Do-Goodery: RESULTS!

24 08 2010

Wow. You guys did awesome.

I have so much stuff to send to RRR that it’s going to take me two or three shipments.

And I was given some $ to buy stuff and to help me pay to ship it, along with offers from a few people to help me pay for it.

Really, the only thing that we missed was the Steelers and Pens stuff. So I’m going to take some of that money I was given, and go to the Strip District and buy a bunch of stuff. I already have my eye on a few things I found online

So, for what I received, here’s a list:

  • 2 bags (22 ea) of individual chips
  • 1 box microwave popcorn
  • 4 large tubes of toothpaste
  • 4 small tubes of toothpaste
  • 2 toothbrushes
  • 2 – 2pks of Dove soap
  • Assorted chocolates and snacks
  • Pringles singles assorted pack
  • 5 – 40ct bobby pins
  • 3 – 7ct ponytail holders
  • 1 box – 50 count assorted chips
  • 1 box – 36 count Famous Amos cookies
  • 1 container – 36 qts – Gatorade powder
  • 6 large bags Hot Fries
  • 8 small bags Hot Fries
  • 2 loofahs
  • 3 bath puffs
  • Cheetos – 1 lg bag, 2 individual bags
  • 1 bag Pittsburgh Pretzels
  • 1 $10 calling card
  • 1 Movie DVD
  • 1 Freak Show video DVD
  • 1 bag Cheetos hot fries
  • One, um, game… (don’t ask. Because I won’t tell you.)
  • Skoal:
    • 2 tins apple
    • 3 citrus
    • 7 berry

Wow. Way to go, friends! I appreciate you helping me to do this, and I’m sure RRR and Co. will appreciate it as well.

RRR’s location & address changed, and I just got her new one the other day. But, since I’m making a trip to Florida for 2 weeks, I have told RRR that I’ll ship everything when I get back. I’ll try to split stuff into two kind of equal shipments.

Fantasy Football. Again

23 08 2010

Oh yeah, after last year’s major failure at FF, I’m not only participating in ONE team this year. I’m in at least TWO leagues.

And I have no idea what I’m doing.

League Twitter Ladies of Pittsburgh just completed the draft. On, which was new to me… And here’s my team:

  • QB: Philip Rivers, SD
  • RB: Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC
  • RB: Pierre Thomas, NO
  • RB/WR: Jahvid Best, DET
  • WR: Larry Fitzgerald, ARZ
  • WR: Percy Harvin, MIN
  • TE: Jermichael Finley, GB
  • D/ST: Eagles D/ST, PHI
  • K: Garrett Hartley, NO
  • BE: Steve Slaton, RB, HOU
  • BE: Kevin Kolb, QB, PHI
  • BE: Jeremy Shockey, TE, NO
  • BE: Montario Hardesty, RB, CLE
  • BE: Bernard Berrian, WR, MIN
  • BE: Matt Cassel, QB, KC
  • BE: Chargers, D/ST, SD

Yes, I just realized I have TWO QBs on my bench. Obviously I was too busy painting my toenails for Florida to realize this and grab myself a backup kicker.

This means I will be spending some quality time with NE, hopefully, while I visit, so he can tell me he terrible my draft went. And maybe he can help me find a kicker to try to pick up. Oy vey.

Ready to go.

23 08 2010

I’m ready for Florida. Well, just about ready. I still have to do some cleaning – dishes & the bathroom – before I leave. And clean out and pack my carry on and purse.  I’ll start working on those tonight and finish them up tomorrow.

My suitcase is 99% packed. I decided to get that out of the way earlier today. I’m not leaving until Wednesday morning, but I’m headed to the BEV Lounge tomorrow night to stay over & catch a ride to the airport.

Many thanks to Burghseyeview and Burghseyewife for giving me a ride to the airport, letting me leave my car at their place (safest option, and it won’t cost me over $100 to park at the airport!) and pick me up from the airport when I get home.

I can’t wait to get to Florida!!

Training the Army.

22 08 2010

I think I’ve mentioned here that I am accumulating a very small person Army. Right?

And I watched two members of my Army this past Saturday. It was, in one word, awesome. Both kids were super-duper good. Not kidding. I mentioned bath time to J, and he was READY! And I asked A if she’d like to sit downstairs and play or come with us, and she was happy to play.

