Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Random Thought Wednesday

1. It hit 75 degrees today. 75!!! (That deserves extra exclamation points for sure.) At one point when I took King outside I thought to myself "It's hot out." I haven't used the word hot in regards to the weather in months, so it was a glorious thing. I also considered taking my lunch break to lay out at the pool, but I didn't want anyone thinking I was crazy.

2. Tomorrow is April Fools Day. I hate April Fools Day. No matter how many times I remind myself, I always seem to forget and fall for something. But for the moments I do remember what day it is, I can't take anything seriously for fear of someone jumping out and screaming "APRIL FOOLS!" I'm so gullible, I'll even fall for April Fools jokes intended for someone else. So forgive me in advance, because tomorrow when anyone says/e-mails/texts/twitters something to me, I'll probably says something like "HA! Good one!" So just save anything serious for Friday, alright? As it is I have a post-it attached to my computer screen and cell phone that says, "Careful!! It could be an April Fool!"

3. Ohhh... here's an idea. Maybe if it's nice again tomorrow I CAN go lay out and post a little sign next to me that says "April Fools! I'm not actually crazy enough to lay out on April 1st, this is totally just a joke!" That'll work, right?

4. Yesterday I saw King swim for the first time. Sure, he's splashed around in the water here and there, but never quite to the point where he has had to swim. So yesterday afternoon Mark and I took King for a little stroll through the woods. We let him off his leash to run around. Well, he spied a duck and what does he do? Jump right into the river to try to get himself a duckie. Apparently he thought water was just another kind of land because after he went completely under, he popped back up and swam quickly back to shore. But apparently he liked it because he did that about eight more times.

5. Did I tell you I started Bridal Bootcamp? Yes, it's at the Indianapolis Lifetime Fitness and it is AMAZING. And by amazing I mean so ridiculously hard that I am constantly sore. I highly recommend it and my trainer, Kara Wagner! So if you are in Indy and getting married... come join us! It's only been three weeks and I've already seen results!

6. This Friday James Otto is playing at Jillian's downtown. And apparently it's free! You just have to sign up for their newsletter. However, I haven't been able to figure out how to actually do that through their website, so if you know... please tell me because I want to go! And you should too!

7. Is anything else going on this weekend? I'm trying to do more around town! Also looking for a casual dining recommendation on the northeast side of Indy, something fun and different!

That's all for tonight. Please don't prank me tomorrow. Please.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

When I'm a Parent...

I wanted to call this post "When I'm a Parent, and my kids go to school or to sleep, I will secretly play with their toys." But I thought that was a little too long.

Sort of like the one year my brothers and I (okay mostly my brothers) got Nintendo 64 for Christmas from Santa. And we all took a shot at beating the first level, but totally got smashed by Bowser. So then we gave Dad a turn and he beat it no problem. Actually he beat the first ten levels with no problem. And we totally idolized him for it. I'm sure we were saying things like, "Wow! I can't believe how great Dad is at Nintendo! We are so lucky to have a Dad so naturally talented at Nintendo!"

But come to find out ten years later, he had stayed up all night playing it while we were sweetly dreaming of sugar plums. AND rumor has it he even threw a little fit when Mom told him he had to erase his progress so that we kids wouldn't know that Mom and Dad were actually Santa. I guess the blood-shot eyes due to no sleep or the blisters on his thumbs weren't enough to give him away at our age. In our eyes, he was the King of Nintendo 64.

And I totally don't judge him for it, because I will definitely do the same thing. Sorry future kids.

So what brought this up? In the past week I have been into Babies "R" Us and Toys "R" Us. And holy cow I can't wait to have kids. Don't get too worked up over this comment-- I WILL wait, but when it happens my kids are going to be the best dressed things in town. Sure they might have drool or boogers hanging off their face because I'll gag to much in an attempt to clean them up, but at least they'll be adorably dressed. They have the MOST adorable little clothes.

