Scarlet, Queen of the Guinea Pigs!

We got the guinea pigs a new house for Christmas. And it doubles as the perfect "throne" for Scarlet.


Great Video of Scarlet Laughing

Scarlet loves it when you come up to her slowly, lumbering from side to side, in a sort of "gotcha!" crouch. So, sorry this video is blurry, but it was focused on her from a certain distance and when you're walking back and forth to her, that focus obviously gets messed up. But we get some great Scarlet giggles when we play this game with her.

Still sick. Seriously?! Plus, Scarlet's first tooth!

Weird things about this illness:
  • I blew my nose and apparently my sinuses are so full that...some came out of the corner of my eye. Ahh! Too much information, I know, but...wow. We've decided it must be some new deadly disease. There's no other explanation.
  • I blew my nose and lost all hearing in my left ear for 2 hours and kept falling sideways. Luckily Scarlet was napping during this time.
  • Jeremy's all better. Scarlet and I are still coughing and sniffling like crazy. He's like Teflon Man.
My dog, Kati, is staying with us this month. My mom is in Utah with my grandparents because my grandma just had her hip replaced (ouch), and my dad is home, but he travels a lot and Kati would've been in and out of the doggy day care place. She's older and she doesn't like to be alone, so Jeremy suggested that she just stay with us until I go to Minnesota to visit my mom for her birthday at the beginning of February. Since I'm home during the day she'll be happier this way. I took the Christmas tree down yesterday, much to Kati's dismay. She loved curling up under there.

It's been amazing outside for the last two days, so we've taken walks around the block with Scarlet in her Moby wrap and Kati trotting along sniffing all the trees as we go. Unfortunately, the nasty winter weather is finally going to show up tomorrow. So the walks are going to be put on hold.

Mike came to visit this past weekend. Just passing through, so he stayed with us on Friday night and on Sunday night. While he was here we visited a couple of cool stores. American Science and Surplus and Greenfield News and Hobby. The hobby store has a watercolor class that I'm going to take. I'm good with pretty much every medium but watercolors. I can paint a lettuce field with a mountain in the background, but that's it. And that's only because my grandpa taught me how to paint that exact scene. The American Science and Surplus store was really cool--full of stuff you didn't know existed and didn't know you needed. They had the hex bugs that I like so much, and they were cheaper there than everywhere else. I got one for my birthday last year, but I didn't have a "habitat" for it, or another bug for it to...run around with? So I picked up a second bug and a "habitat" (which I totally want to expand). Scarlet loves watching them:

The bugs freak Kati out, though.

Scarlet loves to be bounced, and likes to try and bounce herself while you're holding her, so we got her one of the doorway bouncers. And she has no idea what to do with it once you put her in it. But she's happy to be in it.

Scarlet got her first tooth this past weekend!! Since she's been sick and kind of sad from that (stuffy nose, cough, sore throat) we didn't even notice that she was teething because it's kind of hard to distinguish "sick" fussiness and "teething" fussiness. But it's really cute. It's her bottom left tooth. The same day she got her first tooth, she also learned to sit herself up (with the help of the boppy pillow to push up on)! It was a big big day for her!


We're all worse. And therefore, boring.

We're all worse. Even Scarlet is getting a runny nose, which makes me think she also still has a form of "the cold from hell." Luckily, I visit the doctor today for a routine physical. It's a fortunate coincidence in an unfortunate situation. Hopefully she can prescribe something for all of us (though probably not for Scarlet being that she's 6 months old).

Last night I made some more baby food to give Scarlet a little more variety. Tomorrow I'll finish with the bananas, apples, and sweet potatoes. Then we'll be stocked up for quite awhile. Tonight she had green beans and carrots and mangos--all mixed together. We tried carrots and beans separately. She didn't much like the green beans on their own--she gagged and stuck her tongue out at us. It was only marginally better with the carrots mixed in. When I finished the mangos I figured I'd stir a little bit in and see if she liked it--if not we weren't out that much. She loved it. I tried a little bit and it really wasn't that bad. The mango took over. But the thought of carrots, green beans, and mangos mixed together...hmmm.

Mangos, Peas & Carrots, and Peaches

Other than that, we just relaxed and had some italian sausage lasagna because that was an easy dinner (oven ready lasagna noodles, of course, since regular ones aren't as easy as those).

Jeremy put Scarlet in our blanket storage ottoman and took some cute pictures last night:

We've got to buy Scarlet a Pack 'n Play this weekend. She's too proficient of a roller to keep sleeping in her bassinet, and we still like having her in our room rather than in the other room in her crib. Also, the baby monitor needs either a new rechargeable battery, or I need to buy a battery charger. I'll probably just buy the battery charger. But until I get that done I don't want her in another room at night.

