Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merriest Happiest Christmas

Merry Christmas from me, Barry and Isla to all my bloggy friends, Facebook friends, in-person friends and in-person family and my Zumba pals!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bang tidy facts

Fact (said Dwight Schrute style.  If you don't know who Dwight Schrute is and how he says "Fact," then the rest of this post will be odd to you.): Isla has 4 teeth and she grinds them together constantly. 

Fact: This tiny little noise by this tiny little person and these tiny little teeth is driving two big people verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry crazy. 

Fact: I'm considering chopping my ears off if it continues.

Fact:  Isla is crawling now and I'm certain she will think her name is "No," not Isla.  Why is it babies always crawl towards things that will kill them (like outlets, Christmas lights and extension leads) and not towards safe things like their toys?  When she's crawling, she moves like the old people did on our Alaskan cruise honeymoon when the buffet opened (in case you're's pretty fast...but they only moved fast when there was a buffet involved...any other time it was a scene from The Walking Dead)!

Fact:  We are heading to West Virginia for Isla's first Christmas, so we celebrated our wee family Christmas last weekend.  Santa even came early.  He's a clever, fat man to know to come early, but he did.  And, Isla's very first Christmas pressie from Santa:

Now, she didn't play with this too long.  You see, I got a new robe from Santa, too.  So, the ribbon that was tied around my new robe proved to be THE BEST THING EVER in her eyes and therefore became her toy of choice. 

Here she is on one of her many adventures to the Christmas tree which she isn't allowed to play with, however, she was so enamored by the ornament in this photo, I hadn't the heart to yank her away from it:

Fact:  Cats love Santa hats.

Fact: Now that I can understand the Keith Lemon accent...I can't get enough of Celebrity Juice.  LOVE IT!  Now, that's bang tidy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Is it savoury?

Well, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Yes, I know I'm a week late, but I have a baby...who is teething...and refusing to sleep, so my blogging takes a back burner at times.  Anyway, I celebrated my 2nd Thanksgiving in Derry and Isla's first Thanksgiving EVER.  Last year, Barry and I didn't have Thanksgiving dinner, instead opting to eat spaghetti because I was working on Thanksgiving.  But this year, we decided to just do it.  Barry cooked a lovely Thanksgiving dinner and I ate it...and Isla ate it and Barry's mom and dad ate it. 

Preparing for Thanksgiving dinner here, however, proved challenging!  Specifically, trying to find pumpkin!  I wanted pumpkin pie and even got my mom to send me her very special, secret recipe for pumpkin pie that I was never getting EVEN over her dead body, but I got it! However it was not to be!  Barry and I searched high and low across the town for canned pumpkin...or fresh pumpkin...any pumpkin would have done, however it did not come to pass.  No where had it.  In fact, most people looked at us as if we had four heads when we asked for it and it was usually followed by the question: "So, pumpkin pie?  Is it savoury? What is it?"  After I explained what it was, the facial expressions didn't change much...they still looked repulsed lol.  You just have to try it!  You'll like it citizens of Derry, I promise!!!

The "Is it savoury?" question was usually quickly followed by..."So, what is Thanksgiving anyway?"  And my response was..."well, you know...just give thanks and all that...and the harvest..."  Well, that was the best I could quickly get out and I know that sounds really dumb...I do!  NOW, before you say ANYTHING...yes, I do know what Thanksgiving is!  And, I could probably get out a very smart-sounding answer, but just taking the time to dive into my brain that deep to explain Thanksgiving just didn't appeal to me as I was searching for my sacred pumpkin.  Especially since Barry likes to turn it around and say, "Those poor Indians...didn't know what was coming...eating Thanksgiving dinner with you people before you stripped them of their land."  Come on!  Like I was there to personally do that!

After my lackluster Thanksgiving explanation, I was usually met with another question..."Now, Black that part of Thanksgiving?"  Now, this I can explain!  And, I this: "Oh, no not see.  Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and it kind of marks the start of the Christmas season because all the shops are open really early with these great you can get laptops and stuff for like $99.  It's great!  Once I was at Target and these two women just got into this massive fight over a jacket that was marked down from $100 to $5.  Stores sometimes even open late Thanksgiving evening for the Black Friday deals.  It's called Black Friday because that's the day the stores come out of the red and into the black...meaning they turn a profit."  And then, I take a deep breath.  I do realize my explanation of Black Friday and the depth of my explanation of Black Friday compared to that of my explanation of Thanksgiving is sinful and it makes me and my people and my country look like idiots!  I do...and I have no defense except to say...I love a deal and I hate being fat.  Black Friday gives me deals...Thanksgiving makes me fat. 

Enjoy our Derry Thanksgiving pictures 2012:

Here's my little turkey in the depths of her first turkey coma.  She slept three hours after eating turkey.  If I had known she would succumb to turkey...I would have been putting it in her bottle all along!

Our dinner:

I didn't get to do any Black Friday shopping, however, I did do a little Black Friday Karoake...and...I was brillant.  Take a look...never mind the weirdo beside me...she's just a stalker.  I was in the throes of Rush Rush by Paula Abdul here:

And, the Sunday following Thanksgiving.  Barry and I took our little turkey to get her very first picture taken with Santa Clause.  Look at the shape of that...who's worse...Isla or Santa?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pyjamas or Pajamas?

This past Friday, as part of BBC's charity, Children in Need, I hosted a Zumba Fitness party where people got sponsored to come to a Zumba class in their PJ's.  Now, here it is spelled, Pyjamas.  In America, it is spelled, Pajamas.  So, I've struggled on my daily Facebook posts on how exactly to spell it, instead settling for the universal and much more mature term: jammies. 

So, anyway, basically I got a bunch of people, including myself and my baby daughter (Barry refused) to go out in public wearing their snuggly jammies all for charity.  And, they so did...more than 50 men, women and children gave up their Friday night for charity. Not only did we go out in public in our jammies, but we did an hours worth of Zumba in them, too.  Here's the evidence:

Me and Isla

Barry and Isla.  Notice Barry's non-jammie get-up

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Isla hosted her first Halloween shin-dig this past Halloween by throwing what was to be a pumpkin-decorating party.  However, Tesco decided to not order enough pumpkins this year, so they ran out.  Perhaps we shouldn't have waited until October 30th to go shopping for pumpkins, but we did.  So, what was to be a pumpkin-decorating party turned in to a cupcake-decorating and scary mask- decorating party.

Let me give you a little math problem.  One house + 9 children between the ages of 8 months and 12 years old=Lesley with very high blood pressure at the mess made by 9 children and cupcake and mask making supplies. 

Anyway, it turned out to be a fun little afternoon where, yes, several messes were made, but, more importantly a bunch of little kiddos (technically it was Minnie Mouse, a Ninja, an Angel, a Police Officer, Snow White, Tigger and a few other kiddos) got to walk away with a teeny smile on their face mixed in with a little cupcake frosting...but, not to worry...the smiles and frosting were hid by their masks:)

Enjoy the picture story of this afternoon:
The before pic
Working on the cupcakes

A little mask decorating

More mask decorating

Baby Tigger

Cupcake anyone?
The after shots.  This blanket was thrown out.  There was more glitter, glue and sequins on it than on Liberace's finest cape.


After pic

Now, finish the joke:  So, an angel and Minnie Mouse walk into a bar...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The New York Stock Exchange or Taco Bell?

Last weekend, Barry, Isla and I, went to Liverpool and Manchester, England for a break.  It was my first trip to England and the fact that Manchester has a Taco Bell...well, that only made me want to go there more!

We arrived in Liverpool on Thursday morning and from the minute we arrived we didn't stop.  I'm one that likes to see everything...especially if it is somewhere I've never been before.  And, we saw just about everything you could see in 4 days: Both cathedrals in Liverpool, where the Beatles got their start (Matthew Street, the Cavern Club, etc.), Albert Dock, Liverpool One, Lime Street Station, the World Museum, the Liverpool Museum, and one of my favorites was the Tate Gallery.

The Tate Gallery had an especially exciting exhibit for me to see: The Monet, Twombly and Turner exhibit.  Monet is my favorite artist and getting to see the famous Water Lilies paintings among the others was just amazing.  Seeing the paint on the canvas, you can just picture him standing there in front of it putting the paint on it.  It really is cool.  At least for me!

Monet's House of Parliament

Monet's Water Lilies.
We ran in to a few interesting people in our hotel.  Here's one story:

Two women were waiting with us on the fifth floor to catch the elevator down to the Lobby.  One woman pushes the up button so "the elevator would know to come up for us."  I nearly had to clean my ears out when I heard it because I thought surely no one is that stupid. 

And, here's another story: 

Barry and I are on the elevator going down to the Lobby.  We stop on the 3rd floor and a man and a woman get on.  The woman gets on and turns to the left and faces the side wall of the elevator...nearly with her nose pushed up on the wall!  Barry and I just stood there in astonishment wondering what the hell she was doing.  But, her male companion was no better.  He stood by the elevator door and then wrapped his arms around his body, as if he was in a straight jacket, almost as if he was trying to keep the elevator doors from chopping his arms off even though he was miles away from the door.  We couldn't help but wonder was it perhaps their first time on an elevator? 

All this elevator talk brings me back to a major pet peeve of mine since having a baby. Why do people with perfectly good, working legs get on elevators when there are functioning escalators INCHES from the elevators!  They don't have prams...there are no walkers, wheelchairs or canes in sight, yet their legs apparently don't work so they have to litter the elevator with their lazy asses while people who can't use the escalators (us), because we have a pram, are forced to wait through five or more cycles of up and down elevator stops before getting an elevator with enough room for us!  It fries my brain!

We were at the World Museum in Liverpool and we were on the 2nd floor looking to go up to the 4th floor.  Both elevators in this Museum were non-stop busy but there were stairs there, too.  So after waiting on several elevators, each being filled to capacity (mostly with people without prams, wheelchairs, etc.), the elevator finally arrives and a woman with a pram gets off on our floor.  Score!  There is finally room for us on the elevator.  However, once the woman gets off, a man still on the elevator (with two working legs and no pram, wheelchair, etc.) has the audacity to push the doors close button before we have a chance to get on!  Barry, with his cat-like reflexes, pushes the up button again and the doors pop open and he rams the pram on the elevator.  My jaw dropped when the man was going up only one level.  He couldn't have even gotten off the elevator to walk up ONE flight of stairs to allow us with a pram on the elevator.  I realize sometimes you don't pay attention to things like that until you have to use an elevator all the time because you can't go on escalators, stairs, etc.  But, COME ON, a little common courtesy should come in to play here.

So, with that little bitchfest over, enjoy some Liverpool photos.  We actually did have a good time even though all I've done is complain so far in the blog post lol.

Chinatown arch

Liver Building

View from Albert Dock


At Albert Dock

Cathedral...or spaceship?

Outside the Cavern Club...where The Beatles got their start

View from our hotel

Barry kept saying,"Look at the helicopter." was a crane.

On Saturday, we took the train in to Manchester where we went to the Arndale Center and Taco Bell.  And, the cathedral and John Rylands Library...but, did I mention we went to Taco Bell?

So, we arrive at the Arndale Center Food Court where I'm greeted by my trust friend, Taco Bell.  I'm astonished first of all at the sheer size of the Arndale Center.  Massive.  With three Starbucks under one know it is huge.  The Food Court is no different and the crowds there...well, I've never seen anything like it.  I go to order my Taco Bell and it is sooooo freakin' hectic, I felt like I was on the New York Stock Exchange.  I was so rushed to place my order, I couldn't focus and get what I wanted.  So, in a moment of panic, I just blurted out, "Crunchwrap Supreme!"  Immediately, I said to myself, "What? A Crunchwrap Supreme????  What the hell!!! I would never order that!!!" But, it was too late.  The cashier had processed my order and the next one in line in the chaos was placing their order.  Now, I'm not stranger to crowds and I can generally keep up, but this was just shocking!  Anyway, I ate the Taco Bell and it was delish.

The Manchester Cathedral

At the Manchester train station

At the John Rylands Library...the oldest piece of the New Testament

On the train to Manchester.
And, this is just a pretty cup of coffee:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sexy Zumba lady and Happy Halloween

So, today was a normal Monday, which typically ends with a Zumba class in the evening.  Today was no different, except today was dress up day at Zumba.  Some people dressed up and took their costumes out for a test drive before Halloween on Wednesday and others played it safe and knew it would be too hot and sweaty to dress up in costumes for an hour long Zumba class. 

Barry and I cooked up a surprise for class tonight, which nearly didn't happen.  Why?  Well, this is how I spent my afternoon:

Barry:  Show me the steps again.
Me:  Gangnam style starts playing.  I show him the steps.  Barry follows.
Barry: Stopping abruptly.  No,  I can't do this.  No, that's it.  I can't.
Me: Come on!  I told people we had a surprise.  This was your idea you have to do it!
Barry: I don't care, I'm not doing it.  I'm shitting meself.
Me: Come on...its just a few seconds!
Barry: No.  Right, go on show me the steps again.

Anyway, some form of this conversation went on over and over again most of the afternoon.  Turns out Barry did follow through with the surprise and it went over really, really well.  What was the surprise?  In case you haven't figured it out yet....

HE DRESSED UP LIKE ME and did a few seconds of our warm-up song which, at the minute, is Gangnam Style.

Here's my handsome husband:
There's Barry on the left.  That's a dead Mario and Luigi on the right.  Dead because they crashed their go karts.

Here are some of the lovely Zumbies who sported their costumes in class tonight.
Aww...there's the Zumba baby in her first Halloween costume before class.  Scary witch!

And now...the grand finale...the VIDEO of Barry's Gangnam Style warm-up: