since I won't let anything go in the trash if it can be recycled, I owe my husband a big thank you for being the official "pourer outer" and having to see and smell everything (yuck!).  (Remember, he DID get out of cleaning the fridge a few weeks earlier, but this was, by far, worse!!)

And here is the door after we threw away all of our old condiments (again, sorry there is no before picture).  This is so much better!!!  I really can't believe how many condiments we got rid of....what a waste!!  I will certainly label all of my condiments now!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Show-and-Tell #46: Toddler-Sized Dora

It's becoming more and more difficult to find Show-and-Tell items in our house that haven't already been taken to school or wouldn't require searching through a basket full of toys.  So, Friday morning, our 46th Friday of Show-and-Tell, when Emerson said she wanted to take her "Big Dora" for Show-and-Tell, I chuckled a bit, and then said, "Sure, why not!"  You may remember Dora was given to Emerson by Betsy, a close family friend, this past Christmas.  Emerson immediately made Dora a fixture in her crib that day during nap and later in the week Dora brought comfort as Emerson slept in a big girl bed for the first time at our holiday beach getaway.  Dora has been a staple in the house since then and has watched over Emerson every night while she slept. And, this past Friday, she accompanied Emerson to school for a day of fun, play, and Show-and-Tell!!
Show-and-Tell #46
Toddler-Sized Dora
July 23, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sometimes Dogs Aren't Always Man's Best Friend...

Some of you may remember a post I wrote back in November about our wonderful dog, Hogan.  This cutie right here...the angelic, looks-like-he-wouldn't-hurt-a-fly dog.

Well, Friday, Hogan quickly went from lovable dog to not-so lovable dog in a matter of seconds.  I walked in from a nice dinner to find my shoes, my Coach shoes I might add, like this:

Expletives!!! Expletives!!!

Oh Hogan, how fast you went from friend to foe.  My favorite work shoes, you know the ones you can wear all day, the ones I could walk all over NYC in, were ruined.  Unbelievable....guess the only positive is that I get a shoe shopping trip out of it, but I so loved those shoes!  Rats!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Cellist

This past May, my mom and I travelled to New York City to see my fabulously talented cousin, Alice, make her first "Off-Broadway" debut.  You may remember my previous blog post about our whirlwind trip for 36 hours in the city.  Within that blog post I mentioned an impromptu photo shoot we did with my cousin on a New York street in the meatpacking district.  I promised I would post more of the pictures later but, well you know, life got in the way.  So, two months later, I am finally getting around to editing them and putting them on my blog.  And, hopefully soon, they will make their debut on Alice's new and improved website, Ten Strings Music Studio.  I guess that would be my official photography debut (ha!).  So, without further very lovely, funny, and extremely talented cousin, Alice, the cellist!!!

Emerson's three-year check-up

Emerson had her three-year check-up yesterday morning.  Well-child visits are so much easier and happier than sick-child visits to the doctor.  Emerson's three-year check-up was different than any other well visit we've had before.  This visit, Emerson was big enough to stand on the scale herself, instead of being sat on the pediatric table scale.  She also got measured like all the other big kids, standing with back and feet against the wall, and didn't have to lay down on the table to be measured.  Emerson also did a vision test, you remember those, put one hand over your eye and say the letters or symbols....Emerson passed with flying colors.  The nurse took Emerson's blood pressure, that was the first time Emerson had ever had her blood pressure taken.  The blood pressure cup was so cute and small.  Dr. Dunk came in to do the exam, but first she had Emerson stand on each foot and balance, draw both a circle and a line, and jump up and down.  She talked with me a bit and answered some of my questions and then examined Emerson, and that was that!  Dr. Dunk's Conclusion:  She's growing great and looks perfect (nothing we didn't already know, right!)!!!  It's hard to believe that in all three years of Emerson's life, I don't have a picture of her and Dr. Dunk.  I have several of her at the doctors office, but none with Dr. Dunk.  So, Dr. Dunk was kind enough to take a picture with Emerson. We love Dr. Dunk; thanks for being such a great pediatrician the past three years!!

