Monday, July 30, 2012

Ukulele Week Wraps Up

As promised, here is the last song selection of Ukulele Week. Tonight, I dragged my husband in front of the camera again, mostly against his will. I'm not sure why he's so camera shy, being all cute and good sounding, but he is. I've learned a few things from ukulele week:

1. The next time I'm going to have a "Fill-In-The-Blank" Week, I should really plan ahead. I'm sort of lucky that I a few songs in my back pocket and a very tolerant husband.
2. Still, I had a lot of fun, and hope you had fun too. All your comments and phone calls really meant a lot to me.
3. I have no idea how real, professional artists remember so many songs. I have 4 or 5 I could pull out without music and words. I have real respect for those people who play dozens of songs every night.

Please enjoy the last ukulele song I'm likely to post for quite a long time.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ukulele Week Gets the Blech

I woke up this morning feeling distinctly unwell. I don't know exactly what's wrong with me, but I just generally have the blech. I dragged myself to church this morning since it was the week of the big picnic, hoping I'd start feeling better. Then, I took a 3 hour nap when I laid down with Gummy Bear for his. The moral of the story is, Ukulele week is going to take a quick hiatus and should conclude tomorrow.

RE: Ukulele week requests Becky: request granted Melydia: request granted (because, my sister, you know?) Cathy: I'm working on it. The strum pattern for that Iz song is wicked hard. It's going to be a while before it's video-worthy, but when it is, I'll get it up here.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ukulele Week Gets NSFW

This, my friends, is what Plan B looks like. I had grand plans for a really pretty duet for me and the hubs. And then we couldn't figure out the harmony and this is what you get. Not safe for work or kids or anything really.

If you feel (rightly) cheated by tonight's selection, go visit my sister's blog, where she turned in a really beautiful version of The Rainbow Connection. Go. Seriously. Now.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ukulele Week Gets Sentimental

Tomorrow is my Dad's birthday. Happy Birthday Dad! Today's ukulele song is for you.

I learned this song from my grandmother when I was probably 9 years old. It's one of those songs that is my childhood. When I was 10 or 11 my family when to the state fair and they had a karaoke stand. I got up and belted out Sentimental Journey in front of a crowd of bewildered Mid-westerners. It was the first time my Dad had ever really heard me sing. To hear him tell it, he was pretty surprised. He got a recording of my stage debut and squirreled it away.

Then, he played it at my wedding. I cried.

Here's a new version for you Dad. Thanks for always believing that I was something special. Love you so very much.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ukulele Week Being OK

I have some pretty exciting news today. I finally got my nursing license number! This morning, however, I was looking at another two weeks (at least) of no progress and no answers when I called. A friend of mine had the number of a particular person at the board for me to try. I spoke with her and she called me back 20 minutes later to tell me that I would have a number by the end of the day. YES! And I do!

Before this happened however, I was starting to get a little panicky. You know how you get in your own head? I started thinking that all the jobs were going to pass me by because I was never going to get a number and I was never going to get a number because something was wrong with my application but I would never know that something was wrong because no one would give me any answers! So when I was thinking about what song to post for Ukulele Week, this one seemed perfect.

I've had a big weight lifted off me today, but I know for a fact that a lot of other people that I love have had a pretty crap week. So this is for you too. You know who you are. This is far from perfect, but it is about the 86th take and I'm done.

This is one of my many outtakes. Don't listen if you don't want to hear me say a potty word.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ukulele Week Sings You to Sleep

A sweet little lullaby from Sesame Street.

See the original here:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's Ukulele Week at Jubelog!

Right, so I didn't announce Ukulele Week yesterday because I didn't know it was going to be Ukulele Week until today. So. Surprise! It's Ukulele Week!

Today's video features a very reluctant (and adorable) husband singing one of my all time favorites, Swinging on a Star. This song is used as a timer in Hudson Hawk. Hudson Hawk is a charming movie featuring one of my favorite actors, Bruce Willis. My husband is my very favorite human. Do you see how this all comes together?

Please to enjoy.