I found a cute video of Scarlet on Christmas morning playing with her favorite toy: wrapping paper!


I'm just saying...

I have to get these out there and off my chest. All of these explanations are not my own. This is so that no one can say, "Well, that's what you say Sara..." Examples are my own. But the explanations come from dictionaries and other sources of public knowledge.

It's "regardless." Irregardless is not a word.

"Webster's New International Dictionary (2nd. Ed. Unabridged, 1934) described the word as an erroneous or humorous form of regardless, and attributed it to the United States. Irregardless is an informal term commonly used in place of regardless or irrespective, which has caused controversy since it first appeared in the early twentieth century. Most dictionaries list it as "nonstandard" or "incorrect"."

It's "Can I borrow a..." and "Can you lend/loan me a..."
"Can you borrow me a..." is just plain ridiculous.

"There is a common misconception in some areas of the United States where people believe that you can subsititute the word "borrow" for the words "loan" or "lend."

Borrow means to take something from someone, with permission and with the intention of giving it back. Lend is just the opposite. It means to give something to someone, with the expectation that s/he will return it. Loan is a synonym for lend, used by Americans."

X: "Can I borrow a pencil?"
Y: "Sure, I would be glad to lend you a pencil."

X: "Can you borrow me a pencil?"
Y: *Slaps X*

Furthermore, it is incorrect to ask someone to loan you a piece of gum or something else that the other person would not want back.

I'm looking at you, Mid-Westerners. I never heard this whole "borrow me a..." nonsense until we moved to the Mid-West.

It's "thaw." Dethaw is also, not a word.

"A confusing conjunction of "defrost" and "thaw." Has a corresponding etymology to "unthaw." Literally, it means to refreeze, however, it has never actually been used correctly in conversation. Ever. In fact, it is always used to mean the opposite--as in, people use it as a synonym to "thaw." Just say thaw. Not dethaw, not unthaw, just thaw. This term is generally regarded as nonstandard and an illiterate term for "thaw;" consequently, it is inappropriate for use in formal contexts."

It's "I couldn't care less."
"I could care less" means that you do, in fact, care.

"A bit of history first: the original expression, of course, was "I couldn’t care less," meaning “it is impossible for me to have less interest or concern in this matter, since I am already utterly indifferent”. The inverted form "I could care less" was coined in the US and is found only there.

"Attempts to be logical about "I could care less" fail. Taken literally, if one could care less, then one must care at least a little, which is obviously the opposite of what is meant."

Other problem phrases/words:

Supposed to: Do not omit the d. Suppose to is incorrect.

Used to: Same as above. Do not write use to.

Toward: There is no s at the end of the word.

Anyway: Also has no ending s. Anyways is nonstandard.

For all intents and purposes: Not intensive purposes. Actual meaning is "under usual circumstances" or "in practical situations."

Enormity: Means "extreme evil." It is not a synonym for "enormous." For example, saying "I cannot believe the enormity of the situation" is actually saying something along the lines of, "I cannot believe how evil this situation is." Most people who use this word believe they are saying something akin to, "This situation is so enormous, I am overwhelmed." Those people would be wrong.

Taken for Granite: Correct usage is "taken for granted."

Did a 360: Correct usage is "did a 180" as a 360 is perfect circle and would bring you back to where you started and that would be pointless and a waste of time.

Escape Goat: Correct usage is "a scape goat" or just "scape goat." A "scape goat" is an individual made to bear the blame of others. The origin comes from the Bible, when Aaron confessed all the sins of the children of Israel over the head of a live goat on the Day of Atonement and released it into the wilderness to carry the sins of Israel away from their camp. (Sara's note: does anyone else find the misuse of this word hilarious? I would like an escape goat. I think an escape goat might be as fun as a fainting goat.)

Just a bunch of sickeys

And it's all my mom's fault! Dang you, Mother! ;)

My mom got sick the last couple of days of the vacation (but luckily it didn't get really bad until after she got back to Minnesota). Then Scarlet and I got sick in the middle of the night two nights ago, and Jeremy also woke up with it that morning.

It's awful. I can't tell if it's just a bad cold, or a really vicious virus. I went to Walgreens and stocked up on what I thought was a lot of medicine--but it wasn't a lot of medicine. It'll all be gone by the time we're better. Those liquid syrups sure disappear fast when two people are taking them every four hours.