Emerson's three-year stats:

Height: 38.25 inches (75th percentile)
Weight: 37 lbs. (90th percentile)
Blood pressure (new stat to add): 88/46

Friday, July 16, 2010

Show-and-Tell #45: Beemer

I feel like we take a stuffed animal to school every week for Show-and-Tell, be it a puppy, a bear or even a sea lion.  (Mental note: don't buy Emerson any more stuffed animals!)  Emerson got this cutie from her Auntie Di, Uncle Ed, and her cousin, Corey for her very first Christmas.  She also got a hat with it that read, Future BMW Driver.  We quickly named this dog, Beemer (again, originality isn't our forte in the Dever household).  Emerson decided to take Beemer with her to the doctor this morning and then he accompanied her to school for Show-and-Tell.  At least when she asks to take Beemer to school, we know that it's just the dog.....let's hope in 13 years she doesn't want to take a real Beemer to school!!!

Show-and-Tell #45
July 16, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Show-and-Tell #44: The Sea Lion

Emerson had a lot to celebrate last Friday at school on her birthday.  But, even though it was her birthday, we still took a Show-and-Tell item.  Emerson decided to take her new sea lion stuffed animal that Danny and I brought back from San Francisco.  I bet you can't guess what we named the sea lion?  Frisco!!!  Yeah, we're real original around here!!!  Emerson also took some cupcakes formed into the shape of an ice cream cone (thank you Target!), since that was the theme of her party the next day.  I think Emerson had a great day at school and loved celebrating her real birthday in her new "Big Girl" class.  She moved up at the beginning of last week.

Show-and-Tell #44
The Sea Lion
July 9, 2010

Napa/Sonoma, Day 4

After Day 3 of our trip and two full days of drinking wine, we were ready to make Day 4 a very casual day.  It also happened to be July 4th, so we assumed many places wouldn't be open.  Our plan was to go into Napa and explore (read: shop) a bit and then have a late lunch at Mustards.  After shopping for a bit, we headed toward Oakville Grocery to check it out and buy a couple of items. They seriously have some of the biggest and thickest cookies I have ever seen, and they were so good!!!  Oakville Grocery is the cutest "Little Country Store" and has, surprisingly, been around for 120 years.  I could have spent hours in there just people watching and perusing their gourmet goods.

Danny, Diane, and I were the only shoppers of our group that went to Oakville, so we had some time to kill before meeting the rest of the group (who were back at Hurley's enjoying a cocktail).  We decided to drive around a bit and see some of the vineyards we had missed the day before.  Danny was really excited when we came across the entrance to Opus One, one of his favorite wines, so we pulled in for a quick drive-by.  We quickly did a couple more drive-bys before heading to lunch at Mustards.  

We met the rest of the group for lunch at Mustards Grille; it was sooo good.  I highly recommend it!!!  I am sure if we ever go back to Napa, we will certainly go back to Mustards or even try one of Cindy Pawlcyn's  other restaurants.  After lunch, Danny and I said our goodbyes to the group and then hit the road 
for San Francisco.  

Since Danny and I had a very early flight on July 5th, we headed back to San Fran for an evening there.  On the way there, Danny and I decided we would head down to the Fisherman's Wharf area to take in the fireworks and do some exploring.  

The Bay Bridge

Alcatraz from the Bay Bridge

Little did Danny and I know, the rest of San Francisco had the same idea we did about Fisherman's Wharf.  I think the entire city was headed there for fireworks and fun.  Danny and I got stuck in about an hours worth of traffic, then paid $30 to park, walked about a mile and a half, and finally made it to the Wharf...oh and it was freezing!!!  So, needless to say, we didn't stay there long.  We walked around a bit, saw the sea lions and seals (found out that both of them hang out at the pier), got some more pictures of Alcatraz and bought a couple souvenirs.  We were freezing and ready to head back to the car and get out of the cold and crowd.

After we left the cold and crowd, we decided to do one more touristy thing.  We headed to Lombard Street to wind down the infamous road and "America's Crookedest Street".  It was actually a pretty cool experience.  We had a great time going down some of the VERY STEEP roads that surrounded that area.  I really don't know how people in San Francisco do it, the roads are steep.  The views were great but we didn't hang around for the fireworks.  We decided to skip out, the traffic was horrible and we were tired.  Oh well, maybe that gives us an excuse to go back.  

