Monday, September 30, 2013

Maryland Roadtrip- Crab, Cakes of Crab, and a Lighthouse

We decided to do something on Saturday. So we went to Maryland because, like the July Maine lobster roadtrip, much of our life seems to revolve around good cheap seafood.

After driving south through Staten Island, NJ, and Delaware, we finally hit the Maryland border. There were hoot and hollers, as we pull up to Faidley's Seafood.


WORLD'S BEST CRAB CAKES. Seriously, just look at their walls for proof. If you want to taste this miracle crab cake, you can order them here. Or diy them here.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday's Letters

this week's photo: kitty nose
Dear Friday: 
     I love you.

Dear Husband:
     I love you too. Don't think because I told Friday I love it first that you come second though.

Dear Coffee:
     I went for it. I sprung for you, the Pumpkin Spice Latte, since you were supposed to be like having an explosion of fall, in ma' mouth. Well. I was not incredibly impressed. Possibly if I didn't have to trek 2 whole blocks to get to you. Dunkin is just downstairs, so I think I'll be returning to my first love.

Dear Coworkers:
     Please stop playing Blurred Lines. It is a nasty song, and I hate having to hear it all day and getting it stuck in my head because it's catchy.

Dear Inlaws: 
     I laughed when Tom came to steal cinnamon from you and whispered 'she's making applesauce' to apparently get you all excited. But seriously, save some for us. And I guess I know what to contribute for dinners now and then, since y'all are huge fans.

Dear Weather: 
     Thank you for hitting my sweet spot. A sweater, no coat yet though. Boots or sneakers with jeans. I have basically worn all my flats and flip flops out. And lets be honest- wearing either of those in large city is both dirty and dangerous. My feet thank you for the wonderful temps- keeping them all warm and safe from people stepping/spilling coffee on them.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

We Bicker Because We Are Too Close?

Tom and I have been bickering a bit and while I know it's common when you're newly married/trying to live together for the first time- it sucks.

And it's always over stupid things. Most commonly it's not hearing everything the other is saying.

Last night we had a fight about what I heard him say versus what he actually said.

Situation: He told me he talked with someone at church being concerned about their kid entering public school. I got confused over who said it- I assumed the dad. We continue the conversation for a good 5 minutes, with me assuming this. And then when I said something about him, everyone got confused. Ends up, it was the son who was worried. But I didn't hear him say who. But he said he told me it was the son. But I didn't hear him.

Which led us to wonder- why the confusion? No answer was found, but I assumed it was of the  'we don't yet know how to live so closely with one another' camp. Ends up, that was kind of it.

This article from the Telegraph says that when people are too close with one another, they basically just guess what the other is saying, before or while they are still speaking. It happens to us all the time. And we have to stop it. I know I am a huge culprit, and do it way too often.

For instance- He might mention that I should stop be the grocery store and pick up some staples- I might jump in and say 'like milk, bread, cereal and eggs?' before he gets that far. And sure, sometimes I am right, and he is kind of shocked that I read his mind (it's hilarious when we do it and are right).

But other times he'll say 'and we should get some shrimp for dinner Thursday too' but I already stopped listening because I know what I should pick up, and I'm already mentally making a list. So I then forget the shrimp. And then he asks if I forgot and I say 'you never said shrimp'. And during times like that he probably wants to smack me, because it of course is really freaking annoying.

This article says it happens to close friends as well as spouses, saying:
"Our problem in communicating with friends and spouses is that we have an illusion of insight. Getting close to someone appears to create the illusion of understanding more than actual understanding," said co-author Prof Nicholas Epley."
So I guess we (mainly me- him a tiny bit but I'm the main culprit here) need to learn to shut up and take note of what the other is saying, exactly. And pray about how to communicate better, because this just sucks and it's really just a result of never having been this close to each other, for so long before. Because this bickering over what the other person didn't explain, etc is really stupid.

So tell me:

Any of you guys go through this at the beginning? How about still going through it? How did you knock it off and just tell your mind to shut up and listen?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Boulevard of Broken Bones

Tom is a huge bicycle advocate- and loves the idea of bike lanes (being used properly). He often tells me horror stories about how bicyclists, drivers and pedestrians have trouble sharing the road- and showed me this video:

I especially like 1:49, with the jaywalkers. Just like New Yorkers, too prideful to get scared (despite almost being hit) and never even loosing their stride.