I'll be posting a new video every day this week. If you have any requests, let me know in the comments.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cause I haven't done this in a while

And hey, it's not like I'm working as a nurse or anything. This is a cover of the delightful Sophie Madeline, who I had the pleasure of seeing Friday night. I just love the beautiful chord transitions in this one.

Go see the original: She's better.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Our night away

Being a full time at-home mom this summer has reminded me of why I don't want to be a full time at-home mom. It's not that we haven't been having a fun summer, we have. It's not even that the kids have been particularly difficult. It's that I don't get a break. I'm with them all the time. Gummy Bear will literally talk all day long if I don't interrupt him and Cheeky Monkey is ... well he's two.

So it was with crazy lots of excitement that Ry and I took an evening away in Philadelphia last night. I'm so grateful to my mom and Greg for giving us occasional breaks that I can't even put it into words.

We stayed in a lovely suite that Ry was able to get for reward points. Bonus!

The impetus for our trip was that a favorite singer-songwriter-ukulele player, Sophie Madeline, was going to be touring in the US. The venue, the World Cafe Live, was perfect for the kind of acoustic, mellow sound that she has. We were four tables from the stage and got to meet her after the show. She is as adorable and shy in real life as she appears in her videos.  The food was above average and since we took a cab, Ry and I partook in a few adult beverages.

Here we're waiting for a cab after the show and more adult beverages. We had planned to walk around the city this morning before heading home. Unfortunately, the aforementioned beverages meant that Ry was out for that plan.

Still, we had a lovely time and got some much-needed time together.

When we got home, the kids were super cute. So that was nice.
Monkey: "Breaf deep. Breaf deep. Breaf deep!"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

If you thought that was cute

Check out Gummy Bear's first dance class. His review to daddy when we got home? "It was fantastic!"

Sunday, July 15, 2012

8 Things

1. I am still waiting for my nursing license number. This is annoying to me. I did finally get my fingerprinting and background checks done last week, so I'm hopeful that I'll have a number sometime in the next week or two. In the meantime, I am getting a nice collection of rejection emails.
2. I am registered to take the class and test for the Advanced Cardiac Life Support certification in a few weeks. Many of the jobs I see advertised either list it as required or a "strongly preferred". Maybe it will make me more marketable. Either way, at least I feel like I'm doing something. I never really expected to still be license-less, job-less and prospect-less nearly 2 months after graduating.
3. Ry is going to be away for a class for two weeks in August. If anyone would like to come and visit, I'd be super happy for the company.
4. Gummy Bear has been taking swimming lessons for the past 2 weeks. This week he swam the length of the pool without floaties. In so many ways lately he's turning into a proper "boy" instead of a preschooler.
5. The Bear went to his first Vacation Bible School a few weeks ago. He had a great time and has been singing the songs they learned, complete with the dance moves as a "show" almost every day. I've posted the video. He's perfected his moves since this video was taken. The real show starts around 1:11 if you don't want to sit through the first bit.
I'm thinking of enrolling him in a dance class, since he seems to have enjoyed this so much.
6. Speaking of a proper "boy," Bear starts kindergarten in less than two months. Eek! How is this possible? We ordered his backpack and lunchbox today. I believe he is going to a good elementary school and he'll do beautifully, but I'm boggled that he's old enough to go to school.
7. The Cheeky Monkey is very much 2 these days. He destroys anything he can gets his hands on and wants  nothing so much as to be just like his big brother. He's a lot sneakier than his brother was at the same age.
8. I'm always surprised by how quickly our summers go away. At the beginning, we have this big empty stretch of weeks ahead of us, full of possibility. Somehow, it's the middle of July already and we've been busy nearly every weekend. The good news about my lack of job is that I've been to enjoy the summer with the boys.  We're planning another camping trip at the end of August after Ry gets back. Hope you're having as much fun with your summer as we have been!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

They're what's for dinner

Phallic meat rolls.

They're what's for dinner.