J was awesome for his bath, although I ended up 20% wet from splashing (Aunt Claire is still unsure of how full to make the tub to bathe a small person.) But it was fun to lean in and splash with J, too.

We put on our jammies, and rocked a bit while watching TV, and J was obviously ready for bed. I helped him in, and he was out like a light. Such a sweetie pie, that one.

Then I helped A into her jammies, and we watched Cinderella III.

I’m a super, duper original Cinderella fan. It’s my favorite Disney movie. Ever.

But this one was good. Cute, even!

We had snacks, earlier with J, and after. Baby Goldfish snacks. Goodness, they are tasty!! Less salty than the bigger ones. Nom. Nom. Nom. And A and I shared some mini Chips Ahoy! cookies too.

A, later, even said “Claire, you’re the best!” Obviously, this is a very smart 4 year old, in my opinion, of course. (Like I didn’t know that when Burghbaby said, “A requested the ‘girl with the pony tail.’)

I also got yelled at, by A, when I took my hair out of the clip I had it in, intending to put it into said pony tail. She said, “Why is your hair not in the pony tail?” She was worried!!!

I had to assure her, that I was just resetting said pony tail… Who am I to disappoint a kiddo with my pony tail.

(Note to self: Never cut your hair so short you will not be again known as the “girl with the pony tail”)

It was a great evening. And I did get to hang out with some of my good adult friends for a while too. And I do love my kiddos. I would watch either of them again in a hot second.

And, J learned my name. I think. Or at least close to it…. I win!

But in reality? I wasn’t training my Army. My Army is training me. To be the bestest Aunt on the planet each time I see Little C. I love my kiddos here in the ‘Burgh. And I’ll babysit for any of them, when I can. But really, in the end, all it does is make me a better person and a better Aunt.

The reality and truthfulness of kids? Is maybe more refreshing than the pool on a hot day, and their love is true and they love to learn through playing. And they are so real and in the moment that it is sometimes scary… This all makes me happy. And happy to help. And learn to be the best Aunt ever. (aka not just a spoiling Aunt, but a smarty pants, too!)

Little C, I will see you soon! And we will have a great time with The Nana and The GrandPa, especially thanks to my little Army.

Thanks, Army. I love you all. Truly. You’re good kiddos. 🙂


Aunt Claire

Brewfest & rugby practice.

20 08 2010

Brewfest. It’s on. December 3rd. OMG

So much work to do.

And today? A distributor guy who totally rocks my Brewfest with double digit numbers of brewers every year sent me a spreadsheet of the beers they represent. Not just one spreadsheet. But a 6-tab spreadsheet. My Netbook cried out loud! when I tried to view the beer list.

Oh, and even better? He said, “We will take as many tables as we can for the

Um, hi, I love you. Especially after not being able to really see the 6-tab spreadsheet. Good grief.

I gotta print those suckers out to take on my “vacation” to Florida as “required reading.”

Required reading. On my vacation. Yep.

Also on the “required” list, and before that reading thingy? JOB.

I went to rugby tonight. To be a “body.” The Angels numbers are craptastic. I would love to know why… We’re awesome… But I don’t have insurance, so I can’t do much.

But, I scrummed at prop with the scrum machine. (Since I’m a 1-15 player!) And whoooo buddy! Is it fun to be a stand-in prop, and have those second rows hit you? WOW. Good gravy those girls propel you far. I kinda-sorta wish I was bigger and could play prop. Or second row… Dreams, we all have them… Although the “squeeze and drive” part was a bit difficult to get used to at prop. 2nd row? Got it. Flanker? Got it. 8-man? Got it. Prop & hooker screw me up.

And then I somehow got talked into being a jumper in line outs to help the lifters, leftover sunscreen covering my legs, and yeah… we’re now not lifting just via shorts. We’re lifting from the knees. (Also, when I started playing rugby? You could NOT lift… I’m old.) So every time KB or the other lovely ladies tried to lift me? Their hands slipped. Much. I nearly collapsed, 3-4 feet in the air onto KellsBells. I don’t wanna kill my KellsBells!!!

But we managed. Then I fielded kicks and other stuff and talked to the boys about the Brewfest and Name that Brewfest Beer (I have 62 submissions & I’ll talk about that later before my hug-The Nana-till-she-kills-me trip to Florida) Sorry, The Nana, you’re about to get elebenty hugs a day, and we’re going to do a felt food experiment… Surprise!!!!)

