Category Archives: Fun

Spot the Fake Smile

Here’s a fun challenge for you. This site lets you see short video clips of 20 different people (some of the oddest looking people you’ll ever see, incidentally) breaking into smiles. You have to guess which ones are real and which ones are fake. I got 14 out of 20 right!

Life is Good

You ever have one of those moments where you think, “Man, it just doesn’t get better than this,” even though nothing out of the ordinary is going on? Last night was like that for me. The house was clean, Patrick and I were in bed reading, the dryer was humming away in the background, Lola was snoring at our feet, and Joe was doing a little bedtime water ballet. Everything was perfect.

That’s the sort of quiet moment I know we won’t have many of for a while after May, so I made extra sure to savor it!

Earlier, we had cleaned out a bookshelf in the guest room, getting it just a little closer to being Joe’s room. I’ve been looking at crib bedding, and while a lot of it is cheesy or downright scary (would YOU want to wake up with a Care Bear staring you in the face every morning?), I think we’ve found something that’s cute and a little more understated. What do you think:

It’s also gender-neutral, which is great in case Joe gets a little sister in a couple of years. We don’t want to buy all-blue now and then have to buy all-pink later on.

Ooh, we saw a really good movie yesterday: The Orphanage (El Orfanato — it was in Spanish with English subtitles). It was all kinds of scary, but there was a very touching backstory behind it and I thought the two were very well balanced. Plus, the whole thing was filmed in Catalunya, the region of Spain where I spent a high-school summer as an exchange student.

Still, with a guy down the row not only leaving his cell phone on but answering it mid-movie, and the family behind us not only bringing a 4-year-old to a terrifying movie but letting her talk through half of it, I’m even more convinced that they should just start releasing movies directly to home viewers. If that bad behavior is going on in the matinee foreign film, imagine the shenanigans in the Saturday-night showing of some blockbuster. It used to be fun to do the whole moviegoing experience, but now I prefer to watch movies in the quiet of my own house, thank you very much. And not miss anything if I have to pee. So God bless you, Netflix.

My sister is coming to visit on Feb. 2-3. The three of us are going to see Ira Glass at the Modlin Center (on the campus where I work) and then the next day she and I will go see this:

That should scare the bejeebies out of me, don’t you think?

The week before Christmas …

… seems like the longest week of the year. Unless you haven’t finished your shopping yet, and then it draaaags. But our shopping is done, so there’s nothing to do but wait. Hurry up, Santa!

We had a lovely visit from our friends Matthew and Alecia this weekend. They were on their way to Massachusetts, where she’ll be starting grad school next month. (While she’s busy with that, Matthew will be spending a year in Kuwait. Fun!)

Matthew was craving Ethiopian food and was considering a stop in D.C. on their way up — but when he mentioned it to us, we told him there was an Ethiopian place in Richmond we’d been dying to try anyway. So off we went to Nile. We’d never had Ethiopian food before, but we’ve heard lots of people rave about it (including Patrick’s sister!). It was really good, and fun to eat. We all waddled out of there full and happy.

Ooh, and I made a special dessert for their visit: Chocolate Guinness Cake. (Chocolate for the chicks and Guinness for the dudes. What’s not to love?) The finished product is supposed to look like the top of a pint of Guinness, and it really did! The cake part comes out really spongy but not too sweet, and the icing is cream-cheesy and delicious. I suspect we’ll be whipping up another one soon.

I wish we’d taken photos of their visit but it didn’t even occur to me until after they’d left. They’ll have to come back as soon as they’re able to. (Especially because Lola is now Matthew’s biggest fan!)

Last night we had a nice dinner at Patrick’s boss’s house. I ate entirely too much, but people seem to love that when you’re pregnant!

Patrick thinks that I laugh more now that I’m pregnant, but I think it’s because he’s been especially funny these past few months. One morning when I rolled out of bed, he waggled his fingers over my tummy and cooed, “Good moooorning, baby. How are yoooou?” Then he looked up at me and said (in a much lower register), “Hello, host.”

It’s fun being married to a comedian!