And the toys now!? SO FUN! There are these super cute little hampster things (Zhu Zhu pets I think?) that run and squeak and stuff. I know because I totally played with them at my little cousins birthday this weekend. And the dress up aisle? To die for! When I was little dress-up meant go into Mom's closet and put on whatever you can reach. And sidewalk chalk also comes in 3-D now. Imagine how much more creative I'd be today if I wasn't limited to 2-D chalk. I mean seriously.

So my romp through Toys "R" Us also made me think of some of my favorite toys when I was little:

Quints. This little set of babies and all these settings that came in fives. Five little rocking horses, five little swings, five little beds.

My Littlest Pet Shop. Which they still have, and it's even cuter than when I was little.

Rainbow Bright and Strawberry shortcake. Which they also still have!

Pound Puppies.



Water Babies.

Pretty Pretty Princess. I would still play that game today. Just let me know if you want to. It might be even better with margaritas. I'm just saying.

Animal Surprise. One of my ultimate favorites, the animals would have a little velcro pouch containing 3-5 babies inside, and you'd never know how many you were going to get! I had a puppy surprise, kitty surprise, bunny surprise, pony surprise and a bear surprise. There may have been more.... They were the BEST. Here is a random blog post about them. (Acutally that blog Children of the 90's is pretty flipping fun.) Watching the commercial totally makes me have a happy-excited feeling in my stomach. Which is sort of sad.

My Little Pony. You know you miss lining them all up and fixing their pony-hair as much as I do.

Trolls. Especially the ones with the rhinestones for belly buttons.

SkipIt. Hours of fun. And exercise. But could also be responsible for the fact that I am more coordinated with one of my legs.

Furbies. Speaking of which I need to find mine and play with it. It sounds fun just thinking about it.

Tomagatchi (spelling?) Also fun. AND outlawed at my elementary school.

There were so many more that I may in fact have to turn this into a two-part post. Which may or may not happen... but in the meantime:

What were your favorite toys growing up?
What were/are your favorite of your kids toys?


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Around Town: Chicago

Last weekend Rambo and I headed to Chicago for a little weekend trip. I'm lucky enough to have a pretty awesome cousins: Diandra and her husband John who let us stay with them at their adorable condo in the city.

Saturday we spent some time visiting, and then John (who's a chef!) decided on Shanghai Terrace for dinner. It was delicious and I would highly, highly recommend it. If you're going for Dim Sum I'd recommend the Green Leaf Shrimp Dumpling and Peeky Crab Wanton (my two favorite!) Diandra also loved the Corn Soup and my Rice Noodles with Shrimp were great too! John knew the dining room manager, so they definitely spoiled us... including free dessert of Tofu Cheesecake, Green Tea Creme Brulee, among others-- but those were the most memorable (and yummy!)

Sunday we started with an early lunch at the Italian Deli where John works, Panozzo's. It was amazing. They have a little grocery store in there with all italian items, a deli counter where you can buy any kind of olive imaginable, caprese salad and many other salads AND meats and cheeses. AND they make sandwiches. I wanted to take a picture of Mark's huge meatball sub, but he inhaled it before I had the chance. I had a flatbread with rosemary ham and provolone and it was heaven. They offer different flatbread sandwiches everyday so if you're in the area... check them out! It's on Michigan between 13th and 14th.

(we ate on the Art Museum steps... this was our view)

Then we took a brisk walk to the art museum (which Rambo hated me for.) I've been on a big art kick lately, and haven't been to Chicago's art museum in awhile, so it was really great. Here are a few of my favs:

(Hubert Robert)


(One of the Lions outside the Museum)

Rambo (surprisingly) actually enjoyed himself too. Here's what he took pictures of:

So basically he took a picture of anything with a boat, fish, gladiators or dogs. Imagine that.

From there we checked out a cute little art shop, just across the street called Art & Artisans-- they had some great stuff, just nothing we trusted ourselves to carry the rest of the day.