Yeah, my life is kinda full. But I’d rather have a jobby job…. And do the rest at home.

In closing, fave line out call, by Birthday Girl tonight: “Claire’s so tan. 28.”

Most of that will be lost on you regulars, but I’ll ‘splain it to you if you ask…

Text me if you need me on my vacation. Cuz I’m all about my family while I’m gone. They’re super amazing and “get” the rugby stuff, but I’m going to try to leave my Netbook and phone at the house. A. Lot. I NEED my family right now.


18 08 2010

I have so much going on right now.

1. FINDING A JOB. Wait, right now, I’d be happy for an interview…

2. I know I’ve been lucky to spend time at the pool, since I love to swim… But, when those pools close? I’m going to be angry. And bored. And angry. So #1 better get going. I’m trying. But I’m so frustrated.

3. I go to Florida in less than a week. I got great flight times. And by the way, Air Tran? Sucks. I was told when I was waiting, for hours, for my Christmas flight, that I would have a $50 credit. I checked my awards account in June, saw NO CREDITS. So I emailed them. I had to call to get the credit….

I called AirTran today, and was told I had $189. ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY NINE DOLLARS of credit. That expired at the end of July. Erm, all I wanted for my birthday was to hug The Nana, so don’t you think I would have USED THAT CREDIT??? The girl got so mad at me telling her that this was unacceptable, that she HUNG UP ON ME. Hi, Air Tran, I’m emailing you tonight, and unless you fix this, me and everyone I know online will know about this. I’m sorry, but you suck right now.

I booked on Southwest. Direct flights. I arrive at noon-ish. And got great go-home times too.

4. I get to spend – per Lili – approximately 3 days total with Little C. We’re going to try to plan some excursions, like pool time, and a nature hike, and whatever else Lili thinks up (btw, I’d love to meet Cora’s Mommy And Me friends…. hint hint.) But I CAN’T WAIT. The Nana is going to pick Little C up from daycare on Friday, so Little C gets used to The Nana picking her up. Good idea!!

But I’m so excited to see my whole family for 3 days. And my parents for nearly 2 weeks. I thought I was happy to extend my last visit. I was nutz. This visit is going to be the best visit ever.

5. I get to hug MY momma, The Nana.i CANNOT WAIT. I mnight end up an annoying passneger trying to get off the flight… I just want to hug my MOM!!!! That’s all I want!!! And my daddy, The GrandPa. Approximately ellebenty billion times. And I can’t wait. The Nana is going to think I’m on drugs the amount I want to hug her. And sit next to her on the couch. And discuss books (this isn’t a surprise, we LOVE to read!) I love The Nana and The GrandPa even more than Little C. And I can’t wait to see them… Swoooon!

6. Whew…. I gotta do some laundry. Just a bit, since I left some stuff in Florida last time I was there (smarty pants, that The Nana is… she told me to leave it there…. She’s so smart…) This means I can pack minimal stuff, but also include my sneakers, which I will need if Lili decides on a nature walk. And some sock, in case Little C wants to wear MY socks (she likes socks, yo!) She will soon get big feet and adopt my flip flops I assume. (And that’s a guaranteed assumation, because she’s gonna be hella more tall than her Mommy.) (Sorry, Lili, but we’re going to share shoes soon. She’s gonna be a beautiful tall Little C.) (And, yes, she will still be the Little C, even if she ends up a 1/4” taller than I.) ahe

7. My Dewey and My Clyde. Swooooooon. I get to snuggle with both. I love my trips to Florida always. Because I see my adopted (through my sister) pets. And Love Them. So. Much. I hope Mr. Clyde comes to sleep with me. If he doesn’t, I’m sure Ms. Dewey will. And at least I’ll get elebenty-gagillion kisses from Dew-berry. (Sorry, NE.) 🙂

When I finally hug The Nana and The GrandPa? I will feel like a million dollars. And like a new person. I can’t wait. And I’ll sit with both of them to search for new jobs. Here… And maybe, hopefully, there. I need to be with my family. Sorry #yinzteam.

I cannot wait. Cannot wait to see my family… In total, it’s only been nearly 8 months.  I CANNOT do that again. I need my The Nana and The GrandPa. True Story.

