Wednesday, May 26, 2010

And he walks

Today at daycare Charlie started really walking. Like actual, unwavering steps. Many steps at a time. They said he just all the sudden started doing it; he got up and walked.

When I got there to pick him up I could tell something was up so I stopped near the door and he walked right over to me! He didn't fall into me like he has been doing - he had plenty of balance and control.

This all happened just a few days after getting those white booties from Stride Rite, so go figure. I guess they really do make a difference! I took them off when we got home and he wasn't quite as stable as he was with them on. I think they kind of keep the ankle in line with the foot, almost like a brace.

I'm so proud of him so I had to post right away. And now I have to get back to trying not to feel completely horrible that I missed it while I was doing a large number of stupid, pointless things at work today. Another work day of missing him and wishing I was with him, except this particular day was a big one. I think this is going to take quite a bit of trying. I best get to it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Sir and His Bottle

The progress report at daycare pickup today had an extra note written on it: Charlie has realized we are trying to take away the bottle!!

In the section where they state what all he ate for lunch and how much there was a note: Milk Cup - Refused!!

That generally means he threw it on the floor or back at the person who gave it to him. Along with an indignant look that Charlie doesn't suffer fools people.

Last week he would at least drink some of his milk from a cup, but this week he's on to us. He smells change in the air. It's not gonna happen Mom. And don't try anything fancy, you daycare teachers.

Well. I may have finally met my match in the stubbornness category. All I had to do was give birth to him.

We did end up getting him the white Stride Rite booties for his first walking shoes. He tolerated the shoe fitting at the store better then I thought he would. I was concerned it would be similar to the hair cut experience, but with double the price tag. Instead, Charlie indulged us and cooperated.

I have to admit, he does seem more stable as he totters around in the new shoes. And I'm biased, but they look kinda cute on him! They are his school shoes and he's barefoot while he's home. Still not all that interested in walking, though. He's just going to have to realize he can get places faster walking before it seems worth the effort, I suppose.

Some new words have popped out of his mouth recently. CHEEEE (cheese) and Apple. Cheese is his most favorite food, so that's no surprise. They must talk about apples at school because that one was a bit unexpected. Wish they'd talk a little bit more about MOMMY at school, cause there's a word I'd like to hear more often!

Anyways, that's what's new in the news around here. Just hangin' out, asserting ourselves.... in between angelic looks and adorable baby babble, of course.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This and That

I don't have enough on any one topic to constitute a meaningful (!) blog entry, but *lucky you* I wrote them all down anyways.

So I sent Charlie to daycare yesterday with a little fork in his lunch sack. It's a cute little kid fork - I found it in the baby section at Target! He loves to use a fork at home and tends to eat more when he has it.

I got a phone call later at work that forks are not allowed. The teacher said she didn't even know that when I dropped him off because no one in their 12 years at this daycare has ever sent a fork to school with their infant. Huh.

When I got to school to pick him up later, the other teacher referred to it as a weapon - kind of half jokingly. Apparently Charlie likes to stab ziti pasta, but in its absence he is happy to stab at his playmate's fingers. Excellent. My son and his mommy-provided weapon.

We added a new CD to Charlie's car-ride repertoire - Barenaked Ladies' Snacktime. It's more soothing and low key then the They Might Be Giants CDs.... but still just annoyingly repetitive enough to have you singing it in your sleep at 2am. I've had Pollywog in a Bog in my head for 3 days straight.

Read another really good book on my sister Meredith's recommendation. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. Meredith also recommended The Hunger Games to me and while this book isn't quite as good, it's a great read. It's part of a series and book 2 is out, so I need to get my hands on it soon. Book 3 is out next Fall. So is Mockingjay, the last book in the Hunger Games series. I'm not sure I like all this delayed gratification going on.

I've also stumbled upon some beautiful children's books I didn't know about - have you heard of Betsy Snyder? Her illustrations are what are so special about her books I think. I discovered her when I bought some note cards at Papyrus with her illustrations on them. I wish I could buy big prints of them to frame. Links to a couple of the books here and here.

A pregnant friend today gave me a bag full of leftover ovulation and pregnancy tests that she no longer needs. You know, so I have something to pee on for confirmation before my total and complete nervous breakdown. My plate is quite full as it is, thank you very much, so I'll just put them in the back of the cabinet where they belong. Or maybe to be funny, I'll leave them out on the bathroom counter and see if Brad notices when he gets home for the weekend. Mwa ha haaaa.

Since Charlie is finally taking some steps, it's time to buy new shoes. Daycare is telling me to get white white lace up booties with rubber soles. Really? I know it's shallow, but they are kinda dorky looking. They don't look all that comfortable either, especially in the heat, with socks on. In the battle between questionable shoe advice and fashion, who will win?

In the evolution of Charlie's nicknames, we've moved on to a hybrid: Sir Munch. Like he's been knighted or something. And what meal do I send with Sir Munch to daycare? A Munch-a-Lunch!

I'd tell you about our weekend plans, but they sound quite a bit like Will Ferrell describing his Saturday with his wife on Old School. Except we're not attending Mitch-a-palooza first. And I have no idea where our beer bong is.

The Long Goodbye to Dr. Brown

It occurred to me this week that maybe Charlie isn't going to drink from bottles forever. Actually, the way it actually happened was that I was thinking (my problems always start this way) and I realized Charlie is about to be 15 months old. I asked myself, do we go in for a check-up at 15 months? I'm not sure.

Before even finding the answer out, I started to dread this imaginary check-up and the inevitable lecture and raised eyebrow I will get for whatever it is I am currently doing wrong.

Let's see... what did they tell me to do last time? Oh yes, give him less milk and put it in a cup. I have not really done this. I cut one bottle and that's it. Oh GREAT. How quickly can I wean him off the remaining bottles so I can get a star sticker on my parenting report card?? Quick enough for this unscheduled appointment I'm not even sure we need??

Since I haven't actually read any of these parenting books I so carefully selected from Amazon, I have not been planning the bottle wean or anticipating the problems it could cause. It was something that would occur in THE FUTURE, along with potty training, girlfriends and college.

The screaming, back-arching toddler on my kitchen floor this afternoon knew otherwise. He'd actually gone on hunger strike today at daycare when only given one bottle. By the time we got home he was ready for his bottle and GIVE IT TO ME MOMMY.

Charlie is also cutting more teeth so he's grumpy to begin with. I think they must be incisors from where he's gnawing on things. He was up in the middle of the night last night screaming and inconsolable. It's times like that I really wish he could tell me what was wrong because I'm not the most even keeled gal at 12am when baby screams rip me from my sleep. After some ibuprofen he eventually went back to sleep but this is the worst of the teething so far.

The equation is now working like Teething + Weaning + Clueless Unprepared Mother who does not read her user manuals = Epic Fail.

My mom said to put water in his bottle. I did this and he threw it back at me after one sip, like quality control standards for the bottle have not been met, so please resubmit. Milk in a cup was returned in similar fashion but without the obligatory sip. Offering food instead of the bottle gets him really fired up. Like I am just not getting it why is he cursed with such clueless parents??

So anyways, I've got to figure out how to get him to start moving away from bottles I guess. Part of me wants to just put it off if he isn't totally ready in the spirit of 'we make them grow up so fast, let's not do that.' But I realize I could have a 2nd grader wearing diapers and sucking on a binky if I use that approach for everything. So it's time to cowboy up, as we like say in Texas.

And let me tell you, I have every expectation that I will work so hard to get him weaned, show up for the pediatrician appointment (which I still don't know we're going in for) and proudly proclaim our accomplishment to the doctor.... only to have the doctor not bat an eye and proceed to giving me a hard time about something else I'm doing wrong. Not brushing his teeth right or whatever. At which point I'll stomp out of there wondering where my damn star sticker is.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pinehurst 2010

We're back from our annual trip to Pinehurst, NC where Brad's dad and stepmom so graciously take us each year for some R&R and family time. Pinehurst is about a 4 hour drive from Richmond and there is a beautiful resort with golf, tennis, spa, pool, etc. and village there. We always stay at the Carolina hotel. I will tell you what I tell everyone - you should go; you will love it. It is impossible not to relax there. Even with a 1 year old.

We've been taking a summer trip with my in-laws since 2001 (for those of you adding at home, that's 10 years!) and this was our 5th visit to Pinehurst. Before we discovered this little slice of heaven, we visited some similar set ups, such as The Homestead (VA) and Skytop (PA).

They were all wonderful and fun, but Pinehurst has been the favorite. Not only is it a pretty quick trip, there are a lot of different things to do there but we're all kind of centrally located at the hotel. That has always been Brad's dad's #1 priority when he picks where we go each year.

In fact, we've gotten in a bind in the past having too much to do and not enough time. However, I think sometimes the very best thing to do on vacation is just nothing at all. Aren't we over-scheduled in real life enough as it is? It's nice to go and do some very serious nothing.

And that is where my most favorite place of all - the Spa at Pinehurst - comes in. It is stunning, it is amazing, if you get the chance to go, pounce on it. It is huge and beautiful, with lots of natural light, vintage-looking tiles, soothing music, and lots green tones and dark wood. Pine scented products, big fluffy robes, smoothies passed on a tray, comfy lounge chairs and all the back issues of Vanity Fair you could ever want.

Sometimes, when I get really stressed out, I close my eyes and imagine I'm there, sitting somewhere in the spa. Typically in this daydream there is a thunderstorm going on outside, so there's nowhere to rush off to - just have to stay and relax. I decided this trip if/when we remodel our master bathroom there are going to be some big resemblances to the Spa there. That's true love people.


Another thing we love to do at Pinehurst is to take walks and check out all the cute old houses. Charlie gets pushed along in the stroller for it while Sue and I dedicate our time to determining which ones we most want to buy and live in. (One was even called Razorback Cottage - it's a sign!) Here's one we love - right in the Village of Pinehurst, which is the Norman Rockwell-ish 'downtown' area.
Here's the main drag:
Since we've visited Pinehurst over the course of 5 years we've had pre-Charlie and post-Charlie visits. I have to admit, it is a huge change taking him and is actually kind of a challenge keeping him occupied and properly fed. (And I use the word 'properly' loosely - this trip he discovered his love of fried calamari and french fries.) Not that I would trade him for the world, but you kinda can't help remembering what you were doing in the exact same location a few years prior. And that it wasn't quite as much work.

The visits before Charlie was born were so self indulgent - sleeping in, reading the paper with coffee, lazing at the spa, shopping as long as I liked, tennis clinics, reading books, long dinners in the Carolina Room. Insert wistful sigh.

Fast forward 4 years and the trip looks more like waking up very early, dodging flying muffin bits at breakfast, hurrying Charlie out of shops when he gets squirmy in his stroller, trying to quiet screams at nap and bedtime and speed-eating dinner before he gets bored. All in a relaxing and picturesque setting. Ha! But seriously, he was much easier this year then last (I was still nursing) and next year he'll be even easier.

He's still too little to do any of the kid-related stuff (pool, playground, etc.) so Brad and I tended to trade him off during the day to give each other a chance to go relax and take a breather. Brad's dad and stepmom also pitched in and would watch him for a while or helped when we each had him on our own. Brad's relaxation time translates into golf or a nap. Kara's is spa or a nap/book. See a theme?

You may be asking, why did we just not nap when Charlie napped? Because he's not about to take a nap silly reader! Charlie refused to nap. Ever. The entire trip. He'd get in his pack n' play and stand up, look at us across the room and scream at the top of his lungs. I feel fortunate we never got a finger wag from the front desk about it since the Carolina was close to capacity all weekend - with conferencing lawyers no less. I think we squeezed a 30 minute stroller nap out of him the last day. I don't know how that child operated on so little sleep the entire time.

After a couple of nights of early dinners at casual restaurants trying to keep Charlie occupied, we decided to track down a babysitter to watch him after he went to sleep. That way, he could get to sleep earlier and we had a fighting chance of having a conversation that didn't sound like 'Incoming bread roll!' or 'Charlie just threw chewed-up chicken tender at the waitress.' For the camera, however, he exudes angelic baby innocence:
He also enjoyed kicking back with a stogy:
We found a very sweet girl who works in the tennis shop, home from college for the summer. She came to sit on Friday and Saturday night so we could go down for grown up dinner in the Carolina Room at the hotel. I will tell you what I tell everyone: If you go, eat there, it's a foodie's paradise. The food is local and perfectly cooked and insanely delicious. I've never had a less-then-outstanding meal there. And if you know me, you know Food + Me = BFF.

Charlie, unfortunately, was not too willing to assist in our plan to escape for dinner. The first night was a complete nightmare - screaming, crying, temper tantrum. I finally had to leave the room and let Sue work her magic. She got him down to sleep eventually, around the time I was deciding in the hall I would just thank the sitter, give her some cash and send her on her way. Instead we got to go to dinner and have a really fun time!

After dinner, Charlie was out cold, Brad and his dad picked up the pack n' play from their room (they had a suite, so it was easier for the babysitter there with 2 rooms), carry it down the hall on the second floor, up the elevator 2 floors, down the hall on the 4th floor and into our room. Before dinner, Brad had let Charlie walk the entire way from our room to theirs using his walker so I guess he figured why not do the same thing with the pack n' play? Charlie didn't budge.

The next night we tried some different techniques and since I was deemed 'emotional and panicked mother', I was actually told to leave the room to give Charlie's sleep a fighting chance. I want so badly to not be a rookie mom, but I totally and completely am. I'm clueless. I feel so lucky Sue stepped in because having a couple of dinners off from baby duty really made the trip for me.

I even got to wear my two new Lily dresses! This is the dressier of the two, my Betty Draper dress. I'm not loving the gold strappy heels with it, however. What would Betty do??

They have a really awesome tennis club there and my sister-in-law Clare, soon-to-be UVA tennis team freshman (sorry, must brag) will typically play with the pro there, Kevin. We all just love Kevin.

Charlie screamed at them for quite a while during one of their games - I don't think he liked sharing his Aunt Clare. Or maybe he wanted one of the tennis balls, who knows. Here in a couple of years he'll probably be running around with his own little racquet.
We reluctantly packed up and left this morning after one last calorie binge at the breakfast buffet. Charlie was none too happy for most of the trip home (similar to the trip up there) and fought his nap when we got home with all his remaining energy. He's now been down for 2 hours. So yeah, his schedule is all kinds of messed up. But in a very worth-it kind of way. :)

So long Pinehurst - see you next year!

Few more pics from the trip - Clare and Art at dinner at the Magnolia Inn.
Brad and Clare with Charlie in the Carolina lobby. Charlie not cooperating. Don't you love the chair Brad is sitting in? I'm always on the lookout for similar ones.
And finally, the relaxation money shots. A peaceful sunset out our window. They used to have bagpipes playing in front of the resort every day at sunset but the kid who played them had to move away to go to school.

And the new Arboretum (or new to me) near the Village. Very peaceful.

Moral of this post: Go to Pinehurst.

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Semi-First Mother's Day

This felt like my first Mother's Day and it was very special. I was just so darn tired for the last one, I barely remember it. I remember going to dinner at the Tavern, Charlie refusing to sit in his carrier for any of it and getting a neat Flip Camera from Brad. That's about it. We weren't sleeping much back then. At All.

Fast forward to now and I had a heavenly, memorable Mother's Day weekend! I got to go get a massage on Saturday and Brad and I had a babysitter for Saturday night. We ran errands (yes, we paid someone for the luxury of running errands alone) and went to dinner - the patio at the Starlite Diner. We drove around the Fan and looked at the pretty houses. We were home by 8.

Sunday morning Brad let me sleep in and when I got up we had Sister Schubert's blueberry cream cheese rolls. Charlie had several. They made his tummy sooooo happy. He is totally our child. They did not mistakenly switch at the hospital - it is for certain.

It was a beautiful day here so we took a nice long walk in the afternoon after Brad finished working. I felt like Mexican food for dinner - or really, anything from a South/Central American country would have done the trick. Much like Chick-fil-A, I only crave Pescados (Latin/Caribbean seafood) on Sundays, when they are closed. It's such a shame, too, because their food is awesome and would have really hit the spot.

So instead, we went to Mexico restaurant for my Mother's Day dinner. And not just any Mexico restaurant, mind you - the super-ghetto Horsepen Road location. It was awful. Chewy, disgusting beef fajitas for 2. Charlie didn't seem to mind - he ate a bunch of them and all he wanted was the meat. Of course, the poor child has never had good fajitas. That kind of thing can get you called into Child Protective Services in Texas.

We spent most of dinner talking about how we need to get around to making fajitas and how epically good they were for our housewarming party in Silver Spring. Remind me to post my secrets of good fajitas some time. There are tricks. Important, not-to-be-missed tricks.

The upside of having Mother's Day dinner at the super-ghetto Mexico restaurant location is that 1) I didn't have to wash my hair and 2) donning my 'Woody's Bar' tank top and cargo pants was perfectly acceptable. Brad bought the tank for me in St. John after one too many rum punches. Classy.

Some special dinner pics:

Mother and child. One telling the other that he needs to pose for the camera because she wants a good Mother's Day picture, even if Mommy's hair is dirty and she's wearing a tacky tank top to humor Daddy.
There, that's better.
Lately Charlie only wants to eat if he has his own fork to stab things with. His food consumption doubles with the use of a fork. It turns eating into a combat sport. Here is Charlie demonstrating his mad fork skills:
Unfortunately, the way Charlie lets me know he wants a fork - or anything else for that matter - is this whiny noise. I need to start working with him on signing because he obviously has things he wants to tell me but can't figure out how to do it.

For instance: the Where is Baby's Belly Button books. He will toss one at me and make the whiny noise. Then we read it. Over. And over. And over again. He has this look of excited anticipation on his face each time I start reading it. Like he's wondering, where is Baby's Belly Button?? Will it be somewhere different this time??

Other then reading the same books for the 100th time, this week I am getting us ready to go to Pinehurst on Wednesday for the annual Spooner Family vacation with Brad's dad, stepmom and sister. The forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and a 100% chance of Awesome.

I hope all of you moms out there (especially my mom!) had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Our Week

This week started with poison ivy and ended with a stranger's 3 year old grabbing my left boob. What happened in between you ask??

So the poison ivy happened to Brad. As I mentioned a few posts ago (2 of which were lame, effortless 2 liners with a video) we worked in the yard last weekend. Well. Brad worked in the yard while I made sure Charlie didn't swallow anything poisonous.

Apparently we have poison ivy around our very lovely magnolia tree and Brad wanted to make sure he got rid of it before it got out of control. Charlie's about to walk and the last thing we need is a toddler covered in poison ivy. Instead we have a daddy covered in poison ivy.

To give some context to the problem: Brad likes to work in the yard with no shirt on. Only recently in our marriage have I been able to convince him to don a shirt for anything outdoors near our house, such as walking the dogs. In Dallas he walked Zoe all over the place with no shirt on, in true redneck fashion. That was before Lakewood Heights got classy. Anyways.

All that poison ivy got on him somehow and by Tuesday evening he was leaving work to get a cortisone shot. It was all over his chest and stomach. Even the much-improved version looks painful.

Back at home we were busy having some fun visitors - Brad's mom and grandmother drove all the way from Arkansas to come visit for a few days. We don't kid ourselves about who they were really here to see - Charlie was the main attraction. In fact, Charlie played with his grandmother so much he pooped himself out! They did all sorts of stuff and played and played. He was actually kind of a stinker by the time dinner rolled around last night. Tonight he went to bed early, still worn out from all the excitement.

Unfortunately Brad wasn't able to fly home from work until late last night so he didn't get to see everyone until today. But we had a great lunch on the patio at Cafe Caturra on Grove and were able to give them their mother's day gifts before they had to leave. It was a really nice visit and everyone seemed to have a great time - especially Charlie.

After lunch I had to go back to work for a bit. It was so dead in the office I thought I would cut out early and either go to the gym or get Charlie and take a nice walk around the neighborhood in the sunshine. Per usual, Charlie won.

I left to go get him and was surprised at how packed the parking lot was. As I got closer to the door of his room I suddenly remembered.... Mother's Day party. Daycare was having a mother's day party that started about 40 minutes before I got there. They told me about it on Monday and I totally forgot.

Can I tell you what complete and total garbage I felt (feel) like for forgetting that party? Add it to my list of irrational things that I've spent time stewing on since having a child - it's not like Charlie is ever going to remember this party. I looked in the window of the door while opening it and all the moms were in there with their babies and I'm late and my kid is crawling around with one of the teachers watching him. Ugh. Insert self-loathing here.

Charlie was near the door and obviously had just eaten something because he was covered in crumbs. He was excited to see me as usual and we had fun for a little while - but he was so fussy for most of it. Not much of a nap today apparently.

He flirted a little bit with Bella, stole my punch and ate most of my cookie. When I finally had to take the punch cup away before he made too much of a mess he threw a real fit. 18 months is feeling closer every day! Arched back, loud screams, inconsolable. The mothers of the tinier babies looked alarmed. And they should be. This is totally coming their way!

After that, one of the teachers took him to walk around. She ran into one of the other teachers who had recently gotten married and had her wedding album with her. She told me Charlie stared at every photo. Does he already know he's going to be in his Aunt Megan's wedding next April??? He seemed to be studying up on what to do. Wedding 101.

While he was looking at wedding photos I talked to one of the other moms who works where I work. Her husband also travels a lot so we were commiserating. There was a little girl in a cute dress (not her daughter) trying to get this mom's attention the whole time. I think before I got there, this mom had been playing with the little girl, who has a little brother in the room.

As little kids do she kept trying to get her playmate's attention and when that didn't work, she tried to get my attention. As a last resort she grabbed my boob. Just reached out and grabbed. Hilarious! The little girl's poor mother was mortified. I tried to reassure her it was no big deal. I went to college. It's happened before.

A little later at the party Charlie flung my new Goddard school water bottle at this same mom and I had to point out, at least he didn't grab your boob. YET. She laughed, so I think we can be friends now. If she'd looked at me like 'I can't believe you're joking like that' then it would have been time to move on. It's a requirement for a fellow mom friend: enjoy boob-related humor.

Tonight Charlie was down early so Brad and I watched some more Dexter. It's a pretty interesting show, though I'm leery of watching it during dinner. You know, with all the serial killers and all. Dexter is rather endearing for being such a social outcast. Makes it somewhat unrealistic, but isn't everything on Showtime? I mean, Weeds? Please.

Mother's Day weekend is shaping up to be nice. I have a massage booked for noon tomorrow and we have a babysitter for tomorrow evening. Brad's going to let me sleep in on Sunday. That's basically all I need for a really awesome weekend. Bring it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Munchkin

Brad and I have a lot of nicknames for Charlie. They tend to evolve. If it happens like it did with dogs, we will eventually land on something more permanent. Ringo is Bobo and Zoe is The Princess. I'd guess Charlie is diligently working to accumulate enough words to protest if he ends up with a lame nickname like the dogs did.

I started calling Charlie the Munchkin a few months ago and that has morphed into The Munch. We would also say 'No Sir' whenever he got into the dog bowls or was trying to get into a toilet. This morphed into Sir and now The Sir. As in, The Sir has learned to open the trash can and pull things out. Ewwwwww.

How do we come up with this crap? I'm not sure. It seems so logical when we're saying it. I wonder what's next for poor Charlie. Munch. Sir.

It was hot like summer this past weekend, so we spent some time outside working on the yard. Charlie had his first taste of dirt. Like, literally. It just wouldn't do to leave one of the senses unused after all. We buy the kid a sand table and a water table and the main attraction is a pile of dirt. I must remember this before dropping more cash on molded plastic.

There was also a lot of practice going up and down stairs and walking behind his push toy. When Charlie concentrates on something really hard, he sticks out his tongue to one side. I have yet to get a photo. Nothing kills good, solid concentration like Mom sticking a camera in your face.
Our neighbors who are moving to London came over for dinner Saturday night. We grilled out burgers, which was coincidentally what their friends who had them over for dinner Friday night served them. I guess a cheeseburger is how we say Farewell here in the U.S. They brought over a peach pie from Westhampton Bakery for dessert. Oh. Mahgosh. Run, don't walk.

Their daughter is so funny - she's almost 3. She loves to have conversations with Brad. He went up to get Charlie from his nap and was feeding him a bottle in the den while the rest of us were in the kitchen. She went in and sat down next to Brad and talked with him for a while. Who knows what they were discussing. Little kid stuff, I guess. Brad was in his element!

After Charlie had his bottle, he spent the rest of the evening grabbing toys from Olivia in ways that were Not Fair and when it was certainly Not His Turn. That's the thing about babies. They have no manners! She was such a good sport about it. That's got to be the height of frustration for the 2 and 3 year old set.
So that was kind of our weekend. Brad was up and out by 5:30 this morning. You'd think I'd be exhausted but here it is, almost midnight and I'm wide awake. I guess the bags under my eyes got depleted over the weekend from actually sleeping and are recharging to be in full effect tomorrow. Yay!

Also, having major Flip video issues, but if you actually watch the videos I post of Charlie on here, I've got some doozies lined up! Warm up your headphones!

TV I Like

I was on the sofa last night happily watching 60 minutes with a glass of Malbec when I turned to Brad and said 'I love 60 minutes.' His response? 'We're old.'

I think it was compounded by the fact I recognized the voice of Michele Norris from All Things Considered on NPR on a drug commercial 10 minutes beforehand. Brad looked a little alarmed when I pointed that out, like we'd aged 10 years over the course of dinner.

I don't watch a lot of TV. I realize a lot of people say that. Maybe a more accurate statement is that I don't watch a lot of TV I like. We're considering ditching cable all together we have hundreds of channels I can't find much I like watching. Except I really love 16 and Pregnant. Go figure. Just keepin' it classy.

A lot of my old favorites have jumped the shark, like Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives. The Bachelor is pretty much dead to me. Lifetime has sucked the fun out of Project Runway. Real Housewives has gotten painfully scripted and competitive as they cat fight their way to spinoff shows and tacky jewelry lines.

The Food Network and HGTV have become repackaged versions of the same show - even my old fav the Barefoot Contessa! Drink every time she says 'isn't that fabulous?' and 'just to add more flavor' and the next day you won't remember which anniversary she was celebrating with Jeffrey.

I'm on a mission to find more things I like. I'm catching up on How I Met Your Mother, which is high-larious! I'm on season 3 and I love it. I'm so glad Doogie Howser and I are tight again. Leaving the medical profession has made him so much funnier.

We started Dexter Season 1 after Charlie went to bed last night. It's an interesting show but so graphic. I can tell Brad's going to be into it a lot more then I am. He can easily fall asleep at night while I sit there remembering when Dexter took the chainsaw and... well. Never mind.

I'm going to go ahead and admit this - I am the only person on the planet who has not been watching Lost. Season 1 is in my queue. I hope I love it. Because then I can be interesting to talk to at work again.

Don't you love when you love a good show? It's the same as a good book. True Blood - love it! The whole Maryann thing had me scared we were water skiing in shark infested waters, though.

Loved the Tudors, too, but don't have Showtime so have missed season 3. This is the last season as King Henry will run out of wives to behead eventually. I really hope that wasn't a spoiler for you - seeing as it actually happened and all. Mad Men will eventually return - that's a good show.

Until then I am sadly going to be stuck with America's Test Kitchen and professional tennis. Oh my gosh. I AM OLD.

So... any recommendations? Even old stuff. I have Netflix now!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


When we bought this house about half the attic had been finished out, complete with carpet, ceiling fan, vents, etc. What luck! Extra finished space WITH A/C and heat. You can get there via actual, normal sized stairs off one of the guest bedrooms- we practically have a third floor in this house! Jackpot!

Like everything else in this house it was really ugly.... but had potential. When we picked out this house (or rather, Brad prophetically announced/insisted this was 'our house' from its MLS listing before we even saw it), we bought a neighborhood, a peaceful wooded lot and a floor plan. Everything else has had to be fixed up.

Up until now we've used the finished attic space for storage and wrapping Christmas gifts. Now we have Charlie and he is into everything in every other room so we need a Charlie safe zone, if you will. As well as somewhere to dump most of the colorful molded plastic that comes with toddlerhood.

I'm kicking myself for not having 'before' pictures, but visualize stained old blue carpet, banged up walls and almond colored sockets/switches (I shudder just writing that). Amazing what a few small changes can do.

Stairs leading up....

View from the top of the stairs...

Looking back at the stairs from the other side of the room....
This room gets no natural light, so I wanted to keep the paint light and airy. I also painted the ceiling to try and make it feel bigger. The paint color is Sherwin Williams Retiring Blue - kind of an ocean-y aqua.

Though I am not one for 'themed' rooms I keep thinking nautical up here, so I love the new sand colored carpet. I think I want to put some deep blues and reds against the aqua paint. It will be subtle nautical, though, trust me.

Since there will be markers, finger paints and grubby hands on everything up here, I do believe IKEA will have the decorating honors. And my 10 year old 32 inch TV is finally going to be put back to use up here. We'll need some kind of sofa, a small table and chair set for Charlie and lots of short bookcases to line the walls for toys and books.

When it is furnished I think I may paint a patch of wall in magnetic chalkboard paint. Sounds fun, no?? Anyways, in several months when it's all done, I'll post more pics.