Not your basic popcorn shrimp

A few weeks ago while in NC, we went to a seafood restaurant on the recommendation of a local. “You’ve gotta go” he raved. My first clue to the quality of the food should have been the “Cleanliness Certificate” that hung in the lobby. This locale received a score of 90.4 out of 100. That’s an A- which is okay, right? But my mind raced back to the 7-Eleven we had visited a few days earlier. It also had its Cleanliness Certificate hanging up, back by the rotating hotdogs, with a score of 93.7. And, to tell you the truth, it really wasn’t all that spick and span. This 3 point difference made me apprehensive. Strike one.

My apprehension was lessened by a look at the menu. There were several dishes available and I was sure the food was going to be fresh. Plus, the prices were a little higher than our usual restaurant fare, and in the past, higher price has meant higher quality. However, my hopes were squandered once more as the waitress brought out plastic utensils and a breadbasket full of pre-packed sauces. I soon discovered that the food was served on plastic plates. Strike two.

I wanted to give the place a fair chance so I ordered the shrimp. A rarity for me, but something I try when I know it will be fresh. The menu described the shrimp as “steamed and served with a butter and garlic sauce.” Just the way I prefer it. Things were looking up.

My plastic plate came, filled with shrimp and a ketchup cup of butter…sauce. As I dipped my crustacean into the cup, my eyes seemed to fool me. “This looks too thick to be butter”, I thought. I lifted the shrimp to my mouth and took a bite. The taste of the sauce was familiar. Very salty. Very fake buttery. Very much like the stuff they squirt onto popcorn at movie theatres. Very much indeed popcorn butter. Strike three.

So the long and short of it is, I had steamed shrimp with two pumps of popcorn butter on a plastic plate in a place dirtier than the Sev down the street. And it wasn’t cheap. Heck, I think I would have been better off with a rotating hotdog.


Goodbye Workplace

About two weeks ago, I officially said goodbye to my workplace of three years. It was difficult, I won’t fib. I had a hard time packing up my office, handing my tasks and work product over to others, and leaving my office friends.


But life is full of change, and in this situation, its good change.


OBX dude!

Before real life began, we decided to take a little family trip to the Outer Banks, North Carolina. For years we have heard how great it is and have wanted to go, so go we went. For some reason, I thought it took around 14 hours to drive there from our home, so I was more than pleased to find out it only took 6. (However, I must quickly note that when I entered Outer Banks into the GPS, it said that it was 1000 miles away. My heart sank. We were to arrive at 6am the next morning! Then we recalled that for our last destination, we had turned on the "avoid highways" navigate button. After turning off the avoidance, the trip mileage was decreased by 600+ miles. Ahhh, a sigh of relief. Note to Ash - get to know geography better.)
6 hours later we were there, and we had a great time.

Our near-the-beach cottage

Oliver's first time feeling the ocean

I found a shark egg
The Hatteras Lighthouse
This is the life


Circadian Rhythm

I wonder what my sleeping pattern was like when I was a baby. Did I sleep well? When I was an infant, did I fall asleep as easily as I do now? Trust me, this post is going somewhere. As for sleeping, I have a history. My family knows well that I can fall asleep at just about anytime, anywhere. Take for instance; if Lima beans were on the dinner menu, I fell asleep at the table. If the siblings were enjoying Nintendo games at our brother-in-law’s house late into the night, I fell asleep near the sub woofers. One time, I even fell asleep in the act of pushing up my glasses.

Now I’m trying to teach my baby to fall asleep using the book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D., as my guide. Nearly every night I hear myself echoing some portion of the book to Jess:

“The book says that babies shouldn't get used to music…”

“But we shouldn’t do that because the book says not to.”

“The book mentioned that babies do that, and Oliver just did!”


Well, now the book is telling me this:

And I am trying to work it into Oliver’s schedule because I understand he’s got a rhythm. And he needs his sleep. This chart is a cinch to follow when I rock Oliver to sleep, no problem. But that is the problem, I rock him to sleep. The book teaches (there I go again) to allow him to learn how to soothe himself. So far, we are 0 and 100 or so with this method. Self-soothing is losing, and losing big. And every time it loses, I go back to the book for solace, a cause to which it never fails. Helpful hints are indicated along the way and they help me to persevere.

I’ll let you know if I succeed. And if not, I may resort to Lima beans or hope that there’s a gene for sleeping habits, and that mine is dominant.

A rare moment for Ollie, asleep


my fridge

In response to cheese on rye's post of if this fridge could talk, here's my refridgerator.

Newly Stay at Home Mom - Washington DC Metro Area - 3-person Household - making a goal to cook better


Living High(rise) on Life

So we did it, we live in a highrise. When the leasing agent asked me what floor I wanted to live in I answered, with the thought that I'd like to be able to climb the stairs to my home, "As low a floor as possible." To which he responded, "Wow, that's the first time I've ever heard that." So why do people want to live so high? Joe went on to explain to me that it's safer, further away from noise, and has a great view. And with the required floorplan only available on certain floors, we found ourselves in the double digits.

Living in a highrise is a little different from living in a basement. Wait, a lot different, starting with the amount of natural light we get to enjoy. Plus there's a rubbish shoot for your trash. Yep, a rubbish shoot. Does anyone else find that interesting/odd/curious? A great idea.