The Nana, The GrandPa, Lili, Ne, and MY LITTLE C… I cannot wait to see you one week from now. It will be my best visit ever. Thank you, The Nana and The GrandPa, I appreciate this more than you know. You’ve made me a bit happier than I was. And I know I’ll come home more committed, more happy, and more determined than I was, ever. I NEED my family. More than I can tell you…..


17 08 2010

Remember at my birthday, where I mentioned I really wanted to hug The Nana for my birthday?

Well, it’s going to happen. In a week or so. (OMG. I have a LOT to do in the next week or so to get ready to go!!)

While I have appreciated the fun and support I’ve had this summer with my friends, I NEED my family. It’s been super wonderful to meet so many new friends, and see my old friends, and their kids and build my child army. I love me some kids…

But I’m a strange bird, and I need The Nana. I NEED my mommy. She’s such a great Mom. Everything I do, I think about her. Like when I nearly drowned rafting…. In my head, immediately, I thought, “How is someone going to call The Nana and tell her I died rafting!!!!” It hurts me so much that they are so far away.  Sometimes you just need to see your mom and your dad to make the world make sense…

I hope The Nana realizes I’m going to hug her so hard and cry and she may not be able to breathe. Not kidding. Bring Kleenex, The Nana… We’re gonna need them…  And it might take 5 minutes…. And then I’m going to hug The GrandPa in the same way. And then I’m going to smile. And then I hope I’m going to feel like my old self again and feel refreshed and ready to beat the crap out of the world. And kick the crap out of getting a job. Hopefully while I’m there. Phone interviews are cool, right? If not, I might have to cut the trip short, but that is probably okay as well. I just NEED, no NEED to see my family. So badly.

The plan is that I go to Florida, take my tiny laptop, job search, visit Lili, Little C and NE. And the dog-niece and cat-nephew. And just spend time with The Nana and The GrandPa. So wonderful. (see below)

It’s going to be the best end to the worst-best summer ever. And if I don’t get back and get a job? I’m going to be seriously angry with the world.

But I will feel so much better about myself, and my life, once I spend some time with my parents. I need them. I really do. Seeing Lili, Little C, NE and the dog-niece and cat-nephew are just a small bonus. Need parents.

Don’t forget your parents, friends. If you haven’t seen your parents lately, and they’re nearby, go and give them a big hug and kiss. Because I wish I could do it weekly. Or daily. But I can’t. So do it if you can….

Yays for Florida!!!!

Seeing my family? Will be like being home. Really HOME.

Pittsburgh is my home. But my real “home” is where ever my family is… True story.

I cannot wait to board that plane to Florida. Time with mom & dad is priceless. And me & Little C WILL have pool time… And if everything works out the way I’m praying, I’ll meet Little C’s friends. Here’s hoping, but I’m just happy to see my parents.


Prepare for the entry, The Nana & The GrandPa… I’ll be crying… (sorry.)


17 08 2010

Sandcastle Water Park – Pittsburgh

Cost: $29.99 for Adults ($23.99 after 3pm) ; $19.99 riders under 48″ ($18.99 after 3pm) – you can also get discounted tickets ($23.99 adults) at Giant Eagle

Hours: Most weekdays, 11am-6pm. Weekends

Since I’ve never been to Sandcastle, and have lived here my WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE, my friends Burghseyewife and Shellrenee treated me to a day at Sandcastle in return for watching the two boys one night while they get to go out. Uh…. Who wins here? Them, me or the boys? We’re still confused.

I stayed over at the BEV Lounge with everyone so that we could get up early and be there when the park opened.

I used some super duper ninja moves on the boys to make them quiet and watch one another’s movies, aka “if you don’t quiet down and watch ‘this’ movie, I won’t go to Sandcastle tomorrow.” That got them down & out pretty quick.

I’ve only been to the Sandbar at Sandcastle. At night. And it was strange. Like stranger-danger strange. I went once and never desired to (nor do I today) go back.

But we had a BLAST!! It really wasn’t crowded, surprisingly, and the wait time in line wasn’t terrible.

Unfortunately, I cannot link to each slide individually, so go here. And find what I’m talkin’ about.

We did not do the big body slides. No way you’re getting me up that high on stairs and balconies anymore. But we did go on the Boardwalk Blasters, which was fun.