They were so tasty when we camping, that I just had to make some at home in the oven. I giggled the whole time I did it, because, you know, I'm 12. This is easily the most preservative-laden meal we've eaten, but they were so good. The boys had Chicken-Apple sausage, and ours were Chipotle/Montery Jack Chicken sausage. I would definitely recommend the pre-cooked sausage if you are going to do this, since the sausages take longer to cook than the crescent rolls.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Updated: Yes, the cat is that big.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What I heard

"What the hell?"

What Monkey said:

"Up the hill?"

Lesson: always clarify.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Camping, part deux

We went camping again this weekend. Yeah!!! It was 102 F. Booo! We found some good ways to beat the heat, and thankfully, it cooled off to the mid 70s at night, so it was really comfortable. And now, for the recap:

This time we stayed at the Atlantic City North Campground. We chose it because it was fairly close to the beach and not too far from home (a little over an hour drive). We had to do a bit of a campsite hokey pokey when we first arrived since our first campsite had some broken glass on it, but after we landed we got comfortable, took a dip in the pool, and tried out our new pie irons. These are the best camping tool EVAR!

The first night we made pigs in a blanket and the second was pocket pizzas. They cooked up warm and flaky and delicious. Seriously these were two of the best camping meals I've ever had.

The kids really dug it too. Gummy Bear is just strong enough to flip them on the edge of the fire pit. These suckers are made of cast iron and they are really heavy.

And of course, there were s'mores.  After we tucked the kids into bed, we were amused by the "quiet hour" announcement at 11 pm. Someone came on a very loud speaker to tell us to be quiet. Oh, the irony.

The next morning we got suited up and headed for Ship Bottom. The campsite gave us free beach badges, so it seemed like a no-brainer. Incidentally, we also bought a new tent for this adventure. It's enormous. It has a hinged door. And an awning. So, it's not really a tent. But still awesome.

Ship Bottom was a lovely sandy beach that was busy, but not crazy.

Cheeky Monkey wasn't interested in getting in the ocean at first. He had a lovely time playing in the sand though.

Gummy Bear, on the other hand, loved jumping in the waves. He and a new friend had a blast letting the surf carry them up and down the sand.

When we got back, we tried something new: ice cream in a ball. The basic idea is that you put cream and sugar in one side and rock salt and ice in the other. Then, you shake.

And shake.

And shake. Until you have ice cream. It took us about 45 minutes to make a pint of ice cream, but I think we learned some important lessons and it wouldn't take us that long next time.  The ice cream was delicious. We made mint M&M ice cream. Very good.

Saturday dawned hot and steamy. After a morning spent in the pool, we decided to seek some air conditioning and went to see a movie.

Cause, damn.

I'm not really sure what they were doing in this picture, but they were cute, so, whatever.

We had a storm roll through Saturday night, so we rode it out in the game room. Most of these games were around when Ry and I were little.

Today was much cooler (highs in the lower 90s). Check out was at 1 pm today, so we hit the pool for an hour or so before we had to clean up the campsite. There were frogs all over the campground and Cheeky Monkey found this one swimming in the pool. He grew very attached to it. So attached in fact, that he wouldn't let it go until I got the camera and took a picture.  The rest of the story doesn't need words.

We got home this afternoon, and our two very tired boys happily sat down in the air conditioning to watch a TV show. Hurray! We're all tired and bitten, but happy. Another camping trip, successfully navigated.

A Review of Hospitality Creek Campground

I decided to review the campsites we are visiting for two reasons: 1 - I found reviews to be very important when we were looking for campsites and 2 - We want to remember what we liked and didn't like about each of them since our memories are notoriously spotty when it comes to that sort of thing. I'm posting them to Yelp and also here. That said, this probably doesn't apply to you, feel free to read ... or not.

We visited Hospitality Creek late in late June. We went tent camping and chose a site with water and electric. The fees for the sites were a little more expensive than other nearby campgrounds, but, as we learned, were very worth the extra money.

We have two small boys, ages 5 and 2.5, so we were looking for a family-friendly spot with lots for the kids to do. We arrived right at check-in time and were greeted at the entrance by a very friendly member of the staff. We found that everyone, staff and seasonal campers, were very friendly.