Patrick's First Christmas Newsletter Wins Rave Reviews

Earlier this year, Patrick volunteered to do our Christmas newsletter so that I could continue to sleep and snack my way through pregnancy. He’s gotten such rave reviews that I’m afraid he will be stuck doing the newsletter forever!

For example, look at the hilarious “news release” my friend Margo Jarvis sent this morning:


For Immediate Release
December 12, 2007

Jarvis Ratings In
Tremblay Christmas Letter Wins Most Creative Award

Fayetteville, NC — The Jarvis Foundation is proud to announce this year’s Most Creative Christmas Letter winner — The Tremblays of Virginia! After reviewing copious amounts of Christmas newsletters from family and friends, a panel of judges voted hands-down that the The Tremblays newsletter scored the highest on the Jarvis Rating Scale.

The newsletter received perfect scores on:

  • Aesthetic Cohesion
  • Content
  • Overall Creativity

“We’re thrilled to receive this caliber of newsletter that is both informative and entertaining,” said Margo Jarvis, VP of Creative Services at the Foundation. “The Tremblays have yet again shown their expertise in informing their audience in a way that makes them want to soak in every word.”

While no cash or trophy awards accompany this selection, the Tremblays should feel free to use the terms “Winner of the Jarvis Foundation’s Most Creative Christmas Letter Award” in next year’s missive.


If you have no idea what we’re talking about here, we probably don’t have your address. So send it!

In the meantime, here’s a PDF of the newsletter. Enjoy!

Mark your calendar!

On January 8 at 9:15 a.m., we’ll have an ultrasound to find out if this baby is a boy or a girl. Place your bets now!

Patrick and I spent our Saturday in Carytown, doing our Christmas shopping. We picked up a little something for Dixon at World of Mirth — that is such a fun store to look around in! We also made a stop at For the Love of Chocolate, which is jam-packed with every kind of chocolate you can imagine. A pregnant woman’s dream!

I’m proud to say that after a couple more visits from the UPS man, we will officially be done with our Christmas shopping.

Yesterday we went on the Petersburg home tour, where we got to see how some of the oldest houses in the city have been restored to their former glory. One really cool one was the Folly Castle Inn, built in 1763 by Peter Jones (the grandson of the “Peter” in Petersburg).

One of the best parts of the tour was the High Street Lofts, a new development rising from the ashes of the Seward Trunk Company. It was established in 1878, and was once the nation’s largest manufacturer of steamer trunks.

Here’s what the old, unfinished part of the factory looks like:

And here’s the part they’re re-doing into swanky apartments:

There’s so much history in that city! Petersburg is probably most famous for its Civil War history, which is unfortunate — there’s so much more that went on there. Although it has been through some tough years in the past several decades, it certainly seems to be on its way back.

Even better weekend!

I spent my Veteran’s Day weekend with my favorite veteran!

Patrick signed up several weeks ago to run a 5K in Staunton on Saturday. The race wasn’t until 2 in the afternoon, but we left early because he said we were stopping on the way … for a surprise.

It turned out to be the Virginia Safari Park, one of those places where you can drive around and the animals come right up to your window to eat!

It. Was. Awesome.

The first animals we saw were an aggressive gang of llamas, but then there were camels and ostriches and sweet, timid little deer. There were zebras, great big bison, swamp water buffaloes and emus. We got to meet all of them up close and personal (one sneezed/spat on Patrick) and then walk through the petting zoo area where we saw kangaroos, giraffes, lemurs, goats and piggies. We will definitely be going back there with children some time …

Then off to Staunton, where Patrick finished the 5K in less than half the time it took me. Showoff.

By the time we got back home we were starving, so we picked up some Chinese take-out and settled in with Lola (who was fascinated by all the different animal smells on us).

This morning we woke up with an urge to go see a movie. We decided on Bee Movie, which is every bit as cute as it looks!

Then we went to St. Mary’s hospital for a Birthing Expo, where they had lots of vendors explaining why you simply must have their prenatal massage gel or babyproofing products or postpartum Pilates classes. We also sat through a class on the phases of labor, which didn’t give us any new information but was still kind of fun. (They showed a video at the end, but it wasn’t the gory kind. Maybe next time!)

Tomorrow, I have my 12-week checkup at the doctor’s office, and then another ultrasound on Wednesday!