Funny thing is, I might have been in this video. I worked 1 block away when this was made, on 28th St & Madison Ave. And that intersection is very bad to cross. And I took pride in never breaking my stride for crazy drivers and bicyclists. Man I was stupid.
This is not uncommon, and I've seen it a lot and only as a pedestrian. Tom has been hit with a car door when someone opened it into a bike lane next to their just-parked car. He's seen bicyclist hit by cars, and has told me there are so many stories about biking in overly-touristic places.

It's either a good (hilarious) story like:
"I saw a tourist in the bike lane on the Brooklyn Bridge, taking photos, not aware she was in danger. I may have approached her and then screeched on my brakes, shouting 'I'm going to craaaash!' Of course I wasn't but she ran back into her lane.''
"You know, people have gotten hit by bikers who can't ride properly- putting themselves and others in danger. One person reportedly died from internal bleeding after being bruised by a passing handlebar." Ouch.

Anyway, I'm at work right now. I'm looking out my window at Queens Boulevard, otherwise nicknamed the 'Boulevard of Death' or 'The Boulevard of Broken Bones'. An while the section of the boulevard I look over only has 6 lanes (and isn't impossible to cross), people are going nuts trying to make it across before the 30 seconds are up. I am a little mesmerized/horrified with what I am seeing.

People. There will be another red light. Don't scare me like this.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Como se dice.....

...time to learn some Spanish!

I bought Rosetta Stone Totale in Aug 2012. It is 13 months later, and while the web version has expired, I will be looking into the CDs and setting the computer back up. And seeing as how I have a kind-of immersion experience available (Tom's entire family will speak in only Spanish if I ask. They tend to be kind and accommodate my English only position for the time being). So, really. No excuses here.

Fun Fact- the only substantial thing I learned in that one week I use Rosetta was...
     '¿Como se dice    English word or phrase     en Español?'
          (How do you say ______ in Spanish?)

Up until that point, the only other real phrase I knew was:
     'Yo no habló Español. Solamenté entiendo, un poquito.'
          (I don't speak Spanish. I only understand, a little bit.)

Which has been incredibly helpful. In conveying that I know nothing more than the words I am speaking. And to help Tom's family not get offended when I smile, nod, and basically ignore their question.

I have always wondered how to type the spanish symbols. Found this link helpful.

Alt codes:

Alt 168 = ¿
Alt 173 = ¡
Alt 164 = ñ
Alt 165 = Ñ

Alt 130 = é (e with accent)
Alt 160 = á (a with accent)
Alt 161 = í (i with accent)
Alt 162 = ó (o with accent)
Alt 163 = ú (u with accent)

So tell me:
How did you prepare to learn a new language? Did you have family or a semi-immersion experience available to you?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lobster Crawl- Maine Roadtrip

It was mid-July 2013. Tom and his father decided that they wanted lobster. And hey didn't want to pay the NYC prices to get them.

So, a roadtrip was born. And I had just found out that I was pregnant so I was forced to watch them devour lobster and clam chowder. Well, maybe I had a spoonful of chowder from Tom. Couldn't help myself.

First up- Five Islands Lobster Co.
The best place for Lobster, and sightseeing (and ice cream- since I did enjoy the heck out of that) in Maine.
Personal opinion, of course.
Next up- Shaw's Fish & Lobster Wharf
This place was set up with an indoor restaurant and souvenir shop, but of course we claimed our spot on the deck. It was great because we could watch the boats coming in with their crates of lobster.
And, they had lobster and clam photo props. Of course we did.
The in-laws have a mild love affair with L.L. Bean. They found out we would be near the flagship store, and so we made the obligatory stop. While they shopped, we admired the taxidermied wildlife.

Meet Tom-moose. 
And on the way back, we stopped in Boston to have some of the best Clam Chowder.

Go to the Red Hat, in Boston. I stole a spoonful and cried a little. It was that good. So good I forgot to document it's creamy goodness for posterity.

And Tom suggested we surprise the family with a train ride to visit the home of their arch nemesis- the Red Sox.

They laughed glanced around, and said 'lets get home'. Nuff said.

I did snap a photo of them at the station going back, and then let them see what they were smiling in front of.


 And their reaction to accidentally endorsing the wrong team. 
It was a great trip, and one that we will most likely never do again. Five people in a itty bitty car for a long trip is not recommended. Get a van. I mean it.

