Archive for June, 2008

First off, what a weekend! I feel so alive, these are the days I live for. This is what makes the daily grind so worth it all. We had a very eventful weekend indeed. But, I’m only going to post about Friday because it includes our trip to Red Robin!

So what kind of name is Red Robin exactly? It kinda implies that the early bird gets the worm, I guess but I still wonder how in the world the founder came up with the name. Did he say, well I like the color red and I really like robins, so how about Red Robin? I mean seriously, don’t you ever wonder how stores, restaurants, etc.. get their names. As a child I used to wonder who decided that the sky would be the color blue and not green or why grass was called grass and how it got its name. Language has always intrigued me. Anyway, let me get back. Ya gotta watch me, I like to jump into a string of tangents whenever possible.

It appears, I’m not the only one interested in knowing the story behind the name and it also appears, I’m not too far off either!

A few months ago I had noticed that the Smokey Bones Restaurant near the mall had closed down and that a new one was entering its place. At the same time, I noticed a TON of commercials for a Red Robin. I was utterly confused why we were having commercials for a restaurant that was no where near us. When we went home, I mentioned (seriously I was perplexed) to Bryan’s mom and asked her if she knew if they had any locations in NC. (We occasionally get local commercials for the Wilmington area, even though its in another state and over an hour away. Well, when we got back from Marion, low and behold if we didn’t find out that those commercials were because a Red Robin was showing up at the old Smokey Bones location! I knew there had to be a reason!

Okay, fast forward a couple of weeks and Bryan lands passes for 4 to an opening trial run. As a veteran food industry employee in VA and elsewhere, I have to say Myrtle Beach is queen of the opening trial run, its practically standard and something I have never seen anywhere else…of course, I have mainly worked Mom and Pops places as opposed to corporate and this might be why there are so many here. But eh, with Bryan in the industry and the amount of free passes we get, I WILL NOT COMPLAIN! It’s quite lovely actually.

Alright, so we went with Agnes and Bill, our wonderful neighbors, our family away from home. And our reaction was….pretty good, not great, but worth a try! My main complaints were the noise level in the restaurant, which I think were caused by a large amount of employees toppled with the restaurant’s high ceilings and open floor plan because there wasn’t a huge amount of folks dinning while we were there. My other complaint was the amount of mayo on my burger, it was overkill and ruined the flavor of the Pineapple on it and the burger was missing a tomato- as were all over our burgers actually. However, I think that was due to the salmonella scares.

Now on to what was awesome at this place! The spinach/artichoke dip was extremely good! Along with the endless freckled lemonade (strawberries are in the drink and it is very YUMMY!)
The fries are ‘bottomless” too, meaning 2nds or 3rds, but let’s hope not. My personal favorite, a Raspberry Milkshake, reasonably priced – something I will be back for since Raspberry is an ice cream flavor I have lots of trouble finding!! Bryan’s favorite was The Royal Red Robin Burger he says it was killer- with fried egg and bacon to boot.

The menu is small but appetizing and offers a little of something for everyone. And get this, according to the June issue of Parents Magazine, the restaurant ranks in the ‘Top 10 Best Family Restaurants’ that are kid friendly and provide good eats for kids at the same time, say goodbye to fried macaroni and hello to a side of fruit! And I have to say the atmosphere was very Kid-vibe good and especially when the Red Robin mascot makes an appearance, even Garrett seemed intrigued!

Overall, I think we’ll be back, especially as Garrett gets older. Red Robin gets an A from us!

Now, what was next you ask? To tell ya the truth we were pooped at this point, full and tired from a busy day running around and working. We headed home and were ready to call it an evening, when Agnes and Bill insisted we come back for drinks at their house. Bryan was ready to say goodnight, but I figured hey, why not its only 7:30!!! So with Garrett, the 3 of us headed across the street and found ourselves consumed for the next 3 hours in a game of Mexican Train!

I had never played the game before, neither had Bryan- but we found a great new game and really enjoyed ourselves. It reminded me of old times at my pawpaw’s when everyone sat around and played Rook and I moved in and out between everyone checking out their hands. It was a lovely family tradition and this game made me want to give Garrett a memory similar to my own. Except, for those of you who don’t know, Mexican Train is played with domino’s and a special center piece for holding the ‘trains’. The concept is to go out before your opponents by creating a train and there are 13 rounds. (We only made it 4 rounds before it was time to put Garrett to bed). For a better understanding of the game, check this out. I promise you won’t regret giving this game a try.

Of course, maybe it’s because I was winning every round….


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On Borrowed Time

Yeah!! I have a friend! Thanks for the vote Leanne! (btw, Bryan likes threeamigos, should we include it?)

I was starting to think it was a lost cause, maybe I’ll get some votes now….hint, hint…..