Yesterday Jeremy had to call in sick for work, and Scarlet and I just stayed in our pajamas pretty much all day. Jeremy went back to work today, though he's feeling worse. And Scarlet and I are still in our pajamas. But it seems like Scarlet is feeling better, which is nice. Sick babies make parents sad.

What a great way to start the new year, huh?

I did find the energy to make some baby food last night since Scarlet was out of fruits. I made prunes, pears, and some green beans (not fruit, I know).

Scarlet really likes the pears and prunes mixed together

Hopefully tonight I'll find the energy/time to make the rest of the food I bought: mangos, peaches, sweet potatoes, apples, and a carrot/pea blend.

The boys are glad to be home and back with us. We got them a big "barn" for Christmas, and they love to snuggle up in it next to each other.

Einstein and Darwin in their guinea pig "barn"

As I type this I'm trying to get Scarlet to lay down for a nap. However, she has become a very proficient roller and with the whole "crib bumpers are bad for babies" thing, she just keeps bonking into the rails on her crib and hitting her head and then she screams/cries and I go and make it better, put her back down, and we start it all over again. Occasionally she'll turn clockwise or counter-clockwise and end up with her legs dangling out the side of her crib. I'm really trying to figure out how to get a crib to work without bumpers. If anyone has insights, please let me know.


Christmas in Florida!!

We had a blast in Florida! And it was heartbreaking to leave the beautiful weather, especially since it was snowing when we got home.


We arrived on Christmas Eve around 4 p.m., as did Katherine, Bruce, and Finn. The 'rents had arrived the day before to get some groceries and all that for the week since we were staying in a condo with a kitchen.

For Christmas Eve we just hung out and had sloppy joes for dinner. Scarlet, Jeremy and I got Christmas Eve pajamas and Scarlet had a blast opening hers! She loves wrapping paper and bows.

We had a great Christmas morning. I got some silver pendants stamped with "scarlet," "j & s," and "6.1.06" (our wedding date) that I'm going to put on a silver chain. And while we were in Epcot I harvested a pearl from an oyster in "Japan" and had it turned into a pendant, so I'm going to put that pearl on that necklace, too. Jeremy got a bluetooth headset for his phone, but it was DOA (dead on arrival) so we need to exchange it. And Scarlet got lots of books and toys. Her favorite part was the paper and bows, though!

Scarlet and Finn playing on Christmas morning; Scarlet looking at a book she got for Christmas

We visited both Magic Kingdom and Epcot. We all went to Magic Kingdom, and then just Jeremy, Scarlet, my mom, and I went to Epcot. It was really fun, but we've all decided that we prefer Disneyland to the Magic Kingdom. It's bigger, they do more for the holidays (no Haunted Mansion Holiday or Small World Holiday at Disney World), and we like the design of the park more. We celebrated Finn's birthday while we were at Magic Kingdom. We had lunch at the Crystal Palace, and it was amazing! Plus, it's character dining, so Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger were all there going around to each table! Scarlet was tired when Tigger came around, but woke right up for the other characters!

Katherine, Bruce, and Finn left the park early to go home and put Finn to bed, but we all stayed until later in the evening. Scarlet is not a very good sleeper when it comes to early bed times, so she was pretty much raring to go after her afternoon nap. It was fun to stay after dark and we got on Splash Mountain a couple of times with a 5 minute wait!

In Epcot we didn't really get on any of the rides (besides two really lame ones) because the lines were soooo long (4 hours for Soarin' over California), but we had a great time exploring the different "countries" in the World Showcase.

We had breakfast in France. It was to die for!
I got a pretty Venetian glass necklace in Italy.
My mom and I harvested pearls in Japan.
We had lunch in China.
And we explored the other "countries," too!

One of the best parts of the day at Epcot was seeing Scarlet meet the main Disney characters! She loved it!

We stayed in Cocoa Beach, right on the Atlantic Ocean and had a private beach for our condo. It was so nice and so pretty. And the ocean was surprisingly warm! We got some cool shells that we're going to do something with, I just have to figure out what I want to do. The drive to and from Florida wasn't too bad, either. Scarlet barely cried at all! One of us sat in back with her so she wouldn't think she was alone and she did really well!

And now we're back in Wisconsin and it's cold and we're all sick and we want to be back on the beach! Here are some more pictures from our trip:

At Epcot

Tons of Pikachus in the store in "Japan" = Awesome!; the view from our balcony

Picture of Jeremy and Scarlet through an aquarium at Epcot; breakfast in the Magic Kingdom

Shopping at Sir Mickey's in Fantasyland

To see the rest of the pictures of our vacation, click here