So tell me:
Has anyone else had to endure an awesome trip you couldn't fully enjoy? Didn't it suck?!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Crockpot Applesauce

I am learning to love crockpot cooking- not just because it's crazy easy, but it takes the stress out of 'will I burn it because it is actually upstairs in the in-laws oven'. Still can't wait to replace our stove.

Knife to cut apples
Apple peeler or veggie peeler
Apples (number depends on how much sauce you would like)

Cut peeled apples into chunks.
Peel apples (unless you want skins in your sauce... totally delicious too!)
Set aside 1/4 cup of water and 1tsp. of cinnamon for every 5 apples used (more or less to taste)
Add apples, water and cinnamon into the Crock-Pot set on low - apples will get soft
Once apples are soft (test with wooden spoon) you can mash the apples to the texture you prefer (use a fork, pastry tool, etc.)

First- cut your apples.

Then, peel them. 
Or not, because the worst case scenario is that you might have to strain the peels out afterwards. And I'd rather strain the applesauce for 2 minutes than peel them for 10 minutes.

Add the cinnamon, and water. Turn the Crockpot on HIGH. Leave the room.

Return every half hour to rotate the apples, and eventually help smash the big pieces.
They will be lumpy. I decided to let them cool. Then, attack with my immersion blender for like, 5 seconds. 

Perfectly smooth applesauce.

So tell me:
Has anyone else ever used the crockpot for applesauce, or any dessert for that matter?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Apple Picking Roadtrip

On Saturday, we decided to rent a car and pick some apples at Fishkill Farms.

Whenever we need to rent a car, we take the subway and connect to NJ Transit or the PATH train. NJ car rental prices are steals compared to Manhattan/NYC rental rates. I prefer to think of us as going that far out of our way to get a steal, versus us going that far out of our way to get what we should pay, except that NYC overcharges everything so much that we are pretty much forced to get up at the crack of dawn.

After barely missing our bus to Rutherford, we made it to NJ, got the rental, and drove back to Brooklyn. To get the in-laws. And coffee. And phone charger.

And finally, we hit the road! Where I fell asleep, but I promise that it was a beautiful trip, and the perfect day to leave the city behind.

Friday, September 13, 2013

And 30 days after that...

We found out we weren't having a baby.

While this is posted several weeks after we found out, it finally makes sense enough in my head to document on digital paper.

Rough few months right? Well, yes- but also no.

We got married only 3.5 months ago. We went on an amazing honeymoon, explored PA and Maine in several mini-trips. In mid-July we found out we were going to be parents! And we still are parents. We will just have to wait a bit longer to meet our baby in Heaven.

When we first found out, I was asking Tom 'Why couldn't this have happened earlier (and ended before taking the pregnancy test) so we wouldn't have gotten so excited?' Some amazing things have happened because of this knowing.

For one... extensive research. On all thing baby/child/schooling related. Just over a year ago Tom proposed to me, and since September 2012 I have been planning something. First a wedding, then a honeymoon, then a brand new apartment. We had about 1 week of breathing room- and of course I felt the need to research and plan something.

I almost jumped into my Rosetta Stone that's been gathering dust- until we decided to take the test. And then a second to make sure. After that, I found a whole new realm of online mothers and their blogs. Learning how to even be pregnant turned into how to care for a newborn. Then they spawned into how to raise them (biblically) and in God, and then I started researching homeschooling options in NYC (still trying to wrap my brain around that one- how do people grow up in NYC?). Holidays, plans to visit my parents on Thanksgiving every year, and bringing the baby to PR to meet family a few months after being born. Obviously, I have always taken research very seriously.

And then, with the surprise of a underdeveloped baby in my belly, with no heartbeat- that all stopped. 3 appointments over 3 weeks later- and now I am back to dusting off Rosetta.

I'm glad we found out, and had our heart break a little bit. I know God used that month to get us prepared for our lives as future parents- and brought us much closer together. Instead of disagreeing about whether or not we really need to buying pillows, it turned into Tom insisting that he stay home with me when I was miscarrying to take care of me. From trying to just get a routine together, to us learning to talk about the future of us and our families- and where we will be in the new few years.

At lease now I things are starting to return to normalcy. I can sit and think and write some more. And hopefully learn some Spanish :)

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