Thursday, December 30, 2010

happy 5th birthday, little ladybug girl!

My baby is 5 today! She's an inquisitive, excitable, active, wonderful 5 year old, and we are very happy and thankful she is part of our family!

Five years ago today...Mr. BikeMan was preparing to deploy just two days after our Little Ladybug Lady was born.

Ilsa woke Mr. BikeMan and me up around 6:30 this morning, ready for her special day to start.

Yes, Ingrid is as moody today as she looks in this picture. She's having a hard time yielding the spotlight to the birthday girl.

Ilsa got her wish of a new dollhouse for her birthday, and a Baby Stella baby basket for her favorite dolly.

Ingrid found every ladybug item that Ilsa owns, and created a ladybug display to help her celebrate her birthday.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

a nice quiet week

So, here it is 7:45 am on the Tuesday morning after Christmas. The girls are sitting on the couch eating dry cereal and watching a DVD (it's Christmas break after all -- a time to let the rules sort of lax, huh?). I'm drinking coffee out of my new stainless coffee tumbler (green of course) from Mr. BikeMan. It was definitely time to replace the old, trusty one. The bottom fell off last month. It almost matches my green new iPod Nano. I've finally entered the 21st century and have an mp3 player! It made standing for 4 hours cooking Christmas dinner go by a lot faster.

The hits this year were Ilsa's space pop up book, the "Rainbow in Your Room" rainbow projector and one of those big pillows with arms on them that allow you to sit up and read in bed. Ingrid seems to be most fond of her Doctor Who Visual Dictionary, a fashion design template kit and mermaid-ponies castle (don't's ridiculous).

The big, threatening snowstorm that was supposed to immobilize the Greater Washington DC area on Christmas night never hit. We got a dusting that looked like powdered sugar on a pastry, which was really, really pretty, but that's all. I love snow, but after seeing what has happened to the upper East, I'm thankful that we didn't get the slamming that was predicted.

Next comes Ilsa's birthday on Thursday. Wow, she's going to be five. Can't believe it. I think I'm more excited to give her her gift than she will be to get it (well, I hope not, but I'm just so excited about it -- but I have to assemble it tonight. (Shhhhh. Don't tell her. It's a dollhouse.)

Hope all is well in your homes, and just as uneventful and pleasant as it is here in my home.

Friday, December 24, 2010

not that i'm waiting for it or anything...


It was almost brilliant. Really, really fun, but not my favorite Christmas episode. That distinction goes to The Christmas Invasion.

Merry Merry Christmas!

Signing off for a few days. I wish you all a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Can you spot the typo? This poster was proudly on display at a local Mickey D's drive-thru.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


A few weeks ago, we awoke to the sound of an ambulance siren halting in front of our elderly neighbor's home. That siren had been inevitable, of course, given how frail and elderly Ursula is.

Ursula had been a German war bride brought back after World War II. I bet she had amazing stories to tell. Problem is, I didn't think to ask her to share her stories, and now I won't have a chance to learn about her singular history.

Two weeks ago, Ursula fell. She was all alone in her home, but close enough to a telephone so that she could call 911. The rescue workers came, but couldn't get her door open, even with their "magic key". I had a chance to stand outside of her door along with a few other neighbors, speaking in hushed tones about how concerned we were for her. Ilsa was scared for her, and drew her a picture which I brought over before the door was opened by Ursula's daughter, who had to drive over from a nearby city.

Urusla is now in a nursing home, never to return to the home she shared with her now-deceased husband for 50-plus years. I wish I had taken the time to sit down with her over a cup of tea and get to know her. Sure, I brought her a loaf of bread once, and I spoke to her a few times, but is that being a real neighbor? I hope I learned my lesson.

Friday, December 10, 2010

a christmas decoration brag post

Ilsa's favorite ladybug ornament
Notice that The Doctor has decided to pay Christmastown a visit...typical because aliens always invade on Christmas on Doctor Who.