Then we were off the the Chicago Aquarium, where Mark tried to study the habits of all the "local" fish. There was also a newborn baby beluga swimming around which was adorable. Mark also had to drag me away from the penguins, dolphins, and otters. Especially the otters, they are just so freaking cute. The only negative? The smell... I mean I know it's an aquarium, but something funky was going on in there.

That pretty much wrapped up our weekend. Did you do anything exciting around town anywhere?


Friday, March 19, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

22 Things I know

I know what he looks like dressed up as a girl.

I know how smart and sneaky he can be because when we were in high school we used to fight about who had to get up and in the shower first; and what did he do? Sneak into my room and change my clock by an hour, so that when my alarm went off I was up an hour early without realizing it.

I know how he grits his teeth together when he's mad.
Ian with Penn or Teller (I get them confused!)

I know how when Mom would take us shopping, we would run around and hide together in the clothes racks. Which, for some reason, she never thought was as fun as we did.

I know how one time at dinner he threw up in the bathroom next to the dining room. I know I heard him and gagged every time I looked at or thought about him for the next two days.

I know how much I loved that we always used to play Dragons on our lawn when we were little.

I know I hate how he bites his nails. And that when I was younger, but still old enough to know better I smacked him for it. And then told our parents that he made me smack him.

I know the first person he married. Which would have been the little girl next door after I made a dress out of a sheet, and rings out of a yucca plant. And then played the part of officiant, and made them kiss. Now that I think of it... I don't think they every got a divorce.

I know that if it wasn't for him I probably wouldn't have become a master of Nintendo 64.

I know we used to tie a long jump rope to the middle floor banister and swing into the basement onto a pile of pillows and blankets.
From left to right: Ian, me & David

I know how attached he was to that yellow blanket. And I know how annoyed I was every time we had to go back somewhere and get it.

I know that once when I was two, after he was just born, my Mom took a quick shower, at which point I decided to I carry him around like a babydoll.

I know that once he peed on my face while I was laying on the couch.

I know that once I tricked him into giving me his dessert at dinner, telling him that I had to give mine to David. It was a Reese's Cup and I scarfed it down before telling him, "Haha! I got two and you got NONE!" I know that he told Dad, and that every day for a week he got his choice of a whole candy bar, while I got none.

I know that he's made me laugh so hard that milk has come out of my nose.

I know all of his crazy invention ideas. Including the wireless electrical cord.
I know that he screams like a girl when he sees spiders.

I know we all, always used to sleep in his room together listening and waiting for Santa to come.

I know he suffers from middle-child syndrome.

I know I used to repeatedly trick him into thinking that red-hot candies were cherry-flavored.

I know how he couldn't pronounce "Lauren" and called me "Wandon" for a very long time. And I know how much I loved it.

I know that he's bigger than me now, but that doesn't change the fact that he's my little brother.

Love you, Ian. Happy 22nd Birthday!


Monday, March 15, 2010

King of the World

King spent the weekend on Mark's Dad's farm a couple of weekends ago, while we were away in Houston, with his cousin-dogs.

And apparently he learned to mark his territory.

Which as his mommy, I think is ridiculously adorable. The first time I saw him mark a tree I probably sounded something like this:


I was very, very proud to say the least.

Until I come to realize that he no longer pees like he used to. For example, a few weeks ago King would whine to go out, I would say something to him like "Are you serious? We were JUST out there!" He would wine again and look at me with those puppy eyes and out the door we'd go. Outside he'd go to the nearest patch of grass, squat, and pee his little heart out.

Now, this is what the pee process is like:
1. Whinnnneee
2. "Really, King? If I take you out you better make it worth my time, none of this tinkle-in-a-million-places crap."
3. Whinnnnneeeee
4. "Fine."
5. Go down three flights of stairs.
6. King marks the tree by the front door.
7. King drags me along and marks the garage.
8. King drags me along and marks the concrete barrier in the fire lane.
9. King drags me along and marks the tree.
10. King marks a bush
11. King marks another tree.
12. King attempts to mark another dog.
13. I decide that he has to have gotten it all out of his system. And we go inside.