We all loved, no, LOVED, the Blue Tubaluba.  It was crazy. It’s an enclosed slide for the most part. Dark. Sometimes very dark…. Then you pop out into light and get hit with a small waterfall…. Then go back to dark. And you’re slipping and sliding everywhere!!!

I went down once or twice alone, then once each with each of the boys. I got yelled at by the boys to not yell while I went into the dark. Sorry, boys.

I have no idea which one we went on first. It was either Thunder Run or Tubers Tower.  I just know I felt like the tube I was on was going to fly off the edge of the slide thingy and send me to my death. I am not kidding.

All of the tube slides were super fun… And, I’ll be honest, I really did love riding the double tubes with the boys. And I’m very happy I got to them with both boys.

We did try the wave pool, but it was too crowded and we didn’t bother to wait for the waves.

The food is decently priced. I had a cheeseburger, fries & drink for $8. And an ice cream cone that was $2.

Overall Grade: B. (Because after walking around all day on cement and that composite deck material is really painful. That and the overall price to get in.) I’d definitely go back again next summer if I can.

North Shore Water Steps

17 08 2010

North Shore Water Steps – North Side

Cost: Free!

Hours: No set hours, but I’d assume “daylight”

So on Sunday, I met Burghseyewife, Shellrenee and the boys at the North Shore Water Steps, part of the North Shore Riverfront Park. The plan was to meet there, go to the BEV Lounge and then, on Monday we were going to Sandcastle.

Of course, I’d never been to the North Shore Water Steps… Of course! Just walked by on the way to Pirate or Steelers games.

None of the adults got entirely into the water. But I’m apparently obsessed with getting my hair wet (it’s super refreshing, y’all) and stuck my head under one of the little rock waterfalls. Approximately 3,000 times. And the boys seemed to have a great time.

We then walked down towards the Carnegie Science Center, in hopes of seeing the submarine. We had a snack at the Riverview Cafe (which has no view of the river, FYI) and then walked onto the sub. And we were approximately 4 minutes before closing. Also, FYI – admission is $5 and you can just go to the sub and pay the $5.

So we walked back to the cars, and went back to the BEV Lounge to retire for the night.

North Shore Water Steps Overall Grade: B (it’s not bad, but it’s shallow, and it really is fun to walk around and dunk your head under the tiny waterfalls.)

Birthday Card…

12 08 2010

Today I picked up the mail (strangely at 11:45am, rather than the usual 4-5pm, which makes me think my neighbor did what he sometimes does… pick up the mail – yesterday- and take it with him on his walk through the neighborhood… no really. I’ve seen him carrying our building’s mail around the ‘hood. uh…. and then he brings it back to the building and sorts it out for us. I live in a strange place, y’all…)


The card Lili said she sent to me arrived. She’s such a sweetie. The card from her and NE was so nice. And she sent me $. I’ll beat the crap outta her later for that, since we agreed two years ago at no giftys for birthdays since we’re two days apart – and used to send one another the same dang thing – Target gift cards…) Also, I love my sister, and we both love Target. Deal with it.

And I’m apparently not used to having Little C around, because I totally forgot that I’d be getting a card for my birthday from my niece. WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH ME???

But, after I looked at Lili & NE’s card, and saw something else in the envelope, I pulled out this….

Be jealous. (Who am I kidding, I’m jealous of myself right now after getting this.)

XOXO, you guys!!!! I have a feeling Lili held Little C up to the cards and let her pick one. I bet it was the party hat that made her pick it. And the flowers. 🙂

But then I opened it up. And cried my face off in my car:

That is Little C saying Happy Birthday, Aunt Claire!!!

And all those colors mean, I love you and I miss you!!! Party on!!!!

And, you guys, she not only left her *mark* on the inside cover, the card sentiment, but also:

I'm taking this to mean, I love you so much, and get your butt down here so I can hug and kiss you... But I could be wrong... (I think I'm right...)

That’s the back of the card, kids. I checked the front again, to see if she left a “mark” there as well, but no. Lili must have only given her the other 3 sides of the card…

Good grief, I love that little squirt! I’m the luckiest Aunt on the planet – my baby lady has MAD CRAYOLA skillz, yo!!!!!

Oh, and today’s Sesame Street video? Big Bird, Snuffalupagus and Elmo. D: Dance. (I’d do walk to Florida right NOW to see Little C dance the moves they have…. OMG.)