Our campsite was right next to the well-maintained, clean bathrooms, which was great for our recently potty-trained 2 year old. The site was huge, clean and nicely shaded. I wished we brought our boys' bicycles, since the quiet, paved streets offered lots of good biking opportunities. Luckily, some nice neighbors were willing to share. The campground offers several playgrounds, as well as a large swimming and fishing lake with a nice picnic area. They have a traditional pool, which was lovely. The real standout for our family was the activity pool. Our boys were in water heaven with the spouts and cannons and lily pads. The activity pool was busy, but never seemed super crowded.

We stayed for two nights and never got bit by a mosquito or fly. I don't know if they spray for bugs or if we got lucky, but it was nice not to have to bathe in bug spray. The camp store is well stocked and the snack bar had a good variety of food and snacks. While we cooked over the fire both nights, the staff also told us that there is a pizza place that delivers.  While we didn't really participate in the scheduled activities because our boys were too enamored of the activity pool, it seemed like the other families were having fun.

We had a wonderful time and will definitely be visiting again.

Hospitality Creek Website:

A Review of Atlantic City North Campground

I decided to review the campsites we are visiting for two reasons: 1 - I found reviews to be very important when we were looking for campsites and 2 - We want to remember what we liked and didn't like about each of them since our memories are notoriously spotty when it comes to that sort of thing. I'm posting them to Yelp and also here. That said, this probably doesn't apply to you, feel free to read ... or not.

We have two young boys, ages 5 and 2.5, so we were looking for a family-friendly campground for tent campers. The cost for a site with electric and water is very reasonable, especially as compared to other campgrounds close to the shore. The campground was populated mostly with seasonal campers, and we were surprised to see how empty the campground seemed for a weekend in the middle of July. The campground offered free beach passes for Ship Bottom (with a fully-refundable deposit of $45), which was about 20 minutes away. It was a nice day trip.

Our original site had a fair amount of broken glass, but the owner quickly assigned us a new site and had someone out cleaning up the original site that afternoon. Our campsite was moderately sized and well-shaded. We were close to the bathrooms and pool, which were both well maintained and clean. The chemicals used to clean the bathroom were so strong that they burned our eyes for a few hours after it was cleaned, but I would rather that than a dirty bathroom. The store was well stocked and the snack bar was nice for an evening ice cream or treat. The boys really enjoyed soaking each other in the water playground.

The staff was all very friendly and helpful. I would say the only big drawback for us was that the campground seems to be geared for families with older kids. The Saturday night of our stay, they had a DJ in the main pavilion who played very loud music from 8 -10 pm. Trying to get our guys to bed around 9 was tough. The DJ is apparently a frequent weekend activity.
Overall, we had a great weekend, but probably won't be returning until our kids have later bedtimes.

Atlantic City North Campground website:

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

There may be a lot wrong with this country, but I sure wouldn't want to live anywhere else. Our local fireworks were last night, so we celebrated a little early. Plus, it's kind of nice to have a whole day today with  nothing to do but relax and finish shopping for our camping trip tomorrow. Ahhh.

We had to park a good half mile from the park, but Cheeky Monkey didn't seem to mind.

Then we set up and waited.


How cute are my mom and the Monkey?

G-Pa and Bear did lots of wrastling.

Mom and I waited in the world's-longest italian ice line until just before the fireworks started. The stall owner was the model of inefficiency. He had the world's most demotivated scoopers. Then, you know, because there weren't dozens of people in line, he decided to fiddle with light bulb for 10 minutes rather than help them. When it came time for me to pay my $8, I gave him a twenty. He asked if I had anything smaller. So I just got Mom's too. Told him now he only had to give me $4 instead of $12.  He looked befuddled for a moment, then asked me "Are you a teacher?" Because 'Merica. That's why.

Anyhow, the fireworks were really good. Our community really knows how to do a finale. The sky turns the color of dusk again during the finale. I am pretty sure they set off as many in the last minute as they do during the preceding 20.

Happy Independence Day to you!

Designed by Lena