This was at 9:30. It is currently 10:49 and guess who's whining again? I think we may hit up the basketball court and the pond in order to help King conquer the world one tinkle at a time.


Friday, March 12, 2010


I love how kids tend to make things more dramatic than they really are through their imagination. Like how, in your memory something was HUGE, but if you saw it again now, it would be no big deal.

Like when I rode Space Mountain in Disney World with my Dad when I was little. It was the coolest roller coaster of all time. So dark that you couldn't see where the next turn was. And that first drop after you go through that lit up tunnel- amazing. But then I went on it ten years later, and I could see the mechanics of what was going on inside... not so amazing anymore (but still fun of course!)

And here's another example that I've been wanting to mention:

One day when I was little, I was in my parents' bathroom and discovered a pretty little bottle on my Mom's side of the sink. The label on it? "Poison."

In reality it looked something like this: (Though I think I remember it purple)

But I saw something more like this:
I was horrified. How did I not know all this time that my Mom was trying to kill my brothers and I? With Poison? She could put that in anything! When would she do it?

My Mom came to tuck me in that night. I barely talked to her, and she continually asked me what was wrong, but I was just too scared to answer. If she knew that I knew her secret, it would definitely be over. Definitely.

So the next day, I did what any kid does when they think their Mom is going to murder them. I was a complete angel. I picked things up, I didn't fight with my brothers, and I stayed out of my Mom's way. I also didn't eat anything that I didn't prepare myself. Which basically left me with dried cereal-- until it occurred to me that she could have poisoned the whole box. When my brother's started acting up, I told them they need to stop it, but I wouldn't tell them why except for it was a VERY VERY GOOD REASON and they would regret it if they didn't listen (I didn't want to scare them with the truth you see, I was a good big sister like that.) So my mom told my dad that I was acting weird (apparently angel-behavior was very un-Lauren-like) and they both confronted me in their bedroom.

"Lauren what's wrong?" asked my dad.
"MOM'S TRYING TO KILL US! I SAW THE POISON!" I blurted out. Clearly my dad was stronger than my mom, so he could fix it.
"I'm not trying to kill you, what are you talking about?" my mom asked.

So I showed them the Poison.

My mom laughed. Which in reality was what anyone would do, and was probably good-natured. But I heard an evil laugh. Mwah. ha. HA.

She tried to explain that it wasn't poison, but rather a perfume named Poison.

A likely story.

She tried to prove it my spraying it on Dad. And he was going to let her! He'd been fooled, too!

In my mind she was trying to get the strongest of us out of the way first before going after the kids. So, I cried.

So she sprayed it on herself. (Obviously she had no way out.)

And nothing happened.

And I immediately felt stupid for thinking that my lovely mommy wanted to kill us. In fact it may have been the first official time I felt stupid in my whole life.

The Lesson? Kids may blow things out of proportion. But when they grow up, it'll make a great story for their blog.

(Next time, on "Kids blowing things out of proportion" I'll tell you about the time I found a million little teeth in Mom's drawer, which clearly meant she was a witch.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

More Random Thoughts

I know I have been slacking on the blogging lately. I promise I have been busy doing super-important things. Like attending this girl's beautiful wedding:
I know. She's stunning! Just wait until Wordless Wednesday this week... her wedding will blow you away!

But guess what? I don't have to do any kind of traveling for more than a month! This is huge for me and here's a list of things I plan on doing with my time:

-Workout in an attempt to look half as good for my wedding as that stunner above.
-Spring clean. Just typing those words makes me shudder. Any tips or fabulous ideas will be much appreciated.
-Blog. Specifically Book Love posts, because at this point I'm three behind, so get ready for The Swan Thieves, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Great Gatsby.
-Redesign my blog. It's just time, and I want to add a few page elements!
-Get a videographer for the wedding.
-Start finalizing the wedding guest list. And getting addresses (panic attack number two)
-Play with Chatroulette. Because I have this unreasonable belief that I'll end up talking to Ashton Kutcher.
-Play with FormSpring.
-Head up to Chicago and see the art museum and aquarium. Haven't been to either in a really long time!