We had such a great time.  It was so hard for me to leave Emerson, but I know it was a good thing for me to do.  It is so important for Danny and I to get away every now-and-then together for some alone, adult, married time.  We spend so much time focusing on her, sometimes we forget about US.  It was nice to spend time with Danny and enjoy a great vacation, great food, great wine, and great friends.  We are so happy we were invited and can't wait to go back.  Until the next trip....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Napa/Sonoma, Day 3

After day two of our trip in Sonoma, we were all ready to see and compare the difference between Sonoma and Napa wine.  We heard the rumors (Napa thinks they are better than Sonoma) but were ready to see it for ourselves firsthand.  Danny planned a pretty full itinerary for the day, including a picnic lunch at one of the wineries.  We also hired a driver for our Napa adventure and it was a good thing; our first stop involved my favorite drink...BUBBLY!!!

Schramsberg is known as "America's House of Sparking Wine" and they sure lived up to the name.  This was recommended to us by so many people, we just had to see if for ourselves.  We arranged a private tour and tasting for the group and it was worth every penny.  Mary, our Schramsberg tour guide, did a fantastic job telling us all about the rich history of the property and the Schramsberg name.  She was a great story teller.  We learned of how Schramsberg is a favorite of the White House and has been served at numerous state dinners.  Mary also gave us a tour of the "infamous" 120 year old sparkling wine caves.  After our educational tour, which was awesome, it was time to start tasting wine.  We had our own private tasting room and Mary did a great job explaining all the different types of sparkling to us and even teaching us how to "pop the top" quietly, in case you ever want to sneak a bottle into the movies!!  We were so impressed with their sparkling wine and even their Cabernet, we signed up for the wine club (or maybe we were just drunk).  I guess that's how they get you, they have you do the tasting and then ask you to join their wine club.  After joining the wine club, I tried to convince Danny to buy me a riddling rack (see pictures below); my new obsession!!!  I love the history they carry and think one would look great on my wall.  Anyway, I digress!  We all piled back in the van, very HAPPY and giddy (I might add),  and then we were off to our next stop.  


Our next stop was Frank Family Vineyards, owned by Rich Frank, a former Disney executive.  Our driver, Dan, suggested this vineyard.  He thought it would be a great stop after our bubbly expedition and a great place to picnic.  Dan was right, the Frank Family stop was awesome.  We had a great time at Frank Family and due to my tenacity, we were given a private tasting.  Rich, our tasting guide, was walking through the tasting room and I knew he looked important.  So, I just asked him, "Are you the wine maker?"  He quickly saw our group, and how fun we would be, and whisked us into a private tasting room.  Needless to say, he wasn't the wine maker but we had so much fun with Rich anyway.  He was such a good sport to put up with our group and he gave us all a great tasting.  After our tasting, we ventured outside for our picnic.  It was perfect; great food, wine, company, scenery, and weather!!

Frank Family

So, I faded fast after Frank Family, the bubbly at both Schramsberg and Frank Family got to me, and I developed a bad headache.  Luckily I got rid of it, but it took two tastings that I didn't partake in or get many pictures of.  Silver Oak was our next stop for the day.  Silver Oak is a great winery and well-known.  Danny said it was just okay and wasn't as impressed as he thought he would be.  I walked around and took some pictures while the group tasted...and that is pretty much all I can say about this stop.  I told you, I didn't feel good at all.  Just wait, our next stop is even worse....

Silver Oak

Our next stop was Hill Family Estate's tasting room.  This tasting room was actually in the small city of Yountville and not at the actual vineyards.  I opted out of this tasting and sat on the couch the entire time.  Everyone else had a great time, but they weren't that impressed with the wine.  So, needless to say, this was a pretty fast tasting, and I only got two pictures.  This is the only one that turned out...

Hill Family

After the Hill Family, we decided to skip Domaine Chandon (our last stop of the day) and go to the Yountville park for some outdoor relaxation before our dinner reservation at Hurley's restaurant.  We had a great dinner at Hurley's.  Napa really is a culinary mecca with great food and of course, GREAT WINE!!  Day 3 of Napa was a success, besides the splitting headache that finally went away!!

My favorites from the day!