Ingrid's special ducky ornament

The tree...the new camera does a good job without a flash

The advent calendar -- I dug myself into a bit of a hole with this. I set the expectation last year of a little treat in each pocket every day. It's hard to be creative 25 days in a row and to not break the bank, too!


Our beautiful HABA nativity set. The newborn Jesus has yet to make his appearance. We hide it until Christmas Eve. I see the traditional penguins are paying a visit, as well.

Yeah, I guess that I'm bragging, but I think our house looks pretty good this year :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

real sonic screwdriver...honestly!

I apologize for the salty language in the comments, but I just HAD to post this link. British engineers at the University of Bristol are developing an honest-to-goodness working sonic screwdriver.

I am such a geek, I'm getting geekier and nerdier the older I get.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

heart attack

So, Mr. BikeMan was gone the entire month of November. He left November 1st and came home last night (December 3rd). Well, save Thanksgiving weekend, which wasn't planned.

So it was Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving. I had just finally settled down onto the couch to watch a movie on Netflix (that X-Files movie from last year -- hey, I never finished it...) when my cell phone rang -- Mr. BikeMan checking in at about 9:30 pm my time, 6:30 his. He asked me to do him a favor, to go outside and take an eye-ball measurement of the length of the chains on the tire swing because he had seen an "attachment" for the swing and wanted to know if it would work out. I opened the front door, and HE WAS STANDING THERE! 10 DAYS EARLY! I screeched. He startled me thoroughly! Ilsa must've heard the taxi door close or something, because she started to come downstairs. Mr. BikeMan wanted to keep it a surprise, so he ran around the corner and hid. Ilsa said, "Mommy, did I just see a man with a backpack downstairs?" Hahaha. I swept it aside and got her back into bed successfully.

He was able to stay with us the entire Thanksgiving weekend, and flew back out to Colorado Springs on Monday. Now I know why he had convinced me to buy a small turkey "just so that the girls get to have a little Thanksgiving on the actual day" (we were going to wait until he got home this weekend to have a family Thanksgiving meal). He must have known early in the week that he was going to come home early! Wheeee!

10 things for which I am thankful

I haven't made one of these lists in a while. It's about time I did. In no particular order:
  1. Mr. BikeMan is done with his month-long road trip. He came home last night!*
  2. Christmastime is here (queue Charlie Brown music...)
  3. I actually had the forethought to buy hats, mittens and scarves before the cold weather hit on Thursday.
  4. My girls are happily coloring together. In the same room. From the same box of crayons and pens. Wow.
  5. I have a hair appointment today -- mmmmm, the smell of an Aveda salon.
  6. Ingrid actually likes math now that we have pulled her out of the Spanish immersion program.
  7. Ilsa has been making her own books -- she just made her own counting book with the following pages: 1 Doctor (Who) with 1 TARDIS, 2 bad guys (a Cyberman and a Dalek) 3 ladybugs; 1 Ilsa, 2 flowers, 1 flower, the numbers 1, 2, and 3 and a Slitheen. LOL!!!!!
  8. I found the Christmas version of Cadbury Mini Eggs at the PX yesterday. Screeeee!
  9. When I put up the Christmas tree on Tuesday night, there was only 1 string of mysteriously dead tree lights in the box.
  10. I participated in my first NaNoWriMo and actually did it! 50,282 words in 30 days. The story is totally crud, and it's mine, and no one will EVER read it but me!

*See post "Heart Attack" for the whole story

first pets

The girls have been hounding us for a pet. We aren't in the position right now for any sort of high maintenance animal like a dog or cat, so we opted to get them a small goldfish tank. We each have our own fish:

Ilsa's pink Glo-Fish (which I just learned is a GMO fish - yerghhh) is Ladybug Star Candycane
Ingrid's spotted Guppy is Aquamarine Bubbles Candycane
Mr. BikeMan's Guppy is Hamlet
Mrs. BikeMan's orange Glo-Fish is Ophelia (see, I told you I was obsessed with Hamlet right now...)

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