I'm open to other suggestions on what to do in the next month! And while you're waiting for the next exciting Laurealism post... check out how Jennifer & Blake left their reception...


Thursday, March 4, 2010

20 Questions with Bridesmaid Jennifer!

It's been awhile since I've had a wedding update... but things are coming along very well. We recently found our officiant, and booked our DJ and florist. We've still got to book a videographer... but after that I think we are pretty much set for a bit.

But this week isn't about my wedding, it's about Jennifer's! I had her fill out her version of 20 questions, and since I haven't posted it yet, I figured today's the day! She is getting married this Saturday, and I can't wait to stand next to her as she says "I do!"

So here we go 20 (ish) Questions with Bridesmaid (Bride on Saturday!) Jennifer:

1. What's your favorite color?
-Blue (no surprise there folks if you know the girl!)

2. What's your favorite flower?
-A tie between Roses and Bluebonnets

3. Who's your favorite author, or what's your favorite book?
-Favorite Authors are James Patterson and Nicolas Sparks. LOVED Dear John.

4. What are you currently reading?
-I am about to start Witch and Wizard by James Patterson

5. Favorite Movie?
-Hope Floats.

6. What's the last movie you saw?
-In the theatre- The Blindside (great movie.) I recently just watched Crossroads with Britney Spears (apparently this was the only movie on TV in English during the time Jennifer was in Korea!)

7. What's your favorite food?
-I love Italian food and barbeque

8. What's your favorite restaurant?
-Favorite is Olive Garden but I also love this hole-in-the-wall barbeque place called Dozier's (it is part grocery store haha)

9. Where is your favorite vacation location?
-Anything with a beach and sun

10. Where is one place in the world you'd love to go?

11. What is your favorite place to shop?
-Target- I could spend hours there...

12. What is your lucky number?
-8 (not really sure why... I went on first instinct here haha)

13. What is your favorite board game? Sorry or Hungry Hungry Hippos (Blake doesn't want me to bring that one over to Korea haha) Blake's her fiancé, and holy hippo I forgot about that game! SO FUN!

14. Any Pet Peeves?
-People eating with their mouths open is by far my biggest pet peeve.

15. Any hidden talents?
-Pretty sure I don't, if so they are hidden from me :)

16. What is your favorite holiday?
-Easter, I was trying to figure out why and I came up with this: We always celebrate with a TON of chocolate (I usually give up chocolate for lent so this day is GLORIOUS.) Also it is usually warm and sunny. She's from the Houston area people... us Midwesterners will probably be dealing with a lovely snowstorm or something at that point.

17. If you could be any super hero, which would you be?
-The Pink Power Ranger. I dressed up as her for Halloween once when I was like 8. Best. Answer. Ever.

18. If you could be any animal, which would it be?
-A dolphin... that would be so much fun. Did I mention I met her through Purdue Swimming?

19. Describe yourself in three words.
-Indecisive, friendly, hug-giving. This is a completely accurate description. I would also mention beautiful and smiley. But she is the best hug-giver of all time.

20. Describe me in three words.
-Colorful, beautiful, out-going (Guess I have to work on my hugs....!)

21. Best Advice you've ever gotten.
-My favorite quote: "What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

22. What's a favorite or funny memory with me?
-One of my favorite memories is when I stayed at your parent's house and we went fishing on the boat. It was before Trials and your dad wouldn't let us go fast tubing... so we just dragged behind. You also caught a huge fish. There are many other great memories, too- such as Spring Break and Hawaii :) YES!! I remember it was a huge fish! And I'm pretty sure you caught one too... and yes folks... she means Olympic Trials- she was a fast one in the water!

Love you Jennifer! Can't wait for this weekend!