Anyway, thought I would let everyone know I’m not slacking or wallowing in self pity (from lack of votes) its just been a busy weekend and has only begun (we have a cookout planned tomorrow), but I PLAN to write tomorrow and Monday. It’s just too late now and I’m pooped!

So again- please, please surprise me with some votes tomorrow? Do I have to beg, people?

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Well, that’s only if you guys help us out. We have been wanting to set up a new email ever since Garrett arrived. For one reason or another, we hadn’t come up with anything or actually set into motion creating a new one. The process is way simple and yet we hadn’t done it. So, I thought I would run a poll on the best email address for the 3 of us. What a better way to get the ball rolling, heh?
We want something fun and unique, but I’m absolutely lost on creativity today!
Hope you guys can help!
So far I’ve come up with the following:
Which do YOU like best?
Please leave a comment with your favorite!
1. vernon3
2. vernontrio
3. theverntrio
4. twobsandag
Not that eye catching, huh? Maybe you guys can give us some suggestions? If you have something better, we would love to hear it!
Mommy Vern

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I really want to simply share some blessings Bryan and I have regarding Garrett. I think well enough time that I say that, because too often I find myself complaining about the things we don’t have or the what if’s and I really need to take the time to soak in how blessed we are.

Blessing #1 :
Bryan’s schedule is very grueling and at the same flexible. He goes in most days around 2pm and gets home between 11:30- 12:30 at night. I’m fairly used to this, although I do miss when I used to cook dinner every night for him. Yet, it is because of this very schedule that I am able to work part-time and we can afford not to get a babysitter. Getting a sitter or sending Garrett to daycare would be awful in my opinion. I’m not fond of the thought of anyone keeping him until he’s over the age of 2 or 3, unless its family. I don’t have any particular reasoning for this, I just don’t like the idea. So, point is Bryan gets to keep him and I go to work for about 7 hours every other day. If we need a certain day to change, Bryan’s boss is very cool about changing things around and he tries to give Bryan an extra time off that he can since he knows we have the little one.

Blessing #2:
I have a very lenient job! Although, by no means a well-paying one, it benefits us by giving us extra money on hand and doesn’t leave Bryan with the sole responsibility and burden of providing for all our bills. I am able to go to work at any hour so long as I get my job done. It isn’t what I want to do for the rest of my life but it works for now. I am able to work 20-25 hours with our arrangement a week. I couldn’t imagine going back to work full time and leaving Garrett. (I just read about this on another blogger’s page, called The Daddy Files.)

Blessing #3:
With our schedule so crazy, it’s natural that Bryan and I rarely have time together, we usually are anxious to get in ‘ME’ time before we get to ‘US’ – its a must, this way we are recharged for one another and not snappy with each other. Well anyway, along with the ‘ME’ time, we have to get chores and tasks around the house done. Somethings, unfortunately are impossible to accomplish with baby in tow. The main loser to this equation ends up being our once beautiful lawn and flowerbeds. Before baby, Bryan maintained the yard and I the flowerbeds. Today they are a sight for sore eyes. Bryan has tried 2 times to get outside to mow, all to be beat by rain once I arrive home from work. On Monday, the 3rd attempt, the lawn mower wouldn’t start. He was ready to borrow the neighbor’s when it began to rain again!!! Yesterday, as I was upstairs I heard a lawn mower and thought, “Hmmm…is that coming from our yard?” I ran downstairs and went outside and there was our neighbor mowing OUR front yard for us. I ran toward him and tried to convince him otherwise, with no luck whatsoever. So, I told him he couldn’t mow the backyard or Bryan would have my head! What is even more amazing, Bill is over 70 and mowing our lawn. (He’s in pretty good shape, though) I felt bad but really blessed, too because they are always doing so many things for us. They are our family here and without them we would be in trouble.

Obviously, we have many many more blessings than that…but these are the ones I wanted to share at the moment. I have been ‘counting my blessings’ everyday since Garrett has been born. Funny what a little person does to the soul. 🙂

Side note: Bryan received some passes to try the trial run of ‘The Red Robin Restaurant’ opening up near the mall. In honor of all Bill and Agnes do for us, we are taking them along with us on Friday. Bryan and I have never been to this restaurant before, so be ready for a full review! I’m looking forward to our outing as a family!

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Last night, my older brother called to let me know he was leaving tomorrow (today) for his missionary trip to Bolivia. I had completely forgotten, well that isn’t true, the days had just sneaked up on me.
I am so thrilled that he has been taking part in missionary work. Last year, he visited Peru and helped build a water supply tower for a local orphanage. I am unsure what his work will require this time, but I do know that he mentioned that the area they are visiting in Bolivia was recently hit by horrendous flooding. I am interested to hear more and to see pictures, I tried to get him to put me on the email list so I could keep abreast of his whereabouts and happenings, but he seemed to believe they would be too busy to be able to promise me that he could. Understandable. But, I am a bit worried as much as I am excited. For this trip, he had to undergo a round of various shots- malaria and hepatitis to name a couple.
I tried to pull up a little information on the area last night and again this morning because I wanted to know more about it. Unfortunately, I was unable to find much- this is about it:
Distance: 185 Kilometers away from Trinidad A town of Movima, Cayubaba, Trinitario and Yucare origin. It is located in the center of Beni; it presents different geo-morphologic formations that range from an alluvial plain to gallery woods and mount foot. It has innumerable navigable rivers like Yacuma, Apere, Rapulo and Cavitu. It is also the reserve of the biosphere managed by Beni Biological Bio – Station. In the zone there are abundant medical plants that have called the attention of transnational laboratories.
(There’s tons on the weather! Obviously it must get flooding quite a bit.)
A couple of pictures I found on the Internet:
This I suppose is the local town? (Apparently its very remote,
cellphones do not work there, but they are bringing along a satellite phone)
This one is of a Jesuit mission church that has apparently been restored.

Here’s a map of Bolivia, Santa Ana is located in the Beni region.

(My brother is flying into Santa Cruz, I suppose his trek into Santa Ana should be fun!)
For a better view of the map, you can make it bigger, just visit this link.
I have to admit I am part jealous. Considering my degree is in International Studies, I always thought I would be a world traveler, helping others and as a child I used to peer up to the missionary photos on our church wall and dream of being one someday. How life throws curve balls and plans change, heh? Well, I told my brother the next time trip or maybe in a few years to keep me in mind because I would love to accompany him on one of these journeys. I think it would be very rewarding!
To you Rod, God Bless you and keep you safe. I am so very proud of all you are accomplishing. You are an amazing man. I love you.

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I just wanted to share these two photos. These are of two of my oldest friends (other than my dear Anna). I have known Allison and Kim forever. Anyway, I absolutely LOVE these shots and I hope we continue this tradition for many years to come. I love you two ladies and am ecstatic that I get to enjoy and share motherhood with the two of you! 🙂

(Both of them were pregnant at the time, Kim was 5 months pregnant and Allison was 2 months pregnant and I was 2 months shy of being pregnant! I guess something was in the water, huh?)

(With our little boys, Kim & Nate(9 months), Me & Garrett(2 months), Allison & Eli(6 months))

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Almost 3 months old

Say what? Is that actually possible? Our little man will be 3 months old in a week and a half! Here’s some of what he has been accomplishing and a couple of things he is having issues with these days:

  • He has found his hands- he waves them in front of him for hours on end. He has also learned to grab items in front of him, he tries to bring them to his mouth, but is still having issues actually getting them there.
  • He has also been holding his head up for about 10-15 minutes during tummy time- he’s definitely going longer each day, the first time he did it was a little over a month ago…here’s some photos from then and now- look how he’s pushing up with his feet! (The first two are the older ones) He is also rolling over and turning himself (he’s been doing that for about a month as well, he’s just getting much better at it!) I know everyone says this but I think he will crawl earlier than most babies.

  • He is cooing, giggling (its a short squeal more or less) and making some conversations- mornings seem to be his favorite time of the day for activity. He continues his assortment of facial expressions, except now they seem more controlled.
  • He loves to listen to music or singing, especially Daddy and Mommy. Today, he enjoyed Big Head Todd and the Monsters. And he is absolutely amazed by his mobile that Aunt J bought for him.
  • He continues to watch television! (This appalls me)
  • He is TEETHING already! He has had 2 small knots on his gums since birth and I think these may be teeth budding through- he has periods where he blows bubbles, runs a small fever and seems overly fussy. To top it off he will take the pacifier and CHEW on it, if I don’t give him that, he chews on his tongue! I know it’s teething too because this is THE ONLY TIME he’ll take the paci, he refuses ant other time I try to give him one.
  • He is trying to suck on his thumb again too, sometimes he misses and just uses his hand or arm though!
  • We are still having an issue with him going to sleep on his own, the only time he does is when he is in the car and either this occurs because he can’t fight the motion or he cries himself to sleep. Otherwise, I have to lay down with him and either coax him to sleep or nurse him to sleep-but even with this it’s tricky because the boy sleeps with his eyes partially open!! I guess he’s afraid he’ll miss something! (FYI, Bryan did this when he was little, too)

Today, for all of 5 minutes I let him cry, hoping he might put himself to sleep. Finally,I caved in and picked him up and decided I would let him fall asleep nursing in my arms as I tried to type this blog. And of course, he fell asleep in about 2 minutes. Yet, I have to be careful because trying to move him and lay him down without waking him is nearly impossible! So I keep on typing one handed for awhile, its a pain staking process with tons of errors along the way, but I don’t mind it if it means I have a HAPPY BABY! Plus, he is so sweet sleeping, how could I